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Parental Insight
Order of the Stick comic
OOTS0819
Comic no. 819
Date published 9 December 2011
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"Also, the Desert is Dry" "Son Catcher"
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Tarquin says that doing his part to get the Order reunited can only help his own purposes, even if he doesn't yet know why the Order bothered with all the deception. He further elaborates to Malack that he knows that Nale has not yet even left the palace — perhaps because of Nale's caution driving him to look for more allies, perhaps because of Nale's egomania driving him to hear how he's being talked about, or perhaps because of Tarquin's last birthday present, a Ring of True Seeing.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Tarquin and Malack walk back inside the palace.
Tarquin: Really, Malack, it’s fairly obvious. They’re a classic team: Fighter, rogue, wizard, and cleric, with a jack-of-all-trades bard as the fifth man.
Malack: And the halfling?
Tarquin: The foil, I imagine. It’d get terribly dull without a little internal conflict, you know.

Panel 2

Tarquin: Frankly, when 4-6 high-level adventurers show up on my doorstep at the same time, I assume they’re a team until disproven.

Panel 3

Malack: I suppose it makes sense. But…why would they lie?
Tarquin: Uncertain at this point. But I saw no reason not to help them put the band back together. It is in our own best interest that they succeed.

Panel 4

Malack: Then you think they will be the ones to catch Nale?
Tarquin: Nale? No. They have zero chance of catching Nale, simply because there is zero chance that Nale has left the city—or even the palace.

Panel 5

Malack: What?? Then you know where he is, right now? How?!?
Tarquin: What it comes down to, old friend, is that I know my son. I know how he thinks.
Tarquin: The exact details are irrelevant.

Panel 6

Tarquin: For example, I could say that I know because Nale is a cautious planner—
Tarquin: —and did not take the opportunity to leave the city even after learning whatever it was he learned via my dear departed Penelope.
Tarquin: His team was stronger then than it is now, so I might have concluded that he will not depart until he’s recruited replacements.

Panel 7

Tarquin: Or perhaps I could say that I know Nale is still here because I know he is an inveterate egomaniac at heart.
Tarquin: He could never bear to flee before learning what Elan and I had to say about him after his little ambush—
Tarquin: —even if it would make no tactical sense to stay here when we are actively seeking him.

Panel 8

Tarquin: Or maybe—just maybe—I could say that I know that Nale is not aware of what magic item Penelope gave me for my birthday last year.

Panel 9

Malack: Your birthday…?
Malack: You mean…your Ring of True Seeing?

Panel 10

Beat. The outline of the invisible Nale is standing right next to Tarquin.

Panel 11

Tarquin turns towards Nale and smiles as Nale flees in fear.

D&D Context Edit

  • A ring of true seeing allows the wearer to see through normal and magical darkness, notice secret doors hidden by magic, see the exact locations of creatures or objects under blur or displacement effects, see invisible creatures or objects normally, see through illusions, and see the true form of polymorphed, changed, or transmuted things out to 120 feet.

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