|“||You may have been thinking about killing me for the last two years - but I've been thinking about killing you since I was nine years old! I murdered your children as a practice run! Now BURN, you insufferable leech!||„|
|~ Nale before burning Malack.|
Nale is one of the main antagonists of fantasy Dungeons & Dragons themed webcomic The Order of the Stick. He and the rest of his team, The Linear Guild, regularly appear to try and kill The Order of the Stick, especially Nale's twin brother Elan, whom he has a personal loathing for.
Dungeon Crawlin' Fools
Nale and The Linear Guild make there first appearance in Dungeon Crawlin' Fools, the first book of The Order of the Stick and third chronologically. Deep in the Dungeon of Dorukan, Elan opens a door revealing the Linear Guild, each member of which has a double in the Order. Nale is the Leader of the Guild, surprising the leader of the Order, Roy, because Elan, who is identical to Nale, is so childlike and naïve. In contrast, Nale is clearly intelligent and in control of his team which consists of Thog, Roy's double, a dumb but powerful fighter / barbarian; Sabine, Haley's double and Nale's lover; Hilgya Firehelm, dwarf cleric and Durkon's double; Zz'dtri, Vaarsuvius's double, a parody of Drizzt Do'Urden; and Yikyik, a kobold and Belkar's double.
Nale is established as evil very soon after his entrance, but Roy and The Order are oblivious of his plans to turn on them after retrieving the Talisman of Dorukan, an amulet that controls monsters. Nale works out that he and Elan are brothers and sheds a little light on his past, growing up with a 'ruthless general of a nigh unstoppable army.' The Order and the Guild arrive a huge dungeon full of outdated monsters that were never converted to 3rd edition D&D. Nale takes the talisman and promptly stabs Elan. Startled, the Order are unprepared for the Linear Guild's following betrayal. Sabine reveals her true form, a fiendish winged succubus. As the Linear Guild escape by flying, Zz'dtri casts 'Wall of Ice', trapping the Order. Nale's plan is that the ice will slowly melt, at which point the Order will be unable to defend from the hordes of outdated monsters. But he is foiled by an impossible shot from Haley. The Linear Guild's Fly spell is disrupted, so they must face the Order of the Stick for the first time.
By a mixture of skill and dumb luck, The Order defeat the Guild. Yikyik is dead, Zz'dtri dragged away by lawyers and Hilgya nowhere to be seen. Sabine has escaped. As the good twin, Elan saves Nale's life as he hangs from the edge of a broken bridge, seconds away from falling into a horde of angry monsters. Nale and Thog are tied up and taken to a nearby jail by Celia the sylph. Unbeknownst to the Order, Sabine breaks them out at the end of the book.
No Cure For the Paladin Blues
Nale has recruited two new members for the Linear Guild, counterparts for Durkon and Belkar. He is struggling to find a capable wizard for the Guild to mirror the Order's own Vaarsuvius. Sabine suggests looking at the Wizading Academy in Cliffport. After a few unsuccessful candidates, they settle on Pompey, a young half-elf. By chance, they also stumble upon Julia Greenhilt, Roy's sister. Nale promptly kidnaps her, and sets about devising a plan to lure the Order of the Stick into his clutches.
War and XPs
Nale sends a message to Roy using magic, telling him that he has his sister captive. He demands Elan in exchange for Julia, who is being held hostage in a warehouse in Cliffport. As soon as they can, the Order arrive in Cliffport. Roy goes to find his sister. Elan is alone, because Belkar has been distracted by his new nemesis, Yokyok. Nale and Thog ambush Elan, knocking him unconscious. Nale kills the chief of police, then cuts his goatee off and sticks it on Elan. Now, Elan looks like Nale and Nale like Elan. Elan is arrested while Nale leaves to Azure City with the rest of the Order.
Nale soon discovers that Haley is in love with Elan. He takes advantage of this by taking her out on a date. While he prepares, he is attacked by Belkar, who has seen through his disguise, but is able to quickly defend with a Charm Person spell. As Nale and Haley kiss, Elan, who has spent the last few days training as a 'Dashing Swordsman', crashes through the window and prepares for attack. At the same time, Thog and Sabine enter the room. To Nale's surprise, he is easily bested by Elan in swordplay. Hearing the commotion, Durkon and Vaarsuvius rush in to aid their comrades. Though it is a fairly even battle, the Order win. Nale tries to convince Vaarsuvius that he is Elan and Elan is the imposter, but gives the game away with his overly self-loving ego. Once again, the Linear Guild are the captives of the Order of the Stick and are thrown into the Azure City jail.
It's just a few days later when war comes to Azure City. By luck, Nale, Sabine and Thog are freed from prison by Tsukiko who destroys the wall trying to kill a chlorine elemental. Nale has learnt of the Order's struggle for the gates, and sets off to the Western continent, where he will try to find Girard's gate.
Blood Runs In The Family
In his final book appearance, Nale attacks the Order Of The Stick while they are visiting his (along with Elan's father). He nearly succeeds in killing Elan, Haley, and Durkon, only to be forced to retreat when Malack (whose vampire spawn he had slain) attacks him.
Nale joins forces with his father (and reluctantly Malack as well) when he is forced to reveal the existence of Girard's Gate after he finds himself at Malack's mercy.
Due to a tracking rune installed on the carpet the Order Of The Stick were flying with, the Linear Guild are able to ambush them at a pyramid. However, they are able to turn the tables with an ambush of their own, resulting in Sabine being banished.
After Malack transforms Durkon into a vampire, Nale decides to continue his pursuit for Girard's Gate. However, he and the rest of the Linear Guild are fooled by a pillar stating that the gate is in another pyramid (which the Order Of The Stick discover is a double bluff and is coated with lead to prevent true seeing).
After the pyramid explodes, Nale realizes that he had been tricked, and that the Order Of The Stick survived the explosion.
However, he then realizes that he now has the opportunity to murder Malack, who he had wanted to kill since he was nine years old. Along with Zz'dtri, he brutally murders him by swiping his staff and dispelling his Protection From Daylight spell.
Nale was later confronted by his father for this action, who gave him a final chance. After he refused to join his adventuring party, Tarquin stabbed him to death for murdering Malack, telling him that this was the price of killing his best friend and that he would have been dead years ago if it weren't for his protection. His corpse was then disintegrated to prevent him from ever being resurrected, much to the sorrow of his brother Elan and the rage of his girlfriend Sabine.
Nale's most notable characteristics were his huge ego and his constant desire to formulate ridiculously intricate plans. Nale did not hesitate to attack his own brother after he refused to join the Linear Guild.
Much like his father, he was Lawful Evil, though unlike him he did not desire to manipulate others into doing what he wanted, believing that he should use force instead.
He was able to use a Suggestion spell to get others to do his bidding, though he could only use this spell to do things that others would not vehemently object to.
He also possessed a Dimension Door spell, though he could only use this to teleport short distances.