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Second Chance
Order of the Stick comic
OOTS0657
Comic no. 657
Date published 29 May 2009
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Xykon explains the true nature of power and catches Vaarsuvius.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Vaarsuvius runs away from the door
Xykon: You still in here, elf? Or did you cut and run?
Xykon: Let's play Hide-and-Seek, just to be sure. I'm "It."
Xykon: Actually, so are you, as near as I can tell.
O-Chul: unnnhhh...

Panel 2

Xykon: You seem to have an interest in power, so let me educate you a little while I search for you.
Xykon: It's sort of this thing I like to do sometimes, especially for learned wizards such as yourself.

Panel 3

Xykon: Power, it isn't something that you put on or take off like a jacket. It's something you just ARE.
Xykon: If you can lose it by blowing two Will saves, you never really had any power in the first place, see what I'm saying?

Panel 4

Vaarsuvius begins climbing out through the hole in the wall
Xykon: Hell, the idiot paladin understands better than you do, 'cause he got every one of those hit points I burned off of him the hard way: he earned them.

Panel 5

Xykon: 'Course, now he's also earned an upgrade to Prisoner First Class for daring to touch my pretty little bauble.

Panel 6

Vaarsuvius hesitates
Xykon: It's sort of the same as how we've already been treating him, only now we get serious about it.

Panel 7

Vaarsuvius comes to a decision
Xykon: Anyhoo, where was I? Oh, right.

Panel 8

Vaarsuvius climbs back up into the room
Xykon: Your soul shenanigans are real flashy, but they had one weakness: they were shackled to your lame mid-level ass!

Panel 9

Vaarsuvius takes two healing potions from Jirix's dead body
Xykon: I used to think spells equaled power, too, back when I was alive. I've learned a lot since then.
Xykon: You know what does equal power?

Panel 10

Vaarsuvius uses the two potions on O-Chul
Xykon: Power.
Xykon: Power equals power.
Xykon: Crazy, huh?

Panel 11

Xykon: But the type of power? Doesn't matter as much as you'd think.
Xykon: It turns out, everything is oddly balanced. Weird, but true.
Xykon: For example:

Panel 12

Xykon grabs Vaarsuvius by the throat
Vaarsuvius: Urrk!
Xykon: ...Right now, power takes the form of a +8 racial bonus to Listen skill checks.

Panel 13

The invisibility spell fades as Xykon strangles Vaarsuvius, "skrrlch."
Xykon: So, Uncle Xykon, what's the moral of the story?
Vaarsuvius: Unnh!
Vaarsuvius: Gllch!
Xykon: A big pile of spells isn't enough when the other guy has a big pile of spells AND the strength to crush your windpipe with his bare phlanges[sic].

Panel 14

O-Chul stands up behind Xykon
Vaarsuvius: ...
Xykon: And they died happily ever after.
Xykon: The End.

D&D Context Edit

  • Liches do indeed have a +8 bonus to Listen skill checks, as well as Hide, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot.
  • In Panel 11, Xykon notes how various types of power are "oddly balanced". Order of the Stick takes place in a world governed by D&D 3.5 rules, which are intentionally balanced to keep the various classes on par with each other.

Trivia Edit

  • Xykon's moralizing and referring to himself as "Uncle Xykon" is reminiscent of the moralizing folktales told by the fictional wikipedia:Uncle Remus as collected by Joel Chandler Harris.

External Links Edit

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