The Fox and the Egg
The more I think about it, the more I wonder if the checkerboard robes are the costume of the occasionally referenced but poorly understood Monks of Perdition...and if so, how Quick the Donkey got involved with them.
Ahem. Um. Err. Which is to say "Of course I know how this all fits together perfectly, I have written a six hundred page desk-reference laying out the details, I am merely choosing not to reveal the details in order to appear mysterious and provide dramatic tension at some point in the future!"
(Whew. Dodged a bullet there, huh?)