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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    I mean, doing it because he thought it would hurt and impede the paladin doesnt really strike me as any less arbitrary and cruel than doing it for the sake of hurting the horse. He's still hurting it for the sake of hurting.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I mean, doing it because he thought it would hurt and impede the paladin doesnt really strike me as any less arbitrary and cruel than doing it for the sake of hurting the horse. He's still hurting it for the sake of hurting.
    Does forcing consequences on someone for doing something that you genuinely believe was wrong count as cruelty?

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Does forcing consequences on someone for doing something that you genuinely believe was wrong count as cruelty?
    It certainly can, if the consequences involve unnecessary harm being done to somebody (including animals) to make that point.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    I've said as much as I think I can say on the subject - but it'll be interesting to see what other things get added to the thread.
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    It certainly can, if the consequences involve unnecessary harm being done to somebody (including animals) to make that point.
    Well it's definitely cruel to the horse but what I disagree with is that it's cruelty for the sake of cruelty. I'm using the interpretation that the dwarf is actually trying to make a point here towards the paladin, and not just pulling a case of 'you bleed me, I bleed you'.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Well it's definitely cruel to the horse but what I disagree with is that it's cruelty for the sake of cruelty. I'm using the interpretation that the dwarf is actually trying to make a point here towards the paladin, and not just pulling a case of 'you bleed me, I bleed you'.
    Given the subsequent death threat, i think the point is pretty clearly "I'm violent, dont like you, and have no compunction against doing bad things to you and things you care about." which to me reads like "im evil and flaunting it".
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Given the subsequent death threat, i think the point is pretty clearly "I'm violent, dont like you, and have no compunction against doing bad things to you and things you care about." which to me reads like "im evil and flaunting it".
    I read it more as "Seriously, don't do that. Don't just go around killing prisoners without the consent from the rest of the party."

    Your interpretation kind of sounds like you're going with the assumption that the dwarf is purely in this for the personal offence.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Well it's definitely cruel to the horse but what I disagree with is that it's cruelty for the sake of cruelty. I'm using the interpretation that the dwarf is actually trying to make a point here towards the paladin, and not just pulling a case of 'you bleed me, I bleed you'.
    This is a point that could've been made without needlessly murdering an animal. In the real world, when somebody screws up the workplace, their boss doesn't shoot their dog to make a point, the boss docks their pay or sends them home for the day or maybe even fires them. Withholding part of the paladin's share of the loot is a perfectly fine way to teach him a lesson about taking significant action without consulting the rest of the party, and doesn't require any murder at all.

    EDIT: That the dwarf followed up "murdering the horse as an object lesson" with "cross me again and I'll kill you" really makes it seem like the dwarf player is just trying to swing their authority around after it got challenged by the paladin acting without consulting him. Not to say the paladin isn't also severely in the wrong.
    Last edited by AvatarVecna; 2020-09-07 at 12:02 PM.


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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    I read it more as "Seriously, don't do that. Don't just go around killing prisoners without the consent from the rest of the party."

    Your interpretation kind of sounds like you're going with the assumption that the dwarf is purely in this for the personal offence.
    Well yes, the dwarf was pretty clear on that point, at least from where i sit. He outright said that he was bothered because it was his stuff being touched.

    Also, what Vecna said. The point could be made without the cruelty, hence why i consider it pointless.
    Last edited by Keltest; 2020-09-07 at 12:02 PM.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    This is a point that could've been made without needlessly murdering an animal. In the real world, when somebody screws up the workplace, their boss doesn't shoot their dog to make a point, the boss docks their pay or sends them home for the day or maybe even fires them. Withholding part of the paladin's share of the loot is a perfectly fine way to teach him a lesson about taking significant action without consulting the rest of the party, and doesn't require any murder at all.
    In all fairness a mistake in the workplace usually doesn't involve intentionally murdering a defenceless prisoner (I mean, I've heard stories but...).

    And I agree that what the dwarf did was wrong, but I don't read it as cruelty without a purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Well yes, the dwarf was pretty clear on that point, at least from where i sit. He outright said that he was bothered because it was his stuff being touched.

    Also, what Vecna said. The point could be made without the cruelty, hence why i consider it pointless.
    From where I sit it reads as him not wanting the paladin to just go ahead and murder prisoners, at the very least not before the dwarf is done with the prisoner.

    The fact that he resorted to an excessive reaction doesn't mean it's cruelty for the sake of cruelty, it means that the dwarf went overboard with trying to get his point across.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    In all fairness a mistake in the workplace usually doesn't involve intentionally murdering a defenceless prisoner (I mean, I've heard stories but...).

    And I agree that what the dwarf did was wrong, but I don't read it as cruelty without a purpose.



    From where I sit it reads as him not wanting the paladin to just go ahead and murder prisoners, at the very least not before the dwarf is done with the prisoner.

    The fact that he resorted to an excessive reaction doesn't mean it's cruelty for the sake of cruelty, it means that the dwarf went overboard with trying to get his point across.
    He used the words "If you so much as interfere with my prisoners again", so its very much not about the killing in and of itself.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    He used the words "If you so much as interfere with my prisoners again", so its very much not about the killing in and of itself.
    Which could just be his way of saying 'don't murder prisoners without my consent.'

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Are we judging player acts or character acts?

    Character acts are evil without doubts, but I feel that's not the point of the thread.

    As for player acts:

    1) It seems that the team was pretty ok with treating prisoner badly. The dwarf didn't object to the execution for moral reasons, it seems like it was more "it's my prisoner, so it belongs to me" kind of reaction. The party is clearly seeing prisoners as "loot", not as sentient beings. If everyone is ok with it, I guess that's fine?

    2) The paladin's player is taking a unilateral decision to kill a NPC. That's the act that should have been prevented with a DM saying "stop, is everyone ok with that?". However I would not put it high in the "breaking the table convention" scale.

    3) The dwarf's also decided that the prisoner was "his", visibly without the consent of the remaining of the them. That's also an unilateral decision, though less active than the previous one, so even less problematic. But this is an important step: the paladin's player though he was destroying "common property", while the dwarf player understood it as a destruction of his "personal property".

    => In most tables, personal property destruction in taboo. Some tables are even reluctant to allow the DM to destroy personal property from the players, so destruction by an "allied" player is a very high offense. Peoples have emotional bond with the different part of their character sheet, so such destruction is probably significantly hurting the relationship between the two players (on top of hurting the one between the characters).

    4) The dwarf's player chose to retaliate rather than try to defuse the situation. Unless it was accepted that by the table than PvP is ok, is is a big no for me for what it says about the player's personality. If the player complained OOC before retaliating, that's yet another missed opportunity for the DM to stop the escalation.

    5) The dwarf's player retaliate through personal property destruction. Contrary to the paladin's player act, this is a willing attack against something he knows another player cares about. While the behavior of the paladin's player was not perfect, it might have been a mistake and could have been defused. This player is just acting in real-life evil ways. [Unless that was clear to everyone that this kind of behavior was ok when done "in character"]

    My judgement is: The paladin's player did something wrong, but the dwarf's player acted way worse.
    [Oh, and if any of the two characters has "Good" in his character sheet, he should consider changing it. But that's secondary]

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Which could just be his way of saying 'don't murder prisoners without my consent.'
    I mean, that could be, but that kind of requires ignoring the straightforward meaning of his words.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I mean, that could be, but that kind of requires ignoring the straightforward meaning of his words.
    Not really, that's my first and most straightforward way of interpreting his words, since it's stated that he's Chaotic Good (otherwise there'd be no point in mentioning that his alignment should be changed to Chaotic Neutral) so being against reckless killing is automatically included in my interpretation.

  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    [Oh, and if any of the two characters has "Good" in his character sheet, he should consider changing it. But that's secondary]
    Dwarf was CG at the time - paladin, assuming a regular paladin, was LG.
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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    I'd say that the dwarf player is wrong for escalating things like that instead of calling a time-out the moment the paladin declared his intention to talk through what consequences this would have for inter-party cooperation. Also, the paladin was wrong to unilaterally declare an execution like that.

    Overall, solve this by talking to the players first. Get them to come up with a satisfying resolution to this conflict. If they can't, both their characters leave the party, and maybe the players should leave the group as well.
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    Are we judging player acts or character acts?

    Character acts are evil without doubts, but I feel that's not the point of the thread.
    ~snip~
    Pretty much this.

    Character terms, the Paladin is at original fault, the Dwarf is at a less extreme action, though infinitely pettier fault.

    In player terms, the Paladin player made a fault, and the Dwarf player launched into PvP. The latter is a larger problem in continuing to play the game.
    Last edited by Misery Esquire; 2020-09-07 at 12:14 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Not really, that's my first and most straightforward way of interpreting his words, since it's stated that he's Chaotic Good (otherwise there'd be no point in mentioning that his alignment should be changed to Chaotic Neutral) so being against reckless killing is automatically included in my interpretation.
    See I guess I'm weird because I read the words and thought "ill judge this guy based on what he literally said" rather than thinking "he's CG so I'll give him some slack and assume he didnt actually mean what he literally said".


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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    See I guess I'm weird because I read the words and thought "ill judge this guy based on what he literally said" rather than thinking "he's CG so I'll give him some slack and assume he didnt actually mean what he literally said".
    Allow me to join you in being weird, because thats my thought process too.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    See I guess I'm weird because I read the words and thought "ill judge this guy based on what he literally said" rather than thinking "he's CG so I'll give him some slack and assume he didnt actually mean what he literally said".
    Rarely a good idea even in real life. When my brother says "You used my shirt, I'm so going to kill you" then I don't reach for the phone to dial 911.
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    The short answer is "because if you knew that the ogre's death was the end goal, you should not have taken the time to capture them and interrogate them, causing substantial additional suffering before their death."

    The longer answer is that, as noted, prisoners typically have some level of protection. The reason that prisoners have protection from a moral level is that they are no longer an imminent threat, and so executing them is not a moral deed. From a practical level, if you get a reputation for killing people who you capture, people are going to fight a lot harder not to be captured. It creates a game of total war that can only end with everyone involved dead, no quarter given, no treaties, no peace.

    The important context to this story from the Gygaxian perspective is that this is how Gygax explicitly saw the game working. Evil beings were evil forever, and if you let them go they would always return to their evil ways. They would always fight to the death, unless they thought they could trick you into releasing them, and thus killing them was always a good deed. Paladins are inherently a divine authority and thus can mete out punishment for crimes, and execution is a valid Good punishment for crimes because mercy is only for those who commit crimes by mistake, and the true evil act is to allow an evil being to go free for any reason.

    It's an approach to Good and Evil that says that people fundamentally don't change. You punish bad guys to scare them into compliance, but they will always be bad guys. As such, if you can't punish them into compliance, executing them is the only valid strategy. If someone claims to be repentant, you accept their repentance and then execute them before they can backslide to save their soul.

    This is a philosophical approach that I take issue with on a number of levels, but it's one that permeates early D&D. When you run into moral dilemmas like this, it's tricky because a lot of things were written on those assumptions, and the game still hasn't fully broken free of them.
    This is the most correct response to me. I personally don't think alignments should be mutable except in very rare circumstances. When the players start to torture someone, I always step in as DM and say, "No, this isn't something your characters are willing to do since they are Good-aligned." I don't allow player freedom at the expense of playing a game about heroes. I also outright ban Evil PCs at my tables simply because they lead exactly to this type of scenario. This is why early edition paladins just straight wouldn't adventure with Evil people.

    This is also why I almost never role play Evil creatures as willing to compromise or live peacefully. The moment the paladin walked up to it or the dwarf got too close, I would make the monster trash about and try to take a chunk out of someone, probably while making threats against their families and friends. Monsters are monsters, and when they don't act like monsters, people obviously want to start letting them live in peace (a good and merciful act). So when someone wants to mete out divine justice, the others understandably get upset.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyutaru View Post
    Rarely a good idea even in real life. When my brother says "You used my shirt, I'm so going to kill you" then I don't reach for the phone to dial 911.
    There's a difference between that and someone who literally just murdered your mount.
    There's also a difference between normal people and murderhobos adventurers.
    There's also a difference between real people with real laws and fictional people.
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    See I guess I'm weird because I read the words and thought "ill judge this guy based on what he literally said" rather than thinking "he's CG so I'll give him some slack and assume he didnt actually mean what he literally said".
    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Allow me to join you in being weird, because thats my thought process too.
    I realize you're being sarcastic here, but ignoring context is actually kind of weird.

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    I realize you're being sarcastic here, but ignoring context is actually kind of weird.
    What context makes it better? As far as I can see, the Dwarf pretty clearly said "Do that again and I'll kill you."

    The context actually makes it worse! He just murdered the Paladin's mount! That shows he's serious!
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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    What context makes it better? As far as I can see, the Dwarf pretty clearly said "Do that again and I'll kill you."

    The context actually makes it worse! He just murdered the Paladin's mount! That shows he's serious!
    The context that he's at least partially motivated by the fact that he's opposed to the paladin jumping to murdering defenceless prisoners the moment he thinks there's nothing else to be done with the prisoner.

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    I realize you're being sarcastic here, but ignoring context is actually kind of weird.
    The context in this case being he just killed something and is making a death threat against another person. I think its pretty fair to lean in the direction of being inclusive towards things that will set him off again, not exclusive.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyutaru View Post
    Rarely a good idea even in real life. When my brother says "You used my shirt, I'm so going to kill you" then I don't reach for the phone to dial 911.
    Yeah but that's way more context than we have here. Being told this guy is CG isn't a ton of context because people pick alignments based on what they think they want the character to be rather than how they necessarily intend to play the character.

    All the context we have is what literally occurs in the OP. This is more like if your brother said that, right after shooting your dog. And if that happened, idk about you but I'd at least consider that maybe my brother wasn't joking or exaggerating about murder.


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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    The context that he's at least partially motivated by the fact that he's opposed to the paladin jumping to murdering defenceless prisoners the moment he thinks there's nothing else to be done with the prisoner.
    The paladin is also definitely a ****heel for murdering a defenseless prisoner because not murdering them was inconvenient. Tge paladin being an ******* doesn't make the dwarf not a psycho for murdering his horse and issuing a death threat immediately after.


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    Default Re: In-party conflict- how do we tell which player's in the right and which in the wr

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    The context in this case being he just killed something and is making a death threat against another person. I think its pretty fair to lean in the direction of being inclusive towards things that will set him off again, not exclusive.
    I gotta point out, again, that I'm not disagreeing that what the dwarf did was wrong. What I'm disagreeing with is the description of his behaviour being literally nothing more than cruelty for the sake of cruelty, when to my eyes his motivation isn't cruelty but sending the message to the paladin that he shouldn't do what he just did. That he's way over the line with his reaction doesn't change it to cruelty for the sake of cruelty. For that to be the case you'd have to make the assumption that his overreaction is purely out of malice rather than him just being unreasonable and irrational.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    Yeah but that's way more context than we have here. Being told this guy is CG isn't a ton of context because people pick alignments based on what they think they want the character to be rather than how they necessarily intend to play the character.

    All the context we have is what literally occurs in the OP. This is more like if your brother said that, right after shooting your dog. And if that happened, idk about you but I'd at least consider that maybe my brother wasn't joking or exaggerating about murder.
    I feel pretty safe adding the context that Good-aligned characters are opposed to spontaneously killing prisoners.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    The paladin is also definitely a ****heel for murdering a defenseless prisoner because not murdering them was inconvenient. Tge paladin being an ******* doesn't make the dwarf not a psycho for murdering his horse and issuing a death threat immediately after.
    That's literally what I've been saying about how the dwarf's behaviour doesn't absolve the paladin. I think we're starting to go in circles here.

    EDIT: To make it clear, both are bad, both are not Good, and I'm not excusing the dwarf's behaviour. I am saying exactly one thing, and that's that I disagree with the description of the dwarf's act as 'cruelty for the sake of cruelty.'

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