2021-02-23, 05:13 PM (ISO 8601)
Re: Implications of a demon-binding Neutral/Good military
Now some things also depend on how summoning works in your world.
if the fiends who are destroyed in the material world reform back in the lower planes is one thing...in some setups a fiend only is permanently destroyed if on it's home plane.
particularly for smaller fiends ask about the morality of using a call nature's ally where an animal that lives locally is substituted. If a devil who will reform back on their home plane is immoral to call and use this way then calling an animal out of its normal life to suffer and die is FAR FAR worse.
also if the fiends are actually destroyed in combat then possibly the most morally useful thing one could do is to keep summoning them and destroying them repeatedly. . . easiest way to destroy them is to get them to a place where they die easier...like surrounded by people who are stabbing it with pointy spears....like your neighbors guard unit.
also there is a question of the looking at other moral issues...like the pain and disruption caused by an army moving through a territory. Most "live off the land" as they go...which can be devastating for the local farmers as their crops are confiscated, their livestock co-opted etc. Fewer families have to have to deal with often horrible issues of billeting troops (major issue leading up to the revolutionary war, some horrible stuff under the French dragoon system, and this stuff goes back at least to the Romans). So smaller armies just plain hurt civilians less. . . that is a pretty unalloyed good. Being able to use an army that has so many fewer people because they pull up masses of flesh to rip apart their foes instead of poking them with sticks is pretty useful to your own and occupied populations..and if you can bind fiends well enough to point them at particular enemies and not others you can probably avoid a LOT of the rape/loot/pillage issues that come with human troops. . . . This as much to point out that other moral choices have negative consequences too. People get hurt by those choices...and if you can avoid that and don't...intentionally choose to hurt people that way...you'd arguably be much more evil.
does binding/summoning fiends do anything to the fabric of reality? or in other ways make it possible to summon other less controlled fiends easier? (knowledge, ritual components, etc just being easier to find social would be the one you can't really get around but there could be bad effects in general if you want)
in most DnD summoning spells the fiends only last a couple minutes max. They are best used tactically...for first strikes, the disruption of enemy shield-walls/formations, or to provide fighting cover so that your own troops can fall back and regroup. So they last maybe a couple minutes...and how is the death of their enemies any worse if it is cause by a scorching ray from a bearded devil than a fireball can by any other magic user? And here we get to a serious moral crux. so Devils are evil. so when they have self control and choose what to do they do evil stuff....that's clear enough. But if they are under someone else's control then basically they would act little different than if the magic user was having golems or tables with animate object cast on them...the moral weight goes back to the summoner.
There also would be serious questions about what to do with Veterans of these summoning units though. they don't loose the skills and in order to get really good control they have probably been holding back a lot of of their potential power....certainly possible while in the military system but the temptation would certainly be there after they left...especially as it would provide solutions for so many of the messy issues that they would run into in life afterward. There may have to be special colonia for them.
Similarly what about those who are kicked out for ill-discipline or just don't pass the tests of moral fiber that they would NEED in order to keep that unit good/neutral as you were saying.
Could be interesting if the unit itself was actually following through on the good/neutral but was also constantly sloughing off evil summoners that get exiled and drum up trouble and hate for the home nation all over the region.
Last edited by sktarq; 2021-02-23 at 06:09 PM.