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His Most Despicable Act Yet
Order of the Stick comic
OOTS0548
Comic no. 548
Date published 11 April 2008
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We get a glimpse of exactly to what depths Xykon will sink, and a glimpse into Redcloak's motivations.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Jirix: Welcome back, sir. Did you learn anything useful?
Redcloak: You mean aside from the fact that uncontrolled fissures in the wall of the universe make my complexion look pasty?
Redcloak: No.
Demon-Roach #1: I coulda told you that.

Panel 2

Redcloak: The paladin doesn't know anything. I'm finally sure of it. I pushed as hard as I could, but he didn't have any idea on how to stop me from wiping out his countrymen off the face of the universe.
Redcloak: I still can't wrap my head around how the Sapphire Guard could be so... sloppy... but it seems to be true.
Redcloak: Apparently, they reserved their efficiency for killing goblin women and children.

Panel 3

Redcloak: Tomorrow, I'll put the paladin back on the rack. See if I can get him to—
Jirix: You're still going to torture him? But I thought you said he didn't know anything?
Redcloak: He doesn't. The bad news for him is that his lack of knowledge hasn't been the point for some time.
Demon-Roach #1: Who doesn't like a nice rack?
Demon-Roach #2: Eh, that joke was a stretch.

Panel 4

Redcloak: The idea that he may still spill something is all I need.
Redcloak: I can use it to convince Xykon to stay here a little bit longer—and give us time to consolidate hobgoblin control of this city and the countryside.

Panel 5

Jirix: We're ready now, Supreme Leader! We can defend this city when Xykon and you move on!
Redcloak: But can you feed yourselves?
Redcloak: We're working on establishing trade relations with some of the more mercenary nations out there, but until we do, this new goblin state is less reliable than a dwarf's sobriety.

Panel 6

Jirix: But I don't get it. We're lying to Xykon about what the paladin might now?
Redcloak: Among other things, yes.
Redcloak: Xykon operates most effectively on a "need to know" basis. And all he needs to know is that we're not yet finished here.
Jirix: But isn't he—

Panel 7

Redcloak: Listen very carefully: Xykon is a valuable ally, but he is NOT a goblin.
Redcloak: He isn't even alive, he's a magically animated... thing. He does not have our best interests at heart, because he doesn't HAVE a heart.
Redcloak: I should know, I'm the one who cut the slippery little bugger out of him.
Demon-Roach #1: Good times, good times.

Panel 8

Jirix: But... aren't we all on the same side?
Redcloak: That is a complicated question. How many "sides" are there in this conflict, anyway?
Redcloak: Three? Four? More?
Demon-Roach #1: I count at least nine.
Demon-Roach #2: Shh! They don't know about some of those yet!

Panel 9

Redcloak: On the side of Evil, as defined by our opposition to those who choose to call themselves Good? Absolutely. But if you think for one round that Xykon gives a withered crap about the goblin race, I have a bridge to sell you to Terabithia.

Panel 10

Redcloak: Our alliance with Xykon is one of the most powerful tools we have, and we cannot afford to screw that up.
Redcloak: That does NOT mean we should trust him. I know he seems funny and charming, but believe me, when you see for yourself the depths to which he'll sink—

Panel 11

Xykon and Tsukiko stand before two wights and an ogre zombie in a ring marked "Reanimated Gladiators"
Xykon: Love it.
Xykon: But can we get more silver spandex on those costumes?

Panel 12

Redcloak: —you will never sleep well again.

Trivia Edit

  • The "Reanimated Gladiators" logo is a reference to the TV show American Gladiators.
  • Ever since this strip there has been speculation about what the Nine sides are supposed to be. See the article for details.
  • Bridge to Terabithia is a 1977 novel by Katherine Patterson in which two children create the magical forest kingdom of Terabithia.

External Links Edit

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