Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Alignments And Auras: A Way To View The World

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/05/07


Looking at the various Players on the World Stage, I am very often reminded of an online role-playing game I spent a lot of time playing through the years — Shattered Kingdoms. I occasionally will go and kill monsters at the newbie levels but I no longer get deeply involved. It has lost most of its allure. But while I was actively “gaming,” I was known for strong RP (role-play) and inept PK (player-killing). And that strength in role-play keeps the various thought processes fresh in my mind.

There was nationalistic pride, naturalistic pride, empire building, freedom loving, license loving, and race relations (where one race was a cross between a lion and an eagle (the Griffon), for example). While some of these issues were occasionally alignment-and-aura independent, the vast majority of the time alignment and aura were key motivating factors. And I see that clearly played out in the real world. This is why I’m writing this particular article. My expectation is I’ll be linking back to it on occasion because it creates a word-picture to understand real world society and politics — and the mind-set of people discussing real world society and politics.

On with the classification of the alignments and auras.

There are three auras: Good or Light, Selfish or Grey, Evil or Dark. Those three auras are divided up into eight alignments.

Principled — good
Scrupulous — good
Dogmatic — selfish
Unprincipled — selfish
Anarchist — selfish
Aberrant — evil
Miscreant — evil
Diabolic — evil

Obviously those who are selfish or evil don’t necessarily view themselves as such. But some do.

Principled characters value life and freedom above all else. They will strive to protect all people, especially those who are not able to protect themselves. When possible they will try to stop those who commit evil acts by capturing and attempting to reform them. Principled characters try with all their might to follow and uphold the laws of the land. Those laws were created to protect those who need protection and were most likely placed there by others of the same alignment. Principled characters try to avoid killing, but do not necessarily shy away from lethal force in the face of unrepentent evil.”

Scrupulous characters value life, freedom, and happiness above all else, but find the traditional methods of achieving these goals to be cumbersome. While having the best of intentions, they sometimes descend to questionable, rash, or even ruthless means against evil-doers. Although their lack of caution may occasionally result in harm to innocents, they will not intentionally kill those of good heart. They are willing to work with almost anyone who will help them in their cause. Scrupulous characters are incredible leaders. They lack the discipline necessary to be effective long-term rulers, becoming frustrated by all the red tape needed to run an organized society.”

Dogmatic characters hold the rule of law and order in the highest esteem. Whether it is the malicious dictates of an oppressive tyrant or the benevolent decrees of a gentle queen, the dogmatic individual upholds the law carefully and doggedly. A dogmatic person is one who values the safety of bureaucracy and procedure. Such characters eschew wanton freedoms and despise anarchy. Hierarchy is of great importance: there is no comfort in not knowing where one fits in the pecking order. The dogmatic individual is not necessarily kind nor necessarily cruel: what interests them above all else is the careful adherence to the rules. They make ideal bureaucrats, peace officers and soldiers, but usually lack the passion required to be inspirational leaders.”

Unprincipled characters will attempt to follow the laws and rules around them, but often feel they are unnecessarily restrictive. They value their personal freedom above anything else and will act out if these freedoms are infringed upon. They tend to be kind and friendly, but when it comes down to it, they are primarily looking out for their own interests. An unprincipled person will overthrow a tyrant but might not be willing to sacrifice their life doing it.”

Anarchist characters tend to be the most adventurous and fun-loving people around. They have a devil-may-care attitude, and will go to any lengths to make life happier and more pleasurable for themselves, often forgetting about the consequences. They tend to be blind to the world around them, concentrating more on self-gratification and self-indulgence, and thus, ending up following only the laws that make sense to them. Although friendly, they frequently prioritize their own pleasure above another’s well being.”

Aberrant characters, quite literally, value honor above all else. They are perfectly willing to use force and intimidation to reach their goals,
and they are capable of backing up their threats with action when necessary. They do not enjoy the act of killing in itself, but do find pleasure in killing for the sake of revenge or honor. Aberrant people tend to be very fair and loyal friends, but are swift and harsh when dealing with those who are against them. They make the greatest allies, and the worst enemies.”

Miscreant characters believe in using any means possible to further their own personal goals, not really caring who gets hurt in the process. They do not seek to kill or hurt others, except in cases of revenge, but they do end up hurting the unfortunate few who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They justify this as being the other person’s fault for getting in their way in the first place. They have a tendency to seek large amounts of wealth and power, and thus, are the type who attract weak-willed henchmen and lackeys. They have no respect for law and order, unless they control that law and order, and so usually break those annoying little laws left and right.”

Diabolic characters are the cruel, heartless killers. They are the kind who plot and plan to harm others simply for their own entertainment. This does not imply that they do not have deeper goals, however. Their goals are usually products of insanity and are too convoluted for the normal person to comprehend. Diabolic people need not follow normal rules of conduct, they can be the nicest, most generous person in the world one moment, and the next, stab you in the back and steal everything you own.”

*End classification of auras and alignments.*

It is important to note that player characters are pretty much the super-heroes, the elite of the elite, whereas non-player characters (computer generated monsters and people) were just regular people who needed the super-heroes. But there have been some player characters who did not play the role of elite. Indeed I played one of those non-elite characters once (and found a form of fame in so doing).

Looking at the various alignment classifications without the context of aura classification, there is a definite blending of philosophy on the surface. Certain characteristics appear to transcend aura. In my mind, the Scrupulous character is a prime example. He could be confused for Anarchist, Unprincipled, Aberrant, or possibly even Miscreant — except for his underlying Good aura, which defines his intentions and guides his overall approach to life.

I played a scrupulous feral griffon (Griffons can only be Good; they cannot be Grey or Evil.) that, due to his complete lack of charisma, his complete lack of understanding of humanoid interactions (and lack of desire to understand them), his dogged territorialistic/nationalistic mind-set, was almost universally disliked. But he was good and he aggressively defended against the encroachment of evil. He would yell at his friends for acts he deemed unwholesome more than he would yell at his enemies.

Dogmatic characters are described as selfish but that is not necessarily the case. (There is no real aura classification for them as they are, indeed, aura-transcendent as a whole.) I shimmed* a dogmatic character who was completely subservient to a noble family — without being a slave — and could see no reason why it should be any other way. Being the House Magess was a huge responsibility and fealty to the House was as expected and ordinary as the morning sunrise.

Communism/Socialism/Marxism is evil. Period. And those who are the leaders of those movements are likewise evil. The hangers-on may or may not be evil. They may merely be selfish rubes. Likewise Islam is evil. Period. And those who are the leaders of Islam are evil. Again, the hangers-on may or may not be evil. They may be selfish, or most likely dogmatic, but there is no true Good in Islam.

And if the Communists/Socialists/Marxists and assorted Leftists existed on Earth with only Mohammedans, they would be killing each other off because Communism/Socialism/Marxism/Leftism and Islam are polar opposites in the realm of evil. The hyper-left side despises the autocratic Islamic demands that Allah rule over everyone because the hyper-left rejects all gods. And the Mohammedans despise the hyper-left because the hyper-left are immoral and depraved.

The Western socialist left detests the United States and its capitalist economic structure, and seeks to facilitate that structure’s downfall by any means necessary — including the formation of whatever alliances will further that ultimate objective. One seemingly unlikely alliance that the socialist left has forged is its alliance with radical, fundamentalist Islam, which emphatically and unambiguously rejects virtually everything for which the socialist left claims to stand: the peaceful resolution of international conflict; respect and tolerance for other cultures and faiths; civil liberties; freedom of expression; freedom of thought; human rights; democracy; women’s rights; gay rights; and the separation of church and state.

There could be no stranger bedfellows than Western leftists and Islamic extremists. Yet they have been brought together by the one overriding trait they do share — their hatred for America; their belief that the U.S. is the very embodiment of evil on earth and must consequently be destroyed.

As Osama bin Laden told a CNN interviewer in 1997, “We declared jihad against America because America is unjust, criminal and tyrannical.” This pronouncement does not differ at all, either in substance or tone, from the declarations of the West’s radical left, whose ill will toward America is similarly detectable in the following excerpt from an al Qaeda manifesto:

“America is the head of heresy in our modern world, and it leads an infidel democratic regime that is based upon separation of religion and state and on ruling the people by the people via legislating laws that contradict the way of Allah and permit what Allah has prohibited. This compels the other countries to act in accordance with the same laws in the same ways . . . and punishes any country [that rebels against these laws] by besieging it, and then by boycotting it. By so doing [America] seeks to impose on the world a religion that is not Allah’s.”

While Western leftists make no similar religious references, they do contend, like radical Islamists, that the United States is determined to overrun other nations and dominate the world.

Both Leftism and Islam are evil and seek to destroy that which makes America great. But if that were ever achieved, Islam would then seek destroy Leftism. And that is a guarantee.

*In my experience, about 60 percent of the guys and 10 percent of the girls would from time to time play a character of the opposite gender, known as “shimming” (she + him = shim).

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