...No, I don't know why this is so popular either.
Hi! Welcome to the fourth thread of Murphy's Law! As you can probably guess, I'm making an OOTS-style webcomic. It's comedic, yet with an ongoing, in-depth storyline. It starts out with a multiclass Fighter/Paladin named Lloyd Zephyr looking to organize an adventuring party, and quickly mushrooms from there into something much bigger...
#94: They're Serious
#1: Why I Hate Fanservice
#2: Always Use A Pencil
#3: First Impressions
#5: Oddly, They Didn't Confiscate His Weapons
#6: This Will Work Out Great!
#7: Off On The Wrong Foot
#8: Well, She IS A Druid
#9: Don't Worry, The Weasel's Alright
#10: Not So Rough
#11: Well, This Isn't Foreboding At All!
#12: Captain Obvious
#13: Rule Of Cool
#14: Roll A Fort Save
#15: Avenue J
#16: Lloyd Zephyr Is Not A Morning Person
#17: Actually, Radic Has a Higher Dex Score
#18: Digging Yourself Deeper
#19: Kid In A Candy Shop
#20: He Really Should Know The Answer To This By Now
#21: Deja Vu
#22: No More
#23: They're Required To Do This Every So Often
#24: He, At Least, Didn't See That One Coming
#25: Tomorrow's Spells Consist Entirely of Cure X Wounds And Atonement
#26: Seatbelts Help Prevent Whiplash
#27: Say What You Will, But He's Got Style
#28: Harmful To Minors
#29: Matt's Best Chance
#30: At This Rate, He'll Command An Entire Army By The End Of The Comic
#31: And You Thought Rogues Got Buckets Of Skill Points
#32: All In Good Time
#33: It Doesn't Start With "U" Either
#34: At Least He's Warm
#35: Genki If There Ever Was One
#36: Ad Campaign
#37: This Happens Every Few Weeks
#38: Gonna Need More Duct Tape
#39: Critical Communication Failure
#40: Insult To Remus
#41: That She Lasted So Long Is A Miracle In Itself
#42: She Didn't Mean The Liches Or Necromancers
#43: Meanwhile, Thousands Of Miles Away
#44: Matt Could Have Told You Years Ago
#45: 240 Proof
#46: Divination, How I Love Thee
#47: A Rare Quiet Moment
#48: A Familiar Occurrence
#49: Think Fast
#50: Miss Exposition
#51: Iris Said To Squick Him Out
#52: Every Single Time
#53: He Didn't See Panel Five
#54: All Aboard The Plot Train
#55: Ursa Saphrin
#56: But Seriously, They're Safe
#57: Story Arcs Start Slow
#58: Presumably For His Height
#59: Like Electric Guitars, But More Explodey
#60: On Patrol
#61: They Should Schedule A Meetup
#62: That's Fewer Than Half
#63: Mission Possible
#64: Matthew "Deathwish" Silver
#65: Baby Steps
#66: Denial Ain't Just A River
#67: The Best Wizards Are Unpredictable
#68: But It Just Might Work
#69: Unexpected Greeting
#70: Why I Won't Use Foreign Languages
#71: Not Private Enough
#72: Paladins Can Bluff Too
#73: Some Would Say Yes
#74: A Fitting Punishment
#75: Come On, Let's Get Real
#76: Ostensibly Heroic Kleptomaniac
#77: She's Conflicted Too
#78: Not A Bluff Check
#79: Resolutions, Wishes, And Prayers
#80: Knowledge: Religion
#81: No, She Wasn't Listening Before
#82: As The Stories Say
#83: Collective Guilt
#84: Fir Saw It Coming
#85: She'll Actually Be Sensible For Once
#86: Talk About Timing
#87: I Don't Know Either
#88: The Montage Mobile
#89: Golden Eagle Shipping And Trading
#90: More Appropriate As Comic 99
#91: Dun Dun DUN
#92: The Abridged Edition
#93: Ever Heard Of Milgram?
BONUS: Oh! In case you didn't know, I'm originally from the Crack Pairings Thread. So, I love it when people do crack pairings and stuff of this comic! In fact, I'll post it on here! Just make sure that it obeys board rules and the like, okay?
Stuff by me! :
Stuff by ShinyDelusion:
“Went down your--” Lloyd began to say.
“And that is all I’m going to say about it,” Matt cut him off flatly.
“Whatever,” said Lloyd, looking at Matt’s weasel-inflicted wounds critically, “You should probably go get Janine to heal you.”
“Can’t paladins heal?” Matt asked, not sure where Janine was and in no mood to search for her while every scratch on his body was still smarting.
“The technique’s called ‘Lay on Hands’,” Lloyd replied neutrally.
“Oh,” said Matt. A few seconds of silence passed. “This sucks,” he added in a grumble.
“More than max security?” Lloyd asked as a reminder.
“No,” said Matt darkly, staring broodingly into the middle distance.
It was two years ago, back when he was just learning how to get away with things and had recently tried to put a red streak in his hair. The hair was a minor fiasco—he’d bleached first and the red dye wasn’t strong enough, leaving the streak an embarrassingly pretty purplish pink; maybe he should try blue next time—but he was getting to be a really good rogue. Or so he thought.
In retrospect he realized that he probably shouldn’t have been so cocky—after all it was already the sixth time he’d been caught stealing and he’d only been at it a few months—but back in those days he’d felt like he could do anything, like he was untouchable. Sure, he’d gotten thrown in the local jailhouse once or twice, but those cells were a joke; he watched a party full of Level 2 adventures with not a rogue among them break out in ten minutes flat once. Of course, those were the lowest security cells, not max. He didn’t know yet that when they threw you in max, you weren’t getting yourself out any time soon unless you were epic level or something.
That day, the day he got caught for the sixth time, they threw him in max.
“I really am sorry, kid,” the warden had told him grimly, “But today we got three adventuring parties filled with chaotic types who thought they’d found the second easiest way to get some extra gps; the cells are packed, so you’re going to have to go in max.”
“Whatever,” Matt muttered.
A little annoyed by the boy’s indifference, the warden added, “Just so you know, your cell mate got life for massacring a relatively peaceful group of kobold merchants for the XP and…” He gulped. “Accessorizing opportunities.”
“Whatever,” Matt repeated. Wait a minute, what about accessorizing?
“He gets violent when we try to remove things from his cell,” he went on, now honestly angered by the boy’s lack of interest, “Such as the beheaded corpses of former cell mates…”
“What do you mean--” Matt began to ask, a little panicked, before regaining his cool. “You’re making that up just to scare me.”
“If only,” the warden said with a sigh, “I suggest you just try to have a conversation with him; some say the solitude’s made him snap. Ah, here we are.”
At first Matt thought his cellmate was a kobold. Then, gagging, he realized what the warden had meant by “accessorizing opportunities”.
“How’s it going, Killer?” the warden asked with false joviality.
Clutching a human skull pointed at the warden, the filthy Halfling shrieked, “Fireball! Fireball now, or I’ll give you something to Fear you worthless undead piece of crap!”
“This is your new roomie!” the warden continued, forcing himself to smile in the hope that the Halfling would calm down, “His name is Matthew Silver.”
Matt was too terrified to correct him.
While the Halfling did something partially hidden but, Matt feared, definitely obscene to the skull that wouldn’t obey his commands, the warden very quickly unlocked the cell, shoved Matt in, and relocked it.
“I really am sorry,” the warden told Matt again, “If one of those parties breaks out, I’ll get you out of here pronto, but…” He glanced at the Halfling. “It’d be a lie to tell you anything but this: From here it can only get worse.”
He left Matt alone with this thought. And the delusional, psychopathic Halfling.
It took several minutes for the Halfling to get bored with… what he was doing with the skull, but once he did, he took an immediate interest in Matt.
“You don’t look like max security material,” he told the boy smugly, “I guess without the Belkster out there to show ‘em how it’s done, the standards are dropping.”
Matt could manage nothing but a deer-in-the-headlights expression. At this point he was so scared he was barely even breathing.
To his wide-eyed horror, the Halfling began to approach him, picking up a severed head that was lying on the floor by its silvery hair on the way.
“Let’s get a few things straight,” the murderer said, “When they bring the grub in, your plate goes to Mr. Scruffy.” He began stroking the hair on the head affectionately. “Of course none of the stuff here’s good enough for his carnivore tastes, but he’s gotta eat eventually, and when he finally gets hungry enough, he is not going to starve on your account. Got it, wuss?”
Matt managed a nod. Living to see suppertime would be blessing enough. Glances around the room had let him count six different heads, and worryingly he’d only been able to spot four of the respective bodies…
“You really are a wuss, you know? You really shouldn’t be here…” As if too distracted by this revelation to hold his concentration on other things, the Halfling dropped the head known as “Mr. Scruffy.” He stared at Matt. For a long time.
“Aha!” Before Matt had time to realize anything was happening, the Halfling had him pinned to the ground and was yanking on a lock of his hair.
“Thought you could get a way with that?” the Halfling raved. The hand that wasn’t gripping Matt’s hair began fishing around in his grubby pockets for something. “Oh… I’ll do you for that, you androgynous twit…”
“Wh-what?!” Matt sputtered. Through the haze of pain the hair-pulling was spreading through his skull, he thought that the victimized hair might be that stupid attempt at a red streak, not that that was even remotely important right now…
“Come off it, Ears,” the lunatic snapped, yanking what appeared to be a sharpened spoon out of his pocket, “Your friggin’ lame disguise has failed epicly.” His eyes gleamed. “Then again, you always were one for epic failure, weren’t ya, pal?”
“What are you talking about?” Matt asked desperately. And, what did he mean by “Ears”? His voice now laced with disgust, he added, “You think I’m an elf?”
“I said come off it,” the Halfling repeated sharply. Then, to Matt’s surprise, he let go of his hair and his expression softened. “I guess I should’ve stopped bringing it up, after you told us everything that happened, but it was just too good; you finally admitted you screwed up.”
“Oh, I see,” Matt snarled, “An arrogant prick of an elf. Why you--”
“It was worth it, too,” the Halfling continued, now mostly ignoring Matt, “When you just kept blowing stuff up, especially when Roy was throwing hissy fits all the time because we wouldn’t knock it off. But then,” now his face flushed with rage, “You frickin’ set me up in this dump of a town with a frickin’ epic level prison!” He refocused his gaze on Matt. “And of course you had to come back and gloat,” he added, his voice cold.
“Dude,” said Matt, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about, and I’m not an elf! I hate elves!”
“Nice try, Ears,” said the Halfling, “But you really should have chosen a disguise that looked like it actually belonged in max security.” With a disturbing suddenness, the Halfling grinned. “Since you obviously can’t break out of this cell anymore than I can… Do you know what they do to pretty, purple-haired little elf-boys like you in prison, Vaarsuvius?”
“It’s Matt,” Matt spat, but his face was paling.
Brandishing the lethally sharp spoon, the madman said, “Because I’m about to show you.”
One of the adventuring parties did break out eventually, and the warden came to move Matt to another cell as he promised, in the nick of time, at that. Whenever Matt looked back on the whole incident (usually after waking up from a graphic nightmare) he shuddered to think what might have happened had he been left in there longer, but nonetheless wished that he could have been moved sooner.
In the weeks following his stay in prison Matt improved as a rogue very quickly. Before it’d been all about the loot but now he’d learned to focus on not getting caught. He decided he was never going to prison again and would do whatever it took to stay out of maximum security.
“Did you just have a flashback?” Lloyd asked Matt accusingly.
“Yeah,” said Matt, “Got a problem with that?”
“I’m the main character and I’ve already hinted at a dark and interesting backstory,” Lloyd said hotly, “I’m supposed to get the first flashback!”
Matt smirked. From here it could only get better.
Spoiler“Nice try, Ears,” said the Halfling, “But you really should have chosen a disguise that looked like it actually belonged in max security.” With a disturbing suddenness, the Halfling grinned. “Since you obviously can’t break out of this cell anymore than I can… Do you know what they do to pretty, purple-haired little elf-boys like you in prison, Vaarsuvius?”
“It’s Matt,” Matt spat, but his face was paling.
Brandishing the lethally sharp spoon, the madman said, “Because I’m about to show you.”
“Nooooooo!” Matt cried upon abruptly waking, sitting straight up. Rubbing his eyes, he said gruffly but a little sheepishly, “Sorry, I know that’s one of the most annoying clichés in the book, but…” He looked around him. All three of the other adventurers were still asleep. “Okay… Nevermind.” Shuddering a little and trying to push the nightmare out of his thoughts, he slowly lied back down.
“Mmm… Glad you think so Lloyd… Now come here…”
“What?” Matt sat back up, looking around himself again. Everyone was still asleep. He glanced at Lloyd. Nope, definitely not doing anything to Janine. He glanced at Janine—
“Oh, Lloyd, I think I’m wounded…”
“Wounded?” Matt repeated, raising an eyebrow. He’d never heard that one before.
“You must Lay Hands on me…”
Oh. That made sense. He should’ve seen that one coming, really. As Janine’s words dissolved into little moans that made him uncomfortable on multiple levels, he lied back again, muttering, “Who seriously talks in their sleep anyway?” and tried to go back to sleep.
“Let me show you another use for Water Drops…”
Water Drops? Matt frowned. Weren’t those those little pills wizards could make out of water that released mouthfuls of water when you chewed on them?
“That’s right, put it there…”
“What the…?” Matt murmured.
“Now squeeze… Ah!”
“Mmm… You know, if you’re Good…” There was a little snorting sound that might have been Janine giggling, “The water tastes sweet… Oh, yes…”
“Oh, no…” Matt said with a grunt, rolling over and clutching his stomach. He did not want to hear this.
“I also know another use for—”
“Gah!” Matt cried, clapping his hands over his ears. How am I going to get back to sleep with this show playing in the background? Well, he couldn’t hear her with his hands over his ears, at least. Okay. I can do this… He started taking deep breaths in an attempt to make himself fall asleep faster while keeping his hands over his ears. Though this method wasn’t quite as efficient as he’d hoped for it to be, after about half an hour he felt himself drifting off. His arms relaxed has he sunk into a peaceful slumber, his hands gently falling away from his ears…
“Oh, Lloyd, I didn’t know you were a sorcerer…”
“Huh…?” Matt muttered sleepily.
“There really are a lot of uses for Prestidigitation… Mmm…”
Ba-dum, ting! Matt’s half-dreaming mind supplied for that one liner as he let out a moan of protest. He tried to sit up again, but realized he was already falling asleep, Janine’s words weaving themselves into his dreams…
“Nooooo!” Matt cried out again, awaking while sitting bolt upright for the second time that night. Taking deep breaths to calm himself down, he looked around to find that once again he’d failed to wake up the other three adventurers. It wouldn’t have been all that bad, he mused, wiping the cold sweat from his brow, if there hadn’t been so much… Lloyd. After shooting a glare at the now innocently silent Janine, he lied back and was asleep within minutes.
Remus raised his head to make his best you-should-feel-guilty sad eyes at the screaming human but to no avail; the little punk didn’t even glance at him. Apparently no one cares if they wake up just a dog in the middle of the night. As Matt went back to sleep, Remus put his own head back down with a self-righteous sniff, but raised it again after a few seconds.
Remus heard a sound. It sounded like an animal sound, but it wasn’t a familiar sound. A weird tp-tp-tp-tp-tping was prowling in a circle around them. The dog scanned the forest as best as he could, a low growl rumbling in the back of his throat. It was hard to tell now that Radic’s friend had started muttering in her sleep again, but after a few seconds it sounded like the tp-tping had stopped. This didn’t make Remus feel any better. Whining a little, he nudged Radic’s arm with his nose.
“Urg, Remus…” Radic groaned, batting her companion’s cold nose away from her, “What is it?”
Remus whined and poked her arm with his nose again.
“Okay, okay,” said Radic, sitting up and scratching him behind an ear, “What’s wrong, boy?”
“Mmrr… Lloyd,” Janine murmured, “You can… Desecrate my temple… Anyday…”
“Well that’s nothing new,” said Radic, playing with Remus’ ears, “Did she wake you up?”
Remus sniffed a little and let out another whimper.
“Northern ambush… Gnnh…” Lloyd was muttering, a sheen of sweat shining on his face.
“Oh,” said Radic, glancing over at him, “Poor guy… Wonder what’s going on in there?”
Remus settled down with a sigh while Radic sat down near the boy with a horse, stroking his hair occasionally and whispering little sympathetic phrases. It was just his luck that when he tries to warn her about possible danger, she decides she wants to get a head start on mating with something just because it looked pitiful when it slept. Oh well, he still hadn’t heard any more tp-tping, so maybe they were safe after all.
Lloyd seemed to be sleeping more peacefully now, and even though the way his face looked so smooth and elegant in the moonlight made Radic feel warm and giddy inside, at last she decided it was time she got back to sleeping too. As she drifted off next to a a sleeping Remus, oblivious to a faint tp-tp-tping sound approaching the camp from a distance, she decided that this was going to be the best campaign ever.
Stuff by Asta Kask
Lloyd looked at the other warrior. He was everything Lloyd admired in a man - self-confident, experienced, tough... yet there was a touch of sadness around him. A feeling that things weren't the way they were supposed to be.
"So, you've been adventuring with these for how long?"
"Oh, we're just starting out. We're looking for a dragon."
The other warrior nodded. He asked a few more questions, and without really knowing how it happened Lloyd suddenly realized he had told the other warrior much more than he intended. Even about Janine...
"I mean, it's like all she wants is sex. Yeah, that's important, but I want something more than that. I want a relationship, and it feels like she'll just go off in search of the next conquest five minutes after she's had me."
"Yes," said the other warrior. "I understand. But let me tell you something - I'm in a relationship with a sylph right now. She's a great girl, but being away from her for so long... you get the itch, y'know. Like this..."
The other warrior leaned over and kissed Lloyd softly on the mouth. Lloyd tensed up at first, then relaxed. He had never dreamt that being kissed by a man could be so wonderful. A whirlpool of emotions welled up inside him and drowned all thoughts of the quests, all thoughts of Janine, all thoughts...
Stuff by CWater
Stuff by Herpestidae
Stuff by Zanaril
Stuff by Water_Smurf
Stuff by Symmys
Hope I didn't miss any. Well, enjoy!
EDIT: Look! Banners! (Well, one now, but two more coming! )