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Hel's forces

    "Durkon Thundershield", former High Priest of Hel 

"Durkon Thundershield"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/46bb9ce50b13371fa947f2f552929c4e.png

"You are who you are on your very worst day, Durkon. Anything less is just a comforting lie you tell yourself to numb the pain. And that's who I am. Your worst day, personified."

Race: Vampire (spirit controlling a dead dwarf)
Gender: Male
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Evil

A spirit sent by the goddess Hel to control Durkon's corpse as a vampire. He has access to all of Durkon's memories, and briefly fools the Order into believing Durkon is just a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire.


  • Accent Slipup: Describes Durkon's accent as "ridiculous" and occasionally slips up while trying to maintain it, although none of the Order except Belkar suspect anything is amiss until after the vampire reveals his true motives. During his Villainous Breakdown, Durkon's accent starts to creep back into his speech, foreshadowing his defeat.
  • And I Must Scream: In "It's What's Inside That Counts", it's revealed that Durkon's spirit is trapped helplessly inside his vamped body, and something else entirely is in control.
  • Animorphism: As a vampire, he can take some animal alternate forms. He's used bat and wolf forms so far.
  • Annoying Arrows: Being a vampire with a Healing Factor, ordinary arrows mean pretty much nothing to him. During the fight against the Empire of Blood's army, he's seen with four crossbow bolts sticking to his head, ignoring them entirely. During the battle against the Order in Firmament, he chastises an underling for wasting an Inflict Moderate Wounds spell on repairing damage from Haley's arrows, on the grounds that his vampiric regeneration would have allowed him to recover the lost HP easily.
  • Arch-Enemy: While he doesn't seem to mind the Order much he harbors a particular hatred of Roy, taking great joy in mocking his tragedies and failures and making room in his plans to fight him in person. And since he is using the corpse of Roy's best friend to destroy and defile all that said friend held dear, it is at least personal on Roy's end.
  • Arc Villain: Of Book 6, confirmed byinvoked Word of the Giant.
  • Artifact Title: He's not actually the High Priest of the Church of Hel anymore (having given it up to a random vamp cleric at the Godsmoot), but is still referred to as such because he (a) is not Durkon, (b) hasn't given himself an alternative name, and (c) it's hard to come up with a good name for him, as the Order of the Stick can testify. Even Hel still refers to him as her high priest. Justified in that his giving up his title is purely for Loophole Abuse purposes. He is still the leader of Hel's forces.
  • Assimilation Backfire: The reason he didn't just absorb Durkon's memories all at once in the first place. When Durkon tricks him into doing so, it overwhelms him and causes the spirit to turn into another Durkon.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Subverted. Whenever the two converse, particularly when the High Priest needs something from Durkon's memories, perspective shifts to a kind of fleshy realm inside of Durkon's mind, where they observe memories on some kind of movie-like projection. However, Durkon is bound during these encounters and cannot "fight" the High Priest's control no matter how hard he resists, and since they take place "at the speed of thought," he can't try to force any meaningful delays either to make the others notice something's up. In the end, Durkon floods the HPOH with all of his memories, happy and sad, winning by turning the HPOH into Durkon.
    Durkon: But be careful. B'cause ye know wha ye are if'n ye haf me body an' all me joys an' sorrows?
    Durkon and Durkonified HPoH: Yer me.
  • Blatant Lies: He tries to claim Malack forced him to drink Belkar's blood. Belkar retorts that Malack had to order the vampire not to drain him to death.
  • Body Snatcher: He is possessing Durkon's body and ransacking the dwarf's memories to pose as him.
  • Boring, but Practical: When his carefully laid trap is foiled by the Order's unexpected help from Hilgya, he immediately switches to dispelling the Order's magic buffs en-masse, dominating most of the Order and having Haley take Vaarsuvius out of the fight. He wins the fight pretty handily with this approach.
    High Priest: We'll be better off if I just ignore what I know about them and fight them like any other high-level party. Shut it down, all of their magic!
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": He once calls Roy a "PULSING BLOODSACK!" — but only inside his head, as it is too soon yet to reveal his true nature.
  • Came Back Strong: Uses his newfound vampiric Super Strength to effortlessly defeat two members of the Linear Guild with a Simple Staff, and to snap Zz'dtri's neck one-handed.
  • Came Back Wrong: Not only is he a vampire, but he was purposely kept under a Thrall effect for a number of strips. After being freed, he also shows a far more ruthless personality, though he still considers the rest of the Order his True Companions... or so he claims. As of #946, vampire Durkon has been revealed to be a creation of Hel overpowering the old Durkon, and, as her hand in the world, is intent on bringing ruin to the world and Thor. Wrong, indeed.
  • Character Development: Aggressively defied. The High Priest misses some of Durkon's own development being shown via his memories. He also insists that character growth isn't even possible and that people are who they were on their worst day.
  • Combat Medic: He has a slew of deadly spells while retaining some of Durkon's healing powers. note 
  • Counterspell: He counters a "Thor's Lightning" spell cast on him by High Priestess Rubyrock before teleporting away.
  • Dark Is Evil: As of #946, vampire Durkon is proven to be really in control, and he plans to doom every dwarf in creation to a gloomy, awful afterlife in his goddess's name. He's only pretending to be Affably Evil.
  • Daywalking Vampire: Thanks to Malack's Protection from Daylight spell.
  • Deader Than Dead: He was effectively absorbed by Durkon when they died, with Durkon in complete control with only some influence from him. While Durkon can still be resurrected, the vampire spirit isn't coming back.
  • Demonic Possession: The dominant personality seems to be a spirit native to Hel's divine realm.
  • Did Not See That Coming:
    • Along with his main Fatal Flaw screwing him over, he also fails to consider that forces external to the Order might be actively trying to ruin his plans — such as Loki sending Hilgya Firehelm to aid the Order, allowing them to incorporate her abilities into their strategy without him knowing she is present and a threat, completely bewildering him and leaving him unable to come up with a strategy to counter her.
    • He is completely blindsided by Durkon's memory of his mother sacrificing a massive amount of wealth to save a group of people she'd never met from going to Hel. Even more so by the fact that lacking Durkon's entire lifetime of growth as a person, he literally can't process it, leading to his downfall.
  • Dying as Yourself: Weaponized against him. Durkon tricks him into absorbing all his memories, which effectively turns him INTO Durkon. He then uses these moments of control to deliberately allow Belkar to kill him. Durkon then goes to the afterlife as, well, Durkon; the High Priest of Hel is gone for good.
  • Enemy Within: Who is also an Enemy Without, since while he is an evil vampire spirit from Hel, he is Durkon's inner resentment and Heroic BSoD given life, form, and purpose. Even he noted that were he sent to another Dwarf without as much hidden resentment as Durkon, he might have rejected Hel's plan right away.
  • Evil All Along: For a while, he fooled the audience along with the characters into thinking he was actually the real Durkon, just vampirified. Then The Reveal came round that he is actually not Durkon at all, but an evil entity controlling his body and pretending to be him for his own purposes.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Whilst looking over Durkon's childhood memories of love, affection, and admiration for his mother, the vampire can only express a desire to "yarf". Somewhat justified: it is comprised of negative material energy.
    • While reviewing a childhood memory about Durkon being taught not to help people without permission lest he get in the way, the High Priest gets bored and asks to watch a memory about a fight. In the 2nd memory, Durkon is asked to help people pro-actively when they get eaten by monsters. Durkon makes the rather obvious observation that the selected memory was closely associated with the previous. But the High Priest completely misses the point. This is likely linked to the fact that most undead in-setting have demonstrated an inability to meaningfully develop or change beyond the state they're "set" into at creation. This come back to bite him when he brings up Roy's failures to protect people and makes the latter realize he is not Durkon.
    • When he learns that Durkon's mother passed up incredible riches to fund the resurrection of miners she didn't even know, the vampire can only react with incredulous sputtering.
      High Priest of Hel: What? Why would she..? Why would anyone?
    • In fact, this trope is actually how he's defeated: as he is the dark, unpleasant half of Durkon, he cannot understand his feelings that come from Durkon's kindness from having this pain. He needs Durkon's other half of joyful, happy memories in order to understand, but as Durkon explains, what happens if you have his body, his good memories and his bad memories? You're him.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After the Godsmoot he has ditched his guise of Durkon, and has switched out Durkon's armor for dark cleric robes.
  • Evil Gloating: After the Internal Reveal that he's a villain, he's fond of taunting Roy about his failures and Hel's pending victory. Overlaps with Combat Pragmatism when he surreptitiously uses his Hypnotic Eyes on Roy's allies while gloating.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He finds it hilarious to mislead his victim's friends about the nature of vampirism and gets a kick out of committing horrific actions while "in-character". Somewhat differently than other OotS examples of this trope, who are Laughably Evil, the High Priest only finds this kind of thing funny and does not understand or is repulsed by any positive emotions.
  • Evil Is Petty: When Durkon's attempt to resist him not only isn't working but is actually helping him, the High Priest feels the need to rub this into Durkon's face rather than just let it continue.
  • Face–Monster Turn: Subverted. The monster is its own beast entirely, with Durkon himself not affected besides being in an And I Must Scream situation. It is simply allowing the Order to believe this is not the case.
  • Fatal Flaw: His inability to change or to understand others' Character Development. It bites him in the rear when he fails to understand that the Order have grown as people and in their ability to use strategy, meaning he is completely blindsided when they turn out to have a plan beyond "rush in blindly". He ends up becoming Durkon after absorbing all the memories and feelings Durkon has too fast, as he can't change being part of Durkon and unlike Malack didn't spend enough time to be his own identity.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Thanks to his access to Durkon's memories, the spirit pretends to be the same old lovable Durkon, except with an unfortunate forced alignment change, when in reality, the spirit is a malign creature with no loyalty to the Order, and plotting to carry out great evil. Best shown during his discussion with the Stone priests at the Godsmoot. He amicably talks shop with one then immediately kills him and drains his blood once he has confirmed he can get away with it scot-free. Then he goes on to do the same with the other unprotected priests of the Creed of Stone at the Moot.
  • Fighting from the Inside: When Durkon retakes control of his body, he says that the dark energy could take back control at any moment.
  • Flight: Thanks to his bat shape or Super Smoke power.
  • For the Evulz: Claims at one point that being evil is sufficient motive for destroying the world; Roy counters with evil characters who don't want to destroy it, and Belkar who's actually helping save it. Indeed, this is averted overall for him, as his real motive is a combination of Durkon's transferred resentment for his old church and to get power for his goddess.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: After being freed from Malack, he affects this behavior around the Order. He claims he's evil, but not more so than Belkar, and is thus still helping the Order save the world. As of #946 we find out it's a façade, and he's no longer Durkon at all.
  • Gambit Roulette: Bordering on Indy Ploy. While very intelligent, much of his plan rely on dumb luck: had the Order not purchased an Orb of Teleportation or been as trusting of a vampire; had Veldrina not been late, missed a transport, or been as trusting of a vampire; or had the Creed of the Stone been more mindful of their spells slots or been less trusting of a vampire it would have failed without the Order's input. Justified in that he's following the plan of a super-intelligent goddess who caught an unexpectedly lucky break, so he has to work out some of the details as he goes.
  • Glad You Thought of It: How he convinces Roy to take him to the Godsmoot. As the High Priest puts it to Durkon, he's a vampire, making things seem organic when it's really a cruel unnatural facade is his entire thing.
  • Healing Hands: Inverted, since all evil clerics channel negative energy. He can still heal, but they won't be on-the-spot conversions whenever he wants.
  • Healing Factor: He has a vampire's fast healing powers, so he doesn't need to spend healing spells on himself anymore. Notably, in the strip where Belkar shanks him in the chin, it's regenerated before the end.
  • The Heartless: According to the High Priest of Hel, a vampire's spirit may be created by the patron god of undead for the country they originate from, but they are shaped by the negative emotions within the victim's own heart. As a result, the High Priest of Hel has inherited Durkon's negative feelings for the way the dwarves made him The Exile. But that also means that even though he is not technically Durkon, he is in fact influenced by Durkon's core memories. When Durkon shows him the most important memory that made himself the selfless person he is today, it causes the High Priest to be so conflicted and confused that he allows Durkon to give him all his memories at once, causing the High Priest to assimilate into Durkon.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After absorbing all of Durkon's memories and effectively becoming Durkon, he realizes he may only have a brief window before his old nature reasserts itself, so he lets himself be staked before that could happen.
  • High Priest: Of Hel, though this also means he's most likely the only priest of Hel. It allows him to represent his goddess at the Godsmoot like any high priest, though. He later passes the title down to one of his newly sired minions, allowing him to leave the Godsmoot to carry out the next part of Hel's plan without voiding her vote.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • His attempt to Dominate Roy backfires when it makes Roy realize he's not the real Durkon.
    • His retaliation to Belkar by dominating him into jumping off the ship encourages him to get a Feather Fall item, which saves him from falling down a mountain.
    • He absorbs Durkon's memories as much as possible so the assimilation is completed faster and he becomes the only persona (a process that takes a few months according to him). He ends up being the one assimilated after taking too many memories of Durkon's happiness a the same time. Something Durkon gets him to ask for, by triggering a Villainous Breakdown via invoking Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, through showing him the memory of his mother sacrificing a lot of wealth to save a group of people she didn't even know from Hel. This apparently resulted in him being permanently merged with Durkon with the latter in control, granting Durkon his memories.
  • Human Shield: He promises Durkon that he won't kill his son before it's time for Hel to destroy the world if he stops plotting to somehow use his memories against him. But Exact Words apply, and he uses Kudzu to prevent Roy from throwing his sword at him by placing Kudzu on his lap. Ironically, Durkon promptly turns the tables on him with Exact Words of his own.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: As a vampire, he can dominate a person's mind by staring into their eyes, allowing him to control their actions telepathically.
  • It's All About Me: His own motivation besides serving Hel is to take revenge on the dwarves for Durkon's exile, mentioning that unlike his host who put other's needs before his he intend to do what he wants the most: hurting the world that has always hurt Durkon Thundershield.
  • Karmic Death: He originally intended to assimilate Durkon completely by stealing his memories gradually. Durkon tricks him into taking all of them at once, turning him into a copy of himself and ultimately resulting in the vampire suffering the fate he'd intended for Durkon.
  • Kick the Dog: Drains the blood of several priests of the Creed of the Stone at the Godsmoot, since they are not protected by the rules. He also cruelly brings up Roy's dead brother when fighting him, and pokes at Roy's private insecurities on the subject to break his will. The latter turns out to be a mistake. The former is all part of his master plan.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He kills Zz'dtri by breaking his neck after he realizes that the Order of the Stick will be more helpful towards him in reaching the dwarvern homelands. Since Zz'dtri enjoyed turning people into stone and was willing to kill his own comrade to save his own skin....
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He kept absorbing Durkon's memories in order to carry out his plan. The above-mentionned Assimilation Backfire and "their" subsequent death means that Durkon ended up with his memories instead.
  • Logical Weakness: While vampires usually needs three days after death to rise as undead, all of Hel's forces were raised immediately after death thanks to a spell of Malack's. This means that unlike other vampires they don't have a coffin where to retreat and reform when dusted. Furthermore, Word of God confirmed that, while assimilating all of the host's memories take months, the bulk of it is done during these three days where the vampires has nothing to distract them from doing so, and can therefore process them at their own pace. Which is part of why Durkon was able to overwhelm "Durkon".
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • He will keep his promises, but he is perfectly willing to break the spirit of them via Exact Words.
    • The dwarven council has defenses, but they are loaded with loopholes to the extent that the Exarch speculates that their founders wanted the ability to tamper with the vote themselves. The High Priest comes up with abuses that effectively turn the dwarven council's own defenses against them.
  • Made of Evil: He is, by his own admission, composed entirely of negative energy.
  • Magic Knight: Even worse than Durkon since he has vampire perks.
  • Magic Staff: He keeps Malack's, after the latter gets smoked by Nale and Zz'dtri. And unlike Malack, he uses it as a melee weapon too, using its spells to protect him from daylight. And, off-panel, to accelerate the vampiric transformation process to create vampiric minions from the Creed of Stone priests.
  • The Medic: Since vampire clerics channel negative energy, it's going to be a bit harder for him to heal his companions without ahead-of-time preparation. Now that he has gained other vampire followers, it has gone from "bug" to "feature".
  • The Mole: For Hel, in the Order of the Stick.
  • Morphic Resonance:
    • Even when transformed into a bat, he keeps his beard.
    • Downplayed with his wolf form. He has the same shades as his usual form, but any possible beard is hidden under the preexisting fur of a huge wolf.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: His Breaking Speech convinces Roy that he isn't Durkon, which makes him stop holding back. Even fighting Roy at all counts as this since the High Priest acknowledges he just needs to survive to win and could turn into an incorporeal mist and wait out the clock. This also results in Roy willing the Greenhilt Sword into a Weapon of Legacy.
  • No Name Given: He doesn't have an actual name, just his title. And later he doesn't even have that anymore, since he's abdicated his position as High Priest of Hel to one of his freshly sired minions. The Order itself notes that it's difficult to come up with a name for him. The fandom generally calls him Durkula, Durkon*, or Greg, the latter two names courtesy of the linked strip. In a sense, as of strip #1130 his name is Durkon Thundershield.
  • Not Himself: The most reliable way to see that this is not Durkon, even a corrupt Durkon, but rather something else entirely is that he is merely affecting Durkon's natural Funetik Aksent, and sometimes slips in moments of high stress.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • His reaction to finding out Thor is onto him.
    • And again when Roy breaks free from his vampiric gaze.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The events of the Godsmoot reveal that he has been carefully, systematically, working to have the Gods destroy the world on behalf of the goddess Hel. That they plan to recreate it afterwards does nothing for the people currently alive.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: He is a dark spirit, keeping the soul of the real Durkon chained inside his own mind.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Invoked in Belkar's claim that Durkon wouldn't have the Control Weather spell prepared or use it to calm a storm, since he could simply pray to Thor instead. Given that Durkon has used that same spell to call lightning, his god's specialty, this argument doesn't hold water with Roy. But later, right when he is on the verge of delivering a successful Breaking Speech to Roy, he makes a slip that makes Roy realize he isn't Durkon at all.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: He's the High Priest of Hel... because he's the only priest of Hel. Now he's no longer her high priest, nor is he her only priest anymore.
  • Paint It Black: Upon being vampirized by Malack, beyond a vampire's complexion his armor turns quite dark and his beard gray.
  • Palette Swap: When talking to Durkon inside their shared mind, he appears as a monochrome version of the dwarf. When he absorbs all of Durkon's memories, his color palette switches to match the original Durkon.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Literal interpretation of "possession" aside, this trope is averted, and subverted.
    • The High Priest of Hel can't make use of Durkon's powers since they're granted by Thor, who naturally isn't inclined to help him. At the same time, however, he doesn't need to borrow Durkon's powers, as he is a priest in his own right and can call upon Hel instead. It helps that his party members aren't knowledgeable enough about religious or divine magical matters to recognize the parts where the two power sets fail to overlap.
    • The subversion comes in that, while he has access to all of Durkon's memories and can call them at will, he needs to "look up" the memory to make use of it, rather than having instant knowledge of everything Durkon has ever experienced. More than once he's slipped up his disguise or failed to realize something crucial because, while Durkon had a memory of the relevant knowledge, the vampire never recognized that he would need the info in the first place until it is too late. Additionally, the fact that he's merely "reading" Durkon's memories as if from a library, rather than experiencing them himself, means that he often misses contextual clues or fails to realize why two memories might be connected in the way Durkon sees them. This is notable when two of his spawns inform him that the Order has a blonde cleric. He assumes they're talking about Minrah, when they are actually referring to Hilgya Firehelm.
    • Ultimately, a complete aversion of this trope is his downfall: just because he possesses all the memories needed for Durkon to come to terms with a traumatic and confusing memory of the past, doesn't mean he's mastered it. This leads to him quite literally becoming Durkon.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: He uses his vampiric gaze to make Belkar jump off the Mechane whenever the halfling tries to jump him. It never takes.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Apparently, he doesn't like his job involving being inside Durkon any more than Durkon does. Heck, he doesn't even dislike Durkon personally, although this does not extend into caring in any way about Durkon's well-being either.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His eyes turn red when he reawakens as a vampire.
  • Reforged into a Minion: After Malack defeats him, he makes Durkon into a vampire thrall. As it turns out, he's actually Hel's minion.
  • Shadow Archetype: He's the part of Durkon that the dwarf has been denying. Every spiteful thought, every stray feeling of hate or despair. Durkon denies that they're alike, but after showing him visions of his past along with a Breaking Speech, he leaves Durkon in a silent Heroic BSoD. Fittingly enough, he's finally defeated not by overpowering him, but by completing him with all the good times Durkon ever had, turning him into the Durkon we know.
  • Sizeshifter: "Hel's Might" allows him to turn into a giant dwarf, like Durkon did with "Thor's Might".
  • Smug Snake: He's evil and he takes great pleasure in rubbing his control over Durkon's body in Durkon's face. Lampshaded in strip #983.
    Durkon: I'd ne'er become tha tool o' yer mistress' reckoning if'n ye were na usin' me as a frickin tool!
    HPoH: OK, sure, but my way I get to act much smugger about it.
  • Static Character: His inability to understand Durkon's memory-linked Character Development hints at a broader inability (shared by some other undead in-setting) to change or grow beyond their "default" state the way living characters do. It belies his claim that Durkon is no better than him because of an angry comment he made while freezing to death because the Genre Blind leaders of his faith exiled him without telling him why, giving him time to prepare, or letting him bid his mother farewell.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: The High Priest Lampshades the fact that he could easily achieve victory against Roy by entering his mist form and waiting for the gods to finish their vote on whether to destroy the world, except that he wants the satisfaction of killing Roy himself. He also has a trump card in case it all goes wrong anyway: an antilife shell.
  • Super Smoke: He has the standard vampiric power of turning into mist. He employs it at the Godsmoot to escape Roy when the fight against him starts to turn sour. He points out he could have done that from the start, but enjoys too much torturing Roy to use the easy way out. Also, like Malack he can still talk under this form, which contradicts the D&D rules.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: invoked The Priest's reaction to Durkon's heartwarming childhood memories with his mother.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Even more so than Belkar, since he's actively trying to bring about the end of the world.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Just after being vampirized — since he's effectively a newborn person in an adult's body — he has to be reminded not to always talk at full volume, blunders into full sunlight and doesn't realize that the "sorry, your Gate is in another pyramid" message is no longer relevant when the Gate is blown up... in the pyramid they just left. He gets better after Malack is killed and he's released from his thrall.
  • Touch of Death: Harm, Slay Living, and the Inflict Wounds line are all among his favorite combat spells. As a vampire, he can also induce a Level Drain effect with his touch, and uses it to great effect while fighting Roy.
  • Turn Undead: As a vampire cleric, it's likely this power of his will now bolster/rebuke/command undead instead. Though one could say that Durkon has literally turned undead.
  • Undercover When Alone: Prior to The Reveal, the High Priest of Hel (a few slips aside) maintains Durkon's accent even when absolutely no-one is around to hear it. Presumably, given the comic's lack of a fourth wall, maintaining his cover to the reader is a completely valid in-universe motivation for this.
  • Undying Loyalty: Subverted. The newly raised Durkon is his own beast entirely. He is simply pretending to be the old Durkon so that the Order will accept him, fooling them into helping him accomplish his goals for his goddess.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After he is freed by Nale and Zz'dtri, he attacks the former and kills the latter. This is probably because he realizes it's in his best interests to maintain the illusion that he's still Durkon (and, hence, the Linear Guild's enemy) so he can remain with the Order and catch a ride to the Dwarven Lands. That, and as a being of pure negative material energy, he literally can't feel gratitude and realizes the two of them are scrubs who are useless to him anyway.
  • Villain Ball: Like Xykon, he prefers toying with his opponents and will kill innocents even if it is counterproductive.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Begins having one when he sees Durkon's memory of his mother revealing she gave up a massive amount of wealth to save a group of people she'd never even met. Due to lacking Durkon's life time of character development, he can't process it to the point that he willingly lets Durkon flood him with all his memories and experiences at once, letting Durkon turn the tables on him.
  • Walking Spoiler: On two levels. First, the very fact that Durkon is a vampire is a major spoiler for late in Book 5, Blood Runs in the Family. Second is the fact that this being is not Durkon, but is commandeering his corpse, with the original stuck in an And I Must Scream situation.
  • Wall Crawl: He can climb sheer walls without visible effort; another standard vampiric power.
  • Weapon of Choice: Malack's staff, until Roy destroys it.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Claims to be this for Durkon, being shaped from his worse moments. Ultimately it's deconstructed in the moment of his defeat. Sure, he's Durkon on his worst day. But as Durkon himself says, he's had other days since then.
    Durkon: Ye told me b'fore tha ye are who ye are on th' worst day o' yer life. An' tha's true. Tha's 100% true. But ye know who else ye are? Ye are who ye are on tha next day. Tha day ye wake up an' haf ta decide: are ye gonna make this tha new worst day o' yer life, or na? [...] Ye are who ye are on all o' yer days. All o' 'em. Includin' tha worst an' tha best. Ev'ry single one counts. All tha way ta tha end.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Connected to Evil Cannot Comprehend Good above — he cannot comprehend how self-sacrifice works, giving Durkon the opening he needs, telling him that he needs to know what love, pain, sadness, pride, and so on really are in order to comprehend him, giving him all his memories just so he can process emotions.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The literal personification of this. When he first came into existence, he learned of Durkon's worst day in his life, and he feels it. In many ways, he is what Durkon might have become had he not met Roy. Durkon uses this against him, as he has that memory but not without the lifetime of character growth and experiences to properly process it.
    High Priest of Hel: ...but for that one moment? You felt exactly what I feel. ...And that's who I am. Your worst day, personified. Hel may have created me, but she shaped me to fit perfectly in the hole in your heart.
  • Would Hurt a Child: A given since he is an Omnicidal Maniac. Exploited in a particular instance, too: Upon seeing Hilgya bringing her's and Durkon's baby with her into battle, he uses the baby's life as leverage in making a deal with Durkon, and later forces a Dominated Hilgya to give him the baby to serve as a meat shield.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Inverted. While taunting Roy about the death of his baby brother Eric, he asks for more information about the accident that killed him.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Has proven to be extremely adaptable. He arranged for a tie at the Godsmoot, forcing the demigods to vote. Hel already suspected how they would vote or convinced them to vote her way, but when Hermod votes against the destruction of the world he is shown to have a backup plan: with the last god to vote being Dvalin, who refuses to vote without polling the heads of the dwarven clans, he had vampire Gontor Hammerfell steal the Teleport Orb from the Mechane, allowing them to teleport to the elders and dominate them. And he relinquishes his position as High Priest to one of his newly-vampirized minions, allowing him to accompany Gontor (as the physical presence of a High Priest is necessary for Hel's vote to remain valid).

    "Gontor Hammerfell" 

"Gontor Hammerfell"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_03_24_at_113226_pm.png

"Our church is a frontarchy. Prove otherwise."

Race: Vampire (spirit controlling a dead dwarf)
Gender: Male
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Evil

The vampire spirit now controlling the body of the former Exarch of the Creed of Stone. He serves as a dutiful subordinate to the spirit controlling Durkon.


  • Berserk Button:
    • Doors not opening. In his opinion, if a door won't open, it should just be a wall.
      Gontor: [madly trying to open a door] Do you want to be a wall, is that it? Do your job, you disobedient ingress!!
    • In general, he dislikes things not behaving as they "should". The real Exarch had his entire life planned out for him by his family but chose to join the Creed of Stone, which baffles the vampire.
  • Control Freak: He wants everything to behave like it's "supposed" to.
  • The Dragon: He definitely considers himself this and seems to be the most loyal and prominent of "Durkon's" minions.
  • Dragon Their Feet: After "Durkon" is defeated, he is still around to go through with the plan to enslave the clan heads, and can still succeed if the Order doesn't reach him in time.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: He believes the current system, under which dwarfs are sorted either to Hel or Valhalla based on whether or nor they died honorably, to be unfair and structually biased. He instead wants to create a system in which everyone is condemned to eternal suffering without any chance of salvation.
  • Exact Words: He doesn't consider drinking Little Whiskers' blood as a violation of "Durkon"'s order to not drink the blood of any person on the airship because the tiger's not really a person.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He sees the dwarven honour system as defying this trope. If a dwarf is unarmed and surrounded by enemies, honour mandates that they stand and fight, despite knowing that they have no chance, because otherwise they go to Hel. The Exarch feels that if they're going to Hel anyways, dwarves will be able to accept their death without any of that violent last-moments thrashing.
  • Loose Lips: Spells out Hel's plan for rigging the council vote — going to Firmament and mind-controlling all the dwarven elders. "Durkon" wasn't mad at "Gontor" for spilling the beans because it happened right after Roy tempted fate and the timing was just too perfect.
  • Smug Snake: He mocks the Order's animal companions when he steals the teleport orb, gloating about how he's easily stronger than them. He also boasts that the Order can't disprove the claim that their church is officially run by whoever runs first into the room, knowing that even though this is ridiculous, the rules of the Godsmoot will still protect the new High Priestess of Hel nonetheless and the Order can't do anything about it.
  • Super Smoke: One of his many vampire powers. He uses it to get onboard the Mechane.
  • Swarm of Rats: He summons one from the bowels of the Mechane to fight the Order's animal companions.
  • Un-Evil Laugh: He tries for a dramatic evil laugh but can only manage an embarrassing "Bwee hee hee hee hee hee!" Hel later gripes about his poor grasp of "basic villain stuff".

    Female vampire 

Female vampire

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2018_04_22_at_54037_pm.png

"Listen, after we're done here, me and her are gonna go try some messed up stuff she's been thinking about for like a bajillion years. Want to come with?"

Race: Vampire (spirit controlling a dead human)
Gender: Female
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Evil

A vampire controlling the body of a Creed of Stone member. Unlike the other vampires, she gets along well with her host spirit, who turns out to have been concealing evil desires and thus has no objection to the vampires' plans.


  • Character Death: Is decapitated by Belkar, after she lets her guard down when the Order is seemingly defeated in Firmament.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Thinks that babies are cute, apparently.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: It turns out her host had been "repressing some major evil tendencies her whole life", and has embraced vampiric possession as a means of finally pulling a Face–Heel Turn. This results in the host and vampire spirit developing a genuine Villainous Friendship, much to the High Priest's envy.
    "Durkon": She doesn't even do that thing where she pretends to be horrified while secretly thrilled?
    Vampire: Nope, she's just down for whatever. It's great!
  • Gorn: Plans to inflict this on someone, enough so to require a poncho.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: When the vampires collectively employ Hypnotizing Gaze on the Order, she enthralls Belkar, and is delighted to find his bloodthirstiness causes him to attack his teammates (under the pretense of "protecting" the unconscious Vaarsuvius) with barely any prompting.
  • In the Back: While her guard is down, a revitalized Belkar leaps onto her back and jams a wooden stake into her spine. This is quickly followed up with a decapitation.
  • Karmic Death: She hypnotized Belkar into attacking his teammates. Later, she's caught off guard and decapitated by him.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: When jumped by Belkar, she attempts to cast Harm on him, but he jams a dagger in her throat before she can finish the word, and is decapitated a panel later.
  • Likable Villain: Her host finds her to be this, and in general she's relatively laid back and chill. Doesn't stop her from helping the other vampires try to destroy the world and kill everyone in it, though.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Uses Sonic Lance on Vaarsuvius.
    Vampire: Ha, see? I told you. No one ever protects themselves against sonic damage.
    "Durkon": Yes, yes, you don't need to gloat.
  • No Name Given: Despite being one of the High Priest's chief lieutenants, standing out like a sore thumb in a crowd of mostly dwarvish vampires, and playing a major role when fighting the Order of the Stick in Firmament, she isn't given a name.
  • Off with Her Head!: Belkar beheads her. More specifically, he slashes her throat so hard he cuts clean through her neck.
  • Perky Female Minion: She's rather chipper and upbeat for a vampire, and frequently celebrates whenever something during battle goes right. At least part of it seems to stem from having a perfectly willing host, which spares her from the internal struggling that irritates the High Priest and other vampires.

    High Priestess of Hel 

High Priestess of Hel

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_03_24_at_113455_pm.png

"I hereby issue a formal request that [Malack's staff] be turned over at once, in accordance with protocol."

Race: Vampire (spirit controlling a dead human)
Gender: Female
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Evil

The new High Priestess of Hel after the former High Priest abdicates his position so he can go to Firmament.


  • Authority in Name Only: She's only designated High Priestess so the "former" High Priest can leave without invalidating Hel's vote at Godsmoot. The vampire in Durkon's body is still considered the leader of the vampires, and even Hel herself refers to him as "[her] high priest".
  • Carry a Big Stick: Wields a mace.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: She can be seen in human form in the background of this page.
  • My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: She tries to pull this on Roy when she demands Malack's staff back, but while Roy returns it, he breaks it first.
  • Rules Lawyer: Even though she's taking over the position the previous High Priest of Hel (in Durkon's body) vacated, Roy is technically only the bodyguard of the previous High Priest and not her, so he can't attack her as he attacked the previous priest.
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    "Brother Sandstone" 

"Brother Sandstone"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_10_27_at_22323_pm.png

"It was very difficult to keep myself from biting your face off..."

Race: Vampire (spirit controlling a dead dwarf)
Gender: Male
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Evil

A vampire created after the real Brother Sandstone died trying to keep Hel's vampires out of Firmament.


Thor's forces

    High Priest Hurak 

High Priest Hurak

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hurak.png

"But I know tha lad. He's so Lawful, if I command him ta stay away until I send fer him, he will — even if it means spendin' tha rest 'o his life exiled!"

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Good

The former High Priest of Thor. After learning that Durkon was destined to bring doom to the dwarves the next time he 'returns home', he decided to send Durkon into permanent exile, reasoning that if Durkon left forever and never returned, the prophecy couldn't come true.


  • The Needs of the Many: Thinks he is upholding this when he sends Durkon away, reasoning that it's better for one dwarf to wander the human world forever than for all the other dwarves to suffer doom.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The fact that he didn't tell Durkon why he had to leave so suddenly and never come back ultimately created a deeply hidden resentment which would become the basis of Durkon's vampire self. Especially since, as Roy points out, Durkon would have happily exiled himself if he knew it would keep his people safe.
  • Posthumous Character: Hurak died before the story began.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: He causes this. Worried that Durkon would bring doom to the dwarves the next time he returned home, he exiled Durkon... which eventually results in Durkon being turned into a vampire and returning home to bring doom to the dwarves.

    High Priestess Rubyrock 

High Priestess Rubyrock

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_03_24_at_115306_pm.png

"I would not venture a guess, but it is truth. And truth always has a use."

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Female
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Good

The current High Priestess of Thor, who obtained the position after Hurak passed away.


  • Foil: To Hurak, the previous high priest. He concealed the truth from Durkon out of expediency, but the High Priestess believes that truth can always be useful.
  • No Name Given: Lampshaded. She goes the entire Godsmoot arc without being identified beyond "High Priestess of Thor" which leads to this exchange.
    Roy: I met your high priestess at the Godsmoot.
    Minrah: High Priestess Rubyrock?
    Roy: Sure. Probably.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • She revokes Durkon's exile and allows him to return home, although the Monster in the Darkness unfortunately intercepts the message and prevents Durkon from getting it.
    • After seeing Roy's heroic actions at the Godsmoot, she decides she can trust him, and so gives him a runestone that will allow him to easily enter Firmament so he can more effectively oppose Hel's forces.
  • Shock and Awe: As a priestess of the god of Thunder, she wields "Thor's Lightning". She tries to fry "Durkon" with it, but the vampire counterspells it.

    Tinna 

Tinna

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_08_26_at_62229_pm.png

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Female
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Unknown (probably Lawful Good)

One of the acolytes guarding the Temple of Thor in Firmament


  • Astrologer: She's an astronomer at the temple of Thor. She offers to do Roy's and Elan's horoscopes to learn more about their future.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Minrah's cousin apparently has a thing for her, but is unable to act on it.
  • Spear Carrier: Appears just in one small scene defending Thor's temple in Firmament.
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    Rogo 

Rogo

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_08_26_at_62235_pm.png

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Unknown (probably Lawful Good)

One of the acolytes guarding the Temple of Thor in Firmament


  • Spear Carrier: Appears just in one small scene defending Thor's temple in Firmament.

    Minrah Shaleshoe 

Minrah Elle Shaleshoe

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_08_26_at_62240_pm.png
"I will join you in your quest! Smashing the forces of Evil is why I joined the temple in the first place."

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Female
Class: Cleric/Fighter
Alignment: Lawful Good

One of the acolytes guarding the Temple of Thor in Firmament. She joins the Order of the Stick in the fight against the vampires invading her town.


  • Changed My Mind, Kid: At first she's happy that she finally gets to go to Valhalla, but after finding out that all of creation is at stake — and has actually been wiped out multiple times — she runs back and orders Durkon to raise her after his own resurrection so she can help.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The reason she can't do much but play healer for the Order is because she didn't prepare any particularly impressive spells for what was supposed to be a quiet night of watching the temple.
  • Dark Secret: She has a personal secret that worries her so much she doesn't want anyone to hear about it even after she's dead and in the afterlife. Whatever it is, Thor tells her not to worry about it.
  • Drop the Hammer: As is standard for more combat-oriented clerics of Thor.
  • Dynamic Entry: She reenters the story by punching Durkon in the face in heaven.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: When she sees Durkon in heaven she says that he doesn't need her hammer to kill him since, "I carry my fists in my heart!"
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Like how Celia didn't realize humans couldn't all cast lightning, Minrah wasn't aware that humans and halflings lacked Darkvision.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": She's a brave defender of Thor's temple in Firmament. Durkon himself compliments her on her initiative to battle the forces of evil. But her attitude toward Thor himself? Total Fangirl.
    Minrah: [as she rides Thor's back when he flies] I have literally had this dream at least a dozen times!
  • Loophole Abuse: She made a promise to take it to her grave that her cousin was in love with her coworker Tinna. That doesn't stop her from telling it to a soon-to-be-resurrected Durkon so that he transmits the message, though. After all, now that she's dead she technically kept her promise, and she deems life is too short.
  • Magic Knight: As a Cleric/Fighter, Minrah is adept at both spellcasting and martial combat.
    Minrah: Don't worry about me, I was a guard before I was a cleric. I'm not the best caster but I have a hammer and I know how to swing it.
  • Master of None: Falls into this rather than Jack-of-All-Stats due to her relatively low level compared to The Order.
  • Mauve Shirt: Has a little characterization and a background as a temple guard before she decides to accompany the Order... and subsequently dies during a battle with Hel's forces. And then gets to interact with the real Durkon in the afterlife. And then she rejects Valhalla and tells Durkon to resurrect her when he gets back because she can't just sit back and party in the afterlife when all of existence is in danger.
  • Phrase Catcher: "You obviously didn't get a lot of time to talk to Elan" and variants.
  • Refusing Paradise: A mild case. Minrah tells Durkon to try raise her, stating that she'd rather risk being claimed by Hel than sit around Valhalla and not helping save the universe. She's perfectly okay with hanging in Valhalla to knock back a few while waiting to be resurrected.
  • Secret Keeper: Aside from the Dark Secret above, Minrah promised to keep a secret that her cousin had the hots for her colleague, and promised to take it to her grave. She tells Durkon to let them know; she's no longer obligated to keep it since she did take it to her grave.
  • The Watson: Minrah being killed in the fight against the vampires and sent to the afterlife at the same time as Durkon gives the latter someone to talk to at length about their prospects. And also, allows her to ask Thor for answers (to the audience's benefit), including some that the god would rather not have given to Durkon.

    Firuk Blackore 

Firuk Blackore

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_08_30_at_13235_am.png

"'Tis a risky business to screw wit prophecy."

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown (probably Lawful Good)

The brewmaster of the main temple of Thor back when Hurak was in charge.


  • Dramatic Drop: Upon hearing that the the lead vampire besieging the Firmament Temple of Thor is/was Durkon Thundershield, he drops a tray of beers in shock. For a dwarven brewmaster to waste perfectly good beer, that certainly means the situation is serious.
  • It's All My Fault: Says this upon learning of Durkon's fate.
  • Mr. Exposition: Serves as one to the Order, explaining the circumstances of Durkon's exile.
  • Talking to the Dead: Rather angrily screams at Hurak, who is long dead, for creating a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
  • The Watson: Had the prophecy explained to him by Hurak, allowing the readers to learn about it as well.

    Brother Sandstone 

Brother Sandstone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_09_26_at_32442_pm_9.png

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Unknown (probably Lawful Good)

Another member of Thor's clergy.


Thundershield Family and Friends

For Durkon Thundershield, see The Order of the Stick.

    Sigdi Thundershield 

Sigdi Thundershield

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sigdi.png

"Let's go back unnergound, aye? Tha sky's pretty, sure, but ain't no place fer us dwarves."

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Female
Class: Unknown (probably Fighter)
Alignment: Lawful Good

Durkon's mother. Briefly mentioned by her son early in the comic, she appears in flashbacks much later. She is widowed, her husband Tenrin having died before Durkon's birth in an accident while fighting a troll.


  • Adult Fear: Defied for laughs. Most of the Order assumed Sigdi had gone without knowing how safe Durkon was since he was exiled, but Durkon had been Sending to her every week since he learned the spell.
    Durkon: Wha's the point o' havin' long-range commun'cation magic if'n ye cannae use it ta tell yer loved ones yer safe?
  • An Arm and a Leg: She lost her right arm in the same accident that cost her husband his life. She refused to let go of Tenrin and had to be forcefully pulled away. Afterward, she couldn't afford to have her arm restored.
  • An Axe to Grind: Her preferred weapon seems to be an axe.
  • Back in the Saddle: So she says when joining her son's party in battle.
    Sigdi Aye, ha ha! It's good ta swing an axe again!
  • Call-Back: An In-Universe example: when Durkon was very young, she saved a co-worker from falling off a cliff, holding his hand til they're able to be pulled up. We later learn that it's a repeat of the same situation with her husband before Durkon was born but she wasn't able to pull him up.
  • Doting Grandparent: It doesn't take her long to start cooing over her new grandson Kudzu even though she's only known about his existence for a minute or two.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In her first comic, she saves another dwarf single-handedly, then brushes it off as nothing and makes Durkon his favorite dinner.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Administers one to Durkon when she wants his undivided attention.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Or, at least, she calls for her extended family to fight Hel's minions.
  • Good Parents: All of Durkon's memories of her are happy ones. She teaches him how to be a proper adult dwarf, and when he makes mistakes, she treats them as learning experiences instead of failures. It's easy to see how he grew up to be such a heroic character.
  • Good Is Not Soft: When asked what would have happened if the dwarves she raised were evil she mentioned that she was a warrior before and, as she had told Durkon growing up, she brought them into this world and she could send them right back out. She also nonchalantly threatens to end Hilgya if she harms Durkon again.
  • Handicapped Badass: She may have only one arm, but she's the first to react when a fellow dwarf is in danger and can still fight as actively as the rest of her family and the party when required.
  • Honor Before Reason: She has a strong sense of obligation and will always pay back what she owes. Even when her "debt" is someone doing something nice for her. She spends the celebration of Durkon's ordainment worried that she can't repay Shirra for the new dress she was given for the ceremony. Shirra has to stress that the dress was a gift and that her honor would be deeply insulted if Sigdi tried to pay her for it. Kandro also comments her companions hate when she tries to pay them back, because as far as they are concerned the Raise Dead spells she paid for in the past mean she doesn't owe them anything.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Is willing to look past Hilgya having killed Durkon once, but makes it clear that any further incidents will be answered with lethal force. High-level cleric or not, Hilgya is reduced to frightened stuttering.
  • Lethal Chef: Claims to have been one before Durkon was born, and apparently still has elements of it, as Durkon comments her crabapple cobbler tastes like a Poison spell.
  • Mama Bear: When she finds out that Hilgya killed Durkon with a Flame Strike earlier, she casually mentions that if Hilgya puts so much as a scratch on her son again, she can expect no mercy...but she'll be sure to look after little Kudzu.
    Sigdi: Sometimes, ye haf ta leave yer cub behind in the den so ye can brutally eliminate everythin' tha indirectly threatens 'im. It's just part o' bein' a mother.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: She drops her accent when Durkon accused her of letting go of her husband as she resurrected five strangers instead of him.
    Sigdi: I NEVER LET GO!
  • The Paragon: Throughout her life, she's been shown to be a kind, honorable and selfless individual. Even through she was retired and crippled with one arm, she managed to save another dwarf from falling to his death. And when five miners she doesn't even know turn up dead after a tragic mining accident with no family to claim their bodies, she volunteers a large treasure given to her by her squad in order to raise them from the dead and spare them the Fate Worse than Death of serving in Hel's domain, becoming True Companions in the process.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Acts all sweet and grandmotherly towards Hilgya and Kudzu, only to throw in a well-placed death threat in the middle, all without sounding or looking any bit less kindly... then pretend like she said nothing and ask what Kudzu eats.
    Roy: Wow, I haven't seen a feint like that since Fencing Class.
  • Pregnant Badass: She was pregnant with Durkon during the mission where her husband died, though she didn't know it until she was recovering afterward.
  • Retired Badass: She mentions a pension at one point, and formerly served as a sergeant in the dwarven army. During that time she was said to have slain many monsters.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: She discovered her pregnancy after her husband's death.
  • Take My Hand:
    • She prevents a fellow dwarf from falling to his death by holding him with her sole hand long enough for the guards to help her. She also lost her right arm when she refused to release her husband's hand even as a cave fell in on him.
    • On the receiving end in #1166 when she's clinging from a broken stone bridge with her good hand.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: invoked In the opinion of a negative energy being, to be sure. She is practically a saint of selflessness and kindness and Durkon's memories of her are all great.
  • Think Nothing of It: After the rescue — nothing anyone else wouldn't've done.
  • Through His Stomach: A grilled cheese sandwich, just as Durkon asked for. She entertains her friends this way, with dinner parties every other Wednesday. Though she claims that before she had Durkon, she was a Lethal Chef.
  • True Companions: Five friends of hers, whom she has as guests every party. They became friends because she saved their lives, using a large sum of gemstones from a chest her squad gave her to instead raise them from the dead after they had died from a poisoned gas leak. They come armed and running when she needs their help in battle, and bring the rest of the family.
  • Unequal Pairing: With her husband, who was a soldier in her squad under her command when she was a sergeant.

    Tenrin Thundershield 

Tenrin Thundershield

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/durkonfather.png

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown (presumably Fighter)
Alignment: Unknown (presumably Lawful Good)

Durkon's father and the late husband of Sigdi Thundershield, he was a dwarven soldier part of his wife's squad in which he served as a sapper. He was killed in a confrontation with a troll with dragon blood after causing a cave-in to trap it there.


  • Badass Bookworm: He was described by one of Sigdi's friends as a geological genius and a "true savant" on the subject.
  • Burying a Substitute: As his body was crushed beneath a massive cave in, only a bit of beard that Sigdi had in her keeping was buried at his funeral.
  • Demolitions Expert: He was his squad's sapper.
  • Disappeared Dad: To Durkon due to being dead.
  • Killed Off for Real: There was no resurrection spell used on him because his noble sacrifice means he is in Valhalla and the only time Sigdi had the diamonds to perform it she brought back five dwarves that accidentally died a dishonorable death.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Tenrin was smiling in his last moment, since he was holding his beloved wife's hand at the time. He was also glad to have saved her, the rest of the party and the nearby village from the troll, thus earning his place in Valhalla.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Caused a cave-in to save the rest of his squad from a troll with dragon blood.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Since the Dwarves Never Found the Body after the cave-in, all that was buried was a hair lock of his beard.
  • Posthumous Character: He was dead before Durkon was born.
  • Unequal Pairing: With his wife, who was his squad leader.

    Thirden 

Thirden

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thirden.png

"So, instead, I am going to tell you a completely unrelated story about a frightening monster that threatened our people — and you, in turn, are going to learn all about the wonderful world of subtext."

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Bard
Alignment: Unknown

One of Sigdi's frequent dinner companions, Thirden was very close to Durkon and helped him become a priest by teaching him divine lore and theology.


  • Back from the Dead: Died in a mining accident years ago. Sigdi spending her newfound fortune raising him and the other four is why he and the others became friends with her.
  • Cool Uncle: Though not Durkon's actual uncle, he functions as this. Durkon calls him "Uncle", and Thirden teaches Durkon family lore and also gets him snacks his mother wouldn't approve of.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: He is also called "Squeaky".
  • Honorary Uncle: To Durkon because of his long friendship with his mother.
  • Mr. Exposition: Told Durkon how his father died and his mother lost her arm.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: His resurrection allowed him to go back and finish bard school after realizing he almost died a miner.
  • The Talk: Played with and ultimately parodied. Durkon needs to ask him about a tough question, and Thirden immediately assumes it's about sex. But then...
    Durkon: How did Ma get hurt? An' how did me pa die?
    Thirden: .... So, how about that sex, huh?

    Hoskin 

Hoskin

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hoskin.png

"Another excellent meal, Sigdi. Are ye sure ye werenae tha army's secret gourmet chef?"

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown (probably Lawful Good)

Another of Sigdi's dinner companions. Hoskin is described as helping Durkon stay on the straight and narrow.


  • Back from the Dead: Died in a mining accident years ago. Sigdi spending her newfound fortune raising him and the other four is why he and the others became friends with her.
  • The Cavalry: Leads Sigdi's reinforcement with Kandro.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Warns Durkon away from using pipeweed.
  • Honorary Uncle: To Durkon, though they're not related. In fact, he asked Durkon's mother for marriage several times. She refused, and since then he had married another female dwarf, with Durkon officing the ceremony.
  • Teeth Flying: The first time he proposed to Sigdi, she responded by punching him in the face. He's still missing a tooth to this day.

    Kandro 

Kandro

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kandro.png

"How 'boot tha one where Freya gets 'er necklace from us dwarves?"

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown (probably Lawful Good)

The third of Sigdi's dinner companions. Kandro taught Durkon how to wield a hammer and shield.


  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: A rare benign version. Kandro gets eaten by a summoned death worm in the battle to stop the mesmerized dwarven council, but rather than lamenting his passing, Sigdi and the others cheer out congratulations for dying in battle; he was getting on in years, and facing another dishonorable death by old age, so it was his chance to earn a place in Valhalla.
  • An Axe to Grind: He wields an axe with much courage and vigor against a death worm.
  • Back from the Dead: Died in a mining accident years ago. Sigdi spending her newfound fortune raising him and the other four is why he and the others became friends with her.
  • Badass Beard: A big white one and he was Durkon's weaponmaster.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Cutting off a death worm's tongue to save a fellow dwarf and then going all You Shall Not Pass! before it eats him. Sigdi is relieved that his death this time is a "proper" heroic one.
  • Honorary Uncle: Like the rest of Sigdi's (male) dinner companions, Durkon calls Kandro "uncle".
  • Violent Glaswegian: Has an even heavier faux-Scots accent than Durkon, with plenty of colorful regional colloquialisms to boot, which come out in full force when he fights the death worm.
    Kandro: Shut yer geggie an' fight, ye howlin' gobber!

    Shirra Copperbottom 

Shirra Copperbottom

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shirra.png

"That dress is a gift from me to you, and my honor will be deeply insulted if you try to give me money for it later."

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Female
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown (probably Lawful Good)

The fourth of Sigdi's dinner companions. Shirra helped purchase all of the equipment Durkon needed and was very close to his mother.


  • Back from the Dead: Died in a mining accident years ago. Sigdi spending her newfound fortune raising her and the other four is why she and the others became friends with her.
  • Honorary Aunt: Considered this by Durkon because of her long friendship with his mother.
  • Rags to Riches: She was a simple copper miner who sued the pants off of the mining company for causing her death.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Downplayed, as we don't really know how rich she is. But she's clearly richer than Sigdi, as she was the one who purchased Durkon's hammer and shield for him, and also gave Sigdi a new dress to wear for his ordainment.

    "Durkon's Aunt" 

"Durkon's Aunt"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/durkonaunt_4.png

"Ye can play Smite Tha Tree wit yer Cousin Durkon next time."

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Female
Class: Unknown (Some sort of Spellcaster)
Alignment: Unknown (probably Lawful Good)

Another of Sigdi's dinner companions and the mother of Durkon's childhood friend.


  • Back from the Dead: Died in a mining accident years ago. Sigdi spending her newfound fortune raising her and the other four is why she and the others became friends with her.
  • Good Parents: From the little we've seen of her, she seems very attentive and loving towards her children.
  • Honorary Aunt: Considered this by Durkon because of her long friendship with his mother.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Thanks to Sigdi bringing her back to life she went on and continued her family line instead of it extinguishing with her dishonorable death in the mine.
  • No Name Given: Has not yet been named.

    Logann 

Logann

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/durkoncousin.png

"Ha! I scored two Thunderclaps! BOOM!"

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Fighter
Alignment: Unknown

The son of "Durkon's Aunt", one of Sigdi's frequent dinner companions. During Durkon's clerical training, he occasionally helped Durkon "fall off the straight and narrow".


  • Adorably Precocious Child: Has fun playing with Durkon, but isn't necessarily willing to follow the rules of the games they play.
  • An Axe to Grind: In the present he is wielding a double edge axe.
  • The Captain: As an adult he is a captain, he uses his experience to coordinate the Thundershield extended family's attack.
  • Took a Level in Badass: First introduced as Durkon's childhood friend he became a captain growing up capable of fighting rock elementals and shrugging off walking through a Wall of Blades.

    Kudzu 

Kudzu

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_12_07_at_51415_pm.png

"Tunn unn deh! Tunn unn deh!"

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: n/a
Alignment: Unknown

The newborn, bearded child of Durkon and Hilgya.


  • Baby Talk: Kudzu communicates in this, notably attempting to mimic his mother's frequent use of "Turn Undead".
  • Evil-Detecting Baby: Kicks up an immediate fuss when Vampire Durkon sits him in his lap, but reaches for the newly-ressurrected Durkon in the same way as he does to Elan.
  • Funny Background Event: Kudzu's innocent, childish antics (notably, trying to grab his mother's helmet or watching with glee her scry spell) brings some visual humor to otherwise purely dialogue scenes.
  • Human Shield: Vampire Durkon uses Kudzu as one during his final battle against the Order. He promised Durkon to not hurt his son directly, but if Roy throws his sword and hits the baby accidentally, that's on him.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Kudzu is the name of an invasive plant that can smother other vegetation. Considering the dwarves' enmity with trees, this can be a choice on Hilgya's part of rejecting their ways. (Although it should be noted Kudzu is a plant that kills trees.) Durkon is aghast she named him after a plant, but Sigdi notes that kudzu is a survivor, so the name fits.
    • His name could be Burlew's Self-Deprecation at having a Kudzu Plot.
    • Can also be a Shout-Out to the Kudzu comic strip.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Invoked by Durkon, but his mother Sigdi accepts it as a Meaningful Name, noting that the kid will be a survivor, just like the plant. Also invoked by Belkar in an earlier strip.
    Belkar: So we're just going to glide right past the fact that she named her kid "Kudzu"? We are? OK.

    Durkon's Cousin's Brother-in-law's Niece's Fiancé 
"hello, durkon. [...] nice to finally put a face to all the stories!"

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown

A remote member of Durkon's extended clan, joining the battle on Firmament.


Tinkertown

    Acolyte of Hoder 

Acolyte of Hoder

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_03_25_at_111303_pm.png

"I like to think of my bruised shins as my god's way of reminding me to practice my low-level healing spells."

Race: Gnome
Gender: Female
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Unknown

A helpful acolyte that Roy and the High Priest of Hel meet in Tinkertown.


  • Comical Overreacting: When she hears the High Priest trying to emulate breathing and thinks it's Roy playing a dirge, she clutches her heart and yells that her "feels have been hit for maximum damage!"
  • The Klutz: Chases after Roy, and immediately trips and falls down the hill. Priests of Hoder do wear blindfolds, so she might not actually be so if she could see.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: She tells Roy and the High Priest of Hel about Veldrina, which ultimately results in the High Priest being able to get to the Godsmoot in time to carry out Hel's plan.

    Gnomeland security commander 

Gnomeland security commander

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_03_25_at_112307_pm.png

"Right, then. Knock her hat off, squad!"

Race: Gnome
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown

A commander of the Department of Gnomeland Security, an armed force which protects Tinkertown.


  • The Leader: Of his squad.
  • Police are Useless: Or maybe Militaries Are Useless, as it's not clear exactly which one Gnomeland security falls into. But either way, the commander's squad is worse than useless against Crystal. Similar to Celia, their electrical weapons actually heal Crystal and charge her up.

    Gnomeland security subordinate 

Gnomeland security subordinate

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_03_25_at_112235_pm.png

"Use the harpoons, not the lightning gun! You're just going to charge her up!"

Race: Gnome
Gender: Female
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown

A member of the Department of Gnomeland Security.


  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Heeds Haley's advice to get the (poorly equipped) gnomeland security force away from the duel between Haley and Crystal.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Knowing that the Tinkertown gnomes are totally outmatched by the Thieves Guild, she allows Crystal to execute Bozzok without interfering even though she's not supposed to. She later helps Haley to throw Crystal into Tinkertown's fiery waste disposal system.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She works with Haley to deal with the Thieves Guild, even when that requires skirting protocol (such as by allowing Crystal to kill Bozzok).

Creed of the Stone

    Gontor Hammerfell 

Gontor Hammerfell

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_03_25_at_105840_pm.png

"Yes, my sisters and brothers of the Creed toiled all morning, wrestling the stone from the mountain."

Race: Dwarf
Gender: Male
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Unknown

Exarch of the Creed of the Stone and chief administrator of the Godsmoot.


  • Dishing Out Dirt: Along with the rest of the Creed, he can manipulate stone. This is how they created the cathedral.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Decides to trust the High Priest of Hel, a vampire who worships an Evil-aligned goddess, with the information that he is not protected by the Godsmoot's rules and also has no magic with which to defend himself. This proves to be unwise.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He personally escorts the High Priest of Hel into the cathedral so that he can privately offer to forge an alliance between Hel and the Creed of the Stone; this would help Hel get more consistent representation in the Godsmoots. He's brutally killed for his pains.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Killed off after only two strips. Although courtesy of the vampire he became we learn that he could have had a promising career and marriage but opted to join the Creed of the Stone instead.

Passage pass

    Giantess warrior 

Giantess warrior

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_04_01_at_123539_pm.png
The giantess (left), next to the human Roy for scale.

"You wretched little flea!"

Race: Frost giant
Gender: Female
Class: Unknown (probably Barbarian)
Alignment: Unknown (probably Chaotic Evil)

The strongest of the giants that attack the Order and the Mechane during their attempt to get through Passage Pass.


  • An Axe to Grind: Uses a large battleaxe in combat. It's so big and heavy Elan can barely lift it after the fight.
  • The Berserker: Called as such by Roy. If indeed she's of the Barbarian class, she certainly can rage.
  • Catch and Return: When Roy throws a boulder at her, she points out how much this is a bad idea since catching boulders is a main ability of D&D giants. She then tosses it back at the fighter, flattening him.
  • Church Militant: Says she will slaughter everyone on the Mechane for Thrym, her god.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Eventually, she decides destroying the airship's parts is easier than defeating the Order.
  • Elite Mook: She serves this function, being a stronger version of the other Giant Mooks that the Order fights.
  • Exposed to the Elements: She only wears boots and a Fur Bikini while atop snowy mountains. Of course, frost giants are completely unbothered by cold.
  • Fur Bikini: She is wearing a skirt and a bra that looks like it's made of light grey animal fur.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Claimed to have been "holding back" just to make the male giant look good, and sees Roy taking him out as a boon so she can show off what she can really do.

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