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Characters: The Order of the Stick: Divine Beings
The Order of the Stick | Team Evil | The Linear Guild | The Order of the Scribble | Azure City | Greysky City | The Empire of Blood | Divine Beings | Others
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Divine Beings

    The Snarl 

The Snarl

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.
  • Apocalypse How: Class "Universal/Physical Annihilation".
  • Beyond the Impossible: Annihilated the Eastern pantheon, when killing gods should impossible.
    Durkon: Wait a minute, ye cannae kill tha gods. Tha's impossible.
    Shojo: For mere mortals like you or I, certainly, friend dwarf.
  • Bigger Bad: 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.
  • 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 his body.
  • 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 gets purplish eyes. Just ask Blackwing. Or Laurin.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Most likely, though the revelation of a freaking planet within its rift opens all kinds of cans of worms.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Unusually, the can is the whole world. And as of #945, 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.

    The Dark One 

The Dark One

"I LIVE AGAIN!!"

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: Back when a mortal, was killed during them.
  • 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.
  • An Axe to Grind: His weapon of choice, both as a mortal and when about to fight with other gods.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "His real name has been lost to antiquity."
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Not initially, because his beef was with his fellow mortals (humans, elves, etc.). Then he became a god himself and learned the truth about his race's destiny — and he was pissed.
  • 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.
  • Übermensch: What he wants to be — rewriting the very nature of existence itself to be more fair.
  • 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.

    The Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission 

The Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission

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 were nothing if not polite to Vaarsuvius during their deal making. They even offered the elf an alternative solution that didn't involve leasing V's soul.note 
  • And I Must Scream: What happens whenever one of them calls in a debt. Vaarsuvius' mind and soul is trapped wherever they are while the elf's body is sent into invulnerable stasis (they consider possessing it to be a gross violation of property), with the same happening to Blackwing because of their familiar-master bond. They can then force V and the raven to watch whatever they knocked them out for via scrying television.
  • 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".
  • Circling Monologue: They do this once during their deal pitch to Vaarsuvius.
  • 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.
  • The Corrupters: They are collectively this 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 made one with Vaarsuvius: power in exchange for a time share on his soul.
  • Demon Lords and Archdevils: They are. Both kinds. Plus a Daemon director.
  • The Dividual: They always talk and act as a trio. Word of the Giant is that they're interchangeable, and despite being supposedly of different evil alignments, he doesn't bother giving them distinct personalities. Sabine describes their team dynamic in #903, but they'd still be identical without the color-coding.
  • 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. 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 millenia, they certainly weren't worried that V would care enough about it to refuse. They just omitted 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 were that Vaarsuvius just happened to be next in line for requesting a deal, when they targeted the wizard specifically, and that all they wanted out of the deal was to prove their concept.
  • Footnote Fever: They put footnotes in their speech.
    Cedrik: Magical powers beyond your wildest imaginings!*
    Nero: *Based on typical wild imaginings of previous customers matching your demographic profile. Additional terms and restrictions may apply.
  • 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 (Lee), orange (Cedrik), and purple (Nero).
  • 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 had 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 implied that the spliced souls would have the ability to influence him, even though they actually had 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 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 Darth V, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Thor 

Thor

"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.
  • 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 Word of the Giant states that 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Miss Conception: He should learn to recognize fertility goddesses before impregnating one.
  • Physical God: As a member of the Northern pantheon.
  • 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 worshippers, 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 dwarvern 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 

Loki

"Dude, don't taunt the god-killing abomination."

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

The god of Flames and Chaos, rival of Thor. Patron god of Hilgya and the Greysky Cleric.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "She has flowers in her hair and bluebirds singing around her head. Who did you think she was, the bringer of pestilence?"
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: "Dude, don't taunt the god-killing abomination."
  • 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.
  • Physical God: As a member of the Northern pantheon.
  • Public Domain Character: Loki, from ancient myth.

    Odin 

Odin

"Ooooo! Doggie!"

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

The All-Father; head of the Northern gods; Thor's father.

    Hel 

Hel

"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.
  • 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.
  • Evil Counterpart: Seemingly to Thor.
  • 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.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Specifically, the Goddess Behind the Vampire — Vampire!Durkon is her servant and high priest, not just Durkon-but-evil.
  • Physical Goddess: As a member of the Northern pantheon.
  • 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.
  • Woman in White: Suggests the evil as well as ghost-like aspects of the trope.

    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.

    Tiamat 

Tiamat

"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.

    Marduk 

Marduk

"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.

    The Eastern Gods 

The Eastern Gods

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, 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.

    Banjo 

Banjo

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.
  • 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 worshipper, 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.


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