Vaarsuvius and O-Chul use Vaarsuvius's familiar, Blackwing, in an attempt to destroy Xykon's phylactery in the Snarl's rift.
- Panel 1
O-Chul hands Xykon's phylactery to Blackwing, while Vaarsuvius casts a spell on the phylactery.
Vaarsuvius: Drop the amulet in the hole, then return.
O-Chul: May the Twelve Gods bless your flight.
Blackwing: Caw caw cawcaw caw caw...
- Panel 2
Vaarsuvius: I hesitate to ask whether plans for escape have crossed your mind yet.
O-Chul: They haven't.
O-Chul: Now, we attack.
- Panel 3
O-Chul charges at Xykon with his fist raised, while Vaarsuvius begins casting a spell.
O-Chul: FOR AZURE CITY!!
Xykon: Wow. You've got some +5 Holy Cajones on you, paladin, I'll give you that.
- Panel 4
Xykon: Mass Hold Person.
O-Chul and Vaarsuvius are immobilized by Xykon's spell.
Xykon: The smart thing to do would have been to climb down the tower, rather than turning to face me.
Xykon: At least then, you would have had a chance to get my phylactery away from—
- Panel 5
Xykon: Where IS my phylactery, anyway?
- Panel 6
Xykon looks past O-Chul, toward the rift.
- Panel 7
Blackwing, carrying the phylactery, continues flying.
- Panel 8
Xykon: You cheeky son of a bitch.
- Panel 9
Xykon flies out the hole in the wall to pursue Blackwing.
- Panel 10
Blackwing mysteriously freezes just before reaching the rift, his eyes having turned purple.
Blackwing: Caw cawcawcaw... caw caw caw...caw caw caw cawcawcaw...*
A box translates Blackwing's speach to Common: "* So beautiful...but I don't...I don't understand..."
- Panel 11
Qarr, Lee, Cedrik, and Nero are watching the events from the IFCC lair.
Qarr: What happens if the amulet falls into that weird...hole thingy?
Lee: I don't know, but I bet the lich doesn't either.
Nero: And he can't risk blasting the raven, or it might fall in!
Cedrik: I don't know why the bird's just staring at the rift, though.
- Panel 12
Xykon catches up with Blackwing and reaches for the phylactery.
Xykon: Wait, what does that say on the—
- Panel 13
A close-up of the phylactery reveals the text "Guess what spell I cast before giving this to the bird."
D&D Context Edit
- Mass Hold Person is a 7th level spell which paralyzes any number of creatures within a 20 foot radius for up to 1 round/level.
- Explosive Runes is a 3rd level spell and a favorite of Vaarsuvius, usually for humorous purposes. The runes deal 6d6 damage when read.
- This marks another appearance of Explosive Runes, the first in over 300 strips. (They were last used off-panel on Belkar in #318.)