2012-10-07, 04:31 PM (ISO 8601)
Re: Goblins IX: For that, you shall DIE!
Slow down there buddy. You're reading quite a bit more into this than exists. Let's start:
Originally Posted by ChowGuy
I didn't say Duv was born with an alignment. In point of fact, I stated that Celestial and Fiends are born with alignments, and then separately stated the pros and cons of the Half-Celestial and Half-Fiend templates. Now, lemme go back into more detail:
Malgubliyet is evil. There really is no arguing this - his alignment is listed as evil, he grants the Evil domain to his clerics, dude's evil. With that in mind, with gods that doesn't always spell the be-all, end-all of their relationship with their worshipers. For one thing, Malgubliyet can have non-evil clerics; for another, Malgubliyet's portfolios (spheres of divine authority) are not, of necessity, evil in and of themselves. However, it does affect goblin culture quite a bit.
Consider: Malgubliyet is the supreme god of goblinkind, and only Bugbears really have any division on this issue (their god doesn't consider goblins the equals of his worshipers). You will find his priests among all three species of goblinkind, and by far the most common alignment for them is Neutral Evil. Malgubliyet has two Lawful Evil allies and one Chaotic Evil semi-ally (and by 'ally' I mean 'vicious rival who happens to be in the same pantheon) and is therefore more likely to have Lawful Evil clerics than True Neutral or Chaotic Evil ones. That's 3/4 alignments as being evil for those he favors spiritually. While goblins are not born evil, there is a strong tendency towards apathetic evil in their culture - that is, Malgubliyet's doctrines actively encourage a selfish disregard for non-goblin life.
However, the goblin version of evil is normally a fairly far cry from the blood-drinking, puppy kicking evil you'll see in other parts of the D&Dverse. Goblins are selfish and mistrustful, not necessarily malevolent. Goblins will honor trade agreements and alliances - as long as those agreements and alliances favor them. They don't start wars unless they think that war is the best way to get what they want or need. They deal equitably with other powers. Malgubliyet's doctrines emphasize preparedness, cooperation with goblinkind, mistrust of outsiders and having contingencies - he can be described as 'cold-blooded', not frothing. I was wholly unsurprised that Duv began her quest by not inciting violence, because she would have gained nothing by doing so.
However, in addition to all of this Malgubliyet is the god of goblins. All goblins - good, evil, lawful, chaotic, Malgubliyet has authority over and responsibility for them all. Malgubliyet and his allies are currently (Grayhawk timeline, as of 3.5) making strides to maintain and recapture the worship of non-evil factions of goblinkind, and he's doing so by being tolerant of reinterpretations of his doctrines. No, a CG goblin can never be a cleric of Malgubliyet, but he might be part of a sect of his church that emphasizes cooperative preparedness against disaster. No, an LN goblin probably won't receive direct divine favor, but he won't find his worship turned away. If other races threaten a conclave of non-traditional goblins, Malgubliyet and his followers offer their aid. Whether or not such good-aligned goblins accept it is, I suppose, on them and their consciences.
Duv wasn't born with an alignment. No goblin is. But it's pretty clear that the Viper clan exhibits a lot of the traits that make Malgubliyet and his typical devoted followers evil, including a disregard for the life and dignity of other sapient beings. At the moment, I'd call Duv a devoted NE follower of her patron god, dedicated to the advancement of goblinkind at the cost of any races that get in her way. Whether or not that changes is between her and her patron.
And that's the key thing that makes Kore and those like him wrong - these people DO have the capacity to change. Just because their gods are evil (and they are, without exception, evil) doesn't mean THEY have to be. Yes, they USUALLY are - but usually isn't enough to appoint oneself judge, jury, and executioner. Kore treats all sapient beings like their fates are set in stone, and is evil as a result, just as the ranger totally failed to respect the lives, dignity or even sapience of his victims and was thus also evil. You just need to remember that this works both ways - evil done to evil beings is still evil, and just because large numbers of goblins are legitimately the victims of these people doesn't automatically mean they're good.
As far as the GAP, we know at least one is good-aligned and the others possibly are as well. They seem to have come from a tribe mostly concerned with tradition and survival, rather than the advancement of goblinkind and piety, which means that they never really got indoctrinated into the beliefs that make Malgubliyet's church a majority-evil organization. Young and Beautiful was probably TN, and seemed to be a fairly decent leader as far as those things went. Yet another example of why smite-on-sight is not acceptable.