|“Tree is Within 10-ft. Radius of Apple”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||15 October 2010|
|View the comic|
Tarquin tells Elan why he wasn't there when Elan was growing up.
- Panel 1
Tarquin: I appreciate you giving me a taste of what I missed today.
Elan: What do you mean?
Tarquin: Your childhood. You know, doing all those childlike things with me today.
Tarquin: We did all of those little kid activities today so that I would know what it would have been like, had I been there. Right?
Elan: I'm not sure I'm following you, Dad.
- Panel 2
Tarquin: Never mind, just go wash up and get a bite to eat, the parade starts in two hours.
Elan: Thanks Dad!
Tarquin: Wait, Elan—
- Panel 3
Tarquin: I just wanted to take a moment to say how proud I am of you.
Tarquin: I mean, of how you grew up.
- Panel 4
Tarquin: To tell the truth, I've been going out of my way to prevent having any more children since I left your mother, on account of how Nale turned out.
Tarquin: I was afraid that any other offspring of mine would turn out as rotten as he did.
Tarquin: But now that I've met you, and seen that you've grown up to be a hero, well... it makes me sad that I didn't get to be a part of your life.
- Panel 5
Elan: Dad, why... why did you leave? Just to go conquer a new country? Couldn't you have brought Mommy and me with you?
Elan: Why didn't you ever come see me while I was growing up?
- Panel 6
Tarquin: Elan, that was—don't you know why? Didn't your mother ever tell you why we split up?
Elan: No! All I know is that at Father-Son picnics, Mommy had to wear the fake mustache and it itched. Dad, it itched.
- Panel 7
Tarquin: Elan... your mother asked me to leave. It was her wish that I never see you—or Nale—ever again.
Tarquin: I'm the one who took her to court for visitation rights, but she fought me every step of the way.
Tarquin: Eventually, we reached a compromise where we each got one child. At that point, I was so tired of fighting that I agreed.
- Panel 8
Tarquin: I wrote you a letter telling you this when you turned 15. I guess your mother threw it away.
Elan: Why—why would she do that?
Tarquin: To keep you from seeking me out, I imagine. Women can be very petty.
- Panel 9
Elan: I can't believe my own mother lied to me!
Tarquin: No sense being angry about it now, Elan. You found your way here anyway, and not a moment too soon—
- Panel 10
Panel with washed out colors, and Tarquin looking evil
Tarquin: —because one way or the other, the destiny of this nation lies in your hands!
- Panel 11
Elan: Wait, what do you mean by that?
Tarquin: Don't worry about it. Just some ominous foreshadowing for later.
- Panel 12
Elan: Oh, OK.
Elan: Is that why the lights went down back there?
Tarquin: Yeah, I had dimmers installed pretty early in the construction. Totally worth the cost.
- The title puts a D&D spin on the old proverb, "the apple doesn't fall fall far from the tree", asserting a continuity of family characteristics. In this case it is the common flair for the dramatic shared by Tarquin and Elan. Certain effects in D&D will have a area of effect, such as a 10 foot radius.