Vaarsuvius has one major setback with their power and another with their familiar.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Transcript[edit | edit source]

Panel 1

Lizard V reads a spellbook on Durkon's head.
Vaarsuvius: This seems to be a dreadful turn of events.
Vaarsuvius: I apparently only have three spells in my spellbook that I can cast as a lizard, owing to their natural lack of somatic components.

Panel 2

Vaarsuvius: Feather Fall, a spell with sharply limited usage.
Vaarsuvius: Suggestion, a powerful hypnotic spell—but one that requires that the subject understand your speech, which renders it nigh useless right now.

Panel 3

Vaarsuvius: And Hold Portal, a spell that holds doors shut for a few minutes. And, I might add, a spell so inherently without merit that I shudder to consider under what sort of malaise I might have suffered when I decided to scribe it into my tome.

Panel 4

Vaarsuvius: You do not know how easy your life is, Durkon. You simply need to requisition the appropriate spells from your deity, not spend a lifetime seeking them out.
Durkon: Awww, tha cute li'l lizard is makin' funny noises again.
Vaarsuvius: Sigh.

Panel 5

Vaarsuvius: I suppose I might as well prepare all three spells, though. Useless arcane power is still preferable to no arcane power.
Roy: Hmm. The ground here is getting awfully marshy. I'd rather not trudge through swampland unless we're sure the starmetal is near.

Panel 6

Haley: What does the map say?
Roy: Not much. Since the hexes faded when the hag died, the map isn't much use now. Except to say that we're in the right area.

Panel 7

Haley: Hey, we could ask Blackwing to scout ahead.
Roy: Who?
Vaarsuvius: Who?

Panel 8

Haley: Vaarsuvius' familiar. I had some luck asking him to scout the bandit camp for us.
Vaarsuvius: Wait! No! Don't mention—

Panel 9

Blackwing pops into existence, "pop!"

Panel 10

Blackwing looks at Vaarsuvius.

Panel 11

Blackwing chases after Vaarsuvius.
Blackwing: Caw!
Vaarsuvius: Begone, you infernal avian! Shoo!
Vaarsuvius: Where is a portal to hold when you really need one?

D&D Context[edit | edit source]

  • None of the spells Vaarsuvius prepares require a somatic (hand gesture) component, allowing him or her to cast them. It should be noted that allowing any kind of spell casting while under the effects of a baleful polymorph spell is impossible under the standard D&D rules for that spell (characters lose all class features while polymorphed). Allowing V to cast spells with verbal components is therefore a "house rule" of the Order of the Stick universe.
  • Feather Fall is a 1st-level Wizard spell that causes objects to fall more slowly.
  • Suggestion is a 3rd-level Wizard spell that hypnotizes an opponent if they fail a Will save.
  • Hold Portal is a 1st-level Wizard spell that holds a door closed.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The title of this comic is a play on the phrase "The early bird catches the worm."
  • Roy and V continue the running gag that no one remembers Blackwing's name, and that Blackwing winks into existence when needed.

External Links[edit | edit source]

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