Faced with being lunch for the Empress, Haley, Elan, and Vaarsuvius make a dash for it.
- Haley Starshine ◀ ▶
- Elan ◀ ▶
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- Malack ◀ ▶
- Gannji ◀ ▶
- Enor ◀ ▶
- Empress of Blood ◀ ▶
- Panel 1
Gannji: I just want to be clear: if she eats him, we get paid whether or not he's this Nale guy, right?
Malack: Yes, yes. We'll take your fee out of the catering budget instead.
Haley (whispering): Elan! I think it's time for that daring escape that you mentioned.
Elan (whispering): I agree! Not being Nale isn't working out as well for me as well as it has in the past!
- Panel 2
Haley steals Gannji's military fork off his back.
Gannji: OK, good. My partner and I expended a lot of resources catching them, and—
Enor: Hey, you're not supposed to touch that.
Elan: Haley-look out!
- Panel 3
Haley sneak attacks Gannji.
Haley: Sneak Attack on a stick, snake-face!!
Gannji: What? AARGH!
Elan casts a spell on Enor.
Elan: Lesser confusion!
Enor: Variable-speed corn muffins!
Enor drops Vaarsuvius
- Panel 4
Elan and Haley carry Vaarsuvius
Enor (off-panel): Peanut butter fish filets!
Enor (off-panel): Hey, that sounds good.
Elan: Hurry! It's already wearing off!
Haley: Time to run away!
Vaarsuvius: At last, we implement our most historically-successful stratagem.
- Panel 5
Malack: That fithy[sic] traitor is getting away!
Empress: That's OK. Humans are more of a lunchtime food anyway.
Malack: No, you bloated idiot, this is IMPORTANT! Blade Barrier!
- Panel 6
Elan: Uh oh!
Vaarsuvius: What? What do you see?
Haley: Something that's still less deadly that a red dragon's stomach.
Vaarsuvius: That was not as reassuring as you might have imagined.
- Panel 7
Elan carrying V runs as last one through the blade barrier...
Elan: Ow! Ow! Ow!
- Panel 8
Enor: Uh...are we getting paid enough to jump through that?
Gannji: See, now, it's situations like this that are the reason I drew that chart for you. Take it out and tell me what it says.
- Panel 9
Enor holds a card with a graph on it with the heading, "Are we getting paid enough?" Below is a graph with two axes: "Yummy" and "Pointy". More Yummy half: "Probably not". More Pointy half: "NO".
- Panel 10
Gannji: See? Who says a half-dragon ogre can't learn new tricks?
Enor: Gannji, I'm a half-dragon HALF-ogre.
Gannji: What am I, a genealogist?
Enor: What do genies have to do with—
D&D Context Edit
- Haley uses the Sleight of Hand skill to lift Gannji's military fork off his back, setting up her Sneak Attack for extra damage.
- Lesser Confusion is a 1st level spell that confuses the target for one round.
- Blade Barrier is a 6th level spell which causes 1d6 points of damage per level to anyone passing through the barrier of spinning blades. Malack is likely 12th level, making the damage 12d6, with a Reflex save for half damage.
- Half-dragons in D&D are, like all half-breed races, half-human. Enor is half-dragon, half-ogre, making him more physically powerful than a canonical D&D half-dragon.
- Genies in D&D, which take their inspiration from the Jinn or Genies of Arabian folklore, are powerful beings from the elemental planes.
- The title is a pun on the word threshold, which can mean either the bottom part of a doorway or the point where one mentally or physically is vulnerable in response to provocation. The blade barrier makes the doorway a "pain threshold" in both senses of the latter word.
- Similar to V's comment in panel 4, Haley referred to retreating as "our oldest, most reliable strategy" in #455.