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Thor explains the "quiddity" of the gods, and how the Snarl is made of four colors while the remaining pantheons represent only three, making the Snarl more "real" than any of the worlds they create. However the ascendancy of the Dark One created a new purple quiddity.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1, Page 1

Thor: See, there's a reason why the Snarl always breaks free, but it requires a little explanation to understand.
Durkon: Aye?
Thor: Do you see this yellow aura surrounding me?
Durkon: Aye.

Panel 2, Page 1

Thor: What your eyes are seeing as the color yellow is a succession of psychically charged theosophic particles—
Thor: —escaping the event horizon of my divine singularity at a specific wavelength determined by our shared pantheonic quiddity.

Panel 3, Page 1

Durkon: Yer... Yer gonna haf ta make tha at least two degrees dumber fer me.
Minrah: Three would be nice.
Durkon: Aye, let's go wit three.

Panel 4, Page 1

Thor: Alright, let's see. Each god in the same pantheon is unique but share a quiddity—
Durkon: Nope, dinnae know tha word.
Thor: —shares a...uh, let's say essence.

Panel 5, Page 1

Thor produces an image of several gods of the three pantheons.
Thor (inset): Each such essence makes a different color aura when those gods manifest.
Thor (inset): Yellow for us, blue for the Twelve Gods, red for Marduk's clan.

Panel 6, Page 1

Thor: When one god—or even just one pantheon—creates something alone, it's ephemeral. Like these tiny images.
Thor: It's little better than if it was made by a wizard.

Panel 7, Page 1

Thor: Any one of us could wave it away in an instant the first time they got mad or bored.
Thor: And if you knew how many times Njord has changes his mind ten minutes after we finished, you'd know that'd never work.
Thor: But when gods of different colors combine their powers, the result is something much more stable. More real.

Panel 8, Page 1

Thor: Mortals.
Thor: Real, honest-to-us independent mortals, like you, who can live their lives and in return, generate what we gods need to survive.

Panel 9, Page 1

Minrah: Oh, I get it! It's like how mutts are healthier than purebreed dogs!
Thor: Right, Minrah! Good analogy!

Panel 10, Page 1

Thor: The more different colors involved, the stronger the creation.
Thor: The problem is that your world and all the others—all but one—were crafted from those three colors. Red, yellow, and blue...

Panel 11, Page 1

Thor: ...and the Snarl is made out of four.

Panel 1, Page 2

Thor creates an image of the Eastern gods.
Thor (inset): Way back at the beginning, a group of deities called the Eastern Pantheon joined us with their green quiddity.

Panel 2, Page 2

Minrah: Eastern Gods?
Minrah: I mean, I always thought it was weird that we only had Northern, Southern, and Western Gods, but the priests taught us not to question it.
Minrah: I never even questioned that I shouldn't question.

Panel 3, Page 2

Thor: Their light passed from the multiverse long ago. The Snarl killed them.
Thor: And in order to keep the secret of the Snarl's existence, we don't talk about them anymore.

Panel 4, Page 2

Thor: Without them, nothing since then has been created from all four colors.
Thor: The Snarl is, in a literal sense, the most real thing in all of existence.

Panel 5, Page 2

Minrah: More real than the gods??
Thor: Definitely!
Thor: For all of our power, we are one-color beings. It would cut through us like a hot glaive through ochre jelly.

Panel 6, Page 2

Thor: Nothing we make—nothing we could ever possibly make, individually or together—
Thor: —can ever contain the Snarl.

Panel 7, Page 2

Thor: These facts are why so many of my colleagues are quick to throw in the cosmic towel on your world.
Thor: They all fear the Snarl more than anything, but they have also become resigned to the whole cycle.

Panel 8, Page 2

Thor: It's just one more turn of the wheel to them. A chance to try something fun and new.
Thor: Certainly nothing to be worried about, if we do what we always do.
Thor: Why rock the boat?

Panel 9, Page 2

Durkon: But ye dinnae agree.
Thor: No.
Thor: Because this time, something's different.

Panel 10, Page 2

Thor creates an image of the Dark One.
Thor: There's a new color in the crayon box.

D&D Context Edit

  • The glaive is a pole arm with an edged blade. It has been included in the weapon lists of all editions of D&D.
  • Ochre jelly is a monster in D&D, a type of ooze. It attacks dungeon crawlers by engulfing and constricting its prey, like an amoeba. It was conceived as part of the original D&D game by Gygax and Arneson, published in 1974. It was updated for each subsequent edition up to the 2003 D&D 3.5 Monster Manual, though it was not included in D&D's 4th or 5th editions.

Trivia Edit

  • Theosophy is a term used by a number of schools of thought. The term literally means "wisdom of god".
  • Quiddity is a term from Scholasticism which refers to the essence of an object. Literally the "whatness" of a thing.
  • Color theory is a body of knowledge in the visual arts giving guidance on color mixing and the effects of color combinations. The title plays with the idea that such artistic judgments are fundamental to the nature of reality in Order of the Stick, which is quite true from the reader's perspective where the universe is a collection of art (comics).
  • Njord is god of the sea, so Thor's aside in panel 7 of page 1 plays with the ever changing nature of such a god, like waves and tides.
  • This is the latest appearance of many of the gods portrayed in this strip:
    • Frigg, Northern goddess of Wisdom. She first appeared in #999, "The Vote in Gods' Aye". This is her first visual depiction.
    • Marduk, chief god of the Western Pantheon. He first appeared in #273, "The Crayons of Time: Doodles on the Sketch Pad of Eternity".
    • Ishtar, the Western fertility goddess. She also first appeared in #273.
    • Ninurta makes his only appearance here. The identity of his Western God is presumed based on his appearance; he has not been named in the comic.
    • Dragon, #273, another Southern god. He first appeared as a crayon drawing in #273.
    • Ox and Rabbit, two of the Southern gods, whose only other appearance is in #407, "Fading"
    • Zeus, chief god of the dead Eastern pantheon. He first appeared in #273.
    • Demeter and Poseidon, two other gods of the Eastern pantheon. Their only other appearance is in #274
  • For Odin, Dragon, Ox, Rabbit, Marduk, Ishtar, Zeus, Poseidon, Demeter, and the Dark One, this is their first depiction in the new art style which was upgraded at #947.

External Links Edit


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