Qarr makes Blackwing an offer: the raven may sacrifice his own life in exchange for Qarr pledging to protect V from being killed by the Linear Guild. Blackwing makes the basic deduction that Qarr's real goal is removing Blackwing's influence on V's conscience.
- Panel 1
Qarr flies through the arcade beneath the arena stands.
Qarr: OK, you are really starting to piss me off, bird.
Qarr: Come out from wherever you're hiding and I'll make it quick and painless.
- Panel 2
Qarr see's a feather sticking out from behind a column.
Qarr: On second though...
Qarr: I formally retract my previous offer.
- Panel 3
Qarr teleports to the other side of the column and fires rays of heat at where he saw the feather.
But it is only a single feather; Blackwing is not there.
- Panel 4
Qarr: Pretty clever for a glorified class feature.
- Panel 5
Blackwing perches at the top of the arena stands. Far below, Thog stands over Roy, who lies battered by the huge section of the arena wall that Thog threw at him.
Blackwing: Geez, is he dead again? V doesn't have another soul to sell!
Blackwing: No—wait—I think his leg just moved.
- Panel 6
Qarr teleports in right next to Blackwing
Qarr: You can't outrun someone who can teleport at will, just so you know.
- Panel 7
The pair engage in an aerial dogfight.
Qarr: Come on, my wings are tired.
Qarr: Tell you what, I'll make you a good old-fashioned devil's bargain.
Qarr: Let me kill you now, and I promise Vaarsuvius won't be killed by anyone in the Linear Guild.
Blackwing: Huh? Why would you—
- Panel 8
Qarr: Because I'm not here to hurt your master. I'm here to keep an eye on him. Or her. Whatever.
Qarr: But Zz'dtri, he's out for blood. I can prevent him from killing Vaarsuvius, if you make it worth my while.
Qarr: And isn't it a familiar's duty to secure their master's safety... at any cost?
- Panel 9
Blackwing: Ha! Thanks for tipping your hand, imp! You really are terrible at this whole temptation racket.
Qarr: What? It's a perfectly reasonable sacrifice.
- Panel 10
Blackwing: Maybe—but all I really do for V is give the occasional piece of advice.
Blackwing: If you want me out of the way so bad, then that just tells me that my advice is in your way—
Blackwing: —which means keeping myself alive to give V more of it is the best thing I can do to help!
- Panel 11
Qarr shoots a lightning bolt at Blackwing.
Qarr: Damn it! How do I keep getting outsmarted by a lowly bird??
Blackwing: I prefer to think of myself as a super-advanced flying stealth dinosaur!
Blackwing: (Also, you're a moron.)
D&D Context Edit
- Qarr points out that Blackwing is Vaarsuvius' familiar, which is a class feature; he wouldn't exist on his own as an NPC.
- Qarr employs two spells as a sorcerer and one spell-like abilities as an Imp:
- Scorching Ray is a 2nd level heat-ray spell. It deals 4d6 damage. His two rays show that his maximum level as sorcerer is 10.
- Lightning Bolt does 1d6 damage per level and is a 3rd level spell.
- Teleport allows instantaneous travel across arbitrary distances. Qarr's teleport is not the same as the spell, and he employs it as a spell-like ability inherent to being an imp. This is well-established in the comic, but it is not a canonical ability for Imps in D&D.
- The title turns on its head the common conception that "bird brains" are small and lack intelligence, since Blackwing outsmarts the imp, Qarr. In point of fact, ravens such as Blackwing are among the most intelligent non-human species in the animal kingdom, along with certain other bird species such as crows, and African grey parrots.