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Alignment Observation

    • 8 posts
    July 22, 2019 3:16 PM PDT

       As a D&D fanatic, I couldn't help but notice that there are nine races and, in at least two editions of D&D, nine alignments. Has anyone else noticed that each race arguable could match with an individual alignment? I've heard it thrown around in the forums and by various content creators that the races are split in groups of three alignments on the Good-Evil scale, but haven't seen anything mentioned about a more indepth analysis. I see their alignments as follows:

     

    • Lawful Evil: Ogres

      They are undeniably a destructive race but they seem to have a system and rules on how to go about it. Their tactical war minds ensure that any battle they meet is by their standards and they have historically obtained leadership through strength or power. They did not want to be a part of the alliance on Vesu, but they left their totem, potentially as a symbol of a pact fulfilled.

    • True Evil: Dark Myr

      The Dark Myr, by unfortunate means, have had a hard fall from grace and they didn't take it well. We don't have much to go on beyond the lore note saying, "A vast disdain for other races lurks beneath their tranquil surface, calling none friend and few honored as foe." They don't play nice with others, maybe indicated by their fighting alone in the oceans when the Remnant sailed for Reignfall. Also they wanted no part in the alliance on Vesu, not even to be a part of its history, possibly shown by their removal of their totem.

    • Chaotic Evil: Skar

      I believe this one is pretty straight forward. They are a force of such malevolence they enslaved and corrupted the land they arrived at in an unprecedented time and before they grew to the point that another alliance may be needed, they fell in on themselves in turmoil worse than the Ogre's civil wars.

    • Lawful Neutral: Dwarfs

      Created by and still in service to their God, the dwarves have a society that seems to be solid as the Coldark steel they are known for. The outstanding theme in their pantheon seems to be a balancing scale of good and evil, though good may win out more often than evil.

    • True Neutral: Gnomes

      Settling down in a random location in Whitethaw, the Skyhold went about its business without express contact for nearly fifty years. I mean, I might not want to communicate with many people if I had to come to terms with losing my biological form and a good chunk of my people and my planet...but many of the races that came to Terminus suffered similar fates, if not worse. The Gnomes true nature of neutrality comes forth in their lackluster to really connect with the races of Terminus and reveal the many mysteries that come with their behaviour and constructions.

    • Chaotic Neutral: Archai

      The Archai were a previously enslaved race, but as a race they choose to remember their heritage as a mantel of freedom from oppressors. Additionally, biologically(?) they experience a live birth, imbedding in their lives a fundemental truth of personal choice and the power of an individual. Lastly, the phrase from their lore, "Loving celebration and battle almost equally, the Archai are positioned well to ascend in the Frail Age, should they choose," hints to their fit for the bid. They aren't described as having a vision for the future besides their joy of experiencing the now. 

    • Lawful Good: Elves

      Admittedly, this is more of a last piece of the puzzle fit. Their history of having separate political groups veers for them to be lawful, and their two power house groups vying for the main voice of the people want to decide if they should hunt out evil (Ember) or live as peacefully as they can (Ashen) which are pretty 'Good' endeavours.

    • True Good: Humans

      Now anyone that has known humans in any lore/reality know that we can be real jerks. And I will mention again that all of these races have the potential to be whatever alignment (potentially, if open world rep grind is a reality). But looking at the Humans manners and behaviours on Terminus, they are the best fit for True Good. Avendyr was The First King Out of the Sanctum and led the fight against the malicious hordes of Remnant. One could argue this was to motivate his people and not out of bloodlust, mainly from the reputation of his Speech of Souls. In the beginning of the Frail Age, humans held their arms wide open and worked to create Terminus as a world healed from the Ravaging Lord's wrath. Lastly, they errected a monument to those fallen with such dedication, to this day visitors say they feel the sting and death and birth around it.

    • Chaotic Good: Halflings

      What more can you expect from a race cursed with adolesence but chaos? Beyond that, the Halflings' way of celebrating life is nothing less than Chaotic Good. They sought the untamed Wild's End for their home and many dedicate their lives to hunting the wraiths that haunt the lands. Their carefree nature leaves even the Keeper speechless, or perhaps the Keeper simply wants their readers to experience a Halfling's mirth firsthand.

     

       I know alignment can be a tricky beast, especially from a D&D perspective. I want to believe that an individual from any race can some way or another find themselves to be contrary to their people. A Dark Myr inspired by the old tales of Syronai, A Dwarf embittered by the enslavement of Rhazik, a Gnome roused to action by a secondhand account of the Speech of Souls or even a Human who has just had it with all these inferior races visiting Thronefast. 

     

     Thanks for reading if you stuck around this long. Let me know what you think or if I'm rehashing something someone said before, I'm relatively new to the scene.

    • 405 posts
    July 23, 2019 2:50 AM PDT
    Great analysis! Ive never seen this posted before. An interesting and fun discussion here.

    Ive never understood why the Dark Myr become so.. evil.. after their forms change (saving their lives) and the Red kill Syronai. It's tragic, but why spurn the other races? An aspect of Myr psychology? But that is another topic. Nice observations here!
    • 185 posts
    July 23, 2019 8:59 AM PDT

    Wow, I love this! Great insight and perspective on how each race could align to these dispositions.

    I’ve read a lot of the discussions about racial alignments, and you are correct; there seems to be a consensus that there is a clear grouping of the races into general good, evil, and neutral categories. I think sometimes it is more about gameplay mechanics (faction), which makes sense, but it is interesting to consider alignment through the lens of the lore as you have. For example, there is a post in the Archai forum about the possibility that they could be considered an evil race which generated some interesting discussion. I like how you frame the Archai here better, rather than thinking of them as an evil race.

    I think you have most of the races pretty well explained for the alignment you suggest. The Dwarves as lawful neutral is maybe a little questionable (if I am nitpicking), considering their role in the Deicide War and their foundational place in the history of Terminus. I would think they lean towards a good alignment, but I could be convinced otherwise. 

    Alexander - I hear you. The Dark Myr seem more angry than evil, but perhaps it is just an intensity of anger that is so consuming it has become their fundamental nature. 

    Nice work again!

     

    • 1696 posts
    July 23, 2019 10:25 AM PDT

    @OP,

    Very nice write up!  I appreciate how you looked at the lore of each race to determine where they fall on that spectrum.  As I future Skar Shaman, I wholly agree with the Chaotic Evil assessment.  Cannot wait to just go about killing everyone everywhere.

    • 1625 posts
    July 24, 2019 10:01 AM PDT

    From the last newsletter, I begin to rethink the Archai's alignment.  They look centered about a lawfull neutral council and if I understood correctly, they need to keep a balance between their elemental atunement and their living part of they would die ?

     

    Quoting the part because It was heavy literary and it hardens my comprehension of the idea :

    The greater the strength of two opposing forces, the more vital is their balance. The body of an Archai is one such paradox of pressures. Delicately tuned, their outer husk is a mixture of mineral and magic, behaving as a skin but often mistaken for a shell. Like the crust of a warm planet, this husk constrains the “living soul” that dwells within, the two forces united in a painful process known as True Birth. Still, the volatile soul cracks through the surface in seams of light, reminding the dead husk of its role as a necessary burden. And if this balance shifts in favor of either side, the result is a majestic fit of gore and light, ending with the smoldering husk of an Archai corpse.

     

    Am I right ?

    • 8 posts
    July 24, 2019 7:29 PM PDT

    Oh gee, Thanks for the replies and views everyone. Gotta admit I was nervous, this being my first post outside the introduction thread. I'm very excited to be a part of such a supportive and invested community!

     

    @Alexander, I agree about the Dark Myr! It would seem to make more sense to exile and expunge the radical war priests that committed the act of killing their Goddess rather than turn against everyone. Perhaps the Lore we are given is a front to other troubles the Dark Myr deal with and we can learn more about their expressed xenophobia as more information about their people gets released. I think they are due a signature character segment!

     

    @Therek, I will need to look up that post about the evil Archai. As it is said, everyone is evil in somebody's book (I do not remember where that tidbit comes from) and I'd like to hear how the Archai may be viewed as such.

       As for the Dwarves, I may be drawing subconsciously from other sources, but a piece of evidence I forgot to mention is how the dwarves are spoken of in the Keepings of Castigue. The dwarves begin by sharing knowledge but cut ties with growing whispers of dark forces and war. While Khazas does evenutally help Castigue, the dwarven people don't offer him more aid than accepting the traveled scholar into their city. Thinking on it now, this may not be as strong of evidence for my case as I built it up to be in my head; it isn't too unreasonable to cut communication with a very distant peoples if you are shoring up for battle, especially about esoteric history.

     

    @Vandraad, I am certainly going to have to make a Skar as well! Although I'm more interested in seeing how they introduce a sustainable society of these creatures they've created. I'll be that small Skar shaman fueling the bloodlust of their kin and standing proud in the ancestral might of this race of destroyers.

     

    @MauvaisOeil, The recent newsletter certainly puts my assessment in a strange light. And honestly, it isn't the first thing. Castigue's account "A Night of Five Voices" introduces Rel-Cirin, a surprisingly cold individual for someone with magma flowing in his skin. I would be forced to admit that he seems to be an exception to the description I gave of the Archai if anyone had brought him up. A single person doesn't define a race, but now with the unveiling of the Atahaen, the Archai society certainly doesn't seem to share any Chaotic tendencies like the Halflings or Skar. I am interested in how the Archai seem to have developed a reputation of "...loving celebration and battle..." when they have such a strict leading power.

       As for the process of the live birth, I must also concede to the idea that the discipline required for it would be an argument equal to mine about "personal choice and power of the individual." My interpretation of the passage, however, is that the process itself required immense willpower and balance lest there be dire consequences. I would hope for the sake of these rocky people that they don't have to maintain that balance all their lives, but I could be wrong and that would be another fantastical aspect of this unique race.

    • 235 posts
    July 25, 2019 9:59 AM PDT

    PrismaticThief said:

       As a D&D fanatic, I couldn't help but notice that there are nine races and, in at least two editions of D&D, nine alignments. Has anyone else noticed that each race arguable could match with an individual alignment? I've heard it thrown around in the forums and by various content creators that the races are split in groups of three alignments on the Good-Evil scale, but haven't seen anything mentioned about a more indepth analysis. I see their alignments as follows:

     

    • Lawful Evil: Ogres

      They are undeniably a destructive race but they seem to have a system and rules on how to go about it. Their tactical war minds ensure that any battle they meet is by their standards and they have historically obtained leadership through strength or power. They did not want to be a part of the alliance on Vesu, but they left their totem, potentially as a symbol of a pact fulfilled.

    Reading what we have about the ogres, I got the sense of a bruised ego. Leaderless, they were forced to be part of an alliance to survive, and any ogre worth his salt should never be beholden to others. My impression of the empty post was their way of saying "We were here and will be again, if (we have to so we can survive) needed (but it's embarrassing, we shouldn't need anyone)."

    PrismaticThief said:

    • True Evil: Dark Myr

      The Dark Myr, by unfortunate means, have had a hard fall from grace and they didn't take it well. We don't have much to go on beyond the lore note saying, "A vast disdain for other races lurks beneath their tranquil surface, calling none friend and few honored as foe." They don't play nice with others, maybe indicated by their fighting alone in the oceans when the Remnant sailed for Reignfall. Also they wanted no part in the alliance on Vesu, not even to be a part of its history, possibly shown by their removal of their totem.

    The Dark Myr remind me of the dark elves from EQ and the Drow from D&D - arrogant, elitest, powerful, concerned only with themselves. I think another possibility for the missing banner and totem is "Pfft, we can live and survive in the ocean with or without the rest of you. If you all get wiped out, more for us!" Fighting alone against the Revenant's forces, well, they were in their element. Supremely efficient, they didn't need any help in the water, until the leviathans entered the fray.

    PrismaticThief said:

    • Chaotic Evil: Skar

      I believe this one is pretty straight forward. They are a force of such malevolence they enslaved and corrupted the land they arrived at in an unprecedented time and before they grew to the point that another alliance may be needed, they fell in on themselves in turmoil worse than the Ogre's civil wars.

    I actually think this one is a little trickier than it appears on the surface, but can easily see them as chaotic evil. It could be argued that they are lawful evil. Yes, they fall upon their own as well as common foes, but that could be the law they follow. Much like a hive or colony, they know destruction and it's their code. The object of that destruction either isn't defined or is defined as everything.

    PrismaticThief said:

    • Lawful Neutral: Dwarfs

      Created by and still in service to their God, the dwarves have a society that seems to be solid as the Coldark steel they are known for. The outstanding theme in their pantheon seems to be a balancing scale of good and evil, though good may win out more often than evil.

    There is this quote in the lore from Khazas:

    I must have held silent in surprise a bit too long, for Khazas’ voice softened. “Narian, if you have spoken to a single good Dwarf, you have spoken to me.”

    Then there's this one:

    While the Dwarves did hold annual meetings with the Elves, the trio of nations kept mostly to themselves. In fact, after the Ogres lost their expansion-obsessed ruler Rothuk the Black Moon King to something like madness in 23 IH, the Age of Seclusion was officially begun.

    It seems the dwarves lean, at least, more toward the good side than the neutral. I agree with the lawful assignment to both the dwarves and the ogres, but the neutral for the dwarves...I suppose it could be something as simple as the geographic distance between them. Guess we'll just have to see how they play out. 

    PrismaticThief said:

     

    • True Neutral: Gnomes

      Settling down in a random location in Whitethaw, the Skyhold went about its business without express contact for nearly fifty years. I mean, I might not want to communicate with many people if I had to come to terms with losing my biological form and a good chunk of my people and my planet...but many of the races that came to Terminus suffered similar fates, if not worse. The Gnomes true nature of neutrality comes forth in their lackluster to really connect with the races of Terminus and reveal the many mysteries that come with their behaviour and constructions.

    This one, at least from what we know so far, seems the most obvious. While their presence is noted, the gnomes have kept to themselves, not even bothering to really make contact or set upon the planet itself.

    PrismaticThief said:

    • Chaotic Neutral: Archai

      The Archai were a previously enslaved race, but as a race they choose to remember their heritage as a mantel of freedom from oppressors. Additionally, biologically(?) they experience a live birth, imbedding in their lives a fundemental truth of personal choice and the power of an individual. Lastly, the phrase from their lore, "Loving celebration and battle almost equally, the Archai are positioned well to ascend in the Frail Age, should they choose," hints to their fit for the bid. They aren't described as having a vision for the future besides their joy of experiencing the now.

    As MauvaisOeil has already mentioned, I'd be inclined to put the Archai more toward the lawful side, and probably the good side (based on cooperating with the dwarves to help a human with the dragon language), but we'll see.

    PrismaticThief said: 

    • Lawful Good: Elves

      Admittedly, this is more of a last piece of the puzzle fit. Their history of having separate political groups veers for them to be lawful, and their two power house groups vying for the main voice of the people want to decide if they should hunt out evil (Ember) or live as peacefully as they can (Ashen) which are pretty 'Good' endeavours.

    This is probably the best fit for the elves, for the reasons you listed.

    PrismaticThief said:

    • True Good: Humans

      Now anyone that has known humans in any lore/reality know that we can be real jerks. And I will mention again that all of these races have the potential to be whatever alignment (potentially, if open world rep grind is a reality). But looking at the Humans manners and behaviours on Terminus, they are the best fit for True Good. Avendyr was The First King Out of the Sanctum and led the fight against the malicious hordes of Remnant. One could argue this was to motivate his people and not out of bloodlust, mainly from the reputation of his Speech of Souls. In the beginning of the Frail Age, humans held their arms wide open and worked to create Terminus as a world healed from the Ravaging Lord's wrath. Lastly, they errected a monument to those fallen with such dedication, to this day visitors say they feel the sting and death and birth around it.

    Again, probably a best fit scenario. From what we've been given so far, the humans have embraced many, offered assistance and aid and tried (with much success) to unite and help lead the different nations against the Revenant, offering sancutary and hope to those seeking it.

    PrismaticThief said:

    • Chaotic Good: Halflings

      What more can you expect from a race cursed with adolesence but chaos? Beyond that, the Halflings' way of celebrating life is nothing less than Chaotic Good. They sought the untamed Wild's End for their home and many dedicate their lives to hunting the wraiths that haunt the lands. Their carefree nature leaves even the Keeper speechless, or perhaps the Keeper simply wants their readers to experience a Halfling's mirth firsthand.

    Yeah, this one is a no-brainer.

    PrismaticThief said: 

       I know alignment can be a tricky beast, especially from a D&D perspective. I want to believe that an individual from any race can some way or another find themselves to be contrary to their people. A Dark Myr inspired by the old tales of Syronai, A Dwarf embittered by the enslavement of Rhazik, a Gnome roused to action by a secondhand account of the Speech of Souls or even a Human who has just had it with all these inferior races visiting Thronefast. 

     

     Thanks for reading if you stuck around this long. Let me know what you think or if I'm rehashing something someone said before, I'm relatively new to the scene.

    These examples lead me to the next part of a somewhat long post. Overall, though, bravo. I think you've done a bangup job with the racial tendencies.

     

    Therek said:

     

    Wow, I love this! Great insight and perspective on how each race could align to these dispositions.

     

    I’ve read a lot of the discussions about racial alignments, and you are correct; there seems to be a consensus that there is a clear grouping of the races into general good, evil, and neutral categories. I think sometimes it is more about gameplay mechanics (faction), which makes sense, but it is interesting to consider alignment through the lens of the lore as you have. 

     

    *snip*

     

     

     

    Don't think this is accurate any more. I believe, initially, this is what they were going for (3 good, 3 neutral, 3 evil, 3 continents), but think that's at least somewhat gone by the wayside. Given the diversity in each of the races' pantheons, I think we're going to see a much more complex and less cookie-cutter mix among the races, which I view as a good thing. :)

     

     


    This post was edited by Percipiens at July 25, 2019 12:31 PM PDT
    • 8 posts
    July 25, 2019 6:40 PM PDT

    `@Percipiens, Thank you for all of your wonderful additions! I never considered the Skar of having an underlying order to their apparent maddness, but they do seem to have a kind of hive-like feel to them. And maybe going into Meta a bit their class options of Monk and Shaman hint at the capacity for discipline, perhaps even organizations like monasteries or religious sects (though religion may be a touchy subject for them).

       As for the dwarves...I'm just rather stubborn at this point about sticking with my original assessment. Khazas seems to be a good king and a good being but he IS supposed to be the "good" balancing force of the dwarven race. The way I see it though is that the dwarven nation ruled by Khazas may be good aligned and, admitably, that would be hard to distiguish from the race's own alignment at this point in time.

       I absolutely love that line you quoted from The Night of Five Voices--that alone has launched dwarves as a character option in my eyes several notches. And I can't deny that the way Khazas says it is so empowered that you know that he doesn't mean "if you have" but rather "since you have." But that could just be a parent's pride and love. A recipient of that line could focus on the word 'good' and think of all the dwarves they've met who aren't an example of speaking with the King.

       The Lore does have examples of the dwarves being in contact with the Good races, but it also has an example of them cutting communications, even if it is just with a human scholar. It's possible that any and all communications the dwarves have supported were simple a polite nod to the other races reaching out.

       As I said, I'm probably being stubborn. It is ingraved in my mind that the hardy folk of the cold lands are traditional clansmen and women who adhere to their hierorchies as is expected of them. Another look at Meta reveals the Dwarves as one of the two races that can be Paladins at this juncture. Hopefully we can learn more about the earliest of the Sacred Six and their marks on Terminus since their arrival soon.

     

       I'm disheartened (but not disappointed) by the recent reveal of Archai culture. It certainly seems to blow my "Nine Races, Nine Alignments" theory, unless I were to move some around. Simply as a quirky thought, it would be interesting if the Archai turn out to be more True Neutral and the Gnomes Chaotic Neutral only because if that were the case, each continent would have recieved their respective Good/Neutral/Evil race in order of increasing chaos.

    • 235 posts
    July 26, 2019 7:53 AM PDT

    PrismaticThief said:

     

     *snip*

       I'm disheartened (but not disappointed) by the recent reveal of Archai culture. It certainly seems to blow my "Nine Races, Nine Alignments" theory, unless I were to move some around. Simply as a quirky thought, it would be interesting if the Archai turn out to be more True Neutral and the Gnomes Chaotic Neutral only because if that were the case, each continent would have recieved their respective Good/Neutral/Evil race in order of increasing chaos.

    The bit we got regarding the Archai and specifically Bel-Iris was very interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it sort of flies in the face of the boisterous, passionate 'feast and fight' image that I had of the Archai intitially. It painted them in a light more akin to the Qunari from Dragon Age: Inquisition, making them more similar to the Skar, in an odd sort of way, removing at least part of their free will for the good of the whole. This would push them more toward lawful neutral.

    Second, it enforces class options for them. This paragraph, in particular:

    The Atahaen life can be crushing to fully grown Archai, let alone physical and mental children. It is not uncommon for their souls as well as their bodies to be afflicted by a deep sickness of the heart, to paralyzing effect. The child learned to sense the anguish of her siblings, and some would find themselves drawn to her in kind. Her words were a precious gift, yet it was her voice that healed their souls. Long into the night the child’s song would carry through the polished stone halls, floating between dusk and dawn like a sonnet to their dreams. The Archai voice is renowned for its natural echo, and the child’s song would tend to the supernatural wounds of her siblings, even while they slept. There is a tale of Atahaen instructors waiting for hours at the door of the acolyte barracks, listening for the child herself to pass into sleep, the silence signaling them to disassemble the ring of slumbering siblings and ferry them into their beds. Though in many ways those nights were a break with Atahaen tradition, it was wisdom that guided their order, not ritual. The child’s effect was beyond denial.

    I have to wonder, after reading this, if the Archai will get a racial bonus to song effectiveness if they choose the path of a bard. In the case of the monk and wizard, self-control and discipline are paramount virtues, and the latest newsletter reinforced their importance to at least some of the controlling parties in their society. I do have a few questions about available classes for the Archai, but that's for another thread, I suppose.

    Again, don't beat yourself up about the 'Nine races, nine alignment' thing. I believe that was the initial thought (and possibly still a general guideline), but it has changed. I've seen at least a couple mentions about it, but finding it again will be challenging.