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The MiTD is the Snarl's creation.

  • Yeah, I went there. The Snarl grabbed Loki randomly because he wanted a new plaything, and after somehow performing divine autopsy on Loki without killing him, the Snarl figured out how to make things so he's something that can use those reality threads.
  • After collaborating to make Hilgya, the Snarl made the overpowered Monster In The Darkness, an extension of itself although a seperate entity, but lost him after the MiTD walked through a dimension door in the Astral Plane into that jungle and hit its head as a newborn. This explains the "daddy ate a lot" comment, because what in the world could possibly eat more than the entire existence except a few outer planes? Also explains the shock and awe of the audience in that circus because really, if seeing a practically non-Euclidean deity child doesn't drive you insane, it's quite scary looking. The MiTD favors telekinesis over using its reality threads and claws, because there's less chance of accidentally making way too many more rifts in reality by accidentally clawing the air wrong. It has insanely extreme magical powers reserved for deities and ridiculously epic-level casters, because it IS a deity. With a very high divine rank as it was made as the embodiment of Continuity Snarl itself. As the MiTD is basically a very young child at this point, if anyone infuriates the MiTD too badly, it will become enraged just like daddy Snarl and blow reality up like they just don't care. The Azure City gate, which used to be the smallest, is incredibly huge and swallowing up the sky. Whatever wards Dorukan used which lasted beyond his death which destroyed the gate prevented the MiTD's presence from expanding as the Snarl was trying to find his kid. Girard's Gate will probably explode in volume too.

Vaarsuvius is a Eunuch

  • Because I haven't seen many people bring this up, because it would justify the necessity for adopting children without making him gay, and because it would not necessarily not make him gay (very male-looking mate much?). It would also explain why Haley has no trouble rooming with V (as someone who was raised in the streets and mistrusts everyone and thinks the worst of people often) and why (while it's stated that V is not a virgin) V isn't particularly lusty, especially when compared to every other member of the order.

Durkon will return to his homelands...undead.

  • Notice how the oracle said that Durkon would return to his homelands posthumously, and that there's another prophecy saying that Durkon would bring death and destruction to its people...suffice to say it would make both prophecies come true at once...

Sabine is the embodiment of the darkness in Haley's soul.

  • Why else would she be her evil counterpart in the Linear Guild?

Nale and Sabine will merge together and go one-winged angel.

Possibly the IFCC will have something to do with it.

The real Thog will show up during the battle for Girard's Gate.

It makes sense considering Tarquin's now impersonating him...

When Durkon dies, his last thoughts will be of Hilgya.

  • Hilgya hasn't been mentioned since she disappeared, and the entire experience with her, while very brief, clearly disturbed him a great deal, to the point where all of the other characters have shared their hidden secrets and pasts with the rest of the party, Durkon has still not told them what happened between him and Hilgya that we know of. Most of the other characters have gone through plot developments that have changed them significantly, except Durkon who's whole character is that he's the steadfast reliable dwarven Cleric of Thor. This is because unlike all the other characters he got his initial development early on: he found someone he cared about more then his duty to his deity and his people, as evidenced by the tear he shed when leaving Hilgya behind.

Jirix will be killed by the Snarl

  • Considering that Jirix is resurrected every time he gets killed, what would be a better way for him to be Killed Off for Real?

The Snarl is actually Kratos.

  • That's why it killed the Eastern Pantheon...and why it saved Zeus for last.

the snarl is one of the nine forces

  • It hates everyone, it has been shown to be an omicidal manic (or a beast, we don't know how smart it is.) it was suggested that there being more then one gate intact has stopped it noticing the riffts, so when the last gate is being fought for, it will be happily trying to to kill everyone too!

Belkar really IS a (sexy and shoeless) god of war

  • Belkar could be a god who is forcibly bound as a mortal ( a little tryst between a war god and a random halfling goddess of fertility and lead sheets, then a little messup involving a nasty bet which the other guy won), which explains why Belkar wanted Miko to kill him, thus freeing him to have fun eternally partying/excessively discovering ways to kill regenerating immortals. He would have been a good target to have him die at some point and have some terrible (or not) punishment in the Chaotic Evil afterlife (with multiple kilonazis of evil, why wouldn't he get the bad ending) after Roy's afterlife plotline. Belkar also has two devils, a slaad, and formerly an angel as his shoulder advisors, with the angel, after going insane, flutters off to heaven and is immediately put into Intensive Care, which other than the comedy value This Troper doesn't see why it couldn't have just been "We're imaginary. He'll be fine." as with Haley's personality people. Those could have been created as a last-second manifestation of Belkar's deityhood which stuck around. He seems to be a little suicidal (Is charging into a huge army of hobgoblins good for your health? I thought not.) as he has a war-god passion for killing now that he can't party and drink tons of Immortal's Epic-Level Beer. He won't just stab himself with a knife and get it over with as he's having a LITTLE fun and it's likely just commiting suicide will reincarnate him at the next available opportunity. The Oracle's prediction is either going to be true (Belkar dies and gets time off before he is dragged back to the mortal plane from wherever he goes next via resurrection) or the Oracle just thinks birthday cakes are tasty and Belkar's IRA isn't going to end well (A little too much world-ending might drive an accountant insane deciding what is likely to not be collateral damage when one or an other party is epic-final-battling and Belkar's IRA is ruined after a government change with halflings) and he finds a reason not to breathe or breathes just before the year ends. Or he WILL die and be resurrected before an afterlife plotline can go into effect.

The Eastern Gods aren't quite Dead

Or have been reincarnated in the form of the Order of the Stick. Roy=Zeus, Belkar=Ares, V=Athena, Elan=Hermes, Haley=Aphrodite(?), Durkon=Hephaestus (which would probably piss him right off).

  • How about Artemis = Haley (Archer, Sneaky, intimacy issues...)
  • Elan=Apollo. Both are allegedly attractive, and linked to music and storytelling.
    • Actually, Roy is more remmeniscant of Hades, the Only Sane Man of the Greek pantheon.

Nale will get to meet his mother.

It makes sense considering Elan already got to meet his father...

Both Durkon and Belkar will die soon

They will then both have an afterlife adventure together.


Team Evil will capture a gate, but not know where to go from there.

The overarching plan sounds simple: obtain a gate, be able to control it, and use it to threaten the gods. However, it's a hassle to get the gods to grant healing spells, let alone giving them demands. Considering the lack of ties to the human gods on the Team, it'll take a while for them to overcome that roadblock.


Xykon and Redcloak gain staffs of power.

Xykon's staff will be a scythe, obviously, and Redcloak's will be a spear with a hole in the stabby bit for the phylactery to fit into.

Elan will deliberately destroy one of the gates.

Of the original five gates, three have been destroyed. Since the consequences of all five being lost are so dire, it's easy to predict a plot where a fourth gate is destroyed and the final showdown happens at the only gate standing between the world and primal chaos. Fine so far. Except that Elan is aware of all story tropes and is so devoted to them that he will, for example, stand in the path of an explosion so he can jump clear at the last moment. If the classic plot falters somehow, leaving two gates intact, Elan will force it back on track by blowing one up. Just as he's already blown one up, in a very suspicious accident.


Vaarsuvius will join with Redcloak in a Face Heel Turn after Xykon is defeated.

Redcloak's plan to use the Snarl to blackmail the Gods into remaking the world requires a powerful divine spellcaster (who can be Redcloak himself) and a powerful Arcane Caster. Currently, the role of Arcane Caster is allocated to Xykon, whose defeat the heroes are concentrating on. Once he's out of the way, Vaarsuvius (a powerful arcane caster who has been prophesized to gain complete and total ultimate power by "saying the right four words to the right being at the right time for all the wrong reasons") may join with Redcloak to remake the world in a way that benefits elves. He's been shown to be amoral, though not as obviously so as Belkar, and so this makes for a good Shocking Swerve.

  • Since bards are also Arcane Casters, it's possible that Elan could do this - though the "powerful" part might be a sticking point.
  • V's four words: "I will join you."
    • It appears to have been "I...I must succeed". Though granted, that's really less four words and more three words, with a stammer.
  • Alternately, V will join with Redcloak, who does a Heel Face Turn after Xykon betrays his lackey to probable death. It does seem like the kind of thing Xykon would pull.
    • What if Redcloak does the Heal Face Turn to betray Xykon before Xykon betrays him.Redcloak hates Xykon and the only reason he didn't smash his phylactery is because he can't admit he teamed up with him for nothing. He does however now have a whole city that is policalty stable for goblins to call their own. It is the equal footing his kind need so he might be able to forget The Plan and say Xykon outlived his purpose after the siege and just needed the right opportunity to kill him. Well what better opportunity when the Order attacks him. Then he has the reason and means to cut his losses, kill Xykon and go back to building an actual future for the gobliniods with Azure city. The think that the Order would agree to it because Roy's father's blood oath is on Xykon and only Xykon.
  • Another take on this: V does not pull a Face Heel Turn but is present at the final showdown at the foot of the last Gate. Utterly by chance, he recites the mantra which unlocks it and somehow gains all of Snarl's power for himself. May or may not lend itself to an NGE ending -- though if it did, stratospheric V's goody bits would be covered by a Mysterious Impenetrable Shroud of Power, or clouds.
  • Tsukiko is a huge monkey wrench to any theory on this subject. She's a Mystic Theurge aligned with the bad guys. That makes her a divine caster and an arcane caster. This could mean she could fill in on either side of the above equation, or perhaps on both.
    • She's being groomed as a replacement for Redcloak, and is totally ignorant of Xykon's scheme. That's the two-part ritual that the MitD solved. Xykon knows that Redcloak is hiding something, and Tsukiko is Xykon's ticket out of their deal. Well...was...
  • This makes sense. Both the Elves and the Goblins had to raise their own gods. Perhaps Vaarsuvius will either become or already is the elf god and Vaarsuvius's plan is the same as the Dark One's. The two team up for massive damage.
    • ...on the other hand, it would certainly explain why V says, in Origin of PCs, that he breaks more natural laws before breakfast then Roy will in a lifetime, because what Wizard would waste that many of his precious spells per day on something that early?
      • Breaking more natural laws than a pure core fighter isn't hard.
      • Prestidigitation is a cantrip, and it wash your equipment, hair and nails (are teeth living? If not it can also clean them), all things you would want to do before breakfast. I think that breaks more laws than Roy has ever done under his own power.
      • Well, OtOoPCs actually says that V breaks more natural laws than Roy is even aware of. I guess it still qualifies.
  • ...And then they get married!! Squee!!!
    • That... actually might be remotely plausible. (considering V is female... then again, Redcloak hasn't confirmed his preferences) Both have something in common; they started with noble goals, but went too far, sacrificed what was important to them, and realised it too late, but plodded on with their course because they've sacrified too much to let it fail. At the very least, they've got something to talk about.

Elves are hermaphrodites.

Vaarsuvius' gender is a big mystery, and in the incident with Girl-Roy s/he only noticed the fake wig, not the sex change. This'd make sense if elves don't have sexes, so they wouldn't really understand them in other races.

  • We know that elves reproduce, and even half-elf half-humans like Pompey are possible. Therefore, to fit with this theory, elves must be hermaphrodites of ambiguous gender somehow interfertile with humans. Which would hardly be the oddest thing in this setting. This explains why Pompey is so aggressively lecherous -- he knows about his elf father/mother and is overcompensating.
  • Or V is the author's way of sneaking a gay/lesbian character into the series (that's what the "my mate" comments, and the adopted children, bring to mind.)

Elan is a member of the Deegan family (from Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire).

He shares the flair for the dramatic and the love of bad puns common in the male line of that family. He is also the only member of the Order of the Stick (aside from Vaarsuvius) whose last name has not been revealed.

  • Also, the patriarch of the Deegan family shown is a blonde-haired bard. And of course, both webcomics are based on D&D...
    • Guess Jacob must be his father

Roy will become a wizard.

Roy swore to destroy Xykon to prove to his bigoted wizard father that fighters could be more than just dumb meatshields. Therefore the last class you'd ever expect him to take is wizard, even if he has the intelligence for it. But Roy has grown to recognise that Xykon is a deadly threat to the world and his original reasons for the oath were petty and childish. Xykon needs to be killed to Save The World, not to score points off of his father. Therefore he'll take whatever classes fit with his abilities and give him the best chance of victory. And even low-level wizards are full of nasty surprises -- especially if you're expecting a boring old pure fighter.

  • Alternatively, Roy will become a Psion. Essentially the same thing, but he still gets to keep the moral high ground. A psion is also less easily detectable than a wizard. Psychic Warrior is also a possibility, albeit a less drastic one. And before you say it, there has been at least one psionic minor character in the comic, in Origin of the PCs.
  • Alternatively, Roy will become a warblade. The class was created as a much stronger replacement for the underpowered fighter class, and has many abilities which depend on the user's Intelligence to use effectively. It also has a system of manoeuvres similar in mechanics terms to a wizard's spells.
  • Or a warmind, Roy should may meet the prerequisites (just knowledge) barring training and a feat (his next feat from his grandfather could be [fighter]), he has decent wisdom, AND it is a full BAB class that doesn't hurt his fightering.
  • I figure that this is an opportunity to bring in some 4e stuff - specifically he'd multiclass (as in 3.5) to either warlord (uses Int as a secondary stat) or maybe a warden.

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.

  • This also fits for a variety of other reasons. To be that small, it must be a very young Tarrasque indeed, which explains a lot about its personality - it has the mentality and tastes of a six-year old, which would be about equivalent. Also, since only one Tarrasque can exist on a plane at a time, it has no parents, so it's with Xykon and Redcloak so it can have parental figures in its life.
  • The Tarrasque is traditionally the strongest non-setting, non-divine monster in D&D, anything less would be a disappointment.

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. They are seemingly designed as the ultimate brawlers: their entire interior is muscle, they have an incredibly high strength score, can only be harmed by bludgeoning damage, and they never have less than 16 Hit Dice.

Already, it's sounding like the ridiculously strong and somewhat featureless Monster in the Darkness, but it gets even better. 3 times in their life, Zodar can cause any spell to manifest as if they case. Once in their lives, they can cast a limited Wish effect ,even "Escape".

Zodar tend to have a higher intelligence or wisdom score than the Monster seems to possess, but that could be a result of its age. However, note the Monster's ability to understand and play complex games, and its ability to casually discern a complex magical ritual that even a theurge could not, which might indicate he's less of The Ditz and more of The Fool. In addition to that is the Zodar's ability to only speak 3 times in its life (though the Monster's ability to speak has been stressed as unique), and Zodar are traditionally very stoic and mysterious ( an effect of My Species Doth Protest Too Much, perhaps?).

  • Zodar have no natural habitat and can be found anywhere. If one can be found anywhere, finding one in a jungle is not unusual.
    • The Monster in the Darkness causes an earthquake here. It's implied it's done this before. It could be the Zodar's spell ability, but it would likely not waste it on not being bought transformers.
      • That may just be due to the Monster's ridiculous strength. Or, it could be its ability to increase its strength a few times out of the day.
  • Zodar can speak, if only three times in their lives. However, the first time it is seen in Start of Darkness, the fact that it can talk at all is treated as incredibly unusual.


The Monster in the Darkness is a Pokémon.

Rich Burlew says that it's not something that he made up. However, he does not say that it is something in the Dungeons & Dragons source books. Furthermore, we've seen the influence of Pokémon in how the Paladins summon their mounts. It's not unreasonable to assume that the monster could a Pokémon. Based on the explosiveness of either its farts or burps, it would have to be either fire or dragon type, or at least have access to their move sets. It would also have to know either earthquake or fissure, as it uses an attack that looks very much like those when Haley and Elan rescue Roy's corpse from it

  • It might not be dragon OR fire type. might just know flamethrower, like it knows earthquake. added with the "My dad was really big and ate a lot" hint, I'd surmise he's almost certainly a munchlax getting almost big enough to evolve; mumchlax and snorlax both have access to those moves, albeit by TM. and given his friendliness to even major villains and his predilection towards finding things, I'd say he has a naive nature and the pickup ability.

The Monster in the Darkness is a fallen Solar

Solars have great strength, and DR 15/epic, and they get earthquake as a spell-like ability. It might not remember much about why it fell or much of anything which could explain it's childishness. The "escape" thing could have been him casting miracle, and not knowing it.

The strip will end with the Order of the Stick disbanding to guard a new set of gates to replace the old ones.

Soon's original group consists mainly of composites of the members of the Order of the Stick. And the title of #276, "The Order of the Scribble", may be a subtle form of foreshadowing.

  • We may conclude from this that someone is going to be Killed Off for Real, if he hasn't been already.
    • Recall that the dwarven member of the Order of the Scribble was killed in the final battle with the Snarl, and that Durkon has been informed he will be returned to his people "posthumously". Of course, the aforementioned prophecy implies that he does return to his people, and his dwarven predecessor appears to stay exactly where he died. And if he dies in dwarven lands, well then, he returned before he died so it's not "posthumously", is it? This may be a Prophecy Twist, because Death Is Cheap.
      • Durkon could remain guarding a Gate outside of dwarven lands until his death of old age, which is not resurrectable; thus, he could still be sent home posthumously.
    • Or it could be the other diminutive party member, who the Oracle said should "savor his next birthday cake".
    • It's probably not Elan or Haley, on the other hand; Elan had a prophesied "happy ending", and it's hard to imagine him being happy without Haley beside him.
      • Alternatively, Everybody Lives, and Elan and Haley guard a gate together.
      • That's not very happy, is it?
        • Having sex with a redheaded rogue with abnormally high dexterity on a regular basis? Or for the ladies, the same only with an easily malleable bard with maxed-out charisma? Truly a fate worse than death.
        • Both Elan and Haley need to be around a lot of people--him so he can entertain them, her so she can rob them blind. They probably wouldn't be very happy out in the middle of nowhere.
          • So give them the Azure City gate.

Haley has Celestial blood in her background.

When attempting to fix her speech by revealing to Elan her innermost secrets, one of the "Haley-grams" translates to "I may not be what you call entirely...". In addition, Sabine is clearly supposed to be Haley's equivalent in the Linear Guild. The Word of God is that Haley and Sabine are opposites in a way that has yet to be revealed in the strip, and who better to be the opposite of an evil outsider than someone who's partly good outsider?

    • Can someone please link the comic where she says that?
  • Half-celestials always have wings according to the standard template.
  • Alternatively, she has jokingly confessed to being "part dragon" -- maybe she wasn't joking. And dragon ancestry would be a more plausible thing to be secretive about than celestial.
    • This is more plausible then half-fiend or half-celestial, but half-dragons have claws also. The strip doesn't really go into that much detail, but I assume claws are too noticeable to hide.
      • An armourer couldn't see she was wearing leather pants. Medium awareness has been a plot point before, I think.
      • It should be noted that you can have fiend, dragon, or celestial blood without being a full half-whatever. These are tieflings (fiend), some sorcerers (dragon), and assamir (celestial) and even those are known to skip generations. (This is all from 3.5 D&D books as opposed to being mentioned in the strip itself
      • Being an Aasimar isn't even as diluted as it can get. The 3.5 Planar Handbook has a feat called "Celestial Heritage", with Nonevil alignment being the only prerequisite. Something Haley could have easily picked up at any point in her adventuring career.
      • This strip could be a form of Sarcastic Confession.
      • More possible Dragon evidence: this strip. Classic Sarcastic Confession?
      • Speaking of half-dragons, she seems to get very interested in a half-dragon figurine...
  • Yet another option is for Haley to have infernal ancestry, of the opposite side to Sabine (that is, demonic if Sabine's a devil, and vice versa). It's entirely possible for beings with such ancestry to be non-evil, after all.
    • Not according to the standard template. Half-fiends also have wings and claws, which we would have noticed by now. Being a tiefling, however, is much more plausible, because not only is a tiefling only usually evil, it's got a set of abilities perfect for a rouge. It would be kinda hard to hide some of the bonuses, though.
        • Have you ever seen Sabine's claws? It's a stick figure comic.
      • She could be an Aasimar.
        • Aasimar have bonuses that make them as good in a way that fits her play-style.
  • And another is that Haley has Elemental blood, and will end up being related to Celia somehow.
    • Note that all of these options bring the possibility of Haley suddenly gaining sorcerous abilities, and becoming the arcane caster in the prophecy.
    • There is no half-elemental template in the Monster Manual, so that's a plus.
    • And she will take the elemental infiltrator prestige class.
  • I always assumed that line was going to end with "...a virgin". Makes sense considering the other things she tells him.
    • Never mind, seems to be sorta-Jossed with comic 581.
      • There's a big difference between being pregnant and having had sex at some point... even if protection doesn't exist in that universe, there is still only a 30% chance of getting pregnant on the best of days (for normal humans; we'd have to get all F.A.T.A.L. to find a game with rules on that, and honestly, who in their right mind would want that?)
      • Yeah, she's only saying that that's not her problem, not that she's never had sex.
  • This troper has just realized how bizarre this is considering Haley is one of two party members whose parents are confirmed to be human(oid). Granted, not as much as Roy's parents, but it's still implied from the three or so references we get to them.
  • Going over all these guesses, I would guess she's not a Celestial or Elemental, because she's ashamed of whatever it is. Maybe she's part-devil, but I kind of doubt it. Oh, and if you want to pull Exact Words on it, the quote is "Elan, it turns out I may not be exactly what you would call-"
    • Maybe she's not ashamed of being Elemental or Celestial; maybe she's ashamed because she can't live up to it, because she's not "good enough" and that's why other good people have left her.
  • She did have an aspect of her personally named "Haley's Latent Bisexuality". Maybe that sentence was going to send with "straight" ?
    • "Latent" means present or potential, but never realized. She's straight. Besides, why would Rich have an Ellipsis of Drama for something revealed so willy-nilly.
      • Latent means "present but not visible, apparent, or actualized; existing as potential" or "Psychology. existing in unconscious or dormant form but potentially able to achieve expression" So not necessarily. But I would think she wouldn't angst that much about telling Elan she's bisexual considering she already told him she'd kissed girls several times.
    • In that same scene, (two pages later) she discusses to herself how her mother left her - the first of the "pure and good" people whom she loved to leave. Could mean her mother straight out walked out on her (and presumably her father), or could mean death. Why? And if her father is the source of her divergent ancestry, what does it mean that he's imprisoned by an Evil Overlord? Food for thought!
      • Interestingly, in a recent strip we see a young Haley telling a stranger that her Mommy "went to Heaven." Could be her father's explanation of death to a child, but then why would Haley believe that her mother left her?
      • What about her actually GOING to heaven, which would reinforce the idea of her being a holy... being.
    • Well, considering Roy's talk with the Angel (particularly the comment about only celestials being entirely good), maybe this means her Mom's an Angel?
      • In a recent strip we see Haley's Mom's death, so Haley's mother didn't leave her. Although with Fridge Logic maybe she refused to be raised, and that's why Haley considers it 'left'?
  • It occurred to me that even though all (most?) the half-templates for what's been discussed here have obvious attributes that seem to rule them out, that doesn't mean she couldn't be a quarter something.
    • If I recall correctly, the descendant of any half-something is also a half-something. The child of a human and a half-elf would be half-elven, though look more human, and the Rogue grandchild of a half-orc, a half-elf, a human, and possibly a half-fiend would be a half-elf half-orc half-fiend Rogue.
      • No, that only applies to the half-elves and orcs, if I remember correctly.
      • For half-elves at least, there's an official ruling in the PH: 100% elf = elf, 50-99% elf = half elf, 0-49% elf = human. This also applies to half-orcs, IIRC.
        • Templates work in a weird way though; 25% elf, 25% human, 50% dragon is a half-elf with the half-dragon template, for example, but unlike celestials and fiends there isn't a template for anything less than 50% in dragon, meaning that 1/4 dragon has the same stats as the base race but is eligible to become a sorcerer or a dragon disciple.
        • Eventually it's got to stop applying, otherwise 3.5 tieflings, aasimar, zenythri (Law) and chaonds (chaos) wouldn't exist; their entire backstory is that they're humans with the faintest touch of outsider blood.
  • Wait just a second. Lords of Madness confirms that some aberrations (no idea which ones) can somehow interbreed with humans. And as long as the Deep One hybrid aberrant doesn't take the Aberration Blood feat and it goes back enough generations, nobody would really have to know. There's a whole category of feats that represent this kind of thing. There's even a prestige class for people descended from the victims of mind flayer experiments - the flayerspawn psychic. Just because there's something unpleasant hinted as part of Haley's family tree doesn't necessarily mean it comes from another plane.
  • Considering the circumstances, the casually self-assured front Haley presents to everyone, and the fact it's the very last thing she could bring herself to admit to anyone else, this troper has long suspected that the missing word was "confident". Which is self-explanatory, as lack of confidence is why she couldn't bring herself to admit it.
    • Yeah, but "I'm not confident" isn't what you'd call a deep seeded secret, not one that she'd suspect is the reason for her inability to talk.
  • I'm just gonna go out on a limb here and add the 'wild' back into WMG. What if Haley is Redcloak's niece? Think about it, Right-Eye smuggled his daughter out of Xykon's camp and left her to be raised by "humans or worse", so that probably means he just left her somewhere. Maybe he found a way to disguise her as a human; Haley's parents seem like the type of people who would adopt a homeless child. I know it's probably not true, but wouldn't that be a fun twist?

Hilgya will return with scores to settle.

After Durkon disapproves of her leaving her husband, she runs off into the dungeon in tears, but we never see her die in the explosion. The flumphs survived, so not everything died, and we saw in "Go Team Cleric!" and before that she's pretty good at surviving. She says to Durkon, "They abandoned us both, you know", suggesting she's angry. Nale does say he lost three people, but he may just be assuming that because of the whole giant explosion thing. She will want revenge on Durkon (for rejecting her and thereby making her run deeper into the dungeon), Nale (for getting her in the mess and not caring about getting her out, even if she was only using him a quest for Loki), and Xykon (just because, really). A crazy cleric who hates the good guys and the bad guys seems too good not to use.

  • Alternatively, she will be pregnant with Durkon's child.
    • We may soon find out , her return seems imminent as of this comic. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0581.html
      • "I'll get a message to him in the morning, then."
        • Which, I'm betting, is Hilgya's husband.
      • Except we already know that Hilgya's husband was a strait-laced Dwarf who never left the Dwarf lands.

The Next Prequel Book...

...which Rich has already alluded to, will be about The Order of the Scribble. Whether or not it will be told in crayon remains to be seen.

  • No, no, no! It'll be about the Linear Guild!
    • You're both wrong, even though one of you is me! After SoD, there's no way it's not about the Sapphire Guard!
      • All wrong! It will be about that Guy with a Halberd!
        • Well, since the Sapphire Guard were founded by a member of the Order of the Scribble, there's no reason it can't be about both of them. I predict that at one point, the Order of the Scribble will face their evil duplicates, the Doodle Guild! And the Guy with the Halberd can have a cameo.
          • Their rivals are the Holey Order.

The Order of the Stick will lose and the last strip will be the gods going "Damn, we have to make the world again?"

Cos of all the tropes out there, hero saves the day is short far too many subvertings.

  • It will be a happy ending for Elan.
    • He'll be spared as High Priest of Banjo.
      • Elan would be miserable anyway. His friends, especially Roy and Haley.

Vaarsuvius is a victim of a rare Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity.

The Wikipedia article says, "Additionally, 10% of these items remove sex from the wearer." Maybe this is what happened to V, who is now literally genderless?

  • Wait wait wait, Wikipedia has an article on the Girdle of Femininity/Masculinity but couldn't decide if we existed?
    • The injustice!

The Snarl will be released and unmake the world, and several of the characters will ascend to godhood in order to remake it.

Most likely, the new pantheon will include at least Vaarsuvius (who will obtain ultimate power), Redcloak (who has it as his entire goal), Elan (the Oracle said he'd have a happy ending), and Banjo the Clown.

  • This troper's theory is that Banjo, being a puppet god, is controlled by whoever's hand is in the puppet. So Elan will be saved because he IS Banjo. And that might not include Redcloak; the Dark One is already a god and that's all Redcloak needs.
  • Redcloak might well replace the Dark One as a God maybe. A lot of 'The Dark One isn't on the up and up' theories are floating around, and if Redcloak finds out he let all those Goblins die for nothing I wouldn't put it beyond him to unleash the Snarl on his former master.
  • This troper hopes that the heroes and even the Gods fight a final battle with the Snarl after it is released. The heroes Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and fill the vacancy left by the Gods who perished in the battle and use their power to rebuild the Multiverse that was destroyed in the battle. The catch is that they do not and possibly even cannot understand the world's workings and they recreate the world differently than it was before. This leads to a 4th-edition-based world. The heroes decide that the new world is so wonderful that they reincarnate themselves to become adventurers, except for a few others who become the new Gods including Vaarsuvius who becomes the new Corellon-type God.
    • Redcloak's opinion about paladins made him invent the forth edition paladins(that doesn't have to be lawful good)!!

Banjo the Clown is really The Chessmaster who is controlling all of the other characters

Think of the irony: Banjo is the only literal puppet in the strip, but all of the other characters are actually "puppets" to him!

Belkar will kill Vaarsuvius.

In this strip, the Belkster is prophesied to cause the death of one of the following: Miko, Miko's horse, Roy, or Vaarsuvius. Miko is dead not by Belkar's hand, and we know she's not coming back, and as long as she's dead her celestial horse isn't coming back either. Roy died, again not by Belkar's hand, and while his resurrection is almost a given, it's reasonable to believe that Burlew wouldn't kill him off twice -- that'd be overkill. (Heh.) That leaves only the elf. Since V may potentially turn to the dark side upon achieving ultimate power, that would give Belkar a damn good reason to do it, too. EDIT: As of 6/15/08, I may imminently be proved wrong. * sits and waits*

  • Sorry for cutting to the top and everything, but remember the triple Soul Splice deal hinges on the fact that Vaarsuvius need to die to give up his soul to help the demon/devil/daemon alliance thing.
  • Don't forget that Belkar also specified "or you (the oracle)." We may only get to see another kobold with a few dozen stab wounds. Not that it wouldn't be as satisfying.
  • Alternately, Belkar already caused Roy's death, by giving him the ring of jumping.
    • Does that really count as "causing his death," though? It enabled Roy to get at Xykon, but you could just as easily say that the castle parapet he leaped from caused his death as the ring.
      • Look at it this way: You can claim that Roy died because of many things: He doesn't have wings, the ground wasn't made of marshmallows, Xykon's Meteor Swarm, and even the law of gravity. The fact is that Roy fell off of the dragon, and was only able to get on the dragon with Belkar's Ring of Jumping. And if that's not good enough for you, he killed the Oracle, but as said below, the "or" could be inclusive or exclusive.
  • Jossed!
    • Do you mean that Belkar killing Vaarsuvius is Jossed? It's still possible. The "or" could be inclusive, rather than exclusive, and the yes means that he kills both the Oracle and Vaarsuvius. If he survives the Mark of Justice, of course...
    • Depending on how much you trust what the Oracle was saying beforehand, (s)he may have regarded it as a "yes" to any or a "yes" to as many as apply. And the Orcale was about to talk about V before Belkar interrupted.
      • Such an "or" statement answered with "yes" can be used as a "Answer Choice E for everything". This Troper can already see a way to blame Belkar if V dies as a wild result of V's Faust deal. But it will be nigh impossible to tell before Burlew does or not since he clearly comes to this site and likes to subvert fan expectations.
  • Belkar will kill V because V has sold his soul and someone needs to Shoot the Dog. Balkar's not the most noble person to do it, but he has more reason to do it than anyone else. He may die in the attempt, but he will get it done. If this is to become a happier ending, V's death voids the contract and somehow elevates V to having even greater strength, and enough time to redeem himself. In this case, V's words would be, "Belkar. Kill me now," or something to that effect. V would be saying the right words at the right time, but because he wants to be put out of his misery, they're for the wrong reasons.
    • "Out of his misery"? I think it's abundantly clear that V gets off on power. The only misery I could see happening would come if s/he were forced to see all that s/he had done, and became weighed down by guilt. And even if that happens (V seems to be an expert at rationalizing ways for hir to be in the right) hir work ethic, determination, pride and (sometimes skewed but still there) moral compass means s/he's probably the sort to go on some epic quest for redemption, rather than become suicidal.
  • This Troper thinks it'll be the reverse- Vaarsuvius will kill Belkar. Belkar Is fated to die, and V is the only one in the party who would be willing to do it.
    • Furthermore, if someone kills V because s/he kills Belkar, that could possibly count.

The Dark One isn't quite on the up and up.

Redcloak claims that goblins and the other monster races were created for the sole reason of rinding XP for the hero races. But then we have Kobolds and Lizardmen who have deific patrons (and the Kobold's deific patron is Tiamat, one of the original deities), which makes me wonder if the Dark One is conveniently ignoring things like, say, human bandits and roleplaying as sources of XP.

  • Depends on your house rules as to whether "Good Acting" applies. Besides, it's not saying that the monster races are the only source of XP -- just that the only reason they EXIST is as one of the many sources of XP.
    • Roleplaying XP clearly exists in the Order of the Stick universe.
    • I kinda get the whole Animatrix "Second Renaissance" vibe where, despite being presented as fact, it just sounds too... propagandized, to really seem true. There's probably a good deal of truth, but a lot was exaggerated, and some details omitted.
  • To This Troper, the Dark One HAS to be evil- because the only thing that justifies fantasy heroes killing their enemies is when they are evil (or mindless.) To think that Redcloak's story is true and humans just started killing goblins for its sake is taking morality issues a little too far (especially for a humorous strip.) In the early D&D editions, it was made clear that monsters CANNOT change their alignment, unlike humans and demihumans; goblins are just born evil and are always evil, which justifies killing them off. I dunno if this applies to the current edition, but it should. Sure, there can be rare exceptions (just as there monster mutations) so heroes cannot have to be careful, but in general, goblins deserve to die; the XP they give is inconsequential.
    • And This Troper says just having an Evil alignment isn't enough to deserve being killed if you're not doing anything actively evil. Which is presumably what happened to Redcloak's village: they were all Evil, but weren't doing anything evil.
      • And the Book of Exalted Deeds would agree with you. Besides, Burlew loves subverting tropes. Always Chaotic Evil is a trope.
        • Or the Dark One used to be just like Redcloak but never had a My God, What Have I Done? Redloak had when a hobgoblin saved his life, as a result he became a Knight Templar, as a result turned the monster races into the Always Chaotic Evil they are now, he enlist Redcloak to fix his mistakes (or finshed what he started aka kill all PC races)
      • We know the Dark One's backstory, though, and it's nothing like that.
        • Yes because we all know gods don't lie or history is never fudge or anything like that.

Belkar will turn into a Lich.

"Belkar will draw his last breath -ever- before the end of the year," as the Oracle said, which seems perfect for a Prophecy Twist... Liches don't need to breathe, after all. Likewise, Start of Darkness made it clear that Liches have no sense of taste either, which explains the Oracle's prophecy about how Belkar should enjoy his next Birthday Cake.

  • That said, the exact wording precludes a normal Rez. That's pretty much the only way he could stay "alive". That said, Liches are almost always powerful Arcane casters, which Belkar is not.
    • Or it could be time travel.
    • Rangers can become Liches, they just need a caster level of 13 (arcane or divine matters not.) HOWEVER as rangers have a caster level equal to half their character level Belkar would need to get to level 26 (and thus well into epic) before the end of the year, highly unlikely.
      • Don't tell him that, he'll take it as a challenge.
      • Or he could make a deal similar to Vaarsuvius and perform the ritual while under the influence of a soul splice.

Belkar will turn into a WOMAN.

Note the lines the Kobold uses to avoid stating that Belkar will die: That he should savor HIS next birthday cake. That HE's not long for this world. That Belkar will draw HIS last breath before the end of the year. Turning into a woman (a new Girdle, perhaps?) would not only be a useful workaround to him dying (which almost every other assumed workaround requires), but would likely also serve to make Belkar(ina?) ever more pissed off. This said, like he needs to be any scarier...

  • If V turns out to be female and Belkar turns into a woman, the Order of the Stick will match the Order of the Scribble in both race(s) AND gender(s). Take from that what you will.
    • Um, no. The Order of the Scribble was composed of four males and two females.
    • So, if V is male and Belkar turns into a woman, the adventuring parties will match.


Belkar will turn into a God.

A Sexy shoeless one of war. We need a reason for Belkar not to want to be raised, and this is the best one going. We already have The Dark One showing that mortals can ascend, as well as strip 610 having Shojo asking what ARE you with this as Belkar's response Or...

Belkar already IS a God.

With his wild and chaotic personality, his ability to best almost everyone in pitched combat, and the fact he responded "I am a sexy shoeless god of war!" when asked by hallucination-Shojo what he truly is, Belkar could be construed as the halfling reincarnation of Ares, the deceased Greek God of War. His new "fake character development" schtick may be his way of reconciling himself with this fact, and the kobold's prophecy might indicate his coming "rebirth" as Ares.

    • Except anyone killed by the Snarl ceases to exist entirely, which probably means they can't be reincarnated.
      • There's a WMG here addressing that...somewhere...

The Kobold Oracle wasn't always a Kobold.

Kobolds are classified as mini-dragon/lizard creatures. In The Start of Darkness, the Oracle talks about getting to Second Base with his date, which wouldn't really be possible with a reptile. In this comic, he talks about his balls, when reptiles don't really have external testicles. Perhaps he wasn't always a Kobold and at one point he was a humanoid of some kind. Maybe he was turned into a Kobold in exchange for his prophecy powers, perhaps in an unpleasant deal or with odd wording. He occasionally slips up though, and forgets what exactly Kobolds have. It could also be that he's so surly about dealing with the customers because he's jealous about them being humanoid. He could also use the mind-wiping charm in the Sunken Valley so that any old friends won't find him.

  • I dunno, he seems genuinely disgusted by the notion of mammal breeding tendencies, and second base for reptiles may not be the same for mammals. Also, I get the idea that The Dark One greatly exaggerates the whole evil humanoid short-end-of-the-stick bit.
  • The village name Lickmyinternalgenitaliahalfling wouldn't quite fit on the sign, and he knew it wouldn't because he's, well, the Oracle. So he came up with something shorter.
  • Reptile's internal testicles were mentioned in this comic "Do you know what hemipenes are? Good-you can suck my-"

Redcloak is, or will eventually become, The Starscream

Redcloak is clearly unhappy with Xykon's leadership skills, as clearly evidenced by Redcloak's "My God what have I done" moment. [1] In that same strip, he admits that he hates all humans equally. Perhaps that also applies to former humans?

  • Unlikely, given the prequel comic.
  • I think Tsukikko is a more likely contender for The Starscream position.
  • I'm pretty sure this will happen. The author has clearly shifted preferences from Xykon to Red Cloak, as the latter now sounds smarter and more sympathetic than the former.
  • Also, The "monster is charmed into attacking Redcloak if he betrays Xykon" plot point would never have been brought up if Redcloak is not going to betray Xykon. See The Law of Conservation of Detail.

The Order of the Stick will get a new roster.

With so many hints about main characters dying (Belkar, Vaarsuvius, Durkon... maybe even Roy, with all the time it's taking...) I think that by the end of the strip, the Order of the Stick will either have a brand new roster of fresh adventurer rookies, or just partly (Maybe Elan and Haley stay...)

  • Maybe a resurrected Miko will join them to atone for her sins. Hey, if they let in Belkar...

Guessing at Vaarsuvius' alignment.

I was going to make this about the entire Order of the Stick, but their alignments have all been confirmed except Durkon's and V's and Durkon's is almost certainly Lawful Good anyway. So on to V it is. I'd guess he's Lawful Neutral. He passed Miko's Detect Evil spell back near the beginning, and he REALLY seems to be Lawful, but also a bit amoral. I really doubt he's Good, so he's probably Neutral.

  • Never mind, True Neutral
    • Never mind, Chaotic Neutral
      • How about Good I mean look at it that is a good deed, and even with dirt farmers it's kind.
        • Bear in mind that "does something (Alignment X) occasionally" does not equal "full-fledged X character". Roy's tendency to use chaotic acts, for example, doesn't push him to Neutral Good or Chaotic Good.
  • Seconding True Neutral, with a shift to Chaotic Neutral caused by lack of sleep.
  • And now with a shift into Chaotic Evil.
    • Actually, I'd say it's more Neutral Evil. Or at the very least a Neutral something. Let's not forget V had the most power with the Neutral Evil soul in the splice, indicating that perhaps V resonated with her better than the rest.
      • How is V evil? Okay Kubota's murder was unneeded but he killed a Black Dragon! They're evil! This is the comic who gave us Color Coded For Our Convenience so you can't say that it was a misunderstood dragon.
      • Never mind apparently that the one who accepted that expalantion (Miko Miyazaki) was later revealed by Word of God to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist and Knight Templar. Or that part of SoD's whole premise is upsetting that D&D notion of color-coded convenience. Or that the spell would have killed not just dragons but any other beings related within some number of degrees to the black dragon mom including, very likely, several sorcerers and half-dragons. I guess it is alright.
  • V is definitely Neutral, not evil. Nor has he shown tendencies to Law or Chaos. He might, however, assume he's damned to become Evil for a while, before his friends save him from his Faustian deal.

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.

  • Their reunion won't be as easy as just paying for his release, that's almost a given.
  • Looks increasingly likely, given what we've learned about Tyrinaria recently...
  • partially Jossed: Haley's father is alive, they've reunited, but he's still in the slammer.

The Monster in the Darkness is a gazebo.

Which, in the Order of the Stick world, is a terrifying monster.

  • Order Of The Stick world?!
  • Each of them must face the gazebo alone.
  • This is actually disturbingly plausible... it would explain why Belkar and Miko weren't able to crack him, it would explain "devouring" as the attack of choice, and it allows Rich to ascribe whatever the hell else he wants to him while still claiming it to be "pre-existing".
  • User HotAndCold on the fan forums listed the possible points;

-A gazebo is obviously a powerful monster, devouring the story's PC without any chance of rebuttal.

-It takes no damage from a +3 arrow, just as MitD apparently takes no damage from Miko's or Belkar's attacks.

-Would you recognize a gazebo's tracks?

-Or expect to find one in a jungle and even speaking in Common, for that matter?

-It is, of course, a juvenile gazebo, explaining its roughly Medium size, rather than its being large enough for, y'know, people to hang out in it.

-I... guess he could be a particularly ugly gazebo? Although technically speaking, the gazebo's never actually described in the story beyond its dimensions, color, and the pointiness of its top. So I guess one could argue the gazebo's horrific appearance.

-The description states that the PC "awakened" the gazebo, implying that it was sleeping. Perhaps it had recently used one of its mighty and tiring abilities!
—I'm bored and feel like justifying something completely silly!

V is hiding something.

Based entirely on the look on his/her/its face in this comic.

  • S/he's hiding the fact that Belkar kissed him/her. Remember?
  • This comic suggests that V "tampers with the fundamental natural order when bored".
    • Hir children are clones!!!

Shojo planned for Hinjo to battle devils in some capacity.

The flashback in this strip shows Hinjo having to get his mount's teeth filled due to Shojo feeding him a "20-lb. bucket of strawberry frosting". Normal, wacky Shojo antics, right?... Wrong. Remember, Shojo was not senile; he was actually a Chessmaster with Obfuscating Stupidity, and everything he did in his "dementia" was actually to serve a purpose that he wouldn't be able to get the paladins to go along with if he were completely honest (or to amuse himself, but that's just Comedic Sociopathy at work). Shojo wanted to make sure his nephew had another weapon in his arsenal that he could use against demonsdevils, and he did this by making sure that his mount would end up with multiple cavities that would need to be filled with silver. Whether he was actually planning an offensive against demonicdiabolic forces, or merely ensuring a strong defense against them, will have to wait for a later date. Also, this troper has apparently forgotten the difference between demons and devils since he hung up his GM screen.

  • If he was planning ahead by doing that, I doubt he was expecting anything specific, just being Crazy Prepared. Demons are something high-level paladins fight fairly often.
  • Perhaps Shojo even got a few early warnings of the Great Fiendish Conspiracy, and hedged his bets.

Redcloak will betray Xykon and the Order Of The Stick will join The Plan

In Xykon's Moral Event Horizon moment at the end of Start of Darkness, he breaks Redcloak; however, it is quite possible that he will eventually push Redcloak too far, causing him to come out of his denial and decide to get rid of Xykon. The Order may join in this fight, possibly leading to the death of Belkar. The Order may learn the full details of The Plan and come to the conclusion that it is, sort of, fair. Rather than allowing Redcloak to find another chaotic evil wizard, Redcloak and V will end up performing the plane shift of the last gate. Then things will somehow go horribly wrong, allowing the adventure to continue; possibly against the Dark One who abuses his power as soon as he's handed a gate and maybe a corrupt/controlled V and Redcloak. Roy will die and go to LG heaven, however since it was somebody outside the family that actually defeated Xykon, Eugene will not. Haley and Elan will somehow survive this ordeal, and get the happy ending, though it will not be what the think. Durkon's body will be returned to his homeland after having been killed by trees suffering from epilepsy.

  • Bear in mind that Redcloak is a negative energy cleric, and sooner or later is going to be high enough level to rebuke/command Xykon...
    • It's mentioned in the only sourcebook that ever went into any real detail about liches that one of the advantages of lichdom is fast level gain. Liches never have to sleep, never have to eat, they can just sit in their studies perfecting arcane arts...forever. Or fly across the countryside sweeping towns with Cloudkill for the XP. Xykon could quite easily get even further ahead of Redcloak whenever he feels like it.

The Monster In The Darkness is Telekinetic

We never actually see it grabbing anything. In Start of Darkness, it's eating cotton candy and grabbing a steak. There is no reason for the two food items should not have whatever grabbing appendage shown, or at least obscuring part of the food. Instead, it is grabbing the food without anything shown. Even the umbrella in the main comic isn't obscured, it's just floating there. I believe it is using an at-will ability to grab various items (note, Mage Hand and its permutations will count as being telekinetic).

Vaarsuuvius will become a Lich.

Given how V's been looking and acting lately, and V's obsession with increasing his magical power to locate Haley, and that the Oracle said that V would achieve complete and ultimate arcane power, it only seems logical that V would do that. Getting Lichified vastly increases the spellcaster's power and makes the Lich virtually unkillable. Of course, you have to be Evil, but V is only one step away from that anyway.

  • Or alternately, (s)he may become a Baelnorn instead of a regular Lich
    • After 595, I kinda doubt it.

Daigo will, letter by letter, reveal his last name. Then, he will die.

Compare 501 to 589. Like an cosmic game of H-O-R-S-E, he'll continue this joke until he runs out of letters and thus dies. And, giving the fact that Daigo is saving his last name to use as an emergency death-prevention, it'd be deliciously tragic if the reason he became a Mauve Shirt ends up being the impetus for his death.

Nale will kill his father and/or take control of his army

Before 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.

  • Quite possible. Right now (strip 795) Nale is back at his father's empire. While he already has new members for his Linear Guild (Durkon's opposite hasn't appeared yet though, but there's no way Nale is back without a full Guild) I think Nale will take control of the empire thwarting his father's plan of living like a god or living as a legend, because Tarquin right now thinks Nale is dead and he expects Elan to be the one defeating him, if he is ever defeated. That would be a great Plot Twist for the comic, and this way there would be someone capable of fighting Xykon's troops. Then both armies would be mutually destroyed, leaving the Order with chances of defeating the Guild and Xykon.

The Shojo in Belkar's hallucination wasn't actually a hallucination - it was Shojo himself.

Shojo's spirit returned to Belkar's mind to give him advice at the right moment to recover properly. It has to be a spirit, as the Shojo in Belkar's head talks about things that happened after he died. To do this, he would need a focus to return to the material world as a ghost-spirit, and that focus is quite clearly Mr. Scruffy.

Redcloak and Xykon are PCs

Redcloak is smarter than the average villain, uses knowledge that shouldn't be available in the setting (or at least, nobody else seems to know about), and seems to be on the same level of meta-awareness as the regular PCs. Xykon is so card-carryingly evil he's practically a parody of himself, and overall seems analogous to someone playing a villain just to screw around. The two of them aren't just NPC villains, they're a rival party playing the villainous campaign in the same setting.

  • Or they could be played by The Antagonist - the GM's assistant who controls significant opposition NPCs during a campaign.
  • At one point, they get to go on a PC-like dungeon crawl in which they clear out an infestation of Good-aligned creatures.

The Monster In the darkness is The Darkness

As in the magic missile target.

  • He'll just probably be defeated with a magic missile.

The whole party is controlled by giant space cats, and Xykon is from modern Earth.

Word of God says so...

Redcloak (and maybe the rest of Xykon's crew) will visit the Oracle for information on the next gate.

Sure, torturing O-Chul will stall Xykon, but he's going to need some idea of the illusions they'll face. The Oracle is within walking distance of Azure City. While the Oracle is a jackass, (and probably not too sympathetic to his cause, given how he tried to tell Roy about their real target) he's a good source of information...provided you phrase the question right.

The Monster in the Darkness is an Uberflumph.

Oh, the irony.

The Snarl will be released, and the heroes will take it down. Or maybe not...

When Shojo was telling the story of the Snarl's creation, he mentioned that the Gods were extremely vulnerable, even stating that "some theorized since that gods were even MORE vulnerable to the Snarl than a mortal of the same level would have been". This could hint that when the series approaches the end, the heroes will be of a high enough level to compete with the Gods. Furthermore, someone (which could be Redcloak, Xykon, or even Vaarsuvius as theorized above) will succeed in releasing the Snarl. The result: a no-holds-barred brawl with the fate of the world. The obvious result would be the heroes winning, and the world saved. However, as stated in one of the above entries, the "heroes save the day" trope doesn't have that many subversions, and Rich has never been one to follow the standard route for tropes, so it's entirely possible that he's planning on being one of the few subversions.

  • Alternatively: The Snarl is released, and the world ends -- but all or some (most likely including Elan) of the Order influence the creation of the world after that. If Elan is involved, he makes sure that the old Order is in some way brought back just the way it was.

Vaarsuvius is Pompey's mother/father

They never actually meet. They look reasonably alike. And having an illegitimate bi-species child while you're married to someone else seems like a very good reason to make yourself scarce for a couple hundred years. Backed up by V stating that they're not a virgin in the recent strip.

  • Not to mention the theme naming at work - they're both named after volcanoes.
  • This hardly seems like a marriage that weathered an affair.
    • Like s/he would know after V being gone for several decades.
    • Given the different age rates of elves and half-elves, it might be possible for Pompey to be younger than V's children still at home.
    • Alternately, they're half-siblings or cousins. It doesn't have to be a paternal connection for them to related.

V and his mate are the same (unidentifiable) sex.

That's why their kids are adopted and why they're drawn with the same body type. Of course, we the readers will never know the difference anyway.

Julia (Roy's sister) will get married to Redcloak

A Crack Pairing to end all crack pairings, Julia's wizarding school will close. As she has no living family members, she will set out on her own, and somehow end up being captured by Xykon's forces. She and Redcloak will meet/fall in love/etc, egged on by The Monster in Darkness, who wants some Happily Ever After. Roy will eventually find out and approve, despite some reservations. The happy couple will elope, making another Happily Married couple in the Order of the Stick universe. Eugene will then attempt to rip Roy's vocal cords out.

  • Possibly a reason for Redcloak to resurrect Roy, as mentioned above?

Soon's wife Mijung is not an Azurite.

Completely based off the fact that her sash is red. I have no clue why this would affect anyone in any way, but there you go.

Belkar will make a Heroic Sacrifice at some point, killing V in the process

Belkar and Vaarsarvius seem to be switching places of late; Belkar with his new 'Fake Character Development' making him, on the surface at least, a better person, whilst V is quickly galloping down the Slippery Slope towards evil. Also, according to the Oracle Belkar may not be long for the world, and is (in a hazy sort of fashion) seemingly destined to kill V as well. It seems possible that in some future confrontation after V has completed the Face Heel Turn that appears to be rapidly approaching, Belkar takes the opportunity to take V out, losing his own life in the process. Belkar may not even be doing an actual Heel Face Turn (or at least not consciously -- others have noted that what Belkar claims is Fake Character Development actually, for him, constitutes Real Character Development in many ways), and may not intend to sacrifice himself; he's been itching to ice V for pretty much the strip's entire run, and may eagerly take the opportunity only to inadvertently lose his own life in the process. Only, having being so convincing in his pretence of becoming a better person, the others read his actions as a genuine Heroic Sacrifice.

  • Or Death's Li'l Helper will succumb to V. casting a spell like acid blood or whatever it's called from Heroes of Horror with enough metamagic feats to turn Detect Chaos into a nuclear weapon, which will subdue the rest of the party (except Haley, who will be beaten down with Magic Missiles). Belkar will simply be the last one standing, and will be disarmed...before finding a vorpal sword dropped by Hinjo or someone, grabbing it in both hands, and cutting V's head off. The resultant geyser of acid straight in the face will send Belkar on his one-way ride to the Abyss.
  • Or Vaarsuvius will be taken over by the IFCC to control a gate and Belkar will a) destroy the Gate and b) distract V long enough for them to both succumb to the collapsing gate.

Sabine will be Killed Off for Real

In the aftermath of a fight with the Linear Guild, it was established the characters weren't aware of what happens when outsiders die.

  • Later on, it's confirmed that killing an outsider renders them Deader Than Dead. Knowing this, Haley will finally kill Sabine the next time she defeats her. (There's also the possibility that, since, Word of God states that the two are opposites in "a significant way which has yet to be revealed", Haley will be killed off for real as well. This clashes with the idea that Elan gets a happy ending, but maybe he'll eventually grow over it and find happiness somewhere else. However, this part is kind of a Poison Oak Epileptic Tree)
  • Outsiders can be Resurrected. Raise Dead specifically excludes outsiders.
  • Just checked the PHB: Raise Dead and Resurrection can't bring back outsiders, but True Resurrection can.

Haley knows V's gender

When Haley is talking to Elan, attempting to break through her cypher, there is one secret that "Not even V knows," indicating that they know all of each others' secrets. V refuses to share a room with people who aren't Haley. Haley also knew V was married.

  • Haley was also the one who recommended V to Roy in the first place in On the Origin of PCs. The reason Roy (and the rest of the Order) doesn't know V's gender is because the corresponding field on his/her character sheet was obscured by an ink stain. Since Haley interviewed him/her beforehand, she quite possibly knows, but decides not to make a big deal out of it.

The Ancient Black Dragon is working for the IIFC.

Her question to the Oracle actually was: "Who would be willing to revive my son?". He answered to go to the archfiend, who made a deal: she would be reunited with her son if she made all the scene she did to V. Then, V would have the deal with the IIFC and the dragon would have escaped. The thing she didn't know was that she would be killed and reunited with her son in death.

The IFCC will use V's soul to get information on the Gates once they have it

Seems likely after 637. Also, remember that if V ends the Soul Splice right now, they'll each only have it for about 5 minutes.

  • They definitely want something out of him beyond just "testing" the splice.
  • 668 confirms that what they want out of him has something to do with the Gates...

After having his epiphany, Belkar is now Neutral Evil.

This [2] practically states it outright.

  • Nah, he's still Chaotic Evil, but he's faking Ethical Neutrality.
  • He's Chaotic Evil now, but he was likely to become Stupid Evil if Shojo hadn't intervened. As evidenced by strip 435, the Order of the Stick alignment system has a third dimension.
    • He's chaotic evil, up from chaotic stupid.
  • I hope the author is planning to give him SOME character development, because as the unrepentant evil bastard he is now I can't stand him (I don't even read his word balloons anymore.) Hopefully his "fake" conversion will lead to real changes. It can be done well. See: My Name Is Earl.
  • If you mix this theory with the "Shojo is a Ghost" theory, it's entirely possible that Shojo's advice to Belkar was part of The Plan to force the little sociopath into making a Heel Face Turn somewhere down the line. Belkar THINKS that he's only feigning Character Development, but he's already seeing the benefits of being nice to others.

Rich Burlew is pimping the CMOA section.

Seriously, that damn thing gets a new entry for every goddamn action, and even a friggin' inaction. It's undergoing CMOA inflation.

  • Alright, I'm just bitching.

The agents of hell need a willing Good/Neutral soul for some sort of summoning or power upgrade.

By entering the contract wherein V's soul goes to each underworld being for the same amount of time he had been fused with the other souls, they can use him as a sacrifice after he dies to exploit a loophole where something can only occur/escape if a willing good or neutral soul is sacrificed in the deepest pit of hell by the combined power of all three eternally-warring faction leaders. The only way they could do that is by fulfilling such a contract as they offered V, then allowing the soul to be under their domain at the same time ("Exact order of custody to be determined").

In response to Elan and Haley's Relationship Upgrade, Nale and Sabine are going to break up.

They are evil opposites, so now that Elan and Haley are an item, we're going to start seeing the relationship start to fray. In fact, I'd say it's happening already. Nale seemed distressed at the revelation that Sabine routinely has sex without him.

V and Haley really were physically involved.

Subver- Double sub- Somethinged Three Is Company. Vaarsuvius wasn't cheating on <Parent> because elven relationships don't work that way, and Haley wasn't really involved with Elan at that time. The only two times it was really Innocent Innuendo were the two times the audience saw what was really happening. This is also why V and Haley shared a room if V is male (if V is female, it just means Haley's latent bisexuality wasn't).

Elan is going to have to find a prestige class that lets him keep his bardic abilities no matter what his alignment.

Let's face it, our favourite Cloudcuckoolander has been growing steadily more Lawful under Hinjo's influence; so much so he seems to be at least Neutral Good instead of his previous Chaotic Good. Remember how reluctant he was to accept Kubota's obliteration, despite this following the distinctly Chaotic tendency to just cut the crap and do what needs to be done? (Sure, V. didn't care, but still...) Elan is gradually losing his Chaoticness, and if he moves to Lawful Good he can't maintain his bardic powers. Either he's going to realise this and just do something batshit insane to keep his alignment from shifting too far (like running away from Hinjo, leaving a note, to try and find Haley), or he's going to have to roll with it, take a level in paladin, and grab whatever that prestige class in Complete Adventurer for bard/paladins was.

  • Remember that line about Elan being sad he won't be able to see Roy in the afterlife due to his alignment in "Oh Buddy Roy"? Yeah. Then again, I don't imagine Haley would be too pleased if she found out Elan's going Lawful.
    • "Oh Buddy Roy" came before Elan began spending his time baby-sitting a Paladin.
  • He doesn't need one, being lawful just prevents Bards from gaining more levels in Bard (opposed to say, Barbarian, where they lose rage), and he has a prestige class he can advance anyways.
  • Elan wasn't upset about killing Kubota because it was a chaotic act, he was upset because killing a helpless prisoner, when you don't even know why he's a prisoner, is an evil act.

One or more members of the Order of the Stick will be replaced

With Varsuvius' Face Heel Turn seeming more and more imminent, Roy already dead, and Belkar's death being inevitable, the Order of the Stick may get a few new members. Possible candidates are:

  • Celia- Though she may get some Character Development first in order to get a healthy dose of cynicism.
  • Kazumi and/or Daigo
  • Roy's younger brother (see a previous WMG)
  • Redcloak (see a previous WMG)
  • Hinjo
  • The Cleric they want to raise Roy
  • Aarindarius- Bit of a Contrived Coincidence, but I can easily see him/her joining up with the Order of The Stick to stop V if s/he should Face Heel Turn. It'd also maintain the parallels to the Order of the Scribble's "Three humans, one elf, one dwarf, and one halfling" status quo.
  • Roy's sister, Julia (She got too much screen time to be completely forgotten)
  • Right Eye's Daughter. (see a previous WMG)
  • Lien
  • O-Chul
  • V's mate. They have a pointed stick, dammit, and they're not afraid to use it!
  • That Guy With a Halberd

V's gender will be anti-climactically revealed in either the penultimate or final strip

Knowing Richard Burlew, it'll either be mentioned in passing or someone will casually refer to V with a male or female pronoun. No one will make too much of a comment because there will be much more important things going on or they will have already known.

  • One of the fiends has already referred to V as "he". These are ageless beings of immortal evil; they should know what gender an elf is. And because V. was racking up the Crowning Moments of Awesome, nobody friggin' noticed.
    • And one of the other fiends added, "She? It?" Even they're not sure. V's been referred to as both male and female within the strip by various characters, which just reflects what they think s/he is.
    • Actually one of the fiends referred to Vaarsuvius as a "she" first (other adding "He? It?"), then later another called V a "he". Personally I'm amazed how people keep saying "now we know V's gender!" every time somebody happens to slip a pronoun. The Giant has said that in his books, Rule of Funny > Plot Justification. Nobody knowing V's real gender is a Running Gag, so nobody will ever figure it out, no matter how mighty or powerful they are or how much unlimited knowledge they otherwise have...

Shojo didn't die.

He transferred his soul into Mr. Scruffy's body. Belkar's hallucination was Shojo communicating with him via magic.

  • So Shojo is Marianne the Flash from Code Geass, Mr. Scruffy is Anya the, uh, Ayanami, Miko is V.V. and Belkar is C.C.? Uh, wow. The gender flips are the best part.
  • Shojo is a 14th level aristocrat and doesn't know about magic.
    • Shojo knows about magic well enough. It's knowing how to do magic he doesn't get.

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.

    • Confirmed by the IFCC tallying up their time. However, the soul splice's end is permanent (the IFCC specifically said it would work only as long as V could hold onto it), so recapture was Jossed before it even came up.

  Lee: "Three minutes, six seconds for you, twenty minutes, thirty-five seconds for him and me." (since Haerta left early, and the other two souls were severed simultaneously)

V will pay off Haley's debt...

...by shifting to the elemental plane of gold. The discovery of such a plane will eventually invalidate the gold standard, ruin the only excuse for monsters carrying human currency, and doom the adventuring career forever, thus leaving the world defenseless against a high-level fiend invasion. Exactly as planned.

  • Alternatively, using something that already exists in D&D canon (if not, granted, this canon necessarily): the Elemental Plane of Mineral.

Haerta will find a host and join Xykon.

And inevitably betray him when it becomes necessary.

Vaarsuvius will join the Linear Guild.

Nale was talking about how they need a new spellcaster. Sabine works for overfiend guys, who think Nale has lots of evil potential. V and the Linear Guild have no particular animosity towards each other (V probably hates Elan more by this point) and V also seems to want to find Durkon and Elan for some rather unpleasant reasons. More little stuff like that. Perhaps the four words for the wrong reasons are a second deal granting actual dominion over V's soul in exchange for power like he had before Haerta left permanently.

  • The reason V seemed to be looking for Elan and Durkon seems to be that s/he wanted to show off when she found Haley.
    • So V wants to say 'Ha ha you suck losers I hate you look how much more awesome I am than you. Watch as I solve the problem you've made no progress on in six+ months!' Look how pissed V gets when the possibly about-to-die to make V seem worse Daigo and Kazumi point out Elan and Durken already know where Haley is. He/she was not going to be friendly, and already had sort of stopped caring about Xykon. Now he/she will be even angrier at them.

There is an epic-level monster in the abandoned fortress.

V merely assumed the only monsters present were weak enough to be destroyed by the Azure City refugees. He could leave before they're attacked, then teleport some or all of the scattered team and/or his family back to find everyone but a few (named) characters slaughtered, and permanently imperil his soul, mind, elven status, etc. from guilt.

Vaarsuvius and Inkyrius are not both "married" and of the opposite sex.

It will turn out that they adopted the last surviving members of their family, and may be as much as fraternal twins. Twincest and/or Ho Yay may ensue, but it is more likely that they are Heterosexual Life Partners or the one-sided version of Romantic Two-Girl Friendship (the second sentence assuming neither explicitly used the word "spouse" in common).

  • Or they are married, but Elves in Order of the Stick land just happen to practice gay marriage.

Thog and Therkla are brother and sister.

  • They are the only half-orcs we've seen.
  • They both wear purple.
  • They both have names that start with "Th."
  • Thog has never discussed his parentage; we don't know he doesn't have siblings.
  • It would give Thog a reason to get all angsty.
    • Considering that Thog wasn't even literate until he took those two levels of fighter, it's probable he can't even spell "angst", let alone experience it.
    • Considering his limited vocabulary, it's even more probable he doesn't know the word.
  • I'd support this. Thog's too kooky to have been brought about the usual half-orc method.

The necromancer's first act of evil was killing off her own family.

Since Familicide means killing one's own family, it seems to make more sense this way. This could also be her Start of Darkness, and this would make sense of why the spell lives the original victim alive.

  • Who says the spell leaves the original victim alive? The dragon's head was already dead when V cast the spell.
    • No, the head had been reanimated. If it killed the original victim, V wouldn't have needed to disintegrate it after the fact.
    • It was reanimated as an undead. Therefore, it was already dead, so a spell that causes Death wouldn't affect it.
      • Also, how would creating an epic level spell be the first evil thing she's done? You've gotta build up to stuff like that.
        • If you don't build up, it just might kill you...

Belkar will not die.

Exactly what it says. The Oracle foretold Belkar's death and is wrong. His prophecies have been correct so far, but when Belkar's moment of truth comes, he lives, if for no other reason than to spite the Oracle. After all, it's been taken for granted that the Oracle is always right. It would be the perfect subversion for the Oracle's foreshadowing and predictions to be right until the very end. And really, what could be more inspiring than Belkar living past the end of the year and flipping the bird to fate, just in time for the final showdown?

  • At least not until New Year's eve. Thirty years from now. The "not long for this world" stuff was off the record, and "Belkar will draw his last breath -ever- before the end of the year". Everything implying that he would die this year, including the in-comic time comment, was off the record. The Oracle may have been guessing that he would die from the curse mark, and the prophecy was as ambiguous to him as it was to Roy. (Alternately, it could even be a definition of the word "year", possibly a title for a living being, but I digress.)
  • I wouldn't put it beyond Buckler to Mind Screw with us this way. But I really, REALLY would enjoy Order of the Stick more if Belkar bit it. The sooner, the better.
    • It's worth noting that Roy remembers the entire conversation (not just the prophecy) and that he didn't put that to any immediate use. Meaning some incidental comment the Oracle made (or some other detail of the scene) may come up as important later, when Belkar's prophesied number is up.
  • Two words: ioun stone. Among the ridiculous amount of other things they can potentially do, there are a number of types (particularly the Sustenence stone) that eliminate the user's need for air. Belkar will simply come into one of these and, without the need to do so, never bother himself with breathing again.

Elan has a Meaningful Name.

Psyonics almost definitely exist in the Order of the Stick world. Elan could have become a psionic elan as a child, or will eventually. The problem with the latter is that he'll not only lose his bardic powers, but also the Swashbuckler prestige class, or whatever it was called. So "created as a young child by his evil father, then had his powers suppressed" would work better so he could keep his secondary class powers. If he undergoes the ritual in the future, this allows him to have the prophesied happy ending while Order of the Stick (including Haley, and Roy) has a Downer Ending.

    • The first can't work, Elan gives his skill points/level as an amount that would need the human bonus points to get.
  • Isn't "Elan" meaningful enough already? Élan is a French-derived word meaning "enthusiastic vigor and liveliness; distinctive style or flair." Now whom does that remind one of?

Vaarsuvius is Thief's grandma/pa

Rather than the two of them being married, as guessed above, V is one of Thief's grandkids. Imagine: V's children grow up with deep set emotional scars because their caster Other Parent left them. They then pull a Greenhilt, and return to their grandparent's career: Being a Rogue. So Thief grows up hating casters, and takes up the family trade (or a variant thereof).

V is one of Thief's parents, along with Haley.

Elan's prophesied ending will be happy because he died saving Haley ("You're still alive... That, and even spending a single day with you... Has made me happy..."), V's spouse will have left with the kids, and V and Haley already have some sort of relationship (undefined though it is), so they may fall back on each other. V takes over Elfein, or Haley is heir to the country that captures then annexes Elfein, and Thief refuses to accept that he's anything less than a full-blooded elf.

  • More plausible: V and Haley's child is The Generic Dual-Classed Half-Elven Ranger.
    • Don't forget to mention that his other class is also Ranger.

Elan is going to replace Roy as leader of the order

The death of Therkla seems to have affected him to the point where he's actually planning ahead and taking responsibility, as well as actually learning to use his Bard advantages. Even with all that, this is probably still the most insane theory on here. Which is why it's going to happen.

  • To expand on this, he will be leader despite Roy coming back. Roy will hand over leadership to show how impressed with Elan he is, and symbolize how he doesn't think himself a worthy leader anymore after getting himself killed.
  • Nale won't notice, he thinks Elan is already the leader.
    • Nale used to think he was, but it seems clear that he reevaluated that assessment after his first encounter with the Order.

Everyone dies.

The world is saved, (or maybe not) by a third party (maybe Hinjo?). The last panel is exactly the same as the first, as the order wanted to continue their adventuring well into the after life. Happily ever after, and leads to an interesting paradox about always being on a continual loop in time and space. Edited for Grammar, and umm... sense-making.

    • That's not the most depressing ending, as they get a happy ending despite the Stable Time Loop. Your theory says that they wanted to continue their journey, so they had the options of going to whatever Heaven their alignment would dictate; having the option to be adventurers forever is way better than some of the other possible endings.
      • Remember that in Elan's "Oh Buddy Roy" song he lamented the fact that he & Roy would go to separate afterlives due to their separate alignments and not be able to see each other. The Order will choose to adventure forever rather than being separated in different heavens.

Everyone lives...

...for a while. In Xykon's dungeon. Well, except for the named Azurites. All gates but the one in Azure City are destroyed, Xykon makes a deal with the gods that they each make him an epic-level cleric in exchange for not letting the Azure City gate open any more than it already has, he uses his new powers to capture the Order from afar and puts them in solitary confinement, and the last page shows them getting progressively less hopeful- Vaarsuvius, still soul-spliced, joining with Xykon voluntarily. The last panel is Xykon, with the burning world superimposed across his image, holding a gazing sphere showing the remaining Order dying of old age, and going to their own, separate afterlives, except for Durkon. Or not. Hopefully not.

Vaarsuvius and Inkyrius are both male.

I know that The Giant will probably never confirm/deny it, but dangit, -ius is a masculine ending.

  • In some languages; maybe not in others (especially fictional ones). For example, in Spanish and Italian, "-o" is a masculine ending (as in the names Mario and Diego); however, some feminine Greek names end in "-o" (such as Hero or Calypso). My guess is that both V and Inkyrius are neither male nor female.
  • And the surname in Japanese comes before the first name. Gentlemen - consider Miko Miyazaki. Basically, applying real-world linguistics to Order of the Stick is begging for trouble.
    • And yet there are no other females with masculine-sounding names, or vice versa, regardless of race. I really think that if The Giant had intended on making V's gender ambiguous from the start, he would have given him a more androgynous name.
      • However, if memory serves The Giant didn't intend V's gender to be ambiguous from the start.

V and Belkar will hook up.

V is now evil, and has left their mate. The two remaining souls seem to like Belkar, and V seems to think that they have an influence on their actions. Plus, there was the "event" on New Year's, which indicates something between them. I also think in the latest strip (648) Belkar seems to be giving V a rather fond look. And I'm surely not the only one who would love to see this ship.

  • I'd like to see this ship!
    • It's in the Fanfic Recs.
  • And according to Don't Split the Party's cast page, Belkar is interested in V.
    • Well... DSTP's cast page says that Belkar wants to "shtup" V, which based on previous events doesn't mean anything when it comes to romantic inclination. On the other hand, there is a scene waaaayyy back at the end of War and XP's, when Haley & Belkar discover they've been left behind:

 Belkar: OK, elf, enough with the jokes. You got me, fair enough, now bring the ship back.

Belkar: ...

Belkar: No, seriously, wherever you're hiding: You really had me thinking for a minute there that we got left behind. Great illusion. Now, can we get out of this stupid city already?

Belkar: ...

Belkar: Vaarsuvius?

The MitD is The Chessmaster with Obfuscating Stupidity

He's gone undercover with the bad guys, but is quite noticably a good creature, allying with a paladin even. He will show himself and destroy Xykon just before the last of the gates is opened/destroyed. He will then use his TARDIS to go back in time and change the events he has seen while with Xykon so that none of the gates were ever destroyed.

  • Actually that could make slight sense, he's actually having tea parties just to give the readers a false sense of security and that "Who can hit the lightest" game with Miko was actually him showing off his strength, not being stupid

Durkon will soon go through a wardrobe change.

He and Belkar are currently the only members to still match the cast page, and Belkar's doomed anyway.

Redcloak was kidding himself when he said he was not racist vs humans

He may hate all humans, but he has a special hatred for Azurites. Granted, it's pretty justified, but still, if given the choice between beating down Azurite humans and non-Azurite humans, he'd choose the Azurites if there wasn't some major difference in difficulty.

Haley is, and always has been, Chaotic Neutral.

The last secret in this strip: "Elan, it turns out I may not be exactly what you would call..." At this point she's already admitted to being in poor standing with the Thieves' Guild and kissing girls, so what could the next word be? The answer lies in her recent premeditated murder of an unarmed Crystal and revocation of her deal with the Thieves' Guild, which has sparked endless debate over whether this represents a fall from Chaotic Good standing; the answer is that she was never Chaotic Good in the first place, but just started claiming that to get into the good graces of a Lawful Good adventurer and/or the pants of a certain Chaotic Good bard. This is what she nearly confessed that night.

  • Unless I've spectacularly misunderstood the point of the Chaotic alignments, "breaking a deal" is exactly what they do. Considering her Chaotic Neutral because of one act, in which she takes the opportunity to remove a psychopath who has attempted to kill her on several occasions (and who will probably be raised shortly afterwards, meaning that all Crystal's lost are one level and protective magical jewels), flies in the face of her past characterisation - the dirt farmers, her stint with La Résistance, gathering cash to save her father - is just a bit premature. Besides, both Crystal and Bozzok had it coming - Crystal has been demonstrated to be malevolent (Assassin is an evil-only prestige class), dangerously insane, and possessing Darwin Awards levels of stupidity, and Bozzok takes self-serving to new heights depths; it's hard to argue betraying them would really ding the old Karma Meter, certainly not to the extent of arguing that her alignment is CN in the face of past behaviour.
    • Is This Troper the only one who remembers Alignment Tendencies? Characters are not always firmly one thing or the other; often they hover between two alignments (except completely opposing ones, of course.) Haley always struck me as being Good with Neutral tendencies (she likes treasure a bit too much, and not just for her father's sake.) Her killing of Crystal is a bit more controversial for being an impulsive thing (what if V hadn't been willing or able to port them out?) More importantly, she's keeping it a secret because she knows the other (good) characters won't appreciate it. Should be interesting to see what happens if Elan finds out...
      • Elan knows. I forget which strip it happens in, but when Elan and Haley reunite, Haley tells Elan a story "that ends with how I got this new knife" and afterwords Elan asks if she was "sure she was really bad", which indicates that they were talking about Crystal
      • I took it that she lied about it mostly so that Celia wouldn't bitch her out about it. Last thing she wants is Celia giving her hell for it, which we all know she would do.
      • Considering Celia is one of the other (good) characters who won't appreciate it, the two aren't mutually exclusive.
      • Yes, but there's a difference between, say, Roy not appreciating it ("Haley, you didn't have to do that, but considering everything else, we'll just talk about it later.") and Celia not appreciating it ("OH MY GOD! YOU KILLED SOMEONE! I HAVE TO TELL HER BOSS AND HAVE HER RAISED AND SPEND YOUR MONEY TO DO IT!")
    • Part of the decoded text of strip #393 reads "Of course not! This is absurd! I'm Chaotic Good! Ish!" Source here. The only question is whether the "ish" means that she's Good with neutral tendencies, which would still mean here alignment is Chaotic Good, or if she's only kidding herself.
    • Also, she was immobilized by Unholy Blight, and Neutral characters only take damage from it.

The Neutral afterlife is to act as a monster and/or sex slave in one of the Good afterlives.

The archons are companion spirits, of course, but where do they get the women for the "bars of endless one-night stands" or the enemies for the "dungeons with monsters just strong enough to challenge you"? Presumably they're not Evil, or Hell wouldn't be much use. It would make the most sense for them to be Neutral, either from the respective afterlife or just shuffled around by assignment (since there would doubtlessly be a greater demand in the enlightenment-free Chaotic Good zone); sure, it's a bit harsh, but in a cosmos where evil adventuring parties periodically ransack Heaven...

  • Asentient constructs. Using unfiltered divine power to make illusions just strong enough to be defeated by the ghosts of warriors shouldn't be that difficult, and the "bars of endless one-night stands" could easily be every dead person in history taking advantage of the impossibility of violating the whole "'til death do us part" thing and being whatever age they feel.
    • Yeah, that sounds really harsh for someone who's Neutral, especially considering the vast majority of people (most non-adventurers and non-villains anyway) would identify as Neutral. No doubt there's a set of Neutral afterlives not too dissimilar from the Good one we've seen.
      • As an additional perk, considering she was Lawful Neutral at the time of her death, that would indicate Miko was in this kind of situation. You'd have people moving to the Evil afterlives just to get away from her.
        • Just because she fell as a Paladin doesn't mean Miko's alignment shifted. Paladins have to abide by must stricter standards than other classes; most alignment-based class restrictions require an actual alignment change to kick in, which usually takes more than just a single act that's inconsistent with your current alignment. But a single Evil act is enough for a Paladin to fall. A lifetime of being Lawful Good (albeit in a delusional way) doesn't go away simply by doing one Evil thing. Most likely, Miko was still Lawful Good when she died.
        • Considering how Roy's interview implied that his occasional, very mild Jerkass behavior towards his fellow party members could've been enough to keep him out, Miko's got no chance in Hell of entering the Heavens. She was as big a Jerkass at her best, so might not have gotten in even without Shojo's murder.
        • Except as shown before, the standards for being a paladin are stricter than those of just being lawful good. If she maintained her status as a paladin for most of her life then she was by definition lawful good enough to get into the Heavens. We have to balance out the antagonistic behaviour and one murder done out of confusion and paranoia vs a lifetime of good deeds, meaning she may still be lawful good.
        • Except Soon outright says she won't be going to the Lawful Good heaven, or at least where she expected to go (and where else would she?) because she wasn't fully redeemed. Tabletop rules aside, she seems to have fallen out of Burlew's definition of "lawful good."

Haley has become the comic relief

Haley's new hair cut makes her look like the part of her brain that's sick of this emo crap and wants to get back to comedy. I've no idea what this implies, or what effect it has on anyone, but hey.

  • I'd say the opposite. Haley went from being a comic relief character to a serious and tactically minded leader, and then to a veritable well of drama.
  • Well, Elan is less funny nowadays.

Miko Miyazaki is either on Last-Name Basis with the Order, or everyone just calls her "Barkeep".

  • Last-Name Basis: Miko is her family name. Her parents just had a really weird idea of personal naming conventions, and she prefers a Last-Name Basis because it's more formal.
  • Miko is her occupation, like Chef Victor or Samurai Jack. Since Miko aren't nuns, she can also act as a Paladin(Class)/Samurai(fighting style/day job). Considering she was being sent away on months-long journeys just to stop annoying the rest of the Azure Guard, it's not unlikely that she was given a "special dispensation" to go ahead and fight for the Azure Gard, since she wouldn't quit and would probably try to do the whole ritual suicide thing if she lost her status at the Azure City temple.
  • The last name (Miko) could, in fact, be an Artifact Surname, like "Miller" or "Cartwright" in the west. Of course, this all goes out the window if there was an official explanation given in the comic or an official explanation (and not Bellisario's Maxim invocation) by Word of God.
    • The "official" explanation, if there is one, was basically, "Wait, is Miko your surname? In feudal Japan..." "What is Japan?" "Oh, right." Short version: The linguistic rules don't necessarily apply, and her name is just "Miko Miyazaki".
      • Tropers: Kazumi Kato. Discuss.
      • Okay: Their family name is now "Kato." That, and the fact that Daigo explicitly referred to his second name (which keeps getting cut off when he tries to say it) as his surname, ought to put this whole thing to bed, don't you think?

Vaarsuvius' preferred Shapeshift form implies...

  • An Evil alignment (pink is chromatic)- could be based on the soul whose poser V was using at the time.
  • A Good alignment (since the pink dragon form is roughly the size of the adult black dragon, and elves have a much shorter lifespan than dragons, there's a chance it could be an immature copper dragon of the same age as V).
  • Gender=Male (antlers. May not be determinative of gender with whatever race of dragon V turned into).
  • Gender=Female (Pink. Though color is determined by race for dragons, pink isn't, as far as this troper knows, a dragon color.)
    • However, in some editions there are rules for draconic crossbreeds, so it could be a red/white hybrid.
  • Absolutely nothing (it's a Shapechange spell, not a species change. It could be based on one or more of the souls. Order of the Stick follows the various narrative rules when they supercede the D&D rules. So on and so forth.)
    • The pink color of the dragon simply fits with V's magical aura. Every caster so far has displayed a color to their spells (except for Tsukiko, who being both a divine and arcane caster, has two colors depending on which type of spell she's casting), and V's color is pink. Whether that means anything, who knows, but Word of God says we'll never be dolt V's actual gender.

Xykon will become a demilich at some point in the series

One or more members of the Order of the stick are related to a member of the Order of the scribble

...Um I don't really have much proof of this other than the groups both consisting of an elf, a dwarf, a halfling and 3 humans. Durkon and Kraagor both have the same hair (and beard) color and the two dwarfs also have simalir skintone.

Belkar will be killed and undeadified by Xykon.

It's simple, really. Xykon is most likely the only thing powerful enough to put an end to Death's Li'l Helper, and it would explain why the rest of the Order doesn't just run out and raise him.

  • Or he'll fall into (?) a rift, and be unmade.
    • Or he'll fall into a rift and spend the rest of his life on the planet within the rift, which is revealed to be the Oracle's blind spot.

Xykon will fuse with the Snarl

So O-Chul is about to throw the phylactery into the tear in reality (or V's familiar carries it in, whatever). When it enters the rip, the phylactery will shatter and Xykon's soul will be released. What happens when a creature that is a tangle of reality encounters a soul? Nothing good, to be sure. But I imagine that either: Xykon will fuse with it somehow, or his soul will cause the snarl to at least get more powerful/irritable.

  • The Snarl destroys anything created by the pantheon of gods. Souls of beings that inhabit creation had to have been created by the gods, therefore, the Snarl would destroy Xykon's soul if O-Chul manages to throw the phylactery into the spacial rip. This is why the people who were killed by the Snarl before it was sealed cannot be rezzed or enter the afterlife.
    • Xykon's soul is not currently inside the Phylactery. Until he gets destroyed, Xykon's soul is in him (speculation based on SoD).
    • But he also completely flipped a shit when Soon's ghost said he would instruct the next human to destroy it during the siege. I think Xykon was probably just blowing smoke to manipulate Redcloak.
      • He was about to be defeated by an Epic Paladin... ghost thing. And his phylactery was about to be blasted as well. A certain amount of panic is to be expected.
    • Another result could be that Xykon becomes "mortal" again, which means that he can't regenerate again. Kind of like Voldemort after the Horcruxes were destroyed.
    • There actually was a book way back in second edition that went into detail about liches (including explaining how a character actually becomes one, which is useful flavor for D Ms), and it explained that a phylactery isn't like a Horcrux--it contains no part of the lich's soul, it's just a sort of anchor that keeps that soul on the Prime Material. So assuming Rich Burlew knows about Van Richten's Book of the Lich, Xykon wasn't bluffing. On the other hand, a lich can only ever make ONE phylactery. If that one's destroyed, he's essentially mortal again, just undead. So it's understandable he'd panic at the idea of someone destroying it.

The Snarl is Haruhi Suzumiya.

It's not so much "evil" as "really bored". They both have the power to unmake reality, and can cause major disruptions in space-time just by being there. This could actually be the origin of Haruhi and her powers, which show up in many other media: the personified frustration and ennui of an entire world. Clearly, by the end of the comic's Myth Arc, The Snarl will be released, unmake the webcomic reality, and remake one more similar to our modern Earth, with plenty of anime tropes thrown in; the only effect of our heroes will be to wipe her memories of this, and make her into a human girl.

== "Mr." Scruffy isn't ==. While the only "evidence" for this theory is the sound effect in the third to last panel of 535, what would be better than chauvinistic Belkar finding out the housecat he's insisted on turning into a Memetic Badass is actually female, and having his whole worldview turned upside down? Plus he'll get to complain about what a cliché it is.

  • Then why would he have changed their plans from "find some bitches" to "work our way up to that"? One would think that he would choose a completely new plan of action instead of delaying it, or adjusting it to M_. Scruffy's gender and/or gender preference. Also, it could just be a licking sound.
    • Belkar hasn't figured it out yet, is what I'm saying.
  • I doubt it. Belkar inherited Mr Scruffy from Lord Shojo, who might have been (acting) insane, but he had enough people tending the cat that we would have someone mention it (if behind Lord Shojo's back)

 Guard: "He does know the cat's a female, right?"

O'Chul: "You must be new. We've stopped bothering to correct him."

Guessing at V's gender...

Okay, folks. Let's be polite and diplomatic. Remember that characters using pronouns is not a reliable way to assign V's gender, as it is based on perception rather than fact. Let's keep adding evidence as it occurs to us.

  • Case for Female:
    • Haley's anecdote about the boots of speed (like, totally, powerful, but lime green.) is told only to women.
    • V will only share a room with Haley.
  • Case for Male:
    • V doesn't seem to recognize Haley's jokes at Roy's expense when he uses the belt of gender changing.
    • -Ius is a masculine ending.
    • V's eyes, especially early on, were drawn at about 2/3 height of the face, like other guys.
    • V just doesn't have drama or humor like most female characters do: he doesn't care about beauty rituals or his hair (even when alone with Haley, and Haley doesn't engage in them with him), and when severely injured/facing death, he doesn't focus on a love interest or other close relationship like Haley, Therkla, Miko, and Tsukiko.
  • Case for Other:
    • V tells Sabine "(V) is not the most qualified to comment on gender traits."
    • Even ancient fiendish entities have no clue about V's gender.

Xykon is going to have a lot of people killed in the next few comics

To best look for his phylactery, he would want an army of skeletons or zombies since they are tireless, can see in the dark, and can withstand being underwater forever if the pressure is not too severe. Humans and goblinoids are bad for this. Mindless undead can be given simple instructions. He's going to get every zombie looking for the thing he can, and make as many zombies he can control look for it. And then he's going to kill a lot of people out of frustration.

The Stone that stores Lirian and Dorukon's souls will be made into jewelry...

... And given by Elan to Haley. Possibly as an engagement ring, assuming we ignore that fact it's black and the size of Xykon's whole hand. I don't know why it would be mentioned in Start of Darkness at all if it didn't make an appearance eventually. Plus it would be a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming for all involved.

  • I assumed it was blown up with the rest of the castle.
  • Putting the stone that imprisons two people's souls into jewelery for a gift is a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming? Maybe if Lirian and Dorukon were freed first, but if they're still there, then no.

Mr. Scruffy is Belkar's ranger animal companion

Sure, cats aren't on the list of normal druid (and therefore ranger) companions, but it would make a lot of sense. Mr. Scruffy has been shown to follow Belkar around, obey his commands, and has even been taught the Attack trick ("Mr. Scruffy, get the caster!").

  • Alternatively, Mr. Scruffy will become Belkar's animal companion in the text. The scene will become Belkar's first Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • This theory gains a lot of support from the fact that Mr. Scruffy just disemboweled someone.
    • That a simple housecat can kill a lvl 1 commoner in a single strike is an old joke in the Dungeons and Dragons community and indicates nothing about Mr. Scruffy. But because of the other evidence towards it I also believe he is Belkar's companion.
      • Well, considering that this strip is titled "Companions" I think we might be a hair's bredth from calling this confirmed anyway.

Red Cloak is going to go insane

Because he has one eye and will start hallucinating that Right Eye is alive, and then Right Eye will tell him to kill Xykon.

  • and they both lost it becuase of a paladin

The Monster in the Darkness is a Howler from Animorphs.

One of those talking would certainly be a shock, they kill because they're childlike and think everything is a game. They are unaware of any evil or skill on their own part. The Monster's lifespan is a little longer than average, sure, but it's possible.

  • Howlers have blue eyes.

Redcloak has some human ancestry.

OotS goblins are drawn with three-toed, bird-like feet. Yet in Start Of Darkness his mother is consistently drawn with the standard L-shaped feet. Admittedly, we don't see her for very long, (two or three panels) but it seems odd that she alone would have human feet. Assuming she didn't have a bizarre, toe-slicing-off accident, some sort of non-goblinoid ancestry seems a likely suspect. We don't see any of her siblings, so this is hard to confirm or deny, but it would add yet another dimension to Redcloak as a character. (Incidentally, is it just me, or does he seem like the most well-developed character in the strip?)

  • Either that, or she was wearing shoes.

The Monster In Darkness will kill Redcloak.

In Start Of Darkness, Xykon uses mind control on the Monster, telling him/her that if Redcloak ever betrays Xykon, to kill and eat him. My guess is that Redcloak will finally find his limit, (perhaps via a Morality Pet) and will do a Heel Face Turn, and will then be eaten unceremoniously, because Redemption Equals Death.

  • Except, unless I'm mistaken, those sorts of spells won't make someone do something against their nature. The MitD considers Redcloak a friend, and is about as vicious as a Carebear, making it unlikely the spell would work.

Even if/when Roy defeats Xykon, Eugene will not get into Lawful Good heaven

Even in life, Eugene seemed like a self-centered jerk, but in death he's even more so, possibly slipping into Lawful Neutral or even True Neutral territory. The most recent strip, where he indicates that He wouldn't care if Roy sold his soul or fell to evil, provided he defeated Xykon kind of clinches it for me. When Roy kills Xykon, Eugene will indeed move on, but to the LN or TN afterlife.

  • My judgment may be skewed, but it seems Eugene was saying that if Roy had been willing to do whatever needed to be done to ensure Xykon's destruction, we'd all be in a lot better shape. I can't say I disagree.
    • Whatever needed to be done up to and including making a deal with demons for power. I'd say that disqualifies him as good, even if it might have worked (the moment you're ready to make a proverbial deal with the devil for power you're not qualified as good anymore, no matter your intentions)
    • True, true. Then again, it wouldn't surprise me if Eugene wan't LG. It seems Julia takes after him quite a bit, maybe she inherited her alignment from him, and is just more honest about it.
    • Made far more likely as of 664. My guess is that he'll be warned by an archon just as he's looking forward to Xykon's death and getting into LG heaven, and then try to stall.
    • Roy's archon mentions that he thinks that it's "technically past the point where this would be a possibility" re: Eugene going to Hell. Also, afterlives are all about the actions one takes during one's life. Plus, Eugene was already completely judged and found worthy except for the Oath of Vengeance.

The Monster in the Darkness is some variant of the "living shadow" archetype.

Because it fits this strip's brand of humor. The only question is what variant would have the capabilities the Monster has displayed.

Xykon will turn out to be the Big Bad

  • He is "the Consequential", after all.
    • Maybe he lost weight and became one of the three fiends.

Belkar will die performing a Heroic Sacrifice

Everyone expects him to turn on the Order when the chips are down. But he won't; he'll stick up for the good guys, and his death will buy them enough time to defeat Xykon and Redcloak. Even those who dislike Belkar will find themselves saying Alas, Poor Scrappy...

Kraagor the Barbarian and Serini Toormuck of the Order of the Scribble had a relationship, and possibly a child.

This just comes from me thinking how broken up Serini is over Kraagor's death and how she chose to guard her gate based off of him and his physical strength. Perhaps when we get to his gate, the child(if there is one) will be there, as an additional guardian, or something, a legacy character.

  • This would be a good twist, but I think it's more likely Serini and Girard. It seems that there is a Scribble member for each Stick member (whoa, that came out wrong), and Serini is almost certainly Elan, and Haley is probably Girard. Besides, knowing Elan, he'd probably spend a year in mourning for anyone who hadn't tried to kill him, so Serini's probably the same.
    • Proof: She drew hearts around Girard's name.
    • I see that as more of an Oh Em Gee He's pretty kinda crush, because it is her diary. Note that the only other person to get an actual note other than Dorukan's "new kid" is Kraagor(Mean! Grr!). Since Dorukan said to be new, I'd say that it was early in their travels.
      • Also, I don't think there is a direct 1 to 1 correspondence of Scribble to Stick. That's kind of the point of the Linear Guild.
        • If anything, there are multiple Scribblers to each Stick member and vice versa. For example, Dorukan is a wizard (V) who has a "relationship" (Elan) with Lirian (Haley) who's an elven (V) druid (Durkon).

The Snarl did not kill the Eastern pantheon

The other gods did in a particularly heated argument which also involved starting the world over. The snarl was just a cover story, deliberately put in the new world as such, and will not actually do anything much if released or controlled.

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.)

Mr. Scruffy is the Thirteenth Gods of the Twelve Gods.

Mr. Scruffy is a Cat so why not? If The Twelve Gods are the Chinese zodiac, Why not Thirteenth Zodiac?

The Monster in the Darkness is a Grue.

Why hasn't this been said before? It's pretty obvious, don't you think?

    • Specifically, it's an orphaned Grue who was never taught to hate light. Having spent all its life in shadow or darkness by coincidence, should it ever achieve its ambition to be lit up, it will immediately recoil in pain.

Elan didn't get a lollipop after the Test Of Heart.

It's a condom on a stick. The stick's probably just some sort of holder, or a pull-tab to open the packet. But the Oracle knew about Haley and Elan's future developments, and the "Cryptkeeper knock-off" determined that his heart is healthy enough to engage in "strenuous activity". That's why Haley's smiling about it.

The Oracle's comments about not funding an IRA are merely him offhandedly predicting the real world stock market down turn

While it is another Belkar that will draw his last breath ever.

Xykon will be the one to screw up the Three Fiends' plans

Xykon's group is the only one without an agent of the Three Fiends ready to act on their commands, whether they want to or not. Contractual Genre Blindness aside, Xykon is also one of the few characters powerful enough, and more importantly, unpredictable enough, to screw up a Chessmaster's plans.

  • I'm thinking Xykon, upon finding out these guys are trying to play him, will invade the netherworld and nuke them personally.

== When the oracle said that Belkar should savor his next birthday cake, shouldn't fund his IRA, and that he'll draw his last breath before the end of the year, he meant that Belkar will die. == Radical theory, I know, but bear with me. You see, birthday cakes are enjoyed through being consumed, which is an action that requires chemical activity in the brain (producing the delicious sensation) as well as motor activity of the muscles around the mouth and jaw. In other words, life.

Birthdays themselves are also celebrations of life. So therefore, if Belkar is told to savor his next birthday cake, that hints--rather subtly, to be sure--that he may not receive another one, which symbolizes death in this comic (as Roy failed to notice or celebrate his birthday when he was dead).

IRAs are retirement funds. Now, one thing we know about the oracle is that he goes on TV Tropes, and is in fact the Giant's way of acknowledging us; you can tell by the fact that he lords over other characters his knowledge of time, a crystal clear Shout-Out to the many "X is a time lord" theories. Therefore, he has a keen knowledge of the Retirony trope, and hence, whenever he refers to retirement plans, he must in fact be thinking of death[1].

Now the breath clue is harder to decipher. Normally when we talk about drawing breath, of course, we're referring to the act of doodling a lung or winning a charity raffle on the elemental plane of Air. But my guess is that the oracle is using his powers of prophecy to look forward into the future to a point in time where it's common knowledge that breathing oxygenates the blood supply, therefore directly maintaining life, and hence "breath" is taken synecdochically for life. Therefore, the oracle is coining a unique and visceral evocation of death, a phrase that brings to mind the fact that Belkar's muscles and organs will cease to function, shut down, and eventually begin the process of necrosis, as the only blood that reaches them, is depleted of oxygen rather than enriched by it.

  • No. Way.
  • Eh, I don't buy it.

Belkar will have a surprise birthday party, and finally feel a hint of compassion at such an unexpected kindness.

And then he dies.

  • Bonus prophecy-fulfilling points if he dies because of a lighthearted Explosive Runes gift from Vaarsuvius ("for old times' sake") that he critically fails his defense roll against (or that may have been sabotaged), and Vaarsuvius ends up dead (metaphorically?) from guilt or trying to fix things.

Belkar survives to the end of the year, then dies on new years day

Celia is, and always has been, Neutral Evil

No, this isn't a lawyer joke. The "deal" she worked out for Haley, and the way she tricked her into accepting it, don't seem very Lawful Good.

Roy and Redcloak will face off in a final epic battle.

Which will end with them peaceably talking their issues out. Based mostly on the fact that in On the Origin of PCs, Roy chose to talk to the ogre party, and realised they were camped out for concert tickets, rather than a war camp. If Redcloak let anything about his dead family slip, I can see Roy at least TRYING to talk to him, rather than automatically killing him.

V is related to someone in the Elvish party.

It'd be interesting to see V interact with a relative other than Kyrie or the children. It'd also be interesting to see what elves call aunts and uncles (Eldest Sibling of Other Parent, or whatever, I'd imagine.]]

Elan is a Troper.

By extension, so is Nale. Their actions make more sense now, don't they?

The Snarl doesn't exist.

Soon's wife was killed by the gods as a gambit to have the Order of the Scibble created so someone would build the Gates and lock off the other world inside the main one. The whole tale about the Snarl is a huge pile of lies made up to justify their actions. This way, the heroes work as unwilling jailors for the other world imprisoned within their own.

    • This is quite possible, as every single depiction of the snarl has been second hand in a crayon drawing- Xykon was destroyed by the rune preventing entry to the rift, not the rift itself. As such, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that both the bearers of the crimson mantle and the rest of the cast have been deliberately misled.

An alternative version is that the Snarl was created by the gods as a defence mechanism, a part of the planet itself, to convince anyone living on the Order of the Stick planet to close any leaks that might let people escape from the other planet.

The Eastern Gods didn't die.

They're imprisoned on the other planet inside the main one.

The Other Planet is earth.

That's why people killed by the Snarl can't be resurrected. They're not dead; they're now living out ordinary lives in modern earth.

  • will it be a fishoutofwater kind of living ot colorofmagic style
  • When this is revealed, someone, probably V, will complain about what a cliche it is.

The Other Planet is the World of Science Fiction.

Only, Because it would be Funny

The Other Planet is the last one the Gods designed; it follows another RPG's rules.

It could be 2nd edition D&D, Exalted, World of Darkness, Call of Cthulhu or really any other RPG. Alternatively, it's Erfworld; that stuff about the two comics being unrelated is a total lie.

Belkar should avoid funding the Irish Republican Army.

It's the only answer.

The Snarl merged with the previous world.

So instead of looking like a giant scribble it's now Ego the Living Planet, only even more powerful and insane.

Ian Starshine is not Haley's father.

Loki is. At least I think that's Loki. Also related to the "Haley is a Celestial, etc." guess above. If you change the eye color to something more human, and turn the Giant Holy Burning Aura of Ponytailness into normal human hair, they're pretty close. Assuming Rescue Mr. Starshine doesn't end up an Aborted Arc (with the recent revelations in the previous guess, it seems decreasingly likely that the strip will end before the more important secondary arcs are wrapped up), it seems that would be the perfect time for him (probably with his dying breath) to reveal that Hayley is a Door Step Baby, or even that he and possibly his wife were tasked with/impregnated by the god himself. If Tyrinar turns out to be using Exact Words in his ransom note (as in my above "Rescuing Haley's Father" guess), and knows who her father is, expect things to get a bit more complicated. If Ian Starshine turns out to be an avatar or incarnation of the god that can't use his godly might whilst trapped in the mortal body, several possibilities open up (from him smashing Tyrinar and his throne room before ascending to him remaining on earth, but with a God Mode that casts from hit points). Refer also to her family name: Starshine does not seem like the typical human name in such a setting, though the Greenhilt clan isn't much to go on, and I highly doubt think she's a half-elf or (less doubt) direct male-line descendant of a halfling.

    • If you think about it Haley has been extremely lucky. There's the million to one shot she made in the first Linear Guild arc. She was saved in the nick of time in the Second Linear Guild Arc. She lucked out that Belkar was too distracted to consider a Face Heel Turn in the Escape Arc. Almost all the bad things in the series have happened when Haley wasn't around. Even the destruction of her money led to a boyfriend and valuable Character Development. Perhaps this suggests the gods favor her. It also fits that she would be ashamed if her father was Loki. He often gets painted as pure evil in Hijacked by Jesus settings.
      • I had a similar theory I wanted to post on the Gitp boards, so I would like to offer some additional arguments for this. Haley has a fear of Elan leaving her like all the good people she loved and did leave because she was not good enough. Being descended from Loki a evil god could be a good cause for this feelings. Two things I want to further clarify/suggest in my theory: Loki was on Haley's father's side of the family tree in my mind, possibly as close to her as being her grandfather. Why her father's? This can work with her father actually being Loki's avatar: he's left out of the good people who ran away (thus suggesting "evil"), plus he looks like Loki with another hairstyle. Why grandfather? It would make the right mix -- 75% human 25% celestial/god -- so she could be Aasimar, with a + 1 Level adjustment so the others wouldn't catch on to her different race, or maybe even no Level adjustment if the author houserules use the many official ways to avoid La. (Sorry for the wall of text!) In the end Loki is evil, hence her whole reason for hiding it. The Northern Gods come as a package, so many worship/stand Loki, but he could still be bad. The author portrays Loki as a reasonable guy, but his two clerics shown strongly suggest (plus the books, I think, spell it out) he's Chaotic Evil, so he gets the short end of the stick again.
      • Two periods, ten lines of text before a kindly editor cleaned it up. I already accounted for the possibility that Ian is an avatar, but the possibility of Loki being Haley's grandfather leaves him a demigod (unless he's her maternal grandfather, which is ignores several clues and is thus less likely). And for the record, in non-Hijacked by Jesus settings, I usually see Loki portrayed as Chaotic Jerkass (When he's not Sympathetic Villaining).
    • This (recent strip, so mild spoilers) sounds like something Loki Lie-smith would teach his son, minus the "except family" (considering how often most of his family screwed him over, even when he deserved it, though it wouldn't be entirely out of character to say "trust no one but me"). The family history doesn't really say much yet, although framing each other for murder does run in the family, especially whenit comes to Loki's schemes...

Elan will die.

The Oracle said there will be a happy ending, "for [Elan] at least." Elan, I think, could die entirely happily, knowing that he had helped save his friends and/or the world--so his ending would be happy for him, at least, though it would make Haley, Roy, Durkon, probably Vaarsuvius, and me completely miserable.

The Three Amigos of Evil were lying

Or at least obscuring the truth from the imp. It's true they don't want Xykon to control the gates, but they're not telling the whole truth, they want the gates themselves, and they only the soul of a sufficiently powerful divine caster to do it, they have V, they just need Redcloak's help.

Elan will die "happy".

At the hands of Xykon, who in his infinite warped humor will cast a spell that keeps Elan in an unnatural state of happiness and then slowly kill him. It's just the kind of thing Xykon would do.

    • Kind of a Joker "died laughing" thing, then?
      • The oracle said he'd have a "happy ending," not that he'd die happy, or just think he died happy. Elan dying like that is anything but a happy ending.
        • "Happy ending"? Nah, probably not, the giant's kept the comic PG-13 so far.

The Other World is 4th Edition

It would be interesting to see the two interact.

Elan's prophecy already came true.

Elan asked whether or not "this story" will have a happy ending. Given the Oracle's tendency to equivocate and be generally vague, he might not have been referring to the "story" of the Order of the Stick when he gave his answer. He might have been referring to, say, the love story between himself and Haley, which had its happy ending either when they first got together, or when they found each other again after Azure City.

One of the Discworld books mentioned that a happy ending is really just a story that isn't finished. I could definitely see Burlew doing something like this as a subversion of...something.

  • Except that...well...wouldn't that be awfully lame? I mean, even the Subversion page itself says that subversions arenn't necessarily clever or interesting per se.
  • It'd be less lame as a Double Subversion - the Oracle meant the end of the arc, and doesn't consider Elan's ultimate ending a happy one, but Elan does. Like if he died heroically while saving the world or something.
  • "A whistle! I really DID get a happy ending!"

Belkar should avoid using Ira

It's the only answer.

The Monster in the Darkness is a young Star-Spawn of Cthulhu

It was cribbed from the Call of Cthulhu d20 variant and modified for the fact that it's not hundreds of thousands of years old. Its durability and strength would still be through the roof, and Dread Cthulhu is nothing if not a Big Eater (to the tune of 1d6 investigators per round). Great Old Ones possess reality-warping abilities, and anyone who's read the proper sourcebook would recognize one with such an iconic design, but would be surprised to see it in a medieval knights-and-wizards setting. A young Star-Spawn would be far less likely than its father to drive men mad just by seeing it, and people who live in a setting where squid-headed man-things are no big deal would be even less likely to react with utter terror - although vomit-inducing disgust certainly isn't out of the question.

V will make peace with his/her mate by giving him/her his/her spell book.

There's no way to convince him/her V sincerely wants to continue their relationship without giving up something he/she truly values. If this happened in the ending, happily ever after. If it happens midway through, V would be Achilles in His Tent and the mate could give V back the spell book as a sign of support.

The Snarl does not exist anymore

Oh sure, it still existed in some form during Soon's time, what with the claws from the voids, but notice how this hasn't happened since the gates were sealed. Even with the prisoners so dangerously close to the Sapphire rift, nothing happened: no stringy arm lashed out to take anything. My theory is this: over time, the Snarl, which is made of strands of creation, eventually began to unwind. Without anything to lash out at or destroy within its prison of creation, the threads found themselves loosening, unraveling; the knot that was the snarl began to undo itself. Until eventually, the un-knotted strands of creation within the rift fell back into their intended shape: a world.

Inkyrius is male.

Because I don't care what anybody says, that is a man chest, damnit. It doesn't necessarily confirm what Vaarsuvius is, but Kyrie's a dude.

  • Also, he has square hips, which is a male trait, and eyes pretty high up on the face (another male trait).

Celia and Navi are the same person.

Think about it: Good-natured but useless and annoying fairies with light blue color schemes. Both are intelligent, but their clueless nature annoys and can get others into trouble. And they both left! Hooray!

The Snarl never actually destroyed anyone or anything

The planet within the rift is old world that the snarl supposedly "destroyed". The story of the Snarl that Shojo tells the Order may not be the true account. In fact, the gods themselves may be mistaken, believing that the gods of the East were killed when they really became part of the Snarl. In other words, anything the snarl gets its tendrils on is not killed but is instead transported to the Snarl's realm. The snarl himself may not even be evil, simply wanting to absorb things more "real" than itself for unknown reasons. So yeah, basically like a being from the dungeon dimensions

The world beyond the rift is The Snarl.

The Snarl has had an extremely long time to sort itself out. It was made by gods who were new at this whole world-making thing, and since their fight over what would and wouldn't be part of the world was childish and immature, the Snarl itself was childish and immature. The unstoppable rage that killed the Western gods was merely a collossal temper-tantrum. With however many years it's been since then, the Snarl has grown up, used its powers to raise the Western pantheon, and is now a stable world with stable gods and stable people.

  • Oi! I came to the same sort of conclusion about seven WMGs up... though I didn't think of the "temper tantrum" angle... [+ ]I guess great minds think alike! [ ]You stole from the WRONG man.

Haley also has an Evil Twin

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0683.html Looks just like pre-Greysky-Arc Haley doesn't she. Or possibly she's Cousin Shiela.

  • Seriously? That's a stretch even for WMG. "Looking vaguely similar" =/= "Evil Twin". Maybe if she was shown in any way doing something, you know, evil, rather than just running away from beetles. I mean come on.
    • Not to mention the Creator of the comic typed up a whole paragraph about this exact topic, which has since become the Crowning Moment of Awesome quote of the forum.
      • I'd like to see that quote.

Belkar should avoid mentioning "anger" in the nominative singular in Latin.

It's the only answer.

Elan will get a catchphrase.

The way the Dashing Swordsman PRC works is by either using a pun or a catchphrase. Elan may realize that it may become easier to repeat the same thing over and over again than be clever.

Death's Lil' Helper will pull a Mel.

That is, be removed from this plane of existence in a manner sticking him somewhere much, much more Belkar-friendly than Pandemonium, Carceri, or the Abyss, or for that matter, any place he deserves to go. It'd have to be a hell of a trick, since even post-"fake character development" Belkar is pretty Evil, and regardless he's got an alignment surplus on the kilonazi scale. But he's on a quest to (kill people and take their stuff while) saving the world, he's willing to do quasi-good deeds in the interest of the greater him, and even a Right-Hand-Cat he's actually willing to care about. Outside of being stuck by the Snarl, it's hard to think of anything else that would really keep him down -- with even Nale being seriously believed to have access to the various forms of resurrection, it's hard to see Belkar staying permanently dead without some sort of special circumstance.

    • Special circumstance other than his teammates not wanting him back? Or, you know, anyone else? You've got to remember, while a lot of the fans like Belkar, nobody else in the setting does, and the vast, vast majority of them will be just peachy with the idea of him being dead.

Roy retrained as/has been an ubercharger

that is very much a leap attack, and this shows Roy 1. being focused on charging 2.quite willing to use the same tactic over and over again. I'm fairly sure The Giant worked on the book where Dungeoncrasher is from (another option in charge builds) The possible feat he learned in the afterlife is either to get pounce, or the mage slayer feat (No defensive casting for magic users you threaten, nice if your foe is backed up against a wall and can't 5ft step out).

The world in the rift was made by The Dark one

just think abuot it, the dark one is the only god that seen interested in using the snarl. he probably found a way to use the threads that the snarl is made of and made his own world out of them.

That Guy with a Halberd will return

Considering the fact that Thog still exists because of his surprising popularity, there's at least a fair chance this unusually famous character will reappear at some point. Possible things he will do with his (hopefully) grand re-entrance include:

Crystal will be raised and recruited by the Linear Guild

Nale will want her on his team due to her being Haley's Evil Counterpart. This will cause conflict with Sabine (now redundant as Haley's Evil Counterpart), perhaps leading to Nale's and Sabine's break-up as hypothetised in a previous WMG.

  • Crystal isn't an Evil Counterpart, though. She's The Rival. Aside from being in the same Thieves' Guild as Haley, the two don't have much in common.

The Monster in the Darkness is this guy

>_> <_<

  • That's a 403.
    • Refresh from the URL bar. It worked for me.

In the battle for the final Gate, the Order of the Stick and the Linear Guild will set aside their differences and join forces to destroy Xykon

The spice that Belkar got from the spice merchant will be his death

It's an obvious Dune reference (c'mon, sandworms anyone?). While the spice called melange from Dune gives its user a longer lifespan it also has fatal withdrawal symptomps. So, after taking his first doze of the stuff Belkar will find himself oddly invigorated for a while, but after a while this newly gained life-force will fade away from him.

The IFCC made nale and the rest of the liner guild

maybe Elan really HAD a twin, but he died a long time ago. the IFCC needed someone to be their pwans on the mortal plane, so they crated five humanoids so they could watch for anything that can help them and they put sabine on the group so they could inspect them

the final battle will be nine-sided and the roaches'll say see? we told yo so

I'm not sure how will be in them, but my guess is that hilgya or right-eye's daughter (or both) coming back and forming their own groups

  • or leeky and pompey
  • Already confirmed by Word of God in the commentary from Don't Split The Party. There is one side we don't know about yet (or didn't know about at the end of the book).
    • Let's see... sides that will probably be involved:
      • The Order of the Stick (obviously)
      • Xykon (again, this seems obvious)
      • The Linear Guild (another obvious one)
      • Hinjo's forces (not definite, they're friends/allies with the Order, so those two may be a single side)
      • Girard himself (...if he hasn't been confirmed dead)
      • Redcloak and an army of Goblins & Hobgoblins (seems reasonable that he'd split off from Xykon at some point)
      • Tarquin and his army
      • The other nobles of Azure City
      • The Flumphs maybe?
    • (Sorry, breaking the nine) But may I add the archfiends?

the comics will end with an epic battel between the drak one and Xykon about controling the gate(s)

that will end when the order of the stick will come and seal back the gate(s)

the gods of the east didn't want to share the creation of the world with the other gods...

so they invented a snarl, and pretended to be killed by him, so they could create world alone

Belkar will get a necklace of adaption/Iridescent Spindle Ioun Stone, gets turned into a breathless non-mindless undead, ascend to proper godhood THEN get made Deader Than Dead.

Sabine is a demon/devil hybrid.

In Nale's first plan to get revenge on Elan, he specified that the scissors would be neither silver nor cold iron, indicating that Sabine is weak to both. Sabine is a succubus with the half-fiend template, which is why she possesses the abilities of a succubus, but is with the Lawful Evil Nale, and is actually decent in combat. Her own alignment is probably Neutral Evil, which is why she works for the IFCC - as a hybrid, she's a natural agent.

  • She is with the Lawful Evil Nale because her superiors saw potential in him. Plus, there's always the possibility that she's supposed to corrupt him to Chaotic Evil (or try to see if CE and LE can coexist). Also, Rich did mention that he imagined Succubi would relish in their huge DR (remember, she ran the moment Haley punctured it in their first battle). Also, as a Chaotic entity, wouldn't bucking the expected norm be pretty standard? However, there's an alternative:

Sabine is a 3rd Ed/4th Ed Succubus Hybrid

She's a Succubus that teeters on both ends of corruption.

The Monster in the Darkness is a smoke monster.

Possibly a young cauchemar, which would work since it's young for its species, and while still strong, probably not the size of a large warhorse (depending on Windstriker's size and breed). However, the guess was meant to be that it was a monster made of smoke, that just fits the clues about the MitD more than a proper smoke monster would (especially since the MitD is clearly surrounded by a cone of darkness or smoke here, and not just standing in shadow. Perhaps sunlight affects the Monster's ability to produce smoke, as well as stay corporeal). And no, before anyone brings it up, it's not the one from Lost. That one was more dark grey.

Mr. Scruffy is the "cat" of the Chinese Zodiac

  • After seeing this strip, This Troper started wondering if Mr. Scruffy has any relation to the whole Sapphire Guard mess. After all, a lot of variants on the zodiac myth have the cat, but it being late or some such thing. Maybe Mr. Scruffy is the thirteenth god of the Twelve Gods of the South.

If and when Belkar dies and stays dead for longer than three strips, something will happen to make sure he'll never be revived

  • The phrasing above is very specific, because I don't think Burlew wants to render him Deader Than Dead just yet. Rather, his death will be faked for drama, and his fans will whine so hard that Burlew will get sick of making them happy and kill the character off permanently just to spite them (kind of like the "Now shut up" strip of Eight Bit Theater.)

Serini Toormuck or Girard Draketooth 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.

Kraagor isn't dead.

Nor is anyone else swallowed up by or sealed off into a Rift. Kraagor is living on the Planet Inside The Planet, and just has no way to get home.

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.

  • So what about those quite-possibly low-level paladins or others you are talking about? Would they all be fine?
    • Who would bring low-level anybody into a part of the world with Purple Worms in it? It's been some time since I took a flip through the Monster Manual, but as I recall, Desert and Undersea were some of the worst terrain types in terms of typical monster habitats.
      • Because they don't HAVE all that many high-level people like the order of the stick in thier ranks, and you notice there's 'normal' people who go through the desert all the time, the spell was clrearly meant to be as lethal as possible.
        • Girard put it specifically in the middle of nowhere, possibly for several reasons, but the stated one is because it's the middle of featureless desert, with nothing in it of value to anyone. Since the Order had to split off from the route the common folk were taking, normal people probably don't go through that part of the desert. And the Sapphire Guard did have some fairly impressive paladins in their roster; evidently this is especially the case for the ones they send out on long missions away from home (ie, Miko.)

Girard really did try to kill Soon

However, Evocation is a common barred school for Illusionists (what with spells like Shadow Evocation and its more powerful versions) so he couldn't get enough damage in a concentrated area as possible that would last indefinitely. It was more designed to kill/weaken Soon's flunkies (the ones with K. Geography) and now the illusionary Spice traps are going to activate (illusionary Spice scents that will attract every Purple Worm within 100 miles).

Durkon will die

In the next fight with Xykon, probably in a Heroic Sacrifice. And be raised as an intelligent undead. And lead Xykon's army directly to Kraagar's gate. Hence, returning home posthumously.

  • And Red Cloak will make a Heel Face Turn after Xykon threatens to zombify his entire Goblin army. He will replace Durkon as the team cleric for the Order of the Stick.

Soon was once like Miko

  • It seems very odd that Girard would set a trap in the desert for Soon, literally betting on Soon breaking his oath of non-interference. Anyone who knows Paladins knows that they adhere to their promises very strictly, and Girard knew Soon personally so one would think he'd know better. However, there is one known Paladin who, in that situation, would have done exactly what Girard accused Soon of doing. Miko Miyazaki frequently reinterpreted events to suit her worldview and justify just about any action she took (up to and including killing her liege lord). In Soon's place, she would have found some way to justify breaking the oath and done precisely what Girard thought Soon would. In that context, it might just be that, during their time in the Order of the Scribble, Soon behaved much like Miko, which meant Girard probably felt justified in setting the trap he did. This also turns Soon's speech to Miko at her death into a Funny Aneurysm Moment since it means that Soon, when telling Miko about redemption and needing to admit you were wrong, was speaking from personal experience.

V will kill Girard

At 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.

  • Except the IFCC will get his soul, not his body. Plus, the Order wouldn't just "go on their merry way" just because Girard made a boast.
    • Except the IFCC grafted three souls onto V and he got to completely control their actions. "Having control of someone's soul" seems to equal "complete domination" in this comic. Additionally, I didn't suggest that the Order would actually go away, just that Girard would tell them to shortly before getting ganked.
    • He got to use their powers, not control their actions. Also, the agreement stated they'd get V's soul after his death anyway.
    • He did get to control their action, just not their thoughts.

 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.

    • Also, the agreement did not say a single thing about them taking control of V's soul after death. It was a very big thing on the forums that those words were never stated by the fiends; V came up with the 'after death' bit on his own, and they never confirmed or denied it.
  • The statue of Girard in 841 suggests that he might already have died from old age. Also, we know from the battle of Azure City that Soon Kim is already dead, and he appears to have been about the same age as Girard.
  • Aaaaaannnddd... we have a winner! V may have not known it, but s/he could have killed Girard with Familicide.

Lirian was part non-elf.

Something like a grandparent or great-grandparent was a human or sylph or other noticeably sexual dimorphic race. Might explain why she's the only non-androgynous elf we see.

Roy has the highest stats in the party.

About the only one he might be lacking in seems to be Dexterity; his Wisdom and Intelligence are high enough to be considered suitable for spellcasting, his Constitution seems pretty decent considering all the damage he's capable of soaking, his Charisma must be fair if he's been using one-liners to get ideas across to his father all his life, and obviously his Strength is good, or he wouldn't be able to make the kind of Jump checks he tends to.

Celia will die

The fact that sylphs can't be raised from the dead sounds suspiciously like a Chekhov's Gun, or Chekhov's Boomerang if you consider her explanation for why she's reluctant to kill the first use. It would also be a good way for Burlew to pull an Alas, Poor Scrappy.

  • Realted theory: when sylphs die, they go to the planet inside the planet. It is also where you go in the Lawful Good afterlife if you climb to the top of the mountain. It is a world similar to this one, but without death or injury.


Vaarsuvius's new ponytail is related to the situation with his/her family somehow.

I'm not sure what it could mean, but both Vaarsuvius's mate wore a ponytail. Now the character does as well. Could this be significant, or is it just a style change?

  • Elan has mentioned that changes in appearance can be a sign of Character Development. Vaarsuvius changed hir hairstyle in the aftermath of the Break the Haughty arc. Probably not a coincidence.

Post-curse Belkar recieved enough XP to go up several levels

It wasn't only the effect of a He's Back moment. Remember that time early on where he had to give a Freudian Excuse-filled soliloquy to earn a few XP that'd make him go up a level? Well, when he snapped out of the curse, it was basically the same thing Up to Eleven. He probably recieved so much XP that he jumped up several levels at once, which explains the sudden increase in his sheer badass.

In some alternate reality, a Superhero version of The Order Of The Stick exists

  • What? It'd be cool. The teams membership includes
    • Roy Green, AKA Star-Fist. His father was Dr Star (aka Eugene Green) a Science Hero who defeated the Alien Demigod (think Thanos or Darksied) Xykon years ago, but didn't remove the threat long term, thus allowing Xykon to threaten earth once more. Roy thus formed the Stick Sqaud as a team dedicated to defending earth from Xykon. Roy's a Flying Brick due to accidental exposure to alien Starmetal while still in the womb- a sore point for his father, who wanted him to follow in his footsteps as a Badass Normal Science Hero.
    • David Durkon, AKA Hammer-Bolt. Stocky vietnam vet whose war experiences left him with a phobia of trees. Self-medicates his war trauma with a combination of neo-pagan Thor worship and sledgehammer assisted street-vigilanteism. Manifests various powers (summoning lightening, brief bursts of Super Strength) that may be the product of Thor's influence, or simply previously unknown superpowers manifesting themselves.
    • Elan Edwards, AKA Charmer. Along with his estranged Evil Twin Nale, AKA Dominator, the product of a liason between two telepaths- one a hero, the other a villain. Possesses limited mindcontrol powers, which he has never really developed, until a familiar incident at the hands of Nale led to him doing time (well, 24 hours) in prison, forcing him to develop his powers further, and augment them with some new Badass Normal style skills (ie: he read one too many Batman comics, and thought it'd be fun to jump through Skylights dramatically).
    • Haley Hawkins, AKA Starshine. Former jewel thief turned Badass Normal superhero. Armed with Waif Fu and a selection of trick throwing darts, of which her favourite is the fast freezing Nitro-Glycerin dart.
    • Vaarsuvius, an elven sorceror from another dimension who has travelled to the Sqaud's home dimension in search of new magic, and whose gender ambiguity is a running joke amongst the media.
    • Ben Belkar, AKA War-God. Bestial Nineties Anti-Hero, whom Star-Fist keeps on the team because it's better to have him pointed at the bad guys than at the civillian population. In addition to animalistic powers, such as Super Strength and Super Senses, is certifiable Knife Nut.
      • Everyone's basic characterisation and behaviour is the same, just slightly modified for the new, modern day setting. Similarly, the story progresses differently where appropriate, either due to the modern setting (for example, the Saphire Guard are a secret organisation a la SHIELD, rather than a group of paladins, with Miko as their top operative- she's just consumed with Patriotic Fervour rather than being Holier Than Thou) or changes in character (obviously, Roy can't die from falling now). The villains are also modified to be more approrpriate to a Superhero setting (as mentioned, Xykon is now a Darksied alike, while Redcloak is now a superhuman supremast a la Magneto).
    • Show of hands, who wants to help make this happen?
      • ... Dammit, fine. Yes. Although I'm not too sure about Charmer - It's to the point and matches Dominater, but seems a little plain for a supername. Also, rather than vaguely psychic mind-control, I think pheremone-type powers would work better. Like a non-Evil Purple Man. I kind of love the idea of Haley as a Distaff Counterparty Hawkeye-meets-Catwoman, though.
    • Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe that we have discovered the contents of the World Within The World.
  • Stick Squad!Tarquin = Mafia don? Admit it, that would rule. And maybe Nale/Dominator wants to take over the Mafia, but Tarquin is scared that he'll mess it up? Sabine (or "Succubus") is probably from V's dimension, and Thog... well... Some sort of experiment with mutations, which produced a very strong and easily angered mutant who was really dumb? Aaaand kobolds could be some sort of lizard people living below the surface, hidden from human eyes.
  • I can see Sabine as a Hooker with a Heart of Gold (or just a hooker) with connections in the crime world and some mysterious debts to pay. Thog would be a very effective bodyguard of Tarquin's, somewhere between a Bunny Ears Lawyer and the Dumb Muscle, who for some reason sided with Nale after their falling out. Elan... I know he's already been covered, but I really, really want Elan Edwards to be a pop star. I mean, he's a bard, and he's certainly pretty and ditzy enough. He would be raised apart from Nale in a foster family, and they would become aware of each other's existence after Nale is mistaken for Elan during a robbery/murder/whatever.

If Miko had gotten "Treasure Type O" regularly...

  • She would get over all over her issues, be exceedingly nice and merry, and skip happily from place to place with birds and butterflies following in her wake.
  • She would switch from Lawful Stupid to Stupid Good.
  • It wouldn't change her personality much, but it would awaken her sexuality. Which she would be very confused about since she's kept it repressed so long. Say, she'd try to give Haley an angry lecture about greed, only to trail off when she learns she wants to bath in a pile of gold, and concludes, "I'll be in my bunk." I'd write up dialouge if I wasn't so tired.

Xykon is a Nobody.

We have a near emotionless being with Elemental Powers. He has an X in his name. He lost his heart at a very young age (pre Start of Darkness) which is why he doesn't care about getting his heart back. And I know where will is go.

  • "Near-emotionless?" He sure seems to have the "enjoys the hell out of seeing others suffer" and "really, really pissed off" emotions pretty well covered.
    • I said "near" emotionless. And the above gives him the exact same emotional range as Larxene.
  • Wait, does this mean his name before he became a Nobody was Kyon?

Depending on how you read into the Oracle's meaning or if the statement is legitimate, http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0567.html may or may not support this idea (namely, that it's "already been fulfilled" AND "will shortly be fulfilled". While he may have said it for reasons other than being informative, he might have had more legitimacy than assumed.)

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.

Redcloak will reveal his backstory in an attempt to get sympathy points...

And no one will show any sympathy for him - BUT someone will express frustration with the Sapphire Guard. "You went and slaughtered a goblin village to eliminate the threat of the Crimson Mantle, and in the process, created the threat you were trying to eliminate! Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!"

    • I don't see this one happening.

The strip after Belkar dies...

Someone who is upset at Belkar's death, probably Elan, will list off most of the non-death ideas suggested on the forums and this page, just to mock how wild and crazy the fans are, before getting shot down as one last "He's DEAD, dammit!". Because Rich has done it before.

Burlew isn't using the standard alignment restrictions.

I thought of this when considering an alignment for Thog, who's both a Barbarian and almost certainly evil. He can't be lawful by standard rules, but he's acted Lawful Evil far more often than Chaotic Evil or Neutral Evil. His only chaotic acts that I can recall are killing a sylph, which he did under orders and in a dungeon where there was no law-enforcement authority, and dressing as a leprechaun, which he apparently did out of stupidity rather than whimsy. Furthering this, Miko Miyazaki acted so crazy because she was never precisely good--she was lawful, so she could be trusted to follow orders, and she was close enough to good that the Sapphire Guard could make use of her in a similar way to how Roy makes use of Belkar, but she didn't fit the alignment because she didn't need to in order to be a Paladin in this universe. This would also tie in to how the evil races seem to be Noble Demons as often as true villains.

  • When has Thog acted lawful? And also, don't forget "yay, resisting arrest is fun!" as well as hacking to death several hundred people within city limits.
    • I figured "lawful" was the best term for someone who looks for a leader (usually Nale, in his case) and follows that leader's orders without thinking for himself. I guess you could call that Neutral Evil with pathetically low Charisma--I'm a bit confused about the alignments at this point.
  • Burlew sets out his view of alignment vs emotions quite well in this article.

 Rich Burlew: First, remember that alignment is a guide, not a strait-jacket. Not even for NPCs. Evil characters can love, good characters can hate.

Niu, a new character, will be important to the storyline.

Think about it. Why bother NAMING a character when he/she won't serve a supporting role to the heroes at the very least? In fact, I'll bet my money she was a relative to The Scrappy Miko. (I have ten.)

  • Niu has been around since the beginning of the Resistance Arc, helping Haley freeing slaves and even before. And also, tell that to Solty Lurkyurg. And/or Buggy Lou. Or Trigak. Oh, wait, you can't, because they're all dead. I would expext Niu & Thanh to stay at this same supporting character level, maybe eventually show up in a big battle to take back Azure City.

The Dancing Knights will return.

They will either:

Redcloak and Hinjo are gonna strike a truce at some point

Both want their peoples to have homes, both are pragmatic enough rulers to not let the past cloud their judgements, and both take rather laissez-faire approach to their alignment restrictions (which is really the only thing preventing them from realizing that war between the Sapphirites and the goblins is the worst outcome for both).

At least one of the NPC leveled prisoners is well optimized

Such as an iaijutsu focus expert,

Xykon is planning to get rid of Redcloak

He's been having Tsukiko research what appears to be the Arcane half of the ritual to open one of the gates. At Durkon's gate, it seemed that they were all ready and raring to go, so they must have figured out both halves of the ritual by then. So why have Tsukiko study it?

Xykon is getting tired of fighting Redcloak over policy and how to do things. And he's pissed at him for losing his Philactery. So he's looking for someone else who can figure out the spell he needs for power, so he can give Redcloak the boot down the road. And while the idea may sicken him, he'd have to admit, there's an advantage to giving your philactery to someone who professes to love undead.

Alternatively, Xykon genuinely cares about Redcloak.

Hey, I've seen less likely WMGs on this page. Sure there was the whole "eye" thing, and Start of Darkness showed Xykon as just plain sadistic towards Redcloak, but there was this strip.

  • Also, Xykon often makes comment's about having to show off something to Redcloak. Two prominent examples are when he noted having to tell Redcloak the symbol of insanity worked, and when he specifically sent a note to Redcloak about how he conducted an interview in the middle of a battle. Plus, Redcloak gets away with alot of things Xykon would kill a minion for without a second thought. In general, he's probably the closest thing to a friend Xykon has.

The Divine half of the gate-opening ritual requires the self-sacrifice of the caster, and the ritual cannot be stopped once the Arcane half is complete.

Xykon may genuinely care about Redcloak, or Redcloak may know enough about the ritual to not do it, but Xykon has no qualms about getting rid of Tsukiko the next time her death becomes useful.

  • I'm sorry, you lost me at "Xykon may genuinely care about Redcloak".
    • You lost me at "Xykon may genuinely care".
      • I said "may".

Girard is a dragon that assumes human form.

The 3.5 fluff makes it pretty clear dragons often do this for shits and giggles, plus Draketooth?

Shojo is attempting to change Belkar's fate.

According to Shojo, if Belkar keeps playing the sociopathic Jerkass, chances are someone, possibly an ally, would kill him. That's why Shojo came to Belkar in the dream: He knows Belkar is going to die, but needs him to live for some unspecified reason. Belkar's "fake" character development could end up with him making a choice he wouldn't before, something that will save his life.

The Other Planet is Eberron.

Because really, Without Eberron, there wouldn't even have been an Order of the Stick Comic.

  • Someone has to get beat by Loli Pope.

In the Order of the Stick universe, the term "PC" refers to a hereditary immunity to Diplomacy.

  • There are no players. What else could it mean?
    • My interpretation was that PCs were individuals with killing skills far beyond normal people--in our terms, people capable of taking combat-oriented classes like "Fighter" or "Sorceror" rather than NPC ones like "Aristocrat." Basically, they're Gracelings. (Also of note is that whatever it is, it's apparently hereditary.)
    • Edit from second poster: just realized that some members of the Sapphire Guard are NPCs, and apparently so was Krystal (that line about how one's rival is always equal to or higher than your level wouldn't need the "higher than" if the rivalry worked the same way both ways, and Haley's a PC, right?) Still, maybe PCs level faster, or maybe they're people who're forced into adventure by fate (ta'veren rather than gracelings.)

The Monster In The Darkness is a human child

Self Explanitory. It's just a very powerful reature that doesn't know any better, and consistently rolls very well. That's why it can't be harmed.

Malachar is either human or allied with the humans, and plans on taking over sooner if not later.

Why else would a kingdom full of lizardfolk accept a human Guard? He used either diplomacy, Diplomacy, or his power as His Vizierliness to convince anyone who could argue.

Ian Starshine is Malachar.

"This 'Elan' fellow seems nice enough, and he will be Family, but Nale has got to be taken care of before the wedding." It's better to use a meat shield that will require an epic spellcaster or a lot of fighting than sit on the throne yourself (especially since Starshine sounds like the sort of guy who would hate being in the spotlight, aside from just the Rogue-type logic seen in flashbacks). Ian wouldn't bother trying to keep power when that strong a spellcaster or someone with the Order of the Stick equivalent of a MOAB is after the throne, and anyone else can be dealt with while they're trying to pry the meat shield off the throne.

Pompey is the son of Dorukan and Lirian

It is possible that Pompey is the son of the two Order of the Scribble members. Even though they had sworn not to interfere with each others gates, that wouldn't keep them from seeing each other for other reasons. Also, the age of Pompey checks out. He told Nale that he was 43 and Lirian was killed under 30 years ago. Also in the comic detailing the effects of a Cloister spell seen here, the last panel shows how Dorukan and Lirian could have met several times. It could be that Lirian never actually told him who his father was or if she even gave any thought to him at all. He could have been given to an other elf family or even a human family, perhaps for his own protection (his parents being epic level characters makes him a target) but that didn't turn out that well.

All the characters are really characters from other webcomics.

V is Black Mage, sans destructive tendencies, Xykon and Redcloak are Richard and Cale, The Oracle and Therkla are Dominic and Luna, and Sabine is one of the Succubi from Sinfest

  • Belkar is Black Mage after some re-constructive facial surgery and losing his magic.

The upcoming arc will be a Star Wars parody.

General Tarquin (not the resemblance to Tarkin) dresses like Boba Fett and reveals himself to be Elan's father in a parody of Vader's famous scene. And it also hit me that the lizard cleric looks a lot like Palpatine and the Blood Empress has Jabba Table Manners. You could even go back a couple of chapters to the Dune chapters- Lucas kind of ripped off Arakis when creating Tatooine. Also, the termal detonator, the "pray I don't alter it any further", etc. Speculations on what will come in the future is include that Elan will get a hand cut off by his father after he turned on the heroes but in the end dies to redeem itself to an army of small creatures defeating the empire.

The Empress of Blood is the current ruler of the kingdom which imprisoned Haley's father.

Hence, Haley's imprisonment will lead to her reuniting with him.

  • "Tyrinar the Red was my father. I don't see why I should have to keep track of his prisoners." "...or any of my bastard stepbrothers."
    • Well, the Empress isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but she did rise to power two years ago -- the same time when Tyrinar decided to ransom Ian Starshine for a crapload of GP. Desperately trying to get money for troops during the war with the Eo B? Or trying to line his pockets before fleeing the kingdom? Either one is believable.
    • Wait, when was that quote said?
      • It wasn't. The troper was speaking hypothetically.
  • Confirmed that Haley has met her father Ian, and of course Jossed that Tyrinar was her father. Also the Empress is just a figurehead for Elan's father, Tarquin, just like Tyrinar was before her.

Elan and Nale were only twins after they were born.

They used to be a Chaotic Evil half-pint, possibly named Neal. Elan got the chaotic, Nale got the evil.

Elan and Nale have other siblings.

I'm going to say older sister, older half-sister, or younger half-sister and/or multiple young half-siblings of varying sex. (Additionally, with the guess that this sequence is going to be at least partly Star Wars homage/pastiche, it leaves room for There Is Another, though I really hope they don't pull off a Luke And Leia bit, regardless of whether Vaarsuvius is Han or Luke. Unless s/he leans against the fourth wall long enough to express relief that that sort of thing wasn't going to happen).

Belkar will reveal himself to be Vaarsuvius' brother.

Just to screw with everyone after the above-mentioned fourth-wall leaning occurs. It will be revealed as a blatant lie between .8 and 1.2 panels later

Lien called her shark Holy Paladin Mount "Razor" not because of its teeth...

But because its skin was so good at removing stubble.

Thog is Elan & Nale's half-brother.

Tarquin referred to Elan & Nale's mother as his first wife. That wouldn't have been in there if it wasn't important somehow, and it's already been established that inter-species hookups are more common, and attitudes to them more tolerant, on the Western Continent than they are elsewhere. This would also make yet another parallel between Elan/Roy & Nale/Thog, given that Roy & Elan have a surrogate big brother/little brother relationship.

Pompey and Leeky Windstaff will return.

Do we have this already?

The Monster In The Darkness will be extremely cute.

This seems like something they would do. -shrug-

  • It's already cute.

The Monster in the Darkness is invisible.

Xykon put an invisibility spell on it after Start of Darkness (hey, I just got that it references getting the MitD, as well as the other things!) and didn't realize that it would ruin the dramatic de-shadowing.

Mr. Scruffy is the Big Good.

When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

Every major good or neutral-aligned character introduced as of strip 729 will survive to the end of the strip, as will more than half the major evil-aligned characters.

The author seems to dislike killing off anyone the fanbase likes or is neutral to (unless they're a minor character, in which case they can die freely.) The exceptions so far have been Lord Shojo, who doesn't count because old people tend to die in these sorts of stories, and Therkla, who doesn't count because Hopeless Suitors almost always die in these sorts of stories. The only other major and popular good or neutral character who now has a precedent for doom is Varsuvius, and he's likely to just suffer for what he's done, rather than outright die. The only major good or neutral character who's currently unpopular is Celia, and she's likely to survive because she's a useful tool to comment on the morality of Dungeons and Dragons. There are a couple evil-aligned characters who have a good precedent for doom, like Xykon and Tsukiko, but even Redcloak has a good chance of getting spared for being interesting and vaguely sympathetic. (And Belkar is definitely going to survive--he fulfills the Richard rules of karma avoidance by being badass, funny, and an ally of the good guys.)

The oracle leads one of the factions that haven't been revealed yet.

His followers are the inhabitants of Lickmyorangeballshalfingville, and he's been manipulating several other sides for his own mysterious goals.

Belkar will die after the plot is resolved.

Because it would be funnier that way.

Belkar will indirectly prevent V from obtaining immortality.

It will likely be the result of an Explosive Runes spell (possibly a bought spell that Belkar put on an ancient and undecrypted scroll that V was working on in hir spare time) or simply that, in an infinitely small fraction of the timelines without Belkar's interference, and of the other timelines where Belkar acts infinitessimally differently, V would have coincidentally stumbled across the secret to immortality. And thus, Belkar will cause V to die, eventually.

O'Chul will gut Belkar like a fish.

O'Chul said that he'd gut Belkar if he learned of B treating anyone else the way B treated him.

The Oracle misspoke. Belkar will be killed by Kira.

It's the only answer.

  • How is that misspeaking? All we have is that Belkar will die in some unspecified manner that precludes him breathing (thereby preventing him from being brain dead and hooked up to some electronic breathing apparatus)

Tarquin is an arcane spellcaster

This is not based on anything Tarquin has done, but rather both of his sons have taken up arcane spellcasting classes. (Elan is a bard and Nale is a sorcerer) It's possible Tarquin did this too, taking levels in Duskblade, Warmage or some sort of prestige class. Fitting the recent Star Wars theme, a level 16 or so Duskblade can cast Chain Lightning a la Emperor Palpatine.

  • I don't really know the D and D ranks well, but someone suggested he's a Blackguard once, and looking at the pictures for that class, Tarquin fits it to a t. On the other hand, Malack looks a lot Palpatine (if he was a lizard person), so I hope they'll have him shoot lighting from his fingers at some point.
    • While this is also valid, Blackguards are divine and not arcane, which is why I didn't mention them in my WMG.
  • I think it's more likely that he's an eldritch knight, given Rich's desire to stick to core and Tarquin's appearance. However, given his associations, dragon disciple would fit thematically well, especially since spontaneous spellcasting requires draconic heritage.

Belkar will gain a permanent wisdom boost, thereby making "Belkar" cease to exist

It's the only answer. More Star Wars quotes work.

Kyrie, Vaarsuvius, or both (?) are transgendered or otherwise genderqueer / in-universe equivalent.

Just to add another layer to the gender uncertainty. If it's not universal for elves, that could explain why we have seen some with established gender identities, and in V's case it could also account for the general "don't ask me" sort of thing re: sex/gender. Or, y'know, I could be talking out of my hat...

The planet within the planet will be the final destination for goblinkind, with them all alive and well, as one facet of the Dark One's Plan.

The Dark One's Plan involves an ritual to help control the Snarl, which happens to be the purple energy seperating the outer world from the inner world. As it is, it is deadly to touch, but the ritual will allow transportation of goblinkind from the outer planet where they're hunted for sport into the inner planet where the inhabitants originally consumed by the Snarl will welcome the goblins as equals, like Little Green Men finally showing themselves to humanity. This will allow Burlew to reference Star Trek as well, and maybe even Long Cat as the goblin's welcoming host.

Belkar's Mama Bitterleaf sent to the old folks home will turn out to be Sarini, and the sixth gate is in possession of the halflings, found before joining the Order of the Scribble.

Exposure to the Snarl made all of halfling kind sociopathic, and Sarini was shipped there due to being too kind for her own good, plus turning an entire race insane. Alternatively, she pretended to be the heart of the team and obfusicated stupidity to learn the other locations of the Snarl Rifts so halfling kind could secretly take control of the world using a variant of Redcloak's ritual. Heck, I'll even throw out there she's the final boss of the comic, because NO ONE would see that coming.

Therkla will be revived.

Be it for Speak With Dead (possibly in an epilogue, with chronicler montage), as part of some mass-Raise Dead/create zombie plan, or just to push Elan's buttons. Bonus character-emotion-wrenching points if she had been told to move something important someplace hidden while under the command of her former lord, and V disintegrating his corpse and leaving the dust to the wind means the heroes have to revive her to learn where it is.

Belkar is Lawful Good, Xykon is the real Anti Villain, and Redcloak's a Complete Monster

They don't call it Wild Mass Guessing for nothing.

  • Belkar promised... He had to, his master wouldn't tell him what the promise was until the oath had been cast, and Belkar Bitterleaf never went back on a promise... At least not until the day that Lord Brightpistil told him to act Chatic Evil to destroy the Evil MacGuffin Girl, and save the world. He blocked Miko's Detect Evil to keep from revealing his true alignment even by the virtue of his own virtue, let alone his words or actions. Xyko's from the D&D equivalent of Halloweentown, where doing murders to people isn't a bad thing, and Redcloak faked every moment of compassion he showed onscreen, only wanting to get his brother out of the way and more easilycontrol the Goblin kingdoms.

The party members fit into the framework of Player Archetypes.

Well, sort of.

The Real Man : Roy and Haley would both fit.

The Loonie : Belkar, with his homicidal tendencies.

The Roleplayer : Both Durkon and Elan, Durkon as the Thespian and Elan as the Anti-Munchkin.

Munchkin : Vaarsuvius.

  • Except that V chose a surprisingly unoptomized build. No munchkin wizard would bar themselves from Conjuraton. We know that (s)he had conjuration and necromancy as barred schools.

Xykon will be thrown into one of the Gates, and there will be an Indiana Jones reference.

We already know they're MacGuffins, so...

  • ...What? Xykon was thrown into one of the gates. And what does Indiana Jones have to do with MacGuffins specifically?

Girard Draketooth will be a Deconstruction of Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral characters.

While the exact details behind why he was sure Soon would break his oath are still not known (pretty much any theory is valid right now until we learn more), it's clear that he completely misunderstood what kind of man Soon was, and took the distrust of authority common to such characters way too far. He will be to Chaotic character types (including Chaotic Stupid) what Miko was to Lawful character types: Mainly a good guy who opposes the heroes anyway.

The IFCC engineered the Order's original confrontation with the younger black dragon.

Think about it; the Order was sent to get the starmetal by Sabine in disguise, ostensibly as a wild goose chase. But what if she actually sent them that way because she was ordered to by Director Lee? The Fiends could have known that that particular dragon's mother was quite vengeful, and so a good way to create a situation in which one of the order members required their help was to ensure that she had a reason to come after them.

  • Except going after the starmetal was Nale's idea.

The crescent moon above the Empire of Blood relates to the location of Girard's Gate as either showing its entrance or dispelling Girard's illusionary protection on the gate.

I also bet Xykon will appear soon that moonlit night after a dragged out battle between Roy's team and allies or gladiators of the Empire of Blood because conditions are right for the Gate to appear relative to the crescent moon.

The Creature In The Darkness IS an aspect of the snarl, but it is inside the shell of an animal.

The same as the WMG above, but it dispells the reasoning that calls for it to be incorrect. I do not know if the snarl has this ability, but it makes a bit of sense.

Vaarsuvius's raven is an aspect of The Gates/Pure Order

The snarl could not see its prison while it was being built, so it is reasonable to assume that it works the other way around as well. Blackwing's vision is of the world the snarl devoured, but he cannot see the snarl itself. The world would be in relative chaos, but it is not a complete aspect of the snarl and his brain filters out the chaos. Hey, until you disprove it, I stand by my claim.

== The stone holding Dorukan and Lirian ==... ...is a thus-far-unfired Chekhov's Gun. It's a stone holding the souls of two epic level mages. Now, where have we seen such souls used before?

At some point, V will decide to look into soul splicing, and will discover a way to do it with willing souls. During the final confrontation with Xykon, the stone will be broken, V will sense the souls, and team up with them to deliver an epic, well-deserved, and karmic beatdown to the lich.

Crystal is Right-Eye's daughter in disguise, which means that Haley's dagger is Right-Eye's dagger in disguise.

  • Which, if Xykon can be separated from a certain magic item, would prove very useful indeed.

Roy's sword will have a play

It may emit energy harmful to undead - and he doesn't know how to counteract it. Hence, it will emit energy at worst possible moment (setting a trap? Cease fire negotiations?) or during a final battle that appeared to be lost just when Xykon is about to kill him?

  • I interpreted that as being an enchantment, like undead-bane, that makes it more effective against The Undead.

Finale will be epic battle between Snarl and Banjo the Clown

The Monster in the Darkness is Ollie the Dragon.

From Kukla, Fran, and Ollie. Xykon found him in the arena and decided to use him for his evil plot.

  • Except we saw where Xykon found him, during Start of Darkness.

Belkar really IS Chaotic Evil...

But he does have (some) actual loyalty/ something vaugely simmilar to the Order. As Roy pointed out, he's had many oppurtunities to turn against the party but has never done so. The best example would be when he got his Mark of Justice removed but still saved Haley and Celia despite being able to go on a killing spree. He's still a horrible little bastard, however.

It turns out Haley may not be exactly what you would call...

  • Human (see above, "Haley has Celestial blood in her background").
  • A virgin (see above, same heading).
  • Straight (see above, same heading).
  • Good (see above, "Haley is, and always has been, Chaotic Neutral").
  • Single, and at some point Elan will have to fight her husband.
  • Sane.
  • Living.
  • Female.
    • Elan would have found out by now if she was transgendered.
      • Depends on how good magical transformations are, but since we've seen her as a female toddler in flashbacks, it's unlikely anyway.
  • Real.
  • A natural redhead.

All remaining Black Dragons will join Xykon

This is the best way to V's Deal with the Devil to bite him/her.

Tarquin had his nine or so wives killed for the worst possible reasons.

This ventures into Poison Oak Epileptic Trees but, Tarquin said he's gone out of his way to prevent having any more children after the way Nale turned out. So every time he learns of his current wife being pregnant, he has her die of "mysterious circumstances" all in an attempt to prevent another Nale being born. Horrible yes, but this is the same guy who has two bounty hunters sentenced to imminent death because they "threatened" him for more money.

Belkar will survive past the end of the year, BUT...

...somehow he will be teleported back into the past and die during this year.

Miko will appear in the comic again.

I'm not saying she'll return to life, but she'll make some sort of appearance. Possibilities include:

  • Another cameo of her corpse.
  • A flashback.
  • We'll see her in the afterlife.
  • Montage of important characters before the strip ends.
  • She might actually return to life. I doubt it, though.
    • The Linear Guild are gathering in a gladatorial arena. Given Vaarsuvius' suggestion here, it seems possible that Miko could return once more.

Belkar should avoid putting money into Interdimensional Rift Accounting

It's the only possible answer.

The Guy with the Halberd will never appear again.

Rich might do it out of spite.

The Monster in the Darkness can channel touch spells through Xykon.

Consider: spellcasters can channel touch spells through their familiars. Dimension Hop is a touch spell that can teleport. Granted, the spell is short ranged, but this can be circumvented with homebrewed metamagic. The Monster in the Darkness channeled dimension hop/similar spell through Xykon and saved V/O-chul.

The Grecian Gods live on inside the rift

Because theyr'e the only gods there, the world is heavily influenced by Grecian culture.

The world inside the rift is a normal modern world, with all the characters having normal counterparts

Roy would be a police officer, and his father a scientist, Durkon would be a priest, Haley would be a spy or a cat burglar, Elan would be a musician, his mother would still be a barmaid, but Tarquin and Malack would be ruthless businessman, and Nale would be criminal. Vaarsuvius would be a scientist, Belkar would be a serial killer on death row,and Xykon would be the leader of a terrorist group trying to, you guessed it, take over the worrld, M. Bison : Of course!.

Tarquin will kill Julio and cut off one of Elan's hands.

The Star Wars references in this arc kind of make one or both a necessity. With the former, I can imagine Tarquin killing Julio (perhaps for sleeping with one of his ladyfriends) and then as he dies, Julio would see Elan and tell him "I told you so". The maiming would make a lot of sense too (especially because it would work for both drama- besides the cruelty, it would temporarily impair Elan's bard abilities; as well as comedy- see Arrested Development for how a Hook Hand can be used for comedy gold). I picture Tarquin discovering how Haley freed all those slaves and thinking that Elan was in cahoots with her. Or in any case, soon enough, the two of them will have to come to blows. Tarquin will defeat Elan in combat and after declaring that he would never kill one of his children, chop.

Serini Toormuck is dead.

The incident with the Order of the Scribble occurred sixty-six years ago. Even when you consider that this comic doesn't completely follow D&D rules, she was probably in her twenties, which would put her somewhere in her eighties at this point -- it doesn't seem like halflings live that long. Furthermore, Xykon is in possession of her diary -- an object that someone with her personality would never want to let go of, so it stands to reason that Xykon might have taken it from her after her death (either he killed her personally during the eighteen year timeskip in Start of Darkness, or he took it from her corpse by chance, knowing him, it could be either one.) If this is true, the Order of the Stick is gong to be in for a nasty surprise if they end up trying to find her.

  • Except halflings do live much longer than humans... they're based on hobbits, after all.

Miko will become The Atoner in the aterlife.

She will be allowed to go to heaven for her virtue, but only if she makes peace with people like Roy and lord Shojo.

The Order will die in the final battle against Xykon and be resurrected

Theories on new Linear Guild members

Evil Durkon: An ogre cleric of Tiamat who is a teetotaler. Evil Vaarsuvius: A warlock or a cobination conjurer, necromancer.

  • Evil Vaarsuvius has been Jossed, it was Zz'dtri. Durkon has no counterpart yet (strip 811).

Current Arc Star Wars references will escalate.

Tarquin already has something planned for Elan that has to do with the Empire of Blood (and bringing order to the continent perhaps?), as in "with our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict, and bring order..." complete with ruling the empire (or continent) as father and son. Then through a series of events Tarquin will find that Redemption Equals Death as he dies in his son's arms.

Belkar will die before the end of the year- exactly 1x10^-<Insert Ridiculously Large Number> seconds before the end of the year.

Come on, you know something like this is going to happen.

The Northern, Southern, and Western gods deliberately engineered the creation of the Snarl to kill the Eastern Gods.

  • After all of the pantheons had been arguing over how to make the world for whoever knows how long, the leaders of the North, West, and Southern gods realized that it was Zeus and his kin that were causing the most problems in terms of making the world. One of the gods saw how the occasional snag in reality would develop a semblance of intelligence for a few moments, and this led to the theory that enough snags would create an actual, intelligent monster - this god then explained to the other North, South, and Western gods that this could be used to get rid of the Eastern gods, take care of whatever problems they might have caused for making of the world, and then creation could be made with much more ease. All the other Southern, North, and Western gods agreed to this, and began to purposely create snags in reality to make an intelligent Snarl. They eventually did, and the Snarl what they wanted it too, but it was done a little too well

Belkar has a crush on Vaarsuvius, and this is the reason why he wants to know V's gender so badly.

He doesn't seem to be bisexual, so if V is male he will lose his interest in him, but if V is female he will make a move on her. When he kissed V, he couldn't control his feelings so well, as he was drunk.

  • Possibly confirmed; the cast page of "Don't Split The Party" claims that Belkar wants to "shtup" V.

Vaarsuvius is female and that Ambiguous Gender thing is because of Belkar

Her ateps to make Belkar feel hate insted lust to her proof this, She could always tell him true if she was male.

  • V presents a theory that Belkar can only feel hatred or lust for anyone. There's no third option of him simply losing interest because of finding out someone was male.
    • Belkar hate every male character, or V think that Belkar hates every male.
      • V only thinks that Belkar hates every male; it has been shown that he doesn't hate Lord Shojo or Mr. Scruffy, or himself.

General Tarquin was originally Good but fell victim to a Helm of Opposite Alignment

This would explain why he keeps doing everything in such an evil way. It makes no sense. Even the food he serves is evil. Whatever he does, he has to go out of his way to do it as evilly as possible, even though he's not really malicious of attitude. So maybe he's doing it because he's magically compelled to be Evil.

Elan will overthrow Tarquin from the shadows

Tarquin makes a big deal about how dramatic, widely told stories of good overthrowing the evil empire lets the bad guys win. Elan will brood over how it goes against his bardic philosophy, but ultimately decide to go against narrative convention and arrange for a more realistic and less personal and theatrical destruction of Tarquin's empire, possibly by arranging for a Paladin crusade and making sure his name is left off.

Tarquin gets devoured by the Snarl

Maybe Elan pushes him in, maybe not. But it eradicates him as thoroughly as the Gods of the East. Famed in Story? Forget it. He won't be a footnote.

I have no particular reason for believing this except that it would be perfect karmic justice. An alternative method of destroying the memory of him works just as well.

  • Except getting killed by the Snarl doesn't destroy the memory of someone. Soon still remembered his wife, for instance.
    • Doesn't always. It's not necessary that it happen all the time -- just to Tarquin.
    • Not "doesn't always," but doesn't at all. There's not one person in the comic killed by the Snarl whose memory was "destroyed." Not even the Eastern Gods.

Elan's "happy ending" doesn't refer to the end of the comic.

Rather, it refers to the "end" of the current father-son conflict. I don't think I can put it any better than Tarquin:

  • "The end of what, son? The story? There is no end, there's just a point at which the storytellers stop talking."
  • "If I win, I get to be a king. If I lose, I get to be a legend. I'll inspire a thousand more leaders to follow in my footsteps. And it'll all be thanks to you, my boy."
    • He's Genre Savvy enough to know that only his heroic son can defeat him; he should also be savvy enough to know that he won't be able to kill him. He'll probably have to fake his death in a No One Could Survive That scene, which again may be part of his gambit.
      • Yeah, or he is Wrong Genre Savvy and he ends killed by Nale, so he doesn't get to be niether a king nor a legend, as he wasn't killed by a hero.
  • Considering Elan's love for the dramatic I always thought his happy ending would be death by Heroic Sacrifice. Because, really, what would Elan want more than to die epically in some amazing sacrifice.
    • That's not a happy ending. A happy ending, for an idealist like Elan, would be living happily ever after.


Tarquin will be made immortal.

And then he will be sent to a plane of eternal torment.

Durkon's entry papers just expired. This will have some effect on the plot.

For reference, he got his entry papers in strip 732, and they were issued for 30 strips. This means they expired here. My guess? Elan realized this somehow, and this is why he ran off at the end of 763. His father is going to be remembered as an awesome villain, when as an Evil Dictator he deserves no such thing? Who cares about that, Durkon might get arrested, and if that happens, they're screwed!

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.

  • He has been described as "he", but that doesn't preclude him being FTM Transsexual. Which would kind of be awesome, actually. IMO there are both too few FTM characters in popular fiction, and not enough trans characters for whom their gender identity isn't the main focus of their characterisation.

Tarquin and Julio Scoundrel have fought before, and will fight again by the end of the current arc.

Tarquin has referenced fighting in Pun-Duels before, and both make near constant Shout Outs to Star Wars. Their Allignments also clash(Lawful Evil and Chaotic Good, respectively), giving them plenty of reasons to be rivals. And both are fairly famous.(Tarquin took over half the western continent, Julio was named Sexiest Man Alive.) Plus, I don't believe anyone would pass up this kind of opportunity for a Brick Joke.

  • Don't forget that Elan's mom has a bunch of pictures of Julio. Could be magazine clippings, but what if they met and he posed for her.

The Oracle is the equivalent of a GM

It would explain why he knows everything, tries to make life easier for the PCs, punishes a PC for going too far, and can essentially cheat death.

Xykon and Redcloak will succeed in finishing the ritual...

Only to fail in their ultimate goal becaus the snarl no longer exists.As evidenced here. Redcloak will also reveal the ritual's true purpose moments after it is complete, leading Xykon to kill him out of frustration and boredom.

Belkar suffers from ADHD, as well as psychopathy.

That would explain his impulsiveness, quick temper and unpredictability. He's boisterous and loud, and would rather live for the moment and do, rather than contemplate decisions. Belkar also isn't good with authority; people with ADHD often have run-ins with teachers and the police. And he has a low Wisdom score.

Tarquin has read the Evil Overlord List.

This would explain this.

Belkar will be an undead and is not long for this world.

Belkar manages to somehow become an undead. But ends up getting thrown into the rift. And misses the other world. Making him stuck eternally in the void of space, without the means to deal himself damage. Definitely should savor his next birthday cake and shouldn't bother funding IRA.

Belkar WILL survive past the end of the year, BUT...

...since he's holding his breath or otherwise unable to breathe before the clock strikes midnight, he'll die shortly afterwards thus rendering the whole "surviving past the end of the year" thing kinda moot, but will fit his determinator side to his personality perfectly.

Vaarsuvius and the rest of the elves are a genderless species.

Just look at it's partner and children, the latter were adopted but still, we don't know if they are males or females. Thus, we can assume that Elves in the Order of the Stick universe are a species of Ambiguous Gender like the Asari in Mass Effect. So, it's appropriate to refer V as an "It" instead of "Him" or "Her."

  • What about Pompey?
    • He might have 'inherited' a gender from his human parent.

The reason why Vaarsuvius is referred to as V instead of an "it".

If the above theory is correct, and then it's because calling an elf an "It" is like calling a black guy an N-word in the Order of the Stick universe. Or at least because It Is Dehumanizing.

Ian's theory in strip 771 is correct

Elan is the greatest master of obfuscating stupidity of all time.

  • There's nothing obfuscating about his stupidity.
  • Given Elan's horrified reaction to realizing that his father is evil, with no audience except the readers, for this theory to work Elan would have to be a sleeper agent, unaware of the fact that he's been helping his father's evil plans all along.

Girard was unconscious during the final battle with the Snarl

He didn't see first hand what happened, only heard about it from Dorukan (who also had a grudge against Soon) and based on the descriptions provided by Dorukon came to the conclusion that Soon did something like shove Kraagor into the rift to save his own skin.

  • But Dorukan wasn't the only witness to the final battle. Lirian was there too, and Girard knew that because both of them were required to seal the rift. It's more likely that Girard's (by all appearances) somewhat chaotic nature clashed with Soon's Lawful Good alignment.

Vaarsuvius is another AU version of Tedd from El Goonish Shive

It makes so much sense!

We're going to run into a zealously over-paranoid Neutral Good character

We've got Miko for overly deluded Lawful Good, we've got Ian for overly paranoid Chaotic Good, so all we need is an overly paranoid Neutral Good to round out the circle.

    • While I think she's canonically Lawful Good, it's easy to read Celia as Neutral Good, and she'd be a pretty much fit this- good to the point of Stupid Good, and if not paranoid, then somewhat overzealous.
    • Does Girard Draketooth count? He seems a bit Chaotic, but he is incredibly paranoid, doesn't trust Soon as far as he can throw him, and he's been hiding in the desert since he started guarding his gate. Plus, we've never been given his explicit alignment.

Belkar is going to turn into an Eldritch Abomination

Or something else that doesn't need to breathe to survive.

Banjo will be Elan's Ace in the Hole

Early on, Banjo was revealed to have the power to use lightning but it was very weak because of lack of worshippers. Now, there are all these orcs who worship Banjo and most likely gave him a boost of power. For all we know, Elan had spread the word of Banjo during the months he had been separated from Haley.

  • The only problem is that the orcs worship GIGGLES the clown, god of slapstick. Otherwise the theory is sound.
    • It might work to strengthen the pantheon itself, and thus indirectly strengthen Banjo.

The Monster in the Darkness is a Polymorphed Wizard.

He lost his memory due to... let's say a head injury, but managed to retain his spellcasting abilities. Hence the "Stomping"(Earthquake spell), the mystery teleportation, and the fact that whatever creature he is isn't commonly found in the jungle or able to speak common.

  • Question is, what did he Polymorph into

Tarquin and Julio once adventured in the same party.

There's nothing to contradict it: All we know is that they're both past adventurers of at least moderate success who appear to be roughly the same age and - one could assume - character level. It's entirely possible that, before Tarquin's empire-building and around the time of Julio's first Sexiest Man Alive award, the two roamed the world in adventurer style, slaying monsters and gaining EXP in manners appropriate to their alignments. Which, yes, are diametrically opposed, but there have been cross-alignment parties before; or maybe the years had one or both undergo an alignment shift? As to what broke up the group, and who the other members were/are... But hey, Anakin and Obi Wan were comrades before that whole 'Sith' thing. It would also explain Tarquin's experience with Pun-Duels, a feature of an apparently-rare character class; either he fought Julio (friendly sparring or otherwise) or was there when Julio wrested the secrets of the Dashing Swordsman from its previous holder.

Uncle Geoff is a traitor

Working for that Bozzok guy... somehow, for some reason. That's why he reacts like this. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0779.html And Ian is just asking for it with that ridiculous "you can always trust family either way" philosophy of his.

    • Geoff's apprehensive (almost fearful) "did he... send you?" rather unambiguously implies Bozzok might have sent Belkar to assassinate both of them for leaving the Guild.
      • Conceded. I didn't remember what their exact previous relationship with him was.

The Order of the Stick takes place in the Forgotten Realms multiverse

But obviously not on Abeir-Toril. In Fourth Edition, the Blood War is ended. This is a result of the IFCC's machinations as outlined here.

Durkon's parents were/are hippies.

So, every other Order member whose parents have been shown in the comic has a problematic relationship with them. In Durkon's case, it could mean that similarly with Ned Flanders on the The Simpsons, his parents were ultra-laid back, and as a result, he overcompensated and became ultra-lawful and straitlaced.

Tarquin will be killed offhandedly by someone besides Elan.

If he dies in a dramtic fasion he will get what he wants: to be the Big Bad of his son's Story Arc. The only way for him to lose if he becomes a mere foot note. V could disintegrate him, or Xykon could show up after the heroes leave (since he will be searching for that gate soon) and kill him out of boredom.

    • Or he'll be killed fighting Roy (since he joined up with Elan partially with the intention of fighting him) after finding out that this is ROY's story (not Elan's as he believes), which means not only does he not die in a big grand dramatic final battle, but he'll be remembered as a mook of Nale's at best.

Belkar has longer to live than Roy thinks

Yes, he'll die before the end of the year-but which year? We've already seen at least two calenders with different new years(northern and southern), who's to say the oracle wasn't using a kobald calender? I think Roy will do some things that he wouldn't do if he didn't know belkar was going to die very soon, and it will bite him in the ass when belkar doesn't die as soon as he thought.

  • It could also be 'one year from this point' meaning that Belkar will die within a year since the Oracle made that prophecy.

Belkar will die, and someone exactly like him will appear to fight alongside the party.

Think about it. All of the other D&D rules seem in effect. If Belkar does die, and then something prevents him from being raised(Soul bind, for instance) what's to stop him from rerolling a new PC? As an added bonus, this allows Belkar to avenge his own death.

  • And it's nothing new, since Celia served essentially the same role While Roy was missing.

The three demons will cash in on V's debt at the worst time possible.

Vaarsuvius did the soul splice, but her debt hasn't been paid yet to the demons she bargained with; they still have a contract and they haven't yet made good of it. I predict that V will have her soul be controlled at the worst possible time; the final confrontation with Xykon. V will preparing to deliver the final blow when her soul will be seized and the group will have to deal with her in addition Xykon and the gang.

Elves are hermaphrodites

Self explanatory

  • Already mentioned above

Belkar is coasting towards Chaotic Neutral

Again, self explanatory

The prophecy about Belkar means that the comic will end

Belkar (and the rest of the cast, but nobody asked the Oracle about them) will draw his last breath, never eat another birthday cake, etc., because the comic will reach a full and satisfactory ending before the end of the year, and there will be no more comics about them. (Bar perhaps further prequels.)

Tarquin will suffer the most horrific defeat...dying as a hero.

It may be against Xykon or the Snarl, but Tarquin will face them to protect Elan or his own hide. He'll lose, but he'll have done enough damage/inspired the masses to defeat them. The last thing he'll hear is his son saying how proud he is of his father, and how everyone will know his story as a person willing to sacrifice wealth, power, and everything in the name of the greater good.

Belkar will become a Lich.

In order to counter Xykon's own immortality, either the Order or just Belkar will proceed to turn the evil hobbit into an equally immortal Lich. Belkar's certainly evil enough to perform the Ritual, whatever it entails, and would love the idea of becoming invincible. By the end of the year, Xykon's worst nightmare (and possibly that of everyone else) will be realized.

  • Don't you need to be a spellcaster to become a lich? You have to craft your own phylactery.
    • Belkar is a spellcaster. Rangers are spellcasters. He just doesn't have enough wisdom to cast anything.
      • Becoming a lich requires casting sixth-level spells. The ranger spell list ends at level four.

Varsuuvus is an innovator

"He" is an androginous, purple-haired non-human.

Belkar will die exactly as he unwittingly predicted.

See the second panel of this strip. Not only will it be a huge Funny Aneurysm Moment, he will die after a lot of character development to the point where only the readers and probably Mr. Scruffy will know that he had improved from being full-on Chaotic Evil to something more redeemable. Only time will tell if this becomes true.

The MitD will destroy Xykon.

At some point in the future, Redcloak will seek to finally rid himself of Xykon, and they'll clash. The Monster, thanks to Xykon's curse he put upon the monster in Start of Darkness, will be horribly conflicted, and decide to Take a Third Option and just blindly leap into battle. His immense weight will smash Xykon into dust, and might even give the lich's soul a few bruises.

The Order of the Stick will be heading to Durkon's homeland at some point...

...only to find it completely destroyed by Xykon.

 Durkon: How will I finally be returnin' ta me beloved dwarven homelands?

Oracle: Posthumously.

The Oracle never states it would be after Durkon dies; he meant it would be after all the other dwarves die. This is also the meaning of the dwarven prophecy that states the Durkon will destroy his homeland should he return.

  • The word "posthumously," unfortunately, does unambiguously mean that Durkon will be dead when he returns. If he had asked, "How will my homeland greet my return?" and the answer was "Posthumously," that would mean his homeland would be dead when he returned.

The Snarl is not really evil, and in fact has never killed anyone

The reason its victims are supposedly Deader Than Dead is because it doesn't kill them, merely teleports them to the planet inside its rift. It's not an Omnicidal Maniac, merely someone who wants a lot of people in its world. Its planet is a Utopia, hence why nobody has left. Team Evil will find all this out the hard way

Whatever V's gender, if ve has one, ve's gay.

Explains the adopted kids, and the background during the Darth V transformation was a very unsubtle pink triangle.

Belkar dies to be with Mr. Scruffy

Then learns as a Neutral Hungry cat, he is in a seperate afterlife from a Chaotic Evil Sexy Shoeless God of War.

Tarquin will be defeated, and Elan will make sure nobody knows what he was up to behind the scenes

Tarquin's whole gambit for becoming famous even after death revolves around him getting the credit for ruling all these kingdoms, even in the midst of all the political upheaval. However, the average person on the street wouldn't know that Tarquin was the real ruler each time and would just assume that the empires were being ruled by their respective rulers. When Elan finally gets around to defeating Tarquin, he's going to make sure that he knows that this story is going to stay untold. That way, he will rob him of the satisfaction of becoming legendary upon defeat.

Tarquin's allies won't be able to spread the truth either because nobody will believe them, or the Order will get them too.

Belkar has the gods on his side, therefore the year will not end until he finishes his task.

The gods are in control, so they just extend the "year" to until the final battle is over, as he is the second most likely person to destroy Xykon, or the year is the time period in which Xykon and his minions are still alive. Here's the reasons why he's the second most likely:

  • V isn't stupid, she realizes how powerful Xykon is, and unless she uses those crazy powers she used to save her family , she does not stand a chance against Xykon. I'm not saying Belkar is more powerful than V, it's just that he's more likely to have a leeroy jenkins moment in which he manages to get lucky.
  • Elan is just too hapless to be able to stand a chance.
  • Haley will probably be too occupied with Elan's blunders to get a chance.
  • If Durkon fought with Xykon, it would contradict the Oracle stating he'd go back to his homeland, because Xykon will probably have Redcloak revive him as a zombie

Oracle lied

Belkar won't die. Oracle just manipulates Roy to think othertwise for some reason.

Tarquin will be killed by Xykon

There is one hole in Tarquin Dangerously Genre Savvy worldview "If I will I get to be the king, if I die I will become the legend he explained to Elan - if he will be killed by even bigger villain, after being at the reciving end of Eviler Than Thou speech and said villain will then unleash such terror that everything he did will pale in comparision, he won't become legend. He will be doomed to be remembered as just one of minor characters in much more epic story of greater Big Bad. He cannot even hope to get his sons to have classic "avenging dead parent" subplot, because Nale hates him and Elan knows very well now how evil bastard his dad is. Can you imagine worst ending for somebody who loves the epic story structure so much? And who is better to do that to him than Xykon?

  • In fact, Tarquin might get set up for this to happen. We now know that he will be following the Order of the Stick along with the Linear Guild, and is looking for the opportunity to fight Roy. Tarquin is at least a level above him, probably more, very intelligent, and extremely genre savvy, and so is quite possibly more than a match for Roy. Roy will have to think of a way to trick Tarquin into screwing up. Tarquin isn't cocky enough to lose like Xykon, and certainly not stupid and careless enough to lose like Thog, so he would have to trick him into doing something that Tarquin isn't aware would be a bad idea, like being in Xykon's way. Considering this, Roy may just stall for time, and, when he loses, bait Tarquin into gloating, just as Xykon or Redcloak walk in. They counter his plan exposition with an Eviler Than Thou speech or Motive Rant respectively, during which Roy hopefully gets away, before Xykon/Redcloak unceremoniously mops the floor with Tarquin, instantly reducing him to a B-list villain in someone else's narrative.

Trigak the Chimera will return as a recurring villain.

As Hayley pointed out, Trigak was in the middle of escaping and swearing to come back and get the Order when they least expect it. All Trigak needs is some Offscreen Villain Dark Matter and a plausible reason to bring Trigak back and *BAM*! Resurrection.

    • I will note that everything I know about D&D comes from this comic, so I don't know if monsters can be raised or not.

Tarquin and Redcloak will share Not So Different moment

No reason, but it would be cool.

  • Perhaps the Empire of Blood was one of the nations that officially recognized Gobbotopia, something that they can bond over. And when Redcloak and Xykon inevitably turn on each other, Redcloak can team up with Tarquin, possibly in a Big Bad Duumvirate.

The IFCC identities

Judging on their colors and the colors of the summoned wizards (and knowing there's one for each evil alignement), it's highly probable that:

I'm aware that there's at least one strip that hints that Lee is actually the Yellow one, but it could be a mistake, since the Yellow Sorcerer looked more Chaotic Evil than else ("Tear down creation just to see if you can" sounds a lot chaotic) while Ganonron (orange guy) was more likely to be Lawful Evil (Or at least, using epic teleports and armies to conquer nations seems quite lawful-ish to me). This is my theory, I'd be glad to hear other possibilities.

The Linear Guild will be destroyed

As soon as The Order will eventually stop to focus on nemesis-on nemesis fights and get more pragmatic (eg: V using magic to blast Thog, Durkon using his holy powers to vanquish Sabine and so on).

Monster in the Darkness, possible 8-bit image.

I wish I could remember where I read it, but I remember hearing that Rich himself stated that the go board in strip 651 was more than a symbolic image of MitD, but included a reference to his physical appearance. The slightly off-set go pieces, the tilt, I always had trouble looking at it until today. It hit me to convert the board into an 8-bit image. This is what you get :Linky!. The top row is as the go-board is with yellow eyes added for clarification's sake (explained below). The bottom row is inverting the colors just for a different perspective.

Keep in mind that this is a black and white image of a creature that could be easily purple and green so some imagination still is needed. Also, there are two ways of looking at this. First, the holes in the darkness are MitD's eyes left blank. This would turn the entire go board into the MitD's full body or upper body. The second possibility when you note the consistent use of perspective is the eye sockets are encased in white. This means that the Go-board, if my memory about what it is supposed to be is right, is only of the MitD's head.

I don't play, nor have I, D&D so I don't know what monsters or creatures are considered canon. Rich did state it was a guessable creature that existed in 2004 and earlier. I hope this can help someone more knowledgeable than I am in this quest to guess MitD.

  • Good work there. I think the face is the rectangle with the eyes, down left part the right arm, down right part the belly, and between the belly and the face is the chest, composed of two parts. The rest is background. However I don't know what kind of creature it might be, I know D&D stuff enough to get the comic's jokes but not enough to make a good guess. Still I might add some info: the creature, whatever it is, must have arms in order to push Miko while playing "who can hit the slightless" and also to carry the umbrella, which adds the fact of it having prensile fingers (more proof: it can hold Go pieces and Monopoly money). Going from there it can be presumed to be humanoid, the umbrella can cover the MitD with no problem, and it seems bipedal.
    • As an 8-bit spriter, I can say that the full body sprites bear more then a passing resemblance to Classic Megaman's jump sprite. I wouldn't be surprised if that's a hint as to it's physical form.

Redcloak will end up giving up on the Plan.

Back in Start of Darkness we learn Right-eye's daughter is still alive, and we can see too that Xykon charms the MitD so it will eat Redcloak the moment he betrays Xykon. Probably when the comic nears its end Redcloak will find his niece, safe and sound and maybe even living peacefully with a human family (Right-eye was worried about her living with humans), and will realize that his brother was right, even more if Xykon kills them all, or only her if she's alone.

There's also the possibility of Redcloak's niece making Redcloak have a Villainous BSOD when she blames him for the death of her father when he encounters her. Either way this will also be the time when we'll get to see what the Monster in the Darkness is, as it will try to eat Redcloak for disobeying Xykon. Bonus points if O'Chul's words make the MitD fight the charm in order to be what he wants to be and helps Redcloak survive and then both of them fight Xykon together, maybe even with help from the Order in a last battle against the undead sorcerer.

  • Tsukiko's discovery regarding the critical spell it's conjuration, so it most likely unleashes the Snarl, if true, effectively kills the plan on the spot, as Xykon (and just about anyone else who could work) doesn't want to destroy the world. It also means that the Dark One lied about the Plan and was actually cutting directly to plan B (i.e. unmake reality and help rebuild it with his terms.) Considering his successes so far, including forming a stable, fully functional and internationally recognized goblin civilization, Redcloak might be rather displeased about this. Combined with something to knock him out of his comfort zone, like meeting Right-Eye's daughter, and Redcloak could very well walk out of the whole thing.
    • Except Tsukiko got the context of the spell wrong, and Redcloak not only knew about it all along (Hell, he's been actively lying to Xykon about it), but it doesn't affect his own efforts for goblin equality at all, so this isn't going to knock him out of his comfort zone. Given recent revelations, it's entirely possible that even if/when Right-Eye's daughter does show up, it won't be enough to convince Redcloak to abandon the Plan.

Because otherwise I can't see why Richard would put those Chekhov's Guns in the first place. Anyone wants to debate?

  • Xykon's charm command could just be him being Genre Savvy. Right-Eye's daughter, on the other hand, is an obvious Chekhov's Gun.

Miko had schizophrenia and some other mental illnesses.

There were some episodes where she was meditating all by herself and asking the gods for guidance. Those scenes never actually show someone or something giving her said guidance. They do show her getting it after a pause. This seems to hint that she hears at least one voice in her head. While it does not excuse her actions, it does help to understand why she went and did them.

  • Paladins are immune to any and all illnesses and diseases.

Elan, Nale, Tarquin, and Elan's mother all have British accents.

Elan would have one because I've heard a LOT of people saying that they think British accents are adorable. You can picture it, right?

Nale and Tarquin... well, it'd RULE if they were Evil Brits. You can imagine them detailing their plans in suave, refined, RP accents.

The mother needs one so that Elan could get his from somewhere. He uses American/Northern slang, but he has a British accent because he's copying his beloved mumsie!

Belkar will confess his feelings to Vaarsuvius just before he dies.

According to the relationship chart in Don't Split the Party (and occasional hints in the story), Belkar wants to sleep with Vaarsuvius, for one reason or another. The more he expands into "pretend" character development, the more support he's going to show V until one day he realizes that, even if it's not really anything like love (which he only really has for his cat), V is still somehow important to him. This will inspire him to pretend to make a heartfelt declaration of feeling in order to get V into his bed. It won't work, and then he'll die, leaving V to wonder.

Zz'dtri is male.

He's supposedly ambiguous like other elves, but then you realize that the Drow female stereotype is that they look like big-breasted sexpots. By process of elimination, Zz'dtri is a male.

Nale and Elan's names are anagrams of their mother's first name

We haven't met her yet, but she could be named Lena, Nela, Elna, or Lean (pronounced Leanne, although that one's unlikely with a character named Lien in the strip already). We might even meet some male relatives named Alen or Neal!

  • Lampshaded!

Tarquin and Julio are twins (or at least brothers)

Like Elan and Nale. Well, neither of their parents were mentioned, they seem around the same age and they are both supposed to be good-looking? And Tarquin is familiar with pun-dueling, although it seems to be rather rare.

The story of The Snarl as we know it is wrong

OK, I know there are alot of more specific versions of this theory up above. All the more specific theories are equally likely, but I think we should get the evidence for this basic premise on this page somewhere.

The main reason I think that the story is wrong is the fact that there is a "planet inside the planet" and the fact that this revelation, along with the line "perhaps we do not know everything we ought to regarding the task we are undertaking," ends a book. Note that all other books have significant forshadowing as their endings, too.

There are several ways that the story of the snarl could be wrong. We only know about the Snarl from two seperate stories (told by Redcloak as revealed to him by The Dark One and told by Lord Shojo as revealed to him by Soon). Both The Dark One and (maybe) Soon got the story of the Snarl's creation from the Gods. This means that one of the following could be true:

A) The gods lied. It was already explicitly stated that they tried to hide the Snarl's existence from the world, so what if 'the Snarl' is just another way to hide the real truth? See 1st panel of [3]

B) The Dark One/Soon lied. They could have learned the real truth and been so horrified that they told an incomplete or inaccurate version to their followers. In The Dark One's case, this could be part of an evil plan that he thought his high priest wouldn't like, and in Soon's case it could be part of some promise he made with the other members of his party to not tell the truth (and who knows, maybe the Dark One told the Order of the Scribble this version of the story, and they believed it). We already know that Soon and the others promised to not tell people about the gate, which seems to contradict that Lord Shojo knows the story.

C) Soon and the Order of the Scribble just guessed at the origin of the Snarl. The gods decided not to tell anyone (The Dark One, being a god, may have been an exception), so The Order of the Scribble must have figured out the story on their own, and they could have jumped to some incorrect conclusions. Note that in Start of Darkness, the origin of the Snarl is never discussed, just some vague lines about "you don't want to mess with it" and "we all now know what happens should we ever come to direct conflict." This could mean that, though The Dark One was told the origin of the Snarl, he never told his followers for the same reason the gods didn't.

The comic will end with a Heroic Sacrifice Total Party Kill

In order to finally save the world from whoever or whatever the real main threat is going to be, the entire Order of the Stick will willfully sacrifice themselves. It will happen on New Year's Eve, thus fulfilling the prophecy that Belkar will die before the end of the year. It will happen in such a spectacular way that their bodies are all obliterated except Durkon's, which Hinjo will find and respectfully return to his family, thus fulfilling Durkon's prophecy. Julio Scoundrél will also be dead by this point (after retruning and dying in Elan's arms) and Elan will therefore get to spend eternity in the Chaotic Good afterlife, living it up with his girlfriend and mentor, thus fulfilling Elan's 'Happy Ending'. Plus whoever's in charge of the afterlife will, being Chaotic Good, find a way to bend the rules and let Elan and Roy visit each other occasionally, as a nod to Oh Buddy Roy.

Belkar die in a Heroic Sacrifice to save Mister Scruffy

It is already known that Belkar is going to die at some point, and unless he is simply killed in battle by a powerful monster or enemy, it's possible that he'll indeed experience true Character Development, and make a Heroic Sacrifice, but for the only being he truly seems to show affection for: Mister Scruffy, Shojo's cat. A possible foreshadowing is here http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0781.html.

  • "You and me to the end, remember?"

As Shojo intended, Belkar is Becoming the Mask

As a textbook example, because of his fake character growth, Belkar feels able to act out of sympathy and kindness from time to time because he's "just keeping up the act" and over time, as seen in strip 807, he is getting to realise that Good Feels Good and he can assuage his anger by being gentle as easily as by ripping someone's head off etc. etc. It's only a matter of time before Belkar actually stops and makes informed decisions on whether responding to a situation with violence or kindness would feel better, at which point he shifts over to Neutral.

The Monster in the Darkness will have a Heel Face Turn and destroy Xykon's Phylacetery

In strip #147, Redcloak doesn't let the Monster hold Xykon's phylacetery because he says the Monster'll break it. The Monster's friendship with O-Chul starts the turn, and in the end the Monster will reveal themself -- to help destroy Xykon.

Malack is Tarquin's Token Good Teammate

He 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.

  • Malack casts Harm and Inflict Critical Wounds in one comic, something only Evil Clerics get, if I'm not mistaken. That doesn't mean he can't be a nice dude though, he's very pleasant for an evil mastermind with a large role in the oppression of an entire continent.
    • Good clerics can cast Inflict spells but they'd have to prepare them in advance, unlike evil clerics who can spontaneously cast them. However, quickened spells can't be spontaneously cast without some serious feat preparation and Harm needs to be prepared either way. However, I'm part of the "Malack is neutral" camp myself.
    • Neutral clerics can choose whether they get the good or evil bonuses, so he could still be neutral as he implied.

V will make a Heroic Sacrifice, in turn wiping out a good amount of Xykon's forces, with two simple words...

"Locate City."

Haley's Uncle Geoff is working with Tarquin

I know, fairly obvious that he's the one responsible for Ian getting recaptured. But it runs on a deeper level. Compare Geoff to Miron (the guy with the bandanna on his face) in this strip. Notice the baggy eyes?

  • That could also explain why Geoff and Ian know about who really controls the politic situation and why a ransom note was sent to Haley when the empire is so far from Greysky City, since Ian didn't want Haley to get involved. However there's still the thing of Miron supposedly being with the Weeping King...

Elan and Nale have a true neutral brother

It's been mentioned in two strips, and The Order of the Stick has a habit of bringing back one time jokes 500 chapters later.

  • Probably a lampshade and nothing else. On their mother's side it's impossible, or Elan would know. On their father's side it's pretty difficult, Tarquin says he took care not to have more children seeing how Nale developed. Also it would be pushing the joke too far.

Vaarsuvius is male

The Giant had a gender intended, but decided to go for the joke when no one could figure it out. Note Belkar's reaction in the 6th panel of this strip. He or Roy wouln't respond that way if Vaarsuvius was female. It's possible both think Vaarsuvius is male without being sure, but this is an early strip, perhaps before the Giant decided to keep Vaarsuvius' gender a mystery.

  • That doesn't prove a thing. Belkar's response more likely is "I always suspected V was a woman" since V's gender is still ambiguous.
  • "V-Man is casting Identify."
  • Even if Rich originally intended V to be male (which seems likely, otherwise he'd draw V with visible breasts like Haley), that original author intent is not relevant anymore in the light of the current author intent, as well as V being well and truly established as ambiguously gendered in-universe.

The planet within the planet is an accidental, and inevitable, creation of the Snarl

The Snarl is literally an incredibly potent bundle of divine energy (energy SPECIFICALLY USED TO BUILD A WORLD, no less) driven by pure chaos. From this, we can assume that the energy that composes it, having been rubbing against itself in an infinite number of ways for an undisclosed amount of time, eventually led to the creation of another set of Gods, who eventually made their own world. As for why the Snarl didn't destroy them: being that they (and everything else in the rift, due to it being a completely empty void except for the Snarl) are literally made of the Snarl, and so it can't distinguish them, or their planet from itself.

  • Alternatively, the planet was created directly by the Snarl's chaotic and divine energies, with no God's in the middle of the process. This could potentially be foreshadowed by Roy musing on a world where people don't worship Gods in strip 669.
    • Hell, keeping in line with the whole 'the Snarl is a metaphor for dissent ruining a gaming group' thing, the planet in the planet could represent that sometimes bad situations lead to good ideas (which is to say, the dissent between the members of this 'gaming group' eventually lead to a second group creating a second world in a second session).

Haley is Orrin Draketooth's missing daughter

Seriously. 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!

  • Additionally, Elan will be ecstatic about the whole thing, being the trope-loving man that he is, and someone will compare their meeting to that of Elan and Tarquin's.
  • Word of God has already jossed this in the discussion thread for that strip. Also, Orrin's daughter would only be 15, Haley is in her mid 20s.

Girard Draketooth is a pseudonym

Why would a paranoid illusionist be using his real name after all?

It was the IFCC, not the Monster in the Darkness, that saved V and O-Chul from Xykon

If 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.)

  • Except Word of God says in "Don't split the party" that it was the MitD who made V and O'Chul escape thanks to "powers he didn't know he had". So Jossed.

Durkon will return home alive

He asked how he would "finally" be returning home. As in, the final time. So it seems likely that he will return home at least once before he dies, bringing death and destruction with him (this jives more with Law of Conservation of Detail), leave, then return again when he dies to be buried in what remains of his caves.

    • Thank you. I knew I couldn't be the only person who noticed that. Only two things were revealed by Durkon's fortune: 1) He will die outside the dwarven lands, because he could not otherwise return posthumously at all. 2) He will be returned to his homelands following that death. He can return as many times as he wants until that last fateful exit and gruesome return.

Three Fiends will try to off Tarquin

Tarquin has recently joined forces with Nale and Linear Guild as as we all know Fiends use the Guild as their unwilling pawns. Having somebody as Dangerously Genre Savvy as Tarquin messing in their plans would be a diseaster, so Fiends will try to get rid of him.

Elan and Nale don't have another twin brother they don't know about.

They have twin sister they don't know about.

Tarquin will betray Nale

Somebody so Dangerously Genre Savvy and in love with story structure should know that when there is Villain Team-Up there is going to be betrayal and that his partner is prone to Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. It's only logical he will betray him first.

  • Probably after they find the Gate. "Malack, our business has concluded."
  • This betrayal is so inevitable it barely counts as a Wild Mass Guess.

The Final Battle will end up being a massive Melee a Trois

For some reason, Giriad's Gate will be destroyed, leaving only the last one. The Order and their allies will race to find and defend it, while Team Evil, the Empire of Blood, and the Linear Guild all pursuing. When they all arrive, they all start fighting each other for control of the Gate in a free-for-all, possibly with an Enemy Civil War breaking out for Team Evil (depending on whether or not Redcloak's had enough of Xykon's bullshit). And then, just when things seem to be reaching a climax, the IFCC will show up with their own forces, revealing that they intended for this battle to happen, in order to weaken all possible opposition/competition, before attacking everyone (and possibly taking control of V as per their deal, using him/her against the Order).

The MitD is an angel

Not the [good] outsider, but the real deal

  • Hunter's reaction is a bit of a weak link, given most of them do speak, though doing it in "common" would be a surprise.
  • Would explain the audience at the circus's reaction (A big step under a Seraph's "cause people to burst into flames and die", but still warranted with some descriptions in the book)
  • God sends them to destroy cities, so they should be quite strong
  • Depending on the writer, they do reproduce, so the dad comment works
  • Would explain the MitD's naive but overall good nature.
  • Redcloak knows what it is. Given he has alreddy made use of the real deal of something in place of fantasy versions (elementals) once. Also would be covered under a know skill that is a class skill for clerics.
  • Easily fits into public domain.

Xykon will be set up as the Disc One Final Boss to the IFCC, but will hijack the plot at the climax.

At some point, Xykon and his phylactery will seemingly be destroyed, allowing the Fiends to take over as main Big Bads. Then, during the Final Battle, it will turn out that the phylactery was a decoy Xykon created after getting his real one back, which was then hidden away somewhere. He'll then regenerate in secret, then make a grand entrance during the climax, leading his forces against the weakened forces of both the Order/their allies and the IFCC, in the process proving himself worse than the Directors could hope to be.

  • Not sure if this is entirely relevant, but as of right now, there is in fact a false phlyactery.

Right-Eye's spirit will appear at some point

Perhaps near the climax of the story, he'll start haunting Redcloak, playing the part of his conscience, trying to talk him into a Heel Face Turn. Then Tsukiko will find out and inform Xykon, who'll capture and torment Right-Eye's spirit, which will cause Redcloak to snap -- even if it's not a full HFT, it'll at least be an Enemy Civil War.

  • Alternately, Right-Eye, believing his brother beyond redemption, will instead become a Spirit Advisor to the Order, in the hope that they can stop the Plan.

Belkar's death will be a Dying Moment of Awesome

Regardless of the situation, we know that this has to happen -- after all, you either have the Sexy Shoeless God of War go out with a bang, or you don't kill him off at all.

Either Haley's Uncle Geoff or Aunt Ivy is related to Girard somehow.

Thog will team up with Team Evil.

Tarquin's forced the Guild to abandon him, right? So, he'll probably escape from the Empire of Blood, wander around a bit, and then run into Team Evil. After he kills a few wights and/or hobgoblins, Xykon is impressed enough to keep him around as extra muscle. At the very least, this'll offer the opportunity for him to strike up a friendship with the MitD -- they're both Psychopathic Men Children and dumb as bricks, so I imagine they'll get along.

Elan and Haley will have Babies Ever After by the end of the series.

We already know Elan gets a happy ending. That practically guarantees that Haley is there with him, as otherwise he wouldn't be fully happy, if happy at all. They are an official couple. So, by the end, Elan and Haley are together and living peacefully. Babies Ever After is not illogical as a conclusion.

Redcloak will try to abandon the Plan, but will have a Heel Face Door Slam.

This is related to the "Redcloak will give up on the Plan" one further up the page. The sequence of events described there will probably play out, but then something will happen that prevents him from completing the Heel Face Turn. Perhaps:

  • Tsukiko kills him for turning on Xykon
  • The MitD's mind control forces it to kill him
  • The Dark One performs a Villain Override via the Crimson Mantle.

Kraagor/Serini's Gate is in or near the dwarven homelands.

This would make a pretty good reason for the Order to go there, thus allowing for the prophecy about Durkon causing it to be destroyed.

The evil souls will return as a Quirky Miniboss Squad.

The IFCC will eventually need V brought to them so they can cash in on their deal (without wasting any time on it), so they'll dispatch these three to retrieve V. Perhaps it'll even be Qarr's suggestion, as he'll point out that they can't really trust Sabine to properly manipulate the Guild in their favor anymore because of her feelings for Nale, thus making it necessary to get some new minions in the field. As for why this is a feasible idea:

1) These souls were specifically chosen for the Soul Splice because they were the strongest, most evil souls the Directors had at their disposal. And don't forget the ghost-martyrs of the Sapphire Guard -- we know that spirits can physically interact with the living world, so why wouldn't you send the most powerful ones at your disposal when you need something important done?

2) From a thematic viewpoint, this would be a great redemptive step for V, complete with Hannibal Lectures from the souls (Haerta seems like she might be the most prone to it), and V shutting them up, with help from the Order.

The Dark One (and by extension, Redcloak) and the IFCC will team up.

The Dark One wants equality for the goblin races, something that was denied them by the gods, though probably just the good gods, as we know at least some of the evil gods (like Tiamat) are the Dark One's allies. Meanwhile, the Archfiends have implied in their conversations with Qarr and Vaarsuvius that their ultimate goal (or part of it) is to invade the Upper Planes and bring down the gods of Good. So, perhaps they can work out a compromise of sorts -- once they gain control of the Snarl, they use it to defeat the Good gods, and then the remaining Evil (and possibly the Neutral ones) can grant the goblins equality (or possibly even superiority, at this point).

Elan and Nale have a True Neutral sister as mentioned above, but not a fraternal (or half-identical) triplet.

She's Elan's half-sister, through his and Nale's mother. There's a strong chance that she's either older than Elan by several years or only now about half a year old (and hey, babies are technically True Neutral/Neutral Hungry).

Elan's four family members each have different strengths and weaknesses regarding their INT/WIS scores.

Elan: Kind of low in both, because of his amazing Charisma.
Nale: Quite low in WIS, but with a decent CHA and high INT to enable his multiclass-mishmash to be anywhere near as effective as a straight-up Bard (though he has recently been using his magic more effectively, which also hints at him having a strong INT). His Intelligence lets him think of fiendishly complicated plans, but his low WIS keeps him from being able to let them unfold properly without doing something foolish.
Tarquin: Above-average WIS and decent CHA but below-average INT. He's better than Nale at reading people and situations, but instead of doing "so much more", he sticks to the small-time Banana Republic grifts he can handle (big enough to make him comfortable in this life and a legend afterward, but nothing unnecessarily expansive) and lets Malack (or whomever is in on a given scheme) do most of the stuff that non-WIS, INT-based planning.
Elan's Mum: High WIS and INT (her INT is a given, with what we've seen of her wait-staff planning). Her dump stat is CON, because she doesn't really need it with a reasonably high DEX and a passable-for-a-commoner Strength, what with being a waitress in what appears to be a first-world country instead of an adventurer.

At some point this year, Belkar will draw a picture..

...which will be titled 'His Last Breath.' The Oracle only heard that 'Belkar will draw "His Last Breath" this year', and assumed it meant Belkar would die.

  • He has repeatedly stated that Belkar is not long for the world, that he shouldn't bother funding his IRA, savor his next birthday cake, will draw his last breath... and the fact is, the Oracle subverts the Prophecy Twist trope on pretty regular basis. He's going to die.
    • The other things he said were his attempts to drop hints at what he thought would happen, based on his misunderstanding of the information he actually received. He thinks Belkar will die, and so drops hints to that effect, but the prophecy was about something else (alternatively, the picture is very popular despite being awful, and he gets murdered by a bunch of jealous artists who can't get any recognition).

Xykon will attempt to take Kraagor's Gate first.

Because punishing Roy for being too specific once just wouldn't be enough. He asked for the first of the two gates Xykon would be within 1000 feet of first, not which one he'd actually attack. Xykon will approach Girard's gate first, but with both the Order and Linear Guild (which has access to the forces of at least 1, possibly 3, local empires, should Tarquin decide keeping Xykon from it is important enough) attempting to take it, he turns around and heads for the last gate.

Belkar will not die because of his fake Character Development

The last time the oracle said anything about his fate, he'd only just activated the Mark of Justice, and had yet to start his development. Now that he has, the future events have changed, but the oracle hasn't shown up to say anything about it. Before, he would have reached a point where he was left for dead because he was seen as too evil to bother rescuing. Now, however, his development, fake or not, will convince someone he's at the very least redeemable, and so avert the prophecy. Note the passcode required to remove Belkar's Mark of Justice: "Evolve or Die", which in the context of the dream/hallucination/ghost Shojo's comments could easily mean 'Develop your character or get killed off.'

The Mit D is an Atropal.

Think about this one for a minute. It's constantly surrounded by undead, it has a childlike disposition, absurd powers for its size, and is supposed to be utterly terrifying. What could be more terrifying than an undead god fetus?

Nale has one more Linear Guild member in hiding.

We still didn't meet a Durkon equiviliant during the fight. Malack may be taking up that role at the moment, but that doesn't mean that Nale didn't simply have his divine caster sitting off in the sidelines and waiting for the right moment to strike.

This last Linear Guilder is probably a former member who hasn't been seen for awhile, like Leeky or Hilgya. And they l are either the ally who's supposed to cast the ritual, or they are hiding out and waiting to free Thog and take him to reunite with the rest of the guild at the Gate

Elan's plan is for Durkon to cast Detect Good on Tarquin

Elan comes up with his plan after Roy says the phrase "But I think in your case, it's better to find that sense of family among people that are good than it is to find a sense of good inside your family". Elan, being Elan, ignores the actual sentiment of Roy's statement and latches on to the words "sense" and "good". His plan is to prove that his father has good in him by having Durkon use magic to show everyone his alignment. What else would he need Durkon for? Of course, this will backfire spectacularly when Durkon casts his spell and proves that Tarquin is evil through and through, causing Elan to suffer a Heroic BSOD and then finally get the resolve to defeat his father.

When Belkar dies, he'll still hang around the party as a ghost.

Mostly to make sure Mr. Scruffy's still doing OK, as I doubt the Order would just abandon the cat by the wayside. Heck, the Scruffinator could be to Belkar what Roy's sword was to Eugene. And naturally, the reason Belkar will even be able to do this is because his partly-fake-partly-real character development will be enough to make the underworld completely confused about where to send him, giving him the opportunity to pop back in to the mortal world as a ghost.

Elan's plan is for Durkon to cast Atonement on Tarquin

Atonement (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.

Girard's family was wiped out by one of the other factions

Judging 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?

  • Apparently Jossed, as they were killed by Vaarsuvius' Familicide.

Penelope's daughter is responsible for killing her family

Assuming 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 Yuk Yuk in the party is going to screw the Order over.

From what we 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.


Haley is directly related to Girard... but was spared Familicide thanks to her father being in a powerful antimagic field at the time.

Yeah, I went there. The Familicide spell couldn't find Ian because he was protected by the antimagic field, and since it couldn't find Ian, it couldn't trace his own bloodline down to Haley. Aunt Ivy, as Ian's sister, would have also been struck down unless she had been sneaking Ian and Geoff food at that exact moment (which would make sense if she had, as it was lunchtime), but we currently do not actually know that Ivy is alive anyway.

    • If this is true, Aunt Ivy would have had to be with him. She and Haley share blood, so if she was hit, so was Haley.

Not every one in universe who has the same color of hair is directly related.

Ok, I know that this is a long stretch but work with me. There maybe a genetic trait that is in universe that can be found in anyone that determines hair color. And though some hair colors appear less often than others, the hair color itself might not be exclusive to just certain families. The proof is even though Penelope is a red head, the fact that she dated Orrin without it raising a few eyebrows suggests that they might not be related at all.

  • Unrelated people having similar hair colors? That's insane! [2]

Redcloak believes Xykon in panel 3 of this exchange

Not because Xykon is telling the truth or anything. Far from it. He's lying through his teeth. It's just that Xykon is an epic level character, estimated to be about 32nd level if his fire immunity comes from a self-crafted ring and not simply an abuse of the custom item creation table. If he is 32nd level, then with bluff as the only Charisma-based class skill of sorcerers, and assuming it is maxed out or nearly so, that means that he's got something like 35 ranks + massive Charisma vs. Redcloak's decent Wisdom + at most 10 ranks in Sense Motive (what with it being a cross-class skill), and him spending a lot of his skill points in various knowledge skills, Xykon merely did this comic with less humourous overtones. In other words, he can beat the +20 to deceive someone with an insane, outright unbelievable lie. Xykon has already bluffed other people, like the Order itself, even though he said out loud "wink, wink"

Vaarsuvius will go Dark Willow again without the help of the IFCC.

He'll be too ashamed to tell the Order what he's done, re: the Draketooth family, and maintaining the lie will antagonize him against the Order. Either that or he'll tell them and they will ostracize him. Like with Belkar, the Order is what keeps him from being a villain.

Vaarsuvius's Mea Maxima Culpa has jarred him out of Neutral into Good, and he'll atone enough for a surprise positive afterlife.

With Vaarsuvius this shaken by the enormity of his act, there's no way he'll allow himself to stray now - and he considers his own life forfeit as The Atoner. This'll be vital at some climactic point in the future. He'll go through life believing that he deserves every punishment, but recall how the celestial realm judged Roy: Trying to do good, even in the face of great mistakes, counts in their system of justice. Since Vaarsuvius has lost his self-centered nature, he'll be able to make sacrifices that, while certainly not erasing the original sin, at least give him comfort after death. Alt: After the story is finished, he wanders the world doing good for centuries, until finally he can rest.

The order will be forced to destroy Girard's gate

As we can see, Girard's main defenses to protect the gate are shut down because no one can maintain them. There may be some real threats added in as well so no one can tell what is real and what is fake but for the most part, it is defenseless. Now the order might try some patch work defenses like having V. cast some of the spells, resurrecting certain Draketooth family members who know how the spell works or requesting aid from the sapphire guild but with both the Linear guild and team evil knowing where the gate it, they may have to go it alone. Now if we can assume that they do not know the consequences of destroying each gate or forced to pick the lesser of two evils, on top of the fact that most stories like to run down the clock before the heroes can win, the order may be forced to cut their losses, destroy the gate, and race the villains to the last one.

The fiends will use their deal with V to manifest in the material plane.

The terms of Vaarsuvius' deal specify that for every minute of Soul Splice, his/her soul will spend one minute with each soul's owner. "With." Not "in the service of," and not "in Hell with." The terms of the deal would be satisfied by bringing V to the nether realms, but they could just as easily permit the fiends - who aren't allowed to manifest in the mortal world outside of a bargain - to appear at V's side. Whether the elf goes to the demons or the demons come to the elf, the deal is satisfied. And the IFCC could wreak a lot of havoc in 45 minutes.

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?

  • This troper bets 10gp that you are right. It makes WAY too much sense.
    • Until I read this WMG, I did not think about this possibility. But now, I am completely convinced.
    • Exactly what this troper was thinking upon reading the line. After all, the gate can be any size, as we learned in Azure City, and having a statue of its guardian built around it doesn't seem that far-fetched.
  • Jossed: The Order just proved this troper's theory wrong in the next strip. You have to admit though, it wasn't that bad of the theory.
    • Well, they haven't checked the corpse's ass-bone yet.
    • Roy thought of that in the next strip. Poor Haley was the one to do it...
  • Or maybe "Girard's Butt Cheeks" is the name of a rock formation

Redcloak has regenerated his eye.

Redcloak regenerated his eye shortly after getting the patch, but keeps it on to make Xykon believe that he is obeying his orders. Whenever he is alone, he takes the patch off so that he doesn't have eye problems.

Admit it, it would be totally cool: in the moment when Redcloak betrays Xykon (when the Plan gets carried on), he will take off the patch and say "Damn, I was fed up of this stupid patch", and by then Xykon will realise the size of his folly in trusting Redcloak's plan. Then, either Redcloak manages to pull off something that destroys Xykon (and the Monster in the Darkness attacks Redcloak due to his betrayal of Xykon), or Xykon could attempt to kill Redcloak but then the Dark God saves Redcloak by taking him away or by using something similar to Thor's Thunders to destroy Xykon. Alternatively, Xykon could get killed by the Snarl.

Elan's Plan is to call his mother in

Roy's statement about finding family in people who are good instead of good in family reminded Elan about his Chaotic Good mother, that unnamed barmaid. Elan had Durkon cast a sending telling her about Tarquin's evil. When Elan's mom arrives, there'll be some touching reunions...then she'll sue Tarquin for unpaid palimony. The utter absurdity of it all (Plus the amount being charged) will not only bankrupt the Empire of Blood, but also torpedo Tarquin's plan of having a totally badass finish.

Soon and Girard blame each other for Kraagor's death.

We pretty much know Girard's side of the story, he blames Soon for ordering the sealing of the Rift which cost Kraagor his life, but what if it went both ways? Girard is pretty anti-authoritarian so he might have disobeyed an order that knocked him out of the fight (we don't see him in the final fight), but Girard finds it easier to blame Soon then acknowledge that if he followed Soon's order, Kraagor might have lived. Soon just doesn't dwell on it anymore (being dead does that to you).

  • Perhaps he also blames Dorukon because the Rift sealing spell could have been fine-tuned, but Dorukon went on to his next spell rather than making it safer.

Soon wasn't at odds with all the Scribblers by the end it

The party wasn't Soon vs Everyone. Everyone had their own personal likes and dislikes, but they knew they couldn't function as bridges for the ones that hated each other (kind of like Magic the Gathering where each color has two more or less aligned colors that also happen to be opposed). Serini was the only one everyone liked by the end (so I won't include her in this analysis). My guess is the party breakdown went like this (includes my theorized personal views on each based off what I know at this time):

  • Soon:
    • Allies: Serini (liked by all), Lirian (divine spell caster, traveled with longest, Azurites and Elves longstanding allies).
    • Enemies: Girard (anti-authoritarian prick, antagonistic toward divine spellcasters), Dorukon (cares more about magic than the safety of the world).
  • Lirian:
    • Allies: Serini (liked by all), Soon (divine spell caster, traveled with longest, Azurites and Elves longstanding allies), Dorukon (lover).
    • Enemies: Girard (antagonistic toward divine spellcasters, uses people shamelessly).
  • Dorukon:
    • Allies: Serini (liked by all), Girard (arcane spellcaster, mutual dislike of Soon), Lirian (lover).
    • Enemies: Soon (feels he negligently sacrificed Kraagor). Occasionally Girard but only when he's trash-talking Lirian within earshot.
  • Girard:
    • Allies: Serini (liked by all), Dorukon (arcane spellcaster, mutual dislike of Soon).
    • Enemies: Soon (fascist prick, feels he negligently sacrificed Kraagor), Lirian (antagonistic toward divine spellcasters, wishy-washy hippie druid chick).

By the end of the series, Elan and Haley will have broken up as a subversion of Happily Ever After and Babies Ever After.

Haley will eventually complete her emotional growth, learn to trust and open up as much as she chooses...and then start to question the validity of her feelings for him, because those trust issues are what made her find him attractive in the first place. Once she doesn't need him to make her a better person, she'll come to the conclusion that a non-adventuring relationship with Elan just wouldn't work, and break up with him amicably before it can go bad (though she'll always wonder how it might have gone). Elan will then complete his character growth when he has to deal with it, and find his happy ending some other way after the breakup: the Oracle said it ended well for Elan, after all.

Therkla will return...as a succubus!

Okay, this is stretching a little, but; If you look at the circumstances of her death; She was a lawful neutral or lawful evil character (I can't remember if her alignment was ever given, but she obeys a master and he's evil, so non-lawful and good alignments are out of the question), however she betrayed her master (a chaotic act). As a result she might end up in the pit and become a demon. Since her sin (and reason for betraying her master) was lust, a succubus would make sense. Alternatively, if she ends up in a LE afterlife she could still come back as an equivlent devil (I can't remember if there's an equivelent, maybe a Lilin[3] or an Erinyes, although their fluff might not quite fit). Either way, she could end up as a counterpart (or replacement) for Sabine.

Xykon knows what Redcloak is really up to; he just doesn't care.

Xykon knows full well what Redcloak is planning to do with the Gate, but Xykon is fully confident that the Dark One's plan won't work because it basically relies on blackmail and a constant threat. Since the Snarl is basically dormant (and Xykon is fully capable of flying and seeing what was inside the rift; Redcloak isn't) there's no real danger of opening a Gate onto the realm of the gods. He's going to wait for Redcloak's plan to fail, call him an idiot, bully him into being properly loyal, and use the Gate to control the real world by tossing ordinary humans into God-knows-where. It doesn't actually change his plans if the world on the other side of the Gate isn't actually dangerous as long as he knows it can remove them from their lives and possibly their chosen deities.

Belkar will become trapped on the Astral Plane

The Astral Plane suspends the need to eat and breathe, he isn't on this world, and since he's going to not be able to do anything that can affect the world, he doesn't need to bother funding his IRA (and since he's trapped, he'll never eat again, making his next birthday cake his last). While he survives... He'll wish he didn't.

Tarqin will suffer a horrible fate...

...Elan will find a way to defeat him where he isn't remembered for all time. That's all it take for a crushing defeat for Tarqin, and Elan is humble enough to not need all his deeds known about.

  • Worse. He'll die disguised as Thog, in such a way that nobody in the Order of the Stick will find out who he really is, so nobody will ever know how he met his end.

V will (somehow) become a succubus.

When the IFCC are almost done with the time V owes hir soul to them, they'll decide to turn hir into a succubus just for kicks and giggles. (C'mon, turning the ambiguously gendered elf into a personification of illicit sex would be freaking hilarious.) At the end of the year, Belkar will for some reason be low on hit points. (Perhaps he'll be sick? And he'll have irritated Durkon enough to not get healed?) When they count down to the new year, V will decide to give Belkar a kiss -- which will drain the last of Belkar's energy. He'll die, and the Afterlife will be so great, he won't want to come back. (Yes, I know it's not so much a "Wild Mass Guess" as a "Totally Insane Mass Guess."

Tarquin's plan will be foiled by Villain Decay

The entire point of Tarquin's plan is that, if he is ever defeated, the story of his defeat will go down in history, with him as the Badass General. Which is already working, as we are reading the story, and we see him as a Dangerously Genre Savvy Badass General. So the only way for his plan to be foiled is for him to lose that respect we currently have for him. He will be Out-Gambitted, Overshadowed by Awesome, and swallow an Idiot Ball, leaving him a complete failure of a villain by the time anyone bothers to kill him.

Vaarsuvius will achieve complete and total ultimate arcane power from Banjo the Clown

The Oracle said "By saying the right four words, to the right being, at the right time, for all the wrong reasons." There were 3 demons, so they weren't the right "being" Furthermore "I- I must succeed" is a lame excuse for four words.

V showed interest in worshipping Banjo, but didn't because he didn't have espresso coffee. If Elan manages to get an espresso coffee maker, V might worship Banjo, who will use his magical puppet powers to give V arcane power. The four words being "I will worship Banjo" or something like that.

Notes

  1. This is even better now that it's been thoroughly Jossed.
  2. But seriously, thank you for being sane enough to post that.
  3. From Pathfinder
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