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Xykon: [To the MitD] We're seriously evil badasses here. I'm a mighty lich sorcerer, Redcloak is high priest of his evil goblin deity, and you — well, we all know how powerful you are.

    In General 
  • Anti-Human Alliance: Played with; the bulk of their forces are composed primarily of non-humans such as monsters, undead and goblinoids, the latter are united under Redcloak by their hatred of humans and fight for their right to exist. With that said, their actual supreme leader Xykon fights primarily for his own personal goals and For the Evulz, and has admitted humans into their ranks (not to mention he is formerly human himself).
  • Arch-Enemy: To the Order of the Stick. Played with in that they're Unknown Rivals as far as Xykon is concerned, while Redcloak recognizes they're a threat not to be overlooked, but not until the Empire of Blood Arc.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Despite Redcloak's Fantastic Racism, they are surprisingly inclusive. They are willing to employ or work with goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, ghasts, zombies, chimeras, mind flayers, humans, succubi, drow elves, kobolds, dwarves, half-orcs, and others. Ironically, Xykon is more tolerant than Redcloak since he is willing to recruit any humans willing to join them into their group, though the fact that he treats everyone as equally expendable note  means it's not due to any sort of benevolence on his part.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: Xykon and Redcloak both know they can't trust the other and both are plotting behind the other's back and have prepared for the other's inevitable betrayal. Ironically, the Monster in the Darkness, the one neither suspects, is actually the one to begin sabotaging the other two first.
  • In-Series Nickname: No, "Team Evil" isn't just ainvoked Fan Nickname; it's used in the webcomic.
  • The Necrocracy: Xykon is a lich, his subjects are mostly a mix of undead, goblinoids, and undead goblinoids.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Monster in the Darkness notes that hardly any members of Team Evil use their real names. Xykon's name was invented by himself as a teenager because he thought he needed a suitably cool name for his newfound life as a sorcerer. Redcloak's name is a Line-of-Sight Alias after Xykon killed another prospective ally for having a name too long to remember. The Monster has, by all appearances, never had a real name.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Neither Xykon and Redcloak fully trust one another and both have taken steps to either ensure contingencies are in place for when they are betrayed. This has caused friction between the two and undermined their efforts on several occasions. Eventually, the Monster in the Darkness begins actively undermining their plans with the other two unaware of it.

Core members


As a Human 

"I think I just had an evilgasm."

Race: Human lich
Gender: Male
Class: Sorcerer
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

An epic-level Chaotic Evil lich sorcerer with dire plans for the world and a serious lack of empathy for living things. He has a constant need for amusement, and often kills people or generally does evil acts to fulfill it, as he can't enjoy coffee (which he loved as a human) any more now that he is a lich. Don't let how at-ease he is fool you: he's stone-cold evil.

  • Accidental Misnaming: He thinks Roy's name is Bluepommel, Redblade, or Orangescabbard, when he can remember who he is at all.
  • The Ageless: As an undead lich he's unaging and immune to most attacks affecting living beings.
  • All for Nothing: Even if Xykon ultimately succeeds in enacting with Redcloak the ritual to control the Snarl over a hole in the Snarl's prison, it won't get him what he wants; the ritual lets the Dark One control where gates to the Snarl's prison appear, it does not grant control of the Snarl itself. Even at his lowest, Redcloak hid that information from Xykon from the very beginning. At one point Xykon asked Tsukiko to study the ritual, but it's not clear if he suspected Redcloak's account of what the ritual does wasn't accurate, or if he was just looking for a backup divine caster.
  • Animate Dead: One of his favorite powers as a lich sorcerer is bringing his enemies back as slaves.
  • Antagonist Abilities: He can regenerate from his phylactery, has access to teleportation, can paralyze his foes with a single touch, and has access to epic-level spells.
  • Artifact of Doom: Subverted; Roy and Eugene originally thought Xykon killed Fyron Pucebuckle and stole a crown Fyron possessed because it was a powerful magical artifact. But it turns out Xykon stole it solely because wearing it makes him look cool. However, Xykon's worn it for so long that some of his evil's rubbed off on it, and anyone else who wears it will register as evil when Detect Evil is used on them, regardless of their true alignment.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Xykon admits that he gets bored easily and as long as his phylactery is safe he is in no rush to realize his goal, amusing himself in petty evil deeds or watching tv.
  • Ax-Crazy: His idea of fun is torturing and killing everything that crosses his path just because he can.
  • Bad Boss: "Sacrificing minions... is there any problem it can't solve?"
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: As a child, the first thing he does when he accidentally zombifies his dog and sees it kill and eat a bird's brain? Cheer, and rush off to find more birds for the dog to kill.
  • Bad to the Last Drop: In his human days, he was something of a bad coffee connoisseur, explaining that bad coffee forces you to think of all the good coffee you've ever had just to block out the taste.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Xykon is big on being in control, so completely in control that he doesn't even need to bother to take things seriously. As a result, nothing infuriates him more than his control of things slipping away, especially due to a mistake. His reaction to the loss of his phylactery, which results from the fact that he was messing around with "harmless" prisoners who proceed to completely humiliate him, is a perfect example — especially considering his haste to hang all the blame on Redcloak.
    • He didn't react well in the backstory when he discovered becoming a lich meant he couldn't taste coffee anymore. Here it was more a Tranquil Fury button, making it all the more unnerving.
    • Don't call him "Zykon".
    • In the prequel, he mentions how "wizards looking down their damn nose" at him really gets under his (figurative) skin. Averted in the story proper, as by this point everyone knows he's a legitimate threat.
    • The man is obsessed with having his free will. He wants to be in charge just so he will never have to take orders or be forced to do something he doesn't want to do ever again. Even applying a rule as simple as "ending all sentences in a word with an even number of letters" in exchange for a powerful yet temporary ally (meaning he would have to follow the rule for like a week, tops) is enough for him to jeopardize his eternal goal for domination.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He may love theatrics and overacting, but he's still a powerful and merciless sorcerer who leaves dead bodies everywhere he goes.
  • Big Bad: He's the leader of Team Evil and the reason the Order of the Stick was formed is to take him down. As the story goes on and the scope of his threat with releasing the Snarl becomes clearer, more factions, most notably Azure City, act against him, both directly and indirectly.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: As the comic has progressed, it is now unclear who's the true Big Bad, and it seems to be a toss-up between Xykon, the IFCC, Hel, and Redcloak, though later events took Hel out of the picture.
  • Black Comedy: Just how does he manages to be both the most evil character in the series and one of the funniest? A lot of violence.
  • Blasphemous Boast: He once goads Redcloak by saying he can refresh his spells faster than the goblin priest who was "playing Mother-May-I with the Dim One."
  • Blood Knight: There are few enemies who are XP worthy at his level so he enjoys it when it happens. This actively works against Team Evil in Kraagor's Tomb, as the monsters are actually powerful enough for him to enjoy fighting, so he slows down the search by wanting to fight them despite having a way around them.
  • Book Dumb: Xykon failed math three times as a kid. Even as a lich, he's not too fond of academic knowledge and leaves this to Redcloak. This hardly means he's stupid, though, or even ignorant, since he gained lots of practical knowledge and experience over more than a century. He was, however, pretty dumb as a youngster, but since then has gotten an aging bonus (plus a racial bonus since he became a lich) to Intelligence.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Big fan of energy drain. As he says to a hapless Dorukan:
      Xykon: All you need is power, in as great a concentration as you can muster, and style. And in a pinch, style can slide.
    • What he gained the most from his becoming a lich, aside from immunity to a DePowering virus, was the increase to his intelligence and wisdom.
    • His belief is that true power is literally just whatever helps you take care of the problem at hand, such as good enough hearing to locate an invisible caster or a club to hit a Squishy Wizard with.
  • Break Them by Talking: Occasionally tries to break the minds and wills of his opponents in addition to their bodies, you know, just for an extra kick in the pants. Sometimes it is almost playfully, other times not so much, and often successfully. Except once. Most notably, his speech to Redcloak in Start of Darkness, which changed their relationship from equals to Redcloak being his flunky. (That is, until his first defeat by Roy.)
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Is by all means an legitimate threat, but prefers to faff about until he's given proper motivation (or his Berserk Button is pushed).
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Why was that Bluepommel guy so mad at him, again...?
    MiTD: You killed more than one guy named Fyron in Cliffport?
    Xykon: Five, actually.
  • The Caligula: When he was the highest authority in Azure City, the only thing he wanted to do was to see how much punishment O-Chul could take or have prisoners fight each other to the death. Luckily for the goblins, he absented himself a lot — and decided killing them all before leaving to be less amusing than using them as a way to desecrate the Sapphire Guard. His idea of ruling over the world doesn't seem better, as he tells Roy he might destroy it if he gets bored.
  • Call a Human a "Meatbag": He "went native" as a lich very quickly — he was calling Redcloak and Right-Eye "fluid-filled sacks of organs" a matter of hours after his transformation.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He's out to be as evil as possible and thinks that anybody with standards is a wimp.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The superb dispelling epic spell, according to D&D rules, inflict some damage on the caster, and Xykon is indeed seen gaining more battle damage when he uses it. As a result, he's unwilling to cast it willy-nilly, notably rejecting Redcloak's suggestion of using it against only Minrah and Durkon.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: When a superpowered Vaarsuvius makes a destructive, impressive entrance, Xykon mildly comments that V might have more entertainment value than the Teevo. He even jokes when O-Chul steals his phylactery.
    Xykon: HEY! What would your fellow paladins say if they saw you pickpocketing to make ends meet? You know, if I hadn't murdered them.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Averted while he's toying with his opponents. If for whatever reason he gets fed up with screwing around, he plays this deadly straight — his primary counter to a level-appropriate opponent is to use energy drain to sap their spellcasting and finish it off by firing a meteor swarm into their face when they're too weak to move. Sometimes he'll play it straight while toying with his opponents, like casting a symbol of insanity on a bouncing ball and tossing it in a room full of paladins.
  • Contemplative Boss: He takes the pose once. Then he lays down the law to Redcloak and reinstates their (as in his) true goal.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: He's well aware of the genres of being an Evil Overlord, but goes along with it anyway because he thinks it makes it more challenging for him to win, and thus more fun. However, he's still entirely capable of being a Combat Pragmatist if pushed and is far smarter than he acts. It's also why he decides to treat Roy as a Worthy Opponent when they meet again despite not remembering his name — he is a Player Character so he gets a more appropriate fight than the regular Redshirt, however he will downright ignore him if he thinks he is just a distraction for O-Chul.
    Xykon: Oh Redcloak. Don't confuse not caring with not knowing.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Xykon acts the way he does because he's got a short attention span, is much more interested in satiating his whims than indulging in long-term planning, and because he is so damn powerful that he is (justifiably) confident that no-one is really a threat to him, and therefore he is willing to let tactics slide for the sake of style. However, he is far more clever than people give him credit for, and when up against something that actually is a threat to him, he is far more intelligent in the way he battles. As he once told Redcloak, "Don't confuse not caring with not knowing."
  • Crystal Ball: Xykon's crystal ball has a wide-screen and gets picture-in-picture. He gets an even nicer one, with Teevo, after the original one was destroyed when Durokan's dungeon blew up.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Once he was transformed into a Lich, Xykon's already formidable sorcerer abilities were quadrupled at the very least, he gained a huge Intelligence boost, which pretty much nullified one of his biggest flaws as a mortal, alongside all manner of Strength and Wisdom boosts, and of course, making him effectively immortal. It also permanently robbed him of his ability to taste, or sleep, since his body is now, you know, dead. Not only did this cost him ever enjoying his beloved coffee again, it also means he's awake 24/7 and he's still stuck with the same limits as every other mortal sorcerers are, meaning he's got a good 14 hours a day to fill. He can't even indulge in a classic Evil Laugh anymore, since he doesn't have lungs in this form.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Xykon's a particularly unflattering take on characters who see the world as a video game. In his case, it means he can screw around indulging his every hedonistic (and sadistic) whim, insulated from all consequences, even deliberately handicapping himself sometimes in the name of getting a fun challenge, and if things go horribly wrong, oh well, he'll always have his phylactery to let him "respawn" and keep going. His support of the Plan is essentially an attempt to get ahold of metaphysical "cheat codes" to let him kill anyone anywhere forever, and he even fiddles around with the individual hours in his day trying to maximize things like magic item crafting time.
  • Dem Bones: He's a walking, talking skeleton.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Though Xykon figured while he was mortal that ruling the world for years would ensure he'd be remembered forever, he's only interested in world domination as a lich because that's what villains are supposed to do — time is no longer a factor for him. Later on he gives more concrete admissions that world domination is mostly a method; his real goal is so that no one can tell him what to do ever again, and standing at the very top even above the gods is just the only way to make sure.
  • Dirty Old Man: He counted while he was still alive — less so in his old age — but not as a lich. He's not "one of those disgusting biophiliacs" and considering he now lacks the "equipment", it makes sense. Even before becoming a lich, he dismisses concerns about "physical pleasures" because, as he said, his "equipment" hadn't moved on its own in years.
  • Dispel Magic: Xykon can use the epic spell superb dispelling to deal with enemy magic. He notably employs it to strip Vaarsuvius, empowered by the Soul Splice, of their protective spells.
  • Ditzy Genius: Failed math three times as a kid, and is highly lazy with a short attention span, but despite this, he's an extremely powerful lich sorcerer who can get very dangerous when push comes to shove, and is much more intelligent than he lets on.
  • Dracolich: He uses a zombified silver dragon as a flying mount during the invasion of Azure City. After Roy decapitates it (which doesn't hurt it much), Xykon meteor swarms both Roy and the dragon.
  • The Dreaded: He is a One-Man Army who enjoy massacring people. None of Hinjo's allied countries want to give him asylum out of fear of retribution from Xykon. Even the Monster in the Darkness drops his laid-back attitude when Xykon gets angry.
  • Dumbass No More: In life, he was a complete idiot...but both lichdom and age boost your mental abilities. Since death, while he still acts the fool, he's shown suprising intelligence when it suits him to. One of Redcloak's more subtle but potentially more dangerous mistakes is that he still thinks of Xykon as the dangerous but easily fooled thug he first met, rather then the far smarter monster he is now.
  • Dumb Muscle: Xykon's long had problems with being this. When he was a younger villain, he was passed over for promotion in favor of an unpowered game designer because he couldn't think his way out of a paper bag. Not helping matters is that he's aware of this, but seems to feel that he doesn't need to be smart, having enough power to brute force things being enough for him.
  • Dump Stat: Seems to be Wisdom, given his impulsiveness and lack of planning, and his Berserk Button during Start of Darkness is that he's always being treated like an idiot by wizards despite showcasing average intelligence... or — on several occasions — above-average intelligence. Rather than striving to fix this, Xykon's simply convinced himself he doesn't need planning when he has overwhelming power and knows when to start fighting seriously. This also shows in his general behavior, as he acts extremely immature and despite being as competent as he is, he can be incredibly short-sighted at times. This is despite getting bonuses to his Wisdom due both to old age and becoming a lich, implying it was already extremely low to begin with.
  • Emergency Transformation: He undergoes the transformation to lichdom willingly, because Lirian inflicted him with a magical disease which saps his spellcasting power while he remains alive.
  • Enfant Terrible: Was a Jerkass since he was 4. Killed his parents at 13.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Defied in the prequel comic. When Redcloak approached him with the possibility of becoming a lich so they could break out of Lirian's prison, he tells Redcloak that for all his horrible actions in life, he could never stoop to that level of depravity. Five seconds later, Xykon admits he was just screwing with Redcloak. At the end of the comic, he states that having standards is for pussies. See also Pragmatic Villainy.
    • Played straight once in the main comic. Xykon isn't one of those disgusting biophiliacs.
  • Eviler than Thou:
    • Start of Darkness ends up as something of a struggle between Redcloak and Xykon over who's the Big Bad and who's The Dragon. Xykon was The Dragon while alive, but once Redcloak gives him lichdom, things change: Xykon overpowers him, outmaneuvers him, forces/tricks him into killing his own brother, and tops it off with a particularly biting "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Since Redcloak never told him that the gate ritual doesn't work the way he advertised, however, he's had a piece of leverage Xykon is unaware of all along.
    • Also, he explains that the souls spliced to V are nothing compared to him, seeing as they couldn't achieve any form of immortality like he did.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: 90% of what he does, he does because he thinks it's funny.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Xykon enjoys being an evil bastard and wrings it out for all it is worth.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • In addition to the various horrific atrocities he's racked up, Xykon is also quite simply a prick. For example, during the attack on Azure City, he tells a paralyzed O-Chul that when re-animating his fallen paladin comrades, he's going to start with the women because he figures O-Chul is the kind of guy who would be offended by that. Other examples involve him executing the chief executioner for misspelling "guillotine", and blowing away a potential minion recruit for having a name that was too complicated. Invoked intentionally by the author: not only is it funny, but it's also an attempt to prevent the fact that his charm and charisma let people forget that he's a very bad guy, since he's clearly evil in big, apocalyptic "E" and little, petty "e" fashions alike.
      Rich Burlew: I mean, he's completely and wholly unapologetically Evil, but more to the point, he's kind of a dick.
    • It turns out, Xykon's entire motivation for wanting to Take Over the World and use the Snarl against the gods amounts to wanting to tell all of reality 'you can't tell me what to do' like an angry child.
  • Evil Laugh: Averted. He decided to opt out of it because he can't do this decently without lungs.
  • Evil Old Folk: He was fairly old when he became a lich, but could still massacre a fort's worth of paladins with barely a scratch. Now he's an epic-level lich sorcerer who murders archmages and has the high priest of a dark god for a lackey. He's also quick at thinking on his feet and is completely unfettered..
  • Evil Overlord: Sort of. He's on the move a lot and is less interested in ruling Azure City than in tormenting a paladin. He pushes that boring administration stuff on Redcloak.
  • Evil Plan: Getting control over the Gates and use the threat of the Snarl to take over the world. Why does he want to do this? So he can threaten to kill anyone, including gods, so no-one can stop him from indulging his evil whims.
  • The Evils of Free Will: An inversion of this is his ultimate motivation: Xykon is a very big lover of free will...but only his own. He's willing to risk the destruction of the entire world if he means he can be powerful enough that nothing, not the world and not the gods, can ever infringe his free will in any way ever again.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Epic-level sorcerer and capital "E" evil.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Due to Voice of the Legion. The first thing he does after becoming a lich is use his new voice for James Earl Jones impressions.
  • Evil Uncle: Played Claudius in an OotS retelling of Hamlet. Not only does the Running Gag of not remembering Roy or his father (who play Hamlet and the dead king, respectively) carry over, he also has no idea why he married Roy's mother the queen.
    Xykon: Maybe I got her pregnant?
    Redcloak: Sire, you're an undead monstrosity and she's likely post-menopausal.
    Xykon: And those two don't cancel each other out, right?
    Redcloak: No, sire.
  • Exact Words: Xykon promises not to put the paladin in any enclosure with with any animal, magical beast or aberration in an attempt to entertain himself. He plans on putting him in one with undead humanoids and an ogre, which is a giant.
  • Excuse Me While I Multitask: Takes time out of assaulting Azure City to accept Tsukiko onto Team Evil. Redcloak is in disbelief that Xykon would waste time conducting a job interview in the middle of a battle.
    "Redcloak: Check it out, I totally conducted a job interview in the middle of a battle.Xykon"
  • Expressive Mask: Or Expressive Eyesockets, at least; he has a surprising degree of facial expressions for a skull.
  • Extraordinary World, Ordinary Problems: Xykon makes allusions to facing the problems with old age even though he was a powerful sorcerer. He explains he didn't have a problem becoming a lich because his equipment stopped working years ago and he stopped being able to "write in the snow" long before he became a lich.
  • Facepalm: Even though he doesn't have a face or palms, or at least any flesh remaining on those, he manages.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Overconfidence; it would be suicidal if he was not undead. Xykon's first defeat is because he pretty much let Roy beat him (turning his back on him after shattering Roy's sword and still doing nothing when Roy knocks his head off) and the belief his phylactery's location is a secret leads him to almost die permanently during his battle with Soon. It never seems to cross his mind that he can actually lose control of the situation or actually lose something valuable, because to him it's more of a game where if he loses he can respawn and try again instead of a dangerous quest. This also makes him extremely shortsighted at times, as he's so used to just being able to spam his sheer power that situations where power won't actually help are difficult for him to react to.
    • Like many undead, Xykon is unable to change. He is stuck with the same personality he had when he first became a lich. "Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales" has a foreword that takes this in a new direction: Xykon has no idea how technology works at all (even assuming putting a "banner ad" on "the web" means weaving a tapestry and sticking it on the web of a monstrous spider). It explains how he can't figure out how his Teevo works.
    • Back in the day, his flaw was being an idiot. He's largely grown out of this because of both old age and his lich transformation boosting his intelligence. Also, he reached a level of power where he really can win by just standing there and blasting away.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • Xykon is not only totally evil, but a complete tool, lording his power over all and continually acting like a massive prick. He only pretends to be charming for fun. He is, however, capable of being friendly (or at least seeming that way) with his subordinates when it suits him. And he seems fond of the Monster in the Darkness, even though he's basically enslaved an otherwise gentle person for nefarious ends, intends to force it to unspeakable evil, and already forces it to hide in the darkness.
    • Xykon also offers to let Roy retreat and grind some levels during their fight at Azure City, correctly pointing out that the difference between them is way too wide for either of them to have a satisfying fight. He doesn't stick to this long once Roy keeps attacking, though, and has no compunction about dismissing Roy with a cheap shot after that.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: Xykon refuses to ever allow anyone to tell him what to do. Ever. This translates to him feeling oppressed by the existence of literally anything more powerful than him, gods included.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: He often makes his spellcasting look like that. Also literally: he's a big fan of the spell Finger of Death. Plus, his paralyzing touch freezes living creatures in their tracks. He's fond of letting his opponents get almost to their goal before doing so.
  • Flat Character: The Giant intentionally writes him as a smug, sardonic Faux Affably Evil monster who takes great joy in other people's suffering, and that's all he's ever going to be. If you ever think he's going to be more complex than that, you're wrong, and it's just another way that he's toying with you. According to the game system the comic operates on, undead creatures cannot meaningfully mature past their point of creation. Liches like Xykon may learn new things, but they can't grow or develop as people. The closest he ever gets is spelling out his true motive in the endgame: all his life he's wanted one thing: to do as he wants, and he despises anything that might hinder that, be it death, morality, the world, or the gods themselves.
  • Flight: With the overland flight spell, and occasionally supplemented with flying mounts.
  • Flipping the Bird: "Oh look, I regrew a finger. Guess which one."
  • For the Evulz:
    • Honestly, this seems to be Xykon's main motivation. Sure, he wants to Take Over the World, but that seems to be more like a long-term goal. In the here and now, he just wants you to suffer for his own amusement. Since he is immortal, he has a rather long time to take over the world, so why rush when you can plan everything out and make sure it works? Not like he has a set schedule or anything. His motivation is basically: "I can't enjoy coffee anymore, so I gotta have some kind of pleasure — and ruthless acts of evil gets me off!"
    • It isn't until the endgame that Xykon actually gives any true motivation, and even then it ties into his own amusement: Xykon wants to destroy or overtake anything that could potentially tell him what to do, which in his mind is anything more powerful than himself.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • This was very pointedly avoided in Start of Darkness, which, though it shows his entire origin and history, avoids giving any concrete reason for why he turned out the way he did, with him being a Creepy Child even from a young age and coming from an entirely ordinary background. The closest thing he gets are traces of things one can infer: his status as a prodigy sorcerer meant he had a lot of outlets for his growing violence, and his transformation into a lich removed what little humanity he had left.
    • Hammered in when in the endgame, Xykon finally lets it slip what makes him who he is and it's every bit as selfish as expected. He no longer cares about leaving a legacy like he did in Start of Darkness: he simply refuses to accept any authority superceding his own. He defied death's authority when he reanimated his dog and grandmother as zombies, he defied the authority of a potential condescending mentor and his parents by murdering them, he refused to submit to the authority of an Evil Overlord and struck out on his own when he was passed over (for perfectly logical reasons) for a promotion. He defied his fate of being a prisoner and admitting weakness by letting Redcloak making him a Lich. And he made clear to Redcloak after who was now in charge after realizing he was denied tasting coffee ever again and he had no way to overcome this. Xykon definitely refuses to accept there are things in life (and death) we can't have for entirely selfish reasons.
  • From a Single Cell: Xykon, as long as his phylactery is intact, can regenerate from nothing but his soul. (This is standard Dungeons & Dragons behavior for liches.)
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Started off as just a Creepy Child with sorcerous powers in an "one-horse town" over a hundred years before the start of the series. Is now the prime threat to the continued existence of the planet.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Meta example. Xykon is a Monster which the Author admitted to have been designed with no sympathetic motive whatsoever. Yet he has his fans, who'd consider him one of the funniest aspects of the comic. As an Epic Sorcerer, he obviously has a ton of Charisma to charm people with his antics, no matter how heinous.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Xykon's a lich with red eyes.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: One of Redcloak's hopes in turning Xykon into a lich was an attempt to gain additional leverage on him. It backfired and left him with less, as Xykon's new lich form left him with greater intelligence and a heightened capacity to foresee what Redcloak would try to control him. But he seems to be coping with it.
  • Grammar Nazi: And not just about his name.
    Tsukiko: We need a new Head Executioner, you know. Xykon killed the last one for spelling "guillotine" wrong on his daily reports.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: After being caught in the explosion of Girard's Gate. Being a lich, and being able to fly and regenerate from nothing, however, means it barely slows him down. Though it does take him several minutes to find his pelvis.
  • The Heavy: He's not the only Big Bad anymore, or even the most powerful, but he is the one the story is most concerned with.
  • Hero Killer: Killed Lirian and Dorukan before the comic started. During the battle of Azure City he killed most of the Sapphire Guard and also killed Roy Greenhilt, though that one didn't stick.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Though he likes to say this, he's usually the only one laughing.
  • I'll Kill You!: When his phylactery is lost, Xykon has had enough of O-Chul and Vaarsuvius. He was a split second from executing them with a meteor swarm to the roof of their mouths.
    Xykon: I'm officially DONE WITH THIS. I'm snuffing you sickening pouches of warm goo right now.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: He eventually reveals this is his true motivation: he doesn't want anyone or anything to ever tell him what to do. Villainous version, as this translates to liberating himself to be as evil and psychopathic as his heart desires with nothing to restrain him.
  • Immortal Immaturity: He's basically that creepy kid who amuses himself by tearing the wings off of flies and burning ants with a magnifying glass... except in the body of a 100-year-old skeleton with massive magical power.
  • Immortality Inducer: Following his transformation into a lich, Redcloak's unholy symbol contains his soul and ensures he can't be destroyed as long as this phylactery is intact.
  • Immune to Fire: He has an unspecified magic item which makes him immune to fire damage, allowing him to use area-of-effect fire spells like ''meteor swarm'' at point-blank range without taking damage.
  • I Need You Stronger: To Roy, during the Battle of Azure City. Roy is so far below him at this point that the fight wouldn't be any fun.
  • Inspector Javert: In the Haleo and Julelan StickTales PDF, Elan briefly portrays Xykon as Inspector Xavert in an OotS retelling of Les Misérables, but the story flounders on the fact that Inspector Xavert has no idea who Roy Valroy is.
  • It Amused Me: His sole motivation for doing anything. Since he no longer has the ability to have physical pleasures such as drinking coffee, his only goal is to enjoy himself, and his idea of funny is pretty petty and cruel.
  • It Has Been an Honor: When it seems the ghost of Soon is about to finish off Xykon once and for all, Xykon uncharacteristically tells a dying Redcloak with all sincerity that they gave it their best shot as a team, and that it was Worth It.
  • It's All About Me: Xykon doesn't care about anyone but himself, and he's very unsubtle about it. You better make yourself useful to him or he'll just kill you for shits and giggles.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Xykon does not have a single redeeming quality whatsoever, and if you ever think you see one, you don't — Xykon is pure evil, he's always been evil, and that redeeming quality you think you see in him is a prank he's pulling on you because he thinks it's funny.
  • Karmic Death: At the end of the first arc, Xykon is killed by a spell cast on Dorukan's Gate by Dorukan, the guy he killed to acquire the Gate. Being a lich, it doesn't stick.
  • Kick the Dog: Xykon has a habit of torturing or killing people just because he's bored. So, yeah, he's definitely an evil prick, just in case you forget that he's the villain in this story.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: While not technically a martial artist, and preferring absurd arcane power to brawling in combat, he has shown to be a very capable bare-handed fighter by relying on his inhuman lich strength and the occasional improvised weapon when the situation demands, or as a demonstration that a big pile of spells isn't enough when the other guy has a big pile of spells AND the strength to crush your windpipe with his bare phalanges.
  • Large Ham: Xykon loves his dramatic flairs.
  • Laughably Evil: Xykon gets some of the best lines and great comedic moments, which despite making him very entertaining does not detract from the very real and horrifically evil threat he presents.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Xykon seems very like any other crazed megalomaniac, who doesn't understand tactics and is in it all For the Evulz; then he gets serious.
  • Level Drain: Energy drain is his favorite spell.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: He only has one regret about becoming an immortal lich: he can't enjoy coffee. He enjoys the invulnerability, the regeneration, and the fact that he doesn't have fleshy problems anymore.
    Xykon: Be a vampire, or a ghost, or an immortal with a paint-by-numbers portrait in the rec room. Hell, even a brain-in-a-jar, in a pinch. Anything to avoid the Big Fire Below.
  • Logical Weakness: Xykon is a Sorcerer, and thus has his magic innately, as opposed to being a wizard who has to learn how to do it. As such, his actual knowledge of how magic actually works is lacking, quite the opposite: he actually looks down on those who do due to his past with wizards. Combined with being an undead incapable of changing, he can't grow past that character flaw. As a result, while a Wizard like Tsukiko could figure out the spell for controlling the Gate doesn't actually control the Snarl due to it missing the proper schools, Xykon isn't able to.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: He wasn't particularly concerned about losing his fleshy bits because that particular part hadn't moved on its own in years.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Xykon is a sadist, and watching the pain of others has always given him a thrill. The most on point example comes from Start of Darkness, when he wipes out a bunch of paladins just before meeting Redcloak.
    Xykon: I like listening to the sounds paladins make when they realize that all their beliefs in a just and caring universe don't matter for squat when they're on fire.
  • Manchild: He's an insanely powerful undead wizard, with the patience and attention span of an 8-year-old on Red Bull. This causes Redcloak no end of frustration.
  • Mortality Phobia: So far, one of the few things that can make Xykon seriously lose his cool is his phylactery being destroyed, at least while he's in a position where his body might also be destroyed. As he says above, he'll do anything to "avoid the Big Fire Below."
  • Mundane Utility: The most dangerous benefits of Xykon's lich transformation aren't the near-immortality, enhanced spellcasting, or special undead powers. They are the racial bonuses to his intelligence and wisdom, because, collectively, they make him much more capable of snapping any tethers Redcloak has to hold him back. In addition, the transformation gives him a sizeable strength boost, as well as a bonus to his Listen ability. He demonstrates this by catching an invisible Vaarsuvius and then strangling them.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: As far as Xykon is concerned, the only thing that matters at any time is if he can kill something. If he can, then that something is subservient to Xykon and can't tell him what to do. If he can't, then he has to find a way to kill them.
  • Must Have Caffeine: He was incredibly fond of coffee when he was living. He had a speech on why he liked bad coffee. When he became a lich and thus unable to taste, this left him with the suffering of others as the only thing he could enjoy.
  • Myopic Conqueror: Xykon manages to conquer a city of Paladins called Azure City by a combination of opportunity and tremendous luck, though the Paladins destroy one of the Cosmic Keystones (called "Gates") Xykon was seeking in order to Take Over the World. His Dragon with an Agenda, Redcloak, convinces him to forestall his campaign to find the other Gates in order to use Azure City as a base and come up with a better plan before the next campaign. However, Xykon is completely uninterested in actually ruling anything and spends his days messing around and finding petty ways to entertain himself. Redcloak and his subordinates thus perform the actual ruling of the city, which was actually their plan and made it into Gobbotopia as a homeland for the goblinoid peoples. Xykon is pretty aware of what Redcloak and the others are doing, but permits it since he finds the goblins desecrating the former Azure City marginally funnier than killing them all. The whole thing ends when the power-maddened Vaarsuvius launches an attack which nearly kills Xykon and costs Redcloak an eye. An enraged Xykon blames Redcloak for "wasting time" playing ruler in the city instead of moving on toward the next objective.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Xykon" sounds a lot like Zyklon... as in Zyklon B.
  • Neck Lift: He does lift people by the neck when pissed off (notably, with Vaarsuvius and Jirix). And don't try to change the subject with trivial concerns, like breathing.
  • Necromancer: Creating undead and/or snuffing the lifeforce out of the livings is his forte; in fact, the very first spell he cast (at four years old) was necromantic. Though he also uses Evocation spells and others as the situation requires.
  • The Nicknamer: He does this regularly because he rarely bothers to remember people's real names. Or just to be demeaning, which he does very well. For example, by calling Redcloak "Wrong-Eye" or "Red-Eye", to remind him of his brother Right-Eye, whom he (Redcloak) killed.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Redcloak notes Xykon is unusually happy after a run at Kraagor's tomb. Xykon attributes this to the fact that he actually got experience in the battle, pointing out how rare that is at his level. He also tried to let Roy go at Azure City so Roy could level up and come back as a true challenge. This actually works against him, as it means he slows down Team Evil's progression through Kraagor's tomb, as he can't resist actually fighting the monsters that are strong enough to pose a challenge.
  • No Love for the Wicked: Outside of one-night stands during his youth, Xykon has never displayed any sort of love or affection towards anyone. When Redcloak prepares to turn him into a lich in Start of Darkness, Xykon mentions he's fine with losing certain "fleshy parts" because said fleshy part hasn't moved on its own in 16 years.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: In Start of Darkness he gave an impressive one to Dorukan, demolishing his assertions of wizards being superior to sorcerers and noticing how it is entirely possible for overwhelming force to beat tactics and strategy.
  • No Sympathy: His reaction to Redcloak siccing a chlorine elemental on Tsukiko? Telling her to suck it up; they're villains and they play rough.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Underestimating Xykon because of his laid-back attitude would be a terrible mistake. Roy's first victory over him at Dorukan's Gate is a massive stroke of luck. One arc in particular provides a perfect example of this: he delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Vaarsuvius, and then when V and O-Chul nearly destroy his phylactery, causing it to fall into the sewers, he reacts by blowing up a huge part of the tower, attempting to execute the two of them by firing a meteor swarm directly into their mouths, and then punishing Redcloak for the incident by refusing to let him regenerate the eye he just lost.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Redcloak may think he's manipulating Xykon, but the latter has dropped the occasional hint that he may be aware of his machinations, such as the "Oh Redcloak. Don't confuse not caring with not knowing" quote above. In Start of Darkness, he revealed he knew Right Eye had the magic dagger the entire time and was using it as a Secret Test of Character on Redcloak — and Redcloak passed with flying colors (or failed miserably, depending on your point of view.)
  • Obviously Evil: He's a talking skeleton with glowing red eyes, a blood-red cape and a deep, echoing voice.
  • Oh, Crap!: As a rule of thumb, Xykon only panics when his Soul Jar is in danger. For instance, there's an epic one in the last panel of #449.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Xykon" isn't his real name; he chose it because it sounded cool as a teenager while cutting every link to his family by murdering them all.
  • Orcus on His Throne: So long as he has something to entertain or occupy him, he's content to just lounge around.
  • Our Liches Are Different: He's a stick figure skeleton. He's otherwise a fairly standard Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 lich, if a bit unusual for being a sorcerer when most traditional liches are wizards or some other academic spellcasters.
  • Out of Focus: Since the Order isn't directly dealing with his forces for Books 5 and 6, Xykon doesn't appear as much, though his threat remains ever present.
  • The Paralyzer: His touch, as typical for D&D liches, can paralyze the victim indefinitely. Notably used on O-Chul.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: His power is clearly and repeatedly stated.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Subverted in Xykon's first appearance in Start of Darkness. We first see him as a four-year-old crying over his dead dog Barky; when his sorcery powers activate and resurrect Barky, he is overjoyed. The subversion comes when the newly zombified Barky eats a bird, which entertains the kid and makes him want to find more birds to feed to Barky.
    • Played straight in strip #662, where he commands Redcloak to resurrect Jirix, but that could be just as much about riling up Redcloak as it was to reward Jirix. However, judging by his word use, Jirix's actions probably graduated him from "meat shield" to "competent lieutenant" in Xykon's eyes.
    • He once defended Jirix from Redcloak by saying he was the one that told Jirix to lay off the work so he can have fun watching O-Chul's death trap with him. Again that is more for Xykon's entertainment and putting Redcloak in his place than real friendship.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • During Start of Darkness, he makes a lot of casually sexist comments towards women. More specifically, towards Lirian.
      Xykon: You're welcome to look, boys, but don't get your hopes up. She is a blonde, after all.
    • In strip #657, after Vaarsuvius runs and hides after Xykon whacks the Soul Splices out of their body, he calls Vaarsuvius "it" since he can't readily identify V's gender, which is considered highly offensive to gender-fluid and non-binary people.
      Xykon: Let's play Hide-and-Seek, just to be sure. I'm "It". Actually, so are you, as near as I can tell.
    • Actually Invoked in his attack on the Sapphire Guard, where he goes out of his way to attack the women first on the grounds that O-Chul would be more upset that way.
  • Powerful, but Incompetent: In life. As a human he was an extremely powerful sorcerer, but also an impulsive moron, so all his attempts to hit the villanous big time beyond just randomly killing people failed. As a lich, this is no longer the case.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When he was alive, Xykon had no interest in kidnapping virgins; it's much more interesting with someone who's had experience. He is also willing to let Roy walk away from their fight, because of how obvious the level difference is, so he could do some level grinding and come back later... Roy rejects that offer. This is averted in his Undead form, his villainy is only for entertainment and the only reason he does not kill his minions once he can't bring them with him is because he considers having them living in the former paladin order's city funnier.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: When faced against someone channeling the power of two of the most powerful spellcasters' souls to ever be damned to Hell, the lich reacts as if it is an Overly Narrow Superlative.
    Xykon: — you're channeling the "raw unlimited energies" of two chumps who didn't have the balls to stay in the game! So MAXIMIZED Energy Drain, dumbass.
  • Primary-Color Champion: The "darker colors = equal" variant. Red cape, blue cloak, yellow crown and belt.
  • Psmith Psyndrome: Don't call him "Zykon". He can tell the difference.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Not nearly as child-like as Thog, but Xykon states upfront that he spends 8 hours a day making magic items and fills the other 16 with entertainments of various kinds — including torturing O-Chul and arranging for gladiatorial contests. His main motive for taking over the world is to make sure that nobody, even gods, can tell him what to do. Redcloak compares him to a child not wanting to eat their vegetables.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Xykon's true motive for wanting to take over the world and utilize the Snarl against the gods is because he doesn't want anyone to be able to tell him what to do, not even them. He's probably the most petty version physically possible, as his actual reason for this comes off as a spoiled brat who doesn't want to eat his vegetables and ultimately is so he can be as sadistic and psychopathic as he wants with no one able to stop him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one over to Redcloak in Start of Darkness, capping off that he has Redcloak his loyal stooge:
    Xykon: I now have every confidence that you will act to serve my interests from now on, even when I'm not really around to supervise you. I know that you'll protect my phylactery if my body is destroyed.
    Redcloak: You don't know that... I could wait until someone defeated you, and then—
    Xykon: And then face the realization that if you destroy my phylactery, you killed Right-Eye over nothing. Nothing at all. And you don't have the balls for that.
    Redcloak: I—I can raise him from the dead! I'm a Cleric, I just have to—
    Xykon: Ah, but he'll know. He'll remember that you killed him to protect me, and he'll know you for what you are: my willing slave. And man, you REALLY don't have the balls for that.
    Redcloak: What have I done?
    Xykon: So therefore, you're just going to continue following me and doing whatever I order you to do. Because as long as you're loyal to me, I'll let you pretend this never happened. We'll just go about our daily business, and you can hide from the horrifying truth of what you've become — namely, a murderer who just killed his own baby brother in cold blood. And hey, we can both pretend that you don't really have any options about any of the despicable actions I ask you to take from here on out — rather than acknowledging that, like Right-Eye, you do in fact have a choice. But unlike Right-Eye there, you're too chickenshit to ever make it. You'll obey me forever now, because I give you an excuse for your inexcusable behavior. Now, are you going to stand there and tell me that I'm wrong?... Didn't think so. As a reward for your honesty there, I'll let you in on a little evil secret. What I said up there to Dorukan about overwhelming force? That's only part of Colonel Xykon's secret recipe for winning. [whispering] It's not just about raw power, it's also about how far you're willing to debase yourself before feeling bad. And me? I ripped off my own living flesh so that I wouldn't have to admit weakness. You're strictly little league compared to that. [normal voice] That right there? That's the difference between bonafide true Evil with a capital "E" and your whiny "evil, but for a good cause," crap. One gets to be the butch, and one gets to be the bitchBitch.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Defied, as he wears a Ring of Positive Energy Protection specifically to avoid this. However, negative energy does heal him — whenever Redcloak has to heal his boss, an inflict wounds spell is used.
  • Resurrective Immortality: He can respawn if his body is destroyed as long as his phylactery is intact.
  • Seen It All: It is rather hard to surprise him. Though the MitD's antics sometimes manage to do so, which isn't a mean feat.
    Xykon: [on an overpowered dark-colored elf invading his fortress] Someone tell the TeeVo to cancel movie night... I think we've got our own little action-comedy-drama here.
  • Self-Made Orphan: He got his career as a villain started by having the zombies of his grandmother and a parody of Professor Xavier he just killed eat his parents.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: He was already pretty bad before being turned into a lich, but he became much worse after discovering he couldn't taste coffee anymore.
  • Serial Escalation: If there was a comic strip where Xykon woke up and literally said "How can I top yesterday's evilness?", the only thing surprising about this is that Xykon was somehow asleep. Ever since he became a lich, he's been looking for worse atrocities to commit and new ways to be an asshole.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: There's how he ended his second battle with Roy:
    Xykon: I should point out three factors that I think you failed to fully consider, though. Factor one: I can fly under my own power, thanks to the Overland Flight spell I cast this morning. Factor two: a zombie dragon that lacks a bite attack isn't especially valuable to me. Factor three: Meteor Swarm.
  • Signature Headgear: Wears a gold crown that he killed Roy's father's mentor to steal. He loses it to Roy as a Battle Trophy but reclaims it in their next confrontation, where he brags that he only took it because it looks "REALLY badass". (As an undead skeleton, he's short on facial features of his own.) He has worn it for so long and consistently, that it is a minor Artifact of Doom: it has no powers, but anyone who has it on their person will register as very evil when checked by a paladin.
  • The Sleepless: As a lich, he doesn't need to sleep. Though he can still only spend eight hours a day making magic items (following D&D rules), so he fills the rest of his time by torturing prisoners or making the slaves fight each other.
  • The Sociopath: He knows just enough about empathy to be a bigger dick to everyone around him, and no more.
  • So Long, Suckers!: He very nearly gets defeated by the ghost-martyr of Soon Kim, but makes his escape as Miko intervenes.
  • Sore Loser:
    • In his backstory when competing for the role of head minion, he doesn't get the position. While he's not bitter about losing the position to his fellow wizard apprentice Yydranna, since she's got lots of magical powers and is great in the sack, he's understandably more bitter about losing to Keith Baker, a game designer with no magical powers or fighting skill (supposedly his knowledge of "combat simulators" makes him more qualified to train minions).
    • When O-Chul and Varsuuvius almost drop his phylactery into the Azure City Rift, he gets incredibly pissed and tries to meteor swarm them at point-blank range, before destroying the tower when they get teleported out and forces Redcloak to remain one-eyed as a personal failure tax.
    • Averted when it comes to his defeat in Dorukan's dungeon, he doesn't hold any grudge against Roy or the Order for destroying his body or foiling his plan with the Gate, and in fact barely seems to remember their existence.
  • Soul Jar: His phylactery, which happens to be Redcloak's (un)holy symbol, contains his essence and he respawn from it if his body is destroyed.
  • Start of Darkness: The prequel book Start of Darkness contains his and Redcloak's origins. He got his start when he was four, where while crying over his dead dog, he accidentally raised it as a zombie and was ecstatic when it killed and ate a passing bird.
  • The Starscream: When initially recruited to Team Evil in Start of Darkness, he was basically The Brute. Unfortunately for Redcloak and Right-Eye, once he turned himself into a lich the brothers lost any pretense of control over him and he usurped leadership from them.
  • Static Character: This is enforced by the rules of undead in the series, and it's particularly visible when looking at his early history in Start of Darkness. When he was a human, he was indeed capable of growth, becoming noticeably Older and Wiser over the course of his history and early development, though his violence and cruelty remained constant. However, becoming a lich seemingly froze him in place, with the Xykon that murdered Lirian being basically identical to the Xykon thirty years later.
  • Super-Strength: Is capable of holding people up by the neck with one arm, and has used a large piece of rubble as a weapon before. Squishy this sorcerer ain't.
  • Take Over the World: His end goal is to rule the world through the Snarl's power and threat.
  • Took a Level in Badass: By becoming a lich he became stronger and smarter, not that he wasn't already very powerful as a human sorcerer. Oddly, the most badass part of the upgrade was in his increased Int and Wis scores, which made him vastly more dangerous than before, as Redcloak discovers to his horror.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He was always an evil bastard, but it was becoming a lich that made him Capital E Evil. Prior to that point, he could form a genuine Villainous Friendship with the wizard Yydranna, was willing to act as The Dragon for Redcloak, had a sense of humor that frequently ran on Self-Deprecation, and was capable of taking pleasure in things apart from the suffering of others. After he turned undead, all that went away. As Right-Eye put it, when he was human he killed goblins out of carelessness; after he became a lich he killed them for fun.
  • To the Pain: After defeating Lirian, he traps her soul inside a gem, so she can't be resurrected, and then turns her body into a zombie, knowing how much she despises undead. He later plans to make her watch an ogre eating her zombified body, to lure out Dorukan.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Start of Darkness shows the first time his sorcerer powers manifested; when he was four years old, he found the corpse of his dog and childhood friend, Barky, and his grief caused him to accidentally cast an animate dead animal spell, resurrecting Barky as a zombie.
  • The Undead: A skeletal lich.
  • Unequal Rites: When he was alive, people tended to insult him in two ways: referring to him as a tactically inept dimwit far more concerned with self-gratification than forethinking (which was, admittedly, accurate), or... by proclaiming that, as a sorcerer, he was naturally inferior to wizards, due to the fact he has magic "in the bone" instead of needing to study and learn in order to acquire his powers.
  • The Unfettered: Believes that along with overwhelming force, a good villain should be able to go as far as they need to go to achieve their goals, no matter how depraved.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: To Xykon, all one needs are "Force in as great a concentration as you can manage, and style. And in a pinch, style can slide."
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • The IFCC want to get him off his chair in Azure City to engender more conflict, and made their deal with Vaarsuvius as part of a Batman Gambit to "knock him out of his comfort zone".
    • Meanwhile, it appears Redcloak has been pulling his strings for years. However, those who have read Start of Darkness know he's a lot more cunning than people give him credit for, and has at least one contingency for if/when Redcloak betrays him — the Monster in the Darkness is programmed to eat Redcloak if that ever happens.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Averted. He was evil since he was around four and killed his own parents and a handicapped man (albeit a very condescending one) when he was twelve.
  • Victory Is Boring: Elements of this show up in Xykon's character, especially how he offered to give Roy a chance to level up and have the fight be a challenge. To imagine what might happen if he took over the world, just look at the games he invented with O-Chul to keep himself entertained.
  • Villain Decay: Conspicuously averted by the author, who wrote his origin story, Start of Darkness, with the intent that the audience would not gain any sympathy for him. invoked
    Writing a story centered around your main antagonist is sort of difficult, because you risk "devillainifying" them. Yes, I just made that word up. What I mean though, is that once an audience has read all about a character's life, with all of their personal struggles and trials and tribulations and such, it's more difficult to see the character as the Big Bad. My challenge here was to tell the story of Xykon's life without making Xykon even slightly sympathetic. I mean, he's wholly and unapologetically Evil, but more to the point, he's kind of a dick.
  • Villain Episode: Start of Darkness is one for him and Redcloak since it's their origin story. There are also several segments of the comic that focus on what they're up to while the Order is trying to find the Gates.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Xykon loses his cool in a major way each time his phylactery is threatened. He drops what he is doing and goes into a dead rush for the darn thing if there's a chance it will be damaged, eyes wide and shouting all the way. Justified in that as long as the phylactery is intact, Xykon is immortal.
  • Villainous Friendship: Seemed to have had one with the wizard Yydranna, wishing each other luck with the role of head lackey for the Unholy Master, having respect for each other, and when she was promoted over him, didn't hold it against her (Keith Baker on the other hand...). When Xykon left, she gave him some genuine advice so that he wouldn't end up getting foiled (he probably ignored this advice until much later in his life). She also threatened that if she ever saw him again, she'd have to crush him ruthlessly, but his reaction indicated that's standard fare for being remorselessly evil and on different teams.
  • Villain Has a Point: Towards another villain, but still. Any insult Xykon throws at Redcloak about their individual capabilities as villains is true. Xykon thinks of himself as nothing more than a monster, and as such gets things done. Redcloak insists on telling himself he's a hero, and as such will never get what he wants, because he won't let himself admit he already has it because it means admitting he's not.
  • Villain Respect: Normally averted quite spectacularly — Xykon has little respect for anyone, be it an ally or an enemy — but there is one, if minor example with O-Chul. During the final fight of Don't Split the Party arc, Xykon actually compliments the paladin for his ridiculous bravery and having actually earned his strength in contrast to Vaarsuvius. Later, he is persuaded to ignore the Order of the Stick while they're down two party members (the strongest casters no less) and lying in a smoldering crater by the logic that they're "clearly" just a distraction and O-Chul is the real threat. In Start of Darkness he also contrasted Redcloak with Right-Eye, saying Redcloak was too chickenshit to make the same choice to stand up to Xykon that Right-Eye made.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Xykon's caught doing this multiple times. Including shopping, for a large-frame crystal ball (with picture-in-picture) and a Teevo.
  • Voice of the Legion: In Start of Darkness, shortly after becoming a lich, he comments on the "nice reverb" of his new negative-energy-induced voice. (However, in a case of Early-Installment Weirdness, in a page written much earlier Xykon does not join in an evil laugh because he claims he can't do it properly without having real vocal chords.)
  • Wake-Up Call: He gets comfortable after conquering Azure City, but the IFCC wants to push him out of his comfort zone, so they make a deal with Vaarsuvius, hoping the elf will (and does) confront Xykon. With the phylactery going missing, the effort is a success.
  • We Have Reserves: Xykon will gleefully throw minions at a problem until he either runs out or the problem finds its way to him.
    Xykon: Sacrificing minions. Is there any problem it can't solve?
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Due to being evil since childhood, Xykon never really understood any kind of intimacy outside of a purely sexual relationship. He has two joys in life: Coffee, and killing people, and as a lich, he can't enjoy coffee anymore.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: As a sorcerer, Xykon has a relatively small selection of spells, but can cast those he does know as often as he needs them (more or lessnote ), and so he usually goes for an approach of blasting an enemy until they are crushed under the sheer volume of his spells. This "blunt force" approach is why wizards look down on him, but Xykon sees it as a strength — his whole credo is that there is always a level of force against which no amount of skill or tactics can stand.
  • Worthy Opponent: In his own weird way, despite barely being able to remember Roy's name he treats him as such, and killed him accordingly by personally giving him a clean death. Contrast with the Sapphire Guard, which he wiped out in the most humiliating fashion he could think of: tossing a bouncing ball with a symbol of insanity inscribed on it right in the middle of their troops. Subverted when MitD convinces him he is just a distraction. He comes to view O-Chul in this way, admiring his determination and praising him as someone who earned their power compared to V's Soul Splice. The MitD eventually convinces him that O-Chul is the true hero of the story.
    MitD: Think about it. Which of these sounds like the hero you need to worry about: the last paladin of a conquered city, beaten but never broken, sworn to stop the evil lich who wiped out his holy order — or some random fighter guy you already snuffed once?
  • Would Hit a Girl: Xykon will happily kill anyone for any reason. He invokes this trope when dealing with the Sapphire Guard, saying he's going to start by zombifying the female members first because O-Chul seems like the type to take offense at that.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Yes, that's why he's called "Xykon". Zs are for pussies.
  • You Meddling Kids: He references it in "The Diary" as a villain to do.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Xykon looks down upon "disgusting biophiliacs". Whether this refers to living people sexually attracted to other living people (the normal/taboo) or undead attracted to living necrophiliacs is unclear.



[To his reflection in the mirror]
"It'll all be worth it. You'll see."

Race: Goblin
Gender: Male
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Evil

A goblin cleric with a bone to pick with human society and a sympathetic backstory. Xykon's right hand man, and the guy who keeps the evil trains running on time. He is not as evil as Xykon, but is far more organised. He is presently the supreme leader of a large army of hobgoblins and undead. He is confirmed as newly level 17 in strip #826.

  • Affably Evil: In-comic, he comes across as neurotic and long-suffering, but pretty casual in conversation with a sarcastic sense of humor. He put himself through college, raises his baby brother on his own, and takes his niece and nephews to the circus. He also has absolutely no qualms, however, at murdering anyone who tries to stop him.
  • The Ageless: Thanks to the Crimson Mantle, he's immune to aging and disease.
  • Aggressive Negotiations: He agrees to negotiate with Durkon. But when the deal offered doesn't satisfy his Sunk Cost Fallacy, he decides to take advantage of the easy opportunity to destroy one of his enemies' strategic assets by killing said diplomat.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The Crimson Mantle was created by the Dark One and makes the wearer The Ageless.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: He seems pretty glad to be rid of Tsukiko.
  • Animate Dead: Thanks to this magic, he's a big contributor to building Team Evil's partly-undead army.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Though not as powerful as Xykon, he can kill his enemies instantly with implosion, is an Enemy Summoner, and is capable of Villain Teleportation.
  • Anti-Villain: He has a very good reason to hate the gods; the system they implemented unfairly (if more unintentionally than he belives) disadvantaged certain races, including goblins, and on some level Redcloak wants to help his people. It's just that his idea of help comes with a lot of murder and supporting an unrepentantly evil lich who enslaves, murders, and reanimates as undead slaves a lot of goblins, not even going into the world-ending catastrophe that unleashing the Snarl will cause if released. He loses this classification when he rejects an offer from Thor that would give him everything he wanted because it would mean admitting that he's not a hero and his actions up to that point were meaningless; at that point he may be a tragic villain, but "anti-" doesn't apply anymore.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Notable that in the two times he tries this, it's turned back against him, leaving him speechless:
    • He asks his brother Right-Eye whether his plan will work. Right-Eye in turn asks him if Redcloak even knows what the goblin people want anymore.
    • While preparing to kill Durkon after rejecting his terms for negotiation, Redcloak asks how many goblin lives Durkon has personally ended. Durkon turns it on him, saying it's a lot less than Redcloak has.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Crimson Mantle may not have any direct control over Redcloak, but it does give him the knowledge of the divine half of the ritual to control the Snarl. It also halts Redcloak's aging, which has the apparent side effect of preventing him from maturing as well. Redcloak is, in many ways, still the angry vengeful teenager he was when he first took up the Mantle.
  • Badass Boast: To Hinjo after the Fall of Azure City.
    Redcloak: Your city? Oh, I'm sorry, I thought someone would have told you by now. See, this is MY city now, paladin! I figure you owe me one village plus 35 years interest, so this is a good start!
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a cleric; it comes with the territory. He's the only spellcaster in the comic we've seen summon non-traditional Elementals, such as titanium, chlorine, osmium and silicon.
  • Badass Cape: The Crimson Mantle, again.
  • Badass Preacher: High Priest of the Dark One. Flattening the Azurite leader and Sapphire Guard commander, Hinjo, in one move made a statement. So did leading a Zerg Rush astride a War Elephant.
  • Bad Boss: Barely better than Xykon, but he is completely willing to sacrifice numerous hobgoblins and goblins in the name of The Plan with callous disregard; even when called out on it, his first instinct is to insist (even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary) that I Did What I Had to Do. This trait remains even after his My God, What Have I Done? moment and after he resolves to be a Good Shepherd. Goblin or not, his minions are still resources to be expended in pursuit of his goals, and while he may not enjoy it, he won't let that stop him from throwing their lives away anyway so long as, in his own mind, he's spending them like pieces on a game board rather than "wasting" them. It's why he had a terrible relationship with Tsukiko: he brushed her off when she joined up out of a mixture of Fantastic Racism and spite towards Xykon and left her to die from the chlorine elemental he summoned earlier. Little wonder why she has little respect for him.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Redcloak constantly expresses frustration with the haphazard way Xykon runs the show (or doesn't, as the case may be).
  • Benevolent Boss: Surprisingly, mixes this with Bad Boss: while he will sacrifice his people if he needs to, otherwise, he will do his best to ensure their betterment and try to protect them himself, if need be.
  • Berserk Button: He takes his rulership over goblins seriously, to the point that if you insult his abilities as ruler, he will make sure that you die in a way which is excruciatingly painful and impossible to be raised from.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Xykon says that Redcloak's strategy meeting was so boring, it put him, an undead incapable of sleep, to sleep.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: It seems to be a toss-up between Xykon, the IFCC, and Redcloak.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Things didn't end well for the paladin who took out Right-Eye's eye. Though, tragically, in the end, it faded to the point that it couldn't save Right-Eye from Redcloak himself.
    Redcloak: Get away from MY LITTLE BROTHER!!
  • Brain Bleach: Interrupts Tsukiko during one of her monologues about Xykon.
    Redcloak: Not that interrupting that train of thought wouldn't be enough reason for me to speak—
  • Break the Badass: As noted above, Xykon's "The Reason You Suck" Speech proceeds to utterly cow Redcloak into being the submissive lackey we see in the beginning. He only breaks out of this mentality during Xykon's first defeat by Roy.
  • Brutal Honesty: Instead of lying about the fact he killed Tsukiko, Redcloak outright reveals to Xykon that he murdered her, brutally. It really says something about Redcloak that he was able to manipulate Xykon's impression of Tsukiko's death without lying at all.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Tsukiko does this to Redcloak repeatedly, and his lack of reaction feeds her impression that he is a wimp. He lets her run her mouth so Xykon won't suspect anything until Tsukiko gets really cocky and declares she would tell Xykon Redcloak has been running the show the whole time. Redcloak kills her immediately after that to prevent her from doing so.
  • Byronic Hero: Redcloak is driven to better his Goblin people and serve the Dark One no matter what it takes, even if it means defying the gods themselves. In the pursuit of such goals, Redcloak became unscrupulous to the point of murdering his own brother. As a consequence, Redcloak has to live with himself and the terrible decisions he made everyday, especially after he loses his eye and becomes the splitting image of his late brother whenever he looks in the mirror. He is also intelligent, has a wry wit, and is very charismatic.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: An odd example. Redcloak admits to being on the side of "evil" — at least, those the gods have labelled evil.
  • Celibate Hero: Well, Celibate Anti-Villain. In Start of Darkness, Right-Eye arranges a blind date with "an intelligent and sexy woman who shares his interests" but Redcloak is too focused on his Mission from God to formally meet her.
  • Character Development: Went from being racist against hobgoblins and humans alike to being speciesist against humans when he realizes that he was acting more and more like Xykon (a thought that visibly terrified him). Also, following the loss of his right eye, Redcloak seems to have become more focused, actively working in order to create his goblinoid utopia, and overall acts more collected... and deadly.
    Redcloak: What I have lost in depth perception, I have gained in perspective.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the early strips, Redcloak was more of a servile Yes-Man to Xykon rather than the snarky Dragon with an Agenda he's characterized as later on. Justified by the Cerebus Retcon in "Start of Darkness"; Redcloak's spirit had recently been broken by killing Right-Eye and Xykon's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, making him more subservient.
  • The Chessmaster: Strips #825-830 have him crushing the Azure City Underground, recovering Xykon's phylactery, and destroying his largest rival for the position of Xykon's Dragon. He follows this up by calmly admitting he's been playing Xykon since the beginning.
  • Chessmaster Sidekick: The Man in Front of the Man to Xykon, pulling his strings as a Manipulative Bastard via being selective about what he lets Xykon know.
  • Combat Pragmatist: For a spellcaster, Redcloak uses unconventional and downright dirty tactics. Summoning unconventional elementals such as Titanium (just as strong, but lighter), refusing a one-on-one challenge and ordering the challenger be crushed instead, and suckerpunching a peace negotiator both as a reply and to deny the enemy of their own spellcaster.
  • The Comically Serious: Several amusing moments are had whenever Redcloak's very calm and professional personality has to deal with whatever bizarre antics are going on around him, especially since he's frequently shown to be Not So Above It All. For instance, when talking to Durkon during the beginning of the final story arc, he briefly gets Sidetracked by the Analogy and sparks a Seinfeldian Conversation over whether or not the gods need to blink.
  • Complexity Addiction: An externalized example. Redcloak refuses to believe in anything but a grand conspiracy with goblins (but mostly him) as the victims. It later turns out that goblins were never made as XP fodder at all; what happened was that Fenris made them to be short-lived but fast-reproducing (so more goblins got killed because there were simply more goblins to kill) in hopes that they could outcompete the other races, then got bored and abandoned them before the world's completion (so they didn't get as well set up as other races that had more attentive patrons), and the rest was just the logical conclusion of those two factors. Redcloak can't accept this because it means he isn't the tragic hero fighting against insurmountable odds, even though the inequality was real. He also attributes finding monsters in dungeons that should be cleared to an enemy force manipulating the dungeons against him, never once considering that the Monster in the Darkness (whose job it was to mark completed dungeons) was sabotaging them.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Most of his family was killed by the Sapphire Guard, and Xykon tricked him into killing his little brother, Right-Eye, to ensure his loyalty.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Doomed Home Town, no more family except for his brother, whom he later killed for the sake of The Plan... The man's got some baggage.
  • Dark Messiah: Serves an evil god who wishes to bring about equality for the Always Chaotic Evil monster races.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Is the overall main protagonist of the prequel book Start of Darkness.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Expresses his disdain for the rest of Team Evil (and others) with sarcasm and cutting remarks.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype:
    • Redcloak gradually turns out to be a deconstruction for the Anti-Villain. While he has a very tragic Freudian Excuse and his stated goal of goblin equality is a genuinely noble goal, his more sympathetic moments are increasingly used to highlight his genuinely evil actions and behavior rather than to justify them, with several moments showcasing his pettiness and vindictiveness appearing over the course of the comic. Having noble intentions or suffering from a horribly cruel Dark and Troubled Past does not justify any of his atrocities, and it gradually becomes more and more apparent that his aforementioned "noble intentions" never get in the way of him trying to avoid confronting his own faults and mistakes.
    • He's also one for the Determinator. His sheer determination and will to ensure The Plan's success is ultimately just another extension of his aforementioned moral cowardice. At one point he rejects the best chance to achieve his stated goal of goblin equality without risking the world's destruction out of utter unwillingness to admit that he could be wrong. Everything he's sacrificed to get where he is would be All for Nothing if the Plan doesn't go down the way Redcloak wants it to, as it would mean he didn't actually have to make those sacrifices, and Redcloak simply cannot accept that.
  • Detrimental Determination: Redcloak really wants to be a hero; at worst, he thinks of himself as an Anti-Hero whose actions will all be justified if he can accomplish his goals. Redcloak is certainly driven to this end, but it's shown frequently that all his Freudian Excuses are little more than self-justifications to refuse to admit that he's ever made any kind of mistake. Xykon even tells Redcloak this to his face, and Redcloak still won't quit. At one point, Redcloak even rejects an offer from Thor that would give him the goblinoid equality he says he wants because it would mean Redcloak admitting that his past actions (especially murdering his little brother) in trying to achieve The Plan were All for Nothing.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Since a long-standing theme of the comic is that even smart people can make bone-headed decisions when their feelings get in the way of their rational judgment, despite his high Intelligence score, he tends to make several screwups in this department:
    • In Start of Darkness, Redcloak believes that turning Xykon into a lich and having the phylactery will give him leverage over the sorcerer. When he tries to play that card, Xykon points out that until his skeletal body is destroyed, the phylactery is just a trinket, albeit a very important one.
      Xykon: That was your big plan for controlling me, wasn't it? Thing is, my soul isn't in there right now. Smashing it won't do anything to me. That phylactery is just a pricey bauble unless you destroy me first.
    • Redcloak thinks that even if the Plan fails and the world is undone, the Dark One will make things better for goblins in the next world. Thor explains to Durkon that because God Needs Prayer Badly, if the current world is destroyed the Dark One doesn't have enough energy to last until it's time to make a new world. Durkon later points out to Redcloak that the potential next world may lack any humanoids, including goblins, and be filled with something different like talking fishes or sentient lamp posts.
    • He also assumed no-one would be protecting Durkon while effectively in a truce talk, and put the safety of goblinkind in danger.
  • Dirty Coward: Redcloak is a moral coward of sorts. At his core, his dogmatic dedication to an increasingly unstable and ill-thought-out plan despite the various warning signs, off-ramps, and alternate solutions shoved in his face stem from the fact that he is unwilling to confront that it was his decisions that led to so many screw-ups and the deaths of so many goblins, most of all his younger brother that he killed to save Xykon. And every time he's doubled-down is another thing he'd have to face was pointless if he ever stopped doubling-down, with the end result that he keeps on doubling-down over and over instead. Xykon mocks him for this in Start of Darkness as part of his "Reason You Suck" Speech:
    Xykon: I now have every confidence that you will act to serve my interests from now on, even when I'm not really around to supervise you. I know that you'll protect my phylactery if my body is destroyed.
    Redcloak: You don't know that... I could wait until someone defeated you, and then—
    Xykon: And then face the realization that if you destroy my phylactery, you killed Right-Eye over nothing. Nothing at all. And you don't have the balls for that.
    Redcloak: I—I can raise him from the dead! I'm a Cleric, I just have to—
    Xykon: Ah, but he'll know. He'll remember that you killed him to protect me, and he'll know you for what you are: My willing slave. And man, you REALLY don't have the balls for that.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Disintegrate is his favorite offensive spell. It's not normally a cleric spell, so Redcloak is getting it through a clerical domain (most likely Destruction).
  • The Dog Bites Back: Most of his life to date has been spent pulling strings for a very long-term, very secret plan to bite back at basically everybody. Ever. The Sapphire Guard, however, are at the top of his list.
  • Doomed Hometown: A quaint, isolated goblin village housing the (former) Public Enemy #1 of the Sapphire Guard. Perfect.
  • The Dragon: He's Xykon's second-in-command of the evil plan and the one getting things done while he's off somewhere else. Ironically, their relationship was reversed before Xykon became a lich, and now he's a Dragon with an Agenda. Although #830 has him claim to Tsukiko that he's still pulling Xykon's strings; he's just doing so in a very subtle, complex fashion...
  • Dragon-in-Chief: In terms of planning and administration, Redcloak is the true mastermind behind Xykon's Evil Plan, and the one their goblin army actually respects. Xykon still has him beat in ruthlessness and raw power.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He works for Xykon but his long-term plan is very different.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: At one point he has a conversation with Oona where she pretty much spells out that she's well aware that his noble goals are entirely subordinated to his ego, and she is only working with him in order to delay the point where he's forced to choose one over the other, because she's aware that he'd throw herself and other goblinoids under the bus without hesitation. He instead chooses to nitpick her metaphor and deny that there's any difference between the two goals... essentially confirming that not only will he choose his ego over his nobility, he'll convince himself that doing so is the noble choice.
  • Dramatic Irony: Frequently occurs whenever people try to reason or negotiate with Redcloak about ways to achieve his stated goals of Goblin equality without following The Plan, believing that he's a safer bet to approach than the murder-happy Xykonnote . What none of them realise is that whilst Redcloak is more reasonable in general matters, his Dark and Troubled Past and Sibling Murder of Right-Eye have warped him to the point he isn't capable of accepting any outcome that doesn't come from following through on The Plan, despite how reasonable any alternatives he's offered appear and how obvious it has become that he's made a bad choice in allying with Xykon. In fact it's because he knows on some level that's he's made a mistake partnering with Xykon that he's so determined to make it Worth It, as accepting anything else would mean everything he's sacrificed was All for Nothing. Underscoring this is that, apart from Xykon and The Monster in the Darkness, nobody is aware Right-Eye ever existed and how what he did to his brother motivates Redcloak to stick to The Plan.
  • The Dreaded: Among the resistance, judging from their reaction when he invades their base. Displayed by the Order of the Stick themselves in comic #901:
    Haley: Crap! It's Redcloak!!
    Elan: Maybe it's just another illusion?
    Belkar: Nah, that would mean we weren't totally boned.
  • Driven to Villainy: The author foreword to Start of Darkness strongly suggests it.
    There are people in this world who are driven to evil because of what their life has forced them to endure; Xykon is not one of those.
    Redcloak might be, though.
  • Dump Stat: Heavily implied to be Strength; despite clerics in D&D having pretty effective melee weapon stats, Redcloak is a Non-Action Guy with no actual weapon preference note  who almost only attacks his enemies (from a distance, to boot) with both spellcraft and summoning Mooks to fight in his stead. Furthermore, virtually every time Redcloak has been (nearly) killed, it has been when his enemies have caught him by surprise and attacked him in close-quarters combat (i.e., the spirit of Soon Kim and O-Chul), and he has been near-powerless to fight back each time. It can also be seen as a sign of his Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist nature — Redcloak lacks a certain (moral) strength.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The reason why he embarks on the Plan was to avenge his massacred family. He also did care for his brother, but not enough to let him live, after the plan killed the rest of his remaining family.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Redcloak has several, which is one of the reasons that Xykon considers him a spineless wimp.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Downplayed Trope. He genuinely doesn't understand why the Sapphire Guard would follow Soon's "silly promise" when it would prevent them from defending the other gates. However, many of the good guys don't understand it either — in fact it has as much to do with the personal relationships between the Order of the Scribble as the overall greater good goal.
    • He thinks the gods are unwilling to destroy the world because they love the other races too much, unaware that the gods have already destroyed literally billions of worlds to prevent the Snarl from attacking the gods again. It actually serves as an interesting contrast since the good gods view the resorting to such a sacrifice as a failure due to weakness on their parts, while Redcloak believes his willingness to throw away the lives of goblins is a strength — and were he ever to come to believe otherwise, he'd have to face that everything he's done is All for Nothing and all his fault, which is his biggest blind spot.
  • Eviler than Thou: When it comes down to it, he proves to Tsukiko that he's worse than she could ever be. In Start of Darkness, Xykon did it to him.
  • Evil Genius: Xykon's a brute force kind of guy so Redcloak supplies the depth and breath of knowledge. He can be a smooth criminal — eloquent and intellectual, and giving off the vibe that he'd enjoy fancy cheeses and grapes over a book discussion. He's also become one of the most powerful pieces on the story's proverbial chessboard, packing some heavy punches and approaching epic level.
  • Evil Virtues: Is quick-witted, a great manipulator, and brilliantly clever.
  • Exact Words: Uses this to convince Xykon that Tsukiko was planning to betray them.
  • Excalibur in the Rust: The Crimson Mantle looks very tattered (because most of its previous owners met a violent death), and yet it's a powerful artifact that can spell the doom of the world.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: He fully expected the gods to send someone to try to stop him, though he expected a tall Celestial of some sort, not the dwarf Durkon Thundershield.
  • Eyepatch of Power: After the below encounter with O-Chul. Xykon, at least, seems to approve of this development:
    Xykon: I like you this way. It's like we have a grumpy pirate on the team.
  • Eye Scream: O-Chul does this to him in "With a Critical Eye". He could easily regenerate it, but Xykon has forbidden him from doing so.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin:
    • The ritual to control the Snarl doesn't do what Xykon thinks it does; Redcloak's been pulling the wool over his eyes for decades supposedly.
    • He makes a fake of Xykon's phylactery and wards it, and Xykon's real one, so that Xykon doesn't realize the one he gave the Lich is the fake. As such, Xykon thinks his phylactery is in an extradimensional fortress when it's still with Redcloak.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Any time he opens his mouth, fangs are visible. Tusks protrude from his bottom lip, too.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • As a goblin, he's a victim of it by humans, who assume his people to be Alwaysinvoked Neutral Evil. He also despises humanity, which he considers not racist but speciesist, since he hates all races of humans equally (an ironic statement, given he seems to have a particular hatred of Azure City). During negotiations with Durkon as a representative of Thor, he's at least willing to in principle admit that he'd theoretically be okay with adopting a live-and-let-live approach to and take a more conciliatory tone with humans if, long-term, they stopped trying to exterminate his people and left their newly-minted goblinoid country alone; even if his myriad other flaws still tank negotiations his speciesism isn't shown to be a stumbling block there.
    • He himself was racist against the more warlike hobgoblins until halfway through the battle of Azure City, and has since adopted a "pan-goblinoid" stance, in theory if not in practice.
    • He is only mildly speciesist towards dwarves, though, and when he sees Durkon at Kragor's Tomb, rather than immediately attack him he simply comments he is far away from home and should run along before he has to waste a spell slot on him. He only turns hostile when he recognizes Durkon, who still manages to talk him out of attacking. He also assumes that as a dwarf, Durkon must have spent his life surrounded by gold, jewels, and unimaginable wealth. Durkon actually grew up as a dirt-poor Working-Class Hero... but he's too diplomatic to correct him in the moment.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His refusal to turn back, because otherwise, everything he's sacrificed will have been in vain. This has reached the point that he has essentially doomed The Plan's ultimate goals after being offered everything he could ever want by Durkon, because the alternative is acknowledging something he's spent more than a lifetime trying to ignore.
    • As stated by Right-Eye, Redcloak is still the angry kid that saw his village slaughtered by paladins. He has much more control over it than his pride but it's part of why he is so eager to pick a fight with the heroes and gods.
      Redcloak: I don't remember "peaceful" being on my list of demands.
    • His egotism is another facet of his pride; he repeatedly comes to incorrect conclusions using faulty logic whose flaws boil down to thinking of himself as more important than he is, and refuses to change course even when said flaws are bluntly pointed out to him.
    • This all reinforces his last flaw: his complete inability to self reflect and adapt. He has had plenty of opportunities to settle down, start a new life, and even have kids. Yet out of a lifetime of fear, heartbreak, and hardship, he can't look in the mirror and think about what he's done and how he could have done things better. It's not just pride, but guilt and deep-seated regrets that feed his need to live in the village of "right-all-along" as Oona puts it.
    • A more minor flaw (or at least overshadowed by the others) is his utter refusal to change initial assumptions; he has Xykon as a pawn in The Plan because Xykon's first impression is as a careless goofball, even when Xykon outright proves that his Wisdom is higher than Redcloak thinks. He also doesn't even consider that the Monster in the Darkness might be intentionally sabotaging them at Kraagor's Tomb because he sees the Monster in the Darkness as a dumb child.
  • Foil:
    • To Xykon, naturally. Redcloak's a Tragic Villain instead of a For the Evulz monster, a cleric instead of a sorcerer, and something of a nerd who prefers careful plans to brute force.
    • He can also be viewed as one to Durkon. Both are fervently devout, lawful, and clerics. Both of them come from non-human races who have gotten the short end of the stick on a cosmic level note , both grew up dirt-poor before being forced out of their homes by an unexpected tragedy, and both are now The Chosen Ones tasked by their respective deities on missions to ensure the progress and safety of their people. However, Durkon is a fundamentally selfless and brave Nice Guy who has willingly performed Heroic Sacrifices multiple times and is always willing to admit where he might've made mistakes and try to be better. Redcloak is a fundamentally selfish moral coward who is willing to throw his entire species under the bus out of a desperate desire to avoid admitting that he has made mistakes. Furthermore, Durkon is more of a frontline fighter who is willing to get his hands dirty with his warhammer and shield, while Redcloak is a Non-Action Guy who almost only acts through summoning Elemental Mooks and ranged spells. In essence, one gets the implication that Redcloak is what might've happened if Durkon had never gained friends like the Order of the Stick and had instead suffered from Toxic Friend Influence after getting exiled from his homeland.
    • As the story goes on, it becomes clear that he's also one to Roy Greenhilt. He's a spell-casting cleric who fights from a distance and has proven to be not efficient in a close-range fight, with it also being implied he can't take that many hits, whereas Roy is a close-range bruiser who regularly gets hit for both dramatic and comedic purposes. Both are far smarter and more intelligent that their first impressions, with Roy being a Genius Bruiser and Redcloak pretending to be a subservient Number Two to Xykon's ambitions. Both characters are the ones who drive/started each side of the good/evil plot over the gates and The Plan, with Redcloak being depicted as the put-upon Villain Protagonist, and they regularly find themselves exasperated by their teammate's inane antics. Not to mention, both sides rely on them to keep their respective teams operating efficiently, with much of Don't Split the Party showing how the Order fell apart without Roy around, and Redcloak complaining about how he's the one keeping "the evil trains running on time" in Gobtopia. Both are extremely determined individuals who feel their position of responsibility in their team means that their way is the best to achieve their goals, but as Roy undergoes Character Development through the series he learns to trust and rely on his Party's strengths and input more, taking their opinions into account when forming plans of attack and becoming more versatile, whereas Redcloak's relationship with Xykon has arguably gotten worse and is held together only be necessity, undercut by the fact that both of them are planning to betray the other once they succeed in securing a gate. Reflecting this, Redcloak becomes a more powerful and dangerous spellcaster throughout the comic, but keeps to the same character class, reflecting his inability to change his character, whereas Roy eventually becomes a Magic Knight, becoming more versatile. The greatest difference is their relationships with their little brothers, which is integral to their motivations in the present: Roy's brother Eric was accidentally killed by one of his father's magical experiments, souring him towards spellcasters and motivating him to take after his Fighter grandfather instead. Roy took up the quest of fulfilling Eugene's blood Oath when the latter made it clear that he didn't think anybody but a spellcaster could beat Xykon; but eventually, once he's briefly killed and reunites with Eric's spirit in the afterlife, he gets to settle some of his grief over his brother's untimely passing and decides to move on from fulfilling the blood oath to show up Eugene, instead continuing the quest because Xykon is a massive threat to everybody who must be stopped. Redcloak, meanwhile, initially started out on his quest to fulfil The Plan to get goblin equality to avenge the indiscriminate slaughter of his village and implicitly protect his brother Right-Eye. However, his dedication to this goal eventually lead to him murdering Right-Eye to avoid having to admit his choices and the lives lost to them were not All for Nothing, which lead him to stubbornly deny any alternatives to his goals that don't stem from The Plan, even when it's pointed out how many ways The Plan could go wrong. They even both have contrasting Colour Motifs in their names, which stem from keepsakes they inherited when they decided to take up the quest that drives their side of the story.
  • Freudian Excuse: When he was a teenager, the Sapphire Guard slaughtered his family and the Crimson Mantle revealed to him that the gods themselves designed his entire species to be cannon fodder for adventurers (though unbeknownst to both him and the Dark One, this act was born more out of apathy and red tape rather than genuine malice). All within minutes of each other.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: His past is certainly tragic, and he has every reason to be angry at the gods for allowing it to happen. However, for all of his Anti-Villain behavior, Redcloak's Detrimental Determination causes more problems for him and goblinkind as a whole than it solves, and ultimately makes things worse for everyone. The narrative also uses these tendencies to show that all of Redcloak's justifications are little more than self-serving excuses, which is meant to highlight his moral cowardice rather than excuse him. For instance, Redcloak inadvertenly causing the death of his brother Right-Eye is meant to show how far Redcloak is willing to go to ensure things are done his way. Also, when offered everything he could possibly want by Thor, Redcloak still won't do it, because it would mean he's not a hero and his acts of villainy have been All for Nothing. At one point, Xykon flat-out tells Xykon that Redcloak's excuses are how he's controlling Redcloak's behavior, and yet Redcloak still continues to hold onto the aforesaid excuses.
  • Freudian Slip:
    • He'll begin explaining the sacrifices he's willing to make, only to backtrack and say they're sacrifices the goblins are willing to make for the greater good.
    • An argument with Right-Eye has Redcloak angrily insist that the goblin deaths in pursuit of the Plan were necessary sacrifices and they were not his fault. Right-Eye takes that as an admission that what's most important to Redcloak isn't what's best for goblins, but maintaining his belief that he wasn't wrong to ally with Xykon.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Started out as the junior acolyte of the Dark One in a goblin village out in the sticks. Right now, he's the messiah of the goblin race and possibly the most powerful cleric in the story.
  • Frontline General: For most of the Battle of Azure City, Redcloak was The Strategist and delegated orders from the rear line through the hobgoblin general. After the subterfuge with Xykon is uncovered and a hobgoblin soldier sacrifices himself to save Redcloak, he orders all hobgoblin forces to withdraw and regroup and he personally leads the army into Azure City through a breach in the wall and into the castle.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Redcloak was the one who turned Xykon into a lich, hoping that holding his phylactery would allow him to control Xykon. It backfired big time, since becoming a lich gave Xykon a boost in intelligence and wisdom that made him much more dangerous and harder to manipulate. He proceeds to exploit Redcloak's pride and let him kill Right-eye (his younger brother) before telling him why as part of a grand speech and breaking Redcloak's spirit, thus cowing him into servitude rather than partner, a mentality he wouldn't break from until Xykon's first defeat by Roy. Furthermore, Xykon would kill and sacrifice goblins For the Evulz due to lichdom robbing him of enjoying coffee and thus having sadism as his only pleasure, while Redcloak pretty much let him get away with it. Even now, despite Redcloak's powerful and subtle manipulation of Xykon, there's the implications he still underestimates Xykon (for example, the Monster in the Darkness is an unknown Manchurian Agent, under a geas to eat Redcloak and spit out the phylactery/holy symbol should Redcloak betray him).
  • Good Powers, Bad People: As a cleric, he can cast healing spells. Most of the time, he just does this to heal his minions (or uses reversed versions to "heal" Xykon), but later on, he puts it to an evil use in performing Cold-Blooded Torture on O-Chul, as he can heal him after each session.
  • Good Shepherd:
    • For the goblin species he is a spiritual leader and connection to their deity. Failing to live up to this for all goblin races is part of his My God, What Have I Done?.
      Redcloak: I'm the high priest of the Dark One! I'm supposed to shepherd the goblin people — all goblins!
    • However, the "good" part is becoming questioned over time with every ill-thought out decision along with succumbing to the Sunk Cost Fallacy. Minrah calls him out for not being this. For all his talk of being the shepherd, he's risking everything on a plan with a growing amount of problems he didn't consider, ignoring more practical plans that would've given everything he could realistically want and get and willing to sacrifice the lives of current goblins for potential future goblinkind (despite the fact that the next world may not even have goblins or other humanoids for that matter). The Freudian Slip of "me" corrected to "the goblin people" also shows a glimpse into his motivations.
  • Guile Hero: Well, Guile Anti-Villain. Manipulative, charismatic, and The Chessmaster.
  • Have You Seen My God?: A variation. While Redcloak certainly knows The Dark One exists, being his High Priest and getting his spells from him, but he admits in 35 years, The Dark One has never directly spoken to him like Thor did with Durkon.
  • Healing Hands: As a cleric, he can do this.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • Crushes the Resistance by planting a hobgoblin infiltrator, disguised as a human with a polymorph spell. When the spy manages to recover Xykon's phylactery, instead of receiving the promised reward, he is sent to his death to cover up the details behind the battle. Redcloak considers this an unfortunate necessity, because he can't afford to have anybody alive who knows what he's done with the phylactery, especially considering the Dungeons and Dragons afterlife. Although the spy is technically killed by Resistance members, Redcloak doesn't raise him and admits he'd have killed him anyway.
    • He then did it again, with Tsukiko. She realized that Redcloak was tricking Xykon, and made the really dumb mistake of confronting Redcloak before reporting to Xykon. Redcloak made sure she never would.
    • He also disintegrates the corpse of the craftsman who made a fake copy of Xykon's phylactery, and implies he's once again glad he didn't have to do the job himself. That's definitely the kind of secret that Redcloak wants as few people as possible to know.
  • High Priest: Redcloak is the high priest of the Dark One.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: There are several points at which Redcloak could have easily achieved his goals with no further resistance or strings attached, such as when he takes over Azure City (thus both getting revenge for his hometown and establishing the goblins as a legitimate nation to be treated equally) or when Durkon offers Redcloak basically everything he ever said he wanted in exchange for the Dark One's help dealing with the Snarl. Both times, he ends up refusing the offers and continuing to make the situation worse for goblinoids because he can't help but stick to The Plan.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: To goblins, all the 'proper' races (i.e., humans, eves, gnomes, halflings, orcs, and others) are the real monsters. And in fairness to Redcloak, from what the reader has been shown, to those races, goblinoid lives are cheaper than sunlight.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: If Xykon didn't have Redcloak around, the world would be a lot safer simply by virtue of Xykon's Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! attitude and disregard for long-term planning. Also, Xykon wouldn't have become a lich in the first place.
  • Hypocrite:
    • In "Pot vs. Kettle", Redcloak proclaims Miko's lack of fear as comparable to Xykon's lichdom, in that they're both unnatural existences. This is ignoring how his own magical cloak has been letting him live an unnatural existence himself (by extending his life beyond the span of a normal goblin and keeping him young). This even makes him more like Xykon than Miko is, as Right-Eye points out, Redcloak may live forever, but he hasn't lived a life ever since he put on his mantle, just as how the Dark One hasn't, and they both are too consumed by spite and petty revenge to know and do what's right for the goblin people.
    • For all that Redcloak talks about being Xykon's puppetmaster, Xykon shows a surprising aptitude at pressing his buttons and controlling him.
    • Major example in Start of Darkness. One is when Right-Eye asks him to help kill Xykon, and Redcloak responds by saying he can't let Right-Eye gamble with the lives of so many goblins. This coming from the man who led entire armies of goblins to their deaths and indirectly caused the deaths of Right-Eye's family. Right-Eye has to remind him to his face that his wife and children were his sister-in-law and nephews, and Redcloak's complete lack of reaction is what clues in Right-Eye on just how far Redcloak has gone.
    • He calls O-Chul and the human race amoral savages for lacking respect toward their kin's lives. But Redcloak disposed of countless goblins and hobgoblins for the sake of the plan, which in itself is threatening everything in creation, including goblinoids, if things go sour. And unlike O-Chul it is not because he was helpless in protecting them; it's because tying loose ends and petty revenge was more beneficial to Redcloak than keeping them alive.
    • When he tries to kill Durkon, he treats it as justice for all of the innocent goblins his target has murdered. When his target points out that Redcloak has killed even more, Redcloak's reaction is outrage.
    • It's nicely summed up by Minrah here. For all his professed devotion to the goblin people and their cause, Redcloak is perfectly willing to let each and every one of them die for the sake of hypothetical future goblins who may never even exist, all because the alternative would be abandoning his Plan.
      Minrah: You're just a... a big phony, talking about stuff like equality and justice to make yourself feel better about shoving them off a cliff! I don't think you really care about them — you just feel bad about not caring!
    • On a more humorous note, for all that he's very dismissive of Oona's intelligence, he still manages to get hung up on the details one of her metaphors without engaging with the (broadly accurate) point it was making about conflicts between his high-minded goals and his egotism, even though she very clearly stressed and explained that it was just a metaphor and didn't need to adhere to reality 1:1 to start with.
    • He heralds his Took a Level in Badass epiphany of not responding to every needless taunt, challenge or distraction that comes his way (exemplified in this case by a challenge from a paladin to a one-on-one fight) by coolly remarking that "Stupid risks are just that: stupid." Except it gradually become increasingly obvious that, for Redcloak, this applies only to tactics, not strategy: It's all but outright stated that The Plan he's now determined to follow so relentlessly is all but doomed to failure and is probably the biggest and stupidest risk of them all, but he refuses to let himself actually acknowledge that or take one of the many better options that crosses his path.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: His stance on his evil actions, in contrast to Xykon's gleeful and self-aware malice. The trope is increasingly examined as his character and backstory are developed — he's terrified of the possibility that actually, he didn't have to do any of it and all the blood on his hands could have been avoided. A lot of the awful things he does have the subconscious goal of further convincing himself that he had no other options.
  • Ignored Epiphany:
    • Pride and stubbornness kept him from ending his deal with Xykon before turning Xykon into a lich, or leaving The Plan behind during Xykon's disappearance, or helping his brother take Xykon out after Right-Eye tried to show Redcloak just how out of touch Redcloak is. May be more of a delayed epiphany than an ignored one considering later events. He admitted that's he's pulling Xykon's strings and seems to be taking steps to backstab him, such as killing Tsukiko and choosing to hide the fact that he's recovered Xykon's phylactery. But he still apparently intends to go through with The Plan first.
    • Another example would be in Start of Darkness, where he eventually agrees to settle down and give up The Plan to build a better life for goblins instead of tearing down humans. But after Xykon extorts Right-Eye and his entire village into joining his forces, Redcloak becomes committed to The Plan again — so much so that he's willing to ignore his brother's accomplishment of building a peaceful goblin settlement, allow his brother's new family to die even though his original devotion to the Plan came from a place of hoping to avenge his family's murders, and ultimately kill his own brother to avoid the possibility of The Plan being wrong.
    • Practically screamed in his face during his negotiations with Durkon, who points out that Redcloak pretty much already has accomplished everything he was setting out to achieve with the Plan without ever needing to put it into practice. But if he was to abandon the Plan, that would mean admitting that it was never necessary in the first place, and neither were the sacrifices he made in its name. Redcloak pretty much has to force himself to ignore that particular epiphany.
    • In a later strip he finds himself trying to justify himself to Oona, who overheard the immediately previous exchange. In response, Oona rather insightfully notes the fundamental conflict Redcloak has between his supposed concern for the goblin people and his own ego and need to be right and glorious in 'saving' them, and all but outright states that she's knows full well that when the crunch moment finally comes Redcloak will almost certainly choose the latter before the former. However, her somewhat crude and eccentric metaphor of revealing this gives him all the justification he needs to pedantically focus on picking apart the metaphor, allowing him to condescendingly dismiss her observations with the claim that she simply cannot understand the many 'complexities' of his position. He also ignores that Oona directly invoked this trope shortly before that conversation, comparing him to her "fearless" cousin... who died from eating clearly-labelled poisoned berries because he wouldn't let some sign tell him what to do.
  • I Lied: Slightly more verbose one from Redcloak when he tells Tsukiko his real plan for the Snarl.
    Tsukiko: That... that doesn't help Xykon at all!!
    Redcloak: Yes, I know. That's why I kept it from him from more than 30 years.
  • Immortal Immaturity: Right-Eye calls him out on a variant of this, claiming that since he hasn't aged in decades, he's basically frozen in the past and refuses to move on like he (Right-Eye) was forced to do. Unlike Right-Eye, who ultimately came to believe that life was too short to waste on revenge, Redcloak sees his time as infinite, and spends it on The Plan to tear down humans instead of trying to raise up goblins. Ultimately, Redcloak kills Right-Eye to avoid admitting that he made a mistake.
  • Ironic Name: He's called "Redcloak," but is far from a Red Shirt-type character.
  • Irony: Redcloak is a Cleric, a class requiring high Wisdom. Redcloak is anything but wise and makes serious errors out of a combination of overconfidence and a pathological need to make all his horrible actions actually worth it in the end.
  • It's All About Me: A completely unintentional and justified example; Redcloak mistakenly believes that the gods intentionally crippled his people and made them into XP fodder for adventurers in the current iteration of reality, when Thor later reveals to Durkon that it's actually just a case of Hanlon's Razor in play — Fenris screwed over the goblinoids when the world was being created, and because God's Hands Are Tied along with sheer apathy, no other deities until the Dark One came around have bothered to change anything. However, as a victim of great tragedy and suffering due to being a goblin, Redcloak understandably can't even contemplate the idea that there isn't a pre-meditated conspiracy among the gods that has kept his people oppressed when the actual reasons are all the more simple and unfortunate. Later on, the comic begins to emphasize that his egotism and self-centered viewpoint are as much a Fatal Flaw as his obsession with the Sunk Cost Fallacy.
  • I've Come Too Far:
    • As Xykon points out to him at the end of Start of Darkness, he can't back away from The Plan now, because that would mean admitting that he did it all — including murdering his brother — for nothing.
    • Starts falling into this again when Durkon explains he doesn't have to follow through with his plan to threaten the gods with the Snarl. Durkon points out that for all intents and purposes, Redcloak already has what he wants: equality for the goblins. They have lands, wealth, a fortified city; they have everything they need to establish an independent goblin nation and begin negotiations with other kingdoms towards peaceful co-existence. Redcloak has a moment of inner conflict, but decides that, after all he's been through, nothing less than divine recognition of the goblins' equality will be enough. Cue implosion.
  • Keeping the Handicap: Played with when he has one of his eyes gouged out by O-Chul. As a high-level cleric, he could easily cast a regenerate spell to restore it, but his boss Xykon (who's mid-Villainous Breakdown at the time) decides he's sick of Redcloak wasting time instead of actively pursuing their Evil Plan and forbids him from getting his eye back as a form of punishment.
    Xykon: You're not regenerating anything. That eye? That's your individual Idiot Tax. That's what this fiasco costs you personally. I want you to remember every moment of every day what happens if we sit on our lazy ASSES and rearrange the furniture in a ruined city instead of moving on to the next target. If I ever see you with more eyes than assholes, I'm going to shove one in the other and give your cloak to that hobgoblin.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Redcloak's slowly revealed Dark and Troubled Past and generally grim thematic undertones help herald an increasingly dark & mature tone for the entire webcomic as more and more details regarding him are unveiled.
  • Knight Templar: His overriding motive is to give his people a level playing field with the other races. Xykon, being the sociopathic Eviler than Thou Card-Carrying Villain he is, looks down on him for this.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Redcloak losing an eye — and being forbidden to regenerate it — just so he could remember his brother every time he looks at a mirror.
  • Laughably Evil: Downplayed; On the one hand, Redcloak is easily one of the most serious, depressing and grim characters in the entire web comic, serving as a Knight of Cerebus who frequently causes the work to delve into increasingly uncomfortable, dark and weighty territory along with showcasing him as a Tragic Villain Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds. On the other hand, his habit of being The Comically Serious Only Sane Man among Team Evil along with him attempting to cope with being Surrounded by Idiots & Psychopathic Manchildren like Xykon & Tsukiko through being a Deadpan Snarker also make him a hilarious & immensely entertaining character to follow around.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: To avoid Xykon blasting him for giving him a long, complicated name, he uses "Redcloak" to introduce himself to the sorcerer when they first meet.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Thanks to the Crimson Mantle, he has all the time in the world to carry out his sacred duty.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: He operates on the assumption that the Dark One will be able to make things better for the goblinoid races in the next cycle if the deities agree to destroy the world and start over. He won't, as he doesn't have a large enough reservoir of faith to sustain him in the interim between worlds. That, and there's no guarantee there will be goblins in the next world, anyway, since previous incarnations included sentient movie snacks and cyberpunk animals. Problem is, he doesn't know any of this and most of the gods aren't willing to take the chance of filling the Dark One in on all the details. When Minrah and Durkon actually tell him this, he's already ignited a breakdown in Durkon's peace negotiations and refuses to believe it as anything more than a manipulation tactic to get him to give up the plan.
  • Manchild: An aged Right-Eye argues that while Redcloak is 50 (goblins have a lifespan of 40-50 years), he's still maturity-wise the Emo Teen he was when the rest of their family was killed.
  • The Man in Front of the Man: Well, the Goblin in Front of the Lich. All that kowtowing and submissiveness to Xykon? Redcloak's just manipulating the lich in his own way by subtly guiding Xykon in the direction he wants.
  • Metaphorically True: When he explains why he killed Tsukiko, strictly speaking everything he says is true — it's just that he skips a few details along the way. Details that would have gotten him brutally killed by Xykon, naturally.
  • Mirror Character:
    • He's most explicitly shown as a mirror to Miko in their brief scuffle in the watchtower. Both are color-coded, stringently Lawful, divinely-empowered beings who serve as high-ranking figures in their respective religions. Both lost their parents at a young age, leaving them with nothing outside of their faith. Both are motivated by the same massacre: Redcloak was a direct survivor of it, and Miko was mentored by one of the paladins who carried it out, in both cases being left with an utter and uncompromising hatred for the other side. Both are arrogant, stubborn, frequently paranoid, very good at deluding themselves, and have a tendency to ignore clear indications that they're wrong and should stop. Both see themselves as the central chosen figure in a divine plan (Redcloak more correctly), and place the execution of that plan above all else. And both ultimately killed what little family they had left for the sake of seeing that plan accomplished—and after experiencing the consequences, redoubled their efforts in seeing it carried out, losing any chance of redemption in the process. The fact that a strip where Redcloak spends half the panels insulting Miko in dehumanizing fashion is titled "Pot v. Kettle" really drives it home.
    • To Vaarsuvius. Both are Well Intentioned Extremists, both have a thing for avenging their families, both are Badass Bookworms, both struggle with regret over the blood of innocents on their hands. Both are Deadpan Snarkers, with a fondness for Stealth Insults. Both are the "smart guy" of their respective team, both are spellcasters, both were prone to Ignored Epiphanies before character development. Both have been subject to Once Done, Never Forgotten, V over the whole selling their soul and savagely murdering a quarter of an entire dragon subspecies thing and Redcloak setting fire to Lirian's Glade and killing his brother. The key difference between them is that V comes to admit they were wrong, gives up the harmful approach that wasn't working, and works as best as they can to make amends. Redcloak, however, is pathologically incapable of admitting that his Plan isn't worth it and that he's made a mistake, and just keeps doubling down on the flawed approach.
  • Mission from God: The Dark One in this case. It's to elevate the lot of the Goblin People from fodder for paladins and adventurers to something dignified.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: One of the reasons Redcloak killed Tsukiko was because she wouldn't stop disrespecting him and trying to undercut his authority.
  • Mook Promotion: The day he joined the ranks of the Dark One's clerics as a lowly acolyte is the day that he became the Dark One's High Priest, thanks to the Sapphire Guard.
    Bearer of the Mantle: Look around you, acolyte. You are fast ascending the ranks of our church's hierarchy.
  • Moral Myopia:
    • Redcloak really gets angry when people try to reanimate those he cares about as undead but he has no problem when it gets done (or indeed, doing it himself) to those he doesn't care about. Sadly, Xykon knows how to play him in such a way that he is unable to bring himself to defy it when it happens.
    • He hates the Sapphire Guard for killing his family but as Right-Eye points out during their falling out, his own actions have led to the deaths of every single member of his remaining family, in Right-Eye's own case pretty directly.
    • His hatred at the goblins being used as fodder by uncaring gods doesn't stop him from doing the same. His brother and Durkon try to make him see he has no good reasons to throw so many goblins' lives in jeopardy, and Xykon accuses Redcloak of being a coward for not owning up to his cold-blooded nature.
  • Moving the Goalposts: When it's pointed out by Durkon that Redcloak has for all intents and purposes already got what he wants, Redcloak moves the goalposts himself, as he's incapable of accepting the Plan isn't necessary, as to do so would be to accept his evil deeds were for nothing.
  • Must Make Amends: Redcloak ordered thousands of hobgoblins that he was in command of into certain death without thinking or feeling anything because of the ancient grudges between goblins and hobgoblins. After a hobgoblin saved his life during the battle, Redcloak reacted with horror to everything he he had done and become, and promptly led the hobgoblins to a smashing victory, even putting his own life at risk in order to save those of his men.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • This happens after a hobgoblin sacrifices his life to save Redcloak from a catapulted boulder during the battle for Azure City. After that point, he becomes significantly more considerate for his hobgoblin army and personally leads them through the attack.
    • Has another one in Start of Darkness after killing Right-Eye and having Xykon call him out on it.
  • Never My Fault:
    • His actions in serving Xykon, who kills anyone who happens to be in his field of vision at any given moment for fun (including a whole lot of goblins), are all "for the greater good of the goblins". But when Right-Eye suggests betraying Xykon, he refuses on the basis that it would be a waste of goblin lives. Right-Eye calls him on it, and what little good it's done. Xykon makes it pretty clear that Redcloak is completely aware of this fact, and taunts him with the knowledge that if Right-Eye had succeeded in killing Xykon it would mean having to admit that he (Redcloak) was wrong, and that it was his fault that all those goblins died. Serving Xykon gives him an excuse to look the other way and say it's out of his hands. This cowardice to confront his mistakes leads him to be entrenched deep in the Sunk Cost Fallacy with The Plan.
    • Played with regarding his treatment of the hobgoblins. He's visibly horrified when he realizes that he was letting a childhood grudge against their kind justify his disregard for their lives. That said, his leadership of them still folds into his subservience to Xykon, who is as likely to kill anyone in his field of vision as speak to them at any given moment. He just expanded his goals from "for goblins" to "for all goblinoids" without actually acknowledging any of the other problems with his decisions mentioned throughout this page.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: His decision to stall Xykon while he establishes Gobbotopia instead of just moving on to the next Gate gives the Order time to regroup after being separated and revive Roy, and also allows soul-spliced V to launch a surprise attack, causing Xykon to lose his phylactery.
  • No Cure for Evil: Averted. He has access to the standard cleric spell list, which includes the cure wounds spells. In fact, Redcloak is Team Evil's primary healer, though he can't freely turn prepared spells into healing as his deity is evil.
  • Non-Action Guy: Downplayed Trope. He is one of the most powerful characters in the story aside from epic characters like Xykon, the Order of the Scribble, and possibly the Vector Legion. However, he is almost never shown engaging in physical combat even though his class has decent melee abilities and even when drawn into melee by another character. The only time we see him fight in melee is when he smites a paladin during the destruction of his hometown, a time when he was truly desperate to protect his brother and before he achieved his current level of power.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Unlike Xykon, he uses military tactics instead of relying on brute strength; he refuses to rely on classic elementals as Giant Mooks, and instead uses stronger and rarer ones; after some Character Development, he refrains from using the We Have Reserves tactic. Finally, he uses La Résistance to get his boss's Soul Jar, before ambushing them with a group of summoned devils and giving them a Total Party Kill, and simply orders one of his aforementioned elementals to kill a Paladin trying to goad him into a duel. He even points out he's not taking stupid risks any more in doing so. He also kills everyone who knows that he has possession of the phylactery (and makes sure they won't be resurrected) to ensure the success of The Plan. He also made a perfect forgery of the phylactery, knowing that Xykon would no longer let him hold onto it. After realizing the Order of the Stick is protecting the gates, he simply decided to wipe them out himself as soon as he could. When Xykon tells him to drop it, he summons a high-level elemental to kill Roy.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite his ultimate intentions, it's gradually implied that at his core, Redcloak will always put his own pride and need to justify his actions above actually following through on his good intentions. Even when pointed out he already got what he claimed to want and being offered pretty much everything he could ask for without the Plan being needed, he quickly turns to self-justification to continue on the path, as to do anything else is to admit he's wrong.
  • Occam's Razor: A big fan, but he's bad at using it. Not that he ever admits it when it's pointed out. What it boils down to is that in his mind, "the simplest explanation" can never include "Redcloak was wrong".
    • Early on, he rants to a captive O-Chul about how unlikely it is that the Sapphire Guard would follow through on their founder's oath not to interfere with any of the other Gates, and instead posits that they probably did, but then magically hid the knowledge in their paladin's brains by some means undetectable to magic or psionics, which he argues only requires one obscure feat, item, spell, or other special ability in some random sourcebook he hasn't read, while trying to break it out of O-Chul by threatening a bunch of his people. O-Chul points out that by Redcloak's own logic, it is significantly more likely that he just doesn't know anything than that information is somehow locked in his head so deep even he doesn't know it or know he knows it. Redcloak refuses to admit the point and continues to try to break him.
    • Later, during negotiations with Durkon and Minrah, he repeatedly sees signs of a grand divine conspiracy to oppress the monster races rather than accept the possibility that their sad fate is the result of their creators' apathy and neglect. And after finding a lot of monsters behind a door in Kraagor's Tomb already marked as explored, he rejects the more-plausible (if still incorrect) idea that the Monster in the Darkness messed up when Oona proposes it in favor of a grand conspiracy theory that the gods themselves are accelerating the onset of monstrous resistance, even twisting logic to insist that his explanation is somehow simpler.
  • Offing the Offspring: Of "The Choice of Abraham" variety. After the destruction of their village and up until the fight that spurs Right-Eye to leave and start his own life, Redcloak and Right-Eye are the only family each other has. And as the elder brother by several years, Redcloak rears Right-Eye by himself.
  • Older Than They Look: The Crimson Mantle stops him from aging. He's only 50ish, but by goblin standards that's like 120, and he still looks like a teenager.
  • One-Man Army: It's almost impossible to be as high level of a divine caster as him without reaching this status. Redcloak is entirely able to wipe out the Azure City Resistance with just his own abilities and puts the non-caster members of the Order on the back foot with a single summon spell.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He adopted the name of "Redcloak" after seeing Xykon kill a lizardfolk because of his long, hard-to-pronounce name. His real name is never given, and the only hint we know is that it's harder to use in the heat of battle, even by other goblins.
  • Only Sane Man: Between Xykon (For the Evulz), the Monster in the Darkness (spacey) and Tsukiko (Parody Sue), he's the only one in Team Evil that can pass a sanity check.
  • Perfect Solution Fallacy: In addition to the Sunk Cost Fallacy, he's got a bit of this going on as well in regards to the Plan; he tends to make the perfect the enemy of the good in order to continue on his chosen path and reject better but less personally satisfying options. Throughout the story, he essentially acquires or is otherwise offered on a plate everything he's been trying to get for goblinkind without needing to put the Plan into action, but when this is eventually pointed this out to him, his response is to (slightly pettily) point out all the ways in which things still aren't perfect for goblins in order to give himself an excuse to reject it. As Minrah eventually yells at him, he'd ultimately rather throw away countless goblin lives for the sake of imaginary future goblins who may or (more likely) may not get to live in his ideal fantasy world rather than accept an imperfect but nevertheless significantly improved status quo.
  • Pointy Ears: Because he's a goblin.
  • Promotion to Parent: When he and his little brother are orphaned.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: The Plan in a nutshell. His Mission from the Dark One is a plan to blackmail the other gods into making the goblinoid races something other than XP fodder. As noted, there are plenty of problems with this plan.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Receives this multiple times over the course of the story. The fact that he still doesn't seem to get it is his biggest Fatal Flaw.
    • From his own brother:
      Right-Eye: You don't even know the goblin people. You think this is what they want? To be ruled by an insane lich? To be killed by poor planning, or mood swings? ... Your LIFE? Brother, you may have had a lifetime but you haven't had a life since the day you put on that cloak. Life is about growing—growing older, growing wiser, growing closer to your loved ones. But you, you're frozen in time. You're the same angry kid who took that artifact off of your master's corpse that day.
    • From Xykon, and perhaps the most brutal and deconstructive, the details of which can be seen in Xykon's folder.
      Xykon: You'll obey me forever now, because I give you an excuse for your inexcusable behavior.
    • Delivers a nasty one to Tsukiko, right before he kills her:
      Redcloak: Because, let's be clear: if I tolerated your humiliating attempts to undercut my authority before, it was only because killing you would've upset the delicate puppet strings upon which "Lord Xykon" unknowingly dances. But if you're going to stand here, and tell me that you'll expose one of those strings to him? If you're going to be THAT stupid? There can only be one rational response to that.
      [addressing her wights]
      Hold her until you drain the life from her. Then devour her corpse.
    • From Minrah:
      Minrah: How can you call it winning if all the goblins are dead?! You're putting a bunch of imaginary goblins in the future ahead of the ones alive right now! Aren't you their leader?? They follow you! You're just a... a big phony, talking about stuff like equality and justice to make yourself feel better about shoving them off a cliff! I don't think you really care about them — you just feel bad about NOT caring!!
    • Gets a particularly subtle one from Oona, when she explains her metaphor of Redcloak living in the two villages of "Doing the Best for Goblinkinds" and "Right All Along", and one day Redcloak might be forced to choose between the two.
      Oona: Oona is pretty sure she knows what little caped man would choose.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: With Jirix, who is more laid back and likely to make jokes. Redcloak himself is all serious all the time.
  • The Reliable One: Which he lampshades, saying that while everyone else is out having fun, he's making sure the trains run on time.
  • Religion is Magic: Comes with being a cleric.
  • Religion of Evil: The Dark One is invoked Lawful Evil, and so is Redcloak.
  • Running Gag: Unlike literally every other sufficiently powerful mage in this universe, the Elementals that Redcloak summons are based after actual elements (as in, ones from the periodic table). For instance, he launches Titanium Elementals from catapults during the Battle of Azure City to create a breach in the city's walls, and he later summons a Chlorine Elemental to Kill All Humans in a specific courtyard.
  • Scars Are Forever: Although clerical magic could have fixed his eye with ease, Xykon orders Redcloak to keep that particular wound as a reminder of what happens when they "sit on their lazy asses".
  • Scary Teeth: Tusks and fangs and pissed off, oh my!
  • Science Wizard: Downplayed in that he's the only spellcaster who summons elementals based on chemical elements rather than air, earth, fire, and water — a considerable tactical advantage, however gauche it seems to traditionalists.
  • Secretary of Evil: All of the planning falls to him, including basic logistics like feeding the troops.
  • Sentient Sands: Since he has the habit of summoning elementals based on the elements of the real-life periodic table, one of them is a Silicon elemental, which he summons in a desert and which takes the form of a colossal, vaguely humanoid pile of animated desert sand. The titular Order has a difficult time fighting it, since their swords and arrows just pass right through the loose sand.
  • Shoot the Dog: During the mission to recapture the phylactery, Redcloak needed to Leave No Witnesses; he intended to kill his deep cover spy once the battle was over but Thahn got to him first. Redcloak doesn't resurrect him and apologizes to the Goblin as they need absolute secrecy for the phylactery's recovery.
  • Squishy Wizard: Downplayed. He's a powerful caster and has survived severe melee assaults and explosions before, but he doesn't use melee weapons and has trouble dealing with a close-up physical combatant.
  • Start of Darkness: The comic book containing his and Xykon's is the Trope Namer, and covers how he came to be both the High Priest of the Dark One and, at the start of the comic, Xykon's broken and willing slave.
  • Static Character: While he changed a lot in the prequel, come the main comic, Redcloak is just as incapable of changing as Xykon, but for an entirely different reason. Redcloak is so stuck in the Sunk Cost Fallacy that he's pathologically incapable of actually changing or rethinking his plans, as to do so would mean everything he's done was meaningless.
  • Storm of Blades: The blade barrier spell.
  • The Strategist: Unfortunately for the good guys he uses legit military tactics when invading Azure City, and isn't bothered by La Résistance.
  • Summon Magic: Fond of conjuring chemical elementals and fiendish creatures. Redcloak has a tendency to go non-traditional with his elementals, summoning things like titanium and chlorine elementals in the battle for Azure City.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy:
    • Redcloak is devoted to The Plan set up by The Dark One, his patron god. So much so that he has sacrificed hundreds of goblins, including his own brother and family, and has rejected numerous chances for alternate solutions, including some that would get him basically everything he originally wanted. However, because he has done so many terrible things in the name of the Plan, he is unable to psychologically face up to them without the self-justification that they are unfortunate necessities in the name of a higher purpose (something Xykon has outright called him a coward for, most notably in Start of Darkness), and when faced with the chance to fold and stop further investing in the Plan he will inevitably double-down instead. Additionally, he is banking that even if The Plan fails, it can still succeed based on the presence of his god. As revealed by Thor, The Dark One's plan is actually suicidal. Gods need four things to stay healthy: Belief, worship, dedication, and souls. As a brand-new deity who isn't part of an established pantheon, he is only known to exist by goblins and only green goblins and hobgoblins actively worship him. When the Snarl escapes its latest cage, The Dark One will not have enough followers to survive long enough to help create a new world.
    • Likely also the reason why he turns down Durkon's offer during their meeting. Durkon's is realistically the best offer he can get in his situation, and likely would result in Redcloak achieving everything he wants in regards to his race. But doing so would mean giving up The Plan, and also owning up to the fact that everything he's done (joining with Xykon, committing atrocities, and his murdering his brother) were all for nothing. But his Pride won't let him do that.
    • He gets a veiled one from Oona a few strips later by way of a veiled metaphor about two villages which make it abundantly clear that Oona knows full well that if it comes down to either following his professed ideals or gratifying his ego, Redcloak will choose the latter every time.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: Redcloak takes up the Crimson Mantle from the dead previous High Priest of the Dark One in book #-1: Start of Darkness.
  • Talking to the Dead: To Right-Eye in #701.
    Redcloak: It'll all be worth it. You'll see.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Redcloak Used to Be a Sweet Kid. Paladins brought the fight to him, because all goblins need to be exterminated. In retrospect, that was a bad move on their part.
  • Throat Light: The first time he put on the Crimson Mantle in Start of Darkness, light pours out from his mouth, eyes and holy symbol.
  • Token Religious Teammate: The only really devout member of Team Evil; Xyon has zero interest in religion and mocks "the Dim One" to Redcloak's face, while Oona is a Nay-Theist who thinks the Dark One is only good for funerals and weddings.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Redcloak was always a powerful character, ever since he took the famous Crimson Mantle, but he's still taken more than anyone else over the course of the comic. Strips #824 to #827 demonstrate that not only has he become more powerful thanks to his 17th level, he also became wiser, refusing to let Thanh duel him, for very sound reasons:
    Redcloak: Stupid risks are just that: Stupid.
  • Tragic Villain: His family and teacher were killed by Paladins, and he's working to make sure his race is treated as more than just XP fodder, but his methods are evil and ultimately counterproductive along with making his life completely miserable.
  • Turn Undead: As an evil cleric, he can bolster or rebuke undead, but he gets also the opportunity for a standard (sort of) turn undead against the ghost-martyrs of the Sapphire Guard.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Start of Darkness introduces him as a well-meaning teenage acolyte who "just wants to serve the community in some small way".
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: He's putting the entire cosmos at risk on the chance that he can make a better world for the Goblin People. However, it's become deconstructed because his means are proving riskier and more detrimental to his plan. Ultimately, he keeps moving the goalposts because his means have just led to numerous deaths and he doesn't want to admit he screwed up.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Downplayed, but evident in his interaction with the paladin Thanh. The Sapphire Guard massacred Redcloak's family and hometown, and initially, Redcloak thoroughly enjoyed the revenge he was able to extract on them by destroying their order and conquering their city. A year later he wipes out La Résistance and comes across Thanh, whose challenge he turns down while noting his taunts would have been effective before. When commenting on the incident he remarks that killing the paladin had been "less satisfying than I remember", just before having to leave the city completely.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He suffers this big-time from Xykon's Breaking Speech at the climax of Start of Darkness, being confronted with the reality that he killed his brother out of his need to avoid admitting he made a mistake partnering with Xykon and causing so many deaths to enact the plan, which the lich lords over him as a guarantee that he'll remain loyal to him to avoid accepting that he "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot, otherwise he'd break entirely. It actually crushes his spirit so much that his characterisation throughout Dungeon Crawlin' Fools is markedly different before and after, as he's reduced to a Yes-Man Number Two of Xykon's whilst he deals with his guilt. Since then, he's constantly been teetering on the end of another one, especially when confronted with alternative choices to achieve his overall goals that don't involve using The Plan to get there, otherwise that would be accepting that everything was All for Nothing.
  • Villain Episode: Start of Darkness was how he met Xykon and came to be who he is. There are also several segments of the comic that focus on what he and Xykon are up to while the Order is looking for the Gates.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • When you look at the slaughter of the goblinoid peoples, whom the gods literally made to be killed to give their followers XP, The Plan looks a lot more reasonable. Durkon directly acknowledges this, especially after learning the goblins' plight was caused less by malice and more by neglect. In Durkon's own words, "Redcloak, 'e's right aboot wha's wrong, but wrong about how ta make it right."
    • Similarly, while it's admittedly downplayed to an extent due to his own biases heavily obscuring how willing he is to listen to them in the first place, Redcloak pointing out how the information Durkon and Minrah are telling him regarding the Dark One, quiddities, and gods during their attempted negotiations with him at the start of the last story arc sounds incredibly suspicious and not entirely reliable (particularly since he's being told this by two champions of the gods he's basically sworn eternal vengeance against) isn't exactly wrong and not a totally irrational reason for him to not take them at face value. Minrah calls out Durkon on not starting with the consequences that will specifically target the Dark One and the goblins if the gods end the world because Redcloak is not gonna believe them in the middle of a fight.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Jirix. The single normal, pleasant relationship with another person we have seen Redcloak have since "Start of Darkness".
  • Villain Protagonist: Look at the amount of tropes. The story proper belongs to the Order, but it will follow Team Evil from time to time. You'll very quickly realize that Xykon isn't the "hero" of these plotlines — that title belongs to Redcloak, a Well-Intentioned Extremist who is only prevented from being a true hero to his people by his own various moral failures.
  • Visionary Villain: Redcloak desires to see a world where goblins and the other mortal races would finally be on equal standing before the gods. Unfortunately, his methods for doing so would in practice consist more of tearing down the other races rather than raising up the goblinoids.
  • We Have Reserves: His initial attitude toward his hobgoblin armies. He becomes more considerate during the battle of Azure City, though it's still applicable. Redcloak's still Evil, and sacrificing minions is still okay — wasting them is where it gets racist.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Zig-Zagged. Xykon mocks him for his need of a justification for his acts, something that Xykon himself would never bother with. As the story nears its conclusion in the final arc, his reasoning and excuses behind The Plan become flimsier and less feasible, blurring this into Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist. He's too stuck with the Sunk Cost Fallacy and too prideful to admit that it's his fault that a lot of goblins, including his own brother, died. As such, he's both remarkably sympathetic and remarkably despicable at the same time. Adding to it, it's also worth noting that Durkon ends up agreeing that goblins are being treated unfairly, as does Roy when it's pointed out to him, but that still doesn't justify what he's done and he's clearly in the wrong.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Once you've read his backstory in Start of Darkness. Family and village, except his brother, massacred by the supposedly Lawful Good Sapphire Guard. Teamed up with Xykon, who took over Redcloak's own team and demoted him to number two after Redcloak himself turned him into a lich. Forced to kill his brother by Xykon as a twisted loyalty test. He lost an eye to one of the Sapphire Guard and was forbidden by Xykon (again) from healing it. He remains in service to a potentially world-destroying evil plan largely since it is the only part of his old life that he has left.
  • World's Best Warrior: He's a solid contender for the most powerful cleric in the world. At one point, Haley says she's not even sure if there are any 17th level clerics alive, and Redcloak becomes 17th level not long after.
  • You Are in Command Now: How he got the Crimson Mantle to begin with, following the death of the cleric who mentored him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He doesn't bother raising his resistance mole and craftsman for this reason, although he takes no joy in it.
  • Your Head Asplode: He has the power to invert this on enemies with the implosion spell, probably the mostinvoked Squick-tastic form of death yet seen in this comic. He attempts to do implosion on Durkon as well, but the latter is saved by Minrah.

    The Monster in the Darkness 

The Monster in the Darkness
"So... can I have some stew? [...] Can I get toys? [...] Can I be let out of the box?"

Race: Unknown
Gender: Male (presumably)
Class: Unknown
Alignment: True Neutral

Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a creature perpetually surrounded by darkness because Xykon wants to dramatically reveal it as his trump card... which hasn't happened yet. He isn't evil and has a childlike personality, but has incredible strength and can laugh off most attacks.

  • Achievements in Ignorance: He has no idea how his powers work, nor what most of them even are. The few times he's used them so far were either because he wanted something to happen hard enough, such as teleporting O-Chul and Vaarsuvius to safety, or by accident, such as causing an earthquake by lightly stomping on the ground.
  • And Call Him "George": He adopts the paralyzed O-Chul, using him (along with Roy's corpse) as a doll for a tea party — and calls him Mr. Stiffly.
  • Anti-Villain: He's only considered to be on the side of Evil because he's Xykon's pet monster. In #901, he tricks Xykon to avoid having his friend's friends hurt, officially sealing his Heel–Face Turn, if he ever needed one. As of #1041, he's begun to actively sabotage Xykon's efforts.
  • Beneath Notice: Because his coworkers think of him as a childish idiot, his resolution to start thinking for himself and his resulting attempts to subtly undermine their plans have gone not only unnoticed but un-looked-for. Even when Redcloak starts to cotton on to his plan, he thinks it was just a screw-up instead of an act of rebellion. He outright tells Xykon he doesn't think killing people is funny and blatantly tries to sabotage their deal with the Quinton to slow their search and Xykon cares too little to see it as odd.
  • Big Eater: He is frequently seen eating or looking for something to eat.
  • The Brute: He's a trump card for Xykon and it's easy to see why. He's terrifyingly strong and just as tough. When he tries to play a genuine game of "Who Can Hit the Lightest" with Miko, an extremely powerful paladin, his first move is a Megaton Punch that sends her hurtling over the horizon. This actually works against Xykon, as Xykon sees the MitD as The Brute, and thus is blinded to the idea it might be capable of thinking for himself and gotten smarter.
  • Buffy Speak: Sometimes.
    MitD: ...everyone here tells me that I'm as dumb as things that are really dumb.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: His glowing yellow eyes are all that is ever seen of him.
  • Characterization Marches On: In the first story arc, he's occasionally shown with a fondness for death and evil that seems pretty OOC for the MitD we eventually come to know. In particular, see the first two panels of this early strip.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: His mysterious magic powers seem to work that way. For a long time he isn't even conscious he has them, but by wishing very, very hard for O-Chul and V to escape Xykon, he teleports them away.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Likes tea parties, Power Rangers, My Little Pony, Monopoly and watching dwarf porn.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: It's not just his incredible strength; if strip #700 is anything to go by, then whilst he may be The Ditz most of the time, he has the potential to be pretty damn brilliant beneath it. Definitively proven by strip #901.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: The Monster rehearsing his lines in "Practice Makes Perfect":
    MitD: Order of the Stick! Your broken corpses will taste delicious lightly seasoned with nutmeg!

    MitD: Order of the Stick! I will bathe in your blood with lavender bath gel and a good loofa!
  • Dark Is Not Evil: All he's seen as is a formless lump of darkness, but he's childlike and friendly to everyone.
  • The Ditz: He doesn't have to be— when O-Chul challenges him to really and truly think for four seconds straight, he admits that he doesn't mostly because it's hard.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Demonstrated when he plays "Who Can Hit the Lightest?" with Miko. He punches her through a wall and a fairly great distance away. Her horse follows her through the air (due to the Monster hitting it too).
    MitD: Aww, I lost twice! I suck!
  • Eats Babies: Defied; Xykon tries to make the MitD more evil by feeding him small children and babies, but the MitD just hides them and throws them out. Humorously, he's well aware of what Xykon is trying to do and if his expression is anything to go by, actually annoyed by his attempts.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: Under orders to first reveal himself this way, and has to stay in shadows until then.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": "The Monster in the Darkness"
  • Exact Words: Apparently bet on one of O-chul's escape attempts with two P and two G tiles from Scrabble, telling the demon-roaches they were "two gp's".
  • Extreme Doormat: He's a wuss that lets everyone walk over him because he doesn't like to think for himself. However, O-Chul's teachings have had him begin to reconsider this.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Likes gruel and stew, but doesn't eat live babies. He has been known to eat other random objects, including popcorn, important letters, Scrabble tiles, and a months-old cheeseburger found behind a goblin's sock drawer.
  • The Faceless: It's shrouded in darkness, like the rest of him.
  • Fartillery: Not seen, but implied. Like the rest of him, his farts can be powerful.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Him "trying to hit the lightest" or "stomping his foot" can cause incredible damage. With a single stomp, and probably not a very strong one, he causes a tremor that Haley and Belkar mistakes for an earthquake.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When we follow up on Team Evil in the bugbear village in Totally Dwarfed, we see that he has gotten replaced his kitten umbrella with a new one with duckies on them. In fact, he proudly notes he chose this one himself. Cute, but seemingly not important in the bigger picture, Then you realize that it's a noticeable sign of his Character Development and a few pages later, we see him actively try and sabotage the search for the final Gate. It's an indicator that the MitD is different this time around.
    • Further showing this is how he's contrasted with Oona's companion worg, Greyview, who we properly meet in this page. Greyview is a Sour Supporter whose comments on just nodding along and following orders to get a treat is a pessimistic yet similar stance compared to how the MitD used to be. He even comments how he's not supposed to just go along with stuff he finds wrong just for the sake of food.
  • Genius Ditz: At one point, the Monster was able to successfully identify, at a glance, that the Gate ritual Xykon gave Tsukiko was actually "half a ritual." How he was able to do this is uncertain, but the fact that Tsukiko, an experienced wizard, couldn't figure it out speaks a lot.
  • Genre Savvy: Uses this to convince Xykon O-Chul is the real threat, not the Order of the Stick, by calling Roy some random fighter he already offed once, and O-Chul as the last of his people, full of revenge.
  • Glowing Eyes: The only part of him that's visible in the darkness. He apparently has feet, though.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: You could think this trope applies on his very first appearance, but he gets much less threatening very fast.
  • Harmless Villain: He tries, he really tries, but the only times he ever poses a significant threat to the Order's progress is when he's being directed by others (and he sometimes even messes that up) or sufficiently angered (which has only happened once in the entire comic, given his extremely mellow nature). In later strips, he graduated from this to actively and deliberately functioning as The Millstone for Team Evil, exaggerating his own silly tendencies or going behind their backs subtly to interfere with their plans.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Invoked by Xykon so he can be properly intimidating when he's released.
  • Hidden Depths: His views on Redcloak's pan-goblinoid narrative are remarkably complex.
    Demon-Roach: Quick, kids: figure out which monsters have "trenchant political analysis" as a Special Attack!
  • Ignorant Minion: He works for Xykon and has no idea what's going on at any given time. He didn't even know what the Order of the Stick looked like until the Battle of Azure City.
  • Laughably Evil: The Monster in the Darkness is an all-powerful monster... and a Minion with an F in Evil with the mentality of a small child at the same time.
  • Lovable Coward:
    MitD: I don't wanna go! There might be something scary in there!
  • Manchurian Agent: Xykon embedded a command in his mind in Start of Darkness to devour Redcloak and spit out his holy symbol if he ever betrays Xykon.
  • Minion with an F in Evil:
    Xykon: Look, there's nothing in there any scarier than you are.
    Redcloak: Sir, he's about as scary as musty styrofoam.
    Xykon: Correction: any scarier than you SHOULD be.
  • Monster Delay: Parodied. Circumstances constantly come up to make sure he isn't shown until it is dramatically appropriate. He was going to be shown early, but Roy defeated Xykon before he could be seen, and he's been defined visually by his darkness ever since.
  • Morality Pet: O-Chul, which is why he helps him escape.
  • Mysterious Past: Very little is known about his past and origin, even to him. He does vaguely remember his father, who was apparently massive and ate even more than the already ravenous Monster, and that he originated from some sort of jungle. While Xykon and Redcloak know, it's as much a mystery for the Monster as it is for the readers.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: He's very difficult to harm, which further implies that he must be a powerful creature. When Miko attacks him, his response is that it tickles, and he doesn't even seem to notice Belkar is trying to stab him. While plumbing Kraagor's tomb, even Xykon looks like he has been through the wringer fighting all the monsters within, but the Monster's umbrella shows no sign of damage.
  • No Name Given: Even he doesn't know what could be his name, or even what species he belongs to.
  • No-Sell: As mentioned above, he's so powerful most attacks can't even scratch him, much less harm him. Miko's attacks only tickle, and keep in mind she was the most powerful paladin in the Sapphire Guard by a good margin, and beat the entire Order of the Stick by herself. The only time he's implied to have been hurt at all was from the destruction of Giraard's Gate, which damaged his iconic Hello Kitty umbrella. By contrast, the same explosion blew Xykon to literal pieces, forcing him to piece his skeleton back together.
  • Nominal Villain: The Monster is not evil or malicious, originally joined with Team Evil by happenstance, and appears to be staying with them out of naivete and inertia.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: His clever plan to mess up Team Evil's search for the gate in Kraagor's Tomb works well for a time, and plays well on his companions' low opinion of his intelligence and cunning. Unfortunately, after Durkon and Minrah's escape reveals a bunch of monsters behind an already-marked door, it combines horribly with Redcloak's paranoia and sense of egotism, leading Redcloak to conclude the gods themselves are actively sabotaging their search rather than that the Monster made a mistake (let alone was sabotaging the effort) and drain a part of his own soul to cast ''gate'' and bring in a planar being of Law to accelerate their plans.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Monster in the Darkness may be playful and childish, but he's Nigh-Invulnerable and has devastating strength. As well as unknown magic and/or psionic powers that even he may be unaware of.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: While most of his childishness is genuine, in strip #901 he deliberately amps up the tendencies while tricking Xykon and Redcloak so they won't suspect. He even makes sure not to refer to O-Chul by name after a slip.
  • Odd Friendship: With O-Chul, a paladin.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • The normally lazy and silly Monster gets seriously frightened for the fate of O-Chul, and even calls his friend by name.
    • In strip #901 he grabs the Smart Ball to save "O-Chul's friends".
    • Lampshaded in #1260, when he expresses that he's not hungry when Xykon suggests he eat some dwarves they're chasing (Durkon and Minrah). He doesn't seem to make the connection, either.
      MitD: Plus I just ate before I came down.
      Xykon: Now you're pulling my femur. You're literally always hungry.
      Demon-Roach 1: I once saw him eat 16 buckets of potatoes!
      Demon-Roach 2: I once saw him eat 16 buckets!
      MitD: I know, right? It's so weird.
  • Ostentatious Secret: His identity is so secret not even he knows it.
  • Parasol of Prettiness: More to show his gentle nature than femininity, the parasol is also to keep his true form hidden from sight until the right moment.
  • Pass the Popcorn:
  • Poke the Poodle: His attempted acts of villainy tend to be more like this than anything. He did genuinely want to fight the protagonists during the first chapter, but has since seemingly given even that up.
  • Running Gag: "Gate? What Gate?" It even provokes a Hey, That's My Line! moment with Tsukiko, who was at the time Locked Out of the Loop.
  • Running Gagged: His attempts to sabotage Xykon and Redcloak's efforts at Kraagor's Gate, showing that while he may still not know what the gates are, he's definitely aware of their significance and the threat they pose.
  • Self-Restraint: He remains captive in a circus in Start of Darkness. Redcloak points out that he could escape at any point since he could easily kill all the guards if they tried to stop him, but the Monster rejects this as "rude".
  • Shockwave Stomp: He can cause an earthquake by stomping — without even meaning to. And he had no idea he could do that (a demon-roach directed him).
  • Stock "Yuck!": Babies. He refuses to eat them. And that includes veal.
  • Super-Scream: When he gets angry, his voice alone is powerful enough to throw others off-balance and blow away small objects, as observed in this strip.
  • Super-Strength: Even when he hits as softly as he can, he can still send PCs flying.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: After Tsukiko is killed, he laments that it's sad: What she wanted (to be loved) wasn't that terrible, and not one of his companions cares that she's gone. Which is the real sad part for him.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Has a retroactive reaction along these lines when Oona mentions she almost caught two humans for a "special dinner" because he "had one back in city and liked it best of all."
  • Token Good Teammate: He doesn't want to take over the world, wipe out paladins or partake in sadistic torture for entertainment. He'd much rather have a peaceful tea party or play Scrabble. As of strip #1041, he's gone from not remembering what the Gates are to undermining Xykon's efforts to find the last one.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Stew; he has very high standards when it comes to stew.
  • Ugly Cute: In-Universe example implies that he is definitely monstrous-looking, yet not ugly per se. At the circus, people are shown to vomit and get queasy faces, but some claim he is "disgusting yet... beautiful." Xykon describes him as quite the nasty creature. Later, Oona the Beastmistress compares him to a creature out of a "spicy-meat-induced nightmare", but also calls him magnificent.
  • The Unreveal: He's constantly waiting to get out of the darkness, but he hasn't had any luck so far. There will be an eventual Reveal, and it won't be an original creation, but rather a monster with abilities largely consistent with what's been shown in the comic. There is an ongoing thread in the comic forum dedicated to figuring out what he is based on the clues dropped in the comic. It's become so meta that Rich Burlew has taken to lampshading it via the Fourth wall-breaking demon-roaches, as seen in this strip, where the Monster gives some well-thought-out critique of Redcloak's "appealing but ultimately specious pan-goblinoid narrative," and one of the roaches mockingly asks whether the readers can identify any monsters with "trenchant political analysis" as a special attack. O-Chul has a theory, but outright admits to Lien that she wouldn't believe him if he said it (nor would the Monster himself, apparently). Oona recognizes the Monster immediately, but doesn't elaborate.
  • Vague Age: Due to the mystery surrounding him, it's unknown if the Monster is an adult that simply acts like a Manchild, or if it's actually a juvenile. Later comics, such as the Monster mentioning his father being far bigger than him, as well as Oona's claim that he's going to grow much further in the future seem to hint at the latter, though.
  • The Watson: He often fulfills this role with Xykon and Redcloak, although they only answer his questions when hounded enough. Plus, he rarely understands or remembers anything about the explanations.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Puns aside, strip #901 shows just how not-evil he truly is. O-Chul would likely never know his friends had been killed, or even if the Monster had been involved, but he saves them anyway because their being friends of O-Chul means something to him.
  • Wild Card: His friendship with O-Chul has weakened his partnership with Team Evil to this point. Acknowledged in strip #1041 "The Value of an Independant Variable" where he outright sabotages Xykon and Redcloak behind their backs.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious:
    • He calls O-Chul "Mr. Stiffly" most of the time; when he finally addresses O-Chul by his real name, it's a sign he's finally starting to listen to what O-Chul's been telling him and thinking.
    • By strip #901, he does it again, this time correcting himself with "Mr. Stiffly" when Xykon asks what he's talking about.
  • Your Other Left: In Start of Darkness, he's shown having problem telling his right from his left.

Goblinoid forces



"You know what your problem is, Big Brother? You never seize the moment."

Race: Goblin
Gender: Male
Class: Rogue
Alignment: True Neutral (per Word of the Giant)

Redcloak's younger brother and, for the lack of a better term, conscience. While Right-Eye only appears in the Start of Darkness prequel and doesn't survive to be in the main story, he's one of the original founders of Team Evil and very important to Redcloak's backstory.

  • Anti-Villain: More so than his brother because he's more focused on living a happy domestic life, focused more on bringing his people up to the level of the humans, rather than tearing humans down. So he doesn't approve of The Plan, at least later on. Soon before his death, he gives a brutal deconstruction of The Plan to Redcloak's face, calling it spite and pettiness from two beings who are too focused on revenge to know and do what is truly best for the goblin people. And judging by how many goblins Redcloak has caused the deaths of, he may have been right.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Redcloak says he can't let Right-Eye gamble with the lives of so many goblins in a gambit to kill Xykon. Right-Eye just asks, why doesn't Redcloak help? This reveals Redcloak's true motivation for not wanting to kill Xykon — not out of fearing for the lives of his fellow goblins, but out of an unwillingness to admit how he screwed up and got goblins killed by his deal with Xykon.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: His reply to Redcloak's query about whether he'd considered himself responsible for their sister's death.
  • Badass Pacifist: The amount of achievements he accomplished without violence eclipses his violent ones, and arguably those of Redcloak as well. Redcloak is at least a 17th level cleric, but Right-Eye managed to create a huge goblin settlement peacefully coexisting with humans, without the help of Xykon or a hobgoblin army. Also, unlike Redcloak, he never threw lives away, or constantly endangered his species.
  • The Brute: Complicated case. Before Xykon, he was more or less equal with his brother. After Xykon's lichefication, he was pushed into the "evil strongman" role because he didn't have Redcloak's intelligence.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: A variant, when Right-Eye lashes out at his older brother, who has been the oldest family member in his life. Overlaps with Armor-Piercing Question.
    Redcloak: The risk to all of us is too great if you fail.
    Right-Eye: Shouldn't you make sure I don't fail, then?
    Redcloak: I'm sorry, I can't let you gamble with the lives of so many goblins.
    Right-Eye: I can't believe you! You hypocrite! All you care about is your stupid Plan!
    Redcloak: My Plan is for the betterment of the goblin people!
    Right-Eye: You don't even know the goblin people. You think this is what they want? To be ruled by an insane lich? To be killed by poor planning, or mood swings? ... You don't even know what you're trying to better, because you don't know what it's like to not serve an undead overlord, or a petty spiteful god.
  • Character Development: Over the course of the story, he goes from an overeager Card-Carrying Villain to a more thoughtful Forced into Evil mook. He spells this out for Redcloak, who he thinks needs some in spades:
    Right-Eye: Life is about growing — growing older, growing wiser, growing closer to your loved ones. But you, you're frozen in time. You're still the same angry kid who took that artifact off of your master's corpse that day.
  • Defector from Decadence: He abandons Team Evil because he feels it has sunken into For the Evulz depravity and lost touch with the original goal of bettering the goblins. He has a very good point.
  • Dying Declaration of Hate: Delivered an unusually subtle and downplayed example to his brother as he lay dying. He considers the title of "Redcloak" to be demeaning, essentially a slave name. So when the final exchange between the brothers, is Redcloak saying "Goodbye, brother." and Right-Eye responding with "Goodbye... Redcloak..." there's a definite Stealth Insult in his final words. And Redcloak may not have even noticed because he was so used to being called Redcloak at that point.
  • Eyepatch of Power: He lost an eye during the paladin attack that wiped out their village, and has always worn an eyepatch since then.
  • Fatal Flaw: His impulsiveness, according to Redcloak. From what we see of him during the comic, it usually (with one very, very, VERY big exception) works out for the better for him. Ironically, the first well-formulated plan we see him make kills him, although it was no fault of his own.
  • Foil: Is to Redcloak. Redcloak is a caster, Right-Eye is a melee fighter. Redcloak is a planner, Right-Eye is impulsive. Right-Eye was the Token Good Teammate, while Redcloak is well-intentioned, but still Evil. Right-Eye lived roughly 50 years, the average goblin's lifespan, and Redcloak is eternally a teenager due to the Crimson Mantle. Right-Eye died trying to kill Xykon, and Redcloak works with him.
  • Forced into Evil: After Xykon took control, Right-Eye eventually gave up and left. His happy family life fell apart when his estranged brother and soon after Xykon found him, with Xykon threatening to kill him and his family if they didn't comply.
  • Genius Bruiser: In his later years he develops a tactical mindset to complement his muscles. Justified because growing older gives you mental ability score bonuses in D&D.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: He was the one who suggested allying with Xykon in the first place, although to his credit he realized what a bad idea it was much sooner than Redcloak.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: He tried to be a family man but Xykon vetoed that and made him be an evil minion again. And when it looked like he was going to kill Xykon, Redcloak vetoed that too.
  • I Have No Son!: Rather, I Have no Brother — Right-Eye's last words aren't a sad farewell to his brother or anything like that. It's his rejection that Redcloak is his brother at all by calling him "Redcloak" where previously he always called him "brother".
  • In the Hood: To meet with Eugene and hide his identity.
  • Killed Off for Real: When Redcloak killed him, he planned on burying him. Thus, the only person with any motive to revive him is not interested. Since his body was reanimated for a guard in Dorukan's Dungeon, it was probably destroyed when the gate exploded. The point is, he's dead and staying dead.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Unlike Redcloak. Especially noticeable with his refusal to keep investing in Xykon, even though he suggested allying with Xykon in the first place.
  • The Morality/Mortality Equation: He's ultimately the victim of this. Redcloak can't die because it's a prequel, so his brother ends up paying for their evilness instead. Only Right-Eye isn't evil, so he ended up dying due to someone else's evil.
  • Named After the Injury: Lost his left eye when paladins raided their village and hence got nicknamed Right-Eye by his brother Redcloak. Later, after Redcloak loses his own right eye, Tsukiko mocks him by calling him Wrong-Eye, a Xykon-suggested way to get under his skin.
  • Nay-Theist: After seeing the horrific goblin toll of The Dark One's plan over the course of "Start of Darkness", he turns against him, considering him a "petty, spiteful god" who sees goblins as stepping stones for his vengence.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Just like Redcloak, his real name is never revealed.
  • Pointy Ears: As with all goblinoids.
  • Posthumous Character: He's dead by the main narrative.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Plays the role of the impulsive, emotional red oni to his brother's blue.
  • Scary Teeth: The ridiculous amount of sharp things in his mouth; shown off when angry.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Pulled it on The Plan, and by extension Redcloak and Xykon. It worked for eighteen years too, and he was successful enough to create a peaceful goblin settlement that lived alongside humans, until Xykon stumbled across him by accident and enslaved him and his entire village.
  • Token Good Teammate: To Team Evil. He simply wants to uplift his race rather than tear down humans, to the point where he created a peaceful goblin settlement that lived alongside humans and was a devoted family man who had to be forced into coming back to Team Evil in the first place.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His simple idea of recruiting Xykon had terrible, terrible consequences. If not for that one moment, Xykon probably never would have heard of the Snarl, never had the brains to become a lich on his own, and simply continued his acts of petty evil until he died and went to the Lower Planes without ever becoming the apocalyptic threat he is today.
  • Walking Spoiler: For a prequel comic, Right-Eye reveals a massive amount about Redcloak and Xykon's agendas, Team Evil's relationship with "The Thing in the Box," as well as a possible Chekhov's Gun in his smuggled daughter.
  • Younger Than They Look: By the time of his death, he was in his 40s at most, despite having a grey beard and wrinkled skin. Justified since goblins live to be about 50 in this universe, so although he was in his 40s, he was already pretty old by his species' standards.

    Hobgoblin General 

Hobgoblin General

"Truly, there has never been a more impressive display of magic in the annals of warfare."

Race: Hobgoblin
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Lawful Evil

The General of the hobgoblin Forces, and former second-in-command of Redcloak.

  • Beard of Evil: His white goatee marks him as different from the beardless warriors charging into battle without him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The above quote was his reaction to the underwhelming battle between the head Azure Cleric and Redcloak.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: When Miko destroys the gate, a hobgoblin reports that the General was in the Courtyard, and presumably died.
  • Evil Counterpart: To General Chang (though they never meet). Chang questions detrimental orders, while The Hobgoblin General follows through on them, if reluctantly.
  • Mook Lieutenant: For Redcloak. He's only a little different than the mook goblins.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Goes along with Redcloak's careless slaughter of hobgoblins because he is the Supreme Leader.
  • No Name Given: Unless that really is his name, the guy has no name.
  • Number Two: To Redcloak, which makes him Number Three overall.
  • Pointy Ears: As a goblin.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Redcloak, like all hobgoblins. Cemented when Redcloak stops wasting troops, and leads them to a smashing victory.
  • The Watson: Redcloak explains his plans to the General. After his death, Jirix takes this role.


"Thank you, thank you. And thank you, Supreme Leader, for those kind words. I didn't mind the Resurrection spell, either."

Race: Hobgoblin
Gender: Male
Class: Cleric
Alignment: Lawful Evil

Redcloak's hobgoblin second-in-command, following the conquest of Azure City, and now Prime Minister of the newly-formed state of Gobbotopia.

  • Aerith and Bob: On two levels. Most hobgoblins have names like "Goblin Cleric #2". Also contrasts Redcloak (who presumably has a more goblin-esque name, but we never hear it).
  • Affably Evil: Normally upbeat and polite, complimenting Redcloak, and wishing him luck when he leaves the city. Invoked during his speech to the Goblins, where he's quick to make jokes and praise their efforts, later telling Redcloak that he did so to project a more relaxed image to help transition to a more peaceful time. Xykon outright calls him "fun", and claims they should have brought him to Kraagor's Tomb rather than Redcloak.
  • Ascended Extra: Jirix being the nameless cleric who fought beside Redcloak in the Azure City throne room.
  • Back from the Dead: He's been killed twice, the first time at Miko's hands during the Battle of Azure City and later by O-Chul during the Don't Split The Party arc. Redcloak resurrects him both times.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Xykon has him resurrected because he actually called out a warning, despite being Killed Mid-Sentence.
  • Custom Uniform: Originally he was indistinguishable from other Hobgoblin clerics, save for having a red belt. Later appearances have him trade in his black and blue uniform for the grey and blue one pictured, making him easier to distinguish from the other Hobgoblins.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While not as outspoken as Redcloak, he does seem to harbor a distaste for Tsukiko coming and turning their fallen citizens into zombies. He later clarifies that he is glad she is departing the city with the main agents. In spite of this, he is actually surprised when Redcloak goes ahead and kills her, as in spite of his issues with her they were supposedly on the same side.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Possesses quite a pair of chompers, like Redcloak and other goblinoids.
  • It Is Not Your Time: Jirix is sent back from the afterlife by the goblinoid god, The Dark One, because he has more work for the hobgoblin in the mortal realm.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Happened twice already.
  • Mauve Shirt: One of only two properly named Hobgoblins (as in, not named something like Hogoblin Cleric #2), and one of the few ones with significance. Also one of the few still-living members of Team Evil outside of the main three and the roaches.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Technically a Mook Prime Minister, he acts as the leader of the hobgoblins (and later, of Gobbotopia) after Redcloak.
  • Number Two: To Redcloak, another Number Three. Also, Xykon pretty much has Jirix as the back-up cleric for his master plan in the event Redcloak messes up, seen when he threatens that if Redcloak regenerates his eye, Xykon will kill him and give the Crimson Mantle to Jirix.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Invoked. When he's named Prime Minister of the legitimate nation Gobbotopia, he plays himself up as a relaxed and humorous leader to underline how they are no longer at war.
  • Pet the Dog: Xykon goes out of his way to resurrect Jirix, though a major part of it was to teach Redcloak a lesson.
  • Pointy Ears: As with all hobgoblins.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Literally, with Redcloak.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Although a member of Team Evil, he is not shown to be particularly malicious, although at one point he decides to step on a demon cockroach.
  • Scary Teeth: But he hasn't made scary faces.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Jirix steps on one of the Demon-roaches once Xykon, Redcloak and the Monster teleport out of the city. It's probably to strengthen the goblins' hold over the city.
  • Turn Undead: Like Redcloak above, he attempts using negative energy to turn the ghost-martyrs. However, being lower level it doesn't work since he can't overcome the consecration of the throne room.
  • Villainous Friendship: He and Redcloak genuinely respect each other, and he is seen taking bets on O-chul's battle with a shark.
  • The Watson: Jirix serves largely for Redcloak's exposition on things he would not be able to talk about to the other members of Team Evil.


"Beast must always respect master, is way of things. Master takes care of beast, beast takes care of master."

Race: Bugbear
Gender: Female
Class: Ranger
Alignment: Unknown (probably Chaotic Evil)

A female bugbear whose tribe lives next to Kraagor's Tomb. They either tame the monsters in the dungeon or harvest them for useful materials, and also enjoy protection from other humanoids thanks to its existence driving them away. She is hosting Redcloak and Xykon, theoretically because her tribe is part of the Dark One's congregation, but mostly because she wants the Tomb to remain well-stocked with useful monsters after they're done.

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: A rare villainous example. She allies with Team Evil at the last gate, and only has one significant scene prior to the final book.
  • Affably Evil: Oona may or may not be evil, but she sure is friendly.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: She pets Redcloak atop the head, of all people, which catches him by surprise. Her pet is resigned to it.
    Greyview: See? Grim specter of noogie hangs like shroud over us all.
  • Aggressive Negotiations: Enjoys these, as it is a part of proper bugbear society.
    Oona: [on Durkon and Redcloak's conference ending in violence] Oona did not want to be interrupting spirited exchange of ideas.
  • Ambiguously Evil: She's on "Team Evil" and is happy to assist them, and she rarely outright goes against their actions (not that she's in much of a position to do so), but she lacks their cackling malevolence, is genuinely kind and friendly in her dealings with others, and is all but stated to disapprove of Redcloak's attitude and eventual end goal. Whether she's still Evil or just a particularly cold Neutral a la Right-Eye remains to be seen.
  • Badass Cape: She wears a large pelt on her back. It presumably is made from the hide of the beast her mask is from as well, given how they are the same shade of white and have red markings.
  • Badass Normal: In comparison to the rest of Team Evil. Redcloak is a cleric of the Dark One, Xykon is an epic-level sorcerer lich, and the Monster in the Darkness clearly has some sort of immense power or other. Oona is a non-magical bugbear. And yet, she manages to not only keep up with them in Kraagor's Tomb, but considers herself "still fresh and ready" after a sequence of fights that left Redcloak all tapped out.
  • The Beastmaster: A self-described "beastmistress," with at least two animal companions. She may be friends with them, but she does not see these friendships as relationships between equals, and instead as binding partnerships of servitude between parties, with the stronger partner looking after the weaker in exchange for the weaker's service.
  • Bee-Bee Gun: She uses a classic jar-full-of-insects as a thrown projectile in battle to blind an enemy. Redcloak even grudgingly admits that while unconventional, it's certainly an effective tactic.
  • Benevolent Boss: She treats her animal companions with respect because the key to a successful relationship between servants and their master is respect. She even shouts encouragement at the swarm of insects in a jar she hurls in battle.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: She's the biggest physical powerhouse of Team Evil, and a friendly person who has a big, emotional personality.
  • Book Dumb: Despite her limited vocabulary and unfamiliarity with clerical tradition, she has a very clear-eyed and practical view of what is actually going on with Team Evil.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Played for Laughs; she bugs Redcloak to hurry up with his communing. He's only mildly annoyed, however.
  • Cool Mask: With antlers. Made from the hide of a cold-resistant beast, and thus protect her from the frigid winds of her arctic habitat. In her own words, "stylish, yet functional!"
  • Dark Action Girl: Oona prefers action to preparation.
    Oona: Time for doing! Less talky-talking with Dark One!
    Redcloak: [communing] It's not really "talking," per se. More of a nonverbal spiritual link.
  • Dual Wielding: She uses a pair of spiky maces in combat.
  • Dumb Muscle: Her mind is mostly focused on hunting and taming monsters. She doesn't understand that the Monster in the Darkness is more a servant than a beast for Xykon, or how clerics work, and she pets Redcloak the same way she pets her beasts. Downplayed, in that she's overly focused rather than lacking; Oona is otherwise great at reading people, as shown when she calls out Redcloak in her "The Reason You Suck" Speech and disguises it well enough he never catches on.
  • Exact Words: Oona isn't worried about Redcloak choosing between his ideals and his ego. The reason being is because she knows he will make the wrong choice and choose his ego. If she thought he would make the right choice, she wouldn't be so eager to protect him from having to make the choice in the first place. Redcloak falls to see the obvious implications of her wording and just assumes she's dedicated to the cause.
  • The Fatalist: She is not gloomy about it, but since bugbears are goblinoids, without even their god to look over them they are shivering in the cold fending for themselves and have accepted it as their lot in life. She knows how flawed as a messiah Redcloack is, but if she does a good job protecting him he might not have to make hard decisions and Team Evil might not destroy her clan's hunting ground out of carelessness.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Has at least two extremely dangerous magical beasts perfectly trained: she rides a yrthak and has a pet worg named Greyview. The 2016 Order of the Stick Monster Calendar features her playing with a gigantic remorhaz using a cat teaser.
  • Hidden Depths: She's more perceptive and philosophical than her rough-around-the-edges nature and odd use of grammar might at first indicate. She initially doesn't intervene when Minrah attacks Redcloak because she notes that the former is making a good point and is interested to see where the discussion progresses. Afterwards, she makes a point of noting that Redcloak didn't actually answer her question when she asks who Minrah and Durkon are and exactly why they're in need of killing. She also summarises Redcloak's essential conflict between his concern for the welfare of goblins and the gratification of his own ego quite efficiently (albeit in somewhat eccentric terms), and all but outright states that she's pretty certain that when the crunch time comes his own ego will come first.
  • How Much Did You Hear?: It's unknown how long Oona was listening in to Redcloak and Durkon's negotiations. It's not until Redcloak is knocked back by a hammer haymaker from Minrah that she actually speaks up, since Redcloak can now see her. In another display of her Hidden Depths, Oona very carefully never quite tells Redcloak exactly how much she knows when Redcloak has a history of maintaining information security with murder.
  • Item Farming: Oona's clan does this with the denizens of Monster Hollow. The only reason they are able to survive in the ice (where they are safe from Dwarf patrols) is because the monsters in the hollow respawn after a certain amount of time, allowing them to hunt them for meat and clothing over and over again.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Expresses huge admiration for whatever the Monster in the Darkness is, and offers to "adopt" it should the rest of Team Evil die.
  • Laughably Evil: While she's a clear and present threat to the Order's quest to save the world, Oona's cheery nature and odd manner of speaking — particularly when contrasted with her relentlessly cynical animal companion — makes her an utter delight to read.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • Oona persists in calling Kraagor's Tomb "Monster Hollow". That's also how she refers to people, like Redcloak being bald man in a red cape.
      Oona: Do not know Kraagor. Is hollow, has monsters. Is Monster Hollow.
    • She constructs quite a complex metaphor in the "two villages" speech ... but she feels the need to emphasise to Redcloak that these are not real villages and he should not try to find them.
  • Morality Chain: She fashions herself as one for Redcloak; she believes that when push comes to shove Redcloak will always betray his ideals rather than admit that he was wrong, so she's there to defeat the bridge eating dolphins to make sure he never has to make that decision.
  • Nay-Theist: Considers the Dark One only a so-so deity that isn't good for much in her culture, other than for funerals and weddings.
  • Pet the Dog: After O-Chul and Lien fake their deaths, she returns home and pulls out the bolt that Lien hit her mount with, petting it as she does so, and proceeds to pet her worg (a wolf-like mount) upon arriving. Later, it turns out she has become a close friend of the Monster in the Darkness, and attacked the paladins primarily to try to feed them to it after misinterpreting its relationship with O-Chul.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Her "two villages" speech, where she observes that Redcloak is caught between doing what's best for goblin(oid)s and viewing his own actions as right, and heavily implies that she believes he'll always come down on the side of wanting to be right.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Oona is likely a Ranger, and demonstrates her skill at tracking in "Run to Ground" by following Minrah and Durkon's tracks in the canyon, deducing correctly their previous actions, although still being tricked by their magic.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Her poor grammar and hyper-focus on monster hunting may make her come off as slow, but she's actually quite perceptive and intelligent. It's best shown when she points out how Redcloak is going to have to choose between his own pride and the welfare of the goblinoid races very soon, and not-so-subtly implies that she thinks his ego is almost certainly going to come first. Justified, since she's a high-level Ranger, a class that benefits from high Wisdom.
  • Stealth Insult:
    • The "Two villages" speech is capped off with one of these:
    Redcloak: So you're worried that at some point, the goals I've been working toward might be incompatible with... what? My own ego? I don't know see how to take that as anything but an insult, given how much of my life I've devoted to—
    Oona: Oona never said she was worried. Oona is pretty sure she knows what little caped man would choose.
    • Likewise, in 1212, she talks about how interesting and "pretty" Minrah's perspective is. Minrah's perspective being "Redcloak is a fake messiah who doesn't actually care about the goblin people and lies to himself about it."
  • Strange-Syntax Speaker: In addition to the Third-Person Person thing, Oona is having a habit of overusing the "-ing" suffix.
    Oona: Such thrilling hard-fought battles, though! So many twistings and turnings!
  • Third-Person Person: This is the way that she speaks, in addition to her You No Take Candle style of speech.
  • Token Minority: Oona states that the Dark One only really cares about the goblins and hobgoblins, while bugbears, norkers and nilbogs are token goblinoid races.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Casually calls out Redcloak and the Dark One for caring mostly about goblins and hobgoblins but leaving out bugbears and other less-common goblinoid species like norkers and nilbogs.
  • You No Take Candle: She speaks with somewhat odd grammar and choice of vocabulary (e.g. referring to Xykon as "Bone man with shiny hat"), but expresses complex and/or philosophical thoughts on politics between goblinoid races and her intention to keep Monster Hollow's population sustainable for her settlement. Notably, she does not use the all-lowercase text of low-intelligence characters like Thog, suggesting this is the result of different languages and syntax instead.

Gorge Ravine Outpost

A large outpost of hobgoblins near the Azurite frontier. They are eventually absorbed into Xykon's army when Redcloak becomes its Supreme Leader.



"I'll be in charge of both hunters and gatherers!"

Race: Hobgoblin
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown

A hunter working in the Gorge Ravine outpost. During the events of "How the Paladin Got His Scar", he was part of a group of hobgoblins that attempted to spring an ambush on O-Chul's group, but surrendered and was taken captive along with his friend Pangtok after most of their companions were killed. He is far less willing to truly help O-Chul and company than Pangtok is, until a member of the Sapphire Guard needlessly kills Pangtok, at which point Tingtox becomes more willing to do what it takes to avoid a larger-scale war.

  • The Everyman: He's one for the hobgoblin community. A common laborer, no special qualities, and not particularly bright or knowledgeable.
  • Fantastic Racism: Like Pangtok, he hates humans in at least a nominal sense.
  • Hazy-Feel Turn: He wasn't quite a bad guy before, and he doesn't exactly become a good guy after the death of his friend Pangtok, but he does become a much more willing ally for O-Chul.
  • Revenge: He wants this after Pangtok is executed, but O-Chul manages to talk him down.
  • Those Two Guys: With Pangtok. The old friends are always together and initially seem identical, but Tingtox is slightly grumpier and less helpful than his friend.



"We wouldn't normally do anything about it, except maybe nod when our leaders blame all our domestic problems on you."

Race: Hobgoblin
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown

A ditch-digger working in the Gorge Ravine outpost. During the events of "How the Paladin Got His Scar", Pangtok joined with a group of hobgoblins who were going to ambush O-Chul's party, but surrendered and was taken captive after most of the group was killed. Although a rebellious captive at first, he becomes much more willing to help O-Chul after O-Chul risked his own life to save Pangtok from drowning in a river. Unfortunately for him, his willingness to help gets him killed by a member of the Sapphire Guard.

  • The Everyman: He's one for the hobgoblin community. A common laborer, no special qualities, and not particularly bright or knowledgeable.
  • Fantastic Racism: He mentions that he hates humans, though not usually enough to do more than nod along when hobgoblin leaders denounce them.
  • I Owe You My Life: While he never says it flat out, he is grateful that O-Chul saved him and even tries to bring it up at one point to other hobgoblins as a sign that O-Chul is sincere.
  • Killed Off for Real: Executed by a Sapphire Guard member after stopping their ambush.
  • Those Two Guys: With Tingtox. The two old friends are always together, and seem identical at first, although Pangtok is more easygoing and affable, and more willing to help the humans. (Especially after O-Chul saves him from drowning.)

    Supreme Leader (I) 

Supreme Leader (I)

"You disgrace the Dark One with your unnatural aversion to conflict!"

Race: Hobgoblin
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown

The Supreme Leader of the Gorge Ravine outpost when O-Chul first arrives. He is eager for war with humans, but understands that O-Chul and his team may be of use to him.

  • Adipose Rex: A fat leader who spends most of his time sitting on his throne.
  • Doomed by Canon: He's a character in a prequel story, and is not the current Supreme Leader when the main story takes place.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He can't wrap his head around the idea of a human leader not wanting to kill hobgoblins due to valuing the lives of those hobgoblins. Only when O-Chul reframes it as pragmatic realpolitik does he understand it.
  • Fantastic Racism: Dislikes humans and wants to go to war with them. He also encourages his people to blame all their problems on humans, making speciesism essentially a state policy of his settlement.
  • Killed Off for Real: Poisoned to death by his own cleric.
  • Meekness is Weakness: Clearly believes this, considering the way he berates his cleric for wanting to avoid war, which the Supreme Leader believes is unnatural. He also believes that the differences among Azurites and their refusal to simply wipe the hobgoblins out when they have a chance means the Azurites are weak and divided and can be overcome.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Though he's nearly as eager as his general to go to war with the humans, he's willing to pursue peace. This isn't because he's interested in peace at all, but merely to give his people time to gather their strength and prepare for a large-scale war.
  • Warhawk: Really wants to go to war with the Azurites, although he's more measured than his General Ripper Number Two, who is looking for any excuse to start a war right now, while the Supreme Leader is not. Although the main reason for that is because he believes that the hobgoblins need more time to build their army first.

    Supreme Leader (II) 

Supreme Leader (II)

"Oh no, it looks like everyone else who could reasonably claim the title of Supreme Leader is dead from a tragic case of improperly preserved cheese. I suppose I will need to take up the burden of leadership myself — for the good of my people."

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

A cleric who served the previous Supreme Leader of the Gorge Ravine outpost until he saw a chance to kill off his boss and take his title.

  • Big Good: For the Goblins. He's exactly the kind of person Right-Eye would want his brother to be, building up a stable, secure, and peaceful society for goblinoids. Unfortunately, he was too weak to oppose Redcloak when he came to town and had to back down. Jirix, another of his archetype, would take his place by luck. What happened to him after that is unknown, whether he fled, died in battle, or went back to his scheming ways. Since his race is so short lived, though, he may be too old to retake control of the tribe which is unfortunate as he would probably disagree with the Dark One's plan.
  • Black Sheep: The Dark One is a warlike god and hobgoblin society is highly martial (to the point that they see the afterlife as a Warrior Heaven where they will join the ranks of the Dark One's army along with the souls of other goblinoids), but this Supreme Leader thought warmongering was foolish and useless. Before becoming Supreme Leader as an advisor to his predecessor, he was disliked for having "an unnatural aversion to war", and after becoming Supreme Leader, he led an era of peace.
  • Briar Patching: Uses this against the general. When the general calls him on how his aversion to war conflicts with the Supreme Leader's wishes, the cleric spins this into saying the Supreme Leader makes the decisions, so the human intruders should be brought to them. Or when the general says he's not afraid of the Sapphire Guard and could kill them all, the cleric points out that means there is no danger and they can stay and listen to what O-Chul has to say.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Originally appears in 3 panels as a punchline character with no importance to the plot. A full 12 real-world years later, we get him as a fairly major supporting character in O-Chul's backstory.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When Redcloak casually murders a hobgoblin because he thinks his victim is the Supreme Leader, thus granting him the title, he decides to just let Redcloak take his title while not letting him know he killed the wrong guy.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Pretends to be a hunchback for years in order to look less threatening.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Doesn't want a war with the Azurites because he believes it it would be detrimental to building up the hobgoblin encampments.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike his predecessor, he has no desire to go to war with the Azurites, and even lets O-Chul's party leave alive (though he does pretend to try to catch them for appearance's sake).
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: He poisons a large quantity of cheese, which ultimately kills his superiors when they eat it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He has no interest in war, and concentrates on building up his people's numbers and infrastructure. That means that when Xykon and Redcloak usurp control of the horde, they have many many more soldiers at their command than they would have if a warlike leader who was constantly wasting lives fighting with the neighbors.

    Gorge Ravine General 

Gorge Ravine General

"I will kill everyone here and then I will lead our horde to wipe out your precious villages!"

Race: Hobgoblin
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown
Alignment: Unknown

A war leader who commands the hobgoblin army of the Gorge Ravine Outpost.

  • Badass Boast: Tends to talk big about killing Azurites and laying waste to their home.
  • Fantastic Racism: Like his boss, he hates humans.
  • The Dragon: He appears to be the right hand man and Supreme Leader I. He also fits the classic version of the trope, as he's a physical combatant serving a Non-Action Big Bad.
  • General Ripper: He's utterly blinded by his pride and hatred for humans, and thus is looking for any excuse to start an immediate war with the Azurites.
  • Mirror Character: To Gin-Jun. The two may hold a burning, speciest hatred for each other, but they think along very similar lines, even using similar insults for their enemies. Both the narrative and O-Chul call attention to this, although neither the General or Gin-Jun care for this comparison.
  • Killed Off for Real: Like his boss, he dies after being poisoned by the cleric who would go on to become the next Supreme Leader.

Black Squad



"Besides, they were the ones who threw ME into prison for being different — for understanding that a pulse is not a prerequisite for being loved! They all got exactly what they deserved!"

Race: Human
Gender: Female
Class: Wizard [Necromancer]/Cleric/Mystic Theurge
Alignment: Neutral Evil

A young mystic theurge recruited during the battle of Azure City to create undead Mooks. Her love of the undead (yes, in that way) and impressive spellcasting ability led her to become Xykon's top enforcer, much to the annoyance of Redcloak.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Goes out telling her wights that she loves them and not understanding why they didn't love her in return. Gets this reaction from the Monster in the Darkness. While Redcloak is visibly happy, Xykon considers offing uppity minions a "cost of doing business" and the roaches are blasé, the MitD is upset about her dying.
    MiTD: I'm just really sad now, thinking about Tsukiko. She just wanted to be loved.
    Demon-Roach: So what? Who cares?
    MiTD: Exactly. That's why I'm sad.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Tsukiko seems to think Xykon's a Not Evil, Just Misunderstood sex-symbol just waiting for the right woman (who would, of course, be her) to fall in love with so he can sweep her away in his arms. Words cannot even begin to explain how misguided this belief is. Xykon himself is absolutely disgusted with her, starting with the fact that she's alive, and he's... not. And neither he is one of those "disgusting biophiliacs" (a pun on "necrophiliac").
  • Animate Dead: Her main job for Team Evil is creating new undead soldiers. She passes over Miko's corpse.
  • Badass Boast: Gives one to Redcloak while they're both helping Xykon against Vaarsuvius:
    Tsukiko: Goblin, please. I go to bed with more spells prepared than you start the day with.
  • Better Living Through Evil: When confronted with selling out her civilization by Ho Thanh, she counters that she got a good price for it.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: More like Dragon Wannabe — she thinks she has what it takes to be Xykon's Dragon. Unfortunately, the spot's already taken by Redcloak, who in fact had met him long before she had. When the two throw down, he shows her exactly how outclassed she is.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Despite him being a more powerful cleric than her and having more experience, she still fails to give Redcloak any respect whatsoever, seeing him as a "spineless coward squirming under Xykon's heel". It didn't end well for her. In her defense, Redcloak has been cultivating his appearance as "spineless flunky" for a while now. She did give him some respect when they first met, but his disregard of her probably soured that to say the least.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: While she's not exceptional in combat, she shows the makings of a useful tactician. Her Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher habits means that her entire wight squadron knows when somebody goes down, and with her strongest opponent in the resistance being Haley, she starts preparing attack-roll-based "orb" spells after one too many successful evades.
  • Common Mary Sue Traits: Heterochromatic eyes, great beauty, skimpy clothing, unusually skilled for her young age, Japanese name meaning "moon child", oppressed by a stuck-up society not understanding her greatness... check.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Life-drained completely by the wights she loved so much, and then devoured.
  • Dark Action Girl: Her official job is reanimating corpses, but she can create the corpse itself just as easily.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Parodied. Since she thinks that the undead are the antithesis of the living, and that the living are all jerks, therefore the undead are caring and misunderstood — and Xykon will eventually grow to love her. Even the Monster in the Darkness tries to tell her that it doesn't work that way. Eventually Redcloak proves her wrong in a particularly cruel way by killing her with her own beloved minions — then having said minions eat each other with the last one walking into a fire. Which they do on command. Because they're undead.
  • Deader than Dead: Level drained to death by her own wights who then eat her corpse, then each other in the order they were created and the final one burns itself to ashes. Yeah, she ain't coming back from that. Also, Redcloak is possibly the only cleric on the planet that can cast True Resurrection, and not only does he despise her, but she would be unlikely to accept a Resurrection from him as he was the one who ordered her death.
  • Death by Irony: In two ways: first because she is drained to death and eaten by her beloved wights, and secondly she is killed by Redcloak (who she considered a spineless wimp) using nothing more than his Command Undead class feature and a dispel magic to counterspell her shout.
  • Duality Motif: Tsukiko has a blue eye and an indigo eye. This reflects her dual-caster prestige class, the color of her aura when casting spells being blue for divine magic and indigo for arcane. As a joke, it carries over as a theme to her slippers too.
  • Energy Ball: She uses a number of non-core "orb" spells (electric orb, fire orb, lesser acid orb, cold orb) in order to counter Haley's Evasion skill.
  • Evil Sorceress: Necromancer, mystic, and a hard on for evil.
  • Expelled from Every Other School: She mentions once that she was "expelled from some of the best wizarding schools in the South", presumably for practicing dark magic.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her arrogance, pride, and complete misunderstanding of people's true characters. Specifically, all three of them lead her to gloat to Redcloak's face that she is going to expose his treachery to Xykon under the over-confident belief that he is too spineless to do anything to stop her, due to Xykon loving her. It also fools her into believing that her wights are children who would never hurt their "mommy" as opposed to easily-dominated drones who will instantly turn on her if someone who is also capable of controlling them overrides her orders.
  • Flight: One of her spells. Belkar thanks her for combining it with a short dress.
  • Fluffy Tamer: She has this policy towards her controlled charges, treating them like her children. A bonus strip shows her thanking one for getting her a cupcake for her birthday, treating it like a genuine surprise gift... at which the wight confusedly points out that she told it to do so three times that morning. She then cheerfully asks for a group hug—and then, when none of them answer, she turns it into an order.
    Tsukiko: [to a newly-created undead] Hello, little one. I'm your mommy.
  • Freudian Excuse: According to the commentary in Blood Runs in the Family, Tsukiko is someone who has been hurt by a lot of people in the past, so her creation of undead who will do what she wants and say what she wants to hear lets her stay in a fantasy world where she doesn't have to deal with others.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Both for cuteness and immaturity.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The game in question being Dungeons & Dragons 3.5th Edition. As a multiclass Wizard/Cleric/Mystic Theurge, she is required to have high scores in both Intelligence and Wisdom for Arcane and Divine spellcasting, respectively: the forum's Class and Level Geekery thread pegs her minimum INT at 16 and WIS at 15 based on the spells she's seen casting, when the average for a human is 10. However, she makes some very poor decisions, is completely delusional about the nature of undead, as well as the personal character of Xykon and Redcloak, and comes across as an immature brat most of the time. If you knew nothing about D&D, "intelligent and wise" are not adjectives you'd apply to Tsukiko.
  • Goth: True to stereotype, she wears black and talks about her "dark allure". Haley (who had such a phase) mocks her for it.
  • Goth Girls Know Magic: A goth girl and mystic theurge with necromantic powers.
  • Grave Robbing: Two years experience as an intern graverobber on her resume.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: When she realizes that the Ritual doesn't do what Redcloak says it's supposed to, she goes to confront (and taunt) Redcloak about it before telling Xykon her suspicions. She believes that she'd be able to bully him into silence again or teleport to Xykon if things went bad. That doesn't work.
  • Healing Hands: More often than not she saves her inflict critical wounds spells for her undead, which are healed by it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Her own wights drain her to death (and eat her corpse) after Redcloak steals control of them. It's also a Death by Irony since it's a combination of her arrogance, lack of character judgement and belief that her undead "children" are people who won't hurt her that kills her.
  • Horrible Judge of Character:
    • A significant flaw of hers. She believes that the dead are better than the living because she thinks the living are all bastards and the dead are their exact opposites. She thinks that Xykon is an Edward Cullen-style paranormal romantic hero just waiting for the perfect girl (i.e. her) to "heal" him and she thinks that Redcloak is an ineffective spineless wimp who is just going to passively let her get away with absolutely everything including outright informing Xykon of Redcloak's treachery. Redcloak brutally proves her wrong and Xykon doesn't really give a damn about her — he can't even remember her name.
    • This attitude also extends to the wights and ghouls she creates. She views them as like her children, giving them the Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher treatment, despite the fact that the only thing keeping them from attacking her on sight is her ability to mentally control them. When Redcloak takes that control away from her, she begs her charges to heroically fight off Redcloak's influence because this isn't what they want—something they very pointedly do not do.
  • Humans Are Bastards: She believes this thoroughly and, in what may be an example of Insane Troll Logic, uses it to justify her belief that the Undead are really nice creatures, as they are "the antithesis of life". See "They Would Likely Both Disagree with That Sentiment" for the full conversation.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Toward Xykon, who doesn't just ignore her sentiments but actively avoids thinking about them ('cause he's "not one of those disgusting biophiliacs").
  • I Love the Dead: Yes, she loves The Undead. In that way. *wink*
    Monster in the Darkness: I thought you could help me, because you do both.
    Tsukiko: Hey, I don't know where you heard that rumor, but I didn't know that crypt-thing was a woman. It's hard to tell when they're just a skeleton.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Her "reasoning" behind preferring the undead to the living is so warped that even the Monster in the Darkness calls her out on it.
  • Ironic Echo: During her battle with Haley and Thanh, she uses both their weaknesses against them, causing her to nearly succeed in defeating them both. She also attempts to goad Belkar into performing a Face–Heel Turn, which almost succeeds as well. Later on, Redcloak uses her weaknesses against her in order to destroy her once and for all.
    • Tsukiko has a tendency to brag about how many spell slots her prestige class gives her, particularly in regards to other casters (especially Redcloak). When Redcloak has her at his mercy, he refers to how many spells she has, before pointing out how few of them she can use while grappled.
  • Just Desserts: Ends up being eaten by the wights she created.
  • Karmic Death: She betrays Azure City for the reasons outlined under Dark Is Not Evil, and later tries to do the same to Redcloak, and eventually the latter commands her own undead minions to kill her, while explaining how deluded she was to think they were anything more than tools. She dies begging them to stop and wondering why they don't love her.
  • Killed Off for Real: After Redcloak uses her wights to level-drain her to death, he then instructs them to devour her corpse, thus preventing a resurrection.
  • Lingerie Scene: Wears a black négligé to bed as seen here and here.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: She uses the shout spell to destroy a Chlorine Elemental.
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Tsukiko acts like this to her undead minions. From her perspective they're only a few days old and need looking after. Consequently, the elite squad of wights is organized like they're on a school trip, complete with whistles and a buddy system.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Her... flustered reaction to aninvoked Accidental Innuendo by the Monster in the Darkness.
  • Monster Fangirl: Towards Xykon. Unfortunately (for her), her feelings are unrequited.
  • Naïve Newcomer: A teenager who wanted in on the latest evil organization.
  • Necromancer: Animates the dead as her main job and chief passion.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: More literally than most; Xykon is her definition of "a hottie".
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The MitD is banned from her study because of "that thing with the peanut butter".
    • When she mistakenly thinks the MitD is implying that she's a Depraved Bisexual:
      Tsukiko: I don't know where you heard that rumor, but I didn't know that crypt-thing was a woman. It's hard to tell when they're just a skeleton.
  • Parody Sue: She acts as if in her own self-insert fanfic. It's all to better point out how Wrong Genre Savvy she truly is.
  • Perky Female Minion: Far more upbeat and happy than her evil coworkers or boss.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • The motherly way she treats her creations. (Given her proclivities, that may be even squickier.)
    • Although she started out unwilling to help The Monster in the Darkness find O-Chul, once he helped her by telling her she was only working with half a ritual, she gratefully told him she'd help him with any spell he wanted when she had more time.
  • Prestige Class: Mystic Theurge.
  • The Quisling: She sells out her entire city to Xykon and the goblins, and is thoroughly unapologetic about it. Her comeuppance is suitably horrible.
    Thanh: You have sold out our entire civilization to outsiders!
    Tsukiko: Yeah, but at least I got a good price for it. What can I say? It was a seller's market.
  • The Red Mage: Being multiclassed allows her to cast both divine and arcane spells, which gives her a wider breadth of casting ability and spellcraft knowledge than a single-classed character would have, but neither of which are at the depth a single-classed caster has. It clashes badly with her focus on necromancy and minions.
  • Religion is Magic: Due to her levels in cleric, Tsukiko possesses divine magic.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: As a Mystic Theurge, Tsukiko has high scores of both Intelligence and Wisdom. However, she doesn't benefit of those as much as she should... because she's also utterly insane, leading her to make foolish mistakes, like underestimating Redcloak.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Don't let the pigtails, her love for the undead or her Xykon doll fool you: she's dangerous. She found some creative ways to counter Haley's Evasion, and unlike Xykon she discovered that Redcloak's ritual doesn't have the intended purpose that he led them to believe it had (although with some unexpected help from the MitD).
    Tsukiko: I was expelled from some of the best wizard academies in the South, you know.
  • Smug Snake: She orders Redcloak to do as she says, justifying her demand as an order from Xykon, as the basis of her first conversation with him (remembering that, up to and beyond this point, Redcloak is Xykon's second-in-command).
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only girl on Team Evil's roster of main characters.
  • Squishy Wizard: Mystic theurge builds tend to prioritize casting above all else, and she's no exception; she wears no armor, carries no weapons, and is so ineffective in melee combat that she was once held at bay by Mr. Scruffy.
  • The Starscream: Not towards Xykon, but Redcloak. In fact, her behavior sometimes may resemble the Trope Namer — despite that Redcloak is higher than her in the hierarchy, she constantly disrespects him, tries to undercut his authority and mocks him, and her attempt at taking his position backfires spectacularly. Too bad for her that Redcloak doesn't have any tolerance for betrayal.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: When you think about it, she acts like she's the heroine of one of those Twilight-esque books, where evil creatures are really Not Evil, Just Misunderstood and Xykon is this perfect guy whose heart she is destined to win at the end. Suffice to say, she's incredibly wrong about this, and finds out the hard way.
  • Token Human: She is the only human member of Team Evil, unless you include Xykon, who formerly was a human.
  • Too Dumb to Live: She thought that Redcloak would stay idle while she crushed his decades-long plan, that gloating about how she were going to usurp his place in front of him was a smart move, and didn't make sure that his personal sanctum wasn't barred against teleportation despite the fact that he's big on pre-planning. Redcloak himself lampshades it:
    Redcloak: Because, let's be clear: if I tolerated your humiliating attempts to undercut my authority before, it was only because killing you would've upset the delicate puppet strings upon which "Lord Xykon" unknowingly dances. But if you're going to stand here, and tell me that you'll expose one of those strings to him? If you're going to be THAT stupid? There can only be one rational response to that.
  • Underestimating Badassery: She probably thought that, if nothing else, that between her wights, her ability to teleport and her huge spell selection, she could escape Redcloak before he could do anything to stop her — which is why she spent so much time taunting Redcloak and spelling out her plans. Unfortunately, Redcloak nullified all her advantages in short order (he had warded his sanctum against teleportation apparently for some time, used Control Undead on her wights the instant he entered the room, having them grapple her, and counterspelling the few spells that she could cast while grappled) and Tsukiko soon found herself in way over her head.
  • Vague Age: Whether she's an actual teenager or just a remarkably immature young adult is unclear.
  • Weak, but Skilled: While she has both arcane and divine spells, she doesn't have any of the bonus feats, or the same spell level as she would have if she focused on just one.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: She thinks she's the heroine of a Twilight-style supernatural romance. Oh, how wrong she is.
  • You Are What You Hate: She hates living beings despite being a living human.
  • Zombie Advocate: Undead are not evil in her opinion; just misunderstood. They should be cared for like children. About that...

    The Booted Wight 

The Booted Wight

"...Can I have his shoes?"

Race: Wight (formerly human or goblinoid)
Alignment: Lawful Evil

Tsukiko's sidekick and the face of her undead army.

  • Irony: Tsukiko gives a speech to her newly dominated paladin about having to walk a mile in her undead's shoes. Instead it takes the paladin's shoes and puts them on.
  • Killed Off for Real: Redcloak orders it and the other Wights to kill themselves after eating Tsukiko and each other with the last one burning its body in the fireplace.
  • Level Drain: By touch.
  • Literal-Minded: Why it's wearing shoes in the first place — from not understanding Tsukiko's metaphor.
  • Mook Promotion: It ended up becoming slightly more prominent than its non-booted friends after taking Thanh's footwear.
  • No Name Given: Worth noting, it has the most appearances out of all unnamed characters.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Due to the effects of Redcloak's Rebuke Undead dominating it and the others, it's rather cavalier about Redcloak's order for them to destroy themselves.
  • Person with the Clothing: It took the dominatedgag  Thanh's shoes, hence the name.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Redcloak uses his Rebuke Undead class feature to compel it to destroy itself and the others. It obeys the order with about as much fanfare as being asked to shut the door on its way out of the boss' office.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: More specifically, against its mistress — not on its own volition, but under Redcloak's control.
  • The Undead: A wight.
  • Uniformity Exception: Stands out from its fellow Wights by having boots.
  • Zombie Mook: Created by Tsukiko to fight her battles.

Other minions

For the Demon-Roaches and Oona's pets, see Animal Companions.

For the Quinton, see Divine Beings.



Dragon head: We are the chimera Trigak.
Lion head: Xykon know you have slain many goblins.
Goat head: He sent us. Now you die.

Species: Chimera
Gender: Male
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

A chimera sent by Xykon to kill the Order of the Stick early on in their adventures. They were jokingly supposed to be a recurring plot-relevant villain, but Belkar killed them before they could finish their "I'll be back!" speech.

  • Aborted Arc: In-Universe, they were supposed to be a reoccurring villain but Belkar killed them.
  • Breath Weapon: Their dragon head breathes fire.
  • Meaningful Name: Their name indicates the sound the three heads make upon dying.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: As normal for a chimera, Trigak is a three-headed monster that is one-third lion, one-third goat, and one-third dragon.
  • Multiple Head Case: Each of their heads appears to think independently (they use plural pronouns like "we" to refer to themselves), though they don't fight amongst themselves.
  • Psycho for Hire: Xykon describes them as "discount mercenaries".
  • Starter Villain: Is the first villain with a name that the Order goes up against.

    Xykon Decoys 

Xykon Decoys
Left to right: Death Knight, Huecuva, Eye of Fear and Flame.

MitD: How did you get them to look exactly like Xykon?
Redcloak: I didn't. They're human skeletons. I put a blue robe on them and called it a night.
Heck, I had to put those colored pendants on them just to tell them apart.

Three skeletal undead — a Death Knight, a Huecuva, and an Eye of Fear and Flame — created by Redcloak for the battle of Azure City, to sow confusion within the enemy ranks by having them look identical to Xykon.

  • Adaptational Wimp: Played for laughs with the Eye of Fear and Flame. In standard D&D, an Eye of Fear and Flame is, though below the level of the Order in power, an incredibly cruel and dangerous creature that enjoys forcing people into Sadistic Choices For the Evulz. In the comic, due to errors in its creation, the Eye is shown to be a complete coward who is easily bullied by Belkar.
  • Anything but That!: The Eye of Fear and Flame's reaction to Belkar mentioning it would make a great chamber pot.
  • Badass Boast:
  • Bait-and-Switch: When we're first introduced to them, it's just the Eye of Fear and Flame, leading the readers to wonder why Xykon is perpetually shocked, taking orders from Redcloak, and wearing an orange pendant. When we see all three of them, the Eye and the Death Knight are really bad at acting like Xykon, while the Huecuva's actually pretty spot-on, leading people to assume that it's the right one.
  • Battle Strip: The Death Knight rips its Xykon robe, revealing its heavy armor, before charging at the breach.
  • Black Knight: The Death Knight, natch. It even wears black armor under its robe.
  • Blood Knight: The Death Knight. See its Badass Boast. It cuts his way through four giant soldiers, blasts through several normal soldiers, kills General Chang, and nearly defeats a weakened V.
  • Body Doubles: Skeleton Doubles, at least. Redcloak made them for the "Shell Game" at Azure City. He didn't actually do anything to make them look like Xykon, though, since they were all skeletons. He just gave them robes and called it a day.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: Inverted. Well, they're minibosses in boss's clothing. This is in fact Invoked by Redcloak, who put them all in robes to make them look like Xykon.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Just like Xykon, the Huecuva is fairly apathetic and bored in combat. As Huecuvas are usually created from clerics who gave up their vows, it makes sense.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The pendants Redcloak gave them so he could tell them apart; dark green for the Death Knight, purple for the Huecuva and orange for the Eye of Fear and Flame.
  • Death from Above: Two of them die this way. The Death Knight is crushed by the decapitated head of a zombie silver dragon, and the Huecuva is crushed under an enlarged Durkon's hammer alongside a ninja.
  • Dem Bones: All of them are animated skeletons.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Death Knight getting crushed by a falling dragon head, from Vaarsuvius's viewpoint, is exactly this because it falls from the sky at the last moment.
  • Dirty Coward: Skullsy — ahem, the "Eye of Fear and Flame". Although undead are supposed to be fearless, he's still very much scared for his safety, and is easily cowed by Redcloak or Belkar threatening him.
  • Eviler than Thou: The Huecuva gets in a scuffle with Kubota's ninjas over who gets to take out Hinjo and manages to kill one of them before Durkon intervenes.
  • Evil Is Hammy: The Death Knight is clearly enjoying the theatrics that come with slaughtering an army.
    Death Knight: The ground will hungrily lap up the spilled blood of the righteous this unholy day!
  • Expressive Mask: Or Expressive Eyesockets in this case, like the original.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Belkar intimidates Skullsy to serve him and fight off Hobgoblins. Skullsy continues to do so, until Belkar mentions keeping it and using it for many different things. When he mentions a chamber pot, Skullsy snaps and says that it has finally found something worse than death, and promptly betrays them by screaming for the hobgoblins and setting off a Fireball. Haley smashes the skull on a rock and they run from the guards that were attracted by the commotion.
  • Fearless Undead: Defied by Skullsy, who is still scared of destruction, but played straight by the two others.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: Trails of flame shoot from the Death Knight's eyes when he charges at the breach.
  • Fireballs: One of Skullsy's two powers is to throw balls of fire, to Belkar's delight.
  • For the Evulz: Both the Huecuva and Death Knight's main motivation; they don't care that they're just decoys.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: All of them have glowing red pinpoints for eyes just like Xykon, due to their respective natures.
  • Ignored Enemy: The Huecuva being distracted from killing Hinjo by a pair of ninjas.
    Huecuva: Well, you got your contract killing in my hatred of all that's good and pure!
  • In-Series Nickname: The Eye of Fear and Flame is soon called "Skullsy" by Belkar.
  • Ironic Name: The Eye of Fear and Flame is a coward.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: What they were created for in the first place: distraction. Haley even refers to it as a shell game.
  • Kill It with Fire: All three undead have fire powers used to lay waste on their enemies.
    Death Knight: Choose your doom, then, chicken-mage: Original Recipe, or Extra Crispy?
  • Losing Your Head: Skullsy's fate two rounds after meeting Belkar.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Both the Death Knight and Eye of Fear and Flame do a pretty poor impression of Xykon, due to the former's hammy zealousness and the latter's cowardice and bootlicking. This serves to immediately clue in the readers that something weird is going on.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Technically not liches, but unfortunately not visually different from one.
  • Power Crystal: The Eye of Fear and Flame's gemstones.
    Skullsy: Stay back! I can shoot Fireballs and Fear beams out of my magical eye gems!
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The Death Knight quips one to General Chang (and to V, almost).
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Not what they were made for, but they serve the purpose by fighting Red Shirts and keeping PCs busy.
  • Red Herring: Though the Death Knight and Eye of Fear and Flame both do a very bad job as Xykon impersonators, the Huecuva's casual and apathetic nature, as well as its initial placement at the back of the formation, mean that it actually does a decent job at misleading readers that it might be the real one.
  • Religion of Evil: The Huecuva is basically an undead priest and has access to cleric magic.
  • Resistant to Magic: The Death Knight has some serious Spell Resistance, to Vaarsuvius's great annoyance.
  • Sinister Scimitar: The Death Knight's weapon is fitting for a grim blood knight like itself.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: The Eye of Fear and Flame can induce fear through one of his eye gems. Belkar forces him to use it on some hobgoblins.
  • Touch of Death: The Huecuva uses various damaging contact clerical spells, like poison.
  • The Undead: Like Xykon they are corpses animated by dark magic, although different forms.