Return of the King
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 605
Date published 5 November 2008
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Belkar has a fever dream.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Three members of the Thieves' Guild approach Old Blind Pete's safe room.
Jenny: Do you see Haley anywhere?
Lockpicking Thief: No, but I didn't really expect to.
Jenny: I hear chanting on the other side of that door.
Lockpicking Thief: I bet it's that rogue cleric of Loki. We better be careful.

Panel 2

Chuck: Eh, if he's a multiclass caster, his spells won't be that powerful. I should know.
Jenny: He said, "rogue cleric", not "rogue/cleric".
Chuck: Oh. Never mind, then.

Panel 3

On the other side of the barricaded door, the Cleric of Loki Sends the message to Durkon.
Cleric of Loki: Sending...
Lockpicking Thief (off-panel): I'll pick the lock, though it might take a while. Chuck, do you have a spell to disperse all this fog?
Cleric of Loki: Sending...
Chuck (off-panel): Let me see...
Cleric of Loki: Sending...

Panel 4

Cleric of Loki: Hey, buddy, I know you're a bit under the weather, but anything you could do here would be appreciated.
Belkar: ...
Cleric of Loki: Sending...
Cleric of Loki: Just my luck, I think he's slipped into a coma.
Cleric of Loki: Sending...

Panel 5

Mr. Scruffy licks Belkar, "lick lick lick".

Panel 6

Shojo (off-panel): There you are, you little scamp! I've been looking all over for you!

Panel 7

Lord Shojo appears before Belkar.
Shojo: Have you been a good kitty for the funny little psychopath? Have you?
Mr. Scruffy: Meow?
Belkar: Wacky old dude...?? Is that really you?

Panel 8

Shojo: Tough to say, actually.
Shojo: I don't think he's been feeding you enough, Mr. Scruffy, has he?
Shojo: I mean, this is obviously a dream that you're having. I'm not physically here.

Panel 9

Shojo: But I might really be the spirit of the late Lord Shojo, appearing to you from beyond the grave in your sleep.
Shojo: Or, I'm a tiny personified piece of the magical curse afflicting you, making my influence known through the medium of dreams.
Shojo: Or maybe I'm just a fever-induced hallucination. Who knows?

Panel 10

Belkar transforms into a green line.
Belkar: I would think YOU would know if—HEY!
Belkar: What the hell?? What just happened to me? Look at me! I'm a green line!
Shojo: As dreams go, it beats suddenly realizing that you're naked.
Shojo: Especially for the rest of us.

Panel 11

Belkar: OK, wise guy, answer this: If this is my dream, why did I just turn into a line?
Shojo: Yes, let's think about this: Why would your subconscious mind represent you as a line—a completely one-dimensional figure?
Belkar: Oh, I get it. Ha ha.

Panel 12

Shojo: A figure without depth; one lacking any sort of hidden meaning or interest. Shallow. Banal.
Belkar: Yeah, OK, OK, I get it!
Shojo: Simplistic. Predictable—even painfully obvious. Overdone.
Belkar: Knock it off!
Shojo: Going in exactly one direction, and not even a particular interesting one at that.
Belkar: You can't see my face, but I'm glaring at you violently.
Shojo: Case in point.

D&D Context Edit

  • A Rogue/Cleric is a multiclass character with levels in both Rogue and Cleric. A rogue cleric is a cleric who is operating outside normal or desirable controls.
  • Sending is a 4th level cleric spell which allows communication with a known party over arbitrary distances, even across planes. There is a 25 word limit and the party can reply, if desired, with a similar limit. The casting time is 10 minutes.

Trivia Edit

  • The title references J.R.R. Tolkien's 1955 The Return of the King, the final installment of his genre-defining fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings. This is the third Order of the Stick strip to bear a name which may reference this book, after #186, Return of the Elf, and #249, Return of the Trouser Titan, though these other two might rather refer to Return of the Jedi, the final installment of the original Star Wars trilogy.
  • This is the first appearance of Chuck and the Lockpicking Thief.
  • Chuck's mention of "I should know" is a callback to his appearance in On the Origin of PCs, where it was revealed that he is attempting to qualify for the Arcane Trickster prestige class. The class requires levels of both Rogue and a casting class to qualify, making its casting significantly worse than a normal caster, something he ruefully noted.

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