This is a page for theories about The Order of the Stick that have been Jossed by the strip or Word of the Giant. Please move any open theories to here if they are jossed.
Nale retreated to his hometown of Greysky City after leaving Azure City, and Haley will have to fight him and/or work with him to resurrect Roy/escape the city.A corollary to the above, and I think an Enemy Mine situation is like the only thing the author hasn't done yet unless I'm mistaken.
Eventually, Xykon will break down and admit his love for TsukikoRight before murdering her horribly. What better way to tell someone their services are no longer needed?
The Linear Guild will face off with Team Evil first in Girard's GateThere are three teams poised for a confrontation in the Gate: Team Evil, The Linear Guild and the Order of the Stick. Out of all these teams the good guys get delayed the most. The parties who will clash first would be the Linear Guild and Team Evil.
Minister Malack is a vegetarian/vegan.He's deathly pale and apparently has a "special diet". No one else knows he is, possibly since not eating meat is a horrid taboo in traditional lizardfolk society. Not to mention, a character that seems to be a vampire (as some WMGs have claimed) turning out to just be a vegetarian fits perfectly with the comic's Rule of Funny rules.
Malack is Tarquin's Token Good TeammateHe became fast friends with Durkon, even helping him with his new spell. It's also possible Tarquin is paired up with him for the same reason Roy keeps Belkar around; to keep him from doing something against the party's alignment.
Tarquin's wife isn't deadHer body, or something resembling it, was found after she started investigating an epic level illusionist with whom she was emotionally invested.
Malack will have a Heel-Face TurnFirstly, what we've seen implies that Malack is Lawful Neutral. If he has an overarching goal, it's stability, explaining why he supports Tarquin - but Tarquin working with Nale likely endangers the Gates, and thus the world's stability. Secondly, while Malack likely has a My Master, Right or Wrong attitude (being Lawful), Tarquin isn't Malack's only boss; he also answers to his god. Nergal is a member of the Eastern Pantheon and also implied to be Lawful Neutral, meaning that he is going to be opposed to anything that risks unleashing the Snarl. Three: Given the Troperiffic nature of the Elan/Tarquin conflict, there needs to be a Noble Top Enforcer type who betrays the Evil Overlord, and Malack fits the bill, especially considering the whole Nale aspect. Also, an unceremonious Cavalry Betrayal by Malack would be a perfect way of Tarquin not going out like a badass. Naturally, Malacks last words to his boss will be : `Nothing Personal, old friend. but this is business, Tarquin. Business.`
Tarquin fully intended to get Malack killedTarquin's whole plot to become a villain worthy of legend is mutually exclusive with Malack's goal of creating a necrocracy. Tarquin's plot relies on being the Big Bad, and getting overthrown by a hero; When he's overthrown, there won't be an empire for Malack to inherit. If the Empire outlives Tarquin, he doesn't get Big Bad status. As he is supremely egocentric, he already planned to dispose of Malack to keep his designs running smoothly; at most, he'll be upset because it happened sooner than expected.
Eventually, Xykon will reassign Tsukiko to his currently-empty harem.Right after murdering her horribly. What better way to distance himself from those disgusting biophiliacs?
The trapdoor V fell through in strip 843 leads to Girard's gate.And no, I don't have any evidence for this.
Tsukiko will end up controlling the SnarlAll by herself. Hey, she does have both arcane and divine magic, and she's studying the ritual. It might be that she'll find some way to simplify it to the point where a single caster can handle the duties.
Yukyuk will replace BelkarThink about it. V and Yukyuk are stranded together in some exotic Plane. They will befriend and when they come back, V will "open up a position in our Short Dual-Wielding Murder department." Since Yukyuk is in bad terms with the Linear Guild, he will presumably accept.
Sabine and Tsukiko will fight over who gets to kill Haley.Sabine has the whole "no one kills her but me!" obsession, while Tsukiko seems to have developed a rivalry with her during the Time Skip (Rebel Leader versus leader of the Elite Mooks, and all that). At some point, you gotta figure the Order, the Guild, and Team Evil are all going to end up in the same place and fight, which will lead to Sabine and Tsukiko both trying to kill Haley, which in turn will lead to them arguing over who gets to kill her (sort of like that Xykon copy and Kubota's assassin fighting over getting to kill Hinjo during The Siege).
Redcloak will be the cleric that raises Roy.In this strip, Belkar points out that Redcloak is probably high enough level to cast True Resurrection. He also knows Roy's dead and definitely has enough loot from the conquest of Azure City to pay the 20,000 GP in diamonds. And I kinda doubt that Roy would object to any raising at this point, which only leaves the question of what Redcloak's motive would be.
Roy will be raised as an intelligent undead.Celia, in the latest strip, is going to a cleric who offers money for corpses. That usually means undead in DnD. Add in the fun of Roy's Sword sometimes hurting him...
Roy is Killed Off for Real.Self Explanatory. He's not coming back.
Vaarsuvius is divorced.Despite claiming to be married, Vaarsuvius goes adventuring for months at a time and never makes any attempt to contact his or her spouse, even when imprisoned for a capital crime. He or she is also reluctant to discuss the marriage. Therefore, the couple have gone through an ugly divorce and broken off all contact.
Vaarsuvius will refuse Qarr's offer to make a Face-Heel Turn.Because s/he is Genre Savvy enough to know that evil doesn't pay, s/he will realize at the last moment that his/her recent actions have been misguided and come to his/her senses. S/he will thusly say the wrong four words to the right being, for the right reason. Those words will be "No, I will not."
When the Soul Splice ends, V will die.Notice that the IFCC never mentioned what happens when it ends.
Hold Portal is a Chekhov's GunIf V goes through the door and uses Hold Portal he's safe... until he meets Tsukiko
Vaarsuvius will take Qarr's offer and become a 4th edition Warlock.He did say he'd be incorporating elements of 4th edition at his own disposal, and by doing it this way V doesn't become automatically evil.
The necromancer will use Familicide on V's children.She's a necromancer, and there must be some loophole she might grasp at to let her escape going back to hell, even if it means risking a few more minutes in the plane of the living. That huge hit of exp could affect only her, and not V, and since we don't really know how this works, it might be enough for her to make him do, in one instant, a single thing against his own nature.
Vaarsuvius will kill hir family hirself after s/he's finished with the dragon.One of the voices V hears says 'Destroy everyone who has ever slighted you.' While this does make Belkar a good future target of retribution, it does mean that if hir mate and/or children have a negative reaction to what Vaarsuvius has become (this is pretty much the ultimate "You're not the (wo)man I married!" situation), that makes them a prime, available, and immediate target— after all, wouldn't you be pissed if you sold your soul to rescue your family, only to have them throw it back in your face?
Roy's spirit will have no choice but to take over Belkar's bodyEventually V. is going to Mind Rape Belkar into being a vegetable. At this point, Roy will have to possess Belkar's body in order to stop V. from wiping out the party. Following this, he will find a non-psycho arcanist (preferably a sorcerer) and arrange for a polymorph any object spell to give him back his Medium-sized frame. The only problem is how depressing this WMG is, unless Belkar is able to exploit some loophole and pull a Greenhilt as a spirit.
Something awesome involving fiends will happen exactly on Strip 666Self-explanatory. Now start guessing over what it'll be, folks.
Roy will die next stripBecause the next strip is 666 and something bad has got to happen then.
Vaarsuvius will become a major bad guy, perhaps even the new Big BadSure, the soul splice will end eventually, but it's not certain whether V can earn experience during the soul splice and whether it'll last after it's over. Now that V's killed the entire extended family of a dragon, s/he will probably rack up a lot of exp. I wouldn't be surprised if Vaarsuvius used the soul splice to go on a rampage, get a bunch of kills, and start leveling like crazy. Since V has ultimate cosmic power and all, s/he could quite easily wipe out entire armies just for exp. Furthermore, V already shows signs of thinking Evil Feels Good, so...
Vaarsuvius will successfully scry on Haley soon.S/he's well above epic levels at this point. There's no question s/he could break through the Cloister spell.
The end of the strip will reveal that the whole thing was actually being played out in an actual game of D&D.
The Monster in the Darkness will effect a Heel-Face Turn and break O-Chul out.In the months since Azure City was conquered, O-Chul has become good friends with the MITD, and may yet convince the monster to turn against Xykon and Red Cloak at a critical moment. This will, if certain speculation about the MITD's identity is correct, lead to O-Chul riding a Tarasque as a mount as the two of them plow through the Hobgoblins to escape.
Belkar's guess about killing Xykon in five strips is spot on.This is because Xykon is not the ultimate Big Bad; Vaarsuvius is. V fulfills the Oracle's off-the-record prophecy by killing Belkar, who is remembered as a hero because of his faked character growth. In the end, everybody dies but Haley and Elan, who gets his promised happy ending.
Belkar will die on strip 654.He predicted that they'll beat Xykon on that strip. Irony.
The souls within Vaarsuvius will betray him/her and Celia will replace him/her.Now he's/she's gone off to face Xykon, in the confrontation the 'subcontractors' will destroy him/her from the inside, killing him/her, Celia will then replace V as an order member.
Xykon's anti-teleport dome will (at least temporarily) strip V of any ability to use magic stronger than a cantrip, if that.V's not thinking, so as to defeat Xykon as quickly as possible. Were V to teleport just outside Azure city and walk in, it would be possible to wipe out the dome from the inside and/or simply flatten the castle, Xykon, and destroy the phylactery with the right destruction spell. As V is relying on the ultimate arcane power instead of the intellect and wisdom stats that were so important a hundred strips ago, it would be the ultimate in irony, especially if the powers are transferred, even weakened, to Xykon for the duration of the effect. Really, Xykon does seem like exactly the sort of person who would weave a power blocker into his already personalized spell dome simply to have the pleasure of unsuspecting teleporters falling hundreds of feet to their deaths for his own entertainment and convenience.
Vaarsuvius will use his Deal with the Devil as an opportunity to bring Roy to DurkonS/he'll use her greater wizarding abilities to find out where Roy's corpse is and get it back, and use Qarr's teleportation ability to bring Roy's corpse to Durkon. Besides, he needs to be raised already.
After V goes evil, Qarr will become his Morality Pet, ironically.V is going to need someone to exposit and talk to if he's going his own way as Chaotic Evil. Qarr is right there, and he ironically seems pretty frightened of any real evil.
The fiends will fuse V's soul with someone else when they have control of it.It's hard to see what good possessing V's soul for a few weeks is to the fiends, and the reasons they give for the deal aren't convincing. But we've already found out one thing they can do with access to souls - fuse them temporarily to living people to increase their magic power. This would work perfectly well with V's soul, and he or she certainly has the power to make it worthwhile.
Vaarsuvius And the Evil Souls Will Eventually Combine Into A Single EntityWe already know that s/he can hear their voices and has one of their common urges, so it isn't a stretch to say that what the IFCC neglected to mention is that once V's hold on them ends, s/he'll lose control and they'll take him/her over.
Either Durkon or Redcloak will remove the Mark of Justice from Belkar.Redcloak might for the reasons listed above. The only reason I'm putting Durkon here is that we know he could do it. (All you need to remove a Mark of Justice is Remove Curse at a caster level equal to or higher the Mark of Justice's caster level. Which Durkon probably is, even though I'm not absolutely sure because we don't know who cast the Mark of Justice.)
Xykon's pounding of V is going to be shortlived.Because the Order of the Stick is going to perform a Big Damn Heroes (somehow) and remind the audience just why the strip is about them and not Xykon. Xykon won't have to worry about V anymore because he will have the much more pressing matter of a resurrected Ray Whathisname leading the Order of the Stick to perform an ass-kicking upon his bony ass. It would also fit with the recent theme of "The Order gets more things done then V, even with his/her/its new power."
V's prophecy hasn't been fulfilled yet.Vaarsuvius must say the right four words ("I must succeed" is three, dammit) to the right being (singular) for the wrong reasons. (I'd say that saving his/her family is a pretty damn good reason)
Building on the WMG that Tyrinar the Bloody is Nale's and Elan's father, and Tyrinaria no longer exists...Nale approaches the Order with a sob story about how Daddy's empire has crumbled, and he'll be good if Elan and the rest help him avenge it. Haley's/Ian Starshine's "trust no one but family" reference (what family is closer than a twin?) will get them exactly as far as finding out who Nale's father really is.
Tyrinar is Tarquin's last name.Tarquin Tyrinar. It even sounds cool.
Elan and Nale are half-brothers.A Wizard Did It (or, to go for the possibly-inaccurate pun, A Wizard Did Your Mom).
Elan will use the tiny bolt of lightning which Banjo uses to smite heretics to break Roy's amuletI only just realized that Elan can shoot small lightning bolts, and Roy has an amulet that, when broken, summons his girlfriend, which can only be broken with an electrical shock. That is going to be a really big Brick Joke, when it finally reappears.
Nale is a "Well Done, Son!" Guy.We know that his father is Lawful Evil and so is he. He seems to be trying way too hard to be a Troperiffic villain for ill-defined reasons. This makes more sense if he's trying to live up to the impossible standards of a true Magnificent Bastard. It also makes sense with his grudge against Elan - if he can't even beat the halfwit good twin, his dad will be wishing he'd left them both with their mother.
The separated members of the Order Of The Stick will assemble a Five-Man Band each (plus maybe a Sixth Ranger) in the style of the original Order.This theory made more sense to me before The death of Therkla, but it could still be worth considering.
One (or both!) of V's children is a sorcerer.So they'll kill the dragon. And not be hurt. Because they're cute. And I don't want them to die! And... (Goes off on tangent about crappy week, ending with "...And that's why no one should die, ever!")
Vaarsuvius will kill BelkarAfter the Soul Splice, V now has an Epic Level Necromancer whispering that (s)he should kill everyone who's slighted him/her◊. Depending on how well V can resist that compulsion, the next time (s)he meets up with Belkar and Belkar gets annoying, V may not be able to resist dropping some epic level necromancy spell that kills Belkar stone dead, no resurrection allowed.
Therkla the Ninja is Right-Eye's hidden daughter.Right-Eye's daughter (name unknown) was smuggled away to unknown foster-parents between 6 months and 3 years before the Current Events began. Therkla is some kind of either monster or half-monster who is backed by (possibly) demons. Bam!
Okay, the main impetus for this theory is backed by how awesome it would be for Right-Eye's daughter, niece to xenophobic Redcloak (who has issues regarding his brother's get, to say the least), to have the hots for humans — possibly because of her cultural isolation amongst the humans.
...but I have support!
The girl Belkar is sleeping with is SabineSabine has stated that she's an incarnation of illicit sex. And they look alike. And that seems like something the Linear Guild would do.
Xykon is perfectly aware of the Monster in the Darkness's growing friendship with O-chul, and has charmed the Monster in the Darkness so that he'll eat O-chul before they leave the city
The Cartographer in this comic was about to say "Starshinia".Ian Starshine deposed Lord Tyrinar and is now ruling the country. And um...couldn't get a sending spell out to his daughter about this. Never mind! Point is, DRAMA.
The Monster in the Darkness is a hole in space.The guys in Start of Darkness just didn't expect a sentient rift to be in the middle of the jungle.
The Creature In The Darkness Is The Bonus Boss Of A JRPG.
V's Master is also his/her mother/fatherJust because that looks like an aged V to me.
V's prophecy hasn't come true yet.The exact wording is that Vaarsuvius will achieve complete and total ultimate arcane power, quote, "By saying the right four words to the right being at the right time for all the wrong reasons." The problem is that none of these conditions were met. V said "I... I must succeed," which isn't four words (it's three, with a stammer). V says it to three beings, not one being. It wasn't the right "time"—time was frozen during the bargaining session, so there was no "time" at all. And V doesn't do it for all the wrong reasons: V's children and spouse were under threat of being murdered in an inordinately gruesome fashion—pride was a reason to do it, but not all of them. In fact, Vaarsuvius didn't even achieve "complete and total ultimate arcane power." As Xykon noted, V only acquired the power of three magicians who were too weak to stay in the game, and thus, not ultimate; the Soul Splice was fairly easily broken, and thus, not complete.
V's prophecy hasn't been fulfilled yet. In the future, it will be fulfilled by...
We will eventually see Elan's half-sister Lena and half-brother Alen.Well, we know his dad's been married at least nine times, so it wouldn't be surprising if he has more kids (and used the same letters of alphabet for all of them).
Haley is going to be the one to fight RoyTarquin could declare her the champion simply for the drama it would inspire, even without knowing they're both friends of Roy. If Haley dies, Elan can make an oath to avenge her death after Tarquin lets Roy go free to run away and Elan chase after him. If Haley wins, it gives Elan more motivation to hate Tarquin and also adds drama to the Haley/Elan relationship because she just killed a man and Tarquin knows Elan hates senseless death. If they reveal Roy is in their team, he'll just insist on it even harder because of the thrill of forcing two friends to fight, knowing that if they don't the other is going to die in a hail of arrows anyway.
The Champion is...A Monster in the Dark. Because it would be awesome.
The Monster In Darkness is an aspect of The Snarl.For reasons known to almost everyone here: it cannot perceive the gates, as the Snarl could be expected not to perceive its prison, it is insanely powerful, as the Snarl surely is, and it seems to have no particular motivation or intellect, as the Snarl is more a primal force than an actual entity.
Lord Tyrinar is the Man Behind The Lich.Xykon became involved with the Snarl stuff thanks to an opening move by Tyrinar. Haley's story would be kind of anticlimactic if she just got the gold and had him released, and most of the possible plotlines would really detract from the main plot from here on (or he could have just taken control of one of the gates, but that doesn't support the theory). If Elan and Nale's father is Tyrinar, it would be a thread connecting more characters than Xykon and Redcloak (bonus points to the "string" theory if Belkar started out as a spy after Vaarsivius' mis-scribed spell was caused as part of Tyrinar's Gambit Roulette).
The Elven Ambassador is Varsuvius's Mate's new Lover.Mysterious Elf who can be seen glaring at V on at least two occasions? Great opportunity to continue the Humiliation Conga V's personal life has been turning into lately.
The Empress of Blood isn't.Not only is she a puppet for Malachar, as Haley thought, but also a metaphorical and almost literal lapdog for the real Empress of Blood. She just likes acting Empress-y when the Epic Spellcaster is out.
Tyrinar is a stage name.No reason... Phonetic Accent, at least based off of his/her one line in This strip. The last Dwarf we saw without an accent was Hilgya Firehelm. Start Of Darkness also establishes during the freakshow scene that female dwarves have beards. And yes, Lord Shojo used a male pronoun to describe him, but he's just guessing at Kraagor's Gender, like people do unsuccessfully with V's.
Tarquin worked for Tyrinar.The political situation is so extremely unstable that he might have once worked for Tyrinar before ditching him for the Blood Empress. Haley's dad may be rotting in one of Tarquin's dungeons, and no one bothered to update Haley that Tyrinar has been deposed.
Haley's father will be rescued as such:Hayley amasses, with the help of the rest of the Order once they find out, the necessary 200 000 gp. Tyrinar's chancellor said in the letter that he "might" be willing to "consider" releasing him, not that he will. Thus, even with the gold he'll keep her father captive. Exploiting the "period not to exceed the span of his natural life", the order will kill him remotely, nick the body (either from the garbage or the guards on the way to the crematorium), resurrect him (possibly in a similar way to Roy- Vaarsuvius?), and get the gold back (through either spite or Elan recognizing Lord Tyrinar as his father and executing him).
The Monster's father was 682.The Monster in the Darkness does mention that his father was "BIG, and he ate a lot". Evidently the hatred for all things living doesn't run in the family. Alternately, or possibly on top of that, it might be 231's [Data Expunged]; it's either one of the early less-harmful test runs, or it just takes a few decades or centuries to get to the point of being evil and powerful enough to end the world.
Tarquin's fiancee/girlfriend is SabineThink about it. Nale already managed to plant Thog AND Zz'dtri into the Western Continent. What better way to further one-up his dad that planting Sabine as a suitor? Alternatively, Sabine broke up with Nale and was ordered by the fiends to go to the western continent, where she ended up hooking up with Tarquin.
The Monster in the Darkness is a Deus ex Machina.Given the trope's inherent nature, it fits in every single way. Super strength, powers of teleportation, access to hello kitty umbrellas, all are powers of a Deus ex Machina. The Monster in the Darkness is the trope physically personified.
The Order knows about BlackwingBlackwing simply spoke with the others ahead of time to mess with V's head and teach hir a lesson.
No one can remember Blackwing anymoreSomething happened to Blackwing when he got too close to the Snarl. It made him become somehow unstuck from the world of The Order of the Stick; no one but V remembers him now and anyone who sees him will forget about him quickly. In this respect everyone will treat Blackwing in the same fashion as the Monster in the Darkness treats the Gates.
The Cartographer in this comic was about to say "Naleria", or some other derivative of Nale, before she was interrupted.Last we saw of Nale, he was heading to off to find one of the other gates, and if the above WMGs about Lord Tyrinar being his father are correct, what better place to start than where he has familial connections? The fact that his dad is holding Haley's father hostage would just be icing on the cake, and give him something else to use against Elan.
The Monster in the Darkness is related to the Snarl.He is either some kind of larval form which escaped through the rifts before the Gates were formed, a shard which was cut off by the Gates and became independent, or a deliberately created avatar. This would explain his immense power, his insatiable hunger, his references to having not been born in the rainforest but only ever remembering living there, his reference to his "dad", whom he claims was much bigger than him and ate a lot more than he did, the fact that he is apparently horrifying to look upon, and the fact that Redcloak and Xykon both seem to know what he is and how powerful it makes him, as well as their desire to conceal him (O-Chul may have guessed, which would explain his commitment to convincing the Monster that he can be good). It would also explain why he apparently cannot perceive or remember the Gates; they were specifically made to confine the Snarl, so the much smaller and weaker form of the Snarl cannot even tell that they are there.
The Monster In The Darkness is......some kind of dragon? D&D dragons are natural arcane spellcasters after all.
The Monster In The Darkness is the remains/rebirth/resurection of what is left of the Greek/Eastern PantheonWhatever happend to their remains? Yes, they are divine, but something should have remained. We don't know anything about the Monster, so who says it has to be one thing? It could be a gesalt entity. And his memory/naievety can be written off by that fact too.
The Monster in the Darkness is a MacGuffin.Xykon picked it up a while back because... that's what you do with a MacGuffin. It's exactly as powerful as it needs to be, exactly as trusting as it needs to be, and exactly as visible as it needs to be for the right people to acquire it and the audience to never find out what, in-universe, it is. The heroes just haven't picked up on that particular plot thread yet. See also the Deus ex Machina guess above.
The Monster In The Darkness isn't hidden in the shadows. It is the shadows
The Creature In The Darkness Is At least a Semi-Humanoid Female Monster.
It is Xykon scrying on the supposed location of Girard's Gate in comic #698.We know in recent comics that Xykon has left Azure City/Gobbotopia on a personal quest, one he didn't see fit to tell Redcloak about. Since Redcloak has (accidentally) destroyed one of the Gates in the past, it makes sense that Xykon wouldn't trust him not to make the same mistake twice. Secondly, Redcloak failed to glean any useful information about Girard's gate from O-Chul while he was their captive, which would give Xykon more motivation to take matters into his own bony hands.
Mr. Scruffy will help defeat ThogIn the Latest Strip, Scruffy gets a belt of giant strength and is able to launch a 150 pound riding dog out of a window. He obviously now has a high strength score, and will want to finish off Sir Scraggly. To do this, he will have to jump down into the arena, where Thog will be beating Roy up. Thog may notice that there is a cat there, and in Thog's rage, he'll also blame it on the cat, which will give Roy time to mount a counterattack.
Thog is an alternate universe version of Deadpool.Think about it. If Deadpool was a little bit more retarded, green, and used an axe, or if Thog were just a bit smarter, wore red, and used guns and a katana.....
Belkar's halfling skill with thrown rocks will turn out to be a Chekhov's GunCurrently, Belkar is lying in the prison with armor but no weapons, his cat is coming running, being chased by a big dog and a kobold with crossbows akimbo. Belkar will throw a rock at Yukyuk, tear a hole in reality, and then the entire Linear Guild will be destroyed by the Snarl. (Or something like that)
Haley is directly related to GirardShe notes that Orrin Draketooth is paranoid just like her father, and it is not inconceivable that he WAS Orrin. The redhair thing seems too convenient.
The Elven Commander will cross the Moral Event Horizon at some point in this arc.Considering how he was introduced, things can only get worse from here...and as someone once pointed out, it's not a good thing if you're going to have to lie to the Paladin about your actions. I'm guessing it will involve those Goblinoid women and children that Redcloak mentioned a few strips ago.
When Durkon dies, his last thoughts will be of Hilgya.
V will kill GirardAt the behest of the IFCC. He will teleport in, explain to them that he's got everything under control, Xykon will never find his gate ("Not while I'm alive!") and that they can just all go on their merry way, and right before he leaves, "Disintegrate." Cue V standing around with a blank look in his eyes for the next five minutes while the Order tries to knock some common sense into him, followed by him pretending that he has no idea what's happening.
V: And my soul will remain in complete control of this gestalt entity for the entire duration?
1st Fiend: Oh, definitely.
2nd: You would be the final word on what got done, how, and when.
3rd: Complete control of the other three.
Girard's family was wiped out by one of the other factionsJudging by the last panel of strip 841, it's safe to say there's no one left alive in that dungeon from Girard's descendants. It doesn't really seem like the work of Team Evil, and it can't be the Linear Guild/Tarquin, since they're following behind the Order. So, it seems logical to say that one of those mystery factions the Demon Roaches were talking about is behind this. Besides, what better time to introduce new antagonists than them gloating while occupying one of the Gate locations and trying to control it?
Penelope's daughter is responsible for killing her familyAssuming she didn't know what her father had done, she grew up thinking her mother had abandoned her at birth, until the day she learned the truth, possibly learning that she was killed while trying to find her (possibly by her father and/or the rest of the family). Tired of being lied to, and feeling betrayed by people who may think that "you only trust family", she played out her revenge. Even if she did know about how the family operate, she might have been trying to contact her mother, and took revenge when she was killed.
Girard and his family are not dead.This is an illusion. The pyramid's defenders keep the illusion in place 24/7 as a way to deter thieves and gate-crashers from further exploration and to disguise the real (possibly non-combatant) occupants of the pyramid. This could be Girard's own handiwork, but just as likely the pyramid itself is a decoy run by illusionist relatives. It is also possible that the pyramid is a decoy and Girard, being an epic-level caster, can maintain the illusion from within another structure housing the real Gate.
Keeping Yukyuk in the party is going to screw the Order over.From what we have seen of Girard, he is most likely chaotic good and has a problem with any kind of authority, including party leaders. He is also paranoid and theorized by Halley that he trust only family, which was why Penelope's daughter was kidnapped by her own father. Now assuming that he has taught his descendents his paranoia, the fact that the party brought a mind controlled kobold whom they abused like a slave will cause the Draketooth clan to see them as tyrants.
Elan will never be able to leave the Lotus Eater Machine.The Oracle said that Elan would have a happy ending, and the latest comic with the lotus eater runes is showing as happy an ending as most of this group could possibly ever hope for. Xykon defeated, Durkon brought back to life, family ties mended, Azure city recaptured, etc, etc. Given how pretty much every one of the Oracle's prophesies have ended up biting the group in the ass, I wouldn't be surprised if the runes damaged Elan's brain in some way that he couldn't leave it safely and thus give Elan what he thinks is his happy ending.
Xykon is already at Girard's gate.It's been repeatedly mentioned by Roy that they have to search the pyramid before Xykon shows up. Xykon and his minions set off for it way back in #833 (with a brief pitstop to the Astral Plane first). #894 reveals that the pyramid that both the Order and the Linear Guild have been exploring is just a decoy, and that the pyramid containing the gate is in fact elsewhere. If Xykon possesses the exact coordinates for the gate, then where's he been all this time? The logical conclusion: Xykon and his minions have been there all along.
Girard's Gate is inside the wall showing the Draketooth family tree.One, the tree is in the shape of a pyramid. Two, the corpse referring to the Gate located between his buttcheeks refers to the Gate's seal literally behind the printed image of the haloed Girard on the tree. And three, when the Order of the Scribble found it in the desert, it was atop a pyramid. Everyone going downstairs in the pyramid is a shell game, crafted by Girard and his family, based on the assumption the path before you is worth pursuing. It's not, though, and never was.
Strip 900 will be the whammiest episode yet.This shall be some sort of combo breaker with the previous strips that hit the hundreds. Usually the strip is not really that big of a deal plot wise. This time though, it will be a doozy.
The real Thog will show up during the battle for Girard's Gate.It makes sense considering Tarquin's now impersonating him...
The Monster in the Dark is a young Tarrasque.The fact it can talk has been called odd, and it seems to be childlike. We have evidence that it is not evil; O-Chul hasn't fallen for dealing with it, for example. Plus, many of the Tarrasque's abilities fit.
The Monster in the Darkness is a Zodar.Original post here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/257742-speculation-monster-darkness-oots.html (posted by Pojo) Zodar are six-foot-tall, smooth-black suits of armor with 2 eye slits as their only distinguishing feature.
Haley's father has already died, or else will die before Haley is able to free him.With a setup like "thief girl with a good heart raising money to free her incarcerated father", there's no way it'll be that easy. Drama demands SOME complication, but as it's a nigh-unmentioned character motivation and the plot is getting into pretty dire territory as it is, it's unlikely there'll be plot space for the kind of buildup necessary to make freeing Ian appropriately awesome. Furthermore, Haley already got an absolutely ridiculous amount of cash from the dragon hoard - which was then abruptly blown up, when she and Vaarsuvius thought they'd have time for three trips. That was a plot necessity, as it kicked off the aphasia storyline... HOWEVER, it could also be DM railroading to keep Haley from having an ungodly amount of treasure when she wasn't going to need it.
By losing the necromancer's soul, Vaarsuvius is off the clock for 1/3 of the soul lease.However, if V regains her soul, all time spent between the loss and recapture of the necromancer's soul will count anyway.
V's necromancer soul will end up with Tsukiko before the underworld entities can track her down.Possibly giving her spells or information on V and the group, and possibly (if the splice requires only for a soul to be set up for splicing rather than the splice to be prepared and the souls just added to the spell) but less likely, splicing herself with Tsukiko. (And we don't know that she's not one of those biophiliacs that creep Xykon out so much.)
Serini Toormuck or Girard Draketooth is going to get the Order to Girard's Gate.In #695, the illusion of Girard says that the spell is set to inform himself, Serini, and (presumably) the rest of the Order that it's been triggered. Dorukan and Lirian are sealed, and Kraagor and Soon are dead, so the only people affected by the spell would be Serini and Girard himself; being that Serini is probably too good-natured to have been happy with the idea of Girard also setting it to blow Soon up, Girard probably didn't tell her about that part of the spell in the first place. Since Serini's a Rogue, she'd know to use this as an opportunity to see Soon Kim while she knows for a fact that he's away from his Gate and thus avoid breaking her promise not to interfere. Alternatively, Girard will teleport there himself, either to make sure Soon is actually dead, or to finish him off. Either way, once they realize that the Order of the Stick has very good reasons for being there, whoever shows up will give them the proper coordinates.
Girard's Gate is exactly where Soon believed it would be.Girard was an illusionist who had a personal grudge against Soon Kim; anyone who knew about the Gates would have to know about it. It's just a very cunning deception, designed to deter anyone from searching for the Gate any further; the spell to blow up Soon Kim is for authenticity and probably a bit of vindictiveness on Girard's part. After all, Roy survived it just fine, and Soon was likely higher-level then than Roy is now, and would have more HP to burn on what amounts to a very nasty prank— especially since Soon would be traveling with a bunch of paladins who could probably heal the inflicted damage with not much effort.
Minister Malack is a vegetarian/vegan.He's deathly pale and apparently has a "special diet". No one else knows he is, possibly since not eating meat is a horrid taboo in traditional lizardfolk society. Not to mention, a character that seems to be a vampire (as some WMGs have claimed) turning out to just be a vegetarian fits perfectly with the comic's Rule of Funny rules.
Theories on new Linear Guild membersEvil Durkon: An ogre cleric of Tiamat who is a teetotaler. Evil Vaarsuvius: A warlock or a cobination conjurer, necromancer.
Malack is actually female.In this strip, Malack's discussion of pursuing a mate/having more children suggests two interpretations. On one hand, the obvious explanation is that Malack is male and lost his wife at some point before Nale murdered his children. On the other hand, the having a mate and having children might not be directly connected. It's possible that Malack is something like a lesbian lizard- reproducing through parthenogenesis, but still engaging in mating behavior similar to that of a typical lizard. The comic has followed lizard biology before, so this wouldn't be too surprising. It would also work for narrative purposes, as it makes Malack a perfect Evil Counterpart to the ambiguously gendered V.
Haley is Orrin Draketooth's missing daughterSeriously. The legendary rouge has a red-haired daughter (when Burlew didn't need to show hair at all), who mysteriously vanishes from her mother's care, when we already know that Haley was raised by her father, who shares a character class and a hair color with her Draketooth. Haley even compares Draketooth to her father in the strip where this is all introduced!
It was the IFCC, not the Monster in the Darkness, that saved V and O-Chul from XykonIf Xykon had killed V, then the IFCC wouldn't have been able to get much use out of V's soul. V would just be stuck in the Lower Planes for a short time, and they clearly have many spellcasters that are higher-leveled than V at their disposal. They need him alive so they can take control of him to ruin everything at a critical moment, so they were the ones who arranged for the Deus ex Machina that saved V at the last moment. "Framing" the Monster in the Darkness would also have the fringe benefit of keeping Xykon from suspecting their involvement. (As an epic level spellcaster, Xykon would be powerful enough to be a serious threat to the IFCC if he put his mind to it.)
The corpse was telling the truth.In panel 845, Durkon used the spell speak with dead, who then said that Girard's rift is in between his butt cheeks, a typical moment of ass humor perfect for a chaotic NPC to stick it to the lawful PCs. But what if he was serious. In a few panels before when the PCs walked into the pyramid, they walked by the statue of Girard Draketooth. Now if that is where the rift is, then the Draketooth corpse was not lying and in fact the rift is in between Girard's butt cheeks. Besides, is there a better way than to tell the world to "kiss my ass" after death?
Nale will destroy Girard's GateWhat's really struck me about this latest story arc is the way it's put pressure on Nale. Not only has he been forced into the race for the Gates to an unprecedented extent, but more importantly, we've introduced a pair of characters who put his ingenuity to the test more than ever before. Tarquin and especially Malack put Nale in the same position Belkar was in while suffering from the Mark of Justice: he must evolve or die. Before now, Nale's solution to any given problem has been to assemble a team to tackle it head-on, but that's never beaten the OOTS, and with Tarquin, Malack and Xykon in the game the inadequacy of these tactics will become progressively more apparent. Nale's only hope of survival against such enemies is to display a level of cunning he's never shown before. With his back to the wall, Nale will only have one option to eliminate all his enemies: blow the Gate, destroying all his enemies in one fell swoop before teleporting to safety. He'll have to sacrifice Z'driti in the process, but that only makes sense: he's one of the last original members of the Linear Guild, and Nale's sacrificed Thog already this arc, the latest casualty of the comics systematic purge of stupid evil characters (see also: Samantha, Tsukiko, Crystal, Yukyuk). Having the fight for Girard's Gate end this way would also fit the recurring theme whereby a Gate's defense is overcome by a subversion of the Guardian's values: Just like Lirian's faith in Nature is overpowered by an unnatural foe and Soon's faith in the unbreakable honor of a paladin is betrayed by a fallen paladin, so Girard's faith in the loyalty of family will be foiled by a dysfunctional family member who in so doing attempts to kill his father and brother in the same moment. Having had to face the fire head-on and surviving, Nale will have finally ascend to the level of the other main antagonists in the comic, becoming a major player in the rush for Kraagor's Gate.
The Sand Monster summoned will kill someone.But it's not gonna be Roy. It's gonna be the "human with the greatsword."
Tarquin will cause Girard's Gate to be destroyed.Each of the gates has been destroyed in a way that subverted the ideals of the one who created it.
Girard's gate will self-destruct.He's paranoid and clearly doesn't trust the only person he told the location of the gate. I believe that his gate is set to self-destruct if ANYONE tries to get near it unless they're a family member. The weakening of the fabric of the reality from the destruction of the gate might have some cosmetic changes to the setting that'll be indicative of a finale. Perhaps odd color skies whirling energy, etc.
Nale will kill his father and/or take control of his armyBefore escaping Azure City, Nale became interested in the Gates. Nale's a pretty smart guy, and must realize that a team of six villains wouldn't stand a chance against Xykon's army if it ever came down to it. We also know Nale resents his father. Knowing the way Nale holds onto grudges, what better way to totally humiliate his father than by taking control of the warlord's troops, either by trickery or force? He could even pick three more Linear Guild members from any Elite Mooks that happen to be in the army, and have the rest as cannon fodder ready to march at a moment's notice.
The Order of the Stick will escape Tarquin's attack on pteranodonsBut not because V. has Charm Monster today. No, because Blackwing knows Dinosaur and points out that the people who removed their rider will also protect them on their flight to freedom if only they carry them with them. Or maybe not. But it would be fun.
Tarquin is going to cut off Elan's hand in strip no. 928.That, or he'll give Roy a knife in the back, of course. But the last panel of strip 927 gave me a major Star Wars feeling.
Elan's plan is for Durkon to cast Atonement on TarquinAtonement (or 'seduction') is a cleric 5th level spell that Durkon could reasonably know. While it's typically used on fallen paladins or clerics to restore their lost class levels after violating their alignment restrictions, it can also be used as a hassle-free 'change a character's established alignment to whatever you want' contrivance. Elan is hoping to use this spell on his father to change his alignment from Evil to Good. However, one of the caveats of this spell is that the target cannot be compelled (through magic, or otherwise) to accept the offer, so the real details of the plan will be in convincing his father Good is better than Evil. It's been established with Hinjo's talk with Miko after her fall that the Atonement spell exists in the OotS world, so there is precedence.