|“The Cliffport Redemption”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||9 December 2006|
|View the comic|
The lead-up to the events of the previous strip begin to unfold as we flash back to Elan and Thog breaking out of the Cliffport jail.
- Elan ◀ ▶ (as Nale ◀ ▶ and Warden ◀)
- Thog (also in rage) ◀ ▶
- CPPD Prison Guard with Brown Hair (#1)
- CPPD Prison Guard with Black Skin (#2)
- Panel 1, Page 1
Three and a half days earlier…
- Panel 2, Page 1
Flash back to the CPPD jail, where Elan has cast an illusion of an attractive blonde CPPD cop.
Prison Guard #1: Sorry, I'm happily married.
Prison Guard #2: Sorry, I'm gay.
Elan: Awww, man! This illusion NEVER works!!
- Panel 3, Page 1
Prison Guard #1: Really? I didn't know that.
Prison Guard #2: Oh sure, came out when I was 17.
Elan: But I need to get out of here! My evil twin brother is going to kill my—my Haley!
Elan: And she's all unsuspecting and defenseless and, and, and Haleyish!
- Panel 4, Page 1
Elan: I can't stay in prison. I don't know the gold-piece-to-cigarette exchange, and I don't have any ranks in Craft (shiv).
Elan: And I can't wait for another trial! They take too long and have too much background exposition.
Elan: Though it would be neat to see more crayon drawings...
- Panel 5, Page 1
Elan: It's just not fair! I didn't do anything wrong. Nale did all that bad stuff, how come he gets away with it and I have to be here??
Elan begins to cry.
Elan: It's not fair!
- Panel 6, Page 1
Elan sinks to the floor, sobbing.
Elan: It's not fair.
- Panel 7, Page 1
Elan: What am I doing? I can't sit here and cry now while my friends are in danger!
Elan: I need to warn them! I need to escape!
- Panel 8, Page 1
Elan: Awww, but I tried everything, I used my illusion, I used Diplomacy, I even tried singing Spice Girls songs if they didn't let me free.
Elan: It's almost like I need an entirely different set of class abilities to get out of here.
Thog (singing): ♪♪if you ♪wannabe thog's lover, you gotta get with thogs ♪friends...♪
- Panel 1, Page 2
Elan: Thog, listen to me: We need to escape!
Thog: thog not escape. thog stay here.
- Panel 2, Page 2
Elan: Don't you want to be free? Aren't you bored yet?
Thog: nale told thog to stay in jail with not-nale until nale comes back for thog. told thog, "don't drop soap."
- Panel 3, Page 2
Elan: OK, but, um, what if he doesn't come back?
Thog: nale come back. nale good to thog. nale let thog smash stuff and stay up extra hour past thog's bedtime on weekends.
- Panel 4, Page 2
Elan: Wow, that IS good...Roy only gives me a half hour.
Elan: OK, then, what if Nale can't come back?
Elan: What if Nale...gets lost? Yah, what if he gets lost and can't find his way back here?
- Panel 5, Page 2
Thog: nale extra smart. nale not get lost.
Elan: Maybe...but, uh, did you see him leave a trail of breadcrumbs?
Elan: You know, to find his way back?
Thog: thog not see any.
- Panel 6, Page 2
Elan: What? Oh man! Oh, Thog, he'll never find his way back without a trail of breadcrumbs!
Thog: oh no! nale get lost in witch's forest!
- Panel 7, Page 2
Elan: Only YOU can save him, Thog!
Thog: thog is coming, nale! thog save you!!!!
- Panel 8, Page 2
Elan: And those iron bars? Those iron bars ATE all of Nale's breadcrumbs!
The bars Thog is holding begin to bend, "creeeak!"
Elan: And then they punched a clown!
- Panel 9, Page 2
Thog: thog hate you, stupid metal bars! thog rage!
The bars bend further, "creeeeeak!", and Thog's clothes rip, "rip!" as his skin turns darker green.
Elan (singing): ♪♪Bend, bend, bend, bend the prison cell bars!♪
Thog: thog smash puny prison!!
The prison cell bars wrench open with a "CRASH!" The rest of Thog's clothes tear off, "rip! rip!" Thog is a dark green shade and wears only purple pants.
- Panel 1, Page 3
Thog: huff, huff, huff, huff...
- Panel 2, Page 3
Thog: why thog mad again?
Elan: Uh, no reason.
Thog: oh. ok!
- Panel 3, Page 3
Prison Guard #1 (off-panel): What was that noise?
Prison Guard #2 (off-panel): Better check it out.
Elan: Uh oh, the guards! Disguise Self!
Thog: how thog's pants turn purple?
- Panel 4, Page 3
Elan has disguised himself as the CPPD Warden.
Prison Guard #1: What the heck is going on here?
Prison Guard #2: Oh, hey Warden.
Elan: Uh, renovations. We're having a team of interior decorators come in and redecorate the prison in two days for 2000 gp.
- Panel 5, Page 3
Elan: I'm transferring this half-orc to...uh...someplace else.
Prison Guard #2: Where's the other guy?
Elan: ...Died. Yeah, he died from the poor conditions here.
- Panel 6, Page 3
Prison Guard #1: Another one??
Prison Guard #2: Wait. where's his body?
Elan: He died from...the Vaporizing Flu.
- Panel 7, Page 3
Prison Guard #1: The Vaporizing Flu...?
Elan: Oh yeah, very dangerous. Fever, vomiting, then poof!
Elan: You just vanish.
- Panel 8, Page 3
Prison Guard #1: Is that...contagious?
Elan: Yes, but oddly only if you stand around in places where a previous victim has died and ask questions.
- Panel 9, Page 3
Prison Guard #1: I, uh, just remembered some paperwork I have to do...
Prison Guard #2: Me too...
- Panel 10, Page 3
Elan: Whew, that was close! Now let's go save Haley!
Thog: and nale.
Elan: Right, and nale.
- Panel 11, Page 3
Thog: yay! thog and not-nale on zany whirlwind adventure!
Elan: Hilarity ensues when two adventurers from different ends of the alignment spectrum must work together inthe feel-good comedy of the year!
- Panel 12, Page 3
Thog (off-panel): thog wonders how thog will cope with life outside jailhouse walls.
Thog (off-panel): prison changed thog.
Elan (off-panel): We were only in there for 40 minutes.
Thog (off-panel): prison changes thog quickly.
D&D Context Edit
- Silent Image is a 1st level bard spell which creates a visual-only illusion.
- Gold Pieces (gp) are the standard unit of currency in D&D. Cigarettes are the standard unit of currency in prisons (at least, in the 20th century), where currency is banned.
- Craft is the umbrella skill for all crafting, but it is actually a number of separate skills. There is no canonical Craft (shiv) Skill; such a crafting attempt would fall under Craft (Weaponsmithing).
- Diplomacy is a skill that allows the character to attempt to change an NPC's attitude through speech.
- Rogues are more suited to escaping prison than Bards, though to be fair bards are supposed to be the "jack of all trades".
- Bending Bars and Lifting Gates used to have specific percentages based on your strength in 1st edition D&D.
- Disguise Self is a 1st level bard spell that allows the caster to take on a completely different appearance.
- The comic's title is a reference to the movie The Shawshank Redemption, in which an innocent man is kept in the prison of Shawshank. A theme evoked in the movie is that of readapting to worldly life after years spent incarcerated, hence what Thog says in the last panel.
- Elan's go-to illusion is of a female of whatever species he's fighting, a gag that began with #19.
- In the Order's trial at Azure City, Shojo went into a lengthy exposition of the origins of the Gates in which the drawing style changed to crayon drawing.
- In panel 9, Thog is singing Wannabe the debut single from the Spice Girls, which spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1996. Elan had threatened to sing it in the previous panel.
- In panels 9 and 10 of the second page as well as the first panel of the third a page, Thog goes into a rage, turns a deeper green, his clothe rip off and he is left in green pants. All of this is a parody of Marvel's "The Incredible Hulk". His lines also parrot the catchphrases of the Hulk, "Hulk Smash" and calling things "puny".
- This is the final appearance of the CPPD Warden, though it is only Elan appearing as him. He first appeared in #367.
- This is the only appearance of the two prison guards. They get a mention because they appear in more than one page of a multi-page comic.