Howdy, I'm a new poster but a long time player and follower of the forums. I'd like to make a little dissertation to share my thoughts on a certain subject. When going Evil a lot of people tend more towards the self serving neutral evil, or the exploitative Lawful Evil, but I think a lot of people have a misunderstanding for the Chaotic side. Most people tend to think of Chaotic Evil as an alignment reserved for monsters, serial killers, or antagonistic NPCs. This isn't really the case and I'd like to use Shar-Teel as an example, and therefore make a bit more use of her, than simply slapping her with the Girdle of Masculinity and kicking her off the party for lulz.
Why is Shar-Teel such an example of a proper Chaotic Evil character? Well, lets start by understanding Chaotic Evil is not a single state. It is Chaotic, and Evil, seperately. So let's examine the Chaotic side first. Chaotic, in terms of alignment, doesn't mean you're unruly or wishing to spread bedlam by nature. It simply means you stand opposed to the laws of man and external governance, and instead follow your own personal code. Even though Shar-Teel is a Chaotic Evil character, she follows a personal warrior's code of honor so passionately that she would totally forsake the prejudices and hatred that define her character (male power and authority) and submit to a male that bested her in combat. It's also worth mentioning she will only duel the strongest male.
With this in mind it's almost feasible to say she's an 'honorable' character, which already breaks most people's conception of the alignment. Now let's talk about her Evil side by examining her past, and thus, her motives. We know from her bio that she has a hatred for men, especially Flaming Fist mercenaries, and her childhood was 'not of storybook quality'. We also know through the story her father is a corrupt Flaming Fist officer. It's easy to connect the dots here and imagine any number of scenarios that her father or male authority figures might have abused her in various ways as a child, giving her the motivation she has today.
That motivation is a very specific one, to harm or debase ("rub their nose in it" to quote her) men of power and authority. To women she is affable, and regards men she deems weak only with disgust. So let's take a step back now and look at it as a whole. We have an arguably honorable character who lives by a strict warrior's code, and who's primary motivation is to harm or debase men of power and authority as a result of her being abused.
This does not exactly encapsulate most people's predisposed notion of Chaotic Evil, and that's why I like it. Where Neutral Evil is self-serveing, and Lawful Evil is exploitative, Chaotic Evil is MOTIVATED. I think that's the crux of the alignment, is Chaotic Evil characters live by a personal set of rules, and they are motivated to accomplish goals that are evil in nature.
I'm definitely not writing this because I'm a super fan of fem-nazi Shar-Teel, but because I've been a Dungeon Master for many many years, and I love examining alignments and motivations of characters. I hope by reading this you'll be inclined to put more thought into your Chaotic Evil NPCs, or make a Chaotic Evil character of your own. I do think it's one of the more misunderstood alignments, and generally, I'm sick of everyone picking Chaotic Neutral. Thanks!