Roy decides to delay a jailbreak attempt until the rest of the party has a chance to learn what Tarquin knows about the Draketooth Family, feeling he and Belkar can still escape before the weekend gladiator game. Unbeknownst to him, however, Tarquin has planned a special mid-week game in honor of Elan.
- The Order of the Stick
- Mr. Scruffy ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- The Champion (on poster) ◀ ▶
- A Soldier of the Empire of Blood
- Panel 1
Elan: We could just ask my dad to release them, couldn't we?
Durkon: Well, a bit unorth'dox, but if 'n he has tha legal 'thority ta do so...
Haley: Yeah, I'd rather avoid telling Tarquin any more about us than is absolutely 100% necessary.
Haley: Let's find out what Roy wants to do.
- Panel 2
Haley: V, are you done preparing your Sending spell?
Vaarsuvius: My trance is complete, yes.
Haley: Good, I worked out exactly what I want you to Send to Roy.
- Panel 3
Cut to Roy and Belkar in the gladiator yard.
Belkar: These wooden swords are ridiculous.
Roy: They're intended to be nonlethal.
Belkar: I know! That's why they're so stupid.
Belkar: If you can't kill someone with a piece of wood, you should get out of the killing business.
- Panel 4
An image of Vaarsuvius appears.
Roy: I should become a cleric. The gods answered my silent prayer for someone else to talk to.
Belkar: I mean, a nice jagged splinter to the jugular, just off the top of my head.
- Panel 5
Vaarsuvius: Durkon, Haley, Elan, myself: safe, reunited.
Vaarsuvius: Guest of government; head general is Elan's father.
Vaarsuvius: Knows Girard somehow. Agreed to spill details three days hence.
- Panel 6
Belkar: Blunt force head trauma... ruptured spleen... grind it up and force feed it to them until their intestine bleeds...
- Panel 7
Roy: First lead on Girard: too important.
Roy: Don't rock the boat, be good guests.
Roy: Get all information from general, THEN jailbreak. We'll survive until then.
- Panel 8
Cut back to the Palace of Blood
Vaarsuvius: Sir Greenhilt has instructed us not to liberate him at this time, as he feels it would prove disruptive to our efforts to glean what Tarquin knows about Draketooth.
Durkon: Really? Be we sure this Tarquin na be lyin' aboot knowin' Girard?
Haley: As sure as we can be. He was able to describe him accurately, and it's not like Girard is a public figure.
Haley: He's been hiding down in a dungeon for, like, sixty years.
Elan: Also, my dad wouldn't lie to me.
Haley: ...Right. That, too. Mr. Scruffy leaps at Blackwing.
Mr. Scruffy: mmRrrowr!
- Panel 9
Cut back to the gladiator yard.
Belkar: You told them NOT to rescue us??
Belkar: Look, I know it's nice to let the boys air out for a while, but—
Roy: Relax. That crazy warden said the gladiatorial games are held on the weekend.
- Panel 10
Roy: Haley will know whatever this general knows in three days, and then she'll spring us post-haste.
Roy: This is a fantastic opportunity to gather data we really need if we're serious about stopping Xykon.
Roy: And all we have to do is endure a few days of oily sweating.
- Panel 11
A soldier pastes posters on the wall:
SPECIAL MID-WEEK GAMES! Our bloodiest ever!
in honor of General Tarquin's son!
Gladiators WILL fight! Prisoners WILL die! And you WILL be distracted from out brutal oppresive regime until Saturday! ALSO: Bread! Circuses!
D&D Context Edit
- Sending is a 5th level spell which allows short communication over arbitrary distances, even across different planes of existence. Unlike Durkon in #733 and Nale in #337, Haley and Roy are very efficient in their use of the 25 word limit in the Sending spell. This is also the first time Vaarsuvius has cast the spell.
- The title refers to the dramatic irony that Roy assumes the games will be on the weekend, but the poster shows that they will be held mid-week, before Tarquin will have spilled the beans about the Draketooth family.
- The poster for the games promises bread and circuses, a phrase that goes back to ancient Rome. It is a figure of speech which implies a superficial means of appeasement, as the people of Rome in the 2nd century A.D. were satirized as being more concerned with food and games than in important political matters.