|Well, I can't very well allow you to continue breathing after an insult like that, now, can I? Because no one denies me, Elan. Not Father, not you, no one.|
A small village
|Chronological and political information|
2+/2+/8+ (total level 15)
same as Elan
Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm
Charm Person, Dimension Door, Expeditious Retreat, Invisibility, Prestidigitation, Suggestion
Nale was the evil twin brother of Elan (his name is also "Elan" spelled backwards), and the founder and leader of the Linear Guild. He created his team to be "evil opposites" of the Order of the Stick, and was bent on the humiliation and destruction of Elan and his group.
He first appeared in the Dungeon of Dorukan, where he and the Linear Guild attempted to kill The Order of the Stick and claim the Talisman of Dorukan. He was a multiclass fighter/rogue/sorcerer who specialized in enchantments which, he eventually came to realize, is the same combination of abilities as his bardic twin, just more complicated.
He was killed by his father, Tarquin in revenge for murdering his vampire companion Malack who was planning to kill Nale for slaying his "children". His remains were then disintegrated by Laurin Shattersmith and dispersed in the desert.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early Life[edit | edit source]
He was raised by Tarquin, his ruthless, lawful evil father, a powerful general of an evil army, while Elan was raised by the twin's mother, a kindly, chaotic good barmaid. In terms of magic, he stated he specialized in Enchantment spells (Spell Focus (Enchantment) feat) and simply selected a large number of enchantments for his repertoire.
He followed his father to the Western Continent and his campaigns to establish himself as a King in this unstable geography. Two years ago they helped the Empress of Blood ascend the throne. Afterwards he tried to seize the power for himself and he performed several crimes (murder, conspiracy and treason) against the Empire of Blood. The Empress put a bounty on him.
Dungeon Crawlin' Fools[edit | edit source]
Though the original Linear Guild may not necessarily have been based on the Order of the Stick despite the similar naming due to Tarquin specifically not telling Nale about his twin, Nale went to great lengths to recreate an "evil opposite" version of the Order of the Stick after learning about being Elan's "evil twin", even commenting once that he had "invested a lot of time and energy into this ‘Evil Opposites’ theme".
The Linear Guild's first quest brought them to the Dungeon of Dorukan, where they sought to claim the Talisman of Dorukan. They were also hired to eliminate the Order of the Stick, though they first duped them into leading them to the talisman, as the runes granting access to the room could only be activated by those of pure heart. However, they were soon crippled after betraying the Order when the ensuing fight led to Hilgya falling off the platform, Zz'dtri being taken away by the Lawyers and Yikyik meeting his end at Belkar Bitterleaf's hands. Sabine escaped, and the last two were taken captive and imprisoned by Celia, though they managed to escape later on, vowing revenge on the Order.
No Cure for the Paladin Blues[edit | edit source]
Nale next appears in Cliffport. After their losses taken in the Dungeon of Dorukan, Nale began recruiting new members for the order, specifically looking for opposites to the Order. Eventually, he recruited the Kobold Yokyok as Belkar's opposite, the Gnome Druid Leeky Windstaff as Durkon Thundershield's opposite, and after great efforts, found the Half-Elf Wizard Pompey to act as Vaarsuvius' opposite. While recruiting at Warthog's School of Wizardry and Sorcery, Nale discovered Julia Greenhilt, Roy's sister, and kidnapped her, hatching a new plan.
War and XPs[edit | edit source]
In due time, Nale executed his plan. For five weeks, he and Thog murdered citizens of the mercantile city-state of Cliffport in fifteen different massacres. Then, in a Sending spell, he let the Roy know that he had Julia as a hostage, luring him and the Order to the city.
Once they had arrived he sprung his trap; he split up the Order and knocked out his brother, taking his place and infiltrating the Order by shaving his beard and gluing it onto Elan.
He had originally planned to eliminate the members of the Order as quickly as possible by engineering things so that he ends up alone with each one in turn. However, upon discovering the Order of the Stick's mission to protect the Gates of the Snarl from Xykon, Nale had changed his plans; he decided to seize control of the Gates himself, having deduced that Xykon must have devised a way to channel and direct the energy of the Snarl.
Meanwhile, Elan, having falsely been thought to be Nale, was imprisoned. He eventually escaped and found his way to Azure City. He, Vaarsuvius, Haley and Durkon capture Nale and other members of the Linear Guild, who is imprisoned by the Sapphire Guard in anti-magic cells. After the war with Xykon, the Order of the Stick believe the Linear Guild members to be dead; however, in truth, Nale, Sabine and Thog escaped during the war and left the city to resume their efforts to take one of the two remaining gates (after a visit to an ice cream parlor).
Don't Split the Party[edit | edit source]
Nale does not appear in the fourth book, but the IFCC reveals they have been using him and the Linear Guild as pawns in their schemes.
Blood Runs in the Family[edit | edit source]
After escaping Azure City, Nale recruited other members for the Linear Guild, retrieving Zz'dtri and hiring the kobold ranger Yukyuk. He eventually made his way to the Empire of Blood, where he began his search for Girard's Gate by following leads from his stepmother Penelope. Using her link to Orrin Draketooth, Zz'dtri was able to pinpoint the Windy Canyon as the gate location, though due to her death by Familicide he was unable to find the exact location. Once again, Elan paid the price for his resemblance to Nale; while the Order of the Stick was also looking for Girard's Gate Elan was mistaken for Nale and taken by the bounty hunters Gannji and Enor. However, this mistake led him to meeting his father, Tarquin, for the first time, where much of the early history of Nale was revealed.
During the festivities in Elan's honor, the Linear Guild revealed its presence. Elan was abducted by Sabine who took him to Nale. Despite the fact that he had plotted the ambush at the last second, Nale almost succeeded until he was interrupted by Malack, who attempted to kill him for murdering his offspring. Nale retreated and attempted to regather his group, only to be personally arrested by Tarquin once the Order of the Stick left to protect the Gate. Nale bargained for his life by revealing the existence of the Gates and his assumption that they are controllable. Tarquin agreed to use Nale's assistance to gain control of Girard's Gate. Malack reluctancly agreed to join in, and they recruited Kilkil to assist as well, to round out the new Linear Guild with a token kobold.
The newly-reformed Linear Guild arrived at Girard's Pyramid as the Order was beginning to explore it, with Nale sending his father in to take on the Order solo. Tarquin beat them back into the pyramid, but when the Guild followed them in, they were ambushed by the Order of the Stick, causing Sabine to be banished to her home plane. After regrouping, Nale, Malack, Zz'dtri and the newly turned vampire Durkon continue through the pyramid, Nale expressing delight at leading a party entirely formed of spellcasters.
In one of the hallways leading to the Gate, Nale fell into the illusion trap, being caught in a fantasy of ruling the world. He was shown gloating to Elan and Haley with Sabine at his side, when he realizes the trick after noticing that he'd never been able to explain his plans without the Order of the Stick escaping, at which point he broke out of the illusion. The group reached the center of the pyramid, but were fooled by a large column with the inscription 'SORRY YOUR GATE IS IN ANOTHER PYRAMID'. Nale, furious at being tricked, ordered the Linear Guild out of the Pyramid.
Death[edit | edit source]
With Tarquin and Kilkil away, Nale put in motion his plot to kill Malack, snatching his staff, that contained the Protection from Daylight spell, and tossed it off in the distance. Zz'dtri dispelled his protection, and with no cover from the sun Malack burned to ashes, vainly attempting to get his spawn to retrieve the staff.
However, Malack's now-freed vampire thrall pretending to be Durkon refused Nale's offer of joining the Linear Guild and immediately attacked both Nale and Zz'dtri, snapping the latter's neck. Nale managed to escape using Dimension Door.
As he made his escape, Nale ran into his father's army entering the desert through a psionically created Wormhole. Irritated at his father's behavior as he was letting the Order go, Nale revealed to Tarquin and Laurin that he had killed Malack and refused Tarquin's help to get him out of the situation, refusing his nepotism and inadvertently revoking his protection from his own father, resulting in Tarquin stabbing him to death with a dagger to avenge his friend. Laurin Shattersmith noted that Malack could not come back to life due to being a vampire who had been reduced to ashes, and destroyed Nale's corpse to prevent him from returning either.
With his body so thoroughly destroyed, it is nearly impossible for Nale to return, unless a powerful spellcaster like Xykon or Redcloak decided to resurrect him.
Personality and Traits[edit | edit source]
Nale looked and sounded exactly like Elan; the only physical difference between the two brothers was Nale’s small goatee which Nale shaved off and glued onto his brother in order to swap places with Elan during one of his plans to kill the Order of the Stick. He eventually grew it back after the deception was discovered. His cunning, scheming and evil nature made him the opposite of the light-hearted, good-natured and comically inept Elan. He was also in a relationship with Sabine, Haley's opposite, whereas Elan seemed somewhat oblivious to Haley's feelings towards him for nearly four hundred strips. He was the smartest member of the guild, though he has a tendency to outsmart himself.
He was quite skilled with words and a master planner. He had also proven that he could think very quickly on his feet and come up with an intelligent, if not the best, solution to his problems, once again in opposition to Elan, who usually just wings it. Due to his theatrics and sadism he may be described as a competent "Bond Villain". His "tragic" flaw is that he would overcomplicate a situation akin to his mother, such as once killing 417 innocent people, just to point the police to where he would be located (on a map, pushpins of the crimes made arrows to his hideout). His arrogance was also his weakness for many times his overconfidence or underestimating others resulted in his downfall.
A running gag was that when Nale lied, he openly stated what he was lying about in his speech, yet his target never caught on (or when they did, nothing became of it). He often bragged that, despite his obvious lies, his bluff skill was able to convince his target of anything.
Another of Nale's weaknesses was his tendency to boast of what he has achieved, even when subtlety would be more appropriate. This inability to not reveal his achievements eventually lead to his death at the hands of his father after he boasted about killing his best friend.
Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]
The sum of Nale's multiclassing results in a sub-optimal build that achieves essentially the same abilities as the Bard class minus the music, with all the downsides of multiclassing.
- Rogue Abilities:
- Sneak Attack: As a Rogue, Nale could perform Sneak Attacks on unsuspecting targets.
- Evasion: Nale can evade attacks, allowing him to avoid damage entirely on a successful Reflex saving throw.
- Sorcerer Abilities:
- Enchantment: Nale specialized in the school of Enchantment, and was skilled at using spells such as Charm Person or Suggestion.
- Nale has also utilized spells such as Dimension Door and Invisibility to good effect.
- Fighter Training:
- Longsword Proficiency: As a result of his Fighter training, Nale was proficient in the use of martial weapons such as the longsword, his weapon of choice.
- Nale also has access to Fighter bonus feats.
- Charisma: Charisma is a vital ability score for Sorcerer spells and Rogue skills. Furthermore, despite blatantly telling people about what he lying about while lying to them, Nale often bragged about having an impressive Bluff skill that allowed him to convince his target of anything even when he was obviously lying.
- Strategic Mind: Nale was the one who organized the Guild's plans and evil plots. However, he was prone to make his plans overly complicated and had difficulty adapting his plans when they went wrong, such as the Order's ambush on the Linear Guild at Girard's Gate. Nevertheless, while he preferred to plan his actions in advance he was good at organizing last minute ambushes such as shown with the attack on the Order during their stay in Bleedingham and his killing of Malack.
Weapons and Equipment[edit | edit source]
- Longsword: Nale's preferred weapon is the longsword. It is stated by the CCPD forensic officer in comic #347 that his longsword has a +3 enhancement on it.
- Wand of Enervation: Nale used the wand to drain levels from Durkon at the Palace of Blood preventing him from casting Holy Word.
- Protection from Negative Energy Elixers: Since Nale's girlfriend, Sabine, has an energy drain power with her kiss that she presumably can’t turn off, he claims to buy these in bulk. These enable him to kill Malack while minimizing his chances of reprisal.
- Nale also keeps business cards on him.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- From early in the comic, up to comic #1213, Nale was the most frequently appearing character outside of the Order of the Stick and their pets.
- Nale's last words were: "NOTHING! I want NOTHING from you! I am my own man now, not some cog in your latest oh-so-clever scheme. I don't want your nepotism or your charity or your pity! I want NOTHING!" (Tarquin) "Is that really how you feel?" "YES!"
- Nale's small goatee is an intentional reference to Spock in the Star Trek Mirror universe, according to Rich Burlew in the first collected book.
- Nale is the most frequently appearing character to not appear since the switch to the current art style.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
|Nale • Sabine • Thog • Zz'dtri • Hilgya Firehelm • Yikyik • Yokyok • Yukyuk • Leeky Windstaff • Pompey|
|43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 50, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 97, 120, 142, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 298, 336, 337, 341, 351, 360, 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 367, 377, 378, 379, 380, 381, 383, 384, 386, 387, 388, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 401, 419, 458, 668, 715, 725, 758, 793, 794, 795, 798, 801, 804, 805, 806, 810, 811, 819, 820, 821, 822, 847, 848, 849, 853, 854, 856, 857, 858, 859, 860, 862, 863, 882, 883, 887, 888, 889, 892, 893, 894, 895, 903, 905, 906, 907, 908, 910, 911, 912, 913, 914|