“Paragon of Order” by the Doctor

Back in July I picked up a copy of “Paragon of Order” at Dr Fern’s impromptu book release at the Alehouse. Even got it signed.

PoO“Relations between the Paladins of Order and the Lords of Chaos have always been hostile with both sides turning a blind eye to cross-border raids, or actively sponsoring them. Despite this, a fragile balance of power has existed for a century or more which has kept their borders fairly unchanged. This balance is threatened when Sir Thomas D’Brentieu, Paladin of the Greater Prefecture of Brentieu, seeking to emulate the deeds of the ancient heroes of Order, begins planning a crusade against the heathen tribes of Pandemonium and their dark Lord, Legion. Sir Thomas’ neighbour, the newly appointed Paladin of the Greater Prefecture of Valan, find themselves with an unenviable choice: side with the orthodox, some might say fanatical, Sir Thomas and become embroiled in a war with the Lord of Shadow Keep, or remain neutral and risk attracting the ire of both sides?”

The contrast in the characters of the Paladins reminded me of the eternal discussions in the D&D world around codes of conduct and being Good. There are definitely a couple of scenes in the book (which still make me wince thinking of them) where the punishments meted out highlight that how you enforce law and order is highly subjective. There are three main groups of bad guys in this book although they are also good guys, depending on who’s opinion you are reading. The motivations behind the actions of the various groups is nicely explored so you feel that the flow of events makes sense from a cause-and-effect perspective.

I have a few quibbles – the map is too small to read at my age; keeping track of time was quite hard in that I couldn’t always appreciate how long it took for and groups of troops to move between places and whether that time taken made sense.

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