Law, Neutrality, and Chaos
Attitudes toward order and chaos are divided into three opposing beliefs.
Picture these beliefs as the points of a triangle, all pulling away from each
other. The three beliefs are law, chaos, and neutrality. One of these represents
each character's ethos--his understanding of society and relationships.
Characters who believe in law maintain that order, organization, and society
are important, indeed vital, forces of the universe. The relationships between
people and governments exist naturally. Lawful philosophers maintain that this
order is not created by man but is a natural law of the universe. Although man
does not create orderly structures, it is his obligation to function within
them, lest the fabric of everything crumble. For less philosophical types,
lawfulness manifests itself in the belief that laws should be made and followed, if
only to have understandable rules for society. People should not pursue personal
vendettas, for example, but should present their claims to the proper
authorities. Strength comes through unity of action, as can be seen in guilds, empires,
and powerful churches.
Those espousing neutrality tend to take a more balanced view of things. They
hold that for every force in the universe, there is an opposite force somewhere.
Where there is lawfulness, there is also chaos; where there is neutrality,
there is also partisanship. The same is true of good and evil, life and death.
What is important is that all these forces remain in balance with each other. If
one factor becomes ascendant over its opposite, the universe becomes unbalanced.
If enough of these polarities go out of balance, the fabric of reality could
pull itself apart. For example, if death became ascendant over life, the
universe would become a barren wasteland.
Philosophers of neutrality not only presuppose the existence of opposites, but
they also theorize that the universe would vanish should one opposite
completely destroy the other (since nothing can exist without its opposite).
Fortunately for these philosophers (and all sentient life), the universe seems to be
efficient at regulating itself. Only when a powerful, unbalancing force appears
(which almost never happens) need the defenders of neutrality become seriously
The believers in chaos hold that there is no preordained order or careful
balance of forces in the universe. Instead they see the universe as a collection of
things and events, some related to each other and others completely
independent. They tend to hold that individual actions account for the differences in
things and that events in one area do not alter the fabric of the universe halfway
across the galaxy. Chaotic philosophers believe in the power of the individual
over his own destiny and are fond of anarchistic nations. Being more
pragmatic, non-philosophers recognize the function of society in protecting their
individual rights. Chaotics can be hard to govern as a group, since they place their
own needs and desires above those of society.
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