The Surgeon General has generally recommended pregnant women or women who are nursing avoid Potions of Heroism. Consult your Healer with questions or to see if Potions of Heroism are right for you.

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Order of the Stick!

(From The Order of the Stick! Click on the thumbnail for full sized stereotypical cravings!)

With the end of the last major storyline, Rich Burlew took the opportunity to divide his cast while putting the Order's leader -- action Roy Greenhilt -- out of contact through death. While this greatly increased his storytelling abilities -- letting him progress to a certain point on one side, then moving to the other where enough has happened to put things into a whole new in media res situation -- the other advantage this has granted is an increased secondary cast. Each subgroup of the Order of the Stick has its own supporting cast, its own antagonists, and its own situations to work through. Where once the strip was essentially the primary adventurers and their primary antagonists, now Burlew has a device that lets him develop his world and the people who live in it.

These two -- Kazumi Kato and her husband Daigo (last name withheld in case of emergency as an anti Redshirt function) -- are probably my favorite of these new supporting character. Two soldiers who have become adventurers, the pair has developed a relationship on the periphery of the Order's activities, culminating in their marriage and Kazumi's pregnancy. On the one hand, the pair have become yet another example of the various d20 jokes and roleplaying convention parodies that populate the strip. On the other, they're just a nice example of a couple of budding heroes who have essentially no angst in them no matter what's happening around them. Sure, their city's been invaded and occupied, their liege is on the run for his life, and there's always the danger of Ninja Attack, but on the other hand they're gaining levels and they have each other, and they're pretty happy.

That may be about to change, with Daigo unconscious and Kazumi fighting for her life while many months pregnant... but with today's strip, I can't say I'm seeing any down side. Frankly, this made me laugh for fifty-two minutes straight, and even now I find myself muttering "why should I care how many people I have to kill? I can just make more in my TUMMY!" and giggling all over again.

In a way, this is the fantasy equivalent of one of my favorite Super Stupor strips. In lots of fiction, the most kick-ass of women becomes little more than a helpless plot device, unable to do anything to save herself when someone shows up to kill her -- at least until some (male) hero comes and saves her helpless pregnant body.

Not so here. Burlew put Daigo down fast, and let the "helpless" Kazumi to herself. And, flush with hormones and righteous anger, she has proceeded to slaughter all in her way. It's not like she's endangering her unborn child more than helplessly waiting to be stabbed, after all. And she is, in the end, a hero, and the idea that a pack of low level ninja assassins are going to take her down just because -- in her words -- "her egg's perimeter was breached" is just plain ridiculous.

Power to her. Win or lose, triumph or tragedy, this was downright kick-ass.

13 Comments

I agree, I'm very fond of those characters.

The other thing I'm fond of is how Elan is transforming into a kind of Maxwell Smartish brand of stupid. You know the best of the old Get Smart shows portrayed Smart as being a cunning opportunist one second and insanely, teeth-achingly stupid the next? It seems like Elan has been drifting in that direction ever since he took a level of dashing swordsman... but with the group split in two it's become more noticeable.

"Lead with the belly. Follow with the sword." - Most Fruitful Yuuki

^_^ And half of the fun is found in the forums where the posters desparately seek to find ways in which the ninja could have justifiably one-shotted Daigo and then been one-shotted by Kazumi, by standard 3.5 rules. Unless, of course, this is one of thsoe places where Rich has inserted elements of 4E and that ninja was a minion... although the fixed damage of minions probably argues against that.

I'm fascinated by the people in the forums who are trying to simultaneously apply Real World Logic ("How could she do that? She's pregnant and couldn't stand up that fast!") *and* Game Rules Logic ("She should be flanked and provoking Attacks of Opportunity!"), completely ignoring the self-evident fact that Order of the Stick operates on Story Logic at all times.

I had to be dragged to this comic, kicking and screaming. Stick Figures? Gah.

I've... learned better.

I've been loving the Order of the Stick strips lately, though I'm really not sure where they're going, I'm glad that I'm along for the ride.

Oh, by the way - have you heard the latest from Paragon City? They've just announced Issue 13.

My kid has just recently found OotS. She is marathoning it, and thinks that Thok is cool and just needs a better upbringing. I do believe I approve of Kick-Butt pregnant women. O:>

Agreed on all counts.

It's generally a strong strip, but that episode really knocked it out of the park.

You know, those GitP forums remind me of Knights of the Dinner Table... the one time Sarah tried to get the others to read a fantasy novel she liked, and the other guys couldn't stand it because it just didn't make any sense in Hackmaster.

I knew Jolly Blackburn was right when he did that comic... I didn't need Rich Burlew's fans to prove it.

While you're at it, how about some love for Erfworld? ("They're tragically malicious!")

Even when I dropped almost all of my webcomics for a while due to lack of time, I still read OotS regularly, and have bought every book in preorder. (My War and XPs shipped today!) This particular installment made me giggle to no end.

Of course, the question now: Does the kid get XP for this?

I'm half expecting the kid to pull an Obelix and gain a permanent buff from his mom imbibing a potion while he was in the womb.

"Please also consult your Healer if your Potion of Heroism last for more than four hours or two consecutive encounters." (E.B-W, you maybe on to something.)

Montykins: I was thinking along the same lines, specifically the Inverse Ninja Law.

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