4. Jon Irenicus - amoral technocrat
Surely, for a torturer calling himself a scientist, inflicting suffering on a defenseless being trapped in a cage is not an act of cruelty, just as it was not cruel for Irenicus to torture Bhaal's offsprings; in both cases, the executioner has a series of arguments to present his hideous deeds as justifiable, necessary and appropriate; it is nothing wrong with tormenting the "inferior creature", if it is to improve the quality of life of the creatures "really important": humans (and in case of Irenicus - his own and his sister). It is a very comfortable attitude: you can actually justify any crime in this way. In the eyes of the team members, Irenicus is a monster and a heartless tormentor, his actions cannot be excused. Yet, from Irenicus's own point of view, his actions are not deserves for condemnation; he did not caused pain to Bhaalspawns for the sheer delight of enjoying their suffering, but to heal himself and Bodhi - persons he considered as infinitely more important than Gorion's fosterlings. So, is this character really evil? Objectively judging his motives, one must deny it. Irenicus is rather "amoral" - ethical issues, Good and Evil do not matter to him.
It is worth noting, that exactly this attitude (lawful neutral) is considered exemplary in the circles of government officials and representatives of the "law", judges, prosecutors and policemen - this is why your world often seems so repugnant - you are ruled by the moral clones of Irenicus. Is someone like Jon Irenicus capable to understand and acknowledge, that he is acting immorally? It is highly doubtful. An employee of a pharmaceutical company torturing helpless rabbits will easily put his conscience to sleep, explaining to himself that "experiments" will help to find a cure for one or another disease. The moral man - and therefore the only who deserves for that honourable term - will never accept such an argument. A rabbit (or a rat, a guinea pig or ... a hamster) does not bear any responsibility for human diseases, so it is not allowed to inflict suffering on it for the sake of interests of own genre, nation, family or last but not least - money. The laboratory animal is an innocent and defenseless creature against whom acts of barbarity are carried out only because animal cannot defend itself nor protest, it is not supported by influential lobby, religion, political party or a group of skillful lawyers - and only this weakness allows and encourages the so-called scientists to tormenting these creatures (much more appropriate and moral, would be - for example - experimenting on criminals convicted of serious crimes). I am convinced that none of these butchers considers himself as evil one, and sees nothing wrong in his "work". Irenicus's attitude is strikingly similar. Imoen is as vulnerable and innocent as animals, she is also equal to them in sincerity of her feelings, in goodness and devotion to her friends. Irenicus, however, does not want to see it: for him, what matters is only the goal, the results of researches and experiments, and all remnants of morality are a contemptible manifestations of weakness in his system of values. This character is a perfect (though I'm not sure if intended) allegory of a modern technocrat.
3. Sarevok Anchev - avenger of own harms
2.Amelyssan - single-person Third Reich
1. Bodhi - the primordial core of darkness
I also can't get rid of the impression, that in terms of this ideological purity, Bodhi has no comparable counterpart on the "righteous side"; none of the team members is Good in such a degree, as Evil she is. Often confronted with her Imoen (in fact, more proper Bodhi's antitype is the main character) seems to be the personification of goodness and nobleness, and yet even in her bright soul, there is a dark element: the Bhaal's taint and the tendency to kill, as well as the performed profession, are the equivalent of a small black dot on the white Yin symbol. Also Minsc, though he seems sincere, even primitive in his views - is not an equal moral counterweight to Bodhi. After all, we do not know whether Minsc's personality was as steadfast and devoid of ethical dilemmas before... let's call it "the age of Boo" ; perhaps his head injuries distorts his judgments and quells previous doubts. Bodhi is completely different: her personality seems to have no weaknesses. She chose Evil consciously and voluntarily, without anyone's inspiration or external patterns, and even more: she did not "choose" Evil, but "created" it in a place, where such a term had previously only functioned in the theoretical realm. I find Bodhi particularly fascinating in many ways, and the mechanism of Evil rise without an external stimulus is nearly as wonderful, as the evolution of biological life from an inanimate mixture of amino acids.
In the novel (unfortunately of mine authorship), Jaheira presents the degeneration of Alandis into Bodhi as the inevitable consequence of the imbalance between the elements of Good and Evil; there was no Evil in Suldanessellar, thus by nature's law sooner or later there must came to a polarization and a cleavage among the Elves themselves. Initally, Bodhi was not an evil being, she was only "less good" than the rest of Ellesime's subjects, and this difference grew more and more over time. On the same principle consist the mechanism of the Shadow Thieves Guild moral rehabilitation; an organization considered criminal, in the situation of menace from the Bodhi's guild, becomes the only force that protects the city from the vampiress, and the only ally of main character and his companions. In the mentioned novel, I dedicated many warm words to Bodhi - not to glorify Evil, but to appreciate her greatness and pay tribute to her moral purity - which does not necessarily have to mean goodness and magnanimity. Moral purity - in my understanding of this term - means lack of contamination by the opposite element, therefore "pure Evil" can be equally noble as "pure Good". This "nobleness" of Bodhi can be noticed and felt, even by people incapable of a deeper characterological analysis of Bodhi's actions. Though she is an enemy, seem to be noble and fair: the vampiress does not plot intrigues like her brother, she never refers to Imoen using the condescending term "child", is honest in converses with the main character, and - unlike Irenicus - respects him as an adversary.
Her attitude is reminiscent of a knightly code of honor: when Irenicus, after ripping the divine essences from both Bhaalspawns, instructs her sister to get rid of Gorion's fosterlings and their friends, this is the moment when the team's defeat seems most real. And yet, it is Bodhi who is opposing to such an useless death of great heroes; she prefers to free the team, so that they have a chance to die with dignity, in battle - which in consequence leads to the fall of herself and her brother. This deed, can only be compared to handing back the opponent a weapon knocked out from his hand during a duel: Bodhi is like a knight, naive in his nobleness.
In this character clearly becomes visible the difference between the primeval, noble and "pure" Evil, and the "secondary" evil, vile and contemptible, resulting from moral decay and degeneration. This second, "non-noble" variation of Evil is the most common, and is exquisitely exemplified by the Tolkien's Orcs: a fallen and degenerate version of the Elves, malicious, cowardly and primitively cruel (just like a rabble associated on Beamdog's discussion forums, admiring some loathsome, circumcised hog, that profanes Imoen's dignity and spits on everything that is good and decent). Bodhi represents an incomparably higher standard; she is majestic and arouses involuntary respect - like Morgoth, who breed the first Orcs, defied his God (Illuvatar) and introduced the seeds of all Evil into the world of Arda.