As always, the list is excessively long. Like, does anyone want half of these options? Actually, most of them seem pretty good… but far too niche! The Altar has a greater effect empowering fire abilities. The Altar has a greater effect empowering ice abilities. The Altar has a greater effect empowering physical abilities….
On and on it goes.
I quickly identify the basic upgrades before I start flicking about to see if I can find something that might take my fancy. I mean, it's hard to go wrong with improving the capacity of the Altar, and improving its efficiency converting Will into… whatever it converts it into.
Both upgrades give the Altar a lot more bang for the buck, so to speak. The capacity upgrade is almost mandatory, since I already have several abilities that drain the entire stock dry when I empower them. In fact, considering the sheer amount of energy the Vestibule funnels into me, I may not even need the efficiency upgrade. I could take capacity at +5 and +10, reinforce it at +15 and then see how I feel after that.
It may even prove necessary to repeat the process again from +20 to +30. More power stocked up will allow me to go ham with my most powerful spells and abilities. Against the three super demons, that may prove crucial. If I can't throw out empowered wells and Void Chomps willy-nilly, then I'll struggle to go toe to toe with them.
I continue to trawl through the many, many listings in case I find something I might consider interesting, and I do.
[Starborn Altar: Increases the effect when empowering gravity based abilities.]
That's so tempting! That's super tempting!
I thought I could dismiss all the specific, nice upgrades and just go with utility, but this one could be super good! The Gravity Bomb, the Gravity Well, the Gravity Domain, perhaps even the Void Chomp, would all get extra OOMPH from this selection.
I'm leaning so heavily into gravity based power now that I have it, further investment pays me back in all sorts of ways in other areas as well. Gah!
No! Snap out of it, Anthony! You must select capacity at +5 and +10. It's a requirement!
I lock those two choices in and commit to reinforcing them at fifteen. Then feel myself drawn irresistibly back to the gravity enhancing mutation.
I should carefully consider the pros and cons before making an informed decision… there's likely no chance I get to reforge the Altar, so these mutations are going to stick. Think about it. Think carefully.
Lock it in! +20, +25 and then reinforce, baby! Whoo!
Phew, what a rush. Alright then, onto the Nave. I'm still not entirely clear on the function of the Nave, but I think I've gradually pieced it together over time.
I mean, it's a bit obvious at this point, but the Vestibule, Nave and Altar are all parts of a church or cathedral. The Vestibule is where people are welcomed inside, the entrance, I suppose. Which makes sense, that is the organ through which the Will of the Colony flows.
The Nave is the biggest bit, it's where people sit. Usually filled with rows of pews… or chairs… or whatever.
Then the Altar, which is what the people show up for, I suppose. Its purpose is to give shape to the Will that is flowing through. I chose to dedicate the Altar to empowering myself, so that is what it does.
But the Nave, where does that fit in?
The energy comes in through the Vestibule, flows through the Nave, then is given purpose by the Altar. My previous mutations for the Nave were simple and generic, effectively purifying and concentrating the Will that passed through it. Without an Altar for that energy to flow to, it wasn't easy to see the difference that made. All that happened was that the things that Will already did for me, keeping me fresh, refilling my stamina, acid and regeneration glands, all happened faster.
But now, I wonder.
The Nave in a church is where the people sit, and I think I may have misunderstood its purpose all along. By constructing it, I made a place for the Will of the Colony… to come in and sit down.
Which explains a few things I've noticed ever since I reached tier six. Ants seem to know what I'm thinking sometimes. Or they know when I'm coming, even if I conceal my core. There are times I know things I shouldn't, or they know things they shouldn't, as if we'd sat down and had a long conversation, except we never had.
Or perhaps we did. Inside.
I often dip my toe into the flow of Will to see what's going on, but I never did for the Nave…. Now I'm a little scared to. Alright, let's check it out.
With a flicker, my mind is suddenly within, beyond the flow of power, contained in another area. I can feel the Will of the Colony thundering past nearby, but here, it's a little more quiet, more serene.
And sure enough… there are ants here. Well, not actually ants, but small little bubbles of Will. How and why these specific members of the family are here, I don't know, but here they are. Perhaps they've contributed the most Will, and over time these bubbles form within the Nave?
Who do we even have here?
I shouldn't know, but I do, which confirms some of my earlier suspicions. That ant there is the nameless one, for example. That one is also the nameless one. So is that one.
Dammit! How many of the torpor police are in here?! Sheesh!
Aha! This is Cargant, a worker from the second stratum who specialises in transporting cargo. Hence the name. She's a beast, hauls ore and minerals all day every day, only stopping for mandatory torpor. What a good example of diligence for the grubs to follow!
Speaking of grubs, over there is Attendant, a Brood Tender. She's been taking care of grubs since not long after I arrived at the Colony! How many have grown up and graduated under her gentle leadership? Too many for me to count, I wasn't in school that much….
And over there we have…
ENID?! What the heck!? Since when were you an ant?!