Your position is basically Tom’s position.
Tom told me that was his feeling. Talarius cheated. Good guys aren’t supposed to cheat.
Now, that being said: Astlanian gods are far from omniscient, so unless Tiernon or one of his reps was watching, they won’t know about the cheating…yet.
Of course, the mortals don’t know this, and so many may conclude what you did, but experience with these folks means tells me they probably won’t reach the same conclusion. Demons are just evil to them, no matter what.
And Talarius and the Rod? Well, remember there are competing pantheons, so while clearly people who worship Etonian Gods (Tiernon and the others) think of them as good; those who worship gods of other pantheons don’t particularly see Talarius and the Rod as “good guys” that have to wear a white hat.
What is interesting is that Exador (I think in Book 1, if not then in Book 2) does notes that Talarius was pushing the bounds of what was considered good when he was Vicar General of the Rod and concludes that he (Exador) must have had an influence on the religion.