|“The Prison Blues”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||28 December 2005|
|View the comic|
The Order is jailed in Azure City, and Roy recaps the plot.
- The Order of the Stick
- Panel 1
A broad view of Azure City and its harbor. Voices come from within the castle.
Elan (off-panel): Wow! Azure City! This view is amazing!
Durkon (off-panel): Are ye just aboot done??
Elan (off-panel): Huh?
- Panel 2
Elan is standing on Durkon's head to see out the window of their jail cell. Haley is attempting to pick the lock to her cell.
Durkon: I be a healer, not a footstool!
Elan: Oh, sorry, Durkon.
Haley: Ufxm ft, rwra, fkmt bfe xfxxa...
- Panel 3
Elan: Did you guys know that Azure City is the largest trading post in Southern lands?
Elan: Thousands of ships come from all around the world to barter for fine Southern goods like silk, spices, and video games.
- Panel 4
Elan: The average temperature for this season is 63 F, with average yearly precipitation of 26.43 inches.
Roy: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a successful Bardic Knowledge check.
- Panel 5
Elan: Hey Roy, I saw a lot of cool merchants when Miko was dragging us through the street in chains. Do you think we'll get time to visit some of them?
Roy: Yes, Elan, I'm sure we'll have a chance to nip out and do some antiquing right between our trial and execution.
- Panel 6
Elan: Gee, I think SOMEBODY needs Protection from Negativity.
Roy: Excuse me for not having the most optimistic outlook right this moment.
- Panel 7
Roy: We've been dragged across half the continent by the "paladin" Miko, led through a city in chains, and locked up in this foreign prison.
Roy: All so we can defend ourselves on some ridiculous trumped-up charge that we don't understand.
Roy: Naturally, we seem to be considered guilty until proven innocent, which won't happen if this Shojo guy is as close-minded and judgmental as his servant is.
Roy: So the likelihood is strong that before much longer, we are all going to be executed, permanently.
- Panel 8
Elan: Oh. Right.
Elan: Then I guess I only have one question:
- Panel 9
Elan: Would it be OK to compliment you on working the plot recap so smoothly into your angry monologue?
Roy: Sure, go right ahead, I'm sure it will work out very well for you.
D&D Context Edit
- Bards travel the world and collect many pieces of lore along the way. As a class feature, they are able to use Bardic Knowledge to know pieces of information about people, places and things, as Elan demonstrates in this strip.
- In panel six, Elan is riffing off of the numerous "Protection from X" spells in the game like Protection from Evil and Protection from Arrows.
- The translation of Haley's line is:
- Panel 2 - Come on, baby, open for mommy...
- Durkan's "I be a healer, not a footstool" is a reference to Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy, the grumpy doctor played by DeForest Kelley in Star Trek, and his catch-phrase "I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer/psychiatrist/escalator/mechanic/engineer/coal miner/etc."
- Three U.S. Cities have annual precipitation of 26.43 inches. Skewentna, Alaska, San Pablo, California, and Saint John, Kansas.
- The title, "The Prison Blues", could be seen as a reference to a couple of things. The 1955 Johnny Cash song Folsom Prison Blues was one of the most influential prison songs of the 20th century. Folsom prison is in California, where inmates are dressed in blue jeans, blue shirts and denim jackets, making the song work on two levels (blues as a uniform and blues as sadness), the same two levels that exist for this comic. Also this is the introduction of Azure City a city dominated by the color blue (azure), and the focus of the second OOTS book, No Cure for the Paladin Blues, itself a play on the lyrics of the 1958 Eddie Cochran song Summertime Blues.