|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||15 March 2011|
|View the comic|
A touching scene of a halfling and his cat parting company... not goodbye, just au revoir.
- Haley Starshine ◀ ▶
- Elan ◀ ▶
- Belkar Bitterleaf ◀ ▶
- Vaarsuvius ◀ ▶
- Mr. Scruffy ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- Tarquin ◀ ▶
- Kilkil ◀ ▶
- Empress of Blood (on banner) ◀ ▶
- Evisceratus ◀
- Three Soldiers of the Empire of Blood
- A Crowd of Spectators
- Panel 1
Guard #1: Here, kitty kitty kitty Don't hurt us.
Belkar: Hey! If you touch my cat, that prisoner guy won't be the only one around here who ended their sentence with a semicolon.
Guard #1: He's not your cat.
Guard #2: He belongs to one of General Tarquin's guests. The elf with the purple hair, I think.
- Panel 2
Guard #1: So get back to the catacombs with the rest of the—
Mr. Scruffy leaps into Belkar's arms.
Guard #1: Huh?
Guard #2: On second thought, YOU bring it over to the elf, halfling slave.
Guard #3: Yeah, I'm not getting disemboweled over this.
- Panel 3
Belkar: Don't worry, pal. It'll be OK. No reason to be scared.
Belkar: They're just a bunch of low-level NPC warriors. They don't matter at all.
Mr. Scruffy: purrrrrr
- Panel 4
Belkar: Hey! You! Uptight-looking androgynous elf!
- Panel 5
Vaarsuvius: Yes, dim-witted halfling thug?
- Panel 6
Belkar: Were you taking care of this cat?
Vaarsuvius: Yes,. I was watching it for a... for an acquaintance of mine.
Belkar: Well, get him, then, and use that racial Spot bonus to keep a better eye on him.
- Panel 7
Vaarsuvius: Bugsby's Cat-Retrieving Hand!
Vaarsuvius: I am a wizard. Being prepared comes naturally.
- Panel 8
A giant pink disembodied hand lifts Mr. Scruffy off the sand of the arena floor.
Belkar: OK, Mr. Scruffy, chill with the big people for now, got it?
Mr. Scruffy: Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow! Meow!
Belkar: Hey, hey, hey! Calm down! I'll come and find you when this whole stupid gladiator thing is over.
- Panel 9
Belkar: You and me to the end, remember?
Mr. Scruffy: Meow. Mr. Scruffy touches Belkar's hand with his paw.
Belkar: Now go, and don't let that Vulcan-in-fantasy-drag push you around.
- Panel 10
Guard #3: Awwwww, the jowwy widdle hawfwing wuvs his widdle cat! How cute!
- Panel 11
- Panel 12
Kilkil: I don't mean to alarm you, General, but I think that halfling is force-feeding another man's intestines to one of our guards.
Tarquin: Oooooo, bonus action!
Elan: I can't tell if the cat is a good influence on Belkar, or Belkar is a bad influence on the cat.
Haley: Both, I think, but it probably still average out somewhere south of Neutral.
D&D Context Edit
- The title refers to the fact that Mr. Scruffy has become Belkar's Animal Companion, a feature of the Ranger class that prior to Mr. Scruffy (whom he adopted in #516), Belkar had not availed himself.
- Warrior is an NPC class which is not as powerful as the PC Fighter class.
- Elves have a +2 racial bonus to Spot checks.
- Bugsby's Cat-Retrieving Hand is, of course, not a canonical D&D spell. However it plays on the several "hand" spells named for the Archmage Bigby. Bigby was a character played by D&D creator Gary Gygax. Originally created by Bob Kuntz as an NPC henchmen for Gygax's Mordenkainen, Bigby became a PC in his own right and a member of Gygax's Circle of Eight. Due to copyright constraints, the name cannot be used in the SRD and in this comic it is parodied variously as "Bugsby" or "Bixby".
- Belkar's quip in the fist panel is a double entendre on the words sentence and colon. The first meaning of sentence is linguistic, and semicolon refers to the punctuation mark. The second meaning is a punishment meted out by a court, and semicolon refers to half of a colon.
- Vaarsuvius will use the oddly-specific Bugsby's Cat-Retrieving Hand again in #1021
- In panel 9, Belkar refers to the Vulcan race of aliens from the Star Trek franchise.
- This is the final appearance of Evisceratus, the disemboweled gladiator. He first appeared in #736, Do You Like Comics About Gladiators?