"Spoiler alert: They failed."
This article contains spoilers from Start of Darkness and/or On the Origin of PCs
20px-Cquote1.png Your time to join this army is not yet, Jirix. I have many battles for you yet in the world of mortals. They will be battles of trade and logistics, diplomacy and intrigue, but they will be battles nonetheless.[1]

The Dark One
Biographical information
First Comic


Last Comic


Physical description

Goblin (formerly)



Hair color

White (beard)

Chronological and political information

Neutral or Evil



D&D Stats
The Dark One was a violet-skinned Goblin, a trait which marked him for greatness amongst his kind.

Biography Edit

Start of Darkness Edit

He was famous for uniting the Goblinoid races, and conducted a brilliant and savage campaign against the northern countries. Having them at his mercy, he goes to their leadership to talk, for all he wants is all races to be equal. In particular he seeks better living conditions for Goblinoids, who he describes as having always gotten the worst lands on the edges of the other races territories.

In the middle of the talks, however, he is killed by an Assassin[1] hired by the rulers of the countries, who used the talks as a means to seperate the Dark One from his horde and eliminate him. In revenge, his armies spent the following year killing one million humans. Such is their devotion to the Dark One that he ascends as a God, like the Elven Gods before him. He is allowed dominion over Goblinoid affairs.

In the divine realm, the Dark One learns of the other gods' cruel joke, that being that the whole of Goblin-kind was created for the sole purpose of providing Clerics with low-level threats to aid in their level progression. Enraged, he confronts them, but gets nowhere. Some of the Good-aligned Gods want to destroy him, but he finds friends amongst the Evil-aligned Gods, particularly Tiamat, Loki and Rat. The Evil Gods point out that they played along when the Elven Gods arrived so the Good Gods should give the Dark One a chance.

A Cleric of the Dark One stumbles across a rift while being chased by Paladins and is killed by an entity created as a by-product of the first world created by the Gods, called the Snarl. The Dark One is alerted to the presence of the Snarl and, after conversing with his Evil God allies, comes up with a plot to harness the Snarl as a revenge tool to use to barter a better situation for the Goblinoid people.

He created a powerful Artifact Cloak called the Crimson Mantle, entrusting it to his high priest. This priest raised an army to seize the Snarl's rift in the Elven Lands but it was thwarted by the Order of the Scribble. The Crimson Mantle is passed down through the Dark Ones clergy, enlightening each bearer with the Dark Ones plan.

When Lirian and Dorukan created the Gates, he realized that a ritual with a High Level Divine caster and High Level Arcane caster (the same as those who forged the gates), could grant him control over them and subsequently release the Snarl on any plane he saw fit. That meant that he could blackmail the other pantheons in order to improve the lot of Goblinoids. He bequeaths this plan to the Bearer of the Crimson Mantle, and all who succeed him.

After the death of the last high priest and most of the remaining followers of the Dark One, Redcloak assumed the Crimson Mantle and planned to use the Human Sorcerer Xykon to fullfill the Arcane portion of the Dark Ones plan. He has convinced Xykon that it is Xykon who will control the Snarl at the end of the ritual and thus enlist his aid. When Xykon was ressurected as a Lich however he grew too powerful and Redcloak's ability to influence him has decreased significantly.

Blood Runs in the Family Edit

The Dark One's plan was nearly revealed to Xykon by Tsukiko but Redcloak intervened. Using his superior Divine casting he took command of Tsukiko's own ghouls, had them devour her and then destroyed the only translated copy of the rituals end, presumably ensuring Xykons continued ignorance.

Current Activities Edit

At present the Dark One himself has not played a major role, presumably operating through his followers.


The Clerics of the Dark One seem to be only Goblins and Hobgoblins. They are apparently classified in rank and assigned color-coded cloaks, of which the Crimson Mantle is the most powerful.

Also known to exist are White Cloaks (Start of Darkness, 34 years ago) and Gray Cloaks.

This may be a reflection of Goblinoid society more than a convention of priesthood proper, for Hobgoblin Generals have been seen wearing Purple Cloaks, while the Hobgoblin Supreme Leader wears a Green Cloak.

Brown Cloaks and Light Blue Cloaks have also been observed, but their meaning is not very clear.

Trivia Edit

  • Besides Start of Darkness, the only full body picture of the Dark One in the classic OOTS style is only seen in the Order of the Stick Poster (evil side). He is also briefly seen as a picture in Redcloak's study room.

References Edit

  1. Comic 704, "Dead Men Give No Speeches"

Gallery Edit

704, 828