First off! They threatened to rape Olegg's wife! Not trustworthy. They also have harassed them monthly! It would be cruel and sinister to allow them to live, even more so if you feel that Olegg and his wife would feel safe with the bandits in their actual home! This is ridiculous. Also remember how hard it was for me to find them this time? Imagine they get loose... and now imagine they know that we are out there hunting them down. We could not find them then. It should be decided otherwise. In my opinion: I didn't like our odds to start with, and I hate the odds of them being left on honor, in which they clearly lack.
Adrin nods at the words.
"While I hold some value for life. I do not hold any for the life of a parasite. I can kill these bandits here quickly and with more mercy than they would offer anyone else, for I have no wish to become the evil it is that I despise in others.
If the group decides to carry these bandits back, I will help, but I will not be part of any questioning or adjudication. I would prefer to just kill them."
Sarvek says, "I must admit, my first instinct is to hang them. And I had forgotten, before Gafgarionn reminded me, that they had threatened Olegg's wife with rape. That is unacceptable. If we decide to let them live, it should not be at the outpost. We should bring any prisoners that we spare to the nearest garrison, and leave them there, rather than taking them to Olegg's. Or, we could just hang them, which is sounding better and better all the time."
Emudre listens to what the others have to say, and is quiet for a moment. "I, too, was deeply disturbed by the threats these bandits made towards Oleg's wife. Indeed, their words influenced my feelings so much that I had no desire to show mercy to the bandits that we executed at Oleg's. But I do not know for certain these bandits are truly as depraved to the core core as their speech would have us believe. Have you ever made a cruel threat you never intended to carry out? I have...." she says softly "and I have made mistakes in my youth, but grown wiser because of them. I am not sure that these bandits are truly beyond redemption."
"If they rot in prison, they will not be of use to anyone. If they are repentant, we can see to it that they find a way to make restitution to Oleg and his wife."
"Regardless, though, I will stand by and support the decisions of our group. It is not easy to be enforcers and judges of the law, and thus I respect the position taken by each of you in the matter of how to best uphold the law and balance justice and mercy."
I also should point out that they didn't just try to rob us. They assaulted us on a common path and tried to murder us! Which leads me to believe that they would have murdered any passers-by. Not just us. This cannot be ignored either. They need to die either by rope now, or by rope at Olegg's.
One of the bandits, a younger man, suddenly shouts, "Please, please don't kill me! I'll tell you any-"
"HUSH!" Kressle hisses.
"I'll tell you anything you want to know!" The young man continues desperately. Whether this sudden outburst is due to him overhearing your discussion or him jumping to an assumption, you know not.
"I'LL SLIT YOUR THROAT YOU DAMN TRAITOR!" Kressle bellows, straining against her restraints.
"Shut up bitch - you were one of his favorites. The rest of us regularly suffered under his reign," another bandit with pockmarks chimes in. "There's no point in following a drunken fool to his doom. It was only a matter of time before the drink took him even further into his delusions." Turning his head toward the party he continues, "The Stag Lord is a bloody drunk. All that booze there was for him. He's half of what he used to be, and ain't never been right in the head. A few weeks ago he punched my horse for spittin' in the yard. Personally, I wouldn't care if he dropped dead tomorrow, but even drunk out of his mind he's still got a fair amount of fight to him."
Shillaadrini shakes his head, he does not know if the sudden burst from the bandits is from overhearing the deliberation or if it is an act of desperation born of the delay. He move closer to where the bandits are tied to make sure that they can hear his next words. He does not look at them when he speaks but looks at his friends, for he is speaking about the prisoners, not to them.
"We have been tasked with bringing justice to these lands. As an enforcer of justice here my specific thinking on this situation: I kill this one, now," he points to Kressel, "with the sword and remove the head. Of the other three, I kill two, and we release the other. This provides that one with two opportunities. One is to start a new life free of banditry. The second is to spread the word that justice has come into this land. The penalty for banditry is death. The best option is a quick one. We let those two decide which one lives and which one spreads the message.
That one's head, we bring to the Trading Post as proof of such meted justice. I have no interest in any grotesque display. Afterward, we simply discard it into the rough. I find that public display depreciates moral in viable citizenry; and instead, offers a challenge to dissenters."
Adrin purposefully does not mention any bandit by name or even much refer to them as people. After he has spoken his words, he moves back away from the prisoners toward his friends; so that if any further discussion occurs, it is no longer within good earshot of the prisoners.
After Shillaadrini speaks in earshot of the bandits, Emudre goes over to the two bandits and looks at them closely "Although I have advocated for some degree of leniency myself, I am just one member of a team, and my allies have decided that one of you should live to make restitution and one should die as an example. Who do you choose, and how will you make restitution should you be chosen as the survivor?"
She speaks gently but firmy.
I'm assuming Shillaadrini's plan by allowing them to hear his words is to create an opportunity for a good cop/bad cop situation.
She studies the bandits facial expressions and response carefully.
The woman continues to hurl curses and insults at you all. The man that didn't speak earlier continues to hold his tongue, his eyes downcast. It appears he has accepted his fate. The pockmarked man thinks for a moment and says, "You should let the boy live. He's a good lad, just trying to make money to send to his family. Just joined the wrong line of work out of desperation from what I've gathered." The younger man starts to interject, "Tha-""Shut up son. These folk seem to be authentic authorities sent here. If you want to survive to see your family, do what they say and find a more honest line of work." He sniffs and then holds himself a little more upright, "There. Let it not be said I've never done an honorable thing in my life. It's a far better thing than I've ever done before. It's about time I know a good rest. Don't take it from me," he finishes in a whisper. With that, he nods at you all and falls silent. You detect neither lie nor malice behind his words.
Emudre says to Sarvek "I can mediate at dawn tomorrow, and ask for this assistance. But," she says softly to ensure the bandits can't hear, "I believe I have learned what I need to know. The young man is barely more than a boy and deserves a second chance. And the older man - he has some genuine goodness in his heart, and an honor that many people in better situations lack. Kressle, however," she pauses and shakes her head, "I can't find anything good in her character."
Shillaadrini nods at Edmure last words. He quickly walks to Kressel, draws his sword, and swings it at her neck. He may yet lack the skill or strength to take a head in a single blow, but a couple of extra whacks ought to do it. He picks up the head by its hair and drops it by his horse, calming the animal and telling him to be easy.
He then returns and strips the armor from the body and any weapons, trinkets, or valuables, leaving the body wear it lies for the coyotes and vultures. He mumbles under his breath, ~Justice and rule of law are not the same thing. I hate Rule of Law.~
Aloud, he says,"Justice is served. What for the others, now?"
Sarvek looks on with indifference; to him, death is death, whether it come from rope or sword; he repeats his sentiment about alignment detection for the purposes of deciding between the last three prisoners, but aside from that, he remains silent.
Emudre gasps, but quickly collects herself. She replies to Sarvek, "I will meditate at down tomorrow, and seek divine guidance on the character of these two. However, until I have additional insight, I am inclined to allow them both to live. Should we begin our journey back to Oleg's? Or first try to track the bandit who escaped?"
Addressing the two remaining prisoners, she brings them water and inquires about their names. To the young man she says, "If you are allowed to live, would you take up an apprenticeship for five years of training? Learning a trade will allow you to begin to pay back for the harm you have caused."
While Shillaadrini's strength is only slightly above that of an average man, the elf wields a long two-handed sword. Shaped much like a scimitar, its blade is thinner and flexible. Taking a moment to study his quarry, he puts all of his strength behind a precise blow to her neck.
[sblock=Kressle Fort Save]1d20+5, can only save on a nat 20 due to DC 28 Coup De Grace. 17, failed.[/sblock]
The strike is merciful and results in a quick death as Kressle's head comes cleanly off. The younger bandit stares with his mouth agape. The pockmarked bandit winces and averts his eyes. The silent bandit whimpers but otherwise remains silent.
The pockmarked man speaks up after taking a moment to collect himself. "You keep referring to 'these two,' and I can only assume you mean the lad and I... What do you intend for the quiet guy there? I've never heard him actually speak either and people often forget he's even around. I grew up a street urchin and have only ever known banditry. Not sure I'd be of much use doing anything. Never really been the useful sort."
The silent man merely shrugs and keeps his head bowed.
The younger man responds dejectedly, "Apprenticeships cost a premium. I don't have that kind of money... It's why I turned to this to help my family."