Friday, January 19, 2018

What is Avremier, Really?

While it is important to convey Avremier as a physical setting with places, people, critters, dungeons, geographic features, and loot - there are vital aspects that define its essential nature.

With the release of only three supplement booklets, Avremier has already been hailed as "different," or even, "unique." For this project, both are desirable qualities. Still, there is a great deal more to come.

Yet, so much of the theme or force of an adventure comes from conflict. That's fairly universal. Good vs. Evil. Light vs. Dark. Law vs. Chaos. Man vs. Nature. That last one was the basic starting-point for Avremier. Most of that is now in the past of the setting - the time of the Harrowing. And, while Good vs. Evil is a classic struggle, there are other forces at work in Avremier that have more influence.

Order vs. Entropy. Not Law vs. Chaos. That's not accurate enough. It can be labeled or trivialized as such, but that would be wrong. For the purpose of this project, Law is a method of defining and standardizing Order. Order is a force. Law is a philosophy. Order is the arrangement of atoms. Law is naming and diagramming those atoms. By the same token, entropy is not chaos. Entropy is fundamental change. Chaos is disarray. Chaos is a concept. Entropy is the potential dissolution of our entire reality. In some settings, Law and Chaos are "cosmic forces." In Avremier, Order and Entropy are fundamental states of being. The difference is crucial. If Chaos wins, it's bad news for Law. If entropy prevails, it's bad news for everything with a physical form.

Light vs. Dark. Again, we are not talking about Light-as-Good or Dark-as-Evil. In Avremier, Dark is pretty much the natural state of things. Light must be created, and maintained, and nurtured. Light is an act of will to push against the Dark. For the most part, Dark doesn't need to do much. You can never really destroy the Dark. Look around the universe - Dark is essentially winning. Lucky for us, Dark isn't greedy or hungry. Right? Light and Dark form the "vertical axis" of Creation for Avremier. It represents trasferrence of energies. Light rises and Dark sinks - at least that's the simplified version. Makes it easier to diagram.

Man vs. Nature is pretty much how the terrestrial Avremier setting came to be. Humans arrived and the forces of Nature resisted their advancement - to the near-extinction of the human race. History tells us that only the intervention of the gods of humanity prevented that extinction. That's another vital point. The closest thing Avremier had to deities before humans showed up was the Manifestations of Nature, quite literally the personifications of the seasons and their passage. The fact that humans brought gods with them is a hallmark of the Avremier setting. Of course, now we have Man vs. Other.

A dwarf or an elf doesn't care much about your geneaology or gender. Your religion, if any, is rather baffling to them - but they are trying to understand. As a human, you are Other. You are an alien. You have no elemental spark or affinity. You breed fast and die young - like an animal. If you weren't so dangerous, you would be an object of pity. The human race in Avremier is often pitted against itself. In the compromises it is willing to make. In the paths of progress it pursues. In the respect shown to others and respect earned in return. It is a challenging time for humankind.

So, Avremier can be seen as a proving ground. Or, even a crucible. Certainly a focal point. The center of everything.

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