Shhh! Principal's Coming!
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 543
Date published 28 March 2008
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Redcloak tries to keep the plan on track despite Xykon's boredom.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1, Page 1

Monster in the Darkness: Poor Mr. Stiffly! I hoped really, really hard, and he still didn't escape. I don't know why it didn't work.
Tsukiko: Yeah, gee, I don't know why wanting it wasn't enough to make it happen.
Monster in the Darkness: Me neither!
Xykon: I don't know... maybe we can try lava next time? Can you get a lava-breathing shark?
Demon-Roach #1: Sure, we know a guy who wholesales 'em.
Demon-Roach Bookie: The problem is, you can't see the action through the lava.
Redcloak: What in the name of the Dark One is going on in here?!?
Redcloak: AGAIN with the acid??
Demon Roach #2: Aw, man. Busted!

Panel 2, Page 1

Redcloak: I can't believe this! I have, "Interrogate paladin," on my schedule for 2:09 pm, sharp, and look at the condition he's in.
Redcloak: Cure Minor Wounds.
Redcloak: This is going to completely screw up today's Action List. I may have to burn a Heal spell just to get him healthy in time for his usual torture regimen. I'll probably have to skip the thumbscrews entirely.
Monster in the Darkness: Your screws have thumbs on them? Neat! I wonder if they can screw themselves...

Panel 3, Page 1

Redcloak: For that matter, don't any of YOU have duties to attend? Jirix, did you finish putting the new cover sheets on the TPS reports?
Jirix: Uh, no, Supreme Leader... I was... uh...
Demon Roach #1: Didn't you get the memo?

Panel 4, Page 1

Xykon: OK, pipe down, Mr. Green Genes. I told him to blow off work and hang with the cool kids for the afternoon.
Redcloak: Very well, sir. I guess I'll ask YOU then why you're risking a valuable asset on silly games.

Panel 5, Page 1

Redcloak: You know as well as I do that the paladin is pretty much our only information source on how the next gate might be guarded, since we still haven't found any records in the ruins of the castle.

Panel 6, Page 1

Xykon: So? If we kill him by accident, you can just bring him back to life.
Redcloak: No, I can't! His soul needs to consent to being raised—and something tells me that if you accidentally kill him with your ridiculous deathtrap, he probably won't agree to come back.
Demon Roach #1: He might do it... for what's behind Door #3!
Demon Roach #2: This campaign has gotten too Monty Hall.

Panel 7, Page 1

Redcloak: All I'm asking is that we TRY not to get him killed just yet.
Xykon: Hey, keeping someone alive is cleric's work. You figure it out. Me, I'm bored!

Panel 8, Page 1

Xykon: For whatever reason, I can only devote 8 hours a day to making magic items, even though I'm awake 24/7. I've got to fill the rest of the time with something—
Xykon: —and there's only so much enjoyment one can get out of making untrained slaves fight each other.

Panel 9, Page 1

Jirix: Yeah, most of the time, they just slip and impale themselves on the weapons.
Xykon: No, that was the enjoyment I was talking about. Friggin' hilarious.

Panel 1, Page 2

Xykon: This paladin, he's the best entertainment we've got. He's like the Energizer bunny, a Rollex[sic] watch, and Jackie Chan mixed together. I've watched him break bones even *I* didn't know humans had—and I'm a skeleton!

Panel 2, Page 2

Redcloak: Sir, you know that no one loves seeing a paladin get what's coming to them more than I do, but we need to keep our eyes on the prize.
Redcloak: We can't rush off to the Western Continent without knowing SOMETHING about how Girard's Gate is defended. We've put too much into this plan to screw it up now.
Tsukiko: "Gate"? What gate?
Monster in the Darkness: Hey, that's my line!

Panel 3, Page 2

Xykon: Fine, if it'll get your starched tight-whiteys out of the twist they're in, we won't drop him in the acid tank with shark again. It was getting kind of predictable anyway, which wreaks havoc with the odds.

Panel 13

Redcloak: I'm sorry, sir, that's not good enough. You said the same thing after I asked you to stop locking him in the cage with two dozen rabid dire wallabies.
Xykon: Oh yeah, that was great. Those little suckers can fight, heh heh.

Panel 4, Page 2

Redcloak: And again when I found out about the Basilisk Staring Contest.
Xykon: Technically, the paladin won that one.
Jirix: He never blinked.

Panel 5, Page 2

Xykon: Fine, I promise that we won't put the paladin in any type of enclosure with any animal, magical beast, or aberration, as part of an attempt to entertain ourselves.

Panel 6, Page 2

Redcloak: ...Really?
Xykon: I swear. Cross my ribs and hope to live.

Panel 7, Page 2

Redcloak: Alright then. Thank you. I have to get him cleaned up and healed before his torture, so I'll probably be late for tonight's status meeting.
Jirix: Yes, sir. I'll try to use the extra time to get some good out-of-the-box ideas ready.
Monster in the Darkness: Did he say,"out-of-the-box ideas"?
Xykon: Stay in the box.
Monster in the Darkness: Darn it.

Panel 8, Page 2

Redcloak: I tell you, nobody around here respects my schedule. Do they think crushing an entire civilization beneath our heels "just happens"?
Redcloak: It's all fun and games for them, but I'm the one who has to make the magical lightning-powered trains run on time.
Demon Roach #1: Yeah, the dinosaurs hate it when they're late.
Xykon: ...

Panel 9, Page 2

Xykon: How long would it take you to whip up an undead warrior good enough for some "mano-a-mano" gladitorial action with the prisoner?
Tsukiko: Sword and shield, or trident and net?
Xykon: Surprise me.

D&D Context Edit

  • Cure Minor Wounds is a cleric cantrip (0th level) which heals only 1 hit pint (hp) of damage. Thus it is just barely enough to keep O-Chul from dying but leaves him with the maximum amount of wounds unhealed.
  • The demon-roach in the sixth panel makes a joke about a "Monty Hall" campaign. A Monty Haul campaign is one where the DM gives out treasure like their on the 1963-86 game show Let's Make a Deal, hosted by Monty Hall (notice the difference in spelling). Though the name for the campaign type is based on the TV host's name, it is changed to make a pun on the "haul" of treasure. The prevalence of the trope is so strong in D&D circles that the pun here is to change the name back to that of the TV host when referring to "Door #3", a reference to the game show.
  • Magic item creation can only be done for 8 hours, as per the D&D rules, Xykon "cannot rush the process by working longer".
  • The Dire Wolf was a real creature, but in D&D there are many other "Dire" varieties of animals, such as the Dire Weasel and the Dire Rat, and, apparently, the Dire Wallaby.
  • Basilisks have a petrifying gaze attack.
  • Animal, Magical Beast, and Aberration are Creature Types in D&D.

Trivia Edit

  • Wanting O-Chul to escape does eventually work.
  • "Did you finish putting the new cover sheets on the TPS reports?", and "Didn't you get the memo?" are a references to the 1999 film Office Space, written and directed by Mike Judge.
  • Mister Green Genes is a natural health product marketplace.
  • Tsukiko innocently takes over MitD's running gag about not knowing anything about the Gates.
  • It has been said about Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy during WWII, that he made the trains run on time.
  • In Ancient Rome, there were different types of gladiators, such as the Murmillo who fought with a sword and shield (gladus and scutum) and the Retiarius who fought with a trident and a weighted net (like a fisherman). Secutors were also armed with a sword and shield and were specifically armed and trained to fight Retiarii.
  • This is the final appearance of the Demon-Roach Bookie. It first appeared in #369.

External Links Edit

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