|“Path of Most Resistance”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||7 September 2016|
|View the comic|
Roy and Bandana agree on tactics: she will drive the Mechane right into the mouth of the frost giant's trap, while Roy leads the Order against the giants. V prepares Haley to be more effective against them.
- Roy Greenhilt ◀ ▶
- Haley Starshine (also as invisible) ◀ ▶
- Elan ◀ ▶
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- The Crew of the Mechane
- The Clan of Frost Giants
- Panel 1, Page 1
The frost giants hurl boulders at the Mechane.
- Panel 2, Page 1
On the Mechane quarterdeck.
Bandana: Get us moving, Kwesi! We need to be climbing faster than a Hasted squirrel!
Kwesi: We're close to maximum altitude already!
Bandana: Then get even closer! Every inch counts!
- Panel 3, Page 1
Roy runs up the gangway.
Roy: Captain Bandana!
Roy: I know you're going to want to turn around to protect the ship, but we need—
- Panel 4, Page 1
Bandana: We need to fly straight up the middle. Already on it.
Roy: Uh, yeah. That. How did you—?
- Panel 5, Page 1
Bandana: I ain't never even heard of no frost giants clogging up this pass, and now you can't wing a dead tressym without hitting three?
Bandana: This ain't no random encounter, this is a bona fide trap!
- Panel 6, Page 1
The Blue Tunic frost giant hurls a boulder, the Upside-down Horned Helmet frost giant, Balding frost giant, and the Frost Giantess doing the same in the background.
- Panel 7, Page 1
Bandana: Someone's trying to stop you hero folks from saving the world.
Roy: Yes, exactly! And if they can lay a trip like this with a few hours notice, then—
- Panel 8, Page 1
The Upright Horned Helmet frost giant hurls a boulder that hits the Mechane along with another boulder, "THUNK! THUNK!"
- Panel 9, Page 1
Bandana: —then they can gum up all the other passes before we can get to them too—
Roy: —assuming we even have time to reroute. Unless... if the Mechane always arrives in the nick of time, maybe we can still—
Carol: I think Captain Scoundrel[sic] said that doesn't work if you're running away from a fight. You need, like, a good faith effort at heroism.
- Panel 10, Page 1
Bandana: Guess we're all on the same page then.
Bandana: How 'bout you folks do what you can about the giants, we'll punch through as fast as we can without hitting anything.
Roy runs back down the gangway.
Roy: Sounds like a plan, Captain.
- Panel 1, Page 2
Bandana: Mateo, keep us steady! We're too close on the starboard!
Mateo: I'm doing my best Bandana, but it's not a straight pass!
- Panel 2, Page 2
Roy approaches the rest of the party on the main deck.
Roy: Haley, V: We're going to play this like we did with Tarquin's triceratops.
Roy: You two fly ahead and swat down as many giants as you can.
Vaarsuvius: I understand.
A boulder flies near the ship in the background, "WOOSH!"
- Panel 3, Page 2
Haley: I am really regretting picking the frost bow right about now.
Elan: Good thing giants aren't immune to sharpened stick damage, too.
Haley: I guess. But out in the open like this, I won't be able to Sneak Attack any of—
- Panel 4, Page 2
Vaarsuvius: Extended Greater Invisibility.
Haley turns invisible, showing only an outline of her figure.
- Panel 5, Page 2
Haley: I AM POINTY DEATH INCARNATE.
Vaarsuvius: Yes, yes. Magic is very nice. Shall we?
D&D Context Edit
- Haste is a 3rd level spell that effectively doubles the subjects speed, in this case a squirrel, whose movement increases to 60 ft/round.
- A Tressym is a winged cat, originally introduced for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting in the 1992 adventure module Haunted Halls of Eveningstar for AD&D 2nd Edition, and subsequently included for D&D 3rd Edition in the 2001 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
- Random encounters happen in dungeons or when traveling. This is just a term for encounters which are not tied to the story or adventure the party is involved in.
- Haley's rogue Sneak Attack ability extends only to targets within 30 feet and only to targets who cannot defend themselves because they don't detect the attacker or if she has flanked them, etc.
- Vaarsuvius' Extend Spell Feat doubles the duration of a spell when used.
- Greater Invisibility differs from the 2nd level Invisibility spell in that it allows the subject to attack and remain invisible.
- This is the first time Kwesi was named. She first appeared in #990, and was heretofore known as "Mechane Crewwoman with Purple Hair".
- In strips #925 and #926 Tarquin and the Vector Legion astride a triceratops chased the Order astride Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator by teleporting through wormholes. Rather than engage Vaarsuvius recommended a strategy where they ran to keep distance while V engaged them with long-range spells and Haley sniped them with arrows. Roy is suggesting a similar strategy here where Haley and V will use their ranged attacks while the Mechane tries to keep distance from the giants.
- This is the only other appearance for the named frost giants from the previous strip, except for the one with the blue tunic and spangenhelm.