So, about that dragon in Hell...
Playing through the game again as my evil bard, I got back to that point again and experimented with the dialogue to see how to avoid
fighting the dragon.
The demon tells you that you need to fight this thing to get the Tear of Bhaal, and if you say in response "Very well, I shall defeat it!" or say "If it guards the Tear of Bhaal, I suppose that I have little choice," then that turns the dragon hostile
. If, during my first playthrough, I were to walk up to the dragon and see that it wasn't attacking me, I would've tried conversing before fighting, but the damn thing just tried to eat me from the get-go, which is why I assumed that I was doing the non-evil thing by fighting back.
is how you avoid the fight:
PRIDE DEMON: You are a wonder of destruction, Child of Bhaal! Go then, and defeat the creature that lies in the cavern! Crush it beneath your heel and claim another victory!
CHARNAME: [choosing dialogue option 3 out of 3] What manner of creature do you speak of?
PRIDE DEMON: It is a powerful creature, Child of Bhaal. One that only you can destroy! I am confident in your ability to deal death to such a creature as this and take the Tear that is yours!
CHARNAME: It's powerful...but what manner of creature *is* it?
PRIDE DEMON: It is a creature that deserves death, Child of Bhaal. You are such a wondrous fighter, i simply thought that you could defeat it where others failed.
CHARNAME: Why does it deserve death?
PRIDE DEMON: Because...because it exists. It stands in your way.
CHARNAME: Are you saying it will not give me the Tear?
PRIDE DEMON: [Sounding incrediby
disappointed] Well...no. It *might* give it to you if you ask it nicely enough, I suppose. I see that despite your great deeds you have no pride in you, Child of Bhaal. So be it. Humility serves well those who wield it well.
If you say all of that, you walk into the cavern, the dragon isn't hostile, and it congratulates you for mastering your Pride. Then it gives you the tear without you even saying a word to it and teleports away.
So basically, the game decides you're evil if you take what the demon says at face value, not because you attacked a dragon without provocation, because it does provoke you. (As opposed to telling you that it really isn't interested in a fight or just standing there waiting for you to swing first.) By the same logic, wouldn't you be evil for killing Ajantis and the other paladins in the Windspear Hills? Because in both cases you were tricked
into attacking somebody.