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-   -   Order of the Stick - Book 6 Discussion Thread (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=717307)

Agent Foxtrot 03-03-2014 10:07 AM

Order of the Stick - Book 6 Discussion Thread
 
I hope I'm not starting this thread prematurely, but I was hoping to get some OOTS fans' predictions (though Rich always seems to prove us wrong) on what we can expect in Book 6, which is due to start on March 31.

It was obvious a few strips ago that Durkon is not working for the Order of the Stick when he didn't take any actions during the fight with Tarquin. Now we know he belongs to Hel, and I predict Thor will finally get off his lazy ass and intervene. We also haven't seen Xykon in a while, and I think he'll pop up very soon. It would be nice if for once the OOTS could actually have a major fight while all together and at full health.

Thoughts?

Inner Stickler 03-03-2014 10:21 AM

I don't necessarily see why Thor would intervene. Durkula is evil and worships an Evil goddess. That much, at least, appears to be SOP. Whether Durkon's trapped soul is also SOP or an unusual incident is yet to be determined and if it is foul(er) play, we still don't know that Thor would know or necessarily even care. This is the god who let a whole village get eaten by Surter, after all.

Agent Foxtrot 03-03-2014 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inner Stickler (Post 17158395)
I don't necessarily see why Thor would intervene. Durkula is evil and worships an Evil goddess. That much, at least, appears to be SOP. Whether Durkon's trapped soul is also SOP or an unusual incident is yet to be determined and if it is foul(er) play, we still don't know that Thor would know or necessarily even care. This is the god who let a whole village get eaten by Surter, after all.

Agreed, but enough's gotta be enough eventually. Thor is supposed to be Lawful Good, but he's not going to intervene when one of his most devout followers' soul is being trapped and exploited by a supernatural abomination?

Yllaria 03-03-2014 01:57 PM

I'd guess that Thor would intervene fairly soonish, but that would be fairly soon after he found out what had happened. That looks like Durkon's mind or soul tied and gagged, there. I'm guessing that his ability to pray is likewise gagged. And Thor isn't the kind of god who keeps careful tabs on his clerics.

Johnny Bravo 03-03-2014 02:05 PM

Thor's repeatedly been shown to vacillate between drunkenly ignoring Durkon and being kind of annoyed by him. I don't really see him intervening - at least not effectively and not any time soon.

Inner Stickler 03-03-2014 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Agent Foxtrot (Post 17158811)
Thor is supposed to be Lawful Good, but he's not going to intervene when one of his most devout followers' soul is being trapped and exploited by a supernatural abomination?

I don't know. All I know is that we haven't really seen a lot of divine intervention in the strip beyond the built in prayer and cleric stuff. I could see Thor rewarding Durkon for a particularly impressive escape and defeat of Hel's minions more than I could see Thor going toe to toe with Hel over him.

Chimera 03-03-2014 02:19 PM

I'm no expert, but I thought there was some prophecy for bad times when he returned home. If this is the case, then RealDurkon™ isn't getting free anytime soon.

Seems like one of those reverse 'Scouring of the Shire' things, after the main ending.

Jophiel 03-03-2014 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Agent Foxtrot (Post 17158345)
It was obvious a few strips ago that Durkon is not working for the Order of the Stick when he didn't take any actions during the fight with Tarquin.

Durkon sent his barbed devil to fight Tarquin's men and Dominated them into fighting their fellow soldiers. He also briefly fought Laurin (smacked and drained her for a few levels and she Dimension Door'd out).

He didn't fight on the ship for the same reason Roy and Belkar didn't -- they were below deck. Now, of course we now know that Durkon ain't just Durkon with pointy teeth, but the "didn't fight Tarquin" bit seemed odd.

Chronos 03-03-2014 03:31 PM

And he didn't do more than directing his barbed devil and dominating because by that point he was pretty much running on fumes, spell-wise. An at-will ability and an already-bound minion were about all he had left. Even at that, Dominate isn't a bad ability to spam: Each usage removes one enemy and adds one disposable ally.

Tom Scud 03-03-2014 08:44 PM

My guess is that Hilgya will (1) reappear and (2) quickly figure out what the state of Durkon is. A more predictable writer would then have the Order discount her insight because Linear Guild/evil et cetera; I'm not going to speculate where Rich will go with it.

squeegee 03-03-2014 09:44 PM

So how will the first strip of Book 6 begin?

I think (and I've heard one other person here also think) that it will start with Lien and O-chul heading for (or already at) the site of Kraagor's tomb. No further predictions beyond that.

Stanislaus 03-04-2014 06:02 AM

If Lien and O-chul aren't there already, then Team Evil have just arrived at the last gate unopposed. Granted, Kraagor's defences may still be in place but they'll be an inconvenience rather than a threat. On the other hand, the same could be said for Lien and O-chul.

So hopefully those two are already there and have had time to get a plan together that will keep Team Evil in check for c.8 days.

I'm hoping that's where Book 6 starts - right in the middle of an epic O-Chul/Xykon battle

Gyrate 03-04-2014 06:17 AM

Didn't we see Team Azure City already fighting monsters in what I assumed was Kraagor's tomb?

Jonathan Chance 03-04-2014 07:37 AM

No, that's Hinjo and company fighting the monsters that inhabit the castle on their new shiny abandoned island. There's some cleaning up to do before they can move in.

Little Nemo 03-04-2014 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stanislaus (Post 17161134)
If Lien and O-chul aren't there already, then Team Evil have just arrived at the last gate unopposed. Granted, Kraagor's defences may still be in place but they'll be an inconvenience rather than a threat. On the other hand, the same could be said for Lien and O-chul.

So hopefully those two are already there and have had time to get a plan together that will keep Team Evil in check for c.8 days.

I'm hoping that's where Book 6 starts - right in the middle of an epic O-Chul/Xykon battle

But Xykon would be in for a surprise in such a battle. We've seen the MITD has started thinking for himself and O-chul is his friend. Xykon would probably find his strongest weapon switching sides.

Jophiel 03-04-2014 08:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stanislaus (Post 17161134)
If Lien and O-chul aren't there already, then Team Evil have just arrived at the last gate unopposed. Granted, Kraagor's defences may still be in place but they'll be an inconvenience rather than a threat.

Well, I'd suggest that it's obvious that there HAS to be a Xykon/Order battle for the last Gate. Furthermore, I'd suggest that Xykon has to gain control of it long enough for Redcloak's betrayal to play out as he attempts to give the Gate to his god via the ritual. That's sort of Redcloak's whole raison d'Ítre and I can't believe we won't see a resolution to it but it wouldn't be revealed unless Xykon has control of the Gate for long enough to conduct the ritual (which I seem to recall had significant prep time... ten days or something?).

Xkyon could show up, beat through the two paladins and then still just be getting around to starting the ritual (and perhaps having a conflict with Redcloak) before the Order shows up in another eight days or whatever.

silenus 03-04-2014 08:41 AM

Ans sometime near the end Redcloak has to betray Xykon openly so that the MinD can eat him.

squeegee 03-04-2014 09:35 AM

Somewhere in there, MitD needs to find out more about his nature, and give us more hints. Even he seems unaware of what he is or his power(s) are, so how is he going to consume anybody? Witness when the fire roaches told MitD to "stamp the ground" when Haley and Belkar were fleeing with O-chul and Roy's bodies. Giant cracks appeared in the earth, while MitD hadn't known he could do anything of the sort. There will be other incidents like that one.

Jophiel 03-04-2014 09:38 AM

And, of course, Xykon/Redcloak/MitD are headed towards O-chul so you'll probably have another O-chul/MitD meet-up.

Lots of stuff ready to go down in Book 6.

silenus 03-04-2014 09:39 AM

Plus at least half of those clues will be misleading and/or contradictory, because Rich. :p

MitD had to be my second-favorite character in the whole strip.

Chronos 03-04-2014 04:21 PM

I think I'd have to put Monster-San at third, after Redcloak and O-Chul. But that's good company to be keeping.

hadleykeillor 03-04-2014 04:46 PM

so interested

Mr. Goob 03-04-2014 05:32 PM

So much has happened that I forgot about the friendship between Monster-San and O-Chul (shakes fist on preview at Chronos for calling him Monster-san before I did.) Let alone that O-Chul and the paladins are another faction.

Mr Shine 03-05-2014 01:40 AM

As an easy reference later.
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=530128 Book 5 discussion
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=504715 Discussion starting from "Good to the Last Drip"

Little Nemo 03-06-2014 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by squeegee (Post 17161601)
Somewhere in there, MitD needs to find out more about his nature, and give us more hints. Even he seems unaware of what he is or his power(s) are, so how is he going to consume anybody? Witness when the fire roaches told MitD to "stamp the ground" when Haley and Belkar were fleeing with O-chul and Roy's bodies. Giant cracks appeared in the earth, while MitD hadn't known he could do anything of the sort. There will be other incidents like that one.

A more significant incident was when he sent O-chul and Vaarsuvius away before Xykon could kill them. But he seems to have figured out (or been told by the roaches) that he did that.

Trion 03-31-2014 12:32 PM

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0947.html

And, were back.

Malacandra 03-31-2014 12:36 PM

So, is Durkon concentrating on simple, wholesome memories just to give his possessing spirit as disagreeable a ride as possible? :D

Chronos 03-31-2014 12:57 PM

Not just that-- He's specifically remembering the first time he ever saw the Sun.

Alessan 03-31-2014 01:07 PM

Thinking of the sun - civil disobedience against vampiric domination.

kaylasdad99 03-31-2014 02:22 PM

His mom was pretty badass.

I wonder how she
SPOILER:
lost her arm?

wolfman 03-31-2014 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 (Post 17245434)

I wonder how she
SPOILER:
lost her arm?

SPOILER:
5-1 says a tree was involved ;)

Chronos 03-31-2014 03:27 PM

I was wondering about that, too... Mining accident? Orcish raid? Attacked by a vicious gingko?

chorpler 03-31-2014 04:33 PM

I'm glad to see Durkon's soul isn't actually being tortured in there, and that he remember happy things. I hope he can lose himself in his happy memories while the evil soul isn't talking to him... although knowing him, he might consider it his duty to stay fully aware of what's going on around him at all times in case an opportunity presents itself. After all, doing your duty is what being a dwarf is all about ... ESPECIALLY if it makes ye miserable.

chorpler 03-31-2014 04:39 PM

I just noticed that he seems to have changed art styles -- the stick figure parts, like the arms and hands and legs, have some thickness to them now, with an outline and a colored interior. Interesting... now I guess we'll be able to tell when somebody has pants on, for one thing.

Kobal2 03-31-2014 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chorpler (Post 17245913)
I just noticed that he seems to have changed art styles -- the stick figure parts, like the arms and hands and legs, have some thickness to them now, with an outline and a colored interior. Interesting... now I guess we'll be able to tell when somebody has pants on, for one thing.

I wondered what felt weird ! Now I see it too. Durkon's breastplate also has a welding seam now.

Kobal2 03-31-2014 05:14 PM

One thing I just wondered : since VampireDurkon doesn't worship the same god as DorfDurkon, shouldn't he be forced to switch holy symbols which would be something of a big giveaway ?

Little Nemo 03-31-2014 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 17245668)
I was wondering about that, too... Mining accident? Orcish raid? Attacked by a vicious gingko?

Perhaps it was lost during the Pine Wars.

AndrewL 03-31-2014 05:50 PM

I actually didn't interpret this as Durkon reviewing happy memories or thinking of the sun to punish the vampire spirit. My take on this was that the vampire was going through his memories to learn more about him so as to better impersonate him, especially if they run into Durkon's family.

Larry Borgia 03-31-2014 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AndrewL (Post 17246108)
I actually didn't interpret this as Durkon reviewing happy memories or thinking of the sun to punish the vampire spirit. My take on this was that the vampire was going through his memories to learn more about him so as to better impersonate him, especially if they run into Durkon's family.

That's my take as well.

Garula 03-31-2014 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kobal2 (Post 17246014)
One thing I just wondered : since VampireDurkon doesn't worship the same god as DorfDurkon, shouldn't he be forced to switch holy symbols which would be something of a big giveaway ?

Well, Hel is directly involved in the whole thing, so presumably she can say "alright, from now on my holy symbol is this, which happens to look just like Thor's."

As for the new art style, I like shiny new things, but I'm also scared of change. It definitely makes the dwarves look really stocky.

Measure for Measure 03-31-2014 11:40 PM

Durkevil's arrogance in the pre-break strip signals his eventual demise. But who can take him down? (Tropes demand that Durkon do the deed, but set that aside for now.)

Belkar isn't smart enough to articulate his incoherent suspicions persuasively.

Roy is blinded by wishful thinking.

V might have sufficient arcane knowledge to suspect that something is up. The idea that a bearer of negative energy still gains sustenance from Thor is a red flag.

Haley is also blinded by wishful thinking and Durkevil's status is a bit outside her central concerns. But she is also deceit-saavy and Durkevil is young and somewhat naive. Certainly inexperienced.

Elan: I can't see how genre saavy would help, at least until the mid-game or end-game.

Someone outside Oots has a shot of course. Ironically, Tarquin might work out exactly what's going on - and may have even understood it instantly. O'Chul doesn't seem like the suspicious sort. The late Miko Miyazaki would have of course correctly IDd Durkevil's reliability - even paranoids have enemies after all.

Durkon, OTOH, might have access to certain spells. He can pray to Thor. Material components could only be gathered opportunistically. Somatic components are unusable unless Durkevil does them coincidentally. Ditto for verbal components - presumably. Divine Focus: Maybe Durkevil's holy symbol is just for show - maybe his real holy symbol is something else. Maybe Durkon could still use his holy symbol. Any insight from game players?

It's obviously a sticky situation: Durkon will reveal anything if asked - but Durkevil may be too arrogant/naive to inquire, "How are you plotting against me?"


ETA: Blackwing...

chorpler 04-01-2014 02:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AndrewL (Post 17246108)
I actually didn't interpret this as Durkon reviewing happy memories or thinking of the sun to punish the vampire spirit. My take on this was that the vampire was going through his memories to learn more about him so as to better impersonate him, especially if they run into Durkon's family.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Borgia (Post 17246282)
That's my take as well.

Darn it, I think you're probably right. So now I'm back to merely hoping that Durkon has some kind of escape while he's bound and helpless.

On a more positive note, my daughter and I think that little Durkon is adorable.

MrDibble 04-01-2014 02:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 17245668)
I was wondering about that, too... Mining accident? Orcish raid? Attacked by a vicious gingko?

She was clearly in the military ("Sergeant") so I'm going to go with "tree"

squeegee 04-01-2014 09:17 AM

So from this strip it seems reasonably likely that Durkpire will run into people he knew -- perhaps his mum! -- when he was alive and in the Dwarven lands, now that he's traveling back north. He'll avoid that at all costs of course, but it'll happen and that's partly how Durkpire will be detected as a forgery.

Measure for Measure 04-01-2014 07:30 PM

Uncovering DurkEvil will be hard. It's not enough to perceive that something is off, since most irregularities can be explained away by the infusion of negative energy. Comprehensive memory can paper over a lot. To perceive the situation accurately requires at a minimum that the observer has familiarity with soul trapping, like Xykon did with Lirian and Dorukan. Otherwise they will lack a sufficient frame of reference. Every member of Oots might possess a piece of the puzzle, even if all lack the ability to synthesize the answer.

Redcloak would have a decent chance of obtaining such insight. I imagine he lies awake nights forming contingency plans against Xykon. Redcloak isn't an especially quick thinker, but he is methodical, wary and familiar with things going very wrong. The problem is there's no reason why he should care what Durkon's true state is.

Durkevil might very well be naive enough to reveal all as Hel's grand plans come to fruition.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Measure for Measure (Post 17246975)
It's obviously a sticky situation: Durkon will reveal anything if asked - but Durkevil may be too arrogant/naive to inquire, "How are you plotting against me?"

Then again, Durkevil might have access to Durkon's memories, but not necessarily his true opinions. Or not.
Quote:

Ironically, Tarquin might work out exactly what's going on - and may have even understood it instantly.
Malack might have kept his barbarian core hidden of course. Or he might not have had a barbarian core: maybe you only get dual personalities if the original version was of good alignment. At any rate the barbarian core may very well had reached a point of exhaustion a hundred years back.

Tom Scud 04-01-2014 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Measure for Measure (Post 17246975)
Someone outside Oots has a shot of course.

Hilgya! Burlew loves hauling in stuff that you thought had been forgotten 800 strips ago. And Hilgya has cleric training and might be more hip to how undead actually work than the remaining OOTSers.

Agent Foxtrot 04-01-2014 10:38 PM

I kinda prefer the stick-y arms and legs, to be honest. It's what made it the Order of the Stick. But in Rich we trust.

Measure for Measure 04-01-2014 11:28 PM

So will we see Durkon use his shield?
 
I like artistic development. Seriously: no snark. I like tracking how directors, musicians and graphic artists change over time. Each ratchet gives a different feel to the work, and to me the compare and contrast is part of the fun.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Scud (Post 17249884)
Hilgya! Burlew loves hauling in stuff that you thought had been forgotten 800 strips ago. And Hilgya has cleric training and might be more hip to how undead actually work than the remaining OOTSers.

But Hilgya might like Durkevil... they both worship Hel for example. Then again, if she knows how vampires work, she might respond differently. Actually, if anybody knew how vampires work, they ...well I guess they'd try to hide that fact until they were far away from Durkevil.


Tarq had a ring of true seeing. Would that or any other magical device or spell reveal Durkon's situation? Is this a case of possession?

Grumman 04-01-2014 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Measure for Measure (Post 17250353)
But Hilgya might like Durkevil... they both worship Hel for example.

Wasn't she a cleric of Loki?

Jophiel 04-01-2014 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grumman (Post 17250365)
Wasn't she a cleric of Loki?

She was and presumably still is.


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