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  1. #1
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    Something I thought about yesterday.

    Suppose a good-aligned realm (human, elven or dwarven), that borders on a realm populated by orogs/goblins/other evil humanoids. Now suppose that the aforementioned good-aligned realm (lets call it realm A ) is the subject of nonstop raids and sneak-attacks from that evil humanoids controlled realm (which will be known as realm B ). Realm a decides that enough is enough and launches an attack against realm A, during which 3 low-populated provinces (say, provinces levels 0, 1, and 1) are occupied and divested by realm A.
    Realm A decides to put its conquests to good use, drives as many evil humanoids as possible out of the conquered provinces, and begins to settle them with members of its own population.

    The question is, can realm A still be considered good-aligned, or has it changed alignment and should now be considered neutral or even evil?

    In our world realm a should certainly be considered evil, what it is doing should be referred to as ethnic cleansing. But is the same true in Cerilia? In our world no humanoids exist, and no human can be categorically labled as "Evil", but that is possible in Cerilia. The god of battle, conflict and storms is considered chaotic good in Cerilia (which I always found odd). And historically, that is basically what the Cerilian humans did to the elves, and still many human realms (both present and histoical) are considered good.

    I don't know the answer to this.

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    If you go with the very strict definition of evil, then as soon as realm A massed its troops and invaded realm B then they crossed the line from good into evil. It doesn't mean that the people of that realm are necessarily evil, but it's leaders certainly have crossed over to the dark side, especially using their military power to forcibly evict an entire population.

    I had something very similar happen in my campaign once, where a regent running Cariele invaded the Five Peaks and then proceeded to try and depopulate the region of goblins and other "evil" races. What happened was that the entire goblin population of those realm took up arms (at least all those who were able) and the PC found himself tossed out of the Five Peaks and his palace burned down around him by a rampaging mob of goblins.

    In the case of most realms it is only a small portion of the population involved in the evil acts, and to tarnish an entire society on the acts of a few individuals is wrong. Perhaps it would better to look at the cause behind the raids. Why are the goblins of realm B raiding realm A? Is it because they need food or resources to support their population. It is unlikely to be just because the race is evil.

    Oh, and Cuiraecen may be CG, but his followers can be any non-lawful alignment, including NE and CE.
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  3. #3
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    Divestiture is neither good nor lawful (book of priestcraft), so IMHO, the realm has certainly deviated from good...

  4. #4
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    Divestiture is evil? Always? And what if it's used to take back provinces that were conquered and divested?

  5. #5
    heheh, touche. There are of course exceptions to every rule, however, while using violent means to take back what is rightfully yours doesnt make it good, it doesnt make it evil either.

    Heh, even though all the paladins who are good (all except Avani's) would go out there and fight to reclaim it...



    Then of course, where is good without evil... or evil without good... you cannot have good without evil, thus evil is good, Can I get an Amen? That's the spirit! Doesn't doing good feel good? Doesn't sinning feel good, Hell yeah! Hallelujah, brothers and sisters. Can I get another Amen? Let us spread the good will of the Lord by going out, drinking some holy wine, loving one another, and singing the joys of living! Amen!
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    The BoP covers the topic of divestiture quite extensively (pg 70-81). It suggests that stipping holdings away from a regent using divestiure is an evil act, unless (and this is a big if) it is used to take them away from a tyrant or usurper. Even in this case the BoP suggest that the divested province be given a chance to make their own way before the so called "good" regent claims them as his own. If they decide to join the liberators empire then so be it, but if they decide to become a new nation then the liberator cannot claim them as his own as still purport to be "good".

    On the matter of previous claims to the provinces, that depends how old the claim is. Many tyrants attempt to justify their conquering of provinces through some ancient claim to the land, often going back hundreds of years to a time when their great, great, great, great... great third cousin once spent a night in a local tavern or something similar. If it is a recent event (within the last year or so) then this may be justified, but some ancient claim is not.
    The elven kingdoms could effectivly lay claim to much of Cerilia, but any attempt to take it by force from its current inhabitants would be seen as an evil act.

    In summation, Divestiture is not a good act, but occassionally may be used by good regent as passed off as a necessary evil.

    As an example, if your empire invades the Gorgon's territory, defeats his armies and conquers say three provinces in Markazor, most people would see that as a good act. However, your actions from that point on will determine just how good it is. If you slaughter all the goblins in the province, drive them from the land and move in your own settlers, then it becomes and evil act (although it may not be seen so by the human kingdoms, but we all know what humans are like). If you instead offer the newly conquered kingdoms freedom to rejoin the league of nation as a free goblin kingdom opposed to the Gorgon and his evil minions, then you can committed a very good act, as possibly gained an important ally and vassel. If you just conquer the provinces and add them to your empire without displacing the current inhabitants and treating them as you would any other citizen, then it is still a good act as you have driven off the tyrant in the Gorgon and given freedom to the enslaved people.

    Attacking another kingdom whose citizens occassionally raid your lands is a different matter, unless their ruler is obviously a tyrant or major evil power.
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  7. #7
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    A_dark schrieb:



    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...=ST&f=2&t=2666

    >

    > A_dark wrote:

    > Divestiture is neither good nor lawful (book of priestcraft), so IMHO, the realm has certainly deviated from good...

    >

    The Book of Priestcraft also mentions that divestiture can be seen as a

    good act if it is used against awnsheglien like the Gorgon and that

    certainly applies also to other evil, monstrous rulers.

    bye

    Michael

  8. #8
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    tcharazazel schrieb:



    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...=ST&f=2&t=2666

    >

    > tcharazazel wrote:

    > heheh, touche. There are of course exceptions to every rule, however, while using violent means to take back what is rightfully yours doesnt make it good, it doesnt make it evil either.

    >

    > Heh, even though all the paladins who are good (all except Avani`s) would go out there and fight to reclaim it...

    >

    >

    And the Paladins of Avani certainly would do so as well to support the

    lawful ruler who only tries to reclaim the lands that have been stolen

    from him...

    bye

    Michael

  9. #9
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    If religion is the dominant moral compass, then the human lands will be dominated by the ideologies of the human gods most prominent and influential there. So Haelyn's version of morality tends to be dominant in most of Anuire.

    I don't really believe in some objective view of alignment as defined by some invisible cosmic power greater even than the gods (for D&D). This is particularly true in the BR world, where the gods exist quite seperately from the standard D&D planar cosmology. They are much more "human" in that thery have their own realms and aren't all that concerned with their clerics' or worshippers' alignments. What they're concerned with are their spheres of influence and their particular dogma and worldly agenda. Like Ruornil's clerics fighting the Shadow World's encroachment, or Haleyn's paladins upholding justice and chivalric virtues, or Cuiraecen's warriors "fighting the good fight" and giving their personal best whenever they commit themselves to battle...

    So morality, and thus what is deemed good or evil in the BR world, is something I see as very socially constructed, not cosmically defined. It's all relative...I like to draw parallels to medieval Europe, where things like the Crusades were considered (in their day) righteous acts condoned by God, the most moral and noble quest a knight or soldier could undertake. Yet this was little more than a blatant act of war, full of all of war's brutality, greed, corruption...but did the crusaders ever come home facing a Church tribunal for commiting war crimes? Not that I ever heard...they were just infidels, right?

    Racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide are, unfortunately, rather common historical themes, and I prefer the BR world to reflect that kind of brutal, gritty reality rather than being some bs fantasy setting where "good" and "heroic" are somehow based on 20th century ideals of humanitarianism. Morality has had different standards for different races for most of history.

    Even in the PHB, it says only evil rangers may choose their own race as a favored enemy. But good rangers can be specialized at killing anything else. Can we get a more blatant example of racially-based morality? in a game based on monster-slaying, things like killing other races simply cannot be judged too harshly, or there will be a lot less "good"-aligned adventurers in the world.

    So the same goes for realms. I can't imagine the people of Alamie, for instance, judging their Duke as evil if he goes and slaughters thousands of goblins and barbarians in the Five Peaks. After all, those damned goblins have been attacking, raiding, enslaving, raping, and killing the Alamiens for time out of mind. Besides, they're goblins...

    Now where the evil creeps in, IMO, is when you get down to the details. For instance, when the regent gives the order to kill every man, woman, and child found, well...if word of this were to spread back home, there might be a hushed pall settling over the land for a while. The Neseriens might be outraged, maybe some of the Haelynites too, but most would get over it in time, life would go on, and overall the regent would probably get approval from the majority of his subjects for investing those 3 new provinces into his realm...

    Truth is, racism is a deeply-ingrained part of this world...I think the BoP's views on it are distinctly biased by a LG Haelynite's version of morality, and should be viewed in such a light rather than as some universal code of morality even the gods must follow...please.

    Osprey

  10. #10
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    Also keep in mind that the dwarves, a theoretically LG race has been locked in a genocidal war with th orogs for centuries. Do you think that the dwarves would hesitte to slaughter every last orog in a warren, just because there are unarmes females and children present?

    Damn straight that the dwarves would be (to use a modern term) "ethnicly cleansing" entire areas for their own settlement. The Orogs wouldn't hesitate in the least, and this is a war of survival.
    "It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion -- and usually easier."

    - R. A. Heinlien, from The Collected works of Lazarus Long

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