|“It Only Shows Reality Programming”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||13 March 2009|
|View the comic|
Qarr confronts the IFCC, and they were more interested in Vaarsuvius than they admitted.
- Vaarsuvius (Soul Spliced) ◀ ▶
- Qarr ◀ ▶
- The IFCC
- Ancient Black Dragon ◀ ▶
- Panel 1
Nero: We should withdraw from these temporary bodies immediately.
Cedrik: Yes, I imagine that display could be sensed three planes away.
Lee: Let us retire to my domain.
- Panel 2
The three fiends begin to fade out, tongues of flame appearing where their bodies were.
Cedrik: Are you coming, Qarr?
Qarr: Who... me?
Nero: We couldn't have done it without you.
Lee: Even if you still don't know exactly what "it" really is.
- Panel 3
Qarr: Yeah, OK... I'll meet you down there.
Qarr: Plane Shift.
- Panel 4
Qarr: So, if it's OK to ask, how long have you three been keeping an eye on that elf?
Nero: What are you talking about?
Lee: He? It?
Cedrik: —was just the next customer to come along.
- Panel 5
Qarr: Yeah, and if you pull the other one, it plays Judas Priest. Come on.
Qarr: That ridiculous alternate plan you dangled in front of her would have required a lot of observation to come up with.
Qarr: I mean, how would you have known there even WAS a dwarf on a boat somewhere, much less that he was saving a scroll?
Qarr: The elf may have been too tired and panicked to make sense of it all, but I wasn't.
Nero: Very perceptive.
- Panel 6
Nero: We first became aware of Vaarsuvius from one of our agents—
Cedrik: —a succubus that has been working under Director Lee.
Lee: She has been keeping me abreast of some new opportunities in the world of mortals.
- Panel 7
Nero: We'll talk more about the specifics later, once we've gotten you settled into your new office.
Qarr: My—My new office??
Cedrik: We're going to need go-getters like you if we're ever going to make the IFCC's dream a reality.
Lee: Shhh, all of you! It's getting good. I think that was a 10th-level spell slot that just got used.
Cedrik: Turn it up.
Vaarsuvius' voice comes over the television.
Vaarsuvius (off-panel): Quickened Disintegrate.
Cedrik casts a spell on a brazier of popcorn, "pop pop pop".
- Panel 8
TV screen displays Dragon and Vaarsuvius.
Dragon: Did you...did you really think a Disintegrate spell would kill me??
Vaarsuvius: It was the spell you requested was it not?
Vaarsuvius: Besides, I wanted you to experience what it felt like for your baby when I shredded him into a trillion lifeless specks of ash.
- Panel 9
Qarr: Wow. Nice picture.
Lee: Thanks. It's a blood plasma screen.
Nero: The "HD" stands for "Hell-Damned"
Vaarsuvius (off-panel): Incidentally, he mewled helplessly while I did so.
D&D Context Edit
- Imps do not canonically have a Plane Shift spell-like ability, but it has been established in Order of the Stick for all of the fiendish characters to be able to do this once per day.
- Quicken Spell was used by V to cast a second spell in the same round.
- Disintegrate is a 6th level spell that does 40d6 damage for a maxed-out spell caster like the Soul Spliced V. However, the spell was quickened, and thus it was effectively a 10th level spell.
- Interestingly, Succubi are Chaotic Evil (demons, by D&D 3.x concepts), and Lee (the IFCC member with yellow speech) is assumed to be Lawful Evil, and therefore a devil in D&D 3.x terms. Yet Sabine works for him, showing the cooperative nature of the IFCC.
- In panel 5, Qarr is referring to the idiom of "pulling my leg" to mean lying.
- Judas Priest is a heavy metal band first formed in 1969. They became popular in the 1980's and are also famous for having been sued for allegedly putting subliminal messages in their songs which triggered suicide attempts in their fans. The suit was dismissed.
- The succubus that they mention is Sabine. She was shown to be working for the IFCC in #380.
- The title refers to the "Hell-Damned" TV in the last few panels. Presumably only showing reality television makes it more tortuous.