Brown buzz cut, Brown Foot Hair
|Chronological and political information|
|I AM A SEXY SHOELESS GOD OF WAR!|
Belkar Bitterleaf was hired as the party tracker of the OotS by Roy Greenhilt, though he would later admit having no ranks in the Survival Skill, which Tracking is based around. He is a multiclass Ranger/Barbarian who greatly enjoys stabbing people. He is also quoted by Vaarsuvius as "having a Wisdom score normally reserved for lemmings" and "...whose mental acuity could be compared unfavorably to that of a table". Suffice it to say that Belkar has had a running hatred of Vaarsuvius, who he kissed while drunk during the New Year's celebration in Azure City. Vaarsuvius has retaliated many times, usually by casting Explosive Runes on objects that Belkar will scan. Belkar had a "Mark of Justice" put on his forehead after being arrested and put on trial in Azure City, and up until comic number 568, when the rune was activated by Belkar's killing of "The Oracle" the existence of the rune was debatable, but as of comic number 610, the Cleric of Loki that Haley had hired removed the curse after Belkar's hallucination. He is also one of the strongest members of The Order, able to knock out Miko Miyazaki with a lead sheet.
He once spun a sob-story about how he was ostracized in the halfling community for being exceptionally small even by halfling standards and that he has since strove to be a great adventurer in order to assert himself and eventually return to the village and exact a murderous and bloody revenge. While he subsequently claimed to have done this purely to gain extra experience points for role-playing, much of the story rings true. Belkar is indeed quite sensitive about his height and when Vaarsuvius hits him with a crushing despair spell he laments that he is going to die alone and unloved.
It has been suggested that at least some members of his family share his general disdain for the lives of others and have a similar bloodthirst - that he has an Aunt Judy who is as vicious as he is. He also seems to believe that spending time with one's family is a form of cruel and unusual punishment.
Joining the OrderEdit
Belkar has never taken any points in the Survival skill and does not possess enough wisdom for spells.
4 days prior to the formation of the Order of the Stick, Belkar was locked up in the local prison, facing a charge of murdering fifteen people in a barroom brawl to quote "they shouldn't have used fists in a knifefight" while in fact it was the opposite (he used knives in a fistfight). He managed to escape when the "Iron Mage" wizards' arena, located immediately next door to the jail, was accidentally destroyed when Vaarsuvius mis-scribed a Distant Inferno spell. The resulting blast damaged the prison enough for Belkar to make his escape, although not before he'd taken revenge on one of the guards, whom he claimed was "Size-ist".
Belkar was next seen pushing to the front of a line of adventurers and mocking monks for their wimpy attack style (for not being armed), waiting to be interviewed by Roy Greenhilt to join his party. Roy had just offered the last place in the group to a Monk, when Belkar arrived and, faced with the pressing need to leave town quickly with a heavily armed group, persuaded Roy to take him instead, initially asking who Roy wanted him to kill in order to earn his place, then revealing that he was a ranger with considerable tracking skills. As Roy needed somebody with those abilities, he agreed to take Belkar on.
The Order of the StickEdit
After the defeat of Xykon, he possesses a Ring of Jumping +20, discovered during the Order's quest through the Dungeon of Dorukan. Belkar chose the ring when dividing up the loot after the quest, because he felt that it would not only allow him to rain death from above onto his enemies but also to reach things on high shelves.
Belkar decided to become a barbarian multiclass character. In the town they visited of the Redmountain Hills, Belkar joined the local Barbarian Guild. The trial entry involved nonlethally defeating either, Kuurkk the Anemic, Lokor the Chronically Insecure or Hak-Tonog the Moderately Incontinent. Belkar killed all three of them. After that, Gortok made him a barbarian, despite slight misgivings about his guildmates' needless deaths.
Despite his kill-first who-cares-about-asking-questions attitude and lack of party loyalty causing the occasional problem, Belkar has proven to be generally effective as a party member during his time with the Order. Roy has learned from experience that Belkar is unlikely to follow orders to protect vulnerable individuals during combat, and he has often been known to regard his own teammates as viable targets, but, with carefully applied threats, the rest of the group have generally been able to keep the halfling under control and they consider him to be one of their own, standing by him when he faces threats from others. Having levels only in warrior-based classes (ranger and barbarian), Belkar has a Base Attack Bonus equal to his level, making him the most effective melee combatant in the group alongside Roy, whose combat skill is the same.
Captured and imprisoned in Azure City, Belkar was able to break out, murdered a guard and went on the rampage, daring paladin Miko Miyazaki to track him down and face him. She did so, in a fight that ranged throughout the castle, ultimately getting the better of the halfling (Though not before Miko was rendered unconscious at one point, and despite ample opportunity, Belkar refused to Coup de Grace her, apparently out of boredom). However, as she prepared to administer the final blow, she was struck from behind by a spell from Vaarsuvius who, despite his/her contempt for the halfling, still preferred him to Miyazaki. Belkar, however, was quite ungrateful, as he had been doing his best to provoke Miko into a genuinely evil act (killing him while he is powerless to defend himself) to deprive her of paladinhood; only the reminder that the party had no easy access to Raise Dead spells changed his mind. However, during the New Year celebration, the drunken halfling kissed Vaarsuvius. Since then, the wizard has been going out of his/her way to aggravate Belkar, in order to prevent any possible repeat of the incident. The exact nature of Belkar's relationship to Vaarsuvius is unknown. Vaarsuvius theorized in one instance that Belkar, being somewhat lacking in mental facilities, categorizes people into one of two emotional categories, Lust or Hate. As V was no longer "hated" by Belkar he/she must therefore be an object of lust. The acts of annoyance were an attempt to bring things back to their natural place.
In return for Roy's co-operation in defeating Xykon, Lord Shojo has secretly agreed to allow Belkar to continue traveling with the Order of the Stick, postponing Belkar's trial for his murder of a Sapphire Guard until one week after Xykon is defeated. However, in return for his freedom Belkar has had an enchanted rune, visible only through a Detect Magic spell (or similar), placed upon his forehead. This "Mark of Justice" represents a powerful curse, which will cause Belkar to come down with an incapacitating sickness, resulting in violent vomiting. It can be triggered by the following conditions:
- if Belkar attempts to deal lethal damage to any living creature within the bounds of any city, village or town. This condition is not revoked even if Belkar is threatened with attack or death within city bounds, as by Yokyok of the Linear Guild; however, Belkar convinced others to kill the attacker for him, and was not penalized for it. (He is still able to kill outside the city limits, deal lethal damage to undead, and inflict non-lethal damage.)
- if Belkar is separated from Roy by more than a mile;
- if the curse is triggered by the word squiddleydoodlefluffer, which was entrusted to Roy by Lord Shojo.
Belkar avoided violating any of the above terms until in The Simplest Explanation he killed the Oracle of Sunken Valley while unknowingly within the bounds of a town of kobolds (the village of LickMyOrangeBallsHalfling) that the Oracle had secretly built. This caused him to vomit violently and excessively, although the Oracle, having foreseen his own death, had set up a Raise Dead spell ahead of time. Belkar forgot the incident upon leaving Sunken Valley due to the Memory Charm on the exit; a fortunate occurrence for him, as Haley had been about to expel him from the Order of the Stick but forgot her intention for the same reason.
Belkar's freedom was given "on the sly"; Belkar must remain in disguise whilst the Order are in Azure City, and Roy's father has created a permanent illusion of Belkar in the Sapphire Guard's cells (this initially worked, though problems arose when "Belkar" did not eat for weeks). His share of all the treasure and loot gathered will go towards having the guard he killed raised from the dead.
He had proved quite adept at concealing the ring somewhere on his body, allowing him to retain it when imprisoned in Azure City; he claims that he puts it in a place where no one will bother—or dare—searching or looking.
According to the Oracle of Sunken Valley, Belkar would eventually cause the death of at least one of the following: Miko Miyazaki, Miko's "stupid horse", Vaarsuvius, Roy or the Oracle himself; although, due to the specific wording of his question (or rather, the lack thereof), Belkar wasn't able to find out which one. Upon visiting the Oracle once again, the Oracle states that Belkar caused Roy's death by giving him his +20 Ring of Jumping, Miko's death since the Order's defending of him caused Miko to believe that the Order is evil and thus led to her eventual downfall and technically Windstriker's death since its spirit is now trapped in the afterlife with no way of being summoned to the physical plane. The Oracle then begins talking about Vaarsuvius similarly before Belkar cuts him off mid sentence. Belkar then soon after kills the Oracle himself by stabbing him, fulfilling the prophecy. The Oracle also strongly suggested, and later confirmed, that Belkar won't live very much longer, though this wasn't permanently known to the party until the deceased Roy was dismissed from the Oracle without a memory wipe.
On the Order's return from Cliffport, having successfully rescued Roy's sister Julia Greenhilt from the Linear Guild, Belkar was the first member of the Order to realize that Nale had switched places with Elan the bard, as, once he'd removed Elan's clothing and bathed, his different smell was enough to tip Belkar off. Ignoring the Mark of Justice, Belkar lunged at Nale with the intent of brutally murdering him. Unfortunately for the ranger's comrades, Nale successfully managed to magically Charm Belkar, and ordered him to murder his companions (while singing the complete score to "Meet Me in St. Louis"). Belkar was, however, subsequently restrained by Vaarsuvius, then tied up by Haley and kept restrained well after the charm had worn off. After he was finally released, he was present when Lord Shojo was murdered by Miko Miyazaki, an act which caused the latter to lose her paladinhood. Belkar later realized the loss of her Paladin powers would prevent him from ever killing her horse Windstriker, something that caused him considerable anguish. Said anguish had apparently worn off some time later in the city dungeon, when he awakened Miko with a rock to the head and led the other prisoners in a round of applause, commending her on being a 'paladin turned murderer'. She promptly swore she would kill him (again), but this only seemed to amuse him. Hinjo later summoned all prisoners (Belkar included) over 5th level (except those guilty of a capital crime) and offered them a deal: fight to defend Azure City and have their sentence reduced by five years, or remain in prison. Roy managed to convince Belkar to take this deal as the minimum sentence for manslaughter is four years. Hinjo having overheard, then changed Belkar's sentence to six years, but then made a separate deal with him. If Belkar helped to defend the city, Hinjo would have his wizards remove the Mark of Justice, believing (wrongfully) that the Mark has taught Belkar his lesson. As Belkar has since become separated from Hinjo, he has not yet been able to demand his half of the bargain.
Battle in Azure CityEdit
During the Azure City siege Belkar lent his Ring of Jumping +20 to Roy for him to pursue Xykon, mainly because he made a bet with another prisoner that Roy would be foolish enough to take the risk.
Later on in the battle, the same prisoner, working for an ambitious noble, offered Belkar 10,000 GP to keep watch while he attempted to sneak attack Hinjo with a poisoned arrow. Although he initially agreed, Belkar was caught up in a "moral" dilemma by two shoulder demons (his shoulder angel having been rendered mad by Belkar's murderous tendencies) in that he could either take the money and allow the prisoner to slay Hinjo and risk the Mark of Justice never being removed or saving Hinjo, thus securing a chance to remove the Mark. Choosing the latter, Belkar then lunged at the prisoner and both of them fell off the castle walls (and out of city limits) with Belkar decapitating the prisoner in midair and landing in the middle of a large group of hobgoblins.
Being outside of the city, Belkar then began to slay the hobgoblins gleefully, culminating in him standing, battle-scarred, atop a massive mound of corpses bellowing boasts of being a "sexy, shoeless God of War!" while Haley and Durkon note that he is unlikely to get any XP from the enemies. He later encountered the Eye of Fear and Flame that was meant as one of the decoys for Xykon. Learning that it can fire Fireballs and Fear beams from its eyes, Belkar removed its skull and used it as a weapon against the hobgoblins two rounds later, with the cowardly decoy complying. He then returned to Azure City when all the hobgoblins headed for the breach in the wall, using the skull to save the Order from archers and rejoining them in a guard tower.
Quest to Resurrect RoyEdit
Belkar then accompanied Haley to retrieve Roy's body, claiming that he is not doing it out of any liking for Roy, but because his Mark of Justice means that he cannot go further than a mile from Roy's body. During the supposedly stealthy mission, Belkar managed to anger the skull, which alerted nearby hobgoblins to their position. The pair initially retreated, with Haley carrying Belkar, until she finally stood her ground and eliminated all of their twenty-two pursuers in what Belkar considered a highly impressive display. Eventually he and Haley found Roy's body (and O-Chul) at the Monster in the Darkness' tea party, who was loath to part with them (as they were 'just about to play Monopoly'). Through a little diplomatic wrangling, Haley convinced the Monster to let them 'take Flopsy and Mr. Stiffly home' if Belkar cooks the Monster some stew; introducing the readers to Belkar's seldom (if ever) displayed Profession (gourmet chef) skill. Lacking traditional ingredients such as chicken or beef, Belkar improvised and went to kill a vulture that had been pecking at Roy. Upon finishing the stew, the Monster willingly gives up O-Chul and Roy but when Belkar mentions Haley being the leader of the Order of the Stick (and with Haley confirming this to the Monster) he realizes that they are supposed to be his enemies and tells them that he has to devour them. Haley and Belkar flee, and Belkar abandons the paralyzed O-Chul to save his own life. When the two see the Junk leaving without them, Belkar talks to himself expecting Vaarsuvius to be using magic to hide the ship. Upon the realization that V is not behind it, Belkar asks "Vaarsuvius?", one of the few times he has called V by name (another being when V cast Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion). Haley and Belkar are later seen hiding out from the Hobgoblin army patrolling the city with Belkar angrily realizing that they are abandoned.
Belkar is seen four months later assisting the freedom fighters of Azure City as they were attacked by Wights and gaining a level (only to have it drained by a wight moments later). When later confronting Tsukiko, Belkar is offered a position as Xykon's Head Executioner which Belkar apparently was quite willing to take, but ultimately decided to throw Mr. Scruffy (formerly Shojo's cat) at Tsukiko and save Haley. Upon realizing that Xykon is likely capable of removing his Mark of Justice however he then begins to reconsider his options.
Belkar later leaves Azure City along with Haley and Celia (taking Mr. Scruffy with him) to find Durkon and the others, though they later turn to the Oracle to help locate them. Meeting the Oracle once again, the Oracle states that Belkar has caused the deaths of Roy, Miko and technically Windstriker, which enrages Belkar who wanted to kill them. In his fit of frustration he kills the Oracle, therefore completing the prophecy that he would "cause the death of either Roy, Miko, Miko's horse, or [the Oracle]". The Oracle, having seen this in advance, had secretly founded the village of Lickmyorangeballshalfling in the surrounding area, which triggered Belkar's Mark of Justice. He is later revived by a pair of clerics he had hired in advance.
So, Belkar began to suffer the pains of his curse, being at first a low-level headache, but later, he started to vomit, he thought that it would end when "that [had] to be all that [was] in his stomach", but he keeps vomiting, throwing up on Haley and Celia. Haley's outrage at the Oracle's murder convinced her to abandon Belkar to his fate; however, when they left the Sunken Valley, they promptly forgot everything due to the memory charm on Sunken Valley.
After they had left, Roy's spirit, which the Oracle could hear the whole time, got a prophecy "on the house" that Belkar would take his last breath ever some time this year. The Oracle did, however, clear up that "this year" referred to an in-story year, making it impossible to determine at which point in the run of the webcomic these events might occur. After this, Belkar began to suffer the effects of the Mark of Justice and soon snuck into Greysky City with Mr. Scruffy under the covers of the cart holding Roy's corpse, pulled by the unaware Celia.
While assassins from Greysky City's Thieves Guild come searching for Haley, Belkar slips into a coma, and in a dream is visited by Shojo (though he may also be a figment of his imagination or the influence of the Cleric of Loki) who tells him that he must "play the game", IE follow society's rules, stating that Belkar's problem is that he refuses to follow them and that those who do not play the game will eventually be kicked out of the house (killed). Shojo states however that he may also "cheat" in life if he plays by the rules, which Belkar sums up as making others believe he accepts society's rules and faking character growth. Shojo then asks Belkar to say what he is, besides just another race and class combination. Meanwhile, the desperate Cleric, trapped with Belkar with NPCs about to burst into the room and kill them, tries to ask the unconscious Belkar if he is a proficient warrior. Subconsciously, Belkar realizes his true identity and responds to Shojo (and softly out loud) that he is a "Sexy Shoeless God of War", the same line he yelled out during the Siege on Azure City. Accepting this answer, the cleric removes the curse with the apparent passcode "Evolve or die". With the curse removed and Mr. Scruffy supporting, Belkar gleefully slaughtered the majority of the Guild and headed to rescue Haley.
On the Western Continent, Belkar was sent to a battle arena for not having the required papers, but he managed to escape along with Roy.
Personality, Abilities and TraitsEdit
Belkar Bitterleaf is a psychotic sociopath that loves stabbing, grievous bodily harm to others, and gourmet cooking. He holds even more hatred towards Kobolds then most people and has them as a Favored Enemy. His complete lack of morals and willingness to kill is most clearly illustrated when his internal conflict takes place between two devils (one representing his usual impulsiveness, the other thinking in terms of the bigger picture) on his shoulders (his constant murdering having driven the angel completely insane). As with many of the members of the Order of the Stick, he is clearly an anti-stereotype, in the fact that most halflings are depicted as kind, jolly and altogether friendly individuals, while Belkar is none of these things. It can be assumed from the occasional personal comment that certain members of Belkar's family share his murderous disposition. He does have a number of skills that are from his halfling heritage, like his refined sense of smell and his ability to act as a Gourmet Chef on occasion. Belkar also is very sensitive of his height, as he is short even by halfling standards. He has apparently been arrested several times, as seen by his comment that he was "familiar with arrest procedure" when he and Roy where arrested by the local police of the Empire of Blood.
When it comes to being a warrior, Belkar is one of the group's most powerful fighters, consistently defeating opponents one-on-one or when outnumbered, to the point of proclaiming himself a "Sexy Shoeless God of War". As a ranger however, Belkar is abyssmally poor: his wisdom score is so low that he cannot cast spells (and in fact seems unaware that he is able to) and he has no ranks in survival and thus cannot track, despite advertising this skill to Roy during his recruitment .
Mr. Scruffy appears to serve as Belkar's animal companion since Belkar adopted him in Azure City: Belkar seems to have an animal empathic link to him. Mr. Scruffy responds to Belkar's commands. Belkar occasionally talks to Mr. Scruffy and shows that he cares more for Mr. Scruffy than any other of his companions.
While in Girard's base, Belkar may be showing signs of legitimate reform. While trapped by Girard's spells in an illusion of a perfect world according to Belkar, Belkar is shown to be happily cooking for himself, Lord Shojo, and Mr. Scruffy.
The Order of the StickEdit
- Roy Greenhilt: Belkar's relationship with Roy is complicated; Belkar is incapable of doing the tasks Roy had originally hired him for and Belkar has little respect for Roy's authority. Belkar has often entertained the idea of murdering Roy, and even asked the Oracle if he'd be responsible for his death. Roy for his part, considers Belkar a bastard but also knows what he's capable of and feels that it's safer that he remain with the Order and have his evil be directed in positive manner, rather then risk he escape and terrorize other.
- Haley Starshine: As fellow members of the Chaotic alignment, Haley can at times condone Belkar's methods, while at the same time, becoming disgusted by his homicidal tendencies. Belkar for his part will follow Haley's orders, but only when they benefit him.
- Vaarsuvius: Initially, the two had very little interaction, outside of Belkar being wary of V's great arcane might and wondering of V's gender; the two eventually settle into a protracted rivalry that may have been started by this incident. This coupled with another incident, would lead V to enact a series of harsh retribution, to which Belkar would respond in kind. Over time, this hatred has largely dissipated, due to V's attempts at humility and Belkar's new 'team player' attitude.
- Durkon Thundershield: The two rarely interact in any way that could be considered positive or negative, probably because Belkar knows that should he get hurt, he'll need Durkon to fix him up. (Belkar does anger Durkon at one point by knocking him out of a tree and allowing Durkon's own hammer to hit Durkon on the head, for which Durkon denies him a Cleric spell to protect against sunburn.) Durkon's eventual death comes as he tries to protect Belkar, which Belkar seems unusually troubled by.
- Elan: Surprisingly, Belkar actually seems to enjoy Elan's company, even being willing to rescue him from a group of bandits; this is partially due to their shared childish tendencies and enjoyment of cheap humour, as Belkar once sumrised it best, "He makes me laugh." That does not mean that Belkar is above killing him though.
- Mr. Scruffy: Since adopting the cat as his pet (and animal companion), Belkar has come to love and care for the cat as much as it's previous owner; developing a sense of love and compassion for it the likes of which he has never displayed before. Conversly, Belkar seems to be bringing out the cat's more savage and bloodthirsty side, as seen in this strip. Haley is of the opinion that the cat is a positive influence on Belkar, while he is a bad influence on the cat, but that it averages somewhere south of neutral.
- What exactly Belkar's relationship with his own family is like is unknown, but the fact that he considers spending time with relatives to be a form of punishment may say volumes about it.
Allies (Or as close as possible, given that its Belkar we're talking about here.)Edit
- Miko Miyazaki:
- Windstriker: Belkar quickly develops a sheer unbridled hatred of the horse after it sits on him and attempts several time to murder it. Upon realizing that Miko's lost paladin-hood has robbed him of the chance to do so, he is naturally pissed.
- The Belkster
- Death's Li'l Helper
- Sexy Shoeless God of War
|The Order of the Stick|
|Roy Greenhilt • Haley Starshine • Durkon Thundershield • Elan • Vaarsuvius • Belkar Bitterleaf|