Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 395
Date published 29 December 2006
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While Haley and Elan discus the recent revelations, the Linear Guild regroups.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Elan: Haley! You can speak again!
Haley: Yeah, but, uh…I, errr…the thing is, um…
Elan: Or not?

Panel 2

Haley: Hey, uh, no, Elan, I can speak… but um, did you by any chance actually hear what I said a moment ago?
Haley: I mean maybe you were shocked by me regaining my speech that you didn’t really pay attention to the words?
Haley: Maybe?

Panel 3

Elan: Oh, no. First, you said that when you were kissing Nale, you thought you were kissing me, strongly implying that you would have kissed me voluntarily. Which you then supported by saying that you were in love with me.
Elan: Then you repeated the part about thinking Nale was me.

Panel 4

Haley: Lovely. The one time one of us succeeds at a Listen check…
Haley: So, wow, that evil Nale, huh? We really should go get him, right?

Panel 5

Elan: Oh! Right! I got totally distracted by the whole, “You explicitly stating that you’re in love with me,” thing.
Haley: *sigh*
Haley: I should get my bow and don my armor.

Panel 6

Elan: Well, the armor, I can agree with, but who’s this “Don” guy?
Haley: Just—just wait here, I’ll change in the bathroom. It’ll take one minute.

Panel 7

The next five panels show only the closed door to the bathroom, with Haley's speech coming from the other side of the door.
Haley: OK, Haley, you’ve managed to stall the issue. You’ve got time to think. Now what the heck are you going to say next?
Haley: Do you Bluff your way out of it? Or do you admit that yes, you’re in love with him?

Panel 8

Haley: On one hand, telling the truth goes against everything you were raised to believe as a rogue.
Haley: On the other hand, did you see how hot he looks in those new clothes?
Haley: I mean, damn.

Panel 9

Haley: Maybe you could say it was just atmospheric interference?
Haley: Or mind control, that always works well.
Haley: Or maybe say that you were still speaking gibberish, it was just gibberish that happened to sound exactly like a confession of love. I mean, it is Elan, he’d buy it.

Panel 10

Haley: Ugh, Haley, you stupid little girl. That’s how you get into these messes in the first place.
Haley: For once, be a woman and take some darn responsibility for your—

Panel 11

Haley: Wait. Am I saying all of this out loud?
Haley: Crap, I am!
Haley: Stupid speech impediment, I forgot how to use thought balloons!

Panel 12

Haley emerges from the bathroom in her armor.
Haley: Uh, hey, Elan? Did you happen to make any more Listen checks while I was in there?
Elan (off-panel): No, not really. I had other stuff on my mind.

Panel 13

Haley finds Elan prone with Nale holding a dagger over him while Sabine steps on his head.
Elan: Sabine’s boot for example.

D&D Context Edit

  • Listen checks are required to notice sounds one might otherwise miss, such as someone sneaking up on you, etc. It has been firmly established that none of the party has any skill ranks in either Listen or Spot, the visual equivalent.
  • Bluff allows the character to deceive another. Haley has many ranks in Bluff.
  • Different kinds of armour take a different amount of time to "don". Haley is quite correct in stating that leather armour takes one minute to put on.

Trivia Edit

  • The title is a catchphrase from a popular anecdote about a Frog in a well, expressing arduous progress.

External Links Edit

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