- Despite the gratuitous amounts of outright awesome he shows later, Lu Tze's best moments are when he achieves his goals with minimal effort, like in this book where he changes the history of the entire continent by sabotaging a small lever so it will break at a critical time.
- He also turns over the tortoise at one point (after Vorbis turned it on its back just to watch it struggle).
- And he set off the whole chain of events (which the previous two items merely kept on course) by sweeping dung into a pile in just the right place, at just the right time.
- Didactylos taking a stand after seemingly selling out to Vorbis:
"Nevertheless, the turtle moves!"
- The bit towards the end when Brutha makes his own god, who he acknowledges could kill him at any time, yield to him through moral authority.
Om: You can't use helplessness as a weapon!
- Especially cool because we find out later that those words — "In a hundred years, we'll all be dead, but HERE AND NOW, WE ARE ALIVE" go on to become one of the founding rules of his new religion.
- Om gets one too: "I think, if you want thousands [of followers], you have to fight for one."
- Which he does. First by, while in the body of a tortoise, forcing an eagle to carry him to Brutha's execution and killing Vorbis, and later by beating most of the Dunmanifestin pantheon into preventing a war.
- Fridge Brilliance, too, when you realize that Om learned everything he ever knew about being a leader from a shepherd. That had some downsides, sure (sheep are stupid, and need to be driven), but the book specifically mentions that he was "the kind of shepherd who had hundreds of sheep because he took the time to stop and hunt down one that had gotten lost."
- Om crashes through the Discworld God's pantheon, beats up all the other "High Gods" and FORCES them to come down and tell the humans "Life is not a game". This is the first time a Discworld God has ever fought for his people rather than vice versa. The way he made all these formerly too-good-for-you gods his bitches. He even got them reciting the same damn message!
I. THIS IS NOT A GAME.
II. HERE AND NOW, YOU ARE ALIVE.
- And Brutha notices "Om was in the throng, standing right behind the Tsortean God of Thunder with a faraway expression on his face. It was noticeable, if only to Brutha, that the Thunder God's right arm disappeared up behind his own back in a way that, if such a thing could be imagined, would suggest that someone was twisting it to the edge of pain."
- And then there's Death's semi-threat to Vorbis after his death, when he is sitting alone in the endless desert.
Death: You have perhaps heard the phrase that Hell is other people?
Vorbis: Yes. Yes, of course.
Death: In time, you will learn that it is wrong.
- Earlier in the book:
Brutha was aware of feet running up the steps, and hands pulling at the chains. And then a voice:
I. He is Mine.
- Brutha, tortured, death imminent, barely able to speak:
Vorbis? You're going to die...
- And actually feeling sorry for Vorbis when he says it.
- Whenever patient, always believing, never violent, seemingly dumb always kind BRUTHA gets fed up with his god in the desert, and informs him that a tortoise shell would be excellent for carrying water. An empty threat, because Brutha is BRUTHA, but still the guts it took, and the fact that Brutha has learned to think for himself and not follow blindly, but to lead... is brilliant.
- Brutha's speech about death:
"No. Men should die for lies. But the truth is too precious to die for."
- A Deus ex Machina in an unconventional sense...
Vorbis looked up at the sky, just as two pounds of tortoise, travelling at a rate of three meters per second, hit him directly between the eyes. Some of those watching said that his expression just had time to change before it hit.
It was a revelation.
- There's one that happens entirely inside Brutha's head, but it's still pretty awesome, because it marks the point where he finally stops being a timid novice and starts being a real prophet. It happens right before the climax of the book, when he's going around and around in his mind trying to figure out why Vorbis is both rewarding and threatening him, and what Vorbis wants:
"You're a bishop now, for being good. And here's a torture device, in case you're bad." Because...
Brutha had never thought about it like that before.