I'm running Age Of Worms. The party encountered an evil half-orc named Kullen with some info they needed, the nature and location of a bad guy named Filge. They were actually looking for some bones that had been stolen, but turns out Filge had them and animated them. Anyway the two pc's with the highest charisma, a CN gnome rogue and an LG elven paladin, were able to talk him out of the info without a fight, with one stipulation, that they dispatch the enemey he was selling out, and return with a token of his demise, his eyes.
The paladin's concept is an interesting one, one of the best for a paladin i've ever heard. In her youth she was a typical chaotic sylvan elf. She was surprised when she felt a divine calling to the paladin order of Heironious with a specific mission, to seek out and destroy undead in the name of her god. She feels an inner conflict in that this irresistible divine calling goes against her nature. Because of this, she is conflicted, and kind of manic depressive. She's generally sullen and withdrawn, but when she gets a chance to act on her calling she gets a rush of euphoria. In general though she's pretty dissatisfied with her lot in life, and jealous of those free of such a restrictive calling, jealous of what she perceives as their freedom from her strict code. Because of this she's more willing to associate with unsavory types than most paladins. Up till now she's been touring the gutter by way of every bar and tavern she can find.
Now, because the person they were looking for is an evil (and twisted) necromancer with undead servants she was eager to seek him out and destroy him. Because of some pressure from her party (but not much) she agreed to the deal and plans to return Filge's eyes to Kullen. The party has found and killed the Filge. They've taken the eyes from his corpse. The paladin plans to give them to the half-orc, Kullen.
I'm not looking to start another installment of The Great Alignment Debate™ but it seems to me this is clearly an evil act. Regardless of the nature of the being she killed, she agreed to a deal with an evil creature that she would seek out and kill one of his enemies and return with part of the corpse as proof. They showed no mercy to the necromancer, who they defeated and interrogated before killing him in cold blood.
So it seems pretty cut and dry to me, she loses paladin abilites and has to seek out a cleric to cast Atonement if she plans on continuing as a paladin. If you disagree I'd like to hear why. I'd also like to hear more about what sort of quest she ought to embark on in return for seeking out Atonement.
I'm considering sending them on the next adventure as atonement. Rather than have them find out about the next adventure through the grapevine, they can be sent by the cleric of Heronious. I'll have to bump the levels of the npc cleric in the game so he can cast Atonement, but I think he's a prety minor character so I don't think that's a problem. The problem I have is that I don't think they really want to go down into that dungeon without her paladin abilities. But, for a transgression like this, I don't think a quickie minor quest is sufficient. Anyway I'm rambling and this post is now way to long so I'll end here and let you all tell me what you think.
edited: I cut out some details because one of my players is actually in this community and I don't want to give him any AOW spoilers. If you're familiar with AOW try not to give out spoilers for what happens in the campaign after they meet up with Filge. I don't want to give too much away.
ps: andyiii, feel free to weigh in, you're in the game and aware of what's been going on so far. I'm curious to hear what you think of the situation and how I'm considering handling it.