V uses a Dominated Yukyuk to hit Zz'dtri with a double crossbow sneak attack. As Z flees, Yukyuk continues to pepper Z with arrows while V explains his realization that if Z hyper-specialized to fight V, Z must have left himself open to other forms of attack.
- Panel 1
Zz'dtri flies through the arena arcade looking behind him for Vaarsuvius.
- Panel 2
Vaarsuvius flies holding Yukyuk in front of them. Yukyuk's eyes are spirals, showing he has been Dominated by Vaarsuvius. He fires both of his Hand Crossbows of Quick Loading.
Vaarsuvius: I may be in error, but I believe the appropriate proclamation is, "Sneak Attack, bitch." The bolts both hit Zz'dtri with a double "thunk!"
- Panel 3
Zz'dtri: Break Enchantment.
Vaarsuvius: I shall take that choice as confirmation that I have unraveled the conundrum of your imperviousness.
Both of Yukyuk's crossbows automatically reload with a "pop! pop!"
- Panel 4
Vaarsuvius: A wizard's strength is his ability to prepare different spells each day, but it is also our weakness.
Vaarsuvius: It is difficult, even for us, to defend against every possible form of attack simultaneously.
Vaarsuvius: Those we cannot block outright, we must evade. Those we cannot evade, we must eliminate pre-emptively.
Vaarsuvius: Which brings to mind your first spell in this skirmish.
Yukyuk again fires both crossbows. One bolt hits, "thunk!", while one flies past the fleeing Zz'dtri.
- Panel 5
Flashback to #789 when Zz'tri ambushed the party and petrified Haley.
Vaarsuvius (inset): Flesh to Stone—not towards me, your hated enemy, but directed at an archer.
Vaarsuvius (inset): Clearly, you were confident that your current spell selection would allow you to weather my magical assault with relative impunity—
- Panel 6
Yukyuk again fires both crossbows, hitting with both, "thunk! thunk!"
Vaarsuvius: —but you could not say the same for a volley of arrows.
Vaarsuvius: Not being an archer myself, I was obligated to Dominate yours.
- Panel 7
Zz'dtri: Phantasmal Killer.
A horrifying apparition descends on Vaarsuvius who still holds Yukyuk in front of them.
Vaarsuvius: By all means, feel free to attempt to murder your own ally.
- Panel 8
Yukyuk fires another pair of quarrels, both of which sink into the now bloodied Zz'dtri, "thunk! thunk!"
Vaarsuvius: I believe he just ceased his struggles against my mental commands to shoot you.
Vaarsuvius: Welcome, however temporarily, to the Order of the Stick, Mr. Yukyuk.
- Panel 9
Vaarsuvius: Continue this ratio of effectiveness-to-chatter, and I shall see if I cannot open up a position in our Short Dual-Wielding Murderer department.
Vaarsuvius: What say you to that?
D&D Context Edit
- Dominate Person is likely the spell used by Vaarsuivus to take control of Yukyuk. It is a 5th Level Wizard Spell that allows the caster to mentally control a target. Normally, the mental commands can be resisted via a Will Saving Throw, but the victim can choose not to make saving throws against the mental domination.
- Break Enchantment is a 5th level Wizard Spell that disrupts the effects of Enchantments, Transmutations, and Curses, such as Dominate Person.
- In order to Counterspell the Break Enchantment spell, V had to either have that spell prepared, which we know V does not from #790, or cast Dispel Magic as a counterspell.
- Phantasmal Killer is a Level 4 Wizard spell that takes a target's worst fears and makes them a spectral reality. If not saved against, this can instantly kill the victim. However, only the target can see the form of their nightmare, to everyone else it simply appears as a vague, shadowy form (as seen in Panel 7). Judging from V's dialogue, Zz'dtri chose to target the kobold.
- "Sneak Attack, bitch." is Haley's tagline when using her Rogue sneak attack ability, for example in #396 and #398.