Lol. They didn't even make it to the second page of this strip's discussion thread before someone said "why don't they just do <insert something specifically mentioned and rejected as not working in the very strip you're discussing>". Sigh. i seriously gain a much greater respect for the posters on this forum every time I read that forum.
As to the strip itself. More exposition and explanation. Which is fine. But the remaining question is: How's Belkar doing? I'm assuming Roy's heading out now, and V's heading in. So they should run into each other at some point. I'm assuming, given the "jump from one scene to another, because they're all basically happening at the same time" format of the last 20 strips or so, that we'll jump back and see Belkar dealing with the door guard vamp guy next. Probably concluding with one or both of Roy and V arriving. Maybe arriving on time, or maybe too late. Dun dun dun!
On that note though, there's lots of talk about the prophecy that Belkar will breathe his last breath before the end of the year, and tons of speculation about it happening here (gets vamped himself, or attacks the new HPoH without knowing the consequences, etc). I don't think that's going to be the case though. The strip is about the order of the stick, and he's a member. Given that there's one more whole book to go, I'm going to assume anything that permanent to one of the main characters will not happen in this book, but will at some point (probably quite late) in the final book.
Of course, this assumes an actual permanent death. If there's some other meaning for "breathe his last breath", that somehow still allows him to walk around and be a functioning character in the strip, that could happen at any time. What would be funny is him being vamped, but the "deep dark place" in his heart is actually his emerging chaotic goodness, and he turns into a nicer person as a result, so they decide to keep him that way. Possibly even foreshadowed by the whole bit with Durkon pretending to breathe (pointing out that vampires don't breathe). Um... Which I don't think is very likely. Having two members being vamped kinda steps on itself story wise. That and vampires are explicitly stated to be evil. Which, I suppose, could still result in him being less evil than now, but still. Probably not a condition that the team would allow to continue, doubly so after the betrayal by Durkon. Roy's not going to believe that Belkar isn't just as evil and more of a threat as a vampire than as a living halfling.
Maybe he gets turned into a sentient golem or something? Nah... That's just silly.
King Nobby wrote:
More words please