Passive Voice
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 851
Date published 1 May 2012
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Tarquin easily bests the Order in the first round of combat. However, he is stupefied by Elan, who is playing his lute to provide bardic inspiration, allowing the team to flank him in the second round.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Roy charges Tarquin who sidesteps as the blow goes by with a "whifff!"

Panel 2

Tarquin uses Roy's momentum against him by tripping him as he goes by. "fnkt."

Panel 3

Roy falls down the stairs, "thunk. thunk. thunk." Meanwhile Haley fires an arrow as Belkar advances.

Panel 4

Tarquin takes the arrow out of the air. "snatch!"

Panel 5

And uses it to stab Belkar mid-leap. "SPLRTCH!"

Panel 6

Durkon attacks from the rear.
Durkon: Hold Person!

Panel 7

Tarquin: ok.
He grabs Durkon by the beard...

Panel 8

...and whirls him in a circle several times before flinging him into the pyramid, with a "humwhumwhumwhumwhu WHOOSH!"

Panel 9

Tarquin approaches Elan, who is strumming his lute.

Panel 10

Beat. Elan continues to play the lute.

Panel 11

Tarquin: aren't you going to do any—
Elan (singing): Try, try, try, try not to get too much in anyone's way!

Panel 12

Distracted by Elans singing (and passivity), Tarquin is flanked by the Order. He is pierced by three arrows from Haley, stabbed from behind by Belkar, and impaled by a leaping Roy.
Elan: Hooray! I did it!

D&D Context Edit

  • In the second panel Tarquin makes a Trip attack against Roy.
  • Tarquin is able to grab Haley's arrow out of the air possibly with the Snatch Arrows feat, or a magic item which grants a similar ability.
  • As a Bard, Elan's music gives combat bonuses to the party through his Inspire Courage class feature.

Trivia Edit

  • The title #849 was "Suspicious Agreement", referring to Thog's grammer. This title "Passive Voice" is again a grammar term, this time making a joke of Elan's failure to engage in combat, remaining passive.

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