Paladin of Abadar and Hellknights: can a paladin tolerate a temple in his kingdom?


Advice


Hi guys. This is a follow-up to a recent thread that I initiated:

Paladin of Abadar and good/evil

Many good comments in it....

However, we faced a debate yesterdday about potential interaction with LN Hellknights.

Background: The order of the Nails (LN Hellknights) have established a settlement on the border of our Kingdom. Initial discussions with them went well as they are here to spreading civilization and order and eliminating barbarism, which our Paladin ruler is fine with.

Now, in face of an agressive neighbour, the Paladin pondered if it would be a good idea to propose to the Hellknights a settlement within our kingdom (thus forging an alliance).

Questions:

1) Assuming the Hellknight would come and build a temple to their God in the new settlement, is that something that the Paladin can accept (having a temple dedicated to an evil Devil) within his realm even though he knows that the Order of the Nails are not evil and are there to propagate law and order?

- two points of view discussed so far about this:
a) Asmodeus is a devil; we can’t have a Temple of an Evil Deity in a Kingdom controlled by a Paladin (even if he worships LN Abadar).
b) The Order of the Nail Hellknights are LN organisation and desire to eradicate barbarism and seek to implant law in the region. This particular order worships the contracts and the force of law they represent.

(edit: I repharase those two points of view to present a more neutral aspect of the two points of view)

2) Would accepting such a deal make a paladin falls???

Side question:
3) who is giving the Paladin'S power, his God or the the universal force of Good?

That last question is of particular interest in the sense that if Abadar is giving the power, then he doesn't care that his paladin make deals with Hellknights (hey, he even has lawful evil cleric in his ranks). But if it's the power of Goods, then might be different.

Thanks for your insights....


This really falls into the category of "The GM is the world builder and can build the world as he/she sees fit".

For me - It depends on the rituals that are going on in this temple. Is it being used for active evil? Are they summoning devils, sacrificing people, engaging in necromancy, etc.? If it's not being used for active, direct evil but just a place where people get together to celebrate evil in some sort of non-evily way... I could see it being tolerated but closely watched and kept a VERY close eye on it.

For your side question, that's really a campaign-specific thing. The GM is really given free reign to adjudicate it as he/she pleases. In my campaigns, paladins get their powers from their gods. That does give paladins of Abadar great leniency in dealing with lawful evil beings and are more focused on destroying chaotic evil entities.


Thanks MeanMutton...good points like last time...

For the sake of discussion, we are assuming that indeed the temple won'T do evil things associated with rest of the cult.....

As for last point, I too thought that their power came from their gods, but Kazaan (previous link) presented a compelling argument..I also think that smite evil indicates or related to the Powers of Good..so don't know here...

Assuming, it's from their god, why would Abadar give a smite evil to it's Paladin...technically it shouldn't care about either evil or good, thus, strictly roleplaying Wise, if power comes from Abadar, smite evil should have been replaced by smite chaos!!!

thoughts?


Not sure where you're getting the "Hellknights worship a devil" from, unless this is a homebrew change.

Hellknights that revere deities at all (notably the Order of the Godclaw) worship the entire Lawful pantheon. The Godclaw worships Abadar, Torag, Iomedae, Irori, and Asmodeus without giving preference to any.

With regards to Asmodeus, even Iomedae is known to deal and work with him based on default game lore.

Also on the subject of default game lore, Hellknights count paladins among their ranks - there are, in fact, Hellknight paladins.

Hellknights take their name because they emulate the military efficiency and draconian laws of the legions of Hell, but as an organization, Hellknights are Neutral with regard to Good and Evil - they are not evil (though they do count evil members among their number, just as they count good members in their order.) In fact, the test to become a Hellknight is to slay a devil, and they are described as conjuring and binding devils in order to put them to the question, not to make deals with them.

Of course, if you're changing any of the default assumptions about Hellknights for your home game, that's a different story and entirely up to you.

In my opinion, a paladin of Abadar is unlikely to be terribly worried about Hellknights, as they are instruments of absolute Law, which is the primary concern of his deity.


Even better, wouldnt a Paladin of Abadar BE a hellknight himself?

Shadow Lodge

I often GM for a PC hellknight paladin of Iomedae who has no problem with them. And is being quite a stickler on not buying her hellknight armor until she gets the class ability that authorizes her to wear it.

Liberty's Edge

There are two possibilities here:

1. You've misunderstood how Hellknights work. Most of them very much do not worship Asmodeus.

2. This is a very atypical group of Hellknights who do indeed worship Asmodeus.

In Case #1, you should use Detect Evil on all their leaders, and if the upper cadre isn't Evil, you should absolutely let them in.

In Case #2, or if the leadership detects as Evil. You should probably not. Working with them against a greater Evil is one thing, but allowing them to move into your kingdom and giving them legitimacy? No. You don't do that with Evil organizations, or those that worship Evil.

You're a Paladin, and Paladins aren't actually powered by their God but by their own righteousness. Violate that and you lose your powers even if your God is still cool with you.

If you liked, in Case #2, you could send messages to other Hellknight chapters and say you would love to have a local chapter, but those nearby are...a bit unsavory for your tastes. I'm pretty sure the Hellknights would be more than happy to send a new leader or three who are less Evil to form a chapter...


Cuttler wrote:

Thanks MeanMutton...good points like last time...

For the sake of discussion, we are assuming that indeed the temple won'T do evil things associated with rest of the cult.....

As for last point, I too thought that their power came from their gods, but Kazaan (previous link) presented a compelling argument..I also think that smite evil indicates or related to the Powers of Good..so don't know here...

Assuming, it's from their god, why would Abadar give a smite evil to it's Paladin...technically it shouldn't care about either evil or good, thus, strictly roleplaying Wise, if power comes from Abadar, smite evil should have been replaced by smite chaos!!!

thoughts?

NPC paladins of Abadar in my game all have the Oathbound archetype, Oath Against Chaos.

That really focuses them more on fighting chaos over fighting evil.

PCs can obviously make their own decisions.


Check and see what Order they are, then give their Lictor or Vicarious (or whomever the ranking officer is) the ol Paladin Stare.
Seriously, each Hellknight Order plays differently than the others.

If the hellknight order is the Nail and the Lictor is non-evil, then you shouldn't have a problem.
They're dedicated to fighting barbarianism, so is the paladin of Abadar.
Your goals align just fine.

If the order is the Chain, then there may be a few issues.
They are dedicated to capturing those indentured to others (primarily slaves), and while Abadar is big on justice being served, paladins of Abadar are still against slavery as a principle.
While they won't be the worst thing, you can expect to but heads time to time.

If they are the order of the Gate, expect problems unless their boss is LG.
The gate consorts with extra-planar forces, particularly those of Hell.
As a paladin, regardless of what god you follow, chatting up devils is a big no-no.
Devil summoners and binders should not be welcomed in your lands.


For me I'm wondering why the Hellknights need to build a temple in the first place?

Can't you offer them a friendly hand by letting them build a settlement but asking them to not put in temples to evil deities? Lawful Good and Lawful Neutral would be fine.

And if they don't want to accept that deal, then maybe work on something else you could see eye to eye on.


Many nations invite the hell knights in. Once law is established, those nations have lots of trouble if they try to remove then. If you let in the knights, assume it'd a permanent deal.


Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

If the order is the Chain, then there may be a few issues.

They are dedicated to capturing those indentured to others (primarily slaves), and while Abadar is big on justice being served, paladins of Abadar are still against slavery as a principle.
While they won't be the worst thing, you can expect to but heads time to time.

actually Abadar has no major problem with slavery, while he does prefer that the workers are paid as so they can contribute to the economy, read Pirate's Promise one of the characters is an Inquisitor of Abadar sent to hunt down abolitionist spies

edit: i just noticed you part about paladins of Abadar, but my point still stands about the god


Thank you all for your comments!! Very helpful so far...

Deadmanwalking wrote:
1. You've misunderstood how Hellknights work. Most of them very much do not worship Asmodeus.

Well, must admit, this is definitively the case....reading through this thread, I realize we didn't know the Hellknights as well as we thought...

I believe that we all assumed that all Hellknights were worshipping Asmodeus. Apparently, doesn't seem to be the case. Do you guys have any reference to point us to so that we can have a look at?

Is there any reference at all that indicates which god each Order (or general overall) worship?

Gulthor wrote:
Also on the subject of default game lore, Hellknights count paladins among their ranks - there are, in fact, Hellknight paladins.

That is very interesting, but contrary to what our GM has seen in the books (AP, etc). Aside from the fact that the HK prestige classes only require lawful alignment, we have not seen anything talking about that.

Do you guys have any reference to point to that indicates or gives example of a Hellknight Paladin? is there any Hellknight PAladin NPC in any AP?

Finally, I believe we are all confortable with a Paladin dealing with LN Hellknights of the Order of the NAils. But is it acceptable for the PAladin in allowing the Order to build a temple of Asmodeus if they asked for it???

thanks


The deal with Hellknights (as a whole) isn't that they worship Asmodeus, or even worship Hell, it's kind of a "Know your enemy" or "Fight fire with fire" thing.

Hell's armies are very ordered, with clear hierarchies and structure, and vastly powerful.

The Hellknights model their fighting style after that sort of discipline and order.

A basic, but good write-up on Hellknights.

TL;DR: "I AM THE LAW!"

As for Paladins in the order, one of the leaders of the Order of the Godclaw is one.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Regan Vashan is a 3rd level paladin and a Hellknight Armiger in the Order of the Godclaw according to Pathfinder module #27, What Lies in Dust.


Cuttler wrote:
Gulthor wrote:
Also on the subject of default game lore, Hellknights count paladins among their ranks - there are, in fact, Hellknight paladins.

That is very interesting, but contrary to what our GM has seen in the books (AP, etc). Aside from the fact that the HK prestige classes only require lawful alignment, we have not seen anything talking about that.

Do you guys have any reference to point to that indicates or gives example of a Hellknight Paladin? is there any Hellknight PAladin NPC in any AP?

The article on Hellknights in What Lies in Dust (Council of Thieves 3) lists Armiger Regan Vashan (LG female paladin 3) as one of the leaders of the Order of the Godclaw.

Liberty's Edge

Cuttler wrote:

Well, must admit, this is definitively the case....reading through this thread, I realize we didn't know the Hellknights as well as we thought...

I believe that we all assumed that all Hellknights were worshipping Asmodeus. Apparently, doesn't seem to be the case. Do you guys have any reference to point us to so that we can have a look at?

Is there any reference at all that indicates which god each Order (or general overall) worship?

With the exception of the Order of the Godclaw, the Hellknights are a secular organization, venerating the concept of perfect law and order rather than any deity. Individual members might worship any Lawful God, or be atheists or agnostic, pretty easily. They could worship Neutral (in respect to Law and Chaos) Gods with somewhat more difficulty.

Really, just suggesting they send worshipers of people other than Asmodeus to staff the local branch is entirely reasonable and will solve large parts of the problem. Heck, make it a law, Hellknights really like laws. They'll be perfectly happy to deal with (and even enforce) that one, as long as they're allowed to do the same with others.

Hellknights do tend to be a little more into torture than a Paladin should be comfortable with...but really, you should already have anti-torture statutes on the books, and the Hellknights can hardly object to you holding them to the law of the land in that regard.

Cuttler wrote:

That is very interesting, but contrary to what our GM has seen in the books (AP, etc). Aside from the fact that the HK prestige classes only require lawful alignment, we have not seen anything talking about that.

Do you guys have any reference to point to that indicates or gives example of a Hellknight Paladin? is there any Hellknight PAladin NPC in any AP?

Sundakan answered this one pretty well.

Cuttler wrote:
Finally, I believe we are all confortable with a Paladin dealing with LN Hellknights of the Order of the NAils. But is it acceptable for the PAladin in allowing the Order to build a temple of Asmodeus if they asked for it???

No, it would not. Asmodeus is Evil, and sanctioning his worship is the kind of thing a Paladin should definitely not allow. I mean, you don't need to arrest individual worshipers or anything, but you do need to not endorse it.

Scarab Sages

Hellknights are a Chelaxian based Order of Knights that focus on the battle between Law and Chaos, rather than Good and Evil. They are a Lawful Neutral organization. Their forces are divided into Orders based around various situations and opponent preferences.

Regarding Abadar, who is a Lawful Neutral deity, the two should work well together, provided their presence doesn't disrupt trade (which it would if your town was chaotic or trade otherwise relied on criminal conduct).

As for your paladin situation, I would suggest the creation of a new Order of Hellknights that fits your town's specific needs. Nothing fancy, just a new symbol, a new favored weapon, and a general purpose. Sort of like a non-profit with a mission statement and a small handful of devoted knights, with their support staff.

A wooden fort with a small dedicated garrison should do nicely (3 knights, a wizard, a cleric, and 5-15 knights in training). You can have more hellknights show up when needed, but they shouldn't be a major presence unless the forces of chaos are massing nearby. Abadar should like this, as the knights would boost trade (weapons and rations) and decrease criminal presence in the area.

Regarding Temples, the Hellknights aren't a religious organization. They build castles and fortresses, but they don't have a religion. They are Chelazian in origin, so followers of Asmodeus are common in their ranks, but it isn't part of the organization.


A temple to the Godclaw, yes that's absolutely a non-issue for reasons others have pointed out before.

A temple specifically devoted to Asmodeus? A Paladin is going to have to do some major work to justify that to himself. Lawful he might be, the Big A is also unquestionably evil.

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