Ritual Behavior
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 829
Date published 21 January 2012
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Tsukiko tells Redcloak that she's been working on the ritual for controlling the Snarl, and she's looking for the other half of it. Redcloak tells her that he memorized the other half, and it's never been commited to paper. Tsukiko then surprises Redcloak by telling him that she realizes that the ritual isn't intended to control the Snarl, but to move it.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Tsukiko: I think you have more pressing problems than worrying about me going through your stuff. Like how you’re gonna break it to Xykon that your dumb hobgoblins lost his phylactery.
Redcloak: Oh, that’s easy. I’m going to remind him that suppressing the rebellion was your assignment.

Panel 2

Tsukiko: Who was the old guy, anyway? Janitor, or something?
Redcloak: Something.
Tsukiko: Well, you’ll be happy to know that he did a good job cleaning up in here. I can’t find anything.
Redcloak: And once again, the thing you are looking for is…?

Panel 3

Tsukiko: The other half of this. Recognize it?
Redcloak: …Yes.

Panel 4

Tsukiko: It’s the arcane ritual you wrote down for Xykon so he can learn it to control the big Snarly thing when the time comes.
Redcloak: I said I recognized it. Why do you have it.

Panel 5

Tsukiko: He gave it to me. Said he didn’t understand how it worked and I should figure it out for him.
Tsukiko: Because I’m smart and beautiful and we have a special bond like that.

Panel 6

Redcloak: I see. And…did you?
Tsukiko: Figure it out? Sort of. Enough to know this isn’t the whole thing.
Tsukiko: There’s a divine half, too.
Redcloak: So you decided to break in and look for it.
Tsukiko: Pretty much.

Panel 7

Redcloak: It’s my pleasure to tell you that it was a waste of time.
Redcloak: The divine half of the ritual is up here, safe and sound.
Redcloak: The Crimson Mantle imparts it to its wearer’s mind directly, and only then if they are a priest of the Dark One.
Redcloak: It’s never been committed to paper.

Panel 8

Tsukiko: Darn it. That’s a shame. Finding that would really have been the smoking wand.
Redcloak: OK, well, now that you know you can’t find it, can you leave please?

Panel 9

Tsukiko: No can do, Reddie.
Tsukiko: Because this ritual? This big special ritual that’s supposed to control the big mean thing in the middle of the world?

Panel 10

Tsukiko: I don’t think it does what everyone think it does.
Redcloak: …
Redcloak: What do you mean?

Panel 11

Tsukiko: See, if the ritual controlled this “Snarl,” it would have lines of Enchantment in it. Or Transmutation, maybe, if it bodily manipulated the thing’s form.
Tsukiko: But once I realized that I was looking at only part of each effect, I saw that it doesn’t have any of that.
Tsukiko: It has Conjuration.

Panel 12

Tsukiko: Which means your big secret is out of the bag—
Tsukiko: —Wrong-Eye.

D&D Context Edit

  • As a Mystic Theurge, Tsukiko is both an arcane and a divine spellcaster. This made her uniquely qualified to understand both halves of the Snarl ritual.
  • By figuring out that the Snarl ritual is a Conjuration, not an Enchantment or Transmutation, Tsukiko can narrow down the type of effects that it can achieve.

Trivia Edit

  • Tsukiko calls Redcloak "Wrong-Eye" to annoy him. Redcloak's late brother went by the name Right-Eye, having lost his left eye to a paladin of the Sapphire Guard.

External Links Edit

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