|“His Most Despicable Act Yet”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||11 April 2008|
|View the comic|
We get a glimpse of exactly to what depths Xykon will sink, and a glimpse into Redcloak's motivations.
- 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?
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.
- 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.