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Thread: (Game Thread) Ruceeglaelsktinag: A Study in Applied Christian Theology of War

  1. #21
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    Benir looks very slightly like he just ate something sour, given how the tiny purse to his lips and the slight roughening of his voice.

    "Well, the boy would have been an unlawful combatant, so by the letter of the international conventions the Guardian of the Code would have been well within his rights to condemn him to death on that basis alone. Of course we must never forget that there were devils, blue and green dragons, and other paragons of Lawful Evil at those conventions. So yes, his execution would have been much more quick than that, if it happened at all given the circumstances that most versions of the tale portray.

    However, what you may be omitting from your considerations are the allowances made for extracting actionable intelligence from known violators of The Codes. In such cases no second opinion is required if it is not conveniently available, several witnesses, and at least one a reliable witness can be entirely sufficient that the mere selection of witnesses would not require a routine board of inquiry under Ruceeglaelsktinagian law. Naturally the internal affairs decision might randomly select such a case for review, and any military magestrate in the Ruceeglaelsktinagian army could earmark the case for review by a judge properly trained and certified in the requisite areas of the laws of both nation and The Codes themselves. For the second type of witness any of the guards in the relief are would have qualified.

    In a pinch, with an interrogator of sufficient reputation, a single random local could have sufficed, although that gets into a big mess when it comes to verifying if such a witness is lying, although in that case an investigation would be required in every case under Ruceeglaelsktinagian law.

    I would like to make two major points. The first regarding what is an appropriate level of force in acquiring information in what may be a rapidly-developing tactical situation, and the second regarding the extents of what the goblin-boy would have been guilty of.

    As for the severity of the torments applied on the spot during the extraction of information, those are actually considered a completely separate issue under The Code, although they frequently come in as reasons why Ruceeglaelsktinagian authorities may allocate a lesser sentence. Basically, the reasoning is that as long as the torments are insufficient to extract all the information that there is good reason to suspect would lose its value in the time period before more gentle methods could reasonably be spared to the purpose, then those torments can not have been carried out for too long a period. There are also rules regarding limits on the appropriate starting levels and rates of escalation.

    In short, for example, if an individual should violate The Code, and it be even somewhat reasonable to suspect they may know something of great and immediate importance, and when asked 'Do you know anything of use?', they should keep silent, or seem to be lying when they say 'No, I know nothing of use related to the past, present, or future actions of those who may be in violation of The Code.'... and I should remind all gathered here that the interrogators we are considering here can be fooled into thinking the spoken truth is a lie only by the means with non-trivial magics, in which case I would suggest that the blame lies on the caster of said magics in almost every case.

    But back to my original point! If someone should know but little, but there is little surety it IS little based on what the interrogator knows, then whatever methods prove necessary to discovering that information can not be too much, as the fault lies with the one withholding the information. But if much torment is applied, and the tormented was guilty of but little, then no separate sentence is applied. This is similar to the principle operative in the situation of an accused in some small village accused of some complex crime such that the trial drags out while waiting for the arrival of a judge and lawyers versed in the particular area of the law might be sentenced to 'time served'. And, as in such cases, the state will often make restitution and redress. For instance, a farmer whose crops failed while he was in jail would be granted food at the public expense until the harvest after the next planting season. In the case of a violator of The Code in a very small way, with very small knowledge protected by great force of will to the violators own detriment, magics are usually used to repair the mind from the costs of the trauma, a public declaration of the smallness of the crimes is given, and, if the suffering was great, and the resources are available the memories of the torments may be wiped from the mind.

    My one of two central points is that, in the cases of violators of The Codes, whatever torment is necessary to extract information related to violators of The Codes that there is a reasonable possibility of being time-critical is generally the indicated level of torment. Naturally, since multiple attacks in quick succession or even simultaneously are a common strategy in most town-level areas of operation, a violator of The Codes caught in the act must usually be assumed to know something time-sensitive.

    My second point is that the goblin-boy might not have even been technically punished for his part in the initial attack despite being without uniform and aiding in an attack targeting a civilian. It is difficult to draw the necessary bases for legal discussion from a tale with scores of variations, but everything that occurred to the boy might have been a legally supportable demand for demonstration of allegiance to The Codes by assisting in the interrogation of his father at the first stage, and being used as a tool to obtain that cooperation at the second. A little thought will reveal that being tortured by a close family member is generally more horrific than being tortured by a known foe, although an interrogator might sometimes mis-judge whether that would raise such ire in the father that it would over-whelm the additional pressure on the mind. Having fallen short of his duty, even after being pardoned fo his two earlier crimes, the boy would then be sufficiently guilty that torturing him to more rapidly gain the father's cooperation would not be viewed as outside the limits of Ruceeglaelsktinag's balance between Justice, Mercy, and Expediency. In fact, in almost all cases, if the father had folded early on, he would have been executed swiftly by the hand of a Ruceeglaelsktinagian soldier, perhaps with the involvement of a loaned knife. Of course, the issue of motive for the boy's refusal would enter into the picture. If it were merely the horror of causing harm in general, it might even fall under the catagories that Ruceeglaelsktinag recognizes, though The Codes, which allow both Good and Evil, do not even define of 'conscientious objector'. Even if he should be motivated by love for his father, that might earn him only one to three public lashes of a the cat-o-nine-tails scaled to his frame from his mother at some later date, or even less than that. But if he should fail to acknowledge that his father's actions were wrong, or admit to some loyalty to his own species for the sake of loyalty to said species, then that would be accounted against him."

    At this point both 'Bloodsoaked' and 'Eugenicist' raise their hands. Benir turns to them both at once and says: "Let me guess, you would both weigh in on the validity of loyalty to own's own blood?"

    "@&$#| sure I do!" replies 'Bloodsoaked'.

    "Yes." says 'Eugenicist'.

    "A worthy issue, but I feel we should table it for the moment until we have explored other issues related to the dispensation of Justice and Mercy, and the role, if any, of Expediency when time is a pressing concern. We might split into two groups, with the larger group taking the larger room if one or both of you prefer?"

    "Nay, I'd rather be heard by a larger group later than a smaller one now." says 'Eugenicist'.

    "A victory over a great territory, and with opposition strong is more glorious than one over a smaller territory or with inexperienced opposition. I'll remain here a while, although my patience will not last forever, and I may settle for a smaller victory, and count all who will not hear my words at that time as fled cowards." says 'Bloodsoaked'.

  2. #22
    tWebber
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    At this point, our somewhat underground pantherian, Umbris, is looking all the more serious, if not hurt slightly. The things going through his head are many and include memories of past pains as well as empathy for those discussed.

    Somewhere during this long address, Umbris begins to halfway wander in thought...



    I can still remember...the looks in all their eyes

    ...the hunter and the hunted, predator and his prey...

    fear

    hatred

    pain

    disgust

    I'm still afraid...

    No one has the right to-


    Bottom line, I disagree with the entire scenario.
    Umbris now looks hardened, yet still pained.
    I think the handling of events from any version of this story is corrupt. I don't care to elaborate on this at present, but I will say that the amount of suffering will always be excessive. But that's how it is while we lack peace. What I see in all this, is a people trying to prevent conflict by forcefully administering justice on such a high level that the the receiving party could develop more resentment than fear and respect. This last bit could potentially worsen matters and cause a revolt rather than prevent one. That aside, assuming the punishment is issued as a way of preventing later damage on a larger scale to either party, it could be viewed as making involuntary martyrs, a disgusting thought.

    If I were forced to watch enough of the things just described, I can't say that I wouldn't want to die myself, even if only a spectating friend or acquaintance. If we cause an entire people to hate us further and ensure an attack, or cause them to wish their own extinction, isn't it more merciful to extinguish them altogether. I don't suggest that, but it puts things in perspective.
    If mere death had been offered in the place of what we were dealt, then perhaps... no... *clears throat*

    I think there is need for reform, what kind, who am I to say. What is certain, is if the pain is to lessen, the root cause of said pain needs to be addressed and resolved. I prefer Diplomacy to brute force, but I'm no stranger to violence. I only wish to avoid it where possible. Having respect for the greater good, I will fight where necessary to secure futures brighter.

    Breathe...

    Umbris relaxes and tries to smile at Benir, I was not making objection, only raising questions. I fear, I've been to forward, I tend to get a bit excited in some conversations. I have strange affinities and one is to get inside the heads of people now and then. I believe some of your kind have a saying about the curiosity of the creatures whose semblance I bear.

  3. #23
    tWebber
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    "In order to give you a sensible answer, I think I must greatly clarify your meaning first.

    You disagree with 'the entire scenario'? I suspect you don't mean that literally, since that would mean that you disagree with the offering of food to the hungry. Do you object to having a secure area for the giving of such food? The requirement that only under very special circumstances that any such food be removed from the serving area? The kneeling? The fact that the mother was not detained for trying to take food out of the area, and then interrogated without torment in her own tongue, which likely would have saved her baby's life?

    Also you speak of 'Justice on such a high level' which somewhat suggests to me you are missing the major point of half the torments described. Would you care to revise your statement or do I need to clarify why I think that?

    What do you mean by 'when we lack peace'? Do you simply refer to war itself?

    And what do you see as being the 'root cause' that you speak of? Is there any you have in mind, or do you see that as being incredibly widely varied?"
    Last edited by Draco Dei; 10-06-2015 at 01:26 PM.

  4. #24
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    I was speaking in generalities when I said I disagreed. I shall have to watch my tongue more closely. I'd like to say that I meant I disagreed with the part I paid the most attention to. Forgive me, but in this discussion there is one topic that grips my attention more than others and for a moment, that was all I heard. I do not disagree with all you have mentioned, but going into specifics is something I do cautiously. Some of my motives may seem complicated or may require more explanation than I feel safe to give. However, I hope that as we all learn to trust each other better, I might in good confidence share with you with great confidence.

    When I spoke of justice, I meant to say "justice as the one exacts it would define it." Once again, being slightly ruffled from thinking too much on the matter as I see it in my mind, I meant justice being dispensed via such a "high level" of severity. If you wish to clarify, I will listen as always, but that does not ensure I will agree with your way of seeing it. I try to remove my own bias, but to be perfect at this would be to remove all signs of having a mind of my own.

    On that note, I think that a mans mind should be his sanctuary and that, alongside his God-Given freewill, that no man, beast, or sentient-cloud should have the right or ability to touch it. Better to extinguish a life than manipulate it beyond recognition. Say you have a sculptor, you take his arms and say "at least he gets to live..." but what is life to him then. perhaps not all but some might cast their own head against the stone they carved from to end the miserable purgatory they have now been made to dwell in.

    When I said, "that's how it is while we lack peace," yet again if refer to a broad concept, not a specific instance. "So long as there is conflict, there is suffering." It is ongoing, there may never be true peace so long as we are breathing on this plane. The idea, is to strive for it.

    As far as a root cause is concerned,... I...


    Umbris examines his left paw with an increasingly neutral expression.

    I haven't the slightest idea. I only meant that if anything is causing this much pain, it needs to be eradicated. The root would be the deepest original factor. The indirect cause. Find it and...

    Umbirs looks hard and directly into the eyes of benir.

    Pull it up by the root.
    Perhaps this will inevitably lead to causing more pain. Perhaps the greater good is already being served, I only wish there was another way. If bringing peace requires the torment and excessive pain of others, I will not interfere. however,


    Umbris looks again at the palm of his paw as if searching it for an answer. The highly observant might notice a watery look in his eye.

    I should hope to not to stand near enough to hear their screams.

  5. #25
    tWebber Rational Gaze's Avatar
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    Thanatos interjects:
    "I assume, of course, that the war in the tale was started by the goblins? If so, then there is little I disagree with. The only tragedy, aside from the murder of the serving girl, is that the poor goblin woman's infant died due to a language barrier. Maybe the boy received too harsh a sentence, but, other than that, I agree: the penalty for unrepentant murder is death. The only issue that faces those who pursue justice is in determining what is and is not the case."

  6. #26
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    I'll look at Benir and tell him,"I see what you mean, and of course I shoudn't have spoken so hastily, but I had forgotten as the one version is more known to me." and then, " I do believe the boy was guilty, and his execution of course was but a following of the law that the people in charge of that territory saw fit." -Razzik .
    Last edited by ForrestGump; 10-11-2015 at 07:11 PM. Reason: Because Reasons

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Maltuin View Post
    I was speaking in generalities when I said I disagreed. I shall have to watch my tongue more closely. I'd like to say that I meant I disagreed with the part I paid the most attention to. Forgive me, but in this discussion there is one topic that grips my attention more than others and for a moment, that was all I heard. I do not disagree with all you have mentioned, but going into specifics is something I do cautiously. Some of my motives may seem complicated or may require more explanation than I feel safe to give. However, I hope that as we all learn to trust each other better, I might in good confidence share with you with great confidence.
    "Ah, I see. Well, I can not begrudge you that, although it may ever so slightly reduce the progress we make today. Better a moderate amount of discussion than none at all."
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Maltuin View Post
    When I spoke of justice, I meant to say "justice as the one exacts it would define it." Once again, being slightly ruffled from thinking too much on the matter as I see it in my mind, I meant justice being dispensed via such a "high level" of severity. If you wish to clarify, I will listen as always, but that does not ensure I will agree with your way of seeing it. I try to remove my own bias, but to be perfect at this would be to remove all signs of having a mind of my own.
    "Indeed it would for any mind save perhaps that of Boccob the Warder... but I doubt even him given his lack of agenda."
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Maltuin View Post
    On that note, I think that a mans mind should be his sanctuary and that, alongside his God-Given freewill, that no man, beast, or sentient-cloud should have the right or ability to touch it. Better to extinguish a life than manipulate it beyond recognition. Say you have a sculptor, you take his arms and say "at least he gets to live..." but what is life to him then. perhaps not all but some might cast their own head against the stone they carved from to end the miserable purgatory they have now been made to dwell in.
    "So then would take that so far as to support the use of swords that can kill or wound to the exclusion of the spells of the enchanter and the necromancer who instills terror directly into the hearts of his foes, and which end a conflict without injury? What of the illusionist?

    And what of the Mark of Justice which does not effect the mind to twist its purpose, but only lays a strong curse on the criminal if he should recur in his crime? Is that not a gentler fate than to hold a person in prison for many years until his spirit is broken in that way? Or do you claim that every prison should be sufficiently comfortable as to provide no deterrence, but only a safe separation of the possibly recurring criminal from his potential victims?

    Understand, I'm not claiming you do any of these things, I'm merely saying that I have heard all of these and more spoken as heart-felt truth within chambers like this one, and I wish to be sure I am understanding you...

    Similarly, it seems you may not draw any line between a sin committed in the heart, and a plan to enact a crime. The first is not something that Ruceeglaelsktinag makes its business, but the second can be when the harm being considered is great enough. At the VERY least, we might... well, we reserve the right to give warning to those who may turn out to only be considering harm, rather than having plans that are nearly certain to bloom into action if they are given opportunity. I believe the saying is... 'My knife to your throat, we are friends'?"

    Here another interrupts (he called himself "Granite Foot" in the introductions) : "Excuse me, I think you have that wrong. In my every experience that saying refers to a phenomena that may be applied in some very uncommon cultures, where-by someone who is feared, but does not actually intend harm, yet has overwhelming strength may subdue the fearful without permanent harm, and then release them. It is a rare culture indeed where this will be seen as a demonstration of a lack of desire to cause harm, rather than a threat."

    "Ah, yes. My mistake. What was I thinking?" replies Benir, "In any case, the idea that 'thought crimes' should not exist in laws, and the idea that say, the spell known as Zone of Truth, which merely prevents the speaking of lies, coupled with the legal principle that silence qualifies as an admission of guilt seem to be very separate ideas to me. And if the guilty must be forced to speak to protect the innocent, then it seems to me that the arts of the enchanter are a superior method to those of the torturer, just as gold is superior to copper... and alas that gold must be the rarer metal! ... although I've had a Gnomish banker tell me that is nonsense, although I do not quite remember his argument.

    I would speak on the idea of directly altering the minds of criminals, but I feel I've already run long, and should give you some time to respond to my questions and ideas."
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Maltuin View Post
    When I said, "that's how it is while we lack peace," yet again if refer to a broad concept, not a specific instance. "So long as there is conflict, there is suffering." It is ongoing, there may never be true peace so long as we are breathing on this plane. The idea, is to strive for it.

    As far as a root cause is concerned,... I...

    Umbris examines his left paw with an increasingly neutral expression.

    I haven't the slightest idea. I only meant that if anything is causing this much pain, it needs to be eradicated. The root would be the deepest original factor. The indirect cause. Find it and...

    Umbirs looks hard and directly into the eyes of benir.

    Pull it up by the root.
    Perhaps this will inevitably lead to causing more pain. Perhaps the greater good is already being served, I only wish there was another way. If bringing peace requires the torment and excessive pain of others, I will not interfere. however,

    Umbris looks again at the palm of his paw as if searching it for an answer. The highly observant might notice a watery look in his eye.

    I should hope to not to stand near enough to hear their screams.
    "Yes, well, I would encourage that in you. Those who can do, or even be very near to such things done by their allies on a regular basis without taking at least a little damage to the mind are somewhat rare. We do have to be selective, and rotate personnel out of positions likely to be proximate to such procedures, and as for the ones most directly involved... well, they simply must have the gift.

    With greater distance comes the risk of greater coldness, and I consider it a wise saying that 'All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men stand by and do nothing'."

    Here another (Elysium) chimes in with "And the reverse of course! I fully support the encouraging of the smoking hemp among those societies that would otherwise be prone to aggression!"

    "Perhaps an... effective defense in the medium term, although I'd raise serious concerns about its kindness in the long term... which may get back to Umbris's point about affecting the mind directly, if that even was what he was trying to say?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Rational Gaze View Post
    Thanatos interjects:
    "I assume, of course, that the war in the tale was started by the goblins? If so, then there is little I disagree with. The only tragedy, aside from the murder of the serving girl, is that the poor goblin woman's infant died due to a language barrier. Maybe the boy received too harsh a sentence, but, other than that, I agree: the penalty for unrepentant murder is death. The only issue that faces those who pursue justice is in determining what is and is not the case."
    "Well, yes, that would seem to me to be the more accurate version of the tale, and is the more common to boot I do believe.
    As for determining factual truths... yes, that is an important issue, but it is like saying 'a blacksmith should not burn himself upon glowing iron'... a vital concern, and very occasional accidents prove it a non-trivial task, but hardly the more difficult issue in actual practice over all. At least with our current policies."
    Last edited by Draco Dei; 10-11-2015 at 08:47 PM.

  8. #28
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    Umbris becomes a bit flustered and worries that all chance of anonymity is swiftly being stripped away despite the many enchantments and preventative measures taken. He takes on a somewhat agitated tone though not aggressive, he has no intention of breaking the peace rule. However, he is trying to keep his calm. His emotions have been up and down and to his surprise, this entire conversation has been nowhere near his expectation as he's been caught off guard multiple times. He would need more practice. Unable to see all possible outcomes and fearing the worst, Umbris has become a bit unnerved and is therefore on edge.

    If you really want to know how I feel, I'm afraid I've become frustrated. At the start of this convention, the option of silence was offered and now I wish I had not been so foolish as to neglect its value. I spoke of a man's mind being his sanctuary and this I believe. My means of finding out what a man thinks involve more creative technique than simple pain or the use of bluntly inflicted mental anguish--but please don't think to hard on this as it's hardly of importance. What I really want to say is that currently I feel like the very sanctuary I described is the object of your interest and that the room will not be satisfied until my every dark memory has been extracted. If anything can be said here by me, it would be that nearly nothing is black and white.To every argument, a counter. To every rule, a loophole. To every absolute, an exception--with exception to the rational of the divine, naturally I speak of our perspectives. When I said I wanted to keep my complicated reasoning to myself, I thought it would be obvious that explaining them would require not only an imposition to my privacy, but also a weak spot for solving my identity. I had also truly believed that there would be other ways to derive a solution than examining the origins of each individual's psyche. Perhaps I'm foolish for this, but it is what it is. I'm young yet, and although I've probably seen as much as the majority, I've much experience left to acquire.

    Now if you so desire it, then to the pit with anonymity.


    Umbris raises his shrouded paws the hood of his cloak slowly. He then pauses and looks at Benir waiting to see if he should continue or if it is demanded or desired that he should keep his face and hands covered. Umbris is now ready to answer some questions about why he is biased though he is still unlikely to reveal more than what is needed to properly justify his perspectives.
    Last edited by Thomas Maltuin; 10-12-2015 at 06:37 AM. Reason: forgot to include a detail or two.

  9. #29
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    casting a negative light on these meetings.

    "Nay! Stay your hand! That was not what I meant at all! I care nothing for the origins of your biases per se, and have no wish to discover your identity!

    Your mind is indeed your own, the more-so in this place and time!

    To put it more precisely I cared somewhat for the evidences that you based your reasoning on. Which often lies close to the origins of ones biases, but I sought to remain in the realm of logical thought, even as I stated at the outset. If revealing such evidences would endanger your anonymity then such evidences must remain beyond the reach of the group I think. An entirely necessary cost in my view.

    My sincere apology for the misunderstanding." he finishes with soft voice and bowed eyes and head conveying his humility

  10. #30
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    ((The first line of my previous post in this thread is a typo I failed to notice in time to correct.))

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