Scott (silver_beetle) wrote in dnd3e,
Scott
silver_beetle
dnd3e

An ethical dilemma

OK, here's the story. Our party consists of a cowardly paladin (me), LN hobgoblin rogue who has forsaken his race, a druid, a CG barbarian and a LN sorcerer who rarely shows. As we were making our way through the Silver Marches, we came upon some travelers who were being mauled by a number of undead-ish boars that were obviously some sort of creation gone awry. Two children and three adults were killed. Naturally, we vowed to find the person and make him pay for his evil deeds.

We found him, snug in his cabin, seemingly more annoyed by the inconvenience of having to atone for his misdeeds than actually upset that his creations killed people. The hobgoblin was ready to chop him on the spot. I, the paladin, was ready as well, but cooler heads (including mine) prevailed, reasoning that this necromancer was probably more than we could handle, and justice would be better served if her were to raise those he was responsible for the deaths of. (yes, he was able to raise them) The hobgoblin didn't even want them raised, reasoning that it would be through some evil magics and would only further the necormancer's aims. I didn't disagree, but I was willing to give him the chance.

If you're still interested,

The argument that ensued was, essentially, that the Silver Marches is outside any territorial boundries, and thus we had no legal authority to force the necro to do anything, and in fact, since it was in a "lawless" area, he didn't, in fact, commit any crimes. My argument was, that as a soldier of Cormyr, I was authorized to uphold the law in Cormyr, and that even though the area was not under any legal authority or entity, there are certain laws which are so universal that they would still apply. For example, accidentally causing the death of someone is illegal all over Faerun, and even in Thay a Red Wizard is supposed to make resitution if, say, a construct got loose and killed someone, even a commoner.

There were a couple of important details that monkey-wrenched the whole thing: the hobgoblin killed two of the necro's kobold hirelings, pretty much in cold blood. They were guarding the necro's residence while he was resting between raisings, and the hob just whacked 'em. Not cool, but we had run-ins with them before. Also, just after this, the hob was waiting outside while the barbarian was parlaying with him, and had his sword raised and ready to strike as the necro's door opened. He only stayed his hand because the barbarian was in the doorway rather than the necro. After this, the necro was reluctant to come out to finish his work. It was only after I gave him a guarentee that I'd protect him from the hob that he'd come out. That, and I had to threaten him. He finally came out and raised everyone he could.

So I came up with a new acronym: CRWE - the "closest real-world equivalent," which, in this case, would be a dog breeder who cross-bred, say, a doberman and a pit bull, and the offspring got loose and killed several people. I believe that the courts generally look more favorably on someone who is attempting to make resitution when he causes damage, rather than someone who sits back and waits for the law to show up. Had we met the necromancer on the road, searching for his constructs and trying to right the wrong he's done, we would have been glad to help him, but instead we had to force him to make restitution (raising those who were killed).

So, I don't really have any specific question, I'm just interested in people's thoughts on this. The hobgoblin is our friend, and I believe no one is beyond redemption and was willing to vouch for him in human society. So it's not like he was a hireling that overstepped his bounds or anything like that. Opinions?
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