(warning: this post uses a lot of ALL CAPS)
SO OOTS UPDATED LIKE 3 HOURS AGO
LAMDMSKSKA
I WAS SLEEPING IN BECAUSE WHY NOT
AKAKSNSKAKSK
THEN I WOKE UP AND SURPRISE SURPRISE
AND I WAS BASICALLY LIKE
-OMX V
-WELL GOOD ROY’S EXPLAINING A THING TO THE ORDER
-AND V CAN HEAR AND V REALISES DESTROYING THE GATE MIGHT ENDANGER THE PLANET IN THE RIFT YES V THAT IS GOOD I DIDN’T EVEN THINK OF THAT
-lol discussing V’s spell choices
-ACTUALLY A GOOD THING V DIDN’T BURN THE SENDING SPELL
-THIS IS LIKE REALLY EXCITING AND MY HEART IS ACTUALLY POUNDING
-ROY ASKING FOR EVERYONE’S VOICE OH ROY YOU LITTLE CUTIE
-lol Blackwing’s just like “ROY DON’T DO THE THING” and V’s like “SPEAKING IS A FREE ACTION SO I’M GOING TO USE TWICE AS MANY WORDS AS BLACKWING”
-“When in doubt, set it on fire” OMX IS THIS A CALLBACK TO “when in doubt, set something on fire” FROM THE BANDIT CAMP
-YES BANGING WITH BUGSBY’S HAND I LOVE THAT SPELL IT’S SO USEFUL
-and they hear it YES YES YES and Haley’s gonna check it out GO V GO
-AND THEN THE IFCC WHAT NO NO NO CRAP CRAP CRAP NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
PQJENSKSMAOKDKSSKSK$$/@/;’klafbjso/@&;@@DISJSKLSKS
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Somehow I missed 888 whoops

The post was titled “Happy and Sad.”
Here it is:
OotS 888 was evidently easier to draw than its predecessor, since it went up only four days after, while 887 took a bit more than a week.
List of Things I Find Really Amazing:
• All the bowties!
• The little girl who’s going to be a fighter.
• DURKON IN HIS ROBES
• LET ME LIST THE SEVERAL KINDS OF AMAZING TARQUIN EXHIBITS:
— “Trust me, I have some experience with these events.”
— Helping Elan with his bowtie. So adorable!
— Talking about villains crashing weddings
— OK, maybe everything. But the last thing I feel deserves special mention is his pose/expression in the penultimate panel. Pure Tarquin.
• EMPRESS OF BLOOD WHAT
• Celia has time to be a lawyer and a bridesmaid.
• ELAN’S MOM IS REALLY CUTE
• Malack. In a… hat thing. he just really looks cute when he smiles OK
• BANJO AND MRS. BANJO NEXT TO IAN
• IS ELAN’S MOM’S NAME ACTUALLY “ELAN’S MOTHER” BRB DYING
List of Really Sad Things:
• THEY ALL JUST REALLY WANT DURKON TO BE ALIVE
• IS THAT INKYRIUS /sobs
• I JUST REALLY WANT MORE OF GOOD GUY!TARQUIN
• ELAN HAS WANTED THIS FOR A REALLY LONG TIME. NEXT STRIP I EXPECT PUPPIES AND ROY/ELAN BEING FOR-REAL BROTHERS.
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i JUST GOT BACK

and OotS updated and that makes me happy and I have a lot of feelings like when Malack just saw the Order and he chose to go with Durkon’s last request and and when Roy used his ranks in Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering) and when is anyone reading this run-on sentence anymore oh well and when Belkar used a variation on his catchphrase and whEN ROY DECIDED TO DESTROY THE GATE OMG OMG OMG I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL 896 AND WHAT ABOUT VAARSUVIUS AND HELP ME
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GIRARD YOU TROLL

I really
really
really
really
really
r
e
a
l
l
y
hope that the “Sorry! Your Gate is in another pyramid!” message is a lie.
I mean, I did think the little structure thing was a bit small to be The Gate Room.
But Girard’s ruses and “nope!”s and “lol i trol u”s are really getting on my nerves.
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Endgame?

Disregarding momentarily Heartbreaking Roy in panel 3, this was a great update, with Bonus Cool Points for being so fast!
I think it’s pretty clear we’re quickly approaching the Big Conflict at the End of the Book. I mean, we’re in the main Gate room, tensions between Malack and Nale are rising, the various groups are being drawn to one spot… heck, just look at the title! And Roy’s last line.
I love that the Azurites contacted Haley — she’s the one they’re familiar with.
More evil opposites with the OotS and LG — where the OotS cautiously avoided, Nale performed a Fools Rush In, with bonus points for Malack calling him on his recklessness. Not that he cares about Nale.
Finally, Malack in the penultimate panel. His evil grin.
(Dang it, am I really attracted to a stick figure evil vampire snake dude?)
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An OotS update? It really is my birthday!

Yes, the thing in the middle is interesting. And Roy’s “used up the day’s good ideas” line was hilarious.
And yes, Belkar’s “my own blood” line was great. (It’d make sense that he’d be able to pick out, eh, *that* particular scent, but not his own back in 868. Blood’s more concentrated than Garden Variety Eau de Belkster.)
I thought it was interesting that Haley didn’t consider getting hit by the runes again.
And, as usual, Malack got one of the best lines of the strip. (He really does just want to get rid of Nale so he can continue on Operation: Nergalicious Deathcamps, doesn’t he?) I’m not too familiar on DnD rules, but does the fact this was a “simple phantasm” mean the undead were affected? And did Nale (like Belkar) have a separate illusion from the rest? Or at least from Zz’dtri? (so. many. questions.)
But the best part of today’s update was definitely the last two panels. (And really, that penultimate panel.) As much as Nale goes out of his way to be Elan’s evil opposite, he really doesn’t have to try too hard. I mean… Both of them ended up in what looks sort of like the EoB palace. They both found each other in the dream, and what shook them out of it was a realisation that their real twin would never be this cooperative. (Dang it, Nale and Belkar! Stop turning sympathetic on me!) It’s also worth noting that, while Elan used a small amount of genre savvy to break free, but mostly relied on his knowledge of his family (and self), Nale went almost entirely off his genre savvy. Also, Nale was wearing a very Tarquin-esque cape. (Giant, you break my heart in such a vast multitude of ways.)
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Dang it, Elan!

Who gave you permission to make a heartwarming speech and then make me laugh while breaking my heart?
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Double Fantasy

Yes, I’m using a joke from 889 as the title of my recap of 890. Don’t judge me.
So, the long-awaited vision of Belkar’s illusory paradise has finally been shown to us. Looks like the forum was right.
I really like the level of detail in these recent strips. The stars and stripes in the “FREEDOM!” panel. The Twelve Gods on the wall behind Lord Shojo. The swirlies in Mr. Scruffy’s lines. Seriously, how the Giant can crank these out at this pace is beyond me.
My favorite one-liner was probably Haley’s lucky charms line. Hilarious.
Finally, should I be disturbed that Belkar and I have the same views on country music?
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3 Pages in 3 Days

Don’t you love it when you check the Giant in the Playground forums for your play-by-post, and then it turns out there’s a new strip?

I KNOW I DO

Seriously, though, this strip would have been just as great if it came out three weeks from now because Elan stop breaking my heart you precious little baby.

This is already one of my favourite Elan moments: he starts off not suspecting anything, but then he finally notices how unrealistic (for this world) everything is. You can see how the constructs of the illusion are trying to keep Elan in the spell (“What’s your problem? This is what you want, right?” “I’m doing it for you.”), but once the initial charm of wish fulfilment has been broken, Elan’s not going to be satisfied. The illusion takes a swerve for realism (“When do we get to catch the bride? I’m hungry.”) as Elan attempts to warn the others. 

Think you’re done with Elan-induced sadness? Think again, because his most heartbreaking line is coming up. After he admits most of his wishes shouldn’t come true (EXCEPT FOR MRS. BANJO, DANG IT.), Roy and Haley finally start to listen to him. And then?

It doesn’t matter what I want! It doesn’t matter what any of us wants! What’s real… is that my family is screwed up and broken. And it’s not going to just get magically fixed, ever.

ELAN MY BABY COME HERE AND GIVE ME A HUG.

Illusion!Durkon takes one last shot at convincing the Order to stay, but it doesn’t work. Haley’s suspicious, and Roy finally understands. They’re still there, standing around in a dungeon in the middle of the desert.

A beat passes, and in a display of visual effects almost as amazing as 887, the Order finally disbelieves. We can’t see what Belkar’s been up to while he was “dead,” but at least Roy, Haley, and Elan have come to their senses. Roy seems to have taken it the hardest, and Elan attempts to bounce back with a fourth-wall joke. 

This was a really great strip. Lately, each update has been a work of art, and I’m just impressed with the speed the Giant is keeping up. 
I can’t wait to find out what the Order has to face now.
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AAAAAAAA

H MY FRIGGIN’ GOSH

THAT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST STRIPS

JUST

THAT PANEL LAYOUT

HELP

I THINK I’M CRYING

AND JUST
EVERYTHING IS SO RIDICULOUSLY PERFECT 

LIKE

IT’S A HAPPY ENDING FOR EVERYONE

NOT JUST ROY

JUST MOSTLY ROY

AND THERE ARE ORDER OF THE SCRIBBLE PARALLELS

AND BANJO GETS MARRIED

GUYS

BANJO. GETS. MARRIED.

SOMEONE HOLD ME

I DON’T WANT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY SNAP OUT OF IT
But seriously, that was a gorgeous strip.
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