The Book of the Harmonium
The Book of the Harmonium

The Book of the Harmonium

The Book of the Harmonium

Philosophy by Numbers: the Harmonium

Hardheads, Harmonizers, Harmonites, Redcoats, Shell-backs, Lawboys, Coppers. They go by many names, but they have one creed. And that’s written in the umpteen-volume Book of the Harmonium.

The Book of the Harmonium is quite old, and it’s still a work in progress, continually revised by Harmonium sages in order to provide maximum harmony for all. It’s said that it was begun by the sage Jhary of Heka, who served the very first true Harmonium factol.

The modern edition begins with this line:

“The Multiverse has always needed someone like us.”

With this statement it openly appeals to all peoples, discovered and undiscovered, throughout the worlds. It also reveals its ultimate goal, which is no less than the multiversal conquest of its beliefs over all others.

Another section which has gained great importance is the Pax Benevolus, which the book explains is adapted from an ancient treaty written by the gods of law and good themselves in an attempt to find common ground between all benevolent deities. While the treaty was never officially ratified, the Harmonium’s explorations of the Outer Planes have allowed its wisdom to supplement their own quest to bring common ground to the peoples of the multiverse.

The Pax Benevolus

Harmonium version

  • It Is Wrong To Murder
  • It Is Wrong To Covet What is Not Thy Own
  • It Is Wrong To Commit Adultery to Mortal or God
  • It Is Wrong To Steal
  • It Is Wrong To Lie or Twist What is True to Benefit Thyself
  • It Is Wrong To Sacrifice Lives to the Gods
  • It Is Wrong To Dishonour Thy Parents and Family
  • It Is Wrong To Sully the Purity of Ortho
  • It Is Wrong To Consort With Demons
  • It Is Wrong To Work on Holy Days

Rule number five is perhaps paramount. What is true is what the Harmonium says is true. Only through the doctrine of the Harmonium can peace be attained, and anything else is a selfish act of deception. Truth is harmony, the book explains, and harmony truth. Belief is power, and this power can be used for the selfish quest for individual ascension, to create discord and conflict among society, or it can be used to forge a unified front of peace and safety for all. Those who care about others take care to find a common system of belief that benefits everyone; those who only care about themselves choose a different system of belief, inevitably false because disagreement causes friction and even war. Friction and war create demons and power the Abyss; they are the source of all ills which plague the multiverse. Without disharmony, there would be no tanar’ri. Without tanar’ri, there would be no Blood War and the baatezu and yugoloths would not be drawn down to the tanar’ri’s wicked level. There would be no evil at all. Good people are willing to sacrifice their personal preferences to the cause of multiversal harmony. If you do that, all the other rules should follow naturally. If you don’t, you’re a danger to everyone around you; how can you trust someone whose beliefs you don’t know? How can you know all of a person’s beliefs unless you share them? A whole volume (Volume 2: the Book of Lies) is dedicated to explaining this rule in essays and proverbs.

Hardheads will also agree with the sayings of Saint Cuthbert (from Village of Hommlet):

Square corners can be pounded smooth.
Thick heads are not made of glass.
Salvation is better than smart answers.
Some Good folk can understand only one thing.
Enlightenment can penetrate even the helm of iron.
Evil which cannot be removed must be eliminated.
Foolishness can be beaten.
Lawful correction lies in a stout billet.
Capricous behavior brings knots to the heads of those lacking wisdom.
Preach quietly, but have a large cudgel handy.

The beliefs of the Harmonium can also be defined in negative terms: what do other factions believe that the Hardheads disagree with?

Hands of Havoc: We must overthrow authority.
Harmonium: We must support authority.

Believers of the Source: We should strive to become gods.
Harmonium: It’s hubris to deliberately try to become a god. Serve them faithfully instead, and accept whatever rewards they choose to give you. Rewards go to the humble.

The Mind’s Eye: I am the center of the multiverse. The imagination of the One creates reality.
Harmonium: The Harmonium is the center of the multiverse. Our collective obedience creates harmony.

Athar: The powers are frauds.
Harmonium: The gods are not all frauds. Many are real, and many are worthy of worship. Of course, some are evil, or mad, or blasphemous; this is either the result of mortals not understanding them properly, or else they’re false gods or fiends in disguise. The Harmonium knows which gods are correct, and the correct way to worship them.

Bleak Cabal: There is no meaning to existence.
Harmonium: The meaning of existence is harmony. The quest for harmony and peace through conformity is the highest of goals. The multiverse is predestined to one day ring with the true harmony that lies within it, currently masked by sin and discord. The multiverse was created with this goal in mind, and the Harmonium is the agent chosen to fulfill this goal.

Doomguard: The multiverse is falling apart. Eventually it will end in darkness and dissolution.
Harmonium: The multiverse is not falling apart; it’s coming together. It’s organizing itself with our help. The harmonious multiverse will be eternal.

Fated: Those most suited to make gains will gain them, and therefore deserve to.
Harmonium: We must all work together for the good of all. An individual is less important than the harmony of all.

Society of Sensation: Truth can only be apprehended through the senses. To learn through experience is the meaning of existence.
Harmonium: Truth can be apprehended only through the Harmonium. To conform to the Harmonium’s instructions is the meaning of existence.

Xaositects: The multiverse is patternless chaos; order is an illusion.
Harmonium: Chaos is an aberration; order is the true, rightful state of the multiverse.

Fraternity of Order: Everything works according to laws, even if we haven’t yet figured out what they are.
Harmonium: Everything works according to laws, and we can tell you what they are.

Mercykillers: Crimes must be paid for. Wrongs must be made right.
Harmonium: The unjust must be reformed, or otherwise dealt with, but respect for the Harmonium and the rule of law is more important. Justice should be upheld, but it is much more important to reform the criminal and bring them to our way of thinking.

Transcendent Order: The planes have a pulse which can be known by quieting your inner dialogue and learning how to listen.
Harmonium: The pulse of the planes is the sound of marching Harmonium boots. The Harmonium will tell you the rhythm you should move by.

Heralds of Dust: The planes are a false world of death and pain, mere dust masquerading as life. By quieting your passions and desires we can achieve eternal peace.
Harmonium: Passion for law and legally sanctified things is a positive sensation to have. Eternal peace can only be found through conformity. The living and dead each have their place in the cosmos, decreed by the gods. Each is equally real.

Free League: Everyone should be able to make their own decisions and believe what they want, free from the meddling of factions and other planar philosophical groups. The rights of the individual are paramount. What I believe is none of your concern.
Harmonium: Everyone must believe what the Harmonium tells them to believe. Those who don’t are only empowering discord, dissent, and the Abyss.

Source: Rip van Wormer, Jon Winter-Holt

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