General Assistance
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 817
Date published 1 December 2011
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Concerned for Elan's safety, Tarquin assigns Roy and Belkar to be the bard's new bodyguards. The General also gives the party an only mildly-evilly-sourced flying carpet to help speed them along their way.

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Transcript Edit

Panel 1, Page 1

Tarquin: Elan, before you go: I’m worried about your safety. Nale can be very dangerous.
Elan: Don’t worry, Dad. I’ve beaten him twice!
Tarquin: Precisely. Recurring foes always get stronger with successive appearances.

Panel 2, Page 1

Tarquin: I want to see Nale brought to justice as much as you do.
Tarquin: He’s a destabilizing influence who knows too much.
Tarquin: And seeing how well you grew up, I can’t help but feel a little responsible for how Nale turned out. Stopping him is as much my duty as yours.

Panel 3, Page 1

Tarquin: Therefore, I’d like to send some personnel along with you. Bodyguards of a sort.
Elan: Uh, Dad, I don’t think that’s such a good idea.
Tarquin: No, really, I must insist. I even have specific candidates in mind.

Panel 4, Page 1

Elan: Who?
Tarquin: Them.
Roy: Huh?
Belkar: Wha?
Mr. Scruffy: Mrrow?

Panel 5, Page 1

Roy: We don’t work for you yet, General.
Tarquin: Consider this an audition. Accompany my son on his mission to apprehend his brother.

Panel 6, Page 1

Tarquin: If he comes back alive, I’ll give you both permanent positions. How does that sound?
Belkar: Like you’re getting us to work for free.
Tarquin: Yes, but think of the exposure.

Panel 1, Page 2

Roy: Do I have the option of refusing at that time, if I dislike the terms?
Tarquin: I suppose, but I’m—
Roy: Then I accept.
Tarquin: Good!

Panel 2, Page 2

Tarquin: Keep in mind that if any lasting harm comes to my son while he is under your protection, I will hold you—and your family members—personally responsible.
Roy: I take all of my responsibilities personally, thanks. Do you?

Panel 3, Page 1

Tarquin: Ha! Fantastic! Elan, this warrior is going to be guarding you from now on.
Roy: Uh, hi. Nice to meet you.

Panel 4, Page 1

Elan: Hi! I’m Elan! What’s your name, Roy?
Roy: …
Roy: Roy.

Panel 5, Page 2

A soldier brings in a flying carpet floating about Belkar-height above the balcony floor.
Tarquin: Ah, here it comes! Since time is of the essence, I sent for this gift from my personal vault.
Elan: Whoa…
Roy: Is that what I think it is??
Belkar: A hamfisted retread of an overplayed cultural motif?

Panel 6, Page 2

Tarquin: This is my fastest flying carpet, Elan. You’ll note both its red color as well as its racing stripes.
Tarquin: It should get you to Windy Canyon in two days, if you take turns sleeping while it flies.

Panel 7, Page 2

Elan: Dad, I told you I didn’t want any of your evil magic items!
Tarquin: We didn’t craft this one, though. A friend of mine did steal it, but from a very wealthy man who owned six others.

Panel 8, Page 2

A flashback of Jacinda on a flying carpet "pulling the rug out from under" a Prince of Persia character who was on the flying carpet being offered in the present.
Elan (inset): Oh. I guess that’s not as bad then.
Tarquin (inset): Indeed, I promise he only missed it for a few seconds.

Panel 9, Page 2

Tarquin: At any rate, I’m happy to put at your disposal any or all resources of this kingdom.
Elan: How do you control it?
Tarquin: Fear and intimidation, mostly, though a little torture her and there helps.

Panel 10, Page 2

Beat. Elan looks at Tarquin aghast.

Panel 11, Page 2

Tarquin: Or did you mean the carpet?
Tarquin: Just pull on one of the tassels.

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