Getting Defensive
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 865
Date published 7 January 2013
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The party discusses how best to use the time they've gained with the Linear Guild's retreat. The suggestion is made to summon powerful Outsiders with several Planar Ally spells. They note that Xykon would make quick work of such allies, but they think he is still bogged down in Azure City searching for his phylactery. A cutaway scene to Lord Hinjo reveals that the party's timeline and the Azure City timeline have converged; Xykon has found his phylactery and is on the move.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

The party continues deeper into Girard's pyramid.
Haley: Elan, honey, aren't you worried about fighting your own father?
Elan: I was, but then right before we came into the canyon, I got an idea that—
Roy: OK, enough with the recaps! We need to keep moving.
Roy: We may have bloodied their noses, but they'll be back.
Durkon: Aye, but na wit Sabine. She be banished fer at least 24 hours.

Panel 2

Haley: Roy, if Nale is smart—or, as is far more likely, if Tarquin is calling the shots—won't they just hang back until their team is up to full strength?
Roy: I hope they do. That will give us time to find the Gate.

Panel 3

Haley: And then what? How does finding the Gate help us beat them?
Haley: Does it have lasers? Please tell me it has lasers.
Durkon: Better'n lasers: Planar Ally!

Panel 4

Cut to the hypothetical future where Durkon stands next to Girard's Gate casting Planar Ally.
Durkon (inset): I can use the Planar Ally spell ta ask Thor ta send one o' 'is Astral Devas ta guard the Gate fer a week or two.
Durkon (inset): If we hold it 'til dawn, I can cast it five or six times inna row.

Panel 5

Roy: With some time to really plan and a room full of Celestials playing goalie, we should have no trouble finding V and finishing the Guild.
Durkon: It'll cost me a wee bit o' XP ta summon so many, but it be worth it.

Panel 6

Haley: Don't they have their own cleric now, though? Couldn't he zap the devas back home?
Durkon: Tha depends on how strong tha priest is.
Haley: How about, "As strong as Malack." Because, you know, it's probably Malack.

Panel 7

Durkon: Nay, I dinnae believe tha. Malack'd ne'er work wit Nale, lass.
Haley: We would've said the same thing about Tarquin.
Durkon: This be diff'rent. Nale murdered 'is children!

Panel 8

Haley: Fine, then there's some Mystery Cleric who joined the Linear Guild at the exact same time as Tarquin, but is somehow totally not Tarquin's cleric bestie.
Haley: Got it.
Haley: The point remains that he—or she, gosh!—could probably banish any magical backup you summoned.

Panel 9

Roy: A spellcaster banishing monsters is a spellcaster who's not killing us. I'll take two, thanks.
Roy: None of this matters if we don't get to the Gate before they do, so let's move.

Panel 10

Durkon: Roy, lad…ye know e'en a gaggle o' angels'll be nae more'n a speed bump ta Xykon, right?
Roy: I know. One villain at a time. The good news is that we should have some time before—

Panel 11

Cut to Hinjo. He and two soldiers are in the middle of battle with two carrion crawlers when he receives a Sending spell from Niu.
Niu: —Resistance crushed. Ho Thanh is dead. Xykon has phylactery, is likely on the move.
Hinjo: Twelve Gods…Fall back to camp!
Azurite Soldier: But Lord Hinjo—
Hinjo: NOW!
Carrion Crawler #1: Uh, hello? We're sorta in the middle of something here?
Carrion Crawler #2: I guess their fancy internal skeletons don't support basic manners.

D&D Context Edit

  • Planar Ally is a 6th level spell which summons one or two elementals or outsiders. As Durkon notes, there is a cost in Experience Points (XP) to cast the spell, 250 XP; this is a relatively minor cost for characters of the level of the Order, who have on the order of 100,000 XP.
  • The carrion crawler is a aberration that resembles a giant caterpillar, with tentacles around its mouth. It first appeared in the D&D (0th edition) 1975 supplement Greyhawk. It later appeared in the 1977 1st edition AD&D Monster Manual and in every subsequent edition, except the 5th edition.

Trivia Edit

  • Hinjo and company are likely clearing the abandoned elven fort on the island that V brought them to in #643.
  • This may be the only instance of a Sending spell where the caster uses fewer than the 25 word limit, though of course we only catch the end of Niu's message.
  • This is chronologically the final appearance of Niu in the comics so far. She has only one more appearance as an illusion in Roy's phantasm dream, #887. Her movements after the fall of the Azurite Resistance are unknown.

External Links Edit