|“A Lot at Stake”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||4 April 2008|
|View the comic|
Redcloak begins his interrogation of O-Chul.
- Panel 1
O-Chul is blindfolded and tied to a stake in front of a crenelated parapet. Redcloak throws a bucket of water on him, "SPLOOSH!"
Redcloak: Good morning, this is your requested wake-up call. The time is now half past Reasonable.
Redcloak: Maybe we can TRY to make a little progress today?
- Panel 2
O-Chul: Blindfold? Water? Is it Thursday already?
Redcloak: No, my colleagues have prompted me to take a little break from our routine.
- Panel 3
O-Chul: Wait—is that wind I feel?
Redcloak: It is. We're on a little "field trip".
Redcloak removes O-Chul's blindfold
- Panel 4
O-Chul: By the Twelve Gods!
- Panel 5
A rift dominates the sky over Azure City. A group of humans an hobgoblins stands on a nearby tower.
Redcloak: But I have it on good authority that they DID have a hand in it.
Redcloak: Or should I say a paw?
- Panel 6
O-Chul: The rift... It has grown so large...
Redcloak: Your crazy friend gave it a jumpstart when she shattered Soon's Gate, and it's been unraveling like a wereporcupine's cheap holiday sweater ever since.
- Panel 7
Redcloak: But good news: The rate of growth has slowed considerably. By my math, we're looking at another hundred feet of growth before it stops.
- Panel 8
O-Chul: You mad fool! If your kind were not tampering with things beyond your ken—
Redcloak: "My ken"? Compared to you, my "ken" is living in a Malibu dream house.
- Panel 9
Redcloak: I know exactly what I'm doing, and what's at stake.
Redcloak: We all have our gambles. Just 'cause I'm willing to bet on the longshot doesn't mean I don't know the odds.
Redcloak: I'm well aware that there's a high chance that what we're doing may result in doomsday for all of us. But I pushed my chips into the middle of the table long ago, so I might as well play my hand to the end.
- Panel 10
Redcloak: Overused gambling metaphors aside, I would point out that every time some lunatic destroys a Gate rather than let it fall into our hands, that chance increases significantly.
Redcloak: It's you good guys who keep setting the Armageddon Clock ahead to Daylight Savings Time, not us.
- Panel 11
O-Chul: What would you have us do, villain? Roll over and let your kind conquer us?
Redcloak: Well it would be a lot safer, in the long run.
- Panel 12
O-Chul: Safe? It would be naught but the safety of the grave.
Redcloak: Yes! Exactly!
Redcloak: Wow, it is so refreshing for us to finally all be on the same page here!
D&D Context Edit
- Wereporcupines are not canonical D&D monsters, but Werebears, Wereboars, Wererats, Weretigers, and Werewolves all are, among other lycanthrope types.
- The Armageddon Clock has been maintained since 1947 by the members of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. It represents their estimate of how close the world is to nuclear war (or later, other global catastrophes).