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Encyclopedia > Elan (Order of the Stick)

Elan, in his Dashing Swordsman outfit, is reunited with Banjo the Clown (his self-proclaimed deity). Drawn by Rich Burlew. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Publisher Giant In The Playground
First appearance The Order of the Stick #1
Created by Rich Burlew
Affiliations Order of the Stick
Abilities Competent musician, good knowledge of theatrics and genre conventions, limited abilities in magic (particularly Illusions), charm and charisma that can be used for offensive purposes, increased combat proficiency as long as he says a catchphrase or pun before striking

Elan (IPA: /ˈiːǀɜn/)[1] is a major character in the webcomic, The Order of the Stick, written and drawn by Rich Burlew. Originally a Bard, he has now taken a level as a Dashing Swordsman, an obscure prestige class (made up specifically for the webcomic). In comic books, first appearance refers to first comic book to feature a character. ... The Order of the Stick, nicknamed OotS, is a comedic fantasy webcomic based on the genre of pen and paper roleplaying games. ... From Left to Right: Belkar, Vaarsuvius, Elan, Haley, Durkon and Roy. ... IPA may refer to: The International Phonetic Alphabet or India Pale Ale ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... The Order of the Stick, nicknamed OotS, is a comedic fantasy webcomic based on the genre of pen and paper roleplaying games. ... In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, bard is one of the base character classes. ... Appearing in primitive form in the second edition rules of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game and developed extensively in the third edition rules, prestige classes (PrC) are character classes that offer specialized, exclusive abilities once certain restrictive requirements are met. ...

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.


Character History

Early Life

Elan and his identical twin brother, Nale, were born in a small village, the sons of a ruthless general and a barmaid. Elan was bullied practically from birth by his brother, who repeatedly hit him in his soft, underdeveloped skull. This may be responsible for Elan's intelligence, or lack thereof. Their parents soon divorced, citing irreconcilable differences of alignment - he being Lawful Evil while she was Chaotic Good. The twins were separated, Elan remaining with his mother, while Nale was taken by his father. As he grew up, Elan remained unaware that he possessed a twin; it's unclear whether their father told Nale about his sibling or not. The Linear Guild are a fictional team of villains from the webcomic The Order of the Stick, created and written by Rich Burlew. ... This article describes a highly specialized aspect of its subject. ... This article describes a highly specialized aspect of its subject. ... This article describes a highly specialized aspect of its subject. ...


After becoming a bard, Elan spent some time working as assistant to a paladin named Sir Francois, a job which he was quite spectacularly bad at, to the point where Sir Francois ultimately abandoned him by telling him to close his eyes and count to 100, then riding away as fast as feasibly possible. Elan's reaction ("Awww, not again") strongly implies that this was not the first association to end in such a manner.

Elan's life took an unexpected turn when he stopped to assist a passing adventurer, Roy Greenhilt, who was attempting to recruit adventurers for a quest and was going about it in precisely the wrong way. Elan, with his detailed knowledge of genre conventions, told him to dress in a mysterious fashion and sit quietly in a bar. Despite Roy's considerable misgivings, he complied, and was surprised to find many adventurers waiting to talk to him. After recruiting three adventurers to join him and his dwarf companion Durkon Thundershield, Roy offered the final position in the group to Elan, to thank him for his assistance. Roy Greenhilt is a major character in the webcomic, The Order of the Stick, written by Rich Burlew. ... Durkon Thundershield is a character from The Order of the Stick, created, written and drawn by Rich Burlew. ...

Xykon's Lair and Family Reunion

Roy's quest to destroy the lich Xykon led the newly-named Order of the Stick to the Dungeon of Dorukan, where, among other misadventures, Elan played Scrabble with an illithid (who considered Elan's brain the equivalent of diet coke and chose not to eat him) and briefly flirted with the idea of nudity as a method of hiding (due to his mistaken belief that since armor imposes a penalty on Hide checks, being naked must grant him a bonus). His life changed dramatically, however, when the Order encountered the Linear Guild, under the command of his long-lost brother Nale. Elan immediately took to his brother and the two groups teamed up to locate a valuable talisman, only for the Guild to turn against the Order, Nale thrusting his sword through Elan's chest. In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the lich is an undead creature; a spellcaster who seeks to defy death by magical means. ... Xykon is the main villain of the webcomic The Order of the Stick, created and written by Rich Burlew. ... The verb to scrabble also means to scratch, scramble or scrape about: see Wiktionary:scrabble. ... The iconic Illithid Mindflayer from Dungeons & Dragons. ... Diet Coke (sometimes known as Diet Coca-Cola) or Coca-Cola Light (sometimes known as Coke Light) is a sugar-free soft drink produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. ... The Linear Guild are a fictional team of villains from the webcomic The Order of the Stick, created and written by Rich Burlew. ...

Saved through magical intervention, Elan fought his brother, only to ultimately save his life when Nale tried to flee across a broken bridge that crumbled beneath him, an act that Nale found utterly incomprehensible. With the Guild defeated and Nale taken off to prison, the Order continued onwards, not realising that they'd accidentally left their cleric, Durkon, behind. When this was finally realised, Elan offered to take his place as team cleric, having made up his own deity to worship in the form of Banjo the Clown, God of Puppets (who was, indeed, a hand-puppet). Elan did his best to recruit other worshippers, but the Church of Banjo fell apart quickly and the whole idea was rendered moot when Durkon returned, and Banjo was replaced (using an illusion spell) by a hand puppet with a Mind Flayer/Cthulhu head, differently colored clothes, but still retaining a clown hat, who Elan called "Banjhulhu". Cthulhu Cthulhu (other spellings: Kutulu, Qthulu, Ktulu, Cthulu, Kthulhut, Kulhu, Thu Thu, Tulu,[1] and many others) is a fictional being created by horror author H.P. Lovecraft. ...

The Gate

Finally reaching their destination, the Order confronted Xykon on the lowest level of the dungeon, in front of a mysterious gate. Acting on Roy's orders, Elan made his way to the gate, believing that touching it would disrupt Xykon's plan. Fortunately for the Order, Elan was stopped at the last minute by Haley Starshine, who had discovered that touching the gate would actually complete the lich's plan, rather than prevent it. Ultimately, Roy defeated Xykon, but the Order's subsequent search for loot was cut drastically short by Elan's revelation that he had activated a self-destruct mechanism that he'd found located nearby. The Order left as swiftly as possible, although Elan's devotion to theatrics required him to leap clear just as the explosion went off. Despite this apparently risky move, in true theatrical style, everybody escaped unharmed. Haley Starshine is a major character in the webcomic, The Order of the Stick, written by Rich Burlew. ...

Next Moves

Heading back into town, the Order divided their loot, Elan getting a pair of boots of elvenkind. They next found themselves on a side-quest to get material to fix Roy's broken sword, during which Elan was kidnapped by a group of bandits for the simple reason that their female leader thought that he was cute. Despite an opportunity to escape, Elan's theatrical nature caused him to stay to romance the bandit leader, which caused some considerable anguish for Haley, who had fallen for the bard, although he was utterly unable to see it.

The group were next accosted by Miko Miyazaki, a paladin from Azure City, who was under orders to bring them in to stand trial for Elan's destruction of the Gate. The Order ultimately agreed to accompany her, although, after an incident at an inn en route, where Elan was instrumental in saving Roy's life from assassins (in a highly unorthodox manner), the group elected to stop obeying her. They attempted to stand up to her, but were overpowered and ended up in Azure City on trial anyway, where they were eventually found not guilty, the trial having been a set-up to get them to the city right from the start. Elan was presented with a gift certificate for one favour from Lord Shojo, which he later redeemed to have the Linear Guild imprisoned indefinitely within Azure City's antimagic cell block. Miko Miyazaki is a long-running character in Rich Burlews Order of the Stick, and is a main adversary. ... This is a list of characters from the webcomic The Order of the Stick. ...

Elan in Azure City, wearing his original bardic chain shirt and cloak.
Elan in Azure City, wearing his original bardic chain shirt and cloak.

Image File history File links ElanOOTS.gif‎ Elan, bard of the Order of the Stick, drawn by Rich Burlew This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it is most likely owned by... Image File history File links ElanOOTS.gif‎ Elan, bard of the Order of the Stick, drawn by Rich Burlew This image is a single panel from a comic strip or the interior of a single issue of a comic book and the copyright for it is most likely owned by...

Rest and relaxation

Deciding to spend New Year in Azure City, Elan spent quite a while out on the town, which he enjoyed immensely. Learning of a local custom that friends would dine together on New Year's Eve, Elan proposed that the Order should eat together, only to be pre-empted by Haley, who decided that she and Elan would find somewhere themselves. The 'date' did not go particularly well, as Elan still seemed largely oblivious to her feelings for him (further complicated by the fact that Haley was suffering from trauma-induced aphasia and could only speak in cryptograms, so every attempt to tell Elan her true feelings came out as gibberish). Date problems aside, Elan did seem to expect that they would kiss as the year ended. Haley, however, hesitated too long at the last minute, and one of the locals kissed him instead, leaving Haley miserable.

The Oracle

The Order moved on to visit the Oracle of Sunken Valley to determine where Xykon could be found. Each member of the Order was given the opportunity to ask a question - Elan simply asked whether their story would have a happy ending, to be told that it would for him, suggesting that some of the Order wouldn't have a happy ending. Leaving the Oracle to continue their quest, the Order were surprised to be contacted by Nale, who informed Roy that he had taken Roy's younger sister Julia hostage and was awaiting the Order in the city of Cliffport. This is a list of characters from the webcomic The Order of the Stick. ... This is a list of characters from the webcomic The Order of the Stick. ...


The Order persuaded Lord Shojo to teleport them to Cliffport, where they confronted the reformed Linear Guild. With his teammates distracted, Elan was abducted by Nale and Thog. The Linear Guild are a fictional team of villains from the webcomic The Order of the Stick, created and written by Rich Burlew. ...

After Nale dressed Elan in his clothing and glued his goatee on Elan's chin, there remained no other distinguishing features between the two brothers. Elan was placed under arrest along with Thog by the Cliffport police, who believed him to be Nale, who was by this point responsible for a series of massacres in the town. Due to their local laws prohibiting the use of magic in investigations, his case was unlikely to come to trial for at least six months. Nale, in the meantime, had taken Elan's place within the Order and was planning to murder his teammates as soon as he can get each one alone. This is a list of characters from the webcomic The Order of the Stick. ...

Elan, however, managed to free himself from custody after only forty minutes by persuading Thog that Nale needed his help. The half-orc tore the cell bars apart, then Elan crafted an illusion to persuade the guards that he was the warden and was relocating Thog, allowing the pair to apparently walk straight out of the building. Elan then got some new clothes by robbing a tailor twice and took an airship to Azure City with Thog, dressed as Final Fantasy VI characters (Locke and Mog, respectively). When the other passengers (Terra Branford and Edgar Roni Figaro) found out he wasn't Locke (Elan mistakenly uses the term Resurrect rather than Fenix Down), he and Thog were thrown off before liftoff. He then managed to secure transportation by accident while attempting to get a corkscrew from a bar as part of a largely unrevealed plan, apparently of considerable complexity, involving Thog wearing a leprechaun costume and stuffing potato salad in a giant wooden alpaca. A nearby patron heard his request and asked why he wanted the corkscrew, and on hearing the story, revealed himself to be Julio Scoundrél, world-famous sky pirate and airship captain. Julio, who thought Elan was considerably like the sky pirate himself was in his younger years, agreed to give him a ride. On the way to Azure City, Julio, concerned that Elan would be at a distinct disadvantage against his brother, gave the bard an old sourcebook, pointing out the Dashing Swordsman prestige class that he himself was a member of, which allows a person to substitute his charisma bonus instead of his strength bonus to damage when wielding a rapier, as long as he spouts a witty pun or catchphrase while doing so. Elan realized that this would give him the advantage needed to defeat Nale, and, trained by Scoundrél en route, took his first level in the prestige class. To commemorate this, Scoundrél gave the new Dashing Swordsman a magical +3 Keen rapier that Scoundrél himself had used on some of his adventures. Elan was then able to locate where he needed to be by focusing on his dramatic instincts; as Scoundrél put it, the 'scene' would call out to him, asking him to arrive in the nick of time. Final Fantasy VI ) is a console role-playing game developed and published by Square Co. ... Locke Cole , Lock Cole in Japan) is a fictional character of the Square Co. ... Mog ) is a fictional character of the Square Co. ... Terra Branford , Tina Branford) is the heroine of Square Co. ... Artwork by Yoshitaka Amano Edgar Roni Figaro, or King Edgar is a fictional character of the Square Co. ...

Brother vs. Brother

Elan during his fight against Nale, showing a period of seriousness and competence
Elan during his fight against Nale, showing a period of seriousness and competence

Elan duly arrived at the dramatically appropriate moment, swinging in through the window of Haley's room, just as Nale was about to stab her in mid-kiss. He fought Nale and, much to his brother's surprise, quickly won. Nale then used his Bluff skill to trick Elan into believing that Haley and Nale were lovers, stating that Haley's crypto-speak was really the language Infernal and that they'd been working together all along. Elan prepared to attack/dump her, too, pushed by a suggestion spell from Nale. However, at the last minute, Haley was finally able to break through her speech problem, abruptly shouting out she was in love with him and that she'd been kissing Nale because she thought he was Elan. This revelation stunned Elan, breaking Nale's hold on him. The brothers continued to fight, with Haley, Sabine and Thog now entering the fray, until the arrival of Vaarsuvius and Durkon. Faced with the identical brothers, Vaarsuvius dealt with the situation easily by insulting Nale's intelligence. Nale was unable to remain silent after the insult and gave himself away; Vaarsuvius immediately hit him with a lightning bolt. After managing to subdue all three present Linear Guild members, the group decided to use Elan's gift certificate from Lord Shojo to have the Guild members put in the Sapphire Guard's anti-magic cells. After Vaarsuvius and Durkon left the room with the Guild members, Haley began to downplay her love confession on the premise that she was afraid he would not return said feelings; Elan then approached Haley and kissed her in mid-sentence, effectively demonstrating that he loved her as well. With that, the two continued to make out for the rest of the evening. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

Azure City War

In the hours leading up Xykon's and his army of Hobgoblins attack, Elan insisted that it was a Bardic rite of passage that he deliver a rousing pre-battle speech, to which Roy opposed for no better reason than thinking Elan and the soldiers would be worse off because of it (which they eventually were, due to Elan's negative rethinking of every positive statement he made.) When the attack began, The Order was forced to deal with five destructive Titanium Elementals summoned by Redcloak, three of which were dismissed by Vaarsuvius, and left the other two to the rest of the order. Shortly after Roy saved Elan from a shower of arrows, proving he does have some small sense of loyalty or friendship with the Bard. Not long after, Roy split from the party to face Xykon head-on, and Elan was chosen by Hinjo to assist with the defense of the wall(which was being scaled by hobgoblins), along with Belkar and a nameless prisoner (in truth an assassin on the payroll of the ambitious noble Kubota) released to help defend the city. He then realized he was running out of puns to use with attacks, making him extremely less effective(because of the restrictions of the Dashing Swordsman class).

Personality, Abilities and Traits

Elan would be best described as being frivolous, endearing, yet dull-witted; he seems to be a variant of the dumb blonde stereotype. (When he first became a member of the Order, Roy once described him as being 'dumb as a box of moldy carrots'.) He is human, currently 21-years-old, blonde, fair-skinned, extremely good-looking and charming, possessing a charisma of at least 18. Based on his class, his mother's alignment, and his status as the direct opposite of his Lawful Evil twin, he is likely Chaotic Good. He sings incessantly, can be very childish and silly and can be staggeringly inept when faced with even simple tasks, to the frequent frustration of his teammates. Since his adoption of the Dashing Swordsman class, Elan has gained more of a focus on the task at hand and seems more confident in his abilities. He still retains his childishness, however, being happy at being reunited with Banjo the hand-puppet after his separation from the team. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The word charisma (from the Greek word χάρισμα (kharisma), gift or divine favor, from kharizesthai, to favor, from kharis, favor: see also charism) refers to a rare trait found in certain human personalities usually including extreme charm and a magnetic quality of personality and/or appearance along with innate and powerfully...

His ideas do occasionally work unexpectedly well and his knowledge of theatrics is second-to-none; he frequently thinks in terms of what makes a good story and will act accordingly, using genre conventions to his own advantage. He is proficient musically, as befits a bard, and is competent with a blade, and has become more so since becoming a Dashing Swordsman. As a bard, while he possessed a magical rapier to fight with, he usually played music in combat to assist his teammates; as a Swordsman, it seems likely that he will participate more directly (and more competently, given the bonuses of the prestige class and Capt. Scoundrel's magic rapier). He can also ride horses well, much to the surprise of his compatriots. Elan has on occasion used bardic magic, usually illusions. At first he constructed illusions of the same species (but opposite gender) of his attacker using Silent Image, but later Vaarsuvius taught him to make better illusions (Disguise Self). He also seems proficient at throwing his voice, once doing it well enough to fool an Ogre guard. He was later seen using an illusion of a teletubby to scare Thog and using Mending to fix a door. Genre fiction is a term for fictional works (novels, short stories) written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre in order to appeal to the fans of that genre. ... Teletubbies is a BBC childrens television series, particularly aimed at babies and preschool children, produced from 1997 to 2001 by Ragdoll Productions. ...

The exact details of Elan's new Dashing Swordsman class are as yet unknown. It is known that a feature of the class is the ability to use Charisma in place of Strength for damage when wielding a rapier, as long as the character can make a witty pun or spout a catchphrase when they attack. This increase in his combat ability became quickly apparent when Elan defeated his brother in single combat with considerable ease.

Elan's relationship with the rest of the Order is often marked with frustration, but none of them would consider getting rid of him. Roy was initially tempted not to try to rescue Elan from the bandits (claiming that traveling with Elan is similar to adventuring with syphilis, in that it can be done, but it will neither be easy nor will it be pretty), but realized that such thoughts were unworthy of him and would now stand strongly by the bard, no matter how annoying he finds him---indeed, Roy seems to like Elan more than he cares to admit. Elan, for his part, regards Roy as a positive male role model of sorts and believes them to be very close friends, apparently regarding Roy as a "surrogate big brother." Durkon regards him as being the heart of the team, while Haley loves him and stands up for him as much as possible. Initially, Elan seemed to be mostly oblivious of her feelings, it was eventually shown that he, in fact, reciprocated them on an independent basis and the two are now a couple. Vaarsuvius finds his frivolity quite irritating, and has one occasion become extremely angry with the bard, but now considers Elan to be a friend and comrade-in-arms. Belkar Bitterleaf, despite his general hostility towards practically anything moving, actually seems to like Elan at times, as the bard makes him laugh. This being Belkar, of course, he still regards Elan as worth killing for experience points.) Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by spirochaete bacterium, Treponema pallidum. ... Vaarsuvius is a major character in the webcomic The Order of the Stick, written by Rich Burlew. ... Belkar Bitterleaf is a major character in the webcomic The Order of the Stick, written by Rich Burlew. ... Experience points (often abbreviated as exp or xp) are a representation of a characters advancement and improvement in skills in role-playing games. ...

Spoilers end here.


 v  d  e The Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew
Characters: Roy Greenhilt | Durkon Thundershield | Haley Starshine | Elan | Vaarsuvius | Belkar Bitterleaf | Xykon | Miko Miyazaki
Character lists: General list | Linear Guild
Locations: General list



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