(From The Order of the Stick. Click for full-sized golem considerations.)
Skip this post if you’re not any more familiar with OOTS than what I wrote in my initial post, for both spoilers and geekiness.
There are only two reasons I’m writing this post; if either weren’t in place, I wouldn’t write it. The first is that the forums are down as Giant in the Playground moves to a new server. The second is Celia’s line in the third panel.
Two strips ago, a discussion broke out in the GiantITP.com forums over whether or not Celia knew Belkar was in the cart or not. The general consensus, and my personal opinion, was that she did. Belkar’s last line – “If we make any noise, the magical Cart Fairy might not take us on the enchanted trip to Happy Fun Sunshine Land” – was interpreted as meaning “Celia wants us on our best behavior”, not “Celia doesn’t know we’re here”. In fact I think some people hadn’t even considered that Celia might not know Belkar was in there, despite it being consistent with her sometimes-ditzy and naive personality and hatred of Belkar.
The main reason was that Belkar appears to be so sick it’s hard to believe he’d be able to make it into the cart under his own power. More to the point, so far as the three of them know, Belkar still has to stay within the bounds of the Mark of Justice, which means he still has to stay within a mile of Roy’s body (and in that context, the sign in 573’s penultimate panel, “Greysky City one mile”, takes on a certain importance in hindsight). Also, Celia mentions finding “clerics”, which are only strictly necessary (so far as they are concerned) for curing Belkar (although raising Roy would require a cleric of some sort; so far as they know, they can conceivably cure Belkar without a cleric). Keep in mind the original point of the expedition was to find someone capable of contacting the other half of the Order, and only secondarily to bring Roy back to life.
Well, now we know that Celia didn’t know Belkar was there after all.
I’m saying this now so I can plausibly avoid the self-flaggelation the rest of the forums will undergo once they come back up. And if this sounds weak, well, it’s partly because I don’t have the forums to look up what the strongest reasons really were. Not that I would want to go there, of course.