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The Giant
2007-06-06, 11:35 PM
New comic is up.

Poppatomus
2007-06-06, 11:38 PM
very nice. Nothing better than finding out your pet theory was wrong and being happy about it.

Fuzzy_Juan
2007-06-06, 11:38 PM
cool...Soon kicked ass...

Sigh...Miko once again shows that she can always make a bad situation worse.

Yogi
2007-06-06, 11:38 PM
As predicted, she did something stupid.

Sage in the Playground
2007-06-06, 11:38 PM
OUCH! So close!

Skyserpent
2007-06-06, 11:39 PM
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Friggin' Friggy fraggin fricktastic friggly FRACK!!!

GRAAAAAH!


Oh my GOD! FRAGGIN etc. etc.

The English Language has failed me.

chibibar
2007-06-06, 11:39 PM
man... go figure... she did exactly what most of us predicted......

She has truly gone to the deep end!

Alysar
2007-06-06, 11:40 PM
OhCrapOhCrapOhCrapOhCrapOhCrapOhCrapOhCrap.


I wonder if this will force Miko to see the OotS in a different light, now that she's guilty of the exact same thing that they did.

Probably not.

DrivinAllNight
2007-06-06, 11:40 PM
Wakko, Yakko, & Dot, or something like that, and of of course crazy Miko doing what she does best. So does this mean that Soon is soon gone???

boxboy582
2007-06-06, 11:40 PM
Ahhh Miko.....*sighs* Miko, Miko Miko *facepalm*

Strasserine
2007-06-06, 11:41 PM
Oh, well... there goes the universe as we know it!

Zaria
2007-06-06, 11:41 PM
God, Miko, you just don't get it, do you? I mean... it's just... Come on! Seriously girl, you make my brain bleed.

GTRanger
2007-06-06, 11:41 PM
This is going to sound really n00bish, but what's so bad about destroying it? (other than I guess if all are destroyed the snarl gets out)

I mean, the other paladin was about to destroy it when he was stopped...would it have been as bad if he had?

Shott
2007-06-06, 11:41 PM
That poor chair! Two slashes in such a short time. I fear it'll never be comfy again! Curse you, Miko!!!!

Yogi
2007-06-06, 11:41 PM
It wasn't a completely bad idea when was viewing the scene, but if she had any sort of situational awareness whatsoever, she wouldn't have smashed it. However, once again, she is too wrapped up in herself to take notice of what is actually going on.

Albonor
2007-06-06, 11:41 PM
Is O-chul really standing 2 feet away from the Snarl now? at least the good guys win the Throne room battle. Soon is that cool!

norine62
2007-06-06, 11:41 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!1!!1!!!oneoneone!!!

Why? Oh why?

Miko might as well be LE now - she's done everything but personally kill Soon to save Team Evil.

Good comic though!

Nu
2007-06-06, 11:42 PM
Oh, well... there goes the universe as we know it!

Eh, that's only three gates destroyed...I think they said they predicted all five would need to be destroyed before the Snarl was unleashed.

Black Mage
2007-06-06, 11:42 PM
Oh crap.

:smalleek:

Atheist_Cleric
2007-06-06, 11:42 PM
AGGGH! Soon DID it!! It was done! You stupid, idiotic nutjob of a fallen MORON! She's ruined it! Three gates down, and Xykon and Redcloak are outta there (ok im actually mostly ok with that, they're villians you can like) Ok, if she doesnt die or at least feel some serious pain in the next few strips, I am going to lose it.

fruityjanitor
2007-06-06, 11:42 PM
In her defense, what she did would make a lot of sense to somebody in her position.

She sees one Paladin left standing and he is trying to destroy the blue jewel in the throne for some reason. Obviously she should help him out by destroying it for him!

(Hinjo's comments about her almost hitting the gem earlier makes it seem like Miko had no idea that the jewel was the gate.)

I wonder if she could even see Soon. It would be more sensible to ask him how she could help than to start smashing things. And also, I imagine that any member of the SG would jump at the chance to talk to the founder of their order.

Of course, the SG was sworn to protect the gate. This REALLY doesn't help her chances of joining back up with them later.

redcodekevin
2007-06-06, 11:42 PM
...

Well, that left my jaw hanging.
She did it, goddangit.

I hope Soon kicks her arse for undoing all those years of Protection.

Dabble
2007-06-06, 11:42 PM
Well, have to say we saw that coming, however it was good to see that Soon was able to defeat Xykon and Redcloak.

Now to see what happens next, what does the destruction of the Sapphire do? besides continue the story of course! Any chance of a Snarl Sighting?

Portfolio:

150 MIKO
20 OOTS
10 HNJO
4 DOOM Gee, think these will be going down in price

Nogard
2007-06-06, 11:43 PM
Holy carp!

Not that it was unexpected... I'm just surprised that Xykon and Redcloak got smacked down so hard so fast.

Yogi
2007-06-06, 11:43 PM
This is going to sound really n00bish, but what's so bad about destroying it? (other than I guess if all are destroyed the snarl gets out)

I mean, the other paladin was about to destroy it when he was stopped...would it have been as bad if he had?Destroying the gate was a last resort of keep it out of Xykon's hands. However, it wasn't really necessary since Xykon just got his ass handed to him.

Hiruma
2007-06-06, 11:43 PM
Well, it was better than most theories. At least Team Evil lost and Miko isn't THAT bat-y`know insane yet.

CockroachTeaParty
2007-06-06, 11:43 PM
Heh. And Xykon lives to fight another day! Er... unlives...

Ridureyu
2007-06-06, 11:43 PM
Amazing. I expected Soon to die. This means that Azure City may not be lost, if you think about it.

Shadic
2007-06-06, 11:43 PM
I was just on the site, snooping around too..

Stupid, stupid Miko!

Maybe somebody can get Xykon, at least before they escape?

OverdrivePrime
2007-06-06, 11:44 PM
Holy smackdown, Batman! Soon is my new hero!

And methinks Miko's got some 'splainin' to do... if she survives the next panel. :smalleek:

SPoD
2007-06-06, 11:44 PM
This is going to sound really n00bish, but what's so bad about destroying it? (other than I guess if all are destroyed the snarl gets out)

I mean, the other paladin was about to destroy it when he was stopped...would it have been as bad if he had?

Destroying the Gate when the Good Guys are getting annihilated = Good Idea.
Destroying the Gate when the BAD Guys are getting annihilated = Bad Idea.

It just didn't need to be done. It's the last ditch, all-or-nothing gamble being pulled out when the situation is well in hand.

kreszantas
2007-06-06, 11:44 PM
Miko sure loves to slash that throne up, must have a problem with authority... seriously

GTRanger
2007-06-06, 11:44 PM
Destroying the gate was a last resort of keep it out of Xykon's hands. However, it wasn't really necessary since Xykon just got his ass handed to him.

Ah, ok.

And it was quite satisfying to see that sword through Xykon's head.

Though I'd kinda rather RedCloak die. :/

The Hired Sloth
2007-06-06, 11:45 PM
Felt compelled to register after seeing this one. And many other ones, but this one specifically.

She did the right thing. At the right place. For at least one of the right reasons (the twelve gods would probably prefer the seal partially broken to being used by Xykon).

It's a damn shame she couldn't get the timing right.

Yogi
2007-06-06, 11:45 PM
I wonder if she could even see Soon. It would be more sensible to ask him how she could help than to start smashing things.Xykon and Redcloak could see Soon, and Soon was going to inform someone else about the Phylactry, so we can assume that normal people can see him.

Gnome King
2007-06-06, 11:46 PM
Heh, I like soons grin in the third panel

redcodekevin
2007-06-06, 11:46 PM
This is going to sound really n00bish, but what's so bad about destroying it? (other than I guess if all are destroyed the snarl gets out)

I mean, the other paladin was about to destroy it when he was stopped...would it have been as bad if he had?

What is bad is that it was no longer necessary. The battle was won! By Soon! And there she goes and... oh crap.

I do so much hope she gets what she deserves.

EDIT: ninja'ed. Hell, this threads go fast!


Somebody mentioned, and perhaps they're right. Since she's no longer a Paladin, maybe she cannot see Soon. But then, how'd he know her name?

shaddy_24
2007-06-06, 11:46 PM
OH NICE!! Soon was soooo close, he actually had them both beat! Sweet! Too bad he's probably going to vanish now. Though, if he doesn't, we get to see him rip a huge strip off Miko. I will pay too see him do that if I have to.

NeonRonin
2007-06-06, 11:47 PM
*singing* Miko screwed things up right now, doo dah, doo dah,
Soon is gonna have a cow, oh the doo dah day...

:smallbiggrin: That was SO nice. I was afraid she was gonna brand O-chul a traitor or something, but NOW... 3 Gates down, 2 to go.

Thanks for not killing Xykon just yet, Rich; we've gotta see more of him in future. You rock.

:mitd: Wait, what gate?

Ben_the_dragon
2007-06-06, 11:48 PM
i have to say....i really dislike her, in oh so many different ways.

but funny enough i used to game with a guy much like that, no idea of what was really going on. once i almost talked us out of a fight, but it ended so badly when he thought it was not going well and tried to shoot one of them, missed i might add.

Alacar Leoricar
2007-06-06, 11:48 PM
.....GRRAAAGGHHH!!! MIKO!!

Is there anything she can do to make me hate her even more? :smallfurious:

Duke Malagigi
2007-06-06, 11:49 PM
Hinjo and the rest of Azure City should line Miko up against a wall and shoot her. It'll put her out of every one else's misery. Of course by doing such thing as destroying Soon's Gate when no one had to, which is highly likely for her, she might release the Snarl unto the world. I hope it eats her whole.

Snipers_Promise
2007-06-06, 11:51 PM
Well, this could end a few different ways.

A. The universe implodes.

B. A massive nuclear explosion flattens the city and makes the hundereds of miles surrounding the city to be uninhabitable.

C. Snarl is realeased, everybody dies.

D. It does nothing except weaken the prison.

I vote B.

chibibar
2007-06-06, 11:52 PM
The problem is that since Miko destroy the gem, she is no better than "committed a crime against the balance of the universe" than the OoTS when Ethan blew up the castle.....

HomerHT
2007-06-06, 11:52 PM
Stick figures should not be able to elicit this type of emotion from me! Dang it, Miko!

Commander Hayes
2007-06-06, 11:53 PM
Heh, Soon almost won too. A real "D'oh!" moment on Miko's part. It does help with the fact that the reader's obviously supposed to hate her, though. I guess I technically lost the bet on how the fight would turn out.

Alysar
2007-06-06, 11:53 PM
Miko allowed Xykon and Redcloak to escape. I know Liches aren't outsiders, but for something this idiotic, I wonder if the gods will bend the rules and turn Miko blackguard.

Atheist_Cleric
2007-06-06, 11:53 PM
Just off the ravenous Miko hatred a lot of us are feeling for a sec, did anyone else find themselves oddly sympathetic with that closeup of Xykon and Redcloak about to be finished? I had to remind myself of Xykon killing Roy to re-establish balance. The Giant is really doing his job well when you feel really sorry for the villians....also, look at the katana Miko is holding...its hilt is the same color as her equipment...thats kind of odd, considering she took it from O-chul and most paladins have blue-themed katanas.

EDIT: My mistake, that is O-chuls katana, he just has a slightly different one than the other paladins.

WarriorTribble
2007-06-06, 11:53 PM
Huh... through hubris she completly breaks her oaths as a Sapphire Guard. Really how hard is it to take the conservative route and attack Redcloak instead? Well I guess destroying the need for the guard build characer or something.

Ah well in other news kudos to Soon for being the only good aligned person to show knowledge of what the heck a phylactery is, and even better where it is (was that a bluff? how the heck did he know?).

Incidentally Xykon and Redcloaks' "final moment" was cute.

Gnome King
2007-06-06, 11:53 PM
EDIT: ninja'ed. Hell, this threads go fast!


Yeah, I think one of my earlier posts got eaten its moving so fast.

Axl_Rose
2007-06-06, 11:53 PM
What?! Awwwwwww jeeeeeeeeez. All that hard work from team evil and now they're plans hath been ruined =(

Oh well... at least they have azure city. Unless all the hobs end up dying in some anticlimatic way which I assume they most likely will.

Deuce
2007-06-06, 11:53 PM
I've said it once, I'll say it again - The only thing worse then pure Evil, is misguided Good.

Guest15
2007-06-06, 11:53 PM
Felt compelled to register after seeing this one. And many other ones, but this one specifically.

She did the right thing. At the right place. For at least one of the right reasons (the twelve gods would probably prefer the seal partially broken to being used by Xykon).

It's a damn shame she couldn't get the timing right.

Have to agree with you there. Baaaad timing on her part. She probably should have checked to make sure that they were really losing first.

And in other news: Aww @ Xykon and Redcloak's would-be last words.

MReav
2007-06-06, 11:53 PM
Well, I wonder if Soon is going to possess Miko in order to explain things as succintly as possible to her, and then speak to Hinjo:

Soon/Miko: I'm sorry for using the body of this idiot girl, but with the Gate destroyed, my connection to this world is drastically impacted, and I cannot stay without a physical anchor. On the plus side, I now got me a new body that doesn't have a natural physical stat under 16.

Justin_Bacon
2007-06-06, 11:56 PM
I hope she gets eaten by the snarl. Seriously.

Deuce
2007-06-06, 11:56 PM
Just off the ravenous Miko hatred a lot of us are feeling for a sec, did anyone else find themselves oddly sympathetic with that closeup of Xykon and Redcloak about to be finished?

Gave me sort of a "Butch and Sundance" vibe.

/Where's the Bolivian Army when you need it?

Tola
2007-06-06, 11:57 PM
...Well, now.

Can't blame her for doing it: it made sense.

Now, let's see what the consequenses are...

...Question. WOuld the Snarl count as a Outsider, and if so, would it be Evil?

Gunslinger47
2007-06-06, 11:57 PM
She looks so happy in the last panel.

She could never forgive herself for this. Seppuku's the best we can expect from her at this point. We've seen Sapphire Guards do it over less. (in 448).

Alysar
2007-06-06, 11:57 PM
Well, I wonder if Soon is going to possess Miko in order to explain things as succintly as possible to her, and then speak to Hinjo:

Soon/Miko: I'm sorry for using the body of this idiot girl, but with the Gate destroyed, my connection to this world is drastically impacted, and I cannot stay without a physical anchor. On the plus side, I now got me a new body that doesn't have a natural physical stat under 16.

It would keep Miko from causing any more trouble, at any rate.

DamienLunas
2007-06-06, 11:57 PM
It wasn't a completely bad idea when was viewing the scene, but if she had any sort of situational awareness whatsoever, she wouldn't have smashed it. However, once again, she is too wrapped up in herself to take notice of what is actually going on.

More like spot isn't a class skill for paladins. Or rather, fighters without bonus feats.

Yogi
2007-06-06, 11:58 PM
So, how is Miko going to survive this? Assuming Soon doesn't fillet her for some reason, she's already guilty for capital crimes several times over. She's have to stay away from Azure City for the rest of her life to avoid being executed.

the_tick_rules
2007-06-06, 11:58 PM
holy crap.

Sturmjaeger
2007-06-06, 11:58 PM
No! Miko you self-righteous fool! Well, it was a nice world while it lasted.

fruityjanitor
2007-06-06, 11:58 PM
I'm not saying Miko did the right thing, but why is everyone freaking out about this?

The way these "if all these things get destroyed, then an unstoppable evil gets released" plots always go is that all but one gets destroyed and the final climatic showdown happens at the last one (and sometimes the last one gets destroyed too and the heroes have to destroy or reseal the evil).

This gate HAD to get destroyed one way or another.

Plus, this comic would've had kind of an anticlimatic ending if Xykon and Redcloak both got offed right here before even half the gates got destroyed - by an NPC no less! I suppose Nale and Co. could have continued the evil quest to capture a gate, but Team Evil is really a better group of villains than the Linear Guild.

Suraht
2007-06-06, 11:58 PM
Man, oh man......

Soon was less than three seconds from just ending them both, and Miko had to try to play hero to redeem herself.

For the sake of the comic's world, she really, REALLY needs to learn to leave the heroing to the PCs. Now I actually want her to become a Blackguard...her bungling on the side of team evil would only serve to help the OotS.

nerdman3000
2007-06-06, 11:59 PM
I actually root for the bad guys. i want to see them cream all the non-essential good guys. in story world they will get really close, get beaten by the heroes, and reoccur later. gives the story the best tension, and even if it is cliche and predictable, what happens along the way is always interesting and different, and the formula works.

I also hate Miko with a passion:smallfurious: :smallwink: , and enjoyed watching her make an idiot out of her self.:smallamused: I have been wanting to see her die for about 100 panels.:smallbiggrin:

only two gates left!!!!!!:smalleek: what will happen!!!!!!!

Fanatic-Templar
2007-06-06, 11:59 PM
I can really empathise with Miko on this one, because I've done much the same in a LARP. Sometimes, you can do all the right things for all the right reasons at just the wrong moment. Gah, those memories...

And to those who like to claim that Miko is completely unaware of her surroundings, other than simply pointing out the scarcity of successful Spot Checks, I'll instead ask you to consider the height of the chair back.

From the previous strip, her actions are perfectly understabdable.

I blame Miko for many things, including the destruction of Soon's gate. Doing so despite the obvious circumstances of Xykon's defeat is not one of them.

Bitzeralisis
2007-06-06, 11:59 PM
Wow. Even after Miko lost her powers she still thinks the gods are revealing destinies upon her. How stupid can she get?

She probably has ADD or something.

Alysar
2007-06-06, 11:59 PM
I'd like to remind everyone who has bought the books and inform everyone who hasn't that
Rich has stated that Miko will be around until the end of the comic

Haruki-kun
2007-06-07, 12:00 AM
HOLY CRAP!!!!! SHE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHE ACTUALLY DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She never thinks things out, does she? That's the second time we see a strip end with Miko's sword going through the throne, lol.

Finn Solomon
2007-06-07, 12:00 AM
Soon is so bad-ass, he took out Xykon and Redcloak. At least he would have, if not for She Who Must Be Shamed.

drKarling
2007-06-07, 12:03 AM
Nice to see mr Overconfident flustered for a once too.
Does this mean Soon got ranks in Divination since he can see the phylactery, or does he just make an educated guess?

Yeah, and Miko is following her own logic, just as predicted.

Holy_Knight
2007-06-07, 12:05 AM
The problem is that since Miko destroy the gem, she is no better than "committed a crime against the balance of the universe" than the OoTS when Ethan blew up the castle.....

"Elan", chibi. "Elan".



And in other news: Aww @ Xykon and Redcloak's would-be last words.

Yeah, that was portrayed really well.



Ah well in other news kudos to Soon for being the only good aligned person to show knowledge of what the heck a phylactery is, and even better where it is (was that a bluff? how the heck did he know?).

Not to mention, he kicked ass. Now there's a real paladin, albeit in ghost form.

DrivinAllNight
2007-06-07, 12:08 AM
I have a question, does the Sapphire help keep Soon here or is he held here because the Throne room is consecrated? Cause I would hate to see him go now that the Sapphire is gone.

The Wanderer
2007-06-07, 12:08 AM
On the one hand, I'm glad I decided to stick around for awhile, despite actually having a night where I'm feeling tired early, and that The reward was such an eventful comic.

On the other hand...

That damn stupid, no good, crazy *expletive deleted*, what kind of *expletive deleted* for brains does something that *expletive deleted* dumb?!! *expletive deleted* *expletive deleted* *expletive deleted*!

(Don't mind me, just paying a little homage to South Park and Richard Nixon simultaneously :smallwink: ).

Although, actually... Miko might have, in a very twisted way, actually accomplished something here. With the Sapphire shattered, Xykon and Redcloak have no reason to stay, and neither would the hobgoblin army... of course, it puts all of existence in danger, but it does save the city, (because even if Redcloak and Xykon bite the dust, the hobs would still be around, just try evicting them if they don't want to go, or stop them if they decide to burn the city to ashes) and that's probably the only thing going on in her delusional little mind right now.

Of course, it also means the Snarl is a step clsoer to freedom, and Xykon is going to escape. Next stop: Girard's gate.

Aerysil
2007-06-07, 12:29 AM
At first I thought, so now that the Sapphire is gone, Soon goes away, and Xykon and Redcloak are leaving, so we the audience will be the only ones who know why evil was allowed to exist.

Then I remembered, O'Chul is still alive. So at least he'll be able to tell everyone how Miko completely screwed everything up.

brian c
2007-06-07, 12:33 AM
ohhhhhhhhhh snap!


i hope soon beats her up

Grasilich
2007-06-07, 12:44 AM
*slow clap for Miko*

So what was the deal with Soon getting stunned when the other Paladins were poofed? He got stunned once when a few died, but nothing happens when they're all dead? That's sorta counterintuitive. Why even put that panel in if it wasn't going to mean anything?

Dark Wolf
2007-06-07, 12:46 AM
Someone mentioned that Miko should not know about the snarl/gem when she nearly broke it the first time.

I think Miko's reasoning was that she thought the evil team were trying to take the throne ie. become the ruler of the city. So, by her reasoning, by destroying the throne, she wasn't aiming at the gem specifically, she makes sure no one can take it.

well it makes sense to her I guess.

Malik
2007-06-07, 01:52 AM
Wow *sarcasm* how suprising */sarcarsm* Miko got it totally backwards again, loved Redcloak and Xykon's last words panel. i thought it must have been a mistake on the Giants part with the missing katana from O'chul's hands i totally failed to realise that Miko walked in without one. Great comic as always.

David Argall
2007-06-07, 01:58 AM
Miko Defense Brief

Your Honor, I move for a directed verdict of Not Guilty, based on the case Universe vs Order of the Stick, in which their destruction of a gate, by Elan as it happens, was decided as not guilty despite several differences that make them more guilty than the defendant here.

The most obvious is that, whereas the court decided that the gate was too great a danger to be left undefended and thus its destruction was justified, the actual destruction was the result of a moment of misguided folly, totally chaotic and unacceptable to this court.

By contrast the defendant chose an action that, in retrospect, was unjustified, it was an action approved and attempted by honorable and rational members of the Guard under conditions that were hardly different in the eyes of any observer.

There are those who wish to argue that she should have chosen an alternate course of action. Again, in retrospect and in retrospect only, this is possible and even superior, but in the circumstances before her, destroying the gate was a rational choice, and arguably the best available.

Attack Redcloak? We have a dozen expert witnesses on record saying Red would have beaten her since she no longer had paladin abilities to sustain her. Now we know that Red was weakened and she, if not defeated him herself, could have limited him and made it even easier for Soon to win.

Which brings up the Soon-lich fight. Again, we have large number of witnesses that predicted a lich victory. Indeed, it may have only been a fluke that allow Soon to win. So the defendant was entirely justified in assuming that the lich would win and that attacking Redcloak would merely result in her own defeat and leaving the Gate at the mercy of those it must not be allowed to fall into the hands of. That was incorrect, it turns out, but that was a serious risk and one much worse than the alternative of the destroyed gate.

Could she have taken a last look and seen the destruction was not going to be necessary after all? Yes, but again we are talking in retrospect. The laws of drama allow one to make a dramatic speech, and not to be interrupted by enemy attacks. They do not forbid her being interrupted if she pauses to look around and only then tries to destroy the gate. She had right in front of her a demonstration that she could be stopped at the very last minute, and that any delay at all could be too much. In retrospect we can say she should have delayed, but that is because we know there was no danger of a sudden Hold Person or lich paralysis. She could not risk becoming the 2nd half of a set of futile bookends for the throne.

In retrospect, she was wrong, but she made a reasonable and acceptable choice, and we can not punish her for it.

The verdict must be Not Guilty.

dogmac
2007-06-07, 02:15 AM
I soooo called that!

Am I the only one who now wants the snarl's evil arm to reach out and spike Miko's black heart?

Come SMITE oh 12 gods!!!!!

David Argall
2007-06-07, 02:15 AM
Poor Miko. She comes into the throne room and, despite the predictions of many here, makes an entirely rational decision, one that other paladins had attempted to carry out, a fact that was clear to her as well. Moreover, there was a clear danger that true horror would happen if she did not do it. So much for all the claims she is entirely nuts.

But she has to carry out the action just about 1 round too late. Done just a bit earlier and we praise her for her heroic action. Now she gets blamed and condemned roundly.

Now the comic itself is pretty good. We get a result that few of us expected. [The gate was going to be destroyed, sure, but the question was how, and the general theory would have been that was a party action.] and we get ways to keep Miko around in whatever function seems best.

Doompuppy
2007-06-07, 02:30 AM
The problem is that since Miko destroy the gem, she is no better than "committed a crime against the balance of the universe" than the OoTS when Ethan blew up the castle.....

Of course not.
The nefarious Order of the Stick destroyed a gate with malicious intent to weaken the fabric of the universe, openly mock the forces of order and good, and personally insult Miko Miyazaki.
Miko Miyazaki heroically destroyed the Sapphire Gate following clear and obvious guidance from the Twelve Gods, thereby following the path that she, as a Chosen One, has before her. Now, all that remains is to punish the evil Order for their crimes against Azure City and the universe, reinstate the heroic saviour Miko Miyazaki, and commence the glorious rebuilding of Azure City, grander than ever before.
</miko logic>

Sheesh, do I have to spell out everything? ^_-

Scientivore
2007-06-07, 02:39 AM
Does this mean Soon got ranks in Divination since he can see the phylactery, or does he just make an educated guess?

I don't think that it would take anything special for a positive energy spirit to see a negative energy spirit link.

Renx
2007-06-07, 02:39 AM
:xykon::redcloak::mitd::nale::sabine::thog: Go team evil!

Okay, the gate is destroyed, and did not fall into the hands of Xykon. Now what?

Also, how the hell does Soon know about Xykon's phylactery.

A Gray Phantom
2007-06-07, 02:42 AM
It wasn't a completely bad idea when was viewing the scene, but if she had any sort of situational awareness whatsoever, she wouldn't have smashed it. However, once again, she is too wrapped up in herself to take notice of what is actually going on.

Right-O on that observation. "Good Idea, Bad Idea," fits perfectly for the title of this strip :smalleek:.

Hm, I wonder what is going through Ochul's mind right now. I certainly wouldn't want to have a front seat to the destruction of reality :eek:!

KIDS
2007-06-07, 02:43 AM
It's an honest man you have to be careful of, because you never know when he's going to do something incredibly... stupid.

This one really surprised me. Yay for Miko :)

Scientivore
2007-06-07, 02:45 AM
Miko Defense Brief

Your Honor, I move for a directed verdict of Not Guilty, based on the case Universe vs Order of the Stick, in which their destruction of a gate, by Elan as it happens, was decided as not guilty despite several differences that make them more guilty than the defendant here.

Of course, that was a rigged trial, adjudicated by the daddy of one of the defendants and not a useful precedent.

Green Bean
2007-06-07, 02:46 AM
Poor Miko. :smallfrown: Whenever she think's she's saving the world, it turns out she's wrong. I wonder what's going to happen to her.

Of course, I wonder when the OotS is going to get their act together and get their butts in here!

Bosswald
2007-06-07, 02:46 AM
My God, she's a moron.

Rincewind
2007-06-07, 02:47 AM
As I said before;

Miko is made of fail, fail and error, error and sins, and an almost fanatical devotion to the 12 gods...

Calsan
2007-06-07, 02:47 AM
*slowly nods*

Yup to be expected of a character who has high wisdom, yet uses probaly int as a dumb stat. Good at percieving things but not be able to anylise it properly.

Rincewind
2007-06-07, 02:48 AM
*slowly nods*

Yup to be expected of a character who has high wisdom, yet uses probaly int as a dumb stat. Good at percieving things but not be able to anylise it properly.

"dumb" stat or "dump" stat?

†Seer†
2007-06-07, 02:49 AM
Also, how the hell does Soon know about Xykon's phylactery.

A requisite to become a lich is to bind ones soul into a protective vessel (aka phylactery) :P I'd think any pally worth his salt would know about them. As to how he knew Red had it, I think it was more common sense then anything; a lich wouldn't hold his own phylactery, otherwise it doesn't do much as a protector of his soul hehe. Normally it'd be hidden, but Xykon moves around a lot and it's a known fact that Red's his right-hand man...err goblin, so I think Soon put 2 and 2 together and figured Red had it.

Also...
[]====};;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;> :miko

Liliedhe
2007-06-07, 02:49 AM
Well, I was very frightened for what Miko might do - I'm relieved now. I would like to thank David Argall for putting it into words. :)

Now, Azure City is safe from Xykon - there is no gate anymore. Which is very well, since there is no Saphire Guard to guard it. Miko did the right thing (I was very worried about her, really), just at the wrong time. She saw her fellow paladins being annihilated twice and she probably wouldn't have recognised Soon, as she wasn't around for Shojo's "Summon Plot Exposition" ;). Yes, Soon was winning. But it didn't look like that even seconds before...

This way, everything can stay as it is and we just continue to Girard's Gate. Azure City is safe (once the Hobgoblins are evicted) and the Order of the Stick can be granted the honour of eliminating Xykon (instead of an NPC). Miko remains fallen and in disgrace, but not utterly irredeemable - and maybe Soon can talk some sense into her.

So, thanks to the twelve gods for letting it work out this way.

:smallredface: Oops, I made a speech...

Aimbot
2007-06-07, 02:50 AM
Miko, you so crazy.

It's interesting to see a Paladin falling to chaos rather than evil, very fresh.

SweetLikeLemons
2007-06-07, 02:54 AM
For a second, just one second, I thought it might all turn out alright. I should know better.

I also felt bad for Miko, imagining the moment when she realizes the enormity of what she's done. Then I remembered: She's Miko, so it will all be somebody else's fault.

Ridureyu
2007-06-07, 02:55 AM
Well, the gate could explode, destroying Soon's ghost, killing a lot of hobgoblins (not Redcloak and Xykon, since they will have fled in time), destroying Paladin bodies so they can't be raised, and... not scratching Miko at all.

Miko may end up noticing that she isn't "atoned" for it. What could this mean? Angry Miko?

Also, don't forget that she *will* come after the OotS next.

Calsan
2007-06-07, 02:56 AM
"dumb" stat or "dump" stat?

Both :smallwink:

zzyss
2007-06-07, 02:56 AM
Out of interest, what exactly was it that Xykon was trying to cast when Soon jumped him? I noticed that it fizzled.

Psychomancer
2007-06-07, 02:57 AM
I believe the right thing to say here is...


FIRE IN THE HOLE! FIRE IN THE HOLE!!!

Lolzords
2007-06-07, 02:58 AM
Wow, I swore aloud when I read this. What will AC do now? :smalleek:

dresdor
2007-06-07, 02:58 AM
*slow clap for Miko*

So what was the deal with Soon getting stunned when the other Paladins were poofed? He got stunned once when a few died, but nothing happens when they're all dead? That's sorta counterintuitive. Why even put that panel in if it wasn't going to mean anything?

The simple answer is that he was turned. Since these ghost paladins are positive energy undead, it can be assumed that they are the opposite of negative energy undead. Therefore, a good cleric could rebuke/command them with a turning check and an evil cleric (a la Redcloak) could turn/destroy them.

That doesn't explain why he's acting like he's been Rebuked, when the other pali-ghosts are destroyed. For that, I'd say that there's a house rule in play that I use for story purposes: For betterment of the plot, Turned undead may be Rebuked instead, or vice versa. i.e. if it's important for an undead monster to remain in the area instead of running, the good cleric Rebukes instead of Turning, if it's more important that the undead flee, then even an evil cleric will Turn them.

Let's face it, the plot would run out the door with him if Soon just ran...er...floated away, but the Turn check has to have some effect on him.


As per the comic overall...you torture me, giant...this sort of epic battle is amazing, but having to wait days is just killing me...


And I'd love to see Miko bite it....and I want it to be something painful that happens because of her inflated ego.

Lord Zentei
2007-06-07, 02:59 AM
Ah, Miko.

Still strong willed as ever, and both wanting and trying so hard to be Good, yet getting it wrong.

Sympathy and frustration in equal measure. What a brilliant character.


Miko allowed Xykon and Redcloak to escape. I know Liches aren't outsiders, but for something this idiotic, I wonder if the gods will bend the rules and turn Miko blackguard.

The gods can't "turn her" blackguard, it is a voluntary process brought about by a pact with an evil outsider. She has to turn herself, conciously. Nor was the contact friendly or peaceful.


I've said it once, I'll say it again - The only thing worse then pure Evil, is misguided Good.

And that is the truth.

jamroar
2007-06-07, 02:59 AM
Poor Miko. :smallfrown: Whenever she think's she's saving the world, it turns out she's wrong. I wonder what's going to happen to her.

Of course, I wonder when the OotS is going to get their act together and get their butts in here!

Actually, I wonder what is left for the OOTS to do in the battle (assuming Soon isn't instantly banished by the Sapphire's destruction)? Xykon and Redcloak are on the retreat, and any reason for them to hold the city is gone. Find some way to rout the hobgoblin hordes out of the city before it's completely razed to the ground? Fight a rampaging aspect of the Snarl freed by the Sapphire's destruction? It doesn't seem right for Miko, Soon, and a bunch of NPC paladins steal their climatic fight affecting the course of the battle.

dfpiii
2007-06-07, 02:59 AM
I hate (!) Miko.

But unless I miss my guess destroying the gate now leaves a hole from which a small piece of the snarl can escape. Surely it has to be repaired?

lord_khaine
2007-06-07, 03:00 AM
i would like to say i agree 100% with the exellent defence put up by David Agal, how many here were actualy expecting Soon to kick both Xykon AND redcloaks butt, without any reinforcement?

and how many were yelling at O'chun for trying to do the same? when Miko entered the throne room the battle actualy looked pretty bad for Team paladin, and the throne do have a pretty high back, that blocks line of sight to the battlefield.

Avenice
2007-06-07, 03:00 AM
Okay, so I know this is a very stupid question, but I'm just wondering what a Snarl is and if it really is that strong. :| Hope nobody asked this yet.

TakerFoxx
2007-06-07, 03:01 AM
It's the end of the world as we know it...

GeminiSun
2007-06-07, 03:28 AM
... I do believe this is the first time that a webcomic has ever made me physically flinch. Good show, Mr. Burlew. Good show.

Also, I would just like to note that I CALLED THIS. I called it SO HARD. SO HARD.

slayerx
2007-06-07, 03:34 AM
The Begining half of this comic was totally badass...
Xykon gloats about being able to comeback after being destoryed and then Shojo points out he knows where Xykon's soul-hidie place is and Xykon completly panics... Soon then manages to deliver the final smack down to both Xykon and Redcloak and even gets them to admit defeat... ah so bad ass

and yet...
Hooray Miko!
Because of her stupid and misguided action, the webcomic known as The Order of the Stick shall continue!
really, this comic is game over once Xykon and Redcloak are killed... i mean, would we really be able to stand OoTS if Nale was the main villian... ya, scary thought... Xykon and Redcloak are main villian material, Nale, is mini-boss material =P

Ok, though seriously, Miko's in ability to grasp everything never really ceases to amaze... though really, i can't help but think of how much wrong that COULD have gone... i was able to see Miko screwing up even more than that.

Elphir
2007-06-07, 03:40 AM
@Avenice: The Snarl is a big evil thing that created itself when the Gods did not agree what to do. It killed some Gods, and then the Gods imprisoned it. Those Gates are the Gates to the place where the Snarl lives. (Yes, I know this is a very bad explanation =_=)

Hmmm...nice comic....but I wonder what will happen with the Ghost of Soon now...I mean, Miko smashed the Sapphire, isn't Soon bound to the Sapphire?

Baxder
2007-06-07, 03:43 AM
We don't really know Zykon's plans do we? Is his intention to free the snare, or does he just need to control a gate? I'm not sure that it was made clear before...?

Hypothetical
2007-06-07, 03:43 AM
Also, how the hell does Soon know about Xykon's phylactery.

Soon is Deceased. Xykon is more or less deceased. It makes sense that Soon can detect where Xykon's soul is resting.

Alternatly, Soon is a being of ultimate Good. He should be able to naturally detect artifacts of ultimate Evil.

Fabio_MP
2007-06-07, 03:46 AM
SNARLY HELLS!

She did it! My fear come true and she destroyed the gate......

....and the Sapphire Guard with it

while I don't groove for paladins in general I think this is bad.... well Hinjo in now free to leave Azure City to the nobles and try to preserv the "spirit" of the Sapphire Guard (destroy the snarl)

what about Soon? was him bound to the gate or to keeping the Snarl out of the world?

hope she survive to get the idea of what she did... but seems difficult

Gygantar
2007-06-07, 03:48 AM
So stupid for a paladin, isnt wisdom a prerequesite?

I hope that for a moment, the snarl stretches a claw from the gate and tear Miko to shreds...

And yet we have to see the creature in the dark show up and say "what gate!?"

I hope Soon wont disappear beacuse of Miko, and that Xykon and Redcloak gets finished by him. (naaaah I know it wont happen)

Maybe its Belkar who gets to finish her? That'd be fitting!

SuperCrzySgt
2007-06-07, 03:50 AM
The Begining half of this comic was totally badass...
Xykon gloats about being able to comeback after being destoryed and then Shojo points out he knows where Xykon's soul-hidie place is and Xykon completly panics... Soon then manages to deliver the final smack down to both Xykon and Redcloak and even gets them to admit defeat... ah so bad ass

and yet...
Hooray Miko!
Because of her stupid and misguided action, the webcomic known as The Order of the Stick shall continue!
really, this comic is game over once Xykon and Redcloak are killed... i mean, would we really be able to stand OoTS if Nale was the main villian... ya, scary thought... Xykon and Redcloak are main villian material, Nale, is mini-boss material =P

Ok, though seriously, Miko's in ability to grasp everything never really ceases to amaze... though really, i can't help but think of how much wrong that COULD have gone... i was able to see Miko screwing up even more than that.


I couldn't agree more with how smug Xykon was about coming back even though he was getting his butt handed to him. That was perfectly in character for him. His shock when Soon said, hmm your right maybe I'll toast the goblin 1st was awesome.

As far as Nale being a mini-boss, I'm thinking more along the lines of "Midboss" from Disgaea. :smallsmile:

I hope Soon makes Miko work for the OOTS as punishment for her misdeeds or they should remove the mark from Belkar and put it on Miko instead. I can see Belkar teasing her enough that she would try to kill him regardless of the mark's effects.

shnu
2007-06-07, 03:53 AM
Okay, so I know this is a very stupid question, but I'm just wondering what a Snarl is and if it really is that strong. :| Hope nobody asked this yet.

Check out the five part "Crayon's of Time" series, starting here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0273.html).

Fabio_MP
2007-06-07, 03:54 AM
SNARLY HELLS!

She did it! My fear come true and she destroyed the gate......

....and the Sapphire Guard with it

while I don't groove for paladins in general I think this is bad.... well Hinjo in now free to leave Azure City to the nobles and try to preserv the "spirit" of the Sapphire Guard (destroy the snarl)

what about Soon? was him bound to the gate or to keeping the Snarl out of the world?

hope she survive to get the idea of what she did... but seems difficult

jamroar
2007-06-07, 03:56 AM
We don't really know Zykon's plans do we? Is his intention to free the snare, or does he just need to control a gate? I'm not sure that it was made clear before...?

He claims to Roy that he doesn't want to destroy the world. (Which will surely happen if the Snarl is completely released) Also, IIRC, he states that they will need to hold the city for weeks in order for him to complete whatever he intends do with the Gate.

rosebud
2007-06-07, 03:57 AM
Yay, Miko! Making everyone miserable. She's so good at her role.

But sooooo frustrating to have to wait two days until the next strip. :smallfrown: Who will be next?? Roy? The OOTS? Miko and Soon? Hinjo? So many threads left dangling...

Oh, by the way, I LOVE Soon's head chop in panel 7 and Miko's jump in panel 12. Rich seems to love drawing action lines of late. :smallsmile:

I'm still hoping we get to see Roy meet his Dad. That should be funnier than Soon berating Miko.

The_Hunting_Enemy
2007-06-07, 03:57 AM
I'm still waiting for the comicwhere she asks where Roy is, and finds out he died tyring to protect AC. I just hope it wouldn't push her off the deep end rather then help her see the light.

Tordek
2007-06-07, 03:59 AM
Well, now only a very few members of the SG are still alive. I think that Soon, being tight with the TGs, might be able to get her an attonement/geas to restore some of her powers, as long as she agrees to join the OOTS as a subordinate and required to take orders.

I also am pretty sure Hinjo will have Roy resurrected, since, you know, he's Roy.

Also, Xykon will break the third window.

Fabio_MP
2007-06-07, 03:59 AM
SNARLY HELLS!

She did it! My fear come true and she destroyed the gate......

....and the Sapphire Guard with it

while I don't groove for paladins in general I think this is bad.... well Hinjo in now free to leave Azure City to the nobles and try to preserv the "spirit" of the Sapphire Guard (destroy the snarl)

what about Soon? was him bound to the gate or to keeping the Snarl out of the world?

hope she survive to get the idea of what she did... but seems difficult

second thoughs.... the gate is down, not the rip in reality, now the sapphire guard is more needed than necessary, the gate must be build again but all the priest and mage and paladins have been killed (or most of them) who can do such an epic task?

factotum
2007-06-07, 03:59 AM
I'm pretty confident that the destruction of the gate WILL result in Soon being banished. Remember, it is the "honour of a paladin" that is powering him, via the oath to protect the gate. With the gate gone, his oath no longer binds him to earth and he'll have to return to the realms of the dead.

Much as I would love to see him kick Miko's butt all over the throne room, I don't think he'll be able to, so only when O-Chul's paralysation is dispelled will the true enormity of what Miko has just done come to light. When that happens, I can only hope they decide to hang her, then resurrect her so they can hang her again, but unfortunately I don't think it's going to work that way.

Incidentally, why are they so many people in this thread thinking this is the end of the world? The Azure City Gate is only number 3 of 5, and we didn't notice any immediate ill effects when Elan blew up Dorukan's Gate--I doubt we'll see anything immediately troublesome this time, either.

rosebud
2007-06-07, 04:01 AM
I just hope it wouldn't push her off the deep endShe defines the deep end.

moonbiter
2007-06-07, 04:04 AM
Nice to see mr Overconfident flustered for a once too.

Does this mean Soon got ranks in Divination since he can see the phylactery, or does he just make an educated guess?

Soon, being an Epic-level paladin and being more detail-oriented than :xykon: (who's a "Big Picture" sort of guy), has probably read the rulebook regarding his potential Epic-level opponents like liches. Plus, Redcloak is "waving the phylactery around" and it wouldn't be too surprising if the 12 gods had given Soon a bit of divine insight.


Poor Miko. Whenever she think's she's saving the world, it turns out she's wrong. I wonder what's going to happen to her.

I'd suggest either:

she ends up joining Team Evil and gets killed by the OOTS, or
she redeems herself at the end of the strip by saving the world, but dies in the effort.

I think she's doomed either way.

Pantler
2007-06-07, 04:06 AM
But... But... That's...
DAG NABBIT!
It's amazing how wannabe good guys can screw everything up a lot better than full-fledged villains.
Great strip.

The_Hunting_Enemy
2007-06-07, 04:07 AM
She defines the deep end.

Quite true. But is she crazier then someone lighting a match with their own shirt because they're bored, then chewing on it? because I might be crazier. :smalleek:

The Glitter Ninja
2007-06-07, 04:08 AM
I'll probably get flamed from here to eternity for this, but I'm really just kind of tired of seeing the crazy/chaotic/unpredictable character -- especially an NPC and not even a main character -- show up just in time to do something the plot requires. Miko's just a character in a cage until she's needed. She's a one-dimensional plot device, and I guess I'm disappointed because I've come to expect more than that from the strip.

There, I said it.

Movoza
2007-06-07, 04:10 AM
well, a saphire guard standing paralized trying to destroy the gate... what would you think?

had quite a laugh at the last few comics :smallbiggrin:

"broken saphire guard"?
sounds more dangerous doesnt it? :smallsmile:

btw someone said something about destroying the snarl.

wasnt the snarl the thing that held the universe together, but were some loose ends that were the snarl? or something

destroying it... yeah, good idea :smallwink:

eof
2007-06-07, 04:23 AM
The problem is that since Miko destroy the gem, she is no better than "committed a crime against the balance of the universe" than the OoTS when Ethan blew up the castle.....

Yeah, but in Miko's mind, she was probably totally justified, unlike the wicked OotS. :smallbiggrin:

To everyone else, though, it is actually worse than what the OotS did. Unlike Miko, Elan had no idea about the importance of the gate.

Mr Horse
2007-06-07, 04:26 AM
someone kill that b*tch already! sheesh. Miko has to be one of the most annoying antagonists ever!

Pvednes
2007-06-07, 04:26 AM
Holy crap!

TheNovak
2007-06-07, 04:30 AM
Y'know what my favorite scene in the Star Wars prequels is? (Besides the first time I saw Yoda kick some butt.) The scene where Jar-Jar Binks, acting in Padme's stead as senator for Naboo, dooms the republic by nominating Chancellor Palpatine for emergency powers. I love that a character I hate, in his naievete, brought about a massive war and the rule of the Sith.

So...way to go, Miko :smallamused:

I love it when stupid, fictional people do stupid, fictional things.

Adeptus
2007-06-07, 04:30 AM
Aaaargh! Stop smashing things you crazy wench!

Ithekro
2007-06-07, 04:32 AM
Best punishment for Miko, join the OOTS on their quests to save the gates. With or without Roy. Thus she's no longer an NPC, but a real PC.

Doompuppy
2007-06-07, 04:35 AM
The simple answer is that he was turned. Since these ghost paladins are positive energy undead, it can be assumed that they are the opposite of negative energy undead. Therefore, a good cleric could rebuke/command them with a turning check and an evil cleric (a la Redcloak) could turn/destroy them.

That doesn't explain why he's acting like he's been Rebuked, when the other pali-ghosts are destroyed. For that, I'd say that there's a house rule in play that I use for story purposes: For betterment of the plot, Turned undead may be Rebuked instead, or vice versa. i.e. if it's important for an undead monster to remain in the area instead of running, the good cleric Rebukes instead of Turning, if it's more important that the undead flee, then even an evil cleric will Turn them.

Or possibly, the GM decided that he'd default to being rebuked since being an Epic level Paladin, he'd be immune to fear so having him flee from a "turn" felt wrong?

ShiningTed
2007-06-07, 04:37 AM
I have had a lot of issues with many of the recent comics, but this one was superb - the goodies get to win, the baddies get driven off, the loony gets to be a loony, the necessary plot-device happens without the annihilation of AC. Well done Giant! :smallsmile:

The scene where Jar-Jar Binks, acting in Padme's stead as senator for Naboo, dooms the republic by nominating Chancellor Palpatine for emergency powers.Exactly the moment I thought of when I saw this. Truly, Jar-Jar was history's greatest monster :smallwink:

Also, Xykon will break the third window.Its unlikely, but I am still hanging to see Belkar come catapulting thru it :smallamused:

Prothero
2007-06-07, 04:39 AM
Oh, dear Giant, I sure hope you kill her soon.

No redemption, either; that would take all the satisfaction out of it. And it's too overdone for OoTS.

Thorin
2007-06-07, 04:43 AM
ok, even without the information that makes rasonable to destroy the sapphire; she did it

A miko-classical

Shatteredtower
2007-06-07, 04:46 AM
I look at this situation, and I can only feel tremendous sorrow for Miko. Hate her? Why would I hate her?

1. Take one heartbreakingly lonely little girl.

2. Have her well-meaning lord assure her that she was needed here because the gods had a great destiny in store for her.

3. Watch her turn that belief into her personal security blanket, helping her combat the loneliness, but in turn becoming a vicious cycle of addiction, in which her efforts to be worthy make her more isolated, in turn driving her to become more worthy.

4. Put her on an assignment issued under false premises.

5. Have her discover many unpleasant things about her quarry.

6. Let the quarry survive long enough to explain their way out of all she'd seen and heard. Allow them to come of their own accord.

7. Treat them as she expects to be treated by all she's encountered. Name? She's forever a stranger travelling abroad and names are for formalities only in such a world. Comfort? Eschewing comfort has made her the force for good she is.

8. Make them aware that their terrible losses are a consequence of their own desires for comfort.

9. Hear her leader offer a sincere apology for inconsiderate words, warming her to him. Is it possible that there is finally someone in this world she can open herself up to?

10. Alas, no. Watch as he humiliates her over the suggestion of a relationship in public. Watch as he represents the efforts she has gone to as those of a socially inept bully.

11. See her complete her duty, only to be goaded by a halfling who knows where to stick the knife when it comes to insults. Watch her drive her to fury in her efforts to prove herself his better morally as well as martially.

12. See her corner the halfling, prepared to deliver justice for all he had done -- and see people come between her and a known evil! See her bow to her lord's will, but remember them as people who chose evil over good.

13. See her discover that Xykon is still around, heading for her home! Knowing nothing of a lich's phylactery and knowing the Order of the Stick willing consorts with one evil being, see her make a not entirely unreasonable conclusion, based on what she knows.

14. See her discover that the Order of the Stick are performing secret missions for her lord, not so senile as he had appeared, eagerly attempting to work around the Sapphire Guard and laws of the city, even fixing a trial for these evil-doers. Is it so far-fetched to believe that they are evil-doers after all? No, she remembers the stories on the road, and their convenient excuse about the "evil twin".

15. See her desperately take the law into her own hands, lest her lord make mockery of the laws once more. See her overwhelmed by the consequences of that act.

16. See Roy lay into her. Notice how it's not the physical attacks that drive her over the edge against him, but the verbal jabs -- those reminders of how he spurned her, the attacks on her loneliness wrapped up in crude words.

17. See Hinjo nearly talk her down anyway. See how it almost worked -- and then he mentions leaving her plenty of time to pray to the gods for guidance. She had just felt the gods take their blessings away from her, leaving her more alone than she's been in years, and now Hinjo tells her that she'll have all the alone time she needs to try to get ahold of them again -- while evil gets away again?

18. See Miko sent to prison. See her do her best to ignore the taunts until Sabine suggests physical intimacy between them. See her once more seek isolation, believing that in that, she will find her destiny.

19. See the weakness in the bars. Is Miko incorrect to see this as a sign? The gods help those who help themselves, do they not?

20. See her turn from tracking down those who had brought terrible evil to her city and attempt to protect the gate.

21. See O-Chul. See Miko, desperate to feel some sort of connection with the gods once again reach for the opportunity that fate has offered her. See how her attention to the most important detail at the time she entered the room remains unwavering to the point of missing a change in the tides of war.

Sure, she's made a lot of wrong calls over the years, and a lot since we first saw her enter the Order's story. Until she met them, she was the best there was, but they've completely knocked her off her game, turning everything she's known as right and good all her life upside down, leaving her more alone than she'd been since she was a child.

And all she's got as solace in her isolation is what Shojo told her many years before: that the gods had a special plan for her. She saw the chance and leapt for it -- and who could blame her? There was no time for hesitation and second-guessing. Hesitation when she first met Roy and that halfling had left them free to destroy her city. They didn't, of course, but her experiences suggested otherwise. The conclusions she'd reached were not entirely irrational in that regard.

eof
2007-06-07, 04:46 AM
Hm. My first impression was that Miko was "doing the right thing," only a bit too late, so it becomes the wrong thing to do since the invaders are already defeated.

But. Upon reading the strip again, what she says strikes a chord with me. "I, Miko Miyazaki, now fulfill the divine destiny that the Twelve Gods have revealed to me!" So who can with confidence say what Miko is thinking as she smashes the gem? It could be "now the evil lich will not get the gate." But, it could equally well be "the gates are not needed anymore," "the 12 Gods want me to release the Snarl, it is so obvious now," or even "yuk yuk yuk Gods want Miko smash!" Robbing Xykon and Redcloak of their prize, but screwing it up, is something a sane being would do. But Miko is not sane anymore. Personally, I would not bet money that her motivation was "right but a little bit off, timewise."

As Soon dissipates with the destruction of the gem, and O-Chul dies (bound to happen one way or other; although strictly speaking a lich's paralysis induces a death-like state, not a Hold Person-type paralysis, so even if he survives, he might be mistaken for dead and be buried alive), Miko will be the only person left alive in the throne room to tell the tale. Guess what slant that tale will have?

Daimyo Kubota returns, Miko tells her tale, Hinjo is dishonored, Kubota becomes Lord of AC, Miko becomes his personal bodyguard and tOotS and Hinjo are chased from AC on threat of death.

Ronald_saveloy
2007-06-07, 04:47 AM
It seems, Miko had become some kind of unpretictable (thus chaotic) wildcard.

She did some pretty surprising stuff, like killing her rightful lord and destroying the gate (though I'm not sure, if she really knew about the gate - Soon was quite secrective on that point).

By now, she reminds me a lot of Gollum. Or with the words of Gandalf: "We don't know which role she's going to play, for good or ill!"

Bisected8
2007-06-07, 04:48 AM
Well at least she made the right decision....as it would have been 10 minutes earlier.

Silencer
2007-06-07, 04:49 AM
Xykon is now all set to become a coin-op.

Iranon
2007-06-07, 04:49 AM
What really stood out to me was Xykon and Redcloak when they fully expected to die (again)... I wonder if that moment will have an effect on their future dynamics.

Especially in the light that Xykon will have no further interest in Azure City and that Redcloak might want to continue the battle, both for retribution and loyalty to his hobos.



Miko at least messes things up equally for all sides... and might get her much-needed reality check soon. If we accept her premise that the gods still guide her as not-completely-ludicrous, her actions made sense... her Fall would allow the destruction of a gate without a paladin breaking their oath (if you believe in this kind of sign, O-Chul's predicament is a pretty obvious one).

She has been acting in good faith all along, despite her delusions... hence I see a forceful push towards Blackguardhood as far out. The question is whether her personal development really matters any more - she has done enough to justify just having her executed and be done with it. Fantasy storytelling rarely works like that though.

Adeptus
2007-06-07, 04:53 AM
Best punishment for Miko, join the OOTS on their quests to save the gates. With or without Roy. Thus she's no longer an NPC, but a real PC.

This is so weird.

Can you really see anything between Miko and the Order except a fight, since I surely can't. Miko is totally bonkers. She's armed, dangerous and criminally insane.

There is no way that Miko will be accompanying the order, and that is a very good thing. Gods she's annoying these days.

warmachine
2007-06-07, 05:06 AM
Presumably, Xykon and Redcloak can't use a broken Snarl gate, so they'll be after another gate. However, the hobgoblin army will want to consolidate their gains in Azure City. The army will cheerfully follow their Supreme Leader after a storming victory but they have taken casualties, weakening their ability to take another city so quickly.

RelentlessImp
2007-06-07, 05:08 AM
It's the end of the world as we know it...

And I feel fiiiine...

Also, to those questioning Turning and Soon... if I remember right, there's a rule (or variant) of Turn Undead that allows for differing effects if the Undead has too many HD to be outright destroyed by it, causing them to be rebuked instead. I don't think it still exists in 3.5, but it did in 2E. Could be that Redcloak never updated himself like the OotS?

Just one speculation.

jmsl
2007-06-07, 05:13 AM
This is my first actual post in an OOTS thread. (Who knows what page it will finally be.)

I really didn't like this comic, except for the close up of the near-death evils. I've never loved nor hated Miko, but her behavior here is just too annoying. I still don't hate her, I'm just left feeling "ugh". I figured the gate had to be destroyed to get Team Evil to go to the next gate (will the goblin army be caught between Snarl and blade barrier puree?) but this solution left me cold.

Rich did a great job bringing out how truly nasty Xykon was with the insanity ball, turning our amusement at his evil into more hatred. This particular comic just killed my suspension of disbelief, for now, which is amazing for a comic that violates the 4th wall and in game reality all the time.

On top of all that, she grabs the weapon from O'Chul's hand, then goes BEHIND the throne to leap up and strike it? That's a minor quibble, and ordinarily I would ignore it, but here it adds to my overall sense of disconnect.

I don't have any preferences between good, evil, or crazy Miko, but oblivious and stupid Miko is not a fave. It was made worse by the unreasonably sudden victory of Soon. Let's see if I can get this thing to post without quadruple posting. Poor Giant's server.

pendell
2007-06-07, 05:14 AM
Well, well.

Miko did something halfway right. That was EXACTLY what I would have done ... except that, since Soon actually won the fight (against all expectations), it was the wrong thing to do.

And yes, yes it was a bad idea for Redcloak to come in with Xykon's phylactery. He had no business leading a charge while carrying it. The phylactery should ALWAYS be in a safe place, not brought into danger.

Funny how Soon spotted it, just like that.

So all's well that ends well for this arc ... will Miko get out alive? Betcha anything the castle goes KA-BOOOOM!

Interesting also, that the thing designed to protect the gates so far has been what destroys them.

Epic magic protected durokan's gate -- and it was destroyed by a magical sigil.

The honor of a paladin guarded Soon's gate ... and it was destroyed by a paladin.

Lirian's gate was guarded by nature ... and destroyed by fire.

Thank you, Giant!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

StClair
2007-06-07, 05:20 AM
by an ex-paladin, thank you very much. :smallmad:

InfernusTribble
2007-06-07, 05:21 AM
I look at this situation, and I can only feel tremendous sorrow for Miko. Hate her? Why would I hate her?

About a month back I looked through Miko's character arc, and wrote myself an evaluation of it (which I never posted). I'd like to say that I agree with Shatteredtower completely - Miko's not mad or bad. What she is, is a walking tradegy, and despite being a stick figure I fear for her future

If you want to really see what Miko is about, then try looking through the previous comics with her in one go and thinking about them; or just read Shatteredtower's post as they summarise it all very nicely

TheNovak
2007-06-07, 05:21 AM
And I feel fiiiine...

Also, to those questioning Turning and Soon... if I remember right, there's a rule (or variant) of Turn Undead that allows for differing effects if the Undead has too many HD to be outright destroyed by it, causing them to be rebuked instead. I don't think it still exists in 3.5, but it did in 2E. Could be that Redcloak never updated himself like the OotS?

Just one speculation.

Nope. Unlike the 2E Monsters (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0074.html), Redcloak does, in fact, have a Will saving throw (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0456.html).

Vampire_Boy
2007-06-07, 05:22 AM
Of course Miko might very well side with the Team Evil, if she could convince herself (and that has been becoming more and more easier for her) that it is the only way for her to destroy OoTS. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and she has illustrated before that to her, ends justify means. "Clearly, if the gods would not approve me siding with Xykon, I would not be doing it right now." Such rationalizing is very easy for a fanatic like her.

cavalier973
2007-06-07, 05:26 AM
Is O-chul really standing 2 feet away from the Snarl now? at least the good guys win the Throne room battle. Soon is that cool!

Another such victory, and they are undone.

RMS Oceanic
2007-06-07, 05:28 AM
The title is so an Animaniacs reference!

Good Idea:
Smashing the Phylactery of a world-threatening Lich.

Bad Idea:
Smashing the Seal of a world-threatening abomination.

The End!

In all fairness, this is pretty much how it had to go down. Somebody had to smash the gate, so Xykon and Redcloak would leave and the Order could chase them. What consequences this has beyond universal fabric weakening, we have yet to see. Hopefully none. I don't want Soon to be destroyed! Time for him to chastise Miko and for her to not get it. For some reason, I really want Soon to see her for the lunatic she sure is acting like.

Great strip, Rich.

Extra: I find the fact Soon addressed Miko by name to be interesting. This implies he's seen everything that's gone on in the throne room. Everything (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0406.html).

RelentlessImp
2007-06-07, 05:34 AM
Okay. Dug into the PHB to find out why Soon was Rebuked. Some were right.



Turned undead flee from you by the best and fastest means available to them for ten rounds (1 minute). If they cannot flee, then they cower (giving any attack rolls against them a +2 bonus).

So Soon was cowering, since Paladins are immune to Fear effects (though it doesn't state it as a Fear effect), and since Redcloak didn't approach him (only stood within 10 feet) it wasn't broken. As for destroying, he obviously didn't have twice as many levels as Soon has HD, since Soon is epic level, and Redcloak's merely close to it.

Okay. Enough rules-straightening from me. I had to dig into the PHB anyways, as I've been ruling Clerics in my game as a "succeed or fail" on a Destroy or Command. Now I know how to rule it properly.

SteveMB
2007-06-07, 05:39 AM
Have to agree with you there. Baaaad timing on her part. She probably should have checked to make sure that they were really losing first.

She saw that the defenders of the gate were down to the last few ghost martyrs. She didn't make her spot check to notice that one of them was Soon himself.

WingedCheetah
2007-06-07, 05:42 AM
I think of Miko and I get the impression that she's Lawfully Confused.

StickMan
2007-06-07, 05:42 AM
Well the good news is that we know what gate he is going to be at next. God she is crazy. I hope Roy gets to kill her when he comes back from the dead, you know she is going to try. crazy crazy :miko:

factotum
2007-06-07, 05:42 AM
Extra: I find the fact Soon addressed Miko by name to be interesting. This implies he's seen everything that's gone on in the throne room. Everything (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0406.html).

Er...or it might just imply that she said what her name was, like, two panels earlier?

Baldknight
2007-06-07, 05:42 AM
Fantastic comic.

Typical Miko ruining the moment.

I wonder if Soon knew Redcloak had the phylactery before Xykon gave the game away by telling him to run.

What will Hinjo think of all this when he turns up?

Silveralex
2007-06-07, 05:45 AM
Ok, so thanks to everyones favourite walking disaster the Snarls gate is now open in the throne room of Azure City.
Who will be the Snarls first soul snack: Miko, O'Chul or Soon?

Carteeg_Struve
2007-06-07, 05:47 AM
Thank you Miko for proving once again that holding bad guys in prison in the middle of an epic storyline just doesn't work.

Please vote for the "One Strike and You're -10 Hit Points" bill.

Thank you.

RMS Oceanic
2007-06-07, 05:49 AM
Er...or it might just imply that she said what her name was, like, two panels earlier?

Yeah, but would you, being a Paladin of Honor and Respect (hypothetically), address someone you've met for the first time by their first name, even if they gave you their full name? That doesn't strike me as Soon's character. I suspect he's been watching over Miko whenever she was in the throne room, and knows at least a bit about her life. How he feels about her actions (excluding this, of course), we have yet to see.

Sebastian
2007-06-07, 05:51 AM
I just hope it wouldn't push her off the deep end

That would be a step up for her.

slayerx
2007-06-07, 05:55 AM
As far as Nale being a mini-boss, I'm thinking more along the lines of "Midboss" from Disgaea. :smallsmile:


I thought the exact same thing after i made that post =P


And yes, yes it was a bad idea for Redcloak to come in with Xykon's phylactery. He had no business leading a charge while carrying it. The phylactery should ALWAYS be in a safe place, not brought into danger.

Well, Xykon relies on the idea that no one knows that Redcloak's holy Symbol is his phylactery...
Fidning a perfect place where the thing will be safe from anyone that mihgt want to threaten it can be difficult... there is actually a certain stradegy to using Redcloak's holy symbol... For one thing, Xykon can usually make certain it is safe since he keeps it in sight; the only ones who really has a chance of destorying it are those who can either beat him or to a lesser extent Redcloak (not an easy feat)... Redcloak is a high level cleric, he's not going to die very easily, and he is capable of running away. and if redcloak is killed, if the killers do not know that Redcloak's symbol is Xykon's soul, they may just ignore it and leave it be... afterall, why would they suspect a common holy symbol to be his soul-hiddie place.



So all's well that ends well for this arc ... will Miko get out alive? Betcha anything the castle goes KA-BOOOOM!

Interesting also, that the thing designed to protect the gates so far has been what destroys them.

Epic magic protected durokan's gate -- and it was destroyed by a magical sigil.

The honor of a paladin guarded Soon's gate ... and it was destroyed by a paladin.

Lirian's gate was guarded by nature ... and destroyed by fire.

Can't what to see how Girand's gate is destoryed by illusions =P


On top of all that, she grabs the weapon from O'Chul's hand, then goes BEHIND the throne to leap up and strike it? That's a minor quibble, and ordinarily I would ignore it, but here it adds to my overall sense of disconnect.
well... she couldn't really attack from the front since Ochul was kinda standing in the way... though i guess she could have knocked him over...


Thank you Miko for proving once again that holding bad guys in prison in the middle of an epic storyline just doesn't work.
nore does releasing them... except for Belkar... so far

Blaznak
2007-06-07, 05:56 AM
Wheee! More gate-destroyin' goodness! I really wondered what Miko would decide was the right course based on what she was seeing. Interesting choice...

Yellow
2007-06-07, 06:04 AM
lolololololololol

The minute he figures out that he might actually be in danger of really dying, he loses his composure and runs like a little girl.

Xykon fails. :O

EvilElitest
2007-06-07, 06:05 AM
Felt compelled to register after seeing this one. And many other ones, but this one specifically.

She did the right thing. At the right place. For at least one of the right reasons (the twelve gods would probably prefer the seal partially broken to being used by Xykon).

It's a damn shame she couldn't get the timing right.

Umm, except for the minor detail that she shouldn't have done it when the villians were losing

Her expression of glee while doing it is worth noting as well
from,
EE

Rai Thunder
2007-06-07, 06:05 AM
First, she kills the reigning leader of Azure City.

Then, she assaults the heir to the throne.

Next, she breaks out of prison.

Now, she destroys the magical gate that the Sapphire Guard have been supposed to be protecting.

Miko's not exactly got a clean slate now, has she? Great strip, I love the Mr Skullhead reference in the title as well.:smallbiggrin:

Shara_Littlebottom
2007-06-07, 06:06 AM
Wow that was an awesome comic! Have we actually seen a sword penetrate a stick figure skull before? I don't remember but this time was awesome!!

Great comic! I was blown away.

Gandal
2007-06-07, 06:06 AM
I want the Twelve Gods to come and fry her again. :smallannoyed:
EDIT: Soon kicks ass!

LordVader
2007-06-07, 06:06 AM
:xykon: Even if you kill me, I'll just come back to life.
Soon: I suppose it would be prudent to destroy your phylactery as well, then.
:xykon::smalleek: RUUUUN!
Grrr, Miko. Roy should've finished you off when he had the chance, you psychopath.

I just had a hilarious thought! Miko will now be put on trial for the same crime she persecuted the OOTS for!:smallbiggrin:

Damaris
2007-06-07, 06:08 AM
Oooh, Miko *sigh*





Extra: I find the fact Soon addressed Miko by name to be interesting. This implies he's seen everything that's gone on in the throne room. Everything (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0406.html).

Yeah, I wonderd about that too. I find it sweet how he is sure she is (or meant ot be) on his side even though she's a fallen paladin (else he wouldn't say "you don’t need to –")

Irbis
2007-06-07, 06:13 AM
Erm... how did Soon know where Xykon's phylactery is?

And, as a matter of fact, why Xykon doesn't have two?

Miko did one intelligent thing - went for sword of highest level person avaible, thus propably best weapon in the room. :smallwink:

And, while we are at it, did she destroyed the gem because she know what it was or simply destroyed it because Ugly was obviously trying to smash it so she figureg that he couldn't be wrong? Or simply went for random item out of madness? :smallconfused:

Dausuul
2007-06-07, 06:18 AM
Amazing. I expected Soon to die. This means that Azure City may not be lost, if you think about it.

Azure City is pretty thoroughly lost. It's still swarming with hobgoblins, remember? The only hope is that Xykon and Redcloak take the hobgoblins with them when they head for Girard's Gate.

I'm pretty sure Soon poofs out of existence now. His oath was to protect Soon's Gate. Now the Gate is destroyed, he's got nothing left to protect and his oath no longer applies.

And I agree with the previous poster who commented on how each Gate was destroyed by the very things that were supposed to protect it... in this case, by a paladin whose honor had broken. :smallamused:

RMS Oceanic
2007-06-07, 06:18 AM
And, as a matter of fact, why Xykon doesn't have two?

These aren't Horcruxes. As far as I know, you can only have one Phylactery at a time, maybe only one ever.

motub
2007-06-07, 06:19 AM
Incidentally, why are they so many people in this thread thinking this is the end of the world? The Azure City Gate is only number 3 of 5, and we didn't notice any immediate ill effects when Elan blew up Dorukan's Gate--I doubt we'll see anything immediately troublesome this time, either.
I wouldn't be so sure, myself-- well, OK, maybe not immediately troublesome as in a loop of the Snarl entering the physical world, but maybe something more subtly troubling, as in a general greater inclination towards evil, and "good" luck turning "bad". Just less balance, more chaos.

The thing is, the Gates seal intrinsic weaknesses in the Snarl's prison (Rifts). Now, presumably, if all the rifts were open (as of course they once were), it's not so much that The Snarl could explicitly escape immediately, so much as its influence could be extended out into the physical world, which would be bad enough in and of itself, but also that the "leakage" serves to weaken the prison, possibly to the point of collapse at some point.

Think of it like a dam, with five holes and 5 plugs in the holes. Of course the dam isn't going to fall right down just because of the 5 leaks, and if you plug the leaks (as you would), you'd just check the plugs to make sure they're holding, but you wouldn't worry about the stability of the dam as a whole if the plugs were in fact holding.

But you surely would if three of the five (more than half!) of the plugs were non-functional, and there would be effects to the surrounding area (higher water tables, possibly flooding), because the removal of these buttresses is not at all inconsequential (since if the rifts were inconsequential in the first place, you wouldn't have needed to plug them).

Is there a think tank anywhere researching how to re-forge destroyed Gates? Cause what we really need here is the magical equivalent of the Army Corps of Engineers or something.


I just hope it wouldn't push her off the deep end

She defines the deep end.
Truer words were never spoke.....

Interesting take on Chaotic Good, though, and interesting that in a lot of ways she's like a distorted mirror image of Elan (!!!!), who tends to do the right thing wrong for the right reasons (incompetent, but lucky, at least he used to be incompetent before he took the Prestige Class), while Miko tends to do the wrong thing right for the right reasons (incompetent and unlucky).

And for everyone who says "she couldn't see over the throne", well, she was first of all standing outside the door first, where she had a full view of the room (had she looked), plus she had to come around the throne to get O-chul's sword (or do we think she could have reached around while cowering behind the throne and somehow pulled the katana out of O-chul's hands when he was paralyzed in the act of swinging it-- meaning that his grip would have been paralyzed at the moment of greatest tightness?).

She had plenty of chances to attempt to recon the (admittedly fast-moving) tactical situation, but she was more interested in getting to her little monologue about how cool she was than actually being cool (by doing the right thing at the right time). I'd sure like her to get a clue, but more than that (if I can't have my cake and eat it too), I'd like someone to put her out of my misery as well (nice one, Duke Malagigi).

And, you know, I think Soon turned Xykon's own trick against him-- back in 448, Xykon tricked O-chul into turning away from the immediate battle to attempt to destroy an artifact, then jumped him before he could do so-- Soon bluffed Xykon back, into turning away from the immediate fight with him to attempt to protect the phylactery, so that Soon could jump him.

The tried-and-true classics are classic for a reason, you know :smallsmile: .

EntilZha
2007-06-07, 06:19 AM
I see a serious butt-chewing from Soon in Miko's immediate future. And then she'll probably try to kill him, too.

ShiningTed
2007-06-07, 06:22 AM
I'd like to say that I agree with Shatteredtower completely - Miko's not mad or bad. What she is, is a walking tradegy, and despite being a stick figure I fear for her future.Miko has tragic elements, but she lacks the redeeming qualities of a tragic figure. There is so little to like or sympathise with (imho).

What Miko is, imho, is an example of why pride is the first and greatest sin. In the end, her downfall was pride. All she had to do was show some humility along the way - but she was sooooooo sure she was right and the gods were on her side and everyone else, even Hinjo trying to help her, was wrong.

That was the moment (attacking Hinjo and being prepared to kill him, rather than just subdue him and move on) that showed she had lost contact with reason and wasn't just tragic - she was nuts.

smellie_hippie
2007-06-07, 06:24 AM
That was pleasant. :smalleek:

Delgarde
2007-06-07, 06:26 AM
:xykon::redcloak::mitd::nale::sabine::thog: Go team evil!Also, how the hell does Soon know about Xykon's phylactery.

Well, a character of his level must surely have encountered Liches before, so he'd know that the phylactery existed somewhere (unlike Roy and friends). As to how he knew Redcloak had it, either it was a lucky guess (perhaps based on experience), or he has some unknown powers that allowed him to sense it.

The Vorpal Tribble
2007-06-07, 06:27 AM
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Friggin' Friggy fraggin fricktastic friggly FRACK!!!

GRAAAAAH!


Oh my GOD! FRAGGIN etc. etc.

The English Language has failed me.
None of my words could say it quite as succinctly.

Miko you stupid friggin frack!

Maroon
2007-06-07, 06:30 AM
Cue god-killing abomination.

Surfing HalfOrc
2007-06-07, 06:30 AM
Does destroying the Gate actually even do anything? The rifts were there all along, for over a thousand years. The Gates only keep the Rifts from getting bigger, and this Gate was the smallest of them all. The Snarl is still trapped within, and although Soon himself will probably be upset at Miko, it's far from "The End of the World."

Now if Soon the Vindictive attacks Miko, I think this final betrayal will drive Miko over the edge and into the friendly (and I do mean FRIENDLY!) arms of Sabine.

blademaster42
2007-06-07, 06:33 AM
MIKO!

You stupid, prideful, self righteous, inattentive hypocrite! What's wrong with you! Soon was winning! Not losing, winning! Oh My God!

Delgarde
2007-06-07, 06:33 AM
Well, a character of his level must surely have encountered Liches before, so he'd know that the phylactery existed somewhere (unlike Roy and friends). As to how he knew Redcloak had it, either it was a lucky guess (perhaps based on experience), or he has some unknown powers that allowed him to sense it.

In fact, Soon will have the standard paladin ability to detect evil. And if Xykon's crown showed up as strongly evil, his phylactery must show up far stronger. Certainly it'd be obvious to Soon that the item Redcloak was waving around was far more than just a holy symbol.

Kaerou
2007-06-07, 06:34 AM
The situation -is- bad, but she didnt know that Soon was going to win. She saw the last living Paladin trying to destroy the crystal so.. she did what she thought she had to do.

Irbis
2007-06-07, 06:36 AM
These aren't Horcruxes. As far as I know, you can only have one Phylactery at a time, maybe only one ever.

I distinctly remember reading on official material about a lich who made several phylacteries on grains of sand then he dumped them in the largest desert of the planet. I'm not sure if that's the case about normal liches, but having a backup is always a good idea.

Caractacus
2007-06-07, 06:37 AM
Aaaargh! Stop smashing things you crazy wench!

Ho yuss. Dem be da words o' troof, dem be.


Mind you, I like ShatteredTower's assessment though - when you think about it, while Miko is not at all likeable, she can be made understandable.

Fitzclowningham
2007-06-07, 06:41 AM
I love Soon's 'stache in panel 5.

Irbis
2007-06-07, 06:44 AM
Well, here's a lich with two hundred phylacteries.

http://boards1.wizards.com/wotc_archive/index.php/t-644443.html

I don't know if Xykon is powerful enough to cast that, but there you have it :smallwink:

Besides, Miko actually did something right - when she entered the room, there was about a dozen ghosts remaining. Two rounds later, Xykon & Red killed them all, save one. If she waited one more round, they would have finished the last and then immobilize her as they did with Ugly. Well, unless she knew it was Soon. She simply didn't take chances that the one ghost of a dozen will somehow be miraculously able to defeat two strongest guys she had no chance ever beating :smallbiggrin:

Delgarde
2007-06-07, 06:44 AM
So Soon was cowering, since Paladins are immune to Fear effects (though it doesn't state it as a Fear effect), and since Redcloak didn't approach him (only stood within 10 feet) it wasn't broken.

I think that's a stretch. By "unable to flee", the book is talking about creatures who despite their fear are physically unable to leave - they might be trapped, or unable to get to an exit without passing the subject of their fear. That makes no sense for a paladin - they might be forced to flee out of self preservation, but never through fear.

Were I running a game, I'd rule that undead/deathless paladins were immune to being turned or rebuked. Destroyed, yes, if enough power is used to do so. But while negative energies might harm them, they can never be forced away in fear.

Alfryd
2007-06-07, 06:48 AM
I think it's fair to say that Miko made a distinctly non-optimal decision here, but I wouldn't call it blindingly stupid. She walked into a room that contained no hobgoblins, two primary villains, and a vast number of dead paladins. She had no compelling reason to believe that her side was winning.

You'll also note that she was behind the throne when Soon had managed to get a clear upper-hand, so she wouldn't have been able to see the action. Of course, a few cursory Listen checks might have better informed her actions... eh. But hey, this is Miko.

What I find more interesting is that Soon can still manifest even once all the other soul warriors were banished. If that's the case, what was the point of stocking the throne room with essentially impotent mid-level paladins to begin with? Soon was going to wind up doing all the heavy lifting regardless, and he hardly needed the backup. The veterans would have been better stationed outside the entrances to prevent reinforcements getting to the Lich.

lmariem
2007-06-07, 06:51 AM
*jaw hits the floor* She ... she ... OMG! With SOON telling her no, she hit the gate!

Shades of Gray
2007-06-07, 06:51 AM
Rewind to before I saw this strip.

"oh, hey new comic" "Wow :xykon: and :redcloak: are going to die" "yadadadadadada" " what is :miko: doing?" ":she destroyed the gate!"

........


WAIT WHAT?!?!!??!?!?!
GAH!

Now that I got that out of my system... I really hate paladins now. I love being a DM, time to mess with a "Hayden Ironsavior Hero of the Northern Continent" ( The Paladin in the group I DM).

pjackson
2007-06-07, 06:51 AM
In fact, Soon will have the standard paladin ability to detect evil. And if Xykon's crown showed up as strongly evil, his phylactery must show up far stronger. Certainly it'd be obvious to Soon that the item Redcloak was waving around was far more than just a holy symbol.

It was the unholy symbol of an evil high priest. It would be strongly evil anyway.
But Soon was not shown as detecting evil.

It is possible that the 12 gods told him before he returned.
It is possible he noticed something when Redcloak tried tried to turn him.
It is possible that Dorukan's spirit was watching his dungeon, saw that the symbol was the phylactery and told Soon about it.
It is possible that Eugene Greenhilt noticed it and that Soon appearing stunned was a result of Eugene sending him a message about it.

Allandaros
2007-06-07, 06:53 AM
G********, Miko!

purple_smurf
2007-06-07, 06:55 AM
Holy carp, go Soon!
So does this mean Miko'll be becoming a Blackguard anytime soon?

Dausuul
2007-06-07, 06:58 AM
I think that's a stretch. By "unable to flee", the book is talking about creatures who despite their fear are physically unable to leave - they might be trapped, or unable to get to an exit without passing the subject of their fear. That makes no sense for a paladin - they might be forced to flee out of self preservation, but never through fear.

Were I running a game, I'd rule that undead/deathless paladins were immune to being turned or rebuked. Destroyed, yes, if enough power is used to do so. But while negative energies might harm them, they can never be forced away in fear.

I wouldn't think paladin immunity to fear would apply. After all, undead are immune to fear, too.

Idless
2007-06-07, 06:59 AM
ups...

Miko is a very very tragic figure...

I like her... the concept, but not the "person", if you get my meaning.

most scaring part is, that I know someone that actually reminds me SO much of her...

...Idless

Bret_Hawkeye
2007-06-07, 07:01 AM
I just hope, that the last Paladin (the dude with the scar) does make it out there alive...I like him.

Necromas
2007-06-07, 07:05 AM
F**K YOU MIHO!

Bah, and now Xykon gets away, but why can't Soon just fly after him? Maybe he'll run into the OOTS in his badly crippled state on his way out.

Dausuul
2007-06-07, 07:09 AM
F**K YOU MIHO!

Bah, and now Xykon gets away, but why can't Soon just fly after him? Maybe he'll run into the OOTS in his badly crippled state on his way out.

Soon is almost certainly bound to the throne room. That's assuming he doesn't just poof out of existence, now that his oath to protect Soon's Gate is null and void.

Caractacus
2007-06-07, 07:11 AM
F**K YOU MIHO!


Mind your language*:

Miko. NOT Miho. Miko. :smallmad:




In every sense. :smalltongue:

Haruspex
2007-06-07, 07:17 AM
Without any details into what exactly Xykon has planned, it's hard to say what the effect of this will be. Dorukan and Lirial (sp?) had their gates destroyed already and the Snarl hasn't escaped yet. Hinjo is both heir to the ruling family and leader of the Sapphire Guard. It was Soon's idea to merge the two, so I wonder what Hinjo will do next.

agentx42
2007-06-07, 07:22 AM
Miko has tragic elements, but she lacks the redeeming qualities of a tragic figure. There is so little to like or sympathise with (imho).

What Miko is, imho, is an example of why pride is the first and greatest sin. In the end, her downfall was pride. All she had to do was show some humility along the way - but she was sooooooo sure she was right and the gods were on her side and everyone else, even Hinjo trying to help her, was wrong.

That was the moment (attacking Hinjo and being prepared to kill him, rather than just subdue him and move on) that showed she had lost contact with reason and wasn't just tragic - she was nuts.

Preach it, brother! There comes a point where The Tragic Figure crosses that line and loses all sympathy. A lot of the posters here who want Miko to redeem herself must be chewing nails at this point. Can't say I blame 'em. Personally, I think Miko the Wacko makes for a more interesting story, but a little redemption somewhere down the line still isn't out of the question.

(Way, way waaaaaaaaaaaay down the line.)

Jalor
2007-06-07, 07:24 AM
Okay, Miko should die a slow, painful death. I've always hated paladins, and now I hate them even more. I'm thinking that once she realizes her mistake, she will decide the gods have abandoned her, become a blackguard, and join the Linear Guild, having completely lost it.

Black_Light83
2007-06-07, 07:25 AM
ZOMG!!! she is cra-z

Drascin
2007-06-07, 07:28 AM
"Elan", chibi. "Elan".

I read that as Chibi Elan, which had me imagining what Elan would look chibified. The result came off as shock-inducingly cute. Now I must find someone to draw the whole OotS Chibi-style :smalltongue: .

Anyway, as to the strip: Good idea, bad execution, horrid timing. Again, paladins, and specially Miko, are proven to have an awareness of their surroundings comparable to that of a deaf bat (when she entered the room, smashing the Sapphire was a good idea, but she didn't notice the tables turning).

PhallicWarrior
2007-06-07, 07:35 AM
In a word: D'oh!
Just when I thought our resident hot kung-fu chick couldn't get any more unstable, she (inadvertantly) spreads her instability to the very fabric of reality!

Aasimar
2007-06-07, 07:38 AM
Stupid stupid Miko

Kaerou
2007-06-07, 07:44 AM
How is she crazy or stupid?

The entire city has been overrun by hobgoblins.

Theres an entire enemy army in their walls.

They have still lost the battle regardless.

SteveMB
2007-06-07, 07:49 AM
Just off the ravenous Miko hatred a lot of us are feeling for a sec, did anyone else find themselves oddly sympathetic with that closeup of Xykon and Redcloak about to be finished?
Yes. That was quite a feat of storytelling, especially after Xykon established himself as such a total SOB with the bouncing ball of insanity.

Freelance Henchman
2007-06-07, 07:52 AM
Ahhh Miko.....*sighs* Miko, Miko Miko *facepalm*

I agree :smallannoyed: :smallfrown:

erewhon
2007-06-07, 07:52 AM
AAAAARRGGH!!!!!!


MIKO!


LOL! Oh, that girl just....


Man. She'll have a hard time atoning for this one.


"Dear Gods, I'm sorry I distracted Soon and let the evil Lich escape and kept the world in peril."


Of course, we all knew it had to turn out this way, the kobold seer said so. Once again, Roy's "screwup" on that question is turning out to have been a giant stroke of luck indeed.

TheHaist
2007-06-07, 07:54 AM
She's only a freakin'fanatic fallen paladin. Curse you Miko.

Branco
2007-06-07, 07:54 AM
I have to agree with Kaerou.

Even though Soon was winning the battle in the throne room, Azure City was already in the hands of the Hobgoblin Army and therefore lost. Now that the gate is destroyed Redcloak and Xykon have no reason to still besiege the city and will probably move on to Girard's gate. If it weren't for Miko desoroying the gate they would have been able to easily recover behind the legions of hobgoblins protecting them and then, employing a viable strategy now that they know who they are going to face, launched a second attack on the throne room.

GrayMatter
2007-06-07, 07:57 AM
I look at this situation, and I can only feel tremendous sorrow for Miko. Hate her? Why would I hate her?

1. Take one heartbreakingly lonely little girl.

2. Have her well-meaning lord assure her that she was needed here because the gods had a great destiny in store for her.

3. Watch her turn that belief into her personal security blanket, helping her combat the loneliness, but in turn becoming a vicious cycle of addiction, in which her efforts to be worthy make her more isolated, in turn driving her to become more worthy.

4. Put her on an assignment issued under false premises.

5. Have her discover many unpleasant things about her quarry.

6. Let the quarry survive long enough to explain their way out of all she'd seen and heard. Allow them to come of their own accord.

7. Treat them as she expects to be treated by all she's encountered. Name? She's forever a stranger travelling abroad and names are for formalities only in such a world. Comfort? Eschewing comfort has made her the force for good she is.

8. Make them aware that their terrible losses are a consequence of their own desires for comfort.

9. Hear her leader offer a sincere apology for inconsiderate words, warming her to him. Is it possible that there is finally someone in this world she can open herself up to?

10. Alas, no. Watch as he humiliates her over the suggestion of a relationship in public. Watch as he represents the efforts she has gone to as those of a socially inept bully.

11. See her complete her duty, only to be goaded by a halfling who knows where to stick the knife when it comes to insults. Watch her drive her to fury in her efforts to prove herself his better morally as well as martially.

12. See her corner the halfling, prepared to deliver justice for all he had done -- and see people come between her and a known evil! See her bow to her lord's will, but remember them as people who chose evil over good.

13. See her discover that Xykon is still around, heading for her home! Knowing nothing of a lich's phylactery and knowing the Order of the Stick willing consorts with one evil being, see her make a not entirely unreasonable conclusion, based on what she knows.

14. See her discover that the Order of the Stick are performing secret missions for her lord, not so senile as he had appeared, eagerly attempting to work around the Sapphire Guard and laws of the city, even fixing a trial for these evil-doers. Is it so far-fetched to believe that they are evil-doers after all? No, she remembers the stories on the road, and their convenient excuse about the "evil twin".

15. See her desperately take the law into her own hands, lest her lord make mockery of the laws once more. See her overwhelmed by the consequences of that act.

16. See Roy lay into her. Notice how it's not the physical attacks that drive her over the edge against him, but the verbal jabs -- those reminders of how he spurned her, the attacks on her loneliness wrapped up in crude words.

17. See Hinjo nearly talk her down anyway. See how it almost worked -- and then he mentions leaving her plenty of time to pray to the gods for guidance. She had just felt the gods take their blessings away from her, leaving her more alone than she's been in years, and now Hinjo tells her that she'll have all the alone time she needs to try to get ahold of them again -- while evil gets away again?

18. See Miko sent to prison. See her do her best to ignore the taunts until Sabine suggests physical intimacy between them. See her once more seek isolation, believing that in that, she will find her destiny.

19. See the weakness in the bars. Is Miko incorrect to see this as a sign? The gods help those who help themselves, do they not?

20. See her turn from tracking down those who had brought terrible evil to her city and attempt to protect the gate.

21. See O-Chul. See Miko, desperate to feel some sort of connection with the gods once again reach for the opportunity that fate has offered her. See how her attention to the most important detail at the time she entered the room remains unwavering to the point of missing a change in the tides of war.

Sure, she's made a lot of wrong calls over the years, and a lot since we first saw her enter the Order's story. Until she met them, she was the best there was, but they've completely knocked her off her game, turning everything she's known as right and good all her life upside down, leaving her more alone than she'd been since she was a child.

And all she's got as solace in her isolation is what Shojo told her many years before: that the gods had a special plan for her. She saw the chance and leapt for it -- and who could blame her? There was no time for hesitation and second-guessing. Hesitation when she first met Roy and that halfling had left them free to destroy her city. They didn't, of course, but her experiences suggested otherwise. The conclusions she'd reached were not entirely irrational in that regard.

Wow. Suddenly, I don't feel so alone in my regard for Miko :smallsmile: It's true, it's the weaknesses in a good hero that make them a great villain. The fact that those weaknesses are usually things which we can all identify with is what makes them both tragic and sympathetic villains.

Freelance Henchman
2007-06-07, 07:58 AM
Another interesting thing about this strip: this is the first time *EVER* I've seen Xykon being really afraid of anything.

delguidance
2007-06-07, 08:00 AM
She did it! Go team crazy pants.

Oh man I was so worried for the bad guys.

SKarious
2007-06-07, 08:01 AM
NOOOOO! Mikoooooooo!

And just when I thought there's no way I could hate her more.
The only consolation I get is that sometime in the future Miko will understand what she'd done, and realise it makes her similar to Elan.

...that is, if anything can get through her adamantium-enhanced stubbornness.

I need a :smallsmile: strip now.

Freelance Henchman
2007-06-07, 08:03 AM
And another thing: the moment of friendship between Xykon and Redcloak was heartwarming.

DeathQuaker
2007-06-07, 08:05 AM
Hee! I want to see Elan try to sympathize with Miko for what she just did. The results might be messy, but amusing. :smallsmile:

fehler
2007-06-07, 08:07 AM
She believes here destiny was to destroy the gate the first time through, when she hacked Shojo, but missed. Now she fulfilled her destiny as laid out for her.

Greebo
2007-06-07, 08:07 AM
So Hinjo should send Miko to arrest herself now, right? ;)

Human Paragon 3
2007-06-07, 08:07 AM
Just off the ravenous Miko hatred a lot of us are feeling for a sec, did anyone else find themselves oddly sympathetic with that closeup of Xykon and Redcloak about to be finished? I had to remind myself of Xykon killing Roy to re-establish balance. The Giant is really doing his job well when you feel really sorry for the villians.....

Yup. Especially given Redcloak's honorable turn as of late. They really had a shot at the prize for a minute there. Ce la vie.

ravenkith
2007-06-07, 08:08 AM
It's official: Miko is mentally retarded.

I guess the DM bowled a nat 3 for her int, or something, 'cause damn that girl needs to be hit with a clue-by-four.

GrayMatter
2007-06-07, 08:10 AM
That makes no sense for a paladin - they might be forced to flee out of self preservation, but never through fear.

The Twelve Gods have removed all traces of fear from their paladins (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0372.html)

Loyal2NES
2007-06-07, 08:11 AM
Miko really has it out for that chair, doesn't she.

Human Paragon 3
2007-06-07, 08:17 AM
Well, a character of his level must surely have encountered Liches before, so he'd know that the phylactery existed somewhere (unlike Roy and friends). As to how he knew Redcloak had it, either it was a lucky guess (perhaps based on experience), or he has some unknown powers that allowed him to sense it.



Or a good knowledge religion check?

Runolfr
2007-06-07, 08:20 AM
As predicted, she did something stupid.

True, she did. Of course, she could have done something inconceivably, mind-numbingly stupid, so I'm somewhat relieved at the relatively mundane stupidity that she actually showed.

Have to remember to knock some points off her Intelligence score in the "Class and Level Geekery" thread...

Grungydan
2007-06-07, 08:21 AM
Ach. And here I was hoping that we would move on to a new storyline after the death of Xykon.

magicwalker
2007-06-07, 08:25 AM
She should've defended that gate with her last, dying breath.. some Sapphire Guard she turned out to be.

Emmerson Grant
2007-06-07, 08:25 AM
It was the first time I saw Xykon scared out of his skull.

It was a good comic.

MR.PIXIE
2007-06-07, 08:31 AM
Man... I thoght for sure redcloak was gonna be dead those last few pannels:smalleek:

Zhrec
2007-06-07, 08:33 AM
It was good. yet predicted, Miko done the stupidest thing which is possible. She should have staied in the prisone.
Soon rule, I liked that episode.

Fascisticide
2007-06-07, 08:36 AM
Miko seems so happy! Go Miko, you did what had to be done and it can't be wrong because the gods told you so.... right?

Kriel
2007-06-07, 08:36 AM
I wonder how Miko will take to being chewed out by Soon. If she doesn't stop to consider the words of the founder of the Sapphire Guard, then I'll be surprised.

fizzbang
2007-06-07, 08:37 AM
Well, a character of his level must surely have encountered Liches before, so he'd know that the phylactery existed somewhere (unlike Roy and friends). As to how he knew Redcloak had it, either it was a lucky guess (perhaps based on experience), or he has some unknown powers that allowed him to sense it.

Plus, don't forget that the Knowledge skill for knowing about Undead is Knowledge: Religion. And as a nigh-epic, ages-old, paladin who's been involved in fighting an enemy of the gods and been a ghostly guardian of a theocratic city for ages, I'm betting he's got a bit of religious knowledge.

fizzbang
2007-06-07, 08:39 AM
I wonder how Miko will take to being chewed out by Soon. If she doesn't stop to consider the words of the founder of the Sapphire Guard, then I'll be surprised.

I'm betting she'll assume that it's not really Soon, or that being undead has made him evil, and thus an enemy. Welcome to Mikoland, where there's always an excuse to do the wrong thing and think it's right.

Vondre
2007-06-07, 08:41 AM
Yup. Especially given Redcloak's honorable turn as of late. They really had a shot at the prize for a minute there. Ce la vie.

C'est la vie. I think.

And I have one thing to say, and it has nothing to do with Miko:

Pwned. I didn't expect Soon to be able to beat the crap out of Xykon and Redcloak so easily. Dang he's awesome.

Amon Star
2007-06-07, 08:42 AM
And :miko: does it again. Are bless, she ain't that bright. But she does her best.

The look on :xykon:'s face in panel 3 was priceless. As of cause was the smug look on Soon's face. And what got to see how brave Old Bony really is.

However, my favourite panel was 8. The fact that Skull Face's last words were of a friendly nature to :redcloak: really shows how fond of him he really is.

I can't wait for :redcloak: to stab :xykon: in the back. That will be hilarious.

SKarious
2007-06-07, 08:43 AM
I wonder how Miko will take to being chewed out by Soon. If she doesn't stop to consider the words of the founder of the Sapphire Guard, then I'll be surprised.

I don't think she'll stop.
After all, she pretty much ignored a giant blue lightning bolt, and the loss of her powers and flashy wardrobe.
You can't be any clearer than a message from the gods on the lines of "you're fired!"

lemmor
2007-06-07, 08:46 AM
Soon is truly a epic level paladin, and with ghost features, Xykon didnt have a real chance... to bad for Miko, with the saphire gone there is no need for a Saphire Guard to exist, not even a Saphire Guard Martyrs, so this may be the last we see of Soon; ever the less what a Climax!!! I await the epilogue for this storyline, I supose raising Roy, colect V, mop up the rest of the hopgoblins and up to the next gate, which thanks for the messed up question Roy asked to the oracle, we know which is it... Thanks for a epic level siege Giant!!!!

Arcane_Secrets
2007-06-07, 08:46 AM
.....GRRAAAGGHHH!!! MIKO!!

Is there anything she can do to make me hate her even more? :smallfurious:

Kill Belkar as soon as she sees him? Although a couple of hits with the skull he's carrying if he can fire quickly enough might weaken her to the point where the rest of the Order puts her out of our misery.