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My Paladin killed a.. 2nd thread (The Verdict is IN - p4)

TheAuldGrump

First Post
John deOrleans Paladin of the 7th rank, Order of the Sacred Flame, ordained in service to the one god.

An ye find a vile dastard in the midst of his crimes it is your bounden and sacred duty to act. Should it be a crime petty then ye might show mercy, allowing the carlet to make restitution.

An the crime is the violation of an innocent then the punishment must be final.

Be ye to say that should a rapist be found with his trews about his knees it baen the act of valour to do less than strike him down?

Nay, best he be sent to fuel Hell's e'er burning fire.

Innocent of crime and dishonor both do I hold him.
 
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Agemegos

Explorer
Sejs said:
Master Edwinson, given that you feel the paladin in question is indeed guilty of conduct unbecoming, what do you believe would be appropriate penance for our brother, in order for him to regain his good standing?

It seems to me that his condemnation is still in doubt, and it is perhaps improper to speak of the sentence before the verdict lest it sway the jurors in their verdict. But since urgency is so pressing, I will speak.

The question of a sentence is a difficult question, seeing that what is right for a Christian in Durham in the Year of Our Lord one thousand and ninety-two, in a world where there is no god but God, and God is just and merciful, is not necessarily right for a paladin in a strange land where the triumph of Good is not assured. But I will answer as best I can.

If the paladin does not repent then I submit that he reveals himself unfit to wield the powers of God, or in his case Tyr: Law and Goodness however administered. He cannot be trusted with them, for there is a very grave danger that he will misuse them, and bring his god, his lord, the law, paladins, and goodness into further disrepute. So if he does not sincerely repent he ought to be stripped of his paladinhood, as having become no longer Lawful.

This is not really a punishment, of course, since the power always belongs not to us but to God. It is but the authority of an office, which we surrender when we cease to do the office.

If the paladin repents then I submit that no further action is necessary. Through the saving grace of God this paladin managed to escape the grievous sin that might have resulted from such an intemperate act. His act was not willfully evil in its motivation, and was not grossly evil in its consequences. I would rule it a grave, but not a gross, violation of the Code.

Mind you, if he does repent then naturally he will seek to make a restitution.

He must declare his killing if he has not done so already, and abide by the consequences. I am not sure how these things are handled in his land: in mine he ought to pay the wergild of the man he killed for a manslaughter (these days it goes to the King); in other lands I have been in the procedure would be for him to go to the king's court, plead his case frankly, and abide by the verdict. If it should happen that the court of competent jurisdiction is harsh or unjust, he will submit himself nevertheless and pray that his god will deliver him from maiming or death.

He will also naturally make a restitution to the Law, do something to repair the damage to its reputation that he has wrought. I would suggest that he swear himself to the service of a court of high justice either for a term of years or until he has brought just acquittal for three men wrongly accused.

All this, besides the penance that his confessor sets for him.


In any case, I consider it otiose to suspend some of his powers but not all of them, or to suspend them conditionally or temporarily. Either he is fit to trust with the power of God, in which case the more he has the better, for he may need them in his time of penance for the sake of others. Or else he is not fit to trust with it, in which case it is dangerous to entrust him with any.

In short, if the character immediately starts to mend his mistakes, no action. Otherwise, he ought to be ruled no longer Lawful Good, and consequently unqualified to be a paladin.
 
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Khaalis

Adventurer
Lord Khaalis Bloodtear, Paladin of Hoar the Doombringer, LG

Forgive my late entrance. I can see that the counsel chambers are full, but some of us had to ride from afar to arrive at all. Though my voice may not carry much weight at this hour, it is still my duty to make known that voice.

In my view, the Paladin on trial here is innocent.

He has done no evil deed nor has he grossly violated our code of conduct. He helped an innocent in dire need and punished the one who would harm and threaten that innocent, as well I believe, other innocents as well. He has fulfilled his vows and lived by his training to remove evil from this world. His compassion was well placed with the innocent and his honor was fulfilled by rescuing the innocent and destroying another aspect of evil, one of so many that so plague our world. There is no secular law more mighty than divine law, as secular law is fallible, and is not concerned with divine law which dictates that evil shall be fought and eradicated at any possible opportunity. The Paladin in question meted out the punishment dictated by our law and did so with swift mercy and without cruelty. He is a servant of righteousness and should be commended for his actions.
 

Agemegos

Explorer
Khaalis said:
He has done no evil deed nor has he grossly violated our code of conduct.

If the charge were 'evil-doing' or 'gross violation of the Code' I should have voted 'not guilty'. But the charge was 'conduct unbecoming in a paladin', and his conduct was that. As we are men of the Word we must speak to the charge made.

This is no corrupt secular court of hidden motives of tricksy wordiness, nor of hasty and vengeful prejudice. We do not hide our meanings in obscure legalism.

If we were asked to judge a charge of willfully evil deed, the charge would be 'willfully evil deed'. If we were asked to judge a charge of 'gross violation of the Code' the charge would be 'gross violation of the Code'. But the charge is one of 'conduct unbecoming'. Therefore we judge whether his conduct was becoming. If we find that it was not, then we decide whether and to what exent unbecoming conduct requires action.

And I reluctantly remind you that the president of the court has asked that those who, for whatever reason, are not empanelled on the jury not confuse and delay proceedings with 'cross-talk'.
 

Darklone

Registered User
Lark Hervot Arden, First Shield of HRM Malia of Tyndall, LG

Forgive me for being as late as Lord Khaalis, but I will try to be as short.

The paladin in question is innocent of murder.

Yet he acted rashly, without honor and in the heat of hate, thus defiling his holy calling and bringing the taint of evil upon himself.

He is still young, so I vote to reconcile him with his teachings by sending him to a secluded monastery in the mountains for 2 months of meditation and self-contemplation.
 

Agemegos

Explorer
Darklone said:
The paladin in question is innocent of murder.

With respect, that is not the issue before the court, nor is it an issue that lies within our competence to judge. We are judging whether his actions were becoming in a paladin. Please do not attempt to confuse the proceedings.
 

Agemegos

Explorer
A pre-emptive clarification

Duties in a far land
which has time zone GMT +10 hours
call me away for a while. And so begging the indulgence of the court I will anticipate the emergence of a number of issue that I believe will come to be of concern to the court.

If Sir Vindicator is charged with willfully committing an evil act I will vote Not Guilty. His act was wrong, but unLawful, not Evil, and certainly he did not mean harm by it.

If he is charged with associating with an evil character I will vote Not Guilty with an indignant tone in my voice.

If he is charged with grossly violating the Code of Conduct I will vote Not Guilty, because I believe that his action a grave breach of the code but not a gross one. My argument is that striking down a defenceless man is dishonourable, that such a shabby and surreptitious way of punishing the wicked is disrespectful to authority (though conducting a proper trial on his own authority might not have been), and that this course of action was not needed to protect the innocent and punish the guilty (though it did achieve those ends).

If it is charged that he is not of Lawful Good alignment I will vote Not Proven and thank God for Scottish jurisprudence. I believe we have to see more of his actions to make that judgement. If he recognises the wrongness of his action in its contempt even for his own authority we will be able to tell because he will attempt to repair the harm he did. (For example, he might plead guilty to a manslaughter and pay a wergild, strive to restore the majesty of the law that he defamed, and strive to discover whent the man he killed had any accomplices.) Then we will know that he is still Lawful Good and Not Guilty. But if he acts with insouicance or self-righteousness we will know that he does not understand the wrongness of his action, is not Lawful, and is Guilty.

As for punishments: if he is condemned of any of the charges above he is unfit to hold the office of a Paladin, and may not exercise any of the powers of that office. If he remains in that office, it would be wrong to take away any part of his power to discharge its duties. The powers of a paladin are for the service of others: they are not personal property. Taking them away harms those the paladin serves and protects, not the paladin. The same is true of making the paladin destroy his sword, or forswear the use of any weapon. Besides, I doubt the authority of this court to impose any such penalty.
 

Khaalis

Adventurer
Agemegos said:
If the charge were 'evil-doing' or 'gross violation of the Code' I should have voted 'not guilty'. But the charge was 'conduct unbecoming in a paladin', and his conduct was that. As we are men of the Word we must speak to the charge made.

If we were asked to judge a charge of willfully evil deed, the charge would be 'willfully evil deed'. If we were asked to judge a charge of 'gross violation of the Code' the charge would be 'gross violation of the Code'. But the charge is one of 'conduct unbecoming'. Therefore we judge whether his conduct was becoming. If we find that it was not, then we decide whether and to what exent unbecoming conduct requires action.

Where then, good sir, do you see a difference between "Conduct unbecoming a Paladin" and "Violation of our Code"?

The charge is one and the same. The Code IS our definition of the conduct of a Paladin. To conduct oneself in such a way as to be charged with "Conduct unbecoming a Paladin" means one has violate our code. Our code is what defines who we are, and what our purpose in life is. Our behavior is not a seperate entity from our code. If our bahavior is to be besmirched then we have violated our code.

This Paladin has not violated his code, and thus has not acted in a way Unbecoming a Paladin, to use your choice of words.


And I reluctantly remind you that the president of the court has asked that those who, for whatever reason, are not empanelled on the jury not confuse and delay proceedings with 'cross-talk'.

This statement shows that a misjustice is possible in this secular court you have chosen to create to try this Paladin. This is spoken with a "close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability"*. You should not hold an open forum if you refuse to hear open counsel. Refusing to do so promtes injustice. All voices should be heard in this matter, justice demands no less.



OOC: * The possible downsides of Lawfulness some fall into as per the SRD.

Also if you want to truly acquire a verdict based on "Conduct Unbecoming" try looking at Military Law (Article 133 of The Uniform Code of Military Justice or UCMJ). The Paladin Code of Conduct is the same idea as the Military Code. They are one and the same. If you violate the code you are charged with Conduct Unbecoming. You cannot be charged with Conduct Unbecoming if you have NOT violated the Code. The Paladin did not violate the Paladin's Code as presented in the Core Rules, thus he is Not Guilty of Conduct Unbecoming a Paladin.
 

Agemegos

Explorer
Khaalis said:
Where then, good sir, do you see a difference between "Conduct unbecoming a Paladin" and "Violation of our Code"?

In the meanings of the words. Wearing clothes with the arse out of the trousers would be unquestionably unbecoming to a paladin, but not a breach of the Code.

OOC:
Also if you want to truly acquire a verdict based on "Conduct Unbecoming" try looking at Military Law (Article 133 of The Uniform Code of Military Justice or UCMJ).

I am posting in character. My character antedates the Uniform Code of Military Justice by at least seven hundred years, and isn't an American. He is also very literal in his speech and understanding. Therefore he takes the phrase 'conduct unbecoming to a paladin' literally and at face value. I am not an American either, and it is unreasonable to expect me to master irrelevant minutiae of US military law for the purposes of this little play (though it would be reasonable if I were playing a US military lawyer). And by the way, this is not an open proceeding: Torm requested that it be treated as closed for a very sound reason. And I have listened are length to arguments for both sides in the other, open, thread. I even reversed my initial decison on the basis of the arguments others made.
 
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Khaalis said:
This statement shows that a misjustice is possible in this secular court you have chosen to create to try this Paladin. This is spoken with a "close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability"*. You should not hold an open forum if you refuse to hear open counsel. Refusing to do so promtes injustice. All voices should be heard in this matter, justice demands no less.

Are you besmirching the honour of those who have spoken here who were not tardy in arriving at this legitimate and righteous counsel?
I suggest you are walking upon dangerous ground if you wish to continue the tenor of your remarks in such a way.

Please and with all honour good sir, desist from your capricious and inflammatory interjections.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise
 

Quasqueton

First Post
For the record, upon entering the courtroom:

Paul Excelsior, paladin of Torm, LG.

Seeing the jury box is full, and the debate in full flow, Paul goes and takes a seat behind Vindicator. He leans forward to whisper to the defendant,

"There were better ways to handle that situation, but you did nothing wrong or against our code. If penance is sentenced upon you, I will stand with you in whatever effort judged."



OOC: You know, this is one of the most interesting threads I've seen in this forum. I care nothing for reading or participating in the various In Character forums of the Internet, but this is a pretty cool thread.

Quasqueton
 

Khaalis

Adventurer
Herremann the Wise said:
Are you besmirching the honour of those who have spoken here who were not tardy in arriving at this legitimate and righteous counsel?
I suggest you are walking upon dangerous ground if you wish to continue the tenor of your remarks in such a way.

Please and with all honour good sir, desist from your capricious and inflammatory interjections.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise

Touchy are we not? Not all of us have the profligate time that others do to arrive 'on time', nor do we follow the same time schedule. Now to thine comments. Was that a veiled threat you just issued a fellow Paladin? Would that, in itself, not besmirch a Paladin's honor in that they cannot take civil criticism with humility and introspection, without resorting to shadily veiled threats? Just because I am a Paladin does not mean I am incapable of voicing a contradictory opinion, nor does it make said contradiction capricious nor inflammatory. It is intellectual discourse. If those present are too close-minded to hear others, so be it. The Doomlord has far more important tasks for me to attend.
 
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Torm

First Post
The jury stands thus:

Abraxas of Mishtan not yet
Barconius not yet
Edmund Edwinson INNOCENT
Gomez de Kollego INNOCENT
Herremann Mallaefor GUILTY
Kantos GUILTY
Loric Vilesilencer INNOCENT
Rhy Abberach GUILTY
Sandelphon INNOCENT
Titian Kerrick GUILTY
Valentine INNOCENT
Valna GUILTY

We are split 5-5 so far, and I eagerly await the decisions of Abraxas and Barconius. Should they come in tied, as well, we will defer to the decision of (OOC: rolls a D4 to pick someone signed in but not in the jury yet) Paul Excelsior, Paladin of Torm, the God of this Court.

I thank all of you for coming, especially those who made a long trip to get here.

Those arguing in the back of the court should take it outside. Thank you.
 
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Westwind

First Post


My most honored and revered Lord Arioch,

I, Saul Whitestone, Paladin and Divine Champion of Tyr write this to you so as to inform you, and through you the Church, of the outcome of the trial that recently transpired in Yartar.

The facts of the matter are not in dispute by any party. The crux of the matter lies in what those facts reveal. Did this man stray in his action or was he Just and True? The charged was found innocent of any wrongdoing, although only by the most narrow of margins. What would one do if they found themselves under the jurisdiction of a Paladin of a different order? The spirit and vigor of this debate leads me to conclude that further by-laws need to be written to ensure that the proper course of action for members of the Church who find themselves in a non-Church court is clear.

It is an interesting occurance, and one Church historians would do well to take note of, to have such an august group in one place. However, I cannot help but rejoice at the fact that such a group would never determine my fate. For while we all are blessed with the title and responsibiliy of Paladin, we differ greatly from our kin, as they differ from us. I answer to Tyr's law and his representatives on Faerun. I respect and honor the righteous secular authorities of many Kingdoms, but I am not bound to them less I swear an Oath.

If I may reveal my own feelings on the matter at hand, Lord Arioch. The deceased was a vile and evil man; he took pleasure in the suffering of children. As followers of Tyr we are bound to protect those who cannot protect themselves and show mercy upon those who deserve it. From all I can gather, this man did not deserve mercy. What should we do when a murderer comes to the Church seeking sanctuary and mercy from the local authorities? You will recall my own dealings with the Church of Eldath in such a matter. For Justice to have any meaning, actions must be followed by consequences. The afterthought of regret, no matter how powerful or how sincere does not cleanse the stain of sin. Others must know that they are protected. Sinners must know what awaits them. It is not the job of the Paladin to work with sinners to show them the error of their ways. At times, we can and do just that but we are endowed with great gifts by Tyr and those gifts are meant to be used to Punish the Wicked and guard the innocent. There are those who claim the greatest evil is a Drow or one of the many princes of the Abyss. I claim it is man. For while the Drow or Demon-Prince may embody evil, they are evil by blood. Man is evil by choice and that is a far more dangerous thing.

The man in question did those very things. And while there may have been more prudent ways of achieving those same ends, it is impossible to find fault in his course.

I remain you humble servant,

S. Whitestone

 
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Taren Nighteyes

First Post
Tydon Lyonvue Cleric and Paladin to Torm

*Tydon walks into the court and stands in the back. After having listened to the arguments, discussion, and evidence in this important matter, he speaks more to those around him than to those who are passing judgement at this very moment*

"While the accused acted in haste and with unnecessary force, I feel I would have done the same. No person of upstanding moral and righteous nature could restrain themselves from ridding the world of such a vile, disgusting, and evil thing. To be human, a person must have humanity and this creature that was smote down by the accused was devoid of humanity. A verdict of not guilty is the only just result of this trial. If his god desires he show more restraint in the use of force, then let his god hand down judgement and punishment. It is not for this court to decide."

*Shaking his head, Tydon whispers a prayer to Torm to aid the accused holy warrior. He then awaits for the court's decision.*
 
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Abraxas

Explorer
Forgive my delay, I was called to care for one of my charges.


There are higher laws than those of man. It is a necessary duty of all our brethren to uphold these higher laws - regardless of what secular authorities might claim. Our accused brother may suffer the affront of others questioning his actions but he should not be subjected to such from those who also follow the path.

How many of us would follow every person crossing our path that, in the words of the accused, appears "shifty". We would all be led on a merry chase to and fro by the multitudes that exist in the realms if that were to happen. It was Divine Guidance that singled out this miscreant and prompted pursuit. It was Divine Guidance that brought him to the scene of perversions past and it was Divine Justice that he stopped future affronts to all that is good.

He Is Innocent.

I wish him well.
 

Torm

First Post
Well, heck, I just realized I missed good Barconius's vote way back on his introductory post - Guilty. That ties it up 6-6. I never thought this would be this close.

We await your opinion, Paul Excelsior....
 

Quasqueton

First Post
We await your opinion, Paul Excelsior....
Paul stands up, greatly surprised by this opportunity.

"On the charge of Conduct Unbecoming a Paladin, I find Vindicator Innocent."

Paul Excelsior

Edit: changed "Not Guilty" to "Innocent".
 
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Nightfall

Sage of the Scarred Lands
Torm said:
Well, heck, I just realized I missed good Barconius's vote way back on his introductory post - Guilty. That ties it up 6-6. I never thought this would be this close.

We await your opinion, Paul Excelsior....
My apologises as well good sir for speaking softly. But I am, as said of me, a man of deeds and not words. And I judge a man by his deeds as well as his intent. I do look forward to seeing what this august body will decide. Regardless of the outcome, I stand firm with you all and by my own decision.
 

drunkmoogle

First Post
Valna Vitrano said:
Vindicator, you have been found innocent of the charges brought against you, by a vote of 7-6. I too am surprised with how close the jury pool has voted. Though you may continue your paladinhood unfettered, may this event serve as a warning to you to be less swift with your blade and swifter on wit and and wiser in judgement.

Now, let me buy you a drink. You have been through much today.

Torm, you're brilliant. But will this solve the issue between Vindie and his GM? Followups, please!
 

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