Monday, December 1, 2008

Re: Chaotic governments

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Chaotic governments
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 14:37:39 PST
From: Scott Casper
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

Haile again,

Noel "Has a Crush on Queen Yolande" Graham wrote:
>Try "Olvenrealm" of Celene. I guess "Coronal" (in the stead of
>"Queen") is never going to catch on, huh?

Olvenrealm works. And no, Coronal is not catching on...

>Do keep in mind that the CG ascribed to the olvenrealm is the majority (I
>won't say predominant) alignment of its populace, not necessarily how its
>gvt. is run. But that's a caveat.

I can see three interpretations for the Geographic Alignment map in the '83 boxed set. 1) The Alignment corresponds to the ruler only. 2) The Alignment corresponds to the majority of the populace. 3) The Alignment belongs to the land itself. No ruler or government not of that Alignment will be successful in that region. The third one is a radical interpretation I had suggested once hypothetically, but don't prefer. Currently, I'm leaning towards the first, but I never seem satisfied on this point.

>The fact remains they [the drow] do have a goverment with certain rules
>(laws, if you want) which must be followed else suffer consequence.
>Only, their's is predicated more on getting caught than the doing.

Perhaps the distinction can be made that the drow have no laws, but only punishments?

>Consistency of merit is likely more important than slavishness to
>law. Ok, which is to say, the olvenfolk realize there is no law which
>adequately addresses every situation and each being. There is a basic
>code of civil (*not* as in municipal) behavior, with punishments meeted
>out according to the "crime". One of the best ways to describe this is
>"situational ethics", but most folks seem to want to read those words
>with a negative connotation (usually because it was used against them).

Which is probably the best description of Chaotic Good I've seen yet. Thanks.

>On the whole, those in leadership achieve those positions because
>they showed merit for it -- and gain the respect of "follower", who are
>in turn more willing to follow the individual's lead.... Yolande and her
>kin have held the Coronal role because they proved most worthy to direct
>the interests of the olvenfolk with other realms, showed the capacity to
>identify with the needs and viewpoints of her peoples, etc.. [snipped]

This intrigues me, because if elves truly chose their leaders like that, then there is really no reason for the next ruler, or even the last ruler, to have been of any relation to Yolande whatsoever. Losing the idea of a hereditary monarchy would make the elven culture stand out more. But since Celene isn't a republic, a new monarch wouldn't be elected by the people, but would have to claim the throne with a show of power to fend off rivals. Elves probably don't lose their monarchs of old age very often, but when they do, perhaps their chaotic natures lead to bloody civil wars.

>To read this, one might be inclined to conceive this "nation" one
>quite easily on the verge of collapse or disbandment from internal foment
>and disagreement. That's certainly a potential, but the practice ends up
>being opposite. What happens is because folks have the capacity to thumb
>their noses at a poor decision or ostracize an inept leader, it becomes
>incumbent for those parties to be worthy of their role. In turn, because
>they display (however) that worthiness, the inhabitants are more willing
>to help their fellows in the way suggested.

I don't know...just because someone is Good doesn't mean that they have the Wisdom to make good decisions. Besides, I'd rather see an elven bloodbath once every few centuries...

Scott "Volstagg" Casper

Celene would make such a nice concentration camp when the Yak-Men take over...

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