The Order of the Stick - Start of Darkness - Download as PDF File .pdf) or read online. Download The Order of the Stick - Start of Darkness. From the depths of time comes a story of wicked villains, terrible secrets, and monumental screw-ups! The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness reveals for the first.
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Just $19 for War and XPs, $12 for Start of Darkness]. A lot of questions You'll get an email with a download link a few minutes after ordering. Keep an eye on . Coming Later: The Stick Awards III: The Search for More Votes. Order of the Stick (also known as WORDSWORDSWORDS), written and . The Monster in the Darkness is a creature of many mysteries and few truths. . into a fit of butthurt rage to put That Guy to shame and start railroading. THE ORDER OF THE STICK, OOTS, O-CHUL, GIANT IN THE PLAYGROUND, as well as all characters featured in this work, the distinctive likenesses thereof.
But that's only part of the story. Titled "How the Paladin Got His Scar," this tale tells the story of how Azurite soldier O-Chul first joined the Sapphire Guard and includes appearances by many of the other Azurite characters from the online comic.
I worked out the basics of this story for last year's Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales book, but it ended up being too long to include. If the drive is successful, I'll go back, finish it, and release it to everyone who makes the minimum pledge as a digital file.
Furthermore, with most pledges, we'll also be sending out a brand new Roy Greenhilt fridge magnet, matching the ones we've made in previous years featuring OOTS characters Belkar, Elan, and Vaarsuvius. This magnet is exclusive to the pledge drive, so this is pretty much your only chance to get it. It doesn't get much more exclusive than that.
The best part is what happens if we go over that goal, though. The more that is pledged, the more copies can be printed, ensuring that the book stays available for new readers in the coming years. But if we get enough money, we can also reprint our original prequel book, The Order of the Stick: On the Origin of PCs, which has been out-of-print for almost as long. Since this is a portion of the story that has only ever been available in print, that'll let more people discover the otherwise-hidden origins of Roy, Haley, and the rest of the Order of the Stick.
If we get close to that goal, we'll let everyone know and add the ability to get copies of the book to the reward options. And if we get that far and still have time left, all additional funds pledged will be saved toward reprinting the next book that needs it, No Cure for the Paladin Blues.
Whatever happens, thanks to all the fans who have been waiting patiently for me to come up with a plan to get this book into your hands. With luck and enough support , we'll get the whole The Order of the Stick story back in print in time for the next new chapter to be published.
If you're not familiar with Kickstarter or how it will work, here's a brief overview or you can read the official one , here. For your pledge, you can select one of the reward packages—listed to the right—of equal or lesser value to your pledge. You can always pledge more than the minimum to get a reward if you want and for some packages, you'll need to do so if it must be shipped internationally.
Your credit card or other account will not actually be charged at the time you make your pledge, and you can change your mind right up to the final deadline. If the final deadline comes and we've reached our goal, then everyone gets charged the amount they pledged at once and we get to work printing and mailing books and magnets and whatnot.
The monster also unwittingly teleports Vaarsuvius and O-Chul away from Xykon. Until then, I hope wherever you are, the rain is helping you sleep.
It is revealed during a conversation between the monster and the imprisoned O-Chul that Xykon tries to feed the monster live children in an attempt to make him scarier. This fails, however, as the monster doesn't eat children, and just dumps them in the trash whenever Xykon's attention is focused elsewhere.
The monster and O-Chul have come to regard each other as friends, going so far as to have O-Chul refer to it as Monster- san , since the monster does not know its own name. According to the expansion book, Start of Darkness, the Monster originally came from the deep rainforest. He was caught by a pair of hunters who comment how unusual it is that one of its species would be in a rainforest and how strange it is that he can talk. He made it clear that he was deeply fond of the rainforest, enjoying, in particular, the sunlight and fresh breezes, things it is denied under Xykon's control.
He later found himself as an exhibition in a circus group, where his great love for stew is first shown. At least one member of the audience was absolutely horrified and disgusted by his appearance. Redcloak said he knew what the creature was and that the monster could escape easily if he wanted.
Redcloak steals him from the circus and Xykon, afterwards, takes charge of it. He charms the monster to eat Redcloak and spit out the phylactery on the chance that Redcloak ever betrays him. The monster is male, though his species and appearance are unknown. He refers to having known his father, describing him as far bigger than himself and possessing a vastly greater appetite, but knows nothing else of his species.
When O-Chul reveals the rather obvious fact that he, like the monster, does not eat babies, the monster is overjoyed by the prospect of creating a 'No-Baby-Eating Club', which he specifically forbids Tsukiko from joining. O-Chul is horrified at the prospect that Tsukiko eats babies, but the monster denies this, saying the only reason she can't be a member is because girls can't join the club.
Tsukiko[ edit ] Tsukiko, a female native of Azure City with glowing heterochromatic blue and purple eyes, was first seen in the Azure City jail where she had been imprisoned for "unnatural acts of wizardry". Along with Belkar and a thief accused of grand larceny, she agreed to help defend Azure City against Xykon in exchange for a reduced sentence. During the fight, she sided with Xykon, healing him and attacking Azure City soldiers.
She killed the elemental with a Shout spell and later rejoined Xykon and Redcloak in the ruins of the castle, where, to the amusement of Xykon, she attempted to blame Redcloak for trying to kill her. She then came upon Miko's remains and considered animating her as a free-willed, evil undead to get even with Redcloak, then dismissed the notion, thinking the creature wouldn't have been powerful anyway. She later led Black Squadron with a group of wights in an attempt to take out Haley's resistance group and eventually engaged in direct battle with Haley.
She had levels as a mystic theurge , giving her access to both divine and arcane spells. She stated that she is sexually attracted to undead , a fact that mildly disturbs Xykon, who comments that he's not a "biophiliac" and is uninterested in the living. She kept a sleeping toy in Xykon's likeness. She denied any rumours of bisexual tendencies, despite an alleged incident with a female skeleton in a crypt.
She believed that Azure City is bigoted against her for being "different" and had shown motherly tendencies towards the wights that she created. She had also stated her belief that, since the undead are the antithesis of life and living people are dishonest and spiteful, logically, the undead must be pure and honest.
She even believed this of Xykon. She had verbally expressed her desire to replace Redcloak as Xykon's second in command. After she uncovered Redcloak's private plan for the gates, Redcloak commanded her own wights to execute her before she could inform Xykon of Redcloak's betrayal.
Demon Cockroaches[ edit ] The Demon Cockroaches first appeared when the Monster in the Darkness left a bowl of popcorn out in the living room instead of taking it back to the kitchen like he was supposed to. These shoe-sized red cockroaches follow Redcloak and Xykon around.
They enjoy watching the carnage and destruction that Xykon brings with him, though Xykon and Redcloak usually ignore their existence. The extent of their interaction is limited to Redcloak's annoyance and setting of Roach Motels and Xykon's betting with one. They often make sarcastic comments at the seemingly absurd actions of Xykon and Redcloak. Although they are usually side characters, they sometimes take part in the comic's action.
For instance, in one strip, Miko uses one of the roaches to escape a forcecage by making the roach breathe fire, lighting a Molotov cocktail made from her cloak and a bottle of dwarven brandy. They then chose to follow Xykon because he often visited the restaurant and thus eventually picked up the stench.
The Linear Guild[ edit ] Perfect foils to the Order of the Stick, the Linear Guild follow the "evil opposites" theme as closely as possible. This means that each of the Linear Guild resembles and belongs to a character class or multiclass combination with similar abilities to those of a member of the Order of the Stick.
However, they are the exact opposite of that individual in some other respects. This is more obvious in some cases than in others. Nale[ edit ] Nale, whose name is "Elan" spelled backwards, is Elan 's evil twin brother. He was raised by his ruthless, lawful evil father, a powerful general of an evil army, while Elan was raised by their mother, a kindly, chaotic good barmaid. He looks identical to Elan except for a small goatee, later confirmed by Rich Burlew in the first collected book as an intentional reference to Spock in the Star Trek Mirror Universe.
During one of his plans, Nale shaved off the goatee and glued it onto his brother in order to swap places [nb 42] with Elan, though it had grown back by the time he was imprisoned. His cunning, scheming, and evil nature makes him the opposite of the light-hearted, good-natured, and comically inept Elan. He is also in a relationship with Sabine, Haley's opposite. He is the smartest member of the guild, though he has a tendency to outsmart himself. He is skilled with words and is a master planner.
Unlike Elan, he can quickly arrive at an intelligent, although not usually the most optimal, solutions to his problems. He tends to over-complicate situations in order to reach a certain end, such as killing random people just to let the police know where he could be located. His intelligence is also his weakness, for many times his overconfidence or underestimation of others results in his downfall.
At one time, Nale succeeded in replacing his brother within the Order and traveled with them to Azure City. He had planned to eliminate the other members of the Order as quickly as possible by engineering things so that he ends up alone with each one, in turn. However, upon discovering the Order of the Stick's mission to protect the Gates of the Snarl from Xykon , Nale changed his plans. He now intends to seize control of the Gates himself, having deduced that Xykon must have devised a way to channel and direct the energy of the Snarl.
Although captured by the Order of the Stick and imprisoned by the Sapphire Guard in anti-magic cells, Nale escaped with Sabine and Thog during the war with Xykon. They left the city to resume efforts to take one of the two remaining gates. He resurfaced when Sabine captured Elan and brought him to Nale. Elan had thought Nale was dead due to what Nale describes as his "willful ignorance". When Sabine gave another energy draining kiss to Elan, as ordered by Nale, she willingly made out with him and Elan escaped during their ensuing argument.
In strip , he is killed by Tarquin in response to his killing of Malack. Thog[ edit ] Thog is a half-orc barbarian with two levels in fighter. He likes puppies, ice cream with sprinkles, and rocket skates, but is afraid of pretty girls and Teletubbies. He wields a greataxe and displays a childlike innocence while killing without mercy.
Thog's speech is always depicted in lower-case bold letters in the comic, a convention also used for other low-intelligence characters. Thog's stupidity and follower mentality makes him the opposite of Roy Greenhilt , the competent leader. Also, while Roy is clearly attracted to beautiful girls to the point of clouding his judgement, Thog is afraid of them, because he fears cooties.
Thog was arrested by the Cliffport Police Department and charged with multiple crimes, but escaped after Elan cleverly persuaded him into destroying their prison bars. For Elan's unexplained and unused stowaway plan, Thog wears a leprechaun costume, while he packs a giant wooden alpaca with potato salad.
Prior to this he was wearing a Moogle costume. When he was reunited with his comrades, Nale told him Sabine missed him, resulting in him "bull rush tackle hugging" Sabine. While Elan and Haley fought Nale and Sabine, Thog returned and, his greataxe having been left behind in Cliffport, tore the door off its hinges for use as an improvised weapon. Elan appealed to their newly discovered friendship and persuaded Thog that he would rather go and eat ice cream with his friends than have them fight.
Thog agreed and promptly bludgeoned Haley several times with the door. Thog did not really participate in the subsequent battle between the Guild and the Order, as Elan subdued him using an illusion. He was captured after Durkon used a Hold Person spell on him at the battle's conclusion as he tries to join in the Order's group hug.
Thog resurfaced as a prisoner and gladiatorial champion in the Empire of Blood, where he was defeated by Roy in one-on-one combat inside the arena. Sabine[ edit ] Sabine is a shapeshifting demon and self-described 'evil incarnation of illicit sex'. The second-in-command of the Linear Guild is Nale's lover and the opposite number of Haley Starshine. Sabine was revealed as a succubus nearly six hundred strips after her debut. Though capable of mimicking anyone, Sabine generally shapeshifts into dark-skinned individuals, as she is also dark-skinned.
She possesses high fiend-based racial bonuses, making her hard to damage in combat.
Haley was able to damage her, despite fiend bonuses, with silver and cold iron arrows, but since she used both arrows at once, Haley is unsure which of these arrows are able to do damage. Roy's enhanced sword is also capable of damaging her. She once made an attempt to seduce Roy after her enchantment spells wore off mid-battle, but it failed and she was thrown out of a window by Roy.
Despite her defeat, Sabine recovered before she could be taken into custody and used her shapeshifting ability to replace a member of the Cliffport Police Department. She used this disguise to rescue Pompey from custody.
She arrived at Azure City and hooked up with Nale, though she was forced to leave to go to the Lower Planes because of a deal she made with an unknown group of fiends. The group, later revealed to be the "Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission" IFCC , made her promise to inform them of anything that might tip the balance of good and evil.
Sabine despises Pompey, considering the half-elf to be a little pervert. While there, she attempted to persuade the imprisoned Miko Miyazaki , a fallen Paladin, to convert to being a Blackguard. In return, Miko attempted to kill her, leaving Sabine's head inconveniently twisted backwards.
Following battle damages to the cell, Sabine escaped with Nale and Thog, flying away from Azure City in search of another of the Snarl 's gates. When Nale told her to give Elan one of her life-draining kisses, Elan made out with her, to Nale's disgust, and escaped during the ensuing argument between Sabine and Nale. Sabine claimed to love Nale and was greatly upset by his death at the hand of his father. After witnessing Nale's death, Sabine gave Vaarsuvius advice on how to fight Tarquin and his allies.
What's Going On Here?
She had a short liaison with her opposite number, Durkon , after the Guild left her for dead. She also tells him that she was never really on the Linear Guild's side, but joined them because Loki wanted her to steal an artifact Nale was looking for.
Durkon seems to have truly cared for her, but when he found out that she had left her husband, and was still technically married, he rejected her out of his sense of honor and duty. This caused her to flee crying and she has not been seen since. Nale has since stated she is no longer a member of the Linear Guild. Hilgya's free-spirited attitude and hedonism made her the opposite of the dutiful and unassuming Durkon. The deity she worships is the rival of the deity Durkon worships. Hilgya somehow escaped the dungeon and, more than a year later, ran into the Order of the Stick while trying to hunt down Durkon [nb 45].
Zz'dtri[ edit ] Zz'dtri is a drow wizard who wielded dual scimitars and used a 3. During a one-sided battle with his opposite number, Vaarsuvius , he was dragged off by lawyers for being a rather obvious parody of the character Drizzt Do'Urden , a continuation of a prior joke within the comic.
Zz'dtri's taciturn, laconic nature and unwillingness to share his knowledge makes him the opposite of the rather long-winded, lecturing Vaarsuvius.
Start of Darkness
He also has a clearly defined gender, as opposed to the androgynous Vaarsuvius. Zz'dtri reappeared shortly after Thog appeared in the Empire of Blood's gladiatorial games with Qarr acting as his new familiar , and acting under the guise of an Elven diplomat. He managed to escape the lawyers because parody is protected speech. He surprise attacked Haley and turned her into stone, much like he did to Celia.
He then engaged in a mage duel with Vaarsuvius, revealing that he had geared his entire character build toward defeating the other wizard and was thus unprepared when Vaarsuvius confronted him with a mind-controlled archer.
Zz'dtri traveled with the Linear Guild during the quest to capture Draketooth's Gate, assisting Nale in his killing of Malack, only to be killed by the vampire Durkon shortly after the gate was destroyed.
Yikyik[ edit ] Yikyik is a kobold ranger who was prejudiced against halflings, in contrast to fellow ranger Belkar Bitterleaf 's prejudice against kobolds. The intense hatred the two had for each other culminated at the Order vs.
Guild battle, where Yikyik was defeated. Belkar appears later wearing what he refers to as a "swanky new leather hat" made from Yikyik's hide. Replacements[ edit ] Nale and Sabine have recruited replacements for party members that were slain, being sued, or who had deserted the party.
These replacements have also been slain or deserted the party. Pompey[ edit ] Pompey is an evil half-elf as shown by having only one pointed ear on the left student wizard whom the Linear Guild recruited [nb 46] from Warthog's School of Wizardry and Sorcery to be the new opposite number to Vaarsuvius.
Pompey is a wizard who specializes in the spellcasting school of Conjuration, having chosen Enchantment and Evocation as his barred schools. This makes him a more direct opposite of Vaarsuvius, who uses Enchantment and Evocation, but is barred from using Conjuration spells.
His clothing and hair color are also the reverse of Vaarsuvius's hair and robe colors. Nale assigned him to watch the local prison, but he has left his watch, breaking out Leeky Windstaff in the process. He appears to have quit the Guild, [nb 47] telling Leeky that neglecting to inform Nale of Elan's escape will serve as his two-week notice. In comparison to Vaarsuvius, who displays no attraction to either gender, Pompey is quite lecherous and readily flirts with any attractive female.
The primary reason that Pompey was left behind in Cliffport was because Sabine refused to carry him on the three-day flight to Azure City, forced to endure his constant "accidental" gropes. Leeky Windstaff[ edit ] Leeky Windstaff is a neutral evil gnome druid , the evil opposite of Durkon. He is an amoral and psychotic person devoted to the physical natural world, as opposed to Durkon's morality, kindheartedness, and devotion to a deity.
Equally, as a druid, Leeky embraces nature and surrounds himself with Treants, while Durkon possesses a fear and loathing for trees. He was kicked out of his druid circle because he is unbalanced, where Durkon was banished for reasons beyond his control and knowledge. He also uses figurative language as opposed to Durkon's more straightforward speaking style. He is seen commanding trees to attack the citizens of Cliffport, causing Durkon to flee in terror.
Many characters working together were required to take him down, as well as misinterpretation on Thor's part of the spell "Control Weather". Leeky surrendered to the Order after they defeated him in battle and was apparently handed over to the local authorities.
Some time later, Pompey freed Leeky, and the two were last seen discussing Pompey's employment as a cohort. In contrast with Belkar, who kills indiscriminately and for amusement, Yokyok had a reason and somewhat acceptable motivation for seeking someone out to kill him. Yokyok dislikes the rest of the Linear Guild, regarding them as scoundrels, and was working with them only because Nale promised to deliver Belkar to him.
Yokyok also considered himself a form of righteous justice, delivering rightful punishment to Belkar. Belkar arranged his death by posting a mission notice in a tavern asking for help. He wielded twin crossbows. During the battle in the Empire of Blood, he was Dominated by Vaarsuvius as a weapon against Zz'dtri.
Yukyuk's attacks proved effective, due to Zz'dtri having chosen which spells to prepare that day based on countering any of the direct attacks Vaarsuvius normally prefers. The Order still had him under their control, and attempted to use him to disarm traps in the Windy Canyon, only to discover he had no skill at disarming traps. Other antagonists[ edit ] The Bandit Clan of Wooden Forest[ edit ] The Bandit Clan is a group of thieves and bandits living in Wooden Forest that the Order of the Stick encounters during their sidequest to find starmetal.
The clan consists of mostly low-level adventurers who use bows, though it also has several guards, an executioner, a quartermaster, and a sandwich artisan. The Bandit King, a male human rogue or ranger who fights with two swords, is the leader of the group. The Bandit King has led the clan for many years, using his combat prowess to stay in power by establishing a standing law that any bandit who defeated him in solo battle could take his place. He comes to regret this decision when his daughter Samantha bests him.
The Bandit King claims to have only preyed on the "wealthy and universally despised". This does not keep him from helping to defeat the Order of the Stick, after which he is able to retake his position as leader from his exhausted daughter. He, in turn, is accidentally defeated by Durkon. He and his offspring are tied up and left in the forest. He is later killed by Miko Miyazaki after he attacks her for killing his daughter. Samantha, the bandit king's daughter, is a female human sorceress.
Described as "rotten to the core" by her own father, Samantha uses her powers to seize control of the clan, which she then uses for her own selfish purposes, including kidnapping attractive male adventurers like Elan. After clashing with the Order, she is knocked out by the Bandit King and tied up by the Order of the Stick.
She is released by a traveling Miko Miyazaki, whom she threatens to force into servitude with her magic.
Faced with this threat, Miko then kills Samantha. Assassins[ edit ] A pair of unnamed assassins are encountered by the Order of the Stick during their brief stay at an inn while being escorted by Miko back to Azure City. One of the assassins is an amorous dwarf, who is armed with an arquebus and has a penchant for explosives.For Elan's unexplained and unused stowaway plan, Thog wears a leprechaun costume, while he packs a giant wooden alpaca with potato salad.
He is another poorly optimized character. All four books feature an introduction by the author, as well as a preface written in the voice of one of the characters from the strip. Durkon, revealed to be the High Priest of Hel, votes in favor of the destruction, causing a tie. Thank you! Is this correct?
However, as time goes, people begin to take advantage of her kindness, which coupled with the fact that everyone lacks motivation to try and achieve greatness ends up disgusting her, ultimately driving her to make them change through fear.
You'll get an email with a download link a few minutes after ordering. Or a battle-master in 5e.