Chapter 74.5 — Alignments (Again)
In the game, each alignment had a threshold value of fifty. Even if a Lawful Neutral person had a rating of forty-nine in Evil, he would remain Neutral as long as the rating did not exceed fifty. Those of the Evil alignment were often filled with hatred, which could be detected using magic.
Humans were ever-changing; there was no race that could rival humans when it came to the rate of alignment change among its population. However, one’s alignment would not change merely due to his or her thoughts. Everyone had evil thoughts at some point in their lives after all, even the noble paladins. What mattered was whether the person acted on those thoughts.
Lawyers leaned toward the Lawful Evil alignment. By helping a criminal escape his charges, the entire society's order might be affected, because people might think that they could get away with similar crimes. In some ways, taking advantage of the gray areas of the law was even worse than murdering a person or two. There was once a case in China where a young man helped an injured elderly woman by taking her to the hospital, but the elderly then charged the young man for injuring her. Her lawyer somehow helped her win the case, and the court made the man pay her a considerable sum as compensation. She obviously did not kill anyone, but what she and her lawyer did lowered the moral standards of the world, encouraging others to try similar scams for their own benefit. Even without committing any serious crimes, paladins would still want to chop this kind of person into pieces.
Magic which indicated one's alignment reflected one's contribution to the world, be it good or evil. Did you make the world a better place, or did you make the world worse? Did you preserve the world's order, or did you plunge it into chaos?
Additionally Lawful and Chaotic did not have anything to do with whether one was Good or Evil. Devils were evil, but they would not casually slaughter others for fun. They liked enslaving others instead of killing them, which was why they would use iron fist policies to rule over their subordinates. They were Lawful Evil becauset they valued order and contracts. In fact, a pact or contract with a devil was the most trustworthy thing you could find in the entire universe.
Some pushed their beliefs to extremities, but there were also those who stuck to their standards to lower degrees. One day they might be preaching to others about the importance of following rules, and the next, they might be letting loose themselves. What mattered most were the person’s typical behavior and what impact they had on the world. Simplifying things, people who had little regard toward rules and regulations were Chaotic, those who valued order were Lawful, and those in-between were Neutral.
If more people valued order, the world would be a place where social order was present. On the contrary, a place filled with people who did not care about such things would be quite chaotic, literally. The Underdark was such a place, and people found kindness to be a form of weakness there. Soran, who had survived in that place, had done plenty of evil things. Murder, theft, blackmailing—he had committed all such those deeds before. He would not fall easily into Chaotic Evil, but he most likely would not be changing his alignment either. Devils sometimes helped their brethren, but that did not mean they were no longer evil.
Anyway, there won't be such lengthy explanations from now on. As for why I have to write this in a separate chapter, it's actually quite simple: people from the Lawful alignments are rather obstinate. In case anyone still wants to argue at this point, one's alignment reflects his previous actions, not his future actions. Those who think Soran should go burn a village or two just because his alignment is Evil should go burn themselves (just kidding).
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