Shadow's Last Stand—Part I: At Shadow's Door
Küssmir was a typical paladin: he was not only stupid, but also an idiot. His life accomplishments included tearing down window bars with his bare hands and smashing a glass window (golem?).
What killed him was a epic sneak attack performed by certain hobgoblin. During the surprise round very high AC protected him from the initial attack. Unfortunately on the following full round the highish initiative of 18 was not enough to beat that of the hobgoblin. Therefore Küssmir didn't see the second surprise sneak attack which critted and made a whopping 23 points of damage.
This would have killed the paladin if not the player had forgotten to use favourite class option and GM ruled that it was OK to put that to hit points on the fly. This gave one extra round for Küssmir to survive. He died on his following round because while init of 18 was not enough to beat the hobgoblin, it was barely enough to beat both of the healers in the party.
What makes the death ironic is that before the encounter Küssmir had suffered two points of damage: one from the last fight and the other from fishing things out from acid vats (faction mission). Had this damage be healed, Küssmir would still be alive and hitting. In the fight before the encounter channel energy was used. It was able to affect everybody, including monsters, besides the poor Küssmir.
As a side note the scenario took place in a cathedral. The party of 1 level characters included a cleric, a paladin, an oracle and a monk - of which no one knew anything about the religion.