|“Holes and Walls”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||1 March 2019|
|View the comic|
The Exarch lays out why exactly he's entitled to an evil cackle.
- Gontor Hammerfell ◀ ▶
- Creed of the Stone Usher with Sandy Hair ◀ ▶
- Vampire Dwarf with Blue Curly Hair ◀ ▶
- Clan Whiterock Elder ◀ ▶
- Clan Whiterock Female Guard ◀ ▶
- Clan Whiterock Male Guard ◀ ▶
- Council of Clans Guard with Blue Beard ◀ ▶
- Council of Clans Guard with Brown Beard ◀ ▶
- Council of Clans Guard with Gray Beard by Council Chamber ▶
- Council of Clans Guard with Light Brown Beard ▶
- Three Dwarf Guards
- Panel 1
Gontor: Take your seat in the Inner Chamber. Vote Yes on the main proposal, and follow any verbal instructions given to you by a vampire.
Matriarch: Yes, OK...
Gontor: Off you go.
Curly: Are you sure this is going to work? Seems like they should have defenses against this sort of thing.
- Panel 2
Gontor: They do, but we are bypassing them—
Gontor: —thanks to the knowledge our dearly departed sire gave me.
- Panel 3
Gontor (off-panel): The orange barrier at the foot of the stairs dispels all magic on anyone who passes through it.
- Panel 4
Sandy: That's why we're not putting the mind whammy on them until they hit the stairs.
Gontor: It also physically prevents anyone but dwarves—or those of us walking around in dwarf bodies—from entering this Middle Chamber.
- Panel 5
Gontor: The dwarves clearly believed they only needed to worry about influence from foreign sources, not from their own kind.
Gontor: Or maybe the ones who built this place wanted to quietly reserve the ability to tamper with the vote themselves.
Gontor: Who knows?
- Panel 6
Curly: OK, so...what does the blue barrier here at the top of the stairs do, then?
Gontor: Ah. It is a thing of beauty, really.
- Panel 7
Gontor: Within the boundaries of the blue barrier, anyone violating dwarven law is instantly turned to stone until the meeting is formally adjourned.
Curly: What?!? Doesn't that include what we're doing?
- Panel 8
Gontor: Not if we limit ourselves to verbal orders once we're inside. The laws don't prohibit simply talking!
Gontor: But they do explicitly forbid attacking or using any spell or supernatural ability on any creature during a council meeting.
- Panel 9
Gontor: Any spell—
Gontor: —including Dispel Magic!
- Panel 10
Gontor: Even if Thor's people make it past our defenses, they will be powerless to break our control of the councilors inside the Inner Chamber.
- Panel 11
Gontor: They will be forced to watch as our pawns usher in Hel's final victory!
Gontor: Bwee hee hee hee hee hee!
- Panel 12
Sandy (whispering): The blue one also blocks sound, or else the evil cackles would be a total giveaway.
- The Exarch's line in Panel 2 indicates that the Vampire Dwarf With Blue Curly Hair has informed him about "Greg"'s destruction at Belkar's hands in "A Heartfelt Moment".
- The magic barriers being colored orange and blue may seem like a reference to the video game Portal, but it is merely a coincidence.
- This is the first appearance of the two guards by the Council chamber door, with light brown and gray beards respectively.