|“March to War”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||5 March 2007|
|View the comic|
A parallel portrayal of the preparations of the pair of armies.
- Roy Greenhilt ◀ ▶
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Hinjo ◀ ▶
- O-Chul ◀ ▶
- An Azurite Cleric
- The Army of Azure City
- Redcloak ◀ ▶
- The Monster in the Darkness ◀ ▶
- Two Demon-Roaches ◀ ▶
- The Eye of Fear and Flame ▶ (as Xykon ◀ ▶)
- A Hobgoblin Cleric
- Four Titanium Elementals ▶
- Xykon's Horde of Hobgoblins, Zombies, and Ghouls
[Note: This strip features a non-traditional layout. There are two pages side-by-side, and each panel on one page is mirrored by a similar scene from the opposing army on the other. The transcript is presented in the assumed order the reader is intended to read the panels.
- Panel 1, Page 1
- Panel 1, Page 2
The horde of Xykon is arrayed in the plains outside the walls against the backdrop of the Southern Mountains. The army is mostly hobgoblins but includes many zombies, including angel zombies. There are also four catapults. The commanders stand in a clear area center of the horde.
- Panel 2, Page 1
A row of soldiers stand on the parapets of the Azure City wall.
Soldier #1: Oh, man, I do not like this.
Solider #2: I think I see them.
Solider #3: Yup, that's them.
Solider #4: There's so many...Crap, are those flying troops there? Oh, this sucks!
Solider #5: You know, I heard Shojo was in league with the hobgoblins, so they took him down.
Solider #6: Well, I heard that Hinjo went nuts and killed the old man himself, just so he could seize power.
Azurite Cleric: *sigh* Politics as usual.
- Panel 2, Page 2
A column of hobgoblins marches towards the city.
Hobgoblin Cleric: Oh, man, I can't wait!
Hobgoblin #1: I know! We're finally gonna get to fight the humans!
Hobgoblin #2: I am totally stoked, guys.
Hobgoblin #3: You know, at first, I wasn't so sure about this goblin as a leader, but this is just awesome.
Hobgoblin #4: Yeah, any leader who'll let us invade a city and crush it beneath our heels is OK in my book.
- Panel 3, Page 1
Roy, Hinjo, V, and O-Chul stand at the battlements. V is looking out of a crenel between two merlons.
Hinjo: Roy, I have some last minute orders for you.
Hinjo: When Xykon shows himself, you and your team go after him. You're high enough level to stand a chance, and you've fought him before.
Vaarsuvius: Protection from Arrows!
- Panel 4, Page 1
Hinjo: Don't worry about guarding me. You see him, you get to him and eliminate his ability to participate in this battle.
Roy: Oh, no problem. I was pretty much gonna do exactly that anyway.
O-Chul: Lord Hinjo, are you sure this is wise?
- Panel 3, Page 2
MitD, Redcloak and a wide-eyed Xykon walk on the plain.
Eye of Fear and Flame: Excuse me, uh, Redcloak? Can I just get a minute?
Eye of Fear and Flame: Great.
Eye of Fear and Flame: So, are you certain this plan you've got going is a good idea?
Redcloak: Yes, for the one billionth time, I am certain. Now stop bothering me, we're ready to start.
- Panel 4, Page 2
Eye of Fear and Flame: It's, uh... it's just this plan doesn't really seem that conducive to my long-term well—
Demon-Roach #1: Make love, not war!
Demon-Roach #2: Infernal hippie.
Redcloak: Listen to me, you whiny crybaby sack of undead crap, you are going to do exactly what I tell you to do, or I will rebuke you into next week.
Eye of Fear and Flame: OK! OK! Sorry! Sorry!
- Panel 5, Page 1
Hinjo stands at the parapet.
Hinjo: If Xykon doesn't fall, there's not much chance of us winning this. A sorcerer that powerful doesn't engage opponents, he alters the course of entire battles. We need him down, quickly.
Hinjo: Roy and the rest can worry about whether he regenerates after the army is beaten.
- Panel 6, Page 1
O-Chul: I meant, are you sure it's wise to allow them autonomy? Shouldn't they remain under our command for the entire battle?
Hinjo: Adventurers, O-Chul. They work better on their own. Let Roy fight his war, and you and I will fight ours, yes?
O-Chul: Yes, my lord.
- Panel 7, Page 1
O-Chul: I go to defend Soon's Gate.
Hinjo: May the Twelve Gods go with you.
O-Chul: If I do not see you again in this world, we will share a drink in the next. They shake hands.
- Panel 5, Page 2
Redcloak stands with the MitD
Redcloak: Wow...that was surprisingly therapeutic.
Monster in the Darkness: Did you—I mean, you just—I can't believe you just said that to Xykon!
- Panel 6, Page 2
Redcloak: Sorry, I really don't have time for you right now.
Monster in the Darkness: But—but—I'm so confused!
Redcloak: I've been dreaming of this day for two-thirds of my life...when I would stand at the gates of Azure City with enough force to crush every last paladin into thick red gooey paste.
Hobgoblin #5: Orders, Supreme Leader?
- Panel 7, Page 2
Redcloak (whispering): This one's for you, Mom.
Redcloak: Fire the catapults!
D&D Context Edit
- Protection from Arrows is a 2nd level wizard spell which grants 10 points of damage reduction against arrows.
- Cover, such as provided by the battlements, provides +4 to the AC of the soldiers.
- Redcloak is thinking of his mom as he prepares to launch the attack on Azure City. Events portrayed in Start of Darkness gave him personal reasons to hate and despise its Paladins.
- "Make love, not war" is a counterculture slogan from the 1960's.
- This is the first appearance of the Eye of Fear and Flame, one of the three Xykon decoys. MitD, along with the reader, is not yet aware of the deception.
- This is the first appearance of the Titanium Elementals, who will make themselves more well known in the next strip.