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View Full Version : OOTS #820 - The Discussion Thread



The Giant
2011-12-12, 09:51 AM
New comic is up.

Psyren
2011-12-12, 09:54 AM
I love how casually he interrupted that jump. :smallamused:

The roaches can add another faction going after the gates now I suppose.

Volthawk
2011-12-12, 09:55 AM
Well, looks like Tarquin will form one of the proper sides for the Gate conflict, then.

Lvl45DM!
2011-12-12, 09:57 AM
He was never gonna let Malack kill Nale. Dammit Malack kill him anyway!

banjo1985
2011-12-12, 09:57 AM
Oh Tarquin, will you never stop being an absolutely magnificent git?

Seriously, he's so sly and calm about everything that it's difficult to believe Elan's even the same species as his dad. :smallamused:

I'm guessing Tarquin will have quite a bit to think about when Nale spills about the gates and the Snarl.

faustin
2011-12-12, 09:58 AM
He said "mere suggestion of his location...". Does it that mean that The Order is actually following a false trail?:smallconfused:

anamiac
2011-12-12, 09:59 AM
I don't understand really why Tarquin would care about the gates. Sure, they're a big plot element in the story, but it's not like Tarquin can use the Snarl to his benefit. I don't see how he would benefit from controlling them except in that he stops Xycon from destroying the world - the same thing the OOTS is doing.

Ron Miel
2011-12-12, 10:02 AM
Aaaand Tarquin thus becomes one of the nine sides.

Julian84
2011-12-12, 10:03 AM
The plot, it thickens! Again!

Rastaban
2011-12-12, 10:04 AM
I don't understand really why Tarquin would care about the gates. Sure, they're a big plot element in the story, but it's not like Tarquin can use the Snarl to his benefit. I don't see how he would benefit from controlling them except in that he stops Xycon from destroying the world - the same thing the OOTS is doing.

Even if he can't benefit from it, he does know that until he hears what is going on. And knowing him, he can come up with something.

Great comic, love Tarquin!

Psyren
2011-12-12, 10:05 AM
*snip*

Can I just say that I absolutely love your avatar?


I don't understand really why Tarquin would care about the gates. Sure, they're a big plot element in the story, but it's not like Tarquin can use the Snarl to his benefit. I don't see how he would benefit from controlling them except in that he stops Xycon from destroying the world - the same thing the OOTS is doing.

Well for one, keeping Xykon away from them is as important to Tarquin's plans as it is to all the other villains'. (Not to mention keeping them out of Nale's, who would surely use them against dear-old dad.)

For two, once Xykon is dealt with, he would likely put them to the same use Xykon would; i.e. a blunt-instrument WMD to threaten recalcitrant nations with.

Roland Itiative
2011-12-12, 10:08 AM
Great comic, as always.

I wonder how long Malack will just accept Tarquin postponing his revenge...

blueblade
2011-12-12, 10:09 AM
oh dear.. I kinda hoped Tarquin was going to stay ou of it, but no reason he should when the prize is this juicy!

Parra
2011-12-12, 10:09 AM
Well for one, keeping Xykon away from them is as important to Tarquin's plans as it is to all the other villains'.

And a little forewarning on an Epic Level Lich coming your way is nice.

Not to mention you could potentially manipulate him into targeting your enemies

Laws of Chaos
2011-12-12, 10:12 AM
I didnt expect that he'd allow Malak to off Nale right in front of him, but I figured he wouldn't do it himself. This was a really good strip! Shows a lot of the family dynamic.

Thanks Giant, notsopatiently awaiting the next update.

Warmage
2011-12-12, 10:16 AM
Dammit, Giant, stop making me root for the evil tyrant!

Morty
2011-12-12, 10:16 AM
The fifth panel sums up the difference between Tarquin and Nale - Tarquin is fine with looking like a fool if it's useful, but Nale will never stand for anyone doubting that he's brilliant even for a second.

Andre
2011-12-12, 10:18 AM
Looks like Tarquin is able to employ that lovely, lovely spell...

eras10
2011-12-12, 10:21 AM
I never comment, but I saw a chance to be the first one to point out just how seriously, seriously bad news this is.

Whether Tarquin's forces truly team up with the Linear Guild, execute Nale and absorb his remaining assets, or exterminate and replace them, the force ratio against OOTS just got a whole lot worse.

Something the audience hasn't got from this strip yet that you're supposed to be getting is that Tarquin's "la de dah, sure I'll help you neutralize this other evil guy" is a carefully planned act. It may even be true as far as it goes, but it's also a subtle lie - the lie part is that Tarquin has no interest in doing *better* than just using good guys to take out some other bad guys, and disrupting someone else's plot to conquer the world, instead of doing that and *then* conquering the world himself. That whole "I should probably just stick with my third of the continent" thing is baloney. Again, it may even be kind of true.... until it's not.

Tarquin is going to stop being pleasant and helpful now that he knows there's a big fat prize and OOTS are in the way. And, um, you may have noticed that Haley's father isn't exactly safe yet. I probably don't need to draw you a map to where this will go.

But it's brilliant unlayering of Tarquin's character. There's really a level of subtlety and manipulation being done here that's impressive to behold.

The Pilgrim
2011-12-12, 10:21 AM
I think it's the first time we actually see Taquin wound someone with a weapon.

Wanderer
2011-12-12, 10:23 AM
Oh, just kill Nale already!

Laws of Chaos
2011-12-12, 10:27 AM
Tarquin is going to stop being pleasant and helpful now that he knows there's a big fat prize and OOTS are in the way. And, um, you may have noticed that Haley's father isn't exactly safe yet. I probably don't need to draw you a map to where this will go.

I see your point, and mostly agree. But I see him allowing the OOTS to stop Xykon first. The OOTS dont want to destroy the gate, just keep Xykon from it. At this point, destroying the gate will do just as much harm as letting Xykon control it.

Bedinsis
2011-12-12, 10:32 AM
I don't think Tarquin intended for one second to let Nale be killed without him hearing him out.

This strip has formally anchored my view of Tarquin as a chess master of people, carefully playing people out to his own ends and knowing everything that goes around while holding the appearance of someone who doesn't.

Though despite his statement of it not being important to appear smart he sure seemed to enjoy rubbing it in Nale's face that he already knew what was going on.

Defiant
2011-12-12, 10:32 AM
Well, crap...

The Succubus
2011-12-12, 10:33 AM
How on earth can someone like Tarquin use the phrase "...in good conscience..."?

Onyavar
2011-12-12, 10:34 AM
I think it's the first time we actually see Taquin wound someone with a weapon.

I also think so, yes.

Great comic - as always, Giant!

I also guess that Tarquin gave Elan "the fastest carpet available" to him, but he also has means of transportation which are much faster even. Let's say, he just calls his team wizard, tells him to teleport to his location, and then a teleport to Windy Canyon. In this case, he beats the Order by two days. Even if his team wizard first needs to memorize teleport for two times, Tarquin still has a time advantage!

Oh, and I guess, the Order will meet a random encounter during their flight. :smallbiggrin:

ref
2011-12-12, 10:36 AM
Whatever, kill Nale. Now the problem is with Tarquin trying for the gates, but he doesn't have a certain ritual, or even half of it, actually.

ravage
2011-12-12, 10:36 AM
"but, you are free to make him suffer"
say it:smallbiggrin:

leakingpen
2011-12-12, 10:37 AM
Its not a series of tubes, see, or wagons you load power on, no, its a series of gates.

electricbee
2011-12-12, 10:42 AM
I think i want to have Tarquin's babies. And i'm a man.

hrak
2011-12-12, 10:42 AM
I don't really see why Tarquin cant control the gates. We have already seen his divine spell caster, and I assume his party has an arcane caster as well. Really, I agree with whats been said about letting the OOTS do their thing beating the other villains after the gate. But as always, when the time is right Tarquin make his perfectly planned out move and I think that means going for the gates himself.

Valyrian
2011-12-12, 10:44 AM
Great comic, and I really could get used to the current update rate. We need more scenes in nondescript corridors :smallwink:

I wonder what Tarquin's final plans for Nale are. I don't think he ever wanted him killed, and only let Malack step forward as a favour for his friend and because he knew Nale would try to talk his way out of that. But is that only because he's sure Nale actually knows something or because he really "couldn't see his son die"? And what will happen when Nale has told him? Tarquin doesn't seem to be the "you have outlived your usefulness" type to me, but I can't see him going "wanna team up?" either.

JSSheridan
2011-12-12, 10:47 AM
Thanks Giant!

madtinker
2011-12-12, 10:47 AM
You know what I love about this comic? Everything that happens is perfect! It all fits so well and I say to myself "of course it's that way, how could it possibly be any different?"

CoffeeIncluded
2011-12-12, 10:48 AM
...Uh-oh. Also, why do I think Nale won't survive after this?

Psyren
2011-12-12, 10:51 AM
...Uh-oh. Also, why do I think Nale won't survive after this?

Nale can't hold a candle to his dad, but should be crafty enough to hold back some information that they need to keep him around for. "I can lead you to X" for instance.

zingbat
2011-12-12, 10:58 AM
Heh. I knew Nale wouldn't get far...

t209
2011-12-12, 11:01 AM
I wonder if controlling Hinjo as puppet leader of Azure city would be part of Tarquin's genre savviness and conquest. Not only he get the rift, but also control the lifeline of western continent.

Turgon9357
2011-12-12, 11:03 AM
Tarquin, you chessmaster, you. :smalltongue:

Very clever. In the 3rd to last panel, he mentions how he gave the OOTS a vague hint and how they rushed off in no time, indicating its importance.

Very perceptive, evil sir.

King of Nowere
2011-12-12, 11:04 AM
I suspected Tarquin was playing the fool on some areas, because what we saw of him during the linear guild figth didn't matched his magnificent bastard image. But that's over my expectations.
It reminds me of Vetinari asking for a coda that was "devilishly difficult" to broke. Leonard of Quirm suggested he could make him a code that was imposible to break at all, but vetinari rejected that: he wouldn't know what his enemies tougth he was thinking.
I guess he and Tarquin exchanged notes at some point...

Anarion
2011-12-12, 11:04 AM
I echo the sentiments of others that Tarquin casually interrupting Nale's teleport was great.

This comic was maybe a bit heavy on Tarquin just talking though. It certainly makes Tarquin look awesome, particularly using Malack as his stick while he offers his protection as a carrot for information. However, I think the pacing was a bit slow, particularly in light of the previous comic as well. This one might work better in the book where it gives Tarquin one long monologue then immediately goes on to something else on the next page.

Turgon9357
2011-12-12, 11:05 AM
Wait a second. Nale doesn't have that black mark on his face. So much for that permanent mark theory.

Beowulf DW
2011-12-12, 11:05 AM
I love how casually he flicks that dagger at Nale.

Gift Jeraff
2011-12-12, 11:05 AM
Yeah, looks like we found the new side the Giant mentioned at the end of DStP.

Faltenin
2011-12-12, 11:08 AM
I see Tarquin's genre savvy-ness also includes "good cop, bad cop" to get info out of someone... even if Malak had no clue himself :smallsmile:

:elan: Obvious Hero Caliber... LOL

Juggling Goth
2011-12-12, 11:09 AM
He was never gonna let Malack kill Nale. Dammit Malack kill him anyway!

I dunno.


...Uh-oh. Also, why do I think Nale won't survive after this?

This is more my thinking. Nale is an idiot to start talking without getting some kind of amnesty agreement. I mean, Tarquin would of course find a loophole in it anyway, but Nale should at least try, otherwise he's leaving himself wide open to "OK, Malack, now you can kill him."

pendell
2011-12-12, 11:09 AM
Awesome.

What Tarquin just did? That's master-class interrogation. Correctly combining intimidation with his obvious knowledge of things that are going on to utterly overwhelm Nale's resistance and get him to spill all he knows. With minimum cruelty , which in this case constitutes wasted effort. Well done!

From a technical perspective (http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/policy/army/fm/fm34-52/app-h.htm), this looks like a combination of "Fear Up Harsh", "Good Cop/ Bad Cop" , and "Futility/We Know All".

Tarquin broke Nale's will to resist interrogation like a matchstick , and all without rack, thumbscrews, boiling oil etc which would not only have taken time but might have rendered him incapable of intelligent communication.

If Tarquin isn't the best villain in the strip, Xykon and Redcloak are going to have to work HARD to take that title away from him.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Nohar
2011-12-12, 11:12 AM
Now I remember the note Tarquin said to himself : "Elf can't teleport".
One forumer before me was right : Tarquin didn't offer them a Teleport, he just offered them a "rapid" carpet, knowing full-well that Nale was still here, and that with the information he could gather from him he might have some interest in beating the OOTS to the canyon.

Houston, we have a HUGE problem. I hope Haley managed to suspect something, because if she doesn't, I'm afraid the others members certainly won't.

Laws of Chaos
2011-12-12, 11:15 AM
I dont think Tarquin will kill Nale after he gets his information. But what I can see, maybe even like to see, is T tell Malak to "heal him and make sure thats everything" :smallamused:

Killer Angel
2011-12-12, 11:21 AM
Tarquin, you are, indeed, Magnificent! :smallbiggrin:

deuxhero
2011-12-12, 11:24 AM
Tarquin is now my favorite villain ever.

Barstro
2011-12-12, 11:24 AM
Interesting that we still do not have definitive proof that Nale ever harmed Malak's family. While Nale's "What??" can be shock at his father turning him over, it can also be confusion at what Malak needs revenge for.

To avoid the war; I'm NOT saying one way or the other, just that we still have no proof if Nale killed everyone, or if Malak simply believes that for some reason. Either way, Tarquin is playing Daes Dae'mar quite well.

Willis888
2011-12-12, 11:25 AM
I wonder what will become of the fruit baskets the drow hierarchy received from seemingly out of nowhere? I think they'd be interested in the Gates as well, if they don't already know about them.

Orzel
2011-12-12, 11:29 AM
Great comic.

I am not surprised by Tarquin knowing that Elan was on some big epic quest. He said that much upon meeting him.

And I am not surprised he didn't let Malack slay Nale and used that as a threat to get info. Parents use fear of punishment to coerce info "all the time".

But him not knowing about the Gates was a shock. But he knows now. Crafty little something something.

deuxhero
2011-12-12, 11:30 AM
How is not not-Nale not unconscious and dieing?

kierthos
2011-12-12, 11:36 AM
Honestly, I do hope Nale bites it after telling his father all he knows (because he never said he wouldn't let Malack kill Nale) but I don't see it happening.

Which might just drive a wedge between Tarquin and Malack.

Or they (Tarquin and Malack) could have planned this all along. For all we know, Malack isn't really that sentimental about his dead kids. (He's a priest of a death god, for one thing...)

Conuly
2011-12-12, 11:46 AM
Well, looks like Tarquin will form one of the proper sides for the Gate conflict, then.

Wait... does he count as one of "the nine sides"? Since he's only entering the race just now?

Also, I never thought I'd feel sorry for Nale before, but I'm starting to have real sympathy for his entire childhood.

Dr.Epic
2011-12-12, 11:50 AM
Yay! New comic!

Delusion
2011-12-12, 11:51 AM
I'm starting to agree with whoever said that perhaps Nale didn't actually kill Malack's kids and Tarquin simple fooled his friend about the who the killer was.

Nale seems so surprised that Malack wants him dead.

CoffeeIncluded
2011-12-12, 11:57 AM
I'm starting to agree with whoever said that perhaps Nale didn't actually kill Malack's kids and Tarquin simple fooled his friend about the who the killer was.

Nale seems so surprised that Malack wants him dead.

I thought his, "What???" was because his father is turning him over to be killed.

Also, while this is very bad news for the Order in the long term, I'm not sure how much of an immediate threat Tarquin's knowledge of the gates is. Right now, he can't do anything with the information because he doesn't have an epic-level arcane and divine spellcaster with him.

Neopolis
2011-12-12, 11:58 AM
Now I just feel bad for Malack.

Zigg'rrauglurr
2011-12-12, 11:58 AM
Aside from all the other cool things already mentioned; I loved how Tarquin's father side still showed while he was educating Nale on how to be a better Evil Mastermind: "Who knows what you know..."

Also IMHO, Tarquin was going to let Malack kill Nale... (But the theory that Nale never killed Malack children still looks feasable...)

As always, great comic Giant.

Kish
2011-12-12, 11:59 AM
I agree with CoffeeIncluded.

Hurkyl
2011-12-12, 12:04 PM
Wait... does he count as one of "the nine sides"? Since he's only entering the race just now?
He seems competent enough that he could very well be aware there's *something* odd going on in the desert and be in the process of trying to figure out what.

Wanda V'Orcus
2011-12-12, 12:04 PM
I'm starting to agree with whoever said that perhaps Nale didn't actually kill Malack's kids and Tarquin simple fooled his friend about the who the killer was.

Nale seems so surprised that Malack wants him dead.

Then why did Nale say the nonchalant "Malack -- how's the family?" when he first encountered him on the balcony?

Plus, why would Sabine be so scared of the high priest if she (and Nale) didn't have a good (or evil) reason why??

Cheers, JohnH / Wanda

BlackDragonKing
2011-12-12, 12:08 PM
I don't think that Tarquin's going to immediately throw his hat into the ring when Nale finishes spilling his guts; that's just not how Tarquin rolls. Do I think that Tarquin will adjust his plan so he can get the drop on anyone going after the power of the remaining gates, and leave the door open to snap them up and make use of them at his convenience? Probably. Tarquin's a pragmatist in a way Nale could never be, so going hunting after the cosmic keystones right now simply seems like a waste of effort when Tarquin's planning skills means he can probably turn the mere existence of the gates into another huge asset to his empire without ever being anywhere near them.

I do hope that Tarquin never saying he wouldn't just let Malak kill Nale afterwards means Nale will bite it when he tells them everything; he's just starting to look like an annoyingly persistent buffoon at this point, and with threats like Xykon and Tarquin in play, it just seems like the Order has better things to concern themselves with than Nale's inevitable next failed ambush.

TheArsenal
2011-12-12, 12:09 PM
I doubt that taqiun will try to conquer the gates. Hes smart enough to know that villains that dabble in with unimaginable power end up dying ironic painfull deaths.

Ulysses WkAmil
2011-12-12, 12:14 PM
It was still a nice gesture to the Drows, regardless of circumstances...

sndream
2011-12-12, 12:21 PM
Can't Malack resurrect his sons?

Gnome Alone
2011-12-12, 12:22 PM
How on earth can someone like Tarquin use the phrase "...in good conscience..."?

Cognitive dissonance.

Forikroder
2011-12-12, 12:32 PM
if the gate in the desert gets destroyed i doubt well see him try to reach into other continents to control those ones

i wonder if Tarquin is going to risk gathering his old team and going there personally

Willis888
2011-12-12, 12:36 PM
How is not not-Nale not unconscious and dieing?

I wondered that too. Not not-Nale was frail, not hale, then got hit hard enough to fail when he tried to bail.



It was still a nice gesture to the Drows, regardless of circumstances...

They might not see it that way. A lot of effort goes into propagandizing the population about how evil the surface dwellers are. Sending them fruit baskets may be seen as an attempt to undermine their credibility :smalleek:

Kish
2011-12-12, 12:37 PM
How is not not-Nale not unconscious and dieing?
If you mean, because of the reduction to 1 hit point followed by Tarquin throwing a dagger at him, presumably he drank a healing potion between them.

I know I would be surprised if even Elan was stupid enough to sneak around enemy territory with 1 hit point unless he had absolutely no way of regaining any health first.

nhbdy
2011-12-12, 12:39 PM
Honestly, I do hope Nale bites it after telling his father all he knows (because he never said he wouldn't let Malack kill Nale) but I don't see it happening.

Which might just drive a wedge between Tarquin and Malack.

Or they (Tarquin and Malack) could have planned this all along. For all we know, Malack isn't really that sentimental about his dead kids. (He's a priest of a death god, for one thing...)

Good set-up for failure on a dangerously genre savvy villain, the only problem is that I think Tarquin is smart enough to not anger his trusted ally. Also, he doesn't seem like he'd mind terribly if Nale dies, regardless of what he said in this strip to get Nale to talk (he's perfectly capable of bluffing, and as mentioned before, he was likely running a good cop/bad cop on Nale)

Hbgplayer
2011-12-12, 12:41 PM
I get the feeling that if Tarquin doesn't let Malack kill Nale after he is finished with the story, both father and son are going to die at Malack's hands.

Reluctance
2011-12-12, 12:42 PM
While I know this would never happen, I wonder what it'd be like if Nale actually picked up on some of his father's Evil Overlord tips.


Can't Malack resurrect his sons?

They tried resurrecting Roy's brother. Bringing a kid back from a place that's perfectly suited to them is going to have a problem with the kids not wanting to come back. (Which raises questions about evil-aligned kids, but the idea of children roasting in hell is one I see The Giant studiously avoiding.)

ungolhir
2011-12-12, 12:51 PM
Once again, I am completely willing to pledge allegiance to Tarquin. *offhand knife to the back* epic. As always, great comic. Can we get another comic series about just Tarquin? pretty please?

Conuly
2011-12-12, 12:51 PM
Then why did Nale say the nonchalant "Malack -- how's the family?" when he first encountered him on the balcony?

Maybe he wanted to know how Malack's family is?

dps
2011-12-12, 12:52 PM
He said "mere suggestion of his location...". Does it that mean that The Order is actually following a false trail?:smallconfused:

My best guess is it means that Tarquin doesn't really know much about Draketooth or his location--he just has some hints that he's passed on.


How on earth can someone like Tarquin use the phrase "...in good conscience..."?

Because he has a code that he follows--he is Lawful, afterall.


Can't Malack resurrect his sons?

My guess is that his god, being a death god, doesn't allow it.


They tried resurrecting Roy's brother. Bringing a kid back from a place that's perfectly suited to them is going to have a problem with the kids not wanting to come back. (Which raises questions about evil-aligned kids, but the idea of children roasting in hell is one I see The Giant studiously avoiding.)

Do we know that Malack's children were still kids when Nale killed them? I kind of thought that they were already adults (though I don't think there was any actual reason for me to think that).

And I can see the Giant showing children roasting in hell. The comic hasn't really flinched from showing some pretty disturbing things.

Kish
2011-12-12, 12:55 PM
Maybe he wanted to know how Malack's family is?
It would be dangerous and unnecessary for Tarquin to talk about "Malack's vengeance" in front of 1) Malack, and 2) A Nale who knew Malack had no reason to want vengeance on Nale. It could easily blow up in Tarquin's face if Nale replied, "Vengeance? What? I never did anything to him!"

In other words, I doubt very much that anyone but Nale killed Malack's children.

AutomatedTeller
2011-12-12, 12:55 PM
Of course, this IS a world where you can bring someone back to life.

I could see Tarquin allowing Nale to be killed and then persuading Malack to bring him back to life.

Holy_Knight
2011-12-12, 12:57 PM
Then why did Nale say the nonchalant "Malack -- how's the family?" when he first encountered him on the balcony?

Plus, why would Sabine be so scared of the high priest if she (and Nale) didn't have a good (or evil) reason why??

Cheers, JohnH / Wanda
I've said this before (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12062745#post12062745), but I think that's actually a reason to think Nale didn't kill Malack's children.

Joerg
2011-12-12, 01:23 PM
Also, while this is very bad news for the Order in the long term, I'm not sure how much of an immediate threat Tarquin's knowledge of the gates is. Right now, he can't do anything with the information because he doesn't have an epic-level arcane and divine spellcaster with him.

He doesn't need epic-level casters. Those are only needed to seal a rift, not to control a gate.

He can't do anything because he doesn't have the ritual which Xykon and Redcloak want to use.

But I don't think Nale knows about that either, so the threat could still be quite immediate if Tarquin just believes he could use the Gate somehow.

RecklessFable
2011-12-12, 01:30 PM
Best example of Bad Cop, Worse Cop, ever!

clydesempai
2011-12-12, 01:32 PM
... Who sends fruit baskets to the Dark Elves? I'd love to see them receiving surface produce.

Still, another great addition to the story.

Dragonus45
2011-12-12, 01:35 PM
Hasn't Tarquin already said that kinda plan wasn't his bag. I mean when you start trying to take over massive super weapons just gets you attacked by a bunch of elves... or whatever. He has his plan to live his life as is. I don't see him getting involved in his sons plot when it would muddle the story he wants to tell.

rbetieh
2011-12-12, 01:41 PM
Of course, this IS a world where you can bring someone back to life.

I could see Tarquin allowing Nale to be killed and then persuading Malack to bring him back to life.

I dont think Malack would bring anyone back to life ever. Not all death gods look kindly on losing souls for one. And besides, Malack wants Nales skull.....

I thought it was a nice touch to have Tarquin help Nale off the floor. Goes to show a level of graciousness that isn't seen by others in the comic. Everyone else probably would have kicked Nale while he was down....

Oh an also...whats up with Malacks staff? Does it look like it changed hands a couple of times?

CoffeeIncluded
2011-12-12, 01:44 PM
Now I'm wondering what will happen when Redcloak and Xykon run into Tarquin. The moment Tarquin figures out the whole story behind them both...

Deuce
2011-12-12, 01:46 PM
How on earth can someone like Tarquin use the phrase "...in good conscience..."?

With more then a little dash of irony, I'd imagine.

Hokum
2011-12-12, 01:59 PM
Good set-up for failure on a dangerously genre savvy villain, the only problem is that I think Tarquin is smart enough to not anger his trusted ally. Also, he doesn't seem like he'd mind terribly if Nale dies, regardless of what he said in this strip to get Nale to talk (he's perfectly capable of bluffing, and as mentioned before, he was likely running a good cop/bad cop on Nale)


I also wonder how one would defeat Tarquin with all his genre-savyness. Either Tarquin will retire, or the Giant will need to deliver a hell of a good story.

Reminds me of Grand Admiral Thrawn, in a way.

Kancsar
2011-12-12, 02:07 PM
now i'm very much looking forward to the inevitable Tarquin versus Xykon encounter. Xykon is beatable - ghost Soon had him, except for plot armor - and Tarquin definitely meets Xykon's maxim of "Power is power". Tarquin had better not ignore/underestimate Redcloak, and in fact Tarquin might have an opportunity to help Redcloak to finally get rid of Xykon.

also, want to applaud previous forum insights about "note: Elf cannot teleport" and "here's a fast carpet". nothing at Windy Canyon may be what it appears, and not just due to Draketooth's illusions.

leakingpen
2011-12-12, 02:13 PM
... Who sends fruit baskets to the Dark Elves? I'd love to see them receiving surface produce.

Still, another great addition to the story.

Theres a story I used to read online where it was stated that fruit was one of the most expensive things to import to dark elf lands, and that it was fantastically expensive. A fruit basket would be like buying them Faberge .

Kancsar
2011-12-12, 02:16 PM
btw, the Trilateral Commission might want to rethink it's allies after this. Nale may have potential, but I wonder if this whole scheme is another "kick in the pants" to get Tarquin moving towards fulfilling _his_ full potential for Evil (OotS#668). call this a "reverse Skywalker temptation": if the son fails, perhaps the father can take his place.

Messenger
2011-12-12, 02:23 PM
They tried resurrecting Roy's brother. Bringing a kid back from a place that's perfectly suited to them is going to have a problem with the kids not wanting to come back. (Which raises questions about evil-aligned kids, but the idea of children roasting in hell is one I see The Giant studiously avoiding.)Malak might not even be Evil. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0737.html)

I'm glad that Tarquin wasn't doing it just to be dramatic, that he did flick a knife at Nale and put him at Malak's mercy, that he's doing it to profit himself being the Magnificent Bastard that he is.

On the other hand, that's one nasty can of whoopass about to be opened on the Order and their quest to save the world. Sure, Tarquin may be powerful enough to take on Xykon, but a Lawful Evil guy ruling over the world isn't much better than a Chaotic Evil lich.

That said, more and more respect for Elan's father. :smallcool:

Especially if he still kills Nale after extracting the info he needs. :smallamused:

Dandria
2011-12-12, 02:26 PM
Wait, what if Nale always knew of the True Seeing Ring and this is actually HIS great masterplan? What if Tarquin has been played by his own son since the beginning and this is not his moment of triumph but the dawn of his downfall?

Nhaa, I'm probably just being paranoid. As Elan would say:

That's silly. You can't really expect me to believe something so-
"Needlessly complicated"?
Oh. Right.


But no, joking aside: I know it's stupid, but it's also the only thing that still allows me to take Nale seriously. That poor, inadequate schmuck :smallfrown:.

SamBurke
2011-12-12, 02:27 PM
WOW. This plot is getting complicated! Wonder what Tarquin's going to do with this info...

rbetieh
2011-12-12, 02:39 PM
Wait, what if Nale always knew of the True Seeing Ring and this is actually HIS great masterplan? What if Tarquin has been played by his own son since the beginning and this is not his moment of triumph but the dawn of his downfall?

Nhaa, I'm probably just being paranoid. As Elan would say:

That's silly. You can't really expect me to believe something so-
"Needlessly complicated"?
Oh. Right.


But no, joking aside: I know it's stupid, but it's also the only thing that still allows me to take Nale seriously. That poor, inadequate schmuck :smallfrown:.

Nah...Nale is a Wil-E-Coyote type, you can expect his plans to be over-the-top but not chessmaster level. On another note, how many times has Wil-E-Coyote died? Thats the total number of times Nale is likely to die in this comic (0).

Vectner
2011-12-12, 02:59 PM
Well, I guess Nale gets to live, was there any doubt? I like how Tarquin is impressed with Elan's abilities and thinks of him as the leader type. There always seems to be one NPC that believes in the true power of the fool.

Nohar
2011-12-12, 03:01 PM
I don't think we can expect Nale to outgambit his own father anytime soon. The comic made it perfectly clear than Nale's flaws (id est his massive ego) take the best of him : if not for that, he might be able to live to his father's expectations, considering that, after all, Tarquin raised him. The worst (best?) thing that could happen to Nale is to understand that, manages some character development, and finally becoming able to overthrow Tarquin.

Tarquin knows exactly what are Nale's weaknesses (and it's not like he didn't point it to him during the preceding strip)... I highly doubt that Nale doesn't know his father's, though he may not be able at this time to exploit them.
Tarquin, besides his clearly low opinion of Nale, took the time to lecture him, while he could have skipped to the part where he throws a dagger at him and thus revealed his invisibility.

It is an unlikely scenario at this point, but if Nale manages to assimilate his father's teachings, he might be able to defeat him in a way or another, which may lead to a "Well done, Son" speech from Tarquin (though maybe bittersweet depending of the circumstances) as he dies after being bested by his own son (bonus points if he ends up using Elan to this goal, since the confrontation between Tarquin and his Good-aligned son will probably surface). Though, I don't really expect such a thing until the very end of the comic.
Anyway: I can bet the Giant is going to surprise us, as always (though I often forget to say it : Thank you for the comic !).

nhbdy
2011-12-12, 03:21 PM
I also wonder how one would defeat Tarquin with all his genre-savyness. Either Tarquin will retire, or the Giant will need to deliver a hell of a good story.

Reminds me of Grand Admiral Thrawn, in a way.

+1 to the resemblance to Thrawn

On the topic of how he will go down, as others are starting to allude to, I think the most likely way for him to go is at the hands of his own son, which one is a matter of debate, but Elan seems to more likely, in fact, Tarquin halfway alluded to it himself just after their duel on the rooftop (or was it during...).

I suppose it is also remotely possible that Xykon will just blast him at some point (perhaps when he's trying to talk to him or something) as Xykon is a ridiculously powerful and equally uncontrollable villain... who isn't prone to listening to people he doesn't need... but I don't think it is likely.

Aquillion
2011-12-12, 03:41 PM
I don't really see why Tarquin cant control the gates. We have already seen his divine spell caster, and I assume his party has an arcane caster as well.I was thinking that, but remember -- he'd need the spell. Currently, only the Bearer of the Crimson Mantle has it (plus Xykon and Tsukiko, assuming she finished decoding it.) None of those people are particularly well known to Tarquin, and there's no easy way for him to get it from them... not that it's impossible, obviously, since Tarquin is clever, but it'd be something he'd have to finesse somehow.

Dalek-K
2011-12-12, 03:54 PM
Great comic, probably the best one of the arc.

What I loved most was Tarquin offering to help Nale up...Nale accepting the help like his father didn't just throw a dagger at him. It was like T knocked him down with a dodgeball and went over to help his son up XD

Nale was even surprised when Tarquin was going to let Malack kill him, like as if Nale "knew" his father wouldn't let him die.

Also as an edit... you know what would make tarquin remembered for a longer time? If he set it up so nale takes over the western continent and elan is the "great hero of the east". Eventually two huge armies would fight and the war known as "seeds of tarquin" would be talked about for ages.

Savil
2011-12-12, 04:03 PM
I doubt that Tarquin will let Malack kill Nale. With all his genre savviness, Tarquin should have understood that LG are recurring villains for OOTS, thus being one of the ways to control/influence/manipulate OOTS.
I wonder if Tarquin persuades Malack to exile Nale instead of killing, and then secretly sends LG (with some of his own agents probably) to secure Kraagor's Gate.

FlawedParadigm
2011-12-12, 04:10 PM
It's interesting to see people think Tarquin is going to take a shot at the Gates, but then assume he's going to be tripped up by the easiest little things.

Some have mentioned he needs arcane and/or divine casters, epic or elsewise. I...don't see this as a problem. He has his old adventuring posse, for one. Between them they have, indirectly, the resources of three frickin' nations between them. I'm sure there's a couple of spellcasters to be found.

There was also mention that he doesn't have the Ritual, or access to it, or know the people who do. Assuming Nale doesn't mention Xykon (who was his employer in his first appearance, let us not forget) in his infodump, I'm sure Tarquin won't have any problems getting Elan to say something he shouldn't without even letting Elan know he's after the information. Remember, Elan is the "What part of secret don't you understand?" guy. Think Brand, from Amber, if you know that series. Tarquin has that brand of verbal gymnastics.

The only things that kept Tarquin from being a major player in the Gate saga were his lack of information regarding them and his lack of desire to go looking for any such thing - and he's about to get one of those two, which may fix the other.

StrykerX
2011-12-12, 04:12 PM
I suspect Tarquin will actually be more inclined to help keep the gates sealed and hidden away rather than trying to go after one for himself... after all, he's well on his way to owning an entire continent as it is and he's managing to be fairly low key about it. The last thing he needs is to get a bunch of epic level spellcasters, gods, and assorted do-gooders (and do-not-so-gooders) interested in him by messing around with the gates. Why risk it all for a shot at Phenomenal Cosmic Power when you're already on track to get more power and wealth than you know what to do with and get away with it?

legomaster00156
2011-12-12, 04:13 PM
Hm. I am assuming that they both are keeping readied actions , to cut off any more of Nale's escape plans. In the meantime, Tarquin continues to defy the dumb Fighter archetype. :smallbiggrin:

tcrudisi
2011-12-12, 04:13 PM
Epileptic tree spoilered.

Some people have suggested that Tarquin will be one of the 9 sides. I disagree. Here's my prediction: he will join sides with Xykon. It makes a little bit of sense that Tarquin would try to ally himself with the biggest guy around, since that brings more power. I can also imagine the final, climactic fight. Since we know that it will be Roy dueling Xykon, probably Haley dueling Sabine, Elan dueling his father? It makes sense on some level. I don't see it being Nale because, well, Nale is just too incompetent. I also think this puts Durkon dueling Malack (since I expect Redcloak to be dead by this time). That leaves V, but I suspect that V will start off as a bad guy and then overcome her demons (pun intended) to eventually be able to help out the individual OotS members.

I don't fully subscribe to my own epileptic tree, but it has some merits that I can see. It wouldn't surprise me if it happened, anyway.

lothos
2011-12-12, 04:20 PM
I doubt that taqiun will try to conquer the gates. Hes smart enough to know that villains that dabble in with unimaginable power end up dying ironic painfull deaths.

This sums up my feelings on Tarquin's genre savvy nature.
Remember strip 766 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0766.html), where "Tarquin's tips" for his guards showed he has probably read the "Evil Overlord's guide (http://www.eviloverlord.com/lists/overlord.html)" or something similar ?

I believe Tarquin will say something like "Nale, you just don't learn do you ? Any antagonist who tries to control a fearsome create more powerful than they are ends up being eaten by it in the final act. Also Nale, #35 in the Evil Overlord Guide says never grow a goatee". I think Tarquin will be smart enough to let Team Evil get killed by the snarl and pursue his slow and steady conquest of the continent...

I suppose the other side of the argument could be that Tarquin does want to go down in history (see strip 763 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0763.html)) and maybe he will risk everything on this... but again, I don't think so. The Evil Overlord guide states (#61) that if any one of your advisors ever asks "Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme ?", you should not proceed until you have an answer that reasonably satisfies him.

Redcloak is prepared to risk everything on the mad scheme, because he doesn't perceive goblin-kind as having much to loose and also because his god has directly ordered him to proceed with the plan. Tarquin has a lot to loose if this goes wrong....

CoffeeIncluded
2011-12-12, 04:47 PM
Epileptic tree spoilered.

Some people have suggested that Tarquin will be one of the 9 sides. I disagree. Here's my prediction: he will join sides with Xykon. It makes a little bit of sense that Tarquin would try to ally himself with the biggest guy around, since that brings more power. I can also imagine the final, climactic fight. Since we know that it will be Roy dueling Xykon, probably Haley dueling Sabine, Elan dueling his father? It makes sense on some level. I don't see it being Nale because, well, Nale is just too incompetent. I also think this puts Durkon dueling Malack (since I expect Redcloak to be dead by this time). That leaves V, but I suspect that V will start off as a bad guy and then overcome her demons (pun intended) to eventually be able to help out the individual OotS members.

I don't fully subscribe to my own epileptic tree, but it has some merits that I can see. It wouldn't surprise me if it happened, anyway.

Personally, I don't think so.

Tarquin would never ally himself with the biggest guy around unless a) he could benefit from it, AND b) he would be the one with the most control in the alliance.

Tarquin is extremely intelligent and perceptive. He'd be able to immediately tell that Xykon is too powerful and too "Chaotic Evil and loving it" to safely work with, much less reliably control. It wouldn't take much longer for him to figure out that Xykon is much more dangerous and cunning than he initially seems to be.

Tarquin's goals are to unite the Western Continent (it doesn't have another name, does it?) and then either live out his life in luxury or be defeated by a hero and become a legend. He wouldn't work with Xykon unless he had to, because the lich is too much of a wild card, and Tarquin's genre-savvy.

Redcloak, on the other hand...

Gift Jeraff
2011-12-12, 04:49 PM
While I agree that Tarquin should know better than to try to manipulate a nigh-unstoppable terror, the Gates could solve one of the biggest flaws in his scheme: when he dies, he still has to rot in the Nine Hells.* Something on the magnitude of the Snarl could potentially change the universal order, or at least make his own afterlife decent.

*Some people say that the OOTSiverse's Evil afterlives are rewarding in their own way, but that goes against what Xykon said about avoiding the Big Fire Below (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0652.html) and Haerta needing to be collected (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0641.html) (meaning one of the most powerful casters is trying to escape her rightful afterlife i.e. it's not pleasant). Clerics and certain deities' racial favorites might be exceptions.

veti
2011-12-12, 04:53 PM
Epileptic tree spoilered.

Some people have suggested that Tarquin will be one of the 9 sides. I disagree. Here's my prediction: he will join sides with Xykon. It makes a little bit of sense that Tarquin would try to ally himself with the biggest guy around, since that brings more power.


Epileptic lumberjacking spoilered:
Tarquin would be crazy to team up with Xykon. Xykon doesn't want to rule the world, so much as "tear it apart to see what sort of bang it makes". There'd be nothing left for anyone to rule. And anyone who thinks Xykon is likely to stick to any deal, is several cards short of a full deck.

But then, I've been wrong about Tarquin before - I thought he'd be crazy to betray the Free City of Doom, so what do I know.


btw, the Trilateral Commission might want to rethink it's allies after this. Nale may have potential, but I wonder if this whole scheme is another "kick in the pants" to get Tarquin moving towards fulfilling _his_ full potential for Evil (OotS#668). call this a "reverse Skywalker temptation": if the son fails, perhaps the father can take his place.

I doubt if Tarquin would do a deal with the IFCC. First, it would mean playing second fiddle while someone else unfolds their master plan - his ego wouldn't stand for that. Second, it would mean admitting that there is such a thing as 'Evil with a capital E' and he's aligned with it, which would make his whole rant to Elan on the subject a 'Lie with a capital L'.

I think Nale is exactly the combination of dangerous, evil and stupid that the IFCC wants. He's powerful enough to make himself noticed, but not smart enough to make the sort of plans that might interfere with theirs.

hamishspence
2011-12-12, 04:58 PM
Epileptic lumberjacking spoilered:
Tarquin would be crazy to team up with Xykon. Xykon doesn't want to rule the world, so much as "tear it apart to see what sort of bang it makes". There'd be nothing left for anyone to rule. And anyone who thinks Xykon is likely to stick to any deal, is several cards short of a full deck.

But then, I've been wrong about Tarquin before - I thought he'd be crazy to betray the Free City of Doom, so what do I know.


Xykon says different here:
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0442.html

Procyonpi
2011-12-12, 05:11 PM
Tarquin is sure one diabolical bastard.

Almaseti
2011-12-12, 05:16 PM
I actually feel bad for Nale. A little.

Also, is there any reason to think Tarquin won't kill (or let Malack kill) Nale when he has the info?

veti
2011-12-12, 05:18 PM
Xykon says different here:
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0442.html

"I'm not about to destroy it unless I get really, really bored." In other words, about half an hour after he takes it over...

But seriously, you're right. I'm probably misjudging Xykon's plans. But I still don't think Tarquin would ever do a deal with him.

mandos9
2011-12-12, 05:25 PM
yep, everything seems to be following tarquin's plan.Thats fun until now, but it will get kind of predictable and dry. However it's worth it for one reason only: the time the OOTS manages to outsmart him.
All of Tarquin's successes is just a build-up for that moment,to make it really precious.
That's good story exposition, and the Giant knows how to deliver it.

McStabbington
2011-12-12, 05:29 PM
Is it just me, or is O-Chul facing some very stiff competition for the owner of the title of "Lawful Awesome"?

Come to think of it, I probably shouldn't talk about O-Chul. Genre-savvy villain + cool old guy = bad news for O-Chul, and if my skull didn't implode from the amount of awesome coming at me, it would certainly crash my computer.

WickedWizard17
2011-12-12, 05:40 PM
OH CRUD CRUD CRUD TARQUIN'S FINALLY GONNA FIND OUT. Maybe he'll try to sway the OotS away from the Sapphire Guard to get the gates for him?

"Better to look like a fool than be one." The fundamental difference between Tarquin and Nale, summed up.

And seriously, after growing up with the man, that Nale still doubts his father's genre-savviness is amazing. I guess Elan got all the GS. But we knew that already.



Is it just me, or is O-Chul facing some very stiff competition for the owner of the title of "Lawful Awesome"?

Come to think of it, I probably shouldn't talk about O-Chul. Genre-savvy villain + cool old guy = bad news for O-Chul, and if my skull didn't implode from the amount of awesome coming at me, it would certainly crash my computer.

Oh, no way. Two radically different types of awesome. O-Chul will always be the most bad@$$ character in OOTS.

Mr. Scaly
2011-12-12, 05:43 PM
Oh Nale... You're really just a side villain in someone else's story. Poor guy should have quit while he was ahead but I'm expecting this to be the end of the line for him.

Procyonpi
2011-12-12, 05:45 PM
I actually feel bad for Nale. A little.

Also, is there any reason to think Tarquin won't kill (or let Malack kill) Nale when he has the info?

No.

I mean, he didn't even make a sneakily worded promise that he could weasel out of

Lynn
2011-12-12, 05:52 PM
I knew Tarquin was too awesome not to get involved with the main plot.


Great comic, probably the best one of the arc.

What I loved most was Tarquin offering to help Nale up...Nale accepting the help like his father didn't just throw a dagger at him. It was like T knocked him down with a dodgeball and went over to help his son up XD

Nale was even surprised when Tarquin was going to let Malack kill him, like as if Nale "knew" his father wouldn't let him die.

Indeed, Nale did not expect his father to threaten him of death. He panicked when he got busted in the previous strip, but in todays strip he is merely angry until Tarquin claims he will let Malack kill him. Nale knows his life matters to his father, but he isn't sure how much.
I take this strip as an indication that Tarquin does care about his sons.
Tarquin did not have to revel Nale's presence to Malack. He could have waited until they were alone, since Nale would probably have kept following him, to grab and interrogate him. But if he had threatened Nale himself, Nale would have called his bluff. there is other ways than fear to force someone into talking, but you don't want to use them on somebody

veti
2011-12-12, 06:04 PM
Also, is there any reason to think Tarquin won't kill (or let Malack kill) Nale when he has the info?

Nale is clearly playing the "I'm-more-useful-to-you-alive" card. My 10g.p. says it'll work.

Oh, and we haven't seen the last of Thog either...

warmachine
2011-12-12, 06:04 PM
It says a lot for their alliance that Malak will wait and see what Tarquin can negotiate. However, I notice that neither Malak or Tarquin have formally promised Nale anything, even his life. Malak can restart the violence whenever he likes. Fortunately for Nale, he's only revealed a teaser and can still negotiate for his life.

Raistlin82
2011-12-12, 06:08 PM
"... a hero of Elan's obvious caliber..."

Ouch. That's gonna sting.

I still don't think Tarquin is going to let Malack kill Nale.

rbetieh
2011-12-12, 06:19 PM
"... a hero of Elan's obvious caliber..."

Ouch. That's gonna sting.

I still don't think Tarquin is going to let Malack kill Nale.

I think Tarquin has a good idea of ELans caliber after fighting him on the rooftop. Its skill + attitude, I figure Elan has the stuff to be a true action hero or Julio Scoundrel wouldnt have trained him.

Icedaemon
2011-12-12, 06:30 PM
The fifth panel sums up the difference between Tarquin and Nale - Tarquin is fine with looking like a fool if it's useful, but Nale will never stand for anyone doubting that he's brilliant even for a second.

Moreso, Tarquin might actually like being seen as a fool simply for the purpose of getting foes and potential foes to underestimate or overlook him, until he has the perfect moment to reveal his insights and crush them.

Gnoman
2011-12-12, 06:34 PM
I just thought of something. Not only does Tarquin's plan rely on having the current ruler deposed every so often, but it's to his advantage for the ruler to be rather unlikeable and manipulable. The EoB has been in place for a while now, and seems to be nearing hte end of it's usefulness. If Tarquin has already learned of the fall f Azue City and the rise of Gobbotopia, he probably knows a fair bit about Team Evil. Once he gets the gate info from Nale (even if Nale holds back information), he may be able to put two and two together, realize that he can draw Xykon in, and convince the Empress to make a stand to protect the gate for her own use, allowing him to replace the current regime with whatever part of team evil survives, or destroy a powerful rival if the Empress wins.

Boogastreehouse
2011-12-12, 06:38 PM
I'm going on record right now by predicting that part of Elan's "happy ending" will involve him redeeming his father, rather than killing him.

Just a random hunch...


(Edit: Also, I'd love it if Nale was actually manipulating Tarquin right now, but I think that's staggeringly unlikely)

Tobimaro
2011-12-12, 06:42 PM
Looks to me that Tarquin is simply seeing an opportunity, and taking it. More people to manipulate, more power to himself. In this case, information is power, and Tarquin is becoming a master of that.

And, more bad news for the Order. :smalleek:

dsavereide
2011-12-12, 06:44 PM
The fifth panel sums up the difference between Tarquin and Nale - Tarquin is fine with looking like a fool if it's useful, but Nale will never stand for anyone doubting that he's brilliant even for a second.
When Tarquin says "Better to look like a fool then to be one" he is implying that Nale is the fool. But Nale would never get that thought.

maxon
2011-12-12, 06:47 PM
I see. So OOTS will have to deal with Tarquin again.

Wait ... what baskets of fruit?

Seiryu
2011-12-12, 07:10 PM
Just to throw the theory out there, but...

..does anyone think that this may actually have been Nale's purpose from the outset? The fiends did mention that they were placing their pawns in position, so maybe the IFCC's intention might have been to put Tarquin on the whole deal as well. Remember, what they're interested in is the conflict. Nale might or might not be aware of any of this.

St Fan
2011-12-12, 07:14 PM
I have just realised this: if Elan's theory that Nale is responsible for Penelope's death is actually true, then it is a more than a bit ironic (or, as Elan would say, "Karma-riffic") that it would be Penelope's birthday gift to her husband (the Ring of True Seeing) that spelled the final demise of Nale. Revenge from beyond the grave...

King Bosco III
2011-12-12, 07:26 PM
Did anyone else notice Nale got no promise, or even a hint at one, that after he tells Tarquin about all of this he'll get to live?

Bulldog Psion
2011-12-12, 07:36 PM
Nale didn't even try to bargain for his life. Well, I guess Tarquin can squeeze him for all the information that he needs, then let Malack blast him. Malack as an ally is surely worth more than the pathetic Nale as a hostile, scheming prisoner.

If Tarquin has any brains, and is as ruthless as he's been shown to be, Nale won't see another dawn.

Of course, that dagger throw should have killed him anyway. :smallconfused:

Stabbey
2011-12-12, 07:53 PM
I'm starting to agree with whoever said that perhaps Nale didn't actually kill Malack's kids and Tarquin simple fooled his friend about the who the killer was.

Nale seems so surprised that Malack wants him dead.

I'm going to disagree with the theory that Tarquin killed Malack's children. If Tarquin wanted Nale dead, his rebellion against him was sufficient cause without framing him for that.

And Tarquin seems far too smart to kill the children of his friends and let them hang around him. If they found out that could end up killing him, and it wouldn't be the good "blaze-of-glory"/"going out on top" death either.

And I'm not sure that anyone besides Redcloak and Xyklon even KNOW about the Divine/Arcane spell to control the gate. All anyone else knows is that it would be very bad to let Xyklon control and fool around with a gate.

Calanon
2011-12-12, 08:32 PM
Who else thought "Oh damn! Tarquin knows about the gates!" :smallamused: LOVIN' IT!

Wonder when V is gonna show up again...? :smallconfused:

Snurk
2011-12-12, 11:29 PM
Usstan was wondering where the baskets with apples came from :smallbiggrin:

Procyonpi
2011-12-13, 01:10 AM
I do hope that Tarquin never saying he wouldn't just let Malak kill Nale afterwards means Nale will bite it when he tells them everything; he's just starting to look like an annoyingly persistent buffoon at this point, and with threats like Xykon and Tarquin in play, it just seems like the Order has better things to concern themselves with than Nale's inevitable next failed ambush.

Indeed, this whole scene has been, if not Tarquin's "evil reveal"A big escalation in his level of evil badass. I mean, in the last two strips, it's just been one demonstration of scheming power after another.

And yeah, I totally think he lets Malack kill Nale after he learns what he wants.

Lvl45DM!
2011-12-13, 01:24 AM
Please oh please let Nale nail old-Nale. Old-Nale nailing Nale is getting old.

Also is there a joke in the title?

The MunchKING
2011-12-13, 01:29 AM
Did anyone else notice Nale got no promise, or even a hint at one, that after he tells Tarquin about all of this he'll get to live?

Yup I was coming on the boards to point that very thing out.

eilandesq
2011-12-13, 01:38 AM
Tarquin's moment of triumph here makes me wonder just a little what Elan would have been like if Nale hadn't insisted on "hitting [his] twin brother in his soft underdeveloped baby skull." :amused:

jere7my
2011-12-13, 01:54 AM
Also is there a joke in the title?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suncatcher

snikrept
2011-12-13, 02:01 AM
Interesting that Malack restrains himself from killing Nale without Tarquin's explicit approval. He had no such inhibitions when Tarquin was offstage.

Dracarot
2011-12-13, 02:05 AM
To those making claims about Nale not killing Malack's children there is one bit of evidence that seems to contradict that theory. Tarquin specifically says he cannot postpone Malack's revenge, and rather than question it he immediatelly goes to begging, so I say the odds are Nale is responsible for his children's death.

I am also of the opinion Nale's end is nigh as he has no guarantee's from Tarquin at the moment and only Sabine, or, or...

Oh no, oh no no no no, I"m not going to say it, I'm not going to tempt fate, heck I won't even spoiler it for good measure!

Sethala
2011-12-13, 02:29 AM
I'm going to disagree with the theory that Tarquin killed Malack's children. If Tarquin wanted Nale dead, his rebellion against him was sufficient cause without framing him for that.

And Tarquin seems far too smart to kill the children of his friends and let them hang around him. If they found out that could end up killing him, and it wouldn't be the good "blaze-of-glory"/"going out on top" death either.

After reading a few of the discussions, I'm leaning towards Nale not being the one that killed Malack's children. Mainly because the nonchalant "how's the family" seems a bit too innocent to be meant as an insult, especially since he knows Malack is quite a bit stronger than him (and that he and Sabine were outnumbered).

I also think I agree with Tarquin not being the one to kill Malack's children either, for pretty much this reason. So, the question is, who did kill them? That, I have no idea.

But I'm pretty sure there's more to this story than what we know.

Red XIV
2011-12-13, 02:56 AM
I don't really see why Tarquin cant control the gates. We have already seen his divine spell caster, and I assume his party has an arcane caster as well.
It's not just about having a divine and an arcane caster. It's about having the two of them carry out a specific ritual. Nale, being an fool who thinks he's a genius, seems to just be assuming that once he gets to a gate, he'll be able to figure it out on his own. That, obviously, is nonsense. And since Nale lacks any knowledge of how to do the ritual, Tarquin obviously can't get that info from him.
Plus, the ritual doesn't actually "control" anything. The big secret that Redcloak is keeping from Xykon is that the Snarl's power can't be controlled. As far as we know, Redcloak is the only living being who knows this.


But I don't think Nale knows about that either, so the threat could still be quite immediate if Tarquin just believes he could use the Gate somehow.
Being considerably smarter than Nale, Tarquin isn't likely to just assume he can use the gates because Nale thought he could. After Nale tells him about his plan to use one of the gates, Tarquin is obviously going to ask how...a question Nale has no answer to. Something along the lines of "I'd figure it out" isn't likely to impress Tarquin, or to make him give up his near-flawless secret empire plan in favor of a mad dash to take Girard's Gate. Why go for high-risk, high reward when low-risk, high-reward is already working great for you?


Hasn't Tarquin already said that kinda plan wasn't his bag. I mean when you start trying to take over massive super weapons just gets you attacked by a bunch of elves... or whatever. He has his plan to live his life as is. I don't see him getting involved in his sons plot when it would muddle the story he wants to tell.
True. The one thing Tarquin's said that it makes no sense for him to lie about is that it's better to rule without drawing attention to yourself.

Burner28
2011-12-13, 03:23 AM
Nice!:smallsmile:

Firemage
2011-12-13, 03:45 AM
True. The one thing Tarquin's said that it makes no sense for him to lie about is that it's better to rule without drawing attention to yourself.

Yes. And I think that means he will actually "help" the OotS getting rid of Xykon and Redcloak by sending a spy of some sort. If Xykon wins, Tarquin can kiss his continent good bye and he will end as a side note in the history books - if they will even continue.

I guess, Tarquin will let Malack off Nale with a "You just don't understand, do you?" speech. He never promised him anything, Nale is just getting annoying without being a proper threat and his info wasn't worth much for Tarquin. He truely has outlived his usefulness.

I just wonder what happens to Sabine? She will probably stay connected to the story via the IFCC. Those still have a joker in their hand in the form of V. Maybe Nale faces a fate worse than death, maybe a soul bind. That would properly motivate Sabine I think.

Valyrian
2011-12-13, 03:45 AM
I just thought of something. Not only does Tarquin's plan rely on having the current ruler deposed every so often, but it's to his advantage for the ruler to be rather unlikeable and manipulable. The EoB has been in place for a while now, and seems to be nearing hte end of it's usefulness. If Tarquin has already learned of the fall f Azue City and the rise of Gobbotopia, he probably knows a fair bit about Team Evil. Once he gets the gate info from Nale (even if Nale holds back information), he may be able to put two and two together, realize that he can draw Xykon in, and convince the Empress to make a stand to protect the gate for her own use, allowing him to replace the current regime with whatever part of team evil survives, or destroy a powerful rival if the Empress wins.
Remember the last time someone tried to manipulate Xykon for his own ends?

Tarquin and gang might be good at playing emotionally or mentally challenged rulers in their own backyard where they know how things work, but Xykon? Dude is frickin' scary, and more to the point, ruthless and egoistical. In general (pun not in intended) I think people overestimate Tarquin because we've only seen him in a familiar environment. If he's really as smart as he's appeared so far, he won't even try to manipulate Xykon.

Killer Angel
2011-12-13, 03:50 AM
Did anyone else notice Nale got no promise, or even a hint at one, that after he tells Tarquin about all of this he'll get to live?

I noticed it too. And such an end would be so satisfying... :smallbiggrin:


After reading a few of the discussions, I'm leaning towards Nale not being the one that killed Malack's children. Mainly because the nonchalant "how's the family" seems a bit too innocent to be meant as an insult, especially since he knows Malack is quite a bit stronger than him (and that he and Sabine were outnumbered).


An enemy blinded by fury can make mistakes.

Dr._Demento
2011-12-13, 04:33 AM
The more I read, the more I wonder what Nale's ultimate role will be. This last arc has given Nale a gritty reboot, he went from a one dimensional recurring villain to an actual character dealing with issues of his own. Sure, he still did a classic Linear Guild ambush, but he was lashing out in desperation. Nale is backed into a corner, under immense pressure, and now is face to face with the source of all of his issues. This is the tipping point for Nale, but I don't think we get to see where it goes until later.

As with all characters, Nale is going to have to evolve or die, static characters never last in a lengthy narrative (Roy and Durkon are the only characters so far that can really be considered static, and Roy debatably so), and as we have already had a major antagonist refuse to change and be killed off for it (Miko), I think that Nale is going to change, the question is how. One scenario is he that he turns to good when he realizes that Elan would care more for him more than his father ever would (probably near the very end, after lengthy subservience to Tarquin, also, probably resulting in his death). Another is that he does a quasi-good act before abandoning the whole thing altogether and setting out as a loner. My personal favorite is him going "beyond crazy" and really becoming a complete monster after some final breaking point, before he self-destructs himself to death.

All in all though, I expect Nale to be the one who does in Tarquin (if not the one to actually kill him). Remember, Tarquin wins if Elan kills him, but being killed by his irrelevant son? Just another failed ruler of the Western continent. Nale is one who actually has a connection with Tarquin anyways, not Elan. I expect sub-plot annihilation coming, but first, some Palpatine-Annikan action.

le Suisse
2011-12-13, 04:40 AM
*Malack go near*
*Nale needs new pants*

dtilque
2011-12-13, 06:22 AM
I just thought of something. Not only does Tarquin's plan rely on having the current ruler deposed every so often, but it's to his advantage for the ruler to be rather unlikeable and manipulable. The EoB has been in place for a while now, and seems to be nearing hte end of it's usefulness. If Tarquin has already learned of the fall f Azue City and the rise of Gobbotopia, he probably knows a fair bit about Team Evil. Once he gets the gate info from Nale (even if Nale holds back information), he may be able to put two and two together, realize that he can draw Xykon in, and convince the Empress to make a stand to protect the gate for her own use, allowing him to replace the current regime with whatever part of team evil survives, or destroy a powerful rival if the Empress wins.

The Empress wouldn't last two rounds against any of Team Evil. And as I said above, Xykon is way too high level for one of Tarquin's figureheads. The same goes for Redcloak and Tsukiko.

The MitD ... hard to say. Certainly would be difficult to remove him by force, but he could be easily persuaded to leave if you want him to go. And there's probably lots of scope for humor having him as Tarquin's figurehead....

Kish
2011-12-13, 07:40 AM
After reading a few of the discussions, I'm leaning towards Nale not being the one that killed Malack's children. Mainly because the nonchalant "how's the family" seems a bit too innocent to be meant as an insult, especially since he knows Malack is quite a bit stronger than him (and that he and Sabine were outnumbered).
Oh? I'd say it seemed incredibly vicious--which we already know Nale is.

Michaeler
2011-12-13, 08:30 AM
"How's the family" sounds like Nale knows how much Malack cares about his family and is trying to start a friendly conversation so Malack won't automatically side with the order over someone he knows personally. Not knowing that Malack's family is dead, Nale might have rolled a natural 1 to talk his way out of this.

rbetieh
2011-12-13, 08:40 AM
"How's the family" sounds like Nale knows how much Malack cares about his family and is trying to start a friendly conversation so Malack won't automatically side with the order over someone he knows personally. Not knowing that Malack's family is dead, Nale might have rolled a natural 1 to talk his way out of this.

Or it could also mean "did you start a new family yet?" Nale has some serious motivation to wipe out Malacks kids: Top inheritance in his fathers plan. If Nale is playing the role of spoiled prince then this makes him much like a young caligula of sorts. Also, if he knows anything of history, he would do everything in his power to prevent his dad from having any more kids, in case Stepmom decides her flesh and blood should rule instead of Nale......

Gusion
2011-12-13, 08:49 AM
Really anyone who thinks Nale didn't kill Malack's children... you're grasping at straws. Get over it. I don't know how Giant could make it any more obvious that he has.

Tarquin is going to do what Tarquin always does, collect valuable information and decide how he can preserve order in his realm. He'd much rather wait and let his son foil Xykon and then come in at the end to wrap things up and take over. More his style.

Nale is not going to get away lying, between Tarquin's incredibly high sense motive and Discern Lies from Malack.

If Nale has a plot shield, than what will happen is Nale will be imprisoned overnight while Malack prepares "Soul Bind" - and then of course Sabine rescues him. I think this would suck though and Nale should just die. Feed him to the Empress, which would make bringing him back extremely difficult. Or just turn him to stone and have a new Nale statue in Malack's chambers.

But as a character Nale has become boring and trite.

That said, the fruit basket line was priceless.

Barstro
2011-12-13, 10:50 AM
Really anyone who thinks Nale didn't kill Malack's children... you're grasping at straws. Get over it. I don't know how Giant could make it any more obvious that he has.

Now Now, the Giant has not "made it obvious"; he has strongly implied.

If I were to bet even-odds, I'd say that Malack's children were, in fact, killed by Nale. Either; 1) killed by Nale as an intentional part of Nale's plan, 2) killed by Nale by some complicated part of his plan going wrong (giant snow-making machine set incorrectly and hitting them with snowballs until they died), or 3) killed by Sabine while she was altered to look like Nale.

Given Nale's nonchalant inquiry into Malack's family, but Sabine's absolute fear of Malack, I like choice 3 the best.

As for Nale's "understanding" that Malack wants revenge, that does not mean that necessitate a correlation between Malack's children and the revenge. I'm sure Nale has done many things that even random people would want revenge for. As you recall, in Nale's mind, saying "no" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0061.html) is a capital offense.

Bulldog Psion
2011-12-13, 11:15 AM
"How's the family" sounds like Nale knows how much Malack cares about his family and is trying to start a friendly conversation so Malack won't automatically side with the order over someone he knows personally. Not knowing that Malack's family is dead, Nale might have rolled a natural 1 to talk his way out of this.

Sounds like the typical snarky, vindictive Nale, unable to resist twisting the knife in his opponent's wound even when he's in great danger to me.

Lvl45DM!
2011-12-13, 11:22 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suncatcher

Ah. Thanks, you rock

Krim
2011-12-13, 11:32 AM
I doubt that taqiun will try to conquer the gates. Hes smart enough to know that villains that dabble in with unimaginable power end up dying ironic painfull deaths.

Absolutely. People around here seem to be envisioning Tarquin like a power mad tyrant saying "MUHAHAHAHA, I WILL RULE THE WHOLE WORLD WITH THIS NEW POWAAAAA!!". We have already seen that Tarquin is extremely smart, level-headed, and genre savy. He is more the type to ruin the plan to use the gates to conquer the world and say "Good, now that none can ruin my empire's world, back to ruling it like a king...".

DaggerPen
2011-12-13, 11:40 AM
Another fantastic comic. I can definitely picture Nale finding some way to make himself useful a bit longer to try to stave off death... but man, I would really like to see Malack kill him. I know he's supposed to be Elan's arch-enemy, but Malack probably deserves it far more. And that is some spectacular manipulation from Tarquin there.


Theres a story I used to read online where it was stated that fruit was one of the most expensive things to import to dark elf lands, and that it was fantastically expensive. A fruit basket would be like buying them Faberge .

Slightly OT, but would you happen to be talking about Tales of MU?

Landis963
2011-12-13, 12:18 PM
And here we see Tarquin's greatest strength. I refer specifically to his masterful ability to draw out information and capitalize on it. However, this also shows that he has a weak point - he cannot convince people to do things against their natures. Note the "cold feet" flashback, where the bride-to-be refused point-blank to marry Tarquin even after being partially frozen in a block of ice. He can get people to talk, even about things they want to keep secret, but he cannot force actions that are against their will. However, he is also good at forcing circumstances to overcome this shortcoming (see "Elf, will you not cast your spell") or forbidding someone to do something (see: his use of the gladiator arena as a recycle bin and allosaurus feeding facility).

AutomatedTeller
2011-12-13, 12:19 PM
By default, I assume that Nale killed Malack's kids.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find that Tarquin killed them (for some reason) and blamed Nale (for some reason) - but it would have to be as part of a larger, complex plan. Dunno what that could be.

EccentricFellow
2011-12-13, 12:29 PM
The old man schools the young bucks rather handily. Truly a most excellent character and I am quite enjoying his addition to the OOTS world. Congrats Giant on a truly fully-formed character.

Particle_Man
2011-12-13, 01:06 PM
I notice that after Taquin says "let's talk" we tend not to see one or the other of Malack's hands. Does it still have a negative energy touch spell sitting on it, ready to go?

I wonder if Malack will kill Nale and bring him back as undead?

Barstro
2011-12-13, 02:00 PM
I notice that after Taquin says "let's talk" we tend not to see one or the other of Malack's hands.

Good catch. However, he does tend to stand that way often. Perhaps he does that just so he can slyly throw a dagger when needed.

Vahir
2011-12-13, 05:08 PM
For some reason, I see Tarquin killing Nale, and then Team Evil raising him on their side.

McDougal
2011-12-13, 05:20 PM
:elan: DUN DUN DUN!

And so the plot thickens again, with another (pretty much now) declared side in the conquest.

jidasfire
2011-12-13, 05:22 PM
It occurs to me that Tarquin may not try to use the Gate so much as prevent anyone else from doing so. Whether that means he's going to destroy the Gate itself or simply kill everyone vying for it and position a garrison there remains to be seen.

It also occurs to me that Nale, being the treacherous little weasel he is, may try to use his father's need to impose order against him in this case. If Nale can trick Tarquin and his allies into going after the Gate, especially while the Order of the Stick is nearby, he can destroy it and remove all of his enemies at the same time.

ORione
2011-12-13, 05:45 PM
It occurs to me that Tarquin may not try to use the Gate so much as prevent anyone else from doing so. Whether that means he's going to destroy the Gate itself or simply kill everyone vying for it and position a garrison there remains to be seen.


I am now picturing Tarquin and Girard guarding the gate together.

Gnoman
2011-12-13, 05:55 PM
The Empress wouldn't last two rounds against any of Team Evil. And as I said above, Xykon is way too high level for one of Tarquin's figureheads. The same goes for Redcloak and Tsukiko.

The MitD ... hard to say. Certainly would be difficult to remove him by force, but he could be easily persuaded to leave if you want him to go. And there's probably lots of scope for humor having him as Tarquin's figurehead....

We don't know how powerful the rest of T's team is. It's quite concievable that he could think that together, they could let X kill the empress, take Xykon out, and elevate Redcloak to the throne as an expansion of the new goblin homeland. Or take out both Xykon and Redcloak and elevate one of the lesser goblin leaders to the position. I don't expect it to work, but it seems like it might seem to be a viable plan.

Ron Miel
2011-12-13, 06:30 PM
For some reason, I see Tarquin killing Nale, and then Team Evil raising him on their side.


I can see Malak killing Nale, and then Tarquin raising him without letting Malak know.

Halleflux
2011-12-13, 06:30 PM
...Where did the knife Tarquin threw go...?

Bulldog Psion
2011-12-13, 07:47 PM
...Where did the knife Tarquin threw go...?

Hammerspace is abundant in the OotS world. :smallwink:

dps
2011-12-13, 07:52 PM
By default, I assume that Nale killed Malack's kids.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find that Tarquin killed them (for some reason) and blamed Nale (for some reason) - but it would have to be as part of a larger, complex plan. Dunno what that could be.

If Tarquin did kill Malack's children, I would guess that he did it just for the purpose of framing Nale for the deed, in order to make sure that Malack was firmly on Tarquin's side during Nale's rebellion. But I don't think that's what happened--I think that Nale did kill them, and the "How's the family" comment was just a taunt.

King Bosco III
2011-12-13, 08:04 PM
If I were to bet even-odds, I'd say that Malack's children were, in fact, killed by Nale. Either; 1) killed by Nale as an intentional part of Nale's plan, 2) killed by Nale by some complicated part of his plan going wrong (giant snow-making machine set incorrectly and hitting them with snowballs until they died), or 3) killed by Sabine while she was altered to look like Nale.

Given Nale's nonchalant inquiry into Malack's family, but Sabine's absolute fear of Malack, I like choice 3 the best.

I think it more likely Nale, as always, needs to throw things in people's faces while Sabine realizes the danger of the situation. Demon vs. two clerics, need I say more? "Especially when that one is Malack" likely refers to his likely-higher-than-Durkon's level and the extremely obvious fury in Malack's voice and on his face.

Although, I would expect more of a :smallamused: face from Nale there...

Indalecio
2011-12-13, 09:15 PM
I can see Malak killing Nale, and then Tarquin raising him without letting Malak know.

Thats what I think as well. In fact I see no reason why Malak's hasn't resurrected his kids as well, unless perhaps they didn't want to come back for some reason. In that case, there may be no reason not to kill Nale, satisfy Malak's vengeance, and then have Nale raised afterwards.

Blaznak
2011-12-13, 10:13 PM
Nale is fun. He's a complete weasle, but he is fun.

Procyonpi
2011-12-13, 10:41 PM
However, this also shows that he has a weak point - he cannot convince people to do things against their natures. Note the "cold feet" flashback, where the bride-to-be refused point-blank to marry Tarquin even after being partially frozen in a block of ice.

hey way I interpeted that strip, she eventually ended up marrying him. He referred to her as "one of his previous wives."

Lombard
2011-12-13, 10:57 PM
master of puppets
so delectably evil
Tarquin I love you

Belril Duskwalk
2011-12-13, 11:18 PM
Thats what I think as well. In fact I see no reason why Malak's hasn't resurrected his kids as well, unless perhaps they didn't want to come back for some reason. In that case, there may be no reason not to kill Nale, satisfy Malak's vengeance, and then have Nale raised afterwards.

I always assumed that Malack's god, being a death god and all, might be opposed to the dead being raised. It's not an uncommon trait among death gods for them to be firm on the idea of the dead staying dead. Also, given that one of Malack's threats towards Nale was "Nergal will eat your soul!" I think he'd be terribly unsatisfied if Nale's death was anything less than a permanent condition.


After reading a few of the discussions, I'm leaning towards Nale not being the one that killed Malack's children. Mainly because the nonchalant "how's the family" seems a bit too innocent to be meant as an insult, especially since he knows Malack is quite a bit stronger than him (and that he and Sabine were outnumbered).

This is the same Nale who, while bound in ropes and surrounded by a group of hostile PCs, proceeded to taunt a sylph and considered being hit with lightning to be a price worth paying for whatever pleasure he got out of causing her pain. After that, I have no trouble seeing Nale twisting the knife, even when the odds are that it will get him killed.

Roderick_BR
2011-12-14, 06:09 AM
He said "mere suggestion of his location...". Does it that mean that The Order is actually following a false trail?:smallconfused:
Maybe. Could have been a half-true information. He sent them where he thought they should be to complete their mission, and suggested Nale *could* be there to spur them to move faster (must get there before Nale), even knowing Nale haven't really left yet.

Pory
2011-12-14, 06:11 AM
Tarquin's priority right now is to know all the information on what the Gates are and how they will affect his (their) empire. Once he knows that info I doubt he will try to control the gates because I think he isn't the conquer-all-the-world villain, Tarquin's team have worked long and hard in a way to control the desert and they're not going to lose that now. In the other hand, he knows the Gate is a threat and a lot of people is interested in it so maybe he's more interested in make this threat dissapear destroying the gate :smalleek:

Fishman
2011-12-14, 06:37 AM
"How's the family" sounds like Nale knows how much Malack cares about his family and is trying to start a friendly conversation so Malack won't automatically side with the order over someone he knows personally.You're kidding, right? You've never, ever, taunted or gloated at someone before? "How's the family" is EXACTLY the kind of question you'd ask knowing you've murdered them and are completely unrepentant about it. I know this: I've done plenty of bad things to people, and that's exactly the kind of thing I'd say if I wanted to taunt them.

Michaeler
2011-12-14, 07:31 AM
The problem with this "Taunt" idea is that Nale is well aware that he needs to avoid fighting Malack at all costs, but given the chance he chooses to taunt an overwhelming foe who isn't attacking yet instead of trying to talk his way out of it? If it was a taunt then it was almost suicide.

The taunt idea requires a level of stupidity even Nale hasn't shown yet, the idea that he didn't do it requires a level of deception Tarquin has shown constantly. To my mind either conclusion can only be a guess.

JoseB
2011-12-14, 07:47 AM
The problem with this "Taunt" idea is that Nale is well aware that he needs to avoid fighting Malack at all costs, but given the chance he chooses to taunt an overwhelming foe who isn't attacking yet instead of trying to talk his way out of it? If it was a taunt then it was almost suicide.

The taunt idea requires a level of stupidity even Nale hasn't shown yet, the idea that he didn't do it requires a level of deception Tarquin has shown constantly. To my mind either conclusion can only be a guess.

(Emphasis mine) I disagree.

A few posts above yours, Belril Duskwalk mentioned that, in the past, Nale has shown that kind of stupidity:


This is the same Nale who, while bound in ropes and surrounded by a group of hostile PCs, proceeded to taunt a sylph and considered being hit with lightning to be a price worth paying for whatever pleasure he got out of causing her pain. After that, I have no trouble seeing Nale twisting the knife, even when the odds are that it will get him killed.

Here is the strip in question. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0070.html)

Although I don't think that it was so much "taunting Celia for the pleasure of hurting her" but rather "taunting Celia to provoke her into an attack that would punish Thog for blabbing", the fact remains: He taunted somebody who was more than able to hurt him badly, and not only that -- he did that while tied down and surrounded by a lot of enemies.

Of course, in the case of Celia, he is bull****ting her, whereas in the case of Malack, as I see it, he would be referring to something that really happened and he was responsible for. However, the basic behaviour is the same: Twisting the knife to hurt someone, even though you are potentially at their mercy.

To sum up: I think that "how's the family?" being a taunt against Malack referring to Nale having actually killed his children is 100% in line with Nale. He is that kind of stupid (although he thinks of himself that he is a genius).

Barstro
2011-12-14, 08:16 AM
(Emphasis mine) I disagree.

A few posts above yours, Belril Duskwalk mentioned that, in the past, Nale has shown that kind of stupidity:

Here is the strip in question. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0070.html)

... To sum up: I think that "how's the family?" being a taunt against Malack referring to Nale having actually killed his children is 100% in line with Nale. He is that kind of stupid (although he thinks of himself that he is a genius).

The major difference is that in the above example, Nale was already defeated, and by arguably good heroes. His taunting was not going to make the situation any worse. Nale could cause someone emotional pain, and maybe lose a few hit points for it, but his plan couldn't fall apart more than it already had, and a hero isn't going to kill him after being tied up.

The situation with Malack is quite different. In that situation, Malack choosing a side would decide the battle. Taunting Malack cannot help Nale's situation, but has the likely possibility of completely destroying all of Nale's plans. The only reason Nale (while still trying to get his plan to work) would taunt Malack is if he expected that taunt to lose a round or two due to paralyzing rage. Otherwise, I would more expect Nale to get the hell out of there (at the possible expense of the rest of his team dying) to make a crazier plan in the future.

Imgran
2011-12-14, 08:31 AM
Aaaand Tarquin thus becomes Three of the nine sides.

Fixed that for ya. Don't forget the sweet little deal he has cooked up between him and his other party members.

Diadem
2011-12-14, 10:28 AM
Awesome comic. I'm completely in love with Tarquin :)

It's pretty clear that Tarquin can't postpone the confrontation between Malack and Nale forever. He's either going to have to let Malack kill Nale, or stop him from it, shattering their alliance and a lot of his power.

I think he'll side with Malack. It seems more in character. But he may have reasons for wanting to dispose of Malack and use this as an excuse. Whatever he choses though, he will have been planning it from the start. There's no way he hasn't yet realized that it's going to come down to that choice.

Personally I hope he offs Nale. First of all because I'm growing tired of Nale. Secondly because I like Malack, he's an interesting character I'd like to learn more about.


As for the gates. Tarquin is evil, but he's not a megalomaniac. He knows his limits. It's not in his interest to destroy the world, or piss off the gods too much. And I think he knows he can't conquer the world, there's too many other powerful nations or heroes that will all be gunning for him if he tried.

He'll probably try to genuinely help the OotS in their quest to protect the gates. I see no reason not to. Stopping the destruction of the world, of conquets of the world by an evil lich, is in his own interest.

Scrynor
2011-12-14, 10:35 AM
Two quick things:

1) Taunting Malack is definitely both Nale's style (we've seen mean taunts) and a smart move (not a stupid one). It's a classic move really... When faced with an enemy of overwhelming force you need to make them act stupidly. Anger is always right near the top of that list. It's better to have Malack thinking "I will hurt you badly for that" in a rage opposed to "I wil instantly kill you, or render you incapable to escape" which are certainly options at his disposal. With the number of people who complained about Malacks spell selection I'm amazed anyone would posit that the taunt was a bad idea.

2) I'm surprised people keep hoping Nale dies soon or thinking that he will die soon. I seriously doubt Nale dies any time soon. Tarquin never tips his whole hand, even to us, and he's trying to write the *best* story ever. Elan and Nale just aren't in his league and he knows it. Is there anything more classic than two estranged twin sons, one good and one evil who are mortal enemies, teaming up to oppose their father together? No way T would pass that up... he's the manipulation master. He'll find a way to appease Malack, keep Nale alive, and try to get Nale and Elan to work together against him someday.

Burner28
2011-12-14, 10:58 AM
Awesome comic. I'm completely in love with Tarquin :)
:smalleek:....:smalltongue: You kidder!


Personally I hope he offs Nale. First of all because I'm growing tired of Nale. Secondly because I like Malack, he's an interesting character I'd like to learn more about.
I hope not. It would have been an anticlimatic end for Nale, which would be sad for me as I like Nale. That said, there is a good possiblility of Nale dying in this manner anyways so...




He'll probably try to genuinely help the OotS in their quest to protect the gates. I see no reason not to. Stopping the destruction of the world, of conquets of the world by an evil lich, is in his own interest.

This I completely agree with as Tarquin has his own plan that would never come to fruition if the world is gone.

FlawedParadigm
2011-12-14, 11:06 AM
and a hero isn't going to kill him after being tied up.


Kubota's disintegrated and windblown remains would like a word with you. Well, if they could make words. Really, they'd prefer to be crammed down your throat while you sleep and choke you, but I don't think that's a realistic possibility either. So you ought to be safe.

ORione
2011-12-14, 11:40 AM
Kubota's disintegrated and windblown remains would like a word with you. Well, if they could make words. Really, they'd prefer to be crammed down your throat while you sleep and choke you, but I don't think that's a realistic possibility either. So you ought to be safe.

Vaarsuvius wasn't in a particularly heroic mood at the time.

eulmanis12
2011-12-14, 12:00 PM
and even if V were a perfect hero and had never done that allow me to introduce
:belkar: "I have a suggestion! It starts with an S and ends with a litting their throats!"

Warren Dew
2011-12-15, 02:45 AM
Vaarsuvius wasn't in a particularly heroic mood at the time.
And Celia was with respect to Nale?

Bulldog Psion
2011-12-15, 05:14 AM
I fear that Kubota's demise still fills me with nothing but satisfaction. :smallamused:

Anyway, I doubt Nale's going to bite it at this point. If Malack was going to kill Nale without Tarquin's go-ahead, he would already have done it. Since Tarquin wants Nale alive, it looks like the leader of the Linear Guild is going to survive again.

martianmister
2011-12-15, 06:49 AM
And Celia was with respect to Nale?

She didn't kill him, is she?

Aenghus
2011-12-15, 10:59 AM
There are always two, a master and an apprentice.

Tarquin doesn't want the world destroyed, it's where he keeps all his stuff, not to mention his legend dies along with the world.

Tarquin's definitely the sort of villian who could have a contract with the Lawful member of the IFCC.


I suspect Tarquin will sacrifice himself to save one or both of his children.

And then the circle will be complete