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The Significantly-More-Secret Origin of Tarquin and Nale
Order of the Stick comic
OOTS0725
Comic no. 725
Date published 20 May 2010
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Tarquin recounts his history raising Nale.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Tarquin: Now that the bounty hunters have left, I would like leave to show my son around.
Empress: Show him a round what?
Tarquin: Around the palace.
Empress: We have a round palace?
Tarquin: Sure.

Panel 2

Empress: OK, you can go. It's almost time for brunch anyway, and I'm hoping to gain enough weight to figure out arcane spells.
Tarquin (whispering): We once pointed out that more powerful dragons have grown larger, so she thinks growing larger will make her more powerful.

Panel 3

Elan: That seems entirely reasonable. But what I really don't understand is how you came to be working for a red dragon in the first place.
Tarquin: Brilliant set-up for my inevitable backstory, my boy!
Elan: Thanks!

Panel 4

Flash back of Tarquin decapitating some ruler with Soul-Muncher.
Tarquin (inset): After I left my first wife—your mother—I came here to the Western Continent, lured by tales of how easy it was to conquer a kingdom for your very own.

Panel 5

Flash back of Tarquin running away, wounded, carrying baby Nale.
Tarquin (inset): The tales neglected to mention how easy it was to lose such a kingdom, however. I didn't last a year.
Tarquin (inset): Malack was an old adventuring pal of mine. He found me and offered me a job as Chief Warlord to his new master.

Panel 6

Cut back to the Palace of Blood.
Elan: Ohhhhh. And that was the Empress of Blood?
Tarquin: Heck no. Some other guy. His kingdom didn't last too long, either, but Malack and I have been offering our services to various would-be kings and conquerors in the 15 or so years since.
Tarquin: Sort of a package deal: Buy one High Priest, get one General free.
Tarquin: When Nale was old enough, he started helping with the "family business".

Panel 7

Flashback of Tarquin and Malack fighting the Linear Guild.
Tarquin (inset): Two years ago, we helped conquer a nation for the Empress of Blood—and Nale decided he should be crowned instead. We disagreed.
Tarquin (inset): Strenuously.

Panel 8

Cut back to the present.
Tarquin: It's my fault, really. I raised him to be ruthless and efficient—or at least tried to. I shouldn't been so surprised when he turned on us.

Panel 9

Vaarsuvius: Interesting. Then if Elan gets his outlook from his mother and his love of the dramatic from you—and Nale likely gets his outlook from you...
Vaarsuvius: I wonder what Nale inherited from his mother?

Panel 10

Flashback of Elan's Mother laying out a needlessly complex serving plan for the inn. A seating chart with barmaid routes drawn out is on an easel and is titled, "Serving Plan (Thursday)"
Mother: —then Teri, you double back and refill the peanut bowls on all of the tables where the number of guests is a prime number.
Mother: Any questions? All the barmaids raise their hands.

Trivia Edit

  • The title refers back to strip #50, The Semi-Secret Origin of Elan & Nale.
  • In panel 4, Tarquin is wearing the same armor and surcoat as he was wearing in #50.
  • In panel 5, young Nale is already growing a goatee.
  • This is the only the second appearance of both Elan's Mother and Soul-Muncher, Tarquin's intelligent axe, and thier first since #50. The gap of 675 strips is the longest gap between appearances of any characters in the comic.
  • This is the only other appearance of Tarquin's Conquored, the two decapitated rulers of the kingdom Tarquin conquors. They also appeared in #680, when they decapitated the previous rulers. (Who decapitated the previous ruler...)

External Links Edit

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