In a bar between universes, watching the stars explode from her booth, there is a young woman drinking a steaming mug of creamy tea.
"Not every paladin order does that, but a lot of people make extremely foolish decisions about sex that make it harder for them to clearly handle their other obligations, so we avoid getting into those situations with plenty of safety margin. It also means that we have plenty of spare childcare capacity for orphans - like me, I was raised by inactive paladins."
"That makes sense. Uh, would the decisions happen to be foolish because you can't detect and end a pregnancy fast enough?"
"Uh, we're also not allowed to kill human beings. That one's actually not a vow, we just lose our powers if we do it, but it's understood that sometimes if you're getting into enough fights with enough dark things and their human allies someone might die and you just need to be aware that that's a very grave outcome and will lose you your paladin status."
"...That sounds like a bad situation."
"Really? It's always made sense to me."
"...Well, I am an alien, and lack whatever context makes it make sense to you. What sense does it make?"
"We should always be fighting to subdue, not kill. If we're tempted to fight to kill, that's often going to be just because - we aren't thinking, fully, about our place in the situation, which is fundamentally to protect people and make the world safer for them. Because we're in a hurry, or scared, or kind of sleepwalking through the fight instead of keeping our mission in mind. It's very rare that there's a battle so close that you can win it if you're willing to kill and will lose it if you aren't. Most of the time we aren't fighting humans at all, and humans aren't very dangerous to us directly. So the Winter Light - simplifies things, for us, doesn't let it be strategic to kill either. If you kill somebody the field is down a paladin, even if you walk away from it. Sometimes that's the right choice, or risking it is since people don't always consistently die only of certain levels of force, which is why we don't make a vow about it. Some ex-paladins like that still live with us and take care of kids or chores. But if it's never wise to deliberately kill a person we won't go around deliberately killing people and we'll be judicious about risks."
"...I can see how that would make sense if your world's tactical situation is a certain way but is that really worth having to be celibate, and having to specifically recruit people who are okay with that, and having no backup plan if it's not your choice for some reason?"
"- what do you mean no backup plan?"
"...In my universe sometimes people have sex without asking permission, or with permission they got under highly coercive circumstances, and then sometimes that results in pregnancies, which are not any easier to deal with than if they were intentional."
"Pregnancy isn't really the main thing we're avoiding, but if someone did overpower a paladin that wouldn't break their vow."
"...Do you not have the ability to treat infectious diseases in general?"
"...we can't heal them in other people? We can heal ourselves and our mounts."
"But you might, for example, want to import someone with the ability to cause there to not be any of the infectious agent that causes rabies anywhere within a mile of them. Or possibly an artifact, since the person wouldn't be immortal."
"That would be useful, yes!"
"You can get one for - probably cheap, other worlds tend to have more expensive magic than ours - if we open my door, which is in friendly territory and not keeping an ongoing cataclysm paused but will start the countdown on me being late for work and the imperial government getting antsy about the door, so. How about if I read the Precepts or something, and recommend you a book from my world, and we reconvene when we can put together a list of all the things we'd want from my world and get that done efficiently?"
"Sounds good to me!"
He reads the Precepts. He's... starting to get a feel for what different kinds of moral claims imply about different worlds, but he's not great at it yet.
The book he recommends is actually a pamphlet put together in a hurry by some people considering whether to move to his world, for the benefit of some other people also considering that. Upsides: sometimes his world has temperatures above freezing. Also, it has magic, of twelve types, that can do plant growth, telekinesis, heat, death, chemistry, nuclear fusion, illusions, scrying, the creation of vacuum, wards that prevent arbitrary changes, alteration of heritable traits, and some kind of creepy slavery-enforcing thing. Cons: lacks the concept of morality entirely, relies liberally on slavery as essential social tech for all sorts of things, and has very unrestrained sexual practices which the Victorian Anglicans who wrote the pamphlet were a bit uncomfortable with. There is also a summary of the laws and etiquette of the Hari Empire.
Kaja doesn't know what nuclear fusion or vacuum or genetics are but is fairly interested in the laws and etiquette you get when you have no concept of morality.
In this case, apparently, laws against battery, murder, theft, failure to take responsibility for dependents (purely out of concern for what they might do to other people, not out of concern for the wellbeing of the dependents in question), breach of contract, vandalism, trespassing, perjury, fraud, failure to pay taxes as described in an appendix to the laws, and harassing people out of public places. The etiquette is intensely transactional and tends to come across to outsiders as unfriendly; it's typical to pay for the answers to simple questions, acceptable to suggest just about any transaction explicitly in words, unusual to make smalltalk, and rude to make eye contact.
Valanda'll be here taking notes on Kaja's world whenever she's done.
"Your world sounds... harsh."
"Yeah. But it doesn't have an entire species of omnimalevolent people and relevantly for you it does have a lot of magic."
"It does sound that way. No dark things but no Lights, and not our magic but lots of yours."
"Yeah. I'm - interested in comparisons, if you have more to say about that."
"I think you're putting a lot more effort into legal enforcement than we are - or can, since we don't have the magic that lets you find out what happened for sure."