Before there was matter, there was the cosmic balance. The balance always was, and always will be. It is a delicate and subtle power, which loves everything in the multiverse, which it created. Philosophers strive to attain the balance, but most fall toward Law, or more often to Chaos. The balance is between life and death, and law and chaos: it is a harmonious and natural anarchy.
Champions of the balance are rare, special people, spiritually rich and in touch with the multiverse at a primal level. They often roam from nation to nation, plane to plane, spreading the doctrine of balance wherever they go. They bring stability and equilibrium to humanity but they are also the least appreciated.
For divine beings the balance established laws of conduct by which they must act. The Lords of Law follow these edicts but often ignore their intent. Chaos actively seeks loopholes to disobey these strictures; both would overthrow the balance if they could. The rules are as follows:
- Divine beings are forbidden to directly interfere with human destiny. They can only influence it through champions, agents and pawns that willingly serve them.
- None may manifest upon the earth without being willingly summoned by a mortal.
The lords of nature are unseen and mysterious. Their influence is constant and subtle which makes them easily ignored and underestimated. None can match their power and rage when they are angered.
Known variously as the Lords of Hell, the Dukes of Entropy, etc., the Lords of Chaos take great interest in human affairs. They are creatures of passion, endless mutability, and almost infinite power. Change and disorder are their essence and being. Although considered evil by humans because of their effect on humanity, they are beyond good and evil as we understand it. They desire that every plane in the multiverse be dominated by chaos and locked in complete and mindless flux.
In the majority of the young kingdoms, worshipers of chaos are reviled and feared. In nations such as Vilmir the worship of chaos is forbidden and must therefore be practiced in secrecy. Devotees of chaos are often executed upon discovery. Other nations tolerate the worship of chaos, or actively promote it. Only in The Black Theocracy of Pan Tang is there an organized Church of Chaos, complete with ceremonies and rituals.
Traditionally the number eight represents Chaos. It is also the traditional number of Lords in the chaos pantheon. The Lords acknowledged in the pantheon vary from place to place, but the three oldest and most powerful Chaos Lords are always present. On Melnibon, the Lords of Chaos appear in impossibly beautiful forms. Elsewhere they take on horrid and terrifying guise, appropriate to the human perception of Chaos as intrinsically malevolent.
The Lords of Law comprise a pantheon whose power embraces the Young Kingdoms, but which his little called upon. Civilized nations such as the The Young Kingdom of Lormyr, the The Young Theocracy of Vilmir, and Isle of the Purple Towns believe the Lords of Law to be deities of moral righteousness, representing order and stability. In truth, Law is as implacable to humanity as Chaos but more inflexible.
The Lords of Chaos would remold humans into interesting new forms, but the Lords of Law would eliminate that which makes people human – their imperfect souls. In a world of perfect law, no place exists for individuality and emotion. Law aims for perfection, stability, tradition, order, and structure, which in human terms means stagnation. The single arrow of Law symbolizes the One Way of Law.
In the Young Kingdoms, the Lords of Law are viewed as good, although detached and passionless, and as opposing the mad evil of Chaos. But humanity does not understand the true nature of multiverse. Melniboneans oppose Law, correctly believing that Law would stifle the wild and fey pleasures of their lives. In their manifestations, the Lords of Law adopt the appearance of impossibly flawless, perfectly beautiful humans, almost painful to look upon.
Chaos reveres the number eight. Law holds several numbers significant. The number one is the most important, for it comes first and is composed only of itself, just as the way of the Law admits no variety. The number three is an early prime number, representative of the triangle, which is the strongest structural form, and can signify as well the powerful trinity of Donblas, Arkyn, and Goldar, the three most important Lords of Law. The number nine is three times three, and is so triply sacred, matching the number of deities in the pantheon of Law.