Vaarsuvius is finally retrieved from the Ranch Dressing Dimension, having had his own adventure there. They bring the mesmerised Yukyuk with them, and Belkar notices Mr. Scruffy's hostility torwards the kobold. V reveals that Yukyuk was the one who shot Mr. Scruffy, so Belkar decides to take revenge on him by using Yukyuk as Mr. Scruffy's own personal litter box while he's still alive, much to Durkon's disgust, V's indifference, and Belkar's glee.
- Belkar Bitterleaf ◀ ▶
- Durkon Thundershield ◀ ▶
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Mr. Scruffy ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- Yukyuk (dominated) ◀ ▶
- Ranch Dressing Elemental ◀
- Panel 1
Belkar, Durkon, Vaarsuvius, Blackwing, Mr. Scruffy, and Yukyuk all fall or fly through a portal from the Semi-Elemental Plane of Ranch Dressing to the Prime Material Plane, somewhere near the Windy Canyon.
- Panel 2
Durkon: So, Vaarsuvius, ye were thar fer two days…did ye haf any excitin’ adventures ‘n tha Semi-Elem’tal Plane o’ Ranch Dressin’?
Vaarsuvius: I did not.
- Panel 3
Flashback to the Semi-Elemental Plane of Ranch Dressing. Vaarsuvius and Yukyuk stand next to the Ranch Dressing Elemental. Vaarsuvius has a pained look.
Ranch Dressing Elemental: Thank you, One-Who-Tastes-Less-Like-Garlic!
Ranch Dressing Elemental: You have restored Prince Oozalot to the throne of the Hidden Valley and rescued his true love, Gootrude, from the evil sauce dragon!
- Panel 4
Vaarsuvius: You did specify exciting adventures, correct?
Belkar: Hey, maybe we’ll see that as a bonus story in one of the books!
Vaarsuvius: Maybe we shall never mention it again.
Belkar: Yeah, probably that.
- Panel 5
Vaarsuvius carries Durkon aloft to scout the area.
Belkar: Do you see the canyon?
Durkon: Aye, it be thatta way.
Vaarsuvius: I believe we can reach it in a day, if I cast Overland Flight on the two of you as well.
- Panel 6
V returns Durkon to the ground.
Durkon: Good. I dinnae like leavin’ Roy an’ tha others alone wit tha Linear Guild lurkin’ aboot.
Vaarsuvius: They are greatly weakened without the dark elf, but I must concur nonetheless.
- Panel 7
Mr. Scruffy attacks Yukyuk.
Mr. Scruffy: mrrrRRRREOWR! hiss! hiss!
Belkar: Hey! HEY! Chill out, Scruffinator! What’s gotten into you?
Vaarsuvius: The reaction is to be expected; the kobold is Nale’s lackey, and was responsible for your feline’s injuries during the recent skirmish.
- Panel 8
Belkar: YOU’RE the one who shot Mr. Scruffy???
Vaarsuvius: He cannot answer, as I have dominated him most thoroughly. He obeys only my mental commands.
- Panel 9
Belkar: Huh. You know, I sort of have this running joke going where I turn the head of the Linear Guild’s kobold-of-the-day into something wacky.
Belkar: I think it would only be appropriate if I turned this guy into a litter box for Mr. S.
- Panel 10
Vaarsuvius: I understand. I tire of him anyway.
Durkon: Uh, wait—Aren’t ye gonna, y’know…kill the kobold first?
Mr. Scruffy approaches Yukyuk, who is now lying on the ground, still Dominated.
- Panel 11
Belkar & Vaarsuvius: No.
- Panel 12
Durkon turns green, preparing to heave.
Belkar: Wow, dairy just is NOT good for a cat’s digestion, is it?
Vaarsuvius: His silent screams are a symphony I cannot share.
D&D Context Edit
- Semi-elemental planes are part of the Inner Planes, at the intersection of two Elemental Planes (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). The Semi-elemental planes are Smoke, Ice, Ooze and Magma. In addition there are eight Quasi-elemental planes at the intersection of the Elemental Planes with the Positive and Negative Energy Planes. Ranch Dressing is not a canonical D&D semi-elemental plane.
- Durkon likely used Plane Shift, a 5th level spell, to bring Vaarsuvius back from the Ranch Dressing plane. He might have used Gate, but in that case they could have appeared precisely where they wanted to, which they did not. Also it is a 9th level spell, which Durkon cannot cast at his level (14).
- Vaarsuvius can hear Yukyuk's "silent screams" because of their mental link due to the Dominate Person spell that controls him. V cast the spell just after #799, and it lasts 1 day per level. It has only been two days since that time.
- Overland Flight is a 5th level spell that allows the caster to fly for one hour per caster level. However, the caster can only use it on themselves. Since the next comic shows Belkar, Durkon and Yukyuk flying, it can be assumed that the ability to cast Overland Flight on others is a house rule in OOTS.
- Vaarsuvius was banished to the Semi-Elemental Plane of Ranch Dressing in #802, "Took a Level in Sauceror".
- Hidden Valley is a brand of ranch dressing, hence its use as the name of a location in the Plane.
- As Belkar notes in this comic, there is a running gag where Belkar uses the skulls of the Linear Guild kobolds. He first expressed a desire to use a a kobold skull as Mr. Scruffy's litter box in #568, though he was unable to follow through on the threat.
- This is the only other appearance of the Ranch Dressing Elemental. It first appeared when V was banished to that plane in #802, Took a Level in Sauceror.