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A Paladin's Dilemma

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Anders Ämting, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. A bit of a moral dilemma I thought up:

    There was once a strong and righteous paladin who had sworn a holy oath to always aid the innocent and defenseless and to safeguard them from evil.

    One day he rides by a tower and hears a woman cry for help from the topmost window. She claims to be an innocent maiden who has been imprisoned against her will by an evil knight, who refuses to let her out unless she agrees to marry him. The door to the tower is locked by a magic seal, and the key will only turn for the knight who locked it, or one who has bested him in combat. She pleads to the paladin to kill the knight and release her.

    Moments later the knight himself appears. He tells the paladin that it is true the tower can only be unlocked by himself or whoever defeats him, but claims everything else the maiden said is a lie. According to the knight, the woman is really a terrible monster in disguise; a demon that was sealed in the tower as no man could slay it. He stresses that the door to the tower must never be opened.

    The paladin cannot tell who is lying and who is telling the truth. Whenever one makes a claim, the other claims the opposite. If the maiden is telling the truth, his oath demands that he aid her. But if the knight is telling the truth, the same oath demands that he ensure the tower remains locked.

    What should he do?
  2. Xaysai

    Xaysai Inkling

    Ok, if it were me: I would leave it alone. It's none of my business.

    If I were the Paladin in the story: I think I would have to kill the Knight, free the princess and take my chances that she is not an evil monster, because the alternative is worse (leaving an innocent in the tower).

    I mean, SOMEONE locked the evil monster in the tower, so logic would dictate that they could do it again should I unleash her.
  3. Possibly, but that's not certain. Also, the monster may end up killing many people before that, which means your actions have brought innocents to harm.
  4. Xaysai

    Xaysai Inkling

    Right, but there is a 50/50 chance that the person inside is an innocent. There is also a 50/50 chance that the Knight is evil and may hurt the innocent (or even more innocents), if she doesn't marry him.

    I don't know much about Paladins, but I believe that they wouldn't take the chance of leaving on innocent in harms way for a gamble of people *maybe* being harmed down the line.
  5. Hence the dilemma.

    "Paladin" in this case just means "righteous knight." I thought it would be confusing to be refering to two knights.

    And remember that the woman is only "maybe" an innocent as well.
  6. GregorsMentor

    GregorsMentor Dreamer

    He could always do his due diligence by asking around at the nearby village. Perhaps the knight or the maiden could supply character references.
  7. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    If I were the paladin, I'd kill them both. They could both be evil. That way, he's 100% certain that he destroyed evil.
  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    Okay, things I'd think... Is marrying the knight so bad? I mean, maybe he's a fine example of manhood and wants to care for her forever. He's been knighted, he's probably done something noble in his life, knighthood isn't hereditary. Also, what does his house look like? I mean, the woman might just be spoiled and think she's worth more than she is...

    Okay after thinking about it, like a holy knight ought to, rather than chrging in blind, I will ask the knight and the maiden for proof. Then I will seek out the history of the tower, the area, and the local monsters, searching for confirmation of either story. After that, I will run the information by some high-ranked wizards, asking them to confirm my suspicions (whichever I suspect is lying).

    Once I return, with my team of wizards in tow, and their stacks of books, I will wait for them to confirm or deny the stories of the two, pay them their wizardly fees, and make the appropriate actions.

    If in the event of the matter being settled when I return, I will pass on the wizard's bills to the two, ask them to pay for my troubles, and wish them a happy marriage, blessed with enough children to keep them both busy for the rest of their lives.
  9. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

    Find someone who can use 'Sense Alignment.' :p

    More seriously, I'd probably pursue some kind of test. Based purely on what I know of medieval myth, the proper method would be to have the woman recite the Lord's Prayer. If she does that, as a monster, she should either be converted or destroyed. That would provide the answer.
  10. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Monsters aren't real. Neither are magic locks. Both are lying so I'd leave them be.
    Shockley and Reaver like this.
  11. Phietadix

    Phietadix Archmage

    But this is fantasy both can exist. Slaying them both sounds like the worst option unless he KNOWS that they are both evil. Like others have said, either find more Information, or put them to a test.

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