Chief Warlock of the Brothers of Darkness
Lord Ashendale Sr., father (Deceased)
Richard Ashendale is a human Warlock masquerading as undead who willfully sows destruction without any provocation whatsoever, Richard is Cale'anon's character foil and serves as the strip's comic relief. He is depicted as manipulative, powerful, and exceedingly evil, although he is also childishly playful. Richard is very sensitive about his less-than-threatening name and reacts aggressively to Cale's nickname for him - "Dick". Over time his companions have grown used to his frequently violent and sociopathic activities, often reacting mildly.
Richard Ashendale was born in a little village up the coast to a nobleman of the House of Ashendale and an unknown woman. As a young boy, he enjoyed tending to his father's gardens very much. Unfortunately, his father wanted a warrior for a son, and was disappointed to have a gardener. At his father's court, the Archmage of Kethenecia convinced the elder Ashendale to sacrifice his disappointing son by opening a sarcophagus, presumably killing him and raising him as an undead warlock. The Archmage intended for Richard to serve as an enemy to Cale'anon, in a huge plot that would eventually make the elf king of Kethenecia. Sometime after becoming a warlock, Richard killed his father, and presumably placed his remains in the very sarcophagus that turned him into an undead being. Some time after that, Richard became Chief Warlock of the Brothers of Darkness, Lord of the Thirteen Hells, Master of the Bones, Emperor of the Black, Lord of the Undead - and also mayor of his father's village. He also gets a summer home in the mountains called the Pit of Despair.
At some point, he visited Nestorep and destroyed an orphange. He told the village's captain, that it was "self-defense" after the orphanage had attacked him. The village guards were told to kill him on sight if he would ever return.
Years later, Cale'anon left the Beacon of Hope after being tricked into thinking that his wife Shora was infidel. Richard knew about the plot, and when the monastery's master left Cale in his charge, he followed him to a small forest near the village of Nestorep. Initially claiming that all elves were supposed to be evil and tricking Cale into killing an innocent person in front of young Willie, he incinerated Cale after the elf called him "Dick". Still conscious, Richard placed his ashes in a small sack he attached to a stick and carried him to Nestorep, where he could find a healer. The dwarven guards warned Richard of their order to kill him on sight, but bothered him no more when he set one ablaze and turned the other into a frog.
At a tavern in the town, he found a half-breed cleric named Benn'joon, first believing her to be part of the Sisterhood, but when Richard went to greet her Benn'joon told him to leave her alone, as she had not healed anyone in years, but changed her mind when she came to think of the gold payment. As she was preparing to heal the elf, Legion Commander Aelloon entered the inn demanding payment from her. Benn'joon used the situation to her advantage, telling the commander that she was about to ressurect a great warrior who had pledged his life to hers, and that she would make him unleash his wrath upon them if they came closer. Aelloon was not afraid, so Benn'joon went ahead and summoned forth Cale'anon who then fought with Aelloon's men alone, until he called forth his panther companion Sooba. Richard entered the fray after several daggers had been thrown at him and ripped the skeletons from the bodies of Aelloon's men, and they escaped Nestorep, pursued by the King's Legion. Crushed by one of the Legion's dragons, they were saved by Krunch Bloodrage, who tackled the dragon.
As more dragons came after them, they fled to a nearby mountain, and once breaking through a mountain wall and getting out of the Legion's fire power, the group stops to discuss their next move. And they agree to go search for the Sword of Truth. When travelling through the insides of the mountain, they enter the gnome city of Mechastone. After Richard engulfed their sentry's head in flames, the gnomes believe the group to be part of their enemy, Lord Stoll's army. After 126 gnome soldiers were killed and another 48 had been freezed in ice, Cale'anon stopped the fighting and negotiated with their Chief Engineer Toyk. Toyk enlisted them in the Mechastone Defense Force and contracted them to kill Lord Stoll in exchange for information on the Sword of Truth. A gnome soldier called Fitch leads them out of the mountain, towards Stoll, but they end up walking straight into a marching troll army, with shamans disabling Richard and Benny from using magic. Because of the retarded troll Tim being on the front ranks, Cale'anon mistook the entire army of being stupid half-breed trolls, and openly asked where to find Stoll so that they could kill him. The commander of the army, Styx reacted to the elf's question by imprisoning the entire group, and splitting them up; Priestess Benny and Richard going to the Pit of Despair (Named similarly to Richard's summer home in the mountains), while the others are lead directly to Lord Stoll.
The others successfully killed Stoll, and a few trolls went to the Pit of Despair to announce that Richard and Benny would pay for the others' crime, to which Richard replied that he didn't even pay for his own crimes. He leaped out of the hole and used the monk-soul that he once drained to rip the trolls apart without the use of any magic whatsoever. That is when they realize that the Pit of Despair is located directly in the center of the battlefield between the Mechastone Defense Force and Stoll's troll army. In addition, Richard is once again drained of powers by the troll shamans - however he summons forth Sooba, and they break free, entering the bigger battle, finally reuniting with Cale'anon and Krunch. The gnomes eventually win the war, and Toyk hands over a scroll leading to the Sword of Truth.
His titles include Chief Warlock of the Brothers of Darkness, Lord of the Thirteen Hells, Master of the Bones, Emperor of the Black, Lord of the Undead,and mayor of a little village up the coast which he describes as "quite scenic in Spring". He states that his titles are based on kills. He later whimsically decided to add "Lord of the Dance" to his list of titles and upon killing Ajellah, took her title of "Mistress of Magma" for himself. During a court trial with demons the judge refers to Richard's mortal self as "Lord Ashendale."
Because he is undead, Richard can sustain normally serious injuries without dying or even experiencing pain; he believed that a torture chamber the group was sent to was a spa (although he may have only been joking). A running gag in the series, in fact, is Richard being impaled by a sharp object thrown at him from off screen. He is also light in weight, enough for at Richard used to to shoot an arrow with Richard attached to it with little effort.
Richard claims to be traveling with Cale out of sheer boredom and for opportunities to kill things. He used to have a companion - an imp named Hctib Elttil (whose name, Richard claims, accurately describes its place in their relationship) - but it ran away. He has a habit of singing at inopportune times or when in battle. In addition to his prodigious magical power, Richard was shown to be skilled enough in hand-to-hand combat to easily take out several trolls within seconds, claiming that he 'drained the soul of a monk once', and that it 'tasted like chocolate'.
Richard seems to have as much (if not more) control over Cale's companion pet, the panther Sooba, as Cale himself does, even going so far as being able to summon the cat to his side in battle("Madness? This is Sooba!".) Richard also has his own pet, a rabbit whom he seems to care for, and who in turn cares for him, such as when Richard returned from his banishment to the 'Plane of Suck'. It is later revealed that the rabbit is in fact the Archmage of Kethenecia, and that Richard had been aware of that fact for quite some time. Richard then offers the use of his undead army.
Though it would seem that Richard's only goal in life is to sow death and destruction wherever he goes (after all the other characters have explained their various motives behind their quest of finding the lost Sword of Truth, he simply states "I. LIKE. TO. KILL. THINGS. (How is that not clear by now?)", it is implied there may be some additional motivation within him. The Phares, elemental spirits whom Richard harnessed the power of, said that they saw another presence behind the darkness, which Richard shrugged off by saying "I'm very deep." On the flip side, he once saved the life of a young child - an oddly selfless act for him. However, Richard may have done this in order to break a curse placed on him by Hctib, his imp, who returned to punish Richard. It could have been accidental due to the fact that the child was very physically close to him. However, it was stated that only an act of selflessness could break the curse, hinting that this act might have been genuinely selfless. Also, while on trial he stated that, like Cale, he was on a path he was compelled to follow, and after killing most of demon court he left stating that for the first time in a hundred years he had a goal.
Most recently, Pretty, Pretty Unicorn, the little village up the coast which serves as the source of Richard's power, has been taken over and converted by Legara. To save it, Richard traveled there with Maikos, Sooba, and the bunny.
Richard measures his existence in at least hundreds of years. During much of this time, he had forgotten portions of his life before he became undead, but some of the memories are returning. Such as memories of tending a rose garden, despite his father not wanting him to.
On page 338 it shows that Richard used to be a little kind hearted boy.
Richard also has the capacity to perform uncharacteristically good deeds, but has to look around to make sure no one is watching. He seems particularly likely to do this for Cale, for whom he seems to have a well hidden soft spot. On a number of occasions however, Cale has had to offer Richard something. When he asked Richard to save a village of people, Richard replied "I don't 'Save'", until Cale said that afterward they were going to go and cut a path of slaughter and destruction through Legarion forces, to which Richard immediately strikes a heroic pose and proclaims "We need to save these people!" For instance, when Cale had his throat slashed by a Black Dwarf, Richard used a fire spell to cauterize the wound and carries Cale away from the mountain, despite his frequent assertions that he never saves anyone. He has also saved the life of a small boy for no good reason as well as saving an entire village from flooding at Cale's request. He can also be seen as strangely innocent after commenting that he thinks he hears Benn'Joon getting hurt in the distance by Cale when actually they made love just after kissing passionately. Characteristically he assumes that Cale was hurting her and offered to bury the corpse. Richard has admitted to murdering his father, as he reminisces on the first page.
It has since been revealed that Richard's meeting with Cale was no accident, and that the warlock was charged with protecting Cale. It has also been revealed that Richard may not be undead at all after Cale saw his face without its veil. Without his veil, Richard speaks with white text boxes, though he may have been simply mocking Cale.
In the 452nd issue, Richard was shown painting his human colored skin white, and after being shot by a Legion arrow he experienced pain and bled, retreating and incinerating an innocent family hiding in a barn. After gathering the ashes into a small black bag he was impaled by a soldier to no ill effect, indicating it may have something to do with his immortality, although it's possible that simply killing the innocent fuels his immortality as well.
In chapter 499, Richard entered the gem of Tavor's crown after the latter's death. Shortly, thereafter he began incinerating the heads of anyone foolish enough to put the crown on. In fact, Aelloon would have met the same fate as the others had someone not warned him. Aellon then calls for some battlemages to exorcise Richard from the crown. After killing a few of them he is defeated and locked in a dungeon. Aelloon then asks Richard if he can kill the unkillable and orders him to do so. Richard initially refuses though he changed his mind once Aelloon showed him exactly what he wanted Richard to kill. It is then revealed that Hctib Elttil will accompany Richard as he goes on this quest. It is then revealed that the chains can control the undead and Hctib used them to have Richard beat the crap out of himself. Sometime later, Hctib asks Richard "so what's new?" and Richard responds "I'm slowly turning human" which alludes his court sentence from the demonic trial. Richard then states that his target is an appendage indicating that it may be Dnah.
More recently his power sources have been altered with the loss of the gem he wears. As previously his powers came from killing the innocent, he now gains magic by protecting the guilty, this turned his fireballs blue. This turned out to be an imperfect arrangement due to only gaining power from protecting a single guilty party once. However he later discovered that he gained an even greater amount of power back by protecting the innocent.
Known Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Fire: Most prominently, Richard demonstrates his power over fire. Often referred to as his "Fwoosh", varying degrees of flame based attacks seem to be Richard's standard method of devastation. He is also capable of using fire to travel around and carry people with him. After losing his powers from the battle with the Archmage, he is required to save an innocent but the amount of times he can use it is dependent on the innocence of the soul.
- Blue Fire:Referred to as his "Bloosh", After the battle with the Archmage, Richard began to be able to generate blue fire and do similar things with it compared to his more common "Fwoosh". It becomes available to him when he saves the guilty but only works once per soul. However, Richard does not like using it because the color blue represents hope.
- Ice: Though less used than fire, Richard also commands a variety of spells based on ice and cold attributes, such as encasing himself in a large block of ice to shield both himself and Cale from a lava flow, encasing his arm into a blade of ice, and making it hail.
- Lightning: On rare occasions, Richard has shown the ability to fire bolts of lightning from his hands.
- Necromancy: Richard has on occasion shown that he can control the skeletal remains of enemy combatants (or more specifically, he can force his enemy's skeleton to rip off it's own skin and then fight at Richard's command). He has stated that he "drained the soul of a monk once". He has also sealed the souls of people he has killed into cards.
- Portals: Though he doesn't seem able to create portals at will, Richard has the ability to power already existing portals. He does demonstrate the ability to control space/time while trapped on the Plane of suck, but it is unknown whether or not this is one of his regular abilities, or something unique to the Plane, as Richard himself was unsure of his ability to use these powers.
- Possession: Richard has the ability to inhabit the bodies of others, through the use of the magical gem that he wears. He has also shown the ability to use his gem to possess inanimate objects such as the gem attached to Tavor's crown. When possessing others, he retains control of his other powers.
- Materialization: He has also shown the ability to materialize his magic into solid form such as creating arrows with his mind and creating an air tight bubble which was chained to his body. When he does this skill the object is green indicating that it is most likely magic that has been shaped into a physical form rather than actually creating a physical object.
- Near Immortality: Richard has been shown to be hundreds of years old, has survived numerous normally fatal injuries such as being decapitated or having holes in his chest, and has even survived an axe to the brain, a normally fatal wound for an undead. It is important to note however, that Richard is not truly immortal. This is demonstrated in the Plane of suck when Richard uses his new found time/space powers to create copies of himself, only to murder them moments later. It has also been revealed that after the court session sentenced to to become human again, Richard must kill and collect the ashes of innocents to retain his immortality.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat: Richard has demonstrated knowledge of martial arts which he gained from draining an unknown monk's soul. He has also shown to have some knowledge of pressure points. He usually demonstrates his physical prowess when he finds himself either unable to use magic, or is fighting against something impervious to magic such as a Blargh.
- Immense Strength: When Richard's magic was sealed during the demon trial, Richard was still able to rip one of the demonic bailiffs in half using only his bare hands. Also, he was able to kill a bear and rip off its arms when he himself did not have his own arms attached to his body. He has sharp nails too along with his strength such as when he cut a dwarf open so he could place Cale within the corpse. When fighting against Tavor's guards he ripped off various organs from any soldier who came within his vicinity.
- Richard's Amulet
- Richard's Purse
- Pillaging Shovel
- Bear Arms
- Fork of Truth
- Kidney Hat
- Sword of 77% Probability
- Sword of Maybe, Maybe Not
- Sword of Mostly Falsehoods
- Stick of Lies
- Sometimes when characters are listing off the cast's races Richard is referred to as "miscellaneous".
- His battle cry is "For Pony." He argued about this with Cale who didn't think it was serious enough for a war cry.
- Richard has killed parodies of such characters and caricatures as Frodo Baggins, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mary Poppins, St. Valentine, and a Smurf.
- He often makes references to things in popular culture, such as Martin Luther King Jr., The judges of American Idol, Rick Astley, Street Fighters, A Few Good Men, and a reference to Transformers, in the form of the Universal Greeting. "Bah weep granah weep ninni bong".
- Richard is one of the few characters with his own unique dialogue color scheme, the others including Tim (before page 532), Hctib Elttil, and Sooba.
- Richard is something of a craftsman, and has been seen to create things such as a hat made from a kidney, a wallet made from a Smurf, a bed from the hides of several bears, and a throne made from the bones of the fallen Bloodrage Clan.
- As Krunch tells the story of Kethenecia to his companions on page 57, he is remarks that Richard may have been present at the time, when the dragons ruled Kethenecia, "The Lord of Darkness smote the king" (Richard presented himself to Cale using the same title), "and freed the humans only to enslave them again at a later date and corrupt their souls to create an army of-". The presumption is an army of undead, the same undead, living in Richard's village up the coast.
- It has been revealed that Richard may be a republican, though given the nature of the series and that of Richard himself he may have just been joking.
- Richard was Landor's favourite patient, eventually leading to Landor getting bored and leave his job some time after having tortured Richard, because he thought he would never again have such a wonderful patient.
- "Rejoice. For very bad things are about to happen."
- "I don't even pay the price for my own crimes."
- "I accept the verdict. But I deny the sentence."
- "Please ignore the fact that my hand is on fire. It is not meant to be an aggressive gesture. It's how I say hello."
- "I like Cale's strike at unarmed women initiative. All in favor?"
- (singing) "When you wish upon a star..I will kill you near or far."
- "You're life isn't important Cale. Focus on what's at stake. Am I going to be okay?"
- (To Cale after incinerating him) "Walk it off, you pussy."
- (To Cale) "I find it amusing how you were SO judgmental of the dark arts a few hours ago. But now that you're in trouble, 'Pull his skeleton out, Richard, oh please'."
- (After encountering an army of trolls while heavily outnumbered) "This isn't where I parked my horse."
- (After being asked what rhymes with your wholesale mass slaughter) "Locate and butcher your daughter?"
- (about Cale) "No idea what he is talking about, but I respect his attitude and willingness to kill."
- (after being stabbed) An odd way to show someone that you missed them but I'm willing to keep an open mind."
- Killing means never having to say you're sorry."
- (about dying) "It's not so bad. You'll care about your personal hygiene a lot less."
- "I know the dark robes may allude to some mysteriousness, but I assure you, I'm rather translucent in my goals and ambitions. I don't SAVE."
- "I would like to nominate myself for MVP of this prison break."
- (Before being banished) "My..only..regret..is..not..killing..all..of..you..and..your..families."
- "I'm tired of all this. It's time for me to stop all this adventuring. I need to settle down. Find a farm, a family. Then slaughter them all and find a new farm and family."
- "Women. Why are any of them still left alive?"
- (about women) "What are your thoughts on penning them up to use for mating and the creation of snacks"
- (to a gnome whose wife and children he killed) "They're in a better place."
- (after being told about the Blargh) "I'm impervious to impervious-ness.
- "Did you ever get the feeling that you're missing out on a fight with a dragon?"
- (after confessing to Hctib that he was turning human) "You know when you answer a question that the other person didn't expect you to answer, and you do it surprisingly honestly? That just happened."
- "I was just going to look. With fire. And lightning. And reanimated chipmunks. And racoons. On fire."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Issue I, Page 3; 
- ↑ Issue V, Page 122; 
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Issue X, Page 276; 
- ↑ Issue XVIII, Page 501; 
- ↑ Issue XXV, Page 698; .
- ↑ Issue XXX, Page 831; .
- ↑ Issue XXX, Page 831; .
- ↑ Issue X, Page 282; 
- ↑ Issue III, Page 70; 
- ↑ Issue V, Page 119; 
- ↑ Issue I, Page 9; 
- ↑ Issue III, Page 65; 
- ↑ Issue III, Page 66; 
- ↑ Issue VI, Page 149; 
- ↑ Issue XVIII, Page 499; 
- ↑ Issue XVII, Page 473;