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Spoiler Warning!
This article contains spoilers from Start of Darkness and/or On the Origin of PCs
Xykon New
Biographical information
First Comic


Physical description

Undead Lich (human)



Hair color

Black (as kid/adult)
White (as old man)
None (currently)

Chronological and political information

Team Evil




Chaotic Evil

Xykon is the main villain of the webcomic The Order of the Stick, created and written by Rich Burlew.



Xykon was born human, 107 years prior to the events of the comic. He had a natural talent for necromancy, which he developed in childhood by zombifying his dog Barky and, later (by his teenage years), his grandmother. After an interview with Dr. Xavion, a wizard who tried to recruit him to his S-Men (a group of sorcerers who use their powers for good), Xykon realized that his power was due to his being a sorcerer, proceeding to kill and zombify the wizard, whom he sets upon his parents along with his grandmother. At this point he developed a love of coffee and chose the name of Xykon to replace the name his parents gave him.

He served for some time under an Unholy Master, but when the Master chose not to promote Xykon at Helldeathdoomfire Volcano due to his lack of strategic and leadership skills, he chose to go it alone. His first independent evil plan did not go so well, with him being imprisoned.


Eugene Greenhilt witnesses the death of Fyron by Xykon, also one of the few pictures of Xykon in human form

Forty years later, Xykon fought the wizard Fyron Pucebuckle[1], solely for Fyron's crown, in front of his apprentice Eugene Greenhilt. After an extended duel, Fyron defeated Xykon, while showing the contempt for Xykon's Sorcery as opposed to Fyron's Wizardry that Xykon hates. However, Xykon managed to grab Fyron's own Wizzie award and beat him to death with it. Xykon zombified Fyron, took the crown and teleported away.

It was later revealed that the crown had no magical properties, and Xykon merely thought it looked "badass." This led to Eugene swearing a "Blood Oath of Vengeance" against the sorcerer, an oath that, with his death, has now passed down to Eugene's children, Roy and Julia. Xykon remembers very little of this event due to the sheer number of people swearing revenge on him for killing their loved ones in front of them, though he does tell Roy more details of the event upon taking back his crown, which Roy had worn on a necklace.

Xykon encountered the Bearer of the Crimson Mantle and his rogue brother when they were planning the storming of a Sapphire Guard fortress in a swamp, when Lizardfolk attack it first. Before the Goblins can do anything about it, Xykon arrives and, kills all the humans, as well as any lizardfolk in the area. Both the Goblins and Lizardfolk beseech for Xykon's aid in their respective plans, but Xykon kills the Lizardfolk ambassador because he couldn't be bothered remembering his name. The Goblin take on the names Redcloak and Right-Eye, respectively, and told him of a plan to unlock one of the gates imprisoning the Snarl and use the monster to blackmail the gods themselves, tricking him into believing he will be able to control the Snarl. The Demon Cockroaches at the diner they go to start to follow Xykon around.

In a pitched battle for Lirian's Gate, Redcloak and Xykon are defeated by Lirian's forces. Lirian personally brings down Xykon, and all non-Elven spellcasters in the area, with a magical virus that permanently robs victims of their ability to cast magic. Redcloak is protected by the Crimson Mantle providing him with immunity to the disease. Showing compassion, Lirian has them imprisoned in a druidic prison.

Redcloak proposes that Xykon, now completely impotent, should undergo the transformation into a Lich, both to gain immunity from Lirian's virus, and to allow the 80-year old to live long enough to complete the ritual. Right-Eye objects, becoming increasingly worried about Xykon's callousness with goblin lives. He is swayed over when Redcloak volunteers his Holy Symbol as Xykon's Phylactery, so they will always have that as leverage.

Four months later, the transformation is complete. Now capable to cast spells again, Xykon breaks out and fights Lirian, while Redcloak assaults the gate again. Xykon in his Lich form is far more formidable than before, and he easily defeats Lirian, but not before she accidentally reveals the existence of the other gates. To torture her further, he binds her soul into a gem and zombifies her body.

Meanwhile, Redcloak attacks the treants defending the gate with the Flame Strike spell. The fire spreads rapidly, and the panicking treants accidentally destroy the gate, something Xykon holds against Redcloak for years.

When Xykon realises he can no longer taste coffee, he attacks Right-Eye, and Redcloak holds his phylactery hostage. Xykon correctly assumes that smashing it will have no immediate effect on him, as his soul isn't in it. The two brothers reluctantly follow Xykon once more to find the other Gates.

Sometime later Xykon finds the diary of Serini Toormuck and learns the location of Dorukan's Gate as well as his infatuation with Lirian.

Dungeon of DorukanEdit


Xykon battles Dorukan

Six months ago, Xykon arrives at the Dungeon of Dorukan, and draws Dorukan into a duel by showing the gem he bound Lirian's soul to. Xykon vents his frustration at a century of Wizardly snobbery towards him by slamming energy drain after energy drain into Dorukan until he dies.

While the fight goes on, Right-Eye seizes his chance to kill Xykon with a magic dagger (which allows the wielder to sneak attack the undead). Unwilling to let thirty years of goblin sacrifice go to waste (or indeed admit that he was partly responsible for it), Redcloak prevents this by killing Right-Eye.

After Xykon binds Dorukan's soul in the same gem as Lirian, he got his headband claiming the ability for the Cloister spell. He orders Redcloak to zombify Right-Eye, but he refuses. Xykon then reveals he knew Right-Eye would do this, and he had a magic ring to protect him from the sneak attack. Redcloak's spirits crushed at what he's become - Xykon's slave - he zombifies his brother's body without further question.

Xykon fills the dungeon with goblins, mercenaries and undead minions, as he waited for his chance to unlock the gate.

Order of the StickEdit

That chance came with the arrival of the Order of the Stick, led by Roy Greenhilt, out to fulfill his father's blood oath. Needing people of pure heart to open the gate, Xykon allowed them to gain access to his throne room and attempted to bluff them into completing his plan. Elan the bard was on the verge of doing so, when Haley Starshine, who had learned the details of Xykon's plan from one of his goblin minions, stopped him. The annoyed lich inflicted pain on the pair, only to be confronted by Roy. Angered to learn that Xykon had no particular interest in his oath, on the grounds that he'd slain more people than he could be bothered to remember, then enraged by the lich's casual destruction of his ancestral greatsword, Roy knocked off Xykon's head (a mere inconvenience to the lich), then threw both parts of his foe into the gate. The energies of the gate completely destroyed Xykon's body. With their master gone, Xykon's forces either ran or attempted to surrender (only to be killed by Belkar). Dungeon, gate and the castle above were all destroyed when Elan set off the self-destruct system that Dorukan had built into his stronghold.

Although his physical form was destroyed, Xykon's phylactery, made from the unholy symbol of his chief minion, Redcloak, remained intact, allowing him to regrow his body over the next few weeks. He assembled a new, much larger army of hobgoblins (88 legions of approximately 300 hobgoblins each) and used them to reclaim his tower from an infestation of good-aligned creatures. He added many of these to his forces in undead form, most notably a zombie silver dragon which served as his mount.

He continued with his master plan to gain power, having turned his attention to the three remaining Gates located around the world, each of which could be used in the same manner as Dorukan's. Selecting the Azure City Gate as his next target, they successfully assaulted the outer watchtowers of the rin'sealm, eliminating the guards, imprisoning the paladin Miko Miyazaki (although he intended her to escape, allowing him to use her as a scrying focus to successfully determine the precise location of the Gate) and destroying the warning beacon before it could be activated. The army (approximately 30,000 Hobgoblins and several hundred zombies, ghouls and siege engines) arrived at Azure City and the attack got underway. Xykon's disregard for such things as tactics meant that they used a plan constructed solely by Redcloak to assault the city. This mainly involved using three decoy Xykons, a cowardly Eye of Fear and Flame leading the southern division, a Death Knight leading a charge at the breach in Azure City's walls made by Redcloak's titanium elementals and a Huecuva (undead cleric) holding position in the rear; all three are humanoid skeletal creatures that look no different than a lich, to the extent that Redcloak gave them colored pendants to tell them apart. The real Xykon was flying towards the castle on a zombie dragon, under a Greater Invisibility spell.

After Sangwaan, Azure City's seer, revealed him with a True Seeing spell, Durkon dispelled his invisibility. Xykon made the dragon throw Sangwaan off the wall, then made several passes over the battlements, but was warded off and then assaulted mid-flight by Roy with his Starmetal sword. After unsuccessfully trying to talk Roy into giving up the attack for a later, more epic final face-off, he destroyed his own mount with a Meteor Swarm, taking revenge on Roy by sending him falling to his death. He then flew off under his own power, using the Overland Flight spell he had cast earlier. On the way he recruited Tsukiko, a prisoner released to defend the city, who told him the location of the throne room where the rift is located. Upon entering the throneroom however, he found that it was heavily guarded by the Sapphire Guard. When the Guard attempted to attack him, using their sheer numbers to overwhelm Xykon, the lich responded by using a single Symbol of Insanity inscribed on a rubber bouncing ball to drive almost the entire Guard into madness, attacking each other, and proceeded to casually destroy the rest. However, while Xykon was gloating over the success of the Insanity superball, all the spirits of the slain paladins ascended and took on new forms as 'Ghost-Martyrs' alongside the spirit of Soon Kim, Founder of the Sapphire Guard. Faced with a massive battalion of spirit warriors and an even more powerful foe in Soon, Xykon was rendered speechless. In danger of being overwhelmed, Xykon was rescued by the arrival of Redcloak, who told the lich to focus on Soon Kim's spirit while he dealt with the others. Realising that Soon knew about his phylactery, Xykon attempted to get Redcloak to leave, but the pair were swiftly incapacitated. Only when Soon was distracted by the arrival of the delusional Miko Miyazaki was Xykon able to escape, carrying Redcloak with him. After escaping the destruction and healing themselves, Xykon and Redcloak proceeded to proclaim that Azure City was under their rule.

Redcloak proclaims that they own Azure City

Xykon was later seen casting a Cloister spell over the city wearing Dorukan's headband.

Xykon is currently still in Azure City, instead of the scary-looking tower. He was attacked by Vaarsuvius at one point after s/he was spliced with two very powerful souls, but he managed to defeat her/him and nearly kill her/him and O-Chul (they were only saved by the Monster in the Darkness, who teleported them to safety despite the city being Cloistered), but not before Redcloak's right eye was severed and he lost his phylactery. The enraged Xykon ordered Redcloak's hobgoblins to retrieve it, and forbade Redcloak to regrow his eye, partially to remind Redcloak of his failure to protect the phylactery and partially to remind him of having killed Right-Eye. The hobgoblins eventually retrieve the phylactery, only to temporarily lose it to the Resistance. When the party that retrieved it returns to the rebel headquarters, however, they discover that Redcloak has destroyed the rest of the organization. After killing the rest of the rebels, Redcloak switches the phylactery for a forgery, and hands the fake to Xykon. Due to the deaths of the only two hobgoblins directly involved, Redcloak is currently the only one aware of the swap. Xykon stated that he intends to move on to another Gate now that he has his phylactery back, taking only Tsukiko, Redcloak and the MiTD with him. He modifies his plans on learning that Tsukiko is dead however.

Xykon was later encountered by the Order of the Stick in Girard Draketooth's pyramid, presumably looking for Dragontooth's gate. After Vaarsivius disabled Redcloak, preventing him from healing Xykon, Roy used timed sword strikes to stop Xykon casting spells and cut his head in two. Unfortunately, the entire battle was an illusion, caused by the magical runes along the corridor.

After the illusion is broken, Xykon arrives to claim the Gate for his own. Shortly after Xykon arrives, however, the damage Roy dealt to the Gate in order to keep it out of both Xykon and Tarquin's hands explodes the pyramid. Xykon intends to kill the weakened Order on the spot, but is convinced by the Monster that it is a waste of time and that the Order is probably meant as a distraction by of the Sapphire Guard who intend to protect the last remaining Gate. Xykon latches on to this idea and seeks to leave immediately, but Redcloak eventually persuades Xykon to allow him to cast Summon Monster IX before they leave in an attempt to efficiently kill the surviving members Order of the Stick (Durkon having been killed by Malack.)

Personality, traits and abilitiesEdit

Xykon is, in many ways, a highly stereotypical evil overlord as seen in many fantasy novels and roleplaying games and does his best to live up to all the clichés associated with the role. However he is also genuinely cruel and sadistic, mainly taking joy in the deaths of others. He is rarely surprised by anything, is normally guided by his whims and cannot remember the names of the Order (often butchering Roy Greenhilt's surname into Bluepommel, Redblade or some other variation, if he is able to remember at all who he is) and has to be reminded by Redcloak who they are, which hints at either a vast experience with adventurers and villains, or else his lack of interest and chaotic nature. He is often shown to be rather casual about his evil deeds and is rarely in a serious mood. He finds tactical discussions tedious, apparently feeling that simply throwing his minions, who he generally regards as being completely expendable, into the fray in huge numbers will get the job done. Despite his lack of strategic abilities he is nonetheless capable of coming up with incredibly simple yet cunning solutions in certain situations, and has stated that although he is often apathetic to most things, he is apparently not quite as ignorant as others would see him. His general approach to his activities indicates that he gets bored with conventional strategy and he already knows what he's going to do, and doesn't see a need to discuss it. His stated belief is that there is a level of force against which no tactics can be successful; he utilizes shock and awe techniques as his primary means of victory, though he also believes in the concept that one of the keys to victory is how far one is willing to debase oneself until feeling remorse. He has used the gullibility of heroes against the Order of the Stick, and he knows the genre conventions of evil.

He is among the Epic Levels (21+), as he points out he is at least 7 levels higher than Roy (who is level 13 minimum, probably 14). Roy himself has stated that Xykon is at least 21st level considering that he needs an epic feat to cast an epic spell such as Cloister. That was later comfirmed during his battle agains Vaarsuvius, where he cast Superb Dispelling, an epic spell, by himself. Additionally - during the fight with spliced Vaarsuvius, Xykon casts Maximized Energy Drain - effectively a 12th level spell requiring three epic feats. With Epic Spellcasting, this means Xykon has at least 4 epic feats - and assuming he stuck with Epic Sorcerer as his class, his level is at least 26. Additionally, being a Lich, his Challenge Rating is at least 28 meaning he should be able to easily overpower any standard-sized, non-epic adventurers group under standard circumstances.

From O-Chul's spell list, one can see Animate Dead, Greater Invisibillity, Resilient Sphere, Stoneskin, Cloudkill, Overland Flight, Symbol of Pain, Contingency, Finger of Death, Greater Teleport, Mass Hold Person, Ghostform, Symbol of Insanity, Energy Drain, Meteor Swarm, Soul Bind, Cloister, Epic Mage Armour and Superb Dispelling.


During the siege of Azure City, Xykon employed three decoys. For details, see Xykon Decoys.

The Order of the Stick Adventure GameEdit

Xykon is the primary adversary in the Order of the Stick Adventure Game. The game is set in the Dungeon of Dorukan that served as Xykon's base of operations for the first 120 strips of the comic series, with the lowest dungeon floor in any game being made up of special Xykon's Lair cards. Vanquishing Xykon is one of the principal goals of the game, as only by defeating the Xykon monster card in battle can the game be ended.

Speaking presenceEdit

Xykon has speech in the following comics:


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