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Immaterial Components
Order of the Stick comic
OOTS0585
Comic no. 585
Date published 16 August 2008
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"Improbable Causes" "No Encounter is an Island Unto Itself"
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Qarr sets the pit fiend on the party, and Vaarsuvius decides to take it on alone.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Pit Fiend: WHO DARES TO—Oh, hey, Qarr. What's up?
Qarr: No time for small talk, I'm calling in my marker. I want all mortals on this island dead.

Panel 2

Pit Fiend: Aww, c'mon. Taking combat orders from an imp is just embarrassing!
Qarr: Oh? More embarrassing than, say, throwing a future service marker into the pot when you were only holding a pair of Jacks?
Pit Fiend: I thought you were bluffing!
Qarr: I had three Kings showing.
Pit Fiend: ...
Pit Fiend: I thought you were bluffing REALLY well.

Panel 3

Qarr: Look, they're already down there buffing themselves with fancy enchantments and abjurations and whatnot, so stop whining and go kill them all.
Pit Fiend: *sigh* Ok, fine, fine.

Panel 4

Qarr: Good. Your presence here opens up a few possibilities that I need to go act on.
Qarr teleports away with a "pop!"

Panel 5

Lien: What exactly IS that thing? Besides big, red, and angry?
Durkon: Mass Bear's Endurance.
Elan: Really? It seems less "angry" and more... "mildly put out".
Hinjo: Vaarsuvius, do you have any idea how we can—
Vaarsuvius: Yes.
Hinjo: V, wait!

Panel 6

Vaarsuvius flies toward the devil.
Vaarsuvius: Hear my voice, interloping cretin. I have little time to give over to your defeat, as this entire scenario is a tragic waste of my precious research time.
Vaarsuvius: Therefore, I will simply banish you.

Panel 7

Vaarsuvius: If you are familiar with the Banishment spell, you will note that the spell is more powerful if the caster presents something that the target "hates, fears, or otherwise opposes".
Vaarsuvius: As such, I present only my Common Sense, which your ludicrous stature clearly defies.
Vaarsuvius: As it is certainly a rare commodity on this world, I imagine it will be doubly effective.

Panel 8

The pit fiend hits Vaarsuvius with a burning claw, "WHOMP!"

Panel 9

Vaarsuvius hits the ground, "THUNK!"

Panel 10

Durkon: Vaarsuvius, ye daft fool! Ye coulda gotten yerself killed tryin' ta fight it alone.
Elan: I was sorta hoping the hit would knock you out. I mean at least then you would get some rest.
Vaarsuvius: Remain here while I ascertain how it feels about unwanted advice and misguided chastisements.
Vaarsuvius: If it is at all like myself, both of you may yet prove integral to its eventual banishment.

D&D Context Edit

  • Imps do not canonically have a teleport spell-like ability, but the convention has been established for Qarr that he can.
  • Mass Bear's Endurance grants +4 Constitution to multiple people, which grants extra hit points, better Fortitude saves, better endurance, etc.
  • V already has a Fly spell in effect.
  • Banishment, a V's spellcasting level would normally work for a creature of the pit fiend's hit dice, but pit fiends have a high level of spell resistance, which made the attempt unlikely to succeed. As V notes in the dialog, presenting items that are anathema to the creature will give bonuses, doubly so if they are rare.
    • The title plays on the fact that the hated items are supposed to be physical objects, but Vaarsuvius instead presents, "common sense", "unwanted advice", and "misguided chastisements", all immaterial concepts.

Trivia Edit

  • Celia and the Pit Fiend have a similar reaction to being summoned; she was summoned by her amulet in #529, The Summons.

External Links Edit

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