Recap: Start of Darkness
Note: As a recap page, all spoilers are unmarked. You have been warnedThis is for The Order of the Stick prequel volume. Go here for the trope.A young boy named Xykon finds the death of his dog triggering sorcerous powers and a natural affinity for necromancy. Maliciously gleeful at his zombified dog's taste for brains, he sets off to find more birds to kill and feed to it. At puberty, a crippled wizard finds the budding necromancer and condescendingly offers him a place on a team of sorcerers he is training. Offended, Xykon kills and reanimates the old man and then sets him and his first human zombie — that of his grandmother — on his parents. With their murder, he sets off to become a villain for the sheer hell of it.A quiet goblin village celebrates the ascension of a new youth as an apprentice cleric, the festivities being disrupted when a group of Paladins from Azure City arrive and start massacring the village. His teacher struck down, the apprentice cleric takes his magical red cloak, receiving a communication from his deity about the reasons for goblins suffering in this world.When these two forces cross, a pact that will shake the world is born...
- The Bad Guy Wins / Foregone Conclusion
- Breaking Speech: Xykon gives a truly nasty one to Redcloak, as listed here.
- Covers Always Lie: The cover shows Xykon as a lich killing a paladin before his first encounter with Redcloak — while in the story proper, he wasn't yet undead when this happened. This is lampshaded on the last page of the book:MitD: Wait — the scene on the cover didn't happen that way.
Demon-roach: Welcome to show business, kid.
- Deal with the Devil: Redcloak, at the end, describes his alliance with Xykon as such.
- Eviler Than Thou: Xykon provides the page quote.
- Doomed Hometown: Redcloak's village is wiped out by overeager Paladins from the Sapphire Guard at the very beginning.
- Once More with Clarity: In the webcomic proper, we only get a single panel of Xykon killing Eugene Greenhilt's mentor, which looks like he's using a spell to do the job. In this book, we see what really happened; Xykon had already killed Fyron through blunt force trauma by that point, and was turning his corpse into a zombie.
- Start of Darkness: For Redcloak, anyway. Xykon, as we see, was pretty horrible from early childhood.