Can a Paladin kill innocents for "their own good"?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Arachnofiend wrote:
Well, it's not entirely true that objective morality is an ironclad rule in Golarion. Lizardfolk maintain a Neutral alignment despite practicing cannibalism because in their culture it's just something you do in an environment with sparse resources. They don't hold the corpses of their own sacred, so they aren't.

Although I'm coming to understand that Lizardfolks do not kill each other with the purpose of eating, but just eat the corpses of who happen to die for unrelated reasons. Might be gross but not Evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
All undead are evil. Simply being undead is enough to ping as evil.

This is incorrect. Undead creatures without the evil alignment do not ping as evil. Detect evil explicitly requires an aligned undead to ping, not just any ol' undead. If you meet a neutral-aligned mummy, they won't show up on detect evil at all.

Undead do, however, provide stronger auras when they are aligned when using detect [alignment] spells.

Or having the alignment subtype. The classic example being the 3.5 Succubus Paladin who pings for both Paladins AND Anti-Paladins, and is smitable by both.


Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
All undead are evil. Simply being undead is enough to ping as evil.

No, evil undeads ping stronger per HD than non-subtyped evil living creatures, but non-evil undead do not ping on Detect Evil.


Speaking or morality and stuff, how does a non sentient undead have an alignment at all? They are completely incapable of any thought at all. And yet, some how they are evil aligned. By no action of their own (not like people ASK to become a zombie) they are forcefully evil. Body of a Paladin? Still evil. But if the zombie literally does nothing for a few hundred years (say just stand around guarding an old tomb or some such) he is still evil, even though he literally has not done an evil thing in his existance...


First sorry if that question was answered thousands of time.
Second, thanks for giving me so many new perspectives about it.

I wasn't giving much more detail because it's to consider that gods are supposed to have insights beyond what mortals can have and, as deities, very seldom explain, debate or justify their decisions to mortals.

This wasn't planned for Golarion but for a campaign I'm developing. I want to fill players with doubt without breaking the alignment system. Are they embracing evil or failing good? Can they question they deity's word or will? Can they, as faithful followers, consider their deity is betraying his ethos? Could mortals find answers/solutions the gods couldn't? If they can, should mortals still worship the gods?

From the answers here I can see such command should divide the cult and considering the importance of the situation this division should quickly end as a religious/civil war.
As a paladin, it's one thing to kill an "evil by birth" orcish warlord who slaughtered a village; it's another to kill a paladin brother in arms (you know and consider for years) who faithfully follows your deity's command.
It should be a campaign filled with doubts.

Otherwise, is killing innocent children/babies evil for a deity?
I'm not that sure God is considered evil in Christian religion, even if He decided the death of Egypt's firstborns. Not only the children (and most probably some babies) of the oppressing ruling elite but even the children of their slaves (Exodus 11:4-6)...


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Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Speaking or morality and stuff, how does a non sentient undead have an alignment at all? They are completely incapable of any thought at all. And yet, some how they are evil aligned. By no action of their own (not like people ASK to become a zombie) they are forcefully evil. Body of a Paladin? Still evil. But if the zombie literally does nothing for a few hundred years (say just stand around guarding an old tomb or some such) he is still evil, even though he literally has not done an evil thing in his existance...

Non sentient undead have an instinctive malice.

They're naturally driven to kill any living thing on sight if left on their own devices without a real reason.

Zombie wrote:


When left unattended, zombies tend to mill about in search of living creatures to slaughter and devour. Zombies attack until destroyed, having no regard for their own safety.

Although capable of following orders, zombies are more often unleashed into an area with no command other than to kill living creatures. As a result, zombies are often encountered in packs, wandering around places the living frequent, looking for victims.

Skeleton wrote:


Skeletons are the animated bones of the dead, brought to unlife through foul magic. While most skeletons are mindless automatons, they still possess an evil cunning imparted to them by their animating force—a cunning that allows them to wield weapons and wear armor.


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On the topic of rovagug being released, the deities would get involved again. As it was in the inner sea world guide, all the deities evil and good would align and reseal him/ find a way to end him (perhaps with the PCS help?)


Quintain wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

Wouldn't be the first time the Big Damn Heroes of a story manage to kill an evil entity that was only sealed the first time.

Paladins find another way. They certainly don't force the sacrifice of others. Familiar with the Culling of Stratholme?

This is a fantastic question:

Let's flip the scenario -- let's say you (as a paladin) are thrown back in time, and are pivotal in the events where in a fellow paladin became a great evil, but there are events in the scenario where your intervention could prevent that fall.

Here are your options: prevent the fall, thus changing the timeline and all it's inherent unknowns coming into play, possibly bringing an even greater evil to the fore,

or

allow the fall, knowing full well that you strengthen evil in the short run and thus ensure that all the atrocities said anti-paladin commits will come into place.

What do you do?

...Follow the guy around until he stops doing good things, then stop him as he's about to commit the act that makes him Fall.

Or set an example for him. Be his Jiminy and keep him on the straight and narrow.

There's a lot of gradations in there besides "Stop him" or "Don't stop him". And even if it were so binary it's crystal clear: Paladins don't waffle based on "the greater good" and what MIGHT happen when they do good. They do good. Period.

If there is an evil in front of them that they can stop, then they must stop that evil. "but something worse might happen" is just a weak justification that lets you rationalize away doing ANY good deed.

"If I save this man from this zombie, he MIGHT go on to murder someone. Better let him die."

As for the Rovagug thing...that scenario is also pretty stupid. The scenario relies on a simultaneous assumption that:

-Rovagug is so powerful that all of the gods combined, nor any mortal can stop him.

-But he is also so weak that denying him a single planet as a food source will kill him.

He's a deity. Potentially THE MOST POWERFUL DEITY. Assuming you can A.) Kill everyone on earth before he simply swallows the whole planet in one bite and B.) That if you did so he would be trapped and expire rather than going "I Greater Teleport to Triaxus" or something (which every Outsider and their grandma can do, much less a god) is...odd to say the least.


Quintain wrote:
Quote:


Wrong premise. A diety that orders mass infanticide is NOT Good, but Evil, and a Paladin would fall for obeying such an order.

Wrong.

What happens if Rovagug is released and all those whom he devours further strengthens him to the point the rest of the multiverse will be threatened by his increase in power? And innocent souls strengthen him further exponentially.

You can't stop his release, and you can't stop him from devouring others, thus consuming their souls. And there is no way to do a mass exodus of all the people on golarion.

What do you do? The only alternative is to prevent the food from being present upon his release, thus starving him and preventing that threat from endangering the rest of the multiverse.

Now, suicide also prevents the souls from travelling to the upper planes, but instead damns them to the lower, further strengthening a different evil.

Your presumtion in your "objective good and evil" is that all killing is wrong. This is wrong on it's face.

What's the alternative?

Quote:


Allowing someone to kill you is technically suicide, so they'd be breaking their own ethos.
Allowing others to kill you is not suicide. Suicide is killing yourself.

if Rovagug was released no one on the planet would survive the ensuing destruction so your point is moot on that


Angstspawn wrote:

First sorry if that question was answered thousands of time.

Second, thanks for giving me so many new perspectives about it.

I wasn't giving much more detail because it's to consider that gods are supposed to have insights beyond what mortals can have and, as deities, very seldom explain, debate or justify their decisions to mortals.

This wasn't planned for Golarion but for a campaign I'm developing. I want to fill players with doubt without breaking the alignment system. Are they embracing evil or failing good? Can they question they deity's word or will? Can they, as faithful followers, consider their deity is betraying his ethos? Could mortals find answers/solutions the gods couldn't? If they can, should mortals still worship the gods?

From the answers here I can see such command should divide the cult and considering the importance of the situation this division should quickly end as a religious/civil war.
As a paladin, it's one thing to kill an "evil by birth" orcish warlord who slaughtered a village; it's another to kill a paladin brother in arms (you know and consider for years) who faithfully follows your deity's command.
It should be a campaign filled with doubts.

Otherwise, is killing innocent children/babies evil for a deity?
I'm not that sure God is considered evil in Christian religion, even if He decided the death of Egypt's firstborns. Not only the children (and most probably some babies) of the oppressing ruling elite but even the children of their slaves (Exodus 11:4-6)...

If you have an objective alignment system, what you're planning can't work for a LG deity. Either this act is a terrible thing and Evil, or it's considered a Good act and the characters would have no problem with it (I doubt omnicide would be considered a Neutral act by anyone). No doubts - that's what 'objective' basically is.

The Orcish warlord who slaughtered a village isn't Evil because he was born that way - it's because he SLAUGHTERED A VILLAGE. That's why it's okay to do him in.

When categorizing the Abrahamic God into D&D alignments, most people say Lawful Neutral, not Good. And yeah, Exodus is massively Lawful and Evil. So is the flood in the story of Noah's Ark and many other things in 'The Holy Bible.'


This is why the Book of Mormon is true.


MORONI 10:4: And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Perhaps my heart wasn't sincere, or my intent wasn't real. Maybe I didn't have faith in Christ.

That's an easy thing to F up when you're 8.


Angstspawn wrote:
This wasn't planned for Golarion but for a campaign I'm developing. I want to fill players with doubt without breaking the alignment system. Are they embracing evil or failing good? Can they question they deity's word or will? Can they, as faithful followers, consider their deity is betraying his ethos? Could mortals find answers/solutions the gods couldn't? If they can, should mortals still worship the gods?

The problem is that you as the GM are the god in question. So you have to have an answer for how he reacts to his follower's reactions.

A Paladin refuses to mass-murder. Does he fall? Ultimately, you as the GM say yes or no. Once that decision's made, it true of all Paladins. If they know the Sir Roderick the Righteous refused his god and didn't fall, then the rest probably start wondering about the source of them message they've received. If he does fall, they know it's a command from their god, but probably ignore it for their consciences.

If the Paladin does mass-murder, and still gets to keep his Paladin powers, then we know that objectively, in that universe, murdering the innocent is a LG action that the god approves of.

Whatever way it rolls out, you'll be presenting a solution in what happens to the players. Unless nobody falls, under any circumstances, regardless of what actions they take, which allows the most ambiguity, but sort of removes the point being of a Paladin, since anyone can simply take the class regardless of their alignments, religions, or choices.


big question, what about the paladins of other gods who maybe didn't get the order from their respective deities to go about killing the innocent, would they fall for trying to stop the other paladins from carrying out their holy mission?


Angstspawn wrote:
Lets assume a ruling LG decides to end the world and take to heaven most souls. Forbidding suicide in his ethos

If he regards life as sacred in this manner, killing innocents is an evil act. A person who views the afterlife as a place so good you should just kill everyone to get them there will not have a covenant against suicide.

Related question: If I kidnap a kid (with a family) from a Global South country to take him to America and put him in a good home, assuming that the home is good and he can live out his life in peace should he wish, have I done the right thing?


Nope.

Any true Paladin would oppose such an obviously evil god in defence of the innocent. A Paladin saves the world, they don't destroy it.


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Where someone goes in the afterlife (which the paladin does not know—he might be condemning atheists to Groetus's jaws!) is irrelevant. Killing someone deprives them of potential to change and grow, to explore who they are, and to help others—such as people who, without the guidance of their parent/dear friend/sibling/partner, may well end up in eternal damnation. Murder is an evil act because Heaven is not a substitute, it's the second stage, which you should not reach prematurely.

Worse still, ending the world expedites the rise of the daemons and descent of the Boneyard's great moon. Bad. Idea.

Some of this is Golarion-specific, of course, but if you are operating in a different setting with different afterlife rules, you need to explain them.


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Rocks Die; Everyone Falls.


+1 on recommending The Culling of Stratholme. Blizzard really had an awesome thing going in WarCraft III.

As for the fall of a deity, this has happened at least once, although we don't know for sure that an Outer God is responsible. Note that if a deity falls, Paladins tied to that deity may have a hard time resisting even if they want to.


Pixie, the Leng Queen wrote:
Black and white morality of PF is kinda annoying sometimes...

The alignment system essentially requires it unfortunately. If you want to use alignment in a mechanical sense, you (the real life people at the table) must determine what subjective method you will use to determine what is objective within the alignment system of the game.

The game is not the real world and the real world is not the game. A basic conceit of the game is that if alignment is mechanical, it HAS to obey certain rules and creates certain situations. The answer to those situations can (and should) differ from table to table, but within the game's world itself, the decision of what is good/evil should be considered objective.

The method of determining what is good and evil in the game doesn't need to make sense in the real world. It just has to be something everyone at the table can agree upon as a method.


So, in a world where the afterlife is a verifiable fact, why is murder evil? In such a world how is killing an innocent any different than a vaccination shot in our world. Both hurt but give proven benefits to the recipient.


Melkiador wrote:
So, in a world where the afterlife is a verifiable fact, why is murder evil? In such a world how is killing an innocent any different than a vaccination shot in our world. Both hurt but give proven benefits to the recipient.

Bingo. The larger question is that is it really evil to kill something ahead of what would be it's inevitable death, if you can deny an evil being the power that that soul would provide if it was consume?

This isn't black and white morality but a question of short term vs. long term.

All of the people who are saying it's evil are only thinking short term. The sanctity of life presumes that life will continue...that presumption is incorrect in this scenario.


Melkiador wrote:
So, in a world where the afterlife is a verifiable fact, why is murder evil? In such a world how is killing an innocent any different than a vaccination shot in our world. Both hurt but give proven benefits to the recipient.

Some would disagree that permanent separation from loved ones and a mind wipe are benefits.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

can a paladin kill a werewolf while the guy isn't transformed and isn't threatening anyone?


Melkiador wrote:
So, in a world where the afterlife is a verifiable fact, why is murder evil? In such a world how is killing an innocent any different than a vaccination shot in our world. Both hurt but give proven benefits to the recipient.

You mean proven benefits to a creature that has no memory of its previous life and none of the same personality, or the body, and is really just a reconstituted mass of sou stuff that doesn't even resemble the creature it was in life.


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If the world's going to end, why bother killing anyone? It's over.

The best thing for the Paladin to do would be stare blankly into space as his player looks at the GM (who clearly wishes to end this game on a really dumb note) and either thank him for the lovely time or tell him to go screw himself. Depending on the GM. Whom I'm assuming is touching himself under the table.

Either way games over and even if it wasn't I wouldn't want to play a "game" were infanticide and mass murder is a debated topic.

PS this is also the worst part in the bible. That's why I don't play that game either.


Bandw2 wrote:
can a paladin kill a werewolf while the guy isn't transformed and isn't threatening anyone?

I'd say he'd try to bring him in to seek help or justice first. That's the lawful part. Depending on what the werewolf has done when changed may factor too.


I'd say Good, not Lawful, should be the dominant voice in the paladin's head when confronted with an innocent lycantropy victim. Let's not do this, though. Please no.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I'd say Good, not Lawful, should be the dominant voice in the paladin's head when confronted with an innocent lycantropy victim. Let's not do this, though. Please no.

But it's a paladin thread.

We must do this.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I'd say Good, not Lawful, should be the dominant voice in the paladin's head when confronted with an innocent lycantropy victim. Let's not do this, though. Please no.

this is literally all i do in paladin threads.


Cavall wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
can a paladin kill a werewolf while the guy isn't transformed and isn't threatening anyone?
I'd say he'd try to bring him in to seek help or justice first. That's the lawful part. Depending on what the werewolf has done when changed may factor too.

Right, though I agree with Kobold Cleaver that it would be Good rather than Lawful. Being an afflicted or natural lycanthrope doesn't make you Evil. It doesn't mean you've necessarily done anything Evil. It doesn't mean you can't be helped to be cured or to control your curse.


Given how many innocent people he knowingly condemns to death every time he sends the Joker to Arkham instead of killing him, how is Batman still a good guy?


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Casual Viking wrote:
Given how many innocent people he knowingly condemns to death every time he sends the Joker to Arkham instead of killing him, how is Batman still a good guy?

Batman's kinda a moron. His only super powers are money and delusion.

He's the Trump of heroes.


I reject the assumption and ask for a new GM or a new game.

Grand Lodge

Cavall wrote:


Batman's kinda a moron. His only super powers are money and delusion.

He's the Trump of heroes.

LMAO


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

As a player, being put in a situation like this would pretty much piss me off. Why exactly would good gods be pre-empting a doomsday scenario by engaging in mass murder? How fun or satisfying would that be to play through it? Wouldn't a more LG reaction from a deity be trying to find a way to stop the doomsday? Or protect their own flocks from having their souls consigned to the Abyss by the doomsday? Either seem more appropriate than trying to kill 'em all before evil gets around to it.


I would wonder about a LG deity with followers as powerful as PCs and NPCs can get wouldn't open up the floor for "suggestions".

- Like stop the bad guy
- Find the truly good and bring them to ____
- Find the truly good and place divine tags on them so if/when they die they go to heaven.

Perhaps giving a new "mercy" power explicitly for creating a divine link to those good citizens. Paladins too weak to use it may have different errands to run like find the good and bring them to the more elite paladins who can cast the blessing/mercy. This campaign idea is really fascinating to me to be honest. It dovetails with an idea for an all religious campaign where the party is all divine classes of the same deity sent on a pilgrimage/quest for the good of the whole religion. Using it as an opportunity to combine warpriests, clerics, paladins, inquisitors etc.

I also support the idea that Paladins can't really be pragmatic about good. They have extreme problems trying to do the "greater good" or the "little evil leading to bigger good". Of course that moral conundrum can either be a limiter to player agency, or a great story telling opportunity.


Bill Dunn wrote:
As a player, being put in a situation like this would pretty much piss me off. Why exactly would good gods be pre-empting a doomsday scenario by engaging in mass murder? How fun or satisfying would that be to play through it? Wouldn't a more LG reaction from a deity be trying to find a way to stop the doomsday? Or protect their own flocks from having their souls consigned to the Abyss by the doomsday? Either seem more appropriate than trying to kill 'em all before evil gets around to it.

I think you and many other people missed something in the OP. The so-called Lawful Good deity is the one CAUSING the end of the world and wants the Paladins to kill everyone beforehand for no reason.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Bloodrealm wrote:


I think you and many other people missed something in the OP. The so-called Lawful Good deity is the one CAUSING the end of the world and wants the Paladins to kill everyone beforehand for no reason.

If anything, that's an even more ridiculous situation and, as a player, it would annoy me even more.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:


I think you and many other people missed something in the OP. The so-called Lawful Good deity is the one CAUSING the end of the world and wants the Paladins to kill everyone beforehand for no reason.
If anything, that's an even more ridiculous situation and, as a player, it would annoy me even more.

I never said it wasn't. Just clarifying. :P


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Yes. Like I said. Walk away from the game. Genocide isn't right because you're told it's ok.


Sure, he can. A paladin can do whatever his player wishes him to do. He'll lose the powers after that, but he can do it.

About the described situation, that would be a non-LG good, no matter what the GM says


Angstspawn wrote:

Lets assume a ruling LG decides to end the world and take to heaven most souls. Forbidding suicide in his ethos he gave to his most faithful followers and paladins the order to kill all the population, especially the sinless ones.

1. How should paladins of that deity react?
2. Accepting the order, would paladins keep their status and alignment?
3. If some paladins refuse, can they still be paladin?
4. If paladins refusing loose their status, what should be their new alignment?

First off I have a problem with your assumption that a god would retain their LG status while doing so. I would honestly have every paladin that accepted that order fall, and the ones who disobeyed retain their powers, but if you control the morality system of your world.


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I think the problem is the OP proposes a moral dilemma. Moral dilemmas are for worlds with relative morals, like ours, where good and evil are points of view. Pathfinder is a world with absolute morality, dominated by alignments, which are defined by the rules.

So he is asking if that is the *right* thing to do, while he should be asking if that's the *lawful good* thing to do, which is not the same.


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Quintain wrote:
Quote:


Wrong premise. A diety that orders mass infanticide is NOT Good, but Evil, and a Paladin would fall for obeying such an order.

Wrong.

What happens if Rovagug is released and all those whom he devours further strengthens him to the point the rest of the multiverse will be threatened by his increase in power? And innocent souls strengthen him further exponentially.

You can't stop his release, and you can't stop him from devouring others, thus consuming their souls. And there is no way to do a mass exodus of all the people on golarion.

What do you do? The only alternative is to prevent the food from being present upon his release, thus starving him and preventing that threat from endangering the rest of the multiverse.

Now, suicide also prevents the souls from travelling to the upper planes, but instead damns them to the lower, further strengthening a different evil.

Your presumtion in your "objective good and evil" is that all killing is wrong. This is wrong on it's face.

What's the alternative?

That isn't how Rovagug works. He destroys, he doesn't eat, if he did he would be really really weak by now, and kill-able.

But lets assume that is how it works:

The gods(even Asmodeus) would open portals/rapture people off world before that.

If you BS that option away, the elves of Kyonin open their planetary gate and evacuate Golarion's people to Castrovel.

Not enough time you say? Well how do a bunch of paladins kill the world in less time? They can't, and if they can't then BS Rovagug gains ultimate power from eating billions of souls anyway.

Quote:


Allowing others to kill you is not suicide. Suicide is killing yourself.

And stepping off a cliff isn't suicide, gravity is doing the killing, you just don't feel like stopping it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A God that did that would at the very best be Lawful Neutral while standing on the border of EVIl as all hell.


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I legitimately entered this thread hoping you were talking about Arthas when he butchered a town of innocents that were infected, but before they actually turned undead, thus killing them "For their own good".


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

+1 on recommending The Culling of Stratholme. Blizzard really had an awesome thing going in WarCraft III.

As for the fall of a deity, this has happened at least once, although we don't know for sure that an Outer God is responsible. Note that if a deity falls, Paladins tied to that deity may have a hard time resisting even if they want to.

IMHO, Arthas was totally justified in the culling of Stratholme. Those people were already essentially dead. It's just a matter of whether they're dead and slaves to the enemy or dead and free. Given the way undeath under the command of the dreadlords was presented, I'd be hard pressed to rule Arthas' actions in Stratholme as anything worse than Neutral and I'd dare say borderline good.

In fact, the only thing Arthas did in poor taste in the entirety of his campaign was betray the gnoll mercenaries and blame the burning of the ships on them. That was pretty terrible but in D&D, you're not expected to be entirely consistent in your alignment so at that point he's still a good guy just a good guy with a lapse of judgment.

What most people - especially the WoW fanbois (I play WoW too but WC III has my heart) - forget is that Arthas was pretty damn noble and altruistic right up until the end (the end in this case being the acquisition of Frostmourne). Even his taking up Frostmourne was done in Altruism. When Muradin Bronzebeard read the inscription and noted that the sword was cursed and dangerous to the wielder ("rends the spirit"), Arthas said with bitter sincerity "I will gladly bear any curse to save my people".

What Arthas hadn't counted on was the loss of his own soul in doing so and his becoming a sort of puppet in the process. At the end of the campaign it notes that he wanders off into Northrend's wilderness for quite some time, going mad from the whispers of Nerzul and the Frostmourne. Later he returns as the Death Knight champion of the Lich King and begins war on Lordaeron by killing his father the king and so forth. At the beginning of this campaign, he reflects on what he has done and remarks somberly that he doesn't feel anything. He feels like he should be upset, or feel guilt, and questions why he so easily does these great evils with no regard to others.

It is at this point that the spirit of Kel'Thuzad appears before him and tells him that the first soul that the Frostmourne took was his own. It was literally spelled out that Arthas' conscience was essentially no longer present and he only acted in the will of the Lich King (who was at the time Nerzul).

One thing that bugs me about Arthas' whole story is how his turned out. Anyone who has also followed Starcraft may notice that Arthas and Kerrigan's stories mirror each other in their respective universes. For example:

1. In Starcraft, the Zerg were created as the living weapons of a much greater evil beyond the known galaxy. The overmind was unable to rise up against its creators. Seeing potential in the ghost Kerrigan she was not killed but transformed into the zerg champion and would eventually come to rule over the Zerg and stop their creators.

Similarly, the Lich King Nerzul was the slave servant of the Burning Legion, a powerful cabal of demons from the Outlands. Unable to act against them, the lich king saw a potential champion in Arthas and turned him into the Scourge champion who would eventually come to rule over the Undead to stand against the legion.

2. Both Arthas and Kerrigan suffer immense damage to their personas. Arthas and Kerrigan both for a time are twisted and used by their respective rulers and the damage of that is seen even after they become the new rulers of their respective factions.

3. Unfortunately, Kerrigan had a hero to come save her (Jim Raynor) and Arthas didn't. Well, Arthas sort of did, as Jaina Proudmore would have filled that role well but WoW putzed it all up. Where Kerrigan got to burn entire worlds and get off as a good guy after she regains her senses at the end of Wings of Liberty, Arthas gets to die like a **** as an MMO raid boss and crusty the charburger takes his place in what is probably the least satisfying resolution I could have ever fathomed.

Had I had my way, a similar result would have come about with Arthas. Breaking the curse of the Frostmourne (or breaking it in a more literal sense, though the sword is wicked cool so I'd rather just break the curse as it's beautifully iconic) and freeing Arthas' soul, saving him as Kerrigan was saved, would have been freakin' sweet. Arthas would have then stood against the Burning Legion in later expansions as a neutral 3rd party, opened the door for a Necromancer class for both factions, and maybe get to be a cool hero again.

I guess he's just Transmog fodder now.

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