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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    let's examine what the Deva says to Roy:

    "What matters is that when you blow it, you get back up on your horse and try again."

    Miko does not do this. When she blows it-- and gets a literal sign from the heavens that she screwed up-- she doubles down that she is right, and that the universe is just trying to steer her to her pre-determined conclusions. Soon tells her as much in her death scene.
    Plus, as Complete Divine points out, events toward the end of a character's life have extra weight when determining a character's appropriate afterlife destination.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Yeah. Like the idea that Roy isn't good, when his Deva Reviewer explicitly states that he has repeatedly done good acts without thought of compensation or reward.

    As towards Miko, I'd have to check which commentary page in W&XPs has the exact citation, but Rich also bluntly stated that Miko had been pushing the very limits of the LG alignment for a long time. My take on that is that her falling was a matter of when, not if.
    And she did get compensation. Being a paladinwas her reason for being "good"

    I would call magic powers pretty good compensation
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    As towards Miko, I'd have to check which commentary page in W&XPs has the exact citation, but Rich also bluntly stated that Miko had been pushing the very limits of the LG alignment for a long time. My take on that is that her falling was a matter of when, not if.
    The page in question was immediately before strip 401:


    "This was not simply one sudden switch from being a Good Guy to being a Bad Guy; this was the culmination of years of behavior. Being a little too quick to pull out the katana ... being a little too suspicious of everyone's motives ... being a little too willing to find the technicalities in her alignment rather than living up to the spirit of it. She pushed and pushed on the boundaries of what it meant to be Lawful Good and a paladin, until one day, she broke through."
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Setting aside some of the individual details here (I don't think Miko's conclusions that led her to murdering Shojo were plausible, given that even if she was right about Shojo and the Order, there were better ways of handling the situation; see Hinjo's reaction), let's examine what the Deva says to Roy:

    "What matters is that when you blow it, you get back up on your horse and try again."

    Miko does not do this. When she blows it-- and gets a literal sign from the heavens that she screwed up-- she doubles down that she is right, and that the universe is just trying to steer her to her pre-determined conclusions. Soon tells her as much in her death scene.
    The question is whether she does so on malicious intent, though.
    Does she constantly try to find "the right way" or not?

    Watch her closely: once she ends up in jail she rejects Sabine's offer and ultimately knees down to pray - and I have no doubt that - again - she doesn't get an answer from the gods.
    So how does she interprete the gods stripping her powers??
    She is confused and asks them for guidance - which they don't give.

    My impression of Miko is that she she always been a very lonely character. Maybe aggravated by Shojo telling her how very special she was, being the highest ranking paladin, and due to her character she only really trusted the gods and no one else.
    She must have trusted Shojo as her fatherly mentor figure - but she LOST him once he turned senile.
    It must have been a shock for her to hear that the one mortal person she trusted had actually faked his senility and didn't even bother being honest to her. PLUS he seemed to work with a party containing the vicious Belkar, to boot.

    We don't exactly know how Shojo raised her, but I think the Giant said something about Shojo being guilty of making Miko feeling so special and having that ultimately blow up in his face, didn't he?


    Watch the very last scene with Miko: ultimately, she meets someone she can TALK to, AND trust: the paladin "god" Soon. He explains to her that she screwed up. Does she deny it then?
    For me, Miko seems rather misguided than malicious here... And if the last moments of a character count more...............

    Miko made a very very bad lifetime choice in choosing to trust only Shojo, the gods and herself.
    The gods didn't give a dime answering her with concrete advice and Shojo betrayed her in faking Senility instead of trying to be a good mentor.
    She SHOULD have looked for better friends, then, and maybe asked O Chul or Hinjo for advice, definitely.
    But she lives in a world where she IS a high ranking servant of a pantheon of gods. REAL, TANGIBLE gods that could theoretically guide her, but chose not to. It really is tough giving her too much fault for this, especially if you consider she knows she will eventually end up in an eternal afterlife probably governed by these dieties.

    Miko did a BAD job, nobody denies that.
    But there are mitigating factors at work.
    She caught her direct supervisor, Shojo, red handed at betrayal. When she killed him, the super bosses took away her magic weapons but didn't explain nothing.

    Yeah, I would agree with Miko when she says everything is so confusing.



    One could surely fault Miko for being too quick to draw her sword - why didn't she arrest rather than kill Shojo, for example. And I would surely do that, were I a deva.
    The problem in this story, in her world, though is that the world is set up as this weird place where the gods give you crackers (aka experience points) for slaying sentient beings - no wonder stuff goes wrong, is it?

    As a side note, I wouldn't be surprised if the "XP for kills" rule is done away with in the aftermath of the story.
    In my personal pen&paper roleplaying experience in my youth we eventually found out how and why damaging this rule really is, and nerfed it, and issued more and more points for roleplaying and for completing and adventure and such.

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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    I feel sorry for Miko.
    Everything she stood up for was a lie.
    But she did not handle it well.
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Consider this: If the Twelve Gods themselves appeared to her BEFORE her Fall and told her, "Miko, you're wrong; The Order is not in league with Xykon," what do you think she'd have done?

    A) Accepted their words without question and joined the Order in the defense of Azure City

    B) Come up with some excuse to dismiss this new information, such as "These are clearly Fiends masquerading as the Twelve Gods to deceive me!"

    Based on what we know of Miko's character, I'm inclined to believe she would pick Choice B. Miko's Fall was less about the act of murdering Shojo (though it obviously played a big part) and more about the fact that she was never willing to acknowledge and atone for her mistakes.
    Last edited by The Aboleth; 2019-05-01 at 02:58 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    A paladin that sits in a room for most of their life doesn't fall. Refraining from doing Evil is not the same as devoting your life to Good.
    ...
    As per Roy's Deva: "you regularly battle the forces of Evil without expecting compensation". That, according to the comic, counts as Roy being a Good man, i.e. interest in doing Good for good's sake.
    Sounds like we have different definitions of what Devoting your life to Good" looks like. I focus on motivation, you focus on deeds.
    The way I see it, devotion and action are separate. They influence each other, but the same devotion can lead to different actions and the same actions can come from different devotions. A paladin/monk might express their devotion to good by fighting evil, but a paladin/aristocrat might express their devotion to good by ruling justly and inspiring others to do good, while a fighter might fight evil out of a desire to protect others (and a ranger/barbarian might fight evil because he likes the sound ogres make when they hit the ground).


    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Beyond how flagrantly Evil I find killing a defenseless old man to be: The Deva explicitly tells Roy that if he hadn't gone back for Elan, his file would have gone straight to True Neutral. That's an explicit in-comic example of alignment change from one individual incident, so your post is factually incorrect. Now, what do you think would have happened to Roy's alignment if instead of abandoning Elan, he had just straight-up murdered him?
    I don't think it's literally just that one action that made the deva consider chucking Roy in TN. She gives a list of other offenses, which Roy brushes off. Not all of those excuses are weak ("It was an illegitimate authority" is a perfectly valid reason for an LG character to resist arrest), but some very much are ("It would have been destroyed anyway" is a bad excuse for what amounts to fraud and theft, regardless of alignment). And given that that one incident was only worth half a comic but Roy had to spend the entire next strip defending his choice to work with Belkar, I don't think the Elan incident was even the biggest reason Roy would be chucked into TN in that scenario, just the straw (well, brick) that broke the celestial camel's back.
    Single actions can be turning points or camel-back-breakers, but only if supported by other actions.

    Beyond what Grey Wolf pointed out about the Deva's assessment of Roy, I think we have numerous examples of Roy-- world-saving included-- doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do, and that describing him as someone who "has never shown an interest in good for good's sake" is grossly a fundamental misreading of his character.
    Or a different definition of "good for Good's sake". As I told Grey Wolf, i don't think doing something because it's right isn't the same as going it to support the cause of Good, especially if you're motivated to do the right thing/see it as the right thing because of something more specific (like a desire to protect the innocent or save lives or comfort the needy or whatever).
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    It might also be worth considering the deva's final conclusion, which is that the fact that Roy was trying to be lawful good was the most important part.

    Note this: "You're trying to be lawful good. People forget how crucial it is to keep trying, even if they screw it up now and then. They figure that if they can't manage it perfectly every waking second, then they should just pick some other alignment because it'll be easier. But it's the struggle that matters. It's easy for a being of pure Law and Good to live up to these ideals, but you're a mortal."

    Compare / contrast this, which is basically exactly what the Deva was talking about.

    Also see what she says on the next page:

    "He was doing what he thought was best, to the limit of his abilities - including his ability to judge what was best."

    That could describe someone else we know, too.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2019-05-01 at 04:47 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    It might also be worth considering the deva's final conclusion, which is that the fact that Roy was trying to be lawful good was the most important part.
    That's the biggest factor against counting Roy's failures against him, which may or may not be the biggest factor in his final alignment. I'd say that the times he thought through his actions and did the right thing are probably a bigger component.

    Compare / contrast this, which is basically exactly what the Deva was talking about.
    It's the extreme, caricatured example of what she's talking about, but it's still an example.

    Also see what she says on the next page:
    "He was doing what he thought was best, to the limit of his abilities - including his ability to judge what was best."
    That could describe someone else we know, too.
    If I were Aquillion, this would be the part where I emphasized that just because Miko is about as Lawful Good as Roy doesn't mean they are equally in the right.
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Aboleth View Post
    Consider this: If the Twelve Gods themselves appeared to her BEFORE her Fall and told her, "Miko, you're wrong; The Order is not in league with Xykon," what do you think she'd have done?

    A) Accepted their words without question and joined the Order in the defense of Azure City

    B) Come up with some excuse to dismiss this new information, such as "These are clearly Fiends masquerading as the Twelve Gods to deceive me!"

    Based on what we know of Miko's character, I'm inclined to believe she would pick Choice B. Miko's Fall was less about the act of murdering Shojo (though it obviously played a big part) and more about the fact that she was never willing to acknowledge and atone for her mistakes.
    Well considering that it was murdering him was the reason she fell, and not when she attacked Hinjo, I would say that it was the most important reason for her fall. You A and B lack any understanding of the events unfolding. 1st Hinjo did not offer her a chance to defend the city, but a cell. 2nd she never denied that she fell, only that they we're testing her, or she was tricked. I say this not to excuse her actions, btw.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prinygod View Post
    You A and B lack any understanding of the events unfolding. 1st Hinjo did not offer her a chance to defend the city, but a cell.
    Hi.jo would have offered her nothing before the fall. Shojo would have offered it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prinygod View Post
    2nd she never denied that she fell
    I don't recall anyone saying she did?
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prinygod View Post
    You A and B lack any understanding of the events unfolding. 1st Hinjo did not offer her a chance to defend the city, but a cell. 2nd she never denied that she fell, only that they we're testing her, or she was tricked. I say this not to excuse her actions, btw.
    You know what a hypothetical is, right? Obviously I am aware Hinjo did not present her with a chance to defend the city (though he did mention the use of an Atonement spell, implying he might have been open to it had Miko shown any indication she was willing to atone).

    As far as "lack[ing] any understanding of the events," that's incorrect: my hypothetical was based on the totality of Miko's character as shown in-comic, and that led me to conclude that had she been face-to-face with the very Twelve Gods telling her "You are wrong," she would not have believed them because Miko could not admit she might be wrong. And guess what? She did exactly that after she Fell--as you point out, she kept believing it was a "test" instead of considering "Maybe I messed up." Tell me how I am "lacking understanding of the events" here?
    Last edited by The Aboleth; 2019-05-01 at 05:23 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    A couple points about the Deva’s “you’re trying to be Lawful Good” conclusion to Roy.

    1) In the same strip, she says outright that there’s no questio. that Roy is good. It’s his Lawfulness that is fuzzy and that draws the “you’re trying” conclusion. And balancing Good and Lawfulness is inherently challenging.

    2) To me, it seems philosophically untenable to extend the “you’re trying to be Lawful Good” comment to say that anyone who thinks of themselves as Good is, ipso facto, Good. Many people, including some terribly evil people, think of themselves as good. Card Carrying Villains like Xykon who revel in being evil are rare.

    Outright deluding yourself that your actions are Good - which is what Miko was doing after her Fall gave her very clear proof that they were not - and persistently continuing in those actions does not, by my read, count as “trying to be good”. Trying has to encompass some kind of willingness to consider that your actions may not be Good and that you may have done wrong. Soon points out to Miko that she never does that. When she’s in prison and asks the Twelve Gods for a sign, she’s already had a very obvious sign - her Fall - that demonstrates their view of her actions. What she really wants is vindication, a contrary sign that tells her that she was right.
    Last edited by LadyEowyn; 2019-05-01 at 06:07 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Paul View Post
    That's why I think she did lose her Good status at the end. Roy already gave a pretty decent summing up of how she didn't really follow the precepts of Lawful Good here. Just following the letter of the alignment isn't good enough. She was fairly Lawful (except for the "taking the law into her own hands" moment at the end), but the only Good she really did, as Peelee points out, was killing Evil beings. I believe she was borderline Good, and the act of killing Shojo pushed her off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Paul View Post
    But I think it's strongly implied by her conversation with Soon that the manner of her Fall (an unambiguously Evil act, striking down her defenseless liege lord who also happened to be an octogenarian) excluded her from the LG afterlife. She might possibly have shifted to LN, considering her actions over the many strips we saw and her devotion to the letter but not the spirit of her professed alignment..
    These conversations generally exhaust me, but I am profoundly unclear about what was 'good by technicality' about entering a burning building to rescue the helpless, rather than, say, chasing after a pair of plausibly-evil assassins. Which, by, the way, wound up saving the life of an otherwise defenceless monarch.

    There's no objective way to evaluate what Miko's alignment would have been at the time of death, but it's certainly conceivable that fifteen years of otherwise upstanding paladin conduct would count in her favour. And Roy's evaluation in strip #251 is essentially complete garbage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    I would just say that any line one can draw that makes early-strip Miko non-Good will relegate every other character in the early strip to Neutral at best. There is no good deed the early-Order perform that early-Miko doesn't top. There is no flaw you can point at that other ostensibly-Good characters didn't have in spades.

    Miko uses threats and minimal warning to kill based on misleading evidence: She is a reckless and bloodthirsty fanatic. Haley conspires to murder her immediately after learning she's a paladin: She is Chaotic Good. Roy has no problems ambushing enemies in their sleep: He is Lawful Good. We never see Durkon use Detect Evil to verify targets: He is Lawful Good. Both Roy and Durkon presumably killed dozens of goblins in the dungeon who were pressed into slavery by Xykon and mainly guilty by association: They are heroes.

    Roy is belatedly willing to rescue Elan in the forest: He is Lawful Good. Miko is instantly willing to rescue random NPCs: She is only interested in killing things. Roy suffers temporary embarrassment to rescue Elan, who would not be in peril if Roy didn't impersonate a monarch: He is Lawful Good. Miko risks permanent immolation for total strangers: She is only fulfilling a technical obligation. Miko uses a King's favour to help others with no thought for personal reward: She is only fulfilling a technical obligation. Miko offers healing, pays for luxury lodgings, observes a restraining order and allows her captives to walk around with minimal supervision: She is only fulfilling a technical obligation. Miko's technical obligations require her to bring back the Order by force: This is no defence for her actions.

    Miko says that black dragons must be destroyed: This is murderous racism to be taken in deadly earnest and a serious indictment of her character. Roy and Elan agree with this on the same panel of the same page, and V actually did it: They are funny kidders, ha ha ha. Miko talks about generous donations to local charities on the same page: This is purely an excuse to lecture people. Miko is well below her recommended wealth-by-level: Details.

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  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Is she just going to Arcadia then?

    I mean, seriously: pre-dragging-the-Order-in-chains-to-Azure-City Miko is almost radically different from post-dragging-the-Order-in-chains-to-Azure-City. Pre-Miko was just scowling and grumpy the whole time, but willing to help at those in need. Post-Miko is also willing to do so -- reassuring soldiers she'll have farmers bring them rice -- but suddenly fixates on the Order as her worst enemy. Has she never captured prisoners before?

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by understatement View Post
    Is she just going to Arcadia then?

    I mean, seriously: pre-dragging-the-Order-in-chains-to-Azure-City Miko is almost radically different from post-dragging-the-Order-in-chains-to-Azure-City. Pre-Miko was just scowling and grumpy the whole time, but willing to help at those in need. Post-Miko is also willing to do so -- reassuring soldiers she'll have farmers bring them rice -- but suddenly fixates on the Order as her worst enemy. Has she never captured prisoners before?
    Arcadia would be my best bet, but there's no reliable method of determining the real answer. (Aside from my strong suspicion that Miko's deva interview turned into a years-long 5-way legal custody battle with multiple appeals and retrials stretching far beyond the story's nominal endpoint.)

    As for pre-and-post-strip-250 Miko- yeah, there are a number of oddities there, though TidePriestess echoes most of my views on this topic.

    I mean, it's interesting to speculate about, e.g, some undiagnosed mental illness that might account for Miko's eccentricities, but his presumes that you can thread a needle through the various data points of her behaviour in the first place, and at this point I just don't think there is any single continuity there. Which is... quite liberating, in a way.
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prinygod View Post
    2nd she never denied that she fell, only that they we're testing her, or she was tricked. I say this not to excuse her actions, btw.
    Yes, she in fact, did. In that same strip that was linked with Sabine trying to recruit her, Miko denies being a fallen paladin when Sabine asks.
    I'd just like to point out that saying that something unsupported is the case unless someone else can prove that it is not is an utter failure of logic. - Kish

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    Yes, she in fact, did. In that same strip that was linked with Sabine trying to recruit her, Miko denies being a fallen paladin when Sabine asks.
    Well color me wrong!
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    Arcadia would be my best bet, but there's no reliable method of determining the real answer. (Aside from my strong suspicion that Miko's deva interview turned into a years-long 5-way legal custody battle with multiple appeals and retrials stretching far beyond the story's nominal endpoint.)

    As for pre-and-post-strip-250 Miko- yeah, there are a number of oddities there, though TidePriestess echoes most of my views on this topic.

    I mean, it's interesting to speculate about, e.g, some undiagnosed mental illness that might account for Miko's eccentricities, but his presumes that you can thread a needle through the various data points of her behaviour in the first place, and at this point I just don't think there is any single continuity there. Which is... quite liberating, in a way.
    Yeah, "you're still reading SOD? You vile Goblin supporter/going to a restaurant that supports gambling is the sort of moral bankruptcy I should expect of those below my station" Miko is a wild different character from Miko before the Inn sequence, probably a result of her changing narrative role from "uneasy ally" to "straight-up antagonist". Ultimately, i think it's a consequence of NCFTPB Rich not being that good a writer. If you want to see what Modern Rich's version of Miko would have looked like...See Gin-Jun.

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Just picking stuff at random...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Aboleth View Post
    Consider this: If the Twelve Gods themselves appeared to her BEFORE her Fall and told her, "Miko, you're wrong; The Order is not in league with Xykon," what do you think she'd have done?
    How far before? If your opinion is genuinely "based on the totality of Miko's character as shown in-comic", you'd have to square this with Miko evidently being willing to accept fundamental corrections on the Order's character from strange dwarves she's never met before, and I expect a personal visitation from the Twelve Gods would not have been less persuasive for some time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard_Lizard View Post
    And she did get compensation. Being a paladinwas her reason for being "good"

    I would call magic powers pretty good compensation
    They're not especially, though, unless you're comparing the paladin with some nonentity class like commoner or expert. Paladins are relatively low-tier- if she'd specced as a cleric or sorceror or even barbarian she'd have had greater or equal power without nearly as many ethical restrictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mightymosy View Post
    The question is whether she does so on malicious intent, though.
    Does she constantly try to find "the right way" or not?

    Watch her closely: once she ends up in jail she rejects Sabine's offer and ultimately knees down to pray - and I have no doubt that - again - she doesn't get an answer from the gods.
    So how does she interprete the gods stripping her powers??
    She is confused and asks them for guidance - which they don't give.

    My impression of Miko is that she she always been a very lonely character. Maybe aggravated by Shojo telling her how very special she was, being the highest ranking paladin, and due to her character she only really trusted the gods and no one else.
    Shojo's treatment of Miko as depicted is pretty inexcusable, but more pertinently I think it's logically incoherent. (e.g, why promote someone to 2nd-in-command of the organisation if you're going to send her on long foreign solo missions that prevent her from actually interacting with subordinates?)

    And yeah, as we've covered elsewhere, in the universe that Miko inhabits, someone in her position expecting a certain degree of guidance and direction from the Gods is, like, 100% reasonable. Later-strip Miko may be kinda crazy, but in order to paint her that way she effectively has to inhabit a different universe from one where the Godsmoot and other associated events take place.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    Yeah, "you're still reading SOD? You vile Goblin supporter/going to a restaurant that supports gambling is the sort of moral bankruptcy I should expect of those below my station" Miko is a wild different character from Miko before the Inn sequence, probably a result of her changing narrative role from "uneasy ally" to "straight-up antagonist". Ultimately, i think it's a consequence of NCFTPB Rich not being that good a writer. If you want to see what Modern Rich's version of Miko would have looked like...See Gin-Jun.
    SoD-Intro Miko seems to be generally acknowledged as character assassination, but I think the "gambling is moral bankruptcy" bonus-strip Miko is pretty consistent with the early character. I mean sure, she lectures her peers on virtuous living, but doesn't actually force them to go along, and cooking them a meal was... nice, in principle?

    I liked Paladin Blues Miko up to about strip 270 or so just fine. I didn't like how various characters and/or the contemporary audience reacted to her, or how she was basically screwed around with by narrative contrivance, but the character herself seemed... fine and dandy and entertaining and no more flawed than any of her peers and more virtuous than most. I would certainly not have wanted her replaced with Gin-Jun, of all people. (Partly on account of how Gin-Jun can't actually exist, given 'evil paladin' is a contradiction in terms.)
    Last edited by Lacuna Caster; 2019-05-01 at 10:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
    These conversations generally exhaust me, but I am profoundly unclear about what was 'good by technicality' about entering a burning building to rescue the helpless, rather than, say, chasing after a pair of plausibly-evil assassins. Which, by, the way, wound up saving the life of an otherwise defenceless monarch.

    There's no objective way to evaluate what Miko's alignment would have been at the time of death, but it's certainly conceivable that fifteen years of otherwise upstanding paladin conduct would count in her favour. And Roy's evaluation in strip #251 is essentially complete garbage.
    One: linking to another post by yourself as evidence, doesn't really count as evidence.

    Two: yes, she helped rescue people from the burning building. Followed by a lecture about how the building burning down was Roy & Co.'s collective fault for being unwilling to sleep in a muddy ditch the way she'd wanted them to. "Vice and luxury can only lead to destruction," she says, and appoints herself moral guardian over them all. 250 She doesn't bother to ask their side of the story; she doesn't fault the assassins for bringing a bomb to the hotel in the first place; it's the Order's fault. (And if they'd been sleeping in the ditch, who would have foiled the assassins?) Miko's not righteous; she's self-righteous.

    Remember the reason she's sent on all the solo missions far away from Azure City? She's a pompous bitch. Nothing about her says "Good" to me. She may do the things required of her alignment, she tithes to the temple, but I don't see her as the person who drops a coin in a musician's hat as a generous act. She's the one who cites the musician for unlicensed performance violations and gives them a warning not to get caught on that corner again. (See, for instance, the bonus strip where she criticizes her colleagues' choice of restaurant because of the morality of the staff there.) That's what I mean by "technically good" but not Good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Also, everything Darth Paul just said.
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Honestly, the worst thing about Miko is that she's caught in this negative feedback loop, where her behavior leads to her being isolated, her isolation means nobody addresses her behavior, so her behavior leads to isolation...

    Put another way, she needed much better socialization as a child, at least enough to recognize Shojo's spiel about being special as a stock 'welcome aboard' speech.

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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    I don't think it's literally just that one action that made the deva consider chucking Roy in TN.
    Why not? That's what she says.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    She gives a list of other offenses, which Roy brushes off. Not all of those excuses are weak ("It was an illegitimate authority" is a perfectly valid reason for an LG character to resist arrest), but some very much are ("It would have been destroyed anyway" is a bad excuse for what amounts to fraud and theft, regardless of alignment).
    And she apparently feels no need to question any of those explanations further, weak or not. (I also think the case of "accepting gifts intended for a king" is not as severe an offense as abandoning Elan; I can't say for sure if OOTS-world believes this, but a crime of property is not as severe a crime against life ("respect for the dignity of sentient beings", etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    And given that that one incident was only worth half a comic but Roy had to spend the entire next strip defending his choice to work with Belkar, I don't think the Elan incident was even the biggest reason Roy would be chucked into TN in that scenario, just the straw (well, brick) that broke the celestial camel's back.
    I mean, again, she says it was enough to chuck him into TN, so I don't know why you're coming up with explanations that contradict what she said.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
    Or a different definition of "good for Good's sake". As I told Grey Wolf, i don't think doing something because it's right isn't the same as going it to support the cause of Good, especially if you're motivated to do the right thing/see it as the right thing because of something more specific (like a desire to protect the innocent or save lives or comfort the needy or whatever).
    I mean, what's the difference between "doing the right thing, as per the values that are considered Good" and "doing the right thing to support the cause of Good"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    It might also be worth considering the deva's final conclusion, which is that the fact that Roy was trying to be lawful good was the most important part.

    Note this: "You're trying to be lawful good. People forget how crucial it is to keep trying, even if they screw it up now and then. They figure that if they can't manage it perfectly every waking second, then they should just pick some other alignment because it'll be easier. But it's the struggle that matters. It's easy for a being of pure Law and Good to live up to these ideals, but you're a mortal."
    She did not say trying was the most important part. She said he was an edge case between Lawful Good and Neutral Good, and what led her to approve his admission to Celestia is that he continually acknowledged when he slipped from being LG and tried to do better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    "He was doing what he thought was best, to the limit of his abilities - including his ability to judge what was best."

    That could describe someone else we know, too.
    I think the point is that Miko's behavior was not driven by the limits of her ability to judge what was best, but by the limits of her willingness to judge what was best (vs. just doing what she wanted to do). The contrast with Hinjo's reaction to finding out about Shojo, and especially Miko turning on Hinjo-- who was not part of the conspiracy she imagined, and also she did so after falling for killing Shojo-- is very telling.

    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    Yeah, "you're still reading SOD? You vile Goblin supporter/going to a restaurant that supports gambling is the sort of moral bankruptcy I should expect of those below my station" Miko is a wild different character from Miko before the Inn sequence, probably a result of her changing narrative role from "uneasy ally" to "straight-up antagonist". Ultimately, i think it's a consequence of NCFTPB Rich not being that good a writer. If you want to see what Modern Rich's version of Miko would have looked like...See Gin-Jun.
    Honestly I used to think this, but reading back through Miko's early appearances, you can see the first hints of the traits that would later burst forth and subsume the rest of them.

    And the throughline is pretty straightforward: Convinced of her own righteousness; jumps to conclusions; prone to shooting first and asking questions later. The only thing that changes is the extremity of the behavior motivated by that, and how increasingly stark the contrast between that and what most people would consider a rational or appropriate response is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Honestly, the worst thing about Miko is that she's caught in this negative feedback loop, where her behavior leads to her being isolated, her isolation means nobody addresses her behavior, so her behavior leads to isolation...

    Put another way, she needed much better socialization as a child, at least enough to recognize Shojo's spiel about being special as a stock 'welcome aboard' speech.
    I dunno if "the worst thing" is how I'd phrase it, but it does add an element of tragedy to her story (namely the "pity" of the "pity and terror" Aristotle described). I mean, if things couldn't have turned out differently for her, there wouldn't be any drama in her story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacuna Caster View Post
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    Last edited by Ruck; 2019-05-01 at 11:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Paul View Post
    Two: yes, she helped rescue people from the burning building. Followed by a lecture about how the building burning down was Roy & Co.'s collective fault for being unwilling to sleep in a muddy ditch the way she'd wanted them to. "Vice and luxury can only lead to destruction," she says, and appoints herself moral guardian over them all. 250 She doesn't bother to ask their side of the story; she doesn't fault the assassins for bringing a bomb to the hotel in the first place; it's the Order's fault. (And if they'd been sleeping in the ditch, who would have foiled the assassins?) Miko's not righteous; she's self-righteous.
    I mean, it literally was their fault in a number of ways, although admittedly Miko didn't know the details.

    (Roy impersonated the King; Belkar, chasing a lawyer he wanted to murder as part of trying to murder Miko's horse, knocked the fire onto the bomb.)

    The king might have gotten murdered if they hadn't happened to stay there, but maybe not, depending on his own guard detail.

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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Wrong king. The one Miko saved was the King of Somewhere. The one Roy was impersonating was the King of Nowhere. We also saw him later when Ho Thanh was explaining where he was when Azure City fell, with the same assassins still trying to kill him.

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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyEowyn View Post
    A couple points about the Deva’s “you’re trying to be Lawful Good” conclusion to Roy.

    1) In the same strip, she says outright that there’s no questio. that Roy is good. It’s his Lawfulness that is fuzzy and that draws the “you’re trying” conclusion. And balancing Good and Lawfulness is inherently challenging.

    2) To me, it seems philosophically untenable to extend the “you’re trying to be Lawful Good” comment to say that anyone who thinks of themselves as Good is, ipso facto, Good. Many people, including some terribly evil people, think of themselves as good. Card Carrying Villains like Xykon who revel in being evil are rare.

    Outright deluding yourself that your actions are Good - which is what Miko was doing after her Fall gave her very clear proof that they were not - and persistently continuing in those actions does not, by my read, count as “trying to be good”. Trying has to encompass some kind of willingness to consider that your actions may not be Good and that you may have done wrong. Soon points out to Miko that she never does that. When she’s in prison and asks the Twelve Gods for a sign, she’s already had a very obvious sign - her Fall - that demonstrates their view of her actions. What she really wants is vindication, a contrary sign that tells her that she was right.
    And that is exactly the point!
    She is a delusional maniac!
    She just twist stuff to mean what SHE wants, so I feel sorry for the deva who is handling her case, because that is going to take YEARS! And when the deva eventually gives up and sends miko to some place, Miko will just take it as a challenge that the gods have set for her! If she ends up in the nine hells, she will kill everyone there, again I guess.
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Aboleth View Post
    Consider this: If the Twelve Gods themselves appeared to her BEFORE her Fall and told her, "Miko, you're wrong; The Order is not in league with Xykon," what do you think she'd have done?

    A) Accepted their words without question and joined the Order in the defense of Azure City

    B) Come up with some excuse to dismiss this new information, such as "These are clearly Fiends masquerading as the Twelve Gods to deceive me!"

    Based on what we know of Miko's character, I'm inclined to believe she would pick Choice B. Miko's Fall was less about the act of murdering Shojo (though it obviously played a big part) and more about the fact that she was never willing to acknowledge and atone for her mistakes.
    At least now we are getting somewhere!

    The way Miko was written I'd think easy A.
    She trusts the gods, Shojo and herself - until she is betrayed and breaks down.
    Last edited by Mightymosy; 2019-05-02 at 01:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mightymosy View Post
    At least now we are getting somewhere!

    The way Miko was written I'd think easy A.
    She trusts the gods, Shojo and herself - until she is betrayed and breaks down.
    I am not so sure. Definitely during her final strips she would defer to B
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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Aboleth View Post
    You know what a hypothetical is, right? Obviously I am aware Hinjo did not present her with a chance to defend the city (though he did mention the use of an Atonement spell, implying he might have been open to it had Miko shown any indication she was willing to atone).

    As far as "lack[ing] any understanding of the events," that's incorrect: my hypothetical was based on the totality of Miko's character as shown in-comic, and that led me to conclude that had she been face-to-face with the very Twelve Gods telling her "You are wrong," she would not have believed them because Miko could not admit she might be wrong. And guess what? She did exactly that after she Fell--as you point out, she kept believing it was a "test" instead of considering "Maybe I messed up." Tell me how I am "lacking understanding of the events" here?
    A test is not the same as "These are clearly Fiends masquerading as the Twelve Gods to deceive me!"

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    Default Re: Greenhilt afterlife conundrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Paul View Post
    One: linking to another post by yourself as evidence, doesn't really count as evidence.

    Two: yes, she helped rescue people from the burning building. Followed by a lecture about how the building burning down was Roy & Co.'s collective fault for being unwilling to sleep in a muddy ditch the way she'd wanted them to...
    Firstly, it's a summary of events that factually occurred within the strip. Secondly, are you saying these two actions are somehow morally equivalent? Coming within an inch of being incinerated or blown to bits in the process of saving the lives of total strangers is cancelled out by giving other people a stern moral lecture? I'm sorry, but that seems like an incredibly uncharitable moral calculus to me.

    Thirdly, I am very doubtful that Miko probing the Orders' accounting of events more closely would have reflected better on them, given that the story Roy volunteered already stunk to high heaven. But to the extent that she bought the "assassins after Roy" story, this implied that the assassins would not have bothered folks at the Inn if Roy had been sleeping outside. Say what you like about Miko's later behaviour, but at this stage of the game her suspicions about the Order are basically 100% justified.

    Remember the reason she's sent on all the solo missions far away from Azure City? She's a pompous bitch. Nothing about her says "Good" to me...
    Yes, I do recall the ostensible reason why she's sent away from Azure City on long solo missions in foreign countries. I also think this reflects far more poorly on Shojo and her paladin peers than it does on her, to the extent that it practically constitutes a plot hole.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Honestly, the worst thing about Miko is that she's caught in this negative feedback loop, where her behavior leads to her being isolated, her isolation means nobody addresses her behavior, so her behavior leads to isolation...
    But it doesn't lead to isolation, per se. It leads to her, somehow, becoming individually uber-powerful and highly promoted within the organisation. It's one thing to say that Shojo should have addressed her behaviour more thoroughly, it's quite another when he effectively rewards and reinforces it. But I consider anything post-arrest-scene to be a nonsense sandwich anyway, so I just don't take this setup too seriously.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    Honestly I used to think this, but reading back through Miko's early appearances, you can see the first hints of the traits that would later burst forth and subsume the rest of them.

    And the throughline is pretty straightforward: Convinced of her own righteousness; jumps to conclusions; prone to shooting first and asking questions later. The only thing that changes is the extremity of the behavior motivated by that, and how increasingly stark the contrast between that and what most people would consider a rational or appropriate response is.
    You can see 'hints' at Miko's later development in the sense that certain traits became increasingly flanderized, but the problem is that, early on, she really doesn't possess those traits to any greater degree than the rest of the cast does.

    I mean, let's just take the case of going to battle with the Ogres: Does it ever occur to Roy that they should sit down and have a chat with their chieftain, double-check their alignment, or cross-reference descriptions to ensure they haven't been mixed up with their evil twins? No, his plan is to ambush them unawares and, where practical, slit their throats in their sleep. I can see valid arguments that Miko's investigative technique could have been improved, but she was actually more thorough and careful than was typical for the Order at the time.

    (Also, if Miko is 'jumping to conclusions', how did neither she nor any other paladin ask "was there a goblin with a red cloak?", either before or during the trial scene, given the org's long history with the crimson mantle?)
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