(We have been underground for far too long and I've completely lost track of the date or even the current moon phase. It's possibly Darkmoon by now, but don't hold me to that.)
Goblins, slaves, chaos... it has been an eventful past few days. We have freed those we set out to rescue, but are not in the clear yet. Our next task is to face a dragon and the bugbear goblin king at an underground lake and fortress, down at the bottom of the goblin mine. Straightforward enough, I suppose, but as we rest and try to prepare for an upcoming battle, as a priest I find myself facing somewhat of a moral dilemma.
There's a fine, fine line between mischief and harm, and that is a line which all Messengers must be careful to stay on the correct side of. Using our divinely granted magic to get someone to aid us who otherwise would be loath to do so is okay. Charming someone to ignore us and go away is obviously fine. Getting them to give us information? Fine, as well. But here's where the line gets sticky- it is not an act of Good to beguile someone into being friendly with the sole intention of killing them. In no way is it an act of Good to use mind-control with the direct objective being harm.
To explain this with relevance to recent events: using beguilement to acquire a monster as a guide? Perfectly okay. Using it to get information we need from a mimic? Fine. But I'm not entirely proud of the fact that I used it to send a group of goblins off to fight other goblins- that's too close to harm for me to be comfortable.
But I foresee us coming to a point very soon where I will have to use it for harm, and that fact troubles me. Part of the advice Hermes gave when I asked how to save those we came to rescue and get out ourselves was "join your strengths if you want to win", and, like it or not, beguilement is my greatest strength. I may prefer the more druidic magic Messengers are granted, but that is not our greatest ability. (Not being able to access that magic and having to rely on just beguilement has me longing to return to the surface, but I won't get into that here.)
The goblin king and dragon are most certainly Evil and have been capturing and killing a great deal of innocent people, so getting rid of them as quickly as possible is the ideal. My Charm magic may not be powerful enough to influence enemies of this magnitude, but it is my strongest weapon- in order to help my friends, that is what I should try, even if I am unsure of the result. But here my dilemma arises: since we do want to kill these two creatures, any amount of beguilement I do will be with harm as the direct intention.
Likely I am unduly worried here, as my god's words should reassure me that I would be allowed to do this and taking down Evil is certainly the righteous thing to do, but... I've just never been comfortable with doling out injury. Using my quarterstaff or flame magic to attack someone who is trying to hurt us is one thing (not that I particularly enjoy that, either), but mind-controlling them in order to hurt them... it just seems wrong.
So this is why I'm feeling rather torn. I know what I must do to aid my friends, but it's not something I want to do and I'm not entirely certain if it is something my god would approve of. But if I can charm something powerful into not harming my party- or even just distract it long enough for the fighters to take it down- surely that is the right thing to do. Maybe sometimes mischievous harm used in the name of Good is still a good act...
Or maybe I won't have to worry too much about this. We do have a potion of black dragon control and Linora has said that she knows Draconic (whereas I have a spell that will allow me to speak the dragon's language, but only for about ten minutes). With luck, she can handle this kind of thing and I won't have to resort to beguilement, giving me the option to instead focus on disruptive magic to try to nullify anything the dragon (dragons are magical, right?) or hobgoblin priests throw at us. I'll have my Charm magic ready as I always do, however, because it would be positively stupid not to. Fingers crossed and prayers sent, we'll get through this with minimal damage.