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What about the third option: the paladin asked Zadim to kill him. He was ready, and it was time for him to face judgement, both for his crimes and his acts of healing, and only the gods could make a final determination. Would his attempts to atone and redeem himself be enough to cool Sarenrae's righteous anger? Perhaps giving himself over to an agent of Hers was but the final step in his atonement process.
Though I suppose such an idea really is both the third and fourth options. The paladin asks for a merciful death, and then Zadim either does or does not deliver one.
Great story, Erik.