Law and Chaos

Philosophy

The concepts of Law and Light vs. Chaos and Shadow in Theia are topics usually debated by thinkers and priests and summarily ignored by everyone else. This isn’t to say that people don’t recognize these elemental forces at play in the world it’s simply that people are too busy trying to survive in a very hostile world to spend any great amount of time thinking about. but at its core Law and Light as well as Chaos and Shadow are governed by some core ideas and principles that aren’t easily categorized as simple Good vs. Evil.

Chaos and Shadow

Basic Tenets: Freedom, creativity, passion, change, decay, decadence, power, destruction, randomness.
At its most essential Chaos is the unbridled power of creation and random change without direction. At its best, it fuels creativity, ambition, passion, but unchecked it just as easily leads to destruction, dissolution, madness and hate. The idea of “Shadow” is an association most people make with Chaos because it represents the formless, unnamed terror that lurks in the night; those enemies of civilization and life that prey on the weak and tear down indiscriminately.

Deities and cults of Chaos

Legends and profane texts sometimes mention powerful beings called the Great Old Ones or the Gods of the Outer Dark (its difficult to say what the distinction might be if there is any). They were said to rule Theia eons before men lifted themselves out of their rude and humble beginnings . The fragmentary tales suggest that these beings were dark and decadent and were worshiped by inhuman beings (possibly the progenitors of modern Saurials and other sorcerous beings of myth). The Legends concerning these weird elder gods and their servitor daemons, suggests they Despite these elder gods presumed indifference or hostility to mankind, there are those who seek their favor, usually secretive cults or practitioners of the dark arts who are disillusioned with the gods of men or believe that the elder gods hold secrets to greater knowledge and power.

Law and Light

Basic Tenets: Order, stability, service, hierarchy, custom, life, peace, propriety, resoluteness, deliberation.
At its core Law and Light promote stability, peace and justic. At its best it promotes peace, hope and life, but at its worst it can be sterile, rigid and oppressive.

“Light” is most commonly associated with Law for a number of cultural reasons. Firstly, fire is considered sacred by a number of societies. The great god Mitra is said to have brought fire to Theia from the sun where he then gave it to man to drive away the darkness and the foul things that dwelt there. Secondly, light is strongly associated with civilization and the great cities of the land; be it the humble street lamp, or the torch-bearing guardsman, light provides safety, keeps wild beasts at bay and allows life to flourish at all hours.

Deities and Cults of Law

While every civilization and culture has their own personal gods, there are only a few that embody the universality of Law; the church of Holy Mitra or in its own way, the cult of the Autarch, the self-proclaimed God-Emperor of Commorium. Whatever their creed, both of these faiths possess a common thread. These faiths preach that each is supreme to all other gods and that the only way for the world to find peace is for their faith to spread to all corners of Theia – predictably the church of Mitra and the cult of the Autarch are heated rivals, the former heavily persecuted by zealous templars and inquisitors of the latter in lands dominated by Commorium.

The Balance

Basic Tenets: Moderation, harmony, cycles of change, naturalness, simplicity.
The Balance is a philosophy that sees the other Light and Shadow; Law and Chaos; as necessary and complimentary forces. The chief tenet of those with a strong belief in The Balance is that the maximum amount of weal can be achieved when neither force is too dominant; that people are at their best when they are neither completely consumed by their passions, nor constrained by rigid custom.

Deities and Cults of The Balance

Faiths and practices that venerate forces of nature can be anything from animistic spirit cults (Kurgan) or as complex as formal pantheons of gods (Kelts). The common thread is usually a group of spirits or gods that encompass all of the myriad forces of life: Beauty, death, creation, destruction and a cycle of rebirth.

Effects on Gameplay

As per the book, acting on the behalf of the forces of Light, Shadow or Balance can gain a character Allegiance Points throughout their career. The important thing to note is that gaining allegiance isn’t done accidentally, these are deliberate acts done in the service of greater powers. Simply being “good” or “bad” isn’t enough.

Examples of Acts that can Provoke an Allegiance Roll

  • Hunting down and eradicating a marauding beast of chaos (Law)
  • Assassinating the priest of a god (varies)
  • plotting to overthrow a rightful ruler for selfish reasons (Chaos)
  • purifying a tomb infested by undead (Law)
  • Pledging yourself to a god/daemon (Law or Chaos)
  • Promoting individualism (Balance)
  • Working to topple a brutal ruler (Balance)
  • Restoring a sight to a natural state (Balance)

Law and Chaos

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