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Animal Instincts
Order of the Stick comic
OOTS0792
Comic no. 792
Date published 24 May 2011
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Blackwing deduces that Qarr's true masters are the archfiends, Zz'dtri still has level-relevant spell resistance, and fan favorite Mr. Scruffy is cravenly shot by Yukyuk.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Blackwing and Qarr engage in aerial combat.
Blackwing: You! You’re the imp that worked for that noble! What are you doing here?
Qarr: Let’s just say that a friend of a friend introduced us, and leave it at that.
Qarr shoots a beam of heat from his hand, "bzzzap!", but Blackwing evades.

Panel 2

Blackwing: OK, second question: why are you shooting at me?? You wanted to help Vaarsuvius last time!
Qarr: Hey, I’m an ancient being of pure evil made flesh; do not presume that you can grasp the extent of my sinister agenda!
Qarr fires and misses again, "bzzzap!"

Panel 3

Blackwing: Wait, I get it—you’re working for those archfiends now, aren’t you? This whole thing with Zz’dtri is just a cover story.
Qarr: What? Uh, no! No, of course not!
Qarr: Shut up!

Panel 4

Blackwing: Ha! That’s it, I figured it out! And I’m gonna tell my master on you!
Qarr fires two more heat beams, "bzzzap! bzzzap!" but Blackwing flies a double loop to avoid them. One of Yukyuk's quarrels bounces off of V's Stoneskin spell, "pting!"
Qarr: Get back here, you stupid bird!
Zz’dtri: Baleful polymorph!
Vaarsuvius: Counterspell!

Panel 5

Vaarsuvius: Quickened Hold Person!
Zz’dtri: Spell Resistance. Still.
Vaarsuvius: Damnations! Why must it scale with level?

Panel 6

Cut to another part of the arena arcade where Yukyuk hunts for Mr. Scruffy.
Yukyuk: Darn it, that elf is flying too high for a Sneak Attack, and my arrows aren’t getting through his protection spell without it.
Yukyuk We shoulda followed the bard, Sir Scraggly.
Sir Scraggly: *sniff!* *sniff!* Grrrr!

Panel 7

Yukyuk: What’s that, boy?
Yukyuk You can smell something behind the column?
Sir Scraggly: Grrrr!

Panel 8

Yukyuk: Lookee here. What’s a nice kitty cat like you doin’ in a place like this?
Yukyuk: Are you scared, little guy? Is that why you’re hiding? You don’t need to be scared, I’m a ranger.
Yukyuk: I love animals.

Panel 9

Yukyuk: They make great entertainment, don’t they, Sir Scraggly?
Yukyuk fires a crossbow; the bolt sinks into Mr. Scruffy's flank with a "thunk!"
Mr. Scruffy: meeeeeeeOWWR!

Panel 10

Cut to the gladiator stable at the arena. Belkar lies on a bench while Ian Starshine watches the fight through a window.
Ian Starshine: Belkar, aren’t you going to watch Roy fight The Champion?
Belkar: Oh, please. Round Three with the Linear Guild?

Panel 11

Cut back to the arena arcade where Sir Scraggly chases Mr. Scruffy.
Yukyuk: Sic ‘im, boy.
Belkar (inset): Everyone knows that they’re no real threat to the six of us.

D&D Context Edit

  • Scorching Ray is a 2nd level spell which deals 4d6 points of damage. Qarr is a sorcerer, and the fact that he only produces two rays when casting this spell in this strip, while still being high enough level to cast Charm Monster on chief grukgruk, puts him between 8th and 10th level.
  • Baleful polymorph allows the caster to target one creature to turn into a small harmless animal such as a lizard or a toad. The effect is permanent until dispelled.
  • Counterspells in 3.5e D&D are a slightly altered version of a spell that counteracts the same spell when cast by another caster. In this case, Vaarsuvius would have had to have Baleful Polymorph prepared in order to counter it with the Counterspell.
  • Hold Peron Hold Person is a 3rd level spell that targets a single creature to be paralyzed and freeze in place. In this case Vaarsuvius has combined the spell with the Quicken Spell Feat to allow him or her to cast the spell in the same round as the Counterspell that was just cast.
  • Stoneskin provides a 10 hp damage reduction, which is more than a crossbow bolt can do without the extra damage that Yukyuk could do with a Sneak Attack.
  • Dark Elves have the Spell Resistance Special Ability, starting at a base of 11 and increasing by 1 for every Class Level the Dark Elf has.

Trivia Edit

  • Vaarsuvius was previously the target of a Baleful Polymorph Spell in Leaping Lizards.
  • Yukyuk's reaction in panel 7 to Sir Scraggly's non-verbal communication is reminiscent of Lassie, in particular the TV series, in which Lassie would inform Jeff or Timmy's parents of the boy's trouble with some specificity by simply barking at them.

External Links Edit

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