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 is jarlaxle good or evil?
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Forge
Learned Scribe

USA
218 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2005 :  14:20:02  Show Profile  Visit Forge's Homepage  Send Forge a Yahoo! Message Send Forge a Private Message
I honestly believe Jarlaxle is Chaotic Nuetral. However you have to frame that in context of the society he is around. He is the ultimate opportunist, and will take profit where he finds it. He will perpetrate evil when it is profitable to (and these chances are frequent around the drow) but won't engage in evildoing for it's own sake.

He doesn't give credence to law, but lives as HE deems fitting. (Within the limits he has had dictated to him by the Council) He doesn't have an innate bent to evil, but only act to what benefits him, ie he is very selfish but doesn't care to advance any idealogical cause beyond his own coinpurse.

Qualifying clause: He does what he has to to stay alive. Sometimes this may mean playing flunky to Baenre, or the council, sometimes this means championing the cause of a particular alignment-set... but once he neck isn't in the noose he returns to his ways.
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magnakanus
Acolyte

Germany
9 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2005 :  13:11:09  Show Profile  Visit magnakanus's Homepage  Send magnakanus an ICQ Message Send magnakanus a Private Message
The above is a great description of what J is and by nature this is what Neutral evil is, the opportunist that takes care of himself. Chaotic neutral is more of the whim character. They ask themselves "what do I feel like today"? Chaotic neutral typicaly lacks the capacity to stick to a plan or course of action once they have calculated their advantages or disadvantages, they are just too whimsy. Whimsy is not J's style so CN is out.

All good things come to those who wait...
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Belwar Dissengulp
Acolyte

6 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2005 :  15:25:07  Show Profile  Visit Belwar Dissengulp's Homepage Send Belwar Dissengulp a Private Message
i think neutral

I am the one they call master of the shadows... I am the Crystal Shard!

Bivrip!
^(i think it means "enhance")

Magga Cammara...
^(By the stones)
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iamunknown
Seeker

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2005 :  15:40:47  Show Profile  Visit iamunknown's Homepage  Send iamunknown an AOL message  Click to see iamunknown's MSN Messenger address  Send iamunknown a Yahoo! Message Send iamunknown a Private Message
accourding to the tome "villians lorebook" jarlaxle is neutral evil
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Arlenion
Seeker

36 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2005 :  22:14:59  Show Profile  Visit Arlenion's Homepage Send Arlenion a Private Message
So does the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting(pg 211).
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Feanor
Learned Scribe

100 Posts

Posted - 29 Jul 2005 :  10:30:58  Show Profile Send Feanor a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by magnakanus

For an intelegent evil character the profits do not have to be immediate. If we look at it objectively, what would Jarlaxle have gained through the betrayal? Not much, a sword of 2 from the Driz and a nice bow from kattie, but what then? Not much.

Having Driz and his friends kinda "owe him one" is worth more than have killed them for the fun of it. To be considered also is the fact that if Driz is out there "doing his stuff" means that the drow need to concentrate some of their resources on him, and less on Jarlaxle. Driz may be good, but he is hunted and reviled and keeps the drow thirst for violance partialy concentrated in another direction. Jarlaxle is one of those problems the drow more than likely consider as "moderately valuable, but to be dealt with at a later time."




Not much to gain ? I'm shocked. Weapons like Taulmaril, Twinkle or Icingdeath are items of legend. Any evil warrior would gladly kill to have such sort of items. And my opinion goes for chaotic neutral. An evil character does not sacrifice his interests or risks his life just to do a good thing. He facilitates Artemis and Drizzt's escape from Menzoberanzan although the risks were high, he saved Regis and Drizzt's life although he had nothing to gain (and he had something to gain if Drizzt had died : he could have kept Guehnywar), he risked his life to destroy Crenshinibon. An evil character does not fit into this picture.
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Slash Scarsmith
Acolyte

United Kingdom
8 Posts

Posted - 25 Aug 2005 :  23:40:16  Show Profile  Visit Slash Scarsmith's Homepage Send Slash Scarsmith a Private Message
Here's something to ponder on, despite the fact that he does not hesitate to kill when he needs to, those who he kills are generally drow, who are on the whole evil themselves and how many parties of good characters have any reserves about killing creatures known to be evil such as drow or orcs especially if it's going to make them a profit. I severely doubt that Jarlaxle is good though so I voted for neutral, probably chaotic.
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Sir Luther Cromwell
Learned Scribe

Canada
158 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2005 :  00:39:33  Show Profile  Visit Sir Luther Cromwell's Homepage Send Sir Luther Cromwell a Private Message
From the way I see it, depends on the point in time.

When you first read about Jarlaxle in Starless Night, the story begins with a very evil Jarlaxle. He really is in it for himself, and will mercilessly kill anyone for his own profit. However, towards the end of the book, when what's her name (Drow cleric of Lloth present in that book) gives Jarlaxle a good beating over something petty, Jarlaxle seems to have a shift in mentality. When we read this passage, we realize that Jarlaxle is starting to question the typical ways of his people, and you can see how he wishes to break free of this stupid oppression towards male drow. Jarlaxle from there, in my mind, goes CN, since almost all actions that would suggest that he is CN happen after he is beaten.

"At what temperature does a Goblin boil?"
"Any Rakshasa should eat a healthy diet that is high in wood elf, and low in shield Dwarf. One must always watch those cholesterol levels."
"If a Svirfneblin falls in the underdark, does anybody care?"
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Gromph Baenre
Acolyte

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2005 :  18:48:01  Show Profile  Visit Gromph Baenre's Homepage Send Gromph Baenre a Private Message
It's definitely a grey area, and depends on your perceptions of evil. Jarlaxle, I believe, falls into the 'pure neutral' category. He, much like Zaknafein, was trying to make the best of what he had in Menzoberranzan. When you think about it, carving a place of power out and becoming an oppurtunist with a power to rival that of the higher houses is a much better solution than Zaknafein had, which was taking every oppurtunity to kill drow that he could.

I do think Jarlaxle enjoys his work, and I think his manipulations are simply that of one who is trying to survive.

Give a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life-Terry Pratchett
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KnightErrantJR
Great Reader

USA
5402 Posts

Posted - 26 Aug 2005 :  20:58:37  Show Profile  Visit KnightErrantJR's Homepage Send KnightErrantJR a Private Message


Spoilers ahead . . . look out.





Our good Sir Luther makes a very good point. I do think that the stats of Jarlaxle back in the Menzoberranzan set in 2e were correct in asserting that he was Neutral Evil. He was selfish, enjoyed luxury, and liked being the wild card in the city, spying, killing, being important, and turning a profit.

I do think that after the destruction of the Crystal Shard, he may be moving more toward Chaotic neutral. He isn't as worried about profit or noteriety, and seems to be curious about life on the surface, and "what happens if we do this." I don't think that he is neccissarily "turning good" so much as he has had a life of intrigue and power, and now I think he is moving into just wanted to be an unconcerned rogue. Still, since he has that tendancy to be on top of every situation, he can't help but use Artemis as a sort of "case study" to see what happens if he advocates this or that to the man.

Don't forget, Artemis still doesn't know that Drizzt is still alive and that Jarlaxle tricked him. From time to time it almost seems like Jarlaxle is intentionally dropping hints to Artimis that Drizzt is still alive, which definately strikes me as a Chaotic neutral guy that likes to mess with other people's head.

"Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder."--Saint Thomas Aquinas

http://knighterrantjr.blogspot.com/

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wiseguysez
Acolyte

Canada
8 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2006 :  17:02:25  Show Profile  Visit wiseguysez's Homepage  Click to see wiseguysez's MSN Messenger address Send wiseguysez a Private Message
He's totally neutral. He does what he likes and consequences? so what? He does whatever profits him.
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Beezy
Learned Scribe

USA
280 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2006 :  20:11:11  Show Profile  Visit Beezy's Homepage  Send Beezy an AOL message Send Beezy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR



Spoilers ahead . . . look out.





Our good Sir Luther makes a very good point. I do think that the stats of Jarlaxle back in the Menzoberranzan set in 2e were correct in asserting that he was Neutral Evil. He was selfish, enjoyed luxury, and liked being the wild card in the city, spying, killing, being important, and turning a profit.

I do think that after the destruction of the Crystal Shard, he may be moving more toward Chaotic neutral. He isn't as worried about profit or noteriety, and seems to be curious about life on the surface, and "what happens if we do this." I don't think that he is neccissarily "turning good" so much as he has had a life of intrigue and power, and now I think he is moving into just wanted to be an unconcerned rogue. Still, since he has that tendancy to be on top of every situation, he can't help but use Artemis as a sort of "case study" to see what happens if he advocates this or that to the man.

Don't forget, Artemis still doesn't know that Drizzt is still alive and that Jarlaxle tricked him. From time to time it almost seems like Jarlaxle is intentionally dropping hints to Artimis that Drizzt is still alive, which definately strikes me as a Chaotic neutral guy that likes to mess with other people's head.



I was going to say nearly the same thing. I think his more recent actions are more chaotic. If we were true neutral and just wanted profit then why did he not go back to Menzo and take the reins of his mercenaries yet? He made a choice to go off with Artemis instead. As others mention he did save Drizzt. Where as I can't see Jarlaxle just randomly killing people or doign so for pleasure I do not doubt he would do an evil act if he had a reason. I don't know who voted for good but I can't possibly see Jarlaxle as any good alignment.
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Crust
Learned Scribe

USA
273 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2006 :  05:24:45  Show Profile  Visit Crust's Homepage  Send Crust an AOL message Send Crust a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Chosen of Bane

...if Jarlaxle walked by a Paladin, would the Paladin be able to detect evil? I think the answer is obvious.




SPOILERS
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Considering the events at the end of Promise of the Witch King and the hints at Jarlaxle meeting Gareth Dragonsbane, the above will almost surely be tested within the next few years. Wait for it, folks.

"That's right, hurl back views that force ye to think by name-calling - 'tis the grand old tradition, let it not down! Anything to keep from having to think, or - Mystra forfend - change thy own views!"

Narnra glowered at her father. "Just how am I to learn how to think? By being taught by you?"

"Some folk in the Realms would give their lives for the chance to learn at my feet," Elminster said mildly. "Several already have."

~from Elminster's Daughter, Ed Greenwood

Edited by - Crust on 14 Jan 2006 05:25:37
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Chataro
Learned Scribe

Singapore
114 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2006 :  10:00:23  Show Profile  Visit Chataro's Homepage  Click to see Chataro's MSN Messenger address Send Chataro a Private Message
Jarlaxle is defiantely not considered good. while he is evil, he is most defiantely not chaotic, he is definately not good. He was only chaotic because in menzo, the only way to prosper is if u start acting chaotic too.

While greed is not a symbol of evil (if greed was equal to being evil, almost all waterdhavians and merchants would be considered evil), i think if u offer to pay jarlaxle lots of gold for a murder of an innocent, he would most assurdly do so(if he can't think of a way to cheat the money out of u first)

based on the above info i would say neutral evil
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Ergdusch
Master of Realmslore

Germany
1719 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  12:26:39  Show Profile Send Ergdusch a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by magnakanus

He is definately Neutral evil and a follower of vhearun. Look at it this way, he looks out for himself mostly. Builds up a goodly ammount of power and money to make sure he is on top, helps people he may need later, and does not adhere to laws NOR act recklessly individualistic. Has to be Neutral Evil.



I think along the same lines of reasoning - NE

"Das Gras weht im Wind, wenn der Wind weht."
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Akukakk
Seeker

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2006 :  15:18:28  Show Profile  Visit Akukakk's Homepage Send Akukakk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ergdusch

quote:
Originally posted by magnakanus

He is definately Neutral evil and a follower of vhearun. Look at it this way, he looks out for himself mostly. Builds up a goodly ammount of power and money to make sure he is on top, helps people he may need later, and does not adhere to laws NOR act recklessly individualistic. Has to be Neutral Evil.



I think along the same lines of reasoning - NE



ya, i was leaning that way too. he's probably shifted his alignment a couple times tru all the books he's been in.
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 30 Jun 2006 :  02:22:47  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
He's neutral evil, get over it.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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FridayThe13th
Learned Scribe

USA
132 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2006 :  03:35:58  Show Profile  Visit FridayThe13th's Homepage Send FridayThe13th a Private Message
He is most definatly true Neutral or Chaotic Neutral.

He can't be evil if he was such a good friend of Zakneifein.

And he has done many things that would be consitered "compassionate."
such as letting Drizzit go-free and trying to help and befriend Artemis Entreti(although he woun't admit it)

"The Lady of Pain? You mean Loviatar runs this place?"
-- Torilian Prime

"You guys should seriously rename yourselves The Horny Society, you popularity would soar."
-- A miscillaneous Kender to a member of the Horned Society
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2006 :  03:48:36  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by FridayThe13th

He is most definatly true Neutral or Chaotic Neutral.

He can't be evil if he was such a good friend of Zakneifein.




There's no rule saying evil people can't be friends with non-evil people (and Zak himself was chaotic neutral...and not really all that good).

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)
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lowtech
Learned Scribe

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2006 :  04:17:51  Show Profile  Visit lowtech's Homepage Send lowtech a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by FridayThe13th

He is most definatly true Neutral or Chaotic Neutral.

He can't be evil if he was such a good friend of Zakneifein.

And he has done many things that would be consitered "compassionate."
such as letting Drizzit go-free and trying to help and befriend Artemis Entreti(although he woun't admit it)



The Villian's lorebook explicitly identifies his alignment as nuetral evil, and Cadderly (by implication) verifies that this has not changed. My view of Jarlaxle is that he views reality as being without a moral purpose, and existence is thus a "game" to be played according to whichever "rules" one makes for oneself in order to maximize personal utilty; for Jarlaxle,utility maximization simply includes helping out people he likes when the probable costs do not outwiegh the benifits. He is evil rather than nuetral because a) he cares about himself more than anything else and b)he enjoys evil things (drow politics is entertaining to him). He is certainly not horrifyingly evil (he does not seem to enjoy inflicting unneccesary pain on those who don't deserve it), but this mindset precludes any alignment shift for the foreseeable future (as Cadderly recongnized).
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FridayThe13th
Learned Scribe

USA
132 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2006 :  04:36:41  Show Profile  Visit FridayThe13th's Homepage Send FridayThe13th a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by lowtech

quote:
Originally posted by FridayThe13th

He is most definatly true Neutral or Chaotic Neutral.

He can't be evil if he was such a good friend of Zakneifein.

And he has done many things that would be consitered "compassionate."
such as letting Drizzit go-free and trying to help and befriend Artemis Entreti(although he woun't admit it)



The Villian's lorebook explicitly identifies his alignment as nuetral evil, and Cadderly (by implication) verifies that this has not changed. My view of Jarlaxle is that he views reality as being without a moral purpose, and existence is thus a "game" to be played according to whichever "rules" one makes for oneself in order to maximize personal utilty; for Jarlaxle,utility maximization simply includes helping out people he likes when the probable costs do not outwiegh the benifits. He is evil rather than nuetral because a) he cares about himself more than anything else and b)he enjoys evil things (drow politics is entertaining to him). He is certainly not horrifyingly evil (he does not seem to enjoy inflicting unneccesary pain on those who don't deserve it), but this mindset precludes any alignment shift for the foreseeable future (as Cadderly recongnized).



Oh you know how hypocritical goodly priests can be

"The Lady of Pain? You mean Loviatar runs this place?"
-- Torilian Prime

"You guys should seriously rename yourselves The Horny Society, you popularity would soar."
-- A miscillaneous Kender to a member of the Horned Society
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Unen_Stealthfoot
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2006 :  09:28:06  Show Profile  Visit Unen_Stealthfoot's Homepage Send Unen_Stealthfoot a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Feanor

quote:
Originally posted by magnakanus

For an intelegent evil character the profits do not have to be immediate. If we look at it objectively, what would Jarlaxle have gained through the betrayal? Not much, a sword of 2 from the Driz and a nice bow from kattie, but what then? Not much.

Having Driz and his friends kinda "owe him one" is worth more than have killed them for the fun of it. To be considered also is the fact that if Driz is out there "doing his stuff" means that the drow need to concentrate some of their resources on him, and less on Jarlaxle. Driz may be good, but he is hunted and reviled and keeps the drow thirst for violance partialy concentrated in another direction. Jarlaxle is one of those problems the drow more than likely consider as "moderately valuable, but to be dealt with at a later time."




Not much to gain ? I'm shocked. Weapons like Taulmaril, Twinkle or Icingdeath are items of legend. Any evil warrior would gladly kill to have such sort of items. And my opinion goes for chaotic neutral. An evil character does not sacrifice his interests or risks his life just to do a good thing. He facilitates Artemis and Drizzt's escape from Menzoberanzan although the risks were high, he saved Regis and Drizzt's life although he had nothing to gain (and he had something to gain if Drizzt had died : he could have kept Guehnywar), he risked his life to destroy Crenshinibon. An evil character does not fit into this picture.



SPOILERS AHEAD




CG for me. I completely agree with what is above. Not only do these things show that Jarlaxle is willing to give up wondrous treasures, but remember, he actually gave the ruby pendant BACK to Drizzt after taking it in the first place. Furthermore, his actions in Promise Of The Witch-King show his shifting of alignment towards good. For example, he continually prevented the wizard and dwarf from killing the half-orc wizard, showing compassion, and he also gifted Artemis Entreri with Idalia's flute (that flute which grants its player with the ability to feel compassion) which has to mean that Jarlaxle wants Artemis to become a better person, making Jarlaxle a better person too. Also, remember, he could have been given a huge reward for Drizzt's head anytime, but actually saved him from death at the hands of Artemis, and tricked Artemis into thinking he was dead, so that Artemis would not continue trying to kill the noble ranger. Also, I have only ever heard of Jarlaxle killing EVIL folk intentionally, never good people. He only steals from the evil and the dead (and the undead).

"God is dead, I killed him"-Nietsche
"Nietsche is dead, I killed him"-God
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Genis
Learned Scribe

USA
226 Posts

Posted - 18 Aug 2006 :  23:40:52  Show Profile  Visit Genis's Homepage Send Genis a Private Message
im thinking like netrual evil....and getting nicer...

Unofficial Random Hiatus Taker.
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2006 :  01:44:55  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message
Jarlaxle is a consummate opportunist. If he does something that seems compassionate, odds are it's because it serves him in some way. Also, being evil doesn't preclude one from performing occasional acts of kindness.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 19 Aug 2006 02:29:53
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Chosen of Bane
Senior Scribe

USA
552 Posts

Posted - 19 Aug 2006 :  02:26:23  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Bane's Homepage  Send Chosen of Bane an AOL message Send Chosen of Bane a Private Message
People need to realize that committing good acts does not make one good if they regularly commit acts of evil. Jarlaxle is no doubt evil, and the fact that people think he is Good (let alone neutral) is shocking to me.
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