Redcloak (1129 - Present) is the current Bearer of the Crimson Mantle, a Goblin High Priest of the Goblin deity known as "the Dark One". He is a chief minion of Xykon and the Supreme Leader of the Hobgoblin clans.
Start of DarknessEdit
The goblin who would later take the name of Redcloak had only just started out as an acolyte of the previous bearer of the Crimson Mantle when his home was destroyed by the Sapphire Guard of Azure City, who believe the Crimson Mantle is a threat to "the very foundation of creation itself". Redcloak's mother and most of his family were killed; only he and his younger brother escaped. Redcloak was visited by the spirit of his mentor, who told him to take up the Mantle; when he put it on, Redcloak was able to communicate with the Dark One, and understood his Plan to improve the lot of the goblins by unleashing the Snarl and blackmailing the other gods. The mantle also extended his lifespan and seemingly protects him from diseases.
Redcloak needed the cooperation of an arcane caster, and recruited Xykon; the lizardfolk were also interested in the sorcerer, but Xykon slew their chief because his name was too long to remember. Seeing this, Redcloak named himself Redcloak, and his brother Right-Eye, rather than use their real names (however, Xykon refers to Redcloak and Right-Eye as "Mutt and Jeff").
Redcloak was imprisoned along with Xykon when the latter was defeated by Lirian in his attack on Lirian's Gate, one of five that could be opened to unleash the Snarl. It was Redcloak's decision to effect their escape by turning Xykon into a lich, vastly increasing his powers. From that point on, it was Redcloak working for Xykon and not the other way round, because he knew he did not have the strength to work against Xykon. A second fight against Lirian ensued, and Redcloak accidentally destroyed her gate when he used a fire spell against her treants.
Six years later, Right-Eye ran away from Xykon's horde, after trying to persuade Redcloak to join him; but Redcloak felt he could not abandon the "divinely inspired" Plan. Eighteen years later still, Xykon disappeared for a while, and Redcloak sought out his brother again. After cooperating with him to kidnap the Monster in the Darkness from a circus, Redcloak began to realize what he was missing out on, and decided to stay with his brother; but Xykon reappeared. Threatening to kill Right-Eye's family, he forced both brothers to rejoin him, and he told Redcloak that he had discovered the location of one of the other gates—Dorukan's Gate.
While Xykon battled Dorukan, Redcloak was ordered to storm his castle, but Right-Eye, (whose hatred of Xykon had been inflamed by his intentional inaction, and mocking amusement at the death of all of Right-Eye's family, with the notable exception of his daughter) saw this as a chance to get rid of Xykon once and for all, emboldened by his acquirement of a magical weapon "infused with positive energy", that would allow him to successfully Sneak Attack the Undead Xykon (who would normally be immune to such an attack.) Redcloak attempted to dissuade his brother, and finally, when Right-Eye went ahead in spite of his protests, Redcloak killed him with a Disintegrate spell, believing Xykon's survival was necessary for the Plan, which was necessary for the good of the goblin people.
Soon after this, as Xykon defeated the Wizard Dorukan with a series of successive Energy Drain attacks and trapping his soul in the same gem he used to trap the soul of Lirian, Dorukan's lover, Xykon returned to Redcloak, and inquired what had happened to Right-Eye. Redcloak attempted to cover up the treachery of his brother, but refused Xykon's order to Animate him as a zombie. Xykon then revealed that he had known about Redcloak killing his brother, and Right-Eye's planned treachery since the beginning, and furthermore was in no danger from his plan, having protected himself by wearing a magic item that protected him from Positive Energy attacks, and had used the whole plan as a means to test Redcloak's loyalty.
Xykon then told Redcloak he knew he could trust him now, because if Redcloak subsequently betrayed Xykon, he would have killed his brother for nothing as well as mocking Redcloak's evil for the "greater good" and general spinelessness compared to Xykon's own true evil and complete lack of scruples. Saddened, Redcloak obeyed Xykon's final order to zombify his brother.
Dungeon Crawlin' FoolsEdit
Broken by the loss of his brother and Xykon's breaking speech, Redcloak remained submissive to Xykon during their stay in the Dungeon of Dorukan, where they and their goblin followers worked in order to open the Gate located therein. During the Order of the Stick's incursion into the dungeon, practically all Redcloak's followers were killed, either by the Order themselves, or through Xykon's notoriously lax attitude towards the survival of his minions. Any remaining minions were likely killed when the dungeon was destroyed. With all of his followers wiped out by the end of that adventure, and Xykon himself temporarily disembodied, Redcloak escaped the Dungeon accompanied by the Monster in the Darkness.
After Xykon's defeat, Redcloak began to get out of his shell and recover from the events prior to the fight between Dorukan and Xykon.
No Cure for the Paladin BluesEdit
Heading to the Southern Mountains and Xykon's back-up fortress, Redcloak encountered a large force of hobgoblins. Despite his own personal feelings about hobgoblins, he agreed to undergo a series of rituals to make him an official hobgoblin so that he could become one of their leaders. Faced with these rituals, Redcloak managed to take the fast track to promotion when hobgoblin who was initiating him told him he could just kill the current Supreme Leader in order to take over. He immediately killed said hobgoblin using a single Slay Living spell and asked if that put him in charge. The real Supreme Leader, who had seen Redcloak's effortless disposal of the initiator, chose to put self-preservation ahead of power and answered in the affirmative. After their first legion of 300 ran out of soldiers, they then found out the scope of his command was significantly larger than he first thought, as it include 87 legions of the same approximate size.
With their power-base restored and Xykon regenerated, Redcloak investigated the remaining Gates, recommending to Xykon that the Azure City Gate be assaulted next.
War and XPsEdit
Leading their massive army to the borders, Xykon, Redcloak and the Monster took a small force to take out the watchtowers. Sapphire Guardsman Miko Miyazaki was present and, seeing the Bearer of the Crimson Mantle, attacked Redcloak on sight. Despite Miko's acknowledged combat prowess, Redcloak proved to be surprisingly effective against her, although she finally got the better of him. Xykon saved him at the last minute (though he was spending the time gambling with the Demon Cockroaches on the round Redcloak was about to be knocked out), enclosing Miko in a forcecage.
Proceeding on to Azure City, taking into consideration Xykon's general disregard for tactics, Redcloak assumed complete control over the whole force, orchestrating the siege and an elaborate shell game-like deception to hide Xykon's stealthy approach to the Gate itself.
While initially possessing a casual disregard for the deaths of the hobgoblins under his command, Redcloak experienced an epiphany, after his life was saved by a hobgoblin soldier who died in his place. He realized to his horror and disgust that he had allowed a petty grudge to let him act in a racist and uncaring manner which reminded him of Xykon's behavior. This fact, coupled with the fact that his duty as high priest of the Dark One is to 'shepherd all Goblins', caused him to alter his strategy. He immediately summoned a fiendish mammoth and gave the order that all remaining troops be grouped together and charge the breach in the wall as one, intending to take the city to give meaning to the deaths of his troops. Entering the city, he approached the castle gates, which swung open, to the horror of the defenders, as Redcloak had arranged for the guard on the gate mechanism to be stealthily taken out. Despite a last-ditch attempt by Haley Starshine to distract him, Redcloak entered the castle at the head of his troops. He then dueled the Azurite high priest to prevent more hobgoblin losses, afterwards summoning a chlorine elemental to clear the courtyard of the remaining humans. Redcloak had ordered the elemental to "kill all humans", but was unaware of Tsukiko's existence at the time; however, the elemental proved unsuccessful in killing Tsukiko while the latter was trapped outside with it and Tsukiko gained a resentment towards Redcloak while staying loyal to Xykon.Redcloak then made his way to the throne room where Xykon was battling the "Ghost-Martyrs" led by the spirit of Soon Kim. Realizing that they were some form of positive spirit energy, he was able to use Rebuke Undead upon the spirits, using negative energy to destroy them. Redcloak was then attacked by Soon Kim but was only able to stun him. With Xykon holding off Soon, Redcloak eliminated the other spirits, but Soon proved too strong for the pair. Defeated, it was only when Soon was distracted by the fallen Miko that Xykon was able to fly them to safety. Despite losing the gate, Xykon and Redcloak did succeed in destroying the Sapphire Guard and conquering Azure City. Redcloak later lead an attack on Hinjo's junk with a large amount of hobgoblins and summoned a fiendish octopus to attack the ship. After the octopus was killed, Hinjo attempted to attack Redcloak directly, only to be hit with a Disintegrate spell from Redcloak, who shouts back to him that Azure City is now his city.
Don't Split the PartyEdit
Some time later, Redcloak began interrogating O-Chul under Xykon's orders, asking for third party information. Eventually, Redcloak realized that O-Chul did not have the information they needed after threatening to execute prisoners in front of him did not cause the paladin to give in. Though he had been suspecting it for a time, Redcloak continued to pretend to think that O-Chul had the information, however, as an excuse to stay in Azure City and help the hobgoblins work out trade agreements with the more mercenary human nations. He justified this by saying that Xykon works best on a need-to-know basis.
Redcloak later appeared during Vaarsuvius' (spliced with two extremely powerful souls) assault on Xykon's tower. During the scuffle, O-Chul escaped and put out Redcloak's eye, and Xykon's phylactery fell into a sewer. Xykon, furious at Redcloak's incompetence, prohibited him from regenerating his eye. This caused him to wear an eyepatch in his future appearances. Presumably Xykon was using Redcloaks lost eye to remind Redcloak of the loss of his brother Right-Eye and the sacrifices he'd made since.
Blood Runs in the FamilyEdit
Redcloak turned Azure City into Gobbotopia, a city in which all goblinoids can live in peace. He then wiped out all of the Azurite Resistance (with the exception of Niu, who managed to escape) by summoning several demons (including some demon lords) and an Osmium Elemental. After recovering Xykon's phylactery, he proceeded to kill Tsukiko using her undead minions after she discovered his true agenda and replaced the phylactery with a fake in order to trick Xykon. It is possible that he had had enough of Xykon and wanted him killed or he could have been avenging Right-eye's family. Or perhaps he just wants a way to control the lich.
With Gobbotopia established, and acknowledged by several neighboring nations, including Greysky City, in a sense Redcloak has completed the Dark Ones mission of establishing a fair home for Goblinkind. Which may effect his motivation at continuing the Dark Ones plan into the future.
With the phylactery found, Xykon, Redcloak and the Monster in the Darkness teleported to the foot of Girard's Pyramid—moments before Roy destroyed the Gate, causing an explosion that obliterated the entire pyramid. Redcloak recognized Roy at the remains of the pyramid and hit him with a Disintegrate spell, but Xykon decided not to fight the Order of the Stick there in the desert, as the Monster tricked him into believing that the Order was just a decoy meant to distract Team Evil from the true threat—O-Chul and Vaarsuvius, heading towards Kraagor's Gate. Though Redcloak was against this plan, he complied and teleported out of the desert with the other two, though not before summoning a Silicon Elemental to fight the Order in his stead.
Redcloak enlisted the aid of the Beastmistress bugbear Oona and her village of bugbears near the North Pole and Kraagor's Tomb. He and Team Evil are residing in that village while they systematically (they think) clear each of the myriad tombs in search of the one which contains the Gate. So far they have been unsuccessful, and the Monster in the Darkness has been working at cross purposes to them, painting Xs on doors that they have not searched, potentially prolonging their search.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Intelligent, with a dry and somewhat sarcastic sense of humor, Redcloak usually plays the straight man to the rest of his team's antics. He appears to have a decent grasp of tactics and certainly considers them more important than his master does. He has a decent level of education, being familiar with chemistry and adept with conjuration to the extent that he can summon elementals based on specific chemical elements (to date, titanium and chlorine during the siege of Azure City, magnesium during a bonus comic featured in the second compilation No Cure for the Paladin Blues, osmium after raiding the Azure city resistance stronghold, and silicon when attacking the order) rather than the classical elements (earth, air, fire, water). Unlike Xykon, Redcloak seems to remember the names of Roy and his party and is also familiar with Soon Kim.
Redcloak is the bearer of the Crimson Mantle, a powerful magical item created by the Dark One for his high priests. It imbued him with knowledge of the location of Lirian's Gate and the ritual to use it for his deity. It stops ageing of the Bearer and protects against diseases.
Redcloak's unholy symbol was Xykon's phylactery, indicating considerable trust of Redcloak on the lich's side and also that Redcloak must assign considerable value to the lich's prolonged existence. He is loyal to Xykon out of guilt for his actions and devotion to The Dark One's plan, enduring a lot of the lich's insults, but resents him for ordering goblins to their death indiscriminately, (although his attitude temporarily changed due to his mastery over the hobgoblins, whom he despised). However, loyalty notwithstanding, Redcloak was quite happy to criticize his master after the latter was temporarily body-less and confined to his phylactery, calling him on his hypocrisy when Xykon insisted on good teamwork only because he was weak at the time.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Cleric Abilities: Redcloak is the High Priest of the Dark One, and as of recent appears to be at least level 17th or higher; in Strip #826 he says "nothing quite like the feel of a new spell level" after casting Implosion, a ninth-level cleric spell and he was later able to cast Summon Monster IX.
- Rebuke Undead: As an Evil cleric, Redcloak is entitled to uses of Rebuke Undead. Unlike Jirix, Redcloak was powerful enough to use his Rebuke Undead to "turn" the positive energy spirits of the Ghost-Martyrs of the Sapphire Guard during the Battle of Azure City.
- Destruction and Law Domains: Based on his use of a Disintegrate spell in Comic #480, Destruction is one of his chosen domains, the other being Law, having cast Hold Monster in Start of Darkness.
- High Wisdom: He also likely has a Wisdom score of at least 20, since the high priest of the Twelve Gods failed his saving throw against Redcloak's destruction spell (by rolling a "21" against a 7th level spell (the priest's spirit seemingly noticed that he "had a 22" later in the line to the afterlife, though).
Weapons and EquipmentEdit
- The Crimson Mantle: The exact powers of this relic are not fully known, but they appear to protect Redcloak from aging and disease, and grant him the divine half of the Snarl Ritual.
- Backup Holy Symbol: Redcloak owns a backup holy symbol that he kept in the basement of Xykon's tower. After the phylactery was dropped into the Azure City sewers by Blackwing he has kept it on him, and even after recovering Xykon's phylactery, he continues to use his backup symbol in order to continue his ruse of having the real phylactery.
- Eyepatch: After losing his eye during O-Chul's prison break, Xykon ordered him not to Regenerate his eye, and so he has begun to wear an eyepatch to cover his lost eye. This makes him look like his brother Right-Eye, who lost his eye at a young age.
- Ring of Protection from Level Drain: Redcloak took this item from Tsukiko when he killed her. It would seem useful considering that is Xykon's preferred attack against high level spellcasters.
- Arcane half of the Snarl Ritual: This was also taken from Tsukiko at her death; she had been given the scroll by Xykon. The divine half has never been written down, instead being communicated by the Crimson Mantle.
- Xykon's Phylactery: Redcloak went to great lengths to create a forgery of the relic that holds Xykon's soul, so that when the real one was found, he was able to give the fake one to Xykon and keep the real one in his possession.
- Redcloak also possesses the following items: the D&D 3.0 Book of Vile Darkness, Fiend Folio, and Monster Manual II, black armor, a spyglass, and a pair of boots.
- ↑ Comic 117, "Delayed Gratification"
- ↑ Comic 149, "Cultural Differences"
- ↑ Comic 197, "A Change of Scale"
- ↑ Comic 369, "Fight!"
- ↑ Comic 451, "Change of Direction"
- ↑ Comic 456, "Saved Game
- ↑ Comic 457, "Anti-Human Resources"
- ↑ Comic 459, "Negative Feelings"
- ↑ Comic 462, "Good Idea, Bad Idea"
- ↑ Comic 423, "Periodic Bombardment"
- ↑ Comic 147, "The Light at the End of the Tunnel"
|Xykon • Redcloak • Monster in the Darkness • Tsukiko • Jirix • Oona • Demon-Roaches|
|Dungeon of Dorukan: 23, 37, 47, 82|
Redmountain Battle: 95, 96, 97, 103, 104, 105, 106, 112, 113, 115, 117, 120