|“Every Parent's Worst Nightmare”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||1 February 2009|
|View the comic|
The Ancient Black Dragon airs her grievance.
- Elan ◀ ▶
- Durkon Thundershield ◀ ▶
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Hinjo ◀ ▶
- Lien ◀ ▶
- Therkla ◀
- Ancient Black Dragon ◀ ▶
- The Oracle of the Sunken Valley ◀
- Young Adult Black Dragon ◀
- Panel 1, Page 1
Black Dragon: Now that we have established who is in control here, we are going to have a little chat, you and I.
Black Dragon: Do you know who I am, Vaarsuvius?
Vaarsuvius: I am... beginning to suspect.
- Panel 2, Page 1
Vaarsuvius: You are the second dragon from the Starmetal Cave...the older one, who enshrined the meteor in the first place.
Black Dragon: Again, very good. All that trance-deprivation may have ruined your aim, but not your deductive reasoning.
- Panel 3, Page 1
Black Dragon: And do you know why I am here?
Vaarsuvius: ...To retrieve the starmetal?
- Panel 4, Page 1
Black Dragon: Ah, yes because that is what we dragons are to you, right? Monsters that hoard shiny baubles?
Black Dragon: I assure you, I do not give a damn about a chunk of metal no bigger than a field mouse.
- Panel 5, Page 1
Vaarsuvius: I see. Then it is revenge that you seek.
Black Dragon: Yes.
Black Dragon: I am going to tell you a story, because I require that you understand what will happen next.
- Panel 6, Page 1
Flashback to the Wooden Forest where Young Adult Black Dragon is left behind when his mother goes away.
Black Dragon: I left my son—my only child—alone to guard our home for a few months while I visited his uncle. He was old enough to be by himself, and I thought he might appreciate the responsibility.
Black Dragon: I told him not to have any wild parties while I was gone, but I expected that he would have some friends over. Perhaps that nice green dragon girl from the next woods over. I try to be open-minded, you know.
Black Dragon: When I returned, do you know what I found?
- Panel 7, Page 1
Black Dragon: NOTHING!
Black Dragon's shout causes Vaarsuvius to shake.
- Panel 8, Page 1
Black Dragon: My son was gone, along with our hoard! I later found out his very ashes had dissolved into the swamp.
Black Dragon: I had nothing left of him! And he himself was all that I had left of his father, who was lost to adventurers just like you—his skin made into armor for the party leader to wear.
- Panel 9, Page 1
Vaarsuvius: How did you—
Black Dragon: How did I discover that it had been you that killed my boy?
- Panel 10, Page 1
Flashback to the Black Dragon below the stair of the tower in the Sunken Valley, above of which the Oracle speaks.
Black Dragon (inset): My people have an Oracle, given to us by our goddess.
Oracle: I apologize for the delay, Madam.
Oracle: Had to banish a human ghost who just wouldn't leave. Thinks the whole campaign revolves around him.
- Panel 1, Page 2
Black Dragon: Once he provided your name, scrying on you was simple enough. Your zeal to find your missing comrades has led you to forget to shield yourself from your enemies.
Black Dragon: Or were you so arrogant as to assume that you had not made any enemies? Probably that.
- Panel 2, Page 2
Flashback to Hinjo's junk. Durkon and Vaarsuvius argue while Elan, Hinjo, and Lien look on. Therkla watches surreptitiously from outboard of the rail.
Black Dragon (inset): At first, you were too-well protected: A bard, a cleric of Thor, two paladins...even a ninja. All high level. I might have prevailed had I attacked the fleet, but I did not want to take risks. I only had one chance at surprise.
Black Dragon (inset): I decided to wait and watch, to study your habits and those of your allies. Imagine my surprise when you separated yourself from them of your own volition.
- Panel 3, Page 2
Black Dragon: It was then that I knew that I only needed to wait until something caused you to expend all of your high-level spells.
Black Dragon: Something like your spat with the imp.
Black Dragon: And here we are.
- Panel 4, Page 2
Vaarsuvius: So now, you will execute me? For killing your offspring? Very well, I deny nothing and shall not give you the satisfaction of begging for—
Black Dragon: No. Why would I explain all of this if I was just going to kill you? No, now...
- Panel 5, Page 2
Black Dragon: ...Now I will kill your children.
- This dragon's son, the Young Adult Black Dragon of Wooden Forest, appears in strips #181 through #186. This is the final appearance of this character.
- The flashback in panel 10, page 1, occurs chronologically just after #572.
- The flashback in panel 2, page 2, probably occurs some time around #506 (perhaps just after, if Therkla is just recovering from being knocked overboard), but certainly before #582.
- This is the final appearance of Therkla, the half-orc Ninja assassin with an unrequited love for Elan. She appeared in twenty strips overall. She first appeared in #484. Her last appearance chronologically is #593.
- This is the final appearance of the Oracle of the Sunken Valley, the kobold gifted by Tiamat with knowledge of the future. Despite this being a flashback, it is his latest appearance in the chronology of the comic. The Oracle first appeared in #329, The All-Seeing Oracle.