Characters / The Order of the Stick: Divine Beings

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    The Snarl 

The Snarl
The Snarl (or just a fragment of it), with a few humans for scale.

Lord Shojo: The world took shape, but for every argument, a new snag would develop in the fabric of the world. A new snarl in the threads of reality. And the gods, blinded by their petty squabbles, did not see the Snarl growing every day... Growing more complex... growing more intelligent... growing more hateful.

An immensely powerful god-killing Eldritch Abomination whom many of the main villains wish to harness, each for their own reasons. Born from the dissensions and frustrations of the gods during the first creation of the world. That's the story the heroes have been told, anyway — their own interactions with the rifts to its realm show their information is inaccurate, or at least incomplete.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Annihilated the Eastern pantheon, when killing gods should be impossible.
    Durkon: Wait a minute, ye cannae kill tha gods. Tha's impossible.
    Shojo: For mere mortals like you or I, certainly, friend dwarf.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Its mindset is unfathomable.
  • Continuity Snarl: Literally the embodiment of one.
  • Deader Than Dead: The fate of anyone killed by the Snarl, because even souls are destroyed.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Even gods are baffled by its existence and nature.
  • Evil Overlooker: In the poster illustrating the Loads and Loads of Characters of OotS, the Snarl takes this role.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The only distinguishable feature in the scramble of threads that is its body.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The only way the gods found to stop it was to let it destroy the world and recreate one around it. The Godsmoot seems to be about deciding whether the gods would destroy the current world themselves to avoid losing another pantheon as well as the souls of mortals.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: It's far more powerful than Xykon and overshadows the entire setting, but isn't personally involved in the plot and probably cares nothing for it.
  • Hero Killer: Aside from the numerous heroes it has killed, it also gives this impression, both in its own time and in the time of the Order of the Stick. Even the gods are afraid of this thing.
  • Man of Kryptonite: It is theorized that due to its origins, the gods are more vulnerable to being killed by the Snarl than mortals of comparable level would be. Though "comparable level" is a subjective term. Gods in that edition of D&D usually have at least 60 levels even before level adjustment.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The people that stare into the rift for a long period of time get purplish eyes. Just ask Blackwing. Or Laurin. Oddly, it's not permanent, and it only seems to have an effect at very close range — an entire platoon of goblins was staring straight into the rift in Azure City from an adjacent rooftop and nothing happened to them.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Most likely, though the revelation of a freaking planet within its rift opens all kinds of cans of worms.
  • The Scottish Trope: The gods themselves don't dare say its name directly (except for Hel), using euphemisms like "the danger of which we dare not speak" or "You-Know-Who".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Unusually, the can is the whole world. And it is starting to get out of it.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Artwork in stories told of it (in Start of Darkness and "The Crayons of Time") only portrays it as a ball of crayon scribbles with glowing eyes and clawed "limbs". Strip #945 does not use crayon scribbles, but still conveys this trope.

Northern Pantheon

    In General 

Northern Gods and Demigods

The pantheon that are primarily worshiped and has domain in the Northern Continent.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Like any other gods in-universe, they have strict rules that even they can't break without causing infighting between them. For example, any clerics can cast spells that take from an element of a god even if he is working against said god's interest. The reason is because they need to work together and make concessions, otherwise they might create another Snarl.
  • Jerkass Gods: Not all of them, but many of them voted to either save the world or destroy it for self-serving reasons.
  • Public-Domain Character: They are based off the Norse Gods.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Enforced. Burlew has stated that they have more in common with Marvel Comics than actual Norse Mythology.
  • Shoot the Dog: Some Gods would prefer destroying the world before risking the Snarl's release, not because they are assholes but because to them the Snarl is too much of a threat to handle carelessly.



"With my ultimate power of the thunders, I, Thor, smash this entire dungeon to shattered ruins, each piece no larger than a man's fist. Then, I return to Asgard to woo goddesses and drink an ocean's worth of beer. Huzzah!"

Race: God [Northern]
Gender: Male
Alignment: Chaotic Good (probably)

The god of Thunder, a major power of Asgard. Patron god of Durkon and of most dwarves.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Check out his page quote. That's what he would do.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: As standard for a God of thunder.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To Odin, his father.
    Odin: Ooooo! Doggie!
    Thor: Dad, don't pet it, you don't know where it's been.
  • Continuity Nod: The Imagine Spot in Start of Darkness of the Dark One's plan to blackmail the other gods into granting racial equality has Thor getting attacked by the Snarl, saying that Loki was right, and he really shouldn't have taunted the god-killing abomination.
  • Drop the Hammer: Being Thor, he has one.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Durkon is a Lawful Good cleric of Thor, a (presumably) Chaotic Good deity. This shouldn't be possible based on core D&D rules. (Clerics can only be a "step" away in alignment to their patron deity so a cleric of Thor would need to be Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, or Neutral Good.) Although OotS Thor is distinct from both Nordic Thor and D&D Thor, so his alignment might not be Chaotic Good at all. He certainly acts Chaotic in his page time to date but there is nothing definitive.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Why he can't nix the High Priest of Hel's spell to cancel his warning storm below — if he did, he would violate the terms of a treaty that allows clerics to use the general spell list unmolested by the gods, and would allow Hel to rain, say, the Black Death on the Dwarven lands without fear of reprisal.
  • Honor Before Reason: His vote during the Godsmoot is that he believes they owe it to their followers to give them a last chance at fixing the gates, even if he knows that it means losing many followers to the Snarl if it breaks free. It's more based on a noble sentiment than pragmatism.
  • Horny Viking: Yes, he has the stereotypical horned helmet. According to the Giant, "Thor is distinct from both Nordic Thor and D&D Thor," so it's okay.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: He allows Durkon to use Control Weather in order to create a lightning strike resulting in a powerful sonic attack, just because he thinks it's a cool idea.
    Thor: BOOYAH! Direct hit!
    Planetar: Lord Thor, I've been reading the description of Control Weather... and I'm not sure it can actually DO that.
    Thor: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you just there. What did you say, again?
    Planetar: *sigh* I said, "Nice shooting, sir."
  • Loophole Abuse: He knows full well that Hel steals any dwarven souls that didn't die honorably, so he stretches the definition of "honor" to ludicrous extremes and made sure all dwarves knew about her bet.
  • Miss Conception: He should learn to recognize fertility goddesses before impregnating one.
  • Public-Domain Character: Thor from ancient myth.
  • Psychopomp: In two panels, he disputes with Hel over dwarf souls. Apparently he does this for both those dwarves who die in battle, and those who die of liver-related diseases.
  • Rule of Cool: He will bend the laws of reality on behalf of his worshipers, if he thinks the result will be particularly awesome. The Twelve Gods of the South do not approve (though it was mainly because he did so on their home turf).
  • Shock and Awe: "With my ultimate power of the thunders!"
  • Smarter Than You Look: Despite generally acting like a frat boy, he figures out Hel's scheme either immediately when the High Priest of Hel crossed into his domain, or before, and that if the High Priest of Hel reaches the dwarven homelands, the dwarves could be in a lot of trouble. He decides to warn the Order with a storm.
  • Weapon of Choice: Mjölnir, as per myth.


Loki (speaking), with his high priest for scale.

"Bring it on, Thunder Geek!"

Race: God [Northern]
Gender: Male
Alignment: Chaotic Evil (probably)

The god of Flames and Chaos. Rival of Thor and father of Hel. Patron god of Hilgya Firehelm and the Greysky Cleric.
  • Affably Evil: Loki is an amusingly snarky and pretty chill guy and despite his role as enemy/obstructor to Thor, never really does anything that evil and is actually more often a friend or ally.
  • Badass Cape: In keeping with his fire theme, he wears a cape that looks like (or perhaps is made of) flame.
  • Corrupt Church: The Church of Loki isn't exactly the most honest organization in the world.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's quite the sarcastic deity, especially toward Thor.
    Loki: She has flowers in her hair and bluebirds singing around her head. Who did you think she was, the bringer of pestilence?

    Loki: Gosh, I didn't know our divine energy color was yellow because we were all a bunch of cowards.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Granted, he's another Cthulhu himself, and one of the codifiers of The Trickster, but he's the reason Hel could not have any mortal cleric, at the cost of instant dominion of dwarven souls who died dishonorably. But then Thor made the dwarves the most honorable society, thus denying Hel most of the dwarven souls that should have been hers. Then it turns out a Cleric following him is able to be dishonorable in whatever way they want and still count as honorable regardless as following their god is the honorable thing for Clerics to do. He scammed Hel twice over.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: He warns Thor against his verbally lashing at the Snarl.
    Loki: Dude, don't taunt the god-killing abomination.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Despite his presumed Evil Alignment, Loki opposes the world being ended because he finds the current crop of sentient beings entertaining.
  • Friendly Enemy: Seems to have this going with Thor. The onscreen moments they have are either them fighting or making snarky comments to each other. He apparently even helped Thor keep Hel away from the Godsmoot dealings.
  • Genre Savvy: Recognizes a "premature villain gloat" when Hel uses one, expecting her plan to fail, while snarking, "I'm a failure as a parent."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The God of Lies and Mischief is... not the nicest guy. But given the kind of deity Hel is, he looks downright pure already. Then it turns out his clerics can dodge the matter of honor and stay out of Hel: no matter what kind of dishonor they perform, they're acting in the interests of their god, so that keeps them out of Hel. Further, if Hilgya's not just being hopeful, Loki understands that the kind of dwarves who are going to follow the God of Lies and Mischief aren't gonna be interested in the endless beer hall, and set up a lounge in Valhalla.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Although Loki doesn't want Hel to succeed, he can't directly help or send aid due to the rules of the Godsmoot, so instead he replies to Hilgya's pleas to learn Durkon's location, knowing that she'll be able to help the Order.
      Haley: Leave it to Loki to find a loophole in the rules.
    • A Dwarf Cleric following him can be dishonorable and not end up Hel's for this reason: as Loki's portfolio includes being dishonorable, so a Cleric following him being dishonorable is being honorable by following the way of their chosen deity. Thus providing an out to Loki's own deal with Hel that still benefits Loki by providing him worshipers.
  • Public-Domain Character: Loki, from ancient myth.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: As the God of Fire and Chaos, he has flaming red eyes.
  • Rousing Speech: Surprisingly subverted, given Loki's general portrayal in media. While his plea to not destroy the world because of the Snarl is pretty logical (even noting they can make a provision to destroy it if the Snarl gets free as they'd have time to do so), it's frankly not as convincing as Heimdall's. And then Roy outdoes them both. And his argument is pretty much just procrastination and thinking that seeing the mortals cleaning it up would be funny.
  • Token Evil Teammate: He is a Jerkass God who likes gambling with the souls of mortals, either by having them fight the Snarl who can destroy their souls or by offering every dishonored dwarves' souls to his daughter because of a bet with Thor, but he is on the side of saving the world.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Undead. His scripture teaches that "lo, they are such gross, icky things", and his clerics all Turn Undead, seemingly ignoring the normal alignment-based rules for that ability.
  • Xanatos Gambit: His deal with Hel turns out to be one. If the Dwarfs remain honorable, Hel gets no Dwarfs. If they chafe too much under the honor code despite fearing becoming Hel's slaves? They can just become one of his Clerics, as they no longer have to behave honorably because Loki himself is dishonorable and thus they're following their deity, the most honorable thing a Cleric can do, giving Loki worshipers. Either outcome robs Hel of Dwarf souls and the latter has the added benefit of giving Loki followers.



"I see worlds within worlds and yarn winding yarn."

Race: God [Northern]
Gender: Male
Alignment: Lawful Good (probably)

The All-Father, god of Magic and head of the Northern gods. Thor's father.
  • Clever Crows: Hugin & Munin
  • Cloudcuckoolander: "Aww, but I like puppets!"
  • Eyepatch of Power: Like the mythical Odin, he's missing an eye and is wearing an eyepatch. It's unclear how much "wisdom" this version earned out of the deal, though.
  • Omniscient Morality License: He sent a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy that got Durkon exiled and turned into a vampire loyal to Hel's plans to destroy the world. The Order Lampshades and derides him for this, but then figures out that without Durkon's presence grounding them, they wouldn't have been able to get as far as they have in stopping Xykon.
  • Public-Domain Character: Odin, from ancient myth.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Generally a goofball and almost instated a hand puppet into the Pantheon, but he seems to know more about the Snarl and the world inside of the rifts than almost anyone else. Also, the Order points out that when his high priest gave the prophecy about Durkon to Hurak, he probably foresaw that Durkon would be a necessary part of the team to keep the Order moving forward.
  • Top God: Of the Northern pantheon.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: His warning about the rifts is appropriately cryptic for a god.


Hel (seated), with a couple of dwarves for scale.

"And now, as High Priest of Hel, you will finally bring this world to ruin — and drive that buffoon Thor to his knees in the process."

Race: God [Northern]
Gender: Female
Alignment: Neutral Evil (probably)

Goddess of the Dead in the Northern pantheon.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: While none of the other gods are terribly close to their mythological counterparts either, Hel doesn't have the split-down-the-middle appearance she's most famous for.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: She's Loki's daughter, but she's opposed to her father's (and her uncle Thor's) stance over the survival of the current world.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: She joins the ensemble of major villains for the comic in Book 6, and so far is much more concerning than Tarquin.
  • Brutal Honesty: Admitted up front to Thrym about the Sex for Services trope below, but he refused to believe her.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She appears first in two gag panels arguing with Thor over the fate of a dwarven soul, with no hint whatsoever that she could be behind yet another faction until the end of Book 5.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Her eyes have faint grey rings around them, giving this impression.
  • Didn't Think This Through: She has problems covering every angles. For examples, her plan at the Godsmoot gets delayed because one demigod refuses to commit, and her bet with Thor ended up poorly in her favor because Thor simply told the dwarves about said bet.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: An extremely evil goddess of the dead. Unlike even other evil gods, she does not have any followers among the living. Her followers are exclusively undead. And her Evil Plan would see her as the new Top God of her pantheon, flooding the nascent new world with undeath. It is her fault as she sacrificed her right to have living clerics in exchange of the souls of any dwarves that die dishonorably, as souls give power while clerics take it.
  • Fog Feet: Unlike other gods, Hel seems to be lacking legs, her lower body ending in a wisp like a ghost's shroud. It's especially obvious when she's flying.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Something which, fortunately, works in the heroes' favor. Hel can't directly accelerate the diseases they've been infected with, crush them with her unholy power, or just send her armies of death giants and hellhounds to kill them all without breaking the very rules she's attempting to loophole herself into power with. She can only act through proxies and those of her allies, via their followers on the mortal plane.
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: In the previous world, Hel received worship from everyone who avoided death, without ever having to do anything at all to get it. Now, she's angry that she can only gain souls from dishonored dead, unaware of the obvious irony or, indeed, to actually do much to bother making people want to worship her.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Her Evil Plan hinges on drawing the souls of every dead dwarf in the world into her domain.
  • It's All About Me: She's so self-centered that she thinks the party's Sphinx Pox should replicate faster to prove they love her.
  • Jerkass: As shown when she's interacting solely with her peers rather than in front of mortals, she's a vain, lazy, and spiteful brat who's boorish, unreasonable, and mean to both her would-be boyfriend and the souls in her power.
  • Kick the Dog: Vents her rage and spite on a few dwarf souls polishing her throne by infecting them with horrible plagues, despite them doing what they were told.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Specifically, the Goddess Behind the Vampire — vampire Durkon is her servant and high priest, not just Durkon-but-evil.
  • Plague Master: Zigzagged. She can tell when people are infected with diseases and increase their chances of contagion, but she can't speed the normal course of an illness without breaking the rules under which the gods work.
  • The Plan: She wants the Godsmoot to vote "yes" for destroying the world, so she can claim the souls of every dead dwarf in the world and make herself the new Top God of the Northern pantheon when they rebuild it. She apparently convinced the demigods to vote on her side (or at least, got the demigods who would vote alongside her to go, since most don't bother sending priests to the event) and her high priest provides the tie to make it happen.
  • Psychopomp: She has custody of the souls of dwarves who died of disease (other than livers-related) and other non-battle deaths.
  • The Rival: Seemingly to Thor, if not full Arch-Enemy.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Thrym says that it just isn't fair that she no longer receives the worship she never deserved, and being the Entitled Bastard she is, she replies "Exactly!"
  • Sex for Services: Offers Thrym, the frost giant racial demigod, a place as her consort once she takes over Odin's throne in the new world, if he'll help her get it.
  • Smug Snake: The moment she arrives at the Godsmoot, Hel partakes in tons of Evil Gloating and boasting about her Evil Plan, especially toward Thor and Loki. The latter calls out her poor judgment in indulging in the "premature villain gloat".
  • Villain Ball: Stops to gloat over her plan at the Godsmoot in rather excruciating detail, allowing Roy to work things out and attempt to intervene.
  • Woman in White: Wears a long flowing white robe reminiscent of a shroud, suggesting both the evil as well as ghost-like aspects of the trope.


Heimdall (speaking), with his high priest for scale.

"My fellow deities, we must protect ourselves from the danger of which we dare not speak."

Race: God [Northern]
Gender: Male
Alignment: Lawful Good (probably)

The God of the Watch, Heimdall speaks up in support for destroying the world to deal with the threat of the Snarl.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Like everyone who voted yes at the Godsmoot, he can't change his vote regardless of falling into Hel's plan. And if the High Priest of Sunni is not just an isolated case, he will have to support the High Priest of Hel if another representative of the pantheon interferes in the fight.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He makes the case for destroying the world, and killing everyone in it, to contain the Snarl.
  • Horny Vikings: He is a Viking god and his helmet has horns.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Heimdall supports destroying the world not out of malice or personal power, but because it is the most cautious option and guarantees the survival of the gods and the souls of mortals. The gods can always create a new world and all the mortals would go their respective afterlives instead of ceasing to be if the Snarl gets free.
  • Public-Domain Character: Based on the god from Norse Myth.
  • Unwitting Pawn: His caution plays right into Hel's hands. Such an action, while sensible, is honorless, and would doom every dwarf in creation to an eternity in the gloomy bowels of her domain, making her the new Top God of their pantheon and the strongest deity in the new world.



"When I was a mortal monarch, I swore an oath to obey the will of the council on issues affecting all the clans. That promise still stands despite my subsequent death and deification."

Race: Demigod [Northern] (formerly dwarf)
Gender: Male
Alignment: Lawful Good (probably)

The first king of the Dwarfs who was made into a demigod.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Or dwarven origin, in this case.
  • The Good King: He was ascended as being the first king of the dwarves who united all clans. This backfires as he is now a god and still abides by said vows.
  • I Gave My Word: While still mortal, he made a vow not to act without consulting the heads of all dwarven clans.
  • Lawful Stupid: Despite the fate of his entire race being at stake, he insists on keeping an oath that he made as a mortal king where he consults all of the clans on any issue affecting all of them. This gives the High Priest of Hel time to manipulate the clan heads. The resident dwarf gets upset that Dvalin is the last vote for this very reason.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Technically a king, but he functions as a President Focus Group. Dvalin never made any major decision without consulting the clan heads, despite having the authority to do so.



"Do I still get to be your consort when you get Odin's throne?"

Race: Demigod [Northern]
Gender: Male
Alignment: Chaotic Evil (probably)

The demigod of the frost giants.
  • Benevolent Boss: Defends the efforts of his followers to Hel and argues that they did their best and that that's all that matters. Hel disagrees, obviously, but it's a surprisingly understanding attitude for a probably-evil god to take.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Is willing to do anything to make Hel select him as consort, even though she's quite honest about using him.
  • Literal-Minded: He takes a metaphor Hel makes about "pulling their own weight" literally.
    Hel: Well at least somebody is pulling their own weight around here.
    Thrym: Not fair! He's very tiny, his weight is a lot less than mine!
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Is willing to end the world and kill all his worshipers just so Hel agrees to make him her consort.

Southern Pantheon

    The Twelve Gods 

The Twelve Gods

Dragon: We all now know what happens should we ever come to direct conflict over how to run this new world. I therefore suggest that each of our three pantheons be granted special dominion over one-third of this planet, to guide as we see fit.

The pantheon with dominion over the Southern continent, including Azure City. Based on the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac: Dragon (the leader of the pantheon), Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, and Hare.
  • Dragons Up the Yin Yang: Like the Norse divinities, they aren't terribly accurate to the Chinese belief systems they're aping, but they aren't intended to be either.
  • Eastern Zodiac: Specifically the Chinese zodiac.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: One of three.
  • Pillar of Light: Manifested to shut down someone that breaks a covenant with them. (spoiler: "Fading")
  • Stealth Pun: Rat was one of the gods who detailed for the Dark One the gods' plan for goblins and the nature of the Snarl. He ratted them out.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Rat is portrayed as an ally of the Dark One and other evil gods.

Western Pantheon



"Well, there are those rules for monster PCs—"

Race: God [Western]
Gender: Male
Alignment: Unknown

The leader of the Western pantheon (equivalent to Odin or Dragon in this regard). Marduk can be seen in Lord Shojo's tale about the making of the World and the origins of the Snarl.



"RRAWWR!!" (×5)

Race: God [Western]
Gender: Female
Alignment: Lawful Evil

The five-headed dragon goddess, progenitor of all evil dragons. One of the few allies of the Dark One. She grants the Oracle his powers.
  • Breath Weapon: In five flavors: acid, cold, fire, poison gas and lightning.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Is livid about Vaarsuvius killing one-fourth of all black dragons.
  • Mama Bear: After V's Familicide, she contacts Lee and make him promise five good dragons for every evil ones dead as payback.
  • Monster Progenitor: Of all evil dragons.
  • Multiple Head Case: Tiamat has five heads, each of a different color: white, green, black, blue, and red. The colors correspond to the five kinds of chromatic (evil) dragons.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Progenitor of all evil dragons.
  • Physical Goddess: Of dragons.
  • Reaching Between the Lines: Her five breath weapons go through the Lower Planes' telephone lines, badly singing Lee.
  • Voice of the Legion: With five heads, what do you expect?
    Succubus secretary: Director? Ms. Tiamat is holding on lines 2, 3, 5, 8, and 11.


Statues of Nergal (left) and his wife Ereshkagal (right).

Malack: His fiery rage brings the end of all things.

Race: God [Western]
Gender: Male
Alignment: Unknown

The Western Pantheon's God of Death. Malack is one of his clerics.
  • The Ghost: Despite one of his clerics being a prominent character in the "Empire of Blood" arc, Nergal himself has not yet actually appeared.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Has a lion head and a human body.

Eastern Pantheon

    The Eastern Gods 

The Eastern Gods
Left to right: Zeus, Ares, and Pan

Durkon: Whoa thar. Gods o' tha East? Never heard o' them.

The gods of Olympus, who (as their name implies) ruled the east of the previous world. They were the first victims of the Snarl, who killed them all to a man. Known members of their pantheon included Zeus (the top god), Ares, Pan, Apollo, Hades, Poseidon, Demeter and Aphrodite.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Snarl cut through them incredibly quickly.
  • Deader Than Dead: Like all victims of the Snarl, they aren't coming back. And no-one save a select few even know they ever existed at all.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: As a necessity, the remaining gods can't let anyone know about these guys, in case someone learns about the Snarl in the process.
  • Public-Domain Character: They're the Ancient Greek gods.
  • The Worf Effect: Ares, their god of war, died in the first round of combat against the Snarl. Lord Shojo even speculates that their godly nature made them more susceptible to the Snarl's attack.

Other Gods

    The Dark One 

The Dark One
The Dark One (right), with a regular hobgoblin for scale.


Race: God (formerly goblin)
Gender: Male
Class: Unknown (rumors of a prestige class)
Alignment: Lawful Evil

The evil god of all goblinoids. Originally a goblin warlord born with purple skin, he united many tribes in a mighty army threatening the human lands. He was killed through treachery, but had so many followers that he rose to godhood. Now he plans to upset the status quo between PC and monster races by using the Snarl as a bargaining chip. He's working to this end through his true prophet, the bearer of the Crimson Mantle.
  • Aggressive Negotiations: In the prequel book Start of Darkness, we see that this is how The Dark One ultimately met his end: he was murdered while attempting to negotiate a peace settlement with the human, dwarven, and elven kings. Rather than ending the war, it made things far worse, as the goblins swarmed upon their enemies, inflicting huge losses in vengeance for their fallen warlord, who as a result ascended to godhood.
  • Anti-Villain: He wants a better life for his people. Before he was betrayed, he didn't do much in the way of evil. He gathered the various goblins tribes under one banner but didn't order an attack. He planned to talk things out instead. According to Right-Eye, he may have been this at first, but soon degenerated into "a petty spiteful god" who doesn't truly know, or care, about the goblin people more than revenge.
  • An Axe to Grind: His weapon of choice, both as a mortal and when about to fight with other gods.
  • Beard of Evil: Sports a goatee, and is listed as Evil.
  • Deity of Human Origin: More exactly, Deity of Goblinoid Origin — the number of his followers allowed him to transcend his mortality and become a god.
  • Flashback: So far has only appeared through "crayons" flashbacks, never in the current action.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from just another goblin to be slain for XP (albeit one with better-than-usual stats) to a warlord, and then a god.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: It was hoped assassinating the Dark One would demoralize and dissolve his followers. Instead, it enraged them enough to embark on a year-long crusade of vengeance, which allowed the Dark One to ascend to godhood and learn about the Snarl.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: To Redcloak. He is unable to personally involve himself in the plot, leaving Redcloak to carry out his will. His only known message to him is "Don't screw this up."
  • The Man Behind the Man: He's the goblin god behind the goblin high priest, namely Redcloak.
  • Noble Wolf: His mount while a mortal is a wolf. Redcloak and other goblins would insist that it is a noble creature bearing the savior of his people.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: By an assassin while negotiating with the leaders of the humans, elves and dwarves, before his rise to godhood.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "His real name has been lost to antiquity."
  • Purple Is Powerful: The only purple goblinoid we've seen, and he's the most powerful of his kind of which we know, to where the number and devotion of his followers allowed him to transcend his death and become their literal god.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Initially, he's got a beef with his fellow mortals (humans, elves, etc.). After he becomes a god himself and learns the truth about the purpose of his race, however, he's understandably pissed.
    Dark One: [to Marduk, Odin, and Dog] YOU! You did this to us ON PURPOSE? You made us and the humans, but they get to be PC races while we are slaughtered by adventurers?
  • Savage Wolves: His mount while a mortal is a wolf. Humans would argue that is is one more mark of a villainous warlord that will destroy their civilization.
  • ‹bermensch: Very much so. Starting out as an above-average goblin, he becomes a warlord and then a god, all with the purpose of defying the natural order (namely, his people being designated fodder for adventurers) for the sake of his people... and willing to gain access to an Eldritch Abomination to do so.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Averted with his message for Redcloak — "Don't screw this up."
    Redcloak: Well, as theological revelations go, I guess that's refreshingly direct.
    Jirix: Then he added, "No pressure, though," which I thought was nice.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He threatens all of creation with extinction in order to make a better life for the goblins.



Race: God (unaffiliated) / Puppet
Gender: Male
Alignment: (probably) Chaotic Good

A small hand-puppet carried around by Elan, Banjo is the God of Puppets. Although made up on the spot by Elan one day, Banjo still just barely counts as a god due to the sheer strength of Elan's belief in Him.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Make no mistake, Banjo is definitely a god. He just happens to come in the form of a googly-eyed hand-puppet.
  • Arch-Nemesis: Giggles, the puppet God of Slapstick and his evil brother, who manages to have a whole island of worshippers, compared to Banjo's Elan.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Banjo is a god of peace and love, but even he isn't above smiting non-believers (like Roy).
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Banjo will not lie, even to defend his only worshipper from the accusations of the Sapphire Guard.
  • Cargo Cult: Since Banjo is an inanimate puppet, by definition any cult of his is a cargo cult. The same applies for Giggles.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Banjuhlu, who looks oddly similar to Banjo, save for the fact that he has tentacles for a face. What relation Banjuhlu has to Banjo is as yet unknown.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Banjo sure does. The last time he tried to smite someone (Roy), he could only summon an incredibly tiny thunderbolt.
  • Healing Hands: At some point after the Empire of Blood arc, Banjo has acquired a doctorate and healing abilities. Considering a whole island of orcs believes in him, if only as the Good Counterpart of a much more important god.
  • Human Sacrifice: The tribe of orcs tried to sacrifice Lien to Banjo. Whether he would have accepted the offering is unclear.
  • Meaningful Name: Always carries a banjo on his person. That's why he's called Banjo, as Elan helpfully makes clear.
  • Oddly Small Organisation: He has a grand total of one worshiper, and that's Elan. He did have a small island of orcs, for a time, but they soon decided to convert to Giggles.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: Banjo wears a blue robe, while his brother Giggles wears an orange one.
  • Perpetual Smiler: No matter the situation, Banjo is always smiling. This is in direct contrast to his brother Giggles, who is a perpetual scowler.
  • Trade Your Passion for Glory: He almost got into the Northern Pantheon, but Elan decided otherwise on Banjo's behalf, much to Odin's disappointment. And now it's a (spoiler) Plot Point.

Celestial Forces

    The Planetar 

The Planetar
"Not going to slaughter a bunch of mortals just because you asked. Try again."

Race: Planetar
Gender: Female
Class: n/a
Alignment: Lawful Good

A powerful warrior summoned by Gin-Jun to help him attack the Gorge Ravine outpost and finally find the Crimson Mantle.
  • Bald Woman: She mentions having freshly shaved for the date her summoning pulls her out of.
  • Flaming Sword: Has a big one.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: The planetar does this to (a very deserving) Gin-Jun. When Gin-Jun orders the Planetar to fly him personally to the goblin outpost so he can slaughter the goblins, the planetar bluntly refuses and pointedly tells the proud Gin-Jun — whose status as the leader of the Sapphire Guard meant everything to him — that Gin-Jun's orders don't matter anymore because he's been expelled from the Sapphire Guard.
  • Literal-Minded: Her appearance in the 2017 calendar shows her as this.
    Julio: Hey, are you native to the Upper Planes? Because you have a heavenly body!
    Planetar: Yes, my corporeal form is Celestial in nature, mortal. That is a factually accurate assessment.
    Julio: No, no—I'm trying to pick you up.
    Planetar: That's not necessary; I can fly.
  • Our Angels Are Different: This one is bound to Gin-Jun's orders, but only if the orders don't grossly violate ethical rules.
  • Winged Humanoid: An extremely tall humanoid with two gigantic wings.

Infernal Forces

For Sabine, see The Linear Guild.

    The Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission 

The Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission
Left to right: Lee, Cedrik, and Nero, for all it matters.
Nero: Well, that went fairly well.
Lee: Everything is coming together quite nicely.
Cedrik: Yes, we've certainly thrown our chips in the pot now, haven't we?

Race: Devil (Lee), Daemon (Nero), Demon (Cedrik)
Alignment: Lawful Evil (Lee), Neutral Evil (Nero), Chaotic Evil (Cedrik)

Lee, Nero, and Cedrik: three powerful beings from the lower planes dedicated to uniting the factions of evil. So far this has meant appearing to Vaarsuvius in a desperate moment and granting V unprecedented arcane power by "splicing" V with the souls of three evil mages. Their long-term plans remain mysterious, but they require V to stay alive and involve the Gates.
  • Affably Evil: They are nothing if not polite to Vaarsuvius during their deal making. They even offer the elf an alternative solution that doesn't involve leasing V's soul.note  They also seem to be very pleasant employers. They hire Qarr immediately for his help in preparing their deal with Vaarsuvius, and while they're understandably unhappy about Sabine breaking their very nice television after Tarquin kills Nale, one simply comments that it's coming out of her holiday bonus, and the next strip shows Sabine cleaning up the mess.
  • Benevolent Boss: They hire Qarr because they like a go-getter and treat him and Sabine with a lot of respect for beings made of evil.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Or Triumvirate. They lead the IFCC equally, though each is answerable to superiors on their own plane. Whether or not they're real Big Bads or just another competing faction remains to be seen.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: First seen in "While the Fiend's Away...", but not formally introduced until much later. Heck, they were mentioned way back near the beginning — Sabine explicitly said that she'd been sent "by the archfiends" to be Nale's consort/sidekick. These guys are the archfiends in question.
  • The Chessmasters: They are shaping up to be Chessmasters in a grand style, not only manipulating V, and the Order through them, but also Team Evil and the Linear Guild as well. Lampshaded with the title of strip #668, "Moving the Pieces". Considering one of their masterstroke is simply holding Vaarsuvius still for a mere 20 minutes, they're strong contender for the top chessmaster in the series.
  • Circling Monologue: They once move in a circle around Vaarsuvius during their deal pitch.
  • Color-Coded Characters: All three look identical except for the color of their eyes, which is also reflected in the text of their speech bubbles and the color of their magic auras. Lee's is yellow, Nero's purple, and Cedrik's orange.
  • The Corrupters: They are collectively corrupting agents for Vaarsuvius. Sabine states that she'd seen them "take down" mortals way more righteous than the True Neutral wizard.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: The Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission is a "community-based grassroots organization dedicated to building bridges between the diabolic, demonic, and daemonic populations."
  • Deal with the Devil: As well as the Daemon and Demon. They make one with Vaarsuvius: power in exchange for a time share on V's soul.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: They are. Both kinds. Plus a Daemon director.
  • Didn't See That Coming: They did not expect V to go that overboard with punishing the dragon. Not a big set back to their plan, but Lee realizes that meant he'll have some explaining to do to Tiamat about why a fourth of the black dragons just died.
  • The Dividual: They always talk and act as a trio. They're basically interchangeable, and despite being supposedly of different evil alignments, don't really have distinct personalities. Sabine describes their team dynamic in #903, but they'd still be identical without the color-coding.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: First show up in a flashback commissioning Sabine to let them know of anything that might tip the balance of Good and Evil in their favor. It's well over three hundred strips later that they get a proper introduction.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • They consider pedophiles acceptable targets.
    • They were briefly shocked speechless when Vaarsuvius used the Familicide spell.
    • While they may neglect to correct V on any assumptions made (such as being able to take possession of their soul before they die), they will not violate their contract (like by putting another soul in V's body, as their contract did not give them possession of it). They may be evil, but they pride themselves on fantastic customer service.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: The Trope Namers, they both play with this trope in several directions. On one hand, they aren't going to ally with or openly assist Xykon just because he's evil, because to them he's just another piece in the game; on the other, one of their long-term goals is to unite the three warring races of Fiends into a single alliance.
  • Evil Plan: They seem to have one of these going but for the first several hundred pages it's a Hidden Agenda Villain thing.
  • The Facelesses: Their robe hoods shadow their face except for their glowing eyes.
  • False Reassurance: During their whole speech to entice Vaarsuvius into making a deal with them, they are honest. Almost everything they say is perfectly true, including the fact that V would keep control during the Soul Splice, save for the feelings of omnipotence it could induce. Even their stated long-term goal is probably the entire truth; since it wouldn't unfold before millennia, they certainly weren't worried that V would care enough about it to refuse. They just omit some critical details, like when they would take custody of V's soul afterward (not correcting the elf's assumption it would be after death), nor what is their short-term goal (which involves the Gates). The only outright lies are that Vaarsuvius just happened to be next in line for requesting a deal, when they targeted the wizard specifically, and that all they want out of the deal is to prove their concept.
  • Footnote Fever: They put footnotes in their speech.
  • Freudian Trio: With Cedrik as the Id, Lee as the Superego, and Nero as the Ego, at least according to Sabine.
    Sabine: Director Lee sets up the traps and Cedrik springs them when his gut tells him the time is right. And Nero keeps them working together. It's scary effective.
  • Gambit Roulette: The IFCC really did get lucky with their plan. Expecting that Vaarsuvius would attack Xykon with the powers they gave the elf? Reasonable. Hoping that the attack would be effective enough to piss off Xykon, not powerful enough to kill him and that V would still be able to escape Xykon? Yeah, there was a lot that could've gone wrong. The IFCC even admits that they had no way to interfere and that their plan wasn't perfect.
  • Glowing Eyes: Yellow for Lee, orange for Cedrik, and purple for Nero. That's the sole facial feature that can be seen in the shadow of their hoods.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: They briefly discuss their goals with Qarr, but ultimately decide it's too much exposition to reveal now. They involve V, the Gates, and Xykon. Sabine has been on their side from the beginning and even she only knows half of what they're up to.
  • Loophole Abuse: Their contract with Vaarsuvius dictates that each of them are granted a claim on V's soul. The contract never said that V has to be dead for them to call upon their claim.
  • Manipulative Bastards: Through use of Reverse Psychology, they try to convince Vaarsuvius to make a deal with them in the most blatant way possible... and they succeed. Then they imply that the spliced souls have the ability to influence him, even though they actually have no control at all. "We simply don't need to trick you if we can get what we want by playing it straight" sounds a LOT like "we're being honest" without actually meaning that at all.
  • Meaningful Names: LE, NE, and CE are the abbreviations D&D uses for the three evil alignments.
  • Mr. Exposition: Being Messrs. Exposition is a good part of their role in the story, but they know when to stop before giving spoilers.
  • Number of the Beast:
    • Averted (inverted?) with their address, which is "9 Hells Plaza, Lower Planes 00999".
    • Note also that "Moving the Pieces", the strip where they enunciate their sinister mobiles, would have been strip #666 if not for the tribute pages to Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: By courtesy of the choir of dead pedophiles.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They consist of a devil, a demon, and a daemon. Their challenge is proving that different kinds of fiends can work together.
  • Pass the Popcorn: While scrying on soul-spliced Vaarsuvius, one of them prepares popcorn.
  • The Plan: The Deal with a Mortal they made is just the start of it. It could be a Gambit Roulette altogether, since they admitted themselves that they couldn't control all aspects of their plan. The ultimate goal is (apparently) to put an end to the Blood War in favor of uniting their respective races to overrun the heavens.
  • Power Trio: Although it's not too evident for the times we see them, according to Sabine, Lee (Lawful Evil Devil) is the careful planner, Cedrik (Chaotic Evil Demon) is the intuitive, gutsy one, and Nero (Neutral Evil Daemon) keeps them working together.
  • Time Stands Still: From the moment they step on the island to offer Vaarsuvius their deal, time is stopped for the rest of the world, as they don't like to rush this kind of transaction.
  • Villainous Friendship: They treat their plan like a pet project between partners and are really congratulatory of each others.
  • Wham Line: "Now." After not appearing for several hundred strips, they call in Vaarsuvius's debt just when s/he's trying to stop Roy from destroying Girard's gate.

    Ganonron, Haerta Bloodsoak, Jephton the Unholy 

Ganonron, Haerta Bloodsoak, Jephton the Unholy
Ganonron (left), Haerta (middle), and Jephton (right)

Ganonron: Your doom is here.
Haerta Bloodsoak: Your doom is here.
Jephton the Unholy: Your doom is here.

Races: Spirits (formerly human)
Gender: Male (Ganonron, Jephton), Female (Haerta)
Class: Wizard [Conjurer] (Ganonron), Wizard [Necromancer] (Haerta), Sorcerer/Archmage (Jephton)
Alignment: Lawful Evil (Ganonron), Neutral Evil (Haerta), Chaotic Evil (Jephton)

Three evil spirits of dead arcane mages which the IFCC bind to Vaarsuvius, dramatically bolstering the elf's magical prowess.
  • Affably Evil: Despite being a trio of powerful and evil magic-users, they're actually pretty friendly with V. While we don't see much with Haerta because she is not around as long as the others, both Ganonron and Jephton show support of V, even reassuring that they're still with him during the fight with Xykon. They even apologize when Xykon's onslaught means V is unable to hold onto them.
  • Evil Laugh: All of them have one, which V at first confuses it for theirs.
  • For the Evulz: Being Chaotic Evil, Jephton seems to fits this, especially since he has a chipper personality and a smile on his face often. In fact, one of the things he told V was to try and unravel reality just to see if he can, but in a smiling and casual manner like suggesting a hobby.
  • Mass Teleportation: Ganonron's specialty was to teleport his army in front of his enemy's gates. Vaarsuvius is able to teleport the entire fleet of Azure city with it.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: When the three fiends introduce them, they do so with some ominous monikers the spellcasters gained in life:
    • "Ganonron, Terror of a Thousand Planes!"
    • "Haerta Bloodsoak, Destroyer of Hope!"
    • "Jephton the Unholy, Spawn of Hatred!"
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Haerta manages to free herself when Inkyrius looks at Vaarsuvius in horror. When Xykon defeats Vaarsuvius in the duel, the other two apologize and bid farewell to V since the elf lost the focus needed to hold onto them any longer.
  • Smug Snake: As far as Xykon is concerned, being the strongest spellcasters to be sent to Hell in a world where Immortality Immorality is possible just means you're a chump who couldn't stay in the game (though in Xykon's case, his immortality was more due to exploiting dumb luck).



"See, the first lesson of being 18-inches tall is: Find someone more powerful than you are, and glue your lips to their ass."

Race: Devil (Imp)
Gender: Male
Class: Sorcerer
Alignment: Lawful Evil

An imp, the IFCC's latest employee and former minion of Kubota (and an unknown devil).
  • Affably Evil: A given, considering his line of work is butt-kissing and temptation.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Being a go-getter is the reason the IFCC hired him.
  • Charm Person: He can charm dozens of monsters to attack good-aligned characters.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Tries to make a simple one with V — he would give the elf tips on evil spell components in exchange for helping him find an evil artifact. V's response is "Disintegrate!" However, he's the link to V's actual deal.
    • He tries another one on Blackwing, but instead tips his hand and reveals crucial information. The familiar notes that he kinda sucks at the temptation thing.
  • Dirty Coward: Qarr will not stay around if confronted by anything stronger than him unless he has powerful help. Despite being his familiar, he leaves Zz'dtri to die at Vampire Durkon's hands without a second thought.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: As Zz'dtri's familiar. He's only serving Zz'dtri so he can attempt to lead V further astray.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: If he was a decent adviser to Kubota, Qarr has much less success in tempting the heroic types. He nearly gets disintegrated by Vaarsuvius for his effort, and later, when attempting to bargain with Blackwing, all he manages to do is leak out vital information to the bird.
  • Evil Counterpart: The literal devil to Blackwing's "good angel".
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He finds the revelation of the full effect of the Familicide spell to be uproariously funny. Then again, he knows it was Vaarsuvius who did the Familicide, and is the only one aside from V and the IFCC to understand the true Irony.
  • Flight: With bat-like wings. In fact, it's quite rare to see him on the ground.
  • Familiar: To Zz'dtri, though it's mostly so the fiends have someone keeping an eye on Vaarsuvius for them.
  • Horned Humanoid: Being an imp.
  • The Imp: Since imps are embodiments of Lawful Evil, the trope does not apply.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: He's small, kinda weak, around the right size to punt into a wall, and as a fiend lives in a world where the strong have all the power. He states that this is how his kind gets around.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: He has some trouble understanding Vaarsuvius's heavy sarcasm during their exchange.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Durkon reveals that his newly evil alignment doesn't affect his loyalties (only making him more ruthless) and he goes after Zz'dtri, Qarr says he's out and wishes the drow good luck.
  • Summon Magic: Qarr can enter a summoning trance to call up devils for help, as he does on the island against the Sapphire Guard. Vaarsuvius initially estimates that his chance of success is low, and that any devil conjured would be easily vanquished. What the elf couldn't know is that Qarr owns a future service marker from a huge pit fiend as a gambling debt, resulting in quite the Boss Battle.
  • Telepathy: He uses this to relay Kubota's orders. He can also sense "feelings" in people while relaying them too.
  • Villain Teleportation: He uses it liberally during his fight with Blackwing, noting that it's useless trying to outrun him.
  • The Watson: Similar to Jirix, the author's commentary implies he was kept on the cast so the archfiends could have someone they could explain their plans to.
  • Winged Humanoid: For a given value of "humanoid"; his tail and shape make him rather look a bit monkey-like.

    The Pit Fiend 

The Pit Fiend

"Geez. What am I doing with my life? Taking orders from an imp? All the guys I went to high school with have gone on to be men of wealth and taste."

Race: Devil (Pit Fiend)
Gender: Male
Class: n/a
Alignment: Lawful Evil

A huge greater devil summoned by Qarr on the orc island to fight the Azurites and the Order of the Stick. He considers taking orders from an imp quite embarrassing, but he has to because of a gambling debt.

  • Big Red Devil: He has many of the classical traits, being enormous, very red, horned and fiery. He has more reptilian/draconic traits than purely humanoid, though.
  • Damage Reduction: Against the Pit Fiend, ordinary weapons are not very efficient, as Therkla and Elan quickly conclude from the very start of the fight.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: Durkon tries using "Thor's Might" to get bigger and fight the devil more evenly, but this just results in the Pit Fiend hoisting the giant dwarf above his head, putting him on fire, and throwing him to the ground.
  • Playing with Fire: His claws are wreathed in flames, and he also pelts the mortals he's fighting with fire magic, killing a few Red Shirts.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: He's one of the most humongous monsters the Order has faced, dwarfing even some dragons.
  • Shout-Out: The quote above is one to The Rolling Stones ("Sympathy for the Devil").
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Silver weapons are needed to really hurt the devil, like Hinjo's silver katana and the silvered teeth of his wolf paladin mount.
  • Taken for Granite: After being weakened by a few of Vaarsuvius and Durkon's spells, the Pit Fiend is finally taken out of the fight by V using a Prismatic Spray, which result in the devil being turned into a giant statue.
  • Who Dares?: After his summon and letting out a mighty roar, he starts bellowing "WHO DARES TO—", before identifying Qarr.