. . . And Justice for Hobgoblins?

Shackled City Adventure Path

We've all heard the trials of Keygan Ghelve, but I don't think anyone has asked this question about a humanoid monster.

My PC's just captured two goblin cooks and a hobgoblin soldier in the Malachite Fortress (the slaving operation in "Life's Bazaar").

As one of the PC's is a paladin and two are good, there's a good chance they will bring them back alive to Cauldron as prisoners for the City to deal with.

What would the city do with them? Execute them, banish them from the city, jail them, enslave them, let them go? With or without a trial?

If it matters, the backstory in my campaign is that the hobgoblins were mercenary guards working for Kozmojen. They were not involved in kidnapping people, but they were involved in guarding prisoners and protecting Kozmojen. They also helped Kozmojen defeat an earlier adventuring party, and ate them.

The goblin cooks worked for the hobgoblins for food and protection . . . not exactly slaves, not exactly free either . . . they never fought anyone, but they made sure the human prisoner cook (Gryffon Malek) didn't try anything, and they helped butcher dead adventurers for the hobgoblins' dining delight.

If allowed a trial, they'd claim "just following orders".

If allowed a defense attorney (seems unlikely), they might point out any or all of the following arguments:
1) "The Shackled City" (in my campaign) is built on the wealth of slave plantations, so they didn't realize slavery (of city citizens) was illegal, as they only recently arrived and never visited the actual city.
2) The city has no jurisdiction, since the Malachite Fortress is in the Underdark and Kozmojen was its ruler, by virtue of staking his claim over abandoned terra nullus.
3) The goblinoids are POW's, and since the war is over (PC's having beaten them all), they should be free to go.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Nah, they're evil. My version had them tried and executed.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My PC's captured Triel Eldorast and Skaven Undermead. The Paladin argued during their tril against execution,and suggested jailing and reform. So between the Paladin and Oreistedd of Sarenrae they are working toward conversion. It helped that I made Triel the Pally's older sister, that was exiled before his birth. The story goes that, as a child, she was playing with anotther child, one of high rank, and "accidentally" killed her. So, being a high born child herself, she was exiled from Cauldron to an orphanage in Sasserine (Port Peril in my game). So the pally knew nothing about her. Now she came back seeking revenge on the city that "did her dirty" ...It played out kinda cool...

I made it clear in my (first) campaign that monsters (i.e. non-PC races) don't get much of a trial. Maybe someone could beg for mercy on their behalf, but who would do that for a hobgoblin?

I had a whole blurb about frontier law and order in Cauldron; I wonder if I can find it...

Those hobgoblins that the PC's captured rather than killed got summarily executed.

Though in my Cauldron, goblins are classified as pests rather than persons.

hogarth wrote:
I had a whole blurb about frontier law and order in Cauldron; I wonder if I can find it...

That would be interesting.

The "the city just kills them as pests" answer seems to be the majority, and probably fits Cauldron. I'm just wondering if there are other takes on it.

It has an interesting implication should anyone choose to play a non-PC type race. Not that anyone has in my campaign this time, though.

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Here's what I've got:


In case you're interested, here's the general idea of how the Cauldron legal system works:

-The subject is arrested, either by the town guard or by a posse of concerned citizens.

-After the subject has been apprehended, he is generally kept in a cell in the barracks of the town guard. A rich suspect may be allowed to return home pending trial if he posts bail/ransom with a city magistrate. A monstrous suspect ( e.g. any non-PC, non-humanoid race) enjoys few rights; the more monstrous the lawbreaker, the more likely that they may just get summarily executed before trial.

-The suspect is interrogated. This generally involves a beating (for poor suspects) or a respectful chat (for the rich and powerful).

-If the suspect confesses (either by signing a confession or confessing in front of a magistrate), a magistrate sentences the guilty party to the appropriate punishment (showing leniency as he sees fit). Appropriate punishments include serving time in the stocks, amercing a fine, and flogging for minor crimes and ear/nose-cropping, branding, maiming, exile or death by hanging for more major crimes.

-If the suspect doesn't confess, a trial is held. For minor crimes, a single magistrate presides; the magistrate questions all witnesses and the defendant and has fairly broad jurisdiction over what evidence he is willing to entertain. For major trials, a full panel of four magistrates plus the Lord Mayor presides; questioning is done by an Inquisitor from one of the major churches (almost always a cleric of Wee Jas or St. Cuthbert, and almost never a cleric of Kord) who uses Zone of Truth and/or Discern Lies to question the defendant and other important witnesses. Rich defendants often hire a barrister to act as an advocate on their behalf before the court.

-If the defendant is found guilty, punishment is carried out, generally in the town square for the edification of the good citizens of Cauldron. On occasion, the hanged bodies of notorious malefactors are suspended in cages outside the town gates, but this isn't especially common.

So, for example, the thugs who accosted Ruphus yesterday will probably be tortured for a bit (nothing fancy) and then sent before a single magistrate to face trial for assault. The first one to confess might get flogged or maimed in some way, and the others might be sentenced to hang (unless they can come up with a good excuse, or maybe a big, fat, juicy bribe).

I could have sworn that I wrote a bit more on Cauldron's laws as well, particularly with respect to D&D (e.g. why it's okay to kill monsters and take their stuff). Basically:

-Non-PC races don't really have any rights under Cauldron's law. You can kill them all you want, although naturally you risk making trouble with other people who do have rights.

-Cauldron has strict anti-bandit laws, so vigilantism is not frowned upon in Cauldron and the surrounding area. In fact, people will admire you for making it a safer place to live.

-If you kill a bandit or monster and it has some treasure, the rightful owner has the right to buy it back from you for 1/2 of retail price (i.e. the same price that you could sell it for). Looting bandits and monsters is not considered evil in the slightest.

-Rich people can usually get away with all kinds of crimes by paying some kind of blood money or fine.

Thanks Hogarth, that will work perfectly for me.

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