|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||25 May 2013|
|View the comic|
Elan interrupts Belkar's phantasm dream with a Song of Freedom.
- Roy Greenhilt ◀ ▶
- Haley Starshine ◀ ▶
- Elan ◀ ▶
- Belkar Bitterleaf (also charmed) ◀ ▶
- Mr. Scruffy (also charmed) ◀ ▶
- Lord Shojo (as illusion) ◀ ▶
- Monkey (on tapestry) ◀
- Rooster (on tapestry) ◀
- Goat (on tapestry) ◀
- Horse (on tapestry) ◀
- Panel 1
Roy: Ugh, my head. We've been standing here for at least a few hours.
Haley: How can you tell?
Roy: I'm really hungry, but I don't need to shave.
Roy: I've been trying to notice stuff like that since I got back.
- Panel 2
Roy: These runes must have been cast by Girard himself.
Roy: My dad talked a lot about illusions over the years, and I've never heard of a phantasm THAT powerful.
Roy: If the Draketooths were still alive, they would have had no trouble taking us out while we all stood still.
- Panel 3
Belkar and Mr. Scruffy are revealed to still be under the illusion's effects.
Elan: Uh, guys—I think some of us are STILL standing still!
Roy: Huh? Elan broke the illusion's effect, why would Belkar still be trapped?
Haley: He's probably in a seperate dream. One where he doesn't die in the first two minutes.
- Panel 4
Haley: Think about it—Girard though both the baddies AND the paladins were after his lucky charms.
Haley: If this is his crazy-ass epic-level Final Boss Illusion, he would've included a way to trap two groups with very different ideas of "happily ever after."
- Panel 5
Haley: The three of us want a lot of the same goals—Xykon beaten, Azure City restored—but Belkar doesn't give a darn about any of those.
Haley: So the spell must be giving him his own private show.
- Panel 6
Elan: Don't worry, Roy! I can break him out too!
Roy: How? Are you going to have another breakthrough, like that it's weird to worship your own puppet?
Elan: Of course not! But I can use my bardic Song of Freedom to break the spell.
- Panel 7
Elan turns into a country music singer holding a guitar.
- Panel 8
Belkar snaps out of the illusion.
Belkar: My gods... it's true... I am being punished for a lifetime of bad deeds—
Belkar: I have to listen to country music!!
- Panel 9
Elan: No, silly. You were trapped in an illusion that gave you a perfect life—and I set you free!
Belkar: Well, gosh, thanks for bringing me back to this hot dusty stinkhole instead of letting me stay in the dream, where I was—
- Panel 10
Roy: Stop right there.
Roy: I don't think any of us want to hear the details of whatever awful twisted debauchery you were up to in your own head.
Roy: I'm sure it involved a lot of stabbing, and whores, and whores stabbing whores who stab whores. But keep it to yourself.
Belkar: Heh heh, yeah. I mean, it was MY dream, after all.
- Panel 11
An image of Belkar's Dream shows Belkar, wearing a chef's hat, walking over with a tray of cooked fish. In the background, Lord Shojo is petting the purring Mr. Scruffy.
Mr. Scruffy: purrrrrr......
- Panel 12
Belkar: Yup. Definitely just my dream.
Mr. Scruffy: Meow?
D&D Context Edit
- Song of Freedom is an ability Bards learn at Level 12, provided they have at least 15 ranks in a Perform Skill. This ability has the same effect as the "Break Enchantment" spell.
- In the first panel Roy mentions noticing things that show the passage of time. This is because of the three and a half months that slipped past his notice while he was in the afterlife, where these little things don't change. This fact was painfully pointed out to him by his mother and grandfather and Roy's Archon in #499, No Time to Lose.
- This is the first appearance of Lord Shojo since #610, when he appeared to Belkar in a fever dream while under the Greater Mark of Justice. He has not appeared in actual form since his corpse was shown in #410.
- This is the final appearance of the four gods of the Pantheon of Twelve Earthly Branches depicted on the tapestry behind Shojo in Belkar's fantasy: Monkey, Rooster, Goat, and Horse. Monkey first appeared in #274, Rooster in #273, while Goat and Horse only appear one other time when the entire pantheon appears in #407.