A veteran rogue who specializes in archery, Haley Starshine is Roy's second in command for the Order. In her earliest appearances she came off as greedy, for instance looting a room that she scouted out, but she was amassing wealth in order to save her father from execution at the hands of a cold-hearted tyrant, Lord Tyrinar. She has developed a romantic relationship over time with the Order's bard, Elan.
She is the daughter of First Edition thief Ian Starshine and his wife Mia. Her mother died when she was very young and her father was left to raise her alone, in Greysky City, a notorious town full of criminals. He taught her never to trust people who weren't family. When she mentioned in conversation to a friendly old woman that her mother was dead, he chastised her for telling a stranger the truth about herself, any information can be used against her later.
At the age of 15, she was a goth, referring to herself as "Dark Mistress Shadowgale". On one occasion she lamented that all good people (her mother and the names Kyran and Rachel were mentioned) in her life left her when they found out what she was really like and that she must thus conceal her true nature.
She joined the Thieves' Guild of Greysky City at the age of 17, her father having given them special permission to train her. Her skills developed quickly and she became a favorite of Guild-master Bozzok, who considered her to be one of his best earners - as well he might, given that the Guild automatically took half of any take, then added on as many fees as possible, so that Haley's earnings after stealing a diamond worth six thousand gold pieces eventually amounted to the princely sum of fifty-eight gold and three copper pieces.
Around eight months ago, Haley received a letter from the land of Tyrinaria, in which she was informed that her father had been imprisoned for life for 'crimes against the government'. She was also informed that if she, as her father's only living relative, paid them the sum of 200,000 gold pieces, then they would consider granting her father clemency.
Realizing that she would never be able to raise that sort of amount working for the Thieves' Guild (due to the absurd fees they charged), Haley immediately quit and left town to avoid any retribution from the guild-master. Bozzok would later claim to have had a hand in motivating Ian's departure, although that may have been a lie.
Pre-Order adventuring Edit
Haley became an adventurer, which she swiftly found to be far more profitable, both in terms of gold and experience, rising four experience levels in only six months, which was more experience than she'd gained in six years as a regular burglar.
Drinking in a tavern after one quest, Haley made the acquaintance of Vaarsuvius, an elven wizard who had just been disqualified from a magical tournament after accidentally destroying the stadium. The two debated the relative merits of adventuring over research and Haley eventually persuaded the skeptical elf to accompany her to the local adventurer's tavern to see what work might be available.
At the tavern, Haley encountered Roy Greenhilt, a fighter who was assembling a party to locate and destroy a lich, Xykon. Using a combination of bluffing and a hastily forged Thieves Guild membership card, Haley persuaded Roy to take her on. She also recommended Vaarsuvius as a possible party member, a suggestion which Roy followed.
Gains and losses Edit
Throughout their adventures, Haley has been an almost quintessential rogue, taking every opportunity to acquire treasure, preferably in such a manner that she could deny that she'd found anything to avoid having to share it. She was the first to distrust the Linear Guild, taking an almost immediate dislike to them (particularly Sabine, her opposite number) and was instrumental in foiling their plans after Roy realised that a cryptic prophecy given to him by his father referred to her and told her to attempt a seemingly impossible shot, which obligingly struck true.
Haley was also instrumental in foiling Xykon's plan, after she used her feminine wiles to get information from one of his goblin minions. Realizing that Xykon actually wanted the team to open the gate on the lowest level of the dungeon, Haley was able to stop Elan the bard from doing so at the last moment.
Haley took control of the party briefly when Elan was captured by a group of bandits and Roy elected not to try to rescue him. Haley rallied the remainder of the party and went to the bard's rescue. Somewhat appalled to find Elan, who she had developed feelings for, romancing the female bandit leader, Haley challenged her to a duel for leadership of the bandit group. Unfortunately, her opponent, an experienced sorcerer, defeated her readily, and it was only Roy's intervention that saved them all from execution.
Shortly afterwards, Haley was eaten by a dragon, although she was saved by Vaarsuvius, who forced the dragon to vomit her up again. Critically injured and believing that she was dying, Haley began to tell Elan that she was in love with him, but was interrupted by a Cure spell from Durkon Thundershield, leading her to change the ending of the sentence and leaving the confused bard under the impression that his teammate was in love with ukuleles. The sheer size of the dragon's hoard, however, was more than enough to restore her spirits.
Loading up their treasure on carts that Haley had stowed away in her impressive collection of eight bags of holding, the team aimed to return to town, only to be waylaid en route by Miko Miyazaki, a paladin of the Sapphire Guard of Azure City, who had come to arrest them for crimes against existence. Tempted to simply up and leave when Miko ordered them to accompany her to her city, Haley was persuaded to stay by Durkon. Staying in an inn on the way, a complex series of events led to the almost complete destruction of the establishment, plus most of the treasure that the Order had carefully stored away in the vault there. The psychological shock of losing all their hard-earned treasure hit Haley so hard that she spoke only in cryptograms for an extended period of time, from episode #247 to #393.
Azure City Edit
Finally arriving in Azure City, the Order were put on trial and, to everybody's surprise, were found not guilty. Haley swiftly figured out that the seemingly senile Lord Shojo, the city's ruler, was, in fact, still entirely in command of his senses (although she had more than a little difficulty in communicating this to Roy. The entire trial turned out to have been a sham to get the Order to Azure City, where Lord Shojo asked them to investigate the other gates scattered around the world.
As a boon, Lord Shojo ordered his best clerics to examine Haley to see if they could determine the cause (and, thus, any possible cure) for her speech disorder. They came to the conclusion that it was caused by an excess amount of stress caused by keeping secrets. Whether this is related to her hiding her love for Elan, to keeping her father's situation secret from her teammates or is simply due to her being a rogue was unrevealed until recently.
Deciding to face the problem directly, Haley decided to tell Elan about her feelings for him. Over the course of a meal to celebrate the New Year, she told him, but this failed to cure the problem and, because of her disorder, Elan didn't understand anyway. In an effort to try to find out which of her assorted secrets might be behind it, she proceeded to tell Elan about her father, that she wasn't actually a member of the Thieves Guild, that she cheats at solitaire, that she has a tattoo that he's never seen and that she's kissed a girl more than once. None of these made any difference, so she began to tell him another secret, one that she's not told anyone else, but he interrupted - all she got out (translated) was "Elan, it turns out I may not be exactly what you would call..." What this could refer to is as yet unknown.
Haley's self-loathing then manifested, appearing as her fifteen-year-old goth self. She suggested that rather than telling Elan, the best way to communicate her feelings to him was simply to kiss him, thus getting the message across without having to get around her language difficulties. The plan was put forward that she should kiss him at midnight, so that, if Elan reacted badly, she could simply dismiss the kiss as a New Year tradition. The moment arrived, but, even though Elan appeared to be waiting for her, Haley's courage failed her and before she made the move, an Azure City resident kissed him instead, leaving Haley to walk away sadly
Haley eventually came to terms with her problem, realizing that it will be sorted out in her own time and that attempting to force the issue will do no good. Visiting the Oracle of Sunken Valley, she asked how she could restore her speech, to be told "When the gift horse comes calling, don't look it in the mouth". When The Order subsequently returned to Azure City after their adventure in Cliffport, Nale, disguised as Elan and having figured out that Haley has feelings for his brother, asked Haley out because Sabine was visiting the Lower Planes and he was bored. Haley's embodiment of self-loathing distrusted Nale's offer citing the fact that "Elan" was suave, romantic and his vocabulary was higher than normal. Even though she acknowledged that "Elan" was not acting normal, Haley ignored her mental embodiments and decided to go on the date anyway (thus fulfilling the conditions given by the Oracle for the return of her speech).
The date seemingly went fairly well, despite an initial mistake by Nale who was unaware of her speech problem. The pair ended up back in Haley's room at the inn where they were staying, where Haley happily accepted a kiss from "Elan", unaware that Nale was holding a dagger and was about to stab her with it. His plan was interrupted when first the (apparently) jealous Sabine burst in through the door, then the real Elan swung in dramatically through the window, followed, bizarrely, by Thog dressed as a leprechaun. Nale and Elan dueled with Elan quickly proving the victor, much to Haley's delight. Faced with defeat, Nale tried tricking his brother into believing he and Haley were in fact working together, and that Haley's crypto-speak was really the language Infernal that they used to communicate. Elan was fooled by this bluff, assisted by a suggestion spell that Nale cast. He was about to turn on Haley, when the rogue, caught up in the yelling of an angry Elan and her own self-loathing, finally broke through her speech problem, screaming out that she was in love with him, and kissed Nale only because she thought he was Elan. This abrupt revelation stunned Elan, breaking Nale's hold over him.
Shortly afterward, Vaarsuvius and Durkon arrived, seeking Haley's help with subduing Belkar, whom Nale had magically charmed into attacking his own teammates. They joined in the battle with the Linear Guild, and were able to defeat the evil party. After Vaarsuvius and Durkon left with the defeated Guild in tow, Haley attempted to play down what she had said to Elan, to which he replied by walking over to her and kissing her.
Under siege Edit
As Xykon's army approached the walls, Haley helped prepare Azure City's troops for the coming battle, showing them a confident attitude. However, after a discussion with O-Chul, a senior Paladin, she realized the true gravity of the situation, that a war was very different from adventuring and that many of the troops, quite possibly including Haley herself, or some of her friends, were likely to be slain in the upcoming battle. Reassessing her priorities, she chose to spend the rest of the night with Elan.
On the day of the battle, confronted with three copies of Xykon, Haley suggested that in fact none of them were the real one, that their opponents were playing a classic shell game. This turned out to be quite accurate; a True Seeing spell quickly revealed the real Xykon atop his undead dragon steed, practically on top of them. With Roy engaging Xykon directly, Haley continued to defend the wall. Witnessing Roy's death, Haley was distraught, feeling that she should have been able to help, but, with Durkon's help, was able to put her grief aside and assume her duties as the new leader of the Order. With the hobgoblin army in the city and advancing on the castle, Haley attempted to distract Redcloak from the castle with a long-distance longbow shot. Unfortunately, she missed, failing to distract Redcloak, but attracting the attention of a considerable number of hobgoblin archers. With the Order under attack, she suggested to Elan that he should use illusions to convince the archers that the Order had been killed, a tactic that apparently proved successful.
With the battle lost, Haley convinced Hinjo to retreat (although it pained him deeply). She then revealed that she intended to go back to retrieve Roy's body, along with Belkar, who was forced to come along due to the Mark of Justice preventing him from being more than a mile away from Roy. When the stealthy approach failed, Haley grabbed Belkar and made a mad dash for the city wall. Realising that this was accomplishing nothing as the hobgoblins were gaining on them, she turned and fought back, eliminating twenty-two pursuing hobgoblins in a display of agility and marksmanship that greatly impressed Belkar.
The two of them discovered that Roy's body and a paralyzed O-Chul had been recovered by the Monster in the Darkness, who had "invited" them to his tea party. Haley convinced the Monster to give up the bodies in exchange for some vulture stew prepared by Belkar, and the two fled the scene with Roy and O-Chul in tow, escaping while the Monster debated with himself over whether he should devour them. When the Monster finally decided to pursue them and caused an earthquake to slow them down, Roy's body fell into a chasm created by the earthquake. A quick-thinking Haley fired an arrow to stop Roy's descent by pinning his crotch to the wall, while Belkar abandoned O-Chul to save his own hide. Haley and Belkar then hauled Roy's body up and continued their flight toward Hinjo's Junk, not knowing that it had set sail without them. Upon seeing the ship sailing off in the distance, Haley's self-loathing accredits this to Elan abandoning her as she got too close to him.
Hiding out Edit
Eugene's pseudoscrying spell revealed Haley to be alive and still hiding in Azure City, currently the leader of a resistance group made up of 200 survivors, though Haley mentions that there are other resistance groups that blame either the Order or Hinjo for causing the destruction for Azure City and are not willing to work with her. While attempting to free prisoners and steal supplies, the group was attacked by Tsukiko and her Wights. Haley later came out of hiding to confront Tsukiko directly, but she quickly ended up being overwhelmed by Tsukiko and her undead, saved only by the intervention of Belkar. Later (due to Tsukiko's use of an Electric Orb spell), Haley inadvertently summoned Celia, whose talisman (which Haley had on her person) reacted strongly to electrical energy, thus breaking when Haley removed it from her pocket. After learning of Roy's death, Celia convinced Haley to go out with her to seek the other members of the Order, partly by saying she was taking Roy's corpse with her when she left the city, which would force Belkar to tag along, which Haley agrees with once she learned of Xykon's Cloister spell prevented her comrades from finding her, her original plan being to wait until the Order managed to locate her.
On the Road Again Edit
Haley, along with Celia and Belkar, set out, away from Azure City. Celia put black eyeliner Xs on Haley and Belkar and put them in a cart with Roy, so they looked dead. She transformed herself into a necromancer to fool the hobgoblin guards. After Belkar killed a guard, a feud begins between him and Celia. Celia can't stand killing things, while Belkar loves it. Haley, being caught in between, attempted to be the voice of reason. Later, when Belkar killed a gnome spice peddler, just to take his donkey (and chocolate bar) Haley and Celia are both angered, although Celia takes it as an opportunity to insult Haley. Haley then muses whether praying to Roy (for the strength needed to not strangle Celia and Belkar) would offend the gods. They stopped at the Oracle of the Sunken Valley on their way to Cliffport. This plan is foiled by Belkar, who kills the Oracle after he [the Oracle] explains that Belkar managed to "cause the deaths" of Roy, Miko, and technically Windstriker. Haley is then forced to endure Belkar's Mark of Justice being set off, whereupon she is covered in excessive amounts of vomit. She attempts to expel Belkar from the Order of the Stick after this, but, as they leave the valley, she loses her memory of everything that happened while visiting the Oracle, including the Mark activating. As she, Celia and Belkar make their way to Cliffport, they stop one mile away from Greysky City, Haley's home town, which Haley strongly advises Celia not to go, knowing that the city is filled with dangerous criminals. While Haley sleeps, Celia takes this advantage to sneak into Greysky city with the aim of getting Roy resurrected. Unfortunately, the "cleric" she took him to happened to be someone who created golems. Roy's skeleton was turned into a bone golem, and Celia was attacked. She, with the help of Haley and a delusional Belkar, managed to escape the castle. They hid out in Blind Old Pete's house, where she is spending the night, attempting to hide from a vengeful Thieves Guild, which she was once part of. Later on, Pete manages to contact them with a Cleric of Loki not in the pockets of the guild, but in truth he was planning to betray them to Bozzok so that the Church of Loki would restore his eyes. During the resulting battle, Haley was stabbed down by Bozzok. Crystal then cut and collected Haley´s hair as a trophy but was soon saved by Belkar, who recently had his Mark of Justice removed and whisked away by Celia. The two end up going to Pete's den to collect a new bow (Pete having once been one of the Guild's best snipers), with Haley picking one with an ice enchantment. Managing to defeat Bozzok and his minions, he is halted by Celia and a halfling guild member named Hank who have legally declared a truce. Hank states that the Guild spread rumors around town that Haley was infiltrating an adventuring party in a secret undercover mission rather than quit to save face and improving reputation (adventuring parties will be forced to get guild-approved Rogues to be sure that they aren't secretly assassins). With this logic, if Haley has never left the guild, then her theft of Grubwiggler was guild-approved and therefore would need to aid Haley with stealing Roy's body in order to keep up the illusion.
Haley has been described as 'chaotic good-ish', which is an excellent over-view of how she is. Originally, Haley was thought to be the stereotypical rogue; greedy, always collecting treasure, and always sneak-attacking. However, it was later revealed that her tendency to collect money was to pay off a ransom for her father, who was being held by Tarquin in the Empire of Blood.
Haley can also be described as a loose 'Robin Hood' sort of rogue. While staying in the center-city of the Empire, Haley would often work with Vaarsuvius to free slaves (although later on, it was implied that these same slaves were the ones burned alive to make a flaming sign for Elan). And when her father, Ian Starshine, was in charge of the Thieves Guild, it was described as a 'steal from the rich, give 40% minus-compensation-costs to the poor' organization, which could have influenced Haley from a young age.
From Comics 0608 and 0610 it is possible to infer that Haley is 26 years old, perhaps slightly more (she met Crystal when both were 19 and 7 years have passed since).
- ↑ Comic 0093, "Teenage Wasteland"
- ↑ Comic 0311, "Internal Dialogue"
- ↑ Comic 0608, "Mean Girls"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "On the Origin of PCs"
- ↑ Comic 0131, "Money Makes the World Go Round"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Comic 0609, "It Takes TWO Thieves, Actually"
- ↑ Comic 0247, "It's Just Aphasia She's Going Through"
- ↑ Comic 0393, "Truth"
- ↑ Comic 0331, "For the Future"
- ↑ Comic 0386, "Not How She Pictured It, Certainly"
- ↑ Comic 0400, "Your Ship Has Come In"
- ↑ Comic 0417,"The Most Important Place to Be"
- ↑ Comic 0470, "With Three Arrows Left in the Quiver"
- ↑ Comic 0538, "Fiend or Foe?"
- ↑ Comic 0539, "Well There is That "Saint" Prestige Class"
- ↑ Comic 0610, "You're It"
|The Order of the Stick|
|Roy Greenhilt • Haley Starshine • Durkon Thundershield • Elan • Vaarsuvius • Belkar Bitterleaf|