Hi Everyone... Trying to get a little bit of perspective and opinions about some tricky situations.
If you have a Paladin of Abadar. That paladin meets a Hellknight of the Order of the Nails (Lawful neutral).
How should the Paladin see that person and what kind of relationship could be expected between the two of them.. Could the paladin forge an alliance with him knowing which God the order worship?
For example, let say the paladin comes into a neighbouring settlement and see the hellknight working on renovating his temple (Asmodean)...if he offers to help him in his work...is it enough to make him loose it's paladinhood? (why would Abadar make him loose it's paladin Hood, since it technically doesn'T care about evil or good; it wouldn't appreciate helping to build another god's temple)
So, first off, talk with your GM on how Paladins work for him.
Secondly: Paladins falling is a big hornets nest on the boards, be warned.
Thirdly: RAW, basically, Paladins can't 'countenance evil.' So is that Hellknight sacrificing children to pay Devils to construct the temple? If so, then yes, helping him would make you fall. Is that Hellknight LN and working on the church in order to help stabalize the area and bring law and order to the land? Then no, helping him does not make you fall.
General rule for falling Paladins is: No lying, cheating, stealing, killing a surrendering foe, or working with people who are unrepentently evil. If that Hellknight who Worships Asmodeus starts talking about how he loves killing and eating babies, the Paladin would basically have to walk away (or better, try and stop him) to retain his powers.
However, they can work with evil to accomplish a greater good.
Let's say an evil cleric of Asmodeus and a Paladin find themselves up against a rampaging super devil who is killing people. The Asmodean wants to stop him because he is destroying churches of Asmodeus, and the paladin wants to kill him for obvious reasons. They can work together so long as the Asmoden doesn't start doing blood sacrifices or whatever.
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Strictly speaking, the Paladin's powers don't come from their deity, though a deity can certainly reinforce those powers in certain ways. A Paladin's mojo comes directly from the universal force of Good. Pathfinder is predicated on the notion that Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos are fundamental energies. That's what it means when an outsider has the Good subtype or a spell has the Good descriptor; the outsider or spell in question is actually fueled by or made up of fundamental "Good" energies. Good and Evil are as real and tangible in Pathfinder as Gravity and Electromagnetism are in the real world. And a Paladin's powers come from his unwaivering devotion to these Good energies. He stands as a shining beacon and ideal example for others. Because of this, Good itself powers his abilities, but only so long as he is unwavering and devoted in his commitment. He "resonates" with the powers of Good through his mindset but, if that mindset starts to become dissonant with the Good energies, he can fall. If that happens, it doesn't matter what Abadar cares about; he is no longer strongly resonating with the Good energies, so his Paladin powers will leave him.
Now that the foundation is on the table, on to the specifics of the matter. We have a Paladin of a LN deity. That just means that the deity is bolstering the "Good-given" powers of the Paladin. The deity is more focused on Law and Order (dong dong), but the Paladin still maintains LG alignment and action; just with a bit more of a lean into Lawful than a Paladin would ordinarily have. Hellknights value Law above all else. Good and Evil are merely means to and ends from their perspective. And Asmodeus in particular knows that his devotees are just in it for the power they can get; and he expects that from them. Now, depending on the classes that the Hellknight in question has, he might or might not have a clerical aura. If he does have an aura from his deity, then he'd detect as Evil because of his deity. If he doesn't, then he wouldn't detect as Evil and he is, outright, not Evil because he's only interested in Asmodeus for the Lawful aspect, not devoted to the Evil portion so much. So the Paladin might forge an alliance or, at least, an armistice with the Hellknight if he isn't an outright clerical devotee of Asmodeus. But if the Hellknight is a Clerical devotee, he's expected to follow and expound on the entire doctrine of Asmodeus, Evil included and a long-term friendship would be out of the question. Maybe the Paladin would see the Hellknight as a project of redemption in this case, trying to turn the Hellknight from Asmodeus to Abadar. But in no case should it be OK for the Paladin to help in maintaining an Asmodean temple. Again, these aren't just philosophical and esoteric matters; in Pathfinder, Gods and Good/Evil/Law/Chaos energies are real.
Of all the neutral gods, only Abadar supports and promotes a holy order of paladins. As the god of civilization and order, Abadar recognizes the value of holy warriors in advancing society’s aims. His paladins follow the standard paladin code of protecting the innocent, acting with honor and honesty, and respecting lawful authority. In addition, an Abadaran paladin upholds the following creed.* I am a protector of the roadways and keep travelers from harm. No matter their destinations or goals, if they are peaceable and legitimate travelers who harm no others on the road, I will ensure that they pass safely.
* Bandits are a plague. Under my will they come to justice. If they will not come willingly before the law, where they can protest for justice in the courts, they will come under the power of my sword.
* Corruption in the courts is the greatest corruption of civilization. Without confidence in justice, citizens cannot believe in their countries, and civilization begins to disappear. I will root out corruption wherever I find it, and if a system is fundamentally flawed, I will work to aid citizens by reforming or replacing it.
* I am an aid to the markets. I ensure equitable trade between merchants and citizens. Theft and deceit on either side are intolerable.
* I make opportunities, and teach others to recognize them. When I aid others, I open the way for them, but will not carry them—they must take responsibility.
The important stuff - protect the innocent, respect lawful authority, keep the peace and uproot corruption.
The Order of the Nail is concerned with spreading civilization and order and eliminating barbarism. Being a member of the order doesn't require worship either of Asmodeous or any particular devil. They simple structure their hierarchy similarly to that of Hell. Paladins are in the Hellknights. There's nothing inherently evil about them or the people in them.
You could absolutely see a servant of the Order working with a Paladin of Abadar to protect a city from a threat, for instance. If there was a cult of Rovagud in an area sacrificing people to demons for a dark ritual.
How would a Paladin of Abadar see the Hellknights? It may range from "being a member of the Order of the Nail" to "Wow, these guys are oppressive and corrupt and violate everything Abadar stands for, order and civilization is to serve mankind not the other way around."
As far as I know, most Hellknights don't actually worship Asmodeus specifically. Godclaw is a good example - its far from the faiths of *every* deity involved.
I also got the impression that the Hellknights wanted to dominate Hell and do Hell better than Hell does (re: efficiency), which is why their initiation involves beating the crap out of a devil of equal or higher CR to you. Not because "OH WE SUMMON DEVILS NOW BOY", but because "SHOW THE DEVIL WHO THE REAL MASTER IS. THEY DON'T RULE US, WE RULE THEM."
Thank you all...these were great comments...
This was really interesting as most paladin i've seen were always worshipping LG deities. So ahving a PC paladin worshipping a LN deity was a novelty that brought interesting philosophical debate and perspective....
As some of you debated, dealing with LN heelknight really puts forward the lawful aspect of the Relationship and poitn of view...normally see the Paladin debating good/evil issues, but here it resolve on the common goal of having a lawful and organized civilized society...
Considering the Hellknights actually worship several gods, two of which are good. This would indicate that simply working with the order is not enough to cause a paladin to fall. Now if the knight in question is a worshiper of Asmodeus that may be a different story. Helping to build a temple to an evil god would cause a paladin to fall.
Although the Godclaw venerates aspects of Abadar, Asmodeus, Iomedae, Irori, and Torag, it is unclear from which of these gods it draws its power.
The Hellknight could just as easily have Abadar as a patron as Asmodeous.