He is first mentioned in the fifth episode, The Ranger.
Little is known about the enigmatic leader of The Great Arrows. The cult-like raider clan have always maintained a certain veil of secrecy. No one knows where the group actually come from, but usually assume it is where the current ruler sends orders from.
Tick-Tock's presence has had a significant difference though. Through his tenure, the Great Arrows have grown from a scattered collection of devotees to a full-fledged military government conquering large swaths of the Equestrian Wasteland.
How he was able to accomplish this is not known. This growth began with his predecessor, Two-Coat, though most assume that it was Tick-Tock spearheading these decisions before fully taking control himself.
His tenure has lasted roughly thirty years, much longer than any previous "lord" over the Great Arrows. Long-living creatures such as ghouls, familiar with the clan, do not recall any one leader lasting for one decade, let alone three.
While aggressively growing the clan, and hence his own influence, Tick-Tock has enforced a very medieval code of laws over the regions he controls.
These laws are almost always placed in the center of settlements he controls in the form of obelisks. The stone stele usually record these laws in the four most prominent languages in an area, one on each face. The laws and punishments seem like a vestige of late antiquity with punishments being in the form of fines, whippings, or death.
While harsh and unmerciful, the strictly enforced laws create a strong sense of order that many creatures prefer to the lawless anarchy of the greater wasteland. For this reason, trade routes between Great Arrow settlements remain strong, with a thriving integrated economy connecting them all.
Creatures living within these settlements (whom were not indoctrinated into the cult) can usually live safe, predictable lives within these boundaries.
Whatever end he is seeking, Tick-Tock seems well poised to accomplish it.
- "She looked up at him, blood dripping from her mouth. ‘That you would one day bow before Lord Tick-Tock.’ She then tossed something in her mouth. ‘NOW I GALLOP WITH THE GODS!’ Biting down on the cyanide pill, she foamed at the mouth and died. That was the first time we heard the name of the new leader of the Great Arrows… Tick-Tock." - Paladin Sandstone
- "He wasn’t just a banker. Obviously they were using the gold for the influence, and to pay mercenaries like us. But Governor Farthing had absolute command of those Great Arrows. They weren’t getting paid beyond whatever food kept them alive. They were deeply brainwashed in devotion to him, or, more accurately, they obeyed him as an ‘Emissary to His Majesty, Lord Tick-Tock.’" - Diamondback (on how the Governors administrate regions of control)
- "The Governess began by reading them all some speech about how they all had been chosen to be added to Lord Tick-Tock’s quiver. That their lives and futures now belonged to his royal army to serve in the restoration of Equestria." - The Red Reaper (after observing new Arrows being indoctrinated)
- "If we find a way to track down Tick-Tock, then maybe we can just kill him, but until then the only thing we can do is keep slowing him down." - The Red Reaper
Behind The Scenes
- "Tick-Tock" as a name is meant to be an allusion to his character. Like the ticking of a clock, like time itself, he seems to be ever-present but unseen, always moving forward with whatever his intentions are.
- Most of the mystery surrounding his nature will be part of the revelations in the Confessions finale.