Battle Momentum
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 437
Date published 9 April 2007
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The Death Knight is the first through the breach.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

The Death Knight rides up the ramp of dead hobgoblins and flies through the Enlarged Soldiers, beheading four of them with his scimitar.

Panel 2

Chang: By the Twelve Gods, that thing just ripped through our front lines!
Vaarsuvius: Not to worry: while I have expended many of my area-effect spells, I did maintain a few single-target spells for just such an occasion.
Vaarsuvius: Disintegrate!

Panel 3

The spell hits the Death Knight, "BZZfshhhh....", who laughs.
Death Knight: Bwa ha ha ha!

Panel 4

Vaarsuvius: Thrice-cursed Spell Resistance!
Vaarsuvius: It's almost like the universe is trying to enforce some sort of arbitrary equality between those of us who can reshape matter with our thoughts and those who cannot.

Panel 5

Chang: Zap the horse, then!
Vaarsuvius: Why? It hardly appears to be doing that much—
Chang: So he can't use his Mounted Combat feats on us! Hurry!
Vaarsuvius: Oh!
Vaarsuvius: Disintegrate!
The Disintegrate beam hits the Skeletal Steed, "BZZZZZAP!"
Death Knight: You try again? Your feeble magics cannot penetrate the unholy radiance of my dark power!

Panel 6

The Death Knight continues forward despite the fact that his steed has been turned to dust.
Death Knight: I will feast on your entrails this day, elf!

Panel 7

Death Knight: Your skill shall serve as my—
He looks down, noticing he is not riding anything.
Death Knight: Oh.

Panel 8

The Death Knight hits the ground, "WHUMPH!"

Panel 9

Vaarsuvius: W. E. Coyote's Law of Cartoon Inertia:
Vaarsuvius: "Objects in motion tend to stay at the same altitude until gravity is noticed."
The Death Knight slides into the panel next to V and Chang, "screeeeeee". Chang strikes it with his katana, "AOO!"

D&D Context Edit

  • Disintegrate is V's most powerful offensive spell at this time. It is a 6th level spell and does 2d6/level damage. If that damage brings the subject below 1 hp, the body is entirely disintegrated.
  • Spell Resistance is a special ability of Death Knights which makes them partially immune to spells, depending on the caster's level. V had previously struggled with Zz'dtri's spell resistance.
  • V's comment in the fourth panel describes the game balance which spell resistance provides.
  • Mounted Combat Feats include Mounted Combat, Mounted Archery, Ride-By Attack, Spirited Charge, and Trample. Ride-By Attack may have been how the Death Knight killed the Enlarged Soldiers.

Trivia Edit

  • In the final panel Vaarsuvius is of course referring to Wile E. Coyote from the Merry Melodies and Loony Toons cartoons. The character was first conceived in 1948.
  • This is the final appearance of the Skeletal Steed ridden by the Death Knight. It first appeared in #426.
  • This is the final appearance of the Enlarged Soldier. They first appear when Vaarsuvius enlarged them in #427.
  • This is the final appearance of the Female Low-Level Cleric who first appeared in the previous strip.

External Links Edit

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