Cquote1.png The hero of any story can defy danger—but only a special hero can defy stories themselves.[1] Cquote2.png
Elan New2.png
Biographical information

Year 1162


A small village

First Comic


Last Comic


Physical description

Human (Northern)





Hair color


Chronological and political information

Order of the Stick


Bard/Dashing Swordsman


Chaotic Good

Known masters

Sir François (formerly)
Julio Scoundrél
Roy Greenhilt

Known relatives

Haley Starshine (lover)
Tarquin (father)
Unnamed mother
Nale† (twin brother)



D&D Stats

14+/1+, total level 16






same as Nale






22+ (+2 from belt)


Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Still Spell


Concentration 0, Craft: Shiv 0, Diplomacy, Hide, Listen (Higher than Sir François), Move Silently <3, Perform: Riddles 2+, Perform: Sing 12+, Perform: String instruments 15+, Perform: kazoo 3+, Ride 2+, Spot 0, Spellcraft 2+, Tumble


Bard class abilities, Charismatic strike, Dramatic instincts, glass damage immunity


Animate Rope, Cure Critical Wounds, Disguise Self, Greater Dispel Magic, Lesser Confusion, Major Image, Mass Cure Light Wounds, Mending, Neutralize Poison, Prestidigitation, Silent Image, Summon Plot Exposition. Does not know Identify or Break Enchantment

Elan is the party bard of the Order of the Stick. Despite a dump-stat intelligence, his genre-awareness and charisma come in handy, and he stumbles into plot points almost as frequently as he does trouble.

The name 'Elan' likely comes from the word 'élan', meaning 'dash, style, impetuosity'. His surname is unknown.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

Elan's mother sings and serves beverages with Elan.

Elan and his identical twin Nale were born in a small village to Tarquin and an as-yet-unnamed barmaid. As a baby Elan was bullied by his brother, who seemed to enjoy hitting him over the head (possibly accounting for his dimwittedness). Their parents divorced (citing irreconcilable alignment differences) and a custody battle resulted in Elan being raised by his Chaotic Good mother while Tarquin took Nale, neither twin being aware of the other's existence[2], though Elan remembers his mother crying secretly about losing a "nail."[3] She taught him to "welcome [people] with a smile and be friendly and open, and they would see what a decent and caring person [he] was".

Little else has been shown of his childhood, but it's implied that Elan once experimented with same-sex relations at summer camp.[2] He attended bard college, where he largely missed the lesson in concentrating because he wasn't concentrating.

On the Origin of PCs[edit | edit source]

Later in life Elan served as a herald under Sir Francois, whose ire with him peaked when Elan checked them into the Rob-U-While-U-Sleep-Inn and revealed where their valuables were. Thusly he had Elan count to a hundred with his eyes shut and abandoned him, to which Elan responded "Awww, not again."

Elan stopped to assist Roy Greenhilt, whose direct methods were failing to recruit adventurers for his quest. Elan advised him to dress in a mysterious fashion and sit quietly in a bar. Roy tried this despite his misgivings and chose Vaarsuvius, Haley Starshine and Belkar Bitterleaf from the resulting crowd of applicants, offering Elan a position to thank him.

Dungeon Crawlin' Fools[edit | edit source]

Roy's quest to destroy the lich Xykon led the newly-named Order of the Stick into the Dungeon of Dorukan, where Elan arguably hindered more than helped them. He played Scrabble with a Mind Flayer, attempted to become invisible by prancing around naked, and secreted a Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity out of 'curiosity'.

The Order soon encountered the Linear Guild, headed by Nale; Elan took to him immediately and was happy to learn of their familial relationship, but refused an offer to join him. Having obtained The Talisman of Dorukan and miffed at Elan's rejection, Nale betrayed him via a sword through the chest, but Elan was healed by his teammates and fought his brother until the bridge beneath Nale collapsed. Elan saved him and had Celia take him to jail, while the Order continued sans Durkon. During Durkon's absence Elan considered being the new team cleric, inventing the deity Banjo the Clown, God of Puppets. His religion quickly collapsed and Banjo briefly became the vengeful Banjhulhu.

Elan asks a regular everyday question.

Upon entering Xykon's throne room, Elan was told to reach Dorukan's Gate but was tackled by Haley, who knew it was a ploy (cue sexual tension). Though they won the battle, Elan had already activated the self-destruct mechanism, costing them any remaining XP and loot remaining, and unknowingly weakening the fabric of the universe. He did, however, make a perfectly cinematic "just-in-time" leap from the explosion.

No Cure for the Paladin Blues[edit | edit source]

Back in town, the Order divided their loot and Elan received the boots of elvenkind before heading on a sidequest to fix Roy's sword. On the way Elan caught the eye of bandits, whose leader Samantha was having cute guys kidnapped. He escaped but stayed in captivity to fulfil his bardic role of seducing female antagonists, much to Haley's distress. Later, in the dragon's lair and critically injured, she almost confessed to him, but covered for herself once healed.

The group were next accosted by Miko Miyazaki, a paladin from Azure City, who was arresting them on charges of 'weakening the fabric of universe'. For a time the Order accompanied her willingly, and reached the Weary Travelers Inn and Tavern. Elan was instrumental in saving Roy's life from assassins (by disguising him using the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity), and luring innocent civilians away from the inn with the promise of pudding. After this incident, the group elected to stop obeying Miko, but were overpowered. In Azure City, the gravity of Elan destroying the gate was revealed and the quest to stop Xykon gained new importance. The Order was falsely found Not Guilty, the trial having been set up by Shojo so he could inform them of the threat to the world. Elan was presented with a gift certificate for one favour from Shojo, which he later redeemed to have the Linear Guild imprisoned indefinitely within Azure City's anti-magic cell block.

War and XPs[edit | edit source]

Elan celebrated the other new year's and dined with Haley, who was suffering aphasia, but was kissed by a local woman at midnight instead of her. Upon leaving the city, the Order went straight to the Oracle of Sunken Valley. Each asked a question, Elan's being whether the story would have a happy ending, to which the Oracle replied that it would -- for him. Once outside the valley Roy was contacted by Nale, who had taken his sister Julia hostage, and they went to confront the reformed Linear Guild in Cliffport. Elan was taken in the commotion and disguised as Nale, taking the fall for the 417 murders he'd committed in the city. He was thrown in jail with Thog but, terrified of what Nale would do to the others and desperate to warn them (particularly Haley), he convinced him to smash the bars and used an illusion to escape.

Career Change[edit | edit source]

After stealing some new clothes, Elan and Thog took an airship to Azure City, dressed as Final Fantasy VI]] characters (Locke Cole and Mog, respectively). When the other passengers (Terra Branford and Edgar Roni Figaro) found out he wasn't Locke (Elan mistakenly uses the term Resurrect rather than Fenix Down, and Thog has no idea what a "fenix" is,) he and Thog were thrown off before liftoff.

Elan catches the attention of Julio Scoundrél.

He then managed to secure transportation by accident while attempting to get a corkscrew from a bar as part of a largely unrevealed plan, apparently of considerable complexity, involving Thog wearing a leprechaun costume and stuffing potato salad into a giant wooden alpaca. A nearby patron heard his request and asked why he wanted the corkscrew, and, on hearing the story, revealed himself to be Julio Scoundrél, world-famous sky pirate and airship captain. Julio, who thought Elan was considerably like the sky pirate himself was in his younger years, agreed to give him a ride. On the way to Azure City, Julio, concerned that Elan would be at a distinct disadvantage against his brother, gave the bard an old sourcebook, pointing out the Dashing Swordsman Prestige Class that he himself was a member of, which allows a person to substitute his charisma bonus instead of his strength bonus to damage when wielding a rapier, as long as he spouts a witty pun or catchphrase while doing so. Elan realized that this would give him the advantage needed to defeat Nale, and, trained by Scoundrél en route, took his first level[4] in the prestige class. To commemorate this, Scoundrél gave the new Dashing Swordsman a magical +3 Keen rapier that Scoundrél himself had used on some of his adventures. Elan was then able to locate where he needed to be by focusing on his dramatic instincts; as Scoundrél put it, the 'scene' would call out to him, asking him to arrive in the nick of time.

Brother vs. Brother[edit | edit source]

Elan makes a stylish entrance.

Elan duly arrived at the dramatically appropriate moment, swinging in through the window of Haley's room, just as Nale was about to stab her in mid-kiss. He fought Nale and, much to his brother's surprise, quickly won. Nale then used his Bluff skill to trick Elan into believing that Haley and Nale were lovers, stating that Haley's crypto-speak was really the language Infernal and that they'd been working together all along. Elan prepared to attack/dump her, too, pushed by a suggestion spell from Nale. However, at the last minute, Haley was finally able to break through her speech problem, abruptly shouting out she was in love with him and that she'd been kissing Nale because she thought he was Elan.

This revelation stunned Elan, breaking Nale's hold on him. The brothers continued to fight, with Haley, Sabine and Thog now entering the fray, until the arrival of Vaarsuvius and Durkon. Faced with the identical brothers, Vaarsuvius dealt with the situation easily by insulting Nale's intelligence. Nale was unable to remain silent after the insult and gave himself away; Vaarsuvius immediately hit him with a lightning bolt. After managing to subdue all three present Linear Guild members, the group decided to use Elan's gift certificate from Lord Shojo to have the Guild members put in the Sapphire Guard's anti-magic cells. After Vaarsuvius and Durkon left the room with the Guild members, Haley began to downplay her love confession on the premise that she was afraid he would not return said feelings; Elan then approached Haley and kissed her in mid-sentence,[5] effectively demonstrating that he loved her as well. With that, the two continued to make out for the rest of the evening.

Azure City War[edit | edit source]

In the hours leading up Xykon's attack, Elan insisted that it was a Bardic rite of passage that he deliver a rousing pre-battle speech,[6] which Roy opposed for no better reason than thinking Elan and the soldiers would be worse off because of it--which they eventually were, due to Elan's negative rethinking of every positive statement he made. When the attack began, the Order was initially forced to deal with five destructive Titanium Elementals summoned by Redcloak.

Hinjo then assigned Elan and Belkar to assist with the defense of the wall, which was being scaled by the hobgoblins. After learning of Roy's demise at the hands of Xykon, Elan was too depressed to come up with any puns for combat; at Haley's suggestion, he sang a heartfelt bard song for Roy, to the tune of "Oh Danny boy", which brought tears even to the eyes of Belkar and the hobgoblins. With the Order under attack by hobgoblin archers, Elan used his increasing proficiency with illusions to create images[7] of the Order and Hinjo dying in a hail of arrows, apparently fooling their opponents completely.

He, Hinjo, Durkon, and two soldiers (Kazumi and Daigo) then proceeded through a hidden tunnel to the other side of the city, planning to rendezvous with Hinjo's ship at the docks. Elan stopped[8] long enough to acquire a replacement lute from an abandoned music store, breaking the window and leaving sufficient gold to pay for it. His actions, however, cause a small group of hobgoblins to attack him and his escort, and led to the two grunts being given names.[9]

Don't Split the Party[edit | edit source]

Elan was next seen four months later at the wedding of Kazumi Kato and Daigo, wearing a patch over his right eye to look mysterious. He began wearing it after the refugee fleet from Azure City visited the second of the four other southern nations, but stopped due to Hinjo's insistence. Elan considered himself honor-bound to be Hinjo's bodyguard due to Roy's death. He was very insistent that some or all of the characters go back to Azure City to find Haley, who was unable to be contacted or scryed by either Durkon or Vaarsuvius. Hinjo was reluctant to make this decision as he was unsure that Haley was in Azure City or even still alive. Later, while attempting to fight off an attack by Sea Trolls, Elan inadvertently charmed Therkla, a half-orc ninja assassin connected to Daimyo Kubota sent to kill Hinjo and convinced her to help him flank a troll. Shortly after defeating the troll Therkla was knocked off the boat by the troll's body and rejoined Kubota and his advisor imp, Qarr.

Some time later, he, along with Durkon and Daigo, were found on Orc Island running from an Orcish horde chasing after them. Elan attempted to distract them with an illusion, but only succeeded on casting the illusion of another horde chasing after them, though this did convince the orcs to give up on the chase and let the other "orcs" continue it. Later they met up with Vaarsuvius, to whom they explain the details of the chase, saying that it originated with the group attempting to ask the Orcs to resupply their ships, with Elan successful in engaging their leader in diplomacy, though when Elan took out Banjo the Clown, the Orcs bowed down in worship and declared Elan not worthy of holding Banjo. They then returned to rescue Lien, who was being offered as a sacrifice to Banjo, though they were soon captured. Therkla, who was there as the orcs were originally cooperating with her and Qarr, then took control of Banjo the hand puppet[10], stating to the orcs that Elan was his prophet and was not to be harmed. Not noticing that Banjo was being controlled by Therkla, Elan attempted to convince Banjo that he should use his newly gained, if marginal, power to do good, similar to his own experiences with his newly-gained competence as a Dashing Swordsman. Therkla, as Banjo, allowed the others to be set free due to her being quite smitten with Elan.

Upon escaping, however, Elan realized that the Orcs were now without a tangible deity, and thus provided them with Banjo's brother, Giggles the Clown, god of slapstick[11] (much to the dismay of Durkon, who had hoped they would accept Thor). It was quickly decided that the two sibling gods were rivals, and that their rivalry must be settled by a pie-eating contest. While Elan lost the contest, the Orcs enjoyed it so much they agreed to trade with Hinjo.

Soon afterwards Elan was seen meeting with Therkla on a deserted island, in the middle of the night. There Therkla revealed her romantic feelings to him and wants to become his girlfriend, even if it's only for a time, until Haley reunites with the rest of the party. Elan refused her offer, staying loyal to Haley. Instead he offered Therkla to become good friends. Then their meeting is interrupted, first by Qarr (who tries to flank and kill Elan, this being the true objective of the meeting, but is stopped by Therkla) and then by Hinjo and his soldiers (including Lien, Durkon and Vaarsuvius), who used illusion to turn themselves into trees. Therkla was captured by Hinjo and was given a chance to testify against Kubota, but refused to do so. Qarr, however, managed to summon a powerful, gigantic Pit Fiend, even though the chance of him doing so was one-in-a-million (a chance that, according to Elan and his knowledge of genre conventions, always ends succesfully). The demon then started fighting with Hinjo and the Order. Amidst the battle Therkla freed herself and asked Elan to accompany her back to the fleet. She revealed that Kubota also planned to kill all the nobles that are still loyal to Hinjo to ensure him that he will take control of the remaining fleet. The first assassination attempt was directed at Kazumi and Daigo.

Back at Hinjo's junk Kazumi and Daigo were attacked by Kubota's assassins. At first they seem to gain the upper hand but they were quickly overpowered when Kubota himself arives along with reinforcements, planning to make it look like he tried to defend them against the assassins, but failed. Elan and Therkla arrived just in time and confront Kubota. Therkla tried to convince Kubota that his plans have all failed and that he should escape to avoid getting captured or killed. Elan, however, doesn't intend to let Kubota go unpunished after all the crimes he committed and Kubota won't surrender while there is still chance for him to win. Then the soldiers caught a surprised Elan as a hostage and Kubota forced Therkla to choose between him or Elan. Both tried to persuade Therkla to abandon the other using various arguments. Therkla dismissed both side's arguments, because she didn't want to see any of men she cared about suffer and ordered a compromise: Kubota would take his remaining forces and allies and sail away; Elan on the other hand would promise to persuade Hinjo to leave Kubota alone. Kubota disagreed, thus making Therkla help to free Elan and capture Kubota (as she said, she'd rather want both alive—and one in prison—than either one of them dead).

Elan lays down Therkla's corpse.

Therkla killed the remaining guards, but she was hit from behind Kubota using a poisonous needle on one of his rings. The poison quickly affected Therkla and started killing her. Then Kubota gave Elan a choice: he could either go after him and try to capture him when his enchantments (that protect him for getting hit or injured) wear off at the cost of Therkla's life, or try to save Therkla and allow Kubota to escape and cover up all his tracks, making him innocent to this night's events. Elan tried his best to save Therkla but was uneffective. In the end he proposed that they could resurrect her, but she declined his offer, claiming that it would be more of a punishment for her, because she couldn't bear it to live with him if she couldn't love him. She died afterwards. Furious, Elan chased Kubota and found him in his boat, midway to his ship. Elan launched a surprise attack and jumped onto Kubota's boat almost sinking it. He quickly defeated Kubota and as Elan wanted to land a killing blow, Kubota (witnessing that the demon summoned by Qarr had been turned to stone by Vaarsuvius) surrendered, forcing Elan to take Kubota alive. Angry, Elan had no choice but to do so, but still punched him hard in the face.

Vaarsuvius desintegrates the surrendered Kubota.

Elan took Kubota back to Hinjo's junk, where Kubota gloated that he planned to put all the blame on Therkla and was sure that this would be enough to free him from charges put on him in the upcoming trial, much to Elan's anger and irritation. However, a moment later Vaarsuvius disintegrated Kubota, which shocks Elan. This sparked off a serious quarrel between the two (which is later joined by Durkon), that made Vaarsuvius leave the ship and continue searching for Haley on their own. Before that Elan bade his last farewells to Therkla and gave her a totally kickass headstone (the huge, petrified devil).

Elan and the other members of the Order reunited with Haley at the Theive's Guild Head Quarters. Elan also mentioned he wanted a "Neutralize Poision" spell. They all teleported to where all the boats were. Durkon raised Roy from the dead. O-chul returned through Vaarsuvius' failed attempt to single-handedly defeat Xykon. The Order headed off in a ship to the Western Continent.

Blood Runs in the Family[edit | edit source]

The group reached the continent and arrived at Sandsedge town, a merchant trading post.

As the Order of the Stick hunted for Girard's Gate, they discovered an illusion of Girard saying he lied to Soon Kim about its location. The location given was chosen literally at random. He mentioned that there was a 10000 GP betting pool on how long it would be before Soon gave in to what Girard saw as his paladin nature and investigated the Gate despite having promised not to. Roy realized that with all that money, whoever won the bet would head to a city or town to buy stuff.

Enor disables Elan.

Later, in Bleedingham, Elan attempts to butt into a conversation to get some information about Girard but weirds them out instead, and heads out to the next table. Haley walks with Elan and meets up with Vaarsuvius. They get surprised attack by  Enor and Gannji, who believe that Elan is Nale and the ones with him with their respective Linear Guild counterparts. The bounty hunters gaining the upper hand due to V having no strength and unable to move their body from a poison bolt, but the poison itself was neutralized by Elan. Elan was easily knocked out by Enor with his morning star. Haley manages to lay a sign for the others to find and gets caught.

They took the trio to the Empress of Blood, a fat, giant, bloated dragon. As the three tried to escape, the General captured Elan and Vaarsuvius. It was then revealed that the General (Tarquin) was Elan and Nale's father. Tarquin put on a giant celebration for his long lost son, including a parade and gladiatorial games, (in which Roy and Thog were the main event). Haley tried to convince Elan that his father was evil, but he was blinded by his filial love. Later, Tarquin takes Elan up top. During discussion, Tarquin unknowingly tells Elan that Ian Starshine, Haley's father, is locked in the Empire of Blood's prison. Elan attempts to tell him about this, but is interrupted by the birthday present. However, when Tarquin showed Elan his birthday present, Elan's name written on the side of a mountain in flaming letters formed by slaves being burned at the stake. Elan finally realized his father's nature. He dueled his father but was bested by Tarquin's anti-pun abilities. Despite the confrontation, Tarquin revealed that he still wanted to help Elan. Tarquin says that he wants Elan to defeat him later in life, saying that if he wins, he'll be a king, and if he loses, he'll be a legend. Elan is horrified and runs away.

Elan tells Haley about it, and they go to rescue her father. Infiltrating the prison with a Potion of Glibness, she reunites with her father, who reveals that he is still paranoid as ever and even Geoff takes Elan hostage with a shiv, knowing that Elan is the son of Tarquin, but is stopped by Roy. Haley verbally fights with her father and they leave.

At the games, Elan gave a dispiriting speech about freedom to slaves, and when Thog came out to fight they realized the Linear Guild was afoot. Elan fled with the petrified and shrunken Haley after Zz'dtri attacked, only to be trapped by Nale in the Palace of Blood. He managed to evade Nale and Sabine for a time through clever use of illusions (celestial tree sloth), and his resemblance to Nale. But he was finally saved when he landed on Malack's balcony where he and Durkon were having bloodwart tea. Durkon healed Elan while Malack engaged Nale in combat, Nale having killed Malack's children some years before. Nale manages to Dimension Door away before Malack could lay the final blow.

In the aftermath of the games, Tarquin gave the Order a flying carpet and the true location of Girard's Gate, Tarquin secretly knowing the Order is working together.

Girard's Gate[edit | edit source]

Elan helped inspire competence as Belkar led the team to the gate. When the newly reformed Linear Guild attacked, with Tarquin (disguised as Thog) taking on the Order solo, Elan stayed on the sidelines playing music to inspire heroics, a fact that rankled his father.

Inside the pyramid, Elan was instrumental in figuring out that the party had become trapped in a phantasm where all their dreams come true, saving them all.

After the destruction of the Gate, Elan helped fight the Elder Silicon Elemental summoned by Redcloak, though his puns did not appear to have much effect. When the elemental had been dispatched, the party found themselves surrounded by the army of the Empire of Blood, brought in by Tarquin. Tarquin summoned Elan and Haley (who due to her romantic relationship was "part of the family) to talk. It was then that Tarquin finally gave up on his son Nale, killing him. Elan, who had always had mixed feelings about Nale, was nevertheless devastated that Nale had been killed and disintegrated. Tarquin, convinced that Roy was an obstacle to Elan becoming a true hero, ordered his army to slaughter the remaining members of the Order. As Roy tried to hold off an entire army Elan entered the fray along with Haley. With the return of Vaarsuvius, the party was able to escape into the desert.

Tarquin impales Elan in order to stab Roy.

Elan fought his father and elements of the Vector Legion, who nearly defeated them, Tarquin impaling Elan to get to Roy. But Julio Scoundrél arrived just in time to save them. Julio had been contacted some time before in a secret plan hinted at by Elan but not revealed to preserve narrative tension. Julio was convinced to intervene in order to upend conventional narrative tropes.

The party escaped to the Mechane, but Tarquin and Laurin Shattersmith followed. Tarquin sundered Elan's +3 Keen Rapier (a gift from Julio), but was thwarted from teaching Elan a lesson by Vaarsuvius. Ultimately Tarquin hung from the airship with only Elan to save him, but Elan decided to let him fall. Tarquin did not die, but was left without a satisfying ending to his plot arc.

Utterly Dwarfed[edit | edit source]

The Mechane set out to take the party to Kraagor's Gate, but stopped in Tinkertown for repairs. While there Haley, Elan, and Bandana were attacked by Crystal, who had been turned into an intelligent(ish) golem. Elan was quickly knocked out of that fight, but did get to eat brunch afterwards.

Elan spent the Godsmoot playing Monopoly with Haley, ignorant of the action inside the cathedral.

When the Mechane, running through Passage Pass on its way to Firmament to stop "Durkon" from ending the world, ran into a clan of giants, Elan was initially unable to help in the fight. But when a trio of giant warriors boarded the ship, he left Roy to fight them while he went to repair the ship's envelope, which had been damaged by the giants. Having fixed the ship, he swung down to heal Roy in the nick of time. In the aftermath of the fight, he used his Mending spell many times to help repair the ship.

Upon arrival in Firmament, Elan convinced the Assistant Overnight Caretaker Acolytes of Thor that the Order were not vampires by sharing his garlic laced breath with Minrah. After preparing in the Temple, the party set out into the tunnels. They were beset by vampires there, and Elan used his bardic music to bolster the party's combat effectiveness in the ensuing melee. He had to keep his eyes closed to avoid domination by the vampires.

In the second battle, Elan did become dominated when his protection spell was cancelled, turning on Roy and attacking him.[12]

Current Activities[edit | edit source]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Order of the Stick[edit | edit source]

Roy Greenhilt[edit | edit source]

Roy: "Good job. And I'm sorry I snapped at you earlier."
Elan: "Ahhhh! We're still trapped in it!"

Initially, Roy disliked Elan very much. Despite his idea being the main reason the Order managed to form, the idea of him letting a group of Goblins kill the Order in their sleep was something he imagined very easily. Elan, on his part, was oblivious to it, and considered Roy to be his best friend. Roy did end up warming up to him after he was kidnapped by the Bandits of the Wooden Forest, which showed when he voluntarily put on the Girdle of Feminity/Masculinity to save a poisoned Elan, and later on during the Battle of Azure City when he took a few arrows for Elan. When Roy was killed while fighting Xykon, Elan was crushed and brought to tears before Haley encouraged him to sing a Bard song, and he composed "O buddy Roy" which he sung from the battlements of Azure City.

Elan always considered Roy to be a good friend. When he was alone in Cliffport with Thog, his solution was to try thinking about what Roy would do in his situation, and he confided his unsure feelings about his father and brother to him. He also wished that his father would adopt him so that they'd be brothers.

Haley Starshine[edit | edit source]

Elan: "Do you want to get up on the bow and do the "king of the world" thing?"
Haley: "Nah. Doesn't seem fair, since our whole mission is about stopping people from becoming king of the world."
Haley: "How 'bout you just kiss me instead?"
Young Love.png

Elan and Haley always got along, as she was probably the Order member least annoyed by him. Most of their early interactions involve her helping him, and both demonstrate attraction towards the other, though Elan was oblivious to her growing romantic feelings for him

When Haley finally admitted she was in love with him during a confrontation with the Linear Guild, he was shocked but eventually kissed her and the two became a couple. It's vaguely implied that her confession made him realise his own feelings. Despite being separated soon after, their relationship remains solid, with Haley working on her trust issues and both being happier and more confident together.

Belkar Bitterleaf[edit | edit source]

Belkar and Elan get along decently, mostly through childishness and cheap humor. In Belkar's words. "He makes me laugh". Belkar was amongst those who went back to save him after he was captured by the Bandits of Wooden Forest. Belkar has considered killing him for XP, and Elan, like the others, considers Belkar both a teammate and a potential threat.

Vaarsuvius[edit | edit source]

Vaarsuvius: "As you wish. But either way, I am deeply sorry I yelled at you.
Elan: "And I'm sorry you took offense at my wizard costume."
Elan: "Thanks, V!"
Vaarsuvius: "Thank you, Elan."

Vaarsuvius and Elan have had a slightly rocky relationship. Initially, Vaarsuvius found Elan's antics and constant stupidity annoying, and V was insulted when Elan expressed his wishes to become a Wizard himself, interpreting it as an insult and mockery to the profession and greatly insulting Elan, who only looked up to the elf, resulting in Vaarsuvius apologizing to him.

After that event, the two have gotten along well, and V occasionally mentored Elan in better uses of his bardic magic, especially his illusions. However, after the Battle of Azure City the two began becoming distant, mostly due to Vaarsuvius being exasperated by the "sidequests" and again, Elan's general stupidity. Things escalated to the point where Vaarsuvius gave Elan a veiled threat (though the implied threat went over the bard's head), who found that V had become a horrible person. That V insulted the recently deceased Therkla after Elan failed to save her broke whatever loyalty was left between the two, to the point that he didn't try and stop Vaarsuvius from leaving the ship.

After the events of the attack on Xykon's tower and O-Chul's escape, Vaarsuvius began reforming from the view that arcane is all-powerful, and mended fences with the rest of the Order for the mistakes that were made.

Durkon Thundershield[edit | edit source]

Durkon is offended by Elan's cavalier approach to religion, but the two generally get along.

Family[edit | edit source]

Mother[edit | edit source]

Elan's mother had a good influence on Elan. She was the one who taught him to be nice to everyone, and he took his signature "X, X, X, X the Y!" singing tune from her serving tune. She went as far as wearing a fake moustache to take him on father/ son picnics. Elan has said she divorced Tarquin to keep her children away from him, though his basis for this is unknown.

Tarquin[edit | edit source]

"I mean, he's my father and I've always wanted one, but he's totally evil!"

Elan's father Tarquin was absent in his life since early childhood. When he finally met him in the Empire of Blood he was ecstatic and the two bonded quickly over their shared love of the dramatic, his father spending time with him and holding a celebration in his honour. Elan initially ignored all hints of his father's nature, even leading to conflict with Haley, and continues to rationalise Tarquin's actions until he commemorates their reunion by burning escaped slaves in the shape of Elan's name. Tarquin freely admitted being a villain and a dictator, and revealed his new plan for Elan: by not stopping him, Tarquin could continue his reign unfettered; by bringing about his downfall, they would tell a magnificent story and become legends. This horrified Elan, but Tarquin wanted to maintain their relationship and offered his help on their mission.

Elan's fantasy under Girard's illusion included his parents remarrying but no conflict with his father, which is how he broke the illusion's hold, finally accepting that his family would never be how he wanted.

"What's real... is that my family is screwed up and broken. And it's not going to just get magically fixed, ever."

The impasse between them was quickly broken by Tarquin, who murdered Nale in front of Elan. He insisted that Elan be a hero worthy of ending him rather than a supporter and decided to kill Roy to achieve this, even stabbing him through Elan when he defended him, and subsequently broke Haley's arm as they escaped via airship. Elan was forced to drop Tarquin from the airship, informing him that he wasn't "the real villain of the story".

Nale[edit | edit source]

Elan: "I thought it was tough to figure out how to feel about Nale, you know?"
Roy: "What's so tough? He's a villainous jackass!"
Elan: "But he's still my brother!!"

Nale was Elan's twin brother. First meeting in the Dungeon of Dorukan, Elan was happy to meet his twin. However, when he refused to join him, Nale struck him down and nearly killed him. Since that day, the twins have fought several times, and Nale even switched places with him to kill the Order.

Despite that, Elan never wished Nale dead, and was saddened when he was murdered by their father. He acknowledged that he was a "villainous jackass" as Roy described him, but the fact that they were family made him confused on how to feel about him.

Others[edit | edit source]

Julio Scoundrél[edit | edit source]

"So I thought what we needed to balance out an evil father figure was a good father figure!"

Julio was a mentor figure whom Elan saw only twice, but made a great change in his life. He first showed up after Elan had escaped the Cliffport prison, when he gave him a lift to Azure City and taught him the way of the Dashing Swordsman, a special Prestige Class he had found in an old sourcebook. He later showed up after Elan convinced him to come to his aid while fighting his father and his forces, leaving the Mechane to help him out on his mission.

Elan considers Scoundrél to be a good father figure opposed to his biological father Tarquin, though he realized that the two were both obsessed by the story and its tropes. For example, Scoundrél has a Wand of Sending in his pockets at all times, including when the two were on their way to Azure City which he neglected to mention because he thought it made for a better story, and he did not mention Elan's resemblance to Tarquin, one of his "B-list villains".

Thog[edit | edit source]

Thog, Nale's primary fighter, formed an odd companionship with Elan, whom he called "Not-Nale", during his time in Cliffport prison, likely due to their childish tendencies. The two quickly bonded during their escape from Cliffport, and Elan grew fond enough of him that he felt like he owed him one for helping him escape, despite the chance of him siding back with Nale. On his part, Thog didn't want to hurt his new friend, which didn't extend to Elan's friends.

Therkla[edit | edit source]

"She would have made a pretty cool girlfriend, too."

The Half-Orc ninja Therkla was Daimyo Kubota's personal assassin who had fallen in love with Elan during his time on Hinjo's junk. However, because he was in love with Haley he couldn't reciprocate the feelings, going against bardic traditions. Nevertheless, he was quite friendly and trusting of her when they were together, and even when saying that he couldn't be her boyfriend he still convinced her to change sides. In the end, she died in his arms from poison he could've cured. Her death left a mark on him, enough that Vaarsuvius completely disregarding her ruined what was left of their relationship, and he honored her by making a giant tombstone out of the petrified devil Qarr summoned. He later tried to learn from his mistakes by learning Neutralize Poison the next time he went up a level.

Personality and Traits[edit | edit source]

Cquote1.png I ate a whole bulb of garlic![13] Cquote2.png

Elan would be best described as being frivolous, endearing, yet dull-witted; he seems to be a variant of the "dumb blonde" stereotype. He is human, twenty-one years old at the beginning of the webcomic, blonde, fair-skinned, extremely good-looking and charming, possessing a charisma of at least eighteen. He is confirmed as being Chaotic Good.[14] He sings incessantly, can be very childish and silly and can be staggeringly inept when faced with even simple tasks, to the frequent frustration of his teammates. Since his adoption of the Dashing Swordsman class, Elan has gained more of a focus on the task at hand and seems more confident in his abilities. He still retains his childishness, however, being happy at being reunited with Banjo the hand-puppet after his separation from the team.

His ideas do occasionally work unexpectedly well and his knowledge of theatrics is second to none; he frequently thinks in terms of what makes a good story and acts accordingly, using genre conventions to his own advantage and made things as dramatic as possible - though he draws the line when people are hurt over it. He is proficient musically, as befits a bard, and is competent with a blade, and has become more so since becoming a Dashing Swordsman. As a bard, while he possessed a magical rapier to fight with, he usually played music in combat to assist his teammates; with his new ability as a Swordsman and the powerful rapier given to him by his mentor, he participates more directly. He can also ride horses well, much to the surprise of his companions. Elan has on occasion used bardic magic, usually illusions. At first he constructed illusions of the same species (but opposite gender) of his attacker using Silent Image, but later Vaarsuvius taught him to make better illusions (Disguise Self). He also seems proficient at throwing his voice, once doing it well enough to fool an Ogre guard. He was later seen using an illusion of a teletubby to scare Thog and using Mending to fix a door. Elan is likely either a fourteenth- or fifteenth-level bard, as he mentions after his first use of "Mass Cure Light Wounds"[15] upon the party's reunion that he gained three new fifth-level spells the last time he leveled up.

Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]

  • Bardic Training: As a bard, Elan has many talents and abilities.
    • Magic: Elan has access to a special kind of magic, but he is not very experienced with it. Luckily, with the aid of Vaarsuvius, Elan has become progressively better at using it effectively.
    • Illusion: Elan can cast very convincing illusions. It seems Illusion is his favored school of magic because it is the kind of magic he uses most of often. For example, during the fight on Dorukan's Castle, he once tricked a chimera with the illusion of a female chimera. During the battle of Azure City, he confused a group of hobgoblin soldiers into attacking an illusion of the Order and later briefly holds them off with an illusion of a celestial lion. During the third battle with the Linear Guild, Elan is able to incapacitate Sabine with an illusory Celestial Tree Sloth.
    • Healing: Elan has access to the spells "Mass Cure Light Wounds," "Cure Critical Wounds," and "Neutralize Poison." Ever since he learned how to heal, he has become the Order's backup healer. Elan also owns a wand of Cure Moderate Wounds.
    • Music: Elan can use his magic music to improve morale and make a task easier. This can work to the Order's advantage or detriment, depending on the situation.
    • Dramatic Knowledge: Being a bard, Elan has a fondness for the dramatic and is aware of certain fiction elements the group encounters in their journeys.
    • Charisma: Being a bard, Elan has a naturally high Charisma level. Thanks to his Dashing Swordsman training, he can now use it to attack enemies.
  • Dashing Swordsman Training: As a Dashing Swordsman, Elan has gained several other skills and abilities.
  • Expert Swordsman: Thanks to his training with Julio Scoundrél, Elan has acquired the "Dashing Swordsman" level. He can use Charisma in place of Strength for damage when wielding a rapier, as long as the character can make a witty pun or spout a catchphrase when they attack. This increase in his combat ability became quickly apparent when Elan defeated his brother in single combat with considerable ease. However, the pun will have no effect if the enemy is too stupid to understand the pun or if they cannot hear it, and he can only use any given pun once in a single battle.
    • Glass Damage Immunity: As a Dashing Swordsman, Elan is immune to damage from shattered glass, which helps them make dramatic window entrances.
  • Elan can apparently tell the color of speech bubbles from their sound and summon plot recaps.

Equipment and Weapons[edit | edit source]

  • Banjo: Banjo is Elan's clown puppet, which he worships like a god. To his credit, Banjo does have a small amount of divine power due to Elan worshipping him and an island of orcs worshipping his rival, Giggles.
  • Boots of Elvenkind: A pair of boots he acquired from the loot in the Dungeon of Dorukan, these boots are supposed to help him move silently by giving him a +5 bonus.
  • Lutey, the Lute-tastical Lute: As a Bard, Elan uses a lute to make his music. Having lost his original after being impersonated by his brother Nale, he replaced it during the Fall of Azure City. He also apparently named it.[13]
  • Belt of Charisma: While shopping with Haley in Sandsedge, Elan acquired a Belt of Charisma +2.
  • Chaos Sabre: A gift from his mentor, Julio Scoundrél, who left him his rapier before leaving the Mechane after the fight with Tarquin. Its properties are unknown.
  • Magic Rapier: Elan reclaimed all of his old equipment after he defeated Nale in Azure City,[16] including the magic[8] rapier which Haley gave him.[17]
  • Wand of Cure Moderate Wounds: Given to him by Haley while in Tinkertown, after she had bought eight of them.
  • Armand Vestinghole: his vest.[13]
  • Elan also has in his possession: a bedroll, a coffee maker, an espresto box, a ceremonial meat costume, dice, a kazoo, jam, a lantern, a table-tennis bat, a roller skate, a squirrel, a yoyo, a PCLU puppet, a dashing outfit (goes with vest), a toothbrush, an evil sword, castanets, a sombrero, equipment lists, a treasure chest, a drawing, the stick that the Order was named after, a letter, and his old equipment from before his Dashing Swordsman update, including: a chain shirt, a cloak and sash, and the magic rapier listed above.

The Order of the Stick Adventure Game:[edit | edit source]

Elan is one of the characters players may choose when playing the Order of the Stick Adventure Game. The abilities of the character are reflective of his personality and skills as depicted in the comic, with cards titled such things as Poorly-Planned Illusion, Bard Song, and Wacky Hijinks.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Comic #931, "My Two Dads"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Comic #50, "The Semi-Secret Origin of Elan & Nale"
  3. Comic #836, "Best Laid Plans"
  4. Comic #392, "Death From Above"
  5. Comic #400, "Your Ship Has Come In"
  6. Comic #421, "Oratory of the Stick"
  7. Comic #455, "Incoming!"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Comic #471, "A Triumphant Return"
  9. Comic #472, "I'll Hold Them Off"
  10. Comic #557, "The Puppet Mistress"
  11. Comic #561, "Pop Idolatry"
  12. Comic #1126, "Battle Cry"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Comic #1091, "Ready to Go"
  14. Comic #445, "A Song for the Departed"
  15. Comic #647, "Be Prepared"
  16. Re: #722 Where'd he get the sword? - The Giant
  17. Comic #28, "Just Like on Three's Company"
The Order of the Stick
Roy GreenhiltHaley StarshineDurkon ThundershieldElanVaarsuviusBelkar BitterleafMinrah Shaleshoe
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