Elan, Haley, and Vaarsuvius are ambushed by mysterious attackers.
- Panel 1
Haley: —and then once I had bought all that, I only needed to spend 18 more gold pieces to get the free gift.
Elan: Mmmmm! Ylang-ylang!.
- Panel 2
Vaarsuvius: I am hopeful that the endeavors of either of you were more fruitful than my own.
Elan: Hi, V. What was wrong with the mage's guild?
- Panel 3
Vaarsuvius: Nothing, except that they were less of a "guild" and more of a collection of dilettantes who meet every Tuesday over lunch to discuss how "totally awesome" it would be to learn 2nd-level spells.
Vaarsuvius: Obviously, our epic-level illusionist does not consult them on his ventures forth.
- Panel 4
Two reptilian creatures, one with a crossbow look down on the trio from a nearby rooftop.
Elan: Let's go find Roy and the others. Maybe they had better luck.
Vaarsuvius: Alternately, we could wait for them here, as instructed.
- Panel 5
Elan: Aww, come on, we're like an hour early! I don't wanna—AAAH!
A quarrel is loosed from above, "twunk!", narrowly missing Elan who is pushed aside by Haley.
Haley: ELAN, LOOK OUT!!
- Panel 6
Vaarsuvius is hit by the bolt, "shuunk."
- Panel 7
Vaarsuvius drops on the ground, poisoned, "wumf!"
- Panel 8
Vaarsuvius: It would appear to be a Strength-draining poison...on magical bolts, no less.
Elan: Neutralize Poison!
Elan: Hey, that's not fair, why isn't V getting up?
Haley: It'll prevent things from getting worse, but it won't undo the Strength damage V already took!
Haley: Now sword out, we're under attack!
- Panel 9
Haley: Sorry, V, I just reacted to get Elan out of the way...
Vaarsuvius: Though I cannot move, I am in no immediate danger. You made the right decision.
Vaarsuvius: Now go and meet our attackers.
- Panel 10
Blackwing: You think this will be an easy fight then?
Vaarsuvius: No, I meant she made the right decision philosophically speaking, in choosing to protect the one she loves over considerations of respective power.
- Panel 11
Enor flies down with a heavy morning star.
Vaarsuvius: Practically speaking, we are almost certainly going to die.
D&D Context Edit
- Neutralize Poison is a 4th level spell which detoxifies any sort of venom or poison. The subject suffers no additional effects from the poison, but effects already endured are not reversed. Elan learned the spell when he took a new level in Bard in #647, after having failed to save Therkla from Kubota's poison in #593.
- Ylang-ylang was used in the moisturizer the Sisterhood of Aton put on Haley in the previous strip.
- This is the first appearance of Gannji and Enor.