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Characters: The Order of the Stick: The Linear Guild

The Order of the Stick | Team Evil | The Linear Guild | The Order of the Scribble | Azure City | Greysky City | The Empire of Blood | Divine Beings | Others
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The Linear Guild

Lee: Destructive unnecessary conflict is pretty much all they do.
Qarr: ...They look like total morons.
Cedrik: They are! Isn't it just perfect?

Led by Elan's Evil Twin Nale, the Linear Guild is an Evil Counterpart to the Order, whom Nale has a vendetta against.

    In General 
  • Card-Carrying Villain: They have literal business cards.
  • Dead End Job: The team always includes a kobold, who invariably ends up killed by Belkar in a horrific/amusing manner. Averted with Kilkil, the latest to date, though.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Each lineup has shown significant diversity compared to every other adventuring party and evil organization in the comic.
  • Evil Counterpart: Nale intentionally invokes this but later defies it.
  • Five-Bad Band: Hard to pin down apart from the first three, but...
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Lampshaded when our heroes realize that they do not have a permanent solution for disposing of them. However, as of comic #913, Nale and Zz'dtri are both dead, Leeky and Pompey both abandoned the Guild ages ago, there's been no sign whatsoever of Hilgya for ages, and Thog is either dead or still imprisoned back in the Empire of Blood. The only member still around and in the game is Sabine, who has been temporarily banished back to the Lower Planes. The Linear Guild is, effectively, dead, a rare treatment for the Goldfish Poop Gang. None of this precludes a new iteration of the Guild being formed — perhaps with the goal of taking down Tarquin and his empire. It also doesn't rule out the possibility of Sabine or the IFCC Resurrecting Zz'drti.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Invoked by Nale with his "evil opposite" theme.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Reoccuring second-tier antagonists.
  • Terrible Trio: Once reduced to its core members, it is three; two guys and one girl.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Sabine isn't unwitting, but the rest are woefully unaware of the IFCC's manipulation.
  • Villainous Friendship: Nale and Zz'dtri appear to have a legitimate friendship. Nale was horrified when Vampire Durkon killed Zz'dtri.

(Core Members)

    Nale 

Nale

"Because no one denies me, Elan. Not father, not you, no one."

Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: Fighter/Rogue/Sorcerer
Alignment: Lawful Evil

Elan's twin brother, raised by their Lawful Evil warlord father to be extremely ruthless. A multiclassed fighter/rogue/sorcerer, this ironically means he has about the exact same abilities as his bard brother. Only more complicated. note  However, it does mesh with Nale's vaunted "evil opposites" theme; bards can't be lawful, so this multiclass combination enables Nale to have the same abilities as but the exact opposite alignment to his hated twin.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Elan certainly feels this way, since while Nale was evil, they were still family. This is defied by Haley, who gently but honestly tells Elan that Nale was a terrible human being who deserved to die for spilling the blood of the innocent. Elan agrees, but wonders if he would have turned out any better in Nale's place.
  • Back Stab: Part of his skill-set as a rogue. The first (open) reveal of his evil was backstabbing Elan.
  • Beard of Evil: Which he started growing as a toddler.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He asks Tarquin not to give him anything and to let him be an independent person. As a result his father revokes his protection — from Tarquin.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He's funnily delusional this way.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: For all his card-carrying villainy, he was first introduced this way. Haley wasn't fooled.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: He's blond. He's evil.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: He's aware of it, though, and tries to repress his urges.
  • Boring Insult: Nale is so egotistical that calling him unoriginal will make him drop his disguise.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • His first response to seeing Malack again is to ask how his family is (three of his children had been killed by Nale). Cue HARM. Doubles as Casual Danger Dialog — Nale seems pretty aware he is screwed.
    • Later, he finally manages to actually kill Malack and proceeds to taunt his father about it, right in the middle of his father's army and in the presence of one of Tarquin's powerful companions. Tarquin tries to offer Nale the chance to reconcile, but Nale brags about how he managed to kill Malack without Tarquin's help, complains about how much he resents his father, and rejects his Last-Second Chance. Tarquin finally proceeds to show Nale just how quickly he would have died without his protection.
  • But He Sounds Handsome:
    Nale-as-Elan: After almost being killed by my cunningly clever and devilishly handsome twin brother, Nale, I find that I am looking at everything in a different light.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Just before being unceremoniously killed by said old man.
  • Charm Person: He favors enchantment magic.
  • The Chessmaster: He tries, but events have repeatedly shown that while he's pretty good at putting plans together, they ultimately tend not to work out. His first scheme would have succeeded if not for Haley making an almost impossible shot with her bow. His second scheme, in which he impersonated Elan, would have also succeeded if Elan had remained as dumb and incompetent as ever, rather than suddenly taking a level in badass. And, more generally, if Nale didn't constantly trip over his megalomania.
  • Complexity Addiction: See above. Apparently inherited from his mother, who as a barmaid created a serving plan for individual days of the week. A good example is that he took levels in Sorcerer, Rogue, and Fighter just to get almost exactly the same abilities as Elan got as a Bard. He may have gotten over this partway through the Girard's gate arc, declaring to Zz'dtri that he's ditched the evil opposites theme and is going to just wipe the Order out. It didn't work.
    Tarquin: Honestly, Nale, that "plan" of yours had way too many moving parts.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: He follows traditional villain tropes because it's how he thinks plans should go, up to and including his Complexity Addiction. Tarquin calls him out on this, then eventually kills him for his failures, among other reasons.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Surprisingly enough has shades of this. He knew from the start that Tarquin and Malack were planning to kill him the moment he was no longer an asset to them, so he takes the initiative the moment Malack is separated from Tarquin and has lowered his guard. The timing of this betrayal inadvertently freed Durkon and saved the Order of the Stick, cost him his arcane spellcaster, and caused said spellcaster's imp to run away, leaving him as the only member of the Linear Guild on the field. Then it turns out that he was wrong about Tarquin planning to kill him.
  • Deader than Dead: His corpse is disintegrated by Laurin to prevent his resurrection, as payment for him doing the same to Malack. The only thing that could bring him back now is a Wish, Miracle, True Resurrection (all of which are 9th level spells and, as Haley pointed out, there may not be anyone of high enough level to cast them in the world), or direct intervention from a deity.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: He believes himself to be one of these, and definitely is one (if of a lesser caliber then he believes), but as with every other trope dealing with his intelligence, this is limited by his ability to put aside his own ego long enough to get anything done. He efficiently executed his plot to kill Malack, but mostly because he was planning to kill him since he was nine years old, and used Malack's children as a "test run".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: "The Linear Guild is practically synonymous with taking disproportionate revenge over quasi-imagined slights!"
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Nale and Sabine really do care about one another. When Girard trapped him in a "perfect world" illusion, it involved him as a king with Sabine as his queen. He was horrified when Durkon's Holy Word banished her to the Outer planes.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Spoofed when he considers using a Céline Dion record as torture below him.
    Nale: No no Thog. I'm still civilized.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He expects all siblings to harbor the same obsessive homicidal grudge against each other that he feels for Elan. So when Elan decides to spare his life, and Roy and Julia have a Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moment right in front of him, he's left feeling bewildered. He's baffled when Vampire-Durkon chooses saving his friends over joining the Linear Guild after he regains his free will, though ironically, if he knew Durkula's true motivations, he might actually understand.
  • Evil Counterpart: Has an obsession with them, being himself Elan's Evil Twin and, presumably, inheriting some of his of father's love of using tropes.
  • Evil Genius: Definitely one, but his idea of how far this extends and the reality is... somewhat skewed. All in all, if he weren't a raging narcissist and were able to put aside his obsession with Elan, he'd be much more effective. Considering Lamarck Was Right for this universe, his father gives us an idea of how dangerous he could be.
  • Evil Gloating: Stock-in-trade for someone as full of himself as Nale.
    • It hilariously clashes with the 25-word limit on Sending spells.
    • #913 has a short but to the point one.
      Nale: His ashes smelled like burning leather. He suffered.
    • His father notes that it is a Fatal Flaw, since his desire to show he's better than everyone else drives him to gloat even when the situation calls for a low profile. In the strip where he dies, note that Nale is most of the way dead, has no allies to assist him, and surrounded by people who can easily kill him, plus their private army. And he still tries to gloat.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: His reaction to Durkon being vampirized? First shock, then "That's hilarious!!"
  • Evil Plan: Part of being an evil leader is having one. Though as noted elsewhere, they tend to fall apart.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Literally, in that it's his In-Universe character class and character alignment.
  • Evil Twin: Complete with Beard of Evil and Separated at Birth. And he's put a lot of effort into keeping that image, including his choice of minions.
  • Famous Last Words: Technically not the absolute last, but very meaningful:
    Nale: (to Tarquin) I want NOTHING from you! I am my own man, not some cog in your latest oh-so-clever game! I don't want your nepotism or your charity or your pity! I want NOTHING!
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His ego. Vaarsuvius thwarts a fake-out Kill Us Both by saying it is trite and cliché, like all of Nale's plans, which causes him to mouth off. His father Tarquin has little respect for him because of this, and claims that Nale's ego and Complexity Addiction keep him from ever becoming a truly formidable villain. The biggest irony is that Nale is very intelligent, but his megalomania prevents him from actually doing anything effective with it.
    • Literally becomes his fatal flaw in comic 913; Nale's pride means he wants to be a Self-Made Man, and he rejects his father in pursuit of this. In doing so, he severs all familial ties with his father as well as ends any potential use his father could get out of him. Thus, Tarquin kills Nale both because Nale has proven totally useless to him, if not an outright detriment, and to avenge the murder of Malack. And frankly, Nale got off easy, considering all the crap he's pulled toward Tarquin, who has horribly murdered people for far less.
  • For the Evulz: He occasionally does evil things just to screw with people. Like telling a sylph she'd been petrified for 1,000 years just to see her panic at being alone. He then says it was Worth It, even as she blasts him with lightning bolts.
  • Freudian Excuse: He was reared by his father Tarquin, although it is suggested he was already evil as an infant before he was placed under his care.
  • Graceful Loser: Although he does hold grudges for a long time, when his plans are in the process of falling apart, he just accepts defeat and exits the stage. This contrasts very strongly with his father, who can never ever let things go.
  • Hair Antennae: Like his brother and father.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Has to fight the urge to do this when he takes the place of Elan, and Vaarsuvius nearly catches him smooching Sabine (who quickly turns into a male guard). Sabine then reveals that they have used her shapeshifting for "experimentation".
  • Indy Ploy: Due to Contractual Genre Blindness, he rarely employs these, preferring his doomed Complexity Addiction-laden Evil Plans. But, when forced to drop all that and improvise, Nale is quite formidable.
  • Jerkass: Or more specifically...
  • Karmic Death: Arrogantly boasts about killing Malack to his father, Malack's best friend, and insists he wants nothing from his father, especially not pity or charity, while deriding his father is a weakling who is "past it" when it comes to being a villain. Tarquin unemotionally stabs him dead.
  • Kick the Dog / Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Borderline on both with his murder of Malack. Malack may have been evil, but the only reason he hated Nale was because he killed his vampire spawn. Nale not only subjected him to a horrible death, he claimed that killing the spawn was just so he could figure out the best way to kill him.
    • On the receiving end of the latter trope from Laurin Shattersmith, who disintegrates his corpse so he can't be resurrected.
  • Killed Off for Real: His corpse is disintegrated by Laurin to prevent his resurrection, as payment for him doing the same to Malack. The only thing that could bring him back now is a Wish, Miracle, True Resurrection (all of which are 9th level spells and as Haley pointed out there many not be anyone of high enough level to cast them in the world), or direct intervention from a deity.
  • Kill It with Fire: Nale decides to kill Malack by removing his Protection from Daylight spell, causing him to burst into flames.
  • Laughably Evil: Nale is a mass-murdering scumbag, but some of his comments are pretty funny, as is his massively inflated opinion of himself.
  • Master of None: As a multiclass fighter/rogue/sorceror, he has roughly the same set of abilities as his twin, but in an excessively complicated and, many would say, far less functionally useful way. One major advantage of a bard over Nale's needlessly complicated multiclassing is that despite being arcane casters, bards can cast healing spells (for the most part otherwise reserved for divine casters such as clerics). It's quite possible that he and Zz'dtri would still be alive if Nale could've cast healing spells after Girard's pyramid exploded. Like Elan did after the same explosion.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Nale (disguised as his brother) making out with a shapeshifted Sabine gives V such an impression about Elan in "Caught in the Act".
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: While disguised as Elan, to convince Elan's teammates.
  • My Beloved Smother: Gender-inverted, with his dad, if his rant is to be believed.
  • Nepotism: He hates it. He doesn't want his father's help, and doesn't want it because it involves living in his shadow. Unfortunately, when he emphatically declares that he doesn't want Tarquin's protection, Tarquin stabs him in the chest. Given the fact that Tarquin has murdered people for pinching his wife's butt, Nale got off easy considering the perpetual thorn in Tarquin's side he's been even before he killed Malack.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Sending the Order on a sidequest for Starmetal just to buy time to recruit replacements for his Guild resulted in Roy getting a much more powerful sword. Sabine lampshades this the moment he explains The Plan, but he's too sure of the sensibility of it to reconsider.
    • His murder of Malack causes Vampire!Durkon to regain his free will. Durkon immediately kills Zz'dtri and rejoins the Order.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Nale's a rather dangerous psychopath in his own right, but on the one occasion he abandoned his complexity addiction, he killed a vampire cleric massively more powerful than himself with a disarm, a Dispel Magic from Zz'dtri, and a vampire's weakness to sunlight — very Tarquin-ish.
  • Overlord Jr.: He may have been this in his backstory, but by the present he's struck out on his own after a failed coup attempt — and deeply resents any attempt to get him "up and running as part of the team" again.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil:
    • Malack, who outright admits he will kill Nale once he is no longer useful to Tarquin, and that Tarquin will let him do it. Nale pre-empts this and strikes first.
    • It turns out Tarquin was hoping that Nale would avert this by impressing him at Girard's Gate. If Nale had succeeded, Tarquin would have attempted to convince Malack and the rest of the team that Nale was worth keeping around. Then Nale kills Malack and rejects his father's offer and he gets his payment in full.
  • Pet the Dog: His genuine love for Sabine... however, we then find out it's maintained at least partially by human sacrifices, making it just another way in which he's evil.
  • Pride: His own father looks down on Nale because he's so proud it tends to make him do stupid things. Case in point: he had a perfectly good plan to track down Girard's gate and gain control of it, it was going well, and then he learned that the Order of the Stick was in town. Nale assumed they were there because they were after him, when in reality they didn't even know he was still alive, let alone in the same city as them. Between that and his desire to kill Elan, he couldn't resist striking at them immediately. As opposed to, say, waiting until they'd left the city to attack them so that nobody would interfere in the battle, or not even bothering to fight them at all and just trying to get to the gate ASAP. It doesn't turn out very well.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Overall, Nale is a spoiled brat who can't stand not getting what he wants... much like his father.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a brief one to his father, in strip #913.
    Nale: You don't even have the balls to go big anymore. You're just a scared old man, protecting his rut.
  • Reminiscing About Your Victims: Even though Malack's death was mere moments before, Nale clearly takes pleasure in the memory when he gloats about Malack dying in horrific pain.
    Nale: I killed Malack. I made him scream for his god in the desert sun. His ashes smelled like burning leather. He suffered.
  • The Resenter: His main motive. Nale wants to be his own person instead of a cog in his father's schemes, ever stuck in Tarquin's shadow. He particularly resents his father, because for all his resources, Tarquin only follows slow, pragmatic schemes and never tries to risk overreaching his grasp.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Tries this and fails after getting ambushed by Belkar. Luckily for him, his father picks up the slack.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: "Elan" backwards.
  • Self-Made Man: For all his many, many faults, Nale wants to achieve his goals by his own merits, without depending on any nepotism. It's one of the foundation roots for his pride.
  • Smug Snake: Nale is full of himself, and nowhere near as good as he thinks himself to be.
  • So Long, Suckers!: "+12 to Jump checks, sucker!"
  • The Starscream: To his father. Comic #913 has him pay the ultimate price for it.
  • Sticks to the Back: His longsword in the third arc, until he loses it to an Order Of The Stick ambush.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Nale eventually accomplished one of his long-term goals: destroying Malack.
  • Too Clever by Half: Though he can make airtight plans ahead of time, his ego and Complexity Addiction drive him to add more extravagant and complicating flourishes during execution. When he does have a sweeping success, his need to have his brilliance validated for it tends to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Nale is much more concerned with everyone knowing that he is the winner than actually winning, and tends to make terrible, dangerous, and overcomplicated plans as a result. Eventually, he is foolish enough to gloat about murdering Malack in front of Malack's friends, both of whom are far stronger than he is. His father, one of the friends, drags him aside and offers him one last chance at reconciliation, telling him that he lied when giving Malack permission to kill Nale. So Nale snaps, screaming out a lifetime of frustration at his father's lies, abuse, and manipulations, demands to be left alone and be allowed to be his own person. So Tarquin, in a scene mirroring Nale and Elan's first confrontation, kills him.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Although he explicitly helps maintain it with regular human sacrifices, Nale does genuinely love Sabine, and it's his most redeeming feature. He's noticeably distraught when Durkon's Holy Word banishes her back to the Lower Planes.
  • Wanted Poster: Gannji shows through this that Nale is wanted on the Western continent for betraying the Empire of Blood.
  • Weapon of Choice: A longsword.
  • We Can Rule Together: To Elan.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Averted. Despite being the evil Unfavorite of his evil father, Nale only wants for Tarquin to get out of his life and treat him like an adult rather than a plot device.

    Sabine 

Sabine

Disguised as human
True Succubus form

"...Oh, sorry, I kind of got distracted after you said the word 'three-way'."

Race: Succubus
Gender: Female
Class: Rogue
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Nale's evil Outsider (D&D speak for "native to one of the Outer Planes") girlfriend, eventually confirmed to be a succubus. Can shapeshift into any humanoid form. She's also the IFCC's direct agent in the Linear Guild.
  • The Ageless: As a succubus, she doesn't age.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Sabine inverts this, and Single Woman Seeks Good Man, in one fell swoop.
    Sabine: Sure, women like me swoon for a hero, but that's only because deep down, we think we can change them. But me, I'm done with that now. I want a nice, safe, reliable mass-murderer that I can depend on.
  • Anything That Moves: As a succubus, Sabine will have sex with anything, by nature.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Defines her relationship with Nale.
  • Bare Your Midriff: In her schoolgirl disguise, as well as her red bikini in the third arc.
  • Belly Buttonless: While having one when shapeshifted as a human, she lacks a bellybutton in her true form (since succubi are demons and thus not born like mammals with an umbilical cord).note 
  • Blue and Orange Morality / Deliberate Values Dissonance: Being a Succubus, she would have been perfectly okay with Nale having sex with Haley, but was angry over him killing her alone.
  • Dark Action Girl: She has a great deal of personal power and her energy drain ability makes fights with her even more brutal.
  • Depraved Bisexual: As is to be expected of a Succubus. Needless to say, Miko is not amused.
  • The Dragon: The consistent number two in the Linear Guild.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: She's covertly working for the IFCC as a mole inside the Linear Guild.
  • Enemy Mine: She provides inside information on the abilities of Tarquin's party to Vaarsuvius in the hopes that the elf will contribute to Tarquin's death. This is for revenge over Tarquin killing Nale. It's safe to say that she will side with The Order of the Stick if the latter ever returns to the Empire of Blood.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She truly loves Nale and confesses as much to him before Durkon's Holy Word banishes her to the Lower Planes. She is willing to help the good guys (or, more specifically, one good guy) beat the Empire of Blood because they killed off her sweetheart, and not because doing so will wreak more havoc in the long run (which should be her chief motivation as a Chaotic Evil outsider).
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Haley as the sneaky one and party Number Two.
    • Given that she's also an (evil) outsider in a relationship with the leader of the party, she could also be one for Celia.
  • Flight: Via her wings.
  • Game Face: Once she betrays the Order, horns sprout out of her head as well as wings out of her back. Her eyes also turn red.
  • Geisha: She takes the appearance of one while undercover in Azure City.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: The evil kind, naturally.
  • Head Turned Backwards: For a short time, after a Neck Snap from Miko.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather:
    Haley: She's wearing red leather. I mean, red leather?? Of course she's evil!
  • Horned Humanoid: When in her true form.
  • Horny Devils: There was debate for a long time on whether she was a succubus (demon seductress) or an erinyes (devil dominatrix). She was eventually confirmed to be a succubus.
  • Humanshifting: She can do "human", "dwarf", and also turn male. (By D&D rules, she can change into any Medium or Small humanoid form.)
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: "Suspicious Agreement":
    Malack: Is your vapid devil-whore still keeping you aloft?
    Sabine: HEY! Who are you calling a devil?note 
  • Kiss of Death: Her energy-draining kiss. Nale buys potions that provide immunity to this (in bulk) for their make-out sessions.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Being hit by Durkon's Holy Word banishes her for twenty-four hours.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Implied to be a gender-flipped version for her and Nale. She'll still sleep with other beings when he's not around, but she tells him she loves him and, for a succubus, she's quite loyal to him. She certainly takes his death very... personally.
  • Level Drain: Through her kiss.
  • Morphic Resonance: So far, her alternate forms have kept the same skin tone, and most often the same hair color (with a few exceptions).
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: For most of the comic, even when she was a deadly threat, her goofy One Track Mind and seemingly low intelligence were usually played for comedy. Once her lover dies, and dies for keeps due to Disintegration, she demonstrates exactly how intelligent she is by feeding Vaarsuvius huge piles of deadly-accurate and useful information about Tarquin and his allies. This leads to V's victory over Laurin.
  • Odd Friendship: Ever since Vaarsuvius unwittingly gave her some relationship advice, Sabine seems pretty fond of the elf. She even gives V some words of support when Vaarsuvius' soul is dragged down to hell. V's thoughts on the situation aren't entirely clear.
  • Power Perversion Potential: She can use shapeshifting for "experimentation".
  • Really Gets Around: She mentions sleeping with four different people while Nale was plotting to kill Haley. This was in a three hour period and she was in a hurry.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Their normal status in her real form. They may also seep through while she's in human form, like the first time we see them, thus giving a hing about her true nature.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Justified, as she needs to be able to unfurl her wings.
  • Shapeshifters Do It for a Change: It's stated that she and Nale have had sex with her in male form at least once.
  • Stripperific: She never was overdressed, but her third-arc outfit is basically a red bikini with boots.
  • Super Strength: She can easily lift Nale and carry him into the sky.
  • Sole Survivor: Currently the only active member of the guild left in play.
  • Tantrum Throwing: After witnessing Nale's death on the IFCC's blood plasma TV, she throws the whole couch she and V were sitting on at the screen.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Nale, even despite Qarr's warnings. It's clear to see that she would stay with Nale even if her superiors didn't say so.
  • Unholy Matrimony: She and Nale are really in love with one another, and have a very fulfilling relationship. Her last words before being banished to the Lower Planes are to tell Nale that she loves him. Those were her last words to him and he couldn't hear them.
  • The Vamp: Often pulls the "mysterious seductive" woman card to achieve goals. It's part of the succubus package.
  • Winged Humanoid: She has leathery bat-like wings in her true form.

    Thog 

Thog

"thog like breaking stuff."

Race: Half-orc
Gender: Male
Class: Barbarian/Fighter
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Half-orc barbarian (with a few levels of fighter) who loves puppies and ice cream, as well as hurting people. His slow-wittedness tends to endear him to the readership.
  • all lowercase bold letters: Although he switches to ALL UPPERCASE BOLD LETTERS while raging.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After mass murder and treason, he ended up in a gladiatorial arena for public urination.
  • An Axe to Grind: His default weapon and part of the traditional "rage" associated with it.
  • Berserk Button: It's about the only thing he and Roy remotely have in common. To compare:
    • In strip #114:
      Roy: You broke my sword. YOU BROKE MY SWORD!
    • In strip #795:
      Thog: talky-man broke thog's tusk. TALKY-MAN BROKE THOG'S TUSK!
  • The Brute: He's a dimwitted strongman for Nale's guild.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: He does a lot bumbling while helping Nale.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: He doesn't seem to remember some of the murders he committed off-panel. It's not clear whether he's only doing it to taunt Roy, or if he really doesn't remember.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Thog has levels in the Dungeoncrasher Fighter variant class, which he uses in "Smash". Among other things, it allows him to deal extra damage to an enemy by bullrushing him into a wall, also damaging the wall. Roy puts it to good use later in the fight.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Lots of odd ideas. For example he once put on a leprechaun costume to "get in touch with his inner greenness". Julio and Elan didn't get it either.
  • The Ditz: Intelligence was his dump stat, and it shows.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Thog's a lot more optimized than Roy. In an earlier strip, he also mentions that he only grabbed two levels of fighter for the feats and leveled the rest of the way as a barbarian. Under 3.5 D&D rules, as a half-orc his favored class is barbarian, so no multiclassing penalties would result. The first two levels of fighter really are the only ones worth grabbing, as you get two feats and additional armor proficiencies while only sacrificing two hit points. He makes smarter character build decisions than anyone else in either the Linear Guild or the Order of the Stick.
  • Dumb Muscle: As a fighter stereotype played straight, he's the complete opposite of Roy.
  • Dump Stat: Intelligence

(First Arc)

    Zz'dtri 

Zz'dtri

"..."

Race: Drow elf
Gender: Male
Class: Wizard (transmuter)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

A dark elf wizard and V's opposite number; unlike the ambiguously gendered V, he is defined as a male.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Double subverted. Nale claims that he wants to cast off the foul reputation of his evil brethen. Except he's one of those evil brethen.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Unlike Vaarsuvius, he is capable of teleporting and transforming his enemies into stone, and is able to resist magic.
  • Anti-Magic: As a drow, he has Spell Resistance. He renforced this with feats and "stuff".
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He's built himself up in the third arc specifically to defeat Vaarsuvius. Right up to boosting his own spell resistance to counter the vast majority of Vaarsuvius' spells.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: By adapting his entire build to defeat Vaarsuvius, a fellow wizard, he has left himself vulnerable to archers, which wouldn't have otherwise been a major concern. Later, despite being a transmuter theoretically capable of self-enhancement, he is ultimately effortlessly killed by a few whacks of a staff and a Neck Snap.
  • Death or Glory Attack: See "Taking You with Me" below.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: His neck is rather unceremoniously snapped by the High Priest of Hel after the latter regains his free will.
  • Dual Wielding: Twin scimitars.
    Zz'dtri: They're standard issue.
  • Elfeminate: Before he cut his hair, giving him a more obviously boyish appearance.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Vaarsuvius.
  • Familiar: Qarr following his reappearance, although Qarr doesn't fit with the D&D definition of a Familiar (a normal animal that due to its relationship with its owner, both receives special abilities and grants them to the owner. The Feat Improved Familiar does allow Imps to serve as familiars, though).
  • Flesh to Stone: Likes casting this spell when he has the element of surprise.
  • Flight: With a house-ruled E 3.0 Fly spell.
  • Neck Snap: Vampire!Durkon kills him off via this method.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Helping Nale kill Malack freed Durkon from Malack's control, who promptly killed Z.
  • In Series Nick Name: Z
  • Overused Copycat Character: He starts out as yet another blatant Drizzt ripoff. V defeats him by pointing this out, prompting the two lawyers to drag him off.
  • Parody Retcon: A bizarre example in that he declared himself, in-universe, to be a parody of Drizzt rather than a copy. This allowed him to get off scott-free.
  • Pointy Ears: Drow share this trait with other elves.
  • Prophet Eyes:
    Blackwing: I'm gonna fly up there and pecks your Little Orphan Annie eyes out!
  • Put on a Bus: Dragged off by the lawyers for copyright infringement and seemingly written out of the comic. "Seemingly" being the operative word. The Bus Came Back, though it took more than 700 strips.
  • The Quiet One: Part of what makes him the talkative V's opposite.
  • Shock and Awe: Favors lightning spells.
  • Significant Anagram / Punctuation Shaker: His name.
  • Sinister Scimitar: Of course. However, unlike in the Drizzt case, this is played straight. As a wizard specializing in transmutation, he is capable of self-enhancement to fight beyond the limitations of his class.
  • Squishy Wizard: Very weak to outright physical assault if he hasn't had time to buff. Demonstrated first when V defeats him with a Dominated archer, then again when a newly-free-willed Vampire!Durkon beats him half to death with a Simple Staff before effortlessly breaking his neck.
  • Static Character: As a result of him not talking much and being introduced solely as a parody, he gets less depth than probably any of the other Linear Guild members. Later, after The Bus Came Back, he gets slightly more depth (i.e. his rivalry with V and Villainous Friendship with Nale), but not much.
  • Taking You with Me: Before being dealt the finishing blow in the third arc, he uses Plane Shift to send Vaarsuvius to... the Semi-Elemental Plane of Ranch Dressing. Zz'dtri intended to send him to the Demiplane of Extremely Painful Torture, but the humiliation is still there. (It's worth noting that, as Conjuration is a barred school, V could not get back to the Material Plane on his own.)
  • Sore Loser: During both of his battles with Vaarsuvius, he almost won while they fought using conventional methods. However, Vaarsuvius ultimately prevails in both battles by thinking outside the box. The first time is enough to goad him into gearing his entire build towards defeating Vaarsuvius. The second time he accuses Vaarsuvius of cheating.
  • Teeth Flying: When Durkon is released from vampire thralldom and offered a position on the Linear Guild in honor of Durkon's Face Monster Turn, Durkon smacks Zz'dtri with Malack's staff in the face hard enough to knock out several teeth.
  • Terse Talker: To contrast with Vaarsuvius.
    Vaarsuvius: BURN, you insufferably terse dullard!
  • Two Aliases, One Character: For a time, was in disguise in the Empire of Blood, masquerading as the Elven ambassador Polozius.
  • Villain Teleportation: Unlike Vaarsuvius, he is capable of casting Teleport or Dimension Door.
  • Visible Silence: One contrast with Vaarsuvius who is a fan of Wall of Text.
  • Walking Spoiler: Because he unexpectedly reappeared as the Linear Guild's arcane caster after over 700 strips.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: Averted; his lightning bolts have an unusual green color.

    Hilgya Firehelm 

Hilgya Firehelm

"Oh, golly, I'm soooo sorry I can't get worked up by what a bunch of dead dwarves think about my personal life. MY personal life, as in MY business."

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Female
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

A female dwarf cleric of Loki, who was briefly Durkon's love interest, until he learned she was married.

    Yikyik 

Yikyik

"He totally provoked me! He left my threatened area!"

Race: Kobold
Gender: Male
Class: Ranger
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

A kobold ranger; effectively an orange Belkar-esque lizard.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His son loves him dearly, and describes him as a good father.
  • Evil Counterpart: Played with; he's a counterpart to Belkar, but he's evil because he's exactly like Belkar and Belkar is evil.
  • Expy: Rich explained in the commentaries that Yikyik is Belkar in kobold form.
  • Jerkass: Because he's like Belkar.
  • Character Death: Belkar turned his corpse into a hat.
  • Lizard Folk: He is a kobold.
  • Nice Hat: Belkar makes him into one.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: He considers someone "leaving his threatened area" (and thus being open for an attack of opportunity) as reason enough to strike. Twice in a row (thanks to the feat "combat reflexes"). Also a Mythology Gag — this is the exact language the Dungeons & Dragons PHB uses. "Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes an attack of opportunity from the threatening opponent."

(Second Arc)

    Pompey 

Pompey

"I hate elves! Stupid oppressive kinsmen, they should all die painfully!"

Race: Half-elf
Gender: Male
Class: Wizard (conjurer)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

A half-elf conjurer from the Warthog's School of Wizardry and Sorcery, and Zz'dtri's replacement as Vaarsuvius's evil opposite.

    Leeky Windstaff 

Leeky Windstaff

"Druids always pick the hard way; it encourages natural selection."

Race: Gnome
Gender: Male
Class: Druid
Alignment: Neutral Evil

An evil gnome druid who replaces Hilgya as Durkon's opposite, a role in which he fits very well with his habit of animating trees to send them rampaging.
  • They Called Me Mad!:
    Leeky: The other druids may have kicked me out of their circle... called me mad. MAD!
    But NOW who is advancing the cause of environmental preservation? Bwa hahahaha!
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: He wild-shapes into a giant bear monster to fight Durkon.
  • When Trees Attack: Parodied, yet still dangerous.

    Kitty 

Kitty

Leeky's hawk animal companion.

    Yokyok 

Yokyok

"Hello. My name is Yokyok. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Race: Kobold
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown (probably Duelist)
Alignment: Lawful Good (possibly Lawful Neutral due to his willingness to let Nale and company rampage uncontested for the sake of his vengeance)

A Lawful Good kobold; son of Yikyik and intent to avenge his death at Belkar's hands.

(Third Arc)

    Yukyuk 

Yukyuk

"Yeeeeehah! Sneak attack!"

Race: Kobold
Gender: Male
Class: Ranger/Rogue
Alignment: Unknown (probably Evil)

A new kobold member of the group, naturally another Belkar equivalent.

    Sir Scraggly 

Sir Scraggly

"Grrrrr!"

Yukyuk's riding dog mount — thus providing an opposite to Belkar's feline companion.

    Qarr 

    Tarquin 

    Malack 

    Kilkil 


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