|“It's a Long List”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||1 February 2016|
|View the comic|
Vaarsuvius arrives to survey the wreckage of his or her cabin.
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Mr. Scruffy ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator (as lizard) ◀ ▶
- Crew of the Mechane
- Little Whiskers ◀ ▶
- Mischief of Hel ◀
- Panel 1
Felix and Kwesi enter the room, looking with shock at the results of the explosion: all the rats are dead, and Blackwing and Mr. Scruffy are lying on the ground dazed.
Blackwing: I'm a wizard, Harry!
Vaarsuvius (off-panel): Stand aside!
- Panel 2
Blackwing: Oh, cool, you're here. I'm OK.
Vaarsuvius: I became suspicious when your emotions transitioned to resigned acceptance and wistful regret.
Felix: Where did all these rats come from?
- Panel 3
Blackwing: The vampire summoned them, right before he stole our giant swirly-thing and left.
Vaarsuvius: Master Thundershield did this?
Blackwing: No, some off-brand version.
- Panel 4
Mr. Scruffy is checking on Bloodfeast.
Vaarsuvius (off-panel): I apologize for not coming immediately upon the first sign of distress.
Mr. Scruffy: Meoww?
Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator: Hurrrrr.
- Panel 5
Blackwing: Nah, it's my fault for crying wolf so often. I'm very bauble-insecure.
Vaarsuvius: I will accept, in compromise, that we both have flaws upon which we must continue to improve.
- Panel 6
Blackwing: Oh! But you have to help Little Whiskers!
Blackwing: The tiger! The vampire drained a lot of his blood before the big boom!
- Panel 7
Vaarsuvius: I have no means to aid this beast, but I can bring him to his mistress.
Blackwing: OK, yes! Let's do that.
- Panel 8
Vaarsuvius: Bugsby's Cat-Retrieving Hand!
Blackwing: I don't know what's weirder—that you keep preparing that spell, or that you keep needing it.
- Panel 9
Vaarsuvius: I must applaud your creativity, using my scroll offensively in such an unorthodox manner.
Blackwing: And see, a few years ago you probably would've been mad that I wasted it.
Vaarsuvius: I fear you are correct, though such a reaction would have been deplorable on my part.
- Panel 10
Vaarsuvius: You safety and well-being are of far greater concern than the preservation of a mere magic item.
Blackwing: Thanks, V. I really appreciate that.
- Panel 11
Vaarsuvius: And even putting aside the emotional or moral impact, a strict numerical analysis would show that I would lose many more experience points from a familiar dying than I would by scribing a replacement scroll.
Blackwing: Let's just put, "Not quitting while you're ahead," on that list of flaws for you to work on.
D&D Context Edit
- Bugsby's Cat-Retrieving Hand is, of course, not a canonical D&D spell. However it plays on the several "hand" spells named for the Archmage Bigby. Bigby was a character played by D&D creator Gary Gygax. Originally created by Bob Kuntz as an NPC henchmen for Gygax's Mordenkainen, Bigby became a PC in his own right and a member of Gygax's Circle of Eight. Due to copyright constraints, the name cannot be used in the SRD and in this comic it is parodied variously as "Bugsby" or "Bixby".
- Scribing a scroll of Locate Creature costs 28XP (base cost / 25). Replacing a familiar costs the wizard 200 XP/level. In Vaarsuvius' case this would be 3,200 XP, considerably more than the scroll cost.
- Blackwing saying "I'm a wizard, Harry!" is a reference to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, where Hagrid first revealed to Harry that he was a wizard by telling him "Yer a wizard, Harry!"
- Bugsby's Cat-Retrieving Hand was last seen in use in comic #781, "Companions".
- This is the last appearance of the rats, the Mischief of Hel. A Mischief is the collective noun for a group of rats. They first appeared in #1014, "Aw, Rats!"