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In defense of Ghostblade - Response to Rob's BTS video

Rob said that Ghostblade is a character who does not deserve freedom. I somewhat disagree. Ghostblade is a very complicated character; he is a murderer, a victim, and probably even a psychopath at this point. He is certainly not without flaw; to state the obvious, he kills people. Innocents even, and I do agree that from our perspective as people who live in a more civilized world, we would view people like Ghostblade to be among the most deranged and psychotic killers. But can we step back and consider for a moment some of the other characters whom we deem to be the heroes of this show? Every single elf that has ever canonically existed hates goblins and views them to be lower than vermin, the entire grand paladin order that supposedly serves justice wishes to kill every ageless -- innocent or malevolent -- without exception. There is so much evil running free and rampant in the world of urealms, but what makes Ghostblade a character that shouldn't be free? Being an assassin may not be the noblest profession, but at least he doesn't pretend to be virtuous like some characters that we know and have grown to love.

Rob, you said it yourself, there is no good or evil in urealms, so why is Ghostblade an exception to this rule?


  • Personally, I had hoped that through giving Ghostblade freedom she would

    1) Attempt to revive the Beenu race from the brink of extinction
    2) Become a better person because of it

    Maybe that won't happen though. We'll see.
  • Honestly i just thought that having a powerful assassin with a powerful god-killing dagger loose in the realm would be more interesting of a story then the "Who-knows-what" that the suffering option offered. Ghostblade is the kind of character who can change the politics of the world in a single swing, cut down powerful and influential leaders like the Grand Paladin, the Veiled queen, Quintara Lotus, or probably even Bopen. This would send all their followers into a ruckus, weakening them while they try to establish a new leadership and really change the game in general.

    If any one organization is getting too powerful or too stale for the story, Ghostblade can be the one who ends it, and i don't think anybody would dispute that.
  • Rob
    edited May 2018
    The ONLY thing we have seen Ghostblade do in campaigns is kill innocents. 
    Rob, you said it yourself, there is no good or evil in urealms, so why is Ghostblade an exception to this rule?

    This is a great example of a why I don't like doing BTS. You have misunderstood the context of my original thought. When I said their is no "good or evil" in urealms, what I was getting at is that neither the Grand Paladin Order or the Ageless are right or wrong. I said this to point out I am making a story in which it isn't just the good guys vs the bad guys. Taking that thought and applying it to me saying "Ghostblade is evil" is just goofy because that's my opinion of Ghostblade the character right now. Ghostblade is evil because uhh they have done NOTHING other then evil shit.

    Ghostblade is not without flaws? Ghostblade is ONLY flaws so far when it comes to his actions.

    She stole a powerful relic from her mother that lead to the death of her other mother.
    While she was brought up with murder in her life, she CHOSE that life over what Lyn was offering her to become (perhaps without warmth).
    In a fit of rage, she blamed the death of her mother on innocents.
    Out of some backwards logic she decided to honor her mother by killing a Dwarven King just because her mother always had beef with him.
    He joins Bopens crew to kill for literally the sake of it until he is tricked, poisoned, and captured by the sandbolds to suffer what is effectively old god jail. 

    So how exactly is Ghostblade not evil using our own moral guidelines? The only person who thinks Ghostblade isn't evil right now is Ghostblade. You as a person are judged by your actions and very few would judge ghostblade as anything other than evil right now.

    edit: on more piece on Goblins btw. Goblins are not considered people by MOST RACES IN THE REALM. So comparing the killing of elves/dwarves to goblins does not make sense. Do you believe a murderer in our world is as bad as a farmer who harvests cattle? Why? That farmer is killing an innocent creature are they not? You can say goblins are more person like then cows, but does that make it any better? Sure a farmer kills for a reason, but are you sure the killing of goblins isn't for a reason as well? Does Ghostblade kill for any reason other then selfish drive and pleasure? Comparing Elves to killing Goblins doesn't work when the entire world views them as lesser life forms just like how we few animals we consume. It's just a bad argument to make here.
  • Rob
    edited May 2018
    @TamTroll Suffering was way more interesting imo because you would see and understand Ghostblades character direction soon. Instead of punishing a wicked assassin with the suffering, the old gods have pushed that terrible fate onto a random character who may up being so much undeserving of a terrible fate. 
  • Can we please take this "There is no good or evil/only shades of grey" mentality to the back of a shed and unload some buckshot into it like Old Yeller?
  • @Rob But what's more fun then a horrible person getting a redemption arc eh? "Wrong man in the right place" and all that? :peace:  /joke

  • Eh, well.

    The nature of the choice, in my opinion, was somewhat collectivist. Ghostblade is clearly messed up, there's little doubt of it, but in context, they are the last of their kind, and we saw the ones who raised them eradicate their entire race. It comes off as an absolute tragedy that the last of the beenu would be the one chosen for such a fate, given the circumstances, no matter what kind of person they are.

    It's not really reasoning that stands up to individual moral scrutiny. Ghostblade is a fairly safe choice from a moral perspective if we had to choose a being to suffer, they are actively a bad person. I guess though that they're the type of being many like to see get a second chance, get "reborn", as it were.

    I remember thinking at the time that I wanted to see them fly away from everything.  Although, in retrospect, fairly sure beenu can't fly.
  • edited May 2018
    I just feel bad for Ghostblade because of how awful her upbringing must have been, having one of your parents 'hate' you must've caused atleast a little trauma
    Edit: also the stuff with Quintara would definitely have cause a lot of trauma 
  • Good and evil is quite a subjective term, and it's not binary. Some would consider certian acts evil while others would consider them good. Like in the purge, Lance fans would consider the act of killing him more evil than fans of the party of players. 
    like it or not, we can't escape the lack of pure good and pure evil, not in real life and nlt in URealms, because then you'd have awful motivations like "I killed them because I'm Evil!".

    I think the reason we're so quick to defend Ghostblade is that they've only really Attacked and fought against Jimmies, people we don't care about, and Divines, characters who wouldn't really die.

    If Ghostblade actually killed someone we care about, like a previous player character, I think it would be a lot easier to pick suffering, even if Ghostblade had a good reason to kill them.

    And hey! Ghostblade was raised by a couple of Assassins, of course they're gonna view the proffession in a good light and have a good reason to pick it. I don't think it's justified to pick the proffession, but it's not inheretly evil. And the main reason they go on a killing spree is to avenge/fulfil the last wish of their mom that loved them and was supportive of them.

    Ghostblade may not be good, heck they may even be evil, but I don't think choosing suffering would cause them to kill less people. How would we know it wouldn't cause them to kill more people? That being said though, I chose Suffering, but only to see what the fate worse than death was sooner.
  • Im definitely on the side of Ghostblade not being evil, at least we can’t blame her for being evil anymore than we can Lyn. 

    if you look at it the only reason Ghostblade does what she does can be blamed on us, the first time we see Ghostblade was form a donation event. Then we rewarded Lyn with a child, which we have reason to think she wasn’t a good mother to, being why Ghostblade followed Bei Mei, to the point where I would say Bei Mei may have been the only one Ghostblade loved, and she reached the way she was brought up to think she should. So we made here the way she is just like Lyn. Ghostblade does do some awful things, but I don’t think it comes close to the extinction of a race like Lyn has done. 

    And as maelstrom said In the preview, can one truly be evil without free will. 

    Freedom is better then suffering, because now Ghostblade is sinned, I would argue she is one of the most interesting characters to get sinned so far. She could be a way for the old gods to source justice through the realm in our own way if we wish.
  • @Rob Looking at it logically yes, Ghostblade is an incredibly evil character, but I don't think it's a surprise that people chose freedom.

    "The only person who doesn't think Ghostblade is evil right now, is Ghostblade." 
    That's the exact thing, people just spend almost an entire campaign watching the world through almost entirely the eyes of Ghostblade and the people like Ghostblade, and were than told to make this snap decision, of course a majority would then decide Ghostblade should be freed. 
  • edited May 2018
    [Sorry for the wall of text]
    I would have been with Rob opinion that Ghostblade is evil before the Last Beenu, but this campaign changed everything I thought about Ghostblade. Now we know that:

    - Ghostblade was raised by a mother who hated her or at least showed no sympathy, and by a mother who wanted him to become an assassin.
    - She grew in an environment where the assassins were glorified, and where the only person who didn't want her to have this life was the mother who hated her.
    - She decided to become an assassin probably to get some recognition from Lyn.
    - Yes, she choosed to stay with Bei Mei, because it was the only person who showed her love.
    - Yes, she stole the dagger, but it's the Old Gods that cursed it and killed Bei Mei, not Ghostblade.
    - When she died, Ghostblade decided to realize the will of his mother by killing because it's the only thing he learned by having a genocidal and an assassin parent.

    So, regarding those points, I would say that the "evil" in ghostblade is at least 50% her parent's fault, she didn't have any control on her education and growth as a person who was raised where death and killing was the norm.

    And after killing the Dwarven King, she had a chance to redeem herself for the murder she already committed. If Lyn would have found her before Quintara, she would have probably tried to stop her from becoming an assassin and used her for "the good of the Realm" and then Ghostblade wouldn't have become "evil".

    But Quintara decided to get revenge, to inflict suffering on Ghostblade. Quintara broke Ghostblade, by mutilating him and show him true pain. At that point, nothing could save him. When he tried to do "good" by following her mother will, he was punished. Nobody tried to stop him from killing, nobody else in the Realm wanted to give him love, what was he supposed to do ? Stops killing, stop, the only thing he was taught ? He had nothing to do but kill, because nothing in this world was left for him, only death and suffering.

    At this point, it doesn't seem that he choose to be "evil" but that everything in the Realm lead him to it. And that doesn't completely excuse his action. But causing him even MORE suffering isn't fair. His life was a wheel of pain and death; suffering was inflicted on him and he inflicted suffering on others, again and again and again. Why not break the circle? Why not break the circle of suffering and pain she was always part of.
    Nobody deserves this fate worst than death, not even Ghostblade. Putting even more suffering in her life will never be the answer.
  • @Dalard Regarding nobody deserving a fate worse than death, "nobody" is no longer an option. Next person to die on a one gets it, and it could be anybody. Somebody the fans love. A shitty magician, a MASTER CABALIST :evilsmile: , a Gnomish mega-berserker, DUKE! DARING!, or some kobold kids. The argument of deserving is MOST deserving. Some body has to suffer this fate because we have been paying for our favorite characters to be saves from death, so the argument is that the most morally reprehensible characters would be fine candidates.

    To put my opinion on the overall matter, I'm glad Ghostblade was spared, because I want that destructive force in the realm, especially now that he can hear us. Yes, I am an evil Old God. 
  • @GypsyCow you are not fully correct, the next player character to die to a natural death roll, that means it is going to be one of the new characters that week, and it wont be predicted. it is very unlikely that it will be a fan favorite. it will most likely be a new character we hardly know.
  • player character just means they were made by the players. @kreeperkiller63
  • My opinion on the divine decision is that Ghostblade has suffered enough, being born to a vile person like Lyn Azveltara (who herself has been twisted by the order of chaos) and being raised so horribly. Secondly, I personally disliked how Ghostblade was imprisoned by Maelstrom and the previous ailments brought upon him (although it was hilarious in the moment). Ghostblade up to that point had the potential to be amazingly bad ass (though, I suppose it sort of spawned this campaign and look into GB's checkered past to create a more full backstory for him). Lastly, I don't think I wanted any character in the campaign, who are effectively caught at this point, to bear a sin. I don't think any of the characters in the campaign, except maybe Justin's, deserved the enlightenment or terror that the sin brings. Nor could much story be derived from sinning one of the characters (maybe an escape campaign but, eh..).

    My final point I'm giving is that Ghostblade now has access to the same information as Maelstrom does (given that they're both sinned? Or atleast, we can talk to sinned characters in the order of chaos thread including Maelstrom). Given that Ghostblade has Junkyosha, he may be able (although the chance is small) to kill (or debilitate) Maelstrom and stop him from destroying the tranquility of the Realm.
  • I just want to say that yes, Ghostblade technically did do some terrible and inexcusable things in the time they were present in the world. But as we've seen in many cases in the show, the person they became was forced upon them, and not everything they did would have been done under a different upbringing. I mean, in Ghostblade's eyes, he was raised by a genocidal racist and a sadistic killer (Even if most of the details are likely kept from them, they likely still acted as they would around others), so it's only to be expected that they develop in some ways to be a reflection of the people who taught them everything they know growing up. 

    Ghostblade did eventually grow to enjoy being an assassin, but one of their mothers was the leader of an entire nation of assassins and her lover was one of the most brutal killers she ever knew. And we know Ghostblade did care deeply for at least one of their mothers, so it could make sense that they would hold life in very little regard when they grew up around such brutality. And after what happened at the end of the campaign, that coldhearted lack of empathy was probably exponentially amplified. Because in their eyes, they were tortured and ruined in (supposedly) irreversible ways for doing what their mothers and everyone around them did on a daily basis, so often that it was just a casual part of life that you'd probably use as small talk at dinner. 

    That would have likely been the thing to send them over the breaking point, because in some way, with how mainstream killing is in the society Ghostblade is from, the mutilation would likely have only been seen as being done for basically no reason.

    All in all, Ghostblade at their core is really a victim of circumstance. But then again, that's the case for literally anyone ever. I think there's a quote for it. "We are what we behold" or something.

    Consider this as you will, 
  • @Rob Great points, I would like to respond to some of them.

    Its true that we have seen Ghostblade do nothing bad, but a fact to consider is that we have also seen nothing but bad happen to him also. He grew up knowing that his own mother had massacred his entire race, he was treated like a curse. a blemish, by his own mother. He saw one of his parents gruesomely die right before his eyes, he was abused and mutilated by Quintara Lotus. I believe we had a conversation about Lyn once, and you adamantly supported her (in the sense that she's not entirely evil, at least). One of the big redeeming factors about Lyn was that she didn't know any better; she had lived in an entirely different world prior to the birth of magic. However, much like Ghostblade, we had seen Lyn do nothing but evil in the world. Again, why is Ghostblade exempt from the empathy that we offered Lyn?

    I found that your argument against the goblin killing is actually quite compelling, but I still somewhat disagree with the notion. You said "
    Sure a farmer kills for a reason, but are you sure the killing of goblins isn't for a reason as well?", perhaps I am missing some lore into why goblins are considered to be dangerous to the elves, but I'm sure that the justification to kill goblins can't be as compelling as the reason behind killing cattle. Sure, goblins are not considered to be people in urealms, but does it make it right? It may not be a crime in urealms, but I would disagree with you if you were to say that it isn't a crime when looking at it from an old god's perspective. In my opinion, it would still be a crime, albeit a lesser one perhaps. 

    You said in a tweet once that it is difficult to convey emotion/intent through text, and I now know what you mean. In certain parts of your response, it seemed like you were a bit offended, but I'm sure that you understand that this whole thread was just meant for some lighthearted discussion around this show that I love very much. If you felt that I twisted your words a little, I'm sorry, that was not my intention, I just want to talk and have a good time. 
  • That's a great question. Why are goblins treated the way they are?

    I can't answer that for you as it's lore that we have not done, but I do know the answer. I bring it up to show that you don't know why goblins are treated as such so perhaps it doesn't make sense to consider actions against them equal vs the actions ghostblade took. For example, perhaps a force in the universe passes judgement on characters once they die and those deemed evil become goblins. Or maybe goblins are similar to believers and their presence alone causes pain to others.

    Neither of these are true in lore, but that's my point. We don't know.
  • Does there really need to be a reason at all for why Goblins are treated the way they are?

    Personally i think the best explanation would just be that they're treated like rats because to some degree at least, they act like vermin. They steal crops, set up nests in the crawlspaces of people's homes, multiply rapidly, leave a mess, and in general just never seem to go away.

    Having such a simple explanation would be a refreshing change of pace in my opinion, we don't need some deep conspiracy behind it all, no "they're reincarnated beenu and the ancient government set up a conspiracy to keep them from regaining power", no "They're kept oppressed because they could eventually cast creation magic" etc etc etc. Just simple "They're treated like vermin because they are / act like vermin."

    That's just my personal opinion though, i very much beleive not everything needs a deep and complicated meaning, sometimes it's just the simple things in life that are best, much like the origin of gnomes just being "nobody knows where they came from"
  • I support the freedom of Ghostblade. And my reasoning is very crude.

    She was a gift from we the Old Gods to Lyn, as a reward for her wicked deeds. She chose to become as wicked as both of her mothers, and later became a legendary killer. I chose to set her free to be a blight upon the realm. With a restored body and mind, she will judge every person in the realm. Maybe someone will bring her to swift and bloody justice. Whatever happens. I expect her to be as villainous and ruthless as Bopen.

    The realm needs a scourge. A Ghostblade sized plage that will be a threat to all leaders and even the gods.
  • The reason I voted for Freedom is not out of mercy for Ghostblade, s/he would deserve anything they got. GB honestly isn't *that* interesting of a character so their fate ultimately doesn't really bother me that much. Although the loss of the very last Beenu would be a bit impactful.
    I voted for it because I wanted an "innocent" (we can't really say that for sure, right now) character undergoing that fate. Most of all I wanted an unforeseen person to suffer it. Will it be a terrible person? Will it be a paragon of justice? Who knows! Death rolls will be all the more exciting for it.
  • @Zeeboon

    if you think about it like that... Ghostblade is kind of a child of the old gods. our Champion maybe.
  • edited July 12
  • I personally only wanted freedom so that we would have another character sinned and I liked the idea of not knowing when another character would have the fate worse than death. Ghostblade isn't exactly the character I wanna see with the sin just because his story has been pretty good, but it's not my favorite part of this elven arc. More so because I love the extra suspense with every death roll in the future!!!!
  • @Rob Chaos Reins supreme.
  • the funny thing about chaos, it's fair.  Plus, if you thought death rolls were intense and exciting before, think of how intense, and on the edge of your seat exciting it's going to be for the players and the fans knowing that any of these rolls, could spell the worst possible end for your character.  This was a heavy factor when i chose freedom.  Someone once said "Can one truly be evil if one doesn't have the free will" What i'm most curious to see is if my whispers to Norokoh can kind of push her away from the dark path and back into the light. 
  • Rob, I think one of the biggest reasons Ghostblade isn't widely seen as a crazy mass-murderer is that life and death don't really matter to the old gods. Even when any character can die at any time, it's very rare when a death feels impactful or sad, so when Ghostblade kills a bunch of dudes, we don't really care. Also, assassins aren't even really that bad in urealms when one of the most powerful women in the realm decides she wants to train an army of assassins and is in no way opposed. 
  • edited May 2018
    i agree with Rob on this one, Ghostblade might have had a shitty upbringing but that is not a justification for killing and murder. what Ghostblade have gone through is indeed tragic and unfair but that doesn't make them deserving of freedom. killing and slaughtering innocents is still a horrific thing to do, and Ghostblade did just that willingly and without any sense of guilt. Ghostblade is still a gray character but far from a "Good" or redeemable character. more of a i accepted the path of darkness type of character.
    now i would like to say that i to voted freedom, but i did that more for my own selfish reasons than for any sense of compassion.
    (feel the order of chaos could need a personal hit man, if you know what i´m saying)   >:)
  • There one person at the moment that I would want to have a fate worse than death at the moment, and that Quintara Lotus. Even before this week campaign, I hated her. I think what made me go from "this is an interesting character" to "screw you, you need to die" is that she planted a bomb and just hand wave the consequences and didn’t really care if it went off or not. And why? Just to mess with someone. When an assassin kills, it definitive. there no, "lets toss a coin, heads you live, tails you die" with it. It just the target dies, or the assassin die. Meanwhile, Quintara set up a whole murder mystery plot that could have resulted in so many different outcomes. And what happen to her when people find out? Nothing. she gets to do it all again next week if she wanted too. If an assassin gets caught, they jail for 50 years minimum. And to top it all off, she broke Ghostblade. Ghostblade had a fried for the first time in their life. And what happens? they get eviscerated. Every person Ghostblade had a positive relationship with is dead. Her mom, and her first friend (wow, that a depressing list when you realize there only 2 people on it). Sure, Spiff and Roman character are alive, but they were work partners and that it. And if they were friends, Ghostblade have no reason to think they alive. Then there Deadbones who for all Ghostblade knows betray them (which makes sense considering there was a high bear there and DB died off screen). So, when Justin character dies (who might of turn Ghostblade away from the life of assassinations considering he was a thief (they break the law, but baby steps)), and then you get defeathered by a god, that sends a pretty strong message to not get close to anyone or you and them will get hurt. Look, I’m not saying that Ghostblade is a good person, but I can respect their reason for there actions, both this campaign, and in any other campaign (well, I might be a bit harsher on her after she is cure, but we havent seen that Ghostblade yet). Meanwhile, Quintara main goal is to fuck with people till they break, and then move on to another. 

    Sorry for the rant. I didn’t realize that I had this much to say about this subject. This is weird considering that I voted for suffering, but I’m very glad Ghostblade got to be free in retrospect. Just the way the final act went made me start to like Ghostblade as a character (to a small extent. Hopefully Maelstrom does her justice), where before I just saw a murder hobo. I think I saw potential for a somewhat decent individual given time, right up till Quintara blew it. And then my mind made the connection with the other character from the campaign as time went on. Anyway, I’m ending it hear because I’m rambling now.

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