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A Dungeons and Dragons-based webcomic that stands out from many like it in that it follows an evil group. An evil group who knows they are evil and glory in it. An evil group who knows it, glories in it, and are total Badasses too.
In fact, the story begins with a knight named Gort discovering that when making a Deal with the Devil, usually you aren't going to get away with a double-cross. Not one to take death lying down, he rapidly returns Like a Badass Out of Hell. Gathering up his True Companions (the ones he hasn't killed yet), he embarks on his quest for invincibility. Too bad several members of his group have their own motivations. Not to mention the Evil Twin (which would be good in this case). Add in Gort's old rival returning Like A Badass Out Of Heaven and you begin to get an idea of the plot.
The second major arc is about the war against "The Worm Lord", who starts as a disturbing rumor before becoming a tangible enemy.
Well written and well drawn, with a quality that increases with time. You can see the starting page here. It is now finished.
The artist has started another webcomic called Widdershins
This webcomic contains examples of:
- Affably Evil: The whole cast has their moments, but notably Garganon - the polite, respectful, cultured, tea-loving Ancient Red Dragon.
- Arc Words: "The Worm Lord is Rising"
- Artifact of Doom: The Regalia of Evil - three artifacts actually: the Gauntlet, the Sword, and the Crown.
- Babies Ever After: Mink and Gort have an adorable, tomboyish, blonde, blue-eyed, hellfire-spewing dragon daughter.
- Badass Longcoat: Komiyan. Especially in this scene.
- Bad Guy Bar
- Back From the Dead: Both as the beginning of the plot, and the core of a much later chapter.
- Black Widow: Jill
- Body Double: A less-than-friendly version, Komiyan in the latest chapter is
hinted to bea priestess of Baal under a magical disguise, while the real Komi is held prisoner in the ruins of his hometown. "He" even tells this as his story of what's happened to him in the past few weeks alongside the others, but Mink, Jill, and Casper think he's just making it up (and Gort, predictably, doesn't care).
- Actually, "he" only tells the others that he pretty much just went to Ilnarsis and came back, making Casper complain that there was no adventure. The part actually narrated by Komi is just a standard narration that isn't part of what the fake Komi tells the others at that point.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: At one point, Casper is suspended over a vat of molten glass and is being lowered into that vat by a chain around his wrists. Not only does the villian put Casper in this ridiculous death trap, he actually leaves him there without posting so much as a mook to make sure the chains did their job. (This could be Casper embellishing a bit.)
- Book Ends: A character is resurrected to serve a demon lord.
- Cain and Abel: Gort and Tyr, respectively. Ironically, as children it was the opposite.
- Cameo: Several Webcomic Artists
- Cape Wings: Mink
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Jill mainly, a few moments with some of the others.
- Coup De Grace
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Komiyan. Mink comments on it occasionally.
Mink: When did you become competent?
- Curb Stomp Battle: Baal!Tyr one-shots Gort. This is after Gort became powerful enough to single-handedly slay a red dragon.
- Cycle of Revenge
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Surprisingly enough, Gort. After doing the typical evil thing of raising up an army and being defeated by the hero Leon, twice. He decides that next time, whilst his army has once again been crushed and the hero comes to defeat him personally, he'd bring his allies the duel and get one to stab Leon in the back when Leon was distracted with facing his nemesis. (Read: Monologuing)
- Deadpan Snarker: Casper, Jill, Lenore, Lyam, and even "Komi" in the more recent strips.
- Death Course: More like a dungeon crawl. Gort cheats on the maze though.
- Devil in Plain Sight: Aside from the paladins and their allies most people in Darken don't seem to mind or avoid the Villain Protagonists in any way. Most noticeable in Falloakes, where a Wizardess scans Komi, Michaelus, Casper, and Gort for magic before a race, and the evil magic radiating off Gort is nearly enough to blind her; his only consequence is being barred from participating in the race.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: After defeating Baal, Gort and Komi turn against Meph and as a direct consequence become ruler of the seventh hell and his disciple respectively.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Gort, disguised as the Captain of the Guard (his Good Twin).
- Drop the Hammer: Mink. "It's so ecclesiastical! And smitey!"
- Dungeon Bypass: As mentioned before, most of the crew are smart enough just to climb over the walls in a moving maze puzzle, and in the case of Mink, fly over and give directions.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: The surviving main characters all do very well for themselves.
- Epic Flail: Mink - in a rare but truly Epic Fail moment. "Uhm... you can use swords, right?"
- Even Evil Has Standards
- Everything's Worse with Bears: Michaelus the werebear.
- Evil Feels Good
- Eviler Than Thou
- Eyepatch of Power: Jade
- Eye Scream: Casper throws Blackshard into a priest's face to save Komi from being executed (for his murder of another priest).
- Fan Nickname: "Bear", for Michaelus. "Doc Shiney", for Casper's dream-inducing amulet.
- Fantastic Racism: Michaelus gets a lot of flak for being a lycanthrope, despite werebears being Always Lawful Good. From a freaking celestial judge, no less!
- Faux Affably Evil: Baal at least when inhabiting Tyr's body. He's so bloody hard to dislike.
- First-Episode Resurrection: Gort.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gort, Komi, and Undead Leon all have Devil-Mark tattoos.
- Komi's scars after Tarvin tortures him.
- Healing Factor: The Regalia grants this to Komi instead of Hellfire. Having near-immunity to wounds does wonders for Komi's self-confidence.
- Heel Face Turn: No, not the villain protagonist... Which means that they are turning against him. It predictably ends badly.
- Hellfire: Gort's weapon of choice. Particularly awesome when he turns it against Garganon, a dragon!
Garganon: You burned me!?
- Human Sacrifice: One hundred and one Drow Elves -- the last being the priest himself, killed by Komiyan - are sacrificed to Mephistopheles to save their city from a rampaging worm. His response? Enter Gort.
- Improbable Weapon User: Jill's Tessen fans.
- Indy Ploy: Casper is fond of them.
- Irony: In a party composed primarily of poster children for evil and treachery, it's the token good teammate who sells them out.
- Kill It with Fire: Gort loves to do this.
- Loveable Rogue: Despite being evil, both Komi and Casper seem to fall into this. Interestingly, Jill does not.
- Mind Control: Zathras's specialty seems to be enchantment spells. He dominated a construct for crying out loud.
Zathras: Now, Zathras show you why he is greatest diplomat.
- Morph Weapon: Blackshard has become a sword, an axe, a mace, a bone saw, a whip, and a huge falchion.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Oh so much so. Casper could be the walking poster boy for this.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: Everyone with Gort is a fan of this one, particularly answering the Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? question with Why Shoot Him When I Can Just Incinerate Him Instead. Even Komi ends up learning this lesson.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Mink (and her family) again.
- Our Elves Are Better: Drow in Darken are Devil-worshipers with no apparent division between the genders, rather than matriarchial female-chauvinist Spider-worshipers. The first chapter even has a male priest making sacrifices. Also, surface elves are all but extinct.
- Painting the Fourth Wall: Certain characters get special speech bubbles:
- Dragons in their true form speak in a regal, archaic looking script.
- The Blind Judge spoke in a formal-looking Roman font.
- Baal, in his slug form, speaks in a sloppy childish script.
- Blackshard's text is jagged and rough looking. Undead Leon had equally rough text, but was less angular and more scrawled.
- Also, text encased <in triangle brackets> signified speaking another language than English/Common, usually Drow Elvish.
- Paper Fan of Doom: Jill has a one, though it inflicts bloody murder rather than amusing injuries: It's a tessen.
- Pretty in Mink: Jill wears a short fur cape for an arc.
- Redemption Equals Death: And how!
- Red Right Hand: Gort once he gets the Gauntlet.
- Schedule Slip: Although originally updating three times a week, it now updates weekly.
- Squishy Wizard: Zathras is introduced being harassed by wild dogs and has to be saved by Komi. He makes a point of staying far, far out of melee while with the party - going so far as to spend the entire Metal Hydra fight up on a ledge, well out of attack range, casting spells.
- Sssssnaketalk: Unusually subverted with Jade and the other Yuan-Ti. However, when Casper starts having nightmares about her she DOES elongate her Ssssss'essssss... possibly for creep factor and possibly as a hint that It Was All Just a Dream.
- Start of Darkness: Sadly, we discover it was Gort's Heroic Sacrifice that started him on the path of Evil - and ensured his brother would be on the side of good.
- Storming the Castle
- Sword Over Head
- Take Over the World
- Talking Is a Free Action: Normally played straight, but awesomely subverted in the last duel between Gort and living Leon - he's about to give a "Good Shall Triumph" speech when Casper stabs him in the back, complete with pure snark:
Casper: Sorry, did I interrupt something?
- Talking Weapon: Blackshard.
- The Dark Side
- The Napoleon: Don't remind Gort that he's short. That said, Gort himself hangs a lampshade on it during the Dressing as the Enemy scene:
Casper: (trying to squeeze into armor far too small for him) How do these guys fit into these things??
- The Stoic: Michaelus (when he's not raging), Lenore, Vargo.
- The Slacker: Lyam.
- Third Person Person:
- Zathras. The other Shades too, but they aren't as bad about it...
- Gort also frequently engages in this, in a hammy manner.
- Together in Death: Or Undeath as the case may be. It doesn't turn out so well, after which it's played straight.
- Token Good Teammate: Michaelus. It's a surprise it took him so long to turn against the others.
- True Companions: For a party composed of a hellfire-wielding warlord, a devil-worshipping dark elf, an amoral thief, a treacherous Black Widow, and the high priestess of a God of Evil, they're remarkably loyal to one another. Jill in particular has had multiple opportunities to betray the party for her own profit, and in each case merely double-crossed the one making the offer.
- Villain Protagonist
- Walking Wasteland: Baal-possessed Tyr. He even leaves a freaking slime-trail.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Blackshard can't possess the drunk.
- Wild Card: Jill. And sometimes the rest of the party.
- Xanatos Gambit: Maybe, we'll see how it turns out...