|#1sildatorakJun 26, 2004 12:43:56||I was just curious if there is any reason why Center-of-All should be an Aurumach. It seems to me that he wouldn't be a high-up in the Rilmani hierarchy, since Rule-of-Three and Unity-of-Rings are both some of the lowest forms of their respective races.|
|#2ripvanwormerJun 26, 2004 13:16:40||Because that's what Uncaged: Faces of Sigil suggests. |
DO NOT QUESTION THE RILMANI!
|#3xanxost_the_slaadi_dupJun 26, 2004 16:31:31||Xanxost agrees, it believes that if Center of All exists, it would be perhaps only a ferromarch, and definately not the leader of the Rilmani.|
It is interesting to note that both Unity of Rings and Rule of Threes both seem to enjoy staying in Sigil. Why does Center of All not join them in the Cage?
|#4j-pop_jediJun 26, 2004 16:34:38|
Originally posted by Xanxost the Slaadi
I believe the answer is he doesn't want to climb the infinite spire.
|#5primemover003Jun 27, 2004 6:47:54||nah just a plumach witha Napoleon complex... (apologies to Center-of-All!)|
|#6ripvanwormerJun 27, 2004 12:46:41||He's an aurumach because he's the one who inspired and manipulated the other two (at least, that's what I've decided), and because I need him to be able to influence a large portion of the rilmani race.|
I think of Unity-of-Rings as quite powerful as well, since he's so ancient - the founder of the Ring-giver faction and a proxy of Tyr. I'd definitely give him some class levels. Though, if he's a movanic deva what's he doing in the Outer Planes? Shouldn't he be an astral deva instead?
Anyway, I wrote this on the rilmani hierarchs:
Gongsun, the Yellow Emperor
If the rilmani have an ultimate leader, it is Gongsun. It is he whose cleverness and art defeated the kamarel. It is he who has remained aurumach for all the ages since, refusing to succumb to the temptation of merging with the Spire or retiring as a plumach, who has avoided assassins from his race and all others for Turns uncountable.
Because he is a rilmani, he will not admit to being any kind of leader at all. "The aurumachs are a council of equals," he says sagely. "Our authority is in perfect balance, each checking and complimenting the others. If one among us spoke louder than the rest, he would have become a destabilizing influence, and would therefore be sent to join the plumachs, to learn subtlety isolated from those not rilmani."
Every rilmani knows better. There is no one else in all the planes so masterful in doing by not doing, controlling by not controlling, barking orders by saying nothing. There are no others so subtle, so sly. No one else could turn the mirror-magic of the kamarel against them, or transform the basic nature of the Spire in a place where no one could have any powers at all. The other aurumachs are puppets dancing on Gongsun's strings, and through them he manipulates the celestials and fiends, the hordes of anarchy and the wheels of order, shadow and ether, the scions of the elements, the Astral, and the Prime.
He is master of the multiverse because he is master of no one. To the lowliest plumach or the freshest abiorach he bows and kowtows, and yet his merest whim his made reality. He tells no one what to do; therefore they do it.
He cannot be fathomed. His methods cannot be traced. He cannot be stopped. The Balance will be served. The Balance will be served.
If the rilmani have a rebellion, then Center-of-All is its leader. He is their Mordred, their Judas, their Lucifer, their Takhisis. He is all this, yet he has a seat in the innermost circles of the aurumachs. They listen to him gravely as he speaks words that threaten to tear the heart out of the rilmani race, and they do nothing. Sometimes they politely applaud. To crudely cast him from their ranks as the archons did to Triel, as the eladrins did to Salafin, as the modrons did to the Secondus of Rempha, as the guardinals did to Mowatt Ke'Mahn, as the baernaloths did to Apomps, as the tanar'ri did to J'sald Xerix, or as the baatezu did to Moloch is not the rilmani way. Instead they counter him, they corral him, they keep him in check. Yet with each move he makes his goals come closer to fruition.
The other aurumachs look toward their Yellow Emperor, desperation in their eyes but unwilling to make the fatal error of voicing their concerns aloud for fear of tipping the delicate Balance the wrong way. Gongsun, of course, bows in respect for his colleagues but says nothing. What is his game? they wonder. How will he save us? The Spire, of course, was Gongsun's creation. Perhaps not the physical rock or its properties, but its position of importance as the center of cosmic Balance and the rilmani race was his idea. He showed the others how to reach it despite the illusions of the kamarel and the power-hungry suction of the structure itself. He showed them how to use it to transform and create others of their kind in a place the Powers themselves could never touch.
Ages and ages have passed. The planes and their chief arcana have been rearranged many times over, the Balance always being restored. Now Center-of-All, the rogue agent, emerges as an aurumach without making the pilgrimage to the Spire such a metamorphosis requires, without passing the tests the other aurumachs have set. Absurd, they think. Impossible, inconceivable. But they keep their council to themselves, imitating their master. Aloud they welcome the new member of what they thought was an exclusive fraternity, and expand their circle by another seat. And Center-of-All begins to tell them openly what he wants to do and what he seeks to accomplish. Among the aurumachs, this is not done. They could not have been more shocked if he had pulled out a weapon and began slaughtering every one of them.
"The multiverse is not what you think it is," says Center-of-All. "It is not a series of rings circling a central hub. It is not Law balanced by Chaos and Evil by Good. It is not matter countered by ideals. It is not Possibility countered by a final Void.
"The Balance is everywhere, between everything. The balance between two neighboring trees is as crucial as the one betwen baatezu and tanar'ri. Nothing is unimportant. Nothing is unworthy of our attention.
"And the Spire is no more significant than anything else: the planes have no center."
It was the last statement that caused the uncomfortable shifting and rigid smiles that for aurumachs qualifies as an uproar. Those were the words that branded Center-of-All as the enemy of all his kind. He would make the Spire itself redundant, and with his strange ascension he had proven he had found the power to do so.
Across the worlds, Center-of-All has recruited lesser rilmani to advance his cause. On Mount Olympus and green Yggdrasil, in the shadow of the Mound of Skulls in Avernus and in a tiny village on the world of Oerth (Certhis, pop. 230), Center-of-All has created new axises mundi, new places for rilmani to be born and grow. Even plumachs have come to live in these new rilmani capitals, emerging in mass from the Corelands for the first time since their caste was created by the Yellow Emperor so long ago. In the Paraelemental Plane of Ice, a tall blade of ice pierces the boundary of the Elemental Plane of Air, serving the same purpose. And in the Quasielemental Plane of Mineral, a shard of pure diamond has been adopted and adapted too.
Center-of-All's hands are in a variety of strange projects that mainstream rilmani thought rejects. Who else would put so much effort into grooming a cambion to be obsessed with the Rule of Threes, or convincing a deva to found a sect based on the Unity of Rings principle?
The other aurumachs fear that Center-of-All is weakening the unity of their race, and do what they can to subtly destroy these new places and bring their inhabitants back to the fold. Yet Center-of-All has outsmarted them at every turn. In the planes, those few entities aware of the division in the rilmani collective psyche (and there are less than a handful so cognizant, considering the aurumachs do not speak of their disagreement even among themselves) contemplate ways to turn the situation to their own advantage. Center-of-All does not worry; he knows he is making his people stronger. And Gongsun says nothing.
The Gray Lords
The Gray Lords are a council of argenachs. They are the highest-up rilmani even the greatest of mortal champions of the Balance are likely to meet, and, if they have anything to say about it, the highest-up they will even be aware of.
When tides of great evil or unremitting good seem ready to conquer a world, great heroes and villains will occasionally turn to the Balance for aid. This is where the Gray Lords come in. The Gray Lords feign weakness and an overwillingness to compromise with unbalancing forces, helping to create an illusion of rilmani uselessness. They murmur sorrowfully to one another. "Maybe if we give the Abyss a few more Prime worlds, they'll be satisfied..." they'll say. Of course, if the rilmani didn't have the utmost confidence in their supplicants' abilities, they wouldn't get to see the Gray Lords at all. And if they need a little help from polymorphed rilmani working in secret, that could be arranged, too.
They dwell in a misty valley at the base of a spire so tall it disappears in the mist. This is not, of course, the Spire, but it is impressive enough to fool the Clueless.