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Under the Arena
Order of the Stick comic
OOTS0777
Comic no. 777
Date published 22 February 2011
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Gannji pumps up Enor's morale with the aid of a handy prop.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Gladiator Trainer: OK, you existentially adrift sons of werebitches, listen up! When he calls your name, say, "Here," and come forward.
Guard: Spartacus.
Sparticus #1: Here.
Guard: Spartacus.
Sparticus #2: Here.
Guard: Spartacus.
Sparticus #3: Here.
Guard: Spartacus.
Gladiator: He's in the loo.
Clipboard Guard: First up is you vs you. Off you go, you'll get your weapons once you're in place.
Gannji: Who do I get to fight? Is it the halfling? I hope it's the halfling.
Clipboard Guard: The exact fight schedule is secret. You'll be called when it's your turn.

Panel 2

Gannji walks over to Enor
Gannji: Eh, that's OK. We know the important match-up anyway—
Gannji: —since you're ranked #2 and that human is ranked above you.
Enor: Gannji, I'm scared.
Gannji: What, of that guy? He can't even get being a mammal right, he has no hair!

Panel 3

Enor: But I can't fly with these iron bands on my wings.
Enor: What if he's faster on the ground than I am?
Gannji: If he keeps his distance, fry him with your lightning.

Panel 4

Enor: But what if he evades?
Gannji: He's a fighter! The closest he comes to evasion is if he misreports his taxable wages.
Enor: But what if—

Panel 5

Gannji points at a piece of string on the floor. Gannji: Hey! Wow! Look at that! That's amazing, what are the chances?
Enor: Huh?
Gannji: That piece of string on the ground!

Panel 6

Gannji picks up the string.
Gannji: This is an authentic piece of lizardfolk Victory String.
Enor: What's that?
Gannji: It's this magical string that makes the wearer courageous in battle.

Panel 7

He ties the string around Enor's wrist.
Gannji: Here, I'll give it to you.
Gannji: That way, even if the human seems really scary, you can be brave and win.
Gannji: OK, old buddy?

Panel 8

Enor hugs Gannji.
Enor: Oh, thank you, Gannji! I was so worried, but now I feel better.
Gannji: Gah! Save the grappling attacks for the ring, Enor!

Panel 9

Belkar: Hey Roy, I just overheard that the dragon guy found a—
Roy: It's just a piece of string, it turns out the bravery was inside him all along, blah blah important lesson blah.
Belkar: Oh! I get it. Because he's kinda dumb.
Roy: Uh huh.

Panel 10

Belkar: That reminds me, Roy: I just happen to have this halfling Courage Rock and I thought you should take it.
Roy: You should go ahead and keep that. In fact, you should probably shove it someplace safe. And dark.

D&D Context Edit

  • Rogues, Monks, and Rangers have an Evasion class feature that allows them to avoid damage entirely on Reflex saving throws which would otherwise allow the character to take half damage, such as would be the case with Enor's lightning breath. Misreporting taxable wages is tax evasion.

Trivia Edit

  • The title "Under the Arena" refers to the area under the area floor where the gladiators and other combatants such as beasts are held before combat. Historically, the Roman Colosseum, consisted of a sand floor (arena means "sand" in Latin) with a hypogeum underneath, which is the Latin name for this area under the arena.
  • The "lizardfolk Victory String" and the "halfling Courage Rock" are references to the Magic Feather Trope, specifically Disney's 1941 classic Dumbo. ("Because he's kinda dumb.")
  • The three gladiators named Sparticus is a reference Stanley Kubrik's 1960 epic historical drama Sparticus, specifically the scene where the slaves refuse to give up their leader to Crassus, each standing up to proclaim "I am Sparticus".
  • This is the first appearnce of Clipboard Guard.
  • This is the first appearance of Ceruleaus and Vermillius, the blue and red gladiators. Their names indicate their colors: Cerulean is a term used to describe various blue pigments since antiquity, while Vermilion is a brilliant red pigment made from powdered cinnabar. Their names are not given in this comic, but appear later on the guard's clipboard in #782.
  • This is the only appearance for Sparticus, as well as for Sparticus. It is also Sparticus' only appearance.
  • This is the final appearance of the Weaker Gladiator, Bearded Gladiator, Lizardfolk Gladiator with Green Skin, Lizardfolk Gladiator with Brownish Skin. They first appeared in #736, Do You Like Comics About Gladiators?
  • This is the final appearance of the Blond Gladiator. He first appeared in #144.
  • This is the final appearance of Notseenicus the kobold. He first appeared in #145.

External Links Edit

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