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|Author(s)|| Kate Ashwin
<tr><th>Website</th><td>http://www.darkencomic.com/</td></tr><tr><th>Current status / schedule</th><td>M W F Su</td></tr><tr><th style="white-space: nowrap;">Launch date</th><td>December 16 2003</td></tr><tr><th style="white-space: nowrap;">Genre(s)</th><td>Fantasy</td></tr>
Darken is a webcomic set in a Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy world, featuring a cast of morally ambiguous or outright evil characters led by Gort, a vicious dark knight. It is based on a story by Mike Foulks.
Darken is a member of Keenspot, and also is one of the more popular members of Cornstalker Webcomic Collective. Since July 2006 it has been a member of Keenspot but before then was originally a member of Comicgenesis since its creation in December 2003.
The comic begins with Gort being summoned before the arch-devil Mephistopheles. Gort made a pact with him that would allow him to defeat his then nemesis, Leon. After completion of this, Mephistopheles wanted the return on the pact. He requested Gort's servitude, and gave him the quest of bringing to him three sacred artifacts, the Regalia of Evil. Upon obtaining this quest, Gort was returned to the material plane, and coincidentally met a Drow, named Komiyan.
Leon is the main antagonist of the story, and has encountered the main party on numerous occasions, mostly to the effect of the party's defeat.
Chapter Summaries Edit
Disciple of Fire- The story begins with Gort's deal with Arch-Devil Mephistopheles: All the power he can want, in exchange for fetching the three artifacts of the Regalia of Evil. Meanwhile, a small drow village is under attack from a wormbeast, and Gort is summoned to deal with it.
Wyrms and Serpents- Gort sets out to reassemble his old team, starting with the priestess Mink, Casper, who was out hunting Slaad, and Jill.
Rage of Winter- The group is commissioned to fetch a monster's eye for a mystery patron. Accepting, they travel to a snowy mountain, where they are set upon by a giant.
Watcher in the Dark- Reaching the lair of the beast whose eye they are to procure, the party discover that they are to face a Beholder, an arrogant and powerful magical creature. A difficult fight ensues, in which Mink is near-fatally injured, but the beast is felled.
Blood Bond- The group is nervous, having been told to take the eye to the Citadel of Light, capital of all that is good and holy on Darken, but the promise of lots of money and having Mink brought back from the brink of death spurs them on. Arriving, they find an old enemy; a priestess of the Light named Violet. She pays them, but in order to save Mink, she must create a link between the half-dragon and Gort, in order for them to share their wounds. While in the city, Gort is startled to see a man who bears a striking resemblance to himself.
Beast- The group is forced into doing a good deed to reclaim back their reward money- they must clear out an evil cult of blood that lives beneath the Citadel of Light. While doing so, they free Michaelus, a former town guard, who promptly turns into a bear.
Sleeping Dragons- Travelling to Casper's old town of Falloakes, the promise of prize money and fame leads to Gort, Casper, Komiyan and Michaelus entering a race. Mink leaves, having experienced a prophetic dream advising her to awaken her blue dragon mother, Silvador, from her permanent sleep. This she does, restoring her family to the throne of Hextoria. In Falloakes, Casper is intercepted by Jade, one of the race of Yuan ti he had thought wiped out by orcs. Jade informs him of who had led the orcs that crushed the Yuan Ti.
Siege- Gort decides that he requires a base of operations, and picks an orc-infested castle called Three Spires. Reluctantly, the others help him siege the castle, and set up a temporary home there.
Reckoning- Word of Gort's domination of Three spires reaches the Citadel, and the Paladin, Tyr, who looks so much like Gort. Outraged, he calls on the Light for help, and sets out to fight Gort atop Three Spires with the help of three celestial beings. The party are all defeated, except for Jill, who surrenders.
Long Way Home- Facing judgement on a celestial plane, the group is cast down into Purgatory for their various crimes, despite Tyr's insistence that they deserve only death. The limbo they are scattered in is dominated by a giant spire, which blocks all use of magic. This plane resembles the Outlands They are left separated without armour and weapons.
From the Shadows- While trying to escape the influence of the spire, Mink, Jill and Komiyan stumble across a being who claims to be an ambassador, a Shade named Zathras. Despite his terrible accent, they manage to strike a deal in which he will show them where a portal back to Darken is, and they will protect him on the way. Gort, Casper and Michaelus, however, have met a red dragon, Garganon. He helps to reunite the group and flies them to a nearby town.
Shards- Garganon's price for the flight is that they must retrieve a gauntlet that has been stolen from him. It has been sealed in a cave, guarded by a huge metallic five-headed beast. Along the way, Komiyan uncovers a sword that can change its form, and speaks in a voice only he can hear. After the battle with the hydra, Gort discovers that the gauntlet is, in fact, the Gauntlet of Evil, and he has no intentions of returning it to the dragon, despite the protests of the honourable Michaelus. They make good their escape in a boat, and reach the portal town, where Zathras departs for his own dimension.
- ^ "Following the tale of a vicious dark knight and his band of 'minions'" as described on Keenspot's home page.
- ^ Within the disclaimer: "The comic is based on a story by Mike Foulks"
- ^ Talk About Comics Interviews Matt Johnson, Daniel Orta, and R. L. Peterson, 11/1/2006