Malack makes small talk, averting a recap.
- Panel 1
In the background, a horrified Elan runs up to Haley and begins speaking to her.
Malack: ...but I personally find such displays of force distasteful, at best.
Durkon: Aye, aye.
Vaarsuvius: Indeed, I am only learning now that careful management of resources is more effective than brute force.
- Panel 2
Elan and Haley talk and gesticulate.
Malack: ...and Tarquin keeps telling me that if I want more children so badly, I should just find the right person and get to it, but... I don't know...
Vaarsuvius: Have you ever considered adoption? Surely your political climate produces no shortage of orphans.
Malack: Yes, but... I'm worried about not having that, you know, special bond.
- Panel 3
Elan, still talking, points up towards Tarquin.
Durkon: So, I cannae help but notice wha a lovely cake ye haf on display o'er there. I was wonderin'—
Malack: They'll serve the cake after the parade is over.
Durkon: Ah. 'kay.
- Panel 4
Haley is angry, Elan looks concerned.
Malack: —so then I said, "I don't care that you were late, Acolyte Prilak, I'm not going to repeat the conversation we all just had."
Durkon: Aye, why should everyone need ta listen ta tha same thing o'er agin?
Malack: Exactly! I mean, it was too wordy by half the first time.
- Panel 5
Haley looks shocked as Elan continues.
Malack: ...and I think the worse part is the jealousy.
Durkon: Och, yeah, I've seen tha. Tier envy.
Vaarsuvius: As if it is OUR fault that they chose a class not capable of doing everything.
- Panel 6
Blackwing flies over to watch as a determined Haley takes Elan by the hand and runs off towards the stairs.
Vaarsuvius: Have you tried the higher hemline?
Malack: Yes, but I found it really doesn't work as well without the rope belt.
Vaarsuvius: Ah, yes, I could see that.
- Panel 7
Durkon: ...'Course, I'm na sure wha Thor's congregation would think aboot tha...
Malack: Well, why not ask your parishioner what she—
- Panel 8
Durkon turns around to see Haley and Elan have gone.
Malack: Where did Starshine go? Or Tarquin's boy, for that matter?
Durkon: Och, thar prob'bly off makin' out in tha staircase or sumthin'.
Vaarsuvius: Trust us—after a while, one learns to simply ignore their overactive libidos.
Vaarsuvius: Now, with regards to that cake...
D&D Context Edit
- In panel 5, Durkon mentions "Tier envy". This refers to GiantITP.com user JarronK's Tier System for Classes (originally posted to another forum). There is also a list for prestige classes. This classification system attempts to place the various character classes in D&D into six tiers, with tier one the strongest and tier 6 the weakest. The intent of this system is to allow Dungeon Masters and players to form a party with characters who have roughly equal abilities to deal with various challenges in the world. Vaarsuvius, Malack, and Durkon are a Wizard and two Clerics, respectively, all of which fall into tier one; these classes are the most flexible and can solve any type of problem. The rest of the Order of the Stick are in lower-tier classes, Elan is a bard which is tier three, Haley is a rogue and Belkar is a ranger which are both tier four, and Roy is a fighter, which is tier five. Characters in higher numbered tiers may feel under-powered compared to other party members in higher tiers.
- In panel 2, Malack mentions his children, whom Tarquin tells were killed by Nale in #724. Vaarsuvius mentions adoption; V's children were adopted, as V revealed in #631.
- In panel 4, Malack and Durkon summarize the point of this strip; the narrative requires Haley to be informed about everything Elan and Tarquin talked about in the last few strips, but the reader doesn't need to read it all again.