The Order is on their way north to the last Gate, thanks to new friends with an airship. But while they deal with monsters, recurring villains, the usual plot stuff, one of their own (coughDurkoncough) has been fighting a battle within their own mind! It all comes down a head when the gods themselves become involved, and the Order of the Stick must save the world from due process!
- Arc Villain: Vampire Durkon for the book as a whole. The Tinkertown strips also have Bozzok and Crystal return to antagonize Haley.
- Art Evolution: This book marks the comic's permanent style change. Arms and legs are now flesh-colored, sleeves and pant legs now visibly appear on everyone's clothes, and shoes now are shown flexing when characters walk.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Played with; Durkon's spirit is essentially trapped by the vampire spirit controlling his body, so he can't directly interfere with vampire's actions. However, he can work in more subtle ways, and manipulates what memories the vampire can see to eventually make him vulnerable to a mental Care-Bear Stare.
- The Bus Came Back: Hilgya Firehelm, from the first dungeon returns when the Order reaches the Dwarven Lands.
- Came Back Wrong: Crystal came back, but not through the usual Cleric spells. Bozzok instead brought her back as a sentient golem and she's constantly in pain as a result.
- Cerebus Retcon:
- Durkon's abrupt exile was Played for Laughs in On The Origin of PCs, but a flashback shows a more somber look at it.
- Odin's goofy attitude is revealed to be the divine version of brain damage.
- Character Focus: Most of the book centers around Durkon, his past and his familial relations.
- He's Back: The real Durkon is finally back after the destruction of his vampirized body and resurrection.
- Killed Off for Real: Bozzok is killed by Crystal after she turns on him. Crystal in turn finally recieves her comeuppance when Haley drops her into molten lava.
- Loophole Abuse: The latter half of the arc has the characters, good and bad, manipulate the vote of various meetings. Since the rules are being upheld by irrevocable supernatural forces, they must use creative interpretation of the rules to get their way.
- Mr. Exposition: Thor becomes one to explain to Durkon the true nature of the Snarl.
- Spoiler Cover: Zigzagged. Durkon has his back turned to the viewer, so someone unacquainted with the events of the last book doesn't see his red eyes and fangs. However, eagle-eyed viewers could possibly take notice of Durkon's paler skin and black clothes, which could make one think "something isn't right about Durkon".
- Wham Shot: Thor shows Durkon the monument the gods made to their first world, and the billions of the worlds they made after that, each one destroyed by the Snarl.