The Fourth is a satirical fantasy webcomic by Courtney Svatek and Victor Acuña about “the odd and helpless situation of being a villain in an adventure game.” The comic features a trio of colorful characters—hapless evil overlord, Lord Tiberius Skärva the Fourth, his right-hand lackey Derk, and Lorelei, a girl who "obviously never had a mother who warned her to stay away from strange shark people"—and their adventures in a world that runs on classic adventure game tropes.Check it out Here.
Arson Murderand Jaywalking: The mountain hamlet does the Torches and Pitchforks thing to Skärva and Derk once because he demanded food as their ruler, then because he tried to steal it, and then finally he gave up and just tried buying it, but he didn't have any money.
Art Evolution: Compare the first page of the comic with some of the newer ones.
Art Shift: A crayon coloring illustrates the path that must be taken to reach Frostbite Fortress.
Skärva's moments of overlord mania often induce these.
Ascended Fanboy: In thanks for making donations for Courtney's iPad purchase, she intermittently put some of the contributors in as cameoes in the background of various strips.
It was actually a graphics tablet, so she could, y'know, make the comic better. :P
They've recently opened up a tier system for general donations towards the site and comic's upkeep resulting in fans being inserted into the background in various roles. The larger the donation, the more substantial the part.
Ascended Meme: "[Object/person] says [sound effect] all the time", in the comments, starting after the comic "Snowballs say "plop" all the time." This got to the point where a more recent comic was titled "Skärva gets hungry waiting for Blank all the time".
An Axe to Grind: Skärva and Derk briefly run afoul of a lumberjack, wielding an axe almost as big as him.
The wizard at the Temple of Terror despises being called short.
Do not mock Frozio's tuxedo.
The Second, Skärva's grandfather, is a rather shy, easily intimidated ghost hanging out in the castle library. Skärva tends to walk over him and tell him to his face what he thinks of him, all of which he accepts without complaint...but when he spots Derk reading his books, he transforms into an Eldritch Abomination, and even Skärva flees in terror.
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Skärva delightfully proclaims his name to anyone that will listen. Many people, including Lorelei, have never heard of him.
When Davis returns, it takes some prodding before Skärva remembers who he is.
Slice has a crush on a Flish called Gilly, who doesn't know or care who he is.
Call Back: On first introduction, Davis mistakes Skärva and Derk for door-to-door religious nuts and insists that he lives in a temple and doesn't need to hear about the gods. When he finally reaches Castle Skärva and is asked if he's there to see Skärva, he replies he's there to talk about the gods.
Canada, Eh?: The authors would like to remind you that northern Idenau is not Canada.
Commonplace Rare: Blank is ecstatic when he thinks Skarva's giving him a bottle.
Convection Schmonvection: Justified and subverted in Molten Mountain. For Skärva, Derk and Lorelei's visit they apparently turned the heat down so they can walk through unscathed. When the hero travels through, however, they can turn it up to unbearable levels until the hero wears the appropriate attire...which the dungeon keeps in the gift shop to avoid lawsuits.
Cursed with Awesome: The gods curses have a way of backfiring. The lurkins (the goblin like grey skinned people) used to be humans slapped with a disfiguring curse for ignoring the gods. They decided the gods abandoned them and they can do whatever they want now, and either as a consolation or due to being Touched by Vorlons, developed magic. According to the authors, the most the Ideneuian pantheon did was collectively say "darn it!" and move on.
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Skärva's father was more about the business of evil rather than straight-up evil. People remember him as doing a lot for the community.
Friend to All Children: Played with. Skärva seems to be developing quite the rapport with Lorelei, but when he returns to find it's "Take Your Child To Work Day" at his castle, he comes face to face with an adorable imp kid...nearly reducing it to tears.
Face Palm: Skärva gets a few during his inspection of the first temple.
Genre Savvy: Princess Veronika is well aware that she is fated to marry either an idiot prince or a vapid hero, and has long since given up caring about anything because of it.
Giftedly Bad: Cyril is an awful, awful, awful musician, and is entirely unaware of that fact.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Sometime after his initial appearance, Blank has picked up a couple of thin scars down the side of his face. Nothing particularly ugly, though. Skärva, for his part, has a permanent black eye.
Limited Wardrobe: Many characters have been seen in night clothes, and costumes are used from time to time for thematic and comedic purposes, but the daily outfit for any one character remains exactly the same.
Noodle Incident: We know that Skärva's great-grandfather and the first's partner did something to bring the curse upon Skärva's line, but every time WHAT they did otherwise naturally comes up in exposition, the speaker talks around it.
Right Behind Me: After capturing a hero in full plate armour, Skärva goes on a long rant about how it's obviously Posthumous that lasts nearly the whole strip. Naturally, Posthumous walks up behind him halfway through the speech.
Schedule Slip: Not often, but occasionally. To their credit, Victor and Courtney are the first to acknowledge it and usually put up something anyway to tide the fans over until the next release, so it's not really a loss.
Schizo Tech: The technology and architecture of Idenau can jump between medieval and victorian-era.
Spirit Advisor: Skärva's dead father tries to be this for him. Skärva, however, will have none of it.
Shark Man: Skärva, and presumably his ancestors up to the First (upon whom the original curse that produced this effect was placed).
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Implied. After so much time spent touring through Frostbite Fortress and Molten Mountain, Blank's progress through them comes under Time Skips and he immediately reaches Skärva's castle. After Frozen Fortress, the only remote mention of the dungeon is the fact that Blank acquired the Sword of Stabbing, which is what Skärva hid there.
The Unreveal: After much preamble, the main characters capture a hero wearing full plate armour, including a helmet, and after eliminating their chief suspect since he was right behind them, they set about unmasking him. It turns out to be some zombie they've never met before.
Villain with Good Publicity: Invoked, then averted. The common people don't like him at all, but earlier, when Derk is worried about walking a path covered in baddies, they all wind up treating Skärva like a big celebrity.