All Creatures of Panzoasia adhere to one of five different Alignments – Lawful, Chaotic, Good, Evil, or Neutral. For animals and unintelligent creatures, Alignment indicates their behavioral predisposition. For sentient beings, however, Alignment indicates both one’s predominant morality, and which Divine Powers they honor and support. A person chooses their Alignment, which thereafter informs their actions. The Alignments of Panzoasia are not simply descriptive labels – they are objectively real forces engaged in a cosmic conflict for control of Reality itself. Thus, each Alignment of Panzoasia is also its own religion. All more-or-less agree on basic cosmology, but each disagrees on ethics and morality. Each Alignment has its own traditions of worship, its own clergy, and its own scriptures. People can and do change Alignment, and in the case of important (or high-Level) individuals, the result can be an open battle among the spiritual powers for possession of their soul.
A person of any Alignment could be either charming or off-putting; have either a good or bad sense of humor; and be either aggressive or timid in their demeanor. People are individuals, and most fail to live up to the pure tenants of their Alignment – even Clerics. Lawful people sometimes makes exceptions to the law for their friends, Chaotic people will keep traditional obligations to their family and loved ones, Good people frequently act out of anger and hate. Evil people can behave tenderly and generously towards those who they think deserve it, and Neutral people often take more than they need from their environment. Those who perfectly embody their Alignment, however, are called Paragons – and are usually on the difficult path to Immortality.
Motto: “Do your duty, at all costs.”
Divine Patrons: The Lord and Lady of Destiny. The Archons of the Cosmic Spheres.
Religion of the Ultimate West: The Assembly of Destiny
A non-sentient animal or creature of Lawful Alignment follows a strict pattern of behavior from which it never wavers, and cannot abide any alteration to its routine. Their behavior is completely predictable. Truly Lawful animals and creatures are rare.
A Lawful person believes that the Cosmos has a single definite purpose, and all things must be made as predictable as possible. Society must be ordered so that all people know their place. Those who stand outside the Law must be brought into it. Those who will not follow the Law must be punished until they do. Lawful people know that there is an immutable Destiny ordained for them, which they should not only accept, but actively embrace.
Typical Attitudes of Lawful People Towards the Other Alignments:
- The Chaotic Alignment must be destroyed because Chance threatens the predictability of Reality itself. The other Alignment all have their place in the plan of Destiny, but Chaotics are a threat that cannot be tolerated.
- The Good Alignment is mistaken because showing mercy to lawbreakers undermines the concept of justice, which must be applied absolutely. We must show Good people that it is only a through the total rule of Law that people be made safe and happy.
- The Evil Alignment is dangerous because indulging in limitless ambition is essentially denying one’s sacred duty and appointed Destiny. The Powers of Destiny created Evil only to punish lawbreakers and rebels.
- The Neutral Alignment is illegitimate because their insistence on harmonious balance only allows dangerous Chaos to thrive. We must show them that the harmony of Nature is a function of the Laws under which it operates.
Motto: “Do what you will.”
Divine Patrons: The Lord and Lady of Chance. The Daimons of Limbo.
Religion of the Ultimate West: The Friends of Chance, also known as The Free Brethren
A non-sentient animal or creature of Chaotic Alignment acts without any apparent purpose or comprehensible motive. It is impossible to predict their behavior. Truly Chaotic animals and creatures are rare.
A Chaotic person believes that nothing exists for any necessary purpose – nor should it. Society and its needs are less important than the desires of the individual. Whatever so-called Destiny has been decided for one can – and should – be resisted by the exercise of Free Will. The Divine Powers themselves must be defied if they interfere with your autonomy. Whether an individual chooses to help another or not is their choice alone.
Typical Attitudes of Chaotic People Towards the Other Alignments:
- The Lawful Alignment is utterly idiotic because Destinies are obviously neither necessary or unavoidable, if they require Archons to administer them. We can get along with every other Alignment, but we have to stop the Lawfuls from making the Cosmos into a joyless prison not worth living in.
- The Good Alignment is ridiculous because they would constrain freedom – without which there can be no happiness – in the name of so-called benevolence. Also, those aligned with Good like to talk about how their Immortal Heroes liberated Panzoasia, when it was actually our Berserkers that first put the Bogeymen on the defensive. At least Good people will help us fight the worst examples of tyranny, however.
- The Evil Alignment is funny because freedom is the natural state of all beings, but Evil people think only they should be free. On the other hand, at least honestly Evil folk don’t preach at us about what we should or shouldn’t do – unlike the so-called “Good” people!
- The Neutral Alignment is a joke because they fail to appreciate the the Cosmos for what it is – an expression of raw, unconstrained power. At least Neutral people don’t usually interfere with our freedom, however.
Motto: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Divine Patrons: The Lord and Lady of Light. The Angels of Heaven.
Religion of the Ultimate West: The Church of Light
A non-sentient animal or creature of Good Alignment never attacks unless attacked first, and will even try to be of service to others. Truly Good animals and creatures are rare.
A Good person believes that that the Cosmos should be improved for the benefit of all sentient beings. All suffering should eliminated or minimized. Society should be ordered so that people can be as happy and healthy as possible. Righteousness must be balanced with Mercy, and justice tempered with compassion. Good people generally want all possible steps taken to end injustice and Evil wherever it occurs.
Typical Attitudes of Good People Towards the Other Alignments:
- The Lawful Alignment is mistaken because laws exist for the benefit of society, not society for the benefit of laws. Also, Lawful people will kill many creatures they deem to be “Monsters” merely because the beings are supposedly affronts to so-called “natural law” – whether or not those “Monsters” are actually threats to innocent people. However, we can help Lawful people create legal regimes that actually make society function better.
- The Chaotic Alignment is wrong because completely unfettered freedom results only in the strongest and most vicious creatures dominating everything else. However, we can help Chaotic people when they struggle against slavery, tyranny, and cruel traditions.
- The Evil Alignment must be opposed because Evil tries to dominate and ruin everything around it. Evil must be eliminated form the world, of course, but Evil people should also be given the opportunity to repent and change their Alignment.
- The Neutral Alignment is wrong because not taking positive steps to eliminate Evil simply allows Evil to flourish. However, we can help Neutral people preserve the beauty of Nature and defend it against the depredations of Evil.
Motto: “Do whatever demonstrates your strength and skill – and if the weak must suffer, so be it!”
Divine Patrons: The Lord and Lady of Darkness. The Infernals (Devils and Demons) of Hell.
Religion of the Ultimate West: The Antichurch of Darkness
A non-sentient animal or creature of Evil Alignment always tries to kill or harm others, without provocation. They always repay kindness with aggression, and are unnecessarily cruel. Truly Evil animals and creatures are rare.
An Evil person believes that the Cosmos is inherently a battle for dominance, and that only the strongest and most skillful deserve to survive. One is either a predator, or prey. Society is something to be exploited by those powerful enough to do so. The weak deserve nothing, and exist only to serve the strong. Others have only the rights they can take and defend. A person’s behavior is ultimately limited only by their power. If you are not yourself strong or skillful, your value is to support those who are. Evil people believe that most apparent virtue is either just an excuse for weakness, or else a lie. Some Evil people do actually follow personal codes of honor, to show that they are so strong and skillful that they can crush their enemies even without taking every advantage. Other Evil people deliberately break oaths and commit random acts of senseless violence.
Typical Attitudes of Evil People Towards the Other Alignments:
- The Lawful Alignment is stupid because legal systems are simply the opinions of the strong, and the fetters of the weak. Law can be a useful tool, however, to keep the inferior and undeserving in line.
- The Chaotic Alignment is mistaken because it would allow freedom to all, not just the deserving. Chaos can be a useful tool, however, because the strong will always triumph when they are free to do so.
- The Good Alignment must be annihilated because it allows the weak and undeserving to flourish. So-called “Good” wants to dominate the Cosmos the same as every other Alignment, but hypocritically claims to be acting for everyone’s benefit. All the other Alignments can be useful tools, but Good is fit only to be destroyed.
- The Neutral Alignment is foolish because there is no harmony in Nature – the natural order is survival of the fittest, and dominance by the strong. Neutrality can be a useful tool, however, because we can easily convince Neutral people that we are necessary to their laughable notion of “Cosmic Harmony”.
Motto: “Do to others what they do to you.”
Divine Patrons: The Lord and Lady of Life. The Fairy Folk of the Summerland.
Religion of the Ultimate West: The Congregation of Life
A non-sentient animal or creature of Neutral Alignment simply follows its instincts for survival, without any discernible tendency towards capriciousness, benevolence, or maliciousness. Most animals and creatures are Neutral.
A Neutral person believes that the Cosmos is a harmony of different forces, and trying to make everything perfect will only make it unbalanced. Society exists for the benefit of its members, but it is impossible to create one where everyone will be happy. It is important to obey reasonable laws and traditions, but sometimes one must follow one’s own heart too. A person owes honestly and loyalty to their beloved family and friends, but cannot be expected to treat strangers the same way. Sometimes, you must protect yourself and those like yourself by violent means. Repay kindness with kindness, and aggression with aggression. Nobody wants Evil to go unchecked, but it is foolish to believe that you can impose a better way of life on others, like the Good people would try to do
Typical Attitudes of Neutral People Towards the Other Alignments:
- The Lawful Alignment is unbalanced because absolute predictability would be the death of creativity. Nonetheless, Law is a necessary part of the Cosmos, as reflected in the cycles of the seasons.
- The Chaotic Alignment is unbalanced because the ordered rhythms of nature – such as the rising and setting of the sun – are obviously necessary for the continuance of life. Nonetheless, Chaos is a necessary part of the Cosmos, without which life would lack variation and wonder.
- The Good Alignment is unbalanced because, in their desire to protect the weak and end suffering, Good people often take ill-considered actions that ironically create even more suffering. Nonetheless, Good is a necessary part of the Cosmos, without which life would simply be a loveless and brutal struggle for existence.
- The Evil Alignment is unbalanced because Evil people try to upset the harmony of the Cosmos by disregarding the needs of other living beings, and exalting themselves above all others. Nonetheless, Evil is a necessary part of the Cosmos, because without destruction there can be no new creation. Evil people think that they are so clever that they have fooled us into accepting them, but really they are so blinded by their own desires that they can’t see how they are simply playing their small parts in the eternal drama of Life.