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Hypothetical Re: Witch Queen Annie – The Remake

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Which policy do you support?

Annie stays in England (England first)
19
68%
Annie is sent to the ICJ (international law matters)
9
32%
 
Total votes : 28

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Infected Mushroom
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Hypothetical Re: Witch Queen Annie – The Remake

Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:26 am

Please consider the following hypothetical:

This is a new take/rework on a previous hypothetical from last year. The scenario takes place in an alternate universe world with magic and magical creatures as well as international law in place.

A magically gifted young witch, Annie Holstadt establishes herself as Witch Queen of the Kalmar Union. The Norwegian witch gathers a large army, crosses the North Sea, and invades England.

You are a mage paladin defender of England. The King appoints you to lead a large army of the realm’s finest knights and bannermen to stop the invasion.

In the field of battle, the English knights are on the verge of victory against the Kalmars when the Witch Queen herself enters the battle, turning the tide of the battle by smiting your troops left and right with firestorms and other devastating spells. You attempt to duel her but are severely outmatched and you are forced to escape.

Following this decisive defeat, the Kalmars take over England. Annie Hostadt demands that every city and town in the land recognize her as Witch Queen and the new Protector of England, the towns that do not submit are cleansed with magical fire (along with all inhabitants).

The King takes a remnant of his army and escapes into the forest with you.

Annie realizes that so long as the King lives, her hold over the English people will never be secure. So she issues an ultimatum, unless the King and his whole family are turned over, she will randomly destroy a random town/city and all inhabitants once every single week. Many English villages and towns are completely incinerated by magical fire.

Working with the King and what is left of your small army, you attempt to recruit the divided magical peoples of the forest to your cause. Long kept outside of the human realm because of fear and discrimination, you realize that the oppressed pixies, fairies, talking animals and magical trumpet and drum kids of the forest could make powerful allies. At first, the magical peoples have no intention of helping you because the English have oppressed them for centuries and they dislike each other almost as much. However, you use fear-mongering tactics/rhetoric in the style of Jon Snow to get them to unite and join you.

Having recruited a sizable resistance army, you begin to lead courageous raids against Kalmar fortifications throughout the land. The King himself sends ravens to every corner of England, calling for all true lords to rise up against the Witch Queen. Many people rush into the forests to join your growing resistance army.

In response, Annie Holstadt gathers a massive army to march into the forest and take out the resistance. Outnumbering you by more than 5 to 1, the Witch Queen tells her soldiers that they are to take no prisoners; this is a war of annihilation. Annie particularly hates the magical peoples, she views the pixies, fairies, talking animals and magical trumpet and drum kids as sub-human abominations.

Due to superior planning and a well-executed trap from your side, Annie’s army does poorly at the battle. The magic of the tiny creatures is also unexpectedly powerful. Many of the Witch Queen’s forces, having been forced to fight, flee from the battle.

Annie uses her magic to smite your troops left and right. Once again, you engage her in a duel. This time you are helped by the most powerful of the magical creatures. They use their combined powers to shut down/interfere with a portion of Annie’s magic, making the fight more even. During the duel, she doesn’t manage to hit you while you manage to hit her several times with powerful spells. Having exhausted and spent herself magically, Annie Holstadt is finally taken down and captured.

After the battle, the tiny magical creatures surround Annie to perform a powerful magical ritual. All of her vast magical power and potential is 100% drained and removed so that she can no longer terrorize the land.

With the Kalmars in full retreat, the King is easily able to liberate the rest of England. The reconstruction of England is underway, with the war having razed a large percentage of the population both military and civilian; many cities and towns have been completely destroyed.

All of that was just background information. Now here’s where your choice in this hypothetical comes in…

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), which sits in Geneva, demands that Annie Holstadt and other war criminals be turned over for trial in Switzerland. Under international law in this alternate universe, this is the correct procedure. A few decades, England (and may other European states) signed an international treaty creating this powerful court and leaving the judgment of all war criminals to the ICJ.

The ICJ’s rules are highly flawed in that they protect the privileges of highborns. At the very worst the Witch Queen will be sent to live out her days in a large white house on a small island with a set of servants to cater to her. She will not be allowed to leave the island and it will be guarded but she would otherwise live a relatively comfortable if secluded existence.

The King understands that the English people want revenge and so he ignores the ICJ and international law obligations. Without consulting you, he meets with the leaders of the magical creatures and comes up with a much harsher sentence. The sentence is immediately carried out:

The King orders that she spent all of her nights in a dungeon cell. For the rest of her life, every morning a small band of fairies, pixies, talking animals, and magical sing song kids will march her around and make her do work with her hands to help rebuild the lands (fields, farms, forests, cities) she destroyed as restitution for her crimes against the English people. The work will generally be very safe and won’t be unduly over-burdensome because the aim isn’t to kill her through overwork or accidental injury. The small magical creatures will guard her and force her to work; they will also make sure she recovers from any injuries suffered so she can keep working.

Annie Holstadt will only get Sundays off during which she will be made to pray all day in public for forgiveness from the Gods of Truth and Justice for her crimes. She will be made to make very long public declarations of repentance. Then the cycle of labor and dungeons will continue.

The people she comes into contact with are allowed to (within reason) express their disapproval of her and may even throw fruits and vegetables but the magical creatures will protect her from serious harm. The magical creatures may use torture but only if she refuses to work or isn’t cooperative.


The ICJ declares that the English sentence is “cruel and unusual” and that England will be a “pariah state in violation of international law” if they do not turn Holstadt over to Geneva. The international community is mixed in its response to the English sentence but there is a general consensus that England is in violation of international law.

The English people largely support the sentence against the Witch Queen. The King has framed the sentence in terms of it being “restorative” but everyone understands that its really about punishment and public humiliation.

As a result England ignoring the ICJ, several major European nations have blocked all trade with England. This causes England to some economic troubles, but nothing it cannot overcome.

After three weeks of the English sentence being carried, the King suddenly dies of a heart attack. Because the immediate heir to the throne is too young, you, as the war hero and mage paladin defender of England, are appointed Protector of England to rule the land until the rightful heir come of age.

It falls upon you to address the controversy of Annie Holstadt’s sentencing.

Due to the complexity of the English royal laws in the hypothetical, your only two options, even as Protector of England, are:

1. Re-affirm the King’s sentence.
2. Cancel the King’s sentence and turn Annie over to the ICJ.

There is no option, legally, to modify the existing sentence.


Please discuss whether you choose to re-affirm the King’s sentence or hand Annie over to the ICJ and justify. I recommend that you consider the international law implications, the political implications, moral ideologies of deterrence/rehabilitation/human rights, economic considerations, and your IRL personality in the shoes of a character having done what the English Mage paladin defender has done so far.

Please assume that Annie Holstadt can never regain her magic.

The scenario is designed so that both options are bad options. Is it better that someone is possible over-punished or otherwise simply getting a slap on the wrist for serious crimes against humanity (which is worse)? To re-affirm the King’s sentence is to completely disrespect the framework of international law but the international system itself is clearly flawed (but is flawed international law system with a potential to evolve better than no such system?). Please consider which option is the greater unacceptable outcome of justice.

Credit to Purpelia for helping to inspire the contents of this thread

The scenario might have to be edited/clarified due to its complexity

I elect to keep the English sentence. If in the position of the Paladin, I would mostly be motivated by political concerns and my role as Protector. I find the sentence strongly distasteful but its what the English people want. I don't believe the international community's pretend concern is going to last for too long. I'm also not a big fan of international law.


To balance out the OP (since it is mainly written from an English point of view), I add the following additional information about Annie Holstadt for you to consider in making your decision:

Image


Annie Holstadt was born in a powerful Norwegian noble family. However, ever since it was discovered that she had magical powers at 13, she has been subtly abused and mistreated by her conservative deeply religious family for years (they saw her as dangerous). As a result of this, she retreated into a fantasy world. It is possible that Annie suffers mental health issues such as depression. Following a fierce altercation against an uncle, said uncle’s scorched body was found in the lake and the young Holstadt disappeared from the land along with a small retinue of loyal servants and guards. She then went on a magical quest across continental Europe to expand her magical skills and acquire/steal powerful magical artifacts; as she grew more powerful, so did her belief in her destiny to save and unify Europe. When she returned to the Kalmar Union she found that the Union had been ravaged by civil war and disunity. Using her powerful magic, she raised powerful armies and re-uinted the Kalmars (in the process, she faced off and killed many members of her immediate family). She then pacified the population by establishing a new form of harsh authoritarian rule. Realizing that the Kalmars needed a new war to keep them distracted and unified, she set her eyes on an invasion of England, being particularly drawn to the possibility that England held many more powerful magical artifacts like the legendary sword Excalibur and the Cloak of Invisibility.
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Postby Free Arabian Nation » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:31 am

What kind of drugs are you taking this time?
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The blAAtschApen
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Postby The blAAtschApen » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:35 am

I hand her over to the ICJ. On the condition that I get the now vacant seat of king of Norway. After all, my current gig in England is ending as soon as the heir comes of age.
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:37 am

The blAAtschApen wrote:I hand her over to the ICJ. On the condition that I get the now vacant seat of king of Norway. After all, my current gig in England is ending as soon as the heir comes of age.


it sounds pretty clever

but if even if you got a go ahead from the ICJ to take your throne in Norway, what if the people rose up and you end up having to resort to tyranny as well?

I mean at that point isn't there a risk of you becoming a new moral equivalent of Holstadt?
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Postby The New Teutonic Order » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:38 am

What was the ICJ doing when the Queen was conquering England, destroying countless English cities and towns, and calling for no quarter in battle?

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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:39 am

The New Teutonic Order wrote:What was the ICJ doing when the Queen was conquering England, destroying countless English cities and towns, and calling for no quarter in battle?


Good question

They nominally condemned the invasion and Annie's atrocities; they tried to get the international community to boycott the Witch Queen's regime and or send troops to help England, no one sent troops to help you although some countries boycotted Norway

the nations involved were too self-interested to get the coalition off the ground, its also the 15th century so transportation and logistics really suck
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The blAAtschApen
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Postby The blAAtschApen » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:42 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
The blAAtschApen wrote:I hand her over to the ICJ. On the condition that I get the now vacant seat of king of Norway. After all, my current gig in England is ending as soon as the heir comes of age.


it sounds pretty clever

but if even if you got a go ahead from the ICJ to take your throne in Norway, what if the people rose up and you end up having to resort to tyranny as well?

I mean at that point isn't there a risk of you becoming a new moral equivalent of Holstadt?


I'll take my chances. I'll use magic and my engineering background to start up the Norwegian oil industry. People tend to not rise up when they are getting rich.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:44 am

The blAAtschApen wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
it sounds pretty clever

but if even if you got a go ahead from the ICJ to take your throne in Norway, what if the people rose up and you end up having to resort to tyranny as well?

I mean at that point isn't there a risk of you becoming a new moral equivalent of Holstadt?


I'll take my chances. I'll use magic and my engineering background to start up the Norwegian oil industry. People tend to not rise up when they are getting rich.


interesting

do you think the English sentence is too harsh?
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The blAAtschApen
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Postby The blAAtschApen » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:45 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
The blAAtschApen wrote:
I'll take my chances. I'll use magic and my engineering background to start up the Norwegian oil industry. People tend to not rise up when they are getting rich.


interesting

do you think the English sentence is too harsh?


I'm a mage paladin. Not a judge. This is a magical world, the morals are wildly different.

That said, full speed ahead on motorized magical vehicles!
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Postby The Galactic Liberal Democracy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:45 am

Kill her in England.
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Postby Alvecia » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:46 am

TL;DR

What takes precedence, national law or international law?
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:47 am

The blAAtschApen wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
interesting

do you think the English sentence is too harsh?


I'm a mage paladin. Not a judge. This is a magical world, the morals are wildly different.

That said, full speed ahead on motorized magical vehicles!


to be honest historically judges have been very slow to update morality with interpretation of the law

maybe a paladin would do better? =)
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:48 am

The Galactic Liberal Democracy wrote:Kill her in England.


... to avenge the honour of the fallen knights?
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:49 am

Alvecia wrote:TL;DR

What takes precedence, national law or international law?


with the national law being on the heavy punitive side and the international law being very lax (and with the public mostly supporting the former but the international community somewhat supporting the latter); and with respect to a publicly reviled national enemy/war criminal
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Postby The Galactic Liberal Democracy » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:51 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
The Galactic Liberal Democracy wrote:Kill her in England.


... to avenge the honour of the fallen knights?

If she’s a war criminal, she did something wrong.
NOT STORMTROOPERS
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Postby Alvecia » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:52 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
Alvecia wrote:TL;DR

What takes precedence, national law or international law?


with the national law being on the heavy punitive side and the international law being very lax (and with the public mostly supporting the former but the international community somewhat supporting the latter); and with respect to a publicly reviled national enemy/war criminal

Severity of punishment is irrelevant to precedence.
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The New Teutonic Order
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Postby The New Teutonic Order » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:52 am

I'd probably ignore the ICJ. Queen Annie's a war criminal, and one that they denounced and tried to get off the throne.

Also, England is seperated from the rest of Europe by the English Channel, so even if the ICJ suddenly becomes competent and caring enough to launch an invasion, it would be pretty hard.

I would also go about trying to destroy/dismantle the ICJ, since it's ineffectual and incompetent.

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Postby Ifreann » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:55 am

I stopped reading when I saw that this AU had no Kalmar Union.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:55 am

The Galactic Liberal Democracy wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
... to avenge the honour of the fallen knights?

If she’s a war criminal, she did something wrong.


I mean, from her point of view she's just a conqueror trying to bring about a new age of prosperity

history is full of conquests is it not?
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:56 am

Ifreann wrote:I stopped reading when I saw that this AU had no Kalmar Union.


WHAT THE HELL IS A KALMAR UNION???? why do you like it so much?
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The New Teutonic Order
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Postby The New Teutonic Order » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:57 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:
The Galactic Liberal Democracy wrote:If she’s a war criminal, she did something wrong.


I mean, from her point of view she's just a conqueror trying to bring about a new age of prosperity

history is full of conquests is it not?


She destroyed countless cities and towns when she was already in charge because of something the people had no control over. That probably won't bring prosperity. She also called for no quarter in a battle, which is a war criminal-thing to do.
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:59 am

The New Teutonic Order wrote:
Infected Mushroom wrote:
I mean, from her point of view she's just a conqueror trying to bring about a new age of prosperity

history is full of conquests is it not?


She destroyed countless cities and towns when she was already in charge because of something the people had no control over. That probably won't bring prosperity. She also called for no quarter in a battle, which is a war criminal-thing to do.


this is true
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Postby The New California Republic » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:00 am

Where does Scotland sit in this?
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Infected Mushroom
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Postby Infected Mushroom » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:01 am

The New California Republic wrote:Where does Scotland sit in this?


I have no idea. Do they hate the English in the 15th century?

I think they'd probably stay neutral since England is a threat but so is Annie.
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Postby Free Arabian Nation » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:05 am

Infected Mushroom wrote:I have no idea. Do they hate the English in the 15th century?

Scotland and England have been practical rivals up until the Act of Union in 1707
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