The Order uses a distraction to dismiss the forcecage and attack the vampires. The vampires are routed thanks in part to the unexpected return of Hilgya Firehelm.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Transcript[edit | edit source]

Panel 1, Page 1

Hilgya (off-panel): Hello? Excuse me, is this the way to the temple of Thor?
Roy: Huh? Who's that?
Elan: Well, it's not a black speech balloon, at least.
Haley: How can you know? Our eyes are closed.
Elan: I can tell by how it sounds.

Panel 2, Page 1

Sandstone: Looks like we'll have another minion to present to the Master. You, with the beard!
Vampire Dwarf with Green Beard and Bald Head: Me?
Sandstone: No, the other one. Go grab her and bite—

Panel 3, Page 1

Roy: NOW!

Panel 4, Page 1

Vaarsuvius: Dismiss Forcecage!
Minrah: Protection from Evil!
Belkar: Nnnnh!
Elan (singing): Take, take, take take advantage of the unplanned momentary distaction!♪♪

Panel 5, Page 1

Blackwing: Up! Up! Come on!
Two vampires leap up and energy drain V.
Vaarsuvius: Aaah!

Panel 6, Page 1

Sandstone: Flame Strike!
As Roy kills a vampire, he gets hit by the flame strike, "FWOOOSH!!", which destroyed another vampire caught in the area.

Panel 7, Page 1

Roy: OK.
Roy destroys Sandstone with Greenhilt, green flames leaping from the blade.

Panel 8, Page 1

Minrah kills a vampire with her hammer, Belkar fatally stabs three more, while Vaarsuvius takes down one with a full blast of magic missiles.
Belkar: Screw you! And you! And especially you!
Vaarsuvius: Magic Missile.

Panel 9, Page 1

Roy: Quick, someone needs to go protect that innocent woman!
Blackwing: Actually, she seems to have it under control. Look!

Panel 10, Page 1

Hilgya (off-panel): Turn Undead!

Panel 1, Page 2

Vampire Dwarf with Blue Beard and Balding Head: Run away!

Panel 2, Page 2

Minrah strikes a vampire, and Belkar kills another.
Vampire Dwarf with Red Ponytail: Mist! Mist out and find the Master!

Panel 3, Page 2

They assume gaseous form.

Panel 4, Page 2

Belkar deactivates the Protection from Evil.
Minrah: Ma'am?
Belkar: *whew*
Roy: Do we have any idea who many got away?
Vaarsuvius: At least four that I observed.
Haley: Kinda hard to tell the difference between dusting them and them bugging out.
Elan: On the plus side, it's nice to kill something that cleans up after itself.

Panel 5, Page 2

Minrah: Ma'am, the church of Thor apologizes for any inconvenience you may have experienced while seeking Thor's holy guidance outside of regular business hours.
Hilgya: It's OK, I wasn't looking for Thor...

Panel 6, Page 2

Hilgya clad in armour, with her baby son strapped around her breastplate.
Hilgya: I was told someone here needed help murdering Durkon Thundershield.

D&D Context[edit | edit source]

  • Dismissing the Forcecage used V's action for the round.
  • Protection from Evil is a 1st level spell which, among other things grants Minrah +2 to AC and protection from Domination by the vampires.
  • Flame Strike is a 5th level spell which deals 1d6 damage per level to the target. Sandstone needs to be at least 9th level to cast this spell.
  • Magic Missile is a 1st level spell which fires up to 5 missiles which unerringly hit their target and deal 1d4+1 damage each.
  • Turn Undead is a class feature for clerics that allows them to either cause undead to flee or to bring them under the cleric's command. It is interesting to note that Hilgya's ability is the former, meaning she is of either good or (most likely) neutral alignment. Given her worship of Loki, chaotic neutral is her presumed alignment. Alternatively, it may be that Loki and her are evil, and her ability to nevertheless Turn Undead is a "house rule" for Loki or others in the Order of the Stick universe.
  • Vampires in D&D can assume a gaseous form, among other special abilities, such as the Domination mentioned above.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Kudzu, who is named in #1107, is Durkon's son. Durkon and Hilgya had relations in #82, which took place a year and three weeks ago in-universe time. Assuming dwarven and human gestation periods are similar, the child would be about three months old. This is Kudzu's first appearance.
  • The title is a pun on the common idioms "out of the box", meaning from the start, "out of the frying pan and into the fire", and Hilgya's last name, Firehelm.
  • This appearance of Hilgya comes after a very long gap. Her fate since the Dungeon of Dorukan was unknown for 1021 strips, having run away in tears in #84, "Saddest. Comic. Ever." Her reappearance is not the longest gap between appearances in the comic, and her image appeared twice in the interim, in #142 and #668. The longest gap in appearances would later be set by Hilgya's husband Ivan, appearing in #83 and then #1114, a gap of 1031 strips. Still, Hilgya may be regarded as the longest callback of significance to the story. Other long gaps in appearances are Surtur (972 strips) and Jiminy (806 strips).
  • This is the final appearance of Brother Sandstone, first appearing in #1084.
  • This is the final appearance of more then half of the vampire dwarves from #1101 and #1102: Black Hair, Blonde Hair, Blue Shirt and Beard, Brown Ponytail, Green Beard and Hair, Green Bun, Green Shirt, Short Green Hair, and Straight Blue Hair. Nine of the 16 vampires were shown to be destroyed (not counting the two from #1101 which never appeared again).
  • This is the only other appearance of the vampire dwarf with Black Hair from #1102.
  • This is the final appearance of the vampire dwarf with Blue Beard and Bald Head, who first appeared in #1101. The other six vampires (Blue Beard and Balding Head, Brown Beard, Gray Beard, Green Beard and Bald Head, Purple Dress, Red Ponytail) are known to have escaped and appear in later comics, so this vampire may have been destroyed off-panel during the course of this comic along with the nine listed above.

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