The Lights of Balance
The Lights of Balance

The Lights of Balance

The Lights of Balance

Now the Lights of Balance, a sight to behold, surely they are. Perched on the slopes of the Spire in the Outlands, those lights, they’re like the guiding stars for the lost and the weary. But don’t let their gentle glow fool ye; there’s more to them than meets the eye.

Who lights them each evening, you ask? Well, that’s a tale shrouded in mystery and whispers. Some say it’s the rilmani, those enigmatic guardians of true neutrality, ensuring that the balance is kept. They sound the sort who’d take to such a task, maintaining the cosmic scales without tipping them one way or t’other. Yet, others whisper that the rilmani are but guardians of a tradition older than the planes themselves, symbolising three lights of mediation that used to orbit the Spire. These stories claim that the true origin of the lights lies with a power even they dare not name. The chant goes that here might be more secretive hands at work—ancient entities or maybe even a forgotten deity, whose only remnant of power is in those lights. 

What are they for, then? Ah, they ain’t your ordinary lanterns or searchlights, no. They’re beacons of neutrality, a reminder of the balance that governs all things. In the Outlands, where belief shapes reality, those lights serve as a silent assertion that not all power comes from the gods or the depths of chaos and order. Some say they guide the lost souls, helping them find their way to the Spire, or away from it, depending on what the soul seeks. And others reckon they’re a manifestation of the Rule of Threes.

Let me spin ye a tale about them lights. Once upon a time, a band of adventurers, as motley a crew as ye could find, got themselves lost in the Spirelands. The night was closing in, thick with shadows and the promise of danger. Just as despair began to take hold, they saw the Lights of Balance, glowing dim but steady on the slopes of the Spire. Drawn like moths to a flame, they made their way towards the light.

But as they journeyed, they found themselves arguing, each pulled in different directions by their own beliefs and desires. It was then they realised—the lights weren’t just guiding them geographically, but philosophically, testing their resolve, their commitment to balance.

By the time they reached the base of the Spire, they were no longer the same individuals who had set out on their journey. The lights had illuminated not just their path, but their inner selves, forcing them to confront their own extremes and find a middle ground.

So, are the Lights of Balance searchlights? In a manner of speaking, yes. But they search deeper than the dark of night; they search the soul, guiding those who behold them towards a balance within themselves and the multiverse.

As for who truly lights them? That, my friend, remains one of the Outlands’ most enduring mysteries. Perhaps it’s better that way, for in mystery lies the allure of adventure and the quest for understanding.

Source: Jon Winter-Holt. Canonwatch: MC8 Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix, a pre-Planescape publication, first mentioned the lights of balance at the centre of Concordant Opposition, linking them to the mediators of Mechanus in a story about the powers of neutrality being banished from the plane. This story was repeated in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium 1, but then never mentioned again as far as I can find.

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