Moment Subpages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.
open/close all folders
- The Monster in the Darkness is crowning moment of funny incarnate. From his very first appearance, when he's at least trying to be the beast of untold horror Xykon wants him to be, he proves to be an endless source of comic gold. Gold such as...
How the Paladin Got His Scar
- Azure City and a number of other countries in the Southern Continent are all descended from something called "the Ancient Empire." No one knows why they called themselves that.
- Turns out that O-Chul has been a selfless servant of Azure City for a very long time.General Nhek: He's always like this. Last time I promoted him, he apologized to me.
O-Chul: I still live with the burden of having failed to properly fulfill the duties of a lieutenant.
- Two hobgoblin commoners take a stand against O-Chul, claiming nothing he could say will make them lead him to their camp, and describe how he'd never be able to intimidate them... until they end up intimidating themselves by putting words into his mouth. The kicker? Zhao is also intimidated into surrendering to O-Chul and they weren't even talking about her.
- When O-Chul first meets the hobgoblins, he finds that they are surprisingly chill.O-Chul: So you're saying you have nothing against humans?
Tingtox: No, no. We totally hate you.
Pangtok: Sooooo much.
Tingtox: But it's more of a vague, lazy hate.
Pangtok: We wouldn't normally do anything about it, except maybe nod when our leaders blame all our domestic problems on you.
Tingtox: I did point disapprovingly at an effigy once.
Pangtok: Oh, I can never go to those. I feel too bad for the cute little strawman.
(O-Chul does a Face Palm)
- When O-Chul first meets the hobgoblins, he finds that they are surprisingly chill.
Start of Darkness
- Start of Darkness may be Darker and Edgier than the rest of the series, but the funny moments stand out because they're in line with the more serious parts. Such as Xykon after he beats Dorukan...Xykon: Ding dong, the wizard's dead! We'll have to be careful disabling his magical toys in the castle, but I think we can—
[Xykon comes upon the MitD, a sombrero on its box, a taco in hand/claw/whatever]
Xykon: [wide-eyed] ...
- When Xykon discovers that his new Lich form gives him a touch of death, he tests it out on a few Red Shirt goblins. The potential horror is neutered when the attack gives off a comical *BZZZT* sound, Xykon comparing it to a joy buzzer.
- Why Xykon needs henchmen when he meets Redcloak;Xykon: I ran out of toadies a few months ago due to... let's call it, "creative differences." And it sucks. I mean, just last week, the Good Guys burst into my throne room, right? And I shouted, "Get them, you fools!" just purely by reflex. Well, I bet you can imagine how embarrassing it was when I realized that I had to "get them" myself. I mean, talk about awkward.
- One of the "gate" leads that Redcloak follows up on has him run into SG-1.
- Smokey the Bear yelling "ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES" after Redcloak starts a forest fire.
- "NINJA CLOWN ATTACK!"Ninja Clown: You have fought well, but none escape Clan Bozo!
Redcloak: Well, at least I can take comfort in the fact that my death at the hands of circus clowns will be the last humiliation I'll have to suffer.
- While fighting Dorukan, Xykon gets hit with Prismatic Spray... which does nothing because the comic is in black-and-white.
On the Origin of PCs
- Vaarsuvius' Epic Fail at the Iron Mage; while writing a magic spell under limited time (Due to wasting their time on a tirade about their power...) V miswrites their spell. Instead of a range of 100 feet and 20 foot area of effect, Vaarsuvius did the opposite; a range of 20 feet, and an area of effect at-(Massive fireball obliterates the Wizard's Guild, destroying a piece of the jail next door. Cut to V with Haley at a bar)
Vaarsuvius: It was, in fact, the only time in the history of the contest that a challenger was disqualified on the grounds that I had destroyed the stadium.
Haley: Tough break, V.
- After one too many "and the problem of that would be?" from V, Haley gives them a "sneak attack to the head!"
- The "well-oiled machine"-scene from the prequel. Due to prepared actions, Belkar charges a kobold, and misses; Haley's prepared action is to shoot the first thing that charges, so she shoots Belkar; Elan's prepared action is to flank attack the first wounded creature, and so attacks Belkar; and V's prepared action is to cast Lightning Bolt against the first four creatures lined up towards him or her...
- When Belkar expresses a desire to kill Haley and Elan for accidentally attacking him, Roy points out how Varsuuvius, Durkon and Roy would make quick work of him. Belkar quickly agrees that his idea isn't smart.
- Eugene's tombstone, which lists all the times he died and was resurrected, as well as commenting on his parenting skills.
- Also, another tombstone, this one for "Bloodmark the Unholy": Not coming back as a vampire. Honest.
- And the apparently aptly-named "Leeron the Unlucky," whose multiple death and resurrection dates are all the same year. Considering his name, one can guess how he kept getting killed.
- After he gives Elan a spot on his team for helping him, Roy gives us this gem as the bard does the "Gainful Employment Dance":Roy:Why do I get the feeling that when future historians look back on my life, they'll pinpoint this exact moment as when everything began to really go downhill for me?
- How the Order got their name. Elan wanted their team to have a name, but his first ideas were "Sacred Order of the Tavern" and "Cloudy Day Guild". As inane suggestions are tossed back and forth, Roy loses his patience and declares that they might as well call themselves the "Order of the Stick" because there happened to be a stick in the road. Much to his irritation, it caught on.Elan:(singing) The Order of the Stick left the town that day...
Vaarsuvius: What is that infernal grinding noise?
Belkar: I think it's the fighter guy's teeth.
Dungeon Crawlin' Fools
- New Edition: In the very first strip, the Order is fighting goblins when they are inexplicably, and without warning, updated to the 3.5 edition. This makes Durkon more stable, gives Elan a chainmail shirt and new skill points, and Belkar gets...shorter daggers. As in, they shrink while in his hands.Vaarsuvius: I understand. I believe we are being converted to the new 3.5 edition.
Roy: Well, I do feel more intimidating...
Belkar: YES! I've been doing this ranger crap for 3 years now, it's about time for an upgrade. C'mon, c'mon, Daddy needs some new skill points!
(Belkar's daggers shrink in his hands, accompanied by the sound effects "Waa! Waa! Wawawawa!")
Roy: Ooooo... Weapon shrinkage.
Haley: Tee hee, it's so tiny!
Belkar: DAMN IT!
Elan: Ooh! Skill points!
Belkar: DAMN IT!
- To more thoroughly explore the dungeon, Roy decides they should split up and asks Haley to take two party members while he takes the other two. Haley chooses Vaarsuvius and Belkar, while Roy chooses Durkon and is thus stuck with Elan. When they encounter a none-too-bright ogre who demands a 100 GP toll before they can pass, Roy claims they paid yesterday, and the ogre believes him... until Elan tries using a bardic song to improve Roy's Bluff chances:Elan: Bluff, Bluff, Bluff, Bluff the Stupid Ogre!
[in the next panel, the enraged ogre is chasing the three dungeon crawlers]
Elan: I guess he rolled his Sense Motive.
Roy: [dragging Durkon behind him] I hate you.
- Our introduction to Durkon's role as the party cleric, with a brilliant Major Injury Underreaction from Elan.Durkon: Well, thar ogres be dun fer. So what're we doin' next? [Roy, Haley, and Belkar imagine Durkon as a giant box of Band-Aids] Oh. Right. [holds his amulet with one hand and casts spells with the other] Cure Serious Wounds! Cure Serious Wounds! Cure Light Wounds!
Belkar: Hey, that was at LEAST a moderate wound!
[Elan enters with a black eye, multiple cuts, and two swords sticking through his torso]
Elan: Clot, Clot, Clot, my bleeding arteries!
Elan: Hi, Haley. Look, I found all these free swords. They were in my spleen.
Durkon: How badly are ye hurt, lad?
Elan: That depends... [holds up one of his own (formerly) internal organs] How important is one of these?
- Unfortunately for Elan, Durkon has used his last Cure Serious Wounds spell, so he has to pray to Thor for aid. And unfortunately for Durkon, he gets stuck in a case of For Inconvenience, Press "1":Durkon: Elan's in a bad way... and I'm out a CSW's now.
Roy: Do what you can, Durkon.
Durkon: [kneeling in a circle of candles as the bruised and bloodied Elan sits in front of him] Mighty Thor, yer humble servant asks ye for aid in me hour a' need.
Voice: HELLO! AND WELCOME TO THORPRAYER®. TO CONTINUE IN COMMON, CHANT "ONE" NOW! ECH TOD KODO KR'ATH...
Durkon: Umm... "One!"
Voice: IF YOU KNOW THE NAME OF THE MIRACLE YOU WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST, CHANT "ONE" NOW.
Voice: PLEASE INTONE THE FIRST THREE LETTERS OF THE NAME OF THE MIRACLE NOW.
Durkon: [to Elan] Well, I want ta heal ye, so... H-E-A!
Voice: YOU HAVE SELECTED, "HEATHEN SMITING". IF THIS IS CORRECT, CHANT "ONE". IF NOT, CHANT "TWO".
Voice: YOU HAVE SELECTED, "HEAT BLISTERS OF ETERNAL PAIN". IF THIS IS CORRECT, CHANT "ONE". IF NOT, CHANT "TWO".
Durkon: [increasingly agitated] Two! TWO!
Voice: YOU HAVE SELECTED "TUMOR". TO CHOOSE THE TYPE OF TUMOR WITH WHICH TO SMITE THOR'S ENEMIES, CHANT "THREE" NOW.
Durkon: Three! No! CRAP!
Voice: YOU HAVE SELECTED "COLON TUMOR".
Elan: Umm...Could I maybe just get a potion?
- Up a Level, Down a Level:
- As the party settle down for the night to give Vaarsuvius and Durkon time to re-fill their spell slots, Roy tries to organise who will take which shift of the night watch; the two spellcasters will sleep all night, he'll take first shift, and second...
- Haley?[Roy has an Imagine Spot]
Haley: [fleeing as Roy sleeps, carrying the party's entire treasure haul] Hee! Mine! All mine! hahahaha!
- Maybe not. Belkar, then?[Roy has a second Imagine Spot]
Belkar: [jumping toward a sleeping Roy, daggers drawn] Bwaha! I have deep-seated emotional problems! Die! Die! Die!
- Okay, not him either. So... Elan?[Roy has a third Imagine Spot]
Goblins: Hi, we're here to kill everyone?
Elan: [wearing a dunce cap and a dimwitted expression while bonking himself in the head with his lute] OK!
- And so we understand the comic's title: "Why Roy is Always Tired".
- An early example, but hilarious, Durkon's repeated use of "turn undead". Rule of Three is definitely in play as he keeps blinding Roy and V.
- "Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion!"
- Durkon's explanation of the Armor Check Penalty to him leads to Elan trying to invoke Invisible Streaker.Elan: Wooooo! I'm invisible!! You can't see me!
Roy: How I wish that were true.
Belkar: (to Durkon) Please cast Blindness on me.
- "Elan's blade." Especially the payoff, when Haley has revealed that the plentiful Double Entendres have the innocent explanation that she and Vaarsuvius looted a replacement for Elan's broken rapier...Haley: Well anyway, V says Elan has been running around naked, so I'm off to see what his 18 Charisma is worth "under the hood." [Belkar and especially Roy are too shocked to say anything]
- Roy gets attacked by a mind flayer, and all Vaarsuvius cares about is the insult of being passed over for a fighter:Vaarsuvius: Why are you eating him?? I am a wizard! A delectable 18 Intelligence right before you!
Elan: Would you feel better if one of us ate your brain?
Vaarsuvius: No, it just wouldn't be the same. *Sigh*
Roy: (With the mind flayer gnawing at him) A little help here?
- Before that, the mind flyer's Perfectly Cromulent Word "zyqxuwy"; no, there's no such thing as a zyqxuwy, not even a fish.
- Retroactive death is the funniest kind.Goblin: [as Durkon swings his hammer with a "Whoosh!"] Missed! [and again] Ha, missed again!
Roy: [as the goblin raises his weapon] Hey, Durkon, don't forget to add in the bonus from Elan's bard song.
Durkon: Oh, right. In tha' case I think I hit 'im tha' first time.
[with a "Thunk!", the goblin is hit in the head by an invisible force, dropping his weapon and getting a black eye]
Roy: Plus, remember how much you hate orcs and goblinoids? That's another +1.
Durkon: Och, right. Then I musta hit 'im both times.
[another "Thunk!" as the goblin is hit by another invisible force, getting dizzy stars as a result]
Durkon: Agh! He's still on 'is feet!
Roy: Don't forget the bard song also adds +1 damage.
Durkon: Ooh! Right!
Goblin: Ack! [falls over dead]
Durkon: [jumping for joy] Huzzah! I got 'im!
Roy: [through the fourth wall] You know, he'd be a pretty good warrior if he had a better head for numbers.
- The party decides having Haley continue to check for traps is necessary.Roy: Hey, what's taking so — WHOA!
Belkar: We thought it best she keep searching.
Roy: Well, can't be too safe.
Haley: (offscreen) Oops! My top! Tee hee!note
- How Xykon deals with employee complaints.Goblin: So, did you ask him about our 401K plan?
Redcloak: Now is probably not the best time.
- The downside of setting off Poison traps when your cleric hasn't prepared a spell to heal poison.Haley: So Roy, how'd that door work out for you?
Roy: Cute. Durkon, I can't move. What's wrong with me?
Durkon: Ye've been poisoned.
Roy: Well, I figured that, but-
Durkon: 17 times.
Haley: [poking a pool of honey and fire ants with her foot] Ew!
Roy: Can you heal it?
Durkon: Only the cuts. I dinnae have tha spell prepared to heal the poison. Got to ask Thor fer it in tha mornin'. Cure Serious Wounds. Until then, ye'll be stuck with a Strength o' zero.
Roy: Sigh. I guess we're resting here, then. I'm too heavy for any of you to carry.
[as Durkon and Haley leave, Elan and Belkar walk up with grins and red crayons]
Roy: [as Belkar starts poking him...] Hey! [... and Elan joins in] HEY! Stop it!!
Belkar: [sharing a conspiratorial look with Elan] Heh heh heh...
[cut to Durkon as he hears the ensuing chaos]
Roy: [off-panel] Hey!! What are you—quit it! Get off of me! Get away!
SFX: scribble! crash!
Belkar, Elan: [off-panel] Hee!/Hee hee!
[Durkon arrives to find Roy with a red beard and glasses drawn on his face, the word "LOSER" drawn on his chest, horns and giant ears and a tail drawn on the wall around his body, speech bubbles reading "My name is Roy and I like to yell at all my friends! Blah blah blah!" and "I have a MBA!" coming from his mouth, the label "Lawful Stupid" with an arrow pointing at him, "smell lines" labelled "Stinky!", and a monster at his feet saying "I eat you stinky Roy!"]
Roy: I hate them. So much.
Belkar: I'm gonna see if I can scrape some of the poison off that trap!
Elan: Think of the fun at parties!
- I've been suppressing the urge to beat the crap out of someone who looks EXACTLY like you for a long, long time.
- "Totally worth it."
- "What would Thor do?"Thor: [in Durkon's Imagine Spot, smashing Dorukan's Dungeon with his hammer] With my ultimate power of the thunders, I, Thor, smash this entire dungeon to shattered ruins, each piece no larger than a man's fist. Then I return to Asgard to woo goddesses and drink an ocean's worth of beer. Huzzah!
Sif: Oh, Thor! *Giggle*
Durkon: In retrospect, that "W.W.T.D." thing be nev'r really as applicable ta my situation as 'tis supposed to be.
- Durkon goes missing... and it's all Roy and V's fault.Roy: [smiling nervously] Umm, not to sound overly alarmist, but does anyone happen to know where Durkon is right now?
Elan: Oh no!
Belkar: No cleric? No, no, no, Belkar gots to get his heal on! Those few hit points from resting are not gonna cut it!
Haley: [glaring at Roy] Oh man! I can't believe you and Vaarsuvius forgot to help Durkon!
Belkar: What an Epic-level screw up.
Elan: Good job, you two.
Roy: Wait, us??? As I recall, all five of us were in the room, and NONE of us remembered to bring him along.
Haley: True. But the three of us are so consistently and staggeringly irresponsible that it's utterly unreasonable to expect us to have been paying any attention in the first place.
Belkar: Damn straight.
Roy: That... is actually a very valid point. You're right. My bad.
(Beat Panel of Elan looking at Roy)
Elan: I am so disappointed in you, Roy.
Roy: Don't push it.
- "Go Team Cleric!"
- Redcloak's reaction to the Dwarf Porn.
- Elan thinks Vaarsuvius is half-camel.Elan: Hey Roy, did you know that Vaarsuvius is a half-camel?
Roy: Is there anything I can say to that question that will end this conversation quicker?
Elan: Not really.
Elan: I wonder what the ECL on a half-camel is.
Belkar: Well, it's gotta be pretty low since V is a primary spellcaster.
Roy: Belkar, don't encourage him.
- This belief has not died out, even after a few hundred strips.Elan: V, if you translate, do you think I could talk to one of the camels? Y'know, since you're half-camel?
Vaarsuvius: You are a bottomless pit of self-reference, are you not?
- This belief has not died out, even after a few hundred strips.
- Move Silently check.Elan: I GOT A FOUR!!!
- The appearance of Fruit Pie the Sorcerer.
- The whole of "Dead Men Tell Tales", but especially when Xykon asks Redcloak to cast Speak with Dead.Redcloak: Um, OK, hello, sir, how are you today? This is lovely weather—
Xykon: Not me, you moron!
No Cure for the Paladin Blues
- After V has cast Belkar with Crushing Despair, there's this little line from the first panel of #129:Belkar: (darkly) Someday there will be a reckoning, elf, oh, yes...
- "Tiny man is violating Gortok's personal space!"
- "It's Not a Gaming Session Until Someone Quotes Monty Python"Roy: Glaive-glaive-glaive-guisarme-glaive?
Shopkeeper: I think you're drifting into another sketch, sir.
- "It beats working retail."
- Redcloak gets a spine.Xykon: One for all and all for one, right?
Redcloak: I can't help but notice that your sense of team spirit is inversely proportional to your number of functioning appendages, sir.
Demon-Roach: He shoots, he scores!
Xykon: Cute. Did you actually grow a spine there, Redcloak?
Redcloak: Perhaps I just got hit with a piece of yours when you exploded, sir.
- Redcloak becoming Supreme Leader of the hobgoblins.
- "Your horse, sir or madam."
- "My vengeance shall be prolonged, diminutive cretin."
- "Vomit. Now. ...And aim for the halfling."
- "Hey, look, I just regenerated a finger. Guess which one."
- "I think I just had an evilgasm."
- The glorious introduction to Belkar's lead sheet:
- That lead sheet gets around:Niu: Stop oppressing my culture, you ethnocentric bitch!
- That lead sheet gets around:
- Elan's Oh, Crap! realization once they all learn exactly why Miko is hunting after the Order of the Stick:Elan: (looking terrified while holding up Banjo between himself and Roy) Yeah, though the valley of Roy being really pissed, I shall fear no thwacking, for my lute and my banjo, they comfort me.
- Before The Reveal, there's also Haley's, Belkar's, and Vaarsuvius' responses after Roy claims that they've never committed any crimes or tampered with the fabric of reality:Haley: (smiling nervously) Right. Completely innocent.
Belkar: (completely deadpan) Never done anything wrong.
Vaarsuivus: (also smiling nervously) Yes. None of us have ever tampered with the fundamental natural order when bored. That would be wrong.
- Before The Reveal, there's also Haley's, Belkar's, and Vaarsuvius' responses after Roy claims that they've never committed any crimes or tampered with the fabric of reality:
- "Can everyone stop using the word "bone" as a verb?!"
- Miko's rant on how the Order may have killed a Good-aligned dragon.Miko: Without proper training, it is nigh impossible to tell the good dragons from the evil ones. In your ignorance, you may have slain a powerful force for Good in this world! What proof do you have that you did not vanquish a stalwart defender of the weak in your mad lust for treasure?
Roy: Umm...its scales weren't all shiny?
Miko: Ah. Then its destruction was just and necessary.
Elan: Dragons: Color-coded for your convenience!
- "Detect Evil!" "Too slow, sister."
- There's also everything involving Belkar threatening Miko's steed Windstrider, especially because of Windstrider's increasingly worried facial expressions.
- "Attack of Opportunity! Attack of Opportunity!"
- Roy is the King of Nowhere.Elan: The King of where?
Roy: Don't start, trust me.
- Miko's reaction when Haley tells off Roy for judging her.Haley: News flash, Roy: every quest we've done has been all about YOU. "I want to beat Xykon, I want the starmetal, I want to bump uglies with the paladin."
Miko: The proper term is 'smite evil', not 'bump uglies'.
- "By the Twelve Gods and in the name of Lord Shojo, I demand to know: Who removed the tag from this mattress?!?"
- Unlawful Good: Belkar has Mr. Jones the lawyer issue Miko a court order that forbids her from using Detect Evil on Belkar, as it is considered an illegal search. Miko reluctantly abides, which is when Jones pulls out a class-action suit that Detect Evil may be harmful as it can be blocked with lead, like X-rays or other radiation.Miko: This is preposterous! My Detect Evil is granted by the gods, it is not harmful.
Mr. Jones: Oh really? Are you aware that an alarmingly high percentage of the creatures you have exposed to this radiation are now deceased?
Miko: Yes! Because they were Evil, so I killed them!
Mr. Jones: The plaintiff rests.
- The entire sequence of events that follows Roy donning a Belt of Masculinity/Femininity, particularly Haley's digs in "Mean Girl" (which also includes Elan's classic line: "Roy has boobies!"), and the following "Growing Some". She doesn't let up until she comes down with stress-induced aphasia.
- WHORE ATTACK!Shadowdancer: Screw this! I'm not getting rubbed out by magic-wielding hookers!
"Kaboom" Redaxe: Must be some obscure prestige class...
- Thog on rocket skates.
- Sabine's reply to Nale's request to find somewhere where no-one would notice a bound and gagged schoolgirl.Sabine: I'll start near the Hentai bookstore and work my way out.
- From the same strip: Cťline Dion is too cruel even for Nale.
- Luckily, Belkar has a multipurpose lead sheet.
- V's reaction to the Wall of Text arguments by Jones and Celia.V: Meh. I found her argument too brief for my taste.
- This exchange:Belkar: No one pays you to think, ears!
Vaarsuvius: ...they actually pay me to do nothing BUT think, you moron!
- After Haley is struck with aphasia, she communicates a vital plot point to Roy by charades. Roy does pretty well, until he fields this guess:Roy: Shojo has a gaze attack that causes encephalitis! (Haley gives him a sour look) What? It was a reasonable guess.
- "A few years ago, I narrowly escaped an assassination attempt -- one that resulted from an unpopular edict I had issued."
- And the punchline - Roy was deceived by someone with only NPC classes.
War and XPs
- "A Brief Intermission":"You fools! We've been loved by moviegoers for over 50 years! Do you know what kind of power that gives us? We have become like unto tiny refreshing GODS!"
- This one is actually placed as part of the print edition for No Cure For The Paladin Blues. Where does it get placed? Right before the verdict is passed down during the trial.
- Where the Buffalo Wings Roam:Belkar: Look, if they can't get actual buffalo wings, why the heck are they on the menu? I'm doing them a service. It's not my fault my mouth waters at the thought of biting into juicy, delicious, nonexistent appendages of an endangered species.
Winged Buffalo: Oh, that is IT! I am going over there!
Other Winged Buffalo: Calm down, Harold. We're supposed to be having a nice dinner.
- The Event:
- Explosive Runes Coffee... Good to the last- *BOOM*Durkon: Filterin' the coffee wit Roy's sweat socks was a nice touch.
Vaarsuvius: I pride myself on attention to detail.
- Haley's rather effective method for solving the standard Knights and Knaves dilemma. Even better when it's revisited: The Test of the Memory.
- The Test of the Heart. The guardian of this test tells the party members that the truths that are in their hearts will be laid bare for all to know. It turns out to be a blood pressure and pulse rate test. Even better is the lampshading of narrative convention that Roy dispenses to the guardian in the first panel of the next strip:Elan: [holding a lollipop, to Haley] I was good!
Guardian: ...so the Oracle says to him, "You're going to have a heart attack right after I finish telling you you're going to have a heart attack." Sure enough, the guy croaks and the Oracle gets sued by his family members for millions. Hence, the Test of the Heart.
Roy: That's fascinating—really, it is—but now that you've fulfilled your story purpose, I find I have no interest in speaking to you any longer.
- "A Grand Experiment":
- The names on Belkar's "Hate/Lust" list include Roy (Hate), Haley (Lust), Miko (Hate), "That Bilbo Tool" (Hate), Hermione Granger (Lust), Gerald Ford (Hate), Mrs. Butterworth (Lust), and Warwick Davis (Hate).
- And so, Vaarsuvius explains to Durkon, the prolific use of Explosive Runes was merely to get the elf from the "Lust" column back to the "Hate" column. But there's no reason V can't have fun in the process:Durkon: Well, I think it sure work'd just fine there. Belkar hates ye more than ever.
Vaarsuvius: [firing a spell off-panel without even turning to look] Perhaps, but constant negative reinforcement will be necessary to maintain his pure undiluted hatred. [gets horrified look] The alternative—a Belkar who lusts after me—is too horrific to contemplate.
Durkon: [gets the same look as Vaarsuvius] Amen. [his look of horror fades] So...that explains why ye just charmed a muskrat into humpin' Belkar's bare feet.
Vaarsuvius: Hmm? Oh, no, that is merely for my own personal amusement.
Belkar: [off-panel] What the—Arrgh! Get off! Wild Empathy Check! WILD EMPATHY CHECK!!!
- The Sending spell has a strict 25-word limit. Naturally, when Nale - a big fan of Evil Gloating - has to use this spell, he runs into some issues. Easily the funniest detail is the ever growing number of scrolls surrounding Nale's projection each time he casts the spell.Roy: Holy crap, Nale!
Nale: Long time no see.
Roy: Damn, he's just some sort of mental projection into my brain!
Nale: As you can no doubt tell, I am mentally projecting these words into your brain. So just sit there—[disappears]
Nale: Ah, sorry. I forgot the spell has a limit of 25 words per spell casting. Never mind, where was I? Oh right, I was saying—[disappears]
Nale: Sorry, ran out of words again. Anyway, I was contacting you so that we might find a way, as fellow strategists, to come to an—[disappears]
Nale: —DAMN STUPID SPELL! I mean, who can get anything really meaningful said in 25 frickin' words?! I'm going to find whoever designed this spell and—[disappears]
- Durkon grasps the core principles of V's theory.
- And immediately following the above strip, Calling Your Attacks reaching its logical conclusion.
- "I think the killer might be trying to tell us something." "Yeah, but what?"
- "On the other hand, I bet my peers don't have nearly as much trouble keeping the boss' mocha latté from escaping." "FREEDOM!"
- Pompey rambling like a Card-Carrying Villain while Roy is right behind him.Pompey: ...You know, technically I'm just an innocent victim, here.
Roy: Shut up.
Pompey: Shutting up, yessir.
- "Getting paid to kill things: Cornerstone of the world economy."
- After Miko uses a demon roach to escape her force cage, a hilarious little mini-scene which is easily missed:Demon Roach: It... it was horrible!
Demon Roach #2: [holding up a little roach doll] Show me on the doll where she touched you.
- "Innocent Man":
- The jailer referring to Thog as human offal. Thog's reply? "thog only HALF-human offal."
- Thog's attempt to explain the situation to the jailer, which consists of one of the most absurdly bizarre homophone-laden speeches in the history of ever. Additionally, Thog also has an offhand comment about how he's "too pretty for jail."Warden: How about you, Toothy? You want to proclaim your innocence here too?
Thog: (cheerily) no. thog guilty.
Warden: Refreshing, a shred of honesty. Why don't you tell me what's going on with your buddy Nale here?
Thog: not nale. not-nale. thog help nail not-nale, not nale. and thog knot not-nale while nale nail not-nale. nale, not not-nale, now nail not-nale by leaving not-nale, not nale, in jail.
(Beat Panel of the Warden staring at Thog in visible confusion)
Warden: ...Pleading insanity, then?
Thog: what is "offal"?
- And at the end of the strip, as Elan is crying for help:Elan: Can anyone hear me?!
Thog: thog hears you.
Elan: Can anyone ELSE hear me?!
- Miko and Redcloak fight. Redcloak manages to weaken Miko and asks Xykon to kill her. However, Xykon is quite busy betting 200 gp on the fight with the Demon-Roaches... and he bets on Miko. And the Monster in the Darkness has a popcorn bucket and a giant hand, supporting Redcloak.
- This entire discussion. You just know it's good when it ends with both Miko and Redcloak actually agreeing with each other:Xykon: Remember, paladin: Anger leads to hate, hate leads to... fear? Or is it suffering? I can never remember how this goes.
Redcloak: No, no, it's fear leads to anger, anger leads to suffering, and suffering leads to the Dark Side.
Xykon: Are you sure? Because I really thought "hate" was in there someplace.
Redcloak: Hmm, maybe you're right, that does sorta sound familiar...
Monster in the Darkness: Doesn't something lead to "gluttony"?
Redcloak: No, that's something else.
Xykon: Look, the point is, it's a net gain for Team Us.
Miko: I'm guessing "stupidity" also has a place in that progression.
Redcloak: You have no idea.
- Lord Shojo's puppet show.
- This strip, which eventually became the current source image for Angst? What Angst?.
- "All hands on deck! This is not a drill! Repeat: This is NOT a drill!!"
- Haley's mind splits into pieces."No-one asked you, Haley's Latent Bisexuality."
- Nale using Charm Person on Belkar.Nale: If you see any of your allies before I get back, kill them and bring me their magic items.
Belkar: What? Never!
Nale: Ah, that's right... the spell will not compel the subject to do anything to which they will vehemently object. I will need to choose my commands carefully to make them seem more reasonable.
If you see any of your allies, kill them and keep their magic items for yourself.
Belkar: You got it, boss!
Nale: While singing the complete score to "Meet Me in St. Louis."
Belkar: "Meet me in St. Louis, Louis meet me at the fair..."
Nale: I love being evil.
- "Not How She Pictured It, Certainly":
- Thog in a leprechaun suit.
- "NALE!!!!" "NALE!!!!" "nale!!!!" Thog's expression in particular is just priceless.Nale: Okay, the first two I should have seen coming. The leprechaun suit? Not so much.
- What makes Thog's Big Entrance even funnier is how Sabine has the exact same baffled expression as Nale does.
- "The Cliffport Redemption":
- The penultimate "prison break", especially the last lines:Thog: thog wonders how thog will cope with life outside jailhouse walls. prison changed thog.
Elan: We were only in there for forty minutes.
Thog: prison changed thog quickly.
- The "Vaporising Flu" in the same comic; only contagious if you stand around in places where a previous victim has died and ask questions. Work that Bluff score, Elan.
- The penultimate "prison break", especially the last lines:
- After they break out of jail, Elan and Thog are forced to work together. Noodle Implements, Final Fantasy, leprechaun suits and hilarity ensue. Trust us, It Makes Sense in Context... Okay, we wouldn't use the word "sense".Thog: thog not get references.
- And as previously alluded to above, Belkar trying to kill the rest of the Order while singing the complete score to Meet Me in St. Louis. Even for those who aren't musical-theatre geeks, it's easily one of the most hysterical instances of Surreal Humor in the entire comic. And the best part? According to the limitations of the Charm Person spell, singing showtunes while killing his teammates is something that's perfectly compatible with Belkar's nature.Vaarsuvius: While I enjoy the work of Judy Garland as much as does the next elf, I think perhaps we should see Miss Starshine for some well-tied restraints. A gag, in particular.
- "thog brought breadcrumbs!"
- "Truth": Nale tries to convince Elan that Haley has been working for the Linear Guild for ages.Elan: You can't expect me to believe something so-
Nale: "Needlessly complicated"?
Elan: Oh. Right.
- "Leggo My Ego!": Thog is apparently scared of Teletubbies.
- His earnest joy at the group hug before being hit with "Hold Person" as well.
- Roy's reaction after sleeping through an entire battle with the Linear Guild and Haley being cured of speaking in cryptograms and finally hooking up with Elan.
- In Catching Up, The Order, sans Roy and Belkar are chatting about Miko's fall from grace, her murder of Shojo, and the encroaching invasion of Xykon and the hobgoblins. After they banter for a bit, Hinjo feels the need to butt in:Hinjo: Guys, I apologize for interrupting. I totally understand that things are moving pretty quickly, and it helps to talk things out so that you and your friends are on the same page. However, be that as it may-
(Wide view shows that Hinjo's coronation is happening, and that everyone else- including Roy -is glaring at the Order)
Hinjo: -we're kinda in the middle of something, here.
Haley: (Whispering) Boy, you give a guy a crown and it goes straight to his head.
Elan: (Whispering) Where else would a crown go?
Haley: (Whispering) Shush.
- Their discussion of Miko's downfall is also quite funny:Haley: Wow... so can you guys believe Miko flipped out like that??
Durkon: Sadly, aye.
Vaarsuvius: I find it to be entirely in keeping with what I know of her.
Haley: No, no, I meant, did you did you expect her to flip out in that exact manner?
Elan: Oh! No, not at all.
Vaarsuvius: I find it to be entirely in keeping with what I know of her.
- Their discussion of Miko's downfall is also quite funny:
- With Xykon's army quickly approaching Azure City, the leaders rapidly form a battle plan. However, due to time issues, they have to use figurines from booster packs, leading to some rather misleading representation.General: The lizardfolk are the archers, the yuan-ti are the pikemen, and the kobolds are the swordsmen.
Hinjo: And those hobgoblins down there are the hobgoblins?
General: No, sir, the bugbears are the hobgoblins. The hobgoblins are the zombies.
Hinjo: Please tell me our chances of victory are better than the chances of finding the right miniatures.
- "This is your junk." And then everything afterward.Belkar: I sense a great disturbance... as if a thousand double-entendres cried out, and were suddenly silenced...
- In "A Special Pre-Approved Offer", Sabine tries to convince Miko, a now-fallen Paladin, to become a Blackguard (she even trots out the Honest John-style sleaze: "Plus, for a limited time, we're offering 5000 gp cash back on qualified level trade-ins!"). That, in itself, is pretty funny, but the real side-splitter is when Miko looks like she's going to accept... but then reaches around and snaps Sabine's neck. What makes this funny is that, due to Sabine being a demon, this doesn't kill her - it's not even a major injury, but it is annoying, since now her head is turned in the opposite direction.Sabine: Fine, be that way. But if you decide to sell your soul later, I can't guarantee I'll pay full market-value!
- 429: Sangwaan, using True Seeing, spots Xykon approaching on a zombie dragon, both of them invisible.Sangwaan: He's coming straight at us!
Belkar: Crap, he has Invisibility??
[Sangwaan is grabbed in a invisible bite attack and flung away]
Belkar: Crap, he has Greater Invisibility??
- Strip #435: In an absolutely hilarious subversion of Good Angel, Bad Angel, it turns out that Belkar has two shoulder fiends ("...and the Slaad, and trust me, you don't want him to come out.") instead of one shoulder deva and one shoulder fiend. According to the second fiend, this is because "the angel... doesn't work here anymore". Then the scene has a Smash Cut to a twitching angel in a straight-jacket muttering to itself: "...and he kept stabbing them, again and again... He's a halfling, he's supposed to be jolly... Why isn't he jolly? WHY ISN'T HE JOLLY???"
- This strip also has the argument between the left shoulder fiend and right shoulder fiend as they try to goad Belkar into either letting their newfound assassin buddy kill Hinjo or save Hinjo's life in hopes of getting the Mark of Justice removed:Right Shoulder Fiend: See? Belkar, is it worth it to risk never being able to knife someone in a tavern fight ever again?
Belkar: No, I... I don't know that I could live like that. Looks like I'm saving Hinjo's life.
Left Shoulder Fiend: Hinjo got a cooler dog than you did.
Belkar: [furiously pulls out both daggers] I'll kill him myself!
Right Shoulder Fiend: [horrified] NO! You have a duty, Belkar. A duty to serve the Greater You. Saving a life, though regrettable, is a small price to pay for a whole lifetime of unfettered killing.
- Belkar finds himself surrounded by hobgoblins after killing the assassin.Belkar: Wow... this is a new experience for me... (Psychotic Smirk) I've never had karma work in my favor before! (He proceeds to slaughter them. For an added Karmic Bonus, the assassin's decapitated head falls on one of the hobgoblins and kills it.)
- This strip also has the argument between the left shoulder fiend and right shoulder fiend as they try to goad Belkar into either letting their newfound assassin buddy kill Hinjo or save Hinjo's life in hopes of getting the Mark of Justice removed:
- Elan gets a note from Haley and Hinjo acts like a high school teacher/principal; it only gets better from there.Hinjo: Is that a note?
Elan: Uh, no, sir!
Hinjo: What did I tell you and Miss Starshine about passing notes in my battle?
Elan: That we should be paying attention to who we're fighting.
Hinjo: That's right. Now hand it over.
Hinjo: You can get it back when I see you after the battle in my office. I mean throne room.
Azurite Soldier: Ooooo, you are SO gonna get detention!
Elan: I hope he doesn't notify Roy...
- Incoming!: Elan's illusions continue to Act Unnatural, but work:Hobgoblin Cleric: Take a squad of men up there and get into that tower. I don't want anyone hiding in —
Illusory Elan: (off panel) Hello, nice hobgoblins!
Illusory Hinjo: My name is Hinjo. I am here right now.
Illusory Haley: I am Haley. I, too, am here.
Illusory Belkar: We are all here right now and definitely not somewhere else.
Haley: (whispering) Elan, you put yourself in the wrong clothes!
Elan: (whispering) Whoops, I forgot!
Hobgoblin Captain: There they are! Shoot them!
(A flurry of arrows go through the illusions)
Haley: (whispering) Honey, you have to make them react to the arrow or it's going to spoil the illusion!
Elan: (whispering) Oh, right!
Illusory Hinjo: Ow.
Illusory Haley: Ow.
Illusory Elan: Ow.
Illusory Durkon: Ow.
Illusory Hinjo: Oh my. In my death stagger, I am accidentally falling over the edge of the wall.
Illusory Haley: Me too.
Illusory Elan: It sure would be a waste of time to search for our bodies.
Haley: (whispering) Did it work?
Elan: (whispering) Definitely.
Haley: (whispering) How can you be sure?
(Elan points to goblins putting on t-shirts saying "I Killed A PC, And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt".)
- The ultimate duel between clerics.
- Check it out, I totally conducted a job interview in the middle of a battle!Xykon: "AAAAAH! Goddamn it! I forgot how much pain tends to hurt!"
- Exit Strategy:
- A bad case of Tempting Fate:Kidnapper: HA! I knew I made the right call staying in prison. That Tsukiko chick is getting her ass kicked by an elemental! It's so much safer up here!
Tsukiko: (killing the Chlorine elemental) SHOUT!
(Her Shout causes a large chuck of masonry from the prison wall to break off and fall on the kidnapper, killing him)
Nale: Well, now, really, what did you expect after a line like that?
- Nale has an idea for escape:Nale: Thog give me a boost. I think I can squeeze up there.
Thog: thog always dreamed of being footstool, thog never thought dream come true.
(Nale clambers up Thog)
Thog: (tearing up) *sniff* it everything thog imagined and so much more
- A bad case of Tempting Fate:
- Haley watches as Roy's corpse falls into a newly-formed rift, and opts to fire an arrow at him to keep him from being lost forever... said arrow hits his groin.Haley: ...I'm sure Durkon can fix that, too.
Don't Split the Party
- Roy's actions being reviewed in the afterlife, with a flashback to Elan being kidnapped.Elan: (bound and tied to a log as he's carried off by bandits) Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet?
- Then the deva noting how Roy rescued Elan (with a Belt of Gender Changing).Deva: ...you saved the same coworker by donning a Belt of —
Roy: (panicked, whispering) Please do not mention that incident within earshot of my father. I'm begging you here.
- Then the deva noting how Roy rescued Elan (with a Belt of Gender Changing).
- The angelic review of Roy's interactions with Belkar ultimately culminates in a graph showing Belkar's evil, measured in kiloNazis (first recorded use of that). The savage, grinning face of Projected Belkar just sells it.
- And the baseline: a hypothetical offspring of Cruella de Vil and Sauron
- The ultimate Take That! by Roy to his dad.Roy: In lieu of Paradise, can I just get a picture of the exact look on his face?
- Roy is taken on a tour of Paradise after his death. It's not quite what he was expecting.Roy: So... I could have all the one-night-stands I want, but I'd have to have them at my mom's house? Are you trying to make people feel guilty about sex?
Roy's Archon: Actually, yes. We've found that our Lawful patrons generally expect it that way.
- "Evil adventuring party." "It happens. C'mon, I'll take you fishing." The most hilarious part is how blasé everyone is about killing an adventuring party in the living room.
- Hinjo's speech at Daigo and Kazumi's wedding, as well as setting off Tears of Joy in Elan at his clever working of plot details into a toast to the happy couple, includes a panel in which he praises the Katos' efforts at recruiting new soldiers from the refugees "...despite many setbacks." Of the four soldiers in the panel, one is holding his pike upside-down, one has his helmet on backwards, and one is unaware that her careless pike-handling has had fatal consequences for the soldier next to her.
- Elan realizes the trolls are too stupid to get his puns.Elan: Uh oh. I may need to dumb down my puns.
Hinjo: The gods help us all.
- Most of Belkar's stuff on "A Momentary Experience", but the wights in the second panel deserve a mention:
- The TRUE power in Azure City..
- Tsukiko and her minion have no idea where the party went, despite the giant "secret door" symbol on an obvious door. Before that, Belkar thanks her for flying, offering all males a nice Panty Shot (or better/worse, if she were Going Commando).Belkar: On behalf of all the men in the city, thank you for wearing a short skirt while flying. You've given me a lot to think about. Heh.
- "Yeah... kick that string's ass, Mr. Scruffy."
- "Supreme Leader, I have that lampshade you requested."Redcloak: Just hang it anywhere.
- "Hello? Mommy?"
- "Slow and Steady My Ass!" Look at the turtle. And in the next strip, "At Least The Turtle Escaped On His Own" as well as the grammar lessons.
- The Island of Cyclops.
- Roy's ghost trying to get the Oracle's attention... with D&D-themed yo mama jokes.Roy: Yo mama's so fat, they use a grapefruit for her miniature.
Yo mama's so fat, she can't even see her feats.
Yo mama's so fat, her Speed is listed as "Hell no!"
- Made even better when the Oracle casually reveals that he has been able to hear Roy the entire time by commenting on Roy's mom.Oracle: XP don't earn itself, my mama always said — who may have been a bit portly due to a glandular condition, but at least she didn't whore up the whole Afterlife when she died.
Roy: Hey, my mother- (Beat Panel) YOU CAN HEAR ME??
Oracle: Yes, so you don't have to yell. Geez.
- After Belkar sets off his Mark of Justice:The Giant Illusory Head of Lord Shojo: Hello, this is the giant illusory head of Lord Shojo speaking. If you're seeing this implanted message, you have violated the terms of your Greater Mark of Justice because you inflicted lethal damage within the bounds of a city, town, or village, strayed more than one mile from Roy, or cheesed Roy off enough for him to say the magic command word.
Roy's ghost: Well, I guess I can finally stop worrying about accidentally saying the word "squiddleydoodlefluffer" in casual conversation.
The Giant Illusory Head of Lord Shojo: The designated curse will now take effect. Sucks to be you, I guess.
- The billboard for the town that was built by the Oracle: "Lickmyorangeballshalfling".No, seriously, give 'em a good once-over!
- When Roy returns to Fluffy Cloud Heaven, his father is griping about 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules while Roy's Archon DMs.Roy: I REMEMBER EVERYTHING!
Eugene: Good, then you can tell me what page it says you don't die til -10 HP.
Roy's Archon: I already told you, in this edition, that's an optional rule that we're not using! You're dead at 0 hp!
Eugene: Well, that's a stupid rule and they should change it!
Roy's Archon: They did!
- Durkon doesn't approve of Banjoists or Gigglesists.Durkon: But...but thar na real gods! Thar puppets! Cannae ya see tha thar just puppets?!?
Elan: The only way to settle this dispute between two gods is with a pie-eating contest!
Durkon: PUPPETS CANNAE EVEN EAT PIE!!!
- Elan is trying to have a secret meeting with Therkla, only to get interrupted by Qarr, and then by talking treesElan: Oh man, Durkon is right! The trees ARE after us!
Durkon-as-a-bush: See? Tha's wha I been tryin' to say all along!
- Kazumi Kato, in the middle of her psychotic pregnant rage, encounters a ninja who begs for his life, as he has children too. Her response?Kazumi: Oh yeah? Did you go through six months of hemorrhoids to get them? Turn around and I'll show you exactly what that feels like.
Kazumi: Who cares how many people I have to kill? I can just make MORE in my TUMMY!
- The Groin Attack Unsound Effect in 586
- "Sit on me head."Hinjo: ...What?
Durkon: Sit on me head.
- The reason Argent has a silvered bite.Lord Shojo: Look, I'm sorry he needs his teeth filled, but it's not my fault! You said it was OK to feed him table scraps when you were gone!
Hinjo: A 20-lb. tub of strawberry cake frosting does not qualify as a "table scrap"!
Lord Shojo: Then you obviously haven't been eating at the right tables!
- Elan finally grasps sarcasm.
- "A word of advice: If you're going to do business with criminals, don't pick a nickname based on any body part you can't afford to lose. *sigh* I shoulda listened to Appendix Steve when he tried to warn me."
- Crystal's PICKLE DEATH ATTACK plan to kill Haley is based solely around the fact that she never ate pickles on her burgers and Crystal concluded she must be deathly allergic to them.
- #615, Haley searches through "Eagle-Eyed" Pete's old collected of ranged weaponry.Haley: Axiomatic? Ugh, not in this lifetime.note
- Haley chooses a +5 Icy Burst bow, which advertises on the shaft "A refreshing blast of winter!"Celia: Oooo! What is that peppermint smell?
Thief: My mouth feels like a cool mountain spring!
Thief: My last breath... is also my mintiest....
- How Hank has Celia captured.Hank: Excuse me, are you sufficiently distracted?
- Haley chooses a +5 Icy Burst bow, which advertises on the shaft "A refreshing blast of winter!"
- "Let's not be hasty".
- In "This Happens to Telemarketers All the Time", Vaarsuvius shows us their various takes on the classic Dungeons & Dragons "Bigby's Hand" spells, culminating in Bugsby's Expressive Single Digit.
- The choir of pedophiles, and the fact that their faux-Latin is a perfect syllabic match to "One-Winged Angel".
- Haley acquires the necessary diamond to resurrect Roy by stealing it from the cast page. After that, the cast page is revised so that Haley is now holding a card saying "I.O.Me One big-ass diamond" instead.
- One of the longest Call Backs: Elan remarks at a freshly resurrected and naked Roy: "You're invisible!" (There is also halfway-callback of this on Southern New Year Party).
- Haley dismisses Celia.
Blood Runs in the Family
- "12 silvers and some pieces of string is sort of a waste of my talents.Belkar: Mr. Scruffy calls dibs on the string!
Elan: Awww, man!
- The Elf Who Cried Raven: None of the Order seems to remember Blackwing, even though in the past they had to remind V the elf had a familiar. V's growing frustration only helps seal the deal.Vaarsuvius: Look- look here. He is perched upon my shoulder this very moment.
Belkar: I don't see anything.
Vaarsuvius: That is because you have the sensory acuity of loose gravel, you moron!
Belkar: ...Did you just call me a cutie?
- What really sells the whole scene, though, is the final panel, where Vaarsuvius is literally trembling in rage and Blackwing is clearly taking a lot of joy out of the whole shebang.Blackwing: (cheerily) Now that you feel my pain, the healing can begin.
Vaarsuvius: (darkly) I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities. Quickly, please, before they are out of range.
- What really sells the whole scene, though, is the final panel, where Vaarsuvius is literally trembling in rage and Blackwing is clearly taking a lot of joy out of the whole shebang.
- "I'll nay let ye corrupt this fine town, ye date-bearing bitch!"
- After fending off the slavers, Belkar learns an important lesson on morality;Belkar: So, I did what I always do- murder people horribly -but because I killed the people everyone else wanted me to kill, I get presents instead of prison time?
Roy: Uh, well, it's a lot more complicated than that, but-
Belkar: HA HA HA HA HA HA! It's working! IT'S WORKING, SUCKERS!!
Man: Is that...normal?
Roy: Not so much "normal" as "par for the course".
- Belkar is saturated with spice. A giant worm is attracted to spice. Evidently, Roy seems to have played Minecraft.Roy: If we dangle him in front of what passes for its nose, it will move forward to find the source of the smell...
Durkon: An' carry us wit' it!
Haley: Like a donkey with a carrot!
Belkar: Wait just a goddamn minute! Hasn't anyone considered how I might feel about this? About the danger this puts me in? Hasn't anyone weight whether or not it's ethically acceptable to use me like- Bwa ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, gods, I almost got through that with a straight face. Heh heh, man. OK, dangle away.
- In the next strip, Belkar is reading Dune and Rooting for the Empire.Belkar: No, no, no! Don't lean in, he's got a poison tooth!
- When the Order's first lead on Girard's Gate turns out to be a false lead, Vaarsuvius plans on leaving a message in case Girard scrys the area. To help, Elan writes into the sand 'HELP! THERE'S A EPIC SORESIRER LITCH COMMING 2 TAKE YOU'RE GATE!!1! LUV, ELAN"Roy: ...So, are you planning on—
Vaarsuvius: There will be a proofing stage, yes.
- "Stopping for Direction":Belkar: Fine, but don't say I don't ever make sacrifices for the team.
Roy: You don't ever make sacrifices for the team.
- This line:Belkar: Why would I stab an Oracle? (beat) Wait, what am I saying? Why wouldn't I stab an Oracle?
- This line:
- On Gobbotopia historyMonster In The Dark: Wow, this is interesting. I didn't know goblins invented guacamole, alternate-side-of-the-street parking, and the oboe.
Demon Roach: Their place among the damned is secure.
- "Dancing Knights!"Hobgoblin Cleric: I, uh... I may have skimmed the orientation packet.
- "This Whole Time, He'd Thought of It as the Snack That Got Away":
- "Puns are for girls."
- From the same one:Gannji: Get your blue ass up.
Enor: But the elf said to sit on my hands.
Gannji: You don't have hands, you moron! You have claws!
Enor: Oh yeah.
Gannji: For the record, you'll also be safe if it tells you to sit on your brain.
- To make three — Blackwing dramatically enters the scene as Gannji and Enor are about to run off with having captured Haley and Vaarsuvius.Blackwing: STOP!
Blackwing: Before you take my wizard away, I just have one question.
[turns to the prostrate Vaarsuvius] So you're saying that purple lizard was you?
- "Heredity is a cruel mistress."
- Most of Tarquin and Elan's first meeting, especially on Tarquin's end — given that this is an evil overlord acting just as much like a giddy ten-year-old as Elan does. In addition to the above line, when Tarquin and Elan are gushing about how awesome the dramatic reveal was, Malack and V are wearing matching "you have got to be kidding me: another one?" scowls. In the next strip — which is even better if you imagine them with long-suffering sighs.Malack: Is yours always like this?
V: Yes. Yours?
- And it goes on — from Elan and Tarquin shouting "hooray!" in unison when Haley agrees to stay, to the two of them being giddy over having juggling clowns (which juggle tinier clowns) at their festival. It's funny then, and given what we learn about Tarquin later it's even funnier in retrospect.
- The Gilligan Cut between Tarquin's conquest and Tarquin running for his life with a young Nale (blowing a raspberry) in tow.
- And now there're two, back-to-back:
- "Because I'm holding a THERMAL DETONATOR!" and I wonder what Nale inherited from his mother?
- "...That's a can of tomato soup." "I know, I was just trying to keep the theme going. We'll take the eight [thousand gold]."
- It comes back to bite Gannji in the ass in #735:Note: No one extorts money from me in front of my son. I look forward to seeing you die in the arena. — Tarquin
Gannji: That double-crossing son of a mongoose!!
Kilkil: He also wanted me to add, "Pray I don't alter it any further." He said you'd know what it meant.
- It comes back to bite Gannji in the ass in #735:
- And from the second one, Thog's face in the flashback scene of Nale and Tarquin's fight.
- Dinosaur rides are the perfect solution to any ethical quandary.
- #727: The below exchange between Haley and Elan, which is made even better in how the title of this particular strip is "And It Will Never Work Again".Haley: Elan, don't you see? Roy let you loose in the desert thinking that you would trip over the main plot!
Haley: YOU DID!
- To communicate with Roy and Belkar who are in prison, Durkon prepares three Sending spells, plus an extra fourth one to contact Haley. On the third one, Roy mentions that he hopes Durkon prepared enough Sending spells, so Durkon uses up his fourth to tell him he did.Durkon: Of course. I prepar'd FOUR Sendin' spells today, so I should still be havin' one left ta... ... So, ye say they're at tha palace, then?
(Roy wearily sighs while Durkon gives a weak "Oh, Crap!" Smile)
Belkar: I don't know what just happened, but I feel a sudden urge to help you come up with 25 synonyms for "buffoon".
- "A New Friend":
- Elan's Imagine Spot when he really wants Roy to meet his Dad.Tarquin: Since Roy's father is dead, I've decided to legally adopt him! Now you're for-real brothers!
Roy and Elan: Hooray!
Tarquin: Also, you both get puppies!
- Durkon wishes there was a way to keep in touch with fellow cleric Malack. Fortunately, Malack has such a thing.macebook: Macebook helps you connect and share with the clerics in your life. Add Durkon Thundershield as a friend? Durkon will have to confirm that you are friends.
- Bonus points for Durkon's avatar wearing a thoroughly perplexed expression.
- The activity field is even better:Kotor, Paladin of Marduk is smackin' dragons, yo.
Kotor, Paladin of Marduk has updated his location.
Nyr-Atul, Priest of Tiamat has updated his location.
Malack, Priest of Nergal is discussing theology.
Kotor, Paladin of Marduk joined the group Need a Rez.
- Elan's Imagine Spot when he really wants Roy to meet his Dad.
- The argument between Haley and Durkon over whether or not they should trust Malack, especially when it's quickly followed by her pretending to be a worshipper of Thor (much to Durkon's irritation):Durkon: Ye dinnae trust anyone! Ye think marsupials be shady 'cause they haf a secret pouch!
Haley: They could have a knife in there, you don't know! (...) When the +5 Shoe of Otherness drops, I don't want all of our cards on the table!
- The other prisoners freaking out when Belkar picks up a pebble. Made especially funny in how there's actual gameplay reasons explaining why a halfling armed with just small rocks can be a real threat.Kobold Prisoner: I knew a guy whose cousin was hit by a rock thrown by a halfling. Three months later, he was eaten by a tiger!!
- This exchange:Durkon: Lass! Dinnae ye think ye've drank enough?!?
Haley: Depends. Am I drunk enough yet that later, I won't remember getting out-logicked by Elan?
Durkon: Och! Na. Ye'll need at least two more pints for that.
Elan: I'll go order another round.
- "Caress, caress, caress, caress my lithe supple body!"
- The Empress of Blood flying despite having an enormous round and bloated body with disproportionately small wings.Empress: I am here! I am your ruler! Look at me! I am cool, but I am also very warm! Woooo!
Elan: She can FLY???
Tarquin: Quite the stumper, isn't it?
Vaarsuvius: I should avoid casting any spells tonight, if only to give the laws of physics time to cry alone in the corner.
Empress: If anyone needs me, I will be up here on my throne, being awesome!
- sadistic hilarity to Tarquin's irritation when his plan to impress Elan goes wrong. Said plan involved Elan's name being set up in gigantic flaming letters on the mountainside, which does impress Elan... until Tarquin reveals that the letters are made of escaped slaves being burned at the stake. While Elan continues to stare in horror, Tarquin grumbles to himself, "Crap, the three prisoners at the bottom of the E burned out early. Now it looks like I just really like custard." Bonus points for the flashback panel of drunk ranting Haley. Yes, Haley, that is exactly what it will take.Haley: What the heck is it going to take for you to see that your dad is bad news? Do you need, like, 200-foot-tall flaming letters or something? There's a certain
- Elan and Tarquin's duel is possibly the largest Hurricane of Puns in the series.
- The glorious hurricane of Genre Savvy and Shout Outs in "Plotting Something".Tarquin: But the way these things go, you'll probably end up losing a hand or eye or something.
Elan: Oh, right. Like, a big burn on the side of my face, at the very least.
- In "Small Talk", Malack, Durkon, and Vaarsuvius chat about frivolous things, while in the background, Elan is (apparently) updating Haley about his recent experience with Tarquin.Malack: -So then I said, "I don't care that you were late, Acolyte Prilak, I'm not going to repeat the conversation we all just had."
Durkon: Aye, why should everyone need ta listen ta tha same thing o'er again?
Malack: Exactly! I mean, it was too wordy by half the first time.
- "Beneath our love... Can't we just stick with beds?"
- As it turns out, "preparation" is a virtue in the Empire of Blood's guard staff. They're always ready for surprise inspections.
- In order to sneak into the Empire of Blood's prison, Haley drinks a Potion of Glibness, which boosts her already high Bluff skill to such a high level she can effortlessly convince anyone of anything, no matter how ridiculous:Haley: You don't hear or see us.
1st Guard: Huh. Must be a trick of the light.
Haley: You actually don't work here anymore.
2nd Guard: Crap! How am I gonna pay my mortgage?!
Haley: You're actually a yellow-footed rock wallaby.
3rd Guard: Screw this guard stuff then, I'm gonna go find a wizard to polymorph me back. [hops off]
- It continues into the next strip:4th Guard: INTRUDERS!
4th Guard: FALSE ALARM!
- It continues into the next strip:
- When Haley introduces her father to Roy, and Ian Starshine deduces what is happening.Roy: Actually, your daughter works for me, Mr. Starshine, not the other way around. I'm the leader of the Order of the Stick.
Ian: Oh, I see. [sotto voce, to Haley] Good work, Kitten. Always let the stuffed shirts think they're in charge. This way, you can subtly manipulate them into doing what you need without them realizing that you arranged it all from the shadows.
Haley: No, Dad—
Roy: And for that matter, we didn't come here to rescue you. We're here in this region on a totally unrelated mission. It's just sheer coincidence that we happened to get thrown in the same cell block as you.
Ian: [sotto voce, to Haley] Wow. You've gotten good at this.
- "Face it, Haley, you've been had!" "Okay, yes, but it was consensual every time, sir!"Geoff: Make peace with your god.
Elan: I can't! He's in my pocket!
- There's also this Lampshade Hanging:
- #772:Roy: If you move, I will crush you the way that every word out of Elan's mouth crushes my spirit.
Elan: (concerned) Yikes, no need to get THAT rough!
- While Haley is telling her father she loves Elan, the latter is busy proselytizing Banjo to Geoff, while Roy Face Palms. The next strip:Elan: ...and that's why Banjo's holy water is made of seltzer!
- While Haley is telling her father she loves Elan, the latter is busy proselytizing Banjo to Geoff, while Roy Face Palms. The next strip:
- Shortly after, when Haley tells Roy to bust her father out when he escapes.Roy: ...OK. Yeah, OK, I'll do it. You're his daughter. I guess at his age, you have a right to determine where he lives for his own good. It's sort of like putting him in a nursing home, only you're taking him AWAY from the abusive staff and daily loss of human dignity.
- Belkar threatening to cut a goat's nipples off if it gives cows milk to Mr. Scruffy.
- Two gladiators and a guard getting eaten by an Allosaurus, while they're trying to figure out whether thumbs down means to execute the loser or not.Elan: Hold on, are we even sure we HAVE thumbs?!
- #779: The Reveal of where Belkar's lead sheet has gotten to:(Gilligan Cut to Gobbotopia, where Niu and Thranh are both using the lead sheet to hide from a hobgoblin soldier and cleric duo)
Hobgoblin Solider: Did you hear something?
Hobgoblin Cleric: Detect Good!
Niu: Stop oppressing my culture, you ethnocentric bitch!
- Mr. Scruffy attempting to save his master... and succeeding.
- There's also Belkar's reaction off-panel when one of the guards mocks him for having a small white cat as his Morality Pet. Made even funnier by how Belkar just silently stares at the guard during the Beat Panel.Chancelor Kilkil: I don't mean to alarm you, General, but I think that halfling is force-feeding another man's intestines to one of our guards.
General Tarquin: (impressed) Ooooooo, bonus action!
Elan: (looking concerned) I can't tell if the cat is a good influence on Belkar, or Belkar is a bad influence on the cat.
Haley: Both, I think, but it probably still averages out somewhere south of Neutral.
- There's also Belkar's reaction off-panel when one of the guards mocks him for having a small white cat as his Morality Pet. Made even funnier by how Belkar just silently stares at the guard during the Beat Panel.
- #784: When the Allosaurus is freed, everyone has looks of shock and/or astonishment on their faces... Except for Vaarsuvius, who looks mildly concerned.
- Blackwing is also really enthusiastic about the Allosaurus eating the guards:Blackwing: Hell yeah, brother! Chomp those monkeys!
Vaarsuvius: I would prefer it if you kept your voice down.
Blackwing: You're only saying that because you're threatened by a strong therapod role model!
- Blackwing is also really enthusiastic about the Allosaurus eating the guards:
- "No Time for Losers":
- After a few comics building up the gladiatorial champion of the Empire of Blood, we finally get to see who it is. It's the Queen reference that really sells it.
- And Roy's reaction is priceless. He goes from not wanting to even fight to saying the below to a guard:Roy: (Jaw Drops, and then brow furrows) Give me the sword. Then run.
- And then the actual fight, next comic...Thog: thog says, "fudge the police!"
- "Also, His Popularity Has Waned":
- Panel 1:Elan: Uh, Dad? Haley and I need to go... uh...have sex.
Tarquin: Well, you'll miss the big fight, but you do what you need to do.
Haley: Come on, V. And bring the cat, just in case.
- "Parody is protected speech."
- Panel 1:
- Elan effectively weaponizing his Contractual Genre Blindness. Elan expresses surprise that Nale is alive. Nale points out that a villain "dying" off-panel means they're certain to come back. Elan replies that of course he knows that, but the trope requires the hero to believe the villain is dead for it to work. It's Elan's absurdly proud expression that makes it work, with the fact that for once he managed to out-smug Nale is the icing on the cake.Nale: I'm giving myself a migraine trying to understand the amount of willful ignorance that requires!
Elan: First blood: ELAN!
- Elan kissing Sabine as a means of distraction, not to mention her swooning a bit afterwards, because of an inverted version of All Girls Want Bad Boys.Nale: I know how much you're attracted to those edgy "good boys", Sabine! You know I can never be that!
Sabine: No honey, that's not what I want! Sure, women like me swoon for a hero, but that's just because deep down we think we can change them! But me, I'm done with that! I just want to settle down with a nice, reliable mass-murderer like you!
- Also, Elan apologizing to Haley (who's currently Taken for Granite and shrunk to miniature size) over the kiss and says that she can make out with any of their recurring villains she wants. Which, not counting Nale and Sabine, includes catches like Thog, Redcloak, The Monster in the Darkness, and Xykon, the latter of whom doesn't even have lips on top of everything else.
- The title of the comic is "We Recommend Tsukiko" suggesting the Les Yay option.
- Also, Elan apologizing to Haley (who's currently Taken for Granite and shrunk to miniature size) over the kiss and says that she can make out with any of their recurring villains she wants. Which, not counting Nale and Sabine, includes catches like Thog, Redcloak, The Monster in the Darkness, and Xykon, the latter of whom doesn't even have lips on top of everything else.
- Two for Vaarsuvius in the same strip:V: I may be in error, but I believe the appropriate proclamation is, "Sneak Attack, bitch."
V: By all means, feel free to attempt to murder your own ally. I believe he just ceased his struggles against my mental commands to shoot you.note
- "Bound to Happen": Look closely at the next-to-last panel: He's handing her a sword. Go Elan!Elan: Wow, this whole "identical twin" thing has never worked out in my favor before!
- "Hello, solid ones! What brings you to the Semi-Elemental Plane of Ranch Dressing?"V: I was simply wondering if you could undercut the dignity of my legitimate victory for me?
Ranch Dressing Being: Does that involve dipping broccoli in anything?
V: Today, yes.
- "Celestial tree sloth attack!!"Sabine: Ahhhh! It's hanging on me! Get it off! Get it off!!
Nale: He's getting away! Ignore it, it's just an illusion.
Sabine: How do you know?
Nale: You mean besides the phrase "Celestial tree sloth attack?"
- The two lawyers and the Flumphs having their roles reversed in regards to their respective Running Gags.
- "Holy Enunciation":
- Durkon, noticing Elan being dropped a considerable height by Sabine, prepares to cast "Cleric's Feather Fall", more commonly known as "Heal".
- According to Elan, "ditch," "trench," and "bagel" should all be interpreted as "holy words."
- Apparently, Durkon can't cast his new "Mass Death Ward" spell because his god and his helpers can't make out his accent.
- "Except Maybe the Undead"Roy: I guess the question is, where is Vaarsuvius now if not out here?
Blackwing: Banished to another plane. Also, Elan took Haley to the palace to warn Durkon.
Belkar: [slightly freaked out] Who said that?
Roy: That bird. I think it's the one who's been on V's shoulder these past two weeks.
Belkar: It can talk?
Roy: No, probably not. I think it's some sort of magical message that was triggered when I asked were V was, like a Magic Mouth spell. Those were V's words, just coming out of the bird's beak.
Blackwing: (giving a Death Glare to both Roy and Belkar) You are both ignorant cretins.
Belkar: Yeah, I guess you're right.
- The last two panels of #812. The title is "And Yet, the Canned Meat Merchant Still Gets Through".
- Tarquin is quite understanding that Elan has to run off.Tarquin: Think nothing of it, Elan. We've all had that one adventure that suddenly turned into a race.
Adventurer: [in flashback] If Tarquin and his party get their hands on the Lost Treasure of Sdigiji, they'll have enough money to raise an army of ten thousand men! For the sake of everyone on the continent, we cannot fail!
Tarquin: [present, with a cheery grin] Spoiler alert: They failed.
- From "General Assistance", when Tarquin gives Elan a flying carpet:Tarquin: At any rate, I'm happy to put at your disposal any or all of the resources of my kingdom.
Elan: [looking at carpet] How do you control it?
Tarquin: Fear and intimidation, mostly, though a little torture here and there helps.
[Elan looks at Tarquin, horrified]
Tarquin: Or did you mean the carpet? Just pull on one of the tassels.
- Three ingredients: One Genre Savvy dictator, one egotistical, invisible idiot, and a Ring of True Seeing, and you have the recipe for a pointed "Gotcha" glare and a massive and hilarious Oh, Crap!.
- Tarquin knew the entire time that there was a drow spy in his court disguised as a high elf, but didn't realize he worked for Nale. He assumed the dark elf hierarchy was scouting him for an alliance... so he sent them fruit baskets. Just the idea of the drow's reaction to a bunch of random fruit baskets showing up on their doorstep is hilarious.
- And two strips later, Nale complaining that his dad's Genre Savvy didn't work in regards to Elan:Nale: Sure. You're the one who taught me that bards are underpowered.
Tarquin: They are! With their mastery of the narrative structure, they should be ruling the entire cosmos by now!
- At the end of "Raiders of the Lost Plot Arc", Tarquin makes a dramatic statement.Tarquin: ...Well?
Nale: I'm not saying, "Dunh dunh DUNH!" for you.
Tarquin: That is not how I raised you, young man!
- Nale has created a new Linear Guild, but still needs a kobold...Chancellor Kilkil: ...Why are you all looking at me like that?
- In an example of Black Comedy, Redcloak hires some "interior decorators" for the resistance base:Redcloak: By which I mean they'll mostly be decorating with your interiors.
- "Loose Ends":
- Another example of Black Comedy from our favorite goblin, there's his nonchalant admission to killing Tsukiko. What really sells it is how confused he looks at everyone else's shocked reactions.Xykon: OK, then, let's cast off, ye evil mateys! Where's what's-her-name, the chick with the pigtails?
Jirix: Tsukiko? She was here when the sewer team reported in...
Xykon: Anyone seen her since?
Monster in the Darkness: No.
Redcloak: Not since I brutally murdered her ten minutes ago, no.
Redcloak: What? Does that count? I guess that counts.
- That whole page is a good example of the classic Team Evil comedy we've come to love (especially the Demon-Roach comments in panels 4 and 8).Xykon: Hmmm, don't think this change of heart means I'm letting you grow your eye back.
Redcloak: It never crossed my mind.
Xykon: Good! I like you this way. It's like we have a grumpy pirate on the team.
Demon-Roach: And thus began the Legend of Arrrghcloak!
- Another example of Black Comedy from our favorite goblin, there's his nonchalant admission to killing Tsukiko. What really sells it is how confused he looks at everyone else's shocked reactions.
- Belkar's revenge on Yukyuk for hurting Mr. Scruffy. Also the fact that, for once, V and Belkar seem to be totally in sync with each other for this.
- The Order makes it to the Windy Canyon!Roy: So, let's see... divinations aren't working and flight is being blocked by the wind, which we can't fix in any way. Do any of you have any magic that will actually HELP us find Girard at all?
Elan: [singing] Search, search, search, search the canyon for Girard's Gate!
- "Either Way, Really":
- The conversation between Roy and Haley in the last three panels. Now, bear in mind the page's title while reading that.
- There's also V and Durkon's list of the ways human senses are inferior to the other player races.
- The Order is trying to find Girard's gate, but the Draketooths are dead and unwilling to be resurrected by a Lawful Good person. So they try to use Speak With Dead on one of the Draketooths to find out where the gate is. The problem is, the spell allows the use of Literal Genie for answers.Roy: Where in Windy Canyon is Girard's Gate?
Corpse: Around... the rift...
Roy: OK, then, where is Girard's rift?
Corpse: It lay... between... Girard's... buttcheeks.
Elan: The tragic loss to the field of ass comedy diminishes us all.
- "Under the Helmet": Roy figures out that the Thog they're fighting isn't Thog and tries to take off the enemy's helmet; only to find a person wearing a mask with the word NOPE! printed on it.Tarquin: Totally worth wearing a mask under my helmet for two days.
Elan: Oh man! I should have known knowing something would never work out!
- After getting deafened by Durkon's Holy Word, Nale tries to use suggestion to get Belkar to attack Durkon instead of him. Unfortunately for Nale, Belkar was also deafened by Holy Word, and so he's completely unaffected. What really sells it is Roy's incredibly smug expression in the final panel over his plan working:Roy: It's not a bug, it's a feature.
- "You Should've Seen What They Did to His Pelvis": Qarr's Screw This, I'm Outta Here with Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:Malack: This trap appears to be airtight. I don't have any spells suitable to opening it. Do you?
Qarr: I don't think that's really the question that needs to be asked here. I think a more relevant question would be: "Do I or do I not have my own agenda?" To which the answer is "Bye!" (pop)
Malack: Hrrrm. Typical fiend behavior.
- "Pop Goes Pop":
- The hilarity that is a deafened Belkar only continues to deliver:"WHAT ABOUT THE DAMN MANSION WHORES? GEEZ, YOUR OLD LADY'S BEEN GONE FOR ONLY 18 SECONDS! KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS UNTIL AFTER THE BATTLE."
(Belkar wounds Nale to the point where he falls unconscious)
"ELAN, IS IT COOL IF I KILL YOUR BROTHER WHAT CAN'T HEAR YOUR ANSWER SORRY!"
- Tarquin's non sequitur about why he knows Drow sign language.
- The hilarity that is a deafened Belkar only continues to deliver:
- "Looking for Regroup":
- The medication Tarquin calls "cleric-in-a-can".
- Even better is the label, which looks just like one you'd see on any sort of medicine.Drug Facts
Active Ingredient: Magic 71%
Inactive Ingredients: Petroleum jelly, glycerin, heart of a virgin collected on his/her wedding night, fragrance.
- Also, Roy trying to explain why he didn't let Elan join in the fight.Roy: I was going to let you cover our escape with an illusion! But then we won!
Elan: (insulted) Without an elaborate turnaround? If you're going to fib, Roy, at least make it believable!
- "Bet It Would Get Funded on Kickstarter":
- Elan insisting on turning the strip into a Recap Episode because of the three-month delay caused by the Giant's hand injury, only to ultimately lose track of what he was saying and going into a story about a thumb knight fighting glass (basically the cause of said injury).
- Belkar, who's just had his hearing restored, begging Durkon to re-deafen him so he doesn't have to listen.
- "Lesson Fail":
- Belkar's encounter with Malack starts with him surprised that he ran into him instead of Vaarsuvius.Belkar: What the—? You're not an elf at all!
Malack: Nor have I ever been mistaken for one.
- This is followed by Belkar trying to kill Malack... and getting completely curbstomped.
- Belkar leaps at Malack; Malack casts Hold Person while Belkar is still mid-air; then the paralyzed Belkar falls on Malack with a "bonk!"
- Belkar's encounter with Malack starts with him surprised that he ran into him instead of Vaarsuvius.
- "Just a Couple of Blooddrinkers":
- During Durkon's confrontation with Malack, he expresses shock over the reveal that Malack is a vampire, leading to this little exchange.Malack: Frankly, I assumed my lack of body heat would have given it away before this point.
Durkon: I just thought yer cold 'cause reptiles're coldblooded.
Malack: Actually, when active, exothermic organisms like reptiles have comparable body temperatures to—
Durkon: I DINNAE WANT A SCIENCE LESSON RIGHT NOW!!!
- When Malack casts Poison on Durkon, he smirks and says it tastes like "my mum's crabapple cobbler". (Dwarves have a high resistance to poison.)
- During Durkon's confrontation with Malack, he expresses shock over the reveal that Malack is a vampire, leading to this little exchange.
- "It's a Boy!":
- Tarquin treating the newly vampirized Durkon like a newborn baby.
- And purposefully Comically Missing the Point at Nale's insult so he can turn it back on Nale.
- Immediately followed by Kilkil suddenly remembering to tell Tarquin that his "Father of the Year" plaque came in the mail.
- "Fiend Swap":
- Nale describing Sabine as a "tireless champion of evil", only for a cutaway scene showing her lying on a couch in the Lower Planes watching TV and channel-surfing while looking bored.
- Tarquin tells Nale he's leaving him in charge of finishing off the Order... at which point an annoyed Nale reminds him he's already in charge.Tarquin: Oh, right.
- Blackwing's utter failure of a comeback to Qarr's taunt against V:Qarr: Check it out! It's history's worst mass-murderer and his dim-witted bird!
Blackwing: Hey! History isn't over yet, mister!
- Qarr completely failing against the combined forces of V and Blackwing's logic. Especially at the end.Blackwing: He's not stopping us from going up [the tunnel they fell down].
Vaarsuvius: Sir Greenhilt must have descended into the pyramid.
Qarr: Oh, come ON! Now you're just guessing!
- "Ah crap, not this guy again."
- The mere fact that even in a Lotus-Eater Machine designed to cater to one's deepest desires, Xykon only gives the barest acknowledgement to Roy counts all by itself.
- It may be just an illusion but the Empress of Blood as a bridesmaid is hilarious. And Minister Malack in a black pope hat.
- While #889 is both an immensely sad and awesome moment for Elan, he still manages to offer a bit of levity at the end, providing a Genre Savvy lampshade like any good bard should.
- Elan's Song of Freedom. He turns into a country music star. Seriously.Belkar: My gods... it's true... I am being punished for a lifetime of bad deeds — I have to listen to country music!
- Additionally, the same strip has Haley explaining that Belkar is still imprisoned by Girard's phantasm because "Girard thought both the baddies and the paladins were after his lucky charms."
- There's also a Funny Background Event in how even Mr. Scruffy was imprisoned by the phantasm. Crazy-Prepared, thy name is Girard Draketooth.
- #891: When Roy asks Elan to use any song that boosts saving throws, congratulates him on doing a good job as a bard and apologizes for snapping at him, Elan's reaction is to think that they are still in the fantasy.
- How does Nale realize he's in a fantasy?
- And after Nale triggers a trap (but survives it):Nale: Whoa! Did you see that?
Nale: Before or after I triggered it ?
- The Linear Guild discovering that Girard's Gate is in another pyramid. Because Girard and his family have a huge stone saying so in the innermost chamber. It is actually the gate.
- #895: "Stop suppressing our rupture, you electroresistive niche!"
- In one of the best anti-climaxes in the story of this entire webcomic, Xykon arrives at Girard's pyramid, fulfilling the Oracle's prophecy... and the pyramid explodes five seconds later.
- A blink-and-you'll-miss it gag in #900, which serves as a Take That! to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: a demon-roach dressed in a fedora carrying a whip survives the Gate explosion by hiding inside a tiny refrigerator. It's also kind of a Take That Us since The Order just survived the explosion by hiding in a coffin. The Roach is an acknowledgement of the source material.
- Vampire Thrall Durkon asking Malack if they should go looking for the second pyramid (after the hidden gate in the first was blown up). Malack: "No."
- Roy is forced to fight with Haley's bow, and does pretty well up until he runs into a problem - Where does Haley keep her arrows?Belkar: Geez, what is it with that guy and needing to figure out all the fiddly little details?
Haley: I know, right? It's called "Suspension of Disbelief," Roy!
- Nale and his Drow ally try to recruit the now free-willed Vampire Durkon in the Linear Guild. His response?Durkon: Aye... mebbe I haf changed. But tha two o' ye're still tha same old dicks!
- Vampire Durkon then promptly cracks both of them in the head with a single swing.
- Pity about No Cure for Evil, eh, Durkon?Durkon: ...I also haf potions.
- Earlier in the same strip, Qarr's Screw This, I'm Outta Here is just so funny in its briefness.Qarr: OK, I'm out. Good luck, elf.
- Then there's Zz'dtri's demon's own Screw This, I'm Outta Here, which translated reads:Piscoloth: (waving "bye") If the boss is dead, I'm punching out early.
- Earlier in the same strip, Qarr's Screw This, I'm Outta Here is just so funny in its briefness.
- Tarquin's giant army... is there for dramatic tension, and they are specially trained for ominous, plot-critical reveals.Random Soldier: General Tarquin has been in control of the empire the whole time!
Tarquin: Yes, yes, we did that one already.
- Tarquin announcing his test to Haley is really funny, in a Black Comedy sort of way.Tarquin: Now that I know you come from such lowly stock, I need to make sure you're worthy of dating Elan. A father can't be too careful. He is my only son, you know.
Haley: Starting two minutes ago!
Tarquin: Right, which is why I need to be more careful going forward. Try to keep up.
- Tarquin decides to kill Roy and the others so Elan can be the sole hero. While about to be hit by a rain of arrows, Belkar says this gem to Roy.Belkar: Can't we go back to dealing with your daddy issues?
- #918 is full of 'em. From Sabine being punished for breaking the TV with cleaning duty, to Elan rubbing the fact that he's in a support role in his father's face, to the souls of the Empire's mooks piling up in Lee's inbox, what's not to love?Elan: [singing] Rub, rub, rub, rub my father's face in my uselessness!
- V casually disposes of a squadron of pterodactyl riders, cutting off Haley's battle plan for dealing with them.Haley: Oh, right. Wizard.
Blackwing: And THAT'S what you get for oppressing my clade brothers and sisters! BAM!
- Tarquin's interactions with his other two teammates, who have even less respect for his narrative-structure views on things than Malack did. Laurin even calls him out on his parenting and Miron says that he's really not seeing the profit in Tarquin's current actions. Both admit they're not helping his army because they see that as enabling him.
- "Oh, that reminds me: The Weeping King loves that splashy butt-washing thing she installed for him." "Bidet, Miron. It's called a 'bidet'."
- V casually disposes of a squadron of pterodactyl riders, cutting off Haley's battle plan for dealing with them.
- #922: Mixed with Moment of Awesome, Belkar tames an Allosaurus, and then sics it on Tarquin's soldiers!Belkar: BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!
Flee! Flee before me, worms!!
(Both Durkon and Roy look on in Stunned Silence)
Roy: OK, now I know we're doomed. Belkar is acting like a ranger.
- Elan's offhand comment to Haley that he doesn't understand why people always complain about being overshadowed in combat. "I've always found it very relaxing."
- As Roy plans out how the Order is going to escape from the Empire of Blood:Roy: BELKAR! Stop posing for heavy metal album covers and get in here!
- And after they all successfully break out:Elan: See? SEE?? I told you dinosaur rides were awesome!
- Belkar's horrified reaction to his badass Allosaurus steed being turned into a tiny lizard by Miron.Belkar: No! Not you, Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator!
Haley: You named the dinosaur--?
Belkar: NOT REALLY THE POINT!
- The Order is fighting Team Tarquin. They've had a couple Hope Spots, but now it seems like all is lost. Tarquin refuses to listen to Elan. What happens? Elan's plan from before they even found the pyramid comes back, in the form of Julio Scoundrél and the airship Mechane.Elan: [to a confused Roy] Don't look at me like that, there were like a ton of hints on this one.
- #931: It's rather hilarious that Elan's plan hinged on the Order somehow screwing up protecting the Gate and blowing it up just like the other two Gates they tried to protect. Roy admits that Elan had a point. Roy also tells Elan to stop retroactively justifying his plot twists.
- "His Number One Fan":
- As shown in Panel 6, Durkon in bat form still has his beard!
- In the same page, Julio Scoundrél makes 3 carpet-related puns in one strip. Witness the true power of a Dashing Swordsman!
- Blackwing telling a polymorphed Bloodfeast how much of a fan he is of their work.
- When Laurin stops V from disposing of Tarquin.Blackwing: Ooooooo! Caster fight! Caster fight!
Blackwing: caster fight!
- And naturally, the title of the next strip actually is "Caster Fight".
- V's arsenal during the aforementioned caster fight includes Forcecage, Cone of Cold, Dimensional Anchor, Resilient Sphere, and Bird to the Face.Blackwing: Also, I totally snagged a bauble!
- There's also V's firm insistence that V did not order their familiar to do that.Varsuvius: I assure you my companion's decisions are reflective of nothing — least of all rational planning.
- There's also V's firm insistence that V did not order their familiar to do that.
- The final panel of #936 is tragically hilarious in that it perfectly showcases just how Wrong Genre Savvy Tarquin really is.Tarquin: THIS IS A TERRIBLE ENDING!!!
- A hat-trick of funny moments in #937:
- This exchange between Blackwing and V:Blackwing: If I don't make it... bury me with my shiny!
Varsuvius: You are not injured. You have a slight smudge of dirt on three of your feathers.
Blackwing: LO, THE ICY TALONS OF DEATH APPROACH!!
- Then it's revealed that, yes, Julio is The Most Interesting Man in the World."I don't always take damage, but when I do, I drink a potion."
- Finally, according to Julio, the Mechane will always get you were you need to go just in the nick of time — but no sooner.Dentist: Mr. Scoundrél! We were just about to cancel your root canal!
Julio: [swinging in through the window] I guess I've got some nerve causing a commotion!
- This exchange between Blackwing and V:
- "Order of the Stick 2: Order Stickier"? Try again, Elan.
- Belkar's fears of Vampire Durkon in #939. One gets the feeling that he's being contrary at least in part just because with a vampire on the team, his position as Token Evil Teammate is now being threatened. And his comment about him now being a hipster because he gave blood before it was cool.
- #940: This exchange between Gannji and Haley after she learns that her father is joining forces with Gannji, Enor, and Amun-Zora to overthrow Tarquin:Gannji: So, no hard feelings on the whole kidnapping thing?
Haley: (while giving a Death Glare to Gannji) If anything happens to him, you'll make a very stylish handbag.
Gannji: I'm going to choose to hear that as "We cool."
- Ian Starshine finally warming up to Elan in #941:Ian: Maybe you're not a diabolical sleeper agent out to infiltrate my family and destroy everything I've worked for.
Elan: Truly, that's all any man can hope to hear from his girlfriend's father.
- The major Brick Joke about the shop keeper from #136 that's revealed in #942. Turns out he's Haley's cousin.Geoff: He has a chance to be someone important, Ian- Because of my sacrifice.
(Cut to the shop from #136. There is another unhappy customer, and behind the shopkeeper is a picture of Geoff and Ivynote )
Customer: Do you, in fact, have any polearms at all?
Shop keeper: Certainly!
- In #943:
- Julio Scoundrél decides to leave the ship in Elan's hands for his adventure, while he takes a holiday away, which Elan reads about in a letter. Turns out Julio is right behind him, doing the voiceover through a can. Elan goes with it anyway.
- Another Brick Joke — Haley reveals that she was only kidding when she acted like she didn't remember Blackwing, just to "bust V's chops", which Blackwing congratulates her on. Elan, on the other hand, seems to honestly not recognize him.Elan: Wow! A talking bird!
Blackwing: So is he also just—
Haley: Probably not, no.
- This is immediately followed by him turning to something completely unrelated without skipping a beat.
- The High Priest of Hel's reaction to Durkon's childhood."If I wasn't made of negative energy, I would yarf."
- And why, exactly, are we seeing this heartfelt memory of young Durkon and his mother? Because the vampire spirit needs to know how Durkon would react to a bolt of lightning striking an airship's engines."Durkon:" THOR'S NUTS!
- And why, exactly, are we seeing this heartfelt memory of young Durkon and his mother? Because the vampire spirit needs to know how Durkon would react to a bolt of lightning striking an airship's engines.
- Elan taking his role as a healer seriously, resulting in asking Banjo whether or not to heal, and telling the random crewman he's healing that he has so much to live for, since he's only been in three pages so far. And when Elan leans in to heal him, he accidentally stabs the crewmember in the chest with Banjo's scalpel. Not to mention the fact that Banjo (a hand puppet, mind you) actually has a tiny labcoat, surgical mask, otolaryngologist's mirror, and yes, scalpel.
- "Spell It Out":
- "MY OTHER AIRSHIP IS A CARPET!"
- Also:Haley: V, the engine's on fire!
Elan: And it's not supposed to be!
V: Thank you, Elan, for that key situational context.
- "He has the proper spell! That proves he can't possibly be Durkon!"
- "Takes One to Know One":
- Apparently, all interactions between Belkar and Durkon are of the physical, nicknaming or insulting kind (specifically, of the body odor kind). The way this is revealed is funny too; the High Priest of Hel asks Durkon for an exploitable memory, and instead gets a "404 Not Found" error.
- Belkar's face when fake-Durkon orders him to jump overboard.Belkar: Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
- Then right after:Belkar: I am going to shove the sunshine so far up where the sun don't shine that you will vomit nothing but warm summer days!!
- "This Sucks": The following exchange between Vampire Durkon and Elan after the former feeds on and then heals the latter:Elan: So, how long until my strange quasi-vampiric powers kick in?
High Priest of Hel: Uh, they dinnae. Na unless I drain ye all tha way.
Elan: Huh. Do we at least share a mystical blood bond that draws me into a mesmerizing web of erotic subtext?
High Priest of Hel: [visibly annoyed] Na.
Elan: Man, real vampires are way less interesting than fictional ones.
- "Collision Testing":
- Belkar is given a psionic dagger by V from the spoils of their adventure in the desert. He immediately tests it on Not-Durkon.Belkar: Well, it's about time I got a magic weapon upgrade! The bard's gotten two, and he fights like an incontinent weasel.
Vaarsuvius: I defer to your greater experience with both fisticuffs and mustelid evacuation habits.
- After testing his new weapon, Belkar is again compelled to jump overboard. We see him being recovered by an unsmiling Roy, then he pays another visit to Vaarsuvius.Belkar: It's fine, thanks.
- This exchange:Belkar: I just told you that he tried to kill me!
V: Oh my, what a completely unprecedented reaction to spending more than ten minutes in your company.
- Belkar is given a psionic dagger by V from the spoils of their adventure in the desert. He immediately tests it on Not-Durkon.
- "Internal Struggles":
- One of Durkon's memories has him and Roy fighting a giant frog. The frog chomps down on Roy, leaving only his legs exposed... and Durkon spends a few rounds wondering what Roy's leg twitches mean.Durkon: [just after Roy gets eaten] Lad? Are ye OK? Roy, lad, d'ye need help? Just wiggle yer foot if'n ye want me ta help. [Roy kicks his legs a few times]... OK, I dinnae know if tha were ye wigglin' yer foot intentionally, or if'n yer foot were movin' incident'lly 'cause yer bein' swallowed. Mebbe try kickin' yer feet tagether if'n ya want me ta get involved?
[Roy kills the frog from within and pulls himself out]
Roy: Okay, new party rule: From now on, if one member of the team is being eaten, go ahead and assume that you should do something about that.
- Just prior to the above, while viewing a continuation of the dinner party scene from the previous strip:HPoH: Turn it off. I'm going to get lulled into oblivion if I have to watch any more of this.
Durkon: Is tha a thing tha c'n happen?
- One of Durkon's memories has him and Roy fighting a giant frog. The frog chomps down on Roy, leaving only his legs exposed... and Durkon spends a few rounds wondering what Roy's leg twitches mean.
- #966 takes the time to shill the release of Blood Runs in the Family.Elan: Oh! That reminds me! I've been meaning to ask...
Bandana: No, just 'cause you have an airship does not mean the main plot will stand still while y'all fly around and finish up all the sidequests you missed. Why does somebody always ask that?
- In Craft Wondrous Bauble, a gnome turns the ioun stone Blackwing got from Laurin in the last arc into a ring and fits it onto the familiar's leg.Gnome Artificer: Ha ha, looks good! Because really, who wants an annoying little thing zipping around, flying in front of your face when you're trying to cast?
Vaarsuvius: I concur, but unfortunately he is my familiar and I am stuck with him.
Blackwing: [staring at ring] So shiny...
Vaarsuvius: [sigh] Come.
- "Next Week They're Getting Drab":
- Roy trying to get Durkon some help.Gnome Cleric: TURN UNDEAD!
Durkon: Turn? Ye couldnae turn a year older on yer birthday.
- Also:Roy: Since my friend hasn't done anything wrong and he's actively trying to fix his condition, I'm not going to let you chop off his head and fill it with holy wafers.
Gnome Cleric: ...They're very tasty wafers.
Roy: Still no.
- Following an ominous statement from Vampire Durkon, Elan's "Dun dun dun!" Running Gag gets used by Elan when he's looking for magic bags while shopping.Elan: Don't you have any bags that aren't dun-colored?
Gnome Bag Merchant: We also carry greige and taupe, sir.
Elan: Let me see the taupe.
- Roy trying to get Durkon some help.
- #970: Haley buys some wands.Elan: Wow, thanks, Haley! Those will really come in—
Haley: Hey, hands off! They're not for you, Elan!
Elan: But... you're not a spellcaster.
Haley: So what? All you really need to do is wave it around and say the command word. Vaarsuvius has been helping me out with those ones I looted off Zz'dtri's body.
[flashback to a wand having exploded in Haley's startled face]
V: What is so tragic is that constitutes a marked improvement in technique.
- In #972, Crystal actually seems smarter as a flesh golem (or at the very least, more focused). Though she is still ditzy enough to utter this gem:Crystal: I'M GOING TO TEAR OFF YOUR HEAD AND HIT YOU IN THE FACE WITH IT!
- #973: "YOU KILLED ME!" "Yes, I know! I was there! Geez!"
- On page 974, Bozzok is watching Crystal the Flesh Golem chase down Haley through a slot on a door, gloating that nothing can stop him from watching her demise, only for the chase to turn a corner.
- #976 has Haley and Bandana burst into a weapons shop to get adamantine weapons and then literally throw a bag of money at the gnome couple who run the shop and were falling on very hard times. Literally, they yank the weapons out of the gnome's hand, chuck a huge bag of money at him without even looking, and start slashing up Crystal the moment she bursts through the wall. The sheer Mood Whiplash of poverty-stricken gnomes weeping about their hard times being suddenly turned around by a random case of adventurers and a flesh golem is hilarious. What's even more is their final decision. "We can afford to retire to the tropics." "Let's do that one."
- Also note that Crystal busts through the wall literally a few inches to the right of the door, actually taking out one side of the door frame in the process.
- After Haley kills off Golem Crystal, she wordlessly flies over to Bandana and one of the Department of Gnomeland Security members. After a few moments of silence, cut to... the three of them and Elan eating brunch together, a Brick Joke to the four passes Haley got when she haggled the Mechane's repair costs down.
- As the High Priest of Hel tricks Roy into going to the temple of Hoder (where the priests wear blindfolds on duty, ergo they can't tell he's a vampire), Roy notices that since "Durkon" is walking, the priests will eventually notice there's two sets of footsteps but only one breath, and tells "Durkon" to breathe again. As it turns out, the HPoH... isn't very good at it.HPoH: GwwooofBEWAAAAAARRR! GwooBWWWWRRR! GwoooBWEEEERRR!
Hoderite Priest: Ah, a soulful bagpipe dirge for his departed friend.
Hoderite Priestess: My feels have been hit for maximum damage!
- The High Priest's plan is going swimmingly, he's finally figured out where the pilgrims are going, and is ready to start a side quest to "cure Durkon"... and due to Roy being mindful of the time constraints and sheer poor luck, his scheme ends up being derailed. The vampire spirit's fury is priceless, as well as the implication the Hoderites got an inkling of what was going on in the process.
- #989: Veldrina the Elf priest and her partner/bodyguard get aboard the Mechane, but her pet tiger won't come on it. Belkar decides to use his Ranger ability to force the tiger in, saying that one has to let the animal know who calls the shots around... and Mr. Scruffy starts to boss it around.Veldrina: I think I got a defective tiger.
- The High Priest's going through Durkon's memories again, this time when young Durkon asked his Honorary Uncle Thirden about something (which Thirden gloomily anticipates to be about sex).Child Durkon: How did Ma get hurt? An' how did me Pa die?
Thirden: (with a huge "Oh, Crap!" Smile) ...So, how about that sex, huh?
- Then, Thirden gets around his promise of silence to Sigdi by telling Durkon a completely unrelated story about a Battle Couple that once defended the town... and to teach Durkon about "subtext", which would probably help with the sex thing too.
- When the High Priest of Hel starts indulging in some Evil Gloating, Durkon couldn't care less.Durkon: Och, fine, I get it. Evil, evil, evil. If'n ye keep twirlin' yer mustache tha hard, it'll fall out.
High Priest of Hel: I do not require a mustache to complete our ultimate triumph! And it itches, anyway!
- The High Priest's going through Durkon's memories again, this time when young Durkon asked his Honorary Uncle Thirden about something (which Thirden gloomily anticipates to be about sex).
- #994: "Thank you, sacred knight of the expository aside."
- #999: Dark comedy given the situation, but some of the reasons the gods give for their votes in regards to the "should we destroy the world?" question are pretty funny. Especially Loki's.
- #1001 introduces another Unsound Effect: "SNAPOUTTA!"
- #1005: In the middle of an otherwise entirely serious "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:HPoH: You're only saying that because you don't want the world to end.
Roy: Of course I'm only saying that because I don't want the world to end! This is not an otherwise common topic of conversation!
- #1008: Wrecan exploits Calling Your Attacks to distract Hel's High Priest, who he cannot directly attack, giving Roy time to knock him away and drink a healing potion.Wrecan: SNEAK ATTACK FROM BEHIND—
[High Priest looks at him]
Wrecan: —is a thing I absolutely cannot do, because it would be against the rules.
- #1010 Roy beats the High Priest of Hel into a wall with his sword shining a light green. Afterwards, he just says "Well, that was weird."
- Roy trying to reach into the Antilife Shell with his sword.
- This exchange:Hel: Any last words before we tear this world apart and build it in my image?
Loki: Really? The premature villain gloat? I'm a failure as a parent.
- How does the High Priest of Balder get the attention of the Demigod Priests? By repeatedly screaming "FREE CAKE!" into the cathedral. His reaction to Roy's Big "NO!" seals it.High Priest of Balder: More of a pie man, then?
- Vampire Gontor's immensely childish reaction to Little Whiskers stomping on his summonned rats.Gontor Hammerfell: No fair!
- After an epic brawl breaks out between more or less everyone, we're treated to this conversation between two halflings:High Priest of Balder: What do I do? What do I do?!
High Priestess of Iðunn: Maybe serve the cake?
- Blackwing's inventive use of a magic scroll.Blackwing: Okay. Well... the bad news is that this is a scroll of Locate Creature, which is a completely useless spell in the current situation.
The good news is that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.
Abra candelabra! Frippity fruppity frooj! Pottericus mimicus!
Now take cover!!
[the scroll explodes, killing a large number of rats and getting the attention of the Mechane's crew]
- "Bugsby's Cat-Retrieving Hand!"Blackwing: I don't know what's weirder- that you keep preparing that spell, or that you keep needing it.
- While it's heartwarming that both V and Blackwing admit to their mutual faults, we then get this punchline.V: And even putting aside the emotional or moral impact, a strict numerical analysis would show that I would lose many more experience points from a familiar dying than I would by scribing a replacement scroll.
Blackwing: Let's just put, "Not quitting while you're ahead," on that list of flaws for you to work on.
- While it's heartwarming that both V and Blackwing admit to their mutual faults, we then get this punchline.
- Veldrina uses the sending spell to tell editors about errors in math texts. However, she isn't so sure about the reply part — she's never gotten a response.
- #1024 has one cutaway scene:High Priestess of Thor: You can have a seat while I write a response, if you'd like.
Miko: Thank you, but standing builds character. (Beat) Also, I just rode for four days.
- "Goliath Falls": Belkar is fighting a vampire goliath and is about to take it out when Roy runs by and cuts it in half, tells Belkar he was right all along and that they need to go. Belkar is upset he didn't get to gloat, only for V to fly over and finish off the vampire. Thoroughly salty about his Negated Moment of Awesome, Belkar gives up and goes to look for his daggers.
- After realizing that Belkar was right, Roy considers taking his team's input seriously from now on. Then Elan asks why he didn't use Banjo to break the tie at the Godsmoot and Roy explains why it seriously wouldn't work (Banjo has no part in any existing pantheon and no worshipers who can cast the high level clerical spell needed). It's only after seeing Elan's scared reaction that he brings up the fact that Banjo's a puppet.Belkar: Yeah let's not swing that pendulum too far the other way, chief.
- Elan freaks out over the idea of fighting Durkon. Belkar punctures the balloon of his fears:Belkar: We don't have to go fight Durkon, and you're a moron.
Belkar: You're not very smart and you make poor decisions.
Elan: I meant the first part.
- When Belkar is trying to hammer home to Elan that the High Priest isn't Durkon:Roy: Belkar is 100% correct.
Belkar: Are you just trolling me at this point?
- The team tries to come up for a nickname for The High Priest of Hel. They come up with names like Count Durkula, Nose-Fur-atu, and Greg. Even the normally deadpan Vaarsuvius is shown suggesting silly names.Roy: In fact, we shouldn't even call that vampire Durkon anymore. We should come up with another name to keep it straight in our minds. Any suggestions?
Haley, Belkar, Elan, Blackwing, Vaarsuvius: Count Durkula? Jerkon? Undurkon? Leechy Veinquaff?note Nega-Dwarf? Durkzzaro? Deep Fang Friar? The Creature Preacher? Nokrud? The Thorsaken? Pastor Expiration? Whiskers in the Dark? Nose-Fur-atu? Hel's Shell? The Corpse Formerly Known as Durkon? Greg?
Roy: ...Never mind.
- And then, they end the strip coming up with different nicknames for the real Durkon.
- Elan freaks out over the idea of fighting Durkon. Belkar punctures the balloon of his fears:
- #1031: The stoic and serious exchange between O-Chul and Lien about how they endure the cold turns out to be a "Paladin-off", basically bull-shitting the other about how badass-righteous they are. O-Chul wins and then makes a joke along similar lines.
- The Demon-Roaches on bugbears:Roach 1: Wait, bugbears are just big hairy goblins? I thought they were weird wizard experiments that combined insects and bears.
Roach 2: You're thinking of owlbears.
Roach 1: Why would owlbears be half insect?
- "Should always expect head rub. Safer that way. [...] See? Grim specter of noogie hangs like shroud over us all."
- "No, you're a homophone!"
- "Imagining getting it on atop a mountain of coins still technically counts as thinking about you."
- Eugene returns.Eugene: You know, last time I interrupted you sitting alone in the dark trying to figure out how your sword works—
Eugene: -your mother made me install a lock on the bathroom door the next day.
- #1046: Apparently, Eugene had appeared to let Roy know Xykon was on his way to Girard's Pyramid, but it happened when the Order was trapped in Girard's phantasmal illusion and Roy couldn't hear him:Eugene: [yelling at a hypnotized Roy] We did not raise you to fail Will saves against phantasms, young man!
- After Eugene leaves, Roy comes up with a new way to get his sword to work:Roy: Pawn these visits off on Julia! Pawn these visits off on Julia! Pawn these visits off on Julia!
- "Falling Rocs"
- This gem from #1050:Elan: [Lien] called when Haley and I were in the middle of-
Haley: Mouth shut, Elan.
Elan: No, pretty much the opposite of that.
- And shortly before that:Haley: Hey, Roy. There you are. Did Elan tell you yet?
Roy: Can you be more specific? Elan tells me many things, the majority of which I allow to pass through my brain unhindered.
Elan: Like a ghost! Or a phase spider! Or the ghost of a phase spider!
Roy: See? I've already forgotten that.
- And shortly before that:
- "Path of Most Resistance":
- V gives Haley a greater invisibility spell:Haley: [with an evil grin] I AM POINTY DEATH INCARNATE.
Vaarsuvius: Yes, yes. Magic is very nice. Shall we?
- Which causes a bit of trouble with Blackwing shortly after:Vaarsuvius: Strange. He never crashes into me when I am flying invisibly.
Haley: Probably because of the empathic link. Or because you keep talking the whole time.
Blackwing: Look, if you don't want birds to crash into you, don't turn into a high-elevation windowfolk.
- V gives Haley a greater invisibility spell:
- After hearing repeated smashing sounds against the hull, Belkar comes up to investigate.Belkar: OK, what the hell? Are we having a combat encounter and nobody told me?
Roy: I just sort of assumed that the repeated collisions against the hull would eventually get you up on deck without anyone wasting time fetching you. Which they did, obviously.
Elan: [excitedly] Wait, did you just imply my time has value?? I can't wait to tell Haley!
- Roy tells Belkar that he can't go down and help V and Haley take out the frost giants. Belkar's response is to jump overboard, taking advantage of his Feather Fall amulet.Roy: [furious] That little idiot! We don't have a full-time cleric to heal all the damage he's about to... [surprised] not take. Huh. [Beat, now exasperated] Is he flipping me off as he floats gently down to the ground?
Elan: Belkar, that's the wrong kind of bird! That one can't fly!!
- After hearing repeated smashing sounds against the hull, Belkar comes up to investigate.
- #1054: Belkar ignoring Haley's instructions til she gives him a cooler sounding job.Blackwing: You know she just tricked you into doing the same job but with a more hardcore description, right?
Belkar: Did she? Or did I trick her into coming up with a more hardcore description for a job I was down with anyway? (kills frost giant) BAM! Doomsealed!
- #1068: Haley, V and Belkar finally realize the ship is gone.Belkar: Again?!? I understand why they keep sailing away from me, but they're supposed to like you!
- #1070: "Huh. I just assumed they were only there for heroic swinging." Given the ship they're on, it's actually quite likely that Elan's right.
- #1075: After successfully knocking the second Ice Giant off the airship, Elan lampshades that knocking bad guys over is becoming their best move, and if it could work on Xykon.Roy: Xykon can fly, Elan.
Elan: So it'll be easy to get him up here! Good thinking, Roy!
- Two funny moments from #1077:
- So you have a Fly spell, and you get split up from your bardic boyfriend and his airship. How do you cheer him up when you get back, in a way that a class as Troperiffic as a Bard can appreciate? Well, if you're Haley, you give him an absolutely cliched and astonishingly inappropriate "Hi honey, I'm home!"
- Roy asks if Vaarsuvius has a spell that can locate a specific object. Vaarsuvius responds, after a pause, that they do indeed, and it is called "Locate Object".Blackwing: This is why I only rely on my deadly razor-sharp talons in combat.
Vaarsuvius: I have watched you try and fail to pierce the skin of a potato.
Blackwing: Sure, but I never made a whole B-plot out of it.
- Apparently, a Weapon of Legacy is the good kind of Clingy MacGuffin, as Roy finds out in the middle of a Heroic BSoD over losing the sword again. His bemused testing of the returning weapon is even more hilarious.Roy: Never mind, I'm good.
- "Clever Blasting God Stoppers":
- After fighting off the Ice Giants, the team discusses how they were apparently sent by the demigod Thrym, who's sided with Hel. They figure the two have made some kind of dark pact... but then the last panel actually shows them:Thrym: So... do I still get to be your consort when you get Odin's throne?
Hel: Get Out!
- Earlier, there's this:Roy: Belkar is right.
Belkar: Nope. Still weird.
- After fighting off the Ice Giants, the team discusses how they were apparently sent by the demigod Thrym, who's sided with Hel. They figure the two have made some kind of dark pact... but then the last panel actually shows them:
- In #1081:
- Thrym is trying to stay on Hel's good side, but it doesn't work, and she makes it clear that he's bordering on You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.Thrym: Is that all I am to you? A resource to be used in your scheme?
Hel: Yes! And I explicitly told you that from the start!
Thrym: Yeah, but I didn't think you meant it.
- After this, Hel tries to activate her backup plan, using her command over disease to spread Sphinx Pox amongst the Mechane's crew and the Order via an infected Mr. Scruffy, which will apparently cause them all to sprout riddles until their brains bleed to death. She just overlooked one detail:Giant Minion: My queen, that virus has an incubation period of five weeks.
Hel: If it loved me, it would replicate faster!
- Thrym is trying to stay on Hel's good side, but it doesn't work, and she makes it clear that he's bordering on You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
- When Hel is complaining about her lack of worship:
- It ends with Hel saying that Thor and Loki will have Hel to pay once she pulls off her plan.Thrym: Wow, it must be cool to have a name that lends itself to so many villain puns.
Hel: Yeah, I do actually have to give Dad credit on that one.
- Drunk Thor in the flashback.
- It ends with Hel saying that Thor and Loki will have Hel to pay once she pulls off her plan.
- Durkon being upfront about his omissions.Durkon: Ye dinnae ask fer it. Also, I hate ye an' I want ye ta fail.
- One of the vampires getting a little obsessed with a locked door.Gontor: Do you want to be a wall?? Is that it? Do your job, your disobedient ingress!!
- The High Priest of Hel gets suspicious when Durkon provides him with the perfect memory for what he needs.HPoH: That was awfully easy. This isn't some sort of trick, is it? A false memory?
Durkon: Och, if'n I could show ye stuff tha dinnae happen, I'd've told ye Roy's name was, like, Maurice or sumthin' on Day One. [...] Or showed ye Haley refusin' payment while Belkar served soup to orphans. An' Elan did math in the background!
HPoH: OK, yes, fine. Point taken.
Durkon: "We need a team name! Let's call ourselves "the Order o' tha Look-Out-Roy-Tha'-Vampire's-Na-Really-Durkon!"
- Durkon torments the High Priest of Hel by calling up one of his less pleasant memories.HPoH: [holding his nose] Oh Hel — it's revolting!
Durkon: Tha's tha memory o' tha first time I got food poisonin' from human cookin'.
HPoH: I'm gonna throw up!
Durkon: Ye cannae! Yer a negative energy spirit, rememb'r?
HPoH: Turn it off! Turn it off!
Durkon: Suit yerself, but thar's six more hours o' me runnin' ta tha can, an' ye'll haf ta smell ev'ry minute of it at some point!
- This also raises the question of who the Lethal Chef was whose cooking bypassed the dwarven racial bonus to poison resistance. The High Priest better hope Durkon learned his lesson about accepting a meal from them.
- The flumphs are back, and finally having some good luck!
- On the same page, Bandanna speaks for the fandom.Bandanna: They fight trees! Dwarves are nuts!
- Elan hears the phrase "Mind Blank", assumes it's going to lead to a joke about him, and prefers to willingly trigger it than let it blindside him.
- The team finally reaches Firmament:Bandanna: Hope that magic doodad you got can lead the way to your secret entrance, though, 'cause I can't see squat.
Elan: Oh, he's right here. [points at Belkar, who gives him a Death Glare]
- When Bandanna states that the ship can wait two weeks for them to return before they need to go for fuel, Roy responds in a less than helpful way.Roy: Well, if we fail, the whole world will blow up long before then. Though I guess there's a chance that we stop the vote but still all die in the process...
[Bandanna looks terrified]
Elan: OK, Roy, I think we're going to have to have a refresher on that whole "hope" thing.
- The team finally reaches Firmament:
- When the Order reaches the secret entrance to the Temple of Thor, they run into a little trouble from the local guards. Elan tries to plead their case, leading to this:Minrah: Hmmm. Your words are sweet, but your breath is pungent. I doubt someone who stinks of so much garlic could be working with vampires. I believe you, Smelly Human.
Minrah: Please stop breathing on me.
- When mourning Brother Sandstone, Minrah's vengeful speech goes a little sideways. Elan notices, and mentions it to Haley.Elan: And you were worried she wouldn't fit in.
- When the Order is stuck in a Forcecage surrounded by vampires, Roy orders everyone to close their eyes so the vampires can't use Hypnotic Eyes on anyone — with the result being that they are stuck in a Forcecage, surrounded by vampires, while standing around with their eyes closed.Haley: So, I can't help but feel like maybe we've taken a step backwards here.
- Belkar killing vampires:Belkar: Screw you! And you! And especially you!
- Hilgya returns. With a kid. One that Haley, Elan and Belkar immediately decide is Durkon's. V's comment is icing on the whole cake.
- Hilgya says that she could scry Durkon if she had something from his body, such as hair.Roy: Damn, I trimmed a few inches off his beard when we fought. I should have grabbed some.
Belkar: I'm really glad that never occurred to you.
- The "bodily fluid" misunderstanding, which V heads off, lampshading, "Allow me to explain before this conversation degrades further into sitcom-level farce."
- Hilgya says that she could scry Durkon if she had something from his body, such as hair.
- Even the High Priest of Hel can be horrified by some of Durkon's memories.HPoH: Unholy Hel! Is that... is that a workplace orientation seminar?!
- Additionally, while Durkon is a prisoner helpless to stop the vampiric spirit using his body to do terrible things, one of the other vampires' hosts turns out to have been repressing evil desires in life and is actually pretty happy about the whole situation.Female Vampire: Listen, after we're done here, me and her are gonna go try some messed up stuff she's been thinking about for like a bajillion years. Want to come with?
HPoH: Eh, might as well, if Hel doesn't have other jobs for me.
Female Vampire: Cool. You're gonna want to bring a poncho, FYI.
- Even the High Priest of Hel can be horrified by some of Durkon's memories.
- Hilgya casts Protection From Law on Elan.Elan: Ooooo, tingly! Hey, if I am Protected from Law now, does that mean—
Haley: You still need to wear pants in public, babe.
Elan: Aww, magic never does anything the fun way.
- The Order's opening move against the vampires?HPoH: Welcome to Round Two, Roy. I think you'll find that this time, you won't be saved by some surprise magic trick you pull from your—
[shot of a sloth, beaver, and rat riding giraffes, each one a different color, into the room, knocking one vampire aside]
[shot of the bewildered High Priest's expression before cutting to Hilgya, Roy, and an equally-confused Minrah]
Hilgya: What? They're cheap to summon and have a ton of hit points.
- Better yet: it's obvious the beaver, the rat and the sloth come from Roy's Bag of Tricks, and such Confusion Fu is definitely befitting a Trickster God like Loki.
- The Order's opening move against the vampires?
- Elan was right about the flaw in using Durkon's memories to counter the Order's attack.Vampire Lackey: But master, you said they would just rush in.
HPoH: I thought they would! I don't know how they are doing this!
Female Vampire: If it turns out your host was the one holding them back this whole time, you can't come do evil stuff with me after.
- Blackwing has sunglasses. Haley is surprised... at first.Blackwing: Did you think I didn't own an accessory for the specific purpose of sassily telling people to Deal With It?
- The High Priest of Hel makes a deal with Durkon: if he shuts up for the rest of the battle, he will let Durkon and Hilgya's son, Kudzu live. Durkon haggles up to being allowed to show the High Priest one memory, not involving anyone in the Order or Hilgya — but one memory in its entirety, without "breaks or gaps or time jumps", so Durkon can't trick him with misleading information. Durkon begins to show him a memory that starts with his mom making food...High Priest of Hel: There's going to be 20 minutes of you washing up for diner in the middle of this, isn't there? ... I shouldn't have said, "No time jumps".
- Elan, brainwashed by the High Priest of Hel, tries to convince Roy to switch sides.Elan: Join us, Roy. We have free massages, and pizza every Thursday.
Roy: That can't possibly be true, you've been dominated for less than a minute!
Elan: Also, we can lie as much as we want.
- In the next strip, he's continuing, "...and every night, Durkon tucks us in with tiny teddy bears."
- #1130 is mostly one long CMOA and CMOH. But one funny moment is a memory showing Durkon practicing combat against a tree. There's another one of Uncle Squeaky teaching Durkon learning to play a horn: It's incredibly terrible.
- #1132, Durkon arrives in the dwarven afterlife... a few moments behind Minrah, who thinks that he's the vampire and followed her to finish her off. After a quick explanation about vampirism, we get this exchange:Durkon: Tell tha truth, I been wantin' ta punch me own smug face in tha face fer days.
Minrah: (visibly disturbed) Uh, OK. Does everyone in your group have weird emotional issues?
Durkon: (dismissively) Eh, tha cat's prob'ly fine.
- As it turns out, upon reaching the afterlife, Durkon and Minrah weren't in some form of a Fluffy Cloud Heaven. They were on Thor's boot, with his leg being mistaken as a building.
- When Thor arrives to speak with Durkon, Minrah starts a formal prayer. Thor's response is to interrupt.Thor: Minrah, you don't have to pray. I'm right here. Just talk to me.
- Durkon and Minrah arrive to Valhalla, which they find in a plain with several trees.Durkon: [gasps in horror] Tha trees! Thar attackin' Valhalla!
Minrah: [furious] We have to defend it!
Thor: [exasperated] Ugh, can't a guy zap a pine or two without everyone making a whole dogma out of it?
- And even after explaining why trees aren't actually evil, Thor (realizing what he said went over their heads) gives up and lies about the trees outside Valhalla being rebels opposed to their "evil" kin just to get the plot moving again.
- When Durkon wants Minrah to stick around in order to learn what they need to talk about, Thor says he's not allowed to talk about the Snarl to people who don't already know about it. But it turns out Minrah does know about it... from Durkon offhandedly mentioning the Snarl a few minutes ago. Thor decides this is sufficient.Thor: Good enough for me! It's a dumb rule anyway.
- Thor gives Minrah a coupon for a drink upgrade since she had been technically killed by a cleric of Loki.
- He also accidentally reveals the existence of Xykon's fortress in the astral plane. He tells Durkon that if it ever comes up again, he should pretend to be surprised by it.
- Minrah apparently has reoccurring dreams about riding on a giant Thor's back.
- Thor explains the Outer Planes as ideas that have gained so many adherents they've become coherent places in the Astral Plane...with quotes floating around them describing what each one is based on. Some are more serious...but then you've got planes like the Abyss ("Screw you, jack, I got mine"), Baator ("Yes, but if you read the fine print..."), and the Beastlands ("Who's a good dog? You are!"). One is for Pandemonium that simply says "Lulz".
- Naturally, all of them are spheres — with the exception of the cuboid Limbo ("Don't you tell me what to do!").
- Then there's Gehenna ("Resistance is futile"), and Arcadia ("The needs of the many...").
- On a Gallows Humor note, there's also Acheron ("I was just following orders").
- And of course, tiny and gray and right in the middle of all of them: "Hey, let's not get carried away."
- Some Black Comedy amongst an otherwise sobering conversation in #1140:
- Thor points out some of the destroyed worlds, noting that one was a gritty cyberpunk world, the one after that was full of talking animals, and the one after that was gritty cyberpunk talking animals.Thor: Your time was too short, Laser-Snail.
- Thor mentions how another world was populated by sentient movie theater snacks. Cut to an anthropomorphic soda cutting a living pizza slice in half with a katana-styled pizza slicer.Soda: Enjoy 32 oz. of vengeance — served ice cold!
- Thor caps this by stating that the gods were pretty much scraping the bottom of the idea barrel when they came up with "self-aware stick figure fantasy parody" for the current world.Durkon: I wanna be offended by tha, but it explains so much.
- Thor makes it clear he's not just telling Durkon all this in order to rub the futileness of it all in his face, asking what kind of god would do that.Durkon: Ya did almost give me friend Elan a colon tumor wit yer automated prayer system.
Thor: And you "almost" didn't bring that up, but here we are.
- Thor points out some of the destroyed worlds, noting that one was a gritty cyberpunk world, the one after that was full of talking animals, and the one after that was gritty cyberpunk talking animals.
- As the God of Thunder and Boisterous Bruiser incarnate starts to explain why the OotS world is different from those before it... he's lost Durkon and Minrah in one panel.Durkon: Yer... Yer gonna haf ta make tha at least two degrees dumber fer me.
Minrah: Three would be nice.
Durkon: Aye, let's go wit three.
- When Thor mentions that the Dark One's dislike of the other pantheons is partly his fault, Minrah asks if Thor made fun of his name. A confused Thor replies that no, because the Dark One's name is "metal", much to Minrah's own apparent confusion. What sells it is both Thor and Durkon looking at her with "what are you talking about?!" eyebrows.
- In 1144, Thor states that Gods Need Prayer Badly was responsible for him going from having red hair to blond because "that damned comic book", a very subtle Take That! at the Sadly Mythtaken aspect of Marvel's Thor.
- Most of Odin's dialogue in strip 1145 is hilarious, even if the reason for his memetic Cloudcuckoolander/The Stoner status is revealed not to be:Odin: Mortal height is fun. My hands are hand-sized!
- Even Thor is well aware of how Genre Savvy Elan is.Minrah: Ummmm... why are you whispering? There's no one here to overhear you.
Thor: So it'll be dramatic later, duh. Didn't get to spend much time with the kid with the puppet, did you?
Durkon: Right?? Tha's wha I said!
- The deva sent to escort Durkon down to his resurrection expresses some official concern regarding who's casting the resurrection (Hilgya, being a cleric of Loki) as there's concern she might mean him harm. Durkon admits there's a good chance of that, but is willing to take the chance since she's (probably) the mother of his child. The deva says he understands the situation, due to a prior wild weekend in Limbo. Cut to a panel showing the deva (who's male, incidentally), quite pregnant:Deva: Do I... push?
Slaadi: No, the tadpole must learn to chew his own way out.
- On the same page, Minrah reveals that she had promised her cousin's feelings for Tinna would be taken to her grave. Since they're having this conversation on the clouds above Valhalla, she tells Durkon to pass it on to Tinna. (Also counts as heartwarming, as she asks him to do so because she declares life is too short.)
- Immediately upon being Resurrected, Durkon proposes to Hilgya. Her reaction is... hot.
- For that matter, one of the most literal applications of the Death Is Cheap trope. It's not, strictly speaking, but she's rich enough to kill someone on a whim and then raise them right back.
- While Hilgya is casting the Resurrection, Kudzu is trying to grab the diamond in her hand, with an "Oooh, shiny!" look on his face in the first panel. Once the spell takes effect, the diamond pops out of existence and Kudzu just looks so sad.
- In the last panel, whereas Roy, Elan and Blackwing look horrified and Belkar looks like he's about to outright murder Hilgya, Vaarsuvius simply looks mildly nonplussed.
- There's also Hilgya covering Kudzu's eyes when she uses Flame Strike.
- There's also Hilgya stopping Kudzu from reaching out for Durkon, and Kudzu's annoyed expression, like he's been denied a toy.
- Apparently, the entire conversation above took about as much time as it took Minrah to ask Thor for a drink in Valhalla while she was waiting for her own Raise Dead. They're not even ten steps down the rainbow when Durkon gets back up. Added funny via Talking Is a Free Action. That speech and the Flame Strike only needed one round (six seconds).
- Thor comments that he thinks this is kind of his fault for being unclear.Thor: When I decreed that you should "totally smash" the followers of Loki, this wasn't what I meant.
- Durkon griping about how Belkar was the only one that noticed that the High Priest of Hel wasn't him.Durkon: I mean, Belkar? Seriously??
Belkar: I know, right?
Roy: I got there! Eventually!
Elan: In my defense, I am not very smart.
Haley: I already got fooled by Nale! What were the chances of two imposter storylines?!
(V has nothing to say, only frowning in thought)
- What's particularly funny is that this whole scene is actually a Call-Back to #75, when Roy discovers Durkon is missing, and we have this winner from Haley when Roy complains someone should have noticed (and once again, V has nothing to say):Haley: But the three of usnote are so consistently and staggeringly irresponsible that it's utterly unreasonable to expect us to have paid attention in the first place.
Belkar: Damn straight!
- What's particularly funny is that this whole scene is actually a Call-Back to #75, when Roy discovers Durkon is missing, and we have this winner from Haley when Roy complains someone should have noticed (and once again, V has nothing to say):
- Thor comments that he thinks this is kind of his fault for being unclear.
- For starters, #1151 is titled "Halfling Baby Steps Are Very Small".
- Durkon wants to talk to Belkar on their way down the tunnel.Belkar: Sorry, I'm a hard pass on marriage, too.
Durkon: Dinnae flatter yerself, yer like me fourth choice just in tha party.
- Even better, the above implies Belkar somehow isn't his last choice in the party.
- After explaining how Belkar's lecture about Character Development helped Durkon break free... Belkar is totally lost, and tries to blame Durkon's accent.
- And finally, after a brief chat about how Good Feels Good...Belkar: Sorry I hit you in the face with a palm tree that one time.
Durkon: Ultimate extreme apology accept'd.
- A minor Funny Background Event in one panel, but V really loves using those Busby's Hand spells.
- Durkon wants to talk to Belkar on their way down the tunnel.
- Combined with Heartwarming Moment, #1152 reveals that Durkon hasn't been out of touch with his mother since his banishment: He calls her once a week through Sending.Durkon: Dinnae ye ev'r wonder why I happen'd ta haf four Sendings prepared back when ye were captured by Tarquin?
Roy: Uh, no. I mean, I guess I didn't think it mattered that much. Look, if I worried about all the things I don't worry about, I'd never stop worrying!
Sigdi: Oh, so ye must be Elan!
Belkar: Ha ha, unintentional mom burn!
- Sigdi also immediately shows herself to be a mother.Sigdi: Look at ye, yer all skin and bones! What are these humans feeding ye? Are ye getting enuff beer?
Durkon: Na fer twenty years! I could absolutely murder a pint of lager! Or a quart! Or five!
- Sigdi also immediately shows herself to be a mother.
- In the following comic, Sigdi meets Hilgya — and Durkon's son. Sigdi asks when they got married (they didn't), then when Hilgya notes she and Durkon only met once, last year, for a single day in a dungeon, Sigdi dryly notes that explains why Durkon didn't know his own son's name. Durkon then implores Thor to strike him dead again in an attempt to avoid the increasingly-awkward conversation.
- And when Sigdi finds out that Hilgya responded to Durkon's proposal with a Flame Strike, she calmly notes, "Seems like a firm na, then." She then follows up Durkon's incredulous reaction by pointing out that the first time "Uncle" Hoskin asked her to marry him (to allow Durkon to grow up with a father figure) she knocked out one of his teeth, which he's still missing to this day.
- She's also not the least bit surprised that Kudzu is her grandson.Sigdi: Aye, no foolin 'e's yer son. I still got both eyes.
- After Sigdi spends most of the page empathizing with Hilgya and agreeing with her, she calmly and obliquely threatens to kill her if she harms Durkon again. And then continues asking about baby food for Kudzu as if nothing happened while Hilgya is now visibly terrified of her.Roy: Wow, I haven't seen a feint like that since Fencing class.
Haley: [to Durkon] Don't take this the wrong way but I want to grow up to be your mom.
- Roy is just glad to meet a parent who's not trying to kill them all.Haley: Hey, it was my uncle that threatened to shank Elan!
- Elan apparently needed a glass of warm milk to calm down after all the excitement of the previous few pages.
- Following this, Blackwing mentions that V is trancing, but didn't need "ruminant boob drippings" to do so.
- Belkar asks that Durkon change clothes, as the extremely low neckline of his wrecked priest's robe is disgusting him.
- Underneath the statue of Thor is the legend "Lord Thor, King of Storms and Thunder, Champion of Killing Trees". To open the secret compartment underneath it, Durkon pushes certain letters so that it appears as "Lord Thor, King of Storms and Thunder, Champion of Killing Trees". LoKi SuCKs.
- BWEE HEE HEE HEE!
- #1158: Hel getting annoyed at how one of her vampires blew the perfect setup for a "worm food" quip after using a Gate scroll to summon a giant worm monster.
- This brief exchange when Hel is about to send the Death-worm to her vampiric clergy:Hel: [grinning evily] At last, this misbegotten wager will end and I will take my rightful place as queen of the Northern Gods!
Thrym: [cheerily] I am excited for you, because I am supportive of your professional achievements!
- Furthermore, the Death-worm, rather than a slathering monster, is rather affable and just wants some clarification on his duties, acting more like a rookie starting his first job than a vital instrument in the destruction of the world.Death-worm: Can I eat them?
"Gontor": The thralls?
Death-worm: No, anyone trying to get past me. Can I eat them?
"Gontor:" Yes! Of course you can eat them! You're a giant death-worm, I summoned you primarily for the purpose of eating them!
Death-worm: You don't have to get mad, I just wanted to be sure.
- This brief exchange when Hel is about to send the Death-worm to her vampiric clergy:
- #1161: Most of the Order gets frozen with a Mass Hold Monster from the death-worm, then Roy gets knocked off the edge. Vaarsuvius catches him with a Bugsby's Hand spell.Blackwing: Great catch! Now just swing him around until his sword hits something. How hard can it be?
Vaarsuvius: Absurd. That would be highly inefficient. A better plan would be to throw him at the enemy once, then resume casting—
Haley: We have a cleric again, we can fix stuff like this!!
Vaarsuvius: Ah, yes, of course.
- "They Stayed Friends Though": During the fight against the elementals, a dwarven paladin cuts off one of the elementals' heads and lands next to Durkon.Dwarf: Hello, Durkon. I'm your cousin's brother-in-law's niece's fiancé. Nice to finally put a face to all the stories!
Elan: It's OK, Durkon. I know what's it's like to have a stunning mid-adventure reveal of a previously unknown family member.
Durkon: She broke up wit Thad?!?
Elan: Like I'm looking in a mirror.
- #1164: The Exarch is in the midst of using a scroll to cast the 8th-level spell "Horrid Wilting" on the extended Thundershield family, but since he stuck his hands through the barrier, Belkar was able to interrupt him by destroying the scroll before he said the last syllable. Belkar then makes a crack about the dwarven fear/hatred of trees.Belkar: "Horrid Willow"? Wow, you're not pulling any punches against Durkon, are you?
- There's also an amazing Anti-Climax when Belkar tries to invoke a Battle in the Center of the Mind for the Exarch vampire's original dwarven spirit... and it doesn't succeed, instead causing several panels of the Exarch vampire and Belkar awkwardly staring at each other, both parties getting increasingly exasperated with the other while both Roy and Elan fight the Death-Worm. Special mention should be given to Belkar awkwardly telling the Exarch's original spirit to "Feel at him."Exarch Vampire: [turns around] I have spells to cast in here.
Belkar: Dude, are you even trying to have a climactic emotional catharsis?!?!
Death-Worm: Hey, feelings are tricky things. You can't just-
Belkar: Did I ask for your opinion, Giant Death-Worm?! I was obviously talking to the miniature version of himself that's tied up inside his own head!
Roy: [exasperated] Can we just have a regular battle for once? How's that for an idea?
Elan: [cheerily] I'm lukeworm on it!
- There's also an amazing Anti-Climax when Belkar tries to invoke a Battle in the Center of the Mind for the Exarch vampire's original dwarven spirit... and it doesn't succeed, instead causing several panels of the Exarch vampire and Belkar awkwardly staring at each other, both parties getting increasingly exasperated with the other while both Roy and Elan fight the Death-Worm. Special mention should be given to Belkar awkwardly telling the Exarch's original spirit to "Feel at him."
- #1165: While the extended Thundershield family marches into the temple to thwart the vampires' plan, Durkon gets to speak with Kandro, and warns that he's not gonna be in the dwarven lands for long. Meanwhile, Thirden and his apprentice start quipping, and Kandro observes that on the road, he doesn't have to listen to bard jokes once a week... not knowing that one of Durkon's teammates is a bard with levels in Dashing Swordsman, who has to make bard jokes once a battle.Thirden: I guess this battle is starting to ramp up!
Jana: Ha ha, I'm inclined to agree, Master Squeaky!
Kandro: At least on tha road, ye dinnae hafta hear bard jokes once a week.
Durkon: Let's just... keep movin', aye?
- The Exarch accuses Durkon of stealing the High Priest's face, causing an annoyed Durkon to point out that it was his face long before the High Priest stole it.Exarch: You weren't using it anymore! Finder's keepers, fair and square!
Durkon: I liter'lly cannae think o' anythin' less fair than, "Someone kills ye an' gives yer stuff ta someone else!"
- Lets remember that Durkon is an adventurer in D&D, the principle game of "Kill people and take their stuff".
- The Death-worm is utterly confused by everything Kandro's saying in his thick accent, but is pretty sure he's being insulted.
- When the Death-worm eats Kandro, Haley and Blackwing are horrified. By contrast, the other dwarves are all ecstatic that he finally got a warrior's death.Blackwing: ...Dwarves are weird.
- Haley's confused expression sells it.
- The Exarch accuses Durkon of stealing the High Priest's face, causing an annoyed Durkon to point out that it was his face long before the High Priest stole it.
- One vampire questions how the Dwarf paladin talks the way he does (a white-on-blue speech bubble with stylized lettering), interrupting his heroic speech in the process.
- After the vampire then banishes the paladin to an "infinite pain-slope" (meaning, a dimension where he'll fall down a hill forever), he questions why Minrah is so upset, since they're all doomed when the gods destroy the world, so technically he's being spared this way.Vampire: The rest of you are going to die when the other gods destroy this world, while he'll at least roll forever on an infinite pain-slope.
Minrah: No, he won't, because we'll rescue him! And also the world isn't going to get destroyed! Which was sort of implied by my first statement because rescuing one dude wouldn't be as high a priority if the world was still at risk! The point is that there are several flaws in your scenario and you are bad!
- In #1168, the dwarven elders are so wrapped up in red tape that even though it's clear that half the council is dominated by vampires, they just decide to table a proposal to investigate the matter after the vote.
- In #1169, one of Durkon's cousins walks through a blade barrier to get at the Exarch, giving a heroic speech... and then Durkon casually dismisses the barrier and heals his cousin's wounds.Cousin: You'd think a cleric of Thor wouldn't need to steal his buddy's thunder like that.
Durkon: Sorry, Cousin. I usually try na to outshine tha party fighter, but I'm used ta workin' wit' a much stronger one!
Sigdi: Och, if ye boys cannae get along, so help me I will turn this battle around!
- Hel prepares to give Durkon a heart attack while the other gods are busy watching Dvalin's cleric, but Thor barges into her chamber to dispute the souls of dwarves that supposedly died in dishonor. Frustrated, Hel concedes to all of them just to get him to leave.Thor: And now I will leave, as promised- rather than, say, further distracting you by disputing every other previously uncontested death from the last century or so.
(Loki pushes in a file cabinet)
Loki: Hi, Pumpkin!note
- Thor stating that Millidren, who died of pneumonia cowering under her bed, was actually in a battle with her insecurities. Just wanting to get it over with, Hel basically says "Take her!" The happy "Whee!" by Millidren makes the scene hilarious.
- Thor having a feature length documentary ready to prove that abandoning his unit and getting shot in the back counts as the most honorable thing for one of the souls to do. In the same panel the condemned dwarf is smiling awkwardly during the gods' argument.Documentary host: The dictionary defines "courage" as...
- Hel prepares to give Durkon a heart attack while the other gods are busy watching Dvalin's cleric, but Thor barges into her chamber to dispute the souls of dwarves that supposedly died in dishonor. Frustrated, Hel concedes to all of them just to get him to leave.
- When Loki admits he's only doing this to stop Hel from cheating, she angrily points out that he cheats all the time. He counters by saying that he's not opposed to cheating in principle, he's just trying to stop her from cheating at the moment.Loki: It's hard to be a hypocrite when your guiding philosophy is, "Do whatever's best for you."
- Hel then says that if nothing else, her priests will be ready to deal with whatever Hilgya tries to do in the fight... and then it's shown that Hilgya's leaving the fight in preparation to grab her son and Plane Shift out if the heroes lose. Cut back to a confused Hel and proud Loki.Loki: I want to be mad, but her faith in my teachings is just so pure!
- When Loki admits he's only doing this to stop Hel from cheating, she angrily points out that he cheats all the time. He counters by saying that he's not opposed to cheating in principle, he's just trying to stop her from cheating at the moment.
- The clincher in Durkon's backup plan to prevent the vote from going through? A giant rock falls on the table, breaking it in two... and violating a passage in the rules that states that the meeting must be held at a table of one piece.Exarch: The... table?!?
Dwarf Clan Head: No table, no vote! The council stays suspended until we get a new one!
Other Dwarf Clan Head: Could take a while to find an oak that big, ha ha!
Sigdi: (To Exarch) Ye said it yerself: Yer master gave ye tha book o' procedures. 'E read it first, wit me boy livin' upstairs. Were ye really so dumb ta think fer one second tha ye could beat Durkon - Durkon, o' all the folks in this great big beaut'ful world - in a fight that revolved around followin' tha rules?!?
- The fact it's specified the table must be "fashioned from the corpse of a tree" is also a little chuckleworthy in itself.
- A bit of Fridge Hilarity, but with how honorable dwarves are, and their reaction to the question "would you let the gods destroy the world" being "Yes" for most of them, The High Priest Of Hel's interference may have been wholly unnecessary.
- With the suspension of the council, the law-runes don't zap people who break the law any more, meaning Durkon's entire family is free to charge in and dogpile the vampires.Priestess of Davlin: Should we... do something about this?
Councilor: Absolutely. I'll move to censure once we're back in session.
- After the Exarch is ash, Minrah just drags in the vampire she was fighting and flings her into the light.
- Following up on the last line from the previous page, Sigdi starts this one still describing Durkon's by-the-book nature:Sigdi: Och, instead o lettin' me hang 'is art on tha icebox, tha boy insist'd I post a copy o' local food safety ordinances!
- With the suspension of the council, the law-runes don't zap people who break the law any more, meaning Durkon's entire family is free to charge in and dogpile the vampires.
- The Order finally brings down the Death Worm, leading to this exchange:Belkar: So... did we kill it or what?
Roy: I don't know. It doesn't have eyes to have Xs in.
Death Worm vaporizes
Roy: OK, I officially declare that "good enough".
Elan: Adequacy achieved!
- Even better is Belkar getting a face full of smoke when the Death Worm disappears; in the next panel, he's wide-eyed with his tongue hanging out.
- Then there's the last panel, showing Hel's reaction to what's happened to her plans.Hel: Don't look at me like that! I still have one left!
Loki: You'd think a goddess of death would have better instincts about when to pull the plug.
- The Order finally brings down the Death Worm, leading to this exchange:
- #1178 features several low-key puns and jokes, fitting for a breather-strip.
- When curing Durkon's petrification, the two bards assisting him suddenly look like hippies bellowing "FREEDOM!". Why? Because Durkon has been "stoned".
- You know that break in the ceiling that Durkon used to stop the meeting and was later used to execute the Exarch Vampire? The bards used it as a spotlight for breaking the domination on the councilors.
- Durkon realizes that the bards dragged his heavy, rock, petrified body back to the Temple of Thor before curing him. They did this for no other reason than "it would be a better chapter break". It was Elan's suggestion.
- The bards call Elan a genius and he gets all modest and passive-aggressive by saying he only does what he can in a world "hostile to the performing arts". Belkar is standing next to him, confused.
- The treeslayers, them mounting a beaver and a woodpecker like they are the meanest of dwarves makes it even funnier.
- As it turns out, the clerics in the Godsmoot have been stuck there since the vote was moved, and will be stuck there until they get to vote again, which is implied will take a long time. Cut to the group of clerics having to manage with their spellcraft to carry on with their lives; while getting sustenance is fairly easy (even if one of them starts grousing about "mass-conjured pseudo-food"), they have to hang a woman from her ankles with a blindfold on and have her repeatedly cast Create Water behind a curtain to act as a shower.
- If you check near the exit stairs, you'll see the acting High Priestess of Hel pouting with her arms crossed. Since she doesn't need any of this stuff, she's even more bored than the rest of them!*
- Roy's reaction when Minrah basically outright threatens him into letting her come along with the team.
- While giving Minrah a hour to pack her stuff before they leave for the airship, Belkar convinces Roy to kill time the Dwarven way. Cut to the two of them and a bunch of dwarves getting drunk, with V giving them an arched eyebrow.Roy: What? I learned to listen to party member suggestions, remember? It's the wrappy-uppy hugs-and-kisses part anyway. It's fine.
- Sigdi doesn't want Durkon to regenerate her missing arm yet, and while the argument itself is emotional it turns out that the whole thing was a stall until Minrah could come back, thus prompting the Order to continue their adventure.
- Durkon is frustrated. The dwarf who shows endless patience with his chaotic ex-lover and argued a vampire into becoming a copy of himself is frustrated by this argument with his mother. She is happy that they will continue when he comes back because she "didn't raise a quitter".
- A drunk Roy calls their ride the "Float Boat".Belkar: All boats float. That's a terrible nickname.
Roy: Zip it.
- Sigdi passive-aggressively ensuring that she and Hilgya stay in the same place for the foreseeable future.Durkon: (Whispering) If'n it all starts shakin', grab Ma b'fore ye shift outta here.
Hilgry: (Whispering) I would say that I'm not going to spend one moment looking for her, but she's going to be in line of sight the entire time, isn't she?
Durkon: (Whispering) It's good tha yer really gettin' ta know 'er, aye.
- When they leave Firmament, Roy has to go back to hand over his empty pint.
- A drunk Roy calls their ride the "Float Boat".
- Dwarven beer in your system + thinner air at high altitudes = your Alcohol-Induced Idiocy gaining a level.Roy: We're all here and then some, Commander Neckerchief. Choo choo! Let's get this airship on the road!
Belkar: That's a train noise, and neither trains nor airships drive on roads!
Bandana: Have you been drinkin'?
Roy: An excellent question. The answer might surprise you.
Bandana: Is the answer "yes"?
Roy: I said might.
- Captain Bandana on airship travel.Mateo: What course are we taking, Captain?
Bandana: It's the North Pole. Follow the compass, and if it suddenly flips around, you went too far.
- Dwarven beer in your system + thinner air at high altitudes = your Alcohol-Induced Idiocy gaining a level.
- Roy attempts to give one of his "Leader Speeches" while still drunk. It says something that Elan, who attempted to give one of these in Azure City and failed, is the one who manages to put a positive spin on it.
- Another Call-Back of over 1100 strips. Haley notes that Roy never got any sleep because he couldn't trust anyone in the group.Belkar: That was because of us? I just thought he had an undiagnosed medical condition.
- Elan attempts to bring Minrah up-to-date on the story so far, with a bit of chuckleworthy Self-Deprecation regarding the first book.Elan: -and then Haley says, "No, we should go up a level!"
Minrah: I don't get it.
Elan: Yeah, a lot of that early stuff doesn't hold up.
- Durkon heals the Sphinx Pox outbreak Hel unleashed on the Mechane... and apparently doesn't tell anyone that that's what he's doing until he's done, having forgotten that he hadn't told anyone about it.
- Roy apparently passed out with his hands in his Bag of Tricks... and the critters decide to tuck him in rather than give him trouble.
- Elan attempts to bring Minrah up-to-date on the story so far, with a bit of chuckleworthy Self-Deprecation regarding the first book.
- In #1190, Belkar wakes up as the Mechane nears the North Pole and Elan tells him that Roy sent V and Haley to scout ahead invisibly. Elan says he would have gone too, but it's too cold to take his clothes off.
- Elan then tells Belkar that he's staring off into the distance to pass the time by "contemplating the road we've traveled".
- #1192: Seems like Julia inherited some traits from her father. When Roy informs her that her advanced Sending spell will need to work independently of the Blood Oath at some point because a) Xykon may be killed, or b) Roy may be killed, she comments on the latter:Julia: I could still use your corpse. It'd be a half-step down from your usual conversational wit, but I doubt my teachers would notice.
Roy: Oh, there you are, Dad. I didn't notice you hiding in my sister's entire personality like that.
- 1193: Julia's line in the last panel is worth a chuckle.Roy: I guess so, while we wait. If I'm at the point where I'm considering suggestions from Belkar, I might as well.
Julia: Great! Who's Belkar?
- 1194: Minrah and Belkar's conversation has plenty of good moments:
- At the start, when they're discussing strategy:Minrah: I don't think Roy really knows what to do with me yet.
Belkar: Yeah, but Roy needed to go to college to figure out what to do with a sword.
- When telling Belkar she didn't listen to people who said she didn't have what it took to be a cleric, she then clarifies that she did listen otherwise she wouldn't have heard them, but she just ignored them. Then she tells him that if anyone tries to tell him he can't be better than he is, he should punch them in the face... before admitting that's an overreaction.Minrah: Screw the haters!
Belkar: Preach it, sister!
Minrah: I already am, because I'm a cleric!
- They both admit how annoying it is having to look up at their companions all the time.
- At the start, when they're discussing strategy:
- 1195: Eugene's opinion of the gods is that they're "fancy alien wizards who figured out how to crowdsource their magic"; Roy considers it the only good lesson the old man taught him.Roy: [T]he gods don't deserve any special deference just because they're powerful. If they can judge us based on our actions, we should be treating them according to their own.
Julia: Huh. Seems like he would have been better served long-term by teaching you to never question the authority of those who created you.
Roy: Oh, it totally backfired on him personally, but it was still a good lesson.
- 1196: Vaarsuvius apparently has a cantrip that flavors things. In fact, itís one of the explicitly permitted uses of the Prestidigitation cantrip - which is very useful for minor utility. On the other hand, the fact that Belkar (who knows less about spells than pretty much everyone else in the Order) knows about it implies that V uses it frequently — or, more likely with Belkar having feats in Gourmet Cooking, it's the one magic spell he's familiar with.
- 1197: When Vaarsuvius uses a spell to show Roy the terrain surrounding the tomb where the last gate is located, he asks if the dramatic orchestral music he's hearing was something they heard.Vaarsuvius: That is not originating from my illusion.
Elan: Look, your spell can tell him how big it is, but only my spell can tell him how to feel about it.
- Minrah, being the new member, is a little confused when O-Chul and Lien are mentioned.Minrah: Who are these people again?
Belkar: More humans. Uptight bald dude and blue hair chick.
Minrah: Oh, right. The paladins.
- Roy makes a plan to rescue the paladins if possible. If not, the attack will just be the six of them, which he quickly amends to seven to include Minrah. Then an angry Blackwing and Mr. Scruffy remind everyone that they're involved too. Made particularly amusing in how Mr. Scruffy's anger implies that he was fully aware of what Roy was saying and knew enough to understand him being snubbed.Roy: (annoyed) Just the non-paladin, non-pirate personnel, irrespective of final quantity. OK? Sheesh.
Blackwing: Oh, no- We're mad about the "extra hands" comment. Kinda primate-centric, don't you think?
- Minrah, being the new member, is a little confused when O-Chul and Lien are mentioned.
- Only a few pages after Julia shows off her WIP Greater Sending, Durkon tries to use the base version... and reminds us just why Julia's was so much better.Durkon: Och, nothin', lad. No response.
Roy: And there's no way to tell if they're dead or just unconscious? note
Durkon: Or on 'nuther plane, or blocked by magic.
Roy: Damn it.
- Roy tells Bandanna to leave the area an hour after the Order departs the ship. As for why he's not telling her to leave right away:Roy: I'd have you leave immediately but I want to leave some wiggle room in case Elan forgets his pants or something.
Elan: Oooo, good thinking, Roy.
- As the Order prepares to leave the ship, Elan announces that everyone should resolve any "long-simmering subplots" with members of the crew before they go. Cue two random crew members having a Love Confession and making out on the spot, leaving Roy staring in confusion and Bandanna arching an eyebrow.Elan: OK, um, I meant more like, between one of us and one of... No, you know what? Good for you, get it while it's hot.
- In the last panel (as a Call-Back to this strip) this happens:O'aka XXIII: Would anyone like to buy a basic potion?
- Roy tells Bandanna to leave the area an hour after the Order departs the ship. As for why he's not telling her to leave right away:
- Blackwing and Haley astonished that O'aka is selling potions for the regular price... Blackwing angry because he's not giving them a sale because it could be the end of the the Universe — and Haley confused because he's not going to price-gouge them because it could be the end of the Universe.
- Another shot by Vaarsuvius at Elan:Elan: (talking about Wind Walk) Isn't this great? I feel all light and fluffy, and everything goes right through me and out the other side.
Vaarsuvius: It must be so refreshing for your outer form to finally align so perfectly with your inner self.
- As the Order of the Stick parts, they go straight ahead, but suddenly one of them starts to make pirouettes:Elan: Haha, Haley, what are you doing? You're gonna crash into me!
Haley: I'm trying to mingle all our cloudstuff together.
Elan: Oh, good idea! Our gall bladders barely know each other!
Belkar: Ugh, Get a Room!
- #1203: Hinjo apparently once tried to teach Elan how to play Go, with expected results.Elan: It went on like that for an hour and a half.
- Which continues into the next strip:Elan: Then he told me that I had to go, and that took another twenty-five minutes.
- Which continues into the next strip:
- If you were paying attention above, you'll be slightly less surprised when Roy asks Durkon to... use True Seeing for... Um.Roy: Has anyone... seen Durkon?
(cut to Durkon approaching Readcloak and a bemasked bugbear)
- What makes it even funnier is the fact that it shows how Lawful Durkon is. Roy told him not to contact Redcloak through Sending so as to not give away their element of surprise. Instead, Durkon approached Redcloak in person.
- Durkon and Redcloak meet, and it takes a little while before Durkon can get it through Redcloak's paranoid head that he's there on behalf of Thor.Durkon: Did ye think ye were gonna threaten all the heavens an' na one o' tha gods would send a mess'nger ta talk ye outta it?
Redcloak: No... I actually didn't. I was just really expecting someone taller, with a halo. Maybe some feathery wings.
Durkon: An' I was expectin' ta go me whole life witout haf'in ta wipe goblin spit outta me beard, but life's full o' l'il surprises, aye?
- The strip starts with a wonderful example of Mundane Utility: Redcloak invites Durkon to "come inside" to talk, but Durkon insists that they stay out in the open and talk right there. But that's no reason for them to be uncomfortable while they talk, so he uses Wall of Stone to create a table and chairs. Redcloak notes that a chair of typical height for a Small-sized creature is a bit too tall for a Medium-sized creature, so he uses Stone Shape to lower it to a comfortable height.
- Redcloak is shocked to learn that Thor spoke to Durkon directly, his own god having never done so with him.Durkon: Well, I'm sure 'e's just... ye know, busy. Wit work an' stuff.
Redcloak: I know. I try to give him his space.
Durkon: 'E prob'bly just wants ta take things slow. See how they go.
Redcloak: I've been his high priest for 35 years.
Durkon: ...Mebbe 'e dinnae want ta ruin the friendship?
- 1207: When trying to convince Redcloak that the gods are willing to destroy the world to stop the Snarl, he states that they'd do it without blinking... leading to a brief debate over whether or not gods even need to blink. And when Redcloak later starts gloating about how the Plan makes the gods nervous, Durkon tries to switch back to said debate as a change of topic.
- The following strip opens with Redcloak still going on about this, to Durkon's frustration.
- When Redcloak says he wants equality, Durkon points out that that leaves room for specifics. As an example, he notes that he and Redcloak have a different number of eyes, which can be fixed by either healing Redcloak's missing eye or poking out one of Durkon's. He also adds the possibility of instead giving Redcloak a magic monocle that gives him super vision.
- When Redcloak complains about the Fantastic Racism he and his kind suffer because they have green skin and fangs;Redcloak: And don't say, "What about orcs?" The only reason they're allowed everywhere is that humans keep having babies with them!
- Redcloack accuses Durkon of not knowing what it's like to do without or struggle. Durkon, who grew up in poverty with his single mom, doesn't feel like correcting Redcloak but his expression says it all.
- Durkon is utterly confused when Redcloak tells him that the goblin-conquered lands around Azure City are now called "Gobbotopia".Redcloak: We had a whole contest for the name. Just be glad it beat out "Hobgobbostan" and "The Goblin's Republic of Goblins".
- While Minrah's rescue in #1210 is an Awesome Moment, there's something humorous about the defaced dwarf statue's "reaction".
- Win Conditions: Redcloak still thinks the Dark One can make things better for goblins in the next world if the gods or the Snarl destroys the current one.Minrah: Durkon, did you forget to mention the thing with his god not surviving the gap to the next world?!
Durkon: I dinnae think it matter'd one 'e start'd talkin' aboot goblin welfare! How were I suppos'd ta know 'e'd be willin' ta get 'em all kill'd anyway!?
Minrah: Great, that's just great. He's not gonna believe us now if we explain-
Durkon: (while fighting an animated statue) If'n yer na gonna use tha hammer right now I would like it back please thank ye!
- Hypocritical Hit reveals that Oona has been standing and watching the entire time, but didn't get involved because she didn't want to interrupt the spirited exchange of ideas.Oona: Giant woman is bringing interesting point of view to table. What is left of table.
Redcloak: Have you been standing there the whole time? Why aren't you attacking?
Oona: Oona did not want to be interrupting spirited exchanging of ideas. Very similar to classic bugbear debate technique, with the hitting and the yelling and the more hitting.
Greyview: Words are just pretty hat we put on ugly truths.
Oona: Yes, but sometimes? Very pretty.
- Additionally, when Durkon points out how the next world could be devoid of humanoids in general, Redcloak's hesitation as he goes through a brief Didn't Think This Through is pretty funny in its own way.
- Oona smacks Minrah with her maces at the same instant as the Thor's Might spell wears off, leaving Minrah shrinking back down while she recoils. Oona and Greyview assume she did it.Oona: Giant woman is becoming small?? Oona is surprise Oona is having the power of shrinky-dinking now!
Greyview: Way indignities of life diminish us all... usually not so literal.
Redcloak: I mean, you've both been having the same effect on my patience since about eight minutes after we met.
Oona: True, true.
- Just the fact that Minrah shrinking is one of the few things that's ever made Greyview change his facial expression, however slightly.
- The next strip has another zinger from Oona.Oona: Okie Dokie, Oona is doing the thing! (throws a jar of bugs at Durkon and Minrah).
- Present Company Included:
- How do you escape from an undead sorcerer? If you're Durkon, the answer is "Hammer to the face". (The sorcerer's, of course).
- Upon being warned that the dwarves are warded against negative energy attacks, Xykon decides to check if they're also protected against fire with a Maximized Fireball. The final three panels are of Xykon and Redcloak looking down the cliff;(BOOM!)
Xykon: Yeah, guess so. Man, clerics are just the worst.
- Redcloak's expression really sells it. Props to Burlew: with a single line, most of which overlaps with the band of the eyepatch, the goblin's annoyance is instantly recognizable. He can definitely hear the unspoken strip title.
- Oona using her tracking skills. Her friendliness doesn't stop at living beings.Oona: Hello tracks! What are you saying Oona today? We are loving you so much, Miss Oona! Ha ha, besides that little tracks. Besides that.
- Xykon regretting that they didn't swap Redcloak with Jirix when they had two goblin clerics in the party.
- Redcloak suggests that Xykon just dispel the dwarves' wards instead of trying to deduce what they haven't warded by trial and error, with lightning damage being his next proposition. Xykon points out the spell level he needs for Superb Dispelling is Too Awesome to Use on a pair of random dwarves... after he points out that giant lightning bolts are cool.
- When Durkon and Minrah come back out, they find Greyview lying in wait outside the door; after stopping him from raising an immediate alarm, the dwarves are left hoping they can get back to Roy before the worg reaches his master.Minrah: Don't suppose we have time for some healing spells.
Durkon: It'll be better ta just run, if'n ye can keep goin'.
Minrah: Because we'd need to stop to cast them?
Durkon: Aye. But also, in case Roy wants ta murder us for this. Na sense makin' it harder fer tha lad.
- The dwarves meet with the rest of the party, and with Xykon and Redcloak coming for them any time soon, Roy doesn't know whether to follow Haley's advice (hide, wait for their spells to expire and then come out for them) or Vaarsuvius' (attack them as soon as possible before they have time to prepare for a fight)... so he turns to Elan to ask him if they are in a climactic moment to have the final battle. Elan says no, so Roy picks Haley's suggestion.Minrah: I love how this team listens to each other and works together.
Belkar: That's only 'cause we tried every other option first.
Elan: Wait, has anyone here experienced dramatic catharsis in the last five or ten minutes? That would change my answer!
- While Haley tries to bypass a trap so they can cross through one of the doors, Durkon and Minrah point out that Oona and her wolf could easily track the door they are using. Belkar states he will erase their trail.Roy: You can... do that?
Belkar: What, you think I learned how to track for my own noble self-enrichment? A lot of law enforcement agencies use dogs, Roy!
- #1220: V gives everyone a Telepathic Bond so that they can communicate without being overheard. As this also subjects them to Blackwing's stream of consciousness, V admits there are drawbacks.
- Haley preemptively triggers a boobytrap using a dead rat's skull, to Roy's confusion as to why she'd have one. Apparently she keeps a lot of stuff in her bags of holding and tells Roy not to question it. Even funnier, that skull is Quippie, Kandro's deceased pet osquip preserved as a skull. It appeared in a bonus comic of Utterly Dwarfed.
- Blackwing playacting as a Film Noir-styled detective alone on a long stakeout, much to V's annoyance.Vaarsuvius: I cannot sigh telepathically, so I invite you to simply imagine me doing so.
- Team Evil's arguing, as usual.Redcloak: But it doesn't make sense.
Xykon: You say that about everything!
Greyview: Life is senseless. So is death.
Xykon: See? The dog knows what's up.
- When Blackwing warns them, everyone with prep spells puts them on (although we don't catch Minrah's incantation).Vaarsuvius: (on self) Stoneskin.
Durkon: (on group) Mass Death Ward.
Elan: (on Haley) Heroism! I mean, Heroine-ism!
- Blackwing playacting as a Film Noir-styled detective alone on a long stakeout, much to V's annoyance.
- Xykon opens the door that leads to where the Order is hiding, Roy makes a short speech about making Xykon pay... and Xykon ignores him while telling the goblins to hurry up, because "there might be cool stuff to murder".Xykon: Doo doo do doo...
Roy: ...Is this some sort of avant-garde version of the thing where you don't remember who I am?
Belkar: What is he talking about? You have a big ass glowing sword, you're totally cool to murder!
Elan: I don't know, he's already been there, done that. Kinda played out at this point.
- Xykon decides to go ahead and Roy tries to attack him, but the sword vanishes when it crosses the line (returning when he pulls out the sword) and Xykon appears to be disintegrated, followed by Oona, Redcloak and Greyview.Belkar: (to Elan) If all the main villains just disintegrated themselves walking across a line on the floor, I don't want to hear about narrative structure from you ever again!
- Xykon opens the door that leads to where the Order is hiding, Roy makes a short speech about making Xykon pay... and Xykon ignores him while telling the goblins to hurry up, because "there might be cool stuff to murder".
- Belkar is still complaining about the anti-climactic way Team Evil seemed to have been done in:Belkar: It's like we fought our way to the dragon's lair and it turns out whoops, he slipped in the tub and broke his neck.
Roy: Will you shut up? They're not dead. That would be too convenient.
Elan: Plus, if that happened, it would turn out they weren't even the main villains and were working for someone even worse all along.
- Blackwing's Not What I Signed on For attitude towards checking the tunnel Xykon and company just entered.Blackwing: Fine, but I want hazard pay for this. Exact number of additional shinies to be determined at a later date.
- After Roy sees that the portal sends him to a dead end:Roy: Blackwing, get back out to your hiding spot before Xykon sees you.
Blackwing: (already in his hiding spot) Right, right. Yes, of course. Because I am definitely still in the Doom Tunnel with the Kill Skeleton, waiting for permission to fly out. Which I will do now. Flap, flap, flap, flap.
- Belkar is still complaining about the anti-climactic way Team Evil seemed to have been done in:
- Belkar approves of Roy's plan to ambush Team Evil.Belkar: I love when you talk fighting dirty to me.
- The Order decide to put rescuing the paladins on hold until they deal with Xykon, with them agreeing that the paladins would want them to do so. Cut to the imprisoned paladins, with Lien telling a nonplussed-looking O-Chul that they just need to wait for help to come.
- Belkar approves of Roy's plan to ambush Team Evil.
- This absolute gem of a page-opener.O-Chul: [I feel] like I have been severely poisoned and am only now shaking it off.
Lien: Good. That's what happened to you, so at least you don't feel any worse than that.
- Lien and O-Chul continue their paladin-off from strip 1031, this time comparing... how they handled captivity.Lien: Eh, we should probably just call this round a draw.
O-Chul: It is tricky to compare our Heroic Resolve without accidentally highlighting how we keep getting captured.
- This absolute gem of a page-opener.
- The strip has some Gallows Humor, as Xykon chuckles when blasting Serini: "Look, I made a three-eighthling!"
- Serini Trolling (Accidental Pun) Lien and O-Chul:Lien: So, you'll let us go?
Serini: Ha, ha, no! Good to know how no matter how old you get, you never really forget how to lie to a paladin!
- #1228 has O-Chul realizing that he can't promise he would never destroy a gate because he would have had Xykon not paralyzed him back in #448. Serini then asks if he'll agree to an oath saying that he'd suffer if it turned out someone else used his katana to destroy a Gate; Miko used his katana to destroy Soon's Gate.
- "Technically Still Changes Minds":
- The strip reveals that Thor's ring tone is, appropriately enough, "Hammer".
- It gets better. In this case, it is coming from a Main Character; Main Character's Hammer.
- Even better? In lieu of a cell phone, Thor has a deva who flies up singing the ring tone to him.
- This exchange:Durkon: I get tha it's import'nt ta get 'im ta go along ev'n fer a moment, but ye cannae truly change someone's mind by hittin' 'em.
Thor: Yeah, that's true. We tried a world once where you could do that, by the way. Started out great, but turns out it's a huge advantage for the bad guys over the long run.
Odin: Now everyone just gets concussions!
- As the strip title points out, a concussion is still technically changing someone's mind.
- The strip reveals that Thor's ring tone is, appropriately enough, "Hammer".
- We learn the true origin of the goblin race, and it is darkly hilarious in context. They weren't intentionally created to be fodder for adventurers. They were created by the Northern god of monsters Fenris, who thinks an Explosive Breeder race will overwhelm the setting. Then he lost interest when this didn't happen immediately and turned his attention to other monsters. This current crisis with the Snarl, the possibility of locking it away forever, and the entire campaign that this webcomic is based on, is founded in one god with a short attention span. Basically, this entire world's fate is because of one particularly Jerkass God acting like a Civilization gamer who got bored with a certain strategy.
- Even funnier - this isn't the first time he's tried this strategy. Thor says he does it every time the gods make a fantasy setting, and it never works. So he got bored with a strategy that he's already tried a zillion times, and only made the most minor of possible changes for each iteration, like how this time, goblins are now Medium-sized (human-sized).
- Thor explains the food-chain to Durkon as a way of explaining how the goblins are not a Cosmic Plaything - plants eat sunlight, animals eat plants, humanoids eat the animals, "and then the worms eat everyone". He could mean small mundane worms eating everyone's corpses, but he could also mean the gargantun Purple Worms, which can and do eat everyone.
- Thor muttering "Ugh, how does [Durkon] still never prepare the right spells?", a Call-Back to #733 and #837.
- Finally, there's this delightful exchange between Minrah and Durkon after he's done communing with Thor:Minrah: Did [Thor] mention me at all? [Durkon glares at her] Don't give me that look, obviously the mission is more important which is why I asked about it first.
Durkon: 'E said I should try ta na get ye imploded.
Minrah: OK, see? A divine commandment mandating my personal safety is the sort of thing I really need to know about if I'm going to rub it in everyone's faces when I get home.
- We learn the true origin of the goblin race, and it is darkly hilarious in context. They weren't intentionally created to be fodder for adventurers. They were created by the Northern god of monsters Fenris, who thinks an Explosive Breeder race will overwhelm the setting. Then he lost interest when this didn't happen immediately and turned his attention to other monsters. This current crisis with the Snarl, the possibility of locking it away forever, and the entire campaign that this webcomic is based on, is founded in one god with a short attention span. Basically, this entire world's fate is because of one particularly Jerkass God acting like a Civilization gamer who got bored with a certain strategy.
- In 1233, Durkon jabs Roy with his tendency to use Talking Is a Free Action:Roy: Though in my defense, it's hard to discuss these things with someone who's charging you with an axe.
Durkon: Aye, aye, if thar's one thing anyone could say aboot Roy Greenhilt, it's tha he's nev'r manag'd ta fight an' talk at tha same time.
Roy: No, it's not that. It's just—
Durkon: 'E never, say, deeply interrogat'd a vampire's inner motivations while swordfightin' wit' 'im on tha floor o' tha Godsmoot.
- #1235: A bored Elan tries to get some telepathic conversation with the other party members.
- When he comes to Minrah, he offers to help her get some Character Development in.Elan: Do you have any painful episodes from your past you want to bring up?
Minrah: (confused) What? No, why would I...
Elan: I don't know, I thought you might want to get some light character development in before the fighting starts. The rest of us had six whole books' worth of growth already. Seven, if you count a prequel!
Minrah: Uh, no. I'm fine. Thanks.
- V tries their best to shut the conversation down before it starts.Vaarsuvius: Given that my entire function within this endeavor is predicated on the robustness of my cognitive response, occupying my brain with unnecessary telepathic conversation is the equivalent of borrowing Sir Greenhilt's sword to peel potatoes.
Elan: Hey, that was a long time ago!
Vaarsuvius: True, and the ensuing meal was excellent, but the analogy still stands.
- Elan resolves to keep all his thoughts to himself and not share them with anyone, and the look on his face as he visibly struggles to do so is hilarious.Elan: How does anyone live like this?!?
- When he comes to Minrah, he offers to help her get some Character Development in.
- Elan goes chasing after his lute which was grabbed by an invisible character (undoubtedly Serini).note Elan: Lutey?? Did you come to life to talk to me? ... Oh my gods, can I cast Wish now??? (The lute floats away) No, wait! Where are you going? I'm sorry, whatever I did!
Minrah: Is anyone else seeing this?
Haley: What? Elan, wait! Stop!
Roy: Elan, we need to stick together!
Elan: Listen to Roy, Lutey! Now's not the time to explore a solo career!!
Roy: Elan, you can't —
Elan: It's OK, Roy. I know I can't go recklessly chasing after my lute because this is important and there are lives at stake. I'll just wish him well in his future endeavors. (Elan becomes Dominated) On the other hand, friends don't let friends make bad creative choices, so I'm going to go recklessly chasing after him.
- After Elan then runs off into unknown territory, Belkar sides with Haley on going after him, citing previous experience.Belkar: [...]Last time one of us ran off into a dungeon by themselves, it didn't turn out so hot.
Durkon: Och, ain't tha true.
- Elan goes chasing after his lute which was grabbed by an invisible character (undoubtedly Serini).note
- Even when Dominated by a superior intelligence, subtlety is not Elan's strong suit.Elan: I'm over here! You should follow me! Into this cave! This cave over here!
Haley: Not, uh...not exactly the most cunningly crafted trap, huh?
Roy: I imagine the raw materials they're using are affecting the quality of the finished product.
- For bonus points, Elan resembles a hand puppet, behaving like Banjo.
- Even when Dominated by a superior intelligence, subtlety is not Elan's strong suit.
- In #1238, Serini is upset her beholder mountnote is being too friendly:Sunny: Hi! My name is Sunny!
Serini: Don't tell them your name! We're trying to be intimidating!
Sunny: Oh, sorry. Mom says I'm not supposed to tell you my —
Serini: Don't call me Mom when we're working!!
- Just the fact that a halfling is able to boss around a beholder is hilarious in itself (not to mention just a little bit awesome).
- Elan still remains Genre Savvy:Haley: Can we at least get a light? I can't return fire if I can't see.
Minrah: Not unless one of you is still carrying a torch around.
Elan: (panicked) No, we already resolved our unrequited romance subplot!
- Belkar then gets upset about the Anti-Magic effect ruining an exciting moment:Belkar: I have in this bag an endless well of raw unbridled fury that's only being held in check by a single spell. But if we're in anti-magic, it should nullify that spell and turn him back into a raging death-beast! (pulls out Bag of Holding) Behold, the terrifying return of Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator! Reveal your true power, my saurian friend! Kill! KILL! (nothing happens) Where... Where'd he go?
Haley: Belkar, it's a magical Bag of Holding. You can't take anything out of it when there's no magic!
Belkar: Are you kidding me?!? That would've been an amazing Splash Panel!!
Elan: That's the downside of hybrid genres like action-comedy. Sometimes where you're expecting one, you get the other.
Haley: (dodging crossbow bolts) Unnh!!
Elan: Great example, Haley!
- Elan still remains Genre Savvy:
- #1240: Elan making Sunny tear up by talking about how sand can irritate eyes in the desert. Sunny closes her eye just long enough for Haley to get a Fire Arrow out of her Bag of Holding — but Belkar didn't catch on to what Elan was doing til too late.Belkar: Yeah, great, but I didn't figure it out fast enough to grab Bloodfeast, so I'm going to need you to do to a monologue about cutting onions. Chop chop, let's go.
- #1241: As the party suffer the effects of Sunny's eyestalk beams, we have this:Elan: (Charm ray) You know what's just two syllables? "We surrender."
Belkar: (Fear ray) We're all gonna die before I get a chance to make fun of you for that!!
- Then there's Mr. Scruffy attacking a panicked Belkar after being struck by a Rage ray. The funniest part is that we've seen Mr. Scruffy disembowel someone in the gladiatorial arena before, and here it comes across more like particularly aggressive playfighting.
- In "Area of Affect", Bloodfeast manages to wake Minrah up by biting her hand, resulting in her giving a Waking Non Sequitur:Minrah: No, Captain, I wasn't asleep at my post, and night school definitely isn't impacting my job...performance. No, wait. I finished that already.
- Minrah casts calm emotions on a fear-enchanted Belkarnote , suddenly making him as serene as Mr. Spock.Belkar: (unemotional) Oh, my cat seems to be attempting to dismember me. (Beat) I am indifferent to this turn of events.
Minrah: Well, at least you're not mad. Go put your magic clasp on Elan.
Belkar: (unemotional) I will do that because I am perfectly fine with being told what to do.
Elan: (charmed) Hi, Belkar. Are you still fighting, or have you decided to lie down and give up?
Belkar: (unemotional) Meh.
Elan: (charmed) That's a great start! Why don't we—?
(Belkar puts his Protection from Evil anti-compulsion brooch on Elan, freeing him from Sunny's Charm ray)
Elan: Oh! Belkar, your little brooch doodad broke the Charm!!
Belkar: (stares silently at Elan, still unemotional)
Elan: Don't worry, now I can help Vaarsuvius!
Belkar: (unemotional) I'm not worried.
Belkar: (unemotional) I have no strong feelings one way or the other.
Elan: Wow, that's the most encouraging you've ever been!
Belkar: (unemotional) I suppose.
Elan: Ha, ha, you're just bursting with an absence of negativity, aren't you? I'll do my best to live up to your tepid indifference!
- In a Funny Background Event, Bloodfeast keeps Mr. Scruffy from attacking Belkar by biting him on his tail, and by the last panel he attacks Bloodfeast's tail right back.note
- There's also something quietly amusing in this strip that despite not yet being transformed back into a huge destructive Allosaurus, Bloodfeast still manages to be incredibly useful to the Order here.
- Minrah casts calm emotions on a fear-enchanted Belkarnote , suddenly making him as serene as Mr. Spock.
- When Haley starts using her Climbing feat to go up a wall, Sunny complains, "Ugh, hands and feet are so overpowered!"note
- Also, Sunny and Serini arguing about incapacitation tactics.Serini: Can't you turn her to stone?
Sunny: Mom! She'd shatter into a million pieces if she fell from up here.
Serini: We have glue at home.
- Haley resisting Sunny's charm orders to let go of Serini by exploiting what Elan refers to as "barely plausible loopholes", such as acting like she doesn't know for sure that the invisible person she's struggling with is her, or stretching the definition of "let go" to include emotional attachment (which even she admits is a stretch).Serini: (invisible) Get off me!!
Haley: (Twitchy Eye) Quiet, unidentified creature.
- It turns out that yes, V's Sendings over the past few weeks have been reaching Serini, leading to a montage of her receiving their messages at multiple inconvenient times, including while on the toilet.Serini: I'm not exactly on a high-fiber diet up here, you know! At my age, a girl's gotta focus!
Belkar: Our elders really do hold the wisdom of our people.
- Haley resisting Sunny's charm orders to let go of Serini by exploiting what Elan refers to as "barely plausible loopholes", such as acting like she doesn't know for sure that the invisible person she's struggling with is her, or stretching the definition of "let go" to include emotional attachment (which even she admits is a stretch).
- The strip has Belkar suffering the worst indignity yet — having potpourri thrown in his face.Belkar: Why would anyone keep awful little death packets like that around the house??
Vaarsuvius: To provoke this exact reaction from you, personally. Henceforth, at least.
- Serini seems to be a fan of M*A*S*H, naming her piercer "Franklin".
- The strip has Belkar suffering the worst indignity yet — having potpourri thrown in his face.
- #1246: Elan trying to use his 18 Charisma to politely ask Sunny to let him help his friends chase Serini.Elan: Hey, sorry, can I scooch past you for one sec?
Sunny: Oh, sorry, yeah, no problem. Let me just — Wait! That's what you want me to do!
Sunny: I will not fall for your clever word games, trickster!!
- #1247: V is ensnared by a lurker.Belkar: Hold your breath while I peel this thing off you. (Beat) It won't help, but I need a break from your voice.
- Belkar in #1248 being Genre Savvy enough to stab the floor, assuming after being attacked by the roof, they'd be attacked by the floor. True enough, he stabs a trapper.
- Belkar feeling the need to explain his battlecry:Belkar: Fire in the hole! (Beat) Meaning me. I'm the fire.
- When Haley, Belkar and V unexpectedly arrive in Serini's hideout, O-Chul reassures Lien they're in good hands.Lien: Should we be worried it's only half the team?
O-Chul: (grinning broadly) No, no. I've done this before with just the wizard. Five stars, would be rescued again.
- Belkar feeling the need to explain his battlecry:
- Lien settles the Mexican Standoff between Haley and Serini with her shark familiar.Lien: Razor, go! (Throws Poké Ball)
Serini: (confused and oblivious to the Great White Shark lunging at her from behind) What's a "ray-zergo"?
- Even funnier because she maintains the "send out your paladin mount from a Poké Ball" Running Gag... except she's still shackled. In the previous strip, Serini thought Lien was trying to make an escape attempt — no, she was searching for her Poké Ball after all.
- Also counts as meta-Awesome for Burlew, who has cleverly managed to keep Lien's right hand - and thus the Poké Ball - out of view without anyone (in- or out-of-universe) the wiser.
- In Bite Sized:
- Belkar reacts to Razor swallowing Serini whole with a Call-Back:
- Vaarsuvius pointedly observes that a large beast consuming the enemy is a fairly satisfying conclusion. Belkar, who tried and failed to invoke Bloodfeast's true form earlier, angrily yells at V to shut up.
- Lien notes that sharks disgest things very slowly, and Serini has regenerative powers. O-Chul makes his own Call-Back.Lien: Everyone shut up, Serini's not dead. She's part troll, she can regenerate pretty much anything.
O-Chul: Well, except fire or acid.
Lien: Sharks don't have fire or acid!
O-Chul: You'd be surprised.
- Belkar continues to regard Serini as a Cool Old Lady:Haley: Belkar, I need your help! Stop holding back and grapple her!
Belkar: I keep getting distracted by her old-timey insults! They remind me of my grandma!
Serini: Listen, kid: You don't owe these overgrown gahoots the time of day. (winking) I got plenty of jingle-jangle stashed. Show some halfling solidarity and I'll let you get your beak wet in the process.
Belkar: (genuinely concerned) She even incites betrayal the way Grannie Bitterleaf did!
Belkar: It would be disrespectful to the elderly to not at least haggle the price a little!
- Tied Up Nicely has Serini annoyed about Sunny's trusting the Order.Serini: Ugh, Sunny. Why do you have to be so trusting?
Sunny: But... you raised me to be trusting.
Serini: I didn't expect you to trust me on it! Do as I imply, not as I say or do!
- Catching Up:
- Belkar doesn't hold Mr. Scruffy getting hit with a rage ray against him because having your mind altered by magic "happens to the best of us. Like, a lot. Way too often." The guilty look on Mr. Scruffy's face continues to make him a Ridiculously Cute Critter.
- Meanwhile, Roy tries introducing himself to Serini and the Order's mission, but since Haley already did that she gives him snippy retorts.Roy: Wow, yeah, how inconsiderate of me, getting knocked unconscious and missing all of the expository fight banter. I really had some nerve. That you hit. With nerve venom.
Serini: Ridiculous! Venom comes from an animal, that was a toxin!
- In #1254 Serini's Circular Reasoning is driving Roy nuts. In the meantime:Elan: I hope you're not mad that we're keeping your mom tied up while we're talking, Sunny.
Sunny: Nah, it's safer for you. Mom has the tendency to bonk people on the head with her staff when she thinks she's made a good point.
Roy: Then it doesn't matter to you who controls the Gate, or what they used it for??
Serini: It did matter, a lot — but now there's only one Gate left!!
Sunny: See, she'd bonk him on the head right there if she could. Bonk bonk.
Elan: Huh. So is this what they mean when they say someone's making a "bonkers argument"?
Haley: (annoyed at Serini) Normally no. In this case, yes, but for other reasons.
- Well, earlier in the comicshe did bonk Lien on the head when she gave a wrong answer.
- #1256: When Serini reluctantly agrees to help the party, Elan and Sunny happily cheer that they're all friends now. Lien tries to point out the lingering problems from Serini kidnapping the paladins, only to fold under Elan and Sunny giving her Puppy-Dog Eyes (the sight of which alone is worthy of its own entry).Lien: I did a cool thing with my shark and it's just been all down hill for me from there.
O-Chul: There may be those that would shame you for failing to resist eleven puppy dog eyes, but I stand not among them.
- At the end of 1257, Blackwing informs Roy that Xykon has come back out of the tunnel, meaning that the encounter with Serini has cost the Order their opportunity to ambush him, which sends Roy into a Cluster Bleep-Bomb, with the words blocked by Blackwing's thought balloons due to him not hearing Roy talking:Blackwing: ...Roy? Roy, are you there? Are you reading me? You need to project your thoughts into the link or I can't hear you, Roy. Is This Thing On?.
- 1262: Oona describes Redcloak as "living in two villages," questioning which Redcloak would choose if the bridge between them was eaten by an angry dolphin. Redcloak can't let that last bit go.Redcloak: For the record, I don't think dolphins eat bridges.
Oona: Not real! Imaginary dolphins eating made-up bridges whenever they want! Happening in Oona's brain right now! Chomp chomp chomp!
Greyview: Even in the mind's eye, there is no escape from cruel flippers of entropy.
- 1263: This delightful Black Comedy exchange when Redcloak reveals that he can use Detect Evil to track down Xykon;Redcloak: Someone has to be the one to go find you when you wander off like a small child in a general store.
Xykon: You could just follow the trail of corpses like everyone else.
Redcloak: Not when you zombify them! Then they just spread out and make more corpses!
- 1265: Redcloak uses Gate to summon a high-level Lawful outsider - who provides an EULA for Redcloak to agree with and brings in an ad for a fantasy game before asking about compensation.Redcloak Ugh, I hate when the ads are for the thing you're already doing. We're living in a fantasy world right now! Skip! SKIP!
Greyview: Is never same as ad once you start playing anyway.
- 1266: The outsider names its price:Outsider: The skeletal humanoid with the crown must speak only in sentences ending in words containing an even number of letters for the duration of the task.
Monster in the Darkness: That's a good start!
- Xykon tells the Outsider he won't "pay" the price, even when he keeps doing it.Xykon: Sorry, we won't, because I'm not doing that.
Redcloak: You just did it!
Xykon: That was accidental.
Redcloak: You did it again!
Xykon: I don't care how easy it is!!
Redcloak: Three for three!
Xykon: It's the principle of the thing.
Redcloak: Since when have you cared about any sort of principles?
Xykon: Since always, as long as they conveniently line up with what I already wanted to do.
Demon Roach: He's ready to govern on Day One, folks!
- Redcloak manages to convince him to knock off the attitude... and Xykon makes a counteroffer: he'll end every sentence with a word with an odd number of letters. The outsider accepts.Xykon: See? Now I get to do this the way I want. ...to. do. this. ... ...thing! Damn it! ...comma (still the same sentence), this sucks!
Redcloak: This is less like an extra cost and more like a free gift with purchase.
- Xykon tells the Outsider he won't "pay" the price, even when he keeps doing it.
- Also, the demon roaches (literal demons) are insulted that the outsider sees Xykon as more chaotic than them.
- In a universe as meta-aware as OotS, "I grabbed the Smart Ball for a moment there" is apparently a legitimate cover for the Monster in the Darknes. He realizes that Xykon screwing up his letter count is gonna make things hard on Team Evil, and starts trying to provoke him.:MitD: Hey, Xykon, what's eleven plus two?
MitD: ...No it isn't.
Xykon: Then why'd you ask?
MitD: You know me, I forget stuff.
Xykon: Like basic math? ...ematics?
MitD: Dude, I can't remember whether or not I even had a name, much less what it was.
Xykon: Hmmm, fair point.
- When the Monster asks Xykon what the capital of Anywhere is, he responds "No clue at all". It's hard to be sure whether the lich is genuinely admitting ignorance or (as could very well be the case) Anywhere really does have a capital called "No Clue At All".
- When you're in the endgame, you need to know everything you can do, no matter how useless it might seem. So decide the forces of Good as they share all their most useless skills, including Durkon having literally taken a course in basket-weaving.Roy: Uggh.
Haley: You were hoping for something more useful?
Roy: No, I'm just pre-emptively annoyed that one of those is going to end up saving the day later.
- When Haley brings up how even Elan's puppet has gotten them out of scrapes once, Lien interjects;Lien: Yeah, Elan's puppet has gotten us into scrapes before, says the woman who was almost sacrificed to it.
Belker: Ooo, still salty, huh?
O-Chul: She always smells like that, it's the ocean air.
- Amongst the useless skills, Belkar reveals that he, of all people, knows how to make soap. It may become Nightmare Fuel when you know soap involves rendering fat that does not exclude human/sapient.
- When Haley brings up how even Elan's puppet has gotten them out of scrapes once, Lien interjects;
- 1275: Blackwing's brilliant disguise while keeping an eye on Team Evil — sticking himself inside a snowman.
- 1277 Serini is being her usual obstinate self, and refuses to tell Roy anything that might even remotely hint at where the gate is, while Xykon has summoned a new ally to check all the doors. This ends up being a moot point, as Vaarsuvius uses the process of elimination to help Roy realize that they have to run a gauntlet to find the gate, essentially checking every single door, start to finish, to find the gate. This causes Serini to rage while Sunny essentially confirms that they are right.
- 1278: Serini explains that her portal system plants an invisible tattoo on people exploring her dungeon, and collecting all is how the final level is unlocked. To prevent a caster using True Seeing finding them, the tattoos are put on a very specific part of the body:Serini: Your butt. The traps put them in your butt.
Roy: How is this quest still getting stupider even at this late stage?!
- Note Roy's expression in the final panel. He's not upset so much as genuinely baffled.
- There are also some side benefits:Serini: Plus it really confuses their divination spells when they ask if there's a back door they can use to get in.
- Elan suggests that, to take the fight seriously enough, they should start capitalizing the phrase "final dungeon". Roy says they're not going to start doing it... only to capitalize Final Dungeon himself.
- Mimi the mimic wants to join the fight, and transforms into a human - only she's got realistic five-fingered hands.Elan: Ewww, gross!
Belkar: Haha, wow, that is not the right number of fingers!
Serini: Yeah, it's weird. They can copy anything but for some reason they always mess up the hands.
- #1282: Roy tells Blackwing to rejoin the party, and after some banter, the raven flies over. Roy asks if Blackwing is sure he wasn't seen, only for Blackwing to reveal that the outsider started a demo of a free-to-play game.
- Said demo (of "Marshmellow Saga Test") shows two modrons holding platters: the one in the left has 1 marshmallow and a card saying "10 gp", while the other one has 2 marshmallows and a card saying "or wait for 14 min 59 seconds".Xykon: Ooooo! The left one! I'll buy the left one!
Monster in the Darkness: No, you should wait and get the two on the right.
Redcloak: He shouldn't get either because he doesn't eat! We just talked about this!!
- And they did just talk about this, a few panels earlier when Team Evil is shown taking a break from their search.Xykon: Look at you people, with your chewing. I'm disgusted.Oona: Wasn't bony man with tiny gold hat eating once?Xykon: Yeah, but then I stopped being some kind of degenerate with the urge to masticate three times a day.Demon roach: In public, no less!
- Said demo (of "Marshmellow Saga Test") shows two modrons holding platters: the one in the left has 1 marshmallow and a card saying "10 gp", while the other one has 2 marshmallows and a card saying "or wait for 14 min 59 seconds".
- "Uncivil Servant," the Belkar prequel story: Belkar mentions to a local that his tattered clothes are because he just escaped seven months of slavery.Townsman: Geez, that sounds terrible!
Belkar: Actually, I was pretty impressed with their business model. I mean, sure, their execution needed some work — particularly the part where they enslaved me. But as a proof of concept? Really solid.
Townsman: And, uh, what happened to the slavers?
Belkar: [holding up a knife and grinning] I helped them with their executions.
- "The Mother Load", from Dragon magazine: After killing a Goblin high priest, Haley, Belkar and Durkon found (and fought) the high priest's piggy bank, with Belkar returning to Roy with a sack filled with 10,000 copper pieces in his hands.Belkar: Wait. We're tracking encumbrance now?
Roy: Always have been, actually.
[the sack falls right on top of Belkar with a loud "WHUMPH!"]
- When Burlew ran a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 to raise funds for a reprint of War and XPs, which had been out of print since 2010, the daily updates gradually unfolded into a hilarious non-canon story involving the main cast.
- The fundraiser was advertised with a single panel in which Haley, with Elan's help, is collecting money from donors in exchange for kicking a Bound and Gagged Belkar. The prices include 5 GP for "One swift kick", 25 GP for "One stompdown", and 500 GP for a "Full ass-kicking".Elan: Haley, are you sure this is why they call it, "Kickstarter"?
Haley: I prefer to focus on the fact that my Gloves of Dexterity +6 won't pay for themselves.
- The graph for the first day's update simply involves Haley cheering at the amount of money raised (over 80% of the initial $30,000 goal); two updates over the course of the second day, in which funds were donated at an incredible rate, introduce a plot thread of Haley trying to get ahead of the rising line on the graph. Initially, she recruits Elan to help her climb up the horizontal lines indicating donation goals, but then Roy shows up with questions...[Day 5]
Roy: Elan, why is there a pile of gold coins with a note on it that says, "Don't tell Roy!"
Elan: Well, it's obviously so I remember not to tell you. Duh!
Roy: Wait—so you're charging people to kick Belkar??
Elan: Haley said we had a product that the public demanded.
Roy: Elan, you can't do that! Not even to Belkar!
Elan: But you can't argue with the free market, Roy! It speaks, like, Marketese or something!
- Meanwhile, Haley has climbed ever further up the graph, and Vaarsuvius has floated in next to her:[Day 8]
Haley: Hey, V, give me a lift and I'll put you down for a free kick.
Vaarsuvius: Miss Starshine, one cannot put a price on my magical services. Also, I already paid for three and my foot is quite sore.
Haley: Come on, V, help me out! Look at how fast it's going! I'll never catch it on my own!
Vaarsuvius: [readying a spell] Typical of a non-spellcaster to think so linearly.
Haley: ...but it's a line.
- As Vaarsuvius casts a "Rescale Graph" spell, Durkon brings in the still-Bound and Gagged Belkar as Elan gives an "Oh, Crap!" Smile; the bard expresses reservations about untying Belkar, as "He seems mad for some reason." Sure enough, Belkar immediately begins threatening violence against Elan and Haley, and Roy tries to calm things down when V's spell kicks in, causing the ground to shake violently. When the graph has been rescaled, it's still growing faster than Haley can easily catch up with it, while Durkon is now hanging off the bottom of the graph on the ropes that were binding Belkar, and Roy... is falling through space with a sigh and an "I hate my life" expression.
- With no Roy holding him back, Belkar starts chasing Elan, knives drawn, to recruit his "help" in testing a new website he calls "StabEnder". However, Elan trips over the ropes, sending Durkon flying through the air until he lands on Belkar, knocking him out, while Elan himself ends up upside-down with his feet tangled in the ropes.
- Meanwhile, Haley has finally persuaded Vaarsuvius to lift her ahead of the graph, and she is giddy with anticipation as the graph reaches her level - but Vaarsuvius is far more concerned about the white dragon that has just appeared behind Haley...[Day 17]
Haley: [as the dragon pins her underfoot and hits Vaarsuvius with ice breath] Back off! It's MY giant pile of money! I exploited Belkar for it, fair and square!
Haley: [woozily, as the dragon carries her off while the now ice-encased Vaarsuvius falls to earth] Must... save... the gold... ... ...and self.
[Roy falls out of the sky, and his sword lands in the dragon's snout; the dragon lets go of Haley as Durkon runs toward both her and Vaarsuvius as they fall, readying a healing spell]
Elan: Hooray! Roy's butt saved the day!
Dragon: [flying off as Roy slides down the graph] Screw this. I bet I can take out Tim Schafer in one round.note
Durkon: [as Haley and Vaarsuvius hit the ground, the ice around V shattering on impact] Cure Infographical Wounds!
- As the dust settles from the dragon attack, the Order of the Stick are all present to hear Belkar's grievances - only for Roy to learn something that casts the whole ordeal in a new light:[Day 21]
Belkar: Great, great. The dragon got scared off, everyone's safe, hooray. But I still have bruises all over my shins, people!
Roy: You know, strange as it is to hear myself say this, but Belkar has a point.
Haley: No, Roy, you don't understand, we—
Belkar: Yeah, that's right—I have a point! And you're gonna get it now, because that was WAY more people kicking me than we agreed on.
Roy: Wait—you AGREED to being tied up and kicked, Belkar??
Haley: That's what I was trying to tell you! He's getting 20% of the gross! The gross, Roy!
Belkar: [as Durkon and Vaarsuvius glare at him] Yeah, but I didn't think there would be this many backers! I mean, look at that line! It's totally ridiculous!
Roy: So... if you agreed to this... then...
Haley: [grinning] Then a deal's a deal!
[Belkar gets an Oh, Crap! look]
- And for the final update, as Roy, Haley, Elan, and Durkon thank the backers who donated over $1.25 million, Belkar is Bound and Gagged again as a long line of new donors - including the kobold oracle and Vaarsuvius - wait their turn to kick him.
- The fundraiser was advertised with a single panel in which Haley, with Elan's help, is collecting money from donors in exchange for kicking a Bound and Gagged Belkar. The prices include 5 GP for "One swift kick", 25 GP for "One stompdown", and 500 GP for a "Full ass-kicking".
- In "Haleo & Julelan", the retelling of Romeo and Juliet, most of Tarquin's dialogue at the masquerade party (whilst wearing a disco suit) is peppered with references to famous tracks mainly from the 1970s and the early 80s:Tarquin: Have patience. Let her think herself safe, and then, when she least expects it, won't we take her to [grins] Funkytown.
Nale: Out-of-touch fool! Your strategies are as dated as your musical references!
Tarquin: Watch your tongue! Or neither your brother nor your stepmother'll keep you stayin' alive, stayin' alive!
- The tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet gets subverted thanks to the setting's conventions - Julelan stabbing himself fails because daggers only deal 1d4 damage (forcing him to keep stabbing himself to get the job done) and Haleo makes her saving throw to resist the poison's effects.Haleo: Unnnh, what is that noise?
Julelan: Oh, good, you're awake. Quick, sneak attack me so I can get this over with faster.
- The tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet gets subverted thanks to the setting's conventions - Julelan stabbing himself fails because daggers only deal 1d4 damage (forcing him to keep stabbing himself to get the job done) and Haleo makes her saving throw to resist the poison's effects.
- Take a closer look at the strip's titles on the Webcomic page. In-jokes and puns abound.
- 705: "Those Don't Take Over Until the Graveyard Shift". The Resistance was about to bust the Goblins' prisons, with Thanh telling Niu that the prison would be guarded only by a skeleton crew due to the celebrations. Niu came bringing maces and holy waters to the operation.Niu: What? Look at the world we live in, it was a reasonable assumption.
- 1198 being called "Move Slow and Preserve Things" is hilarious if you have a computing or engineering background, due to being the antithesis of the progressive mindset in those fields.
- 1279: "Post Mortem". Haley contests Serini's claim that her traps are the "best in the world", prompting the halfling to point out that she can't exactly keep up with the times at the North Pole. Cut to an iced-over postman.Sunny: I'm beginning to regret getting you that subscription to Snares Monthly.
- 705: "Those Don't Take Over Until the Graveyard Shift". The Resistance was about to bust the Goblins' prisons, with Thanh telling Niu that the prison would be guarded only by a skeleton crew due to the celebrations. Niu came bringing maces and holy waters to the operation.
- 1014: Rats come to help Vampire Gontor. Gontor calls for aid!
- The site's server maintenance warning on 8/3/2016 treats the comic like some unholy legion. To quote:"I have been informed by the half-mad sorcerers who maintain the shrieking rituals necessary to wrench the accursed web server to some twisted semblance of life that lo, as the moon waxes these next few days, there may be interruptions in availability for as many as two score and eight hours while the unholy rite of DNS propagation winds its bloody way through the dark heart of the internet. But hear this oath: As the heartless sun sets on day of its name, so will the server burst forth — reborn and cloaked in the flesh of the unbelievers — to once again terrorize the land with its unspeakable thirsts and its stick figure fantasy comics. Let no woman or man say that fair warning was not given!
- This series of tweets:Ghast Whisperer (@thats1evildude): Well, at least the mountains aren't fighting.
Rich Burlew: Suddenly 137 galeb duhrs come in from off-panel.
Rich Burlew: Also, I hereby propose that the proper plural of "galeb duhr" should be "galebs duhr"
sudo /bin/Brian -f Merchant (@briankmerch): and the collective noun clearly must be "an avalanche of galebs duhr"
- That "I Owe Me 1 Big Ass Diamond" note is still in Haley's hand in the Character's Page.
- A forum conversation following on from Rich detailing how characters' deaths stem from the results of their choices and actions:The Giant: [...]Bozzok dies because he chose not to consider his follower's well-being at all. Tsukikko dies because she can't avoid gloating, and because she trusts the undead. Therkla dies because she won't pick a side.[...]
Excise: And as for the most important death of them all: Milk Dudes died because he chose to be Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
The Giant: And Fruit Pie the Sorcerer died because he was a sorcerer who chose to fight encounters with fruit pies rather than actual spells.
- From the Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2021 Patreon Answer Post:Anonymous: Do you regret killing fruit pie?
Rich Burlew: It haunts me to this day. You donít know how hard it is to be writing a script and think to yourself, ďThis plot problem Iím having could be easily solved by the addition of a flaky fruit-filled sentient pastry with sorcerous powers,Ē only to have reality come crashing back in to remind you that you foolishly cut that option off forever. Clearly, the biggest mistake of my career. I wail and gnash my teeth when I think about it, often because I am eating a fruit pie at the time and gnashing teeth is sort of how you do that. Itís what he would have wanted.
- From Patreon Q&A Post #6:Q: Who would be the most conventionally beautiful characters (male and female) if they were drawn non-sticky?
A: For men, itís obviously Mr. Scruffy. Heís a very handsome cat. For women, itís a tough choice but I think it has to be the Azurite archer on the left side of panel 7 of strip #423. Sheís actually drop dead gorgeous but it doesnít really get mentioned at that time, partly because everyone is running for their lives from a Titanium Elemental but also because itís a professional setting and it wouldnít be appropriate.