Haley, Elan, and V's escape is blocked by a mysterious general.
- Haley Starshine ◀ ▶
- Elan ◀ ▶
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- General Tarquin ◀ ▶
- Captain of Empress of Blood ◀ ▶
- Five Empire of Blood Guards
- Panel 1
Tarquin: Captain, do you know why Kilkil sent me up...
Tarquin: ...Is that a Blade Barrier in the door to the throne room?
- Panel 2
Haley (unharmed), V (carried, harmed) and Elan (harmed) rush through the Blade Barrier. Blackwing made it somehow too.
Elan: Ow! Ow! Ow!
Haley bumps into the Captain, "WUMP!"
- Panel 3
Haley: Come on, the archway!
Haley: V, you can still cast Feather Fall, right?
Vaarsuvius: Indeed, it is my solitary castable spell remaining.
- Panel 4
Tarquin bull rushes Haley, "THUMPF!", and Haley drops out of the archway.
- Panel 5
Blackwing follows as Haley falls, still holding Gannji's military fork.
- Panel 6
Elan: What did you do THAT for??
Tarquin: Well, elf? Will you not cast your spell?
- Panel 7
Tarquin: There are quite a few sharp rocks down there, you know. Due to the construction.
Vaarsuvius: Feather Fall.
Tarquin: A wise decision.
- Panel 8
Haley is protected by the Feather Fall.
- Panel 9
Tarquin: There. Now that you've used up your only viable escape plan, I suggest we return to the throne room.
Elan: To get eaten by a dragon?? No thanks, I'll take my chances!
- Panel 10
Tarquin: You have my word as a man of honor that you will come to no harm.
Tarquin: However, if my men catch her, I cannot guarantee the same can be said for your lady friend...unless I give them the order to take her alive.
- Panel 11
Elan: No! OK, OK, I surrender. Just don't hurt Haley!
Tarquin: GUARDS! Don't kill the red-haired woman. Capture her and bring her to the throne room.
Tarquin: Her allies have surrendered.
- Panel 12
Haley looks up. Five soldiers lay dead around her.
Haley: Darn it! Now I have to go find someone to let capture me.
D&D Context Edit
- Haley is able to evade harm from the Blade Barrier due to the Evasion feature of the Rogue class. Elan and Vaarsuvius can only save for half damage at best.
- Tarquin uses a Bull Rush attack to knock Haley back through the archway.
- Feather Fall is a 1st level spell which causes the subjects to fall at a rate of 10 ft/sec, which will not cause damage on landing. The spell has only a verbal component, thus V is able to cast it while immobilized and unable to perform somatic components.
- The title is a double entendre, the two meanings being: a pulley system for mechanical advantage, and the fundamental skills of American Football.
- Elan pulls a rapier in this strip, despite the fact that he lost the rapier given to him by Julio Scoundrél when he was taken by Gannji and Enor. This rapier is the one which he got from Haley in #28, lost after being imprisoned in Cliffport, and retrieved from Nale after defeating him in Azure City.
- This is the first appearance of General Tarquin since #50, and only his second overall.