Change of Direction
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 451
Date published 11 May 2007
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Redcloak commits the reserves in an all-or-nothing gambit.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Redcloak and MitD stand with the reserves on the plain.
Monster in the Darkness: So am I gonna get something to devour soon?
Redcloak: Haven’t decided yet.

Panel 2

Monster in the Darkness: Awww, come on!!
Redcloak: Oh, yes, THAT will work. What mortal can resist the siren song of, “Awww, come on!”?

Panel 3

Hobgoblin General: Sir, our southern commanders have just reported. Between the forces of the wall and the rumors of some sort of tiny firebreathing avatar of Death, their troops are being slaughtered.
Redcloak: Uh huh.

Panel 4

Hobgoblin General: What should I tell them?
Redcloak: Tell them to suck it up.
Hobgoblin General: What?

Panel 5

Redcloak: Fine, tell them to press the attack, keep scaling the walls, keep on truckin’.
Hobgoblin General: Supreme Leader, that will only increase casualties!
Redcloak: A distinct possibility, yes.

Panel 6

Redcloak: They’re only there to kill as many humans as possible before the northern army takes the city anyway.
Redcloak: I didn’t really expect ANY of them to come back alive. Frankly, I have more important things to worry about.

Panel 7

Redcloak: Like why they haven’t fired their catapults yet…
An enormous boulder comes flying in overhead, but Redcloak and the General don't see it. Only the soldier looks up.

Panel 8

Hobgoblin: LOOK OUT!
The soldier pushes Redcloak out of the way of the boulder at the last moment...

Panel 9

...and it lands on him instead, "THUD!", crushing him, "crack!"

Panel 10

Hobgoblin: I regret to report that I am no longer fit for duty…
Hobgoblin: …Supreme Leader…
Redcloak: Wait, I can heal—

Panel 11

He dies.
Redcloak: —you.

Panel 1, Page 2

Redcloak: He pushed me out of the way… he saved my life.
Hobgoblin General: Of course, Supreme Leader. I will relay your orders now.

Panel 2, Page 2

Redcloak: What the hell is wrong with me?!?

Panel 3, Page 2

Redcloak: I’ve been sending you off to die like lemmings, but you’re GOBLINS!
Redcloak: I’m the High Priest of the Dark One, it’s my job to shepherd the goblin people—ALL of the goblin people! And I’ve been killing you off because of… because of a childish grudge!

Panel 4, Page 2

Redcloak: Oh my god—
Redcloak: I’m turning into XYKON!

Panel 5, Page 2

Redcloak: What have I let myself do? It’s like I’m some sort of… racist!
Monster in the Darkness: Well, you do hate humans a lot…
Redcloak: Yes, but I hate all breeds of humans equally. That makes me a speciesist.

Panel 6, Page 2

Redcloak: I have to stop this!
Redcloak: I need to stop the senseless deaths!

Panel 7, Page 2

Redcloak: General! Belay those orders! Have the entire force scaling the walls withdraw.
Redcloak: Order them to join us en route.

Panel 8, Page 2

Hobgoblin General: Sir… are we retreating?
Redcloak: Retreating?
Redcloak: No.
Redcloak: Extended Summon Monster VII!

Panel 9, Page 2

Redcloak climbs a woolly red surface.
Redcloak: To sound the retreat now would further dishonor the sacrifice of every hobgoblin that has died here.
Redcloak: I may not be able to change the fact that I ordered them to their deaths, but I can damn well make sure they weren’t in vain.

Panel 10, Page 2

He sits astride a great devilish mammoth.
Redcloak: Order every hobgoblin, zombie, ghoul or whatever else we have to charge that breach in the wall, and not to stop until they feel the ocean spray on their faces.
Redcloak: We’re going to win this war NOW.

Panel 11, Page 2

Monster in the Darkness: Grumble. Why does everyone else get a new pet to ride and I don’t?
A demon-roach sits astride a saddled racoon, rearing on its back paws.
Demon-Roach: TO WAR!!!

D&D Context Edit

  • Summon Monster VII is a 7th level spell which allows the caster to summon one or more powerful alignment-appropriate monsters.
  • Extend Spell is a Feat which allows a caster to double the duration of their spells.

Trivia Edit

  • This strip marks a moment of epiphany and major growth in Redcloak's character. He no longer feels completely callous towards hobgoblins.
  • "Keep on Truckin'" is a reference to the Grateful Dead song Truckin' from their seminal 1970 album, American Beauty.
  • To MitD's final point, Xykon entered the battle on his Zombie Dragon, and now Redcloak has a Fiendish Mammoth, leaving MitD as the only member of Team Evil (not counting Tsukiko) without a mount.
  • This is the only appearance of the Hobgoblin who Saved Redcloak's life, appearing in both pages of this strip.

External Links Edit

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