I'm finding it hard to DM for an Oath of the Ancients Paladin PC in my group. My concern is he's not following his tenets as well as he could be, but I'm more curious about what standards I should be holding his role-playing at rather than how to punish/deal with him.
Kindle the Light- Through your acts of mercy, kindness, and forgiveness, kindle the light of hope in the world, beating back despair.
Shelter the Light- Where there is good, beauty, love, and laughter in the world, stand against the wickedness that would swallow it. Where life flourishes, stand against the forces that would render it barren.
Preserve Your Own Light- Delight in song and laughter, in beauty and art. If you allow the light to die in your own heart, you can’t preserve it in the world.
Be the Light- Be a glorious beacon for all who live in despair. Let the light of your joy and courage shine forth in all your deeds.
The main point that we disagree on is that his oath is all about nature and isn't concerned with things that don't directly affect it.
Example: He's okay with overlooking corruption in a government that would result in the death of innocents, so long as a forest doesn't get burned down in the process and no animals are harmed.
The Oath of the Ancients is as old as the race of elves and the rituals of the druids. Sometimes called fey knights, green knights, or horned knights, paladins who swear this oath cast their lot with the side of the light in the cosmic struggle against darkness because they love the beautiful and life-giving things of the world, not necessarily because they believe in principles of honor, courage, and justice. They adorn their armor and clothing with images of growing things—leaves, antlers, or flowers—to reflect their commitment to preserving life and light in the world.
While the description of the oath as well as some of their spells certainly imply a deep connection to nature, I feel as though the tenets are written to encompass more than just matters concerning the safety and preservation of nature.
I feel as though there is a certain level of contradiction between the tenets and the above text in bold, specifically their belief in honor, courage, and justice.
So long as it doesn't affect nature, could this oath allow a paladin to:
- Travel with evil aligned characters without any attempt at reforming them?
- Forego forgiveness in favor of killing someone who betrayed him?
- Overlook the evil and wrongdoings of man? (or any sentient race)
- Inflict injury on someone for lying to him?
The question to be answered: Leaving character alignment out of the equation, how much separation should be allowed for this oath when it comes to the laws of nature vs the laws of man?