Vaarsuvius returns from the Outer Planes just in time to find the Order making their final stand. With many spell slots unspent, Vaarsuvius wades into the fray.
- Roy Greenhilt ◀ ▶
- Belkar Bitterleaf ◀ ▶
- Durkon Thundershield (as vampire) ◀ ▶
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Mr. Scruffy ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- "Durkon" ◀ ▶
- Spiky the Barbed Devil ◀
- Belkar's Dinosaur Cover ◀ ▶
- Scores of Soldiers of the Empire of Blood
- Panel 1
- Panel 2
From the 666 layers of the Abyss, Vaarsuvius bursts to the surface of the Prime Material Plane, Blackwing hanging on by a feather.
- Panel 3
A few soldiers stand some distance from Vaarsuvius.'
Blackwing: Vaarsuvius, I can't—what just—what are we going to—
Vaarsuvius: ...I do not know. But I recognize a battle when I lay my eyes upon one.
- Panel 4
Vaarsuvius: Enough time has already been—
Vaarsuvius: No, I have already wasted enough time with recriminations and indecision. Our friends are almost certainly in danger.
- Panel 5
Vaarsuvius and Blackwing rocket vertically into the sky.
- Panel 6
Vaarsuvius (off-panel): Fireball.
A platoon or more soldiers of the Empire of Blood are engulfed in flames and die.
- Panel 7
Roy and Belkar stand amidst the battle. Around Roy, several soldiers lie dead and several more are attacking. Belkar and Mr. Scruffy stand next to a decapitated dinosaur mount bristling with arrows. Nearby a Dominated soldier fights a normal soldier.
Belkar: Wait—I know that smell of bat poop and burning flesh. That's—
- Panel 8
Vaarsuvius: Wall of Fire.
Vaarsuvius descends on Roy and company from above and surrounds the party with the Wall of Fire.
- Panel 9
Roy: Ha ha! Outstanding! Durkon, is Spiky immune to fire?
"Durkon": Aye, think so.
Roy: Then send him out there and keep dominating. And hand me a potion if you have enough left.
- Panel 10
Vaarsuvius: Sir Greenhilt, I deeply apologize for my absence up to this point.
Roy: It's fine, it's fine. If you have defensive spells, cast them—Belkar's one bolt away from dying.
- Panel 11
Vaarsuvius: Protection from arrows.
Belkar: Where the hell have you been?
Vaarsuvius: Yes, sadly.
D&D Context Edit
- Stoneskin is a 4th level spell for Vaarsuvius which provides damage reduction 10/adamantine, discharging up to 150 hp. Although it only has one target, Blackwing, V's familiar, can also benefit so long as he remains within 5 feet of V.
- Fireball is the classic attack spell of D&D, a 3rd level 20 ft area of effect spell that does 1d6/level damage up to 10d6 out to 1000 ft for Vaarsuvius. The material components are a pinch of sulfur and a ball of bat guano, hence Belkar's comment about "bat poop".
- Wall of Fire, the 4th level spell has the option to be formed as a ring of fire or a sheet.
- Protection from Arrows is a 2nd level spell that works as advertised.
- Vaarsuvius has been separated from their party since #843, "Lack of Foresight", first due to guilt on discovering the Draketooth Family, then held against his or her will by the IFCC.
- The title is a line from the chorus of June Carter Cash's famous song "Ring of Fire", originally recorded by Anita Carter, but made famous by Johnny Cash. Cash released the single of his version of the song in 1963. The title here refers to the Wall of Fire spell V cast, which created a literal ring of fire.