|“Shojo's Big Secret”|
|Order of the Stick comic|
|Date published||7 March 2006|
|View the comic|
Shojo reveals how he rigged the trial.
- Roy Greenhilt ◀ ▶
- Haley Starshine ◀ ▶
- Mr. Scruffy ◀ ▶
- Miko Miyazaki ◀ ▶
- Lord Shojo ◀ ▶
- Eugene Greenhilt (also as Being of Pure Law and Good) ◀ ▶
- Fellow Medium-Sized Paladin ▶
- A Female Paladin
- Panel 1, Page 1
Roy: So even the paladins don't know about your ruse?
Lord Shojo: No. It allows me to occasionally engage in behavior they might not tolerate in their liege.
- Panel 2, Page 1
Lord Shojo: It worked well, actually, right until Dorukan's Gate was destroyed.
Lord Shojo: I knew nothing of this lich of yours, but when diviners told me of the explosion, I feared for the integrity of the Snarl's prison.
- Panel 3, Page 1
Lord Shojo: With two of the gates gone, I felt—
Roy: Hold on, "two"? What happened to the other?
- Panel 4, Page 1
Two paladins investigate the site of Lirian's Gate. On the ground are labeled, "Goblin footprints" and "Piece of a red cloak".
Lord Shojo (inset): Lirian's Gate was destroyed in a fire many years ago, and she vanished. I sent paladins, but they found nothing conclusive.
Female Paladin: So... got ranks in Search?
Medium-Sized Paladin: No. You?
Female Paladin: No.
Medium-Sized Paladin: Darn.
- Panel 5, Page 1
Lord Shojo: Anyway, with two gates lost, I felt that the safety of the remaining gates was in jeopardy.
Lord Shojo: But that left me with a conundrum:
- Panel 6, Page 1
Lord Shojo: The only servants in my employ that I could trust with the locations of the gates of Girard and Kraagor were my paladins.
Lord Shojo: But each and every paladin had sworn an oath to never interfere with those same gates!
- Panel 7, Page 1
Lord Shojo: I, too, swore the oath when I assumed command of the Sapphire Guard, but I feel it is foolish to risk universal destruction for a promise to people I've never met.
Lord Shojo: The paladins feel differently. Without concrete evidence of a threat to all of the gates, they wouldn't consider checking on the other two.
- Panel 8, Page 1
Lord Shojo: What I needed was someone who could go out, look in on the other gates, and report back to me.
Lord Shojo: I couldn't send anyone in the Sapphire Guard—or even let them know I was doing it.
- Panel 9, Page 1
Roy: I fail to see what this has to do with me. Or rather, I am beginning to see, but I'm hoping I'm totally wrong.
Lord Shojo: You might want to begin to prepare yourself for disappointment.
- Panel 10, Page 1
Lord Shojo: When I learned about your party of adventurers, I saw an opportunity. Your group already knew about the gates—or so I assumed at the time—and was not hampered by Soon's oath.
Lord Shojo: You were exactly what I needed.
Lord Shojo: I sent my most powerful paladin to the North to collect you. I couldn't tell her why I had to speak to you, though, so I invoked criminal charges.
- Panel 11, Page 1
Lord Shojo: I knew that you were innocent of any true wrongdoing, even if you were technically guilty of "weakening the fabric of the universe." But the charges would get you down here so we could talk.
Lord Shojo: I believed that I could give you a trial that would appear legitimate to the paladins, even if I had to manipulate the outcome.
- Panel 1, Page 2
Roy: Wait. Wait right there. You knew—KNEW—that the whole thing was an accident, and you sent that bitch to drag us back here in chains?
Lord Shojo: Yes, but I believe it to be for the greater good.
- Panel 2, Page 2
Flashback to "The End of the Beginning".
Lord Shojo (inset): Miko just has a tendency to be a bit... overzealous in bringing criminals to justice.
Miko: My blades will be bathed in the blood of those responsible.
Lord Shojo: Uh, actually, Mr. Scruffy says that you should try hard to bring them back alive for trial.
Miko: Sigh. As your cat wishes, Master, if it is possible.
- Panel 3, Page 2
Roy: So everything we've been through—being captured, abused, imprisoned, tried—was all so you could offer me a JOB without your paladin buddies knowing?
Lord Shojo: I suppose, yes.
- Panel 4, Page 2
Roy: So, what, placing a classified ad didn't have the right undertone of personal violation for you?
- Panel 5, Page 2
Roy: I'm sure this whole Snarl thing completely justifies what you did to us, at least in your mind, but I can't see any reason why I would EVER want to work for you.
- Panel 6, Page 2
Roy: Assuming I had any reason to think this wasn't just another lie. There's no reason to believe a thing you say.
Roy: As someone once said to me, "I just don't trust you enough to believe you lied."
- Panel 7, Page 2
Roy: For example: You JUST told me that you didn't learn any information on who burned down Lirian's Gate... but you now claim to have known about us before you unleashed Miko.
Roy: So which one is the lie?
- Panel 8, Page 2
Lord Shojo: A very good question. The gods smiled on me the day your bard blew up Dorukan's Gate.
Lord Shojo: They sent me a being from the Upper Planes, who told me everything I needed to know about you and your party.
- Panel 9, Page 2
Cut to the Being of Pure Law and Good that judged the trial.
Lord Shojo: He has continued to advise me ever since.
- Panel 10, Page 2
The illusion of the Being begins to fade.
- Panel 11, Page 2
The illusion of the Being fades, another form begins to take shape.
- Panel 12, Page 2
Eugene Greenhilt's ghost floats above the room.
Eugene: What? You were maybe expecting Patrick Swayze?
D&D Context Edit
- Search is a skill that determines how good a character is at searching. Paladins do not gain many skill points compared to other characters.
- The Upper Planes are the seven good-aligned Outer Planes.
- Eugene's comment is a reference to the 1990 American film Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopie Goldberg.
- There is some controversy over the identity of the bald paladin in the fourth panel. Some believe this to be the first appearance of O-Chul in the comic, but the official ruling from Wrecan was that this character is "Fellow Medium-Sized Paladin" who will appear once more in Acure City. The character lacks O-Chul's characteristic facial scar.