|“A Moment of Truth”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||26 January 2007|
|View the comic|
- Panel 1, Page 1
Hinjo: Uncle. Is this true? Have you been lying to us?
Shojo: Hinjo?? What are you doing back so soon?
Hinjo: I was at the gate when Miko returned, insisting to speak with you immediately.
- Panel 2, Page 1
Hinjo: Now answer my question, please.
Shojo: Uh, Mr. Scruffy says—
Hinjo: Drop the act and answer the question!
- Panel 3, Page 1
Shojo: Well, it all depends.
Hinjo: On what could it possibly depend?
Shojo: On how much you just overheard. Did you come in before or after the part about the oath?
- Panel 4, Page 1
Hinjo: I can't believe this! Were you ever going to tell me?
Shojo: At this point, I don't think it would matter if I said "Yes."
Roy: I'm gonna suggest we try not to get too involved here.
Belkar: Oh yeah, total Prime Directive situation.
Belkar: Plus, it'll be more fun to watch.
- Panel 5, Page 1
Shojo: Look Hinjo, I value the paladins and their contribution to this city.
Shojo: But you have to understand...in order to do what is best for the entire city, I sometimes need to take...unpopular actions.
Shojo: Actions that I know conflict with the paladin code.
Hinjo: And in those cases, the most expedient path is to simply not inform us. The ends justify the means, is that it?
Shojo: Frankly, yes.
- Panel 6, Page 1
Hinjo: You have brought disgrace to our name, Uncle. I am glad mother did not live to see this day.
Shojo: Oh, grow up, Hinjo!
- Panel 7, Page 1
Shojo: My sister was the daughter of a great leader, she would have understood all too well that I don't have the luxury of putting Soon Kim's obsolete morality ahead of the safety of this city.
Shojo: It's all well and good for you paladins to stick to your convictions, but if I make a mistake, half a million citizens pay for it.
- Panel 8, Page 1
Hinjo: I'm not going to debate ethics with you, Uncle. You knew what you were doing was wrong, or you wouldn't of hidden it so thoroughly.
Hinjo: To think of all the nights I prayed in the temple for you to recover from your mental affliction.
Hinjo: I guess my prayers must have been very powerful, seeing as how they apparently cured you retroactively.
- Panel 9, Page 1
Shojo: Hinjo, please, I wanted to tell you about that, but—
Hinjo: Save it for the magistrates. It will be up to the courts to decide what happens next.
Miko: Oh, Hinjo.
Miko: The courts? You don't see it, do you?
- Panel 10, Page 1
Miko: I remember the day you chose me to come to the castle. I was still a child, but you told me you saw power in me.
Miko: I cried the first night away from the dojo, but you came and told me that the gods needed my strength. That now I served the gods, that we did their work here.
- Panel 11, Page 1
Miko: What I want to know is this; Had you already begun to betray us then? Was even one word you ever spoke to me the truth?
- Panel 1, Page 2
Hinjo: Uh, Miko, I think "betray" is a little strong. He may have broken our laws, but—
Miko: It's OK, Hinjo. I know you don't see the Big Picture here. Allow me to show you.
- Panel 2, Page 2
Miko: He has been playing both sides of the chess board, and we have been his pawns to be sacrificed.
Miko: He's been laughing at us behind our backs, making secret deals with mercenaries, ghosts, and murderers to undermine the military security of Azure City.
Belkar: Did she just call me a ghost?
- Panel 3, Page 2
Shojo: Miko, I admit I may have made some questionable choices, but it's all been for the greater...
Shojo: Wait-security? What are you babbling about?
- Panel 4, Page 2
Miko: Right now, less than a day's march away, the lich Xykon is leading an army of tens of thousands of hobgoblins here to conquer us all!!
Hinjo: Impossible! The early warning beacons—
Miko: —were destroyed, one by one, before any warning could be sent. Convenient, no?
- Panel 5, Page 2
Miko: Of course, you already knew that, Shojo, because you were working with HIM! Greenhilt!
Miko: And we all know he's working for Xykon!
Roy: I am??
Belkar: Oh, man, have you been holding out on me?
- Panel 6, Page 2
Belkar: Because seriously, if you've been Evil this whole time—
Roy: You're accepting as credible a theory that came out of Miko's mouth.
Belkar: Oh. Right.
- Panel 7, Page 2
Miko: I heard what you said before you entered. You think the paladins are a nuisance to you, and justice an inconvenience.
Shojo: Sure, it would be easier to rule if I didn't have to clear everything with the paladins, but that's—
- Panel 8, Page 2
Miko: How much easier, then, if you could rule the city directly with an iron fist—
Miko: —an army of hobgoblin soldiers standing at the ready to exterminate your enemies among the nobles?
Miko: Remove us paladins and what would there be to stop you?
- Panel 9, Page 2
Shojo: What are you implying?
Miko: I imply nothing! I state openly that you, Shojo, have committed treason against Azure City by conspiring with the Order of the Stick, known minions of Xykon, to first deceive and then destroy the Sapphire Guard!
- Panel 10, Page 2
Belkar: Damn it, I get left out of the loop on everything!
Roy: We didn't actually do that, Belkar. It's like she has that monk class ability that lets you jump as far as you want, only with her, it applies to conclusions.
- Panel 11, Page 2
Shojo: Miko, I have worried about your stability before, but this is too much. You can't really believe that, can you?
Miko: I have heard the proof with my own ears.
- Panel 12, Page 2
Miko: You stood here and asked a vile assassin like the halfling whether he approved of your actions.
Shojo: Good gods, they can teach you how to detect Evil, but not sarcasm??
- Panel 1, Page 3
Miko: Your deceptions are now exposed! You have lied to us for the last time!
Hinjo: Whoa, whoa, Miko, let's calm down here. We officially don't have time for this anymore.
- Panel 2, Page 3
Hinjo: Look, we have the magistrates place Shojo under arrest, and then we figure it all out later.
Hinjo: Like, maybe AFTER the unstoppable invasion force of Pure Evil has been dealt with?
Hinjo: Call me wacky, but that seems like the more pressing issue on the table now.
- Panel 3, Page 3
Miko: Everyone in this room but you and I are agents of Evil, whether or not their alignment registers as such.
Miko: They have already rigged one trial, we cannot take the chance that they do so again.
- Panel 4, Page 3
Hinjo: Miko, listen to me. This is a very serious charge, and I think we should take the time to consider it properly.
Belkar: Yeah, to consider all the ways you've completely fallen off your rocker.
Roy: You're not helping.
Belkar: Didn't think I was.
- Panel 5, Page 3
Miko: NO! No more compromises, no more delays, no more backing down before the battle is won!
Miko: I see who the true enemy is now, and he has been in front of us the entire time.
- Panel 6, Page 3
Miko: Hinjo, I hope that someday you have a spiritual awakening as I have had.
Miko: A moment when you suddenly see everything clearly and all enemies stand revealed.
- Panel 7, Page 3
Flashback to Miko praying in ring of candles from #298.
Miko (inset): I prayed to the Twelve Gods to reveal unto me all who betray us—and they delivered me to the throne room doorway just in time to hear your uncle confess his sins to his wretched accomplices.
Miko: Allow me to see through their lies to the truth.
- Panel 8, Page 3
Miko: How could it NOT be a sign? The gods have shown me the truth. Now the path is clear.
Hinjo: Miko, you're scaring me. The laws say—
- Panel 9, Page 3
Miko: The laws have no meaning! They were rewritten by the enemy himself over his 47 years on the throne!
Shojo falls back into his throne.
Miko: Only Honor and the will of gods matter now!
- Panel 11, Page 3
Miko raises her katana.
Miko: As the highest-ranking paladin of the Sapphire Guard, I find you guilty of treason!
Shojo: Everything I did, I did for my people.
- Panel 11, Page 3
Hinjo runs for the throne.
Hinjo: MIKO! NO!
Roy reaches for his sword.
Roy: Oh, crap.
Belkar: She wouldn't...
- Panel 12, Page 3
Miko slices Lord Shojo, and the throne, in half with her sword
D&D Context Edit
- The Monk's Slow Fall ability allows him to fall from, eventually, unlimited heights and not take damage. There is no ability allows them to jump unlimited distances.
- At 35 panels long, this is one of the longest comics ever. The longest comic is #200, The Confrontation.
- The Prime Directive, in the Star Trek franchise, is a general order to Starfleet to practice noninterference with other cultures and civilizations, in particular those who had yet to develop spacefaring technology.
- Strip #285, which shares the title of this strip, foreshadows this encounter.