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It's What's Inside That Counts

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It's What's Inside That Counts
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 946
Date published 18 February 2014
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The OotS make preparations to get to the last gate. Roy gives a somewhat inspiring speech. Durkon is more than meets the eye.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1, Page 1

The Mechane flies over the desert. Julio Scoundrél can be seen flying the opposite direction on a flying carpet.

Panel 2, Page 1

Elan: Isn't this awesome, Roy? We have this totally cool airship to go to the last Gate!
Roy: Yeah, it's really great. You did well.

Panel 3, Page 1

Vaarsuvius: I was able to cover the length of the vessel with three castings of Dimensional Lock, which should prevent access via teleportation.
Roy: So, are we secure?
Vaarsuvius: I will need to renew it in a fortnight or so, but yes.

Panel 4, Page 1

Bandana: And Captain Scoundrél built scrying bafflers into the hull to hide us from the authorities years ago, so that won't be a problem neither.
Vaarsuvius: Either.
Bandana: Huh?

Panel 5, Page 1

Roy: Hey gang? Gather round. I want to talk to you for a minute.
Roy: Obviously, it's been a rough few days. And there have been some changes.
Roy: Changes in ourselves, and possibly in our mission.

Panel 6, Page 1

Roy: Maybe we're not really saving the world from destruction. Maybe we're just stopping an evil lich from doing any more damage—
Roy: —like we were at the start, before this Gate thing even came up.

Panel 7, Page 1

Roy: But you know what? It doesn't matter. It doesn't change anything.
Roy: We're still the Order of the Stick, no matter how much stuff changes along the way.

Panel 8, Page 1

Roy: I'm sure there will be even more changes before the endgame—things we can't even hope to predict now.
Roy: And I'm just as sure that we'll get through them all.

Panel 9, Page 1

Roy: Not because we're destined or chosen or fated or any of that clichéd heroic garbage.
Roy: Nah.
Roy: We'll get through because we're the ones who are too dumb to know when to quit.

Panel 10, Page 1

Roy: And let's face it:
Roy: If idiocy becomes an asset in this fight, we'll all be unstoppable.

Panel 1, Page 2

Elan: Hooray for us!
Haley: Heck yeah, we're gonna kick some bad guy ass!
Belkar: I was going to object, but if I had half a brain I'd have bailed ages ago.
Vaarsuvius: Our likelihood of success does seem to have become a poor predictor of our persistence.
Blackwing: Which means the element of surprise is ours!

Panel 2, Page 2

Roy: OK, that's all I really wanted to say. Everyone rest up and get ready for what's next.
Roy: Whatever that ends up being.

Panel 3, Page 2

Bandana: I don't get it. Was that supposed to be encouraging?
Belkar: Our bar for inspiring speeches has been set pretty low.
Vaarsuvius: I shall update Lord Hinjo on our progress.
Roy: Good, good. Wait—where's Durkon?
Haley: He holed himself back up in that storeroom.

Panel 4, Page 2

Haley: He said until he figures out how to cast the Protection from Daylight spell himself, he doesn't want to waste charges from the staff unless he needs to.
Roy: Oh. Yeah, that makes sense. I keep forgetting that's an issue now.
Haley: Me too. But it's like you said—

Panel 5, Page 2

Cut to the store room in the hold of the Mechane. "Durkon" prays to his goddess.
Haley (inset): No matter how much we change, we're still us, right?

Panel 6, Page 2

A glow shines on Durkon
Hel (off-panel): Well?

Panel 7, Page 2

"Durkon": It all goes smoothly. I have convinced the dwarf's allies to accept me as the dwarf himself—
"Durkon": —despite having slipped up on his ridiculous accent a few times.

Panel 8, Page 2

"Durkon": They have procured faster transportation, as well.
"Durkon": I am confident I will arrive in the North in time to carry out your orders.

Panel 9, Page 2

Hel (off-panel): Outstanding. Well done, my serendipitous servant.
"Durkon": Service is my sole purpose, my lady.
Hel (off-panel): Of course it is.
Hel (off-panel): Nergal's snake may have sired you, but the dwarves fall under my purview. Your dark spirit was birthed in my hall.

Panel 1, Page 3

The panel changes perspective, revealing that the source of the voice is Hel.
Hel: And now, as High Priest of Hel, you will finally bring this world to ruin—
Hel: —and drive that buffoon Thor to his knees in the process.

Panel 2, Page 3

Hel (off-panel): What of the dwarf's spirit?
"Durkon": It is well in hand, my lady.

Panel 3, Page 3

The viewpoint zooms in on "Durkon"
"Durkon": He struggles within me, but he cannot resist providing me with his memories when I call upon them.

Panel 4, Page 3

The viewpoint zooms in further
"Durkon": He is powerless to influence our plans.

Panel 5, Page 3

The viewpoint zooms in on "Durkon"'s eyes. Something is faintly visible inside his left eye
"Durkon": He is of no concern.

Panel 6, Page 3

The viewpoint zooms in on that eye. Durkon's spirit is visible, being restrained.

Panel 1, Page 4
 Order of the Stick
 will return on March 31st."

D&D Context Edit

  • Dimensional Lock is an 8th level spell which creates a shimmering barrier which blocks any type of extradimensional travel.

Trivia Edit

  • This is the final strip of Blood Runs in the Family.
  • This is chronologically the last appearance of Julio Scoundrél. He appears twice more in flashbacks in #959 and #988.
  • Elan lowered the bar for inspiring speeches in #421, Oratory of the Stick, and again in #776, A Sombering Oration.
  • "Durkon" reveals his true identity to the readers by speaking in a normal voice, rather than in Durkon's dwarven accent.
  • This is the only appearance of Hel's wolf Garm.

External Links Edit

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