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  1. - Top - End - #421
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaLucaray View Post
    Neurotypical people tend to think autistic people follow more rules than them, but I dont think that’s true. We follow different rules- neurotypicals dont notice their rules because everyone around them follows it and they consider it to be default.

    We have “please dont sit in my favorite chair”, they have “make eye contact with me when we’re talking”. Both rules! But most people follow the second one so you only notice it when they’re broken.
    Oh yeah definitely. Stay away from my favourite chair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    I don't think I have, or if I did it was not intended, to imply that all autists are the same. They are not. It's a very poorly defined label, overall. I did specify "some forms of".
    I figured as much, I just wanted to make it clear.

  2. - Top - End - #422
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    What's the difference between weak and strong neutral?
    Whether or not the god enforces or represents that aspect as a fundamental part of their personality, or just exist in it because they have to exist somewhere. Neutral really represents two very different attitudes: "I don't care about it" and "I strive to not let the two extremes get too extreme". Weak Neutral is what I call the first one, and I feel that Dvalin is there. He cares about oaths and procedure and law. He doesn't care of the oaths are evil or good, if the procedures are fair or not, etc. Just that they exist, and must be followed. The avatar, in short, of the uncaring wheels of government, which don't care of results as much as they care that things are done in orderly fashion.

    (I may have been watching a bit too much Yes, Minister clips lately)

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  3. - Top - End - #423
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    No, it doesn't. It forces him to obey the will of the council, not the elders. Will that is expressed via simple majority vote. The idea that such vote must be free of coercion is something you've added, not something in the canon.
    Yes, the dwarven Council of Clans, consisting of the dwarven elders. Hel's vampires are not dwarves, and have no business basically voting in the Council's stead.

    We can speculate why. For example, it seems likely that this is the remnants of what was presumably the politicians/nobles actually running the realm (before they moved to a parliamentary system). Some of those head of clans were likely LE and worked to ensure that engaging in bribery, blackmail and other forms of coercion was exempted from the rules, because they engaged or intended to engage in them at points. Dvalin, by the very nature of the council and his deification, therefore doesn't see a problem with a will that has been manipulated away from the actual desires of the majority of the individuals of the council. Fairness is a G concept, and nothing indicates that Dvalin is anything other than strongly Lawful, and likely merely weak Neutral in the G-E scale, and thus cares not for fairness, only for procedure.

    Grey Wolf
    The Exarch does speculate that the antechamber was designed to allow for that, but that doesn't mean such practices were not frowned at or they were exempted from the rules. Quite on the contrary, the voting chamber enforces the dwarven law as written and it does not allow dominations.
    Further, even if the Exarch is right, there's the thing that
    1. Dvalin did not design the chamber;
    2. dwarves meddling with dwarven affairs and vampires meddling with dwarven affairs are two drastically different things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    In the quoted strip, the non-dominated elders who speak first *all* lean towards voting "yes". The dominated ones voting en bloc for the same thing is what makes them change position. Also, they don't seem very bothered that some of them are dominated.
    All? Only two of them express that sentiment, and only because no elder really believes it can be a real question.

    Dvalin honestly seems less dumb to me than the elders themselves do.
    True, but that does not make Dvalin less stupid.

    The problem isn't so much Dvalin listening to the council, but rather the council being filled by a bunch of bufoons who 1) didn't take measures to protect their members from voting under the influence, and 2) showed total disregard when it did take place. Surely there's a quorum law that could have been used to abort the meeting instead of letting it get hijacked by the vampires.
    So when the morons in the council disregard the vote getting hijacked by vampires it's dumb, but when Dvalin does the same, it's not?

  4. - Top - End - #424
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    All? Only two of them express that sentiment, and only because no elder really believes it can be a real question.
    Yea, 100% of the two people who spoke up before the dominated dwarves started to vote. And as shown before that, nobody had a significant issue with over half of the council being dominated. One of them went "maybe we should wait?", but then was totally fine with continuing anyways. One of them says that sacrificing themselves for the other species would be the honorable thing to do. This question was NOT certain to end in a specific result, was domination to be avoided. The only evidence we have suggests that, indeed, had Hel NOT meddled in their affairs, the dwarves would have voted themselves to damnation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    True, but that does not make Dvalin less stupid.
    I don't really see any stupidy in Dvalin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    So when the morons in the council disregard the vote getting hijacked by vampires it's dumb, but when Dvalin does the same, it's not?
    Yea, because the council are decision-makers, and Dvalin is a rubber stamper.

    Is the bureaucrat who executes an idiotic policy decided by his minister an idiot? No, not necessarily. He's just doing his job.

    He could defy the government, but then he'd probably lose his job, at best. But he's got agency, free will. Gods, in this setting, are manifestation of ideas. While we can take Loki's "but I can't help myself" with a grain of salt, perhaps, but the deific representation of "I execute the council's will" is *not* likely to defy the council. Even if the council is half dominated.

    We can't really have perfect RL equivalents because 1) we don't have deific manifestation of ideas, and 2) we don't have a godsmoot where we'd need someone to be our governments' voice.

    But there absolutely are a lot of people who value the rule of law, and who are extremely uncomfortable with discretionary powers. Because granting discretionary powers is always a question of faith. You have faith the person won't abuse it. Or, in any case, you hope they won't. And every time you grant discretionary powers to whatever figure, you rob said powers from legitimized institutions (such as elected assemblies) in order to grant them to individuals. In western democracies, pretty much everyone in the state apparatus was either elected, or answers to someone who was. Sometimes this is many levels removed, like for police officers or teachers, but when you go up the chain of authority you always end up with someone elected, because in the end those are the only people we decided had the legitimacy to call the shots in the name of the people.

    Dvalin's not elected. They didn't vote him into being a god, and they didn't vote him to remain the one with their voice in the godsmoot. He is completely disconnected from the People, and thus any and all unilateral (arbitrary/discretionary) decision would be completely lacking legitimacy.

    Furthermore, it adds *precedent*, which itself creates a slippery slope. Not particularly pertinent to Dvalin given he's immortal and will hold the spot forever, but going with decisions you disagree with strengthens your role as rubber-stamper for your successors. If you go against the elected legislators, then you set precedent your predecessors can build upon to ignore them and do as he will. And that next person could do a lot of harm thanks to the precedent you set, possibly more than the harm you are approving. Fear of creating precedents is another factor motivating many law-oriented people. And in this context, many people can believe that a society where officials can ignore the elected assemblies when their decisions are bad is also a society where those officials can simply replace those elected assemblies when they will it. Strong democracies are not built upon the elected assemblies always doing the right thing, they are built upon the rule of law. And given a choice, people typically prefer to live in a society where the application of the laws is clear and predictable, as opposed to societies where the executive branch just does whatever the hell it wants regardless of the elected officials' decisions.
    Last edited by Goblin_Priest; 2020-10-29 at 07:45 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #425
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Dvalin's not elected. They didn't vote him into being a god, and they didn't vote him to remain the one with their voice in the godsmoot. He is completely disconnected from the People, and thus any and all unilateral (arbitrary/discretionary) decision would be completely lacking legitimacy.
    Thats actually likely not accurate. Dvalin is a (demi)god who was previously a mortal, which means that there was sufficient dwarven will and respect behind him to empower him to that state. The other times weve heard of such an event going on, it was an effort of nearly the entire race to muster that kind of power and worship. So to that end, its likely he was actually "voted" to be there, under a certain use of "vote".
    “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.”

  6. - Top - End - #426
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Yes, the dwarven Council of Clans, consisting of the dwarven elders. Hel's vampires are not dwarves, and have no business basically voting in the Council's stead.
    1) Yes, they are dwarves. They are able to enter the first barrier, therefore they are dwarves.

    2) The vampires where not the ones voting, the heads of the clans are voting. Sure, they used magic to compel a vote rather than political favour, or bribery, or blackmail, or impassioned speeches, or whatever else other people used to use to compel a vote, but if a vote compelled ceases to be valid, then no vote has ever taken place in any context, anywhere.

    3) Dvalin is not privy to any of this. He doesn't know, he can't know, and he is likely physically incapable of knowing what happens in the chamber, because he is the god of obeying oaths and if he swore to not interfere with the council, he will be physically incapable of doing so. He has a priest that tells him the way the vote goes and, as far as Dvalin is concerned, that vote is the Will of the Council, regardless of how the members voted or how they decided what to vote for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    The Exarch does speculate that the antechamber was designed to allow for that, but that doesn't mean such practices were not frowned at or they were exempted from the rules. Quite on the contrary, the voting chamber enforces the dwarven law as written and it does not allow dominations.
    Further, even if the Exarch is right, there's the thing that
    You seem to think you are making some kind of point, but you are not. None of this in any way affects that to Dvalin, the will of the council is the result of the vote. The vote takes place in a procedural manner, in a chamber defended by 3 separate rings of defences. If the procedures are all followed, then the vote is definitionally the will of the council.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    1. Dvalin did not design the chamber;
    That is a bold claim, one you have no way to substantiate. When you have to resort to inventing your own canon so you can substantiate your original claim that the actual canon is stupid, you've effectively admitted out that you don't actually have a point. Or, as Rich put it:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    2. dwarves meddling with dwarven affairs and vampires meddling with dwarven affairs are two drastically different things.
    Not from the perspective of whomever built that chamber. Nor from Dvalin's perspective, who does not care who meddled with the vote.

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    Last edited by Grey_Wolf_c; 2020-10-29 at 08:18 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

  7. - Top - End - #427
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Yea, 100% of the two people who spoke up before the dominated dwarves started to vote. And as shown before that, nobody had a significant issue with over half of the council being dominated. One of them went "maybe we should wait?", but then was totally fine with continuing anyways. One of them says that sacrificing themselves for the other species would be the honorable thing to do. This question was NOT certain to end in a specific result, was domination to be avoided. The only evidence we have suggests that, indeed, had Hel NOT meddled in their affairs, the dwarves would have voted themselves to damnation.
    No. Three said what, then two (including one of these three) said yes could be an answer, and then the others started raising objections and stressing that further deliberation is needed.



    I don't really see any stupidy in Dvalin.

    Yea, because the council are decision-makers, and Dvalin is a rubber stamper.

    Is the bureaucrat who executes an idiotic policy decided by his minister an idiot? No, not necessarily. He's just doing his job.
    Dvalin is a huge moron, and your analogy does not really work. What we have in the comic is more like „terrorists take the parliament hostage and send a video message to the minister of foreign affairs (who's attending a summit) on which the speaker (with a gun to their head) tells him the parliament decided he must declare war on the world via killing all the other attendees.” If the minister does just that, he's a cretin.

    He could defy the government, but then he'd probably lose his job, at best. But he's got agency, free will. Gods, in this setting, are manifestation of ideas. While we can take Loki's "but I can't help myself" with a grain of salt, perhaps, but the deific representation of "I execute the council's will" is *not* likely to defy the council. Even if the council is half dominated.

    We can't really have perfect RL equivalents because 1) we don't have deific manifestation of ideas, and 2) we don't have a godsmoot where we'd need someone to be our governments' voice.

    But there absolutely are a lot of people who value the rule of law, and who are extremely uncomfortable with discretionary powers. Because granting discretionary powers is always a question of faith. You have faith the person won't abuse it. Or, in any case, you hope they won't. And every time you grant discretionary powers to whatever figure, you rob said powers from legitimized institutions (such as elected assemblies) in order to grant them to individuals. In western democracies, pretty much everyone in the state apparatus was either elected, or answers to someone who was. Sometimes this is many levels removed, like for police officers or teachers, but when you go up the chain of authority you always end up with someone elected, because in the end those are the only people we decided had the legitimacy to call the shots in the name of the people.

    Dvalin's not elected. They didn't vote him into being a god, and they didn't vote him to remain the one with their voice in the godsmoot. He is completely disconnected from the People, and thus any and all unilateral (arbitrary/discretionary) decision would be completely lacking legitimacy.

    Furthermore, it adds *precedent*, which itself creates a slippery slope. Not particularly pertinent to Dvalin given he's immortal and will hold the spot forever, but going with decisions you disagree with strengthens your role as rubber-stamper for your successors. If you go against the elected legislators, then you set precedent your predecessors can build upon to ignore them and do as he will. And that next person could do a lot of harm thanks to the precedent you set, possibly more than the harm you are approving. Fear of creating precedents is another factor motivating many law-oriented people. And in this context, many people can believe that a society where officials can ignore the elected assemblies when their decisions are bad is also a society where those officials can simply replace those elected assemblies when they will it. Strong democracies are not built upon the elected assemblies always doing the right thing, they are built upon the rule of law. And given a choice, people typically prefer to live in a society where the application of the laws is clear and predictable, as opposed to societies where the executive branch just does whatever the hell it wants regardless of the elected officials' decisions.
    The council is not elected either. It consists of the heads of a number of major dwarven clans, and it is distinct from the current dwarven government. They have no relevance whatsoever beyond being occasionally consulted by Dvalin.
    Also, if Dvalin just abides by the will of anyone posing as the Council even if he knows they are not the Council is a precedent as well, and an ugly one at that.

  8. - Top - End - #428
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Nor from Dvalin's perspective, who does not care who meddled with the vote.
    We don't know that as we don't know if he would have regarded it as the will of the council (panel 5) if they were under mind control - but it seems irrelevant to the story.

  9. - Top - End - #429
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    1) Yes, they are dwarves. They are able to enter the first barrier, therefore they are dwarves.
    No. They are vampires.

    2) The vampires where not the ones voting, the heads of the clans are voting. Sure, they used magic to compel a vote rather than political favour, or bribery, or blackmail, or impassioned speeches, or whatever else other people used to use to compel a vote, but if a vote compelled ceases to be valid, then no vote has ever taken place in any context, anywhere.
    Please. If someone announces they will bribe a legislator and than they go there and do it, there will be an investigation, and if it can prove the bribery happened, both the legislator and the guy who tried to compel the vote are removed from the game.

    3) Dvalin is not privy to any of this. He doesn't know, he can't know, and he is likely physically incapable of knowing what happens in the chamber, because he is the god of obeying oaths and if he swore to not interfere with the council, he will be physically incapable of doing so. He has a priest that tells him the way the vote goes and, as far as Dvalin is concerned, that vote is the Will of the Council, regardless of how the members voted or how they decided what to vote for.
    We know gods can see what their priests can see. We know gods can visit each other; Thor knew about Hel's plan; and he is on friendlier terms with Dvalin than with Hel. If Loki and Thor knew, he could know, and probably did. Please stop poromoting your assumptions to the lofty rank of „facts.”



    You seem to think you are making some kind of point, but you are not. None of this in any way affects that to Dvalin, the will of the council is the result of the vote. The vote takes place in a procedural manner, in a chamber defended by 3 separate rings of defences. If the procedures are all followed, then the vote is definitionally the will of the council.
    No. You speculated „forms of coercion [were] exempted from the rules”, to which I replied via pointing out that it's canonicxally not the case.


    That is a bold claim, one you have no way to substantiate. When you have to resort to inventing your own canon so you can substantiate your original claim that the actual canon is stupid, you've effectively admitted out that you don't actually have a point.
    It is about right that we don't know who built the chamber, I'll give you that. The rest, however, is funny coming from you, since in your previous post you did little else other than casually treating your assumptions as „canonical facts.”

  10. - Top - End - #430
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    No. They are vampires.
    And also dwarves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Please. If someone announces they will bribe a legislator and than they go there and do it, there will be an investigation, and if it can prove the bribery happened, both the legislator and the guy who tried to compel the vote are removed from the game.
    This assertion is non-canonical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    We know gods can see what their priests can see.
    Quite the opposite. This assertion is non-canonical. And even if it was (and it is not), just because other gods can see does not automatically mean Dvalin is not prevented from watching the deliberations by his very nature of what he, specifically, is the demigod of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    We know gods can visit each other; Thor knew about Hel's plan; and he is on friendlier terms with Dvalin than with Hel. If Loki and Thor knew, he could know, and probably did. Please stop poromoting your assumptions to the lofty rank of „facts.”
    My assumptions fit the canon. My assumptions are not in the service of claiming the canon to be stupid. Therefore, my assumptions are perfectly fine when explaining canon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    No. You speculated „forms of coercion [were] exempted from the rules”, to which I replied via pointing out that it's canonicxally not the case.
    No, you didn't. You simply said they weren't, but you didn't actually show it to be the case. In fact, canon is quite clear that there is significant loopholes in the rules, and therefore seems likely some are intentional.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    It is about right that we don't know who built the chamber, I'll give you that. The rest, however, is funny coming from you, since in your previous post you did little else other than casually treating your assumptions as „canonical facts.”
    No, I didn't. I mixed canonical facts with extracanonical assumptions that explain supposed plotholes. The difference between us is that you use you non-canonical assumptions to claim the canon is stupid, while I use them to explain why they are not. And also you seem to be under the misapprehension that "vampires are not dwarves" and "Dvalin can see what their priest in the chamber sees" and "if Thor knew, Dvalin knew" are canonical, when they are not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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    The Dwarves are supposed to be honorable to the extreme. Why on earth would they program in loopholes to allow themselves to be corrupted like that? Even ignoring the dangers of outside hostile parties coming in and meddling with their politics (which we know for a fact can happen, because it did on screen), deliberately enabling ways for you to act dishonorably seems like a bad bet, overall.

    And now we can stop ignoring the fact that deliberately putting in those loopholes paves the way for hostile outside parties to come in and subvert your politics. The council would basically have to be idiots for those loopholes to stand.
    “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: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    The Dwarves are supposed to be honorable to the extreme. Why on earth would they program in loopholes to allow themselves to be corrupted like that?
    Because Lawful doesn't mean Good. LE dwarves exist, and presumably some tend to gravitate towards politics as a means to obtain power, and would be in a position to ensure the loopholes exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Ceterum autem censeo Hilgya malefica est

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Because Lawful doesn't mean Good. LE dwarves exist, and presumably some tend to gravitate towards politics as a means to obtain power, and would be in a position to ensure the loopholes exist.

    GW
    Evil means selfish, not stupid. We know from Hilgya that overtly evil dwarves prospering in the afterlife is unusual because being overtly evil like that also means being overtly dishonorable. Which is a bad bet. So even if theyre selfish and power grabbing, its still in their best interests to play it straight, or at least protect the legitimacy of the institution as a whole, because otherwise they get the bad afterlife, lose all their power as the system is replaced with one that actually functions again, or both.
    “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: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    The Dwarves are supposed to be honorable to the extreme. Why on earth would they program in loopholes to allow themselves to be corrupted like that? Even ignoring the dangers of outside hostile parties coming in and meddling with their politics (which we know for a fact can happen, because it did on screen), deliberately enabling ways for you to act dishonorably seems like a bad bet, overall.

    And now we can stop ignoring the fact that deliberately putting in those loopholes paves the way for hostile outside parties to come in and subvert your politics. The council would basically have to be idiots for those loopholes to stand.
    I wouldn't bet a lot of quatloos on the idea that it's unlikely that a bureaucratic/political body would allow a flawed set of rules with exploitable loopholes to keep existing. Especially since said body belongs to a race which has a reputation of being so Lawful it hurts so anyone who proposes altering the laws could just get accused of being an anarchist who's inviting chaos and disorder.

    As Grey Wolf has said, being Lawful doesn't mean you're Good. More than that, being Lawful doesn't mean you're automatically smart or rational.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Evil means selfish, not stupid. We know from Hilgya that overtly evil dwarves prospering in the afterlife is unusual because being overtly evil like that also means being overtly dishonorable. Which is a bad bet. So even if theyre selfish and power grabbing, its still in their best interests to play it straight, or at least protect the legitimacy of the institution as a whole, because otherwise they get the bad afterlife, lose all their power as the system is replaced with one that actually functions again, or both.
    I believe Hilgya's lesson is specifically that Chaotic dwarves tend to get in trouble with the afterlife. Being honourable is a Lawful trait, not a Good trait. Chaotic Good characters can backstab everyone to hell and back and it doesn't hurt their Good alignment as long as said backstabbing is for the sake of doing what they perceive is the right thing.

    Of course I know a lot of people think that backstabbing is Evil but honestly that sounds more like Lawful Good having difficulty recognizing Lawful and Good as having different criteria.

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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Why on earth would they program in loopholes to allow themselves to be corrupted like that?
    Ease of work, lack of imagination and no system is fool proof.

    Even ignoring the dangers of outside hostile parties coming in and meddling with their politics (which we know for a fact can happen, because it did on screen), deliberately enabling ways for you to act dishonorably seems like a bad bet, overall.
    Oldy the senile dwarf is going to vote poorly but he has not been removed from his position due to internal politics - fortunately the clan has a second and a third who if they agree can use magic to compel him to vote a certain way.
    It is not dishonourable to do so it is what Oldy would have wanted if they were still in their right mind.

    We don't know what circumstances might have brought about the current situation.

    And now we can stop ignoring the fact that deliberately putting in those loopholes paves the way for hostile outside parties to come in and subvert your politics. The council would basically have to be idiots for those loopholes to stand.
    We don't know how long they have stood - they might be recent and so the kinks have not been worked out, or they might have worked well for the last thousand years so why change them?
    After the vampire problem they might very well change them to add security.

  16. - Top - End - #436
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Ease of work, lack of imagination and no system is fool proof.


    Oldy the senile dwarf is going to vote poorly but he has not been removed from his position due to internal politics - fortunately the clan has a second and a third who if they agree can use magic to compel him to vote a certain way.
    It is not dishonourable to do so it is what Oldy would have wanted if they were still in their right mind.

    We don't know what circumstances might have brought about the current situation.


    We don't know how long they have stood - they might be recent and so the kinks have not been worked out, or they might have worked well for the last thousand years so why change them?
    After the vampire problem they might very well change them to add security.
    Hel was able to figure them out with all of 3 days to make the plan. That does not suggest that the problem is particularly obscure or difficult to predict.

    Heck, theyre even aware of the possibility of outsiders screwing with the vote, because they have a barrier meant to stop non-dwarves from getting in, as well as a security team. Is it that hard for the cleric of Dvalin to cast a circle of protection from evil around the table before the vote goes off to make sure nobody has their free will violated?

    As for your example, allowing people to override the free will of the representative if they think theyre voting wrong defeats the whole point of having a representative, to say nothing of being highly immoral. If thats the concern, pick somebody who will actually represent the interests of your group.
    Last edited by Keltest; 2020-10-29 at 09:34 AM.
    “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.”

  17. - Top - End - #437
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    And also dwarves.
    No. They are vampires possessing the bodies of dead dwarves.

    This assertion is non-canonical.
    Much unlike „but if a vote compelled ceases to be valid, then no vote has ever taken place in any context, anywhere”, which is canon incarnate.

    Quite the opposite. This assertion is non-canonical.
    At any rate, we do know that they can see their priests wherever they are. There are other instances of gods knowing what their clerics know. Thor, for instance knew that Durkon knows about the Gates.
    Spoiler: SoD
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    This is also how Big Purple learned about the existence of the Rifts.


    And even if it was (and it is not), just because other gods can see does not automatically mean Dvalin is not prevented from watching the deliberations by his very nature of what he, specifically, is the demigod of.
    These assertion are non-canonical.


    My assumptions fit the canon.
    Your assumption that dwarven law allows dominating the Council members explicitly does not fit the canon.

    My assumptions are not in the service of claiming the canon to be stupid. Therefore, my assumptions are perfectly fine when explaining canon.
    I never said canon was stupid. I said Dvalin is stupid. That does not contradict canon.

    No, you didn't. You simply said they weren't, but you didn't actually show it to be the case. In fact, canon is quite clear that there is significant loopholes in the rules, and therefore seems likely some are intentional.
    Yes I did. The blue barrier turns into stone anyone who commits an act against dwarven law, and dominating elders is such an act. Sorry. There is no loophole in the law, only a gap in the defenses of the chamber.
    Further, your assertion that this is intentional is non-canonical.


    No, I didn't. I mixed canonical facts with extracanonical assumptions that explain supposed plotholes. The difference between us is that you use you non-canonical assumptions to claim the canon is stupid, while I use them to explain why they are not. And also you seem to be under the misapprehension that "vampires are not dwarves" and "Dvalin can see what their priest in the chamber sees" and "if Thor knew, Dvalin knew" are canonical, when they are not.
    You said Dvalin can't know, which is canonically false (see above). There is at least two canonical ways in which he could.
    You keep saying vampires are dwarves. Vampires, are, however, vampires (panel no. 4: the Exarch himself makes this distinction).
    You said dwarven law allows for compelling the votes. This is non-canonical.
    And again: I never said canon is stupid. I said Dvalin is stupid, which does not contradict canon. The rest is your uninformed guess.
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2020-10-29 at 09:43 AM.

  18. - Top - End - #438
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Hel was able to figure them out with all of 3 days to make the plan. That does not suggest that the problem is particularly obscure or difficult to predict.
    Hel is:
    a) A deity.
    b) Likely been plotting ways to end the world since shortly after the world began.
    c) Knew votes would be coming up where the end of the world was a possibility.

    I don't think it is a stretch to think she might have thought about it more then most people.

    As a side element:
    d) Had recently acquired a servant who had a stickler for the rules's knowledge of the rules.

    Heck, theyre even aware of the possibility of outsiders screwing with the vote, because they have a barrier meant to stop non-dwarves from getting in, as well as a security team. Is it that hard for the cleric of Dvalin to cast a circle of protection from evil around the table before the vote goes off to make sure nobody has their free will violated?
    The rules prohibit casting any spell on any creature during a council meeting (panel 8).

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    You keep saying vampires are dwarves.
    They are - the vampire template does not remove the dwarf subtype from a creature who acquires it.
    Last edited by dancrilis; 2020-10-29 at 09:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Hel is:
    a) A deity.
    b) Likely been plotting ways to end the world since shortly after the world began.
    c) Knew votes would be coming up where the end of the world was a possibility.

    I don't think it is a stretch to think she might have thought about it more then most people.

    As a side element:
    d) Had recently acquired a servant who had a stickler for the rules's knowledge of the rules.


    The rules prohibit casting any spell on any creature during a council meeting (panel 8).
    Do it as part of the setup then. It lasts 10 minutes per caster level, so thats a minimum of 50 minutes duration for a 3rd level spell. Possibly longer if they actually want to be effective and use a higher level caster.

    And it is HIGHLY doubtful that Durkon has spent any amount of his time pondering ways to subvert the will of the council of elders.
    “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.”

  20. - Top - End - #440
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Whether or not the god enforces or represents that aspect as a fundamental part of their personality, or just exist in it because they have to exist somewhere. Neutral really represents two very different attitudes: "I don't care about it" and "I strive to not let the two extremes get too extreme". Weak Neutral is what I call the first one, and I feel that Dvalin is there. He cares about oaths and procedure and law. He doesn't care of the oaths are evil or good, if the procedures are fair or not, etc. Just that they exist, and must be followed. The avatar, in short, of the uncaring wheels of government, which don't care of results as much as they care that things are done in orderly fashion.

    (I may have been watching a bit too much Yes, Minister clips lately)

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    https://dilbert.com/strip/1996-10-04

    Specifically the lines:
    "You don't care how bad our internal processes are, as long as they're well documented and used consistently?"
    "That's right."

  21. - Top - End - #441
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    I still have some difficulty with the idea that it's improbable of a council/committee to keep following a set of rules despite them being outdated and flaw-ridden.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    I still have some difficulty with the idea that it's improbable of a council/committee to keep following a set of rules despite them being outdated and flaw-ridden.
    I dont think anybody is arguing that its horrifically unlikely, just that its stupid. And i dont want to read a story about stupid politicians causing problems. I get enough of that in reality. Besides which, plots based on key members being wildly stupid are, IMO, poor in general. If theres going to be a problem, dont have the protagonist be the only one with enough common sense to fix it. It just begs the question of how they got so far in the first place without being destroyed or forced to change.
    “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.”

  23. - Top - End - #443
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    My understanding of the motivations of Dvalin and the council is that they have extreme faith in the long-term value of The System, and thus refuse to violate procedure to address the immediate crisis.

    The proper way to deal with an accusation of vampiric domination is to appoint an inquisitor to fully investigate the matter. Otherwise how can they distinguish between a real domination and a "scurrilous attack on a council member's good character"?

    Even if it seems super clear-cut in this case, the rule of law and upholding of due process for the accused outweighs any short-term benefit of circumventing procedure.
    Last edited by Hyoi; 2020-10-29 at 12:02 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #444
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyoi View Post
    My understanding of the motivations of Dvalin and the council is that they have extreme faith in the long-term value of The System, and thus refuse to violate procedure to address the immediate crisis.
    I’ll go a step further: Dvalin isn’t a person. Dvalin is a god.

    We might expect people to act like people. But gods are not people, and it’s a mistake to assume that a god should act like a person.

    Dvalin is an infinite object that transcends time and space that represents the concept and ideal of dwarven law.

    Dvalin isn’t a thing that can just stop being Dvalin because it’s not convenient to be Dvalin for a while.

    Dvalin is... Dvalin.
    Last edited by Dion; 2020-10-29 at 04:32 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #445
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Wasnt the whole point of the godsmoot arc to demonstrate that the gods are people too, who are fallible and flawed? They dont have free will, but they arent computers either.
    “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.”

  26. - Top - End - #446
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Vampire is a template. They remain dwarves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Thats actually likely not accurate. Dvalin is a (demi)god who was previously a mortal, which means that there was sufficient dwarven will and respect behind him to empower him to that state. The other times weve heard of such an event going on, it was an effort of nearly the entire race to muster that kind of power and worship. So to that end, its likely he was actually "voted" to be there, under a certain use of "vote".
    Not necessarily. Dwarves had enough belief in "the law must be obeyed to the letter" than they made a god out of the concept. While individuals can serve as a focus, the gods have been made out to be mostly made out of ideas. And Dvalin is the recycling of a dead mortal that most closely stuck to this idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Dvalin is a huge moron, and your analogy does not really work. What we have in the comic is more like „terrorists take the parliament hostage and send a video message to the minister of foreign affairs (who's attending a summit) on which the speaker (with a gun to their head) tells him the parliament decided he must declare war on the world via killing all the other attendees.” If the minister does just that, he's a cretin.
    I'm not sure which analogy of mine doesn't work, but neither does yours. As I said, there are no RL equivalent to this. I don't believe the power to declare war rests with the minister of foreign affairs in any country. That's kind of a pretty big power to delegate to such a person. But in any case, even if we go with the hypothetical scenario in which the minister of foreign affairs has the authority to declare war (or not), then this in itself makes the analogy improper, because the distinction is that Dvalin presumably does *not* have the authority to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Thats actually likely not accurate. Dvalin is a (demi)god who was previously a mortal, which means that there was sufficient dwarven will and respect behind him to empower him to that state. The other times weve heard of such an event going on, it was an effort of nearly the entire race to muster that kind of power and worship. So to that end, its likely he was actually "voted" to be there, under a certain use of "vote".
    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    I still have some difficulty with the idea that it's improbable of a council/committee to keep following a set of rules despite them being outdated and flaw-ridden.
    Seriously. The council had a ton of rules to help protect them. But, *gasp*, they didn't foresee vampiric domination. How implausible is it that a rule-heavy system might contain a few loopholes to exploit? Not the least, in my book...

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    I dont think anybody is arguing that its horrifically unlikely, just that its stupid. And i dont want to read a story about stupid politicians causing problems. I get enough of that in reality. Besides which, plots based on key members being wildly stupid are, IMO, poor in general. If theres going to be a problem, dont have the protagonist be the only one with enough common sense to fix it. It just begs the question of how they got so far in the first place without being destroyed or forced to change.
    Vampires are really rare, goodsmoots are maybe rare, and votes on the destruction of the world are probably super rare. So, the opportunities the elders had to hash this out are... probably "never before". That council is also said to not very very representative of the dwarves anymore, it's an ancient institutions held by a bunch of senile aristocrats.

    Furthermore, the intelligence of the elders is not a crucial plot point, because more than half of them were dominated anyways. How smart the rest of them are is pretty irrelevant. Durkon's solution is really "thinking outside the box", also self-sacrificing, I don't think it implausible that none of the other elders would have considered breaking the table. As for Dvalin, he's just a rubber stamper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyoi View Post
    My understanding of the motivations of Dvalin and the council is that they have extreme faith in the long-term value of The System, and thus refuse to violate procedure to address the immediate crisis.

    The proper way to deal with an accusation of vampiric domination is to appoint an inquisitor to fully investigate the matter. Otherwise how can they distinguish between a real domination and a "scurrilous attack on a council member's good character"?

    Even if it seems super clear-cut in this case, the rule of law and upholding of due process for the accused outweighs any short-term benefit of circumventing procedure.
    Is it so super clear cut, though? We the readers get swirly eyes. In-game, dominated people aren't so obvious, you need to roll a check to notice it as far as I remember. The lack of caution on the council's part is not the smartest move, but the abundance of people out there eating tide pods or drinking bath water or bleach is making me not mind as much anymore for characters making dumb decisions in fantasy stories.
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    Spoiler: LotR
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    The scouring of the Shire never happened. That's right. After reading books I, II, and III, I stopped reading when the One Ring was thrown into Mount Doom. The story ends there. Nothing worthwhile happened afterwards. Middle-Earth was saved.

  27. - Top - End - #447
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    Is it so super clear cut, though? We the readers get swirly eyes. In-game, dominated people aren't so obvious, you need to roll a check to notice it as far as I remember.
    I think the cause for concern is less the swirly eyes and more the vampire standing in plain view behind them and whispering in their ears.

    But still, that's the inquisitor's call to make, and at that point nobody knew what the vote was about. A less world-shattering vote could probably be undone later once the inquisition was done if it was determined that domination had interfered with the vote.

  28. - Top - End - #448
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    Default Re: What alignment is Oona?

    Think of all the times in your life you’ve had this conversation:

    A: thats stupid
    B: thats the rules
    A: the rules are stupid
    B: but they’re still the rules

    You’ve had that conversation a thousand times. You’ve been on both sides of that conversation. That conversation is probably 5,000 years old. That conversation will never, ever end, until we’re all either dead or replaced with super intelligent hive mind AI. It probably won’t end then.

    Honestly, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that a deliberative body would follow the rules. It would have interfered with my suspension of disbelief lief if they *had not* followed the rules, because that so rarely happens.
    Last edited by Dion; 2020-10-29 at 04:45 PM.

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