|“The Semi-Secret Origin of Elan & Nale”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||25 March 2004|
|View the comic|
The blonde adventurers' strange commonalities are explained at last.
- Elan ◀ ▶
- Durkon Thundershield ◀ ▶
- Nale ◀ ▶
- Hilgya Firehelm ◀ ▶
- Tarquin ▶
- Soul Muncher ▶
- Elan's Mother ▶
- Mr. Jones ◀ ▶
- Title addendum
Our 50th strip! And 50% longer, too!
- Panel 1
The panel reads:
of the Stick
Elan & Nale!
(I mean, it's not like you
couldn't have figured it out.)
- Panel 2
Elan: Wow, this is exciting. I've never been in the first group before!
Nale: Well, Elan, I wanted the chance to talk to you.
- Panel 3
Nale: You know, the moment you opened that door, I thought to myself, "Why, here's a handsome fellow!" Ha ha ha!
Nale: But seriously. I think there is a deeper relationship between us than any of which you are aware.
- Panel 4
Elan: Are—are you hitting on me?
Elan: Because, whatever you heard about what happened at Summer Camp—
- Panel 5
Nale: No, no, Elan. Not like that. I meant that I think we might be brothers.
Elan: Oh, Cool, I never had a brother before. Are you sure?
- Panel 6
Nale: No, but I though we could compare stories of our childhoods and see if they match.
Elan: Ooo! Ooo! Me first.
- Panel 7
Flashback to Elan's childhood. Young Elan hangs on to his mother's braid as she serves beer on a tray.
Elan (inset): My Mommy raised me by herself. She's a barmaid, and the nicest, kindest person in the whole village. She told me that my Dad was a mean fighting guy who left her and me behind when he went off to battle.
Elan's mother (singing): ♪♪Serve, serve, serve, serve refreshing adult beverages!♪
- Panel 8
Flashback to Nale's childhood. Young Nale sits on the edge of his father's chariot as Tarquin raises Soul Muncher in front of an army of soldiers.'
Nale (inset): Ah, see, now, my Father was a cold and ruthless general of a nigh-unstoppable army. He told me he had abandoned my goody-two-shoes mother in some small backwards village.
war chariot sign: "BABY ON BOARD"
- Panel 9
Cut back to Elan and Nale.
Elan: Aw man, those stories don't match at all!
- Panel 10
Nale slaps Elan in the face, "SMACK!"
- Panel 11
Elan: Wow, those stories match perfectly!
Elan: I wonder why they split up, though.
- Panel 12
Flashback to a divorce court, Mr. Jones argues for Tarquin.
Mr. Jones: Your, honor my client is suing for divorce on the grounds of Irreconcilable Alignment Differences. He's Lawful Evil and his wife appears to be Chaotic Good.
- Panel 13
Nale: I'm also unable to explain the apparent gulf in our mental faculties...
- Panel 14
Flashback to Nale and Elan as babies.
Elan's mother: Nale! Stop hitting your twin brother in his soft undeveloped baby skull!
Baby Nale slaps Baby Elan in the face, "SMACK!"
- Panel 15
Cut back to the present. Durkon and Hilgya are playing cards.
Durkon: Go fish.
Nale: ... And it certainly doesn't explain why they would never tell us about each other.
Elan: Oh, that I understand. See, by not telling us, it increases the potential for dramatic tension should we ever encounter each other as adults.
- Panel 16
Elan: Oh, I'm a bard, that kind of stuff comes naturally.
- Panel 17
Nale: A bard, huh? My father taught me that bards were underpowered.
Elan: Really? So what class are you?
- Panel 18
Nale: I'm a multiclass fighter/rogue/sorcerer who specializes in enchantment spells.
- Panel 19
- Panel 20
Elan: And that never struck you as needlessly complicated?
Nale: Not until this moment, no.
D&D Context Edit
- Elan sees Nale's choice of classes as complicated. This is because a Fighter/Rogue/Sorcerer is somewhat equivalent to a Bard. The original Bard class from AD&D (1st edition) was equally complicated; it involved taking on multiple classes to accomplish, much as Nale has done.
- The lawyer refers to Alignment, an important D&D concept for character creation.
- Bards are often seen as underpowered.
- This comic reveals Elan and Nale are twin brothers.
- It also presents one probable cause for Elan's idiocy. Note the similarity to Nale smacking Elan in panel 10 with him smacking Elan as babies in panel 14.
- Nale as an infant is already developing a goatee. Also their baby diapers match their adult tunics: Nale wears red, Elan wears green.
- Hilgya and Durkon are playing Go Fish.
- This is the first appearence of Tarquin (although he is masked and unnamed as of yet) and the twins' mother, and the first appearence of Elan and Nale as children. Elan's mother's use of bardic singing suggests she is a bard as well. We also learn that Tarquin is Lawful Evil and Elan's mother is Chaotic Good.
- This is the first appearance of Tarquin's intelligent axe, Soul Muncher.
- It is also the first ever flashback scene in the history of the comic.
- In Panel 8 one of the people in Nale's father's army holds a banner with the letter T on it. This now makes sense, as Tarquin's name begins with T.
- This is the first ever multi-page strip in the history of the comic. This was done deliberately to mark the 50th strip.