The Compassionate Shield of the Triad

By declaration of The Compassionate Shield of the Triad formed on Hammer of 1374, all paladins of the duchy of Noromath shall adhere to the following formal rules:

-A paladin shall recognize and believe in the system of laws that govern Tethyr; laws which promote the welfare of all members of society and ensure their safety and guarantee their justice.

-A paladin shall follow all laws of Tethyr, pay all taxes and fees and fines, and secure an oath of Fealty to the Queen and her vassals.

-A paladin shall respect the laws of other civilized cultures, but he shall not seek to impose foreign values on Tethyr's citizens, even if they are his own.

-A paladin is permitted to take life when necessary to promote the greater good, to protect himself or his companions, or to protect anyone whom he's vowed to defend. Otherwise, killing is to be avoided whenever possible.

-A paladin does not kill a person who is merely suspected of a crime, nor does a paladin necessarily kill someone he perceives to be a threat unless he has tangible evidence or certain knowledge of evildoing. He never kills for treasure or personal gain, nor does he strike down the innocent, the law-abiding, or the good of heart.

-A paladin may never retain more than ten magical items, regardless of his status or achievements. If a paladin is already at his limit, he won't borrow items from his companions. A paladin is to remain true to the spirit as well as the letter of these strictures.

-A paladin may give excess magical items to other law-abiding citizens, donate them to the paladin's religious institution, or simply discard them. Since excess items technically do not belong to the paladin, they may not be sold or traded, even if the paladin intends to funnel the profits to a worthy cause.

-A paladin is sworn to seek spiritual rather than material satisfaction, derived from serving his faith and his government to the best of his ability. A paladin shall find the pleasures of ownership to be fleeting, superficial, and ultimately debasing.

-A paladin shall retain enough wealth to meet his worldly obligations and sustain a modest lifestyle.

-A paladin does not expect handouts, nor does he rely on the generosity of strangers or his companions. He feels responsible to pay his own way and takes pride in his self-sufficiency. He earns income from treasure, rewards, and fees, the same as anyone else.

-A paladin possesses three courses of action with regard to excess funds; they are to refuse them politely, to donate the monies to the church, or donate it to another worthy institution. These excess funds do not count as a tithe, as the excess is not part of the paladin's income.

-In no cases is it permissible for an individual to receive the excess funds.

-A paladin confronted with unanticipated expenses may arrange a loan from a respected institution. While borrowing money may be a humiliating experience, it's rarely a violation of a paladin's code.

-A paladin must give 10% of his income to a respected institution. This 10% is called a tithe. A paladin has no say in how tithes are spent. He usually tithes to the same institution for his entire career. If a reward is declined, no tithes are necessary.

-A paladin is known by the company he keeps. A paladin shall always strive to associate with only respectable citizens who are good of heart. Association with indifferent companions can endanger the paladin spiritually, and any association with a person of known evil intent can be construed as an evil act. A paladin bears responsibility for the actions of his associates, even those taken without his knowledge or consent.

By order of The Compassionate Shield of the Triad, endorsed by Queen Zaranda Star, the following edicts are to be upheld by all paladins in the duchy of Noromath.

-Payment of a one time fee of 1,000 aenar upon arrival to the duchy.
-Performance of compulsory military service whenever called upon.
-Representing the Kingdom of Tethyr in a jousting match whenever called upon.
-Appearing at state banquets or other ceremonial functions whenever called upon.
-Always bowing from the waist or providing a curtsy to strangers and elders.
-Preserving and defending the Wealdath and its resident natural life.
-Slaying all beings of undeath, evil outsiders, and all other creatures identified in the Queen's Orders with Extended Provisions.

Furthermore, a paladin of Tethyr will be expected to display all of the following virtues, at all times.

Fealty. A paladin shall faithfully serve their patron, regardless of personal adversity. A paladin shall promote the principles and ideals of their patron. A paladin shall honor and respect the representatives and symbols of the patron. A paladin shall sacrifice his life for his patron if necessary.

Courtesy. A paladin carries himself proudly, maintains self-control, and accepts ill-mannered behavior with grace. He follows social customs to the best of his ability, and considers the feelings of others and takes care not to offend them. He always demonstrates proper manners and keeps himself finely clothed, bathed, and immaculately groomed. A paladin shall speak tactfully and kindly, never knowingly insulting or slandering another person, even his greatest enemy. If others engage in slander, the paladin shall walk away. A paladin refrains from emotional outbursts, excessive eating and drinking, foul language, and other boorish acts.

Honesty. A paladin always tells the truth as he knows it. He may decline to speak or choose to withhold information, but he will never intentionally mislead anyone, even his enemies. He may ask permission not to anaswer a direct question, but if pressed, he shall tell the truth. To do otherwise is a violation of his code.

Valor. A paladin demonstrates unyielding courage in the face of adversity. No danger is too great to prevent him from fulfilling a promise or completing a mission. In general, a paladin prefers melee to missile combat, so he can engage his opponent face to face. A paladin may withdraw honorably if severely outmatched.

Honor. A paladin conducts himself with integrity regardless of circumstance. He behaves in a morally sound manner even when he's by himself or when no one else will know of his actions. A paladin shows mercy to the repentant, and refuses to inflict undue suffering even on the vilest evildoer. An honorable paladin will defer to the judgement of all his superiors with respect to social class, rank, and acheivements. An honorable paladin acknowledges the dignity of all law abiding and good hearted people, regardless of their race, class, or economic status, by treating them with courtesy and respect. An honorable paladin accepts all chalenges to duel or fight given by those of comparable status and power. An honorable paladin dies before compromising his priciples, betraying his liege or faith, or abandoning a protected charge.

The Oath of the Paladin
"I, Sir Gerard Dulain, do humbly pledge to honor the strictures of this sacred heritage and promise by my faith to be loyal to Queen Zaranda Star and her vassals, maintaining my devotion against all persons without deception or forethought. Further, I vow to promote and uphold the principles of Fealty, Courtesy, Honesty, Valor, and Honor, and to solemnly and faithfully follow the edicts of my queen, my barony, and my familly. I take this pledge freely, without coercion or expectation of reward, sworn by my hand and in blessed memory of those who have given their lives to this noble cause."

Violations of the Code
A paladin shall be considered in violation of these strictures for exhibiting any of the following:
-A moment of panic.
-Opposing the judgement of officials of his government or church.
-Failure to display proper courtesy to an elder or peer.
-Supposedly harmless lies.

Additionally, any acts that are morally depraved will result in certain violations of the code, including:
-Any act resulting in the deliberate harm of a law-abiding citizen.

A paladin who has violated their code must provide a full confession to a priest, but not necessarily one of their faith. The priest may then offer a task to allow the paladin to earn their penance, with the successful completion of the task required to obtain an Atonement spell. A priest is not obligated to offer the atonement and does so only at their discretion.

The Triad stands in judgment of the actions of its paladins. The Compassionate Shield of the Triad has been tasked with overseeing all paladins of Noromath, and this duty is our greatest honor.

In the name of Torm, Tyr, and Ilmater,
Sir Gerard Dulain, Knight Commander of the Lion's Rest
Hammer 17, 1374

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