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Xykon is the main antagonist of the fantasy webcomic The Order of the Stick. He is an undead sorceror who seeks to control the world by obtaining the five gates that seal The Snarl within its Godly prison, planning to use it as a weapon against the Gods.
Start of Darkness
In Start of Darkness, the prequel book set chronologically first in The Order of the Stick, Xykon is first seen as a young child discovering his necromantic powers when his dog Barky dies. He is seen maliciously heading off with his new zombie dog to kill birds.
As a teenager, Xykon is visited by a mysterious wheelchair-bound Dr. Xavion, who tells him of his sorceror powers and the potential of what they could become with training. Xykon turns against the old man, killng him and taking the name he would be known as for the rest of the story. He then goes on to kill his own parent with the animated corpses of the professor and his grandmother.
Slightly later on, Xykon tries to become the Dark Master of a people living inside a volcano, but loses the position to sorceress Yydranna and game designer Keith Baker. In a rage he storms off, quickly ending up in the jail of a local town. At some point many years later, he kills Fyron, tutor of Eugene Greenhilt who spent many years trying to avenge the death.
It is as an old man that Xykon meets Redcloak, the goblin cleric that will become his accomplice. Redcloak's small goblin army is about to lay seige to a castle occuppied by his human nemeses, the Sapphire Guard, when a horde of lizard savages attack first. Xykon, flying over head sees the commotion and sets about laying waste to both human and lizard forces alike. Redcloak and his brother manage to ally with Xykon and tell him of their plan for world domination. This entails an arcane caster (Xykon) and a divine caster (Redcloak) gaining control on the gate which contains The Snarl which they will use as their weapon to kill the gods who the goblins despise because of the lack of resources they gave sub-humanoids upon their creation. Redcloak twists the facts slightly, making the Snarl sound more controllable than in actual fact. He believes he is doing the bidding of The Dark One, the goblin god.
The gate is in a forest inhabited by elves and lead by druid Lirian. Xykon and the goblins attack the forest, but are defeated by a virus created by Lirian which removes all the army's magic. Without his powers, Xykon is nothing, and is trapped in a prison beneath the ground a frail old man. However, Redcloak is unaffected by the virus due to the powers of his dead mentor's cloak, and hatches a plan to turn Xykon into an undead lich. As a skeleton, Xykon would be unaffected by the virus and get many new powers. The transformation is successful and the small force break out from the prison. Xykon kills Lirian, but as she dies she lets slip that there are other gates - so all is not lost when Redcloak accidentally destroys the one in the forest.
Redcloak and Right-Eye soon realise they've turned Xykon into an extremely dangerous monster. Over the next few years, Xykon and Redcloak look for leads on the whereabouts of the other gates but find nothing. Right-Eye leaves because he doesn't believe Xykon is safe around the low-level goblins. Soon after, Xykon disappears and doesn't turn up until a few years later, after Redcloak decides to move in with his brothers new family and forget about the gates. Xykon's arrival puts that plan out the window. The goblin village becomes Xykon's army and The Monster in the Darkness, a mysterious creature gawked at in a circus is adopted as Xykon's secret weapon.
Years later, Xykon is trying to lure the wizard Dorukan from his dungeon which they know contains another gate. Dorukan used to be the lover of Lirian so comes out to try and rescue his sweetheart when Xykon reveals he has kept her soul concealed in a gemstone. The two mages dual, and it appears that Xykon has the upper hand when Redcloak flies up in an effort to kill Xykon who has caused him much pain and misery over the last several years, leaving Right-Eye's family to die and laughing as they were decapitated by adventurers. A torn Redcloak shoots his brother down, firmly believing it is for the good of the goblin race. It as at this point that Xykon kills Dorukan. He talks to Redcloak who realises the impact of what he has done, knowing that he will never be able to resurrect his brother with the knowledge of his terrible act. Defeated, he animates his brother as a zombie as he, Xykon, The Monster in the Darkness, a swarm of demon cockroaches and an army of goblins and zombies move into the Dungeon of Dorukan.
Dungeon Crawlin' Fools
In the first published story following the heroes of the comic, the Order of the Stick, the Order delve deep into Xykon's lair in the heart of the Dungeon of Dorukan. Xykon is trying to open the gate and realises he needs someone of good heart - one of the Order - to open Dorukan's gate. When the Order reach the bottom of the dungeon, Roy, who is on a personal quest to defeat Xykon because of his father Eugene Greenhilt's Blood Oath of Vengeance, engages Xykon in combat. He becomes enraged when the lcih destroys his family's ancestral sword and throws his enemy into the gate, appearing to destroy him. This is not the case though, as Redcloak has a phylactery which contains his soul until he is ready to regenerate. Elan, one of the Order, accidentally destroys the gate long with the rest of the dungeon. Both the heroes and the villains narrowly escape.
No Cure for the Paladin Blues
Xykon regenerates and the remaining villains - Xykon, Redcloak, The Monster in the Darkness and some demon roaches - find a tower they inhabited for a short while many years earlier. Xykon and Redcloak finds the diary of Serini Toormuck, who was one of the companions of Dorukan and Lirian and along with Soon Kim, Girard Draketooth and dwarf barbarian Kraagor once made up the party dubbed 'The Order of the Scribble.' The diary has encoded into it the locations of the the other three gates. By a wacky turn of events, Redcloak becomes Supreme Leader of a massive army of thousands of hobgoblins. On the back of a zombie dragon, Xykon leads his army to their next stop - Soon's gate in Azure City.
War and XPs
To assist themselves in attacking Azure City, Xykon and Redcloak eliminated the early warning beacons one by one so that the Azurites were oblivious to any threat of attack. This was the plan until they met crazed paladin Miko Miyazaki, a member of the Sapphire Guard, a group of paladins which ruled Azure City and Redlcoak had a personal vendetta against. Xykon decided the best plan of action was to let her get back to the city and warn the Azurites of invasion, but scry on her so that they knew exactly where to find the gate when they launched their attack. They discover the gate is in the throne room of Lord Shojo, ruler of Azure City.
The hobgoblins attack Azure City. Both sides in the battle suffer heavy casualties. Redcloak has created three Xykon decoys but Order member Haley the rogue cracks the trick. Sangwaan reveals Xykon and his zombie dragon with her true seeing, but is sent flying away in the distance. Roy, in a mad act of courage, leaps aboard the dragon, battling Xykon but still being thrown from the dragon to his death.
Without wasting time, Xykon quickly flies to the throne room where a mass of Sapphire Guard paladins are defending the gate, which is concealed in a single sapphire attactched to the throne. Xykon sends a Symbol of Insanity enscribed on a bouncy ball zooming around the room, sending most of the paladins into a mad frenzy, killing most of their own comrades. O-Chul is one of the few paladins not affected. He desperately tries to destroy the gate, which is a better alternative to letting it fall into the hands of Xykon. He fails, being paralyzed by Xykon just before striking the gemstone.
Confident he has won, Xykon congratulates himself, unaware of the spirits rising from the dead warriors before the ghost of Soon Kim commands them to attack. The ghost paladins prove much more challenging, especially Soon Kim, who due to being a powerful paladin is naturally dangerous to him as an undead. Redcloak joins Xykon in the throne room. It appears Soon has them defeated before Miko enters the room, convinced that she must destroy the gate to honour her gods. The gate is destroyed, meaning Xykon and Redcloak narrowly escape death again. Unfortunately, due to most of Azure City's forces being caught in the explosion, the hobgoblins are able to win the battle, and they take control of the remains of the city.
Don't Split the Party
Redcloak has taken O-Chul hostage and Xykon, The Monster in the Darkness and new members of Team Evil mystic theurge Tsukiko and hobgoblin Jirix are betting on his survival up against an acidborn shark. Redcloak disapproves of this usage of the paladin he is trying to extract infrormation out of. The group remain in Azure City for months.
Little happens apart from an out-of-the-blue attack from the elf Vaarsuvius, who has sold his soul to fiends in exchange for ultimate power. Xykon beats him, but not without cost, for Vaarsuvius has freed their prisoner O-Chul and lost the phylactery. This means that next time Xykon dies, he will regenerate somewhere far less safe than around Redcloak's neck. It also means that instead of advancing to the next gate, Xykon must now wait until his phylactery is found.
Blood Runs In the Family
In Blood Runs In The Family, Xykon finally manages to recover his phylactery after Redcloak destroys the resistance and takes the phylactery, or so he believes. In truth, Redcloak had secretly taken Xykon's phylactery for himself, knowing that Xykon would not allow him to have it after the fiasco that occurred earlier.
Xykon discovers that Redcloak had murdered Tsukiko, but he does not care, even though Tsukiko was in love with him. Xykon, Redcloak, and the Monster In The Darkness leave Azure City to search for Girard's Gate, though not before taking Xykon's fake phylactery to a secure location where nobody would ever be able to take it away from him.
Roy, Haley, and Elan seemingly encountered him from within Girard's Pyramid, but it was quickly revealed to be an illusion caused by runes set up by the Draketooth Clan, which they had set up so that they could effortless slay intruders inside the pyramid, namely paladins and evildoers.
Xykon, Redcloak, and the Monster In The Darkness encounter the Order Of The Stick after they destroy the gate. After The Monster In The Darkness persuades Xykon that the Order Of The Stick are simply distracting him and that O-Chul is the real threat, and believing Redcloak is trying to set up another goblin colony in the desert after he tries to persuade Xykon to kill the Order Of The Stick, he teleports away to Kraagor's Gate without dealing with the Order Of The Stick himself.
Xykon makes a lot of jokes, but many of them, particularly his taunts of the people he kills are crude in their delivery. He has a poor memory, claiming not to remember Roy every time they meet, although this is likely also a way to get him angry while they battle. He is merciless in his killing, never hesitating to end a life and almost never choosing a nonviolent option. He obviously held no love for his family, as he murdered his own parents using the animated corpses of his victims (one of which was his own grandmother.) After becoming a lich, he even began to enjoy watching suffering, one of the qualities that makes him very different from Redcloak.
Though one of his minions happened to love him, Xykon did not care about her whatsoever, not even bothering to remember her name, nor when Redcloak murdered her for discovering that he was planning to betray him.
Before becoming a lich, he often stated his love for coffee, one of the few things that meant something to him. The demon cockroaches that originally inhabited Xykon's favourite diner started following him around. After becoming a lich, he could no longer taste, perhaps one of the things that made him so bitter as a skeleton.