Avast! There be spoilers here!
Each god corresponds with an RPG Player.The "gaming sessions" we're seeing are A Form You Are Comfortable With. Tamuz is the Rules Lawyer who likes playing Evil characters, Dorot is constantly bumming things off the rest of the group, Tatania and Huraine are yuri fans, Panator is always bringing a beer, Occules wears glasses etc.
Both Alice and the Duchess are "Potential" Heroes.Anytime the Hero; Embric; dies; another takes his place like the Belmonts or the Slayer. Whatever happened to Embric is partially triggering this.
The Grey Elves throwing Embric into a Dimensional Prison attempted to RetGone him.If Embric was never born; then Ember would have been the hero. The process is slow; though, and the timeline is having trouble deciding whether it counts or not.
The game is a Prophetic Dream of the Duchess that's being affected by her psychological torment.She was taught by her monster Uncle that women cannot be be the main heroes. They can be strong; but they cannot stand against men. Then a hero woman named Ember disguised as a maid smited his ass. Her mind, under the influence of Greygnarl's drugs and in a surge of psychological duress, stretched into possible futures in order to come to grips with this. However, her mind itself flavored this dream and separated her rescuer into a dominant male, and a servant female. After exploring all possible avenues of the Awesome Fellowship via prophecy; her mind finally accepts that Ember is possible.
The whole plot is a lotus eater machine caused by King Greyghast and Vecnatrix in order to avoid a terrible war with the grey elves or send a warning of a possible warIn order to prevent Embric starting a war with the Grey Elves; powerful magic was used to put the Duchess in a position where she can stop him with the resources she gains from her various endings.
Alice isn't the only 'false representation' in the game/dream.Catherine's psyche is split into two halves - the outer 'shield' personality she created to cope with Greyghast's violations, and the youthful curiosity and twisted innocence hiding at the core of her personality. In Wulfhammer, these are represented by the Duchess... and Grettel, who has the same colour hair and eyes as 'real world' Catherine, is the only 'fake' character (The Fellowship don't count) who is recognised as being anywhere close to Duchess' equal... and so on.
The events of the game never happened... but we don't know how they never happenedLouni suggests that the Rule of Three is an iron-clad law of the world... and we get three different endings that suggest none of the events of the game are actually real... but we don't get three that agree on how: two suggest it's All Just a Dream, but a third suggests it's a game of D&D. Things look slightly better for the dream, but until we get a third that agrees with that in the Deluxe version or the sequel, it's not necessarily true — and there's still time for the D&D ending or something else entirely to turn out to be the true way things never happened.
Our Duchess and the Duchess in the epilogue of Natural Twenty will face off against each other in the sequel."The Marquess of Notoriety" seems to be following the Iron Duchess+ ending; with the Dream Duchess as the character. However, Natural Twenty shows someone who looks like the original Duchess setting things into motion.
The Carmina talking with the Duchess through the whole game is the real Carmina.Consider that it is well known that Carmina can speak with people in their dreams. Then consider that the Real Endings are not accessible until you have completed at least one Carmina ending. Finally consider that the sequel follows the Iron Duchess+ ending, in which Carmina has fallen in love with the Duchess and refuses to let her die, going so far as the having the dwarves turn the Duchess into the magical equivalent of a cyborg. The final chat the Duchess has with Carmina during the final part of the game seems to support this, even the fact that Carmina goes so far as to call out to Duchess to plead with her to come back and not leave her alone.