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The various familiars, paladin mounts, animal companions and other pets affiliated with the characters.
Animal companions of the Order of the Stick
Alignment: True Neutral
Vaarsuvius's raven familiar. V ignored Blackwing for years, and in fact never even named him — it was Haley who gave the bird its less-than-original moniker. For most of the comic's run, Blackwing just disappears until V remembers needing him, but from the start of Book 5 V is trying to make up for the years of neglect, while Blackwing acts as the elf's much-needed conscience.
- Achievements in Ignorance: Invoked. In need of a magical attack, he manages to find a scroll Vaarsuvius was scribing earlier, a harmless Locate Creature spell that would be useless even if he knew how to use it. However, he proceeds to weaponize his complete inability to activate it by deliberately causing the magic within the scroll to explode, creating the magical attack he needed.note
- Adorkable: Half his appeal is just how much of a dork he is. When V informs him that their back-up plan for protecting the Mechane is polymorphing him into a gigantic Roc, he's torn between outrage and giddy anticipation. When V confirms they will not sit on Blackwing's shoulder and pretend to be his familiar, he decides on outrage.
- Amplifier Artifact: The Orange Prism Ioun Stone he seized from Laurin is turned into a bracelet by a gnome artificer that he can now wear on his leg, granting its power to Vaarsuvius when he's close, but staying Blackwing's possession.
- And I Must Scream: Blackwing never made a deal with the Fiends, but his soul is still connected to Vaarsuvius's. As such, he's dragged down to hell along with V when the Fiends call in their deal.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: He is still a raven, after all, and tends to fixate on shiny objects at inopportune times. Also, Blackwing's first reaction to V being turned into a lizard is to try to eat them.Blackwing: Wait a second, is that a bauble? I could use a shiny new bauble.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Downplayed. It is implied that Blackwing wished for Vaarsuvius to remember his existence more often.note Following Book 4, V starts keeping Blackwing around permanently, granting his wish. This decision is usually shown to be positive for both parties. However, it does prevent Blackwing from popping out of existence in times of danger like he used to, leading to him being captured alongside V by bounty hunters and trapped by a Swarm of Rats summoned by a vampire. Blackwing explicitly complains about this fact during the former occasion.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Early in the comic he only appears in order to be involved in jokes about arcane casters neglecting or abusing their familiars. Then O-Chul and Vaarsuvius need someone who can fly as part of their plan to destroy Xykon's phylactery, and he gets a promotion to one of the main cast.
- Clever Crows: While not without his own moments of irrationality (especially when shiny objects are involved), he has enough common sense to advise V on morality-related matters and has seen through Qarr's attempted deceptions more than once.
- The Conscience: To Vaarsuvius. He helps the elf hold their temper and calls them out on their shit.
- Cool Shades: He owns a pair, for the purpose of "sassily telling people to Deal With It".
- Crying Wolf: Tries to use his empathy link with Vaarsuvius to alert V of a danger via fear and righteous anger vibes. It doesn't work, since Blackwing always feels like that when someone just looks at his bracelet.Blackwing: Ugh, this is all that wolf-crying boy's fault, whoever he is.
- Dark Is Not Evil: An aversion of Creepy Crows; he may be a black bird, but he's definitely one of the good guys.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's obviously taking hints from his wizard.Blackwing: Oh no, you would never ignore someone to whom you are bonded. Whatever was I thinking?
- Disembodied Eyebrows: Blackwing has the same range of eyebrow expressions as other characters, but being quite small those brows appear above his head.
- Drama Queen: Sometimes. Laurin hit him with a psionic attack, knocking him to the ground. V later determines him to be fine.Vaarsuvius: You are not injured. You have a slight smudge of dirt on three of your feathers.
Blackwing: LO, THE ICY TALONS OF DEATH APPROACH!
- Elective Unintelligible: Up to the end of Book 4, at least. Blackwing can speak Common, but considers it demeaning to speak anything but his native raven language — to Vaarsuvius, anyway. Later, once V thanks Blackwing for his noble efforts and starts treating him like a sentient being, he starts talking.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: As the above quote shows, he's proud of his heritage. He also tells a polymorphed Bloodfeast he's a "big fan" of his "work".
- Familiar: He is V's bonded creature as an arcane spellcaster. V can summon him and communicate telepathically.
- Fanboy: Is a big fan of Bloodfeast.
- Feather Fingers: He rarely manipulates things with his wings (although it can happen, notably with scrolls), but he often gestures with them (even while flying), most commonly to "raise a finger" or point at someone.
- Fire-Forged Friends: His relationship with Vaarsuvius becomes this at the end of the "Don't Split the Party" arc.
- Flight: He's a bird. Although strangely, he suffers from airsickness while on an airship, which puzzles Vaarsuvius. Blackwing suggests V get strapped to a bathtub on a boulder and roll down a hill before making a judgment.
- Good Counterpart: To Qarr. Whereas Qarr wanted to tempt V to descend further into evil, Blackwing consistently acts as V's conscience, trying to help him/her be a better person.
- Indy Ploy: In a pinch, he weaponizes an utterly harmless spell by reading the scroll so terribly it triggers a Magic Misfire.
- It Has Been an Honor: While he's swarmed by rats, he says this to the other animal companions:Blackwing: I just want to say that it's been an honor and a privilege serving as animal buddies with all of you.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: A little while after being blasted with... whatever psionic power Laurin used on him, he dramatically overreacts for a smudge of dirt over three feathers.
- Morality Pet: Offers guidance to Vaarsuvius to try and avoid a repeat of past transgressions. It must be effective on some level, as Qarr's immediate priority on crossing paths with the Order again is to try and get Blackwing out of the way.
- Non-Human Sidekick: A raven for an elf.
- Not Now, Kiddo: V doing it to Blackwing. Turns out that elf is Zz'dtri in disguise, and he ambushes them shortly thereafter.Blackwing: Hey, was that elf glaring at you?
Vaarsuvius: Now is not the time.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Played with; the rest of the party doesn't remember him, so they think V is casting an illusion of a raven. Then it turns out that with the exception of Elan, the Order was just messing with V.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: When he has to buy diamond dust in stead of V after the elf got thrown out of the magic shop, he puts on a sombrero, a fake beard and mustache, and affects a Mexican accent. How convincing this is for a raven is left to your imagination.
- Parrot Pet Position: Starting with book 5, since he no longer disappears when not needed, he is frequently riding on V's shoulder. This can sometimes look weird, since stick figures in this comic have heads bigger than their shoulders are wide.
- Psychic Link: With Vaarsuvius; it's part of the familiar thing. It doesn't allow full communication, though, just transmitting feelings.
- Remember the New Guy?: Played with. The rest of the Stick members seemingly forgot that V ever had a familiar to begin with because of the wizard's neglect. This leads to them thinking V has an illusion on their shoulder, infuriating the elf to no end. However, it is later revealed that Haley had simply been messing with V. Elan, not so much.Blackwing: Now that you feel my pain, the healing can begin.
- Running Gagged: He originally showed up in the comic only as a gag, only appearing for short periods when V happened to need him for something. V summoning him as part of their attempt to destroy Xykon's phylactery was deliberately written as a conclusion to this Running Gag, as Rich Burlew thought that it would be impossible for any future iteration of the joke to have a greater impact than that. V's desire to keep Blackwing around permanently also serves as a signal of the wizard's Character Development, showing their intention to atone for their past mistakes.
- Sarcastic Devotee: Since they mended their differences, he's a loyal familiar for his wizard, but never shy from calling out the elf's mistakes.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: "Screw THAT! You're on your own, mammal!"
- So Proud of You: To V in "No Running, No Hiding". V tolerates it, though still feels too guilty to deserve praise.
- Squee!: Is really excited about Vaarsuvius and Laurin fighting.Blackwing: Ooooooo! Caster fight! Caster fight!
- Talking Animal: A trait for raven familiars, though before he refused to talk in anything but his native raven given V's mistreatment of him, and therefore only communicated in caws and through V's empathic link.Vaarsuvius: I thought you said that speaking in Common was demeaning!
Blackwing: No, I said that speaking to you in Common was demeaning. Try not to remind me why.
- Thieving Magpie: Blackwing has a penchant for "baubles". It's mostly Played for Laughs, though at one point he does snag a useful ioun stone when he attacks an enemy psion.
- Typical Cartoon Animal Colors: As a raven, Blackwing should have a black beak and legs; his yellow beak and feet make him more closely resemble a male common blackbird than a raven. Being all-black, however, would make him less visually interesting and make his expressions harder to read.
- Vitriolic Best Buds:
- Even after mending their differences, V will still occasionally quip at Blackwing, and the raven gives back as good as he gets.Gnome artificer: Because really, who wants an annoying little thing zipping around, flying in front of your face when you're trying to cast?
Vaarsuvius: I concur, but unfortunately he is my familiar and I am stuck with him.
- Also with Mr. Scruffy. Blackwing being a bird, the cat's first reflex is to chase after him, and a strip from "Blood Runs in the Family" shows them alternating Road Runner vs. Coyote antics. But when confronted with a Swarm of Rats together, they prove an excellent team.
- Even after mending their differences, V will still occasionally quip at Blackwing, and the raven gives back as good as he gets.
- Wham Line: "You're welcome." It comes at a shock for both Vaarsuvius and the audience when Blackwing says it, because it's the very first time he expressed himself in Common in the comic, and also because he was refusing to talk to V until now.
Alignment: True Neutral
An ordinary white cat, at first Lord Shojo's pampered pet. He is then adopted by Belkar and becomes his animal companion.
- Action Pet: He effortlessly disembowels a human gladiator in one round. Somewhat downplayed, as the gladiator admits he is only a level 1 commoner.
- Art Evolution: The cat originally had black "stick figure" legs like other animals; only later (after the fall of Azure City) did the legs get depicted as white lines.
- Berserk Button: Just as threatening Mr. Scruffy will set off Belkar, threatening Belkar will set off Mr. Scruffy. If you're lucky, you might be able to keep your intestines.
- Cats Are Mean: Averted. He's usually sweet... unless you threaten Belkar.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Hisses at Durkon; it's unclear whether this is because he's now a vampire or because he previously fed off Belkar. He's perfectly OK with Belkar's evilness.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Blackwing and Bloodfeast after the Order's animal companions fight a Swarm of Rats together. He's even shown having a caring moment for the Allosaurus-turned-lizard.
- Fluffy the Terrible: His name isn't exactly terrifying, but he's more than capable of disemboweling someone in one attack.
- Formally Named Pet: Mister.
- Good Counterpart: To Sir Scraggly.
- Head Pet: To Yukyuk, while the latter is dominated.
- The Hedonist: He doesn't want much from life, as his idea of a perfect world is to simply have his tummy endlessly stroked by Lord Shojo and to be fed an infinite supply of fishes by Belkar. In short, he's a cat.
- Killer Rabbit: Proved in "The Duel Everyone's Been Waiting For", and justified by D&D 3.5 rules. All successful attacks deal at least one point of damage, and cats get up to three a round. An EL1 encounter of four stray cats can easily wipe out most 1st level adventurers (with actual class levels!) in a single round, especially if the cats use their insane racial stealth bonuses to launch a surprise attack. This is why first-level commoners don't walk down alleyways at night. That's dangerous enough on its own, but Mr. Scruffy in particular is the animal companion to a high-level ranger, making him a lot deadlier.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Belkar's ranger animal companion.
- Morality Pet: For Belkar... though he's still Chaotic Evil, only a little bit less so.
- Right-Hand Cat: To Lord Shojo, and then Belkar.
- Super Strength: Briefly, when the belt of Giant Strength fell on him.
- Team Pet: Because Belkar adopted him, he is this for the Order.
- Timmy in a Well: With Durkon, in "The Papers Chase".
- Took a Level in Badass: Went from a pampered, probably overweight (given what Lord Shojo counts as "table scraps") pet to the lean (after weeks of living on rice and the occasional salted fish), deadly dangerous animal companion of a ranger. Just contrast his original reaction to his old master getting killed (to flee in panic, a natural reflex) with his fierce attacks in response to anyone threatening or hurting Belkar. The stat bonuses he got for becoming an animal companion certainly help.
- Typhoid Mary: Contracted Sphinx Pox at the desert and have spread it to the rest of the order. Fortunately, the incubation time is 5 weeks, which frustrates Hel.
Bloodfeast the Extreme-inator
Alignment: True Neutral
Belkar's Allosaurus, seized from the Empire of Blood's army toward the end of Book 5.
- Androcles' Lion: It is very well-disposed toward Belkar because the halfling freed it to rampage and feast on Empire soldiers. It also quickly makes friends with the other pets, partly thanks to Blackwing saving him.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Named by Belkar.
- Baleful Polymorph: Turned into a lizard thanks to Miron. It makes it handily transportable.
- Chekhov's Gunman: After its first appearance at the colosseum, you wouldn't expect it to show again, and yet it does, in a big way.
- Deathbringer the Adorable: Following said polymorph.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: One thing Belkar agrees on with Elan — as long as it's a vicious carnivore.
- Informed Species: Its size and head shape make it resemble a Carcharodontosaurus a bit more than a real Allosaurus.
- Made of Iron: As per D&D rules, Bloodfeast after being polymorphed retains the hit points of a full-grown Allosaurus (around 171) despite its current form as a small lizard (which would have about 2). This is why Bloodfeast isn't even mildly inconvenienced by the vampire cleric's rat swarm or the subsequent explosion; despite its size, it has a similar hit point total to Roy.
- Morphic Resonance: It keeps the stripes, coloration and stocky build of its Allosaurus form as a lizard.
- No One Gets Left Behind: As the Order is fleeing from the Empire of Blood on Scoundrèl's airship, Belkar refuses to leave Bloodfeast behind and be killed by the empire for helping them, leading Blackwing to go back and bring it along.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: As a small lizard, he makes adorable noises when he sleeps.
- Tyrannosaurus rex: Close enough: it even has two fingers, like a T. rex, as opposed to an Allosaurus's three fingers. It's also notably bigger than a legit Allosaurus should be (though that can be explained by the D&D rules for improving monsters), closer to the size of a full-grown T. rex.
- Vehicular Turnabout: Well, it's not exactly a vehicle, but close enough: besides eating gladiators in the arena, the Allosaurus is used as shock trooper by the Empire of Blood's army. Until Belkar (for once acting like a Ranger) connects with it, kills its handler, and commandeers the dinosaur for the Order of the Stick.
Animal companions of Team Evil
Redcloak: Yeah, they really rip up the walls. Especially the fourth wall.
Demon-Roach: That joke is dedicated to all you fans out there!
A group of fiendish insects who follow the villains around, making sarcastic comments and pop culture references along the way.
- Affably Evil: They're humorous and entertaining enough that you can't help but like them.
- The Artifact: Their peculiar style of Speech Bubbles was common early on in the comic for aside comments or mumbling to oneself. However, this was phased out by Book 3, and nowadays the Demon-roaches are the only ones to still use it.
- Breath Weapon: They have a small fire breath, though it's used more often as a lighter than as a weapon.
- Character Alignment: Being fiendish creatures from the Abyss, most definitely Chaotic Evil.
- Fourth-Wall Observer: Even more so than the Oracle, if only because they get more screen time.
- Evil Counterpart: Apparently, there are Angel Roaches as seen in Xykon's tower, so these guys are this to them.
- Greek Chorus: They're part of the story but they spend most of their time commenting on it instead of partaking.
- Lack of Empathy: They might be harmless and hilarious, but they're still literally Made of Evil. The closest any of them has come to caring about anyone but itself is when a survivor cheers when O-Chul gets blasted during his duel with Xykon because he is a "roach-killer", and it's one of them that callously tells the Monster in the Darkness that no-one cares that Tsukiko is dead.
- No Body Left Behind: They "pop" out of existence when killed, returning to the Lower Plane they originate from.
- Pungeon Masters: "He besieged me with science!" is just one example.
- Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: The character relationship chart in book four list them as this, specifically to the Monster in the Darkness.
- Speech Bubbles: The Demon-roaches all speak with red texts without bubbles and just a connector.
- Talking Animals: Vocally snarking roaches.
- Team Pets: They follow Team Evil around.
Alignment: Unknown (probably neutral)
Oona's flying mount.
- Bizarre Alien Senses: Not gone into detail, but it's a Yrthak; its horn is an echolocation broadcasting and signalling organ, allowing it to perceive the world around it through sound.
- Eyeless Face: Has no eyes or even sockets on its face, as its horn grows about where its eyes should be. Like all Yrthaks, it uses echolocation projected from its horn to perceive the world around it.
- Giant Flyer: Ridden by a bugbear.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: When trying to work out what it is, O-Chul describes it as a "sonic reptilian unicorn", prompting Lien to thank him for naming her future punk band.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Seemingly based on bats, all Yrthaks are blind and can project a damaging sonic attack.
- Meaningful Name: Named after the Yrthak's "sonic lance" attack.
- Palette Swap: It has an unusual coloration for a Yrthak, being a snowy grey-white instead of their usual green.
- Underground Monkey: Lancer lives in a frozen wilderness, despite Yrthaks normally preferring forested areas, which combined with its Palette Swap suggests that it's a member of an arctic subspecies.
Alignment: Probably Neutral Evil
Oona's worg companion.
- The Eeyore: His fur is as iron-grey as his cynical and constantly depressed mood. Nothing will turn out well in the end, and he finds ways to tell you this.
- Establishing Character Moment: When the Monster in the Darkness says that he doesn't want to do bad things just because he'll be fed, Greyview tersely states that when he dies, the only thing he'll remember is that he didn't eat enough treats.
- The Fatalist: Death is inevitable, so you might as well give up and live for what treats you can get.
- The Hedonist: An unusually dour example: he insists that the only certainty in life is you will never get enough treats before your inevitable death.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Despite his gloomy personality and stated dislike of the "grim specter of noogie", he briefly drops his scowl and wags his tail when Oona returns from her hunt and gives him a hug.
- Meaningful Name: Has a pessimistic ("grey") view of life.
- Perpetual Frowner: He only drops his constant grumpy furrowed brow once: when Oona greets him with a hug after coming back from a hunt. He even wags his tail.
- Servile Snarker: While he serves Oona loyally, he has a very pessimistic view of almost everything she does.
- Straw Nihilist: A comedic example. He speaks only to complain about the inevitability of death or to cast a bitter pall over even the simplest of his mistress's comments.
- Talking Animal: As a worg, Greyview is able to converse with others in "Common".
- Yes-Man: Will agree to anything for a treat.
Animal companions of the Linear Guild
Gender: Female (presumably)
Alignment: True Neutral
Leeky Windstaff's hawk animal companion, who he summons to stop Haley from taking potshots at him from a building.
- Feathered Fiend: A bird that does its evil master's bidding.
- Immune to Bullets: Courtesy of a Stoneskin spell, she's immune to arrows, which causes big problems for Haley.
- Loyal Animal Companion: To Leeky, as a druid class feature.
- Single-Stroke Battle: With Roy.
- Stealth Pun: "You named your hawk Kitty?"
Alignment: True Neutral
Yukyuk's riding dog mount — thus providing an opposite to Belkar's feline companion.
- Brick Joke: In a reference to a much earlier strip in which Belkar expressed a preference for a wolf as a mount, but was stuck with a wiener dog.
- Canis Major: Compared to his kobold master, who is small enough to ride him.
- Canine Companion: Yukyuk's riding dog mount
- Evil Counterpart: To Mr. Scruffy.
- Formally Named Pet: Sir Scraggly.
- The Nose Knows: He spots Mr. Scruffy by smell.
- Right-Hand Attack Dog: Yukyuk's riding dog mount.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After his master is dominated and he is hit through a wall by Mr. Scruffy, he's never seen again.
Animal companions of the Sapphire Guard
Miko's paladin warhorse mount and, as it is implied, her only friend in the world.
- Cool Horse: Paladin warhorse.
- Hero Antagonist: Just as his paladin — especially for Belkar, since he's evil.
- Hilarity Sues: He has Phil Rodriguez serve a restraining order to Belkar. It doesn't end well.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Miko's only friend. His loyalty even extends into the afterlife.
- Put on a Bus: After Miko's fall, he's stuck in the Celestial Realms.
- Sapient Steed: Intelligent enough to fight Belkar on his own.
- Shout-Out: To Pokémon — "Windstriker, I choose you!"
- White Stallion: As fitting for a paladin's mount, Windstriker is a white warhorse.
Hinjo's paladin mount, a large silver-hued wolf.
- Canis Major: He's big enough for Hinjo and one other person to ride.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Paladin's celestial mount.
- Meaningful Name: Is named after the French word for "silver"; see Silver Has Mystic Powers below. Lampshaded: the strip this fact is introduced in is called "His Name Probably Helps, Too".
- Noble Wolf: The steed of a Lawful Good paladin couldn't be anything but noble.
- Shout-Out: To Pokémon, again — "Argent, I choose you!"
- Silver Has Mystic Powers: He has silver tooth fillings that make his attacks more deadly towards devils.
- Sweet Tooth: Lord Shojo fed him a 20-lb. tub of strawberry cake frosting.
Lien's paladin mount, a great white shark.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Another paladin's celestial mount.
- Meaningful Name: "Razor" is sure a fine name for a sleek shark with rows of sharp teeth.
- Shout-Out: To Pokémon, still — "Razor, I choose you!"
- Threatening Shark: A play on the trope, since it's a holy paladin mount and thus on the side of good. Still bad news for the villains, of course.
Other animal companions
Alignment: True Neutral
Veldrina's pet tiger.
- Fluffy the Terrible: "Little Whiskers" sure evokes more a small kitten than a tiger. Then again, he doesn't seem that terrible for what we've seen of him.
- Lovable Coward: He's scared of climbing aboard an airship, and is easily cowed by Mr. Scruffy staring into his eyes.
- Panthera Awesome: A large tiger is sure an impressive companion. Though it can be problematic since not all (air)ships will accept one on board.