The Order finally arrived in the Windy Canyon, although only Roy, Haley, and Elan are together. Roy sent Durkon searching for Vaarsuvius in the Semi-Elemental Plane of Ranch Dressing. Elan is concerned about Nale's plan with Girard's Gate, but Roy sends him back into the cave. Roy also reveals to Haley that he sent Belkar along to help with the search. Haley questions this, due to Belkar's horrible tracking skills, but Roy says Belkar has other skills that are useful. Meanwhile, Belkar determines V's location by tasting the ranch to locate them.
- The Order of the Stick
- Banjo the Clown ◀ ▶
- Mr. Scruffy ◀ ▶
- Panel 1
A windswept desert canyon. Two tiny figures stand in a fissure in a cliff face.
Elan: How long until Durkon’s back?
Roy: Tough to say.
- Panel 2
Roy My dad always said that targeting a Plane Shift spell was like trying to puncture a balloon tied to the back of an epileptic hamster by throwing glitter at it.
Roy: And from what V’s Sending message said, that plane is particularly unstable.
- Panel 3
Roy: Durkon might have to travel for hours once he’s there just to meet up with Vaarsuvius—
Roy: —And when they shift back here, they may arrive miles away again.
- Panel 4
Elan: But Roy, Nale could be in the canyon right now, looking for Girard and being just generally dastardly!
Roy: Yeah, and I intend to have a full team when we find him. Or he finds us.
- Panel 5
Roy: I’m stick of fighting the Linear Guild when we’re at some huge tactical disadvantage.
Roy: For once, I want us to be the ones with the edge.
Roy: So we’re going to sit here and wait for our spellcasters if it takes all night and all day.
- Panel 6
Haley: If Durkon hasn’t checked in by sunset tomorrow, I can just use the scroll he left to contact him.
Roy: Go get some sleep or something. I’ll keep watch.
- Panel 7
Elan: I can’t sleep! I’m too worried that Nale will get to Girard before we will!
Roy: Then play quietly with your puppet or something!
Elan: Don’t be ridiculous, Roy! You know Banjo is even more worried than I am.
- Panel 8
Elan walks off, talking to Banjo the Clown.
Elan: It’s OK, I’m sure this flying carpet got us here faster than Sabine can fly.
Haley: I don’t know why you sent Belkar along, though. I think Durkon is capable of handling any danger.
Roy: Oh, I didn’t send Belkar along as a bodyguard. I thought his skills might help Durkon locate V faster.
- Panel 9
Haley: His skills?? Roy, Belkar is a terrible tracker!
Roy: Those are not the skills to which I’m referring.
- Panel 10
Cut away to the Semi-Elemental Plane of Ranch Dressing. Mr. Scruffy drinks from a stream.
Belkar: Buttermilk, with a touch of chives.
Belkar: We’re close.
Mr. Scruffy: lap lap lap
D&D Context Edit
- Belkar has ranks in Profession (gourmet chef), as we learned in #475. These are the skills (rather than his Ranger tracking skills) which Roy wanted to exploit.
- Sending spells allow short messages to be sent between two people, even across different planes of existence as they do here. As a non-caster, Haley needs to pass a Use Magic Device skill check to activate a scroll; Use Magic Device is a class skill for rogues.
- The title also plays with Belkar's weak tracking skills. Rangers are supposed to be seasoned woodsmen, i.e. experience. Belkar is a terrible tracker, but an excellent chef, making him "seasoned" in the culinary sense.