|Everything I did, I did for my people.|
Lord Shojo (1111 - 1184) was the leader of the Sapphire Guard of Paladins and secular ruler of Azure City for 47 years. His father, Ronjo, was given the former position by Soon Kim, making him the third leader in its history. He was the uncle of Hinjo, who was heir apparent to Azure City prior to Shojo's death.
Shojo was raised by Ronjo, Shojo's father, and was raised to learn under his knee. Soon Kim gave leadership to Ronjo while in this phase, and when Ronjo died too, Shojo was given leadership. He ruled for 47 years until the events of the Order of the Stick.
A few years ago before the events of the comics, nobles of Azure City sent out an assassination attempt for a unpopular verdict called "Meat Loaf Day", in which Shojo narrowly escaped from. After that day, Shojo found it easier to make people believe that he is senile and easily swayed, being able to make controversial yet necessary decisions without having to worry about being killed over them. He also extended the charade to the Sapphire Guard, feeling that it'll make him be able to engage in behavior they wouldn't tolerate from him.
Dungeon Crawlin' FoolsEdit
When he first appeared he was in the dark, and ordering Miko Miyazaki to travel to the Northern Lands and capture the Order of the Stick. She suggested that she would kill them but he ordered her to capture them so they could stand trial. He told his paladins that the Order were charged with "weakening the fabric of the universe"... but in reality he rigged the trial to offer Roy Greenhilt a deal of protecting the other 3 Gates.
When the Order destroyed Dorukan's Gate, Shojo sent a scrying spell to investigate. At the time, Eugene Greenhilt, who was unable to contact his son, detected the spell and managed to contact Shojo in place of the celestial, Tony, that Shojo then requested for advice. The two crafty elders conspired together to manipulate the Order of the Stick into fulfilling their respective agendas.
No Cure for the Paladin BluesEdit
When Miko captured the Order and brought the to Azure City to stand trial, Shojo appeared to be a senile old man, who relied on his cat, Mr. Scruffy, to make decisions regarding the affairs of state. In this manner he oversaw the trial of the Order for the crime of weakening the fabric of the universe.
During the course of the trial, Shojo deemed it necessary to disclose the story of the formation of the world and the accidental creation of the Snarl in a sequence of strips done in crayon drawings collectively known as The Crayons of Time. He also stopped Miko from executing Belkar when the two came crashing into the throne room.
After the Order was acquitted, Shojo revealed his real self to Roy and Haley. In fact he was perfectly cognizant; the senile act with Mr. Scruffy was just a ruse to keep his fractious nobles at bay. Shojo made an offer to Roy: investigate the other gates for him and report back.
Lord Shojo did not consider himself bound by Soon Kim's edict that the other Gates must be left alone, believing that the morality of Soon Kim is obsolete. However he recognized that the oath is very important to the paladins of the Guard and, as such, outwardly did his best to follow the terms of that agreement. Covertly, however, he considered extremely foolish to risk universal destruction on an oath made to people that he'd never met, and thus he did what he considered necessary to protect the people of Azure City, even if this meant lying to the paladins under his command, or recruiting others, like the Order, behind their backs. He was not remotely above threatening his paladins with mundane but unpleasant tasks, such as having to clean out Mr. Scruffy's litter box, in order to get his own way. This attitude made him one of the rare people that Belkar actually showed a degree of admiration for.
In return for Roy's cooperation in defeating Xykon, Lord Shojo agreed to grant each member of the Order one favor (with the exception of Belkar Bitterleaf, who, having murdered his guard, was released on bail under the Greater Mark of Justice in lieu of specific assistance), as well as general aid.
War and XPsEdit
Although he was willing to lie to them, he did not appreciate Roy insulting or otherwise criticizing his paladins and wizards, such as the one who accidentally sent the Order (and Nale) to a Roc's nest instead of back to Azure City because the wizard was drunk at the time.
Unfortunately, during a conversation with Roy Greenhilt when his actions with regard to the Order and his opinions on the validity of the oath were discussed, Shojo was unaware that Hinjo and Miko Miyazaki were just outside the door and apparently heard the whole thing. Miko immediately jumped to the conclusion that Shojo was working with Xykon, as she considered the Order of the Stick to be the lich's minions. After summarily judging him guilty of treason, she drew her sword and executed him, though this action caused her to lose her paladin-hood.
The Clerics attempted to resurrect him, and failed. Belkar reasoned that this was probably due to the fact that resurrection only works on souls who agree to come back: he noted that Shojo was old enough to be at risk of dying naturally, and was facing trial for treason as well.
Don't Split the PartyEdit
After Shojo's death, he made several appearances in other forms. He appeared as a giant illusory head when Belkar activated the Greater Mark of Justice. He also appeared in a flashback where Shojo and Hinjo discusses about having to fill Argent's teeth with silver.
He again appeared to Belkar in a fever dream while he was under the influence of the Mark. In this dream sequence, he himself wasn't sure if he was the spirit of Lord Shojo, a small personified piece of the Mark, or a fever-induced hallucination. He helped Belkar come to understand why it was necessary to appear to be playing by the rules of society, even when he wasn't. The revelation made Belkar learn that he should pretend to have character growth. Before the Greysky City Thieves' Guild was able to break in the bunker Belkar and the Cleric of Loki was hiding in, Shojo forced Belkar to mutter in the real world that he is a sexy shoeless god of war, which convinced the cleric that he was worth using the Remove Curse spell on Belkar. 
Blood Runs in the FamilyEdit
Shojo appeared briefly once in a flashback when Roy remembered that Nale might've known about the Gates, and also appears once again to Belkar during his phantasm dream. Belkar's dream life involves cooking with Shojo and Mr. Scruffy.
Shojo appeared in a flashback during the Godsmoot.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Shojo was a 14th level Aristocrat (an NPC class) and admitted to be of a non-Lawful alignment (Belkar believes it to be Chaotic Good). Because of this he had little problems with bending the laws if he saw fit, believing that the end justified the means. To avoid assassination attempts by the nobles of Azure City (such as Daimyo Kubota), he pretended to be senile and easily swayed (especially by his cat, Mr. Scruffy) in order to make them feel that all his policies were due to the nobles' manipulations. Even when a noble is inconvenienced by one of Shojo's decisions, they did nothing about it, reasoning that it was probably the work of one of their rivals.
Lord Shojo consistently shows his desire to do Good. His people are constantly a concern for him. For 47 years he has done what he thought best for his people, even when it was unpopular. His ability to work within the legal system, even when he thought it foolish, suggests that he may have been Neutral Good. Neither lawful nor chaotic, he could work for the Good of his people and the world using both freedom and law.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Aristocrat: While only having levels in an NPC class, he was nevertheless fairly high level, 14. This gave him a number of skill slots as well as some weapon proficiency.
- Improved Paranoia: Shojo says he took this feat at 9th level, due to the numerous assassination attempts on him.
- Proficient Liar: Shojo's Bluff skill must be high rank, due to his consistent lying which is believed by his whole city-state.
- Perform (puppetry): Shojo mockingly uses this skill when Roy allows his wizard to be killed.
- Lord Shojo's last words were: "It seems not everyone agrees with your... analysis."
- ↑ Comic 407, "Fading"
- ↑ Comic 277, "The Crayons of Time: Breaking Up is Hard to Do"
- ↑ Comic 289, "Senility Now!"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Comic 290, "Shojo's Big Secret"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Comic 588, "His Name Probably Helps, Too"
- ↑ Comic 292, "Non-startling Revelations"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Comic #379, Perform IS on the Aristocrat's Skill List"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Comic #405, "The Secrets"
- ↑ Comic 605, "Return of the King"
- ↑ Comic 606, "The Philosophy of Chaos"
- ↑ Comic 610, "You're It"
- ↑ Comic 798, "Change of Plans"
|Soon Kim • Lord Shojo • Hinjo • Miko Miyazaki • O-Chul • Lien • Ho Thanh • Ronjo • Jiaya • Yunji • Argent • Windstriker • Razor|
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