Friday, November 11, 2011

Alignment and the Cosmology of Kalagris

     There are three alignments in the Kalagris campaign: Law, Chaos, and Unaligned. The great ideological conflict of the world isn't concerned with Good and Evil. Chaos is literally destroying the world piece by piece. While good vs evil is important at a personal level, at the cosmic level, it comes in second. Far more pressing is where your character stands in the Law vs Chaos struggle.

     No one in the world, not ancient elven scribes or the most erudit human philosophers, understands the true nature of what is happening to the world. As horrific as it may be, it is a natural part of the process of birth-death-rebirth. Ultimately, it is natural. To the people living through it, it is something else entirely.

     It is the ultimate confrontation between Law and Chaos. That is where the line is drawn: are you aligned with the powers of Law, and thus the continued, ordered existence of Kalagris, or are you aligned with Chaos, bent on the unravelling of the world and all within it? This polarity means that people may find themselves allied with strange bedfellows. There are plenty of people and organizations that resist Chaos. Some do so to protect their own evil existence, some do so out of a sense of duty. Yet, when it comes time to take arms, they stand shoulder to shoulder. They can sort out their “personal” problems another time.

The Alignments

     Essentially, those aligned with Law stand against the forces of Chaos. It is important to understand that they stand against Chaos. It is not merely a philosophical choice, it is a plan of action. In principle virtually everyone on Kalagris is Lawful in word, but the Law-aligned are Lawful in deed, taking the fight to the enemy, actively resisting the Chaos Gods and their agents.

     Like Law, this isn't a simple withdrawal from the struggle, it is a sincere belief that one has no place in that struggle. Merely declining to become involved isn't enough. Truly neutral characters are extremely rare.
     Druids are among the only true neutral people on Kalagris. They have a sense that the Chaos Encroachment (as they call it) is a part of some cosmic cycle. They believe (mistakenly) that the Maelstrom is a machination of the Chaos Gods. According to their conclusions, it is simply time for the Chaos Gods to be ascendant. Being a part of the natural cosmic cycle, it is beyond the reach of anyone on Kalagris to interfere. This includes agents of Chaos seeking to call down the Maelstrom (it should advance at its own pace), or seeking some personal gain in the name of the Encroachment.

     Those aligned with Chaos are believed to be mad by virtually everyone else on Kalagris. Some welcome and embrace the Maelstrom to varying degrees, believing in the powers of Chaos in a very literally sense. There are some that believe in it in a more philosophical sense, viewing the tenets of Chaos figuratively, believing it represents their freedom. Finally, there are those who follow the Chaos Gods, slaves to their whims. In spite of the varied nature of those aligned with Chaos, they are universally met with distrust, at best. In some provinces a known Chaotic alignment is grounds for a summary execution.

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