Characters of The Order of the Stick
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This is a list of characters from the webcomic The Order of the Stick (OOTS). Celebrating and satirizing tabletop role-playing games and medieval fantasy, this tale of the eponymous fellowship of adventuring heroes is written and illustrated by Rich Burlew in a stick-figure style.
Taking place in a magical world that loosely operates by the rules of the 3.5 edition Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), the comic follows the sometimes-farcical exploits of six adventurers as they strive to save the world from an evil lich. Much of the comic's humor stems from these characters either being aware of the game rules that affect their lives or having anachronistic knowledge of modern culture, which in turn is often used by the author to parody various aspects of role-playing games and fantasy fiction. While primarily comedic in nature, The Order of the Stick features a continuing storyline serialized episodes from one to four pages.
Although it is principally distributed online at the website Giant in the Playground, seven book collections have been published, including several print-only stories. Among these collections are "On the Origin of PCs", "Start of Darkness", and "Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales". An alternate version of the strip appeared monthly in Dragon magazine for 22 issues. These strips, among others, are collected in "Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales".
Several minor characters got stand-alone comics on their backgrounds as a result of the stretch goals in its Kickstarter campaign. Burlew attributed the interest of readers in these secondary characters to the continuous, interconnected plot of the comic.
Time magazine and Black Gate praised the comic characters for their expressiveness, even if they are drawn as stick figures. Lev Grossman of Time said that Burlew sometimes "imbues them with a weird epic majesty".
- 1 The Order of the Stick
- 2 Team Evil
- 3 The Linear Guild
- 4 Other antagonists
- 5 The Sapphire Guard
- 6 The Greenhilt family
- 7 The Order of the Scribble
- 8 The Gods
- 9 Greysky City
- 10 The Empire of Blood
- 11 Miscellaneous characters
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
The Order of the Stick
This section deals with characters that are members of the Order of the Stick. According to Rich Burlew, the author of the strip, the characters are roughly 7th to 9th level when the comic begins, though the characters have displayed abilities that require them to be 13th to 15th level since he made that statement. The characters are mostly book-legal Dungeons & Dragons version 3.5 characters. Burlew, however, has stated that he does not wish to limit the characters by making concrete character sheets for them. The characters in the strip have occasionally mentioned feats, spells, skills, and templates which do not exist in the default D&D rules, usually for comedic purposes, such as "Summon Plot Exposition", "Craft Disturbing Mental Image", a paladin ability of "Summon Conscience", and "Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion", a parody of the spell "Evard's Black Tentacles".
Roy Greenhilt, the leader of the Order of the Stick, is a Lawful Good Human Fighter.[nb 1][nb 2] Roy created the Order of the Stick to assist him in fulfilling a Blood Oath from his dead father to defeat Xykon. Roy is noted for his sense of personal responsibility, making it his duty to try to save the world simply because no one else will.[nb 3] He is a reversal of the common "dumb fighter" cliché, possessing an MBA, which stands for Master of Battle Administration, from Fighter College. He fights with his ancestral two-handed greatsword.[nb 4] Roy is the main character of the comic. Much of the subplot of the second book is devoted to his growth as a leader and a man. He was originally developed as the "straight man" for the other members of the Order, and is highly competent, in sharp contrast to several of his fellow party members.[nb 5]
Durkon Thundershield, a Lawful Good Dwarven Cleric,[nb 6] is the healer of the party. He had worked with Roy for years prior to the founding of the "Order of the Stick." Durkon travels through human lands on the orders of the high priest of Thor, who has exiled him as a result of a prophecy. In addition to his warhammer, shield, and heavy armor, he also employs divine magic granted by his patron god, Thor, such as calling down lightning[nb 7] or growing to many times his normal three-foot height.[nb 8] Durkon speaks and writes in a Scottish accent and has a fear of trees, taking any chance he can get to fight them. During a fight with vampire lizardman Malack, he is turned into a vampire, and his body is now occupied by an evil spirit that serves Hel, the Goddess of the Norse Underworld.
Vaarsuvius is a True Neutral Elven Wizard. Vaarsuvius's gender is deliberately ambiguous, causing others, including teammates, to guess or make assumptions about the character's gender.[nb 9] Vaarsuvius is unnecessarily verbose, often to the point that it interferes with the elf's effectiveness, although sometimes it can be of value.[nb 10] Vaarsuvius is arrogant and condescending to those the wizard considers of inferior intellect.[nb 11] Vaarsuvius is motivated by the need to gain "ultimate arcane power" as an end unto itself. Vaarsuvius left the tutelage of the elf master Aarindarius after the latter became convinced that Vaarsuvius was too isolated. Vaarsuvius later become an adventurer as a means to seek out greater powers. Vaarsuvius carries no visible weapons or armor, fighting instead with a wide variety of powerful magical effects, such as fireballs and lightning bolts. The elf also possesses several unique spells such as "Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion". Vaarsuvius has two adopted children and was married to an equally ambiguously-gendered elf baker Inkyrius, but Inkyrius successfully filed for divorce due to Vaarsuvius prioritizing "ultimate arcane power" ahead of the family. Vaarsuvius has a raven familiar named Blackwing.
Haley Starshine is a "Chaotic Good-ish" Human Rogue.[nb 12] The Order's second-in-command,[nb 13] she is skilled in stealth and deception, often serving as a scout for the party. In many early strips, she is portrayed as being highly materialistic. Haley, a former member of a Thieves' Guild, learned that her father was being held for ransom by a dictator in a foreign land, and she originally joined the Order to raise the money necessary to rescue him. It is later discovered that her father purposefully became imprisoned to learn how to overthrow the government of the Empire of Blood, whose grand general is Elan's father. She develops a romantic crush on fellow member Elan and, later, begins a relationship with him.[nb 14] Haley fights using a longbow. She became the leader of the Order for a few months while Roy was dead, dragging his decomposing corpse along with her so he could be resurrected.
Elan is a Chaotic Good Human Bard/Dashing Swordsman.[nb 15] Elan is the happy-go-lucky, childlike bard of the Order. Early in the series, he is frequently inept and oblivious to the motives of those around him, such as Haley's long-concealed attraction to him.[nb 16] Raised solely by his mother, Elan discovers early in the story that his absent warlord father raised his twin brother, Nale, to be an evil mastermind.[nb 17] Elan fights with a rapier, making puns while he fights, and is able to use illusion magic.[nb 18][nb 19][nb 20] In Dungeons & Dragons, a character of the bard class may employ music/singing to grant his allies bonuses, but Elan's use of music and song to inspire his fellow adventurers often has mixed results. Later in the series, Elan takes levels in "Dashing Swordsman", a fictional prestige class that uses his bardic knowledge of narrative and propensity for snappy puns in order to improve his fighting skill.
Belkar Bitterleaf is a Chaotic Evil Halfling Ranger/Barbarian.[nb 21][nb 22] Belkar is an erratic, casual killer driven by a variety of selfish impulses. While ostensibly the party's tracker, he is astoundingly bad at most of his class skills, including tracking.[nb 23] He joined the Order to escape justice from a deadly bar fight in which he knifed fifteen people. The Order does not abandon him, despite his bloodthirsty tendencies, due to Roy's belief that he must keep the violent halfling under control. After Roy is dead, Haley, who becomes the Order's leader, states she'd abandon him if she didn't need all the help she could get.[nb 21] Belkar's loyalty to the Order fluctuates with his mood, and, despite frequently thinking about it, he never actually betrays them.[nb 24][nb 25] Belkar fights with two daggers. Though he's often believed to be unintelligent, even to himself, he's occasionally shown as cunning if in danger. He later adopts a housecat named Mr. Scruffy to be his animal companion.
Led by Xykon the lich, the self-described "Team Evil" plays the role of the primary antagonists to the Order of the Stick. They are categorized by their willingness to embrace evil as a label, living up to the stereotypes of villains from movies and literature.
Xykon was born human, 107 years before the events of the comic. He had a natural talent for necromancy, which he developed in childhood by zombifying his dog and, later, his grandmother.
In his seventies, he fell in with the goblin Redcloak, who told him of a plan to unlock one of the gates imprisoning the Snarl and use the monster to blackmail the gods themselves. When they tried, however, Lirian, the gate's defender, defeated Xykon with a virus that neutralized his spellcasting powers. Redcloak restored Xykon's power by turning him into a lich, making him immune to the virus. Xykon then defeated Lirian and trapped her soul in a gem. An unexpected side effect of becoming a lich is that he can no longer enjoy coffee. Only the deaths of others amuse him any more. He proceeded to turn on Redcloak and became the new leader, with Redcloak his conscripted right-hand man.
Six months before the start of the webcomic, Xykon took over the Dungeon of Dorukan by defeating the wizard Dorukan, trapping his soul in the same gem as Lirian. Though Lirian's gate was destroyed when Redcloak fought her treant servants, he now had access to Dorukan's gate. Filling the dungeon with goblins, mercenaries and undead minions, he waited for his chance to unlock the gate.
Xykon is, in many ways, a stereotypical evil overlord as seen in many fantasy novels and roleplaying games. He does his best to live up to all the clichés associated with the role. He is also genuinely cruel and sadistic, taking joy in the deaths of others. He is rarely surprised by anything, is normally guided by his whims, and cannot remember the names of the Order, often butchering Roy Greenhilt's surname into Bluepommel, Redblade or forgetting who he is altogether. This hints that either he has a vast experience with adventurers and villains or that he has a careless and chaotic nature. He is often shown to be casual about his evil deeds and is rarely in a serious mood. Redcloak considers Xykon one of the most vile and depraved characters he has ever met and is genuinelly horrified when he realizes he has become as callous as him, and warns his Hobgoblin underling to never trust him or underestimate his cruelty.
He finds tactical discussions tedious, feeling that simply throwing his minions, whom he regards as expendable, into the fray in huge numbers will get the job done. Despite his lack of strategic abilities, he is nonetheless quite clever. He has come up with some great plans, such as letting a paladin escape so he could spy on her and find out where the Sapphire gate was. The fact that he appears incapable of planning has worked to his advantage, and both enemies and allies underestimate his cunning. His stated belief is that there is a level of force against which no tactics can be successful. He uses a shock and awe technique as his primary means of victory, though he also believes that one of the keys to victory is how far one is willing to debase oneself until feeling remorse. He has used the gullibility of heroes against the Order of the Stick, and he knows the genre conventions of evil.
His phylactery, which is also Redcloak's unholy symbol, was briefly lost in the sewers of Azure City, and then stolen by the Azure City Underground only to be recovered by Redcloak during his attack on the resistance headquarters. [nb 28]
Redcloak is a goblin and Xykon's partner in crime. Before he took the name "Redcloak", he was an acolyte of the previous bearer of the Crimson Mantle. Soon after, his home was destroyed by the Sapphire Guard of Azure City, who believed the Crimson Mantle was a threat to the very foundation of creation itself. When Redcloak put on the Mantle, he was able to communicate with the Dark One and understood his plan to improve the lot of the goblins by unleashing the Snarl and blackmailing the other gods. To do this, however, Redcloak needed the cooperation of an arcane caster, recruiting Xykon.
Intelligent, with a dry and somewhat sarcastic sense of humour, Redcloak usually plays the straight man to the rest of his team's antics. He appears to have a decent grasp of tactics and considers them more important than does his master. He is familiar with chemistry to the extent that he can summon elementals[nb 29] based on specific chemical elements, such as titanium and chlorine during the siege of Azure City, osmium when taking control of the resistance HQ, magnesium during a bonus comic, and silicon while in the desert, rather than the classical elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Unlike Xykon, Redcloak can remember the names of Roy and his party and is also familiar with Soon Kim. Over the course of the strip Redcloak has cast numerous high-level spells, indicating that he is a powerful spellcaster.
Redcloak's unholy symbol is Xykon's phylactery. He is loyal to Xykon out of guilt for his actions and devotion to the Dark One's plan. He endures the lich's insults, but resents him for ordering goblins to their death indiscriminately. His attitude temporarily changes due to his mastery over the hobgoblins, whom he initially despised, only changing his opinion of them when one of them pushed him out of the way of a boulder and died in his place.[nb 30] When Xykon's body was temporarily destroyed and the lich was confined to his phylactery, Redcloak openly criticized him, stating that he does not trust Xykon as an ally of the Goblin race.[nb 31] Redcloak called him on his hypocrisy when Xykon insisted on good teamwork only because he was weak at the time
Later strips show Redcloak taking on a more important role in the leadership of Team Evil. He deals with day-to-day issues and tricked Xykon into letting them stay at Azure City for months. He established Azure City as the basis of a Goblin-ruled sovereign nation known as Gobbotopia, declaring that it was time the goblinoid races achieved international recognition as more than mere monsters. Redcloak is technically the Supreme Leader of Gobbotopia, but he has placed his rule on hold, handing the responsibilities to the hobgoblin Jirix, to help Xykon finish his quest.[nb 32]
Redcloak lost his right eye during O-Chul's prison break.[nb 33] Because the prison break also resulted in the loss of Xykon's phylactery, Xykon imposed an "idiot tax" on Redcloak by forbidding him to regenerate his lost eye.[nb 34]
Monster in the Darkness
The Monster in the Darkness is an as-yet unnamed creature of an indeterminate species that is kept by Xykon as a big vicious monster to reveal at the last moment to thwart the heroes. Since Xykon never had the chance to call the monster out of the darkness in his first battle with the Order of the Stick and because he refuses to reveal it until the climax, the monster remains hidden in darkness, visible only as two glowing yellow eyes. When outside, the monster is forced by Xykon and Redcloak to hide under a pink Hello Kitty umbrella that spreads magical darkness. It desires to come out of the shadow, or be otherwise illuminated, going as far as to beg a group of lantern archons to attack it with their damaging light rays to light it up.
The monster has not exhibited vicious behavior, and is frequently amiable unless antagonised or specifically ordered not to be. Rather, it is timid, has low self-esteem, is prone to inane observations, acts oblivious about things around it, and displays childish behavior, such as being a fan of Rainbow Brite and throwing a tea party with a stuffed dragon, the dead Roy, and a paralyzed O-Chul. It was unable to recognize Dorukan's Gate while looking directly at it. This has become a recurring joke in the strip, as every time one of the evil characters mentions the gates, the monster is ignorant of what the gate means or even of its existence.
Despite calling the monster a "bozo", Xykon has implied that it is powerful. Its power is verified when it is confronted by Miko Miyazaki. When Miko hits the monster with a full round of attacks, while both Roy and Hinjo were previously severely injured by such attacks, the Monster said the attacks merely tickled. It then challenges her to a game of "Who Can Hit the Lightest", but subsequently loses by knocking Miko and her horse through a wall and several miles further. That the monster actually was trying to hit her lightly is confirmed by its disappointment at having lost. When angered, its shout produces a shockwave powerful enough to blow both Haley and Belkar off their feet, intimidating them into making a trade of stew for the bodies of Roy and O-Chul, rather than taking them away from the Monster's tea party. Shortly afterward, as Haley and Belkar escape with Roy's corpse and O-Chul, the monster stomps the ground at the direction of one of the Demon Cockroaches, which results in a massive, ground-cracking earthquake. Despite the fact that the monster causes the earthquake without any acknowledged effort on its part, it feels tired and hungry after having done so. The monster also unwittingly teleports Vaarsuvius and O-Chul away from Xykon.[nb 35]
It has since then attempted to recreate the teleportation effect to no avail.[nb 36] He later asked Tsukiko to check up on O-Chul and, after being dismissed by her, casually comments that the "way complicated" ritual she had been working on was actually half a ritual, despite having only seen it briefly.[nb 37] The Monster may have caused rainstorm in issue 550 and possibly issue 709 as a gift to O-Chul.[nb 38] In 550, they had just formally recognized each other as a friend when O-Chul said he needed to sleep before they played Go. When it starts to rain, the Monster remarks that rain helps O-Chul sleep and O-Chul agrees.[nb 39] In issue 709, the Monster is unsuccessful using magic to find O-Chul, and remarks, "Don't worry, O-Chul, I'll find you someday. Until then, I hope wherever you are, the rain is helping you sleep." The next panel shows O-Chul sleeping in the middle of a rainstorm; hundreds if not thousands of miles away.
It is revealed during a conversation between the monster and the imprisoned O-Chul that Xykon tries to feed the monster live children in an attempt to make him scarier. This fails, however, as the monster doesn't eat children, and just dumps them in the trash whenever Xykon's attention is focused elsewhere. The monster and O-Chul have come to regard each other as friends, going so far as to have O-Chul refer to it as Monster-san, since the monster does not know its own name.
According to the expansion book, Start of Darkness, the Monster originally came from the deep rainforest. He was caught by a pair of hunters who comment how unusual it is that one of its species would be in a rainforest and how strange it is that he can talk. He made it clear that he was deeply fond of the rainforest, enjoying, in particular, the sunlight and fresh breezes, things it is denied under Xykon's control. He later found himself as an exhibition in a circus group, where his great love for stew is first shown. At least one member of the audience was absolutely horrified and disgusted by his appearance. Redcloak said he knew what the creature was and that the monster could escape easily if he wanted. Redcloak steals him from the circus and Xykon, afterwards, takes charge of it. He charms the monster to eat Redcloak and spit out the phylactery on the chance that Redcloak ever betrays him.
The monster is male, though his species and appearance are unknown. He refers to having known his father, describing him as far bigger than himself and possessing a vastly greater appetite, but knows nothing else of his species. When O-Chul reveals the rather obvious fact that he, like the monster, does not eat babies, the monster is overjoyed by the prospect of creating a 'No-Baby-Eating Club', which he specifically forbids Tsukiko from joining. O-Chul is horrified at the prospect that Tsukiko eats babies, but the monster denies this, saying the only reason she can't be a member is because girls can't join the club.
Tsukiko, a female native of Azure City with glowing heterochromatic blue and purple eyes, was first seen in the Azure City jail where she had been imprisoned for "unnatural acts of wizardry". Along with Belkar and a thief accused of grand larceny, she agreed to help defend Azure City against Xykon in exchange for a reduced sentence. During the fight, she sided with Xykon, healing him and attacking Azure City soldiers.[nb 40] She later attempted to drop off her paperwork with Redcloak, who rudely dismissed her, leaving her in the courtyard with a chlorine elemental who was ordered to kill all humans. She killed the elemental with a Shout spell and later rejoined Xykon and Redcloak in the ruins of the castle, where, to the amusement of Xykon, she attempted to blame Redcloak for trying to kill her. She then came upon Miko's remains and considered animating her as a free-willed, evil undead to get even with Redcloak, then dismissed the notion, thinking the creature wouldn't have been powerful anyway. She later led Black Squadron with a group of wights in an attempt to take out Haley's resistance group and eventually engaged in direct battle with Haley.
She had levels as a mystic theurge, giving her access to both divine and arcane spells. She stated that she is sexually attracted to undead, a fact that mildly disturbs Xykon, who comments that he's not a "biophiliac" and is uninterested in the living. She kept a sleeping toy in Xykon's likeness. She denied any rumours of bisexual tendencies, despite an alleged incident with a female skeleton in a crypt. She believed that Azure City is bigoted against her for being "different" and had shown motherly tendencies towards the wights that she created. She had also stated her belief that, since the undead are the antithesis of life and living people are dishonest and spiteful, logically, the undead must be pure and honest. She even believed this of Xykon.
She had verbally expressed her desire to replace Redcloak as Xykon's second in command. After she uncovered Redcloak's private plan for the gates, Redcloak commanded her own wights to execute her before she could inform Xykon of Redcloak's betrayal.
The Demon Cockroaches first appeared when the Monster in the Darkness left a bowl of popcorn out in the living room instead of taking it back to the kitchen like he was supposed to. These shoe-sized red cockroaches follow Redcloak and Xykon around. They enjoy watching the carnage and destruction that Xykon brings with him, though Xykon and Redcloak usually ignore their existence. The extent of their interaction is limited to Redcloak's annoyance and setting of Roach Motels and Xykon's betting with one. They often make sarcastic comments at the seemingly absurd actions of Xykon and Redcloak a la Mystery Science Theater 3000, similar to the insect banter in the margins of Cricket Magazine. Although they are usually side characters, they sometimes take part in the comic's action. For instance, in one strip, Miko uses one of the roaches to escape a forcecage by making the roach breathe fire, lighting a Molotov cocktail made from her cloak and a bottle of dwarven brandy.[nb 41]
Start of Darkness shows that the Cockroaches traveled from the Spice Rack of the Damned in the Abyss to an evil-themed restaurant that Xykon, Redcloak and Right-Eye formerly frequented via a portal. They then chose to follow Xykon because he often visited the restaurant and thus eventually picked up the stench.
The Linear Guild
Perfect foils to the Order of the Stick, the Linear Guild follow the "evil opposites" theme as closely as possible. This means that each of the Linear Guild resembles and belongs to a character class or multiclass combination with similar abilities to those of a member of the Order of the Stick. However, they are the exact opposite of that individual in some other respects. This is more obvious in some cases than in others.
Nale, whose name is "Elan" spelled backwards, is Elan's evil twin brother. A multiclass fighter/rogue/sorcerer who specializes in enchantment spells, he has the same combination of abilities as his bardic twin, but more complicated. He was raised by his ruthless, lawful evil father, a powerful general of an evil army, while Elan was raised by their mother, a kindly, chaotic good barmaid.
He looks identical to Elan except for a small goatee, later confirmed by Rich Burlew in the first collected book as an intentional reference to Spock in the Star Trek Mirror Universe. During one of his plans, Nale shaved off the goatee and glued it onto his brother in order to swap places[nb 42] with Elan, though it had grown back by the time he was imprisoned. His cunning, scheming, and evil nature makes him the opposite of the light-hearted, good-natured, and comically inept Elan. He is also in a relationship with Sabine, Haley's opposite. He is the smartest member of the guild, though he has a tendency to outsmart himself.
He is skilled with words and is a master planner. Unlike Elan, he can quickly arrive at an intelligent, although not usually the most optimal, solutions to his problems. He tends to over-complicate situations in order to reach a certain end, such as killing 421 random people just to let the police know where he could be located. His intelligence is also his weakness, for many times his overconfidence or underestimation of others results in his downfall.
At one time, Nale succeeded in replacing his brother within the Order and traveled with them to Azure City. He had planned to eliminate the other members of the Order as quickly as possible by engineering things so that he ends up alone with each one, in turn. However, upon discovering the Order of the Stick's mission to protect the Gates of the Snarl from Xykon, Nale changed his plans. He now intends to seize control of the Gates himself, having deduced that Xykon must have devised a way to channel and direct the energy of the Snarl.
Although captured by the Order of the Stick and imprisoned by the Sapphire Guard in anti-magic cells, Nale escaped with Sabine and Thog during the war with Xykon. They left the city to resume efforts to take one of the two remaining gates.
He resurfaced when Sabine captured Elan and brought him to Nale. Elan had thought Nale was dead due to what Nale describes as his "willful ignorance". When Sabine gave another energy draining kiss to Elan, as ordered by Nale, she willingly made out with him and Elan escaped during their ensuing argument.
In strip 913, he is killed by Tarquin in response to his killing of Malack.
Thog is a half-orc barbarian with two levels in fighter. He likes puppies, ice cream with sprinkles, and rocket skates, but is afraid of pretty girls and Teletubbies. He wields a greataxe and displays a childlike innocence while killing without mercy.
Thog's speech is always depicted in lower-case bold letters in the comic, a convention also used for other low-intelligence characters. Thog's stupidity and follower mentality makes him the opposite of Roy Greenhilt, the competent leader. Also, while Roy is clearly attracted to beautiful girls to the point of clouding his judgement, Thog is afraid of them, because he fears cooties. Thog was arrested by the Cliffport Police Department and charged with multiple crimes, but escaped after Elan cleverly persuaded him into destroying their prison bars. For Elan's unexplained and unused stowaway plan, Thog wears a leprechaun costume, while he packs a giant wooden alpaca with potato salad. Prior to this he was wearing a Moogle costume.
When he was reunited with his comrades, Nale told him Sabine missed him, resulting in him "bull rush tackle hugging" Sabine. While Elan and Haley fought Nale and Sabine, Thog returned and, his greataxe having been left behind in Cliffport, tore the door off its hinges for use as an improvised weapon. Elan appealed to their newly discovered friendship and persuaded Thog that he would rather go and eat ice cream with his friends than have them fight. Thog agreed and promptly bludgeoned Haley several times with the door. Thog did not really participate in the subsequent battle between the Guild and the Order, as Elan subdued him using an illusion. He was captured after Durkon used a Hold Person spell on him at the battle's conclusion as he tries to join in the Order's group hug. The Order turned him over to the Sapphire Guard, but he later escaped with Nale and Sabine.
Thog resurfaced as a prisoner and gladiatorial champion in the Empire of Blood, where he was defeated by Roy in one-on-one combat inside the arena.
Sabine is a shapeshifting demon and self-described 'evil incarnation of illicit sex'. The second-in-command of the Linear Guild is Nale's lover and the opposite number of Haley Starshine.
Sabine was revealed as a succubus nearly six hundred strips after her debut.[nb 43] Her energy drain, shapeshift abilities, and batlike wings, are consistent with a succubus, although she also is able to use Plane Shift, which is not an innate succubus ability. Though capable of mimicking anyone, Sabine generally shapeshifts into dark-skinned individuals, as she is also dark-skinned. She possesses high fiend-based racial bonuses, making her hard to damage in combat. Haley was able to damage her, despite fiend bonuses, with silver and cold iron arrows, but since she used both arrows at once, Haley is unsure which of these arrows are able to do damage. Roy's enhanced sword is also capable of damaging her.
She once made an attempt to seduce Roy after her enchantment spells wore off mid-battle, but it failed and she was thrown out of a window by Roy. Despite her defeat, Sabine recovered before she could be taken into custody and used her shapeshifting ability to replace a member of the Cliffport Police Department. She used this disguise to rescue Pompey from custody. She arrived at Azure City and hooked up with Nale, though she was forced to leave to go to the Lower Planes because of a deal she made with an unknown group of fiends. The group, later revealed to be the "Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission" (IFCC), made her promise to inform them of anything that might tip the balance of good and evil. Sabine despises Pompey, considering the half-elf to be a little pervert.
Defeated by Haley and Durkon, Sabine recently spent time in the cells of the Sapphire Guard, along with Nale and Thog. While there, she attempted to persuade the imprisoned Miko Miyazaki, a fallen Paladin, to convert to being a Blackguard. In return, Miko attempted to kill her, leaving Sabine's head inconveniently twisted backwards. Following battle damages to the cell, Sabine escaped with Nale and Thog, flying away from Azure City in search of another of the Snarl's gates.
She resurfaced in The Empire Of Blood to take Elan to Nale. When Nale told her to give Elan one of her life-draining kisses, Elan made out with her, to Nale's disgust, and escaped during the ensuing argument between Sabine and Nale. Sabine claimed to love Nale and was greatly upset by his death at the hand of his father. After witnessing Nale's death, Sabine gave Vaarsuvius advice on how to fight Tarquin and his allies.[nb 44]
Previous Guild members
Hilgya Firehelm is a dwarven cleric of Loki who left her ancestral homelands to escape her arranged marriage to her supportive and loving husband Ivan, whom she unjustly regarded as cruel. She had a short liaison with her opposite number, Durkon, after the Guild left her for dead. She also tells him that she was never really on the Linear Guild's side, but joined them because Loki wanted her to steal an artifact Nale was looking for. Durkon seems to have truly cared for her, but when he found out that she had left her husband, and was still technically married, he rejected her out of his sense of honor and duty. This caused her to flee crying and she has not been seen since. Nale has since stated she is no longer a member of the Linear Guild. Hilgya's free-spirited attitude and hedonism made her the opposite of the dutiful and unassuming Durkon. The deity she worships is the rival of the deity Durkon worships. Hilgya somehow escaped the dungeon and, more than a year later, ran into the Order of the Stick while trying to hunt down Durkon[nb 45].
Zz'dtri is a drow wizard who wielded dual scimitars and used a 3.0 version of the fly spell, among others. During a one-sided battle with his opposite number, Vaarsuvius, he was dragged off by lawyers for being a rather obvious parody of the character Drizzt Do'Urden, a continuation of a prior joke within the comic. Zz'dtri's taciturn, laconic nature and unwillingness to share his knowledge makes him the opposite of the rather long-winded, lecturing Vaarsuvius. He also has a clearly defined gender, as opposed to the androgynous Vaarsuvius.
Zz'dtri reappeared shortly after Thog appeared in the Empire of Blood's gladiatorial games with Qarr acting as his new familiar, and acting under the guise of an Elven diplomat. He managed to escape the lawyers because parody is protected speech. He surprise attacked Haley and turned her into stone, much like he did to Celia. He then engaged in a mage duel with Vaarsuvius, revealing that he had geared his entire character build toward defeating the other wizard (and was thus unprepared when Vaarsuvius confronted him with a mind-controlled archer). Zz'dtri traveled with the Linear Guild during the quest to capture Draketooth's Gate, assisting Nale in his killing of Malack, only to be killed by the vampire Durkon shortly after the gate was destroyed.
Yikyik is a kobold ranger who was prejudiced against halflings, in contrast to fellow ranger Belkar Bitterleaf's prejudice against kobolds. The intense hatred the two had for each other culminated at the Order vs. Guild battle, where Yikyik was defeated. Belkar appears later wearing what he refers to as a "swanky new leather hat" made from Yikyik's hide.
Nale and Sabine have recruited replacements for party members that were slain, being sued, or who had deserted the party. These replacements have also been slain or deserted the party.
Pompey is an evil half-elf (as shown by having only one pointed ear on the left) student wizard whom the Linear Guild recruited[nb 46] from Warthog's School of Wizardry and Sorcery to be the new opposite number to Vaarsuvius. Pompey is a wizard who specializes in the spellcasting school of Conjuration, having chosen Enchantment and Evocation as his barred schools. This makes him a more direct opposite of Vaarsuvius, who uses Enchantment and Evocation, but is barred from using Conjuration spells. His clothing and hair color are also the reverse of Vaarsuvius's hair and robe colors. Though he was captured by Roy in Cliffport and handed over to the CPPD, Pompey was soon rescued by Sabine and is still at large. Nale assigned him to watch the local prison, but he has left his watch, breaking out Leeky Windstaff in the process. He appears to have quit the Guild,[nb 47] telling Leeky that neglecting to inform Nale of Elan's escape will serve as his two-week notice.
In comparison to Vaarsuvius, who displays no attraction to either gender, Pompey is quite lecherous and readily flirts with any attractive female. The primary reason that Pompey was left behind in Cliffport was because Sabine refused to carry him on the three-day flight to Azure City, forced to endure his constant "accidental" gropes.
Leeky Windstaff is a neutral evil gnome druid, the evil opposite of Durkon. He is an amoral and psychotic person devoted to the physical natural world, as opposed to Durkon's morality, kindheartedness, and devotion to a deity. Equally, as a druid, Leeky embraces nature and surrounds himself with Treants, while Durkon possesses a fear and loathing for trees. He was kicked out of his druid circle because he is unbalanced, where Durkon was banished for reasons beyond his control and knowledge. He also uses figurative language as opposed to Durkon's more straightforward speaking style.
He is seen commanding trees to attack the citizens of Cliffport, causing Durkon to flee in terror.[nb 7] His animal companion was a hawk, but it was slain by Roy. Many characters working together were required to take him down, as well as misinterpretation on Thor's part of the spell "Control Weather".[nb 48] Leeky is capable of shapeshifting into the form of a dire bear. Leeky surrendered to the Order after they defeated him in battle and was apparently handed over to the local authorities. Some time later, Pompey freed Leeky, and the two were last seen discussing Pompey's employment as a cohort.[nb 47]
Yokyok, the son of Yikyik, joined the Guild to seek revenge on Belkar in the style of Inigo Montoya to the point where he and Belkar speak lines of dialogue directly from The Princess Bride. In contrast with Belkar, who kills indiscriminately and for amusement, Yokyok had a reason and somewhat acceptable motivation for seeking someone out to kill him. Yokyok dislikes the rest of the Linear Guild, regarding them as scoundrels, and was working with them only because Nale promised to deliver Belkar to him. Yokyok also considered himself a form of righteous justice, delivering rightful punishment to Belkar. Belkar arranged his death by posting a mission notice in a tavern asking for help.
Yukyuk was a kobold ranger/rogue who first appeared to sneak-attack Vaarsuvius from atop a dog named Sir Scraggly. He wielded twin crossbows. During the battle in the Empire of Blood, he was Dominated by Vaarsuvius as a weapon against Zz'dtri. Yukyuk's attacks proved effective, due to Zz'dtri having chosen which spells to prepare that day based on countering any of the direct attacks Vaarsuvius normally prefers. The Order still had him under their control, and attempted to use him to disarm traps in the Windy Canyon, only to discover he had no skill at disarming traps. He was eventually slain during an attack by the Linear Guild when Zz'dtri fired an Empowered Vitrolic Sphere.
The Bandit Clan of Wooden Forest
The Bandit Clan is a group of thieves and bandits living in Wooden Forest that the Order of the Stick encounters during their sidequest to find starmetal. The clan consists of mostly low-level adventurers who use bows, though it also has several guards, an executioner, a quartermaster, and a sandwich artisan.[nb 49] After Durkon gains control of the clan, he orders them to disperse and return to their homes, thus ending their threat to travelers.
The Bandit King, a male human rogue or ranger who fights with two swords, is the leader of the group. The Bandit King has led the clan for many years, using his combat prowess to stay in power by establishing a standing law that any bandit who defeated him in solo battle could take his place. He comes to regret this decision when his daughter Samantha bests him. The Bandit King claims to have only preyed on the "wealthy and universally despised". This does not keep him from helping to defeat the Order of the Stick, after which he is able to retake his position as leader from his exhausted daughter. He, in turn, is accidentally defeated by Durkon. He and his offspring are tied up and left in the forest. He is later killed by Miko Miyazaki after he attacks her for killing his daughter.
Samantha, the bandit king's daughter, is a female human sorceress. Described as "rotten to the core" by her own father, Samantha uses her powers to seize control of the clan, which she then uses for her own selfish purposes, including kidnapping attractive male adventurers like Elan. After clashing with the Order, she is knocked out by the Bandit King and tied up by the Order of the Stick. She is released by a traveling Miko Miyazaki, whom she threatens to force into servitude with her magic. Faced with this threat, Miko then kills Samantha.
A pair of unnamed assassins are encountered by the Order of the Stick during their brief stay at an inn while being escorted by Miko back to Azure City. One of the assassins is an amorous dwarf, who is armed with an arquebus and has a penchant for explosives. The other is a skilled shadowdancer, referred to as "the Shadowdancer", who, after spending many years in his prestige class, only just realized that the world of the stick figure comic lacked any shadows in the first place.
Due to a misunderstanding with the hotel staff reminiscent of the "Who's on First?" routine, Roy is confused for the king of the country of "Nowhere", who is meeting with leaders from nations Somewhere and Anywhere to discuss a peace treaty. The two assassins mistake Roy for the king of Nowhere and attack him, wounding Elan in the process. Roy is forced to use the Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity to get Elan to safety. Once he escapes, Roy returns with Haley and Vaarsuvius to confront the assassins. In the chaos, Belkar accidentally sets off one of the dwarven assassin's barrels of explosives, destroying the inn. In the resulting explosion, the Shadowdancer finally finds a shadow he can teleport through, and the assassins escape. They also appear in a flashback where they are spying on Thanh's meeting with the real King of Nowhere.
The pair of assassins appear as monster cards in The Order of the Stick Adventure Game. "The Shadowdancer", as the game refers to him, remains anonymous, whereas the dwarf's card cites his name as "Kaboom" Redaxe.
Daimyo Kubota is a male human aristocrat and leader of House Kubota, one of the noble houses of Azure City that is actively engaged in a plot to kill Hinjo and seize control of the city. He leads several noble houses in abandoning Azure City on the eve of invasion over a disagreement with Hinjo and Roy regarding how best to address the impending threat. On Kubota's orders, a pair of ninja and a convict released to fight for the city attempt to assassinate Hinjo during the chaos of the battle. Due to the ruling of the lone magistrate to escape the fall of the city, Hinjo has been unable to arrest Kubota for these actions. As Kubota's ships sail with the fleet of refugees leaving the city, he has made several more attempts on Hinjo's life using charmed aquatic monsters and his own ninja, Therkla. Hinjo has described Kubota as the kind of man who would not care whether all of Azure City fell to the forces of evil, just so long as he came out of it with his power intact. Kubota actually does care, as he actively conspired with devils to place himself on Azure City's throne. Kubota has an appreciation for the finer things in life, from caviar to imported rugs. While he surrenders to Elan following the death of Therkla, he nevertheless appears confident of the aristocratic countermeasures he has plotted out. He assumes that any trial will turn into a circus, making Hinjo look even worse. All his bragging is for naught; however, as Kubota never gets to trial, thanks to a Disintegrate spell from an annoyed and sleep-deprived Vaarsuvius. This was followed with Gust of Wind, which effectively sweeps Kubota's remains into the sea. Vaarsuvius admits to not knowing the man's name or precisely what he had done wrong, simply that a trial would distract from Vaarsuvius' research.
Qarr is an imp working alongside Kubota and Therkla. His speech balloon, while red and ominous, contradicts the fact that he is small and unassuming. He helped conspire with Kubota for the eventual rule of Azure City. He is capable of maintaining telepathic contact with Therkla while aboard another ship and is responsible for charming the aquatic monsters that attack Lord Hinjo's junk. He often comes to conflict with Therkla when her crush on Elan interferes with Kubota's orders. After he and Therkla were trapped by Hinjo and the Order of the Stick, he cast a summoning spell, calling forth a massive devil as reinforcement before and teleporting away. He did not respond to Kubota's commands after Therkla's death, and his current location is a mystery. He is later seen following Vaarsuvius around after the elf had chosen to leave the group to find a better place for researching magic. He is later discovered and, despite offering the elf arcane assistance, is promptly evicted from it by Vaarsuvius, who sees the offer as a deal with the Devil. After facilitating a meeting between Vaarsuvius and a trio of fiends, who convince the elven wizard to bargain with them, he accompanies the fiends to the Lower Planes, where they offer him a position with their organization. Qarr also correctly deduces that the fiends had been monitoring Vaarsuvius for some time.[nb 43] He was seen serving as a familiar to Zz'dtri.[nb 50]
Therkla was a female half-orc ninja, described by Kubota as his "most trusted assassin". The reasonably skilled ninja graduated valedictorian from her ninja school after slaying the original. She develops a crush on the physically attractive, but ever-oblivious Elan. The crush is so extreme that she not only switches sides mid-battle solely to have a chance to fight alongside, but goes to great lengths to save his life, a fact that makes Qarr suspicious of her loyalty. Although Kubota forgives her acts after she manipulates his words to her advantage, he tells her that she must kill Elan the next time they meet, stating that this time, she won't be able to hide behind loopholes. She arranges a meeting with Elan at night, admits her feelings towards him, and ask to be his girlfriend. When Elan responds that he is already seeing Haley, she asks to at the least be with him while she's gone. When Qarr appears and reveals to Elan that he set up the meeting to ambush him, he chooses not to believe the imp and ends up convincing Therkla to switch to Hinjo's side. The group was later caught by an ambush set up by Lien, who promptly arrests Therkla. Hinjo offers her a reduced sentence for confirming that she works for Kubota, but she refuses out of loyalty to her mentor. Later, Kubota poisons her and leaves her with Elan, who tells her that Durkon could raise her from the dead. When she realizes that, even if resurrected, she and Elan would not be together, she opts to continue to the afterlife rather than live without him.
The Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission (IFCC), is represented by its three cloaked and hooded directors, Cedrik, Lee, and Nero. The group is described as a 'community-based grassroots organization dedicated to building bridges between the diabolic, daemonic, and demonic populations'. In the context of Dungeons & Dragons, Cedrik, Lee, and Nero represent the three subtypes of fiends, Chaotic Evil, Lawful Evil, and Neutral Evil respectively, as divided by alignment. The IFCC aims to bring them together into a unified front, with the intent of one day leading the gathered fiends in a battle against the Good-aligned Higher Planes and destroying them completely. The alignment of each separate chairman is not stated. The IFCC is not in charge of their respective fiendish factions, but works to achieve formal recognition and higher funding from their superiors. They are known to at least one of the evil deities of the setting, Tiamat. The IFCC becomes involved with the quest for the Gates, sending Sabine to accompany Nale. They consider the Linear Guild their pawns in the Gates quest. The IFCC provides Vaarsuvius with the soul-splice that grants the elf "ultimate arcane power" for a time, with the intent to control Vaarsuvius' soul for a future scheme.
Vampire Durkon, formerly known as the High Priest of Hel is an entity made up of negative energy in possession of Durkon's body. He was created when Durkon was turned into a vampire by Malack, but only took control of the body once Malack was killed and he was freed from being a thrall. Vampire Durkon used Durkon's accent and acted like a team member, but it is revealed he is in service of Hel and is only working with the group as a means to an end.
Vampire Durkon has the ability to look at all of Durkon's memories which he used to his advantage when pretending to be Durkon. He has shown to have a disdain for anything positive and has trouble piecing certain events that depend on positive emotions together.
Vampire Durkon's plan is to destroy the world and damning all the Dwarven souls to Hel's realm to punish them for exiling Durkon. It is revealed that his first memories were Durkon's worst memories which is why he has such an outlook. His vote in the Godsmoot to destroy the world was a pivotal moment as it resulted in a tie, allowing Hel to call in several political favors with demigods to sway the vote in her favor.
The Sapphire Guard
The Sapphire Guard is an organization of paladins dedicated to defending Soon's Gate in Azure City.
Miko Miyazaki was a female paladin and member of the Sapphire Guard. She was raised in a monastery and thus had some monk skills in addition to her paladin abilities. Miko was the most fanatical, powerful, and high-ranking member of the Sapphire Guard. The series' author has admitted that Miko was an intentional take on the "fanatical paladin" RPG stereotype in contrast to the other, more rational Paladins of the Guard. Her fanaticism was so extreme that other members of the Sapphire Guard would send her away on missions just to be rid of her. Miko was sent to capture the Order of the Stick and bring them to Azure City to be tried for destroying one of the five secret gates. After some initial hostilities, due in part to confusion of the Linear Guild's crimes with the Order, Roy And Durkon convinced the party to come peacefully, but tensions erupted after a brush with assassins at the Weary Travellers Inn resulted in great risk destruction and risk to life, partly due to the Order's misbehaviour. Annoyed by Miko's haughty and thankless attitude, Roy reneged on his promise to come peacefully, and Miko used force to drag them back to Azure City in chains. Belkar Bitterleaf escaped captivity just before the trial, and the Order's decision to protect him at the trial's conclusion, just after their acquittal, sealed a deep enmity between her and the Order. Later, when she found out that Xykon's armies were approaching Azure City, she overhear some remarks from the Lich that she interpreted as a sign of collusion with Roy, the Order's leader. On her way back to Azure City to warn Lord Shojo, she caught the tail end of a conversation between Roy and her liege that led her to conclude that Shojo was a traitor, colluding with both Roy and Xykon to overrun the city. In her anger, she killed him, causing her to lose her paladinhood. Miko was then jailed, but escaped during Xykon's attack on the city. In an attempt to keep the Lich from taking over the magical gate, she destroyed it. The resulting explosion killed her, while narrowly allowing Xykon and his lieutenant Redcloak to escape.
Hinjo is a Lawful Good Paladin in Azure City's Sapphire Guard and the nephew and heir of Lord Shojo. After Shojo's death, Hinjo succeeded him as ruler of the Azurites and commander of the Sapphire Guard. Hinjo is first seen helping Miko escort the Order of the Stick to their trial in Azure City. He is much more easy going than fellow paladin Miko Miyazaki, generally getting along with the Order. Miko's disapproval of this caused him to mock her, telling the Order of the Stick that her attitude is the reason she is generally sent on the long missions.
Lacking her holier-than-thou attitude, Hinjo is a considerably more likeable portrayal of a paladin than Miko Miyazaki. Despite this, Hinjo's rule is opposed by some members of Azure City's noble class, who have tried several times to assassinate him during his short time on the throne. As a paladin, he takes his honor extremely seriously, refusing to break oaths he makes, even if it might be a better long-term move. Knowing the tenuous nature of his position as ruler, he is politically savvy, careful to always have on the right air and manner when others are watching him. Nevertheless, he attempts to project a firm stance against the nobles and refuses to budge to their demands. Hinjo's preference that people follow their given orders shows his lawful side, though he concedes that the ship captain, who disobeyed orders by sailing away from Azure City during the attack too early, may have saved his life. Even after the city has fallen, he still takes time to reinforce his position and expects people to obey orders.
Wielding a single silver katana, though he also possesses a cold iron katana, he is a highly competent fighter and shows great skill fighting from his mount. His mount, a dire wolf named Argent, is able to harm devils with its bite due to silver teeth fillings installed during a trip to the dentist. As heir and subsequently leader of the Sapphire Guard, he has considerable knowledge of their lore. For instance, he knew about the Snarl and knew of the Guard's ability to rise as ghosts when slain by Xykon in the throne room.
He was a second most powerful paladin of Sapphire Guard - only Miko was better, what was proven when they fought each other.
Lien is a paladin of Azure City. She was present at Hinjo's inauguration[nb 51] and was assigned to transport Miko to her prison alongside O-Chul.[nb 52] Lien was placed in charge of the Azure City evacuation,[nb 53] partially because her paladin mount, a shark named Razor,[nb 54] would be useful in defending the docks. Raised by fishermen, she is of common descent. She and O-Chul are currently on a reconnaissance mission at the Northern Gate, their mission to keep watch for Xykon and alert the Order of the Stick if he should show up there.
O-Chul, the leader of the paladins of Azure City, has a bald head, full beard, and scar on his temple. O-Chul first makes an appearance in the comic guarding the throne room just prior to Shojo's assassination.[nb 55] Along with Lien, he is charged with the duty of transporting Miko to her prison cell.[nb 52] During the planning for the defense of Azure City, he agrees to guard Soon's Gate with his life, stating that he and his paladins "will gladly lay down [their] lives in the defense of the tower."[nb 56] During a battle, O-Chul realized that to prevent Xykon from taking control of Soon's gate, he would have to destroy it. However, just as he raises his blade to strike, Xykon paralyzes him. Afterward, Miko used O-Chul's blade to shatter the sapphire, even though Soon's ghost had appeared and was about to end Xykon's threat.
During the months of Team Evil's occupation of Azure City, O-Chul was tortured by Redcloak for information about Girard's Gate and put to life-threatening situations for Xykon's amusement. O-Chul has continually stated truthfully that he lacks any knowledge whatsoever of the other Gates, though when Redcloak threatened to execute helpless slaves, O-Chul attempted to placate him with a bluff. This failed, and O-Chul returned to the truth. His refusal to crumble under pressure has earned him admiration from observing prisoners.
O-Chul was kept in a cage beside the box containing the Monster in the Darkness, who had originally found him paralyzed outside Azure City. The two regard each other as friends, share their daily food, and even play games, such as Go, together. When O-Chul escapes his cell, he confirms to the Monster in the Darkness that one must always do what they feel is right, even if it seems hopeless, and declares that the monster is "a good man". O-Chul then attempts to destroy Xykon's phylactery before escaping with Vaarsuvius thanks to a little help from the Monster in the Darkness. Currently, he is on a reconnaissance mission with Lien to the Northern Gate.
A paladin with a similar appearance as O-Chul, minus his scar, has appeared several times, once investigating the remnants of Lirian's Gate[nb 57] and once encountering a disguised Belkar on the street.[nb 58]
Lord Shojo was the leader of the Sapphire Guard of Paladins and secular ruler of Azure City before being murdered by Miko Miyazaki. His father was given the position by Soon Kim, making him the third leader in the city's history. He is the uncle of Hinjo, who was heir apparent to Azure City prior to Shojo's death. He has admitted to being a non-Lawful 14th level Aristocrat, an NPC class. Belkar believes his alignment is Chaotic Good. Because of this, he had little problems with bending the laws as he saw fit, believing that the end justified the means. To avoid assassination attempts by the nobles of Azure City, he pretended to be senile and easily swayed, especially by his cat, Mr. Scruffy. This was to make them feel that all his policies were due to other nobles' manipulations.
In return for Roy's cooperation in defeating Xykon, Lord Shojo agreed to grant each member of the Order of the Stick one favor with the exception of Belkar Bitterleaf, who, having murdered his guard, was released on bail in lieu of specific assistance. Although he was willing to lie to them, he does not appreciate Roy insulting or otherwise criticizing his paladins and wizards,[nb 59] such as the wizard who accidentally teleported them into a Roc's nest instead of Azure City because he was drunk at the time.
Lord Shojo does not consider himself bound by Soon Kim's edict that the other Gates be left alone, believing that Soon Kim's reasons have become obsolete. He recognizes the oath's importance to the paladins of the Guard and, as such, outwardly does his best to follow the terms of that agreement. Covertly, however, he considered it extremely foolish to risk universal destruction on an oath made to people that he'd never met. Therefore, he did what he considered necessary to protect the world and the people of Azure City, even if this meant lying to the paladins under his command or recruiting others, like the Order, to complete tasks the paladins would not. He was not remotely above threatening his paladins with mundane, but unpleasant tasks, such as cleaning out Mr. Scruffy's litter box, to get his way. This attitude made him one of the few people that Belkar showed a degree of admiration for.
During a conversation with Roy Greenhilt about his actions with regard to the Order and his opinions on the validity of the oath,[nb 60] Hinjo and Miko Miyazaki, who were just outside the door, discovered that Lord Shojo was doing stuff behind the paladins' backs. Miko immediately jumped to the conclusion that Shojo was working with Xykon, as she considered the Order of the Stick to be the lich's minions. After summarily judging him guilty of treason, she drew her sword and executed him, though this action caused her to lose her paladinhood. Despite the clerics casting Resurrect on his body, the spirit of Shojo remained unwilling to return to life. This, Belkar reasoned, was because Shojo was close to natural death already and would have to face a trial for treason upon returning.[nb 61]
Mr. Scruffy is a solid white pet house-cat and "advisor" of the late Lord Shojo. After the death of Shojo and the fall of Azure City, Belkar took on Mr. Scruffy as his friend and companion, using him in battle against Tsukiko.[nb 25] Mr. Scruffy is one of the few creatures that Belkar genuinely cares for, defending him against others who would do him harm. Mr. Scruffy was known as the "power behind the throne" of Azure City due to his relationship with Lord Shojo. It was this relationship with Lord Shojo that eventually led to the resistance of Azure City uniting against Xykon.[nb 62]
Thanh was a paladin of the Sapphire Guard who was in the kingdom of Nowhere on a diplomatic mission when Xykon invaded Azure City. Upon returning to Azure City, he joined the resistance and eventually became leader of the resistance when Haley ceded control of it upon her departure. Since the fall of Azure City, Thanh did not wear the traditional blue sapphire guard uniform, instead wearing black clothing due to its practicality for use in guerrilla warfare. He died during Redcloak's attack on the resistance headquarters, being crushed by an Osmium Elemental.
The Greenhilt family
The immediate relatives of Roy Greenhilt have played a recurring role in the Order of the Stick story, particularly in how they shaped the life of young Roy to become the man he is today.
Eric Greenhilt is Roy's brother. Though he makes an appearance in comic #113,[nb 63] he isn't introduced until comic #496, when Roy meets him in the afterlife. Eric, who was born after Roy, but before Julia, died as a young child, 18 years before the strip takes place as a result of one of Eugene's experiments. After Eric's death, his parents attempted to resurrect him, but none of their efforts succeeded. Roy later speculates this was because the afterlife was so enjoyable that Eric's soul never thought about trying to go back. He now lives with his mother, Sara Greenhilt, still in a child's form.[nb 63]
Eugene Greenhilt is Roy's father. Despite having died three years before the Order of the Stick was created, Roy's father visits him from time to time to give foreshadowing clues. Near the beginning of the story, Eugene tells Roy a prophecy that aids both him and Haley in defeating Nale.[nb 64] Eugene has often expressed disappointment in Roy's chosen career path, wishing his son had become a wizard instead, berating and insulting him in every conversation they have. Eugene trained under Fyron, the wizard of Cliffport, who was slain and zombified by Xykon. This was done in front of Eugene, who was trapped in a magic bubble spell and forced to watch. Learning of Xykon's name from the Oracle, but not his location, Eugene attempted to catch Xykon, but failed. During a drunken evening, Eugene vowed a Blood Oath of Vengeance against Xykon. This vow was transferred to Roy, his eldest child, when he died. Eugene proved to be incapable of even finding the lich, let alone taking his revenge.
The book On the Origin of PCs reveals that Roy's father has no confidence in Roy's ability to defeat Xykon. Instead, he is counting on Roy's sister, Julia. Roy confronted his father after discovering that Eugene, who was an Illusionist in life, was responsible for the phony charge that the Sapphire Guard used to arrest them. According to Roy, he only still goes after Xykon because of the great threat he poses to the world, not to seek revenge for his father's death. If it weren't for the great threat imposed on the world, he'd tell his father to "stick his blood oath against Xykon up his wrinkled, incorporeal ass". Eugene is later shown berating Roy in the afterlife for his failure to defeat Xykon and blames him for the destruction of Azure City. Eugene's Blood Oath prevents him from ascending to the afterlife, as governed by the gods of the North. Ever since his death, he has been stuck in an intermediate dimension from where he can see the Prime Material Plane. His only hope of release is if the Blood Oath is fulfilled by one of his descendants. He is extremely upset when his son is given permission to ascend to the true afterlife. The deva in charge of Roy's case assured him that the Blood Oath poses no impediment to Roy at all. The Deva told Eugene that Roy earned permission to enter the Celestial Realms because while Eugene abandoned his oath years before his own death, Roy died attempting to fulfill the oath that Eugene burdened him with. Therefore, Eugene's punishment is to wander the clouds until his descendants, in this case Julia or a resurrected Roy, can fulfill the oath.
Eugene had begun dating the ghost of a woman named Violet, since his wedding vows were only "till death do us part". This relationship ended rather abruptly when Violet's own family Blood Oath was fulfilled and she was allowed to proceed to the Celestial Realms. She even asked Eugene not to visit her if he ever made it in, so she would not have to explain about their relationship to her husband.
According to Sara Greenhilt, people in the afterlife appear as the ideal versions of themselves. Eugene appears as an old man because he has always been an old man at heart. Though, she also agrees that the curse also plays a part to his general irritability and unpleasantness.
One of the common running gags of the comic is that whenever Roy mentions his father, another member of the Order of the Stick will say "Isn't your father dead?" or some similar phrase.
Horace Greenhilt is Roy's grandfather and Eugene's father.[nb 65] He was a strong fighter in his time, having killed at least two dragons and saved one princess. It was stories about his grandfather that made Roy decide to become a fighter himself, a fact that Horace was told by Sara because he died well before Roy was born. He still has a version of the sword his family is named after, though it is a Celestial Planes copy, as Roy currently has the material sword. Horace and Roy have both taken the single fighter route without multiclassing. They resemble one another, with both appearing to wear the same armor and shoes, although their shoes and shirts are different colors. Horace has stated that he tried to get close to Eugene when he was young, but his son treated him much as he would later do to Roy, browbeating him about a perceived lack of intellect and being generally unpleasant.
Julia Greenhilt is Roy's 16-year-old sister and a third level wizard. Unlike Roy, who took his own path, Julia followed her father's wish for his children to become wizards. She attends Warthog's School of Wizardry and Sorcery, the same school attended by Pompey of the Linear Guild and Eugene Greenhilt, where she is considered to be the most popular girl in school. She was kidnapped by the Linear Guild as a pawn to lure the Order of the Stick to Cliffport so that Nale could carry out his plan to replace Elan. Freed by the Order of the Stick, she has returned to her studies.[nb 66]
Rich Burlew, the comic's writer, has hinted that Roy harbors feelings of jealousy against her because she was their father's favorite child. Eugene is counting on her, not Roy, to finish off Xykon.
Julia is portrayed as an unapologetically spoiled, superficial brat who is much more concerned with her kidnappers' lack of coolness than with the mortal peril she and her brother are in. She has revealed herself to be of True Neutral alignment, as opposed to Roy's Lawful Good. She is a flirt who uses her natural endowments to get the attention of her teachers, a ploy that fails on Durkon. After a while, she ends up dropping the "cool girl" attitude, replying "yes, sir" when he lectures her for immodesty twice. She boasts about knowing him and insists, correctly, that he did most of the fighting in this encounter with the Linear Guild. Not talking back or responding with a wisecrack is unusual for Julia, as evidenced by her behavior towards both Roy and the Linear Guild. Though she and her brother squabble, they love each other, something that the disguised Nale finds hard to comprehend due to his hatred of Elan.
Sara Greenhilt is the mother of Roy, Eric, and Julia Greenhilt and the wife of Eugene Greenhilt. She died three years before the formation of the Order of the Stick while Roy was still at Fighter College. Roy describes her as having a "grey bun hairdo and osteoporosis",[nb 67] however she had a wild side before her marriage. She met Eugene while drunk at a bar, though they tell their children that they met in a library. After marrying and having her children, she settled herself down to become an attentive and caring mother.
Sara meets Roy in the afterlife, where he was surprised to see that she had her nineteen-year-old, pre-Eugene body. Like her husband, Sara appears to have taken the "until death do us part" section of her vows literally, as she has been dating other people. This is illustrated by the appearance of one of her flings with a knight wearing nothing but a towel. Despite her own issues with Eugene, she notes that they had a good life together while he was focused on her, but that he was merely "stuck with her because they'd had children" when his attention wandered back to other interests.[nb 68]
The Order of the Scribble
The Order of the Scribble was an adventuring group founded by Soon Kim and Lirian after Kim's wife was killed by The Snarl. They adventured to contain the Snarl and to defeat those that would release it. Eventually, they constructed five magical Gates to seal it in its weakening prison. In the battle to seal the final rift, one of the members was killed, leading to a breakdown in the group dynamic. To prevent outright bloodshed between them, they agreed to retire and each protect one of the five Gates in whatever manner they saw fit, forswearing interference in each other's affairs.
The main plot of The Order of the Stick revolves around these Gates and the fate of the members of the Order of the Scribble. Though the strip is set more than 50 years after their retirement, the characters of The Order of the Scribble do not usually take a direct impact on the action of the comic.
The group's official name was only mentioned in the title of the strip in which they were formally introduced. The name refers to the crayon-drawn style of the story arc that focuses on the group.
The group is collectively described by author as "low-epic" characters.
Soon Kim is a paladin who founded the Order of the Scribble with Lirian. After the group split up, he took control of the rift in Azure City and created the Sapphire Guard to stop anyone who wanted to use its power for evil. During Xykon's raid of Azure City, Soon Kim and the other deceased members of the Sapphire Guard came forth as Ghost Martyrs and fought Xykon and Redcloak in the throne room.[nb 69] Just as Kim had defeated both Xykon and Redcloak, however, Miko destroyed the gate, allowing the two to escape.[nb 70]
Lirian is an elf druid who started the Order of the Scribble with Soon Kim. She used the trees to guard her rift, but her gate was destroyed in her fight with Xykon and she was trapped in his soul gem with Dorukan.
Dorukan is a wizard and former member of The Order of The Scribble. He created a castle in the Redmountain Hills to guard his rift and protected it with magic. Xykon, trying to gain control of his gate six months before the comic strip takes place, fought and defeated Dorukan and trapped him in the soul gem with Lirian. Dorukan had many employees, such as Celia, to guard his magic items, but they left after he was trapped by Xykon. Dorukan's gate is the first gate that the Order of the Stick pursues over the course of the comic. When the Order finds the gate, Elan activates a self-destruct rune, blowing up both the castle and Dorukan's gate.[nb 71]
Girard Draketooth is a Ranger/Illusionist and former member of the Order of the Scribble who fights with two scimitars. He blamed Soon Kim for the death of Kraagor and took control of the Desert Rift, using his illusions to hide it. The Order of The Stick is trying to track him down so that he can give them the true coordinates of the rift. He has maintained a good relationship with Serini, having given her the real coordinates as opposed to the fake ones given to Soon Kim. He died at least twenty years before the Order of the Stick found his grave.[nb 72]
Serini Toormuck is a Halfling Rogue and former member of the Order of the Scribble. Serini was the one who decided the group should split up when they began to turn against one another. She controls the gate in the north where Kraagor died and created a pit filled with the most horrible monsters to guard it.[nb 73] This reflects Kraagor's belief of physical might. She maintained a good relationship with Girard and has the true coordinates of the Girard's gate. She wrote everything, including the coordinates, in her diary, which Xykon currently has.
Kraagor is a Barbarian Dwarf and former member of the Order of the Scribble. He died in as a result of Soon Kim's order to seal the gate. Though he does not control any gate, Serini named her gate after him because he died there and there is a statue of him in her gate.[nb 74]
There are three main pantheons of gods in the Order of the Stick universe. The Northern Gods, worshipped by the dwarves and humans living in the Northern Lands, are based on the Norse gods. The Southern Gods, often referred to by their worshippers as the "Twelve Gods", are revered by the people of the Southern Lands and are based on the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. The third set of gods, called the Western Gods, are based on the deities of the ancient Near East, such as Marduk and Tiamat. The Oracle of the Sunken Valley, despite living outside the Western continent, claims to worship Tiamat and Minister Malack worships Nergal. A fourth pantheon, called the Eastern Gods, was based on the Olympian gods of ancient Greece, but was destroyed by the Snarl during the time of the previous world and is thus unknown to most inhabitants of the world.
The elves and goblins have their own gods. For instance, Vaarsuvius worships the God of Knowledge and Redcloak worships the Dark One. These gods were "raised" to godhood rather than having existed before the universe. The Dark One was raised through a yearlong slaughter in his name after his death, while the Elven gods apparently gathered enough followers to gain godhood. As is usual in Dungeons and Dragons, the gods are demonstrably real. Thor and other gods have appeared in the comic several times. Each pantheon has greater control over the geographical area after which it is named as Tiger, one of the Southern Gods, prevents Thor from directly intervening in events transpiring in the Southern Lands.
Loki is Thor's evil half-brother and the patron deity of Hilgya, who was once the cleric for the Linear Guild. While Thor and Loki have been shown to be enemies over the course of the comic strip, they cooperated in the distant past when the gods created a new world to contain the Snarl. Loki is portrayed as more sensitive than Thor to bizarre events that occur in the mortal world. For instance, he noticed the liaison between Durkon and Hilgya first, though the discovery made both deities ill.
Thor is Durkon's patron deity and a member of the Gods of the North. He is inspired by Thor of Norse mythology. In the strip, Thor is portrayed as a drunken buffoon with a good heart and usually acts as comic relief. Some of his more ill-considered acts have included taunting the Snarl, abandoning a village to the fire giant Surt while being hassled by Durkon, and creating a portentous storm while drunk. A running joke in the series is the question 'what would Thor do?' based on the famous question 'what would Jesus do?'. Durkon occasionally considers what Thor would do for guidance, but, unfortunately, since Thor would simply crush his enemies with his divine power before returning to Asgard to woo goddesses and drink an oceans worth of beer, the W.W.T.D. motto is never as applicable to Durkon's situation. He appeared to grant Durkon a casting of Control Weather via a scroll, which Durkon used to generate a thunderclap of such force that Leeky Windstaff's animated trees were blown to pieces, as the druid had failed to protect them against sonic damage. After intimidating a celestial who tried to point out the Control Weather spell couldn't be used like that, Thor wandered off to "get tanked and paw Sif", telling the celestial to report on whether Durkon lived or died.[nb 48] When Thor impregnated an unnamed fertility goddess, Loki scolded him for not knowing that she is a goddess of fertility. He appeared later in the strip, telling Tiger of the 12 Gods of the South to relax after he had attempted to assist Durkon in Azure City.
Banjo the Clown
The deity "Banjo the Clown", also known as "Banjulhu", is a hand puppet used by Elan to create small examples of divine power. Banjo had limited powers because he had few worshippers, but by strip 553, Banjo had gained the following of an island tribe of orcs. Those orcs now worship Banjo's brother and rival, Giggles the clown, god of slap-stick.
Banjo had previously attempted to join the pantheon of the Northern Gods, who considered his application. However, he was put off by the attitude of their clerics and abandoned the effort to the disappointment of Odin, who stated that he likes puppets.
The Snarl is being born from the frustration and hostility of the gods.[nb 75] It was created when the first world was created by the gods, as the Gods of the West, East, North, and South, argued about how to create the world. As they argued and pulled on the threads of reality in an attempt to get their way, snags began to develop in the fabric of the world. As the snags grew and combined, the Snarl was created, gradually growing ever more intelligent and malevolent. Finally, it revealed itself to its unwitting creators, slaying the entire pantheon of the Gods of the East with ease and devouring every soul on the newly created world. It took just twenty-seven minutes to undo the entirety of creation.[nb 75]
Hidden away in their realms among the Outer Planes, the leaders of the three remaining pantheons met in secret and hatched a plan. Agreeing in advance which pantheons would be responsible for which parts of a new creation, they began to weave a new world out of the remaining threads of reality. With few arguments to slow them down, the gods wove the new world as quickly as possible. The Snarl, born of chaos and unable to comprehend things of order and purpose, failed to realise what the gods were attempting until it was too late. The final threads were pulled into place and a new world formed around the Snarl, imprisoning it in a small demi-plane, with the world itself acting to keep the Snarl firmly in place.
Sixty-six years prior to the start of the Order of the Stick's adventures, the Snarl nearly escaped through holes in its prison, only to be defeated by the Order of the Scribble, who resealed the rifts in reality and built gates to guard them. The recent destruction of three of these gates and Xykon's apparent interest in the remaining two has led to a fear that the Snarl would be released. This serves as the plot hook for the protagonists' campaign.
The Dark One
The Dark One, whose original name has been forgotten, was originally a mortal goblin with superior abilities. Unlike the other goblins seen in the strip who have green or orange skin, he has violet skin. This is where his title came from. The Dark One unified many goblin tribes into a powerful force to build an independent goblin kingdom. He met with human leaders in an attempt to negotiate peaceful co-existence between goblins and humans, but he was betrayed and murdered, leading him to believe that humans are naturally untrustworthy creatures.
The Dark One's followers were angered by this betrayal and killed over a million humans in revenge. These deaths, along with his followers' dedication to his memory, caused the Dark One to become a god. Most of the existing gods of the other pantheons shunned him, but a few evil gods were sympathetic.
The Dark One later learned about the Snarl and sent his followers to find the gates. He also created the Crimson Mantle for his senior cleric to wear. The artifact, which has great power, is currently in Redcloak's possession. The Dark One's plan is to coerce the other gods into giving goblins better treatment by threatening to free the Snarl. If the universe is destroyed by the Snarl, he will ensure that when it is recreated the goblins will be given an equal share.
'Hel is the selfish and power-hungry the Northern Goddess of Death, Destruction, and the Underworld, inspired by the Norse goddess of the same name. She is upset by the fact that Thor has manipulated most dwarves into believing that trees are a worthy and threatening foe, thus making it so that dwarves who die in "combat" against forests qualify as heroic deaths, thus denying their souls to her domain, and the fact that since the undead have been largely eradicated in the North, she has lost the political influence she feels is her right as a major goddess. As revealed in the Godsmoot, she wishes to force the pantheons to destroy and reformat the world to better contain the Snarl, as the souls of dwarves killed in the process would fall to her realm and vastly increasing her political power, as well as allowing her to raise massive amounts of intelligent undead in the new world-effectively making her Queen of the Northern Pantheon. She shows a great deal of resentment towards all other gods, even her father Loki, who she mocks and rebuffs for deciding to give the mortal races a chance to contain the Snarl themselves.
Greysky City is a city ruled by thieves. People are robbed for having money in their pockets and murder is common. The most prominent organization is the Greysky City Thieves Guild, run by Bozzok.
Guildmaster Bozzok is a rogue who runs the Thieves' Guild in Greysky City. Though he resembles an orc, he speaks without the speech-impediment that all orcs appear to have. He rules his guild with an iron fist, running protection rackets on local businesses, charging excessive fees to his thieves for guild services, and killing anyone who tries to leave the guild. He attempted to have Haley, one of his best earners, killed after leaving the guild, but placed a moratorium on the order when she left the city. After Grubwiggler revealed that she had robbed him, he sent his entire guild to have her killed. He is later confronted and defeated by Haley and Belkar. Before he can be finished off, however, Celia states that she has meanwhile organized a truce with the guild. A guild member also states that Bozzok's death would result in a violent free-for-all for succession as well as a massive power vacuum.
Crystal is Bozzok's chief assassin. Despite being a terrible thief with low intelligence, called "dumber than a used tanglefoot bag" by Haley, she is a proficient killer who wields a +4 curved dagger.[nb 76] She despises Haley and wanted to kill her even before she left the guild, and responded to Bozzok's order with almost childish glee. Due to their rivalry, Crystal gains a level every time Haley does, whether she has earned it or not. This is because, in every other situation, rivals are always about the same strength. Due in part to her low intelligence, she comes to the conclusion that Haley is physically vulnerable to pickles because she dislikes them. In their battle, she eventually destroys Haley's +3 bow, rendering her defenseless. Just after, however, Haley tricks her into looking inside the barrel of pickles to see what level of "enchantment" they had. Haley promptly ran off after Crystal fell in. With Bozzok's assistance, Crystal manages to overpower Haley, but loses to Belkar and is left at 0 HP. Belkar leaves her alive, though, believing that her only purpose is to be Haley's nemesis and that it is not his place to kill her. In response to Crystal and Bozzok's plan to assassinate her, Haley kills her in the shower and takes her dagger and magical items.[nb 77]
Hank is a halfling member of the Thieves' Guild. He gave Haley a warning to leave the city immediately after she quit the Guild, explaining that Bozzok would only give her an hour before sending Crystal to kill her. After hearing of Haley's return, he expresses surprise that she wasn't smart enough to stay away. He later negotiates a truce with Celia and prevents Haley from finishing off Bozzok.
Hieronymus is a man who made a living by taking corpses and reanimating them into golems. He had been robbed three times by Haley and had the Thieves Guild's five-star protection plan. He was killed by Crystal during the rescue of Roy's body, but was later resurrected by Bozzok to turn Crystal into an intelligent Flesh Golem, despite his advising against it.
Old Blind Pete
Old Blind Pete, previously named Eagle Eyed Pete, was part of the Greysky City Thieves Guild. He was one of the best snipers until he was caught selling guild secrets to their rivals. As punishment, the guild master put out his eyes. He attempted to have his eyes regenerated and escape, but he was attacked by Crystal. Pete knew both of Haley's parents, identifying her as "Ian and Mia's girl". He Initially appeared as an ally to Haley, but he betrayed her, Celia, and a cleric of Loki in return for having his eyes restored. After having his eyesight restored, Belkar disabled him and the cleric bashed his skull in revenge.
The Loki Cleric
The Loki cleric, whose name is never mentioned, was a childhood friend of Pete until Pete betrayed him. Originally, the cleric came in upon Pete's request, risking his own life. Haley asks him to cure Belkar's disease, though he reveals to her that Belkar is not diseased, but cursed by the Mark of Justice. At Haley's request, he casts a spell of sending to get a message to Durkon, which proves difficult because he, like the fantasy character stereotype, has difficulty distinguishing Durkon from any other dwarf. When the Thieves Guild tries to attack him, he decides to remove Belkar's curse so that Belkar could help defend him. With the curse removed, the two work together to fend off the guild. Afterward, the priest asks Belkar if he could work for him as a bodyguard. Belkar declines, insisting that he must help Haley and Celia. As Belkar leaves, the cleric gets his revenge by killing Pete at Belkar's suggestion.
The Empire of Blood
The Empire of Blood is one of the larger and more stable of the similarly named empires filling the more fertile parts of the Western Continent.[nb 78] It is exceedingly bureaucratic, but the civil administration is not actively malevolent except to criminals or those who cannot produce papers.[nb 79]
The Empress of Blood
The Empress of Blood is an obese Red Dragon who has been on the throne of the empire for two years. She operates on the mistaken assumption that a dragon's power is directly proportional to their size (misunderstanding Tarquin's explanation that dragons get larger and stronger as they age), and thus eats massive quantities of food in the hopes of becoming more powerful.
General Tarquin is the father of Elan and Nale. He initially came to the Western Continent in order to conquer his own kingdom. While he did so fairly quickly, he lost it a short time later. Currently, he is a general in the service of the Empress of Blood. According to Nale, General Tarquin divorced his wife due to irreconcilable alignment differences.[nb 17] General Tarquin exhibits a flair for the dramatic, deliberately withholding Elan's existence from Nale as a means of heightening dramatic tension. [nb 80] He is pragmatic and clever, having successfully conspired to set up himself and his old adventuring companions as behind-the-scenes rulers of the anarchic social order of the Western Continent.[nb 81] He is familiar with Elan's obscure prestige class, Dashing Swordsman, and is able to overcome this special ability.[nb 82] Due to his familiarity with dramatic tropes, however, he views himself as the central antagonist of the comic, and almost completely lacks empathy for others as he believes the mechanics of the story demand he be ruthless and engender tragedies.
Malack was a vampiric Lizardfolk cleric of Nergal, the death-god of the Western Pantheon. Originally a "barbarian shaman of a tribe that no longer exists",[nb 83] Malack was at some point killed and brought back as a vampire, and eventually became an adventuring colleague of Tarquin during Tarquin's younger days. Having researched a Protection from Sunlight spell, Malack was able to hide his vampiric nature and move about in the daytime. Later, Malack got Tarquin a job as chief warlord to a local conqueror and the two of them offered their services as warlord and high priest, respectively, to any would-be ruler that can pay.[nb 84] He was quite intelligent and claimed that gods of death and their clerics are not usually evil because, if they were, then death would only take the good. He stated that neutrality better suits them. He also enjoyed the company of other clerics and entertained Durkon while discussing matters of theology.[nb 85] However, once Tarquin passed on, Malack planned to take over from him and rule the Western Continent in the name of Nergal, sacrificing 1000 people every day.[nb 86] When it comes to people he was fond of, he is often quite willing to talk things out rather than resort to violence,[nb 87] but showed that he would not hesitate to kill once negotiations have failed.[nb 88] Malack was killed by Nale in OOTS #906, thereby freeing Durkon from Malack's control.
Gannji and Enor
Gannji and Enor are two reptilian bounty hunters. They capture Elan, thinking he is Nale, to claim a bounty posted by the Empress. Gannji is a cunning green Lizardfolk with strong anti-mammal prejudices who wields a trident in battle. His companion, Enor, is a significantly less intelligent blue half-dragon half-ogre with a dragon breath weapon that emits lightning and a constant desire for his "yummies". Gannji tried to extort a high payment from Tarquin as compensation for capturing Elan; Tarquin responded by sentencing both to the gladiatorial arena. They are scheduled to fight each other but escape during the chaos caused when Belkar released the arena's allosaurus.[nb 89]
Roy's Archon, first introduced in comic #492, is a lantern archon assigned to be Roy's guardian and guide while in Celestia.[nb 90] Though its name seems self-explanatory, it wondered how Roy's mother knew its name.[nb 67] After realizing the full scale of the Snarl's threat, Roy's Archon willingly bent the rules to allow Roy a quick way back to the plane between the living and the spiritual world in preparation for Roy's resurrection. Though it doesn't have a body, it knows an attack called "deadly light rays", used when attacked by an evil adventuring party that had plane shifted into Celestia. It is last seen playing 1st Edition D&D with Eugene while Roy was on Earth trying to communicate with the Oracle of the Sunken Valley.[nb 91]
General Chang is the leader of the Azure City military. He first appears in comic #413, conducting the tactical planning of the defense of Azure City.[nb 56] He personally leads the defenders when the walls of the city are breached, but is soon killed by a death knight.
Kazumi Kato and Daigo
Kazumi Kato and Daigo are a pair of human Azure City soldiers who fight alongside the Order of the Stick during the battle of Azure City. They meet each other when they become trapped in a tower with the Order, at which time Kazumi asks Daigo out on a date, should they both survive the battle. While they were originally unnamed and undifferentiated members of the Azure City army, they reveal their names to each other to dodge the fate of all nameless redshirts. Daigo's last name is still unknown, as they are "saving it for an emergency".[nb 92] They escape Azure City aboard Lord Hinjo's junk. During their time in exile, Kazumi and Daigo fall in love and conceive a child. This leads them to ask Durkon to officiate at their wedding. Hinjo rewards their service with a noble title, forming House Kato. Daimyo Kubota marked them for assassination as part of his plan to seize control of Azure City, hoping to remove their votes from the council of nobles who would choose the leader following Hinjo's death. Kazumi, though six months pregnant, was able to fight off the majority of the assassins and survived thanks to the intervention of Elan and Therkla.
Sangwaan is a female human diviner or shugenja. Sangwaan wears a blindfold, but, although she occasionally needs to be pointed in the direction of those to whom she is speaking, seems mostly unhampered by it due to her oracular magic. She is a top aide to Lord Hinjo, providing him with magical intelligence in the hours leading up to the battle of Azure City.[nb 56] She is crucial in detecting Xykon's attempt to bypass the city walls and attack the throne room directly, using a True Seeing spell to thwart his invisibility. After locating Xykon, she is immediately flung from the walls by Xykon's undead dragon steed. She first appears in comic #271 as a witness in the Order's trial.[nb 93]
Blackwing is the raven familiar of Vaarsuvius. While Blackwing was first introduced[nb 94] early in the series, he is only seen rarely during the first several hundred strips. This is a joke referencing the fact that within the game of Dungeons & Dragons, familiars are largely ignored except when they play an important role in the narrative of the story. When Vaarsuvius began to reevaluate how he/she treated others, Vaarsuvius made it a point to begin treating Blackwing as a partner rather than a resource. At this point Blackwing revealed that he could talk, but chose not to do so because of Vaarsuvius' earlier bad attitude. Since then, Blackwing has been in every strip that Vaarsuvius has been in, usually perched on the shoulder. Ironically, while in early strips Vaarsuvius had to be reminded of Blackwing's existence (usually by Haley, who gave the raven his name), the group now seems to not recognize Blackwing's existence, apparently as a result of magical obfuscation. Blackwing has also begun acting as a confidant and counselor to Vaarsuvius, except when he is distracted by baubles and dangly things.[nb 95] During his battle with Xykon, Vaarsuvius attempted to have Blackwing throw the lich's phylactery into the Rift to destroy it; after Blackwing begins speaking to Vaarsuvius, he revealed that he saw another planet within their own, suggesting that the order doesn't fully understand the task at hand.[nb 96]
Celia is a sylph who is first seen guarding the air sigil in Dorukan's tower. Like any outsider, she cannot be called back from death upon being killed and must fight cautiously in contrast who she calls "back from the dead happy" Order of the Stick. When her old boss disappeared and Xykon moved in, Celia lost all loyalty for her job, making personal calls and swiping office supplies. Though she was transformed to stone by the Linear Guild, she was cured by Vaarsuvius. To repay the Order, she takes Nale and Thog to jail and opens a magical portal, in the form of a service stairwell, to allow them to skip two levels of the dungeon.
In an attempt to move on to a more satisfying career, she started attending night classes in law. She has since appeared representing the Order of the Stick as a paralegal, successfully defending them in their trial in Azure City for weakening the fabric of the universe. During this time, there is a hinted attraction between Roy and Celia,[nb 97] and she is subsequently seen shopping for clothes to get Roy's attention.[nb 58] She asks Roy to join her at a dinner for two in one of the nicer dining establishments.[nb 98] They enjoy a candlelit dinner and a romantic walk/flight, leading up to a kiss at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. The next morning, Celia is seen emerging half-dressed and disheveled from Roy's hotel room.[nb 99] Upon leaving, she gives Roy a talisman to summon her, should their battles get too rough. Celia, however, having limited knowledge of humans, didn't know Roy couldn't shoot energy out of his fingers like herself, and forget to tell Roy that the talisman only broke for magical energy. Roy tried to beak the talisman while falling to his death but failed. Haley recovered the talisman while trying to recover Roy's corpse. The talisman later broke when it was hit with an Electric Orb attack from Tsukiko.
Celia gets on well with the members of the Order, with the exception of Belkar and Haley, mostly due to their willingness to do questionable actions to get by. Her arguments with Haley all seem to involve Belkar in one way or another, and the two get along when not discussing him. Nonetheless, she chooses to disobey Haley by entering Greysky City, unaware of the fact that it's full of criminals. She takes Roy's body to a local spellcaster named Grubwiggler after hearing he had success dealing with the dead, unaware that he was reanimating them as golems. Grubwiggler transformed Roy's corpse into a bone golem, and Celia had to be saved by Haley when he tried to claim her body as payment for the services. Later, Celia manages to get the Guild off Haley's back, but does do by promising 50% of everything Haley stole since she left the Guild, which enrages Haley (because she was saving the money to buy her father's freedom, something Celia didn't realize).
Cliffport Police Department
The Cliffport Police Department (CPPD) are characters who protect the city of Cliffport to the best of their ability, which is difficult when cleverer, stronger, and/or magical beings, such as the Linear Guild, show up to cause trouble. The CPPD Chief is the most-commonly seen member. His unnamed squad members include a man with ginger hair, called "Rookie", regarded as the one member of the team with any sense, a female with light brown hair, a bearded blond man who's losing his hair, and a dark-skinned, dark-haired man. The last of these was charged with delivering Pompey to prison, but had been knocked out and replaced by a shapeshifted Sabine before he could do so. The Chief was decapitated by Nale in a surprise attack. The rookie appears to have taken charge of the group since his demise.
The CPPD arrested Elan, whom they believed to be Nale, and Thog under arrest for 417 charges of murder and one charge of intent to summon a demon. The last offense was made up by Nale after he was freed by Rookie. Thog's and Elan's imprisonment lasted only forty minutes before they broke out. Leeky Windstaff, who was subdued by the Order, was also in custody before being freed by his friend Pompey.
The local laws forbid the use of magic to determine guilt, because the results can readily be faked using illusions. As such, the CPPD expect their investigation into these crimes to take at least six months. Now that Elan, Thog, and Leeky have all escaped, it remains to be seen whether the CPPD will attempt to track them down.
Two flumphs, first seen in Dorukan's Pit of monsters that were never updated to 3rd Edition, make occasional appearances to break the falls of various characters. After being landed on, one of them seeks counseling in Cliffport, feeling that it was just a minor character in someone else's story, when Haley landed on it. Later, when Roy falls to his death outside Azure City, the final frame of the comic cuts to a flumph feeling like it should be somewhere. More recently, an evil ghostly flumph, self-proclaimed as the "Ghost of Lame Monsters Past", succeeded in scaring the wits out of the two living flumphs before being flattened by Roy's ghost. In one comic, Belkar creates a flumph out of desert sand, only for it to break the fall of a resurrected Roy.[nb 100]
Julio Scoundrél is a dashing sky pirate and captain of the airship Mechane. He is a famous action star, listed as the thirty-second out of the one hundred greatest swordsmen of the century. His proficiency is due to ten levels in the obscure prestige class Dashing Swordsman. This class allows him to apply his high Charisma bonus to attacks with a rapier, provided that he makes a witty remark while doing so. Elan encounters Julio while attempting to gain transport from Cliffport to Azure City. The air pirate agreed to help Elan because the bard reminded him of himself.[nb 98] While traveling to Azure City, Julio agrees to train Elan in the ways of the Dashing Swordsman so he could defeat Nale once he arrived. Much like Elan, Julio is well-versed in the ways of genre conventions and follows such rules. He is a wanted criminal in Azure City, and his airship is attacked by the local militia upon approaching the city. Before parting ways with Elan, he gives him the +3 Keen Rapier that he used when he was a Level 1 Dashing Swordsman, claiming that since he has managed to father children in every port on the continent, he doesn't know who should inherit it.[nb 101] Upon leaving, he expresses the wish to never to cross paths with Elan again because, due to genre conventions and the demands of stories, he would most likely be killed by a random enemy of Elan's the next time they meet so that Elan could swear vengeance on his killer.
In spite of this, he comes to the aid of the Order [nb 102] when Elan asks him to help, and helps them defeat and escape Tarquin and his partners, also providing for transport towards the last of the Gates.
Mr. Jones and Mr. Phil Rodriguez are two lawyers that occasionally appear in the world of the Order of the Stick. Their main purpose is ensure that no copyright infringements occur. Mr. Jones is professional and educated, though arrogant, while Mr. Rodriguez has a childish demeanor and tends to role-play when around the adventurers. At one point, Mr. Rodriguez claimed that they were sent by the "Spooooky Wizard who lives by the Coast", a reference to the Wizards of the Coast. They have showed up to drag away the Mind Flayer[nb 103] when Vaarsuvius called them out against Zz'dtri for being a copyright infringement on Drizzt Do'Urden. They are also seen threatening the bandit clan leader with a restraining order after being captured as "universally despised".
In comic #228, At Belkar's request, Mr. Jones appears, claiming that Miko's use of Detect Evil "clearly constitutes an illegal search" employing "harmful radiation" on the basis that many of the creatures Miko has scanned are currently dead and that the scan is blocked by a lead sheet in a manner consistent with the properties of ionizing radiation.[nb 104] Miko's horse, Windstriker, then attempts to hire Mr. Rodriguez to put a restraining order on Belkar, but Belkar simply informed Mr. Rodriguez that he was not of Lawful alignment, chasing him out of the stables.
They are summoned by Lord Shojo to act as the prosecution at the Order's trial on the charge of 'weakening the fabric of the universe', though they lost the case because the whole thing was a sham perpetrated by Shojo and Eugene Greenhilt. Due to Jones' skill at converting trial transcripts, his record is 5-0 while Mr. Rodriguez shoulders the defeats at 0-147. They were most recently summoned to defend Roy and Belkar at their trial in the Empire of Blood. However, they pleaded guilty due to the 114% conviction rate, which doesn't make any sense to Mr. Rodriguez.
Apart from the six members of the Order of the Stick themselves, Mr. Jones and Mr. Rodriguez are the only named characters from the webcomic version of The Order of the Stick to appear in the Dragon Magazine OOTS comics, appearing in the last panel of the comic that ran in Dragon #351 and the first panel of the comic that ran in the last issue, #359.
The Oracle of the Sunken Valley
The Oracle of the Sunken Valley is a kobold seer. To keep out pesky adventurers, the Oracle hired the services of a group called "QuestGuard" to establish a series of moderately challenging tests. Upon completing these tests, the Order encounters the Oracle, who gives the group a series of prophecies laden with multiple meanings and ambiguous language.[nb 105] The Oracle worships Tiamat and uses her powers to grant him visions of the future. The Oracle is not a cleric, merely having visions granted to him by Tiamat through the use of "Kobold Dust".
Years before the events of the Order of the Stick, Eugene Greenhilt tracked down the Oracle of the Sunken Valley and asked it who killed his master. The oracle responded that Xykon killed his master and refused to provide more details because of his policy of one question per person per visit. He was sought out by Roy and Durkon to locate Xykon's lair prior to the formation of the Order of the Stick as well as just before the assault on Azure City. On Roy's first visit, the Oracle had answered the question 'Where is Xykon?' with the unhelpful answer, 'In his throne room', prompting Roy and Durkon to dangle the Oracle out of the window until he agreed to give them a useful answer.
As a consequence, on his next visit, Roy worded his question carefully to keep the Oracle from being too ambiguous. However, the precision of the question has the unintended side effect of eliminating Xykon's actual next target from consideration. Despite the kobold's attempts to hint that the question was too specific, Roy insisted that the Oracle had to answer the question as stated. Thus, Roy is mistakenly led to believe that Girard's Gate is Xykon's next destination. While Roy did realize his error before leaving the valley, the magic associated with the Oracle causes all visitors to forget everything about their visit except the answer to their question, so his realization of the truth was quickly lost. This mistake is corrected when Miko Miyazaki arrives in Azure City a day ahead of Xykon's army, informing them in an angry tirade of Xykon's impending invasion.
The Oracle also predicted that Vaarsuvius would accept the demons' offer for the Soul Splice to gain the power to save his/her family over the proposed alternative, motivated by his/her desire to avoid having to admit that his/her magic failed again. In addition, he predicted how Nale, impersonating Elan, would lead to the circumstances that broke Haley's mental block and induced her to declare her love to Elan. The Oracle also predicted that "Belkar would draw his last breath ever before the end of the year".[nb 91] His other predictions related to the Order include that Durkon will return to his home dwarven lands "posthumously" and that Elan will have a happy ending.
Prior to being killed by Belkar, the Oracle founds a kobold village around his tower for the specific purpose of activating Belkar's Mark of Justice. After the Oracle's death, Celia looks out a window and sees the village along with a sign identifying it as "the village of Lickmyorangeballshalfling" founded "last week" and with a population of "just enough". Immediately after Belkar realized the significance of the village, the Mark activated and caused him to experience intense pain and projectile vomiting.[nb 106] Upon the Order and Celia leaving, two lizardmen teleport in to revive the Oracle, where it is revealed he was able to foresee his own death and had paid them in advance to bring him back to life. The lizardmen confirm their next resurrection appointment with the Oracle before leaving.
Team Harrier and Team Peregrine
Team Harrier and Team Peregrine are two teams of Elven guerillas that have been sent to assist in the liberation of Azure City. After the fall of the city, the cloister spell blocks magic-aided transportation and intelligence gathering. Once the elves learn about the cloister, they develop ways to work around it and deploy these teams to work with the Resistance. Both teams were wiped out during Redcloak's attack on the resistance headquarters.
- OOTS #343: Served With a Side-Order of Whoop-Ass
- OOTS #490: Final Review
- OOTS #442: We Can Do This the Easy Way...
- OOTS #113: Memories, Like the Edges of My Sword
- OOTS #14: Why Roy is Always Tired
- OOTS #202: Scanning...
- OOTS #352: The Turnaround
- OOTS #111: Inukchuk
- OOTS #177: Ch-ch-ch-changes
- OOTS #10: Like Enthrall, Only Boring
- OOTS #597: Threat Assessment
- OOTS #393: Truth
- OOTS #444: He's Dead, Jim
- OOTS #400: Your Ship Has Come In
- OOTS #445: A Song for the Departed
- OOTS #184: Hawaiian Love
- OOTS #50: The Semi-Secret Origin of Elan & Nale
- OOTS #17: Rapier Wit
- OOTS #390: In a Class All His Own
- OOTS #455: Incoming!
- OOTS #489: Keepin' the Little Man Down
- OOTS #610: You're It
- OOTS #213: The Man Knows His Limitations
- OOTS #285: A Moment of Truth
- OOTS #520: The Power of Immediate Gratification
- OOTS #532: The Exposition Fairy
- OOTS #652: No Respect for the Wicked
- OOTS #660: Lucky Breaks
- OOTS #423: Periodic Bombardment
- OOTS #451: Change of Direction
- OOTS #147: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
- OOTS #702: One For the History Books
- OOTS #655: With a Critical Eye
- OOTS #662: The Price is Right
- OOTS #661: The Path of Least Expectation
- OOTS #669: Logical Conclusions
- OOTS #700: They Would Likely Both Disagree With That Sentiment
- OOTS #550: +1 BFF
- OOTS #709: No Scry Zone
- OOTS #446: Hell of a Job
- OOTS #373: Caged
- OOTS #361: Framing the Picture
- OOTS #637: It Only Shows Reality Programming
- OOTS #935: Caster Fight
- OOTS #1105: Out of the Box, Into the Fire
- OOTS #254: Half the Elf, Double the Fun
- OOTS #399: Death Actually IS Too Good For Them
- OOTS #353: If a Druid Falls in the City, Does He Make a Noise?
- OOTS #151: Learning Experience
- OOTS #790: Unfamiliar
- OOTS #412: Catching Up
- OOTS #411: The Power Behind the Throne
- OOTS #414: Noble is Goodble
- OOTS #479: Jaws of Life
- OOTS #403: Leadership is About the Tough Decisions
- OOTS #413: Not to Scale
- OOTS #290: Shojo's Big Secret
- OOTS #298: The Future is Forged in the Fires of Today
- OOTS #379: Perform IS on the Aristocrat's Skill List
- OOTS #405: The Secrets
- OOTS #410: The New Lord in Town
- OOTS #533: Open to Multiple Interpretations
- OOTS #496: Responsible
- OOTS #15: Family Time
- OOTS #497: The Grand Fighter
- OOTS #364: Consider Their Lineage
- OOTS #494: DMILF
- OOTS #495: (Eu)gene Therapy
- OOTS #459: Negative Feelings
- OOTS #462: Good Idea, Bad Idea
- OOTS #118: They Should Childproof Those Things
- OOTS #846: No Bone Unturned
- OOTS #277: Breaking Up is Hard to Do
- OOTS #276: The Crayons of Time: The Order of the Scribble
- OOTS #274: The Crayons of Time: The Snarl
- OOTS #607: Gherkin Her Chain
- OOTS #648: A Dish Best Served With +1d6 Cold Damage
- OOTS #698: Stopping For Direction
- OOTS #734: Maybe He Can Get Credit for Time Served
- OOTS #724: It IS Fairly Spicy, However
- OOTS #758 Spins of the Father
- OOTS #762: Just Trying To Help
- OOTS #874: Allies Like This
- OOTS #725: The Significantly-More-Secret Origin of Tarquin and Nale
- OOTS #737: Comparative Mythology
- OOTS #872: Calm, Orderly, and Efficient
- OOTS #854: Not Much Chance of That
- OOTS #872: Concession Stand
- OOTS #728: The Price of Yummies
- OOTS #492: Things to Do in Heaven When You're Dead
- OOTS #572: The Resistance of Memory
- OOTS #472: I'll Hold Them Off
- OOTS #271: The Prosecution's Case
- OOTS #3: See Spot Spot
- OOTS #677: This Never Happens to Jiminy Cricket
- OOTS #672: A Familiar conclusion
- OOTS #296: Boons
- OOTS #308: Sword Envy
- OOTS #318: The Move Action of Shame
- OOTS #695: Paranoia Will Destroy Ya
- OOTS #392: Death From Above
- OOTS #930: Overshadowed
- OOTS #32: Biting the Hand that Feeds Me
- OOTS #228: Unlawful Good
- OOTS #329: The All-Seeing Oracle
- OOTS #568: A Sign That You Have a Problem
- Burlew, Rich (2003). "Order of the Stick Comics". Giant in the Playground.
- Burlew, Rich (May 2011). The Order of the Stick: Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales. Giant in the Playground. ISBN 978-0-9766580-7-8.
- Updates: Update #4: And the Mystery Prize is...
- "Rich Burlew on the Record-Breaking Success of the 'Order of the Stick' Kickstarter [Interview]". Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on 2016-08-13. Retrieved 2016-08-30.
- "Black Gate » Articles » A Few Words About The Order of the Stick". www.blackgate.com. Retrieved 2016-08-30.
- Grossman, Lev. "In Praise of the Order of the Stick". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2016-08-30.
- Burlew, Rich (2005-03-04). "What are the character.s D&D stats? Will you ever create character sheets for us to see?". Giant in the Playground FAQ. GiantITP.com. Retrieved 2011-09-23.
- Burlew, Rich (2005). The Order of the Stick: On the Origin of PCs. ISBN 978-0-9766580-1-6.
- Burlew, Rich. The Order of the Stick: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools. ISBN 978-0-9766580-0-9.
- Burlew, Rich (2003). "Cast Page". Giant in the Playground. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
- Koelbl, Matt (2007-04-25). "...it's the sudden stop at the end". Damn Good Comics. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Burlew, Rich (2008). Order of the Stick: War and XPs. 3. ISBN 978-0-9766580-5-4.
- Burlew, Rich (2007). No Cure for the Paladin Blues. 2. ISBN 978-0-9766580-3-0.
- "Re: Is Varsuuvius Lawful, Chaotic or True Neutral?", The Giant, 8/18/2011.
- Burlew, Rich (2005-03-04). "Is Vaarsuvius male or female?". Giant in the Playground FAQ. GiantITP.com. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
- Burlew, Rich (May 2007). The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness. 1. Giant in the Playground. ISBN 978-0-9766580-4-7.
- "Re: OOTS #892 - The Discussion Thread", The Giant, 2013-06-11