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Thread: Of Silvanesti and Alignment

  1. #1
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    Default Of Silvanesti and Alignment

    Lets call a spade a spade here, the Silvanesti, as a culture, are Lawful Neutral in alignment. They are racial superiorists who live in a rigid caste system, have taken slaves of their own distant kin (for their own betterment, of coarse), and will sometimes even shoot on sight those who enter their land. Now, I have no real problem with a culture like this existing in a fantasy setting, however what I just described is not a society that would be labeled as good on the alignment chart. And thusly, a Silvanesti who follows his cultures general outlook and leanings is more likely to be a red robe than a white robe, yet, ironically, it is written that they are exiled if assigned any robe color but white.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelwind View Post
    Lets call a spade a spade here, the Silvanesti, as a culture, are Lawful Neutral in alignment. They are racial superiorists who live in a rigid caste system, have taken slaves of their own distant kin (for their own betterment, of coarse), and will sometimes even shoot on sight those who enter their land. Now, I have no real problem with a culture like this existing in a fantasy setting, however what I just described is not a society that would be labeled as good on the alignment chart. And thusly, a Silvanesti who follows his cultures general outlook and leanings is more likely to be a red robe than a white robe, yet, ironically, it is written that they are exiled if assigned any robe color but white.
    Of course between Par-Salian casting a curse on Raistlin so that he would see everyone as dying (plainly an act of horrific torture) and Coryn using her magic to help Emperor Markham rape a woman, its not as though the White Robes seem particularly good aligned either, so the Silvanesti should fit in their order just fine.

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    I cant speak to the latter example, being that I never read novels past the War of Souls, but as to the former, we are led to believe that a Test of High Sorcery is intentionally a crucible and that such things arent necessarily uncommon within it, also that prospecting mages are generally forewarned bad stuff will go down during it.

    But all that aside, it is stated in game mechanics that White Robes are of good alignment.

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    Ah but its all a perceived perception of what the greater good is. The Kingpriest was LG when he started outlawing Neutral deities and enslaving whole races. Let's be real here.
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    The deeper down this rabbit hole you go, the more the universe begins to unravel. Suffice it to say that Good and Evil are “teams,” and the elves are only ever going to bat for the one side, though they may first have to battle some inner demons (experience a “arc”).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelwind View Post
    I cant speak to the latter example, being that I never read novels past the War of Souls, but as to the former, we are led to believe that a Test of High Sorcery is intentionally a crucible and that such things arent necessarily uncommon within it, also that prospecting mages are generally forewarned bad stuff will go down during it.
    That seems problematic itself though. Why would good aligned people agree to perpetrate a brutal system like the Test? Shouldn't they be looking for a way to regulate the practice of magic without brutalizing people?

    But all that aside, it is stated in game mechanics that White Robes are of good alignment.
    Yeah, but the game mechanics also have the Kingpriest as being of good alignment so they are pretty much meaningless if you want "Good" to mean anything beyond just being a team name.

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    Dragonlance has always been weird about alignment. It's one of the few aspects of it I never liked. For instance, the idea that the Kingpriest's actions was due to being too Good. See, we need Evil to balance us out! Except, no, the Kingpriest wasn't too good, he clearly turned to evil. It's ridiculous to define his actions as good.
    Formerly Daos Soulstaff

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    I've always taken it that the Kingpriest indeed started out LG, later alignment shifted to LN, and shifted again to LE by the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelwind View Post
    I've always taken it that the Kingpriest indeed started out LG, later alignment shifted to LN, and shifted again to LE by the end.
    Works for me, since I see the DL alignment conflict as between Law & Chaos, not Good & Evil. The Kingpriest was too lawful, not too good.
    "Here's to the successful end of another stupid and poorly planned adventure." — Aram Anni-Padda

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    Quote Originally Posted by Errant Crownguard View Post
    Dragonlance has always been weird about alignment. It's one of the few aspects of it I never liked. For instance, the idea that the Kingpriest's actions was due to being too Good. See, we need Evil to balance us out! Except, no, the Kingpriest wasn't too good, he clearly turned to evil. It's ridiculous to define his actions as good.
    What really makes it frustrating is that if Dragonlance wanted to forward the theory that being "too Good" is problematic, there were suitable examples of that in both Chronicles and Legends. (Laurana putting herself and thus her army in danger by going to comfort a dying man in Chronicles and Paladine curing a dying Raistlin when he knew Raistlin was plotting to destroy him in Legends.) Both of those were extremely compassionate acts that were objectively unwise and led to great problems, so they perfectly illustrate the potential danger of being "too Good". Thus there was never any need to try and claim the Kingpriest or the Silvanesti as exemplars of excessive goodness.

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