Elan once again demonstrates his deeply underwhelming talent for inspirational speaking.
- Haley Starshine ◀ ▶
- Elan ◀ ▶
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- Tarquin ◀ ▶
- Kilkil ◀ ▶
- Empress of Blood (on banner) ◀ ▶
- Turban-Wearing Caster ◀ ▶
- Glaiatorial Spectators
- Panel 1, Page 1
Tarquin: Elan! Haley! I wasn't sure you would come.
Elan: Wait, was not coming an option?
Tarquin: Not really.
- Panel 2, Page 1
Tarquin: Did you enjoy the dance show?
Elan: If I say "No," will you have them killed?
Tarquin: Son, I really don't like to lock myself in with regards to whom I may or may not kill in the future.
Elan: ...Then yes, I liked the show.
- Panel 3, Page 1
Turban-Wearing Caster: Amplify Sound!
Kilkil: The crowd is ready for your opening address, General.
- Panel 4, Page 1
Tarquin: Citizens of the Empire, I am humbled by your generosity—
Tarquin: —in taking time out of your busy lives to come and honor the son of a lowly soldier such as myself.
- Panel 5, Page 1
Tarquin: I am but a public servant to your glorious state—
Tarquin: —but displays of your eternal support and gratitude like this strengthen my resolve to serve our blessed Empress for as long as she draws fiery breath.
- Panel 1, Page 2
Tarquin: And rest assured, I plan to reward you all for coming today with the most exciting, bloodiest—
Tarquin: —dare I say the very deadliest—
Tarquin: —gladitorial[sic] combat you've ever seen!
- Panel 2, Page 2
The crowd in the arena cheers.
- Panel 3, Page 2
Tarquin: But before we begin, I would like to let my son say a few words about this honor.
- Panel 4, Page 2
Elan: Don't worry, I'll inspire the people!
Haley: No, Elan—Remember the speech at Azure City!
Vaarsuvius: Perhaps we should let it be...
- Panel 5, Page 2
Elan: Bloody Empire people! I am here to rally your spirits and call on you to cast off the chains that bind you!
Elan: The strong, well-forged chains that show no signs of weakness.
- Panel 6, Page 2
Elan: And by that I mean the figurative chains, where the government is keeping you in line with the threat of non-figurative death—
Elan: —and not the actual iron ones that some of you seem to be wearing. Though, guess you should probably cast those off, too.
- Panel 7, Page 2
Elan: I mean, it has to be tough to just have your dreams squashed, over and over and over again.
Elan: To have the last shred of hope ground out of you every single day by the endless brutality.
Elan: I don't know how you people manage to get up in the morning without sticking your head in the fireplace just to finally escape from it all, but you do.
- Panel 8, Page 2
Elan: So here's to you, common people! At some point in the future, we'll try to free you from this soul-crushing tyranny.
Elan: Though we do have this other thing we need to do first, and that's kinda important. This is, too, which is why we're totally going to get around to it.
Elan: But, you know, don't like hold your breath or anything. It might be a while.
- Panel 9, Page 2
Tarquin: Uh, OK, well, that was a very interesting speech from my son, Elan. Now, who's ready to get this crazy bloodbath started?
- Panel 10, Page 2
The crowd is dispirited and weeping.
- Panel 11, Page 2
Haley: Huh. It didn't occur to me that demoralizing the people is actually sort of a win for the good guys.
Vaarsuvius: The chance of Elan succeeding at any given task is directly proportionate to how much effort he is expending on achieving its inverse.
D&D Context Edit
- Amplify Sound is not a canonical D&D spell, rather just something introduced to allow Tarquin to address the crowd. The 2005 Spell Compendium for D&D 3.5 Edition has an "Amplify" spell, but it works the other way around; it allows the caster to hear people rather than amplifying his voice.
- Elan gave an initially rousing but ultimately dispiriting speech to the troops before the Battle of Azure City in #421, Oratory of the Stick.
- This is the first appearance of the crowd of Gladiatorial Spectators.