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Tidying Up
Order of the Stick comic
OOTS0830
Comic no. 830
Date published 23 January 2012
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Redcloak confirms that the ritual is intended to move the Snarl, rather than control it as Xykon believes. Upon learning the truth, Tsukiko tells Redcloak that she's going to use it to report him, only for Redcloak to use her own Wights to seize her. Confused at first why her Wights are disobeying her, Redcloak has them remove her ring to prevent draining. While being drained by the Wights, Redcloak explains that Tsukiko is too big of a liability to let live, and foolish for spilling out her plans instead of acting upon them. Redcloak also tells her that her main mistake was treating the undead as humans, and they are essentially tools. He casted Command Undead upon entering the room, keeping Tsukiko's own Wights under his control. He says that he's been doing the same with Xykon, subtly keeping him in his hand. Tsukiko is eventually drained to death, and Redcloak has the Wights consume her and themselves, with the last one alive burnt in the fireplace.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1, Page 1

Redcloak: What does that prove, exactly? Lots of Conjuration spells grant a form of control. Planar Ally, or Summon—
Tsukiko: Those are spells from the Calling or Summoning subschools, jerkass.

Panel 2, Page 1

Tsukiko: This is strictly a Teleportation subschool effect. And I don’t think it even targets a creature at all!
Tsukiko: Xykon might not be educated enough to know the difference, but I do.
Tsukiko: I was expelled from some of the best wizard academies in the South you know.

Panel 3, Page 1

Tsukiko: He thinks he’ll be able to control the Snarl and use it to destroy his many enemies, but it doesn’t work that way, does it?
Redcloak: …
Tsukiko: Thought so.

Panel 4, Page 1

Redcloak: And this information you seem to think you’ve uncovered…what do you intend to do with it?
Tsukiko: Tell Xykon! Duh!

Panel 5, Page 1

Tsukiko: Jirix already contacted him to tell him that the phylactery had been located, so he’s teleporting back any minute.
Tsukiko: When he does, I’m gonna tell him that you’ve been lying to him! How do you like that, pea-head?

Panel 6, Page 1

Tsukiko: And when I do tell him, he’ll fire you and promote me to be his right hand girl.
Tsukiko: So we’ll have to work together closely…very closely. A lot of late nights, just him and me.
Tsukiko: And one night, as we’re scribing spells by candlelight, his bony hand will brush against my—

Panel 7, Page 1

Redcloak: Not that interrupting that train of thought wouldn’t be enough reason for me to speak—
Redcloak: —but why exactly do you think I’m going to allow you to just tell him?
Tsukiko: “Allow”? What’s to allow?

Panel 8, Page 1

Tsukiko: You’re gonna “allow” me to tell him because you’re a spineless coward squirming under Xykon’s heel.
Tsukiko: You’ll back down and let me have my way just like you have every time we’ve butted heads for the last year or so.

Panel 9, Page 1

Tsukiko: Because you know you work for Xykon, and Xykon likes me.
Tsukiko: Now, tell me what the ritual does so I can tell him!
Redcloak: *sigh*
Redcloak: It moves the Gate.

Panel 10, Page 1

Tsukiko: Huh?
Redcloak: The Gate upon which the spell is cast. It shifts it—or rather allows it to be shifted at a later time.

Panel 11, Page 1

Redcloak: To another plane, along with the tear in space around which it has been built.
Redcloak: The divine half of the ritual also gives control of what plane the Gate arrives at to my deity, the Dark One, rather than to myself or Xykon.
Redcloak: In that way, the Dark One may use the threat of releasing the Snarl on their home plane to blackmail the other gods into a series of concessions that will improve the lives of the goblin race.

Panel 12, Page 1

Tsukiko: That…that doesn’t help Xykon at all!!
Redcloak: Yes, I know. That’s why I’ve kept it from him for more than 30 years.

Panel 1, Page 2

Tsukiko: Twelve Gods…I didn’t think…
Redcloak: You’re right, of course. About me.

Panel 2, Page 2

Redcloak: I have let you have your way, time and again, because stopping you would have disrupted the delicate balance between Xykon and myself.
Redcloak: But now…right now…

Panel 3, Page 2

Redcloak: …not stopping you will upset that balance even more.
Redcloak: Seize her.

Panel 4, Page 2

The wights take hold of Tsukiko. Wight #1: OK.
Wight #2: You’re the boss.
Tsukiko: What the—?

Panel 5, Page 2

Tsukiko: Sweeties, you need to listen to Mommy.
Tsukiko: You need to let go.
Boot Wight: We’re sorry, Old Mistress.
Boot Wight: Master gave us an order.
Redcloak: She has a ring that protects her from your draining touch, doesn’t she? Take it off and give it to me.

Panel 6, Page 2

Boot Wight removes her ring. The level draining effects of the wight's touch begins to have an effect and Tsukiko is surrounded in a black glow.
Tsukiko: GAAAH!!
Tsukiko: Let go! Your hands hurt Mommy!
Redcloak: That’s what you’ve never really understood about the undead, Tsukiko.
Redcloak: You treat them like they’re people when they’re nothing but bits of skin and bone and dark energy, glued together by magic into the shape of a man.

Panel 7, Page 2

Tsukiko: Teleport!
Redcloak: This room is dimensionally locked.
Tsukiko: SHOUT!
Redcloak: Counterspell.
Redcloak: So many spells, So few that can be cast while being grappled.

Panel 8, Page 2

Redcloak: See, the undead are tools. Powerful, dangerous tools.
Redcloak: From the lowliest zombie to Xykon himself, the undead are just complex weapons that we make and aim at other people.
Redcloak: All that differs is how direct or subtle our control of them is.

Panel 9, Page 2

Redcloak: For your beloved wights, one use of my Command Undead ability when I walked in the room was more than up to the task.
Redcloak: For our so-called master, more creative strategies are required.

Panel 10, Page 2

Tsukiko: You don’t control Xykon! He controls you!
Redcloak: Like I said: subtle.

Panel 1, Page 3

Tsukiko: You bastard! Xykon will destroy you and every one of your filthy hobgoblin friends when he finds out about this.
Redcloak: Maybe. Would he have reacted any better to the news that I’ve been deceiving him, though?
Redcloak: I highly doubt it.

Panel 2, Page 3

Redcloak gets right in Tsukiko's face.
Redcloak: Because let’s be clear: If I tolerated your humiliating attempts to undercut my authority before—
Redcloak: —it was only because killing you would’ve upset the delicate puppet strings upon which “Lord Xykon” unknowingly dances.
Redcloak: But if you’re going to stand here and tell me that you’ll expose one of those strings to him? If you’re going to be THAT stupid?
Redcloak: There can be only one rational response to that.

Panel 3, Page 3

Redcloak: Hold her until you drain the life from her. Then devour her corpse.
Boot Wight: You got it, boss.
Tsukiko: NO!!

Panel 4, Page 3

Tsukiko: No! Stop! You don’t have to do this, little ones!
Tsukiko: He just wants you to think you have to!
Tsukiko: You can—AAARGH!!—you can fight back! Resist!

Panel 5, Page 3

Tsukiko: No! NO!!
Tsukiko: Don’t you—AAAGH!—Don’t you understand?

Panel 6, Page 3

Tsukiko: I love you all! I love you!
Tsukiko: I love you!

Panel 7, Page 3

Tsukiko: Why don’t…
Tsukiko: …you love…
Tsukiko: …me?

Panel 8, Page 3

beat

Panel 9, Page 3

The wights begin to eat Tsukiko. "crunch"
Redcloak: When you’re all done with that, devour each other in the order in which you were created.

Panel 10, Page 3

The wights continue to eat Tsukiko, and each other. "crunch crunch crunch"
Wight #3: Sure.
Boot Wight: No problem.
Redcloak: Last one left, set yourself on fire.
Redcloak: In the fireplace, please.

D&D Context Edit

  • While Tsukiko is being grappled by the wights, her hands are not free and thus she cannot cast any spells with somatic components (hand gestures).
  • Redcloak's final commands ensure the wights are killed and leave no remains.
  • Dimensional Lock is a Level 8 spell that can be cast on an area that prevents extradimensional travel in or out, including Teleportation.
  • Teleport, a 5th level spell, would have allowed Tsukiko to escape had the room not been locked. It has only a verbal component.
  • Shout is a 4th level spell which causes sonic damage in a cone. It likewise has only a verbal component. Since Redcloak cannot cast this spell, he must have used Dispel Magic as his Counterspell.

Trivia Edit

  • This is the penultimate appearance of Tsukiko (she also appears as an illusion in Haley, Elan, and Roy's phantasm dream in #887), and the end of her tenure in Team Evil. Tsukiko first appears in #420.
  • This is the final appearance of the Boot Wight. He appears in 16 comics. His first comic was #513. He gets his name from the fact that he is wearing Ho Thanh's boots.

External Links Edit

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