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Did you kill Harmke?

Harmke  

118 members have voted

  1. 1. Did you kill Harmke

    • Yes
      81
    • No
      37


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I really liked how the game offers 3 options, and if you try to be the typical hedge-your-bets oh-it's-complicated, Devil says screw that, give me an answer. Sure, in a world without dialogue trees you could just go on and on about what you saw, but I think it delivers the point nicely: ultimately, life isn't about giving excuses or talking nuance until the sun sets, it's about making a choice knowing that the situation is always complicated and that something gets lost with either choice. (And that's also the case with Zahua, where there are many reasons for you to argue 'but hey maybe we can still...' - but the point is that you don't let go of the past because everything has truly been concluded, you let go precisely because there's still regrets left.)

 

Anyway, I chose no, because I didn't really consider it to be about judging Harmke, I considered it to be about Devil and her quest. Sometimes we obsess so much about who is to blame and how exactly they should be punished - whether it be celebrities, politicians, people in stories, or those close to us - that we forget what we become in that vindictive process.

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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!

 

Tell that to several of my compatriots who's families were slaughtered by the nazi soldiers who invaded my country during ww2. Sure no trial charged them guilty but does that mean the verdict was fair; they still committed crimes against humanity. Even common criminals nowadays manage once in a while to get clean from justice due to "lack of evidence" while innocents might rot in jail the justice system is not angelically created.

 

By that analogy also the jihadi terrorist the "rank and file" soldiers who rape and murder in the name of their representation of God, they shouldn't be judged for their crimes if caught alive because hey they just follow orders from their "imams" and their religious fanatical warlords, they shouldn't even have been captured and interrogated to begin with.

 

Apparently commenting on such matters It all boils down in the end on where you are from and what's your history.

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The real problem is that there is no real way to choose a “3rd option.”

 

I would've burnt him alive. Wild west justice is what those people deserve.

 

What they did has a name. Its called genocide. Killed women and children in the middle of a night like petty cowards they are. If left unpunished these guys will justify their actions any way they see fit. And who knows who else becomes victim to their bloodlust. 

 

The lack of options makes it really one sided for me. At least what they could've offered was a cool item or a talent for not killing the woodcutters.

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Not wanting to defend Harmke's actions in any way, but no, it is not called genocide.

Genocide is the (attempted) destruction of an ethnic group or culture, usually by murdering them in some way. Killing women and children in one village of your own culture is bad, but it's not genocide. The term has been watered down considerably already, we don't need to continue that.

 

P.S. Killed him.

Edited by Varana
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Therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium. -W.B. Yeats

 

Χριστός ἀνέστη!

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Yes, I killed him.

 

He joined a mob with the intent of burning down houses and murdering people.  The fact he wasn't 100% feeling it when he burned down this particular house doesn't amount to much.

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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.

 

She is arguably already being punished for what she did.

 

Plus, does it ever state she killed innocent parties?  I can't remember a place where it said she murdered whole families.  If she was just killing murderers from Cold Morn - fair game.

Edited by Ontarah

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She said she burned down their houses around them and didn't care if there was anyone else in them. She also fetched a bunch of people for Galvino knowing what would happen to them

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Ah okay.  Her present state is clearly not a respite from punishment though.  She was caught and handed over to be experimented on by an animancer and she loathes her current form.  I'd hardly call that getting away Scott free. 

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Something interesting I found in the Temple of Eothas in Gilded Vale:

 

This small volume of verses and psalms is somewhat battered, suggesting it used to be carried on someone's person. The pages are dog-eared and worn, and the gold threads which form the title of the book have begun to fray. The book tends to open to a particular section, where someone has marked a verse with a small blotch of ink:

 

'Eadnung, the bright star, spoke, and her voice was like a clarion cry, calling his soul forth. He knew her for the Right Hand of the Shining God, and was afraid.

 

"O Wanderer, hear me," she spoke. "You are known to us, and your deeds put you far from salvation." And he wept, for her knew that his sins lay bare before this great illumination.

 

Then Sargamis spoke, and his voice swept forth with the heat and force of the day's sun. "Weep not, for the Child of Light has forgiveness even for you, if you will embrace him."

 

Harmke knelt before them, then, resolved to save himself, and asked what he must do.

 

And Modegund spoke. Her voice was like the songbird's final hymn, bidding farewell to the day's light. "What darkness lies within you, you must cast into His light. Your sins will be burned from you, until you are newly formed, reborn into His keeping."

 

So spoke Modegund, but Eadnung warned him, saying, "You have walked all these years into darkness, and must now return. You will find the path like treading fire, and at every step you will be tempted to turn away. But no harm will come to you, if you keep your faith." '

So it seems that Harmke is named after some figure from Eothasian scripture, a pilgrim who hoped to redeem himself via Eothas. Interesting that what led to Harmke's (potential) death is his part in the sacking of Cold Morn in retaliation for supporting Waidwen's (and thus Eothas') armies. Does allowing the Devil of Caroc to kill Harmke rob him of his chance for redemption?

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Since there was just two options, killing him or letting him go, I have no doubt that the first one is right. Ideally, though, there should be a judgement of some form. But he did kill a lot of people and had plenty of time to be shocked about what he was doing and stop. He didn't. It seems to me that he didn't kill anyone else since Cold Morn, but that doesn't change anything for me.

 

 

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.

 

 

I'm playing as a Bleak Walker and having the best role playing experience I ever had in games, so there was no doubt about what to do there. :fdevil:

 

My character is certainly not qualified for this decision. But I don't think anyone will complain because people are afraid of her. In several moments she was aggressive/cruel and the initially brave or angry npcs lowered their voices.

Edited by InsaneCommander

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Yes

 

Every time

 

And then some

 

Sometimes when I don't have a lot of time to play I load up a save right outside the woodcutter's camp just to kill Harmke before I have to go

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Free games updated 3/6/19

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Yep, but it wasn't the right choice.

I just did it because of my aristocrat going; whatever, my companion wants to kill some peasants so why not.

 

For one, we also killed a bunch of, as far as we know, innocent woodcutters.

 

Devil also pretty much admits she killed a bunch of innocents along with the guilty ones to pursue her vendetta,

so any high and mighty justice must prevail character should just have killed her right there and then.

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It's also possible to take out Harmke without killing the other woodcutters, which is what I usually end up doing.

Walk up to the group with a single character (the Devil is the obvious choice for RP reasons), keep the rest of the party close by on the edge of the map. Deal with Harmke and get away from the rest of the hostile woodcutters (using shadowing beyond, boots of speed, or something similar); if you leave the map and return, they will be gone.

Edited by unfriendly_cat
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It's also possible to take out Harmke without killing the other woodcutters, which is what I usually end up doing.

 

Walk up to the group with a single character (the Devil is the obvious choice for RP reasons), keep the rest of the party close by on the edge of the map. Deal with Harmke and get away from the rest of the hostile woodcutters (using shadowing beyond, boots of speed, or something similar); if you leave the map and return, they will be gone.

 

Why would you not want to kill the other members of the murderous mob that killed every man, woman and child in Cold Morn?

 

The other woodcutters might not have burned down Devil's house, but they were all there at the massacre and they burned down someone's house. They got it coming just like Harmke.

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Why would you not want to kill the other members of the murderous mob that killed every man, woman and child in Cold Morn?

The other woodcutters might not have burned down Devil's house, but they were all there at the massacre and they burned down someone's house. They got it coming just like Harmke.

 

 

Guilt by association? You don't know that.

Some of them might have stayed at home, some might have been children at the time.

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Why would you not want to kill the other members of the murderous mob that killed every man, woman and child in Cold Morn?

The other woodcutters might not have burned down Devil's house, but they were all there at the massacre and they burned down someone's house. They got it coming just like Harmke.

 

 

Guilt by association? You don't know that.

Some of them might have stayed at home, some might have been children at the time.

 

 

In game they state that the woodcutters were all involved with the Cold Morn Massacre and  that they frequently mentioned it as a point of pride. They sound pretty guilty to me.

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Someone could join as a woodcutter at a later date, theoretically speaking.

 

Well Bad Luck is usually a fatal occurrence.

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Here's a funny thing about the world of Pillars and mass murderers. Pillars is loosely based on Europe's mid to late medieval period. The words "law" and "due process" were interpreted differently from place to place and meant something entirely different from what they mean today.

 

Dyrwood is a feudal society in it's late period, but a feudal one never the less and because of that "The word of Roadwarden of Caed Nua is the law in the surrounding lands". By holding that title officially, as long as he holds it your character has the right to judge people under him. So unless your character commits a blatant crime in public, breaks the Duke's law in any other way or gets into a fight with one of his equals or peers, he cannot be judged before the court of law, because "Your word is the law". By this account even Raedric was not guilty of anything by medieval laws. You invading his castle and killing him (if you did) without valid reason or provocation would be wrong by feudal standards, but it would be overlooked by the royal court simply because Raedric was a madman that began destroying his own land (less people, means less income, less income means less taxes and eventually the royal court would have to act, if nothing else, to protect its own interests). But even here your character cannot be blamed directly for killing Raedric, because his brother (another heir to those lands) pleaded to you for help. So you did not invade Raedric's lands, as once the deed was done you surrendered the land to the other heir of the same house. If anyone should be judged by medieval laws it would be Kolsc.

 

The same logic can be applied to Harmke and the rest of the Cold Mourn mob. Since Dyrwood was riled up after the Saint's War it was perfectly normal that the local lord didn't punish the mob in any way (after all he would have to kill or imprison his own servants for what? a few burned traitors?). However it was Harke's misfortune that Stalwart village "pleaded to you for assistance". Inviting a feudal lord into a "lord-less" region was not the smartest move. One could debate that Stalwart is too far away from Caed Nua and the land belongs to someone else and then you could argue that the local lord did nothing, etc,etc...

 

Therefore Harmke was (in my latest play-through) rightfully executed, because my character judged him guilty of a crime. The other woodcutters that were present at the time were judged as accomplices and dealt with accordingly because they dared raise arms against a "nobleman and his retinue" that had just delivered them the White Forge and saved their village from extinction.

 

As for Devil, she is still paying for her crimes, as part of my character's retinue.

 

The lesson of the story: "Don't be stupid enough to raise arms against the Road-warden of Caed Nua."

Edited by Smorensky
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"We must all fear evil men. But there is a kind of evil we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men!"

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The local "lord" was the mayor. I think she accepted everything done by the watcher (at least in my case). So... good riddance Harmke! :dancing:

 

And what will happen with Gilded Vale? I have extraordinary reputation there. Assuming my character didn't abandon Caed Nua as is implied by the ending slides, will the local population start coming to her for assistance? She did "ruin" her reputation (as a Bleak Walker) when she gave 1000 cp to the peasants. No, she is not benevolent, she just wanted to avoid a rebellion while dealing with Gathbin (what is 1000 cp to her? She had over 100000!). I bet they would consider her their new ruler.

 

And yes, I know that extending her lands like that is not how the feudal society works, but the Marshal will certainly tell the erl about those ogres and who won the battle of Yenwood. :biggrin:


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This feels like a missed opportunity to be able to put him in jail. Played the game all the way through 3 times and only had one person in my jail in two of those (one of the Dyrwood bounties and the Orlan hiding out in the White March village's pub. I need more prisoners!

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This feels like a missed opportunity to be able to put him in jail. Played the game all the way through 3 times and only had one person in my jail in two of those (one of the Dyrwood bounties and the Orlan hiding out in the White March village's pub. I need more prisoners!

I agree on this one. Placing him in a dungeon would have added a nice twist to Devil's quest. But as it stands now in the game, your "dungeon" doesn't really have much impact on the game which is a shame.


"We must all fear evil men. But there is a kind of evil we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men!"

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There were so many npcs I wanted to arrest. The Hylea priestess in Oldsong, the mercenary that talks to the Watcher in Cragholdt buffs... Even playing as a Bleak Walker I wanted to arrest them and have them flogged for their insolence.

 

There can never be too many prisoners. If the dungeons get full, just sell to the slavers or animancers.


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I slaughtered a small nation worth of people, how am I expected to remember just one? Please add an "Apathy is death!" option to the poll.

  • Like 4

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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In the game context you play an outsider, someone who came from another country and culture and who could not care less about the story of Cold Morn.

You are not from Raedceras or Dyrwood, so unless you are a first world hippie pacifist from Earth or a lawful good paladin teleported from Forgotten Realms you should not be too emotionally invested in this situation.

 

Yes, Harmke is guilty, but what happened in Cold Morn has absolutely no relation to your personal story. So when you go out of your way and travel for eight hours into the cold wilderness to dispense some justice on a person you've never heard of before (and murder a dozen woodcutters some of whom may have never set foot in Cold Morn in the first place) - admit it: you do it because it is a quest that you feel a compulsion to complete in a Role Playing Game. There is no personal gain in this - you just randomly travel to a distant location to kill someone just because you can.

As a boreal dwarf or a pale elf from the edge of the known world why would you even care about something that happened years ago during some war in some country a thousand miles away from your homeland?

Yet when a murderous animat (who hypothetically would have no moral qualms to capture you in your sleep and bring you to Galvino for some horrible experiments) asks you to go stab a guy just because the latter is "guilty" - you eagerly oblige.

 

Do you also return to Defiance Bay in Act 3 and kill all Dozens members just because they participated in mob justice? Do you go on a rampage in the Doemenel's mansion on every playthrough beacause they are terrible people?

 

(And by the way - you don't even have a 100% proof that all the woodcutters, that you slaughter just because they have chosen to protect their fellow worker from a random adventurer with a magical sword, are members of the lynching mob from Cold Morn. You base your judgement against them on hearsay - some hardcore justice right there.)

 

There is a similar problem with Raedric - you pass through a village terrorized by the local lord and decide that you absolutely have to take on an entire castle full of armed guards because some guy named Kolsc asked you to sympathize with him for greater justice.

Edited by smilehigh
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