The hellknights enigma


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

1 to 50 of 355 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I do not understand how it is possible that lawful good characters support to participate in the orders of the hellknights.

They can't ignore that doing so help the hellish nation of cheliax thrive and that it help adavance the devils agenda.

It's even far from my comprehension when they are paladin considering they just have to cast a detect evil to know they serve the wrong masters.

Or is there something different in the way alignments are to be played in the Golarion world ?


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Wizjolnir wrote:

I do not understand how it is possible that lawful good characters support to participate in the orders of the hellknights.

They can't ignore that doing so help the hellish nation of cheliax thrive and that it help adavance the devils agenda.

It's even far from my comprehension when they are paladin considering they just have to cast a detect evil to know they serve the wrong masters.

Or is there something different in the way alignments are to be played in the Golarion world ?

Which is worse; Working with someone evil or letting your nation crumble into absolute chaos?

The first thing you need to remember about the Hellknights is that they predate Thrune. Thier orders are storied traditions, and their members (and those members' descendants) know the organizations from their origins to their current states.

The second thing you need to know is that the Hellknights are an organization of LAW and order, not of good nor evil. That's why they have smite chaos rather than smite good. There is even NPC support for this. According to Inner Sea Combat, the Order of the Nail's Mistress of Blades, Maidrayne Vox, is LN. What Lies in Dust has short post on the Hellknight orders also, showing the majority of the Lictors to be LN.

The third thing you need to know about Hellknights is that they are not Cheliax exclusive. The Godclaw and the Nail operate out of Isger and Varisia, respectively. They are not members of Cheliax's army, though they may work with them and members may serve in it.

The final thing to consider; just because you know they're evil doesn't mean you're going to attack them square away. Paladins need not act on impulse; they are lawful good, not lawful stupid. Sometimes it is better to change a system from within rather than fight it head on.


I understand some of the thnigs you say but not all.

I agree with that

"they predate Thrune"

"They are not members of Cheliax's army"

"just because you know they're evil doesn't mean you're going to attack them square away. Paladins need not act on impulse; they are lawful good, not lawful stupid"

And only that is coherent with my opinion.

But according to me there is no way LE en LG can work together.
And that cannot even justified by :

"Which is worse; Working with someone evil or letting your nation crumble into absolute chaos?"
Even under chaos menace angels will never work with devils !
And a paladin helping LE cause will immediatly loose is paladin status.

"They are not members of Cheliax's army, though they may work with them and members may serve in it."
It's impossible paladin could or even would work with an evil empire with devil minions.

" it is better to change a system from within rather than fight it head on"
the fact that the paladin cannot attack the LE hellknight immediatly canno jutify the work with them

The only way i can consider things to become is that LG and LE hellknight orders look for a way to destroy each other and wait until they find a mean do to it but it is impossible they could work together.

The Exchange

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

The orders are almost all LN. Some members may be LG, and some may be LE, but same can be said for Abadar's church, or Aroden's when he was kicking.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Wizjolnir wrote:

" it is better to change a system from within rather than fight it head on"

the fact that the paladin cannot attack the LE hellknight immediatly canno jutify the work with them

The only way i can consider things to become is that LG and LE hellknight orders look for a way to destroy each other and wait until they find a mean do to it but it is impossible they could work together.

ok. So picture this.

You live in a real world country.
There are corrupt politicians.
One senator may be accepting bribes and embezzling funds.
You know he's doing this, but you're just another person.
What do you do?

The answer isn't "KILL THE SENATOR"
The answer isn't "Give up on the government entirely."
The answer is "Become more civilly active. Perhaps become a politician yourself. Work to oppose him WITHIN the confines of the system, until finally you can oust him from the system."

Same deal with LG and LE Hellknights in the same order.

Quote:

ut according to me there is no way LE en LG can work together.

And that cannot even justified by :
"Which is worse; Working with someone evil or letting your nation crumble into absolute chaos?"
Even under chaos menace angels will never work with devils !
And a paladin helping LE cause will immediatly loose is paladin status.

Sarenrae, THE big angel, worked with Asmodeus, THE big devil, to imprison Rovagug, the most chaotic and destructive force in the multiverse.

Hate to say it, but Good and Evil can work together for a goal bigger than themselves.
Quote:

"They are not members of Cheliax's army, though they may work with them and members may serve in it."

It's impossible paladin could or even would work with an evil empire with devil minions.

A) Who said anything about paladin hellknights working with the Chelish army?

Hellknights orders are not the government, but their members may work with it.
Hence LE Hellknights are much more likely to work alongside Thrune.

B)If your foe is too big for you to fight head on, do you simply let it run unchecked?
No, you work against it from alongside it.
You use your intellect and tact.
You make sure that that halfling who was caught stealing becomes a slave rather than get's put to death, and you make the argument that a slave without all its parts isn't worth as much to keep them from being tortured. Then you use your influence to get sai slave put to work somewhere where you KNOW the Bellflower network has influence. You set it up so that those outside the law can do what you cannot.

Quote:


The only way i can consider things to become is that LG and LE hellknight orders look for a way to destroy each other and wait until they find a mean do to it but it is impossible they could work together.

Archons and Azata work together time to time to fight evil.

Both are outsider and therefore fundamentally the essence of their alignments.
Archons are LG.
Azata are CG
LG and CG are as opposed to each other alignment-wise as LG and LE.
Why would LG and LE Hellknights kill one another rather than stand united against their common foe; Chaos?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

If I remember correctly, Order of the Torrent is mostly LG. And they are hellknights. Attacking somebody just because he works for an organisation, that has some ties with autocratic goverment - its lawfull stupid.
"You, postman! You live and work in and for Cheliax! Now I'll smite you to death because of this! In the name of Good!"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

14 people marked this as a favorite.

The key lies in the fact that the Hellknights, despite their Thrune-friendly name, are not automatically allies of House Thrune or Cheliax. They are mercenaries who exist to uphold the law, and in many cases that means upholding Chelish law... but not always. Some times they fight against Cheliax, especially when they're hired by someone to uphold different laws that might clash against Cheliax law.

Think of them as orders of Judge Dredds for hire. Most of them are lawful neutral, and a fair amount are lawful evil. Lawful good is hands down the minority alignment for them, but in Hell's Rebels we detail the most lawful good of the orders; the Order of the Torrent; there's some good info in there for how a good-aligned order of Hellknights would function in Cheliax (HINT: They're based in a city that does NOT tow the party line.)

Scarab Sages

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Well I read the title as "The Hellknight's Enema", which would have been a very different thread.

Contributor

12 people marked this as a favorite.

I have... some thoughts on this. Several hundred pages' worth, actually. ;)


6 people marked this as a favorite.

What I don't get is why they would want to emulate Hell and the devils as a perfect vision of order. Hell is a terrible perversion of justice, with entities trying to purposefully bend order for their own benefit more often than to uphold order at all cost. If they're into maintaining order, then emulating the inevitables and the other forces of Axis makes more sense.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

More that Hell's the best embodiment of order and discipline that actually be emulated by mortals.

I'd expect the forces of Axis and Heaven to be too perfect - displaying a level of cohesion that mortals can never match because they're mortal. (I.e., perfect order's a lot easier when everyone's both telepathic and incorruptible).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can't really call Heaven a perfect Order. By definition, good acts can disrupt Order for the same reason evil ones can... because they're personal. Good is intrinsically personal while Order is not.

So yeah, the Hellknights, if they really wanted to emulate perfect Order would emulate Axis, the axiomites and the inevitables, while trying to fix Heaven and Hell and destroying the rest.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Order is no less personal than good or evil, if you put it under that light.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

{. . .}

Which is worse; Working with someone evil or letting your nation crumble into absolute chaos?

Depends upon what kind of chaos. Not all chaos is Evil, although this seems to be always partially forgotten in every D&D edition that had a 4 axis alignment system.

Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:
The first thing you need to remember about the Hellknights is that they predate Thrune. {. . .}

They don't necessarily predate Thrune, just the rule of Thrune. It is a good guess that Cheliax as a whole was already taking a turn towards the Diabolical before the civil war in which Thrune ascended to power. Things like this usually develop for considerable time before ascendancy, even if it isn't obvious to the casual observer.

Duiker wrote:
Well I read the title as "The Hellknight's Enema", which would have been a very different thread.

Maybe Cheliax features a lot of really heavy fried food?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Wizjolnir wrote:
Even under chaos menace angels will never work with devils !

This turns out not to be the case. When Rovagug was threatening to destroy all of creation the gods and their servants formed an alliance to defeat him. Angels and devils worked together to combat his chaos.

Obviously you can say that this didn't happen in your setting, but canonically it's part of Golarion's history.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The hellknights have always reminded me of the mercykillers from planescape torment

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Our Orders stand against the tide of chaos that threatens to overwhelm civilization everywhere. Whatever means we need to wield in this fight, we wield proudly.

Yes, even if this means bending the denizens of Hell to our will as is done in my homeland, we stop at nothing to preserve order.

With every beat of my heart,
Sir Lapè Blakros; Order of the Scourge, Paladin of Abadar and loyal citizen of Cheliax


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pedantic Pundit, The wrote:
What I don't get is why they would want to emulate Hell and the devils as a perfect vision of order. Hell is a terrible perversion of justice, with entities trying to purposefully bend order for their own benefit more often than to uphold order at all cost. If they're into maintaining order, then emulating the inevitables and the other forces of Axis makes more sense.

It's not like they're emulating the entirety of Hell, mainly the discipline and effectiveness of its legions.

It's also worth noting that Hellknight was originally directed at them by the faithful of Aroden as an insult for spurning consecration by the church of Aroden. It's like taking your rival's (or enemy's) worst insult and turning it into a badge of distinction and honor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There is also a fascination with punishment that I don't see in the city of Axis. They have inevitables, but law enforcement seems primarily with putting the system back on rails rather than extracting a sense of justice through punishing the rule breaker.

Axis is filled with axiomites and formians (ants!) who use hive minds and are practically incapable of violating order. Hell is explicit punishment of violators.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would say that Hellknights are the embodiment of law and order. As was said earlier, I would consider them similar to The Judges in Judge Dredd. They follow the law of the land and their own orders tenets. If the land has progressive laws by modern western standards then the Hellknights would impose those laws. As can be seen in The Emerald Spire Superdungeon, order in the local town is enforced by the Hellknights and many punishments boil down to indentured servitude (slavery). The knights vary in their opinion to these laws, but follow them to the letter.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
tbug wrote:
Wizjolnir wrote:
Even under chaos menace angels will never work with devils !

This turns out not to be the case. When Rovagug was threatening to destroy all of creation the gods and their servants formed an alliance to defeat him. Angels and devils worked together to combat his chaos.

Obviously you can say that this didn't happen in your setting, but canonically it's part of Golarion's history.

There's also a joint coalition of angels, archons, devils, demons, etc. that defends the River of Souls.

They don't like each other in the slightest, but they all don't want daemons and other soul predators getting anywhere near the River.


ok ok i understand all theses opinions but it still appear to me as a weird thing that devils and angels fight together against chaos

i obviously understand a lawful evil + lawful neutral and a lawful neutral + lawful good alliances but not a lawful evil + lawful neutral + lawful good one

and that any paladins whould be members of HELLsomething is very weird too

after all the lawful good and lawful neutral legions are no less organized than lawful evil ones...

and it's something to be a postman in a hellish nation and another thing to be the armed arm that apply the hellish orders of that nation above all when this armed arm is lawful good...

Silver Crusade Contributor

5 people marked this as a favorite.
BobTheCoward wrote:
Axis is filled with axiomites and formians (ants!) who use hive minds and are practically incapable of violating order. Hell is explicit punishment of violators.

Brief correction: while formians were part of Mechanus (back in the days of the Great Wheel), Pathfinder has restored them to their original status as planet-colonizing space aliens.

That is all. ^_^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:
Axis is filled with axiomites and formians (ants!) who use hive minds and are practically incapable of violating order. Hell is explicit punishment of violators.

Brief correction: while formians were part of Mechanus (back in the days of the Great Wheel), Pathfinder has restored them to their original status as planet-colonizing space aliens.

That is all. ^_^

And they're in Axis.

The Great Beyond wrote:

Native Creatures

Outside of the plane’s resident gods, their own petitioners and direct servants, three outsider races populate the eternal city of Axis: axiomites, formians, and inevitables.

Formians: Axis’s formians exist within two distinct subspecies, the conventional so-called “centaur ants” and a flying, wasp-like variant rarely seen on the Material Plane. Extremely territorial by nature, the formians of both varieties live in peace with their neighboring residents of Axis, but only by virtue of nightmarishly complex treaties and protocols governing the borders of each individual hive and responsibilities given and owed. The situation between hives is much more violent, with an almost ritualistic state of perpetual warfare existing between the warrior castes of each hive, their queens continually jockeying for political power and prestige, even as their hives work toward common goals as they pertain to Axis as a whole.

Formians in Axis also appear in the Pathfinder novel Death's Heretic as background extras.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

To be fair, The Great Beyond was written back when Pathfinder stuff was 3.5E.

Formians aren't outsiders anymore. (Though I'm sure they have a presence in Axis anyways, because LN bug person hivemind society totally belongs there.)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wizjolnir wrote:

ok ok i understand all theses opinions but it still appear to me as a weird thing that devils and angels fight together against chaos

i obviously understand a lawful evil + lawful neutral and a lawful neutral + lawful good alliances but not a lawful evil + lawful neutral + lawful good one

and that any paladins whould be members of HELLsomething is very weird too

after all the lawful good and lawful neutral legions are no less organized than lawful evil ones...

and it's something to be a postman in a hellish nation and another thing to be the armed arm that apply the hellish orders of that nation above all when this armed arm is lawful good...

All the great lawyers are pit fiends.

Sovereign Court

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Picture a real-world police department.

Vast majority of the cops will want to promote law in order. In Pathfinder terms, most of them are Lawful, and the rest of them have to at least pretend to be Lawful to some extent or another.

Some of them will genuinely want to "Serve and Protect" - they will try to uphold the law and protect the innocent - probably in this order. These guys are Lawful Good. But many of them are still not above delivering you a world of hurt if you resist arrest.

There will be plenty of "rules are rules" guys. Government tells them take away medical marijuana from eldery ladies in wheelchair, and they do it. The law changes, and they will stop doing so. New government outlaws cucumbers, and they will bust down doors of cucumber growers. These guys are Lawful Neutral.

And then there are the guys will will obey (or hide behind) police procedure, and if you don't give them a hard time they will probably not pound you. But they will not see a problem throwing a flash-bang grenade at a baby's face as long as rules are followed and proper paperwork is done. These guys are Lawful Evil.

And much of the time, they will all work together. If you are an ordinary citizen having to deal with the police concerning some routine mater, you might even have difficulty telling them apart.

So, think of Hellnights as elite, somewhat brutal police.

Of course a Lawful Good Hellnight will have a different worldview than, say, a Lawful Good healer - but there is nothing in the notion of "Lawful Good" precluding that.


Wizjolnir wrote:

ok ok i understand all theses opinions but it still appear to me as a weird thing that devils and angels fight together against chaos

i obviously understand a lawful evil + lawful neutral and a lawful neutral + lawful good alliances but not a lawful evil + lawful neutral + lawful good one

and that any paladins whould be members of HELLsomething is very weird too

after all the lawful good and lawful neutral legions are no less organized than lawful evil ones...

and it's something to be a postman in a hellish nation and another thing to be the armed arm that apply the hellish orders of that nation above all when this armed arm is lawful good...

Why not? The law/chaos axis is just as polarizing and strong as the good/evil axis, canonically. It's merely a human way of viewing it that we can't see this. Proteans and inevitables will hate and fight each to the death for no other reason than the other exists.

The alignments that are opposed are supposed to be that much in conflict. Archons and Azatas SHOULD come to blows just by being in the same room quite often, unless they have to grit their teeth and work together for some other combined goal. Same way Demons and Devils 'work together'. Or devils and archons. Or demons and azata. But having just one axis of your alignment matching, and one opposing, doesn't mean that you should get along just fine and dandy.

An archon's enforced vision of order should be horrible, terrible tyranny deserving of swift execution in the eyes of an azata, because they're opposed on the law/chaos axis. Just by both being good really shouldn't mean they're all peachy friends. If this was the case, then the celestial realms should've long ago destroyed the lower planes simply because it'd effectively 3 vs 1 vs 1 vs 1. And that's obviously not the case.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There's also the Worldwound. LG Archons and LE Devils working to stop CE Demons. Mendevian crusades include a decent number of Lawful Evil folks, I'm sure.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mendevian crusaders include a broad spectrum of alignments. Pretty much anybody who doesn't want Golarion yanked into the Abyss wholesale.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It has been said that Iomedae, goddess of paladins and possibly the epitome of LG, will seek out the guidance of Asmodeus, only on the most dire of circumstances mind you but still. Also keep in mind that Asmodeus himself prefers the company of other LAWFUL deities more so than Evil deities. So why wouldnt a LE warpriest of Asmodeus prefer the company of a paladin, (albeit annoyed at the goody-two shoes aspect of the paladin) over that of a NE rogue of Norgorber.


ever seen Thor 2? Thor is Good and Loki is Evil. They worked together.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BlackJack Weasel wrote:
ever seen Thor 2? Thor is Good and Loki is Evil. They worked together.

Spoiler!:
Uh... no. No they did not. That... that was a pretty major part of the movie's plot.

That said, there's nothing explicit about how evil people can't work well with good people. It's just usually poorly represented within most of our media because we don't like those kinds of gray-areas - we prefer a more moral (and social) contrast.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tacticslion wrote:
BlackJack Weasel wrote:
ever seen Thor 2? Thor is Good and Loki is Evil. They worked together.

** spoiler omitted **

That said, there's nothing explicit about how evil people can't work well with good people. It's just usually poorly represented within most of our media because we don't like those kinds of gray-areas - we prefer a more moral (and social) contrast.

Well they did, but Loki had ulterior motives to his assistance, which is what a well-prepared evil character should do!


Fair enough!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Lady Kamari Ipeq wrote:

Picture a real-world police department.

Vast majority of the cops will want to promote law in order. In Pathfinder terms, most of them are Lawful, and the rest of them have to at least pretend to be Lawful to some extent or another.

Some of them will genuinely want to "Serve and Protect" - they will try to uphold the law and protect the innocent - probably in this order. These guys are Lawful Good. But many of them are still not above delivering you a world of hurt if you resist arrest.

There will be plenty of "rules are rules" guys. Government tells them take away medical marijuana from eldery ladies in wheelchair, and they do it. The law changes, and they will stop doing so. New government outlaws cucumbers, and they will bust down doors of cucumber growers. These guys are Lawful Neutral.

And then there are the guys will will obey (or hide behind) police procedure, and if you don't give them a hard time they will probably not pound you. But they will not see a problem throwing a flash-bang grenade at a baby's face as long as rules are followed and proper paperwork is done. These guys are Lawful Evil.

And much of the time, they will all work together. If you are an ordinary citizen having to deal with the police concerning some routine mater, you might even have difficulty telling them apart.

So, think of Hellnights as elite, somewhat brutal police.

Of course a Lawful Good Hellnight will have a different worldview than, say, a Lawful Good healer - but there is nothing in the notion of "Lawful Good" precluding that.

I second this answer.

Grand Lodge

Myrryr wrote:
Why not? The law/chaos axis is just as polarizing and strong as the good/evil axis, canonically. It's merely a human way of viewing it that we can't see this.

If you are a human LE person, you might prefer CG people to CE - because you prefer people who are not going to cut your children's throats while they sleep to people who share your penchant for evil if not law.

But would this necessarily be different for non-humans - who, after all, have a sense of self-preservation and are capable of emotional attachment to others?

(Asmodeus probably dislikes Rovagug more than he dislikes Desna.)

Quote:
But having just one axis of your alignment matching, and one opposing, doesn't mean that you should get along just fine and dandy.

Heck, being of the same alignment does not mean that you will get along. A Lawful Good diplomat who worships a god of peace and love and order will have a very different take on things than a Lawful Good general who worships a war god. (Both might, from time to time, even retain services of someone less lawful and good than themselves to bugger up the other's plans.)

Quote:
Just by both being good really shouldn't mean they're all peachy friends.

People can be peachy friends and still be incapable of working together.

Quote:
If this was the case, then the celestial realms should've long ago destroyed the lower planes simply because it'd effectively 3 vs 1 vs 1 vs 1. And that's obviously not the case.

I would guess that the lower planes have to exist for metaphysical reasons - as long as evil as a concept exists, they will continue to exist, since they are the physical manifestation of that concept.

Also, azata and archons, when cooperating, are not likely to stab each other in the back for purely selfish personal gain - however much they might detest each other. (They might stab each other in the back for operational reasons - see the two LG guys above - but not for purely personal gain.)

Demons and devils, however, especially the latter, would, in addition to having different attitudes towards organization and rules, would also backstab each other from time to time for purely personal gain.


^Demons would be at least as willing as Devils to stab others (including other Demons) in the back for personal gain, and wouldn't have the Devils' operational reasons inhibition against doing it, since they disdain organization.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Kindly note that RL examples fall VERY flat as soon as you bring paladins into the mix.

Paladins by their very code are prevented from working and associating with Evil characters, so any paladin serving with the Hellknights is either an ex-paladin, or the entire order surrounding him is LN or LG. If he wanted to stay a paladin in an order with LE Hellknights, he'd have to leave. Being able to appreciate the fact that a guy will kill demons doesn't mean a Paladin can associate with him, or by extension the order that tolerates and encourages such behavior, at all.

==Aelryinth


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Part of Paladin Code of Conduct wrote:

{. . .}

Under exceptional circumstances, a paladin can ally with evil associates, but only to defeat what she believes to be a greater evil. A paladin should seek an atonement spell periodically during such an unusual alliance, and should end the alliance immediately should she feel it is doing more harm than good. {. . .}

So as long as you genuinely believe that your alliance with the Hellknights is to fight a greater evil and they don't make you do something evil yourself, you can stay in. Of course, eventually they will corrupt you, but it can take long enough that Golarion can canonical have a few Paladin Hellknights who are not yet ex-Paladins.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

'Doing what Hellknights normally do' is not a 'greater evil'. Thus, you could ally with them to fight the worldwound...or house thrune...or diabolic influences...or the Church of Asmodeus...

But to 'serve alongside them' while those Evil forces enforce the law the Hellknights are upholding...

Nope, don't think so. The order effectively becomes a TOOL of the greater evil the paladin is supposed to be standing against.

So, sure, short-term alliance against a greater evil, possible.
Becoming a member of the order enforcing the dictates of those evils? Nuh uh.

Seriously, the very idea that you are using armor designed in Hell, modeling yourself on the military model of Hell, means you are screaming out and advertising the fact that Good can't do the job. You're a walking, talking cheerleader for the other side of the equation, showing people by deed that Heaven can't do the job, but Hell can, follow Hell today!

And you're a PALADIN? Riiiiight.

==Aelryinth


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Aelryinth wrote:

'Doing what Hellknights normally do' is not a 'greater evil'. Thus, you could ally with them to fight the worldwound...or house thrune...or diabolic influences...or the Church of Asmodeus...

But to 'serve alongside them' while those Evil forces enforce the law the Hellknights are upholding...

Nope, don't think so. The order effectively becomes a TOOL of the greater evil the paladin is supposed to be standing against.

So, sure, short-term alliance against a greater evil, possible.
Becoming a member of the order enforcing the dictates of those evils? Nuh uh.

Seriously, the very idea that you are using armor designed in Hell, modeling yourself on the military model of Hell, means you are screaming out and advertising the fact that Good can't do the job. You're a walking, talking cheerleader for the other side of the equation, showing people by deed that Heaven can't do the job, but Hell can, follow Hell today!

And you're a PALADIN? Riiiiight.

==Aelryinth

Hellknights are not a branch of the Chelish Military.

Hellknight armor is not made in Hell. It's not even magical.

The military model of Hell is the most efficient and powerful in all the multiverse. Why would you not emulate it if you were a Lawful person who wanted to succeed?

Being a powerful LG knight somehow shows Heaven is weak? Riiiiight.

You can enforce the law to a surprising extreme without ever changing alignment as long as you never lose sight of why you enforce the law, as long as you never become a tool of tyranny.

I'm sure the Hellknights want Paladins more than the standard Cavalier/Fighter/Ranger they generally get. Paladins are healers, immune to many dangers, and have powerful spellcasting. I believe it's been written somewhere that they specifically give their Paladins missions that won't create a Law vs. Good conflict. They cater to the code because it makes the forces of Law stronger in the long run.

And that's something I don't think you understand about the Hellknights. The organization is Lawful Neutral. LGs are the minority without a doubt, I won't argue that, but it's because they don't care if you're Good or Evil. Evil is easy, so more LEs exist, so more of them join the Hellknights. They're mostly based out of Cheliax, which exacerbates the issue. There are plenty of Asmodeans and Thrune Goons, but that's not a requirement of entry.

You have to be the kind of Paladin who truly believes in his heart that by enforcing the law and keeping things straight and orderly you do more Good than if you refused to be a part of the Hellnights because their fashion choices offends you.

Like those Paladins of LN gods or the more hardcore LG gods. Your Abadars and Iomedaes almost certainly have a paladin or two who has decided they do more Good working with the resources Hellknights provide than without.

I'm not saying it's common, or an easy choice, or that someone hasn't gotten so caught up in their Lawfulness that they fell, but it is possible. Not out of ignorance or naivety, but a true blue Paladin Hellknight.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hellknights are contracted by Thrune and are a de facto law enforcement arm of Cheliax. Many of the orders actively participate in the tyrannical enforcement of Cheliax's diabolicaly-inspired laws...and you are one of them.
Congrats and welcome to the jack-booted merc thugs. You're under contract, now.

The armor they wear is based on diabolic designs and meant to cause fear. Not trust, not hope. Fear.

Only Hell claims they are most efficient and powerful military model in the universe. I'm pretty sure Gorum would laugh at the claim. Lying is what Hell does, especially to puff up its pride.

Being a Powerful LG knight who bows and advertises 'Hell is better' is definitely NOT giving Heaven any face whatsoever. Might as well bring back those paladins who worshiped Asmodeus in full.

By being a Hellknight, you are being lumped in with those that are active tools of tyranny. You are spreading the creed by where you stand, and making excuses for it.

I'm sure the Hellknights do love Paladins. Strange how LE doesn't make soldiers as good as paladins are, you know?

I think there is something YOU don't understand. The organization SAYS it is LN, but it slants LE, and actively endorses Asmodeus, who is someone no paladin would willingly call a force worth emulating. Yet there he is, THE largest single divine sponsor of the Hellknights.
And now you're one of them. Cry all you want to about Iomadae and Erastil being Lawful, they do NOT publicly cite the Hellknights as models worth following...it's all on the other side, the Hellknights claiming them as Lawful exemplars worth the following. The Hellknights pleasantly grab any credos from them that fit with their code, and absolutely ignore the rest...a potpourri of stolen idioms cited out of context to fit their purposes.

Your paladin code says not to associate with Evil, nor to uphold it, and certainly not to encourage it. LE is still Evil, and by being a Hellknight, you are advertising the power of Hell by the very NAME you are using for the order, regardless of how you want to spin it. What you think and what the people think of you when the word 'Hellknight' is said are very different things, and you are treading the name of Heaven under your iron-booted, spiked foot when you use it.

So paladins who are 'using the resources' of the Hellknights are using the tools of evil to fight evil? Sorry, that's a chaotic thing. They are deluding themselves, again, because they are saying they can't fight without the power/influence/money of Hell's minions to support them.
What does that say about Heaven? Too weak to do the job.

Does the paladin have alternatives? Of course he does. Paladins are IN DEMAND. They can always go other places, and other knighthoods and faiths will be HAPPY to have him. Joining the Hellknights basically is the paladin showing his faith is weak and he is lazy, and he should be on the road to falling.

The paladin code is to defy evil. Even if he thinks law and order is the way to do so, EVIL methods of law and order are still anathema to him, and his code forbids associating with such things. The Hellknights have chosen HEll as their model and inspiration, and there is nowhere in the paladin code for having diabolism as a role model. You are electing to be an active admirer and minion of Hell and Hell's Code.
You aren't a freaking paladin if you do that, and all the excuses in the world aren't going to change that.

==Aelryinth


6 people marked this as a favorite.

And yet it is canon that Paladins can be Hellknights. So clearly at least some deities don't see it the same way you do.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

And if you think Paizo firmly obeys the paladin code, we can point to a lot of other rules interps that they ignore to provide flavor for the setting, too.

Or, as they wrote up in Rebels, you need to be a Hellknight order that is absolutely UNLIKE the other Hellknight orders, and so doesn't support LE at all. And that requires being in a place that isn't run like most of Cheliax.

And you still shouldn't be using a name as HELLKNIGHT as a paladin. No wonder some independent thought there could be paladins of Asmodeus, back in the day. "Well, they just worship the Lawful aspects of him!" was the exact same reason used then, and they errata'd it out, bless them.

It doesn't work any different for the Hellknights, they just use the surface veneer of it being 'lawful' and ignore the huge LE bias to everything that has to do with them.

==Aelryinth

Silver Crusade

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Man, Paladin truecore fans are a riot.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

:P

Not the first time I've had this precise argument re: Hellknights on these boards. The other guy argued in good nature for some time, but eventually gave up, as his arguments pro-Hellknight were just getting shallower and shallower, and just looked like he was deluding himself. He didn't really believe in paladin Hellknights, either.

Seriously, if you want to rescue kidnap victims, WHY would you need to call yourself a freaking Hellknight, be lumped in with all the other jackbooted thugs, and know that they only thing your good deeds were doing is drawing attention away from the tyrannies enforced enthusiastically by the other orders?

==Aelryinth


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There is a 64 page Campaign Setting book about Hellknights coming out in June. Maybe it will provide some enlightenment for the issues discussed in this thread.

But I do see one point worth raising. The Hellknights are basically a lawful neutral organization that accepts both good and evil members. Does that group really pose any problems that paladins would not face as members of the Church of Abadar?

The worst problem I can see is the Test itself. While a paladin has solid advantages in defeating a devil in single combat, the fact does remain that a spellcaster of his Hellknight order needs to summon the devil for him to fight -- which means that any paladin who takes the Test in the standard manner has to accept somebody committing an evil act on his behalf. I suppose that a hunting expedition to the vicinity of the hellmouth in the Whisperwood would be one way to take the Test while avoiding having to accept that sort of evil "help".

But perhaps we should check some specific cases of Hellknight Paladins. The Order of the Godclaw is a specifically lawful neutral religious order that attempts to reconcile the doctrines of five lawful deities: 2 LG, 2 LN, and one LE. One of its members, Regan Vashan, is a 3rd level Paladin who presumably has not fallen and also, given her level, has not taken the Test. Although the Glorious Reclamation denounced the Order of the Godclaw as heretics, so far Iomedae herself has given no clear sign in support of or in opposition to that position.

1 to 50 of 355 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Lost Omens Campaign Setting / General Discussion / The hellknights enigma All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.