Campaign of the Month: January 2015
Skies of Glass
Paladins in Creed
Paladins are a unique force in Creed. Pillars of virtue and honor, and stalwart defenders of the laws of the land and of their gods, paladins hold a place of authority and respect wherever they may go. However, because of this, there are a number of complexities paladins must deal with. Laws change from land to land, the wills of the gods differ from society to society and race to race, little less god to god. As a paladins power is tied to their convictions, paladins must tread carefully in many instances.The Paladin’s Writ
Every paladin is expected to produce a writ, a document that is part creed and part code. As a creed, it is a written statement of their righteous beliefs and their will to uphold them, in witness to their gods. As a code, it is their declaration of what they view as right and wrong (often lining up with the common beliefs of the kingdoms with some influence from their religion and culture), and how they intend to uphold good, law, and honor in the land. A paladin often caries a copy of their writ inscribed in some form of precious material, and after being written a copy is given to the paladin’s trainer, their church, and are often sent for records to the local kingdom. Many paladins will reaffirm their writ as they grow in power and prestige, inscribing their writ in yet more precious materials. Legends speak of the writs of ancient paladins becoming items of Legendary power in their own right, granting righteous wielders aid in dark hours.
The connection between a paladin’s writ, their intimate connection to the laws, gods, and kingdoms, and the common name of the world – Creed – is no mistake or happenstance, as many see it. Paladins have had a heavy influence on the world and many believe that in ancient times it was the old paladins writs, the convictions of their creeds, that helped form the modern age. However, there are no written records to support such a claim, and the origins of Creed’s name remains shrouded. Despite this, many commoners who owe their lives to a paladin’s convictions often hold this as certain, divine truth.First Degree of Morality
All paladins are only held to morality in the first degree. Only their direct actions determine whether an action is good or evil. A paladin does not fall through indirect action. The person who commits an evil act is always the person who commits an evil act, and they can not transfer responsibility.
Example: A slaver says, “If you attack me, all these slaves will die, and their deaths will be on your head. Their death will be your fault.” As morality is only held in the first degree, the actual fault goes to the person who gives the evil order. That person is the slaver. The slaver can not transfer moral responsibility to the paladin for his own evil choices. In fact, the paladin does not even cause the death of innocents. The death of innocents is an evil choice made by the slaver as a reaction to the just action of the paladin. That is not to say that most paladins would go above and beyond to ensure the safety of the slaves, but they are morally not strictly responsible for them.Disobeying
It is both legal and moral for paladins to disobey order, provided that they give a justification for doing so. A paladin is never under obligation to follow an immoral law or an honorless ruler. Paladins hold the Laws of the Gods above the Laws of Man. Where the two conflict, the Laws of the Gods must prevail.