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Did you kill Harmke?

Harmke  

119 members have voted

  1. 1. Did you kill Harmke

    • Yes
      82
    • No
      37


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There should be consequences for letting the guilty murderers go free. At some later point the wood cutters and Harmke should burn down another family if you let them go. Something to show you that letting murderers go unpunished is a bad idea.

As others have said there is no logical reason for that to occur, and if we were to go with consequences like that then the consequence of the PC killing the woodcutters should be them getting arrested and sentenced for murder (which actually would make sense and is a bit weird that you don't get arrested for that thinking about it).

 

 

 

Who does Devil of Caroc kill besides the people who burned down her village and killed every man women and child that lived there?

 

I'd blame Galvino for forcing her to acquire his test subjects.

 

There is nothing in game that shows Devil killing anyone who does not have it coming.

 

Harmke and his buddies had already won the war against Raedceres but they wanted more. They went out and burned down a village for the crime of not suicidally attacking an army. If someone thinks that sparing these murderers is a "good" action then we have really different definitions of what good is.  Holding harmke and his mob accountable brings them to Justice, letting them get away with it is an injustice.

 

Devil outright states that she burns down homes with people other than her intended target in them, including families and children who had nothing to do with it, and states she does not care about that.  So actually she does kill innocents, she's actually no different from the people she is killing for burning down her village.  

 

As Lychnidos says, this is a poorly motivated quest, I am actually quite disappointed in it.  I kinda expected that it would be expanded more with Part 2, but as far as I have seen there isn't anything more to her quest.  I know that many of the companion quests are intended to be 'disappointing' but I like them, Devil's I kinda feel like its too rushed and over too quickly.


"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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Never underestimate the strength of peer pressure. Mob mentality is a powerful thing, and it's clear from the flashback that he was worried they'd turn on him if he looked weak. What was he supposed to do:

 

A) attack an angry mob by himself with no weapons trying to defend a town of craven traitors and be instantly killed.

OR

B) throw a damn torch at a house and at least look like he's taking part

How about

 

C.) Stay home and not commit a massacre of civilians?

He didn't consider them civilians, he considered them traitors.

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Never underestimate the strength of peer pressure. Mob mentality is a powerful thing, and it's clear from the flashback that he was worried they'd turn on him if he looked weak. What was he supposed to do:

 

A) attack an angry mob by himself with no weapons trying to defend a town of craven traitors and be instantly killed.

OR

B) throw a damn torch at a house and at least look like he's taking part

How about

 

C.) Stay home and not commit a massacre of civilians?

He didn't consider them civilians, he considered them traitors.
So did he or did he not think murdering them was the right thing to do?

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However morally reprehensible he is, it's clear the Devil surpassed him in terms of being evil.

 

 

So seeking vengeance on the people who burned down your village is more evil than the people who burned down your village in the first place???????

 

Wow.

  • Like 5

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Yeah, Harmke and all of his buddies are horrible people, with no valid mitigating circumstance. Devil....it's hard to tell. She said she never checked to see if they were alone, so she could have some innocent blood on her hands. Which wouldn't be justified at all, and make her a monster. We don't really know though for certain though.

 

I guess a 3rd option would have to be the old 'revenge is empty' argument for Devil, and not lie that he wasn't the one. As Devil does indeed find out after killing the man, revenge won't make change anything. Of course, Justice is still a thing, so as soon as she walks off screen, Aloth should fireball them so they can all burn alive, getting the best of both worlds.

 

I mean, Durance could burn them alive, too, but he kinda deserves to be on that pyre as well.

Edited by Teioh_White
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Never underestimate the strength of peer pressure. Mob mentality is a powerful thing, and it's clear from the flashback that he was worried they'd turn on him if he looked weak. What was he supposed to do:

 

A) attack an angry mob by himself with no weapons trying to defend a town of craven traitors and be instantly killed.

OR

B) throw a damn torch at a house and at least look like he's taking part

How about

 

C.) Stay home and not commit a massacre of civilians?

He didn't consider them civilians, he considered them traitors.
So did he or did he not think murdering them was the right thing to do?

 

If they're traitors it's not murder, it's capital punishment.

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Well, I don't think we're given any evidence the state (i.e. the Duc) ever makes some proclamation that Cold Morn are traitors, and needed to be rewarded as a traitor deserves. So, trying to defend the murder with something that's only a defense as a State action...doesn't really work. Dudes were just emotional rednecks who did some horrible stuff, and deserve to be put in the ground.

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If anyone's interested, here's her (gorgeously written, imo) ending slides:

 

    <Entry>
      <ID>17</ID>
      <DefaultText>Harmke's death had brought the Devil of Caroc little satisfaction. In time, her taste for vengeance soured. What replaced it was a hunger to feel something - anything - new.

Summer had thinned the snowpack twice over when she felt the joint at her elbow first begin to stiffen. She turned her back on the hopes of animancy and civilization and walked east.</DefaultText>
      <FemaleText />
    </Entry>
    <Entry>
      <ID>18</ID>
      <DefaultText>Releasing Harmke left the Devil of Caroc with a gnawing dissatisfaction that continued to eat at her long after the Watcher confronted Thaos.

She resumed her search for the men and women who had razed Cold Morn, clinging to the hope that enacting her revenge might one day allow her to feel something.</DefaultText>
      <FemaleText />
    </Entry>
    <Entry>
      <ID>19</ID>
      <DefaultText>Bank Node 19</DefaultText>
      <FemaleText />
    </Entry>
    <Entry>
      <ID>21</ID>
      <DefaultText>She pushed through the mountains, past Readceras, and into the broad plains of Ixamitl. She had forgotten what it was like to simply journey, no goal or destination in mind. 

Though she felt nothing more than the steady thump of her feet on the road, the endless horizons and grassy meadows were new to her. She measured her time in the gradual rusting of her body and was satisfied.</DefaultText>
      <FemaleText />
    </Entry>
    <Entry>
      <ID>22</ID>
      <DefaultText>Yet as she hunted and killed, the futility of her actions grew like a leaden weight in her gut. Her movements grew stiff and sluggish as her zeal deserted her. 

One day, she found herself surrounded in Maiden Falls. As she tried to fight back against the villagers, she felt her arms stick in their sockets and her legs buckle beneath her. 

The villagers tore her body apart and shattered its segments while she screamed, feeling none of it.</DefaultText>
      <FemaleText />
    </Entry>
    <Entry>
      <ID>23</ID>
      <DefaultText>Her movements slowed, but so did the world around her. Waist-high grasses undulated and tacked in the wind, as gradual as the tides. Sparrows and blackjays made steady pilgrimages across the sky, each flap of their wings a solemn salute.

She could hardly move when she found something she had never seen before - the ocean. With the last of her strength, she pulled herself beneath the waves, content at last to feel the movement of currents and the constant caress of the waves.</DefaultText>
      <FemaleText />
    </Entry>

 



The variation in response for this is interesting. I find it particularly interesting that some people didn't find it a difficult choice at all, and out of those people most made the choice to kill Harmke.

Personally, I didn't do it, because I don't believe in the death penalty in real life, so why should I believe in it in a video game? Especially when it wasn't about serving justice or preventing future crimes, but satisfying bloodlust. It did give me pause though.

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Well, I spent a year doing capital defense (I don't recommend it), so it's not like I'm some big death penalty guy. But in reality, the alternative is always life in prison. It's never 'go along your merry way, all is forgiven'. It's not really useful comparison.

 

That'd be more like, dudes been rotting in a cell for 10 years, and is on track to do so for the rest of his life. And then Devil wants to go down there and murder him. That's an easy choice to find what's 'right'. Not the guy's been unpunished for 15 years, and according to the townsfolk, still brags about it.

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Well, I don't think we're given any evidence the state (i.e. the Duc) ever makes some proclamation that Cold Morn are traitors, and needed to be rewarded as a traitor deserves. So, trying to defend the murder with something that's only a defense as a State action...doesn't really work. Dudes were just emotional rednecks who did some horrible stuff, and deserve to be put in the ground.

Sounds to me like the government was tying itself in too many knots with red tape to carry out justice so it was up to good honest citizens to do what had to be done.

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Well, I spent a year doing capital defense (I don't recommend it), so it's not like I'm some big death penalty guy. But in reality, the alternative is always life in prison. It's never 'go along your merry way, all is forgiven'. It's not really useful comparison.

 

That'd be more like, dudes been rotting in a cell for 10 years, and is on track to do so for the rest of his life. And then Devil wants to go down there and murder him. That's an easy choice to find what's 'right'. Not the guy's been unpunished for 15 years, and according to the townsfolk, still brags about it.

 

I don't know that the player is qualified to make that kind of a judgement, particularly if they have been traipsing round with someone like Durance, who also proudly participated in the purges.

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I dunno, the dork with who can literally peer into someones past to see the truth of a matter seems to be in a decent position.

 

And Durance tends to have a date with Skein.

 

Edit: Though I also guess in a meta sense, passing extrajudicial judgements is sorta a core thing that CRPGs protags just do, and we all implicitly accept they have that power. Instead, we debate when* they should exercise that power, not so much if they have it.

Edited by Teioh_White
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The Utilitarian judgement, as usual, seems to be sorely lacking. 

 

Doesn't matter if he's a murderer or not- Stalwart (your employers) is a dying town. 

It depends on men like that for lumber, labor, and warmth. In the longer run, it's going to depend on them for children. 

 

Killing one guy is maybe justifiable. Killing five or six? No Bueno. 

Edited by Parasol_Syndicate
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Magran's fire casts light in Dark Places...

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While Harmke killed innocent people he did it to save his own life, under the pressure of the crowd. He made a big mistake, however he's a normal guy and I think it isn't justified to kill him and the other lumbers just to punish him. A better option would have been to imprison him without killing anybody.

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People seem to be drawing the lumber jack crowd into this, as if the sentence is being passed on them as well. First, their 'existence' isn't very concrete, just being nameless NPCs. They whole, 'lets murder Hamke' thing never brings them up, and their random death charge on the team isn't even commented on by...anybody. Could very well just RPG convention (like the PC passing various judgments, or random strangers asking them to very personal crap all the dang time). You think if that was supposed to weigh in on it somehow, the writer would've given some weight to that. Or they just messed it up, as Devil's quest was easily the most rushed of them all.

 

Secondly, if we want to consider them as actually there, from what little refers to them in game, they were part of the murder death squad as well. You know, who willingly joined a murder death squad. And had murder deathed who knows how many people till we hit Devil's house memory. Who then murder deathe'd there some more. Seriously, even in our waaay more progressive justice system, that's a hilarious inept defense. That wouldn't fly as Duress, and Duress won't save you from killing an innocent who isn't even threatening you. Combined with some mitigating personal factors and a sympathetic jury, it might save you the needle, but that's it. But this is fantasy land with no real long term prison system that we see, so sword to the head would likely be a sentence.

 

And getting away with crimes because you're...useful? I'm not sure that's a working system of justice. Or at least, it'd be a really warped version of it. Man who owns the factory and keeps a town afloat basically gets free reign to do whatever the hell he wants because otherwise the town would fade away without him? It's that the sort of justice that's supposed to be talking place in Eora? Nevermind that the town becomes so flush with people after the Forge, they've got too many people. No one's going to miss some mass murderers, even for hilarious utility reasons.

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If your reasoning for killing him boils down to "he's a murderer" then cool, but presumably you also killed the Devil herself right after.

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If your reasoning for killing him boils down to "he's a murderer" then cool, but presumably you also killed the Devil herself right after.

 

No because she's a companion and the rules for companions are different  ;)

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Well, I guess in a 'meta' sense that's an argument. Pretty much any RPG protag, and by extension, their companions, are mass murderers. Its unclear how much of that gameplay is meant to actually carry over into the story.

 

In a more 'acceptable reality breaks', often PC's have murderous companions, who if we want to justify their spot in the party tends either be A.) I'm evil too! Lets go kill kittens B.) More Belkar in OotS; PC is essentially a walking Warden, pointing them at bad guys or more often, C.) I think it falls under the 'meta' above, and the story isn't really considering it.

 

But, as for Devil in a 'realistic' view, I touched on her situation in my first post in the topic. It's not just 'he is a murderer' (which has been gone over many times), but leaving his town with a mob of people, with the intent upon leaving and joining the mob, to go march and murder an entire other town. It's textbook. As I mentioned for Devil, it depends on who she killed. Based on the fact she says she burned people in their homes, and didn't check to see if it they were alone, its likely she burned some innocents, making her just as bad. Which I said. It's weird the game doesn't confirm that for us, as it's not like it'd be some hidden information only she'd know, but it's safe to think that's the case.

 

The next is I guess how we consider the whole, getting turned into a copper bot thing on the punishment scale. If we think it is a harsh punishment, then a B arrangement in the above can be applicable. If we think there's no real punishment to thing other than her short sighted whining, go for it.

 

For the record, I always sacrifice Durance to the pool, as he's no better than Harmke. I mean, maybe we could argue insanity in his case, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. I did attempt to get some use out of Devil in the Eyeless, but she was more waterproof than I anticipated.

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Never underestimate the strength of peer pressure. Mob mentality is a powerful thing, and it's clear from the flashback that he was worried they'd turn on him if he looked weak. What was he supposed to do:

 

A) attack an angry mob by himself with no weapons trying to defend a town of craven traitors and be instantly killed.

OR

B) throw a damn torch at a house and at least look like he's taking part

Oh yes the same thing can be said for nazi soldiers... hey they didn't have a choice they followed orders.

 

Actions have consequences... in the end everyone pays one way or another, directly or indirectly.

 

The villagers made a choice and they payed for it afterwards.

The zelots (Harmke and friends) made a choice and they too payed the price.

The Devil payed for her choices as well.

And the watcher... he too faces his troubles of the past... when he meets Iovara and Thaos for the last time.

 

Actions and consequences...

 

On the main question regarding Harmke alone I chose not to lie to her after reading his soul, after all she deserved to know the truth and Harmke deserved to be punished for the crime committed. The end does not justify the means conscious or not he participated in exterminating an entire village of unarmed civilians women, children and elderly. I wouldn't justify him just as I wouldn't justify the nazi, the bloscheviks and the jihadis!

 

The appropriate solution would be to arrest him and present him in front of the local landlord, trial him in a fair trial and provide proof of his crime. If charged guilty punish him according to the present laws.

Edited by Vorad
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No. If I saw my sister turn out like the Devil of Caroc, I'd be damned worse than hell. I don't want my sister to waste her life in seeking revenge, for my revenge. Let the cycle of hate end, let it end with me, with us.

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Her desire for revenge is perfectly justifiable. Also the death penalty thing doesn't really apply here. I despise the death penalty in real life but in Pillars there is no way for the Devil to ensure justice is done other than attempting to kill them herself. There is no authority, no courts for her to go to plead her case. The woodcutters were as guilty as you can be of murder. The fact that a watcher can peer into Harmkes soul and see what really happened leaves absolutely no doubt that he was guilty. Extenuating circumstances..... well there aren't many. Mob rule shouldn't really be an excuse for murder.

Regarding the devil being just as bad a murderer, well that could be debated.... Is she guilty of murder? Yes. Is she mad? Possibly. Has she undergone a ridiculously excessive punishment for her misdeeds. Absolutely.

Bottom line, at the time of the quest, she is the only one out of the whole sorry Cold Morn episode who has paid for her misdeeds.

Everyone else has got off scott free.

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"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Oh yes the same thing can be said for nazi soldiers... hey they didn't have a choice they followed orders.

 

 

Which is why most nazi soldiers were not charged with war crimes, it was the higher ups that were.  The rank and file were allowed to live out the rest of their lives like anyone else.  And hey, only page 3 before Godwin showed up!


"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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You don't even need to go to Godwin for that one, what about stuff like Abu Ghraib that happened in the last couple of decades?

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Which is why most nazi soldiers were not charged with war crimes, it was the higher ups that were.  The rank and file were allowed to live out the rest of their lives like anyone else.  And hey, only page 3 before Godwin showed up!

 

The nazi analogy isn't applicable here anyway. No one ordered the Cold Morn massacre, and the mob had no chain of command that could put the blame solely at the top.

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