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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    I don't think it'd work so well when we don't have an actual name to use. For instance, from 170:
    Good point...
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

    World Building Projects:
    Magic
    : The Stuff of Sentience | Fate: The Fabric of Physics | Luck: The Basis of Biology

    Order of the Stick Projects:
    Annotation of the Comic | Magic Compendium of the Comic | Transcription of the Comic
    Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?
    Extended Signature | My DeviantArt | Majora's Mask Point Race
    (you can't take the sky from me)

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    So how are people doing with reviewing the project? Any changes or whatnot to correct?
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

    World Building Projects:
    Magic
    : The Stuff of Sentience | Fate: The Fabric of Physics | Luck: The Basis of Biology

    Order of the Stick Projects:
    Annotation of the Comic | Magic Compendium of the Comic | Transcription of the Comic
    Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?
    Extended Signature | My DeviantArt | Majora's Mask Point Race
    (you can't take the sky from me)

  3. - Top - End - #213
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Not sure if anyone noticed, but there's still one inclaimed comic to put in for, and we are "quickly" approaching comic 1000, meaning in about 20 strips, we'll need someone else to work on transcriptions!

    Anyone make any progress on reviewing the posted transcriptions for errors and what not?
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

    World Building Projects:
    Magic
    : The Stuff of Sentience | Fate: The Fabric of Physics | Luck: The Basis of Biology

    Order of the Stick Projects:
    Annotation of the Comic | Magic Compendium of the Comic | Transcription of the Comic
    Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?
    Extended Signature | My DeviantArt | Majora's Mask Point Race
    (you can't take the sky from me)

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    The OotS Transcript - Strips 984 to 998
    Book 6: Currently Untitled
    Previous Page | Index | Next Page

    Spoiler: Strip 984
    Show
    Hence the Fence
    Head Cleric of Hoder, Roy, Vampire Durkon, Cleric of Hoder #1

    Head Cleric of Hoder: I am this shrine’s head cleric.
    Roy: Nice to meet you. We were wondering if you—
    Vampire Durkon: gwoooBWEARF! gwoooBWEARF!
    Head Cleric of Hoder: Yes, yes. My acolytes have informed me of your request. I am sorry to keep you waiting but neither I nor any member of my staff is capable of casting the spell for which you seek.
    Roy: Ah, crap. Well, I sorta figured.
    Head Cleric: I can heal your friend’s end stage emphysema, if you’d like?
    Roy: Ah, no, thanks anyway. I guess we’ll just be on our—
    Vampire Durkon: gwoooBWEARF! gwoooBWEARF! None on yer staff? Do ye know any clerics na on yer staff tha might be powerful enough to cast it?
    (VD): None on your staff? Do you know any clerics not on your staff that might be powerful enough to cast it?
    Head Cleric of Hoder: Uh, what do you…?
    Vampire Durkon: Mebbe someone who was just passin’ thru? Someone we could catch up wit?
    (VD): Maybe someone who was just passing through? Someone we could catch up with?
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: Say it. Come on! I know, you know, I know you know, and now you know I know! Just say it out loud! I’d just straight up wink if you weren’t wearing that ridiculous blindfold!!
    <cutback>
    Head Cleric of Hoder: I have no idea to what you might be referring. If you’ll excuse me, I’m needed elsewhere. Good day!
    Roy: Durkon, what the hell? I know this is important but you can’t get in someone’s face like that.
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: Aaaargh! So close!
    Durkon: Ta wha? Wha in tha blue heck’re ye goin’ on aboot?
    (D): To what? What in the blue heck are you going about?”
    <cutback>
    Vampire Durkon: Sorry aboot tha, lad. I just had a hunch ‘e were hidin’ somethin’.
    (VD): Sorry, about that, lad. I just had a hunch he was hiding something.
    Roy: OK, well, just try to keep it under control next time. Not that there’s going to be a next time, since I think that was the last true temple in town. There’s a shrine to Skadi on the other side of the mountain, but I think all of her followers are rangers and druids. I guess we might as well head over and—
    Cleric of Hoder #1: WAIT! I think I know something that could—whoOOAAAA!
    <sfx> clunk! WHUMPH! WHUMPH!
    Roy: So…I’m guessing you’re fairly new to the blindfolded priest thing?
    Cleric of Hoder #1: I like to think of my bruised shins as my god’s way of reminding me to practice my low-level healing spells.

    Spoiler: Strip 985
    Show
    Down the Winding Path
    Cleric of Hoder #1, Roy, Vampire Durkon, Durkon

    Cleric of Hoder #1: Sorry for calling after you, sir, I just…I didn’t want you to get too far away for me to find you. Cure Minor Wounds!
    Roy: It’s fine, we’re in no hurry. I mean, we totally are, but…well, it’s complicated. What’s on your mind?
    Cleric of Hoder #1: I know a way for you to help your dead friend. Specifically, where you can find a stronger cleric near here.
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: Oh. Oh, here we go. I knew an entire island of gnomes couldn’t keep a secret!
    <cutback>
    Cleric of Hoder #1: I don’t know why the head cleric didn’t say anything, but your friend with the dwarven accent was right—There wereother clerics traveling through here over the last few days.
    <flashback>
    Cleric of Hoder #1: <voiceover> Four or five different groups, actually. They stopped in pay respects to all the shrines. Even Hoder’s high priestess! It was a huge honor, but for some reason we didn’t have a feast or anything.
    <end flashback>
    Roy: Wait—they visited every shrine in the town? How come none of the other clerics we visited mentioned this?
    Vampire Durkon: Do ye know whar they were headin’?
    (VD): Do you know where they were heading?
    Cleric of Hoder #1: Not exactly. They don’t really tell me much, since I’m only an acolyte. North, to the mainland. I heard one of them mention the Pinnacle Mountains.
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: GOOD ENOUGH!
    <cutback>
    Vampire Durkon: Lad, if’n we hurry, mebbe we can catch these clerics ‘fore they get whar thar goin’!
    (VD): Roy, if we hurry, maybe we can catch these clerics before they get where they’re going!
    Roy: Yeah…I suppose. Seems a bit vague to justify taking a detour, though.
    Vampire Durkon: Roy, ye gotta take the chance. This may be our only realistic opportunity to locate a cleric who can help me!
    (VD): Roy, you have to take the chance. This may be our only realistic opportunity to locate a cleric who can help me!
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: TAKE THE BAIT, YOU PULSING BLOODSACK!
    <cutback>
    Roy: No…no, this doesn’t feel right. Durkon, I’m sorry, I know this is important to you, and I want you restored more than anyone else. But the whole world is at stake, and it’s bad enough that we’re not already kicking in Xykon’s door as we speak. We can’t spare time for a sidequest right now.
    Vampire Durkon: It’s on the way! We have to fly over those mountains to get to the North Pole anyway!
    Roy: It’s not the travel time I’m worried about, per se. Where exactly would we be going? The Pinnacle Mountains are almost 2000 miles long! We can’t just zoom off to start searching it for a handful of clerics who obviously don’t want to be found.
    Vampire Durkon: But-
    Roy: No. Maybe if you and Vaarsuvius could pull together some divinations to tell us where to actually go, I’d consider-
    Cleric of Hoder #1: Cog Street.
    Roy: Huh?
    Cleric of Hoder #1: That’s what I was coming to tell you. An elven priestess stopped in about an hour ago. Said she was running late, but she was going to do that thing elves do instead of sleeping at the inn on Cog Street before leaving town.
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: NO! I don’t want to talk to the actual pilgrims, I just want to follow the pilgrimage! In a very fast ship!!
    <cutback>
    Roy: Now see—that is a small enough risk to take to get you fixed. We’ll head down to the inn, talk to this elf, and hopefully have this whole vampire thing sorted out by the time repairs are complete.
    Vampire Durkon:…Aye.
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: GAAHHH!!
    Durkon: I got no clue wha be goin’ on, but I know a thwarted villain when I see one.
    (D): I have no clue what is going on, but I know a thwarted villain when I see one.
    <cutback>
    Roy: Thanks, kid! Here’s a donation to your temple.
    Cleric of Hoder #1: You’re welcome, sir!
    <sfx> CATCH!
    Cleric of Hoder #1: Wait, did he just say, “vampire”?

    Spoiler: Strip 986
    Show
    Inn Doubt
    Wrecan, Roy, Veldrina, Vampire Durkon

    <sign text> Big Folks Inn
    <sign text> Human-sized rooms at normal-sized prices!
    <sfx> KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
    Wrecan: Hello? Who are you?
    Roy: Hi, uh, one of the clerics of Hoder sent us here. She said there was an elven priestess who might be able to help us.
    Wrecan: I’m sorry, she’s not accepting contract work at the moment. We’re otherwise occupied with important matters. Good day.
    Veldrina: Ooooo, is that my dumplings?
    Wrecan: It’s not your dumplings.
    Veldrina: Did they remember the sauce? They’re too dry without the sauce.
    Wrecan: There are no dumplings!
    Veldrina: Well, if they forgot the dumplings, just send them back to—Oh! You don’t look like a gnome delivery boy.
    Roy: I get that a lot.
    Veldrina: I’m Veldrina and this is my bodyguard, Wrecan.
    Wrecan: You do remember that this is a secret mission, right?
    Veldrina: We’re on a secret mission.
    Wrecan: *sigh*
    Roy: I’m Roy Greenhilt and this is my friend Durkon Thundershield.
    Veldrina: Is he a vampire?
    Roy: Um, yes.
    Vampire Durkon: Hullo.
    (VD): Hello.
    Veldrina: I’ve never seen a vampire in the flesh before. Fascinating how properly applied negative energy can provide a semblance of biological functions, don’t you think?
    Wrecan: Not as fascinating as your uncanny ability to find the straightest line between your nose and something dangerous. Back up.
    Veldrina: Hmmm? Oh, right.
    Roy: Actually, even though he’s a vampire, Durkon isn’t dangerous at all. He’s one of the good guys.
    Wrecan: Uh huh. My daughters back home read young adult novels—I know all about tragic vampire anti-heroes, thanks. That doesn’t mean he won’t turn on you when you least expect it, then ask for forgiveness later.
    Veldrina: Oh, stop being such a worrier. They seem nice.
    Wrecan: Is that your strategic assessment? “Seems nice”?
    Veldrina: Why don’t you come inside and have some dumplings?
    Wrecan: There are no dumplings!
    Veldrina: They forgot them again?
    Wrecan: No, they never—ugh!!
    Roy: If you’d asked me to rate the chances of this ending with a bamboo steamer and Belkar in a paper hat, I would have said, “Low.”

    Spoiler: Strip 987
    Show
    The Soul of Discretion
    Roy, Veldrina, Wrecan, Vampire Durkon, Vaarsuvius, Blackwing, Durkon

    Roy: So, we were hoping to find someone who could—whoa!
    Veldrina: Oh, don’t mind the tiger. Little Whiskers wouldn’t hurt a fly.
    Wrecan: On the plus side, that was more Giant Monstrous Fly experience points for the rest of us.
    Roy: Uh, right. At any rate, we were looking for someone who could restore Durkon to life.
    Veldrina: Oooo! That would be experimentally intriguing, Would that even work with a Raise Dead spell? No, I think it would need to be Resurrection, due to the negative particle wave interference.
    Wrecan: And you…You actually want to be alive again?
    Vampire Durkon: Och, aye. All I want is ta better serve me friends as healer.
    (VD): Oh, aye. All I want is to better serve my friends as a healer.
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: And if the elf is capable of doing it, I’ll have to murder everyone in this room. Even worse, I’ll have to come up with a new plan.
    <cutback>
    Veldrina: While I’m sure it would yield illuminating empirical data, I’m afraid I don’t actually know the Resurrection spell yet.
    Roy: Oh. You’re not powerful enough to cast 7th-level spells, either?
    Veldrina: No, I am. But I’m not what you would really call a “temple-certified” healer. I’m not actually a cleric, I’m the favored soul of my (really minor) elven goddess. It’s kind of complex, but the bottom line is that I haven’t yet mastered every cleric spell. I have what would best be described as an idiosyncratic approach to magic.
    Wrecan: Also known as, “Feign it ‘til they ordain it.”
    Veldrina: Hey, I’m just as good as those stuffy hierarchal frumps! They wouldn’t have picked me to represent the combined Western and elven pantheons if I wasn’t!
    Wrecan: [B]Secret mission, Vel. Remember? Secret!
    Roy: Represent? That would have to something to do with a whole bunch of clerics taking a trip to the Pinnacle Mountains, right?
    Veldrina: Oh, see? He’s already in the loop. Told you he seemed nice.
    Wrecan: I guess…
    Veldrina: I can’t figure out why the Clerics of the Northern Gods called their Godsmoot with just three days’ notice, though. The winter solstice is tomorrow!!
    Wrecan: We’d already be there if ship we chartered hadn’t balked at her bringing a tiger.
    Veldrina: Can you believe I threw 5000 bucks down the drain just to get stuck here?!?
    Wrecan: And it felt like it took two or three years to get this far!
    Veldrina: That’s money I could have spent on a new broach. Or maybe a nice cameo.
    Wrecan: …and then we spent all day combing through Tinkertown’s magic shops for a single-use item that could get us there—but some other elf beat us to the only teleport orb we could find.
    <flashback>
    Roy: <voiceover> Another elf? With red robes and a pet raven?
    Wrecan: <voiceover> Yeah, that’s the one.
    Veldrina: Hey, we need that for an important mission!
    Vaarsuvius: I believe I am experiencing what is commonly referred to as dejá vu.
    Blackwing: Darn, I left my sombrero on the ship.
    <end flashback>
    Wrecan: We were able to find a Wind Walk scroll though, so we’ll try that after Veldrina has tranced. Though I think even that spell’s top speed won’t get us there before the moot starts.
    Vampire Durkon: Roy, if we-
    Roy: Yeah, I’m already there. I’ve got good news for you two. That elf works for me.
    Wrecan: Oh, I get it. You want to trade the orb for the spell you need.
    Veldrina: But I can’t cast that spell!
    Roy: No, that’s not what I’m proposing. My wizard was right, we need that teleport orb. But what we have that you don’t is an airship. If you know where this meeting is, we can get you there on time. Right in the nick of time, if the ship’s owner is to believed.
    Veldrina: You would do that for us?
    Wrecan: I don’t understand. What’s in it for you?
    Roy: A room full of clerics we wouldn’t be able to find otherwise. At least one of them should be able to restore Durkon, right?
    <cutaway>
    Durkon: Tha’s wha ye were after all along, weren’t it? Tha location o’ tha Godsmoot.
    (D): That’s what you were after all along, wasn’t it? The location of the Godsmoot.
    Vampire Durkon: Oh, no. I already knew that. Zenith Peak, about 830 miles northeast from here.
    Durkon: But—then—Why go thru all this trouble ta find out?!?
    (D): But—then—Why go through all this trouble to find out?!?
    Vampire Durkon: What was I supposed to do? Walk up to Roy an ask him to take me to a secret meeting that poor dead Durkon would have no way of knowing was happening at all, much less knowing where? I assure you that your friend would not bring me there if he knew who I was or what my mistress was planning.
    Durkon: Ye let Roy learn aboot it on ‘is own so ‘e wouldnae think twice aboot going.
    (D): You let Roy learn about it on his own so he would not think twice about going.
    Vampire Durkon: Uh, I’m a vampire. Letting something appear organic when it’s really a cruel unnatural charade is kinda my whole thing.

    Spoiler: Strip 988
    Show
    Much Less Swordfighting
    Haley, Bandana, Andi, Felix, Elan, Julio
    Haley: Sorry I got you wrapped up in my “personal vendetta” encounter, B.
    Bandana: Nah, I don’t mind none. I got a snazzy new dagger, a boatload of XP, and enough of a workout to not feel guilty about shovin’ my face full of waffles. I should hang out with y’all more often, ha ha!
    Andi: I’m glad someone was having fun while I was stuck slaving over a hot engine with a swarm of grubby little gnomes.
    Bandana: Ah, don’t get your knickers in a twist, Andi. How’re repairs going?
    Andi: Fine. I told you they’d be done by dawn and they will be.
    Bandana: OK, then. Carry on, I guess.
    Andi: Great. I appreciate the permission to keep doing my job, Bandana.
    Bandana: Captain Bandana.
    Felix: Hey everybody! Look, I got us all winter gear!
    Haley: Oh! I can’t believe I forgot we were going to do that!
    Elan: To be fair, it’s been a long time since this morning.
    Felix: Oh, I’m sorry. I should have asked before buying them. I just thought…we’re going to the North Pole, and it’s cold up there. Do you want me to take them back so you can pick your own.
    Haley: What? No. Who cares about that? One coat is just as good as the next.
    Elan: Don’t mind her, Felix. She’s just grumpy because someone punched her in the head a lot today. I, for one, appreciate your efforts to create a strong visual cue to remind everyone that we’re in colder temperatures now.
    Felix: Thanks. It was really hard to find them in everyone’s sizes and existing color schemes.
    Haley: Geez, he seems…sensitive.
    Bandana: He just takes fashion seriously. Felix was Captain Scoundrél’s personal sartorial advisor.
    <flashback>
    Julio: Time to face the Ogre-Witch of Rupture Ravine!
    Felix: Captain! I cannot in good conscience allow this!
    Julio: My gods, man, you’re right! I’ll change immediately.
    <end flashback>
    Bandana: Frankly, it’s a testament to his work ethic that he even had time to learn how to fly the ship.

    Spoiler: Strip 989
    Show
    Stares and Stripes Forever
    Roy, Belkar, Vaarsuvius, Blackwing, Little Whiskers, Veldrina, Wrecan, Mr. Scruffy

    Roy: Hey gang, I’m back and I have great news.
    Belkar: Count No-neckula fell on a fencepost and dusted himself?
    Vaarsuvius: I also have a positive occurrence to report.
    Roy: That’s a one-shot teleport orb that you were able to buy at the magic shop.
    Vaarsuvius: Yes…Yes, that is exactly correct.
    Blackwing: Did you become an oracle? And if so, can you tell me if I’m going to ever play the lottery?
    Roy: Well, my source does have divine inspiration. I think the two of you have already met our new guests.
    Veldrina: Come on, Little Whiskers! It’s just a piece of highly complex physics-defying machinery that makes loud scary whirring noises. I don’t se what the big deal is!
    Little Whiskers: mrrrwww…
    Veldrina: Just give him a little nudge.
    Wrecan: You know I don’t do tiger wrangling.
    Veldrina: A nudge is not a wrangle.
    Wrecan: They’re the same general sphere of activity.
    Belkar: Awesome, just what we need. More NPC panel-filler.
    Roy: You should be happy. They’re going to help us get Durkon back in time for the final showdown.
    Belkar: Wait, you actually found someone who can rez him? I take back 80% of the bad things I said about you in the last hour.
    Roy: Sort of. We’re flying them to some secret cleric meet-up in the mountains tomorrow. We’ll drop them off, get Durkon raised by one of the clerics, and then use V’s teleport orb to pop right up to Kraagor’s Gate. We’ll get there faster than our original plan of flying all the way north, and we’ll fix our friend in the process.
    Vaarsuvius: That seems to be an eminently efficient course of action. I approve.
    Roy: All this is assuming that she eventually gets her pet tiger on the ship.
    Belkar: Leave that to me, losers. Step aside, high-level ranger coming through! All you need to do is look into the animal’s eyes and let him know who really calls the shots around here.
    Mr. Scruffy: hiss!
    Little Whiskers: Mrrrrrwwww!
    Belkar: See? Works every time.
    Veldrina: I think I got a defective tiger.
    Wrecan: Does that trick work on elves? Asking for a friend.

    Spoiler: Strip 990
    Show
    Critiquing Suspicion
    Female Mechane Crewmember, Andi, Male Mechane Crewmember, Vaarsuvius, Roy

    Female Crewmember: Wait, now we’re heading somewhere else? Are we a sky taxi!?!?
    Andi: Nah, you’re looking at this all wrong.
    Male Crewmember: Yeah, the sooner we drop the vampire off, the sooner we find a nice fat merchant blimp!
    Vaarsuvius: I took the liberty of once again attempting to contact our last outstanding Gate guardian, Ms. Serini Toormuck, vis á vis impending world-shattering doom.
    Roy: Still no response?
    Vaarsuvius: None.
    Roy: Alright, thanks. Maybe I’ll ask Durkon to try later. He said he’d be done researching that Protection from Daylight spell by morning.
    Vaarsuvius: Hmmm. Does it not strike you as odd that he continues to expend resources on a spell that, if all goes according to plan, will shortly be useless?
    Roy: Of course it does. He said he couldn’t bear to not finish what he started—which is very Durkon. I didn’t press the issue because if this thing with the clerics doesn’t work out, we may need him to know that spell when we face Xykon. With our luck, Xykon will make his last stand in a sun-dappled forest glade with evil pixies or something.
    Vaarsuvius: You are perhaps worried that the halfling is correct and the vampire cannot be trusted?
    Roy: I don’t know. I don’t think Belkar is lying—which, let’s be clear, is not a sentence I ever thought I’d say—but I also can’t assume he’s not letting his anger cloud his judgment. Every feeling, every instinct in my body tells me yes, that’s Durkon—just changed a little. If I can help him through those changes, shouldn’t I do that? I can’t abandon my best friend when he needs me the most!
    Vaarsuvius: I see. When the halfling eschews logic and makes decisions emotionally, it is problematic. But when you do, it is valid.
    Roy: No! Maybe. My gut is smarter than his gut!
    Vaarsuvius: Abdominal cognitive limits aside, the rational thing to do would be to judge the creature that travels with us on its own merits—without regard to one’s feelings toward the late Master Thundershield.
    Roy: I agree. And when I do that, he’s been a model part member. Hell, the one time he got agitated today, he was actively pursuing a resurrection spell.
    Vaarsuvius: Your intuition and your intellect are in agreement, yet you still remain conflicted.
    Roy: Weird, huh?
    Vaarsuvius: It would appear that you are of two gets on the matter. A conundrum that shall unravel itself in time?
    Roy: Yeah. Tomorrow will hopefully resolve this whole situation one way or the other. Also, would it be too much to ask for a few random encounters while we’re at it?
    Vaarsuvius: Miss Starshine apparently leveled today without our participation.
    Roy: Are you kidding me? I just barely caught up to where I was before I died!

    Spoiler: Strip 991
    Show
    A Sergeant and a Sapper
    Young Durkon, Uncle Thirden, Uncle Hoskin, Tenrin, Sigdi, Dwarf Soldier #1, Dwarf Soldier #2, Male Cleric, Female Cleric, Durkon, Vampire Durkon

    Young Durkon: Uncle Thirden? It’s me, Durkon.
    Uncle Thirden: Durkon! Come in, come in! Hoskin was just leaving.
    Uncle Hoskin: Aye, we’ll sort tha rest out after Sigdi’s dinner this week, Squeaky. Ye’ve hafn’t been near any o’ tha halflin’ pipeweed anymore, haf ye, Durkon?
    (UH): Aye, we’ll sort the rest out after Sigdi’s dinner this week, Squeaky. You haven’t been near any of that Halfling pipeweed anymore, have you, Durkon?
    Young Durkon: Nay, sir, Uncle Hoskin, sir. Promise!
    Uncle Hoskin: Good lad. See tha it stays tha way.
    (UH): Good boy. See that it stays that way.
    Uncle Thirden: Now, what does a fine young man such as yourself seek in the humble cave of this humble miner-turned-bard?
    Young Durkon: Uh, well…
    Uncle Thirden: A song? A story? Some lore you need to know for school?
    Young Durkon: Lore, aye, but na fer school. I, uh…I need ta know tha answer ta a question Ma willnae answer.
    (YD): Lore, aye, but not for school. I, uh…I need to know the answer to a question Mom will not answer.
    Uncle Thirden: Is this about sex? Please let it be about anything other than sex.
    Young Durkon: How did Ma get hurt? An’ how did me Pa die?
    (YD): How did Mom get hurt? And how did my Dad die?
    Uncle Thirden: …So how about that sex, huh?
    Young Durkon: Uncle Thirden.
    Uncle Thirden: I can’t help it! Your mother specifically forbid me from telling you this story and she’s scary! On one hand, I firmly believe a dwarf should know his ancestry—especially whether or not his own father died with honor. On the other hand, I’m firmly against getting hit by retired soldiers, as a general rule. So instead, I am going to tell you a completely unrelated story about a frightening monster that threatened our people-And you, in turn, are going to learn all about the wonderful world of subtext. Which, incidentally will also help a lot with the sex stuff when you’re older. Once upon a time, there was a terrible troll that was terrorizing a dwarven village not that far from here. The local guards were no match for it, so the army directed its nearest monster-killing squad to intervene.
    <flashback>
    Uncle Thirden: <voiceover> The squad was led by a clever and heroic young sergeant who had slain many monsters in her time. She was married to one of the men under her command-the team’s sapper.
    Tenrin: Sgt. Thundershield, I dinnae suppose ye’d care ta discuss tactical decisions under Thor’s starry sky tonight?
    (T): Sgt. Thundershield, I don’t suppose you’d care to discuss tactical decisions under Thor’s starry sky tonight?
    Sigdi: Aye, Sapper Thundershield, I believe tha would be lovely.
    (S): Aye, Sapper Thundershield, I believe that would be lovely.
    Dwarf Soldier #1: Och, ye two are married now!
    (DS1): Sheesh, you two are married now!
    Dwarf Soldier #2: Ye dinnae haf ta pretend yer na shtuppin’ anymore!
    (DS2): You don’t have to pretend you’re not shtupping anymore!
    Uncle Thirden: <voiceover> The sergeant had fought trolls before, and knew that they could heal any wound except for those dealt with fire and acid-so she had her troops carry flaming weapons before them as they entered its cave.
    Sigdi: Onna count o’ three. One, two…
    (S) On a count of three. One, two…
    Uncle Thirden: <voiceover> But what she couldn’t have known was that this troll had the blood of dragons as well!
    Tenrin: Sigdi, the fire’s na workin’! We need ta retreat!
    (T): Sigdi, the fire’s not working! We need to retreat!
    Sigdi: We need ta protect tha villagers, Tenrin-an’ ‘e’ll cut us down if’n we turn tail anyway!
    (S): We need to protect the villagers, Tenrin-and he’ll cut us down if we turn tail anyway!
    Tenrin: …Then I haf an idea.
    (T): …Then I have an idea.
    Uncle Thirden: Now, your father-uh, I mean, the squad’s sapper-was a geological genius. Sire, we all learn the basics of spotting unsafe stonework, but he was a true savant. He found a weak point in the cave’s structure and attacked!
    <sfx> CRACK!
    Uncle Thirden: <voiceover> The cave began collapsing on the troll—and the team.
    Sigdi: Tenrin! TENRIN!
    Dwarf Soldier #2: Sarge, we need ta get out o’ here!
    (DS2): Sarge, we need to get out of here.
    Uncle Thirden: <voiceover> While then troll could ignore the wounds to rocks left in his flesh, the cave-in left him trapped beneath a hundred tons of stone. Most of the remaining squad made it out, but the sapper wasn’t one of them. And many that did were badly injured-including the sergeant. When the clerics examined her, they discovered she was pregnant. With you.
    Male Cleric: The baby survived??
    Female Cleric: Praise Thor!
    <end flashback>
    Young Durkon: So…Pa died a hero.
    (YD): So…Dad died a hero.
    Uncle Thirden: Yes.
    Young Durkon: ‘E’s in Valhalla then? Wit Thor?
    (YD): He’s in Valhalla then? With Thor?
    Uncle Thirden: I would assume so, yes.
    Young Durkon: In our family tomb…wha’s buried whar Pa’s marker lies?
    (YD): In our family tomb…what’s buried where Pa’s marker lies?
    Uncle Thirden: A lock of his beard your mother carried. The priests consecrated and buried it in lieu of his body. As for as the church is concerned, those are his remains.
    Young Durkon: Wha was ‘e like?
    (YD): What was he like?
    Uncle Thirden: Your father? I don’t really know. The five of us didn’t become friends with your mother until right before you were born. But from what she tells me—he was patient and kind and loyal. The sort of man you can count on, even if he doesn’t always stand out in a crowd.
    Young Durkon: ‘E sounds…nice.
    (YD): He sounds…nice.
    Uncle Tenrin: I suspect that’s why your mother hasn’t remarried in all these years. No matter how many times Hoskin has asked her.
    Young Durkon: But…why dinnae Ma want me ta hear tha story? It’s na more violent than half Thor’s myths.
    (YD): But…why doesn’t Mom want me to hear the story? It’s no more violent than half of Thor’s myths.
    Uncle Tenrin: You would have to ask her that. And I strongly suggest that you don’t. Now come on, let’s go get some deep friend [sic] fungus from the vendor cart in the main hall.
    Young Durkon: Ma says if’n I eat after school, I’ll spoil me appetite fer dinner.
    (YD): Mom says if I eat after school, I’ll spoil my appetite for dinner.
    Uncle Tenrin: Guess that’ll be one more reason not to tell her you dropped by this afternoon. Plus, there’s an old bardic expression: in for a copper piece, in for a platinum!
    Young Durkon: Ha ha! Thanks, Uncle Squeaky.
    <cutaway>
    Durkon: Thar. Happy now?
    (D): There. Happy now?
    Vampire Durkon: The details don’t interest me at all, but yes, I’m glad to have one less question hanging unanswered. Once the godsmoot begins, I will need to focus on the task at hand. I don’t want to waste any energy satisfying idle curiosity. This is it. Today. After millennia of waiting, Hel will finally have her due. And when it is done, I will sit at her side as the chose servant who enabled this, her greatest victory!
    Durkon: Och, fine, I get it. Evil, evil, evil. If’n ye keep twirlin’ yer mustache tha hard, it’ll fall out.
    (D): Oh, fine, I get it. Evil, evil. Evil. If you keep twirling your mustache that hard, it’ll fall out.
    Vampire Durkon: I do not require a mustache to complete our ultimate triumph! And it itches anyway!

    Spoiler: Strip 992
    Show
    Peak Condition
    Vampire Durkon, Roy, Veldrina, Elan, Wrecan

    Vampire Durkon: Also, the blood gets stuck in my whiskers when I’m drinking from someone’s neck. It’s just inconvenient all around…We’re slowing down.
    <cutaway>
    Roy: See? Told you we could get you here.
    Veldrina: Thank you soooo much, Mr. Greenhilt!
    Roy: You’re welcome. Just put in a good word for us with your peers and we’ll be even.
    Veldrina: Oh! I was planning on using several, but I’ll try to narrow it down. Exemplary? Magnanimous? Creditable?
    Vampire Durkon: Look, lad! Thar it be. This’ll all be o’er soon, aye.
    (VD): Look, Roy! There it is. This will all be over soon, aye.
    Elan: Huh. We learned about Zenith Peak in bard camp, but I don’t remember anyone saying there was a temple on it.
    Wrecan: The Godsmoot is held at a different place every time, so that structure is temporary. They only built it this morning.
    Veldrina: Estimable? Meritorious!

    Spoiler: Strip 993
    Show
    Moots and Ladders
    Veldrina, Bandana, Blackwing, Wrecan, Roy, Belkar, Haley, Elan

    Veldrina: Is it OK if Little Whiskers stays in the ship until afterward? Some of the high priests are druids and they make him self-conscious.
    Bandana: He’s no trouble at all, Miss.
    <cutaway>
    Blackwing: Whoa. Maybe I’ve been too harsh on mammals, because this is just luxurious.
    <cutback>
    Bandana: And heck, once the heroes pop off to save the day, we’ll be happy to ferry y’all home for a reasonable fee.
    Wrecan: The clerics have a ton of rules and regulations for meetings like this, and they get pretty testy if you don’t follow them all. But the church of Marduk has sent me to a few of these before so I can fill you in on the protocols. The first one that matters is that a cleric attending can only have two bodyguards accompany him or her onto the cathedral grounds.
    Roy: Fine. Me and Belkar.
    Belkar: …What, really?
    Roy: I assume you think this meeting as all some sort of nefarious trap, right?
    Belkar: You bet your uptight human ass, I do! Don’t you think it’s a little too convenient that-
    Roy: Great. If everything’s on the level, then it doesn’t matter who I take. And if it’s not, you’ll be on your guard the whole time. At least within your considerable limitations. Why, do you have something better to do?
    Belkar: Hell no, I was planning on sneaking out and following you anyway. This just saves me a butt-load of skill checks.
    Haley: That bag’s got the cash for a Resurrection spell, plus some extra if they try to upcharge you.
    Elan: And I put a jelly sandwich in there in case you get hungry waiting!
    Roy: So, its fifteen thousand pieces of jelly-covered gold.
    Elan: Yup!
    Veldrina: Look at the sun! We need to hurry, it’s almost noon!
    Wrecan: It’d be better to go slowly and not break out necks.
    Veldrina: And it’d be even better to go really fast and still not break out necks, so let’s do that one.
    Roy: So, any other rules we should know about?
    Wrecan: Most of them involve stuff like voting and ritual procedure, which won’t come up since you’re just waiting for the meeting to be over. Although, I should point out that any illusionary depiction, divination, or account of this meeting without the express written consent of the Northern Gods interfaith council is strictly prohibited.
    Roy: Does that include putting it in a comic strip?
    Wrecan. Probably. Why?
    Roy: No reason.

    Spoiler: Strip 994
    Show
    Invitation Only
    Gontor Hammerfell, Wrecan, Belkar, Veldrina, Roy, Vampire Durkon, Usher

    Gontor: Welcome honored pilgrims! Welcome to the Godsmoot. I am Gontor Hammerfell, exarch of the Cree of the Stone.
    Wrecan: The Creed of the Stone is a religious sect that worships Elemental Earth itself. They’re administering this meeting as a neutral party.
    Belkar: Thanks, Sacred Knight of the Expository Aside.
    Gontor: Step forward into the Circle of Truth and speak your business.
    Veldrina: Me first! Me first! Hi there I’m Veldrina and I’m the sanctioned representative of the Western Pantheon and I’m running really late and you haven’t started without me please tell me you haven’t.
    Gontor: You are not too late. Go forth into the Great Nave, Veldrina, and take up your designated place.
    Veldrina: Great! Is there a placard or something telling me where to-?
    Gontor: We have ushers. Next!
    Roy: Hey there, I’m Roy Greenhilt, serving as bodyguard for Durkon Thundershield, who’s a pretty strong cleric of Thor. We’re not actually here for the meeting itself, but we wanted to talk to some of the-
    Gontor: I am sorry, young man, but the Godsmoot is a meeting of utmost secrecy and reverence. Only the formal high priest of each of Northern Gods may attend, and Thor’s emissary has already arrived. Since you are already here, you may, if you wish, wait outside until the meeting has concluded.
    Roy: Works for me.
    Vampire Durkon: But not for me.
    Vampire Durkon: <whispering> whisper whisper whisper
    Gontor: … You may enter. In fact, I will escort you to the Great Nave personally. Your bodyguards will be shown to the gallery.
    Vampire Durkon: Perfect.
    Roy: Uh, I’d rather we not be separated, if it’s all the same to everyone.
    Belkar: Yeah! We need to stay with our cleric. You know, for the guarding of the body and stuff.
    Wrecan: Technically, our official role is just to get the clerics here safely. But don’t worry. The cathedral is considered neutral ground for the servants of all the gods. He’ll be perfectly safe from the other clerics, even though he’s a wretched undead horror.
    Belkar: <whispering> It’s not really his safety I’m worried about, though.
    Wrecan: <whispering> Ah, got it. Smart. Well, if he attacks another representative, he’ll be violating the terms of the Godsmoot and they’ll dust him on the spot.
    Vampire Durkon: Dinnae worry, lads. I’ll just wait patiently ‘til thar done wit that meetin’ an’ then I’ll call ye down an’ we can find one ta resurrect me.
    (VD): Don’t worry, Roy and Belkar. I’ll just wait patiently ‘til they’re done with that meeting and then I’ll call you down and we can find one to resurrect me.
    Usher: If you’ll follow me?
    Roy: Uh, yeah, lead on.
    Belkar: This stinks worse than that gnomish cheese Elan brought back from town that I ate without asking. He used his vampire whammy on that dwarf guy, I just know it! He must’ve found some way to hide the swirly eyes!
    Roy: I don’t know. I would think that would be the first thing someone guarding the door would ward for. But the gallery should overlook the nave—assuming they bothered to follow the naming conventions of gothic architecture with their magical pop-up cathedral—so we should be able to keep an eye on him from afar. It’s not a perfect solution, but it-Belkar? Ah, crap.
    Wrecan: Hey, where’d your halfling friend go?
    Roy: Off to make a butt-load of skill checks, I’d guess.
    <cutaway>
    Gontor: I did not know your goddess would be sending a formal delegate to this event.
    Vampire Durkon: Yes, I know. It was a bit of a last minute decision, really.

    Spoiler: Strip 995
    Show
    Welcome to the Church
    Vampire Durkon, Gontor Hammerfell

    Vampire Durkon: This cathedral is lovely, by the wat. Am I correct in thinking that your people raised it?
    Gontor: Yes, my sisters and brothers of the Creed toiled all morning, resting the stone from the mountain. Tomorrow, we will return it to its natural state. Tomorrow, we will return it to its natural state.
    Vampire Durkon: Tomorrow? Not this evening?
    Gontor: Ha ha, I wish we had that many spell slots left! I can’t even remember the last time I used my entire allotment of high-level spells before today!
    Vampire Durkon: And just to be clear: the Creed does not actually have a representative in the moot itself, does it?
    Gontor: Sadly, no. We have been negotiating reforms that would allow non-theistic religions to have a voice in such meetings. I think your goddess would be a natural ally in that cause. That’s why I wanted the chance to speak with you privately. For too long, Hel’s voice has remained unheard in these proceedings due to her lack of appropriately leveled clergy. Perhaps when the moot has concluded, we could-
    Vampire Durkon: So what I’m hearing, apparent from some meaningless political blather—is that you have no spells left, no protection from the rules of the Godsmoot, and no deity to object on your behalf.
    Gontor: Excuse me? What does-
    Vampire Durkon: Silence!
    Gontor: …

    Spoiler: Strip 996
    Show
    Silencing Descent
    Belkar, Vampire Durkon, Usher

    Belkar: Where the hell is the gallery? A billion spells cast and they can’t spare one on a “You Are Here” map? ROY!! ROY!! R- … … … …
    Vampire Durkon: Dismiss Silence.
    Usher: Sir, are ye alright? I thought I heard someone yell.
    (U): Sir, are you alight? I thought I heard someone yell.
    Vampire Durkon: Yes, I’m fine, thank you. I just need to find my way to the Great Nave.
    Usher: Och, it’s right this way. Tho… I thought Exarch Hammerfall were escortin’ ye?
    (U): Oh, it’s right this way. Though… I thought Exarch Hammerfell was escorting you?
    Vampire Durkon: He was. But then, I wouldn’t need an escort—if the trip wasn’t so dangerous.

    Spoiler: Strip 997
    Show
    Plan B
    Roy, Wrecan, High Priest of Odin

    Roy: So, we just wait up here until the meeting’s over?
    Wrecan: You got it. Look, there’s Veldrina. And there’s your vampire friend.
    Roy: Hmmm. I guess that other dwarf went back to manning the door?
    High Priest of Odin: Priests, protectors, and honored guests from our sister pantheons. Let us come to order and begin the Godsmoot.
    Wrecan: Where did your halfling go? He’s not supposed to wander around without a chaperone.
    Roy: I assure you, no one understands that fact more than I do.
    High Priest of Odin: Today, my friends, we have been asked to convene and attest to the wills of our deities on a crucially important—and time sensitive—matter.
    Roy: With our luck, Belkar got caught snooping and was kicked out by those stone cleric guys. I better go look for him.
    Wrecan: You can’t! The meetings already begun.
    High Priest of Odin: As a result, we will dispense with ceremony and proceed directly to brief statements by parties on either side of the matter at hand—followed by the vote.
    Roy: You’re the one who said they get mad when you break their rules. If he’s wandering around the halls, he’s already putting our chances of getting Durkon raised in danger.
    Wrecan: Yeah, but at least he seemed pretty stealthy. I think they’ll notice you clomping around right away.
    High Priest of Odin: The statement upon which we shall convey our patron’s Yea or Nay is as follows. Whether or not, at the conclusion of this binding referendum, the gods of the three pantheons should immediately thereupon-
    Roy: You don’t know Belkar. Trust me, whatever he’s up to will almost certainly make things worse.
    Wrecan: I get it; Vel can get the same way, but you can’t-
    Roy: I can and will, and there’s nothing anyone can say that will stop from-
    High Priest of Odin: -destroy the world.

    Spoiler: Strip 998
    Show
    Silencing Descent
    Half-Orc Bodyguard, Armored Bodyguard, Half-Shaved Bodyguard, Wrecan, Roy, High Priest of Odin, High Priest of Heimdall, High Priest of Loki, Heimdall, Loki, High Priest of Sif, High Priest of Balder, Odin

    Half-Orc Bodyguard: What did she say?
    Armored Bodyguard: Destroy the world? Why??
    Half-Shaved Bodyguard: Maybe she just means it figuratively?
    Wrecan: I don’t understand. This…doesn’t make sense.
    Roy: No, no, no, NO! They can’t! There’s still one Gate left!
    Wrecan: What are you talking about?
    Roy: It’s-ugh! It’s complicated! But the Really Bad Thing my team is trying to stop is so really bad that the gods are considering wiping out the world just to be sure.
    Wrecan: Wait, so- the end of the world? That’s not a euphemism, they’re talking about the literal end of the world?!? They can’t end the world right now, my wife and kids are on the other side of it!
    <flashback>
    Roy: <voiceover> Lord Shojo told Vaarsuvius that Soon’s team was worried about the gods deciding to take matters into their own hands like this. And that was before one of the rifts was blotting out the sun in a major metropolitan area.
    <end flashback>
    Roy: But I just… I thought we had at least until all five rifts were exposed. I didn’t think they’d ever consider-
    Wrecan: So you know all about this? You knew this was a possibility and you didn’t say anything?!
    Roy: You’re right, I should’ve knocked on your door and told you that the world might be ending soon-ish. Maybe I could’ve gotten one of those fashionable “The End is Nigh” placards. Now focus, Wrecan: Did Veldrina know this was on the agenda?
    Wrecan: No, I’m sure of it. That elf has never had a thought that she didn’t immediately articulate. I can’t believe the gods want to kill us all.
    Roy: They probably don’t. At least, not all of them. If they all wanted to kill us, they wouldn’t need to vote on it.
    Half-Shaved Bodyguard: Except… how would they know they all wanted to kill us unless they held a vote?
    Roy: You are not being helpful.
    High Priest of Odin: And now, the statements. For the affirmative, Heimdall. For the negative, Loki.
    High Priest of Heimdall & High Priest of Loki: Summon Proxy!
    Heimdall: My fellow deities, we must protect ourselves from the danger of which we dare not speak. Many of us voted to spare this world when these rifts first appeared. But here we are, scant decades later, and the plan to let the mortals patch this on their own has failed. Yes, it is unfortunate that our followers’ corporeal bodies will perish when we tear this world down and build a new one—but their souls will pass on to our respective realms as normal. It is the only safe and reasonable option. Thank you.
    Loki: Gosh, I didn’t know our divine energy color was yellow because we were all a bunch of cowards. Look, if that last rift is opened, there will still be, like, ten to fifteen minutes before You-Know-Who gets out, right? More than enough time to pull that plug, if we all agree in that course of action today. Sure, OK, it’d be easy for us to whip up another batch of people and start over. And sure, it’ll be kinda fun to try something different. But come on! we’ve had some good times with this world, haven’t we? Let’s give these entertaining little buggers one more chance to clean up this mess before we do it for them. In summary: Vote Loki 2016.
    Wrecan: That was not the stirring defense of the sanctity of life I’d been hoping for. We’re doomed.
    Roy: I’m one of those buggers trying to clean it up, and I’m still wondering if maybe Heimdall has a point. But I can’t let that be the last word. No one is more wrapped up in this thing than we are; I have to try. Excuse me! High Priests of Northern Gods? I have a statement I’d like to make to, you know, the Northern Gods.
    Wrecan: What are you doing? You’re going to get us kicked out!
    Roy: And if they decide to destroy the world, that will matter…how, exactly?
    Wrecan: …Yeah, OK, good point. Just try to keep it quick so they don’t get too mad.
    Roy: I’m Roy Greenhilt, and I’m an adventurer who has been fighting this rift thing. Also, just a generally big fan of the world, for what it’s worth. What I’m not is a god, or a cleric, or even particularly religious. Pretty much at all. So I don’t pretend to know what value each of you places on us down here. But from the sound of it, whether or not you destroy the world today or five minutes after someone breaks the Fifth Gate, you get pretty much the same result—a new planet full of new worshippers. As I see it, therefore, you don’t really have much at stake here. We do. Our lives may be insignificant to you, but they have all the meaning in the world to us. And I’ve been dead before, too-and for all the comforts of the afterlife, I’m in no hurry to trade this existence for that one. Please-let those of us who have the most to lose try to fix this one more time. Give me and my friends the time we need to earn the continued lives of everyone. Though frankly, if you really want to nip this in the bud, order your priests here to join me on a little trip to squash this lich I know. This whole thing will be over by lunch tomorrow and we can work on resealing the rifts at our leisure. Ok, that’s… That’s it, I guess. Thank you for listening.
    High Priest of Sif: What a moving speech.
    High Priest of Balder: I don’t have the heart to tell him to gods can only hear each other.
    Odin: LET THE VOTING COMMENCE!


    Last edited by TheWombatOfDoom; 2017-07-27 at 10:11 AM.
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    Looks like we are up to update 1000 in the comic! Since no one has volunteered, when Jaxzan finishes his batch, I'll be taking on the next ones, and update it as it comes. So excited to see where the story goes from here! And thank you again all who have gotten us to nearly 1000 updates transcribed!
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

    World Building Projects:
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    : The Stuff of Sentience | Fate: The Fabric of Physics | Luck: The Basis of Biology

    Order of the Stick Projects:
    Annotation of the Comic | Magic Compendium of the Comic | Transcription of the Comic
    Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?
    Extended Signature | My DeviantArt | Majora's Mask Point Race
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    The OotS Transcript - Strips 999 to 1020
    Book 6: Currently Untitled
    Previous Page | Index | Next Page

    Spoiler: Strip 999
    Show
    The Vote in Gods’ Aye
    Wrecan, Roy, Odin, Veldrina, The Southern Pantheon, The Western Pantheon, Odin, Thor, Sif, Tyr, Balder, Heimdall, Freya, Freyr, Sunna, Frigg, Njord, Mani, Skadi, Hoder, Fenrir, Vafthrudnir, Loki, Half-Orc Bodyguard, Half-Shaved Bodyguard, Bearded Bodyguard, Vampire Durkon

    Wrecan: You did a good job. Better than I would have. I’m sure they’ll have to reconsider…uh…whatever is happening.
    Roy: At this point, I’m not sure what’s true, and I think I might be the protagonist! You know what? Forget all that for right now. Wrecan, this voting: How does it work?
    Wrecan: Well, when it’s a big enough issue like this, then all three pantheons will vote. Each pantheon gets one vote, with that vote being decided by a simple majority of the full-fledged gods within that group. The Western and Southern Gods must be holding their own votes… I guess that’s why they couldn’t spare anyone more important than Vel to come here.
    Roy: Back up- you said three pantheons. Don’t the elven gods get a vote?
    Wrecan: Not as their own group. They vote as part of the Western Pantheon. I’m not sure why, though.
    Odin: Representatives from the West and South! How do your pantheons vote?
    Veldrina: I don’t know. But if you want I can go home and ask them what they-
    <sfx> ZOT! ZOT!
    The Southern Pantheon: The Southern Pantheon votes No.
    The Western Pantheon: The Western Pantheon votes Yes.
    <sfx> ZOT! ZOT! ZOT! ZOT! ZOT! ZOT! ZOT!
    Odin: The let us tally the votes of the Northern Pantheon. I see worlds within worlds and yarn winding yarn. Odin, God of Magic, votes No.
    Thor: We owe it to our followers to give them every chance to make this right. Thor, God of Storms, votes No.
    Sif: Logic be damned, I’m not giving up on this planet yet. Sif, Goddess of Earth, votes No.
    Tyr: I will see this world torn to shreds before I allow anyone to gain a strategic advantage over us. Tyr, God of War, votes Yes.
    Balder: Huh? Oh, whatever Thor and Odin say goes for me, too. Balder, God of Beauty, votes No. I guess.
    Heimdall: The only reasonable option is the most cautious one. Heimdall, God of the Watch, votes Yes.
    Freya: My hand will not be the one that ends so many lives. Freya, Goddess of Fertility, votes No.
    Freyr: There’s no profit without a little risk. I say, let it ride. Freyr, God of Prosperity, votes No.
    Sunna: Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure. Sunna, Goddess of the Sun, votes Yes.
    Frigg: The lives of our mortal children should not be brushed aside so easily, lest they turn from our guidance. Frigg, Goddess of Wisdom, votes
    Njord: I’m bored with this world anyway. Ooo! I could try out that new idea I had for a coastline! Njord, God of the Sea, votes Yes.
    Mani: I don’t care one way or another, but I’d rather do less work. Mani, God of the Moon, votes No.
    Skadi: New life can only arise if we, the gods, survive. Skadi, Goddess of the Hunt, votes Yes.
    Hoder: For all things, there is a season. This world’s time has passed. Hoder, God of Winter, votes Yes.
    Fenrir: Tear down the world! Murder everyone! Piss on their graves! Fenrir, God of Monsters, votes Yes.
    Vafthrudnir: This danger may pass, but too many mortals know of the rifts. Vafthrudnir, God of Secrets, votes Yes.
    Loki: Screw you guys, we won anyway!! Loki, God of Fire, votes No. HA!!
    Half-Orc Bodyguard: Whew
    Half-Shaved Bodyguard: Oh, thank the gods! Uh, I mean, thank you gods!
    Roy: OK. OK, good. Still under control. See? Nothing to worry about.
    Bearded Bodyguard: I bet it was your speech that turned the tide.
    Loki: Go Loki! It’s your Birthday! Go Loki!
    Odin: The vote stands at eight in favor and nine against. Therefore, the Northern Pantheon votes-
    Vampire Durkon: Wait. There’s one vote left to count.

    Spoiler: Strip 1000
    Show
    Hel Polls for Thee
    High Priest of Odin, Vampire Durkon, High Priest of Heimdall, High Priest of Sunna, High Priest of Freya, High Priest of Thor, Roy, Wrecan, Hel, Loki, Veldrina, High Priest of Hoder, High Priest of Balder, High Priest of Tyr

    High Priest of Odin: I’m sorry, friend dwarf, but you are mistaken. All of the major gods of the Northern Pantheon have voted.
    Vampire Durkon: Not technically true. All the gods you were assuming would vote have voted—but assuming is like breathing. You only really notice you’ve been doing it when you stop. And then you die. My name is Durkon Thundershield, and I am the high priest of Hel.
    High Priest of Heimdall: *Gasp!*
    High Priest of Sunna: Hel!?!?
    High Priest of Freya: But she never sends a cleric!
    High Priest of Thor: Thundershield? Why do I know that name?
    Roy: Hel? The death goddess, Hel? What the hell?
    Wrecan: I’m guessing this, you didn’t know about?
    Roy: Of course not! I don’t even understand it now that I do know about it!
    High Priest of Odin: Preposterous. If you are who you say you are, prove it-or leave this chamber.
    Vampire Durkon: I am happy to oblige, Lady of Odin. I have, after all, waited my whole life for this moment. Using the term “life” loosely, of course.
    Roy: We’ve been friends for years, why would he think I would care that he swapped religions? I’ve never been worried about that stuff. Plus, I’m a strong supporter of tolerance for diverse cultural viewpoints.
    Vampire Durkon: Summon Proxy!
    Hel: My fellow gods and goddesses. It is so nice to be able to finally address this council directly once more after so many centuries. You’ll forgive my indulgence if I have a few words to say in commemoration of my first-and last- ballot of this world’s tenure.
    Roy: And when did he learn to pronounce the word “of”, anyway?!?
    Hel: Hello, father. Your little scheme with Uncle Thor has done a fine job excluding me from my place here.
    Loki: Sweetie, you know that was never the intent of-
    Hel: Be quiet. You have said your piece.
    Roy: Scheme? What scheme?
    Wrecan: I don’t know. These aren’t my gods, remember?
    Hel: Gentle colleagues. The esteemed Heimdall is absolutely correct in his reasoning. If we obliterate the world by our own divine hands rather than allow the Snarl to consume it, the souls of the mortals who die will indeed safely retire to their rightful afterlife. Though I fear that, in our haste to protect ourselves, it has been forgotten that there would be no honor in such a death—and thus, per our understanding, the soul of every dwarf on this planet will rightfully belong to me. So by all means, parcel out the spirits of the humans and other races amongst the seventeen of you while I welcome ten million dwarves or more. Such an influx of resources could well render me more powerful than Grandfather Odin himself, if saying so wouldn’t be too immodest. And since my ill-conceived wager with Thor expires with this world, I look forward to my temples spreading throughout our next endeavor—a world that knows me only as Queen of the Northern Pantheon.
    Roy: That’s why… Not because of who he followed. Because of what he planned to do on her behalf.
    Hel: Therefore, it is with a light- nay, almost giddy- heart that I, Hel, Goddess of Death—vote Yes.
    Veldrina: A tie?!? What happens now?
    High Priest of Hoder: The priests of the demigods vote to break the tie- if any of them bothered to show up.
    High Priest of Balder: I think I saw a few playing Go Fish in the vestibule.
    High Priest of Tyr: Then someone better go get them!
    Hel: I am most curious how the demigods will vote. Aren’t you?
    Loki: Ugh, you already know, don’t you?
    Hel: I do seem to have a certain rapport with some of them, I must admit.
    Roy: Durkon……tricked me. He tricked me into bringing him here, and in the process I’ve helped him sign the death warrant of every man, woman, and child alive—a warrant that wouldn’t have been issued if I hadn’t destroyed Girard’s Gate. And worse still, I’ve helped him condemn his own people to an eternity of suffering. Belkar was right…. And I think I knew he was right all along. Wrecan. Am I correct in thinking that the gods must have a physical representative in the room in order for their vote to count?
    Wrecan: Yes. I guess that’s why your “friend” went through so much trouble to get-
    Roy: So if one god suddenly no longer had a cleric present before the tiebreaker finished, would their vote be nullified?
    Wrecan: …I suppose. But the rules of the Godsmoot are unambiguous: A bodyguard who raises arms against the priest of another god must be put to death immediately!
    Roy: Are there any rules about what happens if a bodyguard attacks their own priest?
    Wrecan …No. No, there are not.
    Roy: DURKON!

    Spoiler: Strip 1001
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    Will Save the Day
    Vampire Durkon, Hel, Loki, Roy

    <sfx> THONK!
    Vampire Durkon: A fight? Already? I fully expected to have to listen to another one of your tedious speeches first.
    Hel: No changing your vote, Heimdall. I may not have been able to attend these little meetings, but I've kept up with the procedures.
    Loki: Ugh, I should never have pushed for that "No Backsies" rule.
    Vampire Durkon: But what happened to the Roy that said, "I refuse to kill anyone because it's slightly more convenient than talking to them"?
    <sfx> CLANK!
    Roy: This is different. This is a lot more convenient. When we walked in here, we were already planning on destroying your vampire body and resurrecting you. I'm just moving up the timetable.
    Vampire Durkon: Still...I don't think you want to fight me, Roy. We've been friends for years.
    Roy: Unnnh!
    Vampire Durkon: I think what you want is to put your sword down and try to reason with me instead of attacking. Wouldn't you rather talk than fight? You like talking so much.
    Roy: I... can... - multitask!
    <sfx> SNAPOUTTA! SLASH!!

    Spoiler: Strip 1002
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    Mutually Assured Observation
    Vampire Durkon, Roy, Durkon, High Priest of Mani, High Priest of Njord, High Priest of Vafthrudnir, High Priest of Freya, High Priest of Sunna, Veldrina

    Vampire Durkon: I'm surprised you're not on our side. A world that's been destroyed can never be conquered by Xykon. Hold Person.
    Roy: Oh, yeah, trade one undead overlord for a world filled with them. Brilliant! And you're not surprised at all. You lied to me about coming here. If you really thought I might consider your position, you wouldn't have made it seem like a lucky coincidence.
    <sfx> CLANG!
    Vampire Durkon: True. But then you probably wouldn't have listened.
    <sfx> CLANG!
    Vampire Durkon: You've never been very good at listening to any idea that didn't originate inside your own skull. That's probably why the Domination failed.
    <sfx> CLANG!
    Roy: Maybe. Or maybe it failed because you've never been very good at being assertive.
    <sfx> SPLRTCHK!
    Vampire Durkonl Urkk!
    <cutaway>
    Durkon: Och, c'mon, lad! Tha ain't just Evil Me yer fightin' now!
    (D): Ah, come on, boy! That's not just Evil Me you're fighting now!
    Vampire Durkon: I see no reason to clarify the matter for him. If there's even a chance he holds back because he subconsciously doesn't want to hurt his best buddy, that's a win for me. Also, it's hilarious to provoke him into badmouthing you.
    <cutback>
    High Priest of Mani: What do we do?
    High Priest of Njord: I don't know!
    High Priest of Vafthrudnir: This seems like an internal church dispute. We should not interfere.
    High Priest of Freya: No, we need to help him! He's fighting to save us all!
    High Priest of Sunna: I'm sorry - but if you cast any spells on him, I will be forced to unload every buff spell I have onto the vampire.
    High Priest of Freya: Are you crazy?? Do you want the world to end?!?
    High Priest of Sunna: Of course I don't, and the idea of helping a vampire sickens me. But my goddess has decided what she thinks is best and I will not question her judgement in matters beyond my station. So let's just let this play out... one way or the other.
    High Priest of Freya: ...
    Veldrina: I believe in you, Roy! Even though I just met you and that belief is therefore entirely unsubstantiated!

    Spoiler: Strip 1003
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    An Attack on Two Levels
    Roy, Vampire Durkon, Durkon, Armored Bodyguard, Half-Shaved Bodyguard, Wrecan

    Roy: This is silly. I'm the guy who used to carry you when we ran away, remember?
    Vampire Durkon: Yes, I clearly remember you leading us to flee encounters we should have bested easily.
    Roy: Durkon, please...I know it must have been confusing to wake up as a vampire, but you don't need to do this!
    Vampire Durkon: Confusing? Nothing could be simpler. I finally understand what all the humans were always talking about. Now I'm free to act on my needs and desires - to put myself first, without all those ridiculous dwarven traditions tying my hands.
    <cutaway>
    Durkon: Dinnae listen ta 'im, Roy! I like havin' me hands tied! And I'm just now noticin' the obvious allegorical construct!
    (D): Don't listen to him, Roy! I like having my hands tied! And I'm just now noticing the obvious allegorical construct!
    <cutback>
    Vampire Durkon: And what I want right now is for you to go away. Destruc -
    <sfx> SLASH! fizzle!
    Armored Bodyguard: Whoa!
    Half-Shaved Bodyguard: Was that the Spellsplinter Maneuver?!?
    Wrecan: Impossible! There's not a fighter alive that knows that move anymore!
    <sfx> WHUMP!
    Vampire Durkonl: That is a nice trick you picked up. I admit that I wasn't sure it would be effective against divine magic. But you must admit that it would be far more effective - against someone who can't fight!
    Roy: AAAHH!

    Spoiler: Strip 1004
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    Climbing Tensions
    Roy, Vampire Durkon

    Roy: Get OFF!
    Vampire Durkon: I appreciate the breathing room - so to speak. Flame Strike.
    Roy: Rnnnngh!
    <sfx> FRRWOOOSHH!
    Roy: No! Don't you dare run - DAMN IT! Sorry. I'll make a donation later.
    <sfx> FWOOH! KRAAK!
    Vampire Durkon: What, still no ranged weapon of your own, Roy? Maybe you can throw a summoned weasel at me. Inflict Serious Wounds.
    Roy: AAAAGH!
    <sfx> THNNK! SCHKRCT!

    Spoiler: Strip 1005
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    Completely Mist the Point
    Roy, Vampire Durkon, High Priest of Freyr, High Priest of Frigg, High Priest of Balder

    Roy: I don't know why you're doing this, Durkon, but I can't let it pass.
    Vampire Durkon: Why am I doing this? Gee, I don't know... Maybe it's because I'm an Evil vampire now?
    Roy: You'll forgive my insensitivity to your new personal identity when I say: So what?
    <sfx> CHUUNK
    Roy: Xykon is an Evil lich. Tarquin's an Evil human. Neither one of them wants to actually destroy the world.
    <sfx> WOOOSH!
    Roy: Heck, Belkar is an Evil halfling, and he's like 70% towards wanting to save it. You need to have some underlying reason for supporting this scheme.
    <sfx> WIFFFFFFF!
    Vampire Durkon: My mistress Hel desires it. That is all the reason I require, now.
    High Priest of Freyr: Where's Balder's man with those demigod priests?
    High Priest of Frigg: I'm in no hurry for him to get back!
    High Priest of Freyr: Neither am I, but it's weird...
    <cutaway>
    High Priest of Freyr: <voiceover> All he needed to do was go to the top of the stairs and call for an usher.
    High Priest of Balder: Hello? Hellooooooo?
    <cutback>
    Roy: So you're just a puppet, is that it? Shouldn't you be worshipping Elan's clown instead? I thought vampires were supposed to be free-willed undead.
    Vampire Durkon: We are, and I have freely chosen to serve.
    Roy: Sounds like a convenient rationalization to me. You said you could do whatever you wanted now, unbound by tradition - yet here you are, foot soldier to someone new. Meet the new god, same as the old god. If you really want to experience freedom - you should tell Hel to go to herself and spend the next hundred years backpacking across Tarterus, or whatever vampires do to find themselves.
    Vampire Durkon: You're only saying that because you don't want the world to end.
    Roy: Of course I'm only saying that because I don't want the world to end! This is not an otherwise common topic of conversation!

    Spoiler: Strip 1006
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    Uninterrupted Torment
    Hel, Loki, Vampire Durkon, Roy

    Hel: I think I'm most looking forward to taking the soul of Thor's high priestess. My dear puppy Garm is in dire need of a new chew toy, after all.
    Loki: Humiliating Thor is not enough of a reason to do this, Hel. It's a pretty funny reason, sure, but not enough of one.
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: Is it so unbelievable that I could willingly choose Hel? Thor shuns my kind, while Hel has exalted me. Why shouldn't I be thankful and do as she asks?
    Roy: If that's the only thing tying you to this crazy scheme of hers, then let one of these clerics raise you. I'm sure Thor will take you back with open arms, and Hel will lose her vote.
    Vampire Durkon: Maybe I no longer want to serve a god who would reject me so casually. Maybe I would continue to worship Hel even after I was resurrected. Ha-
    <sfx> SLRRRTSCH!
    Vampire Durkon: -rm. Maybe I don't care who I serve - as long as I can hurt the world that has always hurt Durkon Thundershield.
    Roy: Unnnh...

    Spoiler: Strip 1007
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    Your Worst
    Vampire Durkon, Roy, Durkon, High Priest Hurak, Young Adult Durkon

    Vampire Durkon: Do you know what my favorite part of my mistress' scheme is?
    Roy: Unnnh...gotta...
    Vampire Durkon: The dwarves will suffer worse than anyone!
    Roy: They're...your own...people!
    <sfx> BLOCK!
    Vampire Durkon: So? They exiled me for no reason! Almost twenty years gone by! They will have all of eternity to contemplate their error!
    <cutaway>
    Durkon: Roy, ye daft fool, how can ye still think tha's me?!?
    (D): Roy, you dumb fool, how can you still think that's me?!?
    Vampire Durkon: Why wouldn't he? It's not as if you don't have grievances against your own kind.
    Durkon: Whuh..? Nay, I... I dinnae haf nuthin' against the dwarven people.
    (D): Whuh..? No, I... I don't have anything against the dwarven people.
    Vampire Durkon: Really? Nothing at all? Fun fact: When a new vampire spirit springs into existence, the first memories it absorbs are the lowest, darkest moments of the host's life. So I've already watched these - But it seems like you could use a refresher.
    <flashback>
    High Priest Hurak: I'm sorry it has ta be like this, Durkon.
    (HPH): I'm sorry it has to be like this, Durkon.
    Young Adult Durkon: Nay! Stop! What're ye doin? I dinnae understand wha's goin-
    (YAD): No! Stop! What're you doing? I don't understand what's going-
    High Priest Hurak: Yer a good cleric, an' I'll miss ye terrible while yer on yer "mission" ta human lands.
    (HPH): You're a good cleric, and I'll miss you terribly while you're on your "mission" to human lands.
    Young Adult Durkon: High Priest Hurak, please! Ye cannae do this ta me! I dinnae do anythin' wrong! Wha aboot me Ma? Ye know she needs help! She hides it, but she's gettin' arthritis in 'er hand! Please, ye haf ta let me stay wit 'er!
    (YAD): High Priest Hurak, please! You can't do this to me! I didn't do anything wrong! What about my Ma? You know she needs help! She hides it, but she's getting arthritis in her hand! Please, you have to let me stay with her!
    High Priest Hurak: I'm...sorry. Ye know how much Sigdi means ta all o' us at tha temple. I hope Thor fergives me some day fer doin' this.
    (HPH): I'm...sorry. You know how much Sigdi means to all of us at the temple. I hope Thor forgives me some day for doing this.
    Young Adult Durkon: Damn ye, man! At least let me go home ta say goodbye ta -
    (YAD): Damn you, man! At least let me go home to say goodbye to -
    <end flashback>
    Vampire Durkon: Well gosh, that seemed rude. Let's fast forward to later in the week, shall we?
    Durkon: No! No, ye've made yer point, I dinnae need ta see -
    (D) No! No, you've made your point, I don't need to see -
    <flashback>
    Young Adult Durkon: I dinnae blame ye, Thor. This be thar doin', na yers. Me own church, kickin' me out in tha cold wit na enuff money ta get thru a week. After all our family's done fer them, this be tha thanks we get?!? Leavin' Ma ta think I'm dead inna ditch somewhere?!? Well ta Hel wit ye, Hurak! Ta Hel wit all o' ye! Thor as my witness, ta Hel wit e'ry last one o' ye!!
    (YAD): I don't blame you, Thor. This is their doing, not yours. My own church, kicking me out in the cold without enough money to get through a week. After all our family's done for them, this is the thanks we get?!? Leaving Ma to think I'm dead in a ditch somewhere?!? Well to Hel with you, Hurak! To Hel with all of you! Thor as my witness, to Hel with every last one of you!!
    <end flashback>
    Vampire Durkon: Well. Never let it be said that the multiverse doesn't grant wishes.
    Durkon: Tha's...tha's na who I am.
    (D): That's...that's not who I am.
    Vampire Durkon: Oh, I'm sorry, did you have an evil magic spirit in your head controlling your actions then, too? That's you. You said those words. You can hang there and pretend that you're so much nobler than I am - but for that one moment? You felt exactly what I feel. You are who you are on your very worst day, Durkon. Anything less is a comforting lie that you tell yourself to numb the pain. And that's who I am. Your worst day, personified. Hel may have created me, but she shaped me perfectly to fit the hole in your heart. So who knows? Some other vampire spirit who was made-to-order for a different dwarf might've done what Roy suggested and rejected Hel's plan from the start. I guess we're just lucky you've got so much unresolved resentment lurking under that beard.
    Durkon: ...
    Vampire Durkon: No self-righteous comeback? Just as well. All the better to focus on killing your friend.
    <cutback>
    Roy: NNRRRGH!!!

    Spoiler: Strip 1008
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    Not to Scale
    Wrecan, Roy, Vampire Durkon

    Wrecan: SNEAK ATTACK FROM BEHIND - is a thing I absolutely cannot do, because it would be against the rules.
    <sfx> THONK! CONK!
    Roy: Thanks.
    Wrecan: It's the least I could do. Also, the most, unfortunately.
    Roy: You gave me enough space to drink a potion. Or two. Even with vampire powers, his short legs should give me a moment before he -
    Vampire Durkon: <distant> Hel's Might.
    Vampire Durkon: <booming> Now who's the short one? Other than your lifespan, of course.

    Spoiler: Strip 1009
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    Giving Up Hope
    Vampire Durkon, Roy

    Vampire Durkon: You should stay out of this, crusader. The Church of Hel cannot be held liable if a balcony just happens to collapse under where you've foolishly chosen to stand. And as for you, Roy - I know I probably should just turn to mist and float out of your reach until time's up. But I'mm just so tired of watching your smug self-righteous face all the time.
    <sfx> POP!
    Vampire Durkon: Do you know how tiresome it gets that it always has to be about you, Roy? To always have to be the trusty sidekick to you?
    Roy: And what do you want? Revenge? The Durkon I know wouldn't want to condemn his entire race over that.
    Vampire Durkon: Well, I'm a new Durkon now. Or maybe an old one. It's tough to tell, honestly.
    <sfx> WUNK!
    Roy: You'll never - nnngh! - figure it out if the ... world ends.
    Vampire Durkon: Listen to yourself. I'm beating the tar out of you and you still can't bring yourself to stop trying to reason with me. Must be that good old fashioned heroic guilt at work. Which is not misplaced. I died on your watch, after all. None of this would be happening if ou had kept me safe. That just seems to keep happening to you, doesn't it? There's me, and everyone Belkar ever hurt before I threw him off the side of a mountain, and the entire population of Azure City - and your brother, of course.
    Roy: ...Did you just say -
    <sfx> WHUMP!
    Vampire Durkon: I said that you failed to protect your little brother, because you did. You're a pathetic guardian and you should give up. This is all your fault and everything would be easier if you just gave up.
    Roy: Nnnnnh...that's...not true!
    Vampire Durkon: It is true. Your mother was distracted, and you knew your father was doing something dangerous.
    Roy: <struggling> I was...ten years old...
    Hihg Priest of Hel: Here's one thing I've always wondered since you first told me this story: When you found his dead body after you failed to warn your mother, how many pieces was it in? More than five?
    Roy: Oh. I understand.
    Roy: <shouting> YOU'RE NOT DURKON AT ALL!!
    <sfx> SCHRRRIP!

    Spoiler: Strip 1010
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    Green Means Go
    Roy, Vampire Durkon

    Roy: You are just some undead thing hiding behind his face!
    <sfx> THNNK!!
    Roy: I don't know whether you started out as Durkon and turned into this, or you're just squatting in his corpse -
    Vampire Durkon: Slay Liv -
    Roy: - but I was stupid to think it even matters! How many different levels of denial was I in, anyway?!? I am going to stop you, and if that means I never get my friend back because he was twisted into being you -
    <sfx> KRNTCH!
    Roy: - then I will be sad -
    <sfx> SLASH!
    Roy: - but you will be DEAD!
    <sfx> WHAKKKT! KRNTCH!!
    Roy: Well that was weird.

    Spoiler: Strip 1011
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    Red Means Stop
    Roy, Vampire Durkon, High Priest of Balder

    Roy: Normally, this would be the point where I would offer you one or more chance to surrender and retract your vote peaceably.
    Vampire Durkon: Unnnh...
    Roy: But as a certain half-orc once said, "Talky man talk too much."
    High Priest of Balder: Hey guys, I finally got the attention of the demigod priests by shouting "FREE CAKE," as loud as I could. I got the idea because everybody loves cake.
    Roy: What? NO!
    High Priest of Balder: More of a pie man, then?
    Roy: Get back out there and stall them for another minute or two!
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: Hrmmph. Missteps aside, I was still hoping to knock Roy off the board in case we needed the next phase.
    <cutback>
    Vampire Durkon: Congratulations on surviving, Roy. But now I'm afraid my mistress requires an end to this. Antilife Shell.
    Roy: Damn it! Rnnnngh!
    Vampire Durkon: By all means, swing away.
    <sfx> WHHHZZZSH!
    Vampire Durkon: Nothing that's still alive can penetrate this barrier however. On the bright side, all your hopes and dreams can pass through it easily now, as can your chances of saving the day or ever seeing Durkon again. Your futile rage is still hedged out, of course.

    Spoiler: Strip 1012
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    Yellow Means Caution
    High Priest of Sif, High Priest of Frigg, High Priest of Mani, Hel, Loki, Odin, Surtur, Sigrun, Bragi, Iounn, Thrym, Hermod, Roy, Vampire Durkon, Bandana, Vaarsuvius, Haley, Elan, Blackwing

    High Priest of Sif: Seven?!?
    High Priest of Frigg: I've never seen more than three show up before.
    High Priest of Mani: I didn't even know this pantheon had seven demigods!
    Hel: Any last words before we tear this world apart and build a new one in my image?
    Loki: Really? The premature villain gloat? I'm a failure as a parent.
    Odin: The priests of the demigods have assembled. Let the tie be broken!
    <sfx> ZOT! ZOT!
    Surtur: It's no Ragnarok, but it'll do. Surtur, Lord of Fire Giants, votes Yes.
    Sigrun: The souls of the dead are too precious to risk oblivion. Sigrun, Queen of the Valkyries, votes Yes.
    Bragi: There are still tales waiting to be told in this setting. Bragi, demigod of poetry, votes No.
    Iounn: All that stuff Hel said sounds, like, totes lame. Iounn, demigoddess of youth, votes No.
    Thrym: ...My reasons are my own. Thrym, Lord of Frost Giants, votes Yes.
    Hermod: I have...OK...well, uh, see, the thing is...
    Hel: What are you waiting for, Hermod? Seal this wretched planet's fate, as we agreed!
    Hermod: Yeah, but...I didn't think you had the votes to, you know, actually do it. I thought this was more of a protest vote.
    Hel: You pleged yourself to my cause, you cowardly twit!!
    Hermod: Yeah, the cause of getting our voices heard. Not ending the world! I'm sorry. I can't be the one to deliver this news. Hermod, demigod of messengers, votes No.
    Hel: Damn you!!
    Roy: Is that us winning? Because that sounds like us winning.
    Vampire Durkon: There is still one vote outstanding, actually. And while my mistress may have preferred the quick and easy result of Hermod delivering the vote - I confess that I am very much looking forward to finishing our back-up plan.
    <cutaway>
    Vampire Durkon: <voiceover> A plan, I might add, that I could never have devised without your help, Roy.
    Bandana: Any signs?
    Vaarsuvius: A good deal of yellow light and a few solid thumps, but nothing conclusive. It is difficult to surmise how heated discussions at such a convocation might normally become.
    Haley: Oooo, five hotels on Park Place. That's going to cost you, sweetie.
    Elan: Awwww! And I thought it was hard playing Jenga with you!
    <cutaway>
    Blackwing: Uh...Hey. I think you might have the wrong airship - our vampire dwarf cleric is a bit younger and has a shield.

    Spoiler: Strip 1013
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    Little Empathy
    Blackwing, Vampire Gontor, Mr Scruffy, Little Whiskers, Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator, Bandana, Vaarsuvius

    Blackwing: Or has that part been recast? "The role of Durkon Thundershield will now be played by -" Whoa! Hold on just a moment! Are you stealing our Super-Sparkly Thing?
    Vampire Gontor: My master has asked for it.
    Blackwing: No way, nuh uh! Not on my watch, pal! I don't care what your -
    Vampire Gontor: Then I relieve you of your watch.
    Blackwing: Caaww!!
    <sfx> WHHHSHH! SPLAT!
    Mr Scruffy: mrrrrrrrwwwrr mmrrrRRROWWR!
    Vampire Gontor: I am a vampire, you are a cat! Do you not appreciate the implicit hierarchy present here?
    <sfx> slash! slash! slash! slash!
    Vampire Gontor: At least the bird was a magical creature of some sort.
    Blackwing: Yeah, I'm OK. Don't worry about me. I've got a plan. No way this jerk is getting our ultra-bauble.
    <sfx> poke. poke.
    Little Whiskers: mmrr
    Blackwing: The same secret backup plan plucky animal sidekicks have always had: Get their person to come save their feathered butt.
    Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator: ??
    Blackwing: <aside> I guess they're not always feathered though. That was very ornithocentric of me, sorry.
    Blackwing: Vaarsuvius! Vaarsuvius! Intruder alert! Whoooop, whoooop! Intruder alert!
    Vampire Gontor: You wish to fight, cat? I will provide you with a fight more befitting the proper order of things.
    Mr Scruffy: hiSSSS!
    Blackwing: Why does yelling loudly never actually get anyone's attention? Fine I'll just fly up there and get - Oh right. Doors. Wait, I know! We have a two-way empathic link that all wizards share with their familiars! If I empathicize really super hard, V will feel what I'm feeling and come check on me! OK, now, concentrate... Give in to my emotions... My mind to your mind... my thoughts to your thoughts...
    <cutaway>
    Bandana: So you fly a lot - what do you do about the bugs getting stuck in your teeth?
    Vaarsuvius: I have a cantrip for that.
    Bandana: Shoot. We just rinse a lot and -
    Vaarsuvius: Hmmm.
    Bandana: You OK?
    Vaarsuvius: I just felt a burst of possessiveness, righteous anger, and fear. I've been getting them all day whenever anyone glances momentarily at my familiar's new bracelet and he becomes subsequently convinced that the entire ship's complement is engaged in a circuitous plot to steal it.
    <cutback>
    Blackwing: Don't you emote dismissive apathy at me! It's a valid concern on a boat full of pirates! Plus, you don't see how they greed at it with their money-eyes!!

    Spoiler: Strip 1014
    Show
    Aw, Rats!
    Blackwing, Vampire Gontor, Little Whiskers

    Blackwing: Ugh, this is all that wolf-crying boy's fault, whoever he is. Maybe I can squeeze under the door and - Ahhhhh!
    Vampire Gontor: Ah, my friends have arrived! See, now this is a proper battle!
    Blackwing: Rats?! I always assumed airships would be infested with pigeons!
    Little Whiskers: ROAARRRR!!
    Vampire Gontor: No fair! I just went through the trouble to set up an even fight! My high priest told me I wasn't supposed to drink the blood of any of the people onboard because it might give away his betrayal early ... but you're not really a person, are you? Loophole! Hahahaha!
    Little Whiskers: mrrraaaw!
    Blackwing: No! Not the fluffy tiger! He's too comfortable to die!!
    Vampire Gontor: Owww! How are your teeth so sharp?!?
    <sfx> CHOMP!
    Vampire Gontor: Fine, whatever. I wasn't that thirsty anyway. I hope the rats kill you all.
    Blackwing: Hang in there, Little Whiskers! We'll save you! Gaah! Hang in there, me! You'll save you! Ow! OW!

    Spoiler: Strip 1015
    Show
    Climb Every Mountain
    Belkar, Gnomish Artificer

    Belkar: Stupid vampire. Stupid Mountain. Stupid Roy stupid Greenhilt. Throw me off a mountain? I'll throw you off a mountain! And who cuts away from a beloved character in danger like that? I'm going to climb this ridiculous unnecessary mountain and burst into the temple all like, "That's not really Durkon!" And Roy will be like, "Yes it is, because I'm not emotionally equipped to deal with bad things happening to good people." Then I'll say, "Sort it out with your therapist, 'cause this vampire is dust!" Maybe some sort of flip first? I don't know, I'll play it by ear. And then I'll just stab him in the heart. The vampire, not Roy. Though, you know - options open. Oh, and I'm not even going to mention to Roy how I survivied getting dropped off a mountain. It'll be much more badass if I just show up, like, "What? No big." That'll really mess with everyone's head.
    <flashback>
    Gnomish Artificer: I'm sorry, I don't have anything to prevent you from being mind-controlled. You should try the young lady down the block.
    Belkar: Damn it! I don't suppose you've got a Feather Fall item to help with the part where I keep jumping off the ship?
    Gnomish Artificer: Actually...
    <end flashback>
    Belkar: I should be able to get a couple of sweet burns on Roy about how some of us can handle a little fall without dying for a whole arc. Heh heh. OK, almost to the temple. I got to remember to go upstairs and grab my daggers before I - WHOA!
    <sfx>WOOSH!
    Belkar: What the-? That looked like Dead Snake Guy in his funky smoke form. Ah, crap! Fake Durkon must have vampirified that other dwarf dude and used the staff to speed it up. Great! Just what we need -
    <cutaway>
    Belkar: - another fricken' vampire.

    Spoiler: Strip 1016
    Show
    King of Indecision
    Veldrina, High Priest of Freya, High Priest of Freyr, Southern Representative, High Priest of Mani, Odin, Dvalin, Roy, Vampire Durkon, Thor, High Priest of Odin, Hel, Loki, Vampire Gontor

    Veldrina: So, wait ... Hermod was only the sixth to vote. Who's left?
    High Priest of Freya: Dvalin.
    High Priest of Freyr: What? No!
    Southern Representative: Why? What's wrong with Dvalin? Is he an ally of Hel's?
    High Priest of Mani: Not at all, but ... well, you'll see.
    Odin: Dvalin, First King of the Dwarves - you are the last of the Northern Gods remaining. How do you vote?
    Dvalin: Lord Odin, I have no desire to see my people condemned to Hel's care. However, I cannot vote at this time. I must consult the dwarven Council of Clans before coming to any decision.
    Roy: You've got to be kidding me!! Now the tiebreaker needs a tiebreaker?!?
    Vampire Durkon: I'm told he's never cast a vote without polling them first.
    Thor: King Dvalin, please! You can end this right now!
    Dvalin: When I was a mortal monarch, I swore an oath to obey the will of the Council on issues affecting all of the clans. That promise still stands despite my death and subsequent deification.
    High Priest of Odin: Then this convocation shall pause while the clans are assembled and polled. Let the proxies be dismissed until such time.
    Hel: I suppose I will need to wait a bit longer. See you soon, Father - when we meet to create the next world. My world!
    Loki: Yeah, yeah.
    High Priest of Odin: Let all who have a formal role remain sequestered here, so as not to influence the outcome. No attendee shall pass through this hall's arches until this issue is resolved!
    Veldrina: What is she saying? Is she saying we all have to stay here? For how long?
    High Priest of Freya: Until the heads of all the dwarven clans can assemble their council and vote.
    High Priest of Freyr: Last time this happened, it took two days.
    High Priest of Mani: I bring snacks now, just in case.
    Roy: Okay ... well ... that's not too bad, I guess. He can't have prepared this spell enough times to hide in there for two days. And even if he did, if standing here is all it takes to keep the world from blowing up ... Because let's be honest, there's no way a bunch of dwarven bigwigs vote to hand over their race to Hel, right?
    Vampire Gontor: Master! I brought the teleport orb so we can escape and dominate all the dwarven elders!
    Vampire Durkon: I should be mad at you for spilling that, but your timing there was just so perfect.

    Spoiler: Strip 1017
    Show
    Personnel Changes
    Roy, Vampire Durkon, High Priest of Odin, Vampire Gontor

    Roy: The orb?!? How did you -? We need that thing!!
    Vampire Durkon: Not anymore, you don't. I'm saving you the trouble of getting your ass kicked by Xykon again, Roy.
    Roy: The thing is, the rules cut both ways. If you leave, Hel doesn't have her high priest in the room. You need to be present for her vote to count.
    Vampire Durkon: Roy, please. I would think you would know me better than to think that I would fail to plan for that event.
    Roy: Why? I've never met you before.
    Vampire Durkon: Lady of Odin! I hearby abdicate my position as High Priest of Hel.
    High Priest of Odin: *Gasp!*
    Vampire Durkon: Per our internal church protocols, the role now falls to the next in line.
    Roy: Cute. So your little buddy there stays behind while you-
    Vampire Durkon: Oh, I'll need the Exarch by my side. No, the next in line to be the High Priest is ... Let's say ... Her, in the front, she'll do.
    Vampire Gontor: Our church is a frontarchy. Prove otherwise.

    Spoiler: Strip 1018
    Show
    Or Perhaps Punch
    Roy, Vampire Durkon, Vampire Gontor, Morningstar Vampire, Widows' Peak Vampire, Gloved Vampire, Shaven-Headed Vampire, High Priest of Sif, High Priest of Sunna, High Priest of Hermod, High Priest of Freya, High Priest of Loki, High Priest of Frigg, High Priest of Heimdal, High Priest of Fenrir, High Priest of Thrym, High Priest of Sigrun, Wrecan, High Priest of Balder, High Priest of Iounn

    Roy: You vamped the entire cult?!?
    Vampire Durkon: No, no. One was a half-elemental. They can't be vampires.
    Vampire Gontor: We just tore him to shreds.
    Morningstar Vampire: You know what to do, my brothers and sisters.
    Widows' Peak Vampire: Heh heh.
    Gloved Vampire: So thirsty...
    Shaven-Headed Vampire: Rrraaawwrggh!
    Roy: Hey clerics! You realize the woman with the morning star is the only one actually protected by your ridiculous convoluted rules, right?
    High Priest of Sif: He's right! If they can attack the administrators, then so can we!
    High Priest of Sunna: I suppose my goddess can't get too mad at me for smiting a few unrelated vampires. Flame Strike!
    <sfx> FWOOOSH!!
    Roy: Whoa! What? No, I meant-
    High Priest of Hermod: Be careful! We can't accidentally hit any priests or bodyguards with our magic!
    High Priest of Freya: Turn Undead!
    High Priest of Loki: Flame Strike!
    High Priest of Frigg: Mass Cure Serious Wounds!
    High Priest of Heimdal: Protect the vampires! Our lords have decreed this world's time is at an end.
    High Priest of Fenrir: Bolster Undead!
    High Priest of Thrym: Mass Resist Fire!
    High Priest of Sigrun: Mass Inflict Serious Wounds!
    Wrecan: Come on! If you have a missile weapon, pick a vampire and shoot!
    <sfx> TWANG! KTHUNK!
    High Priest of Balder: What do I do? What do I do??
    High Priest of Iounn: Maybe serve the cake?

    Spoiler: Strip 1019
    Show
    Withdrawn
    Roy, Vampire Durkon, High Priest of Thor

    Roy: FORGET THE SPAWN! They're just a distraction because he knows he's vulnerable now that he's transferred his position as high priest!
    <sfx> KTHRNNK!
    Vampire Durkon: That sounds like it's time to go. We'll have to manage with four.
    Roy: So can someone please blast the dwarf in the magic bubble before it's too -
    High Priest of Thor: On it! Thor's Lightning!
    Vampire Durkon: Counterspell.
    <sfx> KYEESH!!
    Vampire Durkon: Don't worry, Roy. I'll take good care of Durkon's soul for all eternity in my mistress' planar domain.
    Roy: RRRGH!!
    <sfx> POP! CLATTER.

    Spoiler: Strip 1020
    Show
    Scroll Left
    Blackwing, Mr Scruffy

    Blackwing: I just want to say that it's been an honor and a privilege serving as animal buddies with all of you.
    Mr Scruffy: MrrrOWWrrr!
    Blackwing: Scruffy! Ha ha, yeah! Make them work for it! Thanks, pal. I owe you one.
    Mr Scruffy: Mrrrrr.
    Blackwing: Though I don't think you'll have long to redeem it. There are way more rats than even your claws can handle. What this encounter needs is a wizard-animal. Or, barring that, a wizard. Wait, I've got it! We don't need a wizard if we have some of a wizard's magic right here!! Scruffy, clear my way to the desk! Now keep the rats off my tailfeathers while I check out this scroll V just finished.
    Mr Scruffy: Mrrror!
    Blackwing: Hmmm. OK. Well ... the bad news is that this is a scroll of Locate Creature - which is completely useless in the current situation. The good news is that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. Abra candelabra! Frippity fruppity frooj! Pottericus mimickus! Now take cover!!
    <sfx> PFOOM!


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  7. - Top - End - #217
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    I wouldn't mind doing the transcriptions of the next few comics, if you don't mind my claiming them.
    Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Insignificant error: in #194, you have "care" misspelled as "card"

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by unbeliever536 View Post
    I wouldn't mind doing the transcriptions of the next few comics, if you don't mind my claiming them.
    Please do! Sorry for the lack of response. I thought I'd actually responded, to be honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    Insignificant error: in #194, you have "care" misspelled as "card"
    Edited! Thanks for the correction.
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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    We should tentatively title Book 6 "You can't go home again"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWombatOfDoom View Post
    Please do! Sorry for the lack of response. I thought I'd actually responded, to be honest.
    Thanks; I'll get started on those in the next day or so.
    Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?

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  12. - Top - End - #222
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    So, uh... what do I call the vampire in Gontor's body? High Priest of Hel obviously doesn't work. Until we get something better, I'm going to call him Low Priest of Hel, because I think that's funny.

    Also I'm going to close Blackwing's quote for him. (we should split lines that go across panels! pacing is important!)
    Last edited by unbeliever536; 2015-11-25 at 02:18 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #223
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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by unbeliever536 View Post
    So, uh... what do I call the vampire in Gontor's body?
    Gonetor?

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    "Vampire Gontor" or just "Gontor". No need to be overly funny, comics are a serious business.

    Low priest of Hel _does_ sound pretty funny, however, a cool way of thinking! Also, since undead Durkon is called Undurkon, Ungontor is a pretty obvious nickname.

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Was reading through (trying to track down a page, for which this is an amazing resource) -- found a lot of [/b] tags floating around ... I can make a list if you like but I found at least one in basically every page.
    An egregious example is #339.

    Edit: Found a typo, too
    #374 should read "I accept your challenge." and also "Stand ready, Windstriker"
    Last edited by darkid; 2015-12-17 at 02:35 AM.

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by darkid View Post
    Was reading through (trying to track down a page, for which this is an amazing resource) -- found a lot of [/b] tags floating around ... I can make a list if you like but I found at least one in basically every page.
    An egregious example is #339.

    Edit: Found a typo, too
    #374 should read "I accept your challenge." and also "Stand ready, Windstriker"
    Proofreading like this would be incredibly helpful. I try and make sure everything is coded properly, but obviously with such a big project, many can fall through the cracks! Thank you!
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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    An additional error: #968 Next Week They're Getting Drab is incorrectly titled About Town (the title of #966). The links go to the right comics though.

    edit: Also, if there's a positive vote for it, I'll settle on Fake Gontor for, well, Fake Gontor, based on Belkar's name for the High Priest of Hel in this strip.
    Last edited by unbeliever536; 2015-12-17 at 01:54 PM.
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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by darkid View Post
    Was reading through (trying to track down a page, for which this is an amazing resource)
    If you want to find something from the first book, the pdf is also an incredible useful resource, since you can search the pdf for any given text.

    Speaking of the pdf, ever since it got released I somewhat wonder if it could be put to use for this project in some way (while it doesn't have speaker information, it should at least be usable to detect typos). I think in the following weeks I have some free time to kill, so maybe I come around looking into that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unbeliever536 View Post
    An additional error: #968 Next Week They're Getting Drab is incorrectly titled About Town (the title of #966). The links go to the right comics though.

    edit: Also, if there's a positive vote for it, I'll settle on Fake Gontor for, well, Fake Gontor, based on Belkar's name for the High Priest of Hel in this strip.
    Let's go with Vampire Gontor for now.
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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    I tried to find something in the transcriptions but couldn't. Maybe it's a bonus page, maybe it's a bonus book, maybe it's not OOTS at all.

    I'm looking for a moment where V casts a spell which does not exactly work as intended, but when asked bout this, V answers something like:
    - When dealing with magic, one must learn to [accept success as it comes]
    (not sure about the part between brackets).
    Roy would answer something like:
    - So close enough is good enough?

    Does it ring a bell to someone?
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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Well folks...I knew this day would come...

    The High Priest of Hel is no longer the High Priest of Hel.

    I think we're going to need to go with Vampire Durkon, and back edit all of the text...
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  22. - Top - End - #232
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    I can edit and resend the ones that aren't up. Also 1001-1005, if you'd like.

    As an aside, I've been thinking about maybe sending them in batches of five or ten to simplify things. I have through 1015 done and am doing 1016 and 1017 now, but unless you tell me otherwise I'll wait until 1020 and send a batch.
    Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by unbeliever536 View Post
    I can edit and resend the ones that aren't up. Also 1001-1005, if you'd like.

    As an aside, I've been thinking about maybe sending them in batches of five or ten to simplify things. I have through 1015 done and am doing 1016 and 1017 now, but unless you tell me otherwise I'll wait until 1020 and send a batch.
    Yeah, go ahead and do that. I've been pretty busy, and at times under the weather, so I haven't had a chance to review and update. I do appreciate your hard work!
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  24. - Top - End - #234
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    Quild's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Why edit?
    He was the High Priest of Hel from his creation to now. There's no mistake.

    Also I expect that he will be High Priest of Hel again as soon as the Godsmoot is ended and until his destruction.
    Posting from France
    Sorry for my accent.

    Thanks to neoseph7 for my avatar (Allen Walker from D.Gray-Man)

  25. - Top - End - #235
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    The name needs to be consistent - whatever name we choose for him, it needs to correctly identify the character across every transcript in which he speaks, because we don't have visuals (in-comic, he doesn't even seem to have a name...). That includes those strips where he isn't the High Priest any longer, which, no matter what anyone's predictions are, include this past one.

    edit: oh, also, has the representative of the Southern Pantheon actually spoken before? I'm just going to call him "Southern Representative" unless we have a different name for him.

    edit2: and now the Frontarchess needs a name... (can I call her the Frontarchess? )

    edit3: for real though, she's just going to be "Morningstar Vampire" unless she turns out to actually be important.

    edit4: my text file for the posts currently has ~34k characters (through #1018), so I'm PMing 1001-1010 now.
    Last edited by unbeliever536; 2016-01-11 at 03:32 PM.
    Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?

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  26. - Top - End - #236
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    TheWombatOfDoom's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by unbeliever536 View Post
    The name needs to be consistent - whatever name we choose for him, it needs to correctly identify the character across every transcript in which he speaks, because we don't have visuals (in-comic, he doesn't even seem to have a name...). That includes those strips where he isn't the High Priest any longer, which, no matter what anyone's predictions are, include this past one.

    edit: oh, also, has the representative of the Southern Pantheon actually spoken before? I'm just going to call him "Southern Representative" unless we have a different name for him.

    edit2: and now the Frontarchess needs a name... (can I call her the Frontarchess? )

    edit3: for real though, she's just going to be "Morningstar Vampire" unless she turns out to actually be important.

    edit4: my text file for the posts currently has ~34k characters (through #1018), so I'm PMing 1001-1010 now.
    Updated to 1010! Thanks for that, Morningstar works for me.
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

    World Building Projects:
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    : The Stuff of Sentience | Fate: The Fabric of Physics | Luck: The Basis of Biology

    Order of the Stick Projects:
    Annotation of the Comic | Magic Compendium of the Comic | Transcription of the Comic
    Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?
    Extended Signature | My DeviantArt | Majora's Mask Point Race
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  27. - Top - End - #237
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Corrections to 1007:

    Some of my translations have a few typos. Young Adult Durkon's first translated line should probably end "going -" rather than "goin -", and in his second translated line, "You know hse needs help" should obviously read "You know she needs help". The line where he curses the church should also be "After all our family's done..." not "After all our family's doine..."

    Also, in 1009, Vampire Durkon's line after his big speech should be "I said that you..." not "I said that ou..."

    I think that's it for corrections. I'll be sending along 1011-20 in a few minutes.

    And, sent! See you in 5 strips!
    Last edited by unbeliever536; 2016-01-26 at 05:44 PM.
    Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?

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  28. - Top - End - #238
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    TheWombatOfDoom's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    Quote Originally Posted by unbeliever536 View Post
    Corrections to 1007:

    Some of my translations have a few typos. Young Adult Durkon's first translated line should probably end "going -" rather than "goin -", and in his second translated line, "You know hse needs help" should obviously read "You know she needs help". The line where he curses the church should also be "After all our family's done..." not "After all our family's doine..."

    Also, in 1009, Vampire Durkon's line after his big speech should be "I said that you..." not "I said that ou..."

    I think that's it for corrections. I'll be sending along 1011-20 in a few minutes.

    And, sent! See you in 5 strips!
    Corrections made, and updated to 1020! Thank you unbeliever, and sorry for the slowness, its been busy over here.
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

    World Building Projects:
    Magic
    : The Stuff of Sentience | Fate: The Fabric of Physics | Luck: The Basis of Biology

    Order of the Stick Projects:
    Annotation of the Comic | Magic Compendium of the Comic | Transcription of the Comic
    Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?
    Extended Signature | My DeviantArt | Majora's Mask Point Race
    (you can't take the sky from me)

  29. - Top - End - #239
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    (Not necromancy!)

    1021-5 should be in your inbox by the time you see this post, Wombat.
    Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if, when he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?

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  30. - Top - End - #240
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    TheWombatOfDoom's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Transcription of the Stick

    The OotS Transcript - Strips 1021 to 1042
    Book 6: Currently Untitled
    Previous Page | Index | Next Page

    Spoiler: Strip 1021
    Show
    It's A Long List
    Blackwing, Vaarsuvius, Felix, Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator, Mr Scruffy

    Blackwing: I'm a wizard, Harry!
    Vaarsuvius: Stand aside!
    Blackwing: Oh, cool, you're here. I'm OK.
    Vaarsuvius: I became suspicious when your emotions transitioned to resigned acceptance and whistful regret.
    Felix: Where did all these rats come from?
    Blackwing: The vampire summoned them, right before he stole our giant swirly-thing and left.
    Vaarusvius: Master Thundershield did this?
    Blackwing: No, some off-brand version.
    Mr Scruffy: Meoww?
    Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator: Hurrrrr.
    Vaarsuvius: I apologize for not coming immediately upon the first sign of distress.
    Blackwing: Nah, it's my fault for crying wolf so often. I'm very bauble insecure.
    Vaarsuvius: I will accept, in compromise, that we both have flaws upon which we must continue to improve.
    Blackwing: Deal. Oh! But you have to help Little Whiskers!
    Vaarsuvius: Who?
    Blackwing: The tiger! The vampire drained a lot of his blood before the big boom!
    Vaarsuvius: I have no means to aid this beast, but I can bring him to his mistress.
    Blackwing: OK, yes! Let's do that.
    Vaarsuvius: Bugsby's Cat-Retrieving Hand!
    Blackwing: I don't know what's weirder - that you keep preparing that spell, or that you keep needing it.
    Vaarsuvius: I must applaud your creativity, using the scroll offensively in such and unorthodox manner.
    Blackwing: And see, a few years ago you probably would've been mad that I wasted it.
    Vaarsuvius: I fear you are correct, though such a reaction would have been deplorable on my part. Your safety and well-being are a far greater concern than the preservation of a mere magic item.
    Blackwing: Thanks, V. I really appreciate that.
    Vaarsuvius: And even putting aside that emotional or moral impact, a strict numerical analysis would show that I would lose many more experience points from a familiar dying than I would by scribing a replacement scroll.
    Blackwing: Let's just put "not quitting while you're ahead," on that list of flaws for you to work on.

    Spoiler: Strip 1022
    Show
    Terms and Conditions Apply
    Veldrina, Roy, High Priest of Odin, High Priest of Freya, High Priest of Sif, High Priest of Freyr, High Priest of Balder, Morningstar Vampire

    Veldrina: Roy! Are you OK? Do you need healing?
    Roy: I'm fine. They weren't even attacking, just trying to get past me.
    Veldrina: Are you going to fight with the new High Priestess of Hel now?
    Roy: No. I'm not her bodyguard. When the guy pretending to be Durkon transferred his position, I lost my formal status. Right?
    High Priest of Odin: ... Yes, I'm afraid.
    Veldrina: Wow, how did you know that's how it works?
    Roy: I just guessed the single most frustrating way to rules-lawyer it.
    High Priest of Freya: The covenant between the gods is explicit - an attack on any attendee by an outside force is an attack on all.
    High Priest of Sif: We'd be bound to defend her, or at least not interfere while Hel's allies killed you.
    High Priest of Freyr: Maybe in ways we couldn't even fix!
    Roy: Honestly, I've got half a mind to take one for the team and try anyway. Being dead's not so bad.
    Roy: <quietly> I got a cool little nightlight with my name on it, and I could go for some home cooking.
    Roy: But even if I could kill her before they toast me, that wouldn't tie this all up with a neat bow. If I die, my team falls apart and Big X moves into scoring position - and everyone is right back here voting in a week or two. Recent lesson connected to that whole "dying" thing: Noble sacrifices only make sense when they solve the problem at hand. The only way the world gets saved is if this vote fails and we never have another one.
    Veldrina: But ... now everyone knows about Hel's plan to suck up all the dwarf souls and take over! There's no way they'll side with her again.
    Roy: Oh, right. Because no one's ever voted for oppressive safety over risky freedom before.
    High Priest of Sif: I'm afraid he's right. Loki's words may have convinced some of our deities to give mortals one more chance, but if the situation worsens... who knows?
    High Priest of Balder: I still don't even get why they were voting! And where did all those vampires come from?!?
    Roy: That, I can answer. That staff has a bunch of obscure necromancy spells in it. I'm guessing he burned a lot of charges getting them all up on their feet.
    Morningstar Vampire: That staff is property of the Church of Hel, and the official regalia of the high priest. I hereby issue a formal request that it be turned over at once, according to protocol.
    Roy: <quietly> Oh, of course, gotta follow protocol.
    <sfx> SNAP! SMACK!
    Roy: The Order of the Stick is not responsible for any damage that may occur during the delivery of unholy relics.

    Spoiler: Strip 1023
    Show
    Last Call
    Roy, Veldrina

    Roy: Listen up! If I've got no status, then nothing is keeping me here. I'm going after the vampires. Anyone going to try and stop me? OK, good. That's progress. Anyone willing and able to pop me and my team there directly? I suppose that was too much to ask for. Veldrina, can I talk to you privately for a moment? You're one of the only people here who doesn't directly represent a stake in this vote. So I need you to keep an eye on things here. I don't trust these clerics to behave while I'm gone - even the ones who sided with me a minute ago.
    Veldrina: I don't know ... I doubt any of them will disobey their patron's orders. They know they may be standing in their presence sooner rather than later.
    Roy: That loyalty is exactly what I'm worried about. Everything I've seen here just confirms my belief that the gods, taken as a group, do not have our best interests as their highest priority. If one or two of those gods gets twitchy and tells their priest to break the moot's rules ... things could go downhill fast. Do you know the Sending spell?
    Veldrina: Sure! I use it all the time to contact the editors of metaphysics journals and point out basic math errors. I'm not sure the reply function works properly, though. They never seem to thank me for it. I'm also pretty sure the spell that's keeping everyone in also blocks communication magic, though.
    Roy: Well, if something changes and the vote resolves, that spell should drop, right? Contact me if the result is No.
    Veldrina: What if the result is a Yes?
    Roy: Then nothing I'm doing will matter. Use those last few minutes to contact someone you care about before it's too late.
    Veldrina: Wow, that's ... kinda heavy.
    Roy: Yeah, sorry. I usually have a few punchline-friendly characters with me to lighten this stuff back up.

    Spoiler: Strip 1024
    Show
    The Unbanished Truth
    High Priest of Thor, Roy, Miko, High Priest of Freyr, High Priest of Frigg

    High Priest of Thor: Wait, warrior! I would speak with you.
    Roy: Can you get me where I'm going faster?
    High Priest of Thor: Do you know exactly where you're going?
    Roy: Compelling point. Go ahead.
    High Priest of Thor: The Council of Clans is not the current dwarven parliament, so it does not meet in our capital. They gather in a special hall in the town of Firmament, nearer to the surface. As a human, you'll have trouble getting past border security, especially if a meeting has been called.
    Roy: I sort of figured we'd do the basic "pleading with authority figures to allow complete strangers to handle a serious crisis" thing we always do.
    High Priest of Thor: You won't need to. The town of Firmament holds a major temple to Thor which in turn has a private exit to the surface world so that the priests can observe the weather. This sacred runestone will guide you toward it and unlock the spells sealing the door. But more importantly, it can only be given freely; it turns to dust if taken by force. The fact that you bear it will prove to the acolytes that I gave my blessing to your mission.
    Roy: Nice. Thanks. I hope they're stocked up on holy water.
    High Priest of Thor: One more thing - your friend, Durkon Thundershield. Did he write me a letter last year, by chance any chance?
    Roy: Yes! You got it?
    High Priest of Thor: I did, though I could not place the name until the vampire started talking about being exiled.
    <flashback>
    High Priest of Thor: <voiceover> My predecessor, High Priest Hurak, was responsible for your friend's banishment, but he left no records as to why he would take such a drastic step.
    High Priest of Thor: <quietly> You can have a seat while I write a response, if you'd like.
    Miko: <quietly> Thank you, but standing builds character. Also, I just rode for four days.
    <end flashback>
    High Priest of Thor: Since it seems your friend did not get my reply, I will reiterate it to you: Durkon Thundershield is free to return to Dwarven Lands at his pleasure. His exile is over.
    Roy: That's great, but ... it's a bit late. He's already there. What good does it do?
    High Priest of Thor: I would not venture a guess, but it is true. And the truth always has a use.
    High Priest of Freyr: Go, human! Our people's future depends on you!
    High Priest of Frigg: Gods' speed, noble warrior.
    High Priest of Thor: May Thor's blessing be upon you and your cause.
    Roy: I promise I'll do everything I can.
    High Priest of Freyr: Also, if this ends OK for us, can we talk about reforming all these archaic friggin' rules?
    High Priest of Frigg: Hey! Don't pin this all on Frigg, everyone agreed to this!

    Spoiler: Strip 1025
    Show
    Mark of Distinction
    Wrecan, Roy

    Wrecan: Roy!
    Roy: Wrecan, thanks for the assist, but I need to run.
    Wrecan: I know, take this.
    Roy: A book? I don't think I'm going to have time for any reading.
    Wrecan: You should make time, since you seemed pretty surprised when your sword healed you.
    Roy: Huh. Yeah, it's never powered me up like that before.
    Wrecan: Would you say you had a deep personal connection to your sword?
    Roy: You mean besides the fact that my family is literally named after it?
    Wrecan: I like studying obscure martial lore, and I think your sword is what's called a Weapon of Legacy. It's a very powerful kind of magic item that can arise naturally when a warrior has poured his heart and soul into a single cause, as symbolized by a specific blade.
    Roy: So you're saying, what? That I just sort of willed that power into existence somehow?
    Wrecan: You harnessed magical power through intense focus. Isn't that what wizards do every day? If I'm right, you should be capable of unlocking additional abilities - if you know the proper rituals and exercises. That book is a history of past Weapons of Legacy, and it can help you with that. Just, uh... ignore the notes I made in the margin where I tally the number of times each legacy bearer is mentioned.
    Wrecan: <quietly> I like counting things.
    Roy: Thank you. I appreciate it.
    Wrecan: It's up to all of us to save the world, right? I can't come with you, so this is how I can help.
    Roy: I'm ... I wish there had been more time. To get to know you better.
    Wrecan: There's never enough time. Every day, one after another, until we wake up and it turns out that's the day our world ends. You have to do what you can - because who knows if tomorrow is even happening, you know? Now get on your flying boat and stop a crazy dwarf vampire from committing election fraud!
    Roy: Yes, sir!

    Spoiler: Strip 1026
    Show
    Goliath Falls
    Vampire Goliath, Belkar, Roy, Blackwing

    Vampire Goliath: Grrrarrr!
    <sfx> WMPFCH
    Belkar: Oh, I’m sorry. I thought vampires had fast reflexes or something. I guess we can throw that into the pile of untrue vampire myths—like that they can all fly, or that they’re interesting conversationalists.
    Belkar: <thinking> OK, I got this. Who needs weapons? I can beat this loser. Or at least get him the hell out of the way.
    Vampire Goliath: Master said to smash you for Hel!
    <sfx> WOOSH!
    Belkar: Eh, Master says a lot of stuff, like “Ach! That manly halfling just chopped off my head!” Wait, that one’s still in the future. But you get the idea.
    Belkar: <thinking> If he charges me, I can trip him and give him a good push over the side of the mountain. I don’t care if he can rock-bat his way back up, it’ll hurt going down and I can get inside.
    Belkar: I’m surprised they didn’t break a fang trying to turn you in the first place. Must’ve been like biting a rock, only dumber. See, your first mistake was getting into a fight with a halfling in the snow. We literally have bonuses for this!
    <sfx> SPLAT!
    Vampire Goliath: GRRRR!!!
    Belkar: <thinking> OK, that did the trick. One more round, and I can get back to exposing “Durkon” for what it really is. I think I’m definitely going to go for the flip. Here it comes. Almost…NOW!!
    <sfx> WSHHCNCT!!
    Roy: You were absolutely right about Durkon and I was wrong. Now he’s trying to destroy the world and we need to stop him.
    Belkar: I was- But-
    Roy: Hurry up. Let’s go!!
    Belkar: What the hell is the point of facts if I don’t get to gloat about knowing them first?!? And you couldn’t even let me beat one measly vampire before you-
    Blackwing: Heads up! Coming through!
    Belkar: I’ll just go get my daggers.

    Spoiler: Strip 1027
    Show
    Because Reasons
    Roy, Haley, Elan, Belkar

    Roy: -and so now the final decision will be made by this council of dwarves, and the vampires are going to try to fix the vote. The one bright spot is that the council is not a regular thing and needs to be assembled. And even with magic, it’ll take time to get everyone in one place.
    Haley: But we don’t know whether they’ll rush to get the whole group together because it’s super-urgen…or if the short notice means that they have trouble making arrangements for everyone. So it’ll be like racing an hourglass where the top half is opaque.
    Elan: But that would make it really hard to tell how much-OH!
    Haley: At least the Dwarven Lands are on the way north. I’ll talk to Bandana about the change in plans.
    Belkar: We wouldn’t need a change in plans if you hadn’t had your head too far up your own ass to listen to me!
    Roy: I agree.
    Belkar: Stop doing that!
    Roy: I should’ve paid attention to what you were saying, since you witnessed things that I didn’t. I wanted to believe that nothing had really changed-that Durkon was still Durkon and you were still an untrustworthy jerk. As a leader, I need to do a better job of taking my team seriously.
    Belkar: Well, good. I guess. Really takes all the fun out of rubbing it in your face, though.
    Elan: Roy, why didn’t you come and get me? Banjo could have cast the deciding vote!
    Roy: First: since he’s unrecognized as a member of any existing pantheon—I doubt Banjo would have had standing within the gods’ existing protocols to cast a vote. And second: the entire reason Hel needed a ready-made priest of a certain level was that voting requires casting a high-end clerical spell that bot contacts the deity and transmits the vote to the other gods. That was a level of magic that I didn’t believe Banjo was capable of doing, any more than could Hel’s previous low-level clerics. Third: he’s a puppet.
    Elan: Oh, good! I was really getting worried there for a moment.
    Belkar: Yeah, let’s not swing that pendulum too far the other way, chief.

    Spoiler: Strip 1028
    Show
    Don’t Even Ask About Electrum
    Mechane Crewman with Stubble, Mechane Crewman with Goatee, Mechane Crewman with Eyepatch and Beard, Mechane Crewman with Eyepatch and Pegleg, Roy, Andromeda, Bandana, Haley, Kwesi, Gold Elemental

    Mechane Crewman with Stubble: I thought we were done!
    Mechane Crewman with Goatee: Yeah, Bandana. You promised.
    Mechane Crewman with Eyepatch and Beard: I’m freezing my butt off!
    Mechane Crewman with Eyepatch and Pegleg: This deal is getting worse all the time!
    Roy: Hey, so…it’s been twenty minutes and I can’t help but notice that we’re still not moving. Is there a problem?
    Andi: Roy, I like you, but this is getting out of hand. This is the third destination we’ve had!
    Bandana: Saving the world is darn complicated, Andi. Plans change.
    Andi: Just one more reason most of us aren’t in the world-saving business. Not everyone wants to play the hero like you do. Besides, what are they even saving the world from, anyway? Does anyone know?
    Roy: Well, it’s uh…it’s hard to explain.
    Haley: Maybe if we had some crayons?
    Mechane Crewman with Stubble: Ugh, it’s just another apocalypse-of-the-week situation. Good triumphs over Evil while Neutral gets the bill.
    Kwesi: They already blew up a cabin fighting vampires, you know.
    Mechane Crewman with Eyepatch and Pegleg: At least when Captain Scoundrel dabbled in heroics, he always found a way for us to get paid.
    Bandana:Hmmm. That’s actually a fair point. They’re all square in my book on account of helping us afford all those repairs…….But the crew gets paid outta the spoils, and no spoils means no income. They can’t pay their debts with a fixed boat. I know Captain Scoundrel said I should go wherever y’all want, but he ain’t here and I gotta look after my crew’s best interests.
    Roy: If paying will get is moving faster, we can do that.
    Bandana: Let’s say…200 gp per person, not countin’ myself. And that’ll include us sticking around to haul you back home.
    Roy: Sure, whatever.
    Mechane Crewman with Goatee: Works for me.
    Kwesi: Yeah, easy money.
    Mechane Crewman with Eyepatch and Beard: I’m getting’ a new eyepatch!
    Mechane Crewman with Eyepatch and Pegleg: Do you know a good place? ‘Cause this one itches.
    Andi: But we’re a ferry service! We’re pirates! Am I the only one that remembers? Ugh. I can’t wait until the Captain gets back.
    Bandana: Oh, simmer down, Andi. You’re getting’ paid now, so let’s get this ship moving. Hope there’s no hard feelings about this, folks.
    Roy: No, I get it. Though money won’t do them much good if we don’t save the planet from being destroyed.
    Haley: Actually, gold is accepted currency on most planes of existence. With a few notable exceptions.
    <cutaway>
    <tag> 79 Au 196.97
    Gold Elemental: You monster!

    Spoiler: Strip 1029
    Show
    Budget Flight
    Roy, Haley

    <sfx> wuppa wuppa wuppa wuppa
    Roy: Alright, we’re getting up to speed now.
    Haley: Roy, about this deal with the crew…I’m not sure it’s going to work out.
    Roy: Haley, I knew it causes you physical pain to see money spent without haggling, but-
    Haley: No, no, it’s not that. As long as I don’t see the coins change hands, it’ll just be a mild rash. No, the problem is that we’re actually a bit light on funds right now. We spent a ton on wands and potions and such, and that teleport orb set us back a bit. And I needed to buy a dagger in a hurry. And there were no free refills on orange juice! All-you-can eat should mean all you can drink too!
    Roy: We still have the money you gave me to pay for Durkon’s resurrection.
    Haley: What? No! Roy, we can’t spend that!
    Roy: We have to. Our top priority is stopping the vampire. If we can’t get to Dwarven Lands in time, we won’t be able to raise Durkon anyway. And even if we succeed, I doubt we’ll have time to fly back here to get the spell cast before we need to rush to face Xykon.
    Haley: So, what? We’re just giving up on saving him?!?
    Roy: Of course not. But we need to be practical. I’ve been letting my feelings cloud my common sense so bad, it’s like I had a dozen tiny druids casting Obscuring Mist inside my skull. I was so focused on Durkon that I brought a vampire into a room full of clerics! But we can’t hamstring our efforts to save the world just to maximize our chances of saving Durkon. That’s not what he would want.
    Haley: …I know.
    Roy: Plus, who knows what will happen! There’s every chance that we’ll earn the money back from a random encounter long before we get a chance to spend it on Durkon.
    Haley: That’s a good point.
    Roy: We’re adventurers; everything we meet has a listed treasure type!
    Haley: One time, I scrubbed the mold out of the Guild showers and it dropped 2d4 copper pieces and a potion of fire resistance.

    Spoiler: Strip 1030
    Show
    Naming Names
    Roy, Haley, Elan, Belkar, Vaarsuvius, Blackwing

    Roy: OK, gang: We have at least a day before we’ll be at Firmament, so try to use the time to rest and prepare for some vampire-hunting. Me? I have some important reading to do.
    Haley: I’ll be coming around to hand out potions to everyone.
    Elan: I think I’m going to spend the time generally freaking out. I mean, it just hit me: we have to go fight [B]Durkon[B] now?!? Cuddly little gruff-but-lovable Durkon? Next thing you know, we’ll be fighting koala necromancers or something!
    Belkar: We don’t have to go fight Durkon, and you’re a moron.
    Elan: Explain.
    Belkar: You’re not very smart and you make poor decisions.
    Elan: I meant, the first part.
    Belkar: We don’t have to fight Durkon because that’s not Durkon! That’s never been Durkon! We just gotta go save the world form some random undead schmuck, which is like our whole hustle, right? It’s just a different dead dude than we were expecting.
    Roy: Belkar is 100% right.
    Belkar: Are you just trolling me at this point.
    Roy: We’re not going after Durkon, we’re going after the monster holding Durkon captive. In fact, we shouldn’t even call that vampire “Durkon” anymore. We should come up with another name to keep it straight in our minds. Any suggestions?
    Haley, Belkar, Elan or Vaarsuvius: Count Durkula? Undurkon? Jerkon? Leechy Veinquaff? Nega-Dwarf? Durkzzaro? Deep Fang Friar? The Creature Preacher? Nokrud? The Thorsaken? Pastor Expiration? Whiskers in the Dark? Nose-fur-atu? Hel’s Shell? The Corpse Formerly Known as Durkon? Greg?
    Roy: …Never mind. Just call him Durkon, but, you know mentally put an asterisk next to it whenever you say it. The important thing is that we all recognize how hard it could be to go into battle against a face we all know and love—and that we do whatever we can between now and then to prepare ourselves emotionally. If that means taking some time to freak out and get it out of your system, that’s OK.
    Elan: Ooo! We could call old Durkon, “Durkon Classic”! Or Original Recipe Durkon. Durkon (First Edition)!
    Roy: Please stop.
    <sfx> whzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Spoiler: Strip 1031
    Show
    Cold War
    Lien, O-Chul

    Lien: It should only be a few more miles before we reach the pole. How are you doing? Are you handling the cold OK?
    O-Chul: I am well. You?
    Lien: Sure, no problem. I’ve grown accustomed to the frigid depths of the ocean floor as I seek out the forces of Evil in the dark crevices in which they hide.
    O-Chul: I warm myself with my thoughts—both of those of the gentle warmth of good deeds done and delinquent hearts redeemed, as well as those of the eternal fires of the Lower Planes—where those unwilling to reconsider their life choices must surely find themselves should they stand against me.
    Lien: Plus, my Ring of Water Breathing also protects against the cold.
    O-Chul: This protective cloak I picked up during our stop in Cliffport shields against weather as well.
    Lien: I don’t know what I was thinking, trying to beat you in a Paladin-Off.
    O-Chul: Through grim virtuous perseverance and the will of the Twelve Gods, I was able to triumph.
    Lien: OK, OK, you won! Take it down a notch.

    Spoiler: Strip 1032
    Show
    Other Times, Not so Much
    Lien, O-Chul

    Lien: OK, here’s one: A magical snow genie pops up and offers you any food you’ve ever had, right now. What do you ask for? And don’t give me the cop-out answer that you’d send the food to starving orphans instead.
    O-Chul: I would.
    Lien: Noted. Answer the question.
    O-Chul: Kimchi.
    Lien: There’s like 200 types. More specific.
    O-Chul: One of the spicy ones.
    Lien: More specific!
    O-Chul: The gimjang that my aunt made with the women of our village when I was young.
    Lien: Nice. For me, there was this booth just a few pier over from ours that made the most amazing dish with rice noodles and peanuts and turmeric fish. I used to sneak out of the house to meet my friends there when I was a teenager. You actually ate there once. I’d gotten knocked around in training, and you insisted on walking me home to make sure I was OK.
    O-Chul: Oh, yes. Yunji was with us. They had a nice seaweed thing.
    Lien: Right, yeah. Of course, I don’t think any of us have had a meal like that since we fled the city.
    O-Chul: So many fine citizens died that day, taking pieces of our shared culture with them.
    Lien: True. But in this case, the chef made it out with the fleet. She just hasn’t been able to get her hands on any decent spices. That’s one of the nice things about having grown up on the waterfront: everyone I knew owned a boat, or knew someone who did. My whole family got out alive. Both parents, both sisters, a brother-in-law, three nieces, and an 83-year-old grandmother. And my boyfriend, and his whole family too. Even his awful aunt, who blames me for the hobgoblin invasion, as if I conjured them personally just to put her out. When you consider that Yunji and everyone else in the Sapphire Guard is dead but I’m alive—I think I may be the luckiest woman in the world.
    O-Chul: Many people, in your position of having lost their home and so many friends, would come to the opposite conclusion.
    Lien: Yeah. But it always seemed weird to me to get mad about things going wrong, as if everything turning out OK was promised to anyone, ever. There wouldn’t need to be paladins if the world was, like, fair.
    O-Chul: Ah, so your optimism is a direct result of your relentlessly negative view.
    Lien: Ha ha, I guess so! The best part about always expecting the world to bite you in the butt is sometimes you’re pleasantly surprised.

    Spoiler: Strip 1033
    Show
    Sound Reasoning
    Lien, O-Chul

    Lien: Think about what we're doing: investigating Kraagor's Gate. Who expected that? That was, like, the first thing they told us not to do as members of the Sapphire Guard! I think they mentioned it before they actually explained what the Gates even were!
    O-Chul: Do you...hear a ringing noise?
    <sfx> EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
    Lien: Aaaaaaah! Unnngh! What the heck was that?!?
    O-Chul: Some kind of...sonic reptilian unicorn?
    Lien: Fantastic. If I ever quit the paladins and start a punk rock band, at least now I have the perfect name for it.
    O-Chul: It's circling back for another pass.
    Lien: Take cover behind the ice! The good news is, I bet this is someone new, not related to Xykon.
    O-Chul: Because why would the number of people trying to kill us stay level when it could increase?
    Lien: Now you're catching on!

    Spoiler: Strip 1034
    Show
    Always a Good Rule of Thumb
    Lien, O-Chul

    O-Chul: Hurry!!
    Lien: I know, I just need to load this thing...
    <sfx> EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE KTHNNK! THUNK!
    Lien: Ugh. Crossbow bolts are not going to do the trick. We need to get it on the ground on its next pass. Good thing it turns like a frigate...
    O-Chul: I think we should disengage.
    Lien: What, really? We can take them.
    O-Chul: Maybe, but that's not our mission. Getting to the pole in one piece is. This is a rare combat situation where there is no one we, as paladins, need to defend. Nothing is at the stake other than our own lives. Since we are at a tactical disadvantage and any attempt at parley would be disadvantaged by the ungodly racket that creature is making, escape is our best choice.
    Lien: I see your point, but how? It's frozen wasteland in every direction!
    <sfx> KTHNNK!
    O-Chul: On that, I confess that I have fewer strong opinions.
    Lien: I don't suppose you went and secretly got a paladin mount without telling me, and it's a super-fast celestial pegasus or something?
    O-Chul: If I had, we would already have been riding it.
    Lien: Darn it! I spent months with that bard, and the one time I need someone to have been arbitrarily holding out for a big dramatic reveal, he's not here.
    O-Chul: You're not shooting. In lieu of a plan, you should keep shooting.

    Spoiler: Strip 1035
    Show
    Ringing Victory
    Lien, O-Chul

    O-Chul: Here it comes. When this outcropping shatters, we should fall back to another. Some cover is better than no cover, even if it doesn't last.
    Lien: Wait! I have an idea!! I just need to find a......There! Come on! RUN! OK...here. Here's where we stand.
    O-Chul: Here? Out in the open?
    Lien: Trust me.
    O-Chul: Always.
    <sfx> EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE KRIK KRIK KRRNNCH! SPLOOSH!

    Spoiler: Strip 1036
    Show
    Sound, But in This Case Inaccurate
    Monster in the Darkness

    Monster in the Darkness: Look, Oona! I got a new umbrella!!

    Spoiler: Strip 1037
    Show
    Beast Practices
    Demon Roach, Greyview, Monster in the Darkness, Oona

    Oona: Very good, Great Beast in Shadow. Is nice. Duckies are nice.
    Monster in the Darkness: Duckies are nice! I got to pick this one myself.
    Demon Roach: Goodbye Kitty, I guess.
    Oona: Your master, he is not here?
    Monster in the Darkness: Who?
    Oona: Bone man, with shiny hat.
    Monster in the Darkness: Xykon's not my master. He's just, like, a guy I hang around with. For some reason.
    Oona: No, no, no. No good. Beast must always respect master, is way of things. Master takes care of beast, beast takes care of Master.
    Monster in the Darkness: OK, but-
    Oona: See Greyview. Good worg, yes? Together many years. And what is foundation of bond?
    Monster in the Darkness: I'm gonna say...respect?
    Oona: Yes! Good. Learning is happening.
    Monster in the Darkness: OK, I get it, but...Xykon's not actually my master, so...
    Greyview: Is futile to argue. Nod. Get treat.
    Monster in the Darkness: I kinda think I'm not supposed to go along with something that's wrong just to get food.
    Greyview: Only certainty in life: When icy jaws of death come, you will not have had enough treats. Nod. Get treat.
    Oona: Oh! Almost got special dinner for you! Saw it while exercising Lancer, but it fell in drink. Two humans, since you said you had one back in city and liked it best of all.
    Monster in the Darkness: That is...not at all what I meant. But thanks, I guess?
    Oona: No. no. Do not mention. Embarrassing failure not worth discussing ever again. You are magnificent monster, fit for beastmistress like me. But will honor your bond with bone man. Strange he keeps you in dark, though.
    Monster in the Darkness: Ugh, don't even get me started.
    Oona: Snuck peek under old umbrella when you got here. Such majesty! Like in wildest dreams, after remorhaz kebab too close to bed. So small, though. But will grow in time! If bone man dies horrible death, life with Oona would not be bad, yes?
    Monster in the Darkness: Uh, I guess. But Xykon's pretty strong, so I don't think he's going to die a horrible death.
    Greyview: All deaths horrible. Also inevitable. Nod. Get treat.

    Spoiler: Strip 1038
    Show
    Goblin to Goblin
    Demon Roach 1, Demon Roach 2, Greyview, Monster in the Darkness, Oona, Redcloak

    Oona: If bone man is not here, what of little bald man in red cape? He is ready? Is already dusk!
    Monster in the Darkness: I think so. He's preparing his magical spells for the night.
    Oona: Preparing faster, then, yes? Time for doing! Less talky-talking with Dark One!
    Redcloak: It's not really "talking", per se. More of a nonverbal spiritual link. I'm done now anyway. Don't your people have edicts against disturbing a priest during meditation?
    Oona: No, which is why bugbear shamans get preparing done super-fast! Also, in bugbear culture, Dark One no big whoop. Nice for weddings and funerals, otherwise can take or leave.
    Demon Roach 1: Wait, so bugbears are just big hairy goblins? I thought they were weird wizard experiments that combined insects and bears.
    Demon Roach 2: You're thinking of owlbears.
    Demon Roach 1: Why would owlbears be half insect?
    Oona: Dark One, he is only caring about skinny little goblins and hobgoblins anyway. So little love for bugbears!
    Redcloak: That's not true. Bugbears have always had an equal place in our society.
    Monster in the Darkness: In theory, sure, but they mostly just get name-dropped to bolster an appealing but ultimately specious pan-goblinoid narrative that probably arose to elide historic sectarian divisions between goblins and hobgoblins....is a thing I totally overheard some guy say.
    Demon Roach 1: Quick, kids: figure out which monsters have "trenchant political analysis" as a Special Attack!
    Oona: Some guy he overhears is true. Bugbears shiver alone in cold with soup, all forgotten. And don't even get Oona started on norkers and nilbogs, who are getting even shorter end of stick!
    Demon Roach 1: Probably-not-existing is a totally raw deal.
    Redcloak: Look, when the Plan succeeds, we'll strengthen economic and cultural ties between goblinoid settlements around the world. I am sure when this is over, we can work out some sort of trade deal between your colony here and Gobbotopia then.
    Oona: Ha ha! Okie dokie! That is sounding good to Oona!!
    Redcloak: Ahhh! OK, um-wow. I was not expecting a head rub.
    Greyview: Should always expect head rub. Safer that way.
    Oona: Aww, you should be celebration, Greyview! Soon, you are getting fancy treats from warm places!
    Greyview: See? Grim specter of noogie hangs like shroud over us all.

    Spoiler: Strip 1039
    Show
    Multiple Choice
    Demon Roach 1, Demon Roach 2, Greyview, Monster in the Darkness, Oona, Redcloak, Xykon

    Oona: So, Dark One, did he help with the choosing?
    Redcloak: No. I said it was a nonverbal link, remember? The only feedback I get is that he's still satisfied enough with my work to grant spells. Extended Freedom of Movement.
    Oona: But when clan is having trouble, sometimes shaman is with the asking and helping, yes?
    Redcloak: I do have divination spells that can request limited advice, but they have some restrictions.
    Demon Roach 1: For evil entertainment purposes only!
    Demon Roach 2: Offer void where prohibited by Chaos!
    Redcloak: Primary of which is that our god can't provide information that he himself doesn't know. The majority of other gods have colluded to hide the existence of the Gates even from his divine senses, so my magic can't just point the way. Extended Fortunate Fate.
    Oona: Ah. Is too bad, would be nice for choosing to be easy.
    Greyview: Nothing is easy. Life is hard, dying is worse.
    Oona: Oh, shush. Oh, look! There is bone man, with stone dwarf.
    Redcloak: Please tell me you remembered to refresh your spell energy before you moved on to juvenile graffiti. Magic Vestment.
    Xykon: Chill, Monocular Man. I've been waiting 45 minutes for your mortal ass to finish playing Mother-May-I with the Dim One. You're not going to bore me with a lecture for redecorating, are you?
    <statue text> SACRIFICE FORGOTTEN
    <painted text> IS FOR SUCKERS!
    Redcloak: He killed thousands of goblins while he was alive. I wouldn't care if you pissed on his face. Well, except for the obvious biology questions that would raise.
    Oona: We are all readiness to enter Monster Hollow, yes?
    Redcloak: Yes, but as I've told you, its proper name is Kraagor's Tomb.
    Oona: Do not know Kraagor. Has monsters, is hollow. Is Monster Hollow.
    Redcloak: *sigh*
    Oona: Monster Hollow important to bugbear clan. Hunt a little, tame a little. Wait, then monsters come back, start all over. Living here in icy ice where dwarves don't chase us because Monster Hollow is good to us. Where else would Oona get magic cold resistant fur for stylish yet functional mask? Helping little bald man in cape because must be sure Monster Hollow still have monsters for clan after.
    Redcloak: I assure you, the faster we find what we're looking for, the faster we can stop delving into the tomb. Superior Resistance.
    Monster in the Darkness: Oooo! Oooo! Can I do the paint this time?
    Xykon: Sure, knock yourself out. Just don't get it all over everything. OK, boys and girls, let's get tonight's festivities started. Please cast any long-term buffs before entering the tomb and make sure you've returned all your limited-use special abilities to the locked and upright position. Before we begin our descent, let me just ask one more question: Is anyone feeling especially lucky tonight?

    Spoiler: Strip 1040
    Show
    It Probably Would've Taken 30 Pages
    Demon Roach, Greyview, Monster in the Darkness, Oona, Redcloak, Xykon

    Monster in the Darkness: I'm feeling lucky to have new friends like Oona and Greyview, does that count?
    Redcloak: No.
    Oona: Yes!
    Xykon: Close enough! Step on up and pick a door, any door.
    Monster in the Darkness: OK, so, umm... how about that one?
    Xykon: Can't see where you're pointing, genius.
    Monster in the Darkness: Oh, right. That kinda greenish double door on the bottom?
    Xykon: Sure, whatever. Great.
    Redcloak: This whole process is so unnecessarily tedious. If this ravine hadn't been built up out of multidimensional stone, you could just ghostform your way though the-
    Xykon: Zip it! Nobody cares about technical exposition right now.
    Redcloak: At the very least, I still think we should be trying to devise a logical search pattern, rather than just picking at random every night.
    Xykon: Feh. Logic is overrated gibberish. In case you haven't noticed, the world is weird and stupid and doesn't care about anything printed in your math textbooks. We're either going to find it or we're not, and at least this way keeps it kinda interesting. There's a reason nobody plays roulette by moving the ball from one number to the next in sequence.
    Redcloak: When this much is on the line, I'd rather be efficient than interesting.
    Xykon: And that's why you're a nerd that nobody likes.
    Oona: Feeling so good about this choice! Thinking tonight will be the night.
    Monster in the Darkness: Yeah, uh, hope so. 'Cause that's what we all want, right?
    Redcloak: Mass Conviction! Mass Resist Acid!
    Demon Roach: Mass Reminder That More Buffing Probably Happens Off-Panel!
    Xykon: OK, lackeys, we've put our money down. Let's spin the wheel and see what we get!
    <cutaway>
    <panel text> A few hours later
    <cutback>
    Xykon: Eh, you win some, you lose some.
    Redcloak: Mass Cure Critical Wounds.
    Oona: Such thrilling hard-fought battles, though! So many twistings and turnings!
    Greyview: Death beckoned in every hall.
    Monster in the Darkness: And so visually complex, too! I'm glad no one had to draw a picture of any of that.

    Spoiler: Strip 1041
    Show
    Value of an Independent Variable
    Greyview, Monster in the Darkness, Oona, Redcloak, Xykon

    Redcloak: What a waste. No Gate, no sign of the rift. Inflict Critical Wounds.
    Xykon: Yeah, but we got to kill a bunch of stuff.
    Redcloak: To what end? What did their deaths mean?
    Xykon: They meant we don't have to kill them later. I thought you liked efficiency.
    Monster in the Darkness: Should I close the door? I'll close the door.
    Oona: Should we be trying a second door tonight? Oona still fresh and ready!
    Redcloak: No. I'm tapped out. Keeping both undead and living party members standing through a bunch of fights in a row burns through way too many spells.
    Oona: Is OK. Lots of monster parts. Maybe shaman will make Oona nice new magic belt or something.
    Xykon: See, that's the spirit! Focus on how snuffing the life out of other creatures benefits us!
    Redcloak: You're in a surprisingly chipper mood tonight.
    Xykon: Why wouldn't I be? Some of these ugly bastards were strong enough that I actually gained experience! Do you have any idea how rare that is at my level? And don't forget these sweet magical Boots of Free Movement we found. No more getting grappled or entangled or whatever. Plus they keep my toe bones from catching on things and popping off!
    Redcloak: I'm so glad you're enjoying our fruitless struggle.
    Oona: Mmmm, fruit! Oona could go for lunch!
    Monster in the Darkness: So, uh, I'm just gonna paint the big red X on the door, OK?
    Xykon: Yeah, fine, whatever.
    Redcloak: Do you even have fruit in the arctic?
    Greyview: Have bitter fruit of eternal despair.
    Oona: Also certain berries!
    Monster in the Darkness: Hey guys, wait up!

    Spoiler: Strip 1042
    Show
    Wait Watchers
    Lien, O-Chul

    O-Chul: Good man.
    Lien: Do you really think that's going to mess up their search?
    O-Chul: I have no idea. It is more the gesture that I appreciate.
    Lien: What the heck is that thing under the umbrella, anyway?
    O-Chul: I have...Let's call it a theory. But if I told you, you wouldn't believe me. If I told him, I don't think he'd believe me, either. Suffice to say any rebellion against the status quo on his part, however minor or ambivalent, can only be good news for us. Although it looks like my call regarding our mystery flyer was in error. Had we taken her down, it would have weakened Xykon's team.
    Lien: No, we did the right thing. They might have gone looking for her if she never came back-and then we'd be toast. Our best defense against all that magic they're packing is that they don't know we're here. As much as I'd rather start exploring to find the Gate ourselves, doing so would only weaken its defenses. We need to stay out of sight and observe. Oh, and I need to scroll-call Haley. They're probably sick of the desert by now anyway.
    O-Chul: I suppose the good news is that as long as Xykon and Redcloak keep picking different doors, then that means they haven't found Kraagor's Gate yet.
    Lien: What do we do if they go in one door and don't come back out?
    O-Chul: Well, in that case they either succumbed to the monstrous sentinels within, or they found what they were looking for and the end of the world is nigh.
    Lien: Probably that second one.
    O-Chul: Probably, yes.
    Lien: We just have to pray to the Twelve Gods that this dungeon complex can hold onto its secrets long enough for Roy and his people to get here.
    O-Chul: Let's camp here. Warmth is not an issue, and I brought plenty of rations.
    Lien: I can keep using my spell to make fresh water, too.
    O-Chul: Good, perfect. We'll build this snow bank up a bit more, too.
    Lien: Now we just have to try not to die of boredom staking out a frozen ravine for days. Or weeks.
    O-Chul: I did purchase a set of Go stones along with my cloak.
    Lien: Ugh, why? You know I suck at that game!
    O-Chul: Well I didn't bring them for you.


    Last edited by TheWombatOfDoom; 2017-08-03 at 08:52 AM.
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

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    Magic
    : The Stuff of Sentience | Fate: The Fabric of Physics | Luck: The Basis of Biology

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    Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?
    Extended Signature | My DeviantArt | Majora's Mask Point Race
    (you can't take the sky from me)

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