Carefully Couched
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 903
Date published 22 July 2013
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The IFCC hints at their larger scheme, and Sabine communicates with Qarr across the planar divide to check on Nale's welfare.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Somewhere in the Abyss, the IFCC toasts their success, while Sabine sits on a couch watching the action on the Prime Material Plane. Vaarsuvius is still strapped to a table, but the table has been placed next to Sabine on the couch.
Lee: Gentlemen! A toast to good timing—
Cedrik: —and making opportunities.
Nero: Cheers.
They clink glasses of champagne, "clink! clink! clink!"
Vaarsuvius: Then that was your goal all along? To destroy the Gate? To what end?

Panel 2

Lee: While we certainly enjoy exploiting your actions...
Cedrik: We have no interest in explaining our own.
Nero: Figure it out yourself.

Panel 3

Vaarsuvius: Do they intend to release the Snarl and destroy the planet? But I fail to see how that will benefit them, since it annihilates the souls of those it kills.
Blackwing: Maybe they know something about the planet in the Rift? They could be after the souls that live there.

Panel 4

Lee: When he said "Figure it out yourself," he meant on your own time.
Cedrik: Don't spoil our celebration with your rampant speculation.
Nero: Gag.
Gags magically appears over Varsuvius' and Blackwing's mouths.

Panel 5

Sabine: Don't feel bad, elf. I'm totally on their team and I only know half of what's going on.
Sabine: I mean, planet in the Rift? News to me.

Panel 6

Sabine: I've seen them take down more righteous mortals than you, too, if that helps.
Sabine: Director Lee sets up the traps and Cedrik springs them when his gut tells them the time is right. And Nero keeps them working together.
Sabine: It's scary effective.

Panel 7

Sabine: When you've got pawns on every team, it's easy to fix the game, you know?
Sabine: Even if you don't know what the game's going to be. When they first sent us to Tarquin's—
A cell phone stuck in the couch cushions rings, "brrrng! brrrng!"
Sabine: Oooo! I need to get that!!

Panel 8

Sabine: Hello? Did you get them out?
Sabine: Yes, the elf is right here, now answer me!

Panel 9

Cut to the Windy Canyon where Qarr is speaking magically to Sabine while Nale stands in the background.
Qarr: Don't get your tail in a knot.
Qarr: I got your precious boyfriend out of the pyramid as soon as it started shaking.
Qarr: Buncha rocks to the face, but they're all fine.

Panel 10

Cut back to the couch in the Abyss.
Sabine: OK, tell him that I love him, and give him lots of hugs and kisses, and tell him not to try to—
A "click!" comes from the cell phone.
Sabine: Hello? HELLO?

Panel 11

Cut back to the Windy Canyon.
Zz’dtri: ??
Qarr: Oh, nothing, I was just talking to a... telemarketer.
Nale: I can't believe—how did he—so the Gate was in the—
Durkon: Should we start looking for the second pyramid now, Master?
Malack: No.

D&D Context Edit

  • Gag is not a real D&D spell. It is of unknown level, but apparently causes a gag or piece of tape to appear over the target's mouth. It is included in this strip as a joke.
  • The IFCC represents fiends from all three Evil alignments, but the presence of Sabine, who was banished to her home plane in #860, confirms that Vaarsuvius is being held on the plane of the Abyss, the plane of pure Chaotic Evil. Thus when Lee said "Welcome to Hell" in #897, it was metaphorical, not an indication that they were on the plane of the Nine Hells of Baator.
  • Qarr and Sabine's interplanar cell phone conversation is not a canonical D&D spell, but again a magical gag used for the comic.

Trivia Edit

  • The title is a pun on the word "couched", the first meaning is to arrange or frame words in a sentence, the second is the piece of furniture on which Vaarsuvius rests.
  • The fiends were summoned back in #883, Fiend Swap.

External Links Edit