Philosophies of Elemental Balance
Philosophies of Elemental Balance

Philosophies of Elemental Balance

Philosophies of Elemental Balance

Abiorachs might be playful trickster types, but it’s not all fun and games on the Inner Planes. Their true purpose for being assigned to such far-flung locales is to monitor the Balance between the elements, to ensure no one of them becomes dominant. The abiorachs use their abilities to blend in with elemental natives and pick up the chant, or appear as themselves as ambassadors to movers and shakers. They keep tabs on the activities of factions like the Doomguard who toy with the Negative plane, and hunt entropes who would damage the boundaries between the planes. And all of this keeps them very busy. But rilmani are above all creatures of Balance and philosophy, and of course various schools of thought have sprung up amongst the abiorach as they reconcile the powerful oppositional forces that they encounter on the Inner Planes. Here then are some of the philosophies of elemental Balance; loose groupings of mainly abiorach rilmani with similar outlooks formed from their time on the Elemental Planes.

The Foundation of Freedom

Philosophy: Strike a Balance between permanence and freedom

The abiorach of the Foundation of Freedom consider the opposing elements of earth and air to represent a balance between permanence and change, solidity and freedom.

The strength of the mountain lies not in its height, but its foundation. Build your philosophy on a plateau of sturdy principles; valuing kin, logic, religion or magic. With a solid grounding of harmony, stability and security established, this allows the philosopher to open their mind to thoughts, dreams and the unseen forces that shape lives. To breathe deeply of the sweet air of life, enjoy free movement of ideas and open oneself to fresh perspectives.

Wind-Sculpts-Mountain is an abiorach elder who believes in the perfect balance of rock and air. As the invisible but incessant wind can wear away even strong stone, so can adversity shape the soul. Wind-Sculpts-Mountain has weathered quicksilver skin and is surrounded by a cloud of orbiting pebbles.

The Flowing Flame

Philosophy: Harnessing the power of opposites is key to transformation

The abiorach of the Flowing Flame believe that transformation is the key to the balance of the multiverse. While fire and water do not mix, they both have the power to transform. Fire melts, burns, consumes, but when metal is heated in the forge and quenched in water it transforms: tempers, refines, strengthens. Water dissolves, washes away, erodes, but when it is heated it transforms: boils, cooks, purifies. By combining the features of opposing elements, the total is greater than the sum of the parts. Likewise by harnessing the strength in opposites, rejuvenation, transformation and becoming can be achieved.

The Flowing Flame is led by Conflagration-Reflected, an abiorach whose mercurial skin is like a mirror and their eyes flicker with blue flames. They believe that while a pool of water reflects the face, true transformation reflects the soul. In the light of reflected flames, all shadows and uncertainty are quenched.

The Lava Beneath the Snow

Philosophy: Hold conflicting emotions in Balance

The rilmani of the Lava Beneath the Snow believe that the multiverse is kept in check by the balance of emotions. They hold that fiery passion and icy resolve need to be held in balance. Just how both magma and ice can reshape landscapes, both heat and cold can strengthen or shatter. Do not seek a lukewarm middle ground but create a swirling vibrant mixture of extremes. Beneath the snow of contemplation, keep your inner volcano churning.

Clarity-of-Ice is an abiorach rilmani factotum of the Lava Beneath Snow. Their silver skin is criss-crossed with hoar frost lines and their eyes glow with roiling orange light. They believe that when the ice is crystal clear, you can see the world inverted through it, and the truth shimmering beneath the surface. 

The Fluid Ephemeral

Philosophy: Reinvent yourself but do not forget where you came from

The rilmani of the Fluid Ephemeral believe in adaptability and legacy. Both ooze and smoke are ever-changing and impermanent. Life too is a series of ever-changing situations, and embracing rather than resisting the change is the key. Ooze represents the malleable world, the here and now that can be endlessly shaped and changed. Smoke represents the ungrasped and evanescent, a future that can yet be changed even if it is not fully understood. As the saying goes, mud sticks to both peasant and king; it is the great equaliser. They also say that mud remembers, not just footprints, but the mud itself is the legacy of what went before; the vegetation before it decayed, the water before it was polluted, or the earth before it crumbled. The Fluid Ephemeral believe in the importance of provenance; understanding where things have come from and what they will become is a vital part of the balance.

The abiorach Imprints-of-Journey is an expert at tracking down their quarry through any planar landscape, and can even read the swirls of smoke and understand how this relates to a creature that has passed through the area. They embrace continual change and reject the notion that foundations are important.

Purity Preserved

Philosophy: Focus on learning and preserving your new knowledge

The rilmani of Purity Preserved believe in maintaining the balance through careful observation and advancement, the scientific method, if you will. Learning without consolidation leads to ephemeral gains, and true wisdom lies in enlightening the path and safeguarding what is found. These cutters balance the revelation that comes from radiant light, refracting it through salt crystals to scatter it into its component parts. The light of Radiance comes straight from the Positive energy plane and holds secrets of life, creation and existence itself. Studying the colours that come from the light reveal deep secrets of the multiverse. Salt crystals are also the great preserver, keeping things dry and clean. The labyrinthine tunnels in the plane of Salt are the best place in the multiverse to safeguard books, scrolls and knowledge. 

Spice-of-Life is an abiorach who wears a cacophony of colourful clothes, jewellery and piercings. They study the refracted radiant light, trying to understand how its colours change and what this means for the Balance.

The Formless Structure

Philosophy: Find the Balance between existence and nothingness

The rilmani adherents to this philosophy seek harmony between the crystalline nature of minerals and the expansive void of the vacuum. They weave a story of structure amidst boundlessness, of form within emptiness. The Formless Structure encapsulates the interplay between the defined, immutable structures of crystals and the infinite, formless vacuum. It seeks to explore the balance between being and nothingness, between the tangible and the intangible.

Crystallinity represents order, precision, and permanence. Minerals, with their structured beauty and enduring forms, symbolise the aspects of life that are solid, reliable, and tangible. They embody the principles of growth, resilience, and the inherent value of structure in navigating the complexities of existence.

Vacuum symbolises the infinite, the unknown, and the formless potential that lies beyond the material. It represents the void that encompasses and pervades all, the space within which creation and destruction occur. The vacuum speaks to the boundless possibilities that emerge from nothingness, emphasising the importance of embracing the unknown.

The Formless Structure teaches that true understanding comes from recognising the necessity of both structure and potential in the cosmos. It encourages adherents to find Balance by appreciating the beauty of form while also embracing the formless, understanding that emptiness is not a lack but a canvas for possibility.

Absence-of-Everything, is an abiorach with skin so reflective it almost appears translucent. They dress entirely in black, with no ornamentation, decoration or frills. They believe that in asceticism and self-denial, we understand the value of what is left, the emptiness makes presence possible.

The Cycle Eternal

Philosophy: The multiverse is a fine Balance between creation and destruction

The Cycle Eternal is a contemplative path that seeks equilibrium between continuous creation and destruction in the multiverse. This philosophy draws from the elemental nature of steam—temporary, rising, and ever-changing—and ash—residual, grounding, and what remains after fire has transformed matter into memory. The Cycle Eternal explores the cycle of creation, and the remnants of what had to be destroyed in order to create anew. It offers insights into the balance of letting go and holding on, of ascending dreams and grounded realities.

Steam symbolises the transient, the transformative, and the ascendant aspects of existence. It represents the process of change—water, once grounded, heated by fire, becomes something new, rising and expanding. Steam embodies the ephemeral moments of life, the dreams that propel us upward, and the acceptance of change as an intrinsic part of being.

Ash represents permanence within impermanence, the tangible remnants of transformation. It signifies what must be destroyed in order to create anew, the essence of experience that grounds us. Ash embodies the enduring truths and wisdom gained through the fires of life.

The Teachings centre around the Cycle of Transformation: Life is a cycle of becoming and dissolving, of rising and settling. Just as water turns to steam and wood to ash, we too undergo transformations, leaving behind remnants of our past selves as we ascend towards new forms. This philosophy suggests that true wisdom lies in pursuing our dreams while staying grounded in the lessons of our past, and valuing the legacy that remains after we transform.

From-Ashes-New-Life is an abiorach factotum with a dusty, dusky complexion who wears whispy ephemeral veils. They are fascinated by plants, especially sentient plants like ghoran and leshies.

Moments of Millenia

Philosophy: Live for the moment while savouring the stillness

The philosophy of Moment of Millenia is concerned with the Balance of time, between the swift illuminating energy of lightning, and the gradual slow settling of dust. The abiorach adherents believe that it is important to balance both sudden change and gradual accumulation, to find harmony between the ephemeral and the eternal, between the brilliant of instant clarity and the subtlety of slow realisation. On one hand they seek experiences that can provoke flashes of insight and rapid catalysts for change to cut through the darkness and propel them forwards. But on the second hand they value layering of experiences, the slow process of aging and gaining wisdom. The Moments of Millenia include some of the very youngest and some of the eldest abiorachs, and the diversity of these cutters adds to the enduring strength of the philosophy, that transformation and permanence are not opposites but compliments.

Every-Mote-A-Story is an abiorach who believes that every grain of dust tells the story of the world, where it has come from, what it has touched, where it has been, what it has seen. Like the Doomguard Sifters, Every-Mote-A-Story can be found panning the dust of the Inner Planes, reconstructing and recreating what has gone before.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt

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