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File:The Fourth trio 1965.jpg


The Fourth is a satirical fantasy webcomic by Courtney Svatek and Victor Acuña about “the odd and helpless situation of being a villain in an adventure game.” The comic features a trio of colorful characters--hapless Evil Overlord, Lord Tiberius Skärva the Fourth, his right-hand lackey Derk, and Lorelei, a girl who "obviously never had a mother who warned her to stay away from strange shark people"--and their adventures in a world that runs on classic Adventure Game tropes.

Check it out Here.


Contains examples of:

  • Adorable Evil Minions: The first dungeon is full of these.
    • The Lurkins and Flish of Castle Skärva also qualify.
  • Affably Evil: The Skärva line seems to like this trope.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of fantasy quests and video games.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Kicked around with Lorelei. She's a sweet, caring girl who loves Skärva dearly. But Skärva's a villain, so how innocent can that really make her?
  • Animate Inanimate Object: The ghosts of Skarva's keep can possess swords, pots, and the like.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The mountain hamlet does the Torches and Pitchforks thing to Skärva and Derk once because he demanded food as their ruler, then because he tried to steal it, and then finally he gave up and just tried buying it, but he didn't have any money.
  • Art Evolution: Compare the first page of the comic with some of the newer ones.
  • Art Shift: A crayon coloring illustrates the path that must be taken to reach Frostbite Fortress.
    • Skärva's moments of overlord mania often induce these.
    • Lorelei's recurring nightmare.
    • Skärva's schemes as they are told to others.
  • Ascended Extra: The little demon Davis, see Ensemble Darkhorse, eventually gets a job at Lord Skärva's castle.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In thanks for making donations for Courtney's iPad purchase, she intermittently put some of the contributors in as cameoes in the background of various strips.
    • It was actually a graphics tablet, so she could, y'know, make the comic better. :P
    • They've recently opened up a tier system for general donations towards the site and comic's upkeep resulting in fans being inserted into the background in various roles. The larger the donation, the more substantial the part.
  • Ascended Meme: "[Object/person] says [sound effect] all the time", in the comments, starting after the comic "Snowballs say "plop" all the time." This got to the point where a more recent comic was titled "Skärva gets hungry waiting for Blank all the time."
  • Ax Crazy: Skärva and Derk briefly run afoul of a lumberjack, who has an axe to back up the crazy.
  • Bad Boss: Surprisingly averted. For all his machinations, Skärva treats his minions reasonably well. The same cannot be said for the wizard at the Temple of Terror, though...
  • Badass Boast: Skärva often, usually accompanied by a Deliberately Monochrome Art Shift.
  • Badass Grandpa: The village elder at Wilderfall shuts Ecta up and gets an apology out of her, something only Skärva is able to do.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Parodied. A goddamned bat in Molten Mountain accidentally flies into a torch and promptly flaps around screaming in agony.
  • Berserk Button: The various dungeon guides seem to have this.
    • The wizard at the Temple of Terror despises being called short.
    • Do not mock Frozio's tuxedo.
  • The Big Guy: Derk.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: The wizard at the Temple of Terror. They nearly double his height.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Derk is big, Skärva is skinny, and Lorelei is short.
  • Big "What?": Ecta will use this a bit if she can't believe what she's hearing and gets infuriated (more than usual), but when she does it to Skärva, he's not intimidated.
  • Blatant Lies

 Nut: What do you need a Lii Flower for?

Davis: Uhh...meh...dical...re...search?

  Skärva: THEIR LUNCHMEAT SHALL BE OURS!

  Lorelei: It's a town, silly! Of course there's a wise old man!

  Ecta: Come on, let's get away from this nut.

 Skärva the Third: I just wish you could be more like me.

Skärva the Fourth: What, dead?

 Blank: Why light magic? I would have figured all of Skärva's minions use dark.

Derk: Well, you figured wrong. Besides, you may be protected by the Gods, but only against dark magic.

  Skärva: Let's. Just. Move. On.

  Blank: Well, to be honest, the gods hate you.

  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Implied in Skärva's character bio; gaining the trust of the people isn't easy for a shark man, so he just said 'screw it' and went for their fear instead.
  • Throwing The Orb of the Gods Always Works: No, no it doesn't.
  • Time Skip: After the first onscreen encounter with Blank, there's a jump forward. Enough for Lorelei to have seen a lot of failures, apparently.
  • Token Trio: With Derk as the white male, Lorelei as the white female, and Lord Skärva as the male of shark-man descent.
  • Took a Level In Badass: The first time we see Blank and Derk together, Derk is huddled up on the ground in fear. The second time...Derk unleashes Ki Attacks.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Mountain hamlets don't take well to megalomaniacal shark men.
    • Initially it's because he demanded food. Then it's because he tried to steal it. Then it's because he didn't have the money to buy it...
  • Unconventional Formatting: Each character has his or her own distinctive font for their speech bubbles.
  • Verb This:

 Blank: I don't want to hurt you, Derk, but I have to save the princess.

Derk: I understand.

Blank: Then you won't mind THIS!

Blank tries to slash Derk with his sword.

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