|“Either Way, Really”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||18 February 2012|
|View the comic|
Thwarted in their attempt to use magic to find Girard's Gate, the party comes up with a new plan: follow Belkar's nose.
- The Order of the Stick
- Mr. Scruffy ◀ ▶
- Blackwing ◀ ▶
- Yukyuk (dominated) ◀ ▶
- Panel 1
Roy: Oh look, another three-way split. Anyone have any preference for which way we should go?
Haley: I’m a big fan of the Right-Hand rule.
Vaarsuvius: I fail to see what this has to do with electromagnetic vectors.
Haley: What? No, I mean we always take the rightmost path that we haven’t explored yet. Eventually, we should see every part that way.
Elan: Can’t we drop breadcrumbs, like that story where they dropped breadcrumbs but the birds ate them all and they got lost and never mind, I get it.
- Panel 2
Belkar: Ugh! If you ask me, they should have called this place Stinkass Canyon! I cannot believe the smell in here.
Roy: *sniff!* I don’t smell anything.
Belkar: That’s ‘cause your feeble human senses are like your feeble human brains: Cute, but not really up to snuff.
- Panel 3
Roy: What? What’s wrong with human senses?
Belkar: Nothing. I’m sure it’s very relaxing to be oblivious like that. Like living at a spa.
Vaarsuvius: To be fair, you are quite bad at seeing in starlight.
Durkon: Or total darkness.
Vaarsuvius: Or noticing secret doors.
Durkon: Or yer depth unnerground.
Vaarsuvius: Or hearing things.
- Panel 4
Roy: Fine, fine, OK, we get it. Why don’t you tell me what it is you smell that’s so rancid. Is it garbage?
Roy: Rotting corpses?
Belkar: Close. Humans.
- Panel 5
Roy: Excuse me? Humans don’t smell THAT bad!
Belkar: The fact that you think that makes my life miserable on a near-daily basis.
- Panel 6
Roy: Belkar, you just spent three days cooped up with a bunch of sweaty human gladiators. You’re fine.
Belkar: Yeah, but this is worse! I don’t know, stronger!
Haley: And you can smell it from here?
Belkar: We’re downwind from the entire canyon.
- Panel 7
Haley: Roy, Girard’s human, as would be any family members.
Roy: I can’t imagine that Girard would think to block divinations but not mask their scent, if it’s really that strong.
Roy: Kids at Julia’s school use that spell when they pull an all-nighter.
- Panel 8
Roy: Then again…even if it’s not Girard and his people, it might be someone who can help us narrow down our search.
Roy: And if Nale IS here, he’s probably having the same trouble we are…any advantage we can get helps.
Roy: OK, let’s give it a try. New plan: We follow Belkar’s nose.
- Panel 9
Belkar: Come on, Freshmouth. I want Mr. Scruffy to stick near me.
Haley: Wow, it’s amazing how useful that little guy has become.
Roy: He might seem cooperative now—
Roy: —but don’t forget that he’s a cold-blooded monster that we’re just managing to control through intangible means until either he escapes, or he dies for a cause that isn’t his own.
- Panel 10
- Panel 11
Haley: Are we talking about the kobold, or Belkar?
D&D Context Edit
- In the third panel, when Belkar points out his superior sense of smell as a halfling, V and Durkon point out all of their racial sensory abilities as an elf and dwarf respectively.
- In the first panel, Haley and V play on dual meanings of the term "right hand rule". One is a Maze solving algorithm, and appropriate to the task at hand, and the second is a vector multiplication mnemonic that can be applied to physics and other applications.