|I AM A SEXY SHOELESS GOD OF WAR!|
Belkar Bitterleaf is a member of the Order of the Stick. He is a halfling and a multiclass Ranger/Barbarian who greatly enjoys stabbing people. Despite being a Ranger, his low wisdom precludes him casting any Ranger spells. Belkar is Chaotic Evil, an alignment mismatch with the rest of the party which created many conflicts, though Roy Greenhilt justifies having him in the party as a way to temper his evil impulses and redirect his abilities for good.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Background
- 1.2 Uncivil Servant
- 1.3 On the Origin of PCs
- 1.4 Dungeon Crawlin' Fools
- 1.5 No Cure for the Paladin Blues
- 1.6 War and XPs
- 1.7 Don't Split the Party
- 1.8 Blood Runs in the Family
- 1.9 Utterly Dwarfed
- 1.10 Current Activities
- 2 Personality and Traits
- 3 Relationships
- 3.1 The Order of the Stick
- 3.2 Family
- 3.3 Allies
- 3.4 Team Evil
- 3.5 Linear Guild
- 3.6 Vector Legion
- 3.7 Others
- 4 Powers and Abilities
- 5 Equipment and Weapons
- 6 Prophecy of Death
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Gallery
- 9 References
He once spun a sob-story about how he was ostracized in the halfling community for being exceptionally small even by halfling standards and that he has since strove to be a great adventurer in order to assert himself and eventually return to the village and exact a murderous and bloody revenge. While he subsequently claimed to have done this purely to gain extra experience points for role-playing, much of the story rings true. Belkar is indeed quite small by halfling standards (at 3'2" according to himself) and is shown to be quite sensitive about his height. Also when Vaarsuvius hits him with a crushing despair spell he laments that he is going to die alone and unloved.
It has been suggested that at least some members of his family share his general disdain for the lives of others and have a similar bloodthirst—that he has an Aunt Judy who is as vicious as he is. He also seems to believe that spending time with one's family is a form of cruel and unusual punishment.
Word of the Giant has confirmed that many of his dysfunctionalities are the result of his upbringing, but has stated that they deliberately intend to not touch on Belkar's past in the comic proper.
Some time prior to joining the Order, Belkar was captured and spent seven months as a slave before escaping after killing the slavers. Dressed in rags, he stopped at a farm to steal some squashes after spending several days without eating. However, he was then attacked by the Ankheg, a giant acid-spraying bug from the region he was in. Escaping to the top of a nearby tree, he slept the night there to avoid the bug before going into town the next morning. Breaking into a bakery, he took a bite out of a blueberry muffin only to be disgusted by its taste, and proceeded to cook his own food while the baker and a young woman listened to him from behind the wall.
After finishing his meal, Belkar was drawn by a conversation between the merchant Jarnson and a man named Brint, who was looking to collect some money from him. Brint got into an argument with another man, Shart, who was also looking to collect the money from Jarnson and the two couldn't decide whose territory Jarnson was on. Jarnson ran away after throwning a few gold, with Belkar liking the shakedown he saw. At that moment, the Ankheg struck once more, burrowing from beneath the ground under Belkar to attack him. Striking back with his bread knife, Belkar leaped at the creature's head - a jump that impressed both Brint and Shart—and stabbed it in the face. Both men attempted to recruit the halfling for their showdown the next day. However, their recruitment efforts were halted when they both ran away when the deputy mayor, who brought Belkar to the mayor for a 25gp reward for killing the Ankheg. Though confused at the prospect of receiving money for killing, he takes the reward and begins plotting to kill more criminals and threats. When asked for his name for the local newspaper, he answered with "Ali S. Fakenamington".
With his reward, he pays himself a bath, a new set of clothes, new daggers, some decent food and wonders if it may be enough for a half-and-half. With a messenger boy, he leads both Brint and Shart to a tree on a hill, hoping for them to kill themselves. However, they instead resolved to end their feud, leaving him to kill them both along with the four men with them. The next day he brought the heads to the mayor and the deputy mayor, who were absolutely disgusted by his actions to his immense confusion, as they seemed to be common thugs to him - only for it to be revealed that Shart was the town fire warden and Brint was the chief of police, that the money they were collecting were pledges for the orphanage and that the skill they were looking for was his vertical jump in the 3rd Annual Charity Volleyball Tournament between the police and fire departments. The deputy mayor had split the town in half for them to canvas, which led to the misunderstanding that led to their deaths. The deputy mayor attempted to have the deputies called to arrest Belkar, only for him to ask if they were the three men following Brint that night and revealing that he had killed them as well. The mayor refused to pay Belkar and asked him to leave, and Belkar began walking away, only turning back to say that the town was now understaffed for basic civil services - such as, for example, keeping the town from burning down. He walked away from the town with a large chest filled with gold, contemplating whether he should try the whole "adventurer" thing again someday.
On the Origin of PCs
4 days prior to the formation of the Order of the Stick, Belkar was locked up in the local prison, facing a charge of murdering fifteen people in a barroom brawl to quote "they shouldn't have used fists in a knifefight" while in fact it was the opposite (he used knives in a fistfight). He managed to escape when the "Iron Mage" wizards' arena, located immediately next door to the jail, was accidentally destroyed when Vaarsuvius mis-scribed a Distant Inferno spell. The resulting blast damaged the prison enough for Belkar to make his escape, although not before he'd taken revenge on one of the guards, whom he claimed was "Size-ist".
Belkar was next seen pushing to the front of a line of adventurers and mocking monks for their wimpy attack style (for not being armed), waiting to be interviewed by Roy Greenhilt to join his party. Roy had just offered the last place in the group to a Monk, when Belkar arrived and, faced with the pressing need to leave town quickly with a heavily armed group, persuaded Roy to take him instead, initially asking who Roy wanted him to kill in order to earn his place, then revealing that he was a ranger with considerable tracking skills. As Roy needed somebody with those abilities, he agreed to take Belkar on. Belkar would later admit having no ranks in the Survival Skill, which Tracking is based around.
Dungeon Crawlin' Fools
After being converted to the new 3.5 Edition, Belkar's knife shrinks down. and his annoyance is further increased as Elan gets new skill points. Belkar splits up with Haley and Vaarsuvius. Belkar fails Spot and Listen checks in the middle of a squad of Goblin ninjas. Later, when the Order fights Trigak, Belkar get's the final blow as they attempt to retreat, landing on them with his knife, arguing with Haley about why they weren't supposed to die. Belkar tracks the chimera. Later, scouting by himself, he makes his Spot check on a goblin ninja, he kills it in a short lived fight. He celebrates, only to find out that he's still by himself. Leading the Order to a door, Elan opens it to find the Linear Guild, where he quickly forms a enemy with the kobold Yikyik, fighting with him while the others talk about the Dungeon runes. While going for the Earth sigil, Yikyik stabs him repeatedly, making excuses everytime he does. They have a stand off while Roy and Thog duel.
When the Order and Guild finds the Talisman, they betray the Order, Nale stabs Elan, and Durkon is knocked out. Since Elan is dying, Vaarsuvius increases Belkar's wisdom to use healing scrolls on him, due to him being a Ranger but having low Wisdom. When the Guild is forced to retreat back to the Order, the Order fights their counterparts. Belkar has a long duel with Yikyik, getting stabbed but ultimately turns Yikyik's head into a swanky hat.
Later, arriving at Xykon's throne room, Belkar tears up when Roy orders to charge into Xykon's army, but is lamed out when Roy orders him to protect the casters. Belkar leaves them to kill goblins, which leaves them to be surrounded by goblins and ghasts. Belkar is surprised when first seeing Durkon using Thor's Might. After Xykon is unassumingly killed again, goblins attempt to surrender, but Belkar responds by stabbing a goblins leg off, chasing goblins for XP. After the Order realizes Elan activated the Castle's Self Destruct Rune, Belkar fails to see a Exit door behind him.
No Cure for the Paladin Blues
In a Inn, the entire Order goes up a level, except for Belkar. After killing a rat, he realizes its too low of a Challenge Rating, so he tries to kill Elan, but is stopped by Roy. He spins a sob-story about his past, which gives him enough Roleplaying XP to level himself up.
He acquired a Ring of Jumping +20, discovered during the Order's quest through the Dungeon of Dorukan. Belkar chose the ring when dividing up the loot after the quest, because he felt that it would not only allow him to rain death from above onto his enemies but also to reach things on high shelves.
Belkar decided to become a barbarian multiclass character. In the town they visited of the Redmountain Hills, Belkar joined the local Barbarian Guild. The trial entry involved nonlethally defeating either, Kuurkk the Anemic, Lokor the Chronically Insecure or Hak-Tonog the Moderately Incontinent. Belkar killed all three of them. After that, Gortok made him a barbarian, despite slight misgivings about his guildmates' needless deaths.
Despite his kill-first who-cares-about-asking-questions attitude and lack of party loyalty causing the occasional problem, Belkar has proven to be generally effective as a party member during his time with the Order. Roy has learned from experience that Belkar is unlikely to follow orders to protect vulnerable individuals during combat, and he has often been known to regard his own teammates as viable targets, but, with carefully applied threats, the rest of the group have generally been able to keep the halfling under control and they consider him to be one of their own, standing by him when he faces threats from others. Having levels only in warrior-based classes (ranger and barbarian), Belkar has a Base Attack Bonus equal to his level, making him the most effective melee combatant in the group alongside Roy, whose combat skill is the same.
Captured and imprisoned in Azure City, Belkar was able to break out, murdered a guard and went on the rampage, daring paladin Miko Miyazaki to track him down and face him. She did so, in a fight that ranged throughout the castle, ultimately getting the better of the halfling (Though not before Miko was rendered unconscious at one point, and despite ample opportunity, Belkar refused to Coup de Grace her, apparently out of boredom). However, as she prepared to administer the final blow, she was struck from behind by a spell from Vaarsuvius who, despite their contempt for the halfling, still preferred him to Miyazaki. Belkar, however, was quite ungrateful, as he had been doing his best to provoke Miko into a genuinely evil act (killing him while he is powerless to defend himself) to deprive her of paladinhood; only the reminder that the party had no easy access to Raise Dead spells changed his mind.
War and XPs
During the New Year celebration, the drunken halfling kissed Vaarsuvius. Subsequently, the wizard had been going out of their way to aggravate Belkar, usually by casting Explosive Runes on objects that Belkar will scan, in order to prevent any possible repeat of the incident. The exact nature of Belkar's relationship to Vaarsuvius is unknown. Vaarsuvius theorized in one instance that Belkar, being somewhat lacking in mental facilities, categorizes people into one of two emotional categories, Lust or Hate. As V was no longer "hated" by Belkar they must therefore be an object of lust. The acts of annoyance were an attempt to bring things back to their natural place.
In return for Roy's co-operation in defeating Xykon, Lord Shojo secretly agreed to allow Belkar to continue traveling with the Order of the Stick, postponing Belkar's trial for his murder of a guard until one week after Xykon is defeated. However, in return for his freedom Belkar had an enchanted rune, visible only through a Detect Magic spell (or similar), placed upon his forehead. This "Greater Mark of Justice" represents a powerful curse, which when broken caused Belkar to come down with an incapacitating sickness, resulting in violent vomiting. It could be triggered by the following conditions:
- if Belkar attempts to deal lethal damage to any living creature within the bounds of any city, village or town. This condition is not revoked even if Belkar is threatened with attack or death within city bounds, as by Yokyok of the Linear Guild; however, Belkar convinced others to kill the attacker for him, and was not penalized for it. (He is still able to kill outside the city limits, deal lethal damage to undead, and inflict non-lethal damage.)
- if Belkar is separated from Roy by more than a mile;
- if the curse is triggered by the word squiddleydoodlefluffer, which was entrusted to Roy by Lord Shojo.
Belkar avoided violating any of the above terms until he killed the Oracle of Sunken Valley while unknowingly within the bounds of a town of kobolds (the village of LickMyOrangeBallsHalfling) that the Oracle had secretly built. This caused him to vomit violently and excessively, although the Oracle, having foreseen his own death, had set up a Raise Dead spell ahead of time. Belkar forgot the incident upon leaving Sunken Valley due to the Memory Charm on the exit; a fortunate occurrence for him, as Haley had been about to expel him from the Order of the Stick but forgot her intention for the same reason.
Belkar's freedom was given "on the sly"; Belkar had to remain in disguise whilst the Order were in Azure City, and Roy's father created a permanent illusion of Belkar in the Sapphire Guard's cells (this initially worked, though problems arose when "Belkar" did not eat for weeks). His share of all the treasure and loot gathered was intended to go towards having the guard he killed raised from the dead.
He proved quite adept at concealing the ring somewhere on his body, allowing him to retain it when imprisoned in Azure City; he claims that he puts it in a place where no one will bother—or dare—searching or looking.
According to the Oracle of Sunken Valley, Belkar would eventually cause the death of at least one of the following: Miko Miyazaki, Miko's "stupid horse", Vaarsuvius, Roy or the Oracle himself; although, due to the specific wording of his question (or rather, the lack thereof), Belkar wasn't able to find out which one. It was also prophesied that Belkar himself would die after seeing only one more birthday, though no one remembered this due to the Memory Charm.
On the Order's return from Cliffport, having successfully rescued Roy's sister Julia Greenhilt from the Linear Guild, Belkar was the first member of the Order to realize that Nale had switched places with Elan the bard, as, once he'd removed Elan's clothing and bathed, his different smell was enough to tip Belkar off. Ignoring the Mark of Justice, Belkar lunged at Nale with the intent of brutally murdering him. Unfortunately for the ranger's comrades, Nale successfully managed to magically Charm Belkar, and ordered him to murder his companions (while singing the complete score to "Meet Me in St. Louis"). Belkar was, however, subsequently restrained by Vaarsuvius, then tied up by Haley and kept restrained well after the charm had worn off.
After he was finally released, he was present when Lord Shojo was murdered by Miko Miyazaki, an act which caused the latter to lose her paladinhood. Belkar later realized the loss of her Paladin powers would prevent him from ever killing her horse Windstriker, something that caused him considerable anguish. Said anguish had apparently worn off some time later in the city dungeon, when he awakened Miko with a rock to the head and led the other prisoners in a round of applause, commending her on being a 'paladin turned murderer'. She promptly swore she would kill him (again), but this only seemed to amuse him. Hinjo later summoned all prisoners (Belkar included) over 5th level (except those guilty of a capital crime) and offered them a deal: fight to defend Azure City and have their sentence reduced by five years, or remain in prison. Roy managed to convince Belkar to take this deal as the minimum sentence for manslaughter is four years. Hinjo having overheard, then changed Belkar's sentence to six years, but then made a separate deal with him. If Belkar helped to defend the city, Hinjo would have his wizards remove the Mark of Justice, believing (wrongfully) that the Mark has taught Belkar his lesson. As Belkar since became separated from Hinjo, he was not able to demand his half of the bargain.
Battle of Azure City
During the Azure City siege Belkar lent his Ring of Jumping +20 to Roy for him to pursue Xykon, mainly because he made a bet with another prisoner that Roy would be foolish enough to take the risk.
Later on in the battle, the same prisoner, working for an ambitious noble, offered Belkar 10,000 GP to keep watch while he attempted to sneak attack Hinjo with a poisoned arrow. Although he initially agreed, Belkar was caught up in a "moral" dilemma by two shoulder demons (his shoulder angel having been rendered mad by Belkar's murderous tendencies) in that he could either take the money and allow the prisoner to slay Hinjo and risk the Mark of Justice never being removed or saving Hinjo, thus securing a chance to remove the Mark. Choosing the latter, Belkar then lunged at the prisoner and both of them fell off the castle walls (and out of city limits) with Belkar decapitating the prisoner in midair and landing in the middle of a large group of hobgoblins.
Being outside of the city, Belkar then began to slay the hobgoblins gleefully, culminating in him standing, battle-scarred, atop a massive mound of corpses bellowing boasting of being a "sexy shoeless god of war." while Haley and Durkon noted that he was unlikely to get any XP from the enemies. He later encountered the Eye of Fear and Flame that was meant as one of the decoys for Xykon. Learning that it can fire Fireballs and Fear beams from its eyes, Belkar removed its skull and used it as a weapon against the hobgoblins two rounds later, with the cowardly decoy complying. He then returned to Azure City when all the hobgoblins headed for the breach in the wall, using the skull to save the Order from archers and rejoining them in a guard tower.
Belkar then accompanied Haley to retrieve Roy's body, claiming that he was not doing it out of any liking for Roy, but because his Mark of Justice means that he could not go further than a mile from Roy's body. During the supposedly stealthy mission, Belkar managed to anger the skull, which alerted nearby hobgoblins to their position. The pair initially retreated, with Haley carrying Belkar, until she finally stood her ground and eliminated all of their twenty-two pursuers in what Belkar considered a highly impressive display. Eventually he and Haley found Roy's body (and O-Chul) at the Monster in the Darkness' tea party, who was loath to part with them (as they were 'just about to play Monopoly'). Through a little diplomatic wrangling, Haley convinced the Monster to let them 'take Flopsy and Mr. Stiffly home' if Belkar cooked the Monster some stew; introducing the readers to Belkar's seldom (if ever) displayed Profession (gourmet chef) skill. Lacking traditional ingredients such as chicken or beef, Belkar improvised and went to kill a vulture that had been pecking at Roy.
Upon finishing the stew, the Monster willingly gives up O-Chul and Roy but when Belkar mentions Haley being the leader of the Order of the Stick (and with Haley confirming this to the Monster) he realized that they were supposed to be his enemies and told them that he had to devour them. Haley and Belkar fled, and Belkar abandoned the paralyzed O-Chul to save his own life. When the two saw the Junk leaving without them, Belkar talked to himself expecting Vaarsuvius to be using magic to hide the ship. Upon the realization that V was not behind it, Belkar asked "Vaarsuvius?", one of the few times he has called V by name (another being when V cast Evan's Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion). Haley and Belkar are later seen hiding out from the Hobgoblin army patrolling the city with Belkar angrily realizing that they are abandoned.
Don't Split the Party
Four months later Belkar assisted the freedom fighters of Azure City as they were attacked by Wights and gained a level (only to have it drained by a wight moments later). When later confronting Tsukiko, Belkar was offered a position as Xykon's Head Executioner which Belkar apparently was quite willing to take, but ultimately decided to throw Mr. Scruffy (formerly Shojo's cat) at Tsukiko and save Haley. Upon realizing that Xykon is likely capable of removing his Mark of Justice however he began to reconsider his options.
Belkar later left Azure City along with Haley and Celia (taking Mr. Scruffy with him) to find Durkon and the others, though they later turn to the Oracle to help locate them. Meeting the Oracle once again, the Oracle stated that Belkar has caused the deaths of Roy, Miko and technically Windstriker, which enraged Belkar who wanted to kill them. In his fit of frustration he killed the Oracle, therefore completing the prophecy that he would "cause the death of either Roy, Miko, Miko's horse, or [the Oracle]". The Oracle, having seen this in advance, had secretly founded the village of Lickmyorangeballshalfling in the surrounding area, which triggered Belkar's Mark of Justice. He is later revived by a cleric and wizard pair he had hired in advance.
So, Belkar began to suffer the pains of his curse, being at first a low-level headache, but later, he started to vomit, he thought that it would end when "that [had] to be all that [was] in his stomach", but he keeps vomiting, throwing up on Haley and Celia. Haley's outrage at the Oracle's murder convinced her to abandon Belkar to his fate; however, when they left the Sunken Valley, they promptly forgot everything due to the memory charm on Sunken Valley.
After they had left, Roy's spirit, which the Oracle could hear the whole time, got a prophecy "on the house" that Belkar would take his last breath ever some time this year. The Oracle did, however, clear up that "this year" referred to an in-story year. After this, Belkar began to suffer the effects of the Mark of Justice and soon snuck into Greysky City with Mr. Scruffy under the covers of the cart holding Roy's corpse, pulled by the unaware Celia.
While assassins from Greysky City's Thieves Guild came searching for Haley, Belkar slipped into a coma, and in a dream was visited by Shojo (though he may also be a figment of his imagination or the influence of the Cleric of Loki) who told him that he must "play the game", i.e. follow society's rules, stating that Belkar's problem was that he refused to follow them and that those who do not play the game will eventually be kicked out of the house (killed). Shojo stated however that he may also "cheat" in life if he plays by the rules, which Belkar summed up as making others believe he accepts society's rules and faking character growth. Shojo then asked Belkar to say what he is, besides just another race and class combination.
Meanwhile, the desperate Cleric, trapped with Belkar with NPCs about to burst into the room and kill them, tried to ask the unconscious Belkar if he was a proficient warrior. Subconsciously, Belkar realizes his true identity and responds to Shojo (and softly out loud) that he is a "Sexy Shoeless God of War", the same line he yelled out during the Siege on Azure City. Accepting this answer, the cleric removed the curse with the apparent passcode "Evolve or die". With the curse removed and Mr. Scruffy supporting, Belkar gleefully slaughtered the majority of the Guild and headed to rescue Haley.
Blood Runs in the Family
On the Western Continent, Belkar was sent to a battle arena for not having the required papers, having Mr. Scruffy kill what he later called "the wuzziest warrior ever" (a level 1 commoner) instead of doing it himself. When the Linear Guild showed up again he and Roy escaped, and after being hired by Tarquin to be bodyguards to his son Elan (as they already were, sort of) he left the city on a flying carpet.
During the search of the Windy Canyon, Belkar smelled something he calls the smell of humans, which lead the party to the pyramid of Girard. This is the second time Belkar proved a valuable tracker (the first being when he used his culinary sense to track Vaarsuvius on the Semi-Elemental Plane of Ranch Dressing). The humans Belkar had smelled proved to be natural mummies, and Durkon stated that Belkars nose was impressive.
Later, on leading away a hellhound from the party in the pyramid, Belkar stumbled over Malack, who revealed being a vampire and then tried to kill him. Belkar was paralysed through the whole fight between Malack and Durkon, which ended with Durkon becoming a vampire and drinking his blood. This made Belkar very suspicious against the vampirized Durkon later. Upon telling the party of Durkons death, he got angry for Roy getting pessimistic, and called them all idiots. He stated that giving up was making Durkon's death for no reason, even though stating that he didn't care himself. This lead the party on through a corridor with a phantasm which made the targets see what they want the most. As Hailey, Roy and Elan got the same illusion, he got one where he is cooking with Shojo and Mr. Scruffy, indicating that he harbors some dreams that don't actually involve mass slaughter, genocide, and as Roy put it "... a lot of stabbing, and whores, and whores stabbing whores who stab whores".
After the destruction of the Gate, Belkar helped fight the Elder Silicon Elemetal summoned by Redcloak. Upon defeating that monster they found themselves surrounded Tarquin and his army of the Empire of Blood. Drained by "Durkon", Belkar was unable to fight the onslaught of the army, but after Vaarsuvius arrived Belkar was able to tame
Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator, whom he had befriended in the arena earlier. Mounted on Bloodfeast, the Order broke through the ranks of soldiers to freedom in the open desert.
However Tarquin and elements of the Vector Legion caught up with them and a battle ensued with the Legion astride a triceratops and the Order riding the allosaur, Bloodfeast. Unfortunately, Bloodfeast was polymorphed into a small lizard, and the battle continued on foot, where the weakened Belkar was disabled by Laurin Shattersmith and Tarquin.
Tinkertown and Godsmoot
During his time on board of the airship Mechane, Belkar was the first to realize that their vampire isn't Durkon. He said that people just don't change from saving you to drinking your blood, and refused to believe that this was because of Malack having him as thrall. The skirmish ended with "Durkon" making him jump from the ship, and getting caught on one of the ship's ballistae.
In Tinkertown, Belkar befriended a shopkeeper and bought a protection from evil brooch (which effects him too), and an unidentified featherfall item.
Belkar was gifted with a psionically endowed dagger which Vaarsuvius recovered from Tarquin.
At the Godsmoot, he joined Roy to act as the bodyguards of the High Priest of Hel, who was still acting as though he were Durkon. He was already intending to follow the group, and noted that being a bodyguard "saved him a butt load
of skill checks". Upon arrival, Exarch Gontor Hammerfell of the Creed of the Stone took "Durkon" with him while Belkar followed behind, and witnessing the vampire murder Exarch Hammerfell he ran to warn Roy. However, as he couldn't find his way to the gallery, the High Priest of Hel caught up to him in wolf form, silencing him and engaging him on one of the top floors of the temple. Activating his clasp of Protection from Evil, he fought a few moments before the spell began burning him, making him flee.
Belkar was thrown out of the Godsmoot temple and off the side of the mountain by the High Priest of Hel, though he survived thanks to a Feather Fall item he bought in Tinkertown. He was then able to climb back up the mountain, where he left his daggers behind, but encountered a goliath vampire guarding the entrance. Belkar was about to defeat him when Roy emerged, slashing the goliath and then telling Belkar that he was right all along and now "Durkon" was trying to destroy the world. The goliath, still alive (or is it still undead?) tried to kill Belkar with some kind of spell, but Vaarsuvius killed the vampire on his way into the Godsmoot (as he was bringing Whiskers back to Veldrina).
Passage Pass and Firmament
When the Mechane was beset by a clan of frost giants while running through Passage Pass, Belkar arrived on deck to find that Haley and Vaarsuvius had engaged the giants. Wanting to get in on the action, Roy told him that he was unable since the giants were on the ground. Nevertheless, Belkar jumped over the side (using his featherfall item to avoid damage much to Roy's surprise), and engaged in "Doomsealing" giants who survived Vaarsuvius' and Haley's attacks. The trio were abandoned by the Mechane when Andi mutinied and took the ship off course. They cleared the valley of the remaining giants before rejoining the Mechane by following its black smoke.
After arriving in Firmament and preparing for battle in the friendly confines of the Temple of Thor, the party ventured into the tunnels of the city. There they were surrounded by a large group of "Durkon"'s vampire spawn. Belkar and the order fought the vampires, with Belkar using his clasp of Protection from Evil to prevent Domination. He killed at least three vampires in the combat.
During the second combat in the banquet hall, Belkar's protection was dispelled and he was dominated by the vampires, turning on the party. He attacked Minrah and Blackwing. But when the party was knocked out and the vampires had apparently won, Mr. Scruffy activated Belkar's Protection from Evil clasp, releasing him from the vampiric domination. Seeing his chance to finally settle the score with the vampire Durkon, he killed Ponchula and leaped to attack "Durkon" while he was distracted with Durkon's memories. Durkon, having gained control of himself, lowered his antilife shell and bared his chest for Belkar, who descended on him and drove a stake through his heart, destroying the vampire who disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
Personality and Traits
|Flee! Flee before me, worms!!|
Belkar is a psychotic sociopath that loves stabbing, inflicting grievous bodily harm to others, and gourmet cooking. His complete lack of morals and willingness to kill is most clearly illustrated when his internal conflict takes place between two devils (one representing his usual impulsiveness, the other thinking in terms of the bigger picture) on his shoulders (his constant murdering having driven the angel completely insane). As with many of the members of the Order of the Stick, he is clearly an anti-stereotype, in the fact that most halflings are depicted as kind, jolly and altogether friendly individuals, while Belkar is none of these things.
It can be assumed from the occasional personal comment that certain members of Belkar's family share his murderous disposition. He does have a number of skills that are from his halfling heritage, like his refined sense of smell and his ability to act as a Gourmet Chef on occasion. Belkar also is very sensitive of his height, as he is short even by halfling standards. He has apparently been arrested several times, as seen by his comment that he was "familiar with arrest procedure" when he and Roy where arrested by the local police of the Empire of Blood. When it comes to being a warrior, Belkar is one of the group's most powerful fighters, consistently defeating opponents one-on-one or when outnumbered, to the point of proclaiming himself a "Sexy Shoeless God of War". As a ranger however, Belkar is abysmally poor: his wisdom score is so low that he cannot cast spells (and in fact seems unaware that he is able to) and he has no ranks in survival and thus cannot track, despite advertising this skill to Roy during his recruitment.
Mr. Scruffy appears to serve as Belkar's animal companion since Belkar adopted him in Azure City: Belkar seems to have an animal empathic link to him. Mr. Scruffy responds to Belkar's commands. Belkar occasionally talks to Mr. Scruffy and shows that he cares more for Mr. Scruffy than any other of his companions. Mr. Scruffy may be evidence of Belkar's presumably latent animal empathy. Another one of Belkar's animal companions is the dinosaur-turned-lizard, Bloodfeast. It appears that Belkar cares a lot about his animal companions as seen when he pleads for Vaarsuvius to rescue Bloodfeast with the reason that Tarquin and company would "roast the little guy on a spit for helping them". Given Tarquin's nature of punishment, this would have been a legitimate cause for worry. While in Girard's base, Belkar may or may not have been showing signs of legitimate reform. While trapped by Girard's spells in an illusion of a perfect world, Belkar is shown to be happily cooking for himself, Lord Shojo, and Mr. Scruffy. The illusion was, however, tempered by the presence of Mr. Scruffy, making it the intersection of their perfect worlds, so it is unknown what Belkar's true perfect world would be.
After his revelation with Lord Shojo, Belkar began the route to actual change. While his "character development" was faked for the sake of ensuring his survival, his pragmatic decision still led to him considering more the consequences of his actions and working to become a more effective team player. The book's commentary notes that Belkar begin transitioning into a more high-functioning sociopath. In fact, he becomes more apt at making abrasive yet accurate observations about the flaws and issues of other people, a trait he possessed beforehand but not becoming more prominent. However, making the attempt is still progress and he notes how he changed gradually over time without noticing or paying attention until realizing he was not the same person. The events have also begun to show some for of actual empathy though struggles against understanding this. The big moment in his development came with Durkon's selfless action in saving his life and not blaming him, a show of kindness that deeply moved the halfling, but causes him to struggle most with the feelings of guilt and his growing empathy. To where he ends up raging as a way to vent out the hurt he felt over how Durkon's sacrifice made him feel and his difficulty in understanding it and earlier showed attempts at rationalization or just suppression of it through acts of violence.
Perhaps the biggest note is that Belkar possesses a surprising amount of self-loathing and doubt that has begun making itself more evident since his revelation. After giving a rough speech to snap Roy of despair, he bitterly notes that he is only good at hurting things. He's surprised by his own potential desires with the above on Shojo which further has him question himself. This culminates in an exchange with him and Roy drunk on dwarvish alcohol and him pointing out he's aware of how disliked he is by the others and that he has no idea of what he wants to do with his life. This paints his behavior prior to his "character development" in a different light, especially with what has already been established before hand and points to the possibility that he's always felt like this, but is at the point now where he could no longer remain ignorant of it or perhaps fool himself. Despite this, he shows a willingness to keep changing; in a discussion with Durkon on how good is just as tempting as evil and that the reaosn most evil beings don't turn to good is out of the pain of feeling guilt and confronting how bad they were, Belkar sums it up as cowardice for being unable to deal with "hardcore introspection", the same sort of introspection that he went through and is still going through.
Powers and Abilities
- Ranger: Allows Belkar to wield two weapons at once. The class also comes with a unique ability called "Favored Enemy," which grants bonuses to skill checks against a particular race, and some limited divine magic. However, despite him being able to track was the thing that convinced Roy to hire him, Belkar has no ranks in Survival, which is required to track. He also has low points in Wisdom.
- Favored Enemies: Humans and undead. He may also have kobolds as a third favored enemy due to his frequently murdered counterparts in the Linear Guild. This gives him bonuses when fighting any of these.
- Wild Empathy: Allows him to make the attitude better on a animal. Belkar has presumably used this on the deceased Azure City Lord Shojo's cat, Mr. Scruffy, and the Empire of Blood's gladiatorial allosaurus Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator (appropriately named by him).
- Master Melee Combatant: Belkar is a highly seasoned fighter in close range combat. In fact his skills rival that of his leader Roy, and he is only outmatched by the latter's superior strength and durability. In his battles with the Linear Guild, Belkar killed Yikyik in a brutal fight, and easily overwhelmed Nale in single combat forcing him to resort to magic. During the siege of Azure City, Belkar fought against a horde of goblins, killing them all. After recovering from his affliction brought on by the Mark of Justice, Belkar took out member's of Thieves' Guild and later stale-mated both Crystal and Bozzok on his own; Belkar noted that Bozzok was the only reason it was a fair fight and proved it by casually incapacitating Crystal once the half-orc left the fight. Belkar uses his small size and lightweight to great advantage as he is a harder target to hit and with his Ring of Jumping +20, this makes it even more it difficult.
- Halfling Rage Leaping Attack: Belkar has a number of feats which allow him to leap and attack his opponents from above, despite his diminutive stature. This is also helped by his Ring of Jumping +20.
- Barbarian: Belkar can fly into a rage and gain bonuses to his strength, constitution, saving throws, and hit points.
- Gourmet Chef: Belkar has taken ranks in Profession (Gourmet Chef). This ability occasionally becomes useful, such as when he was starving in Uncivil Servant, making vulture soup for the Monster in the Darkness to get Roy's corpse, cooking tropical birds for him and Haley, and getting revenge on a scorpion and turning it into food.
Equipment and Weapons
- Ring of Jumping +20: Belkar acquired this item from Xykon's horde at the Dungeon of Durukan. It allows him to both rain death from above and reach high shelves.
- +5 Dagger of Collision: This was formerly Tarquin's dagger, and had been covered in a red pleather hilt wrap. Vaarsuvius collected it after the battle with Tarquin and Shattesmith aboard the Mechane. It is psionically enchanted to change its mass when striking to do more damage.
- +4 and +2 Daggers: Belkar has three small daggers which he has possessed since the beginning of the comic. Their minimum enchantments are +4 and +2 respectively, though they may be stronger. The third is of unknown enchantment.
- +3 Vest of Resistance: Bought from a merchant in Tinkertown to help him resist charm effects which had previously easily taken him out of the fight (e.g. by Nale and Malack).
- Clasp of Protection from Evil: Also bought (at a discount) in Tinkertown, this cloak clasp grants him Protection From Evil, which prevents vampiric possession, among other things. Due to Belkar's evil alignment, it also hurts him to activate it.
- Featherfall Item: Belkar bought an unknown item from the Gnome Artificer who did work for Vaarsuvius which grants him a featherfall ability at will. It saved his life at the Godsmoot and allowed him to enter the fray in Passage Pass.
- Bag of Holding: Belkar collected one of Haley's Bags of Holding at the arena in Bleedingham. He still had it aboard the Mechane, at Firmament, and was using it as a resting place for Bloodfeast.
- Wand of Dispel Clothing
- Belkar also has in his possession the following items: an unholy symbol, red chalk, a cloak, stilts, a sapphire guard disguise, a Shojo disguise, a quill, string, a chef hat, Mama Bitterleaf's secret ingredient, a clothespin, a bedroll, a mallet and spike, 18 pounds of salt, pepper, Dune by Frank Herbert, a bucket and spade, a spatula, and some wooden stakes.
Prophecy of Death
The Oracle gave the unsolicited prophesy that, "Belkar will draw his last breath—ever—before the end of the year". Rich Burlew has stated that the Oracle uses the Southern Calendar meaning the Southern New Year celebration a year following the one which occurred in early 1184 just prior to the Azure City Campaign is the "end of the year" to which he refers. Roy remembers the prophesy because he left the Oracle without passing the memory charm. The time frame of Belkar's death is further refined by Roy's comments while talking to Haley after his resurrection. Here he strongly implied that Belkar had seven weeks to live from that point. Based on an analysis of the strips since that point, a minimum number of days which have passed since then can be determined. Belkar spent approximately three weeks on the Western Continent, and a fourth week traveling to Tinkertown, Zenith Peak, and Firmament. This leaves him approximately three weeks of in-world time before the Southern New Year and his prophecied doom. Unlike the deaths of Roy and Durkon, it is unlikely that Belkar will be resurrected, as the Oracle emphasised "ever".
- Gnomish food is Belkar’s second favorite cuisine.
- Belkar is the only member of the order to not be the background character of a book to date (Durkon is on Book 0, Elan is on Book 1, Roy is on Book 2, Haley is on Book 3, Vaarsuvius is on Book 4 and Mr. Scruffy and Blackwing are on Book 5).
- Comic #439, "Seeing Orange"
- Comic 572, "The Resistance of Memory"
- Comic #125, "Free Experience"
- Comic #128, "The More You Know..."
- Comic #567, "The Simplest Explanation"
- Comic #429, "Stay on Target..."
- Comic #435, "Amoral Dilemma"
- Comic #455, "Incoming!"
- Comic #470, "With Three Arrows Left in the Quiver"
- Comic #1123, "Swirly Attack!"
- Comic 922, "Payback"
- Comic #58, "First Aid"
- Comic #213, "The Man Knows His Limitations"
- "On the Origin of PCs"
- Comic #890, "Dream Free"
- Comic #489, "Keepin' the Little Man Down"
- Comic #177, "Ch-ch-ch-changes"
- Comic #316, "The Moment of Truth"
- Comic #153, "Priorities"
- Comic #807, "Wild Empathy"
- Comic #780, "The Duel Everyone's Been Waiting For"
- Comic #781, "Companions"
- Comic #171, "The Prisoner Dilemma"
- Comic #476, "I Don't Suppose You Have Any Nutmeg?"
- Comic #165, "Hangin' Around"
- Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales
- Comic #408, "Fallsville, Population: 1"
- Dragon magazine
- Comic 476, "I Don't Suppose You Have Any Nutmeg?"
- Comic 564, "It's What's For Dinner"
- Comic 692, "Searchin'"
- Comic #1091, "Ready to Go"
- Comic #572, "The Resistance of Memory"
- Re: How much time has passed since the beginning of OotS?, GiantITP Forum, Rich Burlew
- Comic #666, "But Seriously, She Won't"
- Countdown to Belkar's Death Scene, GiantITP Forum, Evileeyore
|The Order of the Stick|
|Roy Greenhilt • Haley Starshine • Durkon Thundershield • Elan • Vaarsuvius • Belkar Bitterleaf • Minrah Shaleshoe|