A 55-year-old Dwarf, Durkon was born to Tenrin and Sigdi Thundershield. He worshiped Thor, and his chosen domains were Air and Good (evidenced through his ability to cast Control Winds and Holy Smite, respectively). Following his death and reanimation at the hands of the vampire Cleric Malack, Durkon has been brought back as a vampire, his body controlled by a spirit of negative energy created by the Goddess of Death of the Asgardian Pantheon, Hel, which answers as her High Priest while posing as the real Durkon to the rest of the Order.
Durkon was born to Tenrin and Sigdi Thundershield in the dwarven lands, where he stayed throughout his early life. His mother, a former sergeant in the dwarven army, was crippled and had a missing hand due to a mission that went badly, ending with several of her squad dead, including her husband. Though she did not speak of the event, Durkon eventually learned of the events through his Uncle Thirden.
Though he wished for his mother to have her hand healed, the family didn't have the means to pay for the healing, much less to travel to the capital where they could get the healing. Nevertheless, Durkon was motivated to heal his mother's hand, first trying his hand at mining and working with his Aunt Shirra at the silver mines. By his own admission, he was never very talented at mining, and so he instead joined the temple of Thor as a cleric and lived within its walls.
Seventeen years prior to the formation of the Order of the Stick, Durkon was visited by Hurak, the high priest of Thor, who informed him that the deity had selected him for a mission to human lands. Durkon was to remain with humans indefinitely, ostensibly until he was summoned home to act as a cultural instructor to his people.
However, the true reason for the "mission" was that the priest of Odin had arrived at the temple that morning with a prophecy that, when Durkon next returned home, he would bring death and destruction upon his people. In order to thwart the prophesy, the high priest had no intention of ever calling Durkon home, leaving him effectively banished for life; possibly an unnecessary deception, as given Durkon's extreme sense of duty, he might well have accepted lifelong banishment for the good of his people.
Durkon made his way to human lands, where he almost immediately got off onto the wrong foot with the first humans that he met, then was appalled to discover that the best beer in human lands tasted, in his opinion, like moose urine.
Fourteen years later, Durkon was part of an adventuring group. Having grown surly and unpleasant as a result of his experiences, he was frequently sent on apparently suicidal missions by his allies. When his party accepted a mission to deal with a group of orcs who were causing problems in a nearby village, Durkon was paired with a newly recruited fighter, Roy Greenhilt. In the course of another suicide mission, Roy threw himself in the way of an attack that the dwarf hadn't seen coming, earning a measure of trust from the dwarf. When Roy subsequently negotiated a peaceful settlement between the village and the orcs, who it turned out were only in the area for a concert, Durkon came to realize that there was at least one human worth knowing.
Roy left the group, which had simply wanted to slaughter the orcs, that being quicker and more convenient than negotiating, and Durkon followed him, agreeing to be a part of any party the fighter subsequently founded.
Roy and Durkon traveled together for the next three years, searching for clues to the whereabouts of the lich, Xykon. Finally getting the information that they needed from the Oracle of Sunken Valley, they came to the conclusion that more allies would be required to assault Xykon's stronghold. Returning to a nearby town, Roy recruited four other adventurers to join the party, and the Order of the Stick was born.
The Order of the StickEdit
Dungeon Crawlin' FoolsEdit
Durkon was a highly effective member of the team since its formation. As team cleric, his healing spells were often in demand and he served well alongside his friend Roy as one of the Order's front line warriors. He sometimes has difficulty having his spells granted by Thor due to the ThorPrayer receptionist archon not being able to understand his dwarven accent. During their exploration of the Dungeon of Dorukan, he had a brief relationship with Hilgya Firehelm, a female dwarf cleric of Loki and his "evil opposite" in the Linear Guild. As a prize from his adventures there, he gained possession of an Amulet of Natural Armor.
No Cure for the Paladin BluesEdit
During the party's sidequest to fix Roy's sword, Durkon was briefly the leader of a group of bandits for subduing the previous leader (Samantha's father).
Durkon refused to participate in the battle against Miko Miyazaki when she arrested the Order for weakening the fabric of the universe. He felt that if Miko was doing her lawful duty, then they must submit to her and stand trial.
War and XPsEdit
As a boon from Lord Shojo of Azure City, a messenger, in this case Miko Miyazaki, was sent to Durkon's homeland to obtain permission from the High Priest of Thor to allow Durkon home. It would be revealed later that Hurak had died years ago, and the new High Priestess could find in her predecessor's notes no mention of or justification for Durkon's ostracism; she wrote for Durkon to come home at any time. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, given the original reason for his exile), the letter was eaten by The Monster In The Darkness. The message was in a sealed diplomatic pouch, making any verbal communication of the message impossible, as the courier, the now-deceased Miko Miyazaki, was far too honorable to have opened it up.
When the Order revisited the Oracle of Sunken Valley to gain new information about Xykon's whereabouts, Durkon asked "How will I finally be returnin' ta me beloved dwarven homelands?", the Oracle answered, "Posthumously". Durkon, who had previously believed that he would die in human lands and his body torn apart by animals or left to rot, found comfort in this idea, knowing that he would ultimately be reunited with his family.
During their effort to free Julia Greenhilt from the Linear Guild in Cliffport, Durkon fled when faced with the trees awakened by Leeky Windstaff, the new divine caster for the Guild, due to his dendrophobia (see below). However, from a safe distance, Durkon was able to cast the decisive blow in that battle through a clever (and rules-bending) use of Control Weather to create damaging sonic boom. Thor thought it was cool though so he allowed it.
During the Battle of Azure City, Durkon fought on the battlements along with Haley, Elan, Belkar, and Lord Hinjo. They held their section of the wall effectively, but the city was ultimately overrun through a breach in the wall on the other side, and they were forced to flee into the tunnels beneath the city. With Haley and Belkar splitting off to retrieve Roy's body, Durkon and Elan went with Hinjo to the docks. There, Durkon came to the rescue of Lien, holding off a company of hobgoblins and a cleric while they waited for the rest of the party. Ultimately, he, Eland and Vaarsuvius were forced to leave with Hinjo without the rest of the party.
Don't Split the PartyEdit
At sea with the Azurites, Durkon was unable to contact Haley. He advised Vaarsuvius to give up his/her obsession with contacting her. Durkon fought skraggs and was involved in the diplomatic mission to Orc Island. When Kubota was plotting to overthrow Hinjo, Durkon was part of the team that disguised themselves as trees (though Durkon went as a bush, naturally, due to his dendrophobia) to trap Therkla. Durkon helped lower the resistances of the pit fiend in the ensuing battle, leading to its demise.
When Haley was finally able to contact Durkon through a Sending spell cast by a Cleric of Loki, He and Elan Wind Walked across the Sea to Greysky City to rejoin Haley, Belkar, and Celia. They sacked Hieronymous Grubwiggler's castle to recover Roy's remains before the Soul Spliced Vaarsuvius teleported everyone back to the fleet, and the fleet to an island off the coast of the Western Continent. It was there that Durkon cast Resurrection to finally restore Roy to life.
Blood Runs in the FamilyEdit
After the party's failed attempt to locate Girard's Gate, Durkon was again separated from the party after the capture of Haley, Elan, and V by bounty hunters and Roy and Belkar by the police. He entered Bleedingham as a religious pilgrim, where he met and befriend Malack.
During his time with Malack, the lizardfolk helped Durkon research a new spell, Mass Death Ward. Malack secretly implanted a back door to bypass the spell's protections ("Xxzerkqei").
Upon arriving at Windy Canyon, Durkon was unable to use his magic to find Girard's Pyramid. At the pyramid, he tried raising one of the Draketooth mummies from the dead, but they refused to be raised, and make jokes with his Speak with Dead spell. Durkon, along with the rest of the Order was bested by Tarquin and retreated into the pyramid. Inside, Durkon was able to disable much of the Linear Guild and force them to retreat with a clever ambush involving a smokestick, a Meld Into Stone spell, and finally a Holy Word spell.
When Belkar got separated from the party, Durkon went to find him. It was this ill-fated decision which sealed his fate.
Durkon was killed by the vampire lizardfolk, Malack, expressing acceptance, because he believed he could finally return home now. Immediately afterwards, Malack raised him as a vampire using an unspecified spell to expedite the process. He then served Malack as a thrall for a short period before Malack's destruction at Nale's hands, following which he immediately attacked Nale and Zz'dtri. After killing Zz'dtri, he immediately moved to help the Order, pointing out to Roy that the world was still at stake and that that Durkon's new alignment didn't mean he was any more evil than Belkar.
Current Activities Edit
See also: "Durkon" aka High Priest of Hel
The vampire Durkon continued to assist the Order with various healing spells and in combat, aid that was accepted by the rest of the party—save Belkar, who encouraged Roy to destroy Durkon immediately. Sadly, Belkar's fears were entirely valid.
As party headed north to Kraagor's Gate, Durkon's consciousness was revealed to be trapped within his body and a new consciousness given by Hel, the dwarves' goddess of dishonorable death, had taken over. Durkon's body was controlled by this vampire spirit, known variously as "Durkon"* or the High Priest of Hel. Durkon's soul is currently struggling to break free, albeit ineffectively.
During his soul's imprisonment, Durkon has revealed various episodes from his past to "Durkon". (See "Early Chronological Appearances", below). Durkon's middle name was revealed to be Allotrope and he realized that he could at least irritate the High Priest of Hel if nothing else with his bad joke memories.
Durkon's body continued to be used by "Durkon" for his schemes which unfolded at Godsmoot. Ultimately Roy was able to differentiate "Durkon" from Durkon, and fought the vampire. "Durkon" is currently thought to be in Firmament attempting to fix the outcome of the Council of Clans in favor of destroying the world.
Personality and TraitsEdit
|I stay 'ere because it's me duty. And bein' a dwarf is all about doin' yer duty, even if it makes ye miserable. ESPECIALLY if it makes ye miserable!|
Durkon is something of a stereotypical dwarf, wearing heavy armor, carrying a powerful weapon, possessing a low charisma, having a great interest in beer and so forth, although - as noted in the paragraph below - he also subverts this stereotype somewhat. He was a very honest person, although he has lied by omitting the whole truth. This is shown when he convinces Miko that the Order didn't try to escape there cells by saying the five of them never left their cells (Durkon did not, the others did) and that the doors were unlocked because of a mechanical defect ("I dinno, I count, "able to be picked by a Rogue" as a major defect, aye?"). He is dutiful, pious (often attributing his god Thor with more purpose and planning than the rather wild god typically displays), unassuming and stoic. He believes in speaking plainly, rarely resorting to the wit or sarcasm often used (or at least attempted) by his teammates. He speaks (and, oddly enough, writes) with a stereotype Scottish accent. Though not immune to temptation, he believes strongly in proper behavior; while he ogled Haley along with the rest of the males in the party on one occasion when she suffered a 'wardrobe malfunction', he chastised Julia Greenhilt when she attempted to flirt with him to gain his attention. This is probably because, while the party saw Haley naked by accident, Julia was attempting to use her body on him deliberately, and Durkon's strong morals prevented such behavior. He was also horrified to learn after sleeping with Hilgya that she is still married, and angrily chews her out for leaving her husband.
While Durkon generally fits the concept of a dwarf very well, he is also very much, like other members of his party, a counter-stereotype, too, in his case to the traditional "drunken dwarf fighter". Despite loving beer, Durkon had never been shown as drunk, and is fully capable of holding massive amounts of liquor (drinking ten beers in ten seconds while New Year's was counting down in Azure City and it has been noted in the Priest's letter that dwarves have 2 livers). Likewise, though most dwarves in fantasy novels are the goofy comic relief, Durkon acts as the other "straight man" besides Roy (who is also a counter-stereotype of his class) of his party; and despite wearing heavy armor and weapons, Durkon tended to rely more on his spells than his sheer physical might. It has been noted though, that "He'd be a pretty good warrior if he had a better head for numbers". He also showed little indication of the stereotypical dwarven greed. Upon conquering a bandit clan, he ordered them to prepare a lunch for the Order for the road, and a giant gold tankard of beer for his own personal use. However, his very next order would be for the clan to disband, as banditry is not only wrong, it is also dangerous.
Durkon had been described in the print comic, On The Origin Of PCs, as being lawful. In strip #844 of the main series, Haley notes that his full alignment is Lawful Good. This is best shown when he lectures Hilgya about the importance of duty to dwarves, and how they must do their duty even if it makes them miserable ("ESPECIALLY if it makes ye miserable!")
He hates the undead and reflexively tried to turn them as soon as they are even mentioned. He also, apparently in common with the rest of his people, had a severe phobia regarding trees, believing them to be powerful stealthy monsters.
He was an active worshiper of Thor, always wearing a W.W.T.D (What Would Thor Do?) prayer necklace.
He had been bald for forty years—apparently he went bald at 15.
Early Chronological AppearancesEdit
Starting with comic #947, several bits and pieces of Durkon's early life were revealed (before the events seen in On the Origin of PCs. In chronological order, the relevant comics include:
- #991 - A Sergeant and a Sapper (birth)
- #947 - Keep in Mind (about three to five years old in human terms)
- #962 - Just Think How Many Times He's Seen Himself Naked (about five to ten years old in human terms)
- #983 - A Healer's Reason (perhaps between 12 and 18 years in human terms)
- #954 - Contractual Riders on the Storm (about 16 to 25 years in human terms)
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Cleric Abilities: Durkon was a cleric of Thor for several years at his temple in the Dwarven lands before being forced to leave
- Turn Undead: As a Cleric, Durkon was entitled to uses of Turn Undead. He has a low Charisma score, but he also has the Extra Turning feat, meaning he can Turn Undead between 3 and 6 times per day, depending on what his Charisma score actually is. (All that can be known for sure is that it is less than 10, so there is at best a -1 modifier).
- Good Domain: Prior to his death, Durkon's chosen domain was Good, as seen by his use of the spell "Holy Smite". He seems to have access to another domain, based on his Control Wind spell and others, but it is unclear if it is the Air domain, Weather domain, or some home-brewed domain for Thor.
- High Wisdom: Durkon had a high Wisdom stat, which was required for him to be able to cast a seventh level spell such as "Holy Word". Furthermore, he saw Thor's drunken-induced storm as a warning against the Order when they first met the Paladin Miko Miyazaki, which despite Thor's intent he interpreted correctly.
- Darkvision: As a Dwarf, Durkon was capable of seeing in the dark up to 80 feet.
- Based on the number of spells he was able to cast during the day he fought Malack, Durkon was 14th level.
Equipment and WeaponsEdit
- Holy Symbol: A requirement for many Cleric spells, Durkon always carried a gold-and-blue holy symbol with which he could focus his abilities.
- Heirloom Light Steel Warhammer and Shield: Durkon's signature weapon, his warhammer and shield were heirlooms that were passed on to him by the time he had become a cleric.
- Amulet of Natural Armor: Gained from the loot retrieved from the Dungeon of Dorukan, Durkon took the amulet, saying that it sent his AC into the stratosphere.
- Full Plate Armor: Durkon's armor is non-magical, and makes a good amount of noise.
- Scroll of Sending: Durkon possesses at least one scroll of Sending, according to Vaarsuvius.
- Durkon also possesses the following items: candles, a bedroll, a deck of cards, a parcheesi board, a spyglass, religious vestments, a belt pouch, Bleedingham papers, a flask of liquor, 10,000+ gp of diamond dust.
The Order of the Stick Adventure GameEdit
Durkon Thundershield is one of the characters players may choose when playing the Order of the Stick Adventure Game. The abilities of the character are reflective of his personality and skills as depicted in the comic, with cards titled such things as Thor's Lightning, Cure Assorted Wounds, and W.W.T.D.?.
One of his "Loot" obtainable in the game include "Shield of Sparrow Deflection," "Beer of Annilation," and "Thor's Love," which is a note in the shape of a heart with laces.
- Durkon's last words were: "I get ta go home"
- ↑ Comic #991, "A Sergeant and a Sapper"
- ↑ Comic #375, "Undeliverable"
- ↑ Comic #877, "The Bright Side (877)"
- ↑ Comic #83, "Pillow Talk"
- ↑ Comic #84, "Saddest. Comic. Ever."
|The Order of the Stick|
|Roy Greenhilt • Haley Starshine • Durkon Thundershield • Elan • Vaarsuvius • Belkar Bitterleaf|