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Morality and the Immortals

by André Martins

>This is one thing that bothers me about alignments. It doesn't seem possible
>to be to have the same alignment towards everyone. I mean, to the elves,
>they are using a means of defence that doesn't put them in harms way. To
>them, its good. To the humans that come into their forests, its bad. The
>alignment system is fine when dealing with the same cultures but becomes
>stupid with others. The Birthright elves actively hunt humans and most
>outside that culture thinks its evil. Not to me though. The Alfheim elves
>using poison is just another fact I've overlook and changes nothing about
>that culture to me. In fact, I like that these aren't the type elves that goes by
>others ideas how they should defend themselves.

I am still considering a project to define good and evil according to each Immortal, as I proposed before. Definitions that would be the ones you'd get when casting a spell, if you were a priest. For wizards it would depend on where did you get your spell from (can you picture your "good" PC casting a spell developed long ago by a wizard working together with a Hel priest? ... evil grin)

This way we'd have, per example:

Druids and Nature worshipping deities (Djaea, Ordana): evil is anything that attacks their forest or actively tries to destroy nature. A woodcutter would almost always be detected as evil. Rangers, other druids, elves and forest creatures would be detected as good. As this makes them sometimes protect innocent people and other times attack them, that's why they are usually viewed as neutral.

Ixion: any undead is evil (Crackle would detect as evil in the 1st adventure of WotI, even though he is willing to help and won't act in "evil" ways, as we understand), as well as entropic priests and followers. Not sure what he would define as good, besides undead slayer champions.

Nyx: any undead is good, as well as most creatures of night. Extremely destructive forces are evil, as well as any priest with undead turning abilities.

Halav: Any humanoid is evil; honour-bound war leaders are good.

Rad (spells available in Glantri for mages): Clerics and forces that act against knowledge and civilisation are evil; not sure about good.

Rathanos: energy forms are good; women are never good, just neutral.

Protius: most sea creatures are good.

Al-Kalim: faithful people (any faith) are good; non-believers (who follow or show respect to no Immortal), the ultimate evil.

Alphaks: almost any Alphatian or Glantrian is evil; destructive forces are good.

Alphatia: Warring people are evil (changed during WotI, causing lots of confusion, remember how her priests are mentioned to notice it, that's their spells changing readings); Alphatians loyal to their country, good.

Diulanna: weak willed people are evil; heroes against impossible odds, good.

Hel: Pain-causing creature are good; not sure about evil

Ka: Those who work to preserve life diversity are good; those who destroy living beings without a good reason, evil.

Loki: Liars and Huleans are good; not sure about evil.

Odin: wise leaders, good; Loki or Hel followers, evil.

Orcus: living things, evil; extremely destructive creatures, good (wonderful source of a know alignment for a PC party :)

Tarastia: revenge-seeking people seeking proportional revenge are good, as well as those who follows the common laws (no killing, theft, etc.); crime masters and thieves, evil.

Thanatos: living beings are evil; subtle plotters seeking destruction are good.

Note that some of these definitions are for mortal use. Ixion and Nyx wouldn't personally detect each other as evil, as we all know it, but they will still tell their followers that the other one's flock is extremely evil. Also, these are just suggestions, I am not sure all of them feels right and there is still much work to do, even in the best established cases. The real philosophies are certainly more complex than the simple definitions given above, but I believe these can serve as guidelines.