Rilmani Paragons
Rilmani Paragons

Rilmani Paragons

The Paragons of the Rilmani


Master-of-All, the Yellow Emperor, the Primach

(Planar aurumach rilmani [they/them] / N)

If the rilmani have an ultimate leader, it is Gongsun. It is they whose cleverness and art defeated the kamarel. It is they who have remained aurumach for all the ages since, refusing to succumb to the temptation of merging with the Spire or retiring as a plumach, who has avoided assassins from their race and all others for Turns uncountable.

Because they are a rilmani, they will not admit to being any kind of leader at all. “The aurumachs are a council of equals,” they say sagely. “Our authority is in perfect balance, each checking and complimenting the others. If one among us spoke louder than the rest, they would have become a destabilising influence, and would therefore be sent to join the plumachs, to learn subtlety isolated from those not rilmani.”

Every rilmani knows better. There is no one else in all the planes so masterful in doing by not doing, controlling by not controlling, barking orders by saying nothing. There are no others so subtle, so sly. No one else could turn the mirror-magic of the kamarel against them, or transform the basic nature of the Spire in a place where no one could have any powers at all. The other aurumachs are puppets dancing on Gongsun’s strings, and through them Gongsun manipulates the celestials and fiends, the hordes of anarchy and the wheels of order, shadow and ether, the scions of the elements, the Astral, and the Prime. 

They are master of the multiverse because they are master of no one. To the lowliest plumach or the freshest abiorach Gongsun bows and kowtows, and yet their merest whim is made reality. Gongsun tells no one what to do; therefore they all do it.

Gongsun cannot be fathomed. Their methods cannot be traced. They cannot be stopped. The Balance will be served. The Balance will be served.

The Gray Lords

(Planar argenach rilmani [they/them] / N)

The Gray Lords are a council of argenachs. They are the highest-up rilmani even the greatest of mortal champions of the Balance are likely to meet, and, if they have anything to say about it, the highest-up they will even be aware of.

When tides of great evil or unremitting good seem ready to conquer a world, great heroes and villains will occasionally turn to the Balance for aid. This is where the Gray Lords come in. The Gray Lords feign weakness and an overwillingness to compromise with unbalancing forces, helping to create an illusion of rilmani uselessness. They murmur sorrowfully to one another. “Maybe if we give the Abyss a few more Prime worlds, they’ll be satisfied…” they’ll say. Of course, if the rilmani didn’t have the utmost confidence in their supplicants’ abilities, they wouldn’t get to see the Gray Lords at all. And if they need a little help from polymorphed rilmani working in secret, that could be arranged, too.

They dwell in a misty valley at the base of a spire so tall it disappears in the mist. This is not, of course, the Spire, but it is impressive enough to fool the Clueless.

Great Wheel

Wanderer-of-All, Servant-of-All, the Philosopher

 (Planar aurumach rilmani [they/them] / N)

The most active of the aurumachs, the rilmani known as Great Wheel represents others of their kind far from the Spire. Great Wheel wanders the planes, visiting each in their turn, supervising the activities of lesser rilmani and acting as a reminder of rilmani power to those powers capable of sensing them. When Great Wheel returns to the aurumach council, they are the loudest voice and the most eloquent speaker. To any non-rilmani observer, it would appear that Great Wheel is their leader, or at least their dominant voice. In reality Great Wheel is the lowliest among them, the one most often stuck doing the bidding of the others far from the Balance they call home. Yet, in lowliness is there not strength? Is Great Wheel not an essential part of the council’s balance? Surely they know this, and plays their role knowing how indispensable they really are. Perhaps, in a way, they are truly the power they appear to be.


The Hestach

(Planar aurumach rilmani [they/them] / N)

If the rilmani have a rebellion, then Centre-of-All is its leader. Centre-of-All is their Mordred, their Judas, their Lucifer, their Takhisis. They are all this, yet they have a seat in the innermost circles of the aurumachs. The circle listens to Centre-of-All gravely as they speak words that threaten to tear the heart out of the rilmani race, and the circle does nothing. Sometimes they politely applaud. To crudely cast Centre-of-All from their ranks as the archons did to Triel, as the eladrins did to Salafin, as the modrons did to the Secondus of Rempha, as the guardinals did to Mowatt Ke’Mahn, as the baernaloths did to Apomps, as the tanar’ri did to J’sald Xerix, or as the baatezu did to Moloch is not the rilmani way. Instead the circle counter, corral, keep Centre-of-All in check. Yet each move Centre-of-All makes brings their goals come closer to fruition. 

The other aurumachs look toward their Yellow Emperor, desperation in their eyes but unwilling to make the fatal error of voicing their concerns aloud for fear of tipping the delicate Balance the wrong way. Gongsun, of course, bows in respect for their colleagues but says nothing. What is their game? they wonder. How will they save us? The Spire, of course, was Gongsun’s creation. Perhaps not the physical rock or its properties, but its position of importance as the centre of cosmic Balance. The rilmani race was Gongsun’s idea. Gongsun showed the others how to reach it despite the illusions of the kamarel and the power-hungry suction of the structure itself. Gongsun showed them how to use it to transform themselves and create others of their kind in the place the Powers themselves could never touch.

Ages and ages have passed. The planes and their chief arcana have been rearranged many times over, the Balance always being restored. Now Centre-of-All, the rogue agent, emerges as an aurumach without making the pilgrimage to the Spire such a metamorphosis requires, without passing the tests the other aurumachs have set. Absurd, they think. Impossible, inconceivable. But they keep their council to themselves, imitating their master. Aloud they welcome the new member of what they thought was an exclusive fraternity, and expand their circle by another seat. And Centre-of-All begins to tell them openly what they want to do and what they seek to accomplish. Among the aurumachs, this is not done. They could not have been more shocked if Centre-of-All had pulled out a weapon and began slaughtering every one of them.

“The multiverse is not what you think it is,” says Centre-of-All. “It is not a series of rings circling a central hub. It is not Law balanced by Chaos and Evil by Good. It is not matter countered by ideals. It is not Possibility countered by a final Void. 

“The Balance is everywhere, between everything. The balance between two neighbouring trees is as crucial as the one between baatezu and tanar’ri. Nothing is unimportant. Nothing is unworthy of our attention.

“And the Spire is no more significant than anything else: The planes have no centre.”

It was the last statement that caused the uncomfortable shifting and rigid smiles that for aurumachs qualifies as an uproar. Those were the words that branded Centre-of-All as the enemy of all rilmanikind. They would make the Spire itself redundant, and with their strange ascension Centre-of-All had proven they had found the power to do so.

Across the worlds, Centre-of-All has recruited lesser rilmani to advance their cause. On Mount Olympus and green Yggdrasil, in the shadow of the Mound of Skulls in Avernus and in a tiny village on the world of Oerth (Certhis, pop. 230), Centre-of-All has created new axises mundi, new places for rilmani to be born and grow. Even plumachs have come to live in these new rilmani capitals, emerging in mass from the Spirelands for the first time since their caste was created by the Yellow Emperor so long ago.

Centre-of-All’s hands are in a variety of strange projects that mainstream rilmani thought rejects. Who else would put so much effort into grooming a cambion to be obsessed with the Rule of Threes, or convincing a deva to found a sect based on the Unity of Rings principle?

The other aurumachs fear that Centre-of-All is weakening the unity of their race, and do what they can to subtly destroy these new places and bring their inhabitants back to the fold. Yet Centre-of-All has outsmarted them at every turn. In the planes, those few entities aware of the division in the rilmani collective psyche (and there are less than a handful so cognisant, considering the aurumachs do not speak of their disagreement even among themselves) contemplate ways to turn the situation to their own advantage. Centre-of-All does not worry; they know they is making their people stronger. And Gongsun says nothing.

Omphalos, Eldest-of-All

(Planar rilmani paragon [they/them] / N)

The very first of the rilmani, the founder of the race. Creator of Gongsun and so many others. It is said that when first Good met Evil and Chaos met Law, Omphalos was there, created from the dissonance in their auras or their fevered copulation. There are others among the aurumach elite who believe that Omphalos actually created the other alignments for reasons only the Eldest-of-All understands, giving birth to the primal creators of the guardinals even as the baernaloths tore their way from the progenitor’s flesh, causing the great toad-serpents who would degenerate into slaadi to rise from chaos’ muck even as they wove the Infinity Web that would give rise to the One and Prime.

Only a few of the truly enlightened, such as the Yellow Emperor, Great Wheel, and Centre-of-All, know that both of these myths are true, and neither of them. Omphalos is the eldest of the rilmani race, the creator of Balance and Unbalance alike, and yet they are also the very youngest. Every time the Balance shifts, every time a gate-town slides, every time a sentient being makes a choice between Balance and one of its component alignments, the Eldest-of-All is reborn, recreated, reconfigured. They are the living incarnation of the Balance as it is from moment to moment, and they are never the same.

Omphalos, therefore, is constantly changing in appearance. Most commonly, the Eldest-of-All resembles an abiorach with youthful features, mercurial, shifting flesh, and the millions of colors that continually flash across its surface. Yet abiorachs rarely have such a place of honour at the aurumach council, or have words and actions examined so closely for clues as to the state of the multiverse at large.

When it is deemed necessary by the council, Omphalos is brought to an examining room and dissected—or, as it is sometimes phrased, inhumed—for every one of their internal organs reflects some aspect of the total Balance. Despite this torture, the Eldest-of-All cannot die. Omphalos is the Balance, and will live as long as there is still hope for equilibrium on the planes.

The Tetrach

The Tetrach are four unique rilmani paragons who form a Council of Neutrality called the Opus. It is the role of the Tetrachs to monitor the Outlands, oversee the rilmani castes, contemplate the Balance and select the Philosopher, the rilmani whose vision the Balance decides the policies of the Opus and is then outcast. The current Tetrachs are:

  • Negredach—this Tetrach oversees the neutrality of the military castes, and is responsible for speaking up for aggressive policies of neutrality; keeping tabs on the Kalii and Natrui factions. The current Negredach is a ferrumach names Magnomelan.
  • Albedach—this cutter is responsible for weighing up all options before the Opus issues a ruling. The current Albedach is an aurmach named Socras.
  • Citrinach—this rilmani is traditionally a stannach and is responsible for all ensuring all things find their place. They’re in theory responsible for selecting the Primach, although in practise the choice is always Gongsun. The current Citrinach is named Ostanes.
  • Rubedach—this role requires the Tetrach to understand both balance and imbalance and the forces that shape both. They’re also responsible for selecting new Tetrachs when the time comes. Zorosimon is the current Rubedach.

Source: Ripvanwormer and Manual of the Planes [5e] p83-84.

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