THE PRINCIPLES AND VIRTUES OF
Translated by Erstam, the Mad Mage, from The Scroll of the Serpent, as written by Ssithnos, The Great Hierophant of Balance.
To those who follow,
Balance - the harmony between the Principles of Order and Chaos - this is the one pure axiom we hold true. All three Principles are symbolised in out hieroglyphs: The Great Earth Serpent, keeper of Balance, lies on a vertical plane, around which the two opposing serpents of Chaos and Order wrap themselves.
Chaos and Order each embrace three Forces. These six Forces, when combined, form the three Principles of Balance. The Forces of Chaos are Tolerance, Enthusiasm and Emotion; the Forces of Order are Ethicality, Discipline and Logic.
Harmony, Dedication, and Rationality; These three Principles of Balance are our highest ideals. In order to achieve these ideals, Chaos and Order must be kept in Balance. Those drawn to the Forces of Tolerance, Enthusiasm, and Emotion established Temples to their guiding Virtues and came to follow the red Chaos Serpent. Those drawn to Ethicality, Discipline, and Logic established similar Temples and followed the blue Order Serpent. The Hierophants of Chaos and Order came together at the Grand Shrine of Balance, on Sunrise Isle, where we worked together to maintain the Balance between the two factions. Because of the Balance, Serpent Isle was a peaceful place.
However, our peaceful coexistence was fated to be short-lived. In a terrible and violent cataclysm that has forever changed the events here on Serpent Isle, the Serpent of Balance left the triumvirate. Why it should do so is not known, but scholars theorized that some great evil ripped the Serpent of Balance away for its own horrible purpose.
Without the Serpent of Balance, there is nothing to keep the Serpents of Chaos and Order from twisting about each other. And as they writhe and fight, so their followers on the Isle fight. Each side blames the other for the disappearance of the Great Earth Serpent, and each has determined that they must rule the entire island. It is rumored that in the Temple of Tolerance, headquarters of the Forces of Chaos, strange creatures are being created to fight Order. Likewise, rumor has the Temple of Discipline, the High Command of Order, creating metal warriors with the souls of Order soldiers. I think it may help thee to better understand the ramifications of the loss of Balance if I present it to thee in diagram form.
Our world has been torn asunder by disregard for Balance - our dearest axiom! I know not how this missive will reach the outside lands, or for that matter, future generations. My only hope is that this work will offer record of our hallowed philosophy. For our culture to have any chance of enduring the ages, someone, somewhere, must find this. Please, Reader, spread the word of our peoples. Release the spirit of our word and learn from the wisdom of the past. I wish thee and thy world better fortunes than mine own.
- Ssithnos, the Great Hierophant
It was later discovered that after the writing of this scroll, the Unbalanced Forces of Order stormed the keep and killed the Great Hierophant. In a short, bloody war, the Unbalanced Forces of Order destroyed the Temples of Chaos, and then annihilated the Forces of Chaos. The Chaos Hierophant was killed at the Temple of Enthusiasm while trying to lead the defense.
Writings later discovered at the home of the Order Hierophant, deep in the Spinebreaker mountains, show that Order forces opened the Wall of Lights to find a place of pure Order. No sign has been seen of them since. One can only hope they understood what they sought, for just as Chaos without Order is dangerous, so Order without Chaos is equally deadly.