|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||12 December 2011|
|View the comic|
Nale tries another Dimension Door escape, but Tarquin easily disrupts it with a casually tossed knife. Malack's attempted revenge is interrupted once more, this time by Nale pleading for his life with information. Tarquin beats Nale partway to the punch by guessing that Nale's info is related to Draketooth and Windy Canyon and is of such critical importance that both Nale and Elan would drop everything to find it—making the secret more than worth Tarquin's while to learn. Trapped, Nale begins to spill the beans about the Gates.
- Panel 1
Without turning, Tarquin casually tosses a dagger from behind his back at Nale with a "whhht!"
Nale: GAARGH! Nale spell fizzles, "fizzle!"
- Panel 2
Malack: Invisibility Purge! Your doom is now at hand, human!!
Tarquin: Now, now, Malack. Let’s not be hasty. There’s quite a lot going on here.
Nale: So you knew I was watching the whole time, but said nothing?
Nale begins to fade in as the invisibility is purged.
- Panel 3
Nale: With True Seeing, I suppose you knew about my drow spy from the start, too?
Tarquin: Of course. Thought I didn’t know he was really working for you until today, if that helps.
- Panel 4
Tarquin: I naturally assumed that the dark elf hierarchy was scouting me for a possible alliance against their surface kin.
Tarquin: Though in retrospect, I guess I shouldn’t have sent them all those fruit baskets until I was absolutely certain…
- Panel 5
Tarquin: Remember, Nale: Who knows that you know is as important as knowing it in the first place.
Nale: But you look like a fool for being ignorant!
Tarquin: So what? Better to look the fool than be one.
- Panel 6
Malack: Enough chatter! Let those be your final words to him!
Tarquin: Yes. I’m sorry, Nale, but I must defer to my colleague’s grief.
- Panel 7
Malack advances on Nale, black energy emanating from his hand.
Tarquin: I certainly have no interest in seeing my son die, but I cannot, in good conscience, postpone Malack’s revenge.
Nale: No! Wait! I have information!
Tarquin: What kind of information?
- Panel 8
Tarquin forestalls Malack.
Nale: I know about something big—something that could cut a decade or more off your conquest plans!
Tarquin: Something connected to Orrin Draketooth and the Windy Canyon?
- Panel 9
Tarquin: Something important enough that you risked coming back here based on a half-remembered clue your stepmother mentioned while drunk?
Tarquin: Something important enough that a hero of Elan’s obvious caliber rushed right out the door at the mere suggestion of its location?
- Panel 10
Nale: Goddamn you, you knew all along, didn’t you?
Tarquin: Not exactly. But it became clear that there was something going on worth knowing—and that’s reason enough for me to learn it.
- Panel 11
Tarquin: Now, Nale: Tell me. Tell me what you know.
Nale: Fine. It involves this series of Gates…
D&D Context Edit
- Dimension Door, a 4th level spell, would have allowed Nale to transport instantly to a location within 400-600 feet.
- Invisibility Purge, a 3rd level spell, cancels invisibility within an area of effect.
- A suncatcher is a small stained glass ornament hung in a window to catch light.