Team Evil finds the object of their quest, and it's... an old non-magical book
- Team Evil
- Zombie Dragon (as a silver dragon corpse) ▶
- Panel 1
Team Evil finds themselves in a room full of books. In the next room is a dead silver dragon and a couple of hobgoblins.
Xykon: My study! More or less intact, too.
Xykon: Redcloak, search the right wall, I've got the left.
Redcloak: Right away, Lord Xykon.
- Panel 2
Monster in the Darkness: What are you guys looking for? What is it?
Redcloak: Only the most valuable thing in this tower, and the reason we came back here.
- Panel 3
Redcloak: Think about it—we could have taken over any tower with a dungeon for our new base without having to go through the trouble of killing all those celestials.
Xykon (off-panel): That was just a bonus.
- Panel 4
Redcloak: But we needed to come back here for THIS!
Xykon: HA HA! You found it! Good job!
- Panel 5
Monster in the Darkness: Oooo! Is it one of those books that raises your ability scores?
Xykon: Please! In the grand scheme of things, this book makes the "Tome of Clear Thoughts" look like "Dianetics".
- Panel 6
Monster in the Darkness: What kind of magic does it have, then?
Xykon: None whatsoever. It's just a book.
Redcloak: A book that just happens to hold the secret to ruling the world.
- Panel 7
Redcloak: Lord Xykon went through a great deal of trouble to secure this book in the first place, and the secrets within are key to our overarching plotline.
Redcloak: I mean, villainous plan.
- Panel 8
Monster in the Darkness: "The Life and Times of Serini Toormuck, Halfling Rogue." This is a biography?
Xykon: A diary, actually.
- Panel 9
Monster in the Darkness: How the heck does the diary of a halfling hold the secret to world conquest?
Redcloak: It's not the halfling who is important...
- Panel 10
Xykon opens the book and shows it to the Monster in the Darkness.
Redcloak: It's with whom the halfling was friends that matters!
Monster in the Darkness: Wait... is that who I think it is?
D&D Context Edit
- Tome of Clear Thought increases a character's Intelligence score after being read.
- Dianetics is a "self-improvement book" by fiction writer and cult founder L. Ron Hubbard and is one of the foundational books in Scientology. The book represents one of the 20th Century mental health scams and the concepts therein produce extremely poor results. Thus the joke in Panel 5 is a slam on the cultic ideology taught in the book.
- This is the first appearance of the Zombie Dragon, which at this point is just a dead silver dragon. It will feature prominently as Xykon's mount in comics #429 through #442. The silver dragon's fight with Xykon and company is not shown in the main comic, but is portrayed in Start of Darkness.