|“Return of the Elf”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||27 May 2005|
|View the comic|
Vaarsuvius is an elf again, and has some words to say.
- Panel 1
Elan: So what kind of things are going to be going through my head tomorrow?
Roy: My club, if you don't shut up. Durkon is about to break the spell on Vaarsuvius.
Durkon: DISPEL MAGIC!
Vaarsuvius is returned to elf form, apparently naked, though concealed behind the dragon's tail.
- Panel 2
Vaarsuvius: Now, hurry. We do not have much time before the spell under which I placed the dragon expires.
Vaarsuvius: Dragon, tell me where the starmetal is.
Black Dragon: ...
- Panel 3
Vaarsuvius: Ah yes, I was afraid of this. The original Suggestion was given by a small purple lizard, and as such, the dragon doesn't recognize me, an elf, as being the one it must obey.
- Panel 4
Vaarsuvius: Due to the specific wording of the Suggestion that I made, it will now sit and do nothing until such a time as the spell's duration elapses.
Vaarsuvius: This is one of the flaws of using Suggestion instead of the more reliable Dominate Monster.
- Panel 5
Vaarsuvius: According to my calculations, taking into account the ambient temperature and our current longitude, I estimate the remaining duration of this spell to be approximately twelve seconds.
Vaarsuvius: At which time the dragon will resume its attempts to devour us.
- Panel 6
Roy: That's only two rounds!
Vaarsuvius: Actually, now only one. I was particularly verbose just there.
- Panel 7
Vaarsuvius: Of course, while we waited, I did have the opportunity to study.
Vaarsuvius zaps the dragon.
- Panel 8
Black Dragon: The wheels on the bus go round and round...
- Panel 9
Vaarsuvius zaps the dragon again.
- Panel 10
The dragon is reduced to ash.
Vaarsuvius: Fascinating. I cannot help but notice that the disintegrated remains of a dragon are indistinguishable from those of a human, or a halfling, or a dwarf.
Roy: Point taken.
D&D Context Edit
- Dominate Monster a 9th-level Wizard spell, and Suggestion a 3rd-level Wizard spell both allow some level of control over others, but Suggestion is merely a hypnosis-like effect, giving it numerous disadvantages.
- A round is six seconds. Speaking is normally a Free Action but only if it is less than a few sentences. V's verbosity caused the loss of a round.
- Disintegrate is a 6th-level Wizard spell that deals a large amount of damage, and if it reduces the target to below zero hit points, disintegrates them.
- Dispel Magic is a 3rd-level Cleric spell that removes magical effects.
- The title could be a play on the title of the third book of J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King, or on the third movie of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi.
- V's modesty is preserved by the black dragon, both for the reader and apparently the rest of the party, preserving the elf's gender ambiguity.
- This is the final appearance of the Young Adult Black Dragon in life, though he will appear once more in a flashback in #628.
- This strip was published just under 14 hours after its predecessor, the second shortest gap between comics, following #461.