Characters: The Order of the Stick: Azure City
The Order of the Stick
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Did you guys know that Azure City is the largest trading port in Southern lands?
Thousands of ships come from all around the world to barter for fine Southern goods like silk, spices, and video games
The average temperature for this season is 63° F, with average yearly precipitation of 26.43 inches. Roy:
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a successful Bardic Knowledge check.
Monk/Paladin Alignment: Lawful Good
A dutiful and powerful paladin of the Sapphire Guard whose conviction is, perhaps, too
great. Reared in a monastery, she'd taken a few levels of monk before becoming a paladin.
- Action Girl
- Alliterative Name
- Anti-Hero: She's willing to kill evil beings in cold blood, but only evil beings.
- Anti-Villain: After she goes insane and kills Shojo.
- Believing Her Own Lies: One of Miko's critical flaws.
- Black and White Insanity
- Broken Bird
- Broken Pedestal: Miko's pedestal for Shojo breaks when she discovers he's faking his senility. She reacts... violently.
- Comically Missing the Point
Roy Greenhilt: It's like she has that monk class ability that lets you jump as far as you want, only to her, it applies to conclusions.
- The Comically Serious
- Death Equals Redemption: Somewhat averted. She was specifically trying to gain redemption to be restored to the paladin class, and in her dying moments, Soon's spirit explains why and how she failed at this. However, he reassures her that her spirit will be reunited with her beloved horse, Windstriker, which suggests that wherever her soul goes in the afterlife, it'll be a Good place, or at least one accessible to such beings.
- Deconstruction: Miko is intended as a commentary and deadpan parody on people who play Lawful Good characters as Lawful Zealous. This becomes especially clear when she's contrasted against other Lawful Good characters in the comic, such as Hinjo and Roy.
- De-power: Her immediate punishment for killing Lord Shojo.
- Detect Evil: Tries and fails to detect any evil in the Order. Belkar, who is evil, blocks the ability with a lead sheet, and sues her for it.
- Dual Wielding
- Egocentrically Religious: She truly believes that the gods have a special purpose for her.
- Fallen Hero: Literally, as she eventually loses her paladin powers. Averts it at the same time, as she never turns to evil. She keeps trying (and failing) to determine what's right.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: One word — bisection.
- Famous-Named Foreigner: Hayao Miyazaki
- Flanderization: Her jumping to conclusions. While her initial fight with the Order is arguably an example of this, and there are a couple of early gags of her Comically Missing the Point, it wasn't presented as an especially dominant trait during her initial extended period in the comic (strip #s 199-298), never cited as one of the reasons why the Order hated her so much during this period. Neither the phrase "jumping to conclusions" nor anything like it is ever even mentioned in connection to her during this period. When she returns to the comic (after an absence of 80 strips), she's jumping to wrong conclusions all the time, always in ways that seriously, disastrously affects the plot. From then on, it's the only way she affects the plot. This now dominant trait of hers is Lampshaded by Roy by implying that this has always been so typical of her.
- Good Is Not Nice: A textbook example.
- Half the Woman She Used to Be: Ouuuch. Unsurprisingly, she dies. However, it's not all bad. See Death Equals Redemption above.
- Healing Hands
- Heel Face Door Slam
- Hero Antagonist: In the commentary, Rich wanted to know if he could pull off a Lawful Good character who is an antagonist. Miko opposes the Order and hampers their progress, but she also helps the dirt farmers without hesitation, helps to organize an evacuation of the inn when the danger appears, goes back into the inn to make sure there were no stragglers, attacked them as harshly as she did because her information gathering had yielded information on their evil counterparts, extenuating circumstances (the crown causing its wearer to registers as strongly evil), as well as their genuine bad behavior (the flumphs, Belkar's actions in the barbarian guild, the weasel thrown down the troll/ogre's gullet). She's just obnoxious and overbearing.
- Honor Before Reason: Subverted and Played Straight. In the battle with the ogres, she looked like she walked into the ogre camp and alerted the entire group in order to have a fair fight, but it was just an excuse to clump them all together so the spellcasters could nuke them more easily. However, when Belkar was raising havoc in Azure City dungeons, rather than call a host of troops to track him down, she let him goad her into fighting him on his terms.
- I Am X, Son of Y:
I am Miko Miyazaki, samurai of the Sapphire Guard, loyal vassal of Lord Shojo, daughter of Eyko, and paladin of the Twelve Gods of the South. MitD:
Neat! It must be hard to fit all that on your business cards
- Inspector Javert: For the entire Order. Borderline between Javert and Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist for Lord Shojo. She had him dead to rights, but went a bit Off the Rails in dealing with him.
- In the Hood: Her initial appearance, until her face is revealed during her first fight with the Order.
- I Reject Your Reality: Her conviction that she's always right escalates into outright delusion, to the point where she STILL thinks she's right after the Twelve Gods revoke her paladinhood.
- I Thought It Meant: She thinks that "bump uglies" is an euphemism for Smite Evil.
- Jerkass: Whatever your opinion of her is, it can't be denied that she has quite a few sticks up her ass. Frequently lampshaded in the comic.
- Killed Off for Real: She's bisected, Xs for eyes, when Soon Kim's gate explodes. Tsukiko passes her over when looking for corpses to re-animate. She's not coming back, either resurrected or undead.
- Knight of Cerebus: Her introduction is the point where the story starts getting serious about its Myth Arc.
- Knight Templar: A very serious hardcase.
- Lawful Stupid
- Magic Knight
- The Millstone: Vaarsuvius very much considers Miko to be this. Then again, Vaarsuvius sometimes thinks that anyone who is not Vaarsuvius is this.
- Molotov Cocktail: Miko creates one out of her cloak and a bottle of dwarven brandy to escape from her force cage.
- Moral Sociopathy
- Murder Is the Best Solution: She favors killing "evildoers" herself over bringing them to justice.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Twice.
- Obstructive Zealot: Oh yes. She believes the 12 Gods have a "special mission" for her and utterly and vehemently refuses to listen anyone or anything that doesn't fit her delusion. Even when the 12 gods explicitly disapprove Miko by depriving her of her paladinhood.
- Paint It Black: In her case, Paint It Tan after her Fall, since her Sapphire Guard uniform is magical and only works for a paladin. Sabine once suggests that she would look sexy in black leather, and gets her neck snapped (non-fatally) for her trouble.
- Perpetual Frowner
- Pride: Miko is so full of herself that she will never question her actions, her judgment, or her belief that she is "special" and has a great and prestigious destiny.
Miko Miyazaki: The gods have a plan for me, I know it! I am special, the most powerful paladin in the Sapphire Guard! They wouldn't do this to ME without a reason.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: "Let's just say there's a reason Miko gets picked for long missions. In foreign countries. Which keep her away from home for months at a time."
- Redemption Equals Death: Subverted.
- Samus Is a Girl: And so is the mysterious blue-cloaked, hooded figure tracking down the Order. Roy knocks off her hood in their first battle and his reaction to the revealation is "wow". He is accused of wanting to "bone" her afterwards.
- Sanity Slippage: She became increasingly irrational and impulsive after the Order of the Stick is brought to Azure City. After she killed Lord Shojo, she went into extreme denial and came up with crazy (and at times contradicting) theories about the Order of the Stick.
- Sixth Ranger: For the Order of the Stick, temporarily, causing lots of tension in the process.
- Smite Evil
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: For Belkar, after his jailbreak.
- Tautological Templar: She is convinced that, being the most powerful member of the Sapphire Guard, she must have the Twelve Gods' favor. Therefore, anything she does is right by definition and anything that happens to her including falling from paladinhood is part of the gods' greater plan for her.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: Early on, she showed some clever strategy in defeating a band of ogres (see the subverted example of Honor Before Reason above). She never does anything that clever again. Instead, she fills out the tropes of the played straight example of Honor Before Reason, the Flanderization of her jumping to conclusions, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, Unwitting Instigator of Doom, etc.
- Tragic Hero
- Trauma Conga Line: In the span of a couple days she learned of an impending attack on her homeland, learned that her mentor had been lying to her her entire life, executed him for treason, learned he was innocent of said treason, lost her powers, lost her homeland, was thrown in prison, and finally died.
- Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card!: Lampshaded when she gives her I Am X, Son of Y speech.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Just as the ghost of Soon Kim is about to finish off Xykon, Miko comes in and destroys the gate, allowing Xykon and Redcloak to escape.
- Weapon of Choice: A katana and a wakizashi, although she loses the latter later on. And, being a paladin, a frequent user of Smite Evil.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She gets hit by several of these speeches. By Roy, and also Redcloak, in a case of a somewhat hypocritical "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Windmill Crusader
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: A minor example, but being the most powerful paladin in the Sapphire Guard clearly got through her head, deconnecting her from reality. Always being far away from Azure city daily life also probably didn't help.
Miko's paladin warhorse mount and, as it is implied, her only friend in the world.
Aristocrat Alignment: Chaotic Good
Former ruler of Azure City; Shojo's father, Lord Ronjo, was the first ruler of Azure to be commander of Soon Kim's Sapphire Guard. Shojo inherited this role, but is in no way a paladin himself (instead, he is a 14th-level aristocrat, a NPC class). He faked senility to keep the nobility from assassinating him while keeping them in check, and devised complex schemes to get what he wanted done without ticking off the paladins and violating their code of honor.
"I certainly can, provided the Twelve Gods agree." Race:
Paladin Alignment: Lawful Good
Current ruler of Azure City, now in exile. He is the nephew of Lord Shojo and the heir to the throne, as well as the current leader of the now nearly-nonexistent Sapphire Guard. A powerful paladin, he is significantly more at-ease than Miko and prefers mounted front-line combat with his wolf, Argent.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: He refuses to retreat from Azure City after it has been overrun by hobgoblins, but is convinced by the Order.
- Badass Beard
- Berserk Button: "NOBODY HURTS MY DOG!!!"
- Can't Catch Up: While he stays back to oversee the refuge fleet, his paladins and the Order go on missions and earn levels.
- Healing Hands
- Hero of Another Story
- Honor Before Reason: Not like Miko, but Hinjo is still a stickler for the rules, and his uncle states in a bonus comic that he hopes Hinjo will grow out of this mindest by the time he takes command of Azure City.
Shojo: Hinjo has grown up into a good, honorable man — which unfortunately makes him singularly unsuited to the task of governing Azure City and its territories. I'm not worried, though. Give him another ten years of instruction, and his naïve idealism will fall like kobolds before a high-level fighter.
- In Its Hour of Need
- Magic Knight: Due to being a paladin.
- Modest Royalty
- Only Sane Man: In comparison to Miko, anyway.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Smite Evil
- Supporting Leader: He's the leader of the forces opposing Xykon, but the Order are the main characters and heroes of the story.
- Take Up My Sword: After Shojo's death, he takes over Azure City. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy about it.
- Weapon of Choice: A katana.
Hinjo's paladin mount, a large silver-hued wolf.
"Your life is much like this Go board, my friend. You have allowed yourself to be surrounded by enemy pieces — people who wish to bend you to their will, to remove your unique voice from the board and replace it with one of... of mindless subservience.
But as you correctly point out, you are still holding on two empty places in the center.
They are your heart, and your mind. They are the places that make you what you really are."
Fighter/Paladin Alignment: Lawful Good
A high-ranking and incredibly tough paladin of the Sapphire Guard, O-Chul was taken as a prisoner of war after the fall of Azure City.
- Adopt the Dog: His friendship with the Monster in the Darkness leads to a Heartwarming Moment. Also see the quote.
- And I Must Scream: He spends an unspecified amount of time paralysed by Xykon, while his fellow paladins killed themselves around him, Xykon took the gate, and Miko destroyed the gate when they were winning. Then he was blown out a window and taken to a tea party when he needed to be escaping.
- Badass Beard
- Badass in Distress: He's put in a tank with an acid-breathing shark. It doesn't go well for the shark.
- Bald of Awesome
- Brass Balls: "+5 Holy Cojones", as stated by resident Big Bad Xykon. He was genuinely surprised that O-Chul was going to fight him wearing nothing but his prisoner loincloth and wielding nothing but his paladin might.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: At the hands of Team Evil.
- Determinator: O-Chul manages to get a list of all (or at least most) of Xykon's spells. When asked how, he simply replies "One saving throw at a time." Word of the Giant says his Constitution score is in the mid-twenties. For reference, the average human has a score of ten. And increases are not linear.
He's like the Energizer Bunny, a Rollex watch, and Jackie Chan
- Did We Just Have Tea with the Monster in the Darkness?
- The Dog Bites Back: Nearly kills Redcloak, and puts out his right eye.
- Dramatic Necklace Removal: With Redcloak's holy symbol.
- Dump Stat: Charisma. This comes back to bite him when he tries to dupe Redcloak.
- Genius Bruiser
- Go: Played it with the MitD, to whom he taught the rules.
- Guile Hero: Extremely adaptable. When captured, O-Chul takes advantage of the situation to get Xykon's spell list, nudge the Monster in the Darkness away from evil a bit, and when released, is in position to try to break Xykon's phylactery (but is stopped at the last second). Also capable of using Exact Words when necessary, though usually not for manipulative reasons.
- Healing Hands: A standard paladin ability.
- I Gave My Word
- Improvised Weapon: He can and will use anything, from a broken cage bar to bare fists, highly effectively. Often powered-up with Smite Evil.
- Interrogated for Nothing: Redcloak suspected he was telling the truth even before their session on the tower, but wanted to keep Xykon in the city so the hobgoblins could solidify their position.
- Japanese Honorifics: He even calls the MitD "Monster-san".
- Knight in Shining Armor: All the Sapphire Guards are, but O-Chul even more so. The Giant describes him as "everything right about the paladin".
- Made of Iron: He survives a Castle-Shattering Kaboom, a tank of acid with a shark in it (multiple times, it's implied), being trapped in a cage filled with rabid dire wallabies, a staring contest with a basilisk (which he won, technically; he never blinked), along with months of torture. Some would argue that he borders on Implacable Man. According to Word of the Giant, he has a Constitution score in the mid-twenties.note Even better, when O-Chul breaks out, he charges Redcloak with a metal bar ripped from his cage. Redcloak nails him in the forehead with a Disintegrate, showing off O-Chul's skeleton. Not only does O-Chul shake off the hit like it was nothing, if you look closely, his skull has a scar matching the one along his temple - meaning the cut that made it went all the way to the bone. (The goblins may not be responsible for that one, since he has the scar even before the Battle of Azure City.)
"It was pretty easy for me to put two and two together. Contrary to popular opinion, Good is not always dumb."
Along with Hinjo and O-Chul, a paladin and one of the only surviving Sapphire Guard officers. As the daughter of fishermen, her weapon and celestial mount keep a connection with the sea.
"Let us make hasty our escape, that we might live to fight the forces of Evil another day." Race:
Paladin Alignment: Lawful Good
A low-ranking Sapphire Guard member who was out of town the day of the battle. Took over leadership of La Résistance
after Haley left.
Daigo & Kazumi Kato
Daigo & Kazumi Kato
) Kazumi... is a pretty name... Kazumi:
) Thank you. What's yours? Daigo: ... ... Daigo.
(no longer dying
) ... Uh? I, uh... I think I'm OK, now. Kazumi:
Wow. I guess having a name really DOES matter.
Male & Female (respectively) Class:
Fighters Alignment: Neutral Good
Regular soldiers in the Azure City army
, Daigo and Kazumi refuse to be nameless Red Shirts
like the rest of the army — literally, by mentioning their names. They managed to escape Azure along with Elan, Vaarsuvius and Durkon. Daigo and Kazumi are now married, with Kazumi pregnant, and have been given the status of nobility by Hinjo. The fact that their names are known also makes them significantly more competent than regular Azurite soldiers.
"Well done, Therkla. You managed to weasel your way out of responsibility for your own actions like a seasoned veteran. I couldn't be prouder if you were my own flesh and blood."
A scheming aristocrat and Therkla's employer, intent on assassinating Hinjo and taking over after Shojo's death.
"Actually, it's completely true. Our master DID order us to lure you here and kill you. I was just hoping... I was hoping you could be my boyfriend instead." Race:
Ninja Alignment: True Neutral
Half-orc ninja, under the employ of Daimyo Kubota. Poisoned by Kubota so he could escape, she dies in Elan's arms.
"Yeah, what was I thinking, not advertising
[I multiclassed to rogue
] to the team's paladin."
Fighter/Rogue Alignment: Neutral Good
A low-ranking soldier seconding Haley and later Thanh in the Azure City Resistance.
"Prepare to hold this breach at all cost, men" Race:
Warrior Alignment: Lawful Good
The General of the Azure City Soldiers.
"In the few hours since we learned of the threat, we diviners have done our best to scry the invading army." Race:
Wizard (diviner) Alignment: Lawful Good
A blind seer who serves as an adviser to Shojo and later Hinjo. Aside from Shojo, the only known member of the Sapphire Guard who is not a Paladin. Apparently killed when Xykon's zombie dragon threw her off the ramparts of Azure City's outer wall.
That Guy with a Halberd
That Guy with a Halberd
"Wait — was that oil hot?" Race:
Warrior Alignment: Lawful Good
Another soldier in the Azure City army
. Shows up in one strip
ordering boiling oil poured on the attacking hobgoblins. It turns out to be room-temperature coconut oil instead, but it drives the attackers off anyway. Turned into a Memetic Bystander
by a forum thread
- Only Sane Man: In the single strip he appears in.
- Only Six Faces: There's really no way to tell this Guy with a Halberd from any other male soldier in the Azurite army, which has led to a fandom running gag that any time one of them has a significant line, it's this guy.
- Red Shirt
- Weapon of Choice: Go on — guess.
"It's my job to protect everyone aboard — especially Hinjo. And that means getting him far away from situations where he can die heroically." Race:
Unknown Alignment: Lawful Good
The captain of Hinjo's junk. Very loyal to his lord, but knows when to disobey too.