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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I tend to treat "destroy entire villages, murdering even children and civilians" and "enslave entire villages, which eventually results in the premature deaths of some" as roughly equal crimes against humanity. Erm, humanoidity?
    I haven't read all the supplemental materials, so I may be missing some vital context that shows the Paladins behaving worse than this, but my understanding is that in terms of overarching policy, they do not murder goblins indiscriminately. Individual soldiers and Paladins sometimes go off the rails, but contrary to what Redcloak implies, it's not Azure City policy to attack goblins simply for the sake of attacking goblins. Redcloak's village was attacked because it was harboring the Crimson Mantle, an artifact intended to endanger the entire world.

    They attack specific villages where the bearer of the Crimson Mantle is known to have appeared because they believe (correctly) that the Crimson Mantle and anyone who bears it is a threat to the world itself. This doesn't quite justify the extreme lengths they went to in wiping his village out, but it's worth pointing out that their belief that even a single goblin escaping with the mantle could endanger the entire world and threaten the agonizing death of everyone everywhere was, in fact, entirely correct (since it's what happened.)

    A lot of what they did in the process of dealing with that was pretty terrible, and there's still a lot of racist paladins or Azure City soldiers, but I don't think it's fair to compare that to human slavery, which seems to be institutionalized.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2019-02-20 at 01:36 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    Individual soldiers and Paladins sometimes go off the rails, but contrary to what Redcloak implies, it's not Azure City policy to attack goblins simply for the sake of attacking goblins.
    It's both better and worse. Azure City Policy was to not tell the paladins what they coul and could not do, so Azure City (or, more specifically, Shojo) was absolutely responsible for the actions of the paladins, even when they went off the rails, because they had given them free rein. But once this obvious abuse was brought to the attention of Shojo, he took steps to curtail it. Of course, by then the damage had been done.

    We never do get direct knowledge of what the Paladin Code of Conduct for these raids is, but until the end of "How the Paladin got his scar" it was clearly merely borderline good - thus why every so often, a paladin stepped over. For example, they were attacking goblinoid settlements on the basis that they had magical protections against scrying, under the general assumption that the only thing goblinoids would want to hide had to be the crimson cloak. If you are thinking "that's a big gaping hole in logic", then yes, that is indeed the point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Spoiler: Start of Darkness, How the Paladin Got His Scar
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    The destruction of Redcloak's village had nothing to do with the Crimson Mantle. The paladins deliberately, knowingly left their target's cloak lying on the ground--something Gin-Jun castigates himself for later after learning that it's an artifact. There was no "if any of them get away they threaten reality"--only "that one threatens reality, and since we're in the area and already have our swords drawn we have no reason not to clean up all these other vermin."

    Rich also said that Azure City had a decades-long history of exterminating entire villages (plural) of goblinoids and other humanoids; that may have been retconned into only what was shown in How the Paladin Got His Scar, I don't know.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Rich also said that Azure City had a decades-long history of exterminating entire villages (plural) of goblinoids and other humanoids; that may have been retconned into only what was shown in How the Paladin Got His Scar, I don't know.[/spoiler]
    Not impossible. I seem to recall some Word of God that Hel only got dwarf souls because only dwarves had such a strict code of honor, which was retconned when Hel's possession of dwarven souls became an important plot point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Ah, thank you very much GreatWyrmGold, you obviously live up to that name with your intelligence and wisdom with that post.
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  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Not impossible. I seem to recall some Word of God that Hel only got dwarf souls because only dwarves had such a strict code of honor, which was retconned when Hel's possession of dwarven souls became an important plot point.
    I completely forgot about that.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I seem to recall some Word of God that Hel only got dwarf souls because only dwarves had such a strict code of honor
    [citation needed]

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    [citation needed]

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  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by martianmister View Post
    I disagree with the interpretation that says it is a retcon, but on the other hand, I can now parse the original thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    I guess a way to reconcile that quote with the canon would be to assume that Hel still gets to claim the souls of dishonoured northerners on top of getting the dwarves by default, but it just so happens no one (or very few people) who isn't a dwarf believes in that honor system, so in practice she only gets the dwarves. So there'd be an almost perfect overlap between her two sources of souls: dwarves and the dishonoured.

    There might be some actual text in the comic that contradicts this - I haven't re-read the current arc in full.
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  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    I disagree with the interpretation that says it is a retcon

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    Seconded, but I'll take it a step further. That comment was made on 4/11/2012, so the current strip at the time was 848. I would be full-on flabberfasted if the Hel subplot wasn't entirely fleshed out by then and he ret-conned it almost as soon as it was time for that whole thing to come out.
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  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Seconded, but I'll take it a step further. That comment was made on 4/11/2012, so the current strip at the time was 848. I would be full-on flabberfasted if the Hel subplot wasn't entirely fleshed out by then and he ret-conned it almost as soon as it was time for that whole thing to come out.
    Especially considering the comic 111 strips before that.

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by hroşila View Post
    I guess a way to reconcile that quote with the canon would be to assume that Hel still gets to claim the souls of dishonoured northerners on top of getting the dwarves by default, but it just so happens no one (or very few people) who isn't a dwarf believes in that honor system, so in practice she only gets the dwarves. So there'd be an almost perfect overlap between her two sources of souls: dwarves and the dishonoured.

    There might be some actual text in the comic that contradicts this - I haven't re-read the current arc in full.
    IMnpHO, it's the other way round: only the dwarves believe in a code of honour because they are the only ones that need it. They would go to Hel unless they are honorable, so the moment they were informed of this by Thor, they developed a code of honor that'd get them out of Hel (a code that, I need not remind you, includes picking fights with conifers and drinking yourself to death).

    Haley, who as a human will not have survive Hel's gauntlet, need not have a belief on any system of honor to save her - but if she did, and believed she had not been honorable, she could have ended up in Hel who, on top of everything else like undead, is also the goddess of the dishonored dead. This is no different from Roy ending up at the mountain because he thought himself LG.

    It is an open question whether they'd stay there, but they definitely first go to where they believe they belong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    I imagine a human who by some strange circumstance was raised by dwarves might subscribe to the honor system strongly enough to end up in Hel if they failed to live up to it.

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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    While I think its obvious that Rich was trying to provide a plausible answer without giving away plot details that hadn't happened yet, I agree that its entirely possible to parse it as "the dwarves are screwed either way, but its possible to opt into the system as a non-dwarf if for some reason you felt the need to."
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by RatElemental View Post
    I imagine a human who by some strange circumstance was raised by dwarves might subscribe to the honor system strongly enough to end up in Hel if they failed to live up to it.
    I would weep for Captain Carrot, but then I remember that, if Carrot isn't honorable, then a honorable person has literally never existed.

  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    Yeha, the defense of the city probably would have gone a lot better without Miko ****ing it up. Say what you will about Shojo, but, while Hinjo may be more inspiring, Shojo was better both at corralling the nobles and at appealing to the common man.
    It's not entirely clear that Shojo being in prison for reasons that can't be publicly explained wouldn't have had similar effects, and while you can certainly hold Miko responsible for killing Shojo, you can't blame her for the timing of her arrival at the throne room.

    Also, as recent strips have made pretty clear, Shojo could have been back in action 15 minutes later if he'd wanted to. To the extent that Azure City suffered from his absence, that was essentially his own decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Teioh View Post
    The biggest difference is, Miko would've been fighting Xykon. She would've died. Soon would come. Miko would be dead and unable to ruin things. Bye bye lich and Supreme Commander.
    Oh, I don't know. Conceivably the high priest might have raised the teleporting wizard who got eaten by the Roc, and, after recovering from the shock of learning that there are forms of magic that allow instant transport over large distances, Miko would have insisted on launching some kind of offensive strike to put the enemy off-balance, thus leading to X, Y and Z. It's unlikely that she could actually kill Xykon, but dispatching Redcloak and seizing the phylactery isn't outside the realm of possibility. Conversely, such an offensive strike might have prompted X & RC to reconsider their own strategies, thus ensuring both were not in the throne room at the same time when Soon came calling.

    All of this assumes, of course, that she doesn't straight-up murder the Order for alleged collusion with Xykon and wind up Falling anyway. I don't really know, it's all a butterfly-effect scenario. <shrugs>
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    Last edited by Lacuna Caster; 2019-02-24 at 10:40 AM.
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    It's not entirely clear that Shojo being in prison for reasons that can't be publicly explained wouldn't have had similar effects, and while you can certainly hold Miko responsible for killing Shojo, you can't blame her for the timing of her arrival at the throne room.
    Sure we can. She decided to break out of jail, she decided that being stripped of her powers by the Twelve Gods themselves was a political decision made by Hinjo, she decided right then was the time to go to the throne room. We can absolutely blame her for the timing of her arrival at the throne room because she could have chosen not to go at all, or to stay in jail and plead her case.
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Sure we can. She decided to break out of jail, she decided that being stripped of her powers by the Twelve Gods themselves was a political decision made by Hinjo, she decided right then was the time to go to the throne room. We can absolutely blame her for the timing of her arrival at the throne room because she could have chosen not to go at all, or to stay in jail and plead her case.
    Or not murder her defenseless liege lord, and thus not be in prison at all.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  19. - Top - End - #169
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Sure we can. She decided to break out of jail, she decided that being stripped of her powers by the Twelve Gods themselves was a political decision made by Hinjo...
    No no no no. I mean arriving at the throne room at the precise moment needed to hear Shojo talking to Roy about colluding to dupe the paladins. This is in a presumed scenario where she never kills Shojo, remember?
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    1) "Miko, as a still-obedient paladin of the Sapphire Guard, insists on a modification of the city's defensive tactics" is highly unlikely.
    2) Miko attacking Redcloak is in the comic. While she is clearly, despite the wishful thinking of anyone who would want to invoke the tier system, more than a match for Redcloak, the fight didn't end with even an inconvenience for Xykon.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    1) "Miko, as a still-obedient paladin of the Sapphire Guard, insists on a modification of the city's defensive tactics" is highly unlikely.
    2) Miko attacking Redcloak is in the comic. While she is clearly, despite the wishful thinking of anyone who would want to invoke the tier system, more than a match for Redcloak, the fight didn't end with even an inconvenience for Xykon.
    (1) Well, that depends- Shojo being alive is not the same thing as Shojo not being imprisoned and awaiting trial, and she is the Guard's highest-ranking member. She might very well have operational authority over Guard forces here. And even if she doesn't, it's not like she can't make her case to either Shojo or Hinjo, particularly if a teleporting wizard or other auxiliary forces legitimately change the tactical parameters of the situation.

    (2) Sure, Xykon can flatten Miko or anyone else without much effort. But if Redcloak and Xykon are separated (which they were, for a time,) it's not impossible that sending a strike team into the enemy's camp could dispatch RC before Xykon received word. I don't know, it's just a possibility. Might turn out for the worse as well.
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    No no no no. I mean arriving at the throne room at the precise moment needed to hear Shojo talking to Roy about colluding to dupe the paladins. This is in a presumed scenario where she never kills Shojo, remember?
    Yeah. In that scenario what happens to Shojo is 100% his fault (Miko would be reacting the same way that Hinjo did and, therefore, presumably the way most other Paladins would have.)

    While Miko's actions were more unjustifiable, it's reasonable to argue that the real damage to the city's defense was done by a combination of Shojo's scheming and the dumb luck that made all of it fall apart at the worst possible time. Even if Miko hadn't killed him, him being jailed wouldn't have been much better (and possibly even worse, since the nobles could reasonably portray it as a coup by Hinjo.)

    It's possible he could have talked Hinjo into postponing the public announcement and jailing until after the battle, but it didn't seem to be Hinjo's initial reaction, and it's hard to see Miko accepting that. (The prompt just posits a non-murderous version of her, not a 100% reasonable version of her.)
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2019-02-25 at 02:00 PM.

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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    Yeah. In that scenario what happens to Shojo is 100% his fault (Miko would be reacting the same way that Hinjo did and, therefore, presumably the way most other Paladins would have.)

    While Miko's actions were more unjustifiable, it's reasonable to argue that the real damage to the city's defense was done by a combination of Shojo's scheming and the dumb luck that made all of it fall apart at the worst possible time. Even if Miko hadn't killed him, him being jailed wouldn't have been much better (and possibly even worse, since the nobles could reasonably portray it as a coup by Hinjo.)

    It's possible he could have talked Hinjo into postponing the public announcement and jailing until after the battle, but it didn't seem to be Hinjo's initial reaction, and it's hard to see Miko accepting that. (The prompt just posits a non-murderous version of her, not a 100% reasonable version of her.)
    I think its conceivable that Shojo could convince Hinjo (and, I guess in this hypothetical, a more rational Miko) that he hadn't done anything illegal, regardless of the moral weight of his deception, and minimized the damage done to being ousted as leader of the Sapphire Guard in favor of whoever his designated successor was (probably Hinjo) while retaining lordship of the city.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I think its conceivable that Shojo could convince Hinjo (and, I guess in this hypothetical, a more rational Miko) that he hadn't done anything illegal, regardless of the moral weight of his deception, and minimized the damage done to being ousted as leader of the Sapphire Guard in favor of whoever his designated successor was (probably Hinjo) while retaining lordship of the city.
    I dunno. Before Miko cut in (heh), Hinjo's response was save it for the magistrates.

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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    It's possible he could have talked Hinjo into postponing the public announcement and jailing until after the battle, but it didn't seem to be Hinjo's initial reaction, and it's hard to see Miko accepting that. (The prompt just posits a non-murderous version of her, not a 100% reasonable version of her.)
    I... don't see anything unreasonable about insisting on Shojo being, at minimum, forcibly detained at that point. It's not like him being in cahoots with Xykon has exactly been disproven either.

    Also, reading back, the prompt actually posits a version that just arrives a few minutes earlier or later, in which case it's not a question of how murderous Miko might be, but simply of her still being in the dark about Shojo's collusion with Roy & Co. In this scenario she'd still be largely convinced of Xykon's collusion with Roy & Co., so it's not like 'slash slash slash' is off the table in some direction or other.
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    I... don't see anything unreasonable about insisting on Shojo being, at minimum, forcibly detained at that point. It's not like him being in cahoots with Xykon has exactly been disproven either.

    Also, reading back, the prompt actually posits a version that just arrives a few minutes earlier or later, in which case it's not a question of how murderous Miko might be, but simply of her still being in the dark about Shojo's collusion with Roy & Co. In this scenario she'd still be largely convinced of Xykon's collusion with Roy & Co., so it's not like 'slash slash slash' is off the table in some direction or other.
    You cant prove a negative. The only "evidence" that Shojo is colluding with Xykon is that Miko thinks he is because she doesn't like the Order. Hinjo, to the best of my knowledge, does not actually have any hard proof of illegal action on Shojo's part.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    You cant prove a negative. The only "evidence" that Shojo is colluding with Xykon is that Miko thinks he is because she doesn't like the Order. Hinjo, to the best of my knowledge, does not actually have any hard proof of illegal action on Shojo's part.
    You are allowed to arrest people on reasonable suspicion of a crime even if you don't have proof. Xykon being alive despite the Order loudly claiming otherwise is reasonable grounds for suspicion about their claims. Shojo declaring out loud that he's been going behind his paladins' backs and fabricating an elaborate web of lies is reasonable grounds for suspicion about the legality of his actions. It may not be grounds for instant execution, sure. But it's certainly grounds for forcible detention.
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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    You are allowed to arrest people on reasonable suspicion of a crime even if you don't have proof.
    Citation required for Azurite law.

    ETA: My overall point isn't to be flippant, it's that you don't know what other factors may play into this. Right off the bat, there may be a wartime provision that exempts the ruler from being detained during an assault. Or Hinjo could choose to wait until detaining Shojo until after the battle, because he's already effectively ROR'd, as the lord of the city. Among many, many other potential factors.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2019-02-25 at 02:44 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Lacuna Caster's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Citation required for Azurite law.
    Okay, if Azurite law has some set of unreasonably specific exception in the case of the liege lord or his immediate associates, fine, maybe then Miko can't arrest him. But we were talking about what Miko might reasonably want to do. Miko has reasonable grounds for suspecting that Shojo, Roy & Co. are and were up to no good, and there's an evil lich about to batter down the city gates. Demanding that they detained until the crisis is past is not an unreasonable thing to expect.
    Give directly to the extreme poor.

  30. - Top - End - #180
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    Vinyadan's Avatar

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    Default Re: What if... Miko never killed Shojo?

    My impression was that the only thing Shojo had done that was really a big, magistrate-worthy deal was faking the outcome of a trial.

    The rest was Hinjo being upset at Shojo for a number of personal reasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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