The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Several of the books in OOTS focus heavily on a specific kind of power that exists in the OOTS world. War and XP, for example, features military might. We get to see what a giant army is capable of, but we also find out that an army alone isn't enough to defend one of the gates.

    Don't Split the Party revolves around arcane power. The central conflict of the book results from Roy's death at the hands of an arcane caster, and was greatly exacerbated by a Cloister spell. In the climax, V finally achieves the complete and total ultimate arcane power they have sought after for the entire series, only to be struck down by someone with a different kind of power. Xykon tells V, and us, that arcane power isn't the only kind of power that matters.

    Book five shows us a lot about bardic power. The main villain is the guy who knows he is in a story, and he knows how to use the rules of drama to his advantage. Elan gets to be front and center to a much greater extent than in any previous book. We get to see how far knowledge of narratives can bring Tarquin, and we get to see where that knowledge can't get him. In the end, Elan realizes that stories are fun, but they aren't worth hurting people over.

    While we have yet to see the end of book six, I think it is not to early to say that Utterly Dwarfed focuses on divine power. Despite being dead, Durkon spends more time in the spotlight than in any previous book. The main antagonists are Hel and her most powerful cleric.

    Crucially, we get a clear explanation of what divine power can't do. The godsmoot showed us that a room full of some of the most powerful clerics in the world isn't enough to stop Hel's schemes, or Xykon. Durkon's visit to the afterlife demonstrated that even the gods themselves can fix the world's problems.

    Will book seven also focus on a particular kind of power? While it's possible, I suspect not. One of the big reoccuring themes of OOTS is that different people are stronger together. No one member of the Order of the Scribble was able to defend their gate alone. Gods of different quiddities can create things together which are stronger than what one pantheon can create alone.

    The way the comic depicts each type of power's limitations is, I think, a continuation of this theme. A giant army isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone. A room full of paladins is not enough to defeat Xykon. Complete and total arcane power isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone. Complete knowledge narrative structure isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone. All the divine power in the world isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone.

    In the final book, the Order will need to combine all the lessons they have learned and all the assets they have if they want to stop Xykon and the Snarl. Each of the types of power that have been featured so far aren't enough, but together they probably will be.
    Last edited by 137ben; 2019-08-18 at 09:30 PM.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Really, in the words of the new Ducktales...

    Teamwork makes the Dream work!

    On a related note, book 7 should likely have Roy doing the recap comics, and I guess the only mainish cheaters left to do the forward are likely to be the MTiD, O'chul, Lien, Hinjo, or Blackwing.
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    I would say it'll be a strong focus on Ranger Power. We know the Bug-bears are big on their bonds with animal companions, that Kragdor's Tomb is full of horrible beasts and we also know that Belkar'll die soon.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mic_128 View Post
    I would say it'll be a strong focus on Ranger Power.
    Getting there will be a hell of a morph...
    Each one of us, alone, is but a drop in the sea
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    So, when the world or universe needs saving, they come
    But when people needs saving, we are the ones to appear
    We're underdogs, but we rise up to the challenge to be heroes.
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mic_128 View Post
    I would say it'll be a strong focus on Ranger Power.
    So, Roy is Green Ranger, Elan is Blue Ranger, Haley is Yellow Ranger, Durkon is White Ranger, Vaarsuvius is Pink Ranger and Belkar is, hmm, Red Ranger?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    So, Roy is Green Ranger, Elan is Blue Ranger, Haley is Yellow Ranger, Durkon is White Ranger, Vaarsuvius is Pink Ranger and Belkar is, hmm, Red Ranger?
    I would put Belkar as yellow, Haley as pink and Roy as red on account of their weapons of choice. Elan as black and V as blue because reasons. I suppose Durkon could be green, mostly because I am out of options now.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quebbster View Post
    I would put Belkar as yellow, Haley as pink and Roy as red on account of their weapons of choice. Elan as black and V as blue because reasons. I suppose Durkon could be green, mostly because I am out of options now.
    How is Royís weapon at all related to the color Red?

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quebbster View Post
    I would put Belkar as yellow, Haley as pink and Roy as red on account of their weapons of choice. Elan as black and V as blue because reasons. I suppose Durkon could be green, mostly because I am out of options now.
    Roy has a strong association with green (I mean his name...), Elan, V and Durkon cast blue, pink and white respectively and Haley loves gold and dresses in yellowish brown.

    Belkar loves blood.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Red rangers are the team leaders, and generally use swords as their preferred weapons.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Red rangers are the team leaders, and generally use swords as their preferred weapons.
    Yup. Red Ranger uses sword, Yellow Ranger uses daggers, Pink Ranger uses bow. I suppose the Black Ranger's axe is pretty thematically close to Durkon's hammer but I prefer the music connection. Might be misremembering though, it's been more than 20 years since I watched it.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Trust me, the sentai formula has not changed one iota.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quebbster View Post
    I would put Belkar as yellow, Haley as pink and Roy as red on account of their weapons of choice.
    I believe you are thinking of Rob Redblade.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quebbster View Post
    Yup. Red Ranger uses sword, Yellow Ranger uses daggers, Pink Ranger uses bow. I suppose the Black Ranger's axe is pretty thematically close to Durkon's hammer but I prefer the music connection. Might be misremembering though, it's been more than 20 years since I watched it.
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    Our powers pale compared with the great heroes
    Our battles donít hit theheadlines or shake the earth
    But they are few, canít be everywhere, and we, many
    So, when the world or universe needs saving, they come
    But when people needs saving, we are the ones to appear
    We're underdogs, but we rise up to the challenge to be heroes.
    (Wishing Joe, a low-powered superhero)

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emanick View Post
    I believe you are thinking of Rob Redblade.
    Murkon Lightninghammer casts aqua, right?


    I do think that if book 7 has a power focus, it will either be determination or the power of friendship no really, the way that being able to have a group of people that not only you can trust but that can make you strong is something of a loose theme since the second book.

    I'd say that "power" theme has actually been going on since Book 2, with it being the "power of law" and how Miko misrepresented and misused it. Book 1 was mostly one-off gags until halfway through.
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    Several of the books in OOTS focus heavily on a specific kind of power that exists in the OOTS world. War and XP, for example, features military might. We get to see what a giant army is capable of, but we also find out that an army alone isn't enough to defend one of the gates.

    Don't Split the Party revolves around arcane power. The central conflict of the book results from Roy's death at the hands of an arcane caster, and was greatly exacerbated by a Cloister spell. In the climax, V finally achieves the complete and total ultimate arcane power they have sought after for the entire series, only to be struck down by someone with a different kind of power. Xykon tells V, and us, that arcane power isn't the only kind of power that matters.

    Book five shows us a lot about bardic power. The main villain is the guy who knows he is in a story, and he knows how to use the rules of drama to his advantage. Elan gets to be front and center to a much greater extent than in any previous book. We get to see how far knowledge of narratives can bring Tarquin, and we get to see where that knowledge can't get him. In the end, Elan realizes that stories are fun, but they aren't worth hurting people over.

    While we have yet to see the end of book six, I think it is not to early to say that Utterly Dwarfed focuses on divine power. Despite being dead, Durkon spends more time in the spotlight than in any previous book. The main antagonists are Hel and her most powerful cleric.

    Crucially, we get a clear explanation of what divine power can't do. The godsmoot showed us that a room full of some of the most powerful clerics in the world isn't enough to stop Hel's schemes, or Xykon. Durkon's visit to the afterlife demonstrated that even the gods themselves can fix the world's problems.

    Will book seven also focus on a particular kind of power? While it's possible, I suspect not. One of the big reoccuring themes of OOTS is that different people are stronger together. No one member of the Order of the Scribble was able to defend their gate alone. Gods of different quiddities can create things together which are stronger than what one pantheon can create alone.

    The way the comic depicts each type of power's limitations is, I think, a continuation of this theme. A giant army isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone. A room full of paladins is not enough to defeat Xykon. Complete and total arcane power isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone. Complete knowledge narrative structure isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone. All the divine power in the world isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone.

    In the final book, the Order will need to combine all the lessons they have learned and all the assets they have if they want to stop Xykon and the Snarl. Each of the types of power that have been featured so far aren't enough, but together they probably will be.
    Interesting analysis. And, of course, teamwork is its own power.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    Book 1 was mostly one-off gags until halfway through.
    Or we could interpret book one as being defined by a lack of power. They ran away from a lot of stuff and Xykon could have easily killed them several times over if that was his first priority instead of his fourth.

    They struggled to do things as simple as eat, sleep, and use the bathroom.

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    ClericGirl

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    Default What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    In the final book, the Order will need to combine all the lessons they have learned and all the assets they have if they want to stop Xykon and the Snarl. Each of the types of power that have been featured so far aren't enough, but together they probably will be.
    As the PCs are high level, and the Snarl is involved, and deities, and gates, Book Seven has to address Great cosmic power

    But on a more serious note, in 1982 the movie Conan came out, and one of James Earle Jones' best lines as Thulsa Doom was in explaining to Conan the Riddle of Steel. When the devotee leaped to her death at Doom's beckoning gesture, the casual remark is "That is power." While it has a negative connotation - to us as viewers it is a bit of a shock, and we feel the terrible waste as the devotee ends her life - there is something about inspiring willing self sacrifice that can be powerful.

    O-Chuls' character arc is a study in self sacrifice. Some of what we will see in Book 7 will be the power of self sacrifice with a more positive intention. The Order has gone through Forming, Storming, Norming, and will get into the peak Performing stage in the last book. Each of them will pay a price to get to the end of the quest, and we all suspect that Belkar will end up sacrificing his life: will it be a willing sacrifice, or will it just be "casualty of war" in nature? It will be fun to find out.

    I'd illustrate the power of OoTS as the power of a clenched fist: all of the separate elements combine together to form a powerful weapon directed at a target - a weapon that is greater than the sum of its parts. Synergy, if the team works at peak "performing" level.

    What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    The power of We.
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Book 7 will focus in the Power of Friendship. With the friendship among the members of the Order (now even Belkar!) contrasted by the lack of friendship among the members of Team Evil.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Book 7 will focus in the Power of Friendship. With the friendship among the members of the Order (now even Belkar!) contrasted by the lack of friendship among the members of Team Evil.
    This is an interesting point, particularly since the Order is more united and determined than ever before, with even Belkar becoming a true team member, while Team Evil, though all extremely strong, are more disjointed than ever before.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Book 7 will focus in the Power of Friendship. With the friendship among the members of the Order (now even Belkar!) contrasted by the lack of friendship among the members of Team Evil.
    Youíre making me imagine the Order as ponies, much to my regret.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyEowyn View Post
    Youíre making me imagine the Order as ponies, much to my regret.
    Unfortunately, they lost their horses long ago...

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    We already have an answer for this. It's the power of physical might. It makes the most narrative sense for it to be Roy who is the ultimate vaquisher of Xykon, since the whole quest began as his own, even though it's much more the entire team's agenda now. We also know from Girard's illusion, that Roy at least somewhat desires to prove to the world that fighters don't suck.

    Actually, all fun aside, I think it's a bit of a stretch to say the books have been focused around various themes of power. You could look at it through that lens and come out with something to say, but I don't think that approach gives much to say generally. For example, the most dramatically consequential event that happened in Utterly Dwarfed was the defeat of a personal demon using memories of familial bonds. You guys know I'm talking about Haley, right?

    Clearly, Utterly Dwarfed is about the power of friendship. We already had that one, guys.
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    So, Roy is Green Ranger, Elan is Blue Ranger, Haley is Yellow Ranger, Durkon is White Ranger, Vaarsuvius is Pink Ranger and Belkar is, hmm, Red Ranger?
    Red Ranger: Leader, uses a sword.
    Blue Ranger: Intelligent, uses a staff
    Black Ranger: Dark skinned, uses an axe
    Yellow Ranger: Asian, dual wields daggers
    Pink Ranger: Love interest of Green Ranger, uses a bow
    Green Ranger: Love interest of Pink Ranger, uses a single dagger, secondary leader

    Based on this, I would say Roy is definitely Red Ranger, because he is both the leader and uses a sword.
    I would place V as the Blue Ranger, since V seems to be the most intelligent one in the party.
    As the Black Ranger I choose Durkon, because he has a darker skin tone than other dwarfs, Roy could also be chosen here, but Roy fits better as the Red Ranger in my opinion.
    For the Yellow Ranger, I think Belkar fits the bill best due to him also dual wielding daggers, but in principle it could also have been Miko had things gone differently.
    The Pink and Green Rangers are obviously Elan and Haley respectively, though Elan does lack a bow.

    But that is also kind of where the similarities ends, because the chemistry of the Order seems a lot more genuine and fleshed out, to me, than what Power Rangers ever accomplished.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Book 7 will focus in the Power of Friendship. With the friendship among the members of the Order (now even Belkar!) contrasted by the lack of friendship among the members of Team Evil.

    I agree. Not only the friendship between the members of the Order, but also the friendship between O'Chul and the MitD will play major parts.
    In addition, trust will be a major topic. The lack thereof within team evil, as well as the need to form trust between the Dark One and the other gods. In that regard, book 7 will become very focused on Redcloak, as he is central to both of these issues.
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Wow power rangers was racist AF.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Actually, they were trying to be inclusive and have more than just five white people. How well they succeeded is hotly debated in places where politics isn't verboten, but I will give them a point or two for at least trying.

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by 137ben View Post
    Several of the books in OOTS focus heavily on a specific kind of power that exists in the OOTS world. War and XP, for example, features military might. We get to see what a giant army is capable of, but we also find out that an army alone isn't enough to defend one of the gates.

    Don't Split the Party revolves around arcane power. The central conflict of the book results from Roy's death at the hands of an arcane caster, and was greatly exacerbated by a Cloister spell. In the climax, V finally achieves the complete and total ultimate arcane power they have sought after for the entire series, only to be struck down by someone with a different kind of power. Xykon tells V, and us, that arcane power isn't the only kind of power that matters.

    Book five shows us a lot about bardic power. The main villain is the guy who knows he is in a story, and he knows how to use the rules of drama to his advantage. Elan gets to be front and center to a much greater extent than in any previous book. We get to see how far knowledge of narratives can bring Tarquin, and we get to see where that knowledge can't get him. In the end, Elan realizes that stories are fun, but they aren't worth hurting people over.

    While we have yet to see the end of book six, I think it is not to early to say that Utterly Dwarfed focuses on divine power. Despite being dead, Durkon spends more time in the spotlight than in any previous book. The main antagonists are Hel and her most powerful cleric.

    Crucially, we get a clear explanation of what divine power can't do. The godsmoot showed us that a room full of some of the most powerful clerics in the world isn't enough to stop Hel's schemes, or Xykon. Durkon's visit to the afterlife demonstrated that even the gods themselves can fix the world's problems.

    Will book seven also focus on a particular kind of power? While it's possible, I suspect not. One of the big reoccuring themes of OOTS is that different people are stronger together. No one member of the Order of the Scribble was able to defend their gate alone. Gods of different quiddities can create things together which are stronger than what one pantheon can create alone.

    The way the comic depicts each type of power's limitations is, I think, a continuation of this theme. A giant army isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone. A room full of paladins is not enough to defeat Xykon. Complete and total arcane power isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone. Complete knowledge narrative structure isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone. All the divine power in the world isn't enough to solve the world's problems alone.

    In the final book, the Order will need to combine all the lessons they have learned and all the assets they have if they want to stop Xykon and the Snarl. Each of the types of power that have been featured so far aren't enough, but together they probably will be.
    Book 7 will obviously focus on the power of Heart! And then Captain Planet will save the day.
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Book 7 will focus on a power that is strong and sudden, and cruel sometimes.
    Each one of us, alone, is but a drop in the sea
    Our powers pale compared with the great heroes
    Our battles donít hit theheadlines or shake the earth
    But they are few, canít be everywhere, and we, many
    So, when the world or universe needs saving, they come
    But when people needs saving, we are the ones to appear
    We're underdogs, but we rise up to the challenge to be heroes.
    (Wishing Joe, a low-powered superhero)

    "I really like the Geek Math'ology we do here"

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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    I will echo that in essence it will be the power of teamwork that will be the focus of book seven. Not just in the Order itself, but many sides coming together to put down a greater threat for a greater good. Xykon and the Snarl are two single powerful entities that will require groups with distinct ideologies to band together and stop in order to save the world. There's some allegory in there, but I wont dive too deep into it.

    If I may, I would like to expand on the idea presented in the original post, they had a good eye for the different types of power being looked at in each book, and with Book One it was a look at the failings of physical power. Roy believed Xykon had been defeated by his hand, literally, by being thrown into the Gate, but was short sighted in that he failed to realize the phylactery had been spirited away is the main example. Other smaller ones include Xykon using cut-rate mercenaries like Trigak to Chimera, or the use of Sanctuary spell by Durkon and Hilgya to stop from being physically assaulted by the obsolete monsters. Of course this could all just be hindsight and a liberal reading, but there's certainly a theme!

    Book Two is a little more nebulous, the Power of Authority, it's failings and how it can be abused perhaps? From Miko attempting to keep the Order in check, and browbeating them with her own morals, to Shojo using deception to keep power over Azure City, and blackmailing the Order into helping him, and of course Redcloak taking control of the Hobgoblins by brute force, and the leader capitulating out of fear for his own life. All examples of how tenuous authority can be, and how easily it can be abused.
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    Default Re: What sort of power (if any) will be the focus of book 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I'd say that "power" theme has actually been going on since Book 2, with it being the "power of law" and how Miko misrepresented and misused it. Book 1 was mostly one-off gags until halfway through.
    And if that's the official interpretation, than surely book 7 has to be about the power of good. Alignment features heavily in this d&d comic, and it has been established that both Roy and the management of the lawful good afterlife care more about goodness than about law, so it would be too good of a bookend to pass up. I can see that happening between O-Chul and the MITD, Belkar, selfless Loki and Durkon on a mission from the gods, thing #1 I'm missing, thing #2 I'm missing... We might even get some Serini action and some closure on the order of the scribble. But there are also some points that may not work, like how they'll need to work together with Redcloak who is still totally evil and not set up for a redemption arc. I'll gladly believe he'll help them, he's smart enough to listen to reason if and when it's in his and his god's best interest. I'm just not sure how that would fit the theme.

    So we might be overthinking this.
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