What is Reality, really?   Posted by Dworkin.Group: 0
 GM, 1770 posts
 Renegade Lord of Chaos,
 creator of the Pattern...
Sun 10 Apr 2005
at 18:52
What is Reality, really?
Sparked by a very interesting discussion in a Private Message thread...
 player, 3492 posts
 Wild, carefree bard...
 ...and lazy friend
Sun 10 Apr 2005
at 19:28
Re: What is Reality, really?
It started a while back, when it was just Jack, Aaron and I (pretty much) bouncing around.  We got into a lengthly discussion involving Reality - what is it, where did it start, how does everything fit in.  I had sort of a brain explosion that you'll find spattered pretty incoherently below.

Okay.  Jack started us off discussing how we might make Shadow into a sort of Reality – so that we could prevent people from messing with it. Alterations, small ones, maybe travel, yes...but none of this “I control worlds!” anymore.

We discussed ‘what is pattern’? We came to one conclusion that Pattern is a slice of the pattern within the Jewel of Judgement, viewed from a certain angle (the person doing the slicing). So what’s the Jewel of Judgement and it’s pattern? Maybe the Logrus? Frozen in a single moment of order?

So does the power of Order come from the Pattern, itself? Or from the forces that FREEZE the pattern? :)

I had, up to this point, been messing with the image of the energies of Trump as being something like a river under reality – picture reality as a galaxy (all the stars being worlds). Now go under that, and fall far, far down…and find yourself in a river of light. That’s Trump. But it was only an image.

So - the thread (edited for unimportant stuff) goes like this.

Jack (responding to a post by me):

Brainstorming For Substance from Shadow

1. Pattern and Logrus affect Trumps created near them.

What is a trump? It in an impression of someone or something that is linked to them. If you drew a Trump in Chaos or Amber it would pick up some of the back ground reality of the place in the drawing. No that is close but does not sound right.

However I think trump is a creation energy. Logrus = Chaos, Pattern = Order, Abyss = Destruction , Trump = Creation.

I’ll sleep on this cause I think I have it but do not have time.

2. Could an Advanced pattern user consciously edit in substance?"

Presumably - But then another Advanced Pattern user should be able to wander in and edit it out. Anything that is 'added' by shadow shaping will be 'subtractable', I would think.

I don’t know for certain either way. Follow me here.
Chaos can be manipulated though it is of Substance. Such as in the Manipulation of ‘The Ways’ of Chaos. However is a certain amount of maintenance is not preformed on ‘A Way” it will revert to it’s natural Chaos form (If I remember correctly). So though it is changeable, it resists change (If primal) and reverts back. That is the difference between Shadow and Chaos substance.

Now forget points, how do all of these PC’s and NPC’s make something real out of shadow? Not the points, but the underlying process For making their equipment, artifacts and creatures real. Without the linking it to them.

If you could edit in Substance to Shadow, that would make it real. Imaging clay anyone can mold. . . Someone comes along and fires it making it hard. Suddenly no one could mold it any more.

Now I am not saying that is right, it is just a possibility.

2. I like the thought of finding out what is on the far side of the Breaks and the Dark well. Failing that finding out what was there before the Pattern. What did Dworkin Draw the pattern on the in the first place?

Trump. What if Trump is a flow of energy that exists 'under' everything? It's always there, not quite connected...kind of like that river beneath the galaxy I was talking about before.

What if you punched a hole (so to speak) and linked the energies of the Broken Pattern/Fixed Logrus to Trump?

BP is everywhere, either in its 'form' or in the 'fixed logrus' form (assuming we're correct). Everywhere except at the poles.

You send the Trump energy into the BREAKS.

The more Breaks there are, the more Trump energy will flow into that area - path of least resistance. The less breaks, the less energy...so things will balance (the nearer you get to either pole, the less breaks there will be...but the less energy will be needed to make things more 'real', because...they're already more real, in that area).

Am I making sense?

I love this idea! It makes a certain sense. The more I read it the more I like it.

3. I will get to your response to my stuff tomorrow, I have some important stuff there to hit you with.

Cyan (this was my big inspirational flash, the one I’ve been looking for regarding ‘Trump’)

1. Trump - Trump COULD be a Creation Energy, but you'd have to tell me why. :) I'm not disputing - I want to see your reasoning, because I bet it's good.

Edit after I finished - This just occured to me in a flash of inspiration, and it's what I've been looking for to link the various things together (that trump can be aspected, that it reaches almost everywhere, that it can be blocked or eavesdropped, plus all of my conjectures). Note - all through this ramble, I start referring to Trump as the Underflow, Underriver, and the river beneath, going with my idea of seeing the Myriad worlds as a stretched galaxy between two poles (an oval shape - the poles stretch it, and there are more in the middle, a wider range), and Trump as a river of light, in the darkness beneath the galaxy...occasionally with streamers reaching up into it where Trump is being accessed. You'll see what I mean. :) Just don't get confused by the terminology, I was brainstorming and it turned into a hurricane.

I hope you guys like this - it's my opinion, but it could be wrong.

Here I go:

I see it as an 'underenergy', an unaspected leftover, or something just out of phase with 'reality' - open to discussion exactly what it is, but I don't believe it has an 'aspect'.

One use people discovered for it (a byproduct of its nature) is that it can be used to send vibrations (communication) to someone with a particular item (that item linked to the Trump energy, and infused with an imprint of the person's psyche - trump can be aspected, can be imprinted, can carry other energies.

Hence a 'Trump Card' is a portal through which vibrations can be sent INTO the Trump Energy that permeates/travels below EVERYTHING (my river below reality image) - Vibrations in the trump Energy that are aspected to THAT PERSON because the emmenate from the CARD that is the link to Trump, and the Card has the psychic impression of the person!). The user of the card uses the card - a touchpoint to the river of trump - and reberverates it with his own psyche, sending pulses into the river, ASPECTED TO THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE CARD!

THIS is why trump can be eavesdropped - a skilled trump adept can, using the card of the person he is checking on, 'dip into' that river of Trump that goes through everything, and try to pick up the vibrations aspected to that card, 'listening in' to the back and forth! Same with figuring out who is 'calling' you! Someone MUST be sending the signal - by checking the cards, you can see whose psyche is sending the single out THROUGH the Trump river to you!

Trump MEMORY? Easy - you've memorized the psychic signature, and you can access the energy WITHOUT a focus - it's not just knowledge, it's an innate ability you gain, like the pattern!
Trump Defense? Again, an example of how Trump can be ASPECTED. The trump you hold when concentrating on defense is just a link to the underriver of Trump - the energy you excite is effected by your psyche concentrating on DEFENSE, rather than communication! And it works to THAT end! :) That's why it works better with your OWN trump, because it doesn't get diffused/confused/muddled with the other psychic impression!

Trump Gate? You're opening a hole into the river, stepping in, getting swept instantly to the 'receiving point' of the vibrations! Trump communication and travel is instantaneous - hence you appear to step through a gate and out the other side, without 'falling out of the universe', then 'falling back in'.

Trump Block? Simple. You've figured out a way to cut yourself off completely from the Underriver of power - to it, you don't exist. Your trump fades, growing warm, people can't contact you....

Trump casting? If the Underflow/river is everywhere, there must be some way it can echo to the future, or probability...or destiny. Again, the Trumps are only a link to the Underflow - the INTENT is the casting, so they PREDICT!

Lord, that just clicked with me! [runs around like Aaron, barely keeping from flailing]


I still want to see your reasoning for creation. My version just explains WHY trump works, and why the energy is there. I see the energy as being 'unaspected' energy that is everywhere, that can be used/aspected/molded. That doesn't mean it can't be CREATIVE energy (in fact, energy that can be molded/aspected WOULD be unformed energy, ready to be used for 'creation').

Whew. Does everyone follow? I had to get that down fast, before it vanished. :)

Henceforth, I will refer to it as the Underflow or Underriver - which do you think?

2. I like your idea for the Pattern Editing. Makes sense...logical, anyways. Is it right? Only dworkin knows for sure...

All of these 'real' items don't have 'pattern' or 'logrus' on them. :)

Of course, Zelazny doesn't have anything like that except Grayswandir...and MORGENSTERN, who was CREATED OUT OF SHADOW...by Julian.

Wow. Good job, Jack. There's some evidence.

Second 2 (you have 2 2's :). From what I understand, there WAS a universe here before, but it was a small and crazy place. A few primal pockets in the folds of chaos. Dworkin himself talks about drawing the pattern in a small island of reality, way back when.
Created by the unicorn? What was the unicorn? :)

I don't by the 'Unicorn is the Pattern'. The unicorn existed before the pattern. At least, the drawn pattern - maybe not the one in the Jewel. But then, how did the Unicorn steal the Jewel from the Serpent? Stupid Merlin series... :)

As for the Broken Pattern, the breaks are just breaks. What ENERGY is coming through them? What (same) energy fills the dark well? SOMETHING ELSE, sneaking in (literally!) through the cracks in reality! The broken pattern might simply be a gate to a completely different energy entirely...an OUTSIDE energy.

And it's everywhere. Maybe. :)

3. (actually 4) Glad you like it - now cross it with your creation idea, and my idea above about Trump....

Pant, pant. That Trump one just fried my brain. I think I beat my typing speed record, there.

Dworkin sez…
And a very valid opinion I feel...

Okay... meant to post this about six hours ago, but it was 2:30 AM, and I figured "leave it until morning", and now it doesn't make sense... bleh!

A Brief History of Time

In the beginning there was only -----. An endless river of energy, nameless since there was nobody to name it. Eventually an eddy in the river, a tiny vortex in that flow that twisted tighter and tighter, became Logrus. Logrus began to spread its influence through the flow, in the same way that a tiny crystal can become a seed for a larger one. This spreading area of turbulence became Chaos.
And Chaos gave rise to life.

Eventually Dworkin came along. He was an inquisitive young fellow and became a Logrus Master. One day he discovered that the whole of Chaos floated on a "river" of energy, which he named "Trump". He found ways to manipulate that Energy, ways to tap into it for communication and travel.

He decided he needed an image of Logrus for an experiment he wanted to perform (what the experiment was doesn't matter, he never got round to it anyway). In the chamber of Logrus stood a statue of a Serpent, with gems for eyes. Dworkin took one of the eyes, and created a 3d "snapshot" of Logrus.

But two things happened that he never foresaw:
1. His friends and neighbours objected violently to his defacement of the statue.

2. By fixing Logrus into an unchanging matrix within the gem, the image was no longer Logrus. It became something new, which he named "Pattern".

2. Damn, I wish I had a second Point 2 too...

Anyway... Dworkin fled out into Shadow, which at that time was just called Chaos and found himself an island of solidity as far from his old home as possible.
(As an aside here, the fact that there were such stable places in Chaos perhaps implies that Fixed Logrus predates Pattern).

There he studied his new toy, and found to his delight that he had actually created a Trump of a thing that didn't exist, yet when he concentrated on the gem, he could feel this non-existent thing. He decided to see if he could bring it to him the same way as he could bring people to him with a normal Trump.

Unfortunately there were two unexpected results of this:

1. It was too much for his fwagile wittle mind and he started the long slide down into madness.

2. Because he could only view the image from one angle at a time, the Pattern he called forth represented only a single aspect of the image.

2. (Yay!) At the centre of the Pattern stood a very confused Unicorn.

And the rest is history...

So... if this were all true, then Pattern is just a Trump image of Logrus, at a single moment, and seen from a single angle. Both were created from Trump, though in different ways. The two are connected to Trump, and by Trump, and the whole of Shadow floats like a bubble on the surface of Trump.

And here's the really scary thing that I came up with just before I finally went to sleep...
If all of Shadow floats along on a river of Trump, what happens if a fish decides to swallow it?


Everything figured out at 2:30 AM looks weird in the morning. :) But this DOES make sense, and makes me laugh, too.

Very, very, very interesting (worthy of three very's...one very usually meaning polite interest, two meaning definite, and three...well, you get the idea!).

Pattern. What is 'pattern'? Something unchanging? Something repeated, over and over and over again? A symbol? The name is important.

That works. :)

So what is BROKEN Pattern? Where is the power coming from? Is it the power of the Underflow (I'll just keep using that word, because I like it, but it's just Trump by any other name), warped and twisted by the imperfections of the breaks? What if Jack WERE to draw a 'perfect' broken pattern, rather than one which is warped - one in which the breaks were part of the whole?

What if Jack just made a 'break', of a special sort, and said 'let's forgo the whole Pattern thing'?

Master of Breaks indeed.

I'm REALLY curious to see Jack's ideas, and his opinions on this! :)

[begins saving points for 'alternate Trump']

And Berd. And Warfare. And stats someday. I might have to throttle back a bit on Warfare. :)


Gads you have certainly been busy!

Actually my reasoning for saying Trump is creation energy is pretty poor. More of Trump Balancing Abyss and Trumps being made through the creative process of Art.

I mean people gain and do best with Pattern if they are more of your Reasonable people.

People have to sink into Chaos so far that they go a little mad, to gain the more intuitive random logrus.

Artists are about Creativity and Perception, so Trump would lean to Creation in my eyes.

Of course now that Big D and you have posted those wonderful insights. I guess in a sense all three come from creation energies.

Here is what I think Jack is going to do.

He is Going to see how far down he can send is Lens into the Dark well for now. He will probably try to do the same thing with the stone Circle and other places were energy naturally bubbles up. Looking to see who far it goes and what’s on the other side.

Also he is going to search for that Dynamic balancing point, and try to get a feel for it and how to manifest it.

I see Jack moving away from the Broken Pattern and trying to manifest the balance of Pattern and Logrus though himself. Not like Merlin who had Both Pattern and Logrus as separate things. Instead the natural Balance of the worlds, the balance of order and Chaos as one.

As for Making a balanced Logrus and Pattern around Ygg. Yes It could be erased. However if done in blood, it would be hard to erase it. . . What’s more is If it tied right into The Logrus and Pattern, then erasing it might damage them, not to mention disrupt balance.

As for your thoughts on the perfect Break. . . I don’t know. . . In the end the breaks are bad stuff. But I think it is worth delving into because it is up to Dworkin. There will be a certain amount of experimentation.

Now there are two Patterns that are almost perfect. One is Tir and the other is Rebma, that means there might be two Almost perfect copies of the Jewel of Judgment. No telling how many flawed. . . I wounder if there is a Balance Focus like the Jewel of Judgment? Something between the Logrus and Pattern out in Shadow? The perfect focus for balance and harmony?

I am assuming there is a way to tap Balance as a power, or a way of making a way. . . What would Balance as a primal power be like?

Or do I have to find that out IC?


In any case, since Trump looks like the freeflowing energy, is there a way to use your balance idea with Trump? It's there. Now...how can we use it. Logrus comes from Trump. Pattern, the same. Can you aspect Trump to Balance, and create a power with that? :)

I'm ALL for the balance idea - I like Dynamic Balance - flowing, etc. :)

I wonder about the Jewel. The Jewel is prepattern...would there be a copy?

COULD we use the original for something...different? :)


The questions that is bigger than could we use the original, it is could we lay hands on the original? I mean getting it away from those Amberites could be a pain. What do we do, walk up and say please?

Also as far as Copies of the Jewel, isn’t everything reflected in Shadow in some form or fashion?

Big D: If Jack could find the Rebma Jewel of Judgement, could we bring Kia back as an NPC long enough to have her get it under the waves? Or would it be best to take a trip to Rebma?

I would say search shadow far and wide starting with Rebma, talk to Ygg and examine it and where it’s roots go. And Try Tir as a last resort.


Tapping Balance: something to find out IC (ie: I need time to come up with something. :p)

Characters from Tyr: regular powers, plus some strange stuff. Cyan, you remember that stuff I showed you about getting into dreams? Basically I would search the web for really bizarre stuff. I'd look, in particular, for Powers that were variations on the regular ones: odd Trump abilities, variations on Pattern.
Hmm... wonder if the Courts have Tir and Rebma of their own?

Reflections of the Jewel should exist, yes. Finding the good ones would be the hardest part... and getting them off their current owners, that would be the hardest part too.


Cyan still needs to find out about the trump energy. I'm wondering if that would be a completely separate power, or an outgrowth of Trump Artistry.

I really doubt we'll just find the Rebma jewel hanging around in Rebma. Likely as not, someone came centuries ago and ran off with it (possibly even Fiona, Brand, Bleys, one of the other Elders, or...Clarissa? Mother of Fiona? :).

Wonder if someone used it to set up their own primal plane somewhere?

But in Rebma, we might find LEGENDS of the Jewel, and we might find out that it was stolen blah blah blah.

Tir's Jewel is likely still there, or somewhere even more strange. The trick is, how to get it?


Some Brainstorms:

Trump is the Undercurrent of Reality. Logrus and Pattern are extensions of Trump, tacked to poles at opposite ends of reality. Fixed Logrus and (later) Broken Pattern are the repeated, flawed versions of those poles. Those flawed versions allow access to the Undercurrent like Pattern or Logrus, but in a dangerously warped and/or oddly focused sense because of their... what?

(mini-Question: Amber blood breaks the pattern, but Dworkin froze the Logrus, essenitally making it "fixed"... but what makes them special? What makes the difference between them and their original aspects so great? Did we answer this?)

...end mini-Question.

Insight: The power of Pattern and Logrus is really just the power of Trump, but strained through the Pattern or the Logrus, thus giving it the "flavor" of one of those two. (or three, or four, in the case of FL and BP) We'll call those "Strainig Points" no... "Dams."

Hell yeah. The Undercurrent is drawn through the "dams" of Pattern and Logrus. Does that sound workable?

Items carved out of Shadow are made "solid" ACCORDING TO THE UNDERCURRENT by being near/manipulated by/aspected to, those who are connected physically to Dams.

Shadow is really just a reflection of the Undercurrent (or what the Undercurrent is capable of?), which is why it can be warped and manipulated by more "focused waves" drawn from the Undercurrent through Dams. The longer a person who is bound to a "dam" is in a particular part of reality, the more "waves" the person makes in the Undercurrent. The more power from that Dam they manipulate in that place, the bigger the waves, and the bigger the effect. (Hence, the rule that Amberites affect reality the longer they stick around within it.)

If they leave, the waves slowly begin to subside, and Shadow, reality, moves back to normal.

On the Jewel:
You now have someone who could walk freely through Amber and maybe, just maybe, get the Jewel. You have Aaron, who's of Amberite blood.
And people will get to know that he's related, even though Aaron doesn't like the idea. It'll take a lot of work, more planning, and he'll have to get some fast friends and family as well. I bet we can do it, though.

I intend to have Aaron's family grow larger and stronger as the game progresses. I, personally, have some ideas for Chrissie, but I'll have to run those by Ron before I say anything more. :)

I'm sure you've thought about Jewels out in Shadow, but as Jack said, what about a "Broken Jewel?"
Think about it. A Jewel of Judgement aspected to the Broken Pattern. That's the "Pattern" of the Broken Pattern. Not the breaks, as the breaks are bad news.
Maybe that's the foci for an equalization between the Logrus Point and the Pattern Point at the ends of the Undercurrent.


Do you mean - what makes the Broken Pattern so different from the Regular one? Same with Fixed Logrus?

I'll throw out an opinion. Jack's spent more time thinking about BP than I, but here I go. OPINION only, may not be correct.

Well, BP is flawed. Somewhere in it are flaws. I think the flaws allow bad things to get in. Flaws in perfect order is bad. The order is no longer perfect.

See, I don't view the 'pattern' itself as being the power. I think it's whatever HOLDS the pattern in that position - in that form! If the Logrus is the pattern, then the power of the pattern is whatever holds the logrus in that shape.

Or maybe it isn't. Maybe it's a combination.

In any case, if you have breaks, then the order and shape isn't perfect. Imperfections are there, and stuff creeps in or leakes out.

Hence you lose a lot of the power to corruption, and what's left is 'altered'.

For the Fixed Logrus...the Logrus gains power from its mutability. It is endless, flowing through change after change after change. It encompasses EVERYTHING.

But if you take a section of it, make it 'fixed'...there's imperfection. An anchor, dragging it down. Weakening it. Giving it a limit. The endlessness is gone. Infinity is gone. Stagnation has stepped in...

The question we discussed was 'what if Jack used a shadow Jewel of Judgement with breaks to create a broken pattern? A TRUE Broken Pattern, where the breaks were part of the whole, rather than imperfections?' Would this create some kind of dynamic balance power, shifitng and flowing between order and chaos?

And the 1 000 000 dollar/pound question - WOULD THE BREAKS STILL LEAD TO A BAD PLACE? :)


If Aaron managed to find a Broken Pattern with a single gap, and that gap could be filled by the part of the Pattern reflected in Ilsefranvir's blade, would Aaron be able to walk that Broken Pattern as a True Pattern without having to mess with it? Like, say, mentally placing Ilse's Pattern upon an image of that Broken Pattern and then walking it?

In other words, could Ilse's Pattern be used as a sort of "key" to unlocking another version of the Pattern that isn't broken or like Amber's version?

Dworkin [Ominously]

Might be fun finding out. :D
Brief pause for an amusing discussion on potential leadership candidates that had nothing to do with who actually got to be the ‘leader’


Well Jack is going to research the breaks as deep as he can, however he is going to research the power that well up in the stone circle as deep as he can. Also as soon as we find the physical embodiment and power foci for dynamic balance, Jack is going to try and overwrite his broken pattern with that and become Jack 2.0. That will probably be able to help us because I thing Balance will tie into this and help us out on the long run.

As for special projects for Aaron, I don’t know. But I know it would be helpful for him to lead us through shadow to what and where we are looking for. If Jack leads he will always have the breaks near by and plenty of bad stuff. Not to mention the items and places he would lead to would probably be broken. It worked for what we needed before to fight the battle, but only with Berd’s help with controlling the breaks.

We will also more then likely need you for brain storming and in setting what ever we come up with together up. Any understanding of the pattern he can throw in will be a major help. Jacks understanding of the pattern is actually a little sketchy in places.

Aaron (Twice)

I'm reading up on the Pattern, and I think I've found a level field with Jack, here.

As we know, Reality (I refuse to call it "Shadow"... thanks, Cyan! :P), gets harder and harder to manipulate the closer one gets to Amber (and thusly, the Pattern).

Why is this?

I think it's because of the amount of the Undercurrent that's being transferred, not to Amber's Pattern, but to the Primal Pattern. As I said before, it may be "deeper" than the Pattern of Amber. As Amber's Pattern is merely a reflection of the Primal Pattern (a very, very, very powerful reflection, but a reflection nonetheless), it draws a lot of Undercurrent through its Lines, but not nearly as much as the Primal Pattern.

Alright, let's speculate even more.

The Primal Pattern draws from the Undercurrent, but when the Undercurrent rises into the Pattern, it becomes a still, solid pool, because of the nature of the Primal Pattern. Anyone who walks the Pattern thus takes a dip in the pool and gets "wet", thus getting the power of the Pattern. The same can be said for Amber's Pattern.
Since the power of the Undercurrent is "stilled", it solidifies everything close to it, making it practically impervious to manipulation. Amber is the closest reality to the Primal Pattern, so it's the most solid of them all.
However, it's not completely solid. If it was, you'd never be able to shift it around, period.

(Question: Does Corwin ever leave the world of the Primal Pattern through Walking? I doubt it... I think he walks the Primal Pattern, or Dworkin sends him packing. I can't remember which...)

The Logrus too, draws siginificantly from the Undercurrent, but its nature doesn't keep the power still. It's constantly making waves, thus allowing Chaos to be far more maleable than the solid emanations of the Patterns near Amber. The only thing that keeps it from becoming the Abyss is... well, probably the Logrus itself. (I think the Abyss is basically the Niagara Falls of the Undercurrent... but it's not my main subject. Pattern is.)

So, to make my point:

In order for us to equalize Reality, we're going to have to closely mimic the effects that the Primal Pattern, or more likely, Amber's Pattern has on Reality. If we don't want anyone messing with it except to move around, we'll have to solidify it.

Also though, we'll have to leave some room for Chaos, hence: Jack's Broken Pattern. It's the key to keeping everything from becoming a totally featureless nighmare when Reality starts getting defensive.

Those are just my insights. :)

[new post]

Ahh. I have another idea, but it changes my previous theories somewhat.

...after I reconnect...

There we go. :P

Let's begin.

The Primal Pattern draws more of the Undercurrent than that of Amber's Pattern, but rather than being deeper, it's actually higher than Amber's Pattern. Amber's Pattern is in Kolvir, but I'd imagine that the Primal Pattern is on top of Kolvir. That's just an example.

Basically, both Patterns can draw pretty much the same amount of power, however, the Primal Pattern was around longer and so has had a longer contact with the Undercurrent. It's a deep, high pool of power.

The Logrus, however, that's a different story.
Let's look at the diagram:

Key =
* = Chaos
@ = Amber
Y = Ygg
+ = Primal Pattern
^ = Abyss
~ = Undercurrent Flow

Chaos *---------Y---------@ Amber

According to what Cyan's stated, this is basically how we look at The Map Of Our Understanding. Or at least that's how I looked at it.

With the way I'm beginning to think though, it's more like this (minus HTML):

+Primal Pattern+
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
-@ Amber
- ~
- ~~
-------Y------- ~~~
- Reality ~~~~
- ~~~~~
Chaos *- ~~~~~~
^Abyss^ ~~~~~~~~~

Alright, it doesn't look as crappy as that, but I'll explain. :P

At the top of the reailty ladder, we have the Primal Pattern.

Underneath that is the Undercurrent that is drawn into it. It's spaced apart becuase it never moves.

Beneath that is Amber, and thus begins the solidifying and reduction of the Undercurrent's Flow.
Travelling farther from the Solid and deeper into Flow, we find that Reality begins to steady itself, becoming less like Amber and more malleable. We'll find our Foci within the space between Amber and Chaos. (Duh.)

Travelling down, you get closer to Chaos. As you can see, the flows of the Undercurrent (at Right) increase, and so does the "softness" of Reality.

You reach Chaos, which is closest to the Undercurrent. Magic is prevalent, since the Undercurrent is the basis for Untapped Everything.

Beneath that is the Abyss, into which the overflow of the Undercurrent drains. There's so much power deep within it that it can only cycle itself until it's destroyed. Anything that isn't drawn by the Patterns or the Logri (including Fixed Logrus) is dumped into the Abyss. I think it's stated in the book that pure magical energy exists in the Abyss... I believe that is the "falling mist" of the peaking Undercurrent Falls spilling out into Entropy.

So, what do you think?


I think you should stick to writing, because your artistic talent bump is actually a hollow. :p


I think of the Undercurrent (of course, Dworkin is the final word) as a 'circular', metaphorically speaking - I don't see it ever falling into entropy. Entropy is a function of the Worlds and Reality - the undercurrent exists side by side (or rather, below) reality. It touches reality, where reality draws upon it, but isn't part of it. Reality hangs above it, or floats atop it...and reality includes such laws as entropy.

Having said that, I could be wrong. And the rest of your 3d model seems to make perfect sense....

Well, I should know more in a few months. My wishlist currently asks for some small improvement to my items (1 point), warfare (a chunk), and then another 'Higher Order' power for Berd.

I've decided that the next step for the Cyan/Berd part of this synergy we have going is to discover the presence of the Undercurrent. The best way to do that is to have my next power be Berd's next level of Movement Through the Worlds - 'Falling Away' (or, 'There and Back Again; A HobbitBard's Journey). Just by doing that, Cyan should become aware of the Undercurrent.

Herein other players discuss what they plan to ‘purchase’ for themselves to further the plan, but nothing more.


Discovered something interesting whilst surfing for things on the Pattern:

(This is borrowed from: 1. http://www.thekeep.org/~wombat/AmberRPG/Pattern.html)

Impose Reality

The final, and highest art of Pattern is the ability to 'Impose Reality' upon a location. A Shadow being, item, or even an entire Shadow universe can be imbued with Reality. The Shadow will be infused with the power of the Pattern, made far more difficult for any one to manipulate. Shadow beings find their lifespans greatly enhanced, items become close to indestructible, and Shadow universes become barred to the Logrus and resist being molded with the psyche of the person who Imposed Reality on them. Such shadows will begin to cast shadows themselves on a large scale. Shadow shifting to get out of or into that shadow (except for the person who made the Shadow more Real) becomes more difficult.

Hmm. I wonder...


That's a good plan. Jack and I discussed that at one point - that's where Jack got the idea of 'firing' shadow like clay - once done, it cannot be undone.

All alone, it's a useful ability - the problem being that you cannot wander through infinity and fix every shadow. Plus, the ability of the new creation to cast its own shadows is...disturbing. That's a new one on us, but makes sense.

However...as a part of the whole solution, it may well be NECESSARY. We're trying to create something that will change the entire nature of the universe, and with that power...

Hmmm indeed. Would it be a dead end? Calcification? Too much order? If you combine that with Jack's idea of Dynamic balance....

Just as a quick and dirty thing, we have the undercurrent everywhere, the ability of this to 'fix' things, and Jack's dynamic balance. Possible to combine the three, create a wave that washes over all of creation and changes things for the better?

I know that isn't the 'way', but it's a brainstorming thought. :)

Undercurrent can be aspected...and it's everywhere.
Pattern locks things in (and will assist us in 'finding' things otherwise impossible to locate, like a shadow Jewel).

Jack's Dynamic Balance seems the best final solution, to my asian philosophy. :)

Okay, we have some beginnings.


Well, this is all shaping up nicely. Lots of interesting thoughts. I actually liked the idea of the Abyss being a kind of waterfall in the Underflow... made sense in an odd sort of way.
It also binds the Abyss in with all the other big Powers as being parts of the Underflow.


I'm going to agree with Aaron. It isn't The Logrus that we need, I suspect.

We don't need its powers. We don't need its abilities. We've got loads on our own.

But this isn't just about 'what we can do'. What we need is the 'philosophy'.

Balance can't exist without both parts of creation. The Worlds are formed of both Pattern and Logrus. Take away Pattern, everything boils away to Primal chaos and infinite change. Take away Logrus, everything calcifies, and growth ceases.

Either way, most of the worlds would be doomed.

I don't think we NEED Logrus.

But we can't discount it. That's why I'm thinking of Dynamic Balance. The yin/yang. The chinese five elements. Flowing, changing, never static, but always in some kind of balance.

I think Pattern will be essential; it helps make things final. And it's connected to everything. AND probably for much more than that - those are the only two reasons I KNOW we'll need it - the theorizing starts now (I KNOW there will be more)!

We KNOW Pattern can do this. We DON'T know about a power of Dynamic Balance. We DON'T know about the Undercurrent, or what it can do.

So we NEED Pattern.

Logrus, I think, would be counter-productive, almost. We need it for the final product - it has to be 'present' in the worlds, somehow (or some other manifestation of creation, because that's what Logrus is - creation and chaos). But I agree with you, Aaron - we don't need it.

Maybe. :) Ron might disagree, later.... ^_^


Alright. We need Pattern. That's obvious. We have it, with Aaron. He's not the most powerful manipulator of the Pattern (Yet! >D), but he's on his way there.

I believe the Broken Pattern and the Pattern will be the key to finding the Dynamic Balance. Something in that just clicks with me. I don't know how it'll work, but I think we can' figure something out.

I understand what you meant by having the Undercurrent as a constantly cycling river of possiblity/energy, but maybe the Abyss does have a connection. I still like that Waterfall idea, but we need to agree in order for everything to work. Then again, I'm willing to bend. :D

Pattern - The Key to Solidity

Undercurrent - The Circling Power that Flows through Everything

Broken Pattern - The Hole in Perfection that Allows for Variability

Ahh. Variability. That is the word I was looking for.

Wow. I almost have Aikido here. >D


Okay Lady and Gents. . . I dug out some of my old books that I use for research material on the Kabalistic Tree of life. Why?

#1: Because I know that it was used as a trump contact in one of the Books of the Merlin Saga. So O know Roger Z used those theories a bit.

#2: Because mystics in the cabalistic whatever try and tie that mumbo jumbo in with quantum physicist.

#3: Because I know on the tree of life one of the orbs is representative of Judgement. (Hint hint)

#4 The middle pillar on the tree is balance, the oethers are severity (Order?) and something eles (Chaos?).

I’ll let you know what I come up with, I ha a lot of reading to do. :p

Jack (winning prize for most convoluted and metaphysical post)

Is your life in-balance? Balance is a state in which all forces are equal. Think of standing an egg on end or watching a spinning gyro. These examples illustrate two kinds of balance: static and dynamic. Static balance is delicate and motionless; dynamic balance involves movement and change. We need both, but of the two, dynamic balance is the more important. It is the eye of the hurricane, the still small voice that is heard above the lion's roar. Dynamic balance is silence amid chaos. Static balance occurs when the conditions are right; dynamic balance occurs in spite of conditions. Dynamic balance is that state of internal calm and clarity that overrides the externals of life. The question is: how does one achieve this kind of balance?

There are many other strong reasons, which tell us that the universe is in dynamic balance:

1) Materials are made for balance : The universe is made of only mass and energy. Then Mother Nature permits them to interact and interchange between them. This is the most fundamental symmetry built for two way traffics and not a one way street. Where there is an action, there is also reaction. Mother Nature even allows for anti-matters to be used if absolutely needed, so as to avoid hanging up the functions of the universe.

2) Energies are made for balance : From each single atom to each galaxy, including everything in between, Mother Nature has endowed all matters with indestructible electromagnetic energies. Electromagnetism has the dual properties of electric energy and magnetic energy, but never in conflict to each other. One is designed for separation and the other for cohesion. So Mother Nature has fundamentally prepared for the universe to recycle in dynamic balance. She then subdivides all energies into two groups. One group includes Electromagnetic waves and Weak Interaction Decay, which are now called "Electro-Weak". They are made for universal expansion and for slow disintegration or fission of materials. The other group includes Gravity and Strong Nuclear Force. They are intended for cohesion or contraction of the universe, as well as the eventual fusion and bondage of material synthesis... In another aspect, forces in nature are intrinsically finite in magnitude, there is no infinite powers, only infinite time and space. The limitation is situated at the very center of each galaxy where the forces and speeds of galactic material and energy become maximum, then cannot increase any further. Although the orchestrated energies produced by conversion of materials at each galaxy are strong enough to power the expansion and contraction of the portions of universe, no individual force in nature is infinite. This too is a design for the eventual balance and regeneration of the universe. It also means that nature is made for eventual human understanding, and there is no logical absurdities. (Note: Energy of transmissible forces in waves generated by the galactic energy field reaches maximum when their wavelengths reach the theoretical zero length. This occurs at the theoretical center of a galaxy. All other known forces in nature, such as chemical explosions or mechanical contacts are limited in small regions and in magnitude, such forces do not have any universal consequences).

3) Laws of Nature are made for balance : Material and energy are conserved under strict laws. All things are under transformation and nothing is lost, not even one small elementary particle. Sciences and laws of physics are always repeatable and accountable for their constancy. The human intelligence is a metaphysical symmetry. If the symmetry is off balance, the human is mad and out of control. Yet the human is none other than a tiny physical part of nature. He is indeed a dust-like existence in the universe and of the universe. So all living creatures and living functions of the universe are synchronized under the symmetry of cost and effect, which also confirms that action and reaction are equal and opposite. Energies crystallize structures in physical beings, but it is also responsible for the structure in metaphysical existence. Everything is kept in dynamic balance. In other words, Mother Nature will sooner or later balance her account book!

4) Evolution is a mark and proof of nature in balance. Evolution needs repetition of cycles. Only through numerous cycles of trial and error evolution may learn its steps. The fact that evolution exists in all living beings and in all cosmic cycles of regeneration, in fact in every corner of nature is the proof that nature is in a dynamic balanced and in recyclable state. Otherwise evolution cannot take place!

5) Everywhere are signs of balance : You only need to take a look at the sky and you see stars are blinking with a symmetry of lights. That's why they are called stars. On earth the snow flake are dynamic symmetries too. Mature galaxies have two pole and two sleeves to balance their swirling dances. The Moon is balanced in orbit around you and I with the prettiest face looking at us. Mother Nature loves beautiful jewels (see above figs). Wherever there are transmissible energies in propagating quanta, there a dynamic balance is in the making. The spherical shape of all cosmic bodies tells us that everywhere in the universe the spatial realm is filled with energies that make them round. The universe is nothing but a grand concerted motion with masses and energies forever interchanging. Yet, in changing everything obeys the laws of symmetry and dynamic equivalence. Therefore the changes are recyclable. The universe cannot be a one way street, nor an one shot universe, the universe is in constant evolution from a state of random disorder to symmetrical order and vice versa. There is a symmetry hidden behind every stabilized formation in nature, just as it is in every established law of physics. The freedom of choice is the intrinsic nature of dynamic symmetries. It is in fact the soul of the universe and the start of intelligence of all beings.... (Note: Symmetries are pictures of equilibrium. They are always beautiful, because, like all things in nature, the human brain seeks equilibrium. Once a state of symmetry is established, external forces will always seek to disrupt it, although at times internal action can also cause an existing symmetry to collapse. Once a symmetry has collapsed, everything within the symmetry will be crushed, unless symmetry is immediately restored. So the final zeal of nature is to maintain symmetry for as long as possible. This is the law of nature, which is also the way of human society).

Dworkin: I am assuming that this would pretty much remain a constant (or at least as much of a constant as you can have) despite the changes thought shadow. Almost everything must have flow of some sort and almost everything usually will do the Action and equal and opposite reaction thing.

Just trying to get ideas for the Dynamic Balance thing, figured I had better start by defining it.


Good stuff, Jack!

On a more mystical idea, static balance can be considered the 'western' four elements, the classical alchemical elements. Fire Earth Air Water.

Picture a cross.

Fire struggles against Water. Air battles Earth.

Now, consider the Chinese Five.

Draw them in a circle, in this order.

Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood.

You have a cycle, a neverending flow.

Fire creates Earth (ash)
Earth brings forth Metal
Metal cups/produces (dew) Water
Water nourishes Wood
Wood feeds Fire.

Now draw a star between them, connecting each one to the one after the one following it.

Fire melts Metal
Metal cuts Wood
Wood breaks Earth (roots, stake)
Earth dams Water
Water douses Fire

Here you have the two (main) cycles of chinese daoist alchemy and feng shui - the constructive cycle and the destructive (politically correct - controlling) cycle.

Unlike the Western Four, there is no attempt to come to a single, centerpoint of static balance. Instead the balance is kept by flow, from one to the other. Take something away, and the other four flow to cover it, eventually refilling all vessels to the same amount. Add something to one, it spills over, and eventually stability returns. Stresses are equalized, much as in Chemistry, in a double-headed reaction (off-hand, forget the actual name).

Note, also, that no element is separate from ANY of the other four. Unlike the Western Elements, where Earth does not influence Water, here....
Earth -

Adds to Metal, controls (destroys) Water...
Is added to by Fire, and is controlled (destroyed) by Wood.

Equally so with the other four. ALL elements touch each other, in some way.

I don't know as much about the Western Four, frankly, but that's how I see it. Dynamic Balance (also found in the Yin/Yang) versus Static.


Well I’m researching some Dynamic Balance theory’s that are tied to the Tree of life. I still kind of like the stuff surrounding the Tree of life and it sounds like it’s flow is more along the lines you speak of, though it still seems to be tied to the four western elements.

It is done in an interesting way.

The Pillar on one side is the pillar of severity (Pattern) Odd Judgment is one of the places on that pillar (Jewel of Judgment) , the pillar on the other is I believe Mercy and seems a lot more permeable and changeable (Chaos). Oddly enough a sight on this side is Justice.

Of course The Pillar of Balance is in the center with the sight of Balance in the center of that. and a odd geometric flow between everything, with each part meaning something.

Though I think Ygg represents more of Static Balance, instead of Dynamic. So I will probably have Jack research Ygg and then move onto Dynamic Balance from there.

Odd Notes: The Amber Pattern may represent Earth Deep in it’s Mountain, Tir would represent Air and Rebma Water. . . Where is the Fire Pattern.

Also are there other Jewels mentioned in Z’s books besides the Jewel of Judgment?

I am working on what a Dynamic balce power would be like form the aspect of Aikido and my previous notes.

Cyan, do you think you could work up some thing for The eastern five elements since you know them better than I?


No problem, Jack - just tell me what sort of 'thing' for the Eastern Five (actually, call them the Chinese Five - Japan has a whole RACK of elements, many more than 'Five') do you want?

I think you're right about Ygg - Ygg represents the middle point - a waymarker between Law and Chaos. Halfway, the balancing point, the center...etc. A solid place, roots deep, where there can be no question about which side is which.

Dynamic balance doesn't really work that way. :)

I've seen the Amber Patterns tied to the Western Four before - people have done it in some online campaigns. Mostly they made up the Fire Pattern (a new one, somewhere). :)

The Fire Pattern wouldn't be the Jewel, no matter how attractive that is, because we already know what the Jewel is, and it isn't some Pattern derived from itself.

Justice should always be tempered with Mercy rather than Severity. I think that's a pretty common viewpoint among mystics (not in Confuscian philosophy, though). :)

As far as I know, no other Jewels. Not in the first Five, and probably not (that I can recall) in the last Five. Maybe in his short stories.... Much of the stuff in the first Five seemed pretty 'singular' (I detested the whole 'Weirwindle' thing - Daysword and Nightsword, indeed. How Piers Anthony... :(.

Aikido's pretty good for figuring out circular motion, circular patterns, etc. Aikido doesn't do much linear stuff, right? Correct me if I'm wrong - my exposure to Aikido is limited.

Of the Chinese internal styles I know more. The big three Chinese internal styles run the gaumet of linear to circular, hard to soft. Xingyi quan (hard, linear, internal), Bagua (hard/soft, mostly circular, some linear, internal), and Taiji quan (soft, circular, internal). I've done a little Xingyi, a little Chen Taiji, but no real Bagua (fiddled with the single and double palm changes for a while, that's all...). VERY difficult stuff, but then, so are all internal arts. :)

Jack (one of the Aikido boys...)

I want to start this off with a standard thing to Dworkin: Ron, if you feel for any reason that this power is not appropriate for your game. Just say so and I will accept it. This includes if you just plain don’t like the idea / concept or if you would rather see Jack stay Broken Pattern. It’s your call big guy, and I mean that. I won’t hold anything against you. You also hold the ability to line item veto or change it to your whim.

Disclaimer done

Most of Aikido’s training is circular or Spherical in nature, flowing circles for throws. Some of the locks and holds deal more in linear flows, that and dealing with dealing with linear motion as it is applied on you, generally by transforming it to nonlinear motion rather than trying to expend the more energy to stop it. Then ther are some linear, non-linear combinations. Imovable Stance (Not truly imovable, but helps ground and resist) Unbendable Arm (Same.) They are really exercises in physics and anatomy, then again most martial arts are.

Hence ties to Dynamic Balance, because it is all about energy flows. I am taking this from a point of Pseudo science and most of it is second hand theory. So feel free to bust me on anything I get wrong, I’ll take it as constructive criticism and blatant help. Gads I need help! :p

Almost everything can be associated with Cycles, circles and spheres. Even particles that move in linear ways are themselves represented as linear spherical in nature with pieces that orbit them, Electrons and such. That and even light (A good example if linear activity) bends and changes in effect to things (Gravity being a good example). That and Light it’s self I believe moves out spherically from the source as a whole.

Worlds, Galaxies and even the universe I believe are mostly of a circular and cyclical nature. And in my mind I imagine the multi-worlds of Amber being the same basically, if not totally “We know there are absolutely no absolutes across Shadow as a shadow wide rule. ”

So that is why I am thinking of using a Aikido like control aspect for the Dynamic Balance.


Balance Defense: Unlike Pattern, Logrus and Trump Defense, Balance defense would come from aligning it’s self with the attacking power and redirecting it. Advanced versions would be able to redirect it to specific points (Similar to Ron’s example of dodging the breaks)

This falls more in line with Dynamic Balance and keeping the flow.

The way I see Dynamic Balance is a subtler power, The practitioner of it would not be as obvious as A Logrus Master or Pattern Users. Why? Balance not an extreme, like the others, it is in harmony with it’s surrounding , as is it’s practitioners. That’s why I believe it would be more of a hidden and subtle power.

It would be one of the few ways to bring the Logrus and Pattern together, in a proper flow. By controlling and manipulating the flow and tensions between them into a universal harmony. Perhaps, (I doubt it) but perhaps someone of balance could make use of the other primal powers and their effects on some level.

Someone of Dynamic Balance would be very good at seeing the nature of things and understanding what they do. So they would probably have some kind of special sight. I don’t think it would be a lens as it seems like it would be to much of a second nature to them and again a passive thing.
They might be better at slipping through the defenses of the other powers by being able to passively align with them.

However it probably would not be able to aid in travel as well at first, though perhaps at higher levels. Finding beings and places of desire would be harder then even the logrus. Manipulating probability would probably be out. Same thing with editing things out of existence, due to throwing things out of balance.

Though it is sad for me, being an old Mage: Entropy fan to not be able manipulate probability, as it’s one of may favorites. Still I hate it when all of the powers out on the net tack on probability manipulation and it does not suit their natures, just because it’s cool. :p

I think manipulation power would be much easier, and as we all know just about everything is power. Matter is just power in another state. And balance would probably be able to change the nature of things smoother and more fluidly. Even in extremes such as the tempest in the teacup, as it is a matter of finding the right balance.

Travel would probably come down to following and manipulating energy flows.

There probably would be no tendrils (Again disappointed, as Jack has done so well with this aspect of the BP.)

Though there may be an equivalent of being able to be one with flows of energy even on a grander scale. Exploring along these flows and maybe even subtly controlling them to go where you want. Perhaps even quicker travel later on by being able to port along these flows.


Okay... this is what I've been getting from all of this.

All of Shadow sits/floats on the Underflow. The Underflow is cyclic in nature, falling at one end into the Abyss, where it "evaporates" and goes back to the start. Things which fall into the Abyss also "evaporate" and their atoms are recycled.

Logrus was the first Power, a swirling chaotic eddy in the Underflow (another circle).
Dworkin studied the Logrus and discovered it was a small part of something else. He created Trump as a way of tapping directly into the "something else".
He used the Jewel of Judgement to create a Trump of the Logrus, but because it was a frozen image, it didn't work the same, though it still had the link to the Underflow.
Then he created the Pattern, which is a Trump image of the Jewel viewed from a specific angle.

So we have Pattern, Logrus, Abyss, the Jewel, and Trump all tied to the Underflow. Ygg's roots probably reach down into it, and Broken Pattern and Fixed Logrus are imperfect reflections of the major Powers, and so are also connected to it.All of those are connected to the cyclic Underflow, and are part of the cycle too... and the first person who starts singing "The Circle of Life" will be in serious trouble.
The whole of Shadow floats on the Underflow. Pattern is up in an area where things flow smoothly, and Logrus is down in the "whitewater rapids" of the flow, just before it goes into the Abyss. Note that the current of the Underflow exactly reflects conditions in Shadow, becoming more chaotic as you move from Pattern to Logrus.

So maybe... Patterns and Logrii have no Power to speak of, they are just convenient representations of the Underflow, which is what really gives form to Shadow.

(Incidentally, I'm leaning towards a view that Sorcery, Conjuration, and Power Words might also tap into the flow, but not as deeply. That would leave Shapeshifting as the only Power that doesn't.)

Ygg is a balance point, but it is static. What you're looking for is something that represents a "standing wave" effect in the flow, a point where forces are balanced instead of just pinned down.
It should be easy to find places where these standing waves exist. Look for points where forces in Shadow exist in balance. Look at Jack's Nexus. Earth for the rocks that the tower stood on, air for the storm, fire for the light, water for the ocean, and metal in the structure of the lighthouse. The five Chinese elements coming together in a (short-lived) balance.

Jack... that looks pretty good. Though Equilibrium might be a better name. My only concern is that it would be an almost purely defensive Power, reacting to imbalances. Using it to attack would create an imbalance which the Power would then seek to correct.
In a similar way, using it to solidify Shadow might be seen as an unbalancing act

Cyan (Simulposting with Dworkin)

First of all, chuck cost effectiveness out the window. NOTHING is as cost effective as Basic Pattern, and things just go downhill from there. If you want something 'different', you pay extra for it, and it can't do as much (or you pay less, and it does a lot less, period).

Look at the Abyssal power. It STINKS. It also costs a ton for what you get. C'est la vie. :) We pay extra for individuality in a universe where Pattern and Logrus reign supreme.

I cannot WAIT to see how much an Undercurrent power will cost me (even as an 'exalted' trump power...).

Costwise, and play balancewise, that's up to Dworkin. He'll make it as effective/ineffective as he thinks appropriate. It can't be that effective against other powers, otherwise it's TOO powerful. DEGRADING their effectiveness seems more logical.

I see a force of dyanmic balance being a 'passive' power, used in opposition to something else (much like Aikido - it's hard to just walk up to someone and Aikido them - I know there are ways, but a lot of the style comes about in reaction to other people's actions).
I simply can't see a dynamic balance power being used as a direct attack. Perhaps an INDIRECT attack, though. Then again, almost NO Power in the game (save Logrus) gives you a direct attack.

Any force of dynamic balance could act in two ways - to push things towards equillibrium, or to temporarily move things out of equalibrium. This could be interpreted in a number of ways:

1. Changing the nature of a world towards more pattern or more logrus, and thus altering the rules.

2. Altering the amount of control either the pattern or logrus has over a world (or a situation)

3. Infusing pattern or logrus with its opposite, drawn freely from the surroundings (eg, if a logrus user calls the Logrus to mind, simply 'balancing' him or her by adding order to the chaos, stimying their attempt at Logrus use).

4. Preventing pattern travel (how do you 'travel' somewhere else with pattern if someone keeps smoothing over your changes, effectively holding you in place? Same with pattern probability).

5. Weakening or Eliminating Logrus manifestations entirely by 'poisoning' them with availible pattern energies.

6. Defenses as the above, or by simply 'tranferring' the energy into some other form - if you have too much of one energy in an area (an attack), 'allow' it to shift to another, harmless form.

7. Detection of all forms of power and their interactions, simply by feeling the flow of power.

8. Eventually develop movement through Shadow through realigning yourself with the various pattern/logrus combinations in the Worlds. Of course, you'd have to go slowly, unless you'd memorized the exact World you were looking for - one world at a time, pause, check for a direction, head that way...etc.

I think the order they'd come would be:

1. Detection (7, above)
2. Defenses (6, above)
3. 3, 4, 5 above...tied
4. Travel - 8, above
5. 1, 2 above.

I'll try to think of other possibilities, but I DO see it as a passive, working to move things back to their nature, sort of power. I could be wrong, though.

I should look up what I have written for the Maelstrom Power.... :( It's a similar sort of power, for my own campaign.

By the way, the unbendable arm and immovable stance (groundpath) are definitely neat little physics/biomechanics tricks we incorporate into our stuff ourselves - look up Mike Sigman on the net for some beautiful explanations (you might have to order his tapes, though...but they're good).

As for the Chinese stuff, it doesn't fit in too well to any universe with Pattern and Logrus. Any overt manipulation of Elemental Forces in Amber is the purview of Power Words and Sorcery. If you combined Dynamic Balance with Sorcery, you'd have your Five Element Sorcery, should you so desire. At this point, I have a number of ideas where you could go, but...it doesn't seem to fit Jack, either.

Any thoughts and comments? I'm still thinking. This was all off the top of my head as I wrote...

Aaron (Akido-boy #2 weighs in)

A very good synopsis of Aikido, Jack, and you're pretty much on the button.

If you're developing this Equilibrium around an Aiki-style of influence, then you need to understand just what Aiki truly is. The Way of Balance will mean that the practitioner will need to be neither for nor against either Pattern (Amber) or Logrus (Chaos). Ron's right when he says it's going to be a very, if not totally defensive power.

After all, there is no "Attack" in Aikido. The attacker is the one who always, 100% of the time, ends up on the floor. :P

So, as Ron said, using it to alter Reality would probably be considered a "faux pas" to the Equilibrium.

But maybe it could be used to better equalize the Pattern, which could feasibly be used to alter Reality on a huge scale.

Beh. I'm distracted. I'll post more later, though. :)


Check what I say above about altering things, Aaron. Dynamic Balance is open to change. You can put pressure on one side of the equation for a bit - it will slip back.

At a high level of this power I can see it being used to temporarily shift the balance in the World, to more chaos or order - it would flow back. :) Same with twisting the control Pattern or Logrus holds - not controlling the world yourself, but altering how MUCH Order or Chaos can and does control it.

But yes, I agree that big, 'offensive' alterations would be next to impossible.

And a massive change in reality would be impossible...




What if the change WERE necessary to PRESERVE balance?

What might happen if all the dams to the undercurrent were suddenly OPENED? And it began spilling out, everywhere?

How might a Dynamic Balance power react?

Consider the scientific equation (chemistry):

A + B (in solution) <-----> AB (in solution)

Note the double headed arrows. That means the chemical reaction can proceed in EITHER direction, depending on stresses. It will reach a certain equillibrium, though.

Then, if you add more AB, it will break apart into A and B, separately, until the proper equillibrium is achieved. Similarly, if you add a ton of A, the reaction will go the other way, forming more of AB (losing a lot of the B) until equilibrium is reached.

That's a very simplistic explanation, but it's the best I can do.

In any case....

So you have all of this POWER welling up (from...oo, the breaks?) and then the force of dynamic balance comes into play. Only this time, there's TOO MUCH power just to shift somewhere else. It has to do something with it.

So what does it do?

Does what ORIGINALLY happened - it BINDS it. Into the worlds. Possibly through the use of the Pattern at the same time (the Pattern, really, is the ultimate binder).

Reality shift?

It's a crazy idea, but food for thought and more brainstorming. I doubt it would work that way, but it gets my mind rolling.

Jack (and the Aikido argument begins, with both participants standing staring at each other...it's an Aikido war!)

The only reason I used Akido as a reference is because it is an art that I know something about and it appeals to me. As Cyan pointed out there are arts that use Hard Circular and Cyclical aspects. So do not limit the paradigm just because I am using Aikido as an example. It is just the best Dynamic system I know of.

Now, my question is why does the universe need Dynamic Balance? I mean static balance should be able to handle it? Yet it can’t. . . Why? Because the universe (s) are in a constant state of growth, change and movement. Yet they do not return to a status quo. With every change a new Dynamics falls into place. I tend to think of Dynamic Balance as being the balance of change as much as flow. Even if you changed something there will still be a flow, the dynamics adapt to that , though they are changed. And though they are changed they remain the same.

As for attack powers, a sword stroke is a dynamic movement and if done correct it is balanced. Rerouting or redirecting a flow of power may effect the dynamics, but that is life. Life is change, growth and adaptation. And anyone that has been hit by a flail at the apex of it’s cycle knows what pain is.

Okay, maybe it’s a western way of looking at it. I’m a westerner. :p

If Shadow were changed, the base dynamics would change some, but no necessarily out of balance. The Dynamics would just be different. That is the reason why Dynamic Balance is so appealing, because of it’s adaptable nature and ability to facilitate change. Both within and without. The Raw furry of a storm holds as much Dynamic balance as a calm peaceful day. It even facilitates a planetary dynamic balance, as without the cycles and flow that create the storm our planet would be uninhabitable.

Dynamic Balance is all about a change over here for an effect over there. (I think)

Changes can even be permanent, drop a stone in a stream and it changed the flow but there is still a dynamic balance. The Balance is not a constant though, it changes to deal with the world around it. Much the way Akido does as a reactionary art.


Another thing to consider is 'how would a person with the power of dynamic balance CHANGE things? Isn't that the antithesis of his/her power?'

Well, no.

Look at Pattern - absolute Order. That might mean, leave things the way they are.

But USING pattern, and their own fuel, their own will and psyche, people can enforce THEIR order on the universe.
Dynamic Balance is natural. It's automatic, unless you tamper with it.

To use the Chinese idea, just because it's easy:

Someone with whatever Aspect of Dynamic Balance could "Adjust the flow" Put more 'Fire' into the mix, and for a while Metal is ruined while Earth grows. Eventually, the growth in Earth will produce more Metal, and slowly work around the circle until balance is reachieved. But it can be CHANGED, for that moment, as the Adept of Balance uses his or her own power to enforce a small alteration. To put pressure on one thing, so it produces an effect in something else.

How do they do this? Same way Pattern-users/Logrususers/Trumpartists/etc do it. BY USING THEIR OWN, INTRINSIC POWER AND ADDING TO THE MIX. Psyche, in other words.

We all know the more powerful the psyche, the more you can do with a power...


Here is all of the stuff I could find on Ygg, the big page that had the best 'Most in depth' write up on it closed down.

Ygg Devotion:
Ygg's Interest
5 Imprint
0 Limited Shadowwalking (to Ygg only)
2+ Shadow Path item (branch of Ygg)
Ygg's Favor (Chaos PSY)
5 Imprint and Limited Shadowwalking from Ygg's Interest
5 Enhanced Imprint (gives Blood of Reality)
5 Shadowwalking (can Lead Others through Shadow)
5 Travel to extremely fast/slow Shadows
5 Ygg's Sight (as per lens, but no manifestation or remote use)
Ygg's Blessing (Amber PSY)
25 All Ygg's Favor Powers
5 Branches of Ygg (limited tendrils, within own Shadow only)
5 Use Ygg's Sight through Branches
0 Shadowwalking (gained with Favor)
5 Quick/Safe Travel (equal to Hellride/Royal Way)
5 Find Items/Creatures of Power
5 Ygg's Protection (Defense)
Ygg's Favorite (Ranked PSY, Amber END)
50 All Ygg's Blessing Powers
0 Branches of Ygg
5 Enhanced Branches (fast as Logrus Tendrils)
5 Use Branches through Shadow (includes Summoning)
5 Stabilize Shadow (counters Shadow Edit/Mold)5 Shadow Guardian (extends senses/Ygg's Protection over an area)
5 'Taking Root' (protects from harm, but is immobile)
I have a question. . . Big D…Cyan…

Why are the Breaks / Flaws negative aspected? I know all of the Bad stuff collects there, but does it drain off into the break, well up out of them or Just kind of loiter around them?

[No good answers forthcoming, Jack is unimpressed. :)]


Odd random thought: any ideas how one might go about poisoning the Dark Well itself?

Imagine a Broken Pattern where the Breaks are good... they allow a little more freedom in the world than the full Pattern, but don't bring all the nasty side-effects.


That's kind of what I was trying to get at when I talked about using the Shadow Jewel of Judgement to draw an 'imperfect' pattern. The breaks would be 'natural' - a complete part of it. Wonder if one could do that....


Yes. Get a flawed Jewel, and the flaws would be in the Pattern as it was created, not imposed on it by the nature of the Shadow it was drawn in.
The only problem I can see is that extra flaws may creep in, and because there are Breaks there already, they might be harder to spot...

Wonder what'd happen if you tried to draw an Imperfect Pattern in Amber Better yet, in Tir, where things are less fixed anyway.


When in doubt, spend points....



First of all, I can't see how the Dynamic Balance can't help with what we're planning. Let's say it's capable of a 'ripple' effect - sending ripples out through the worlds, in some manner or another. Your butterfly effect, Jack. Now, connect that to a vast source of power/energy (cough), and...well, remember how powerful your power words were in the war? Now picture that ripple effect, gentle and subtle as it might be, permeating all of shadow. Slowly building up....

Now, Dworkin's Broken Pattern is different than mine. I don't see any maliciousness in the breaks, any actual 'bad stuff'. I just view them as 'dangerous spots', where you can die. The icy slopes on the mountain of the Broken Pattern. Places where energy erupts through, where people can be disassembled for stepping off of 'order' and into...something else.

But I didn't see any point in going into my interpretation, because this isn't my game. :) It's Dworkin's interpretation that matters, and I think he's got a firm idea of the Broken Pattern already.... :)


The idea of ripples was what got me thinking about this... we know that anything that happens in Amber (particularly if it is related to the Pattern) is reflected right out across Shadow. Look at the troubles that were caused by a few drops of blood on the Pattern...

Perhaps to change the nature of Shadow, you need to change the nature of Amber itself, or of one of the Almost-Ambers.

[Much discussion on other issues, unconnected to Reality Wars]


Well, remember when I threw out that question earlier?

It went something like:

"Let's say Aaron found a Broken Pattern that was missing the exact piece of the Pattern that's reflected on Ilsefranvir's blade. If he walked that Pattern (NOT its gaps, a-la normal BP), up until the point where the missing piece began, and then walked the remainder of it using Ilsefranvir as the missing 'puzzle' piece, what would happen?"

Now, I remember what happened in the Merlin saga, when the protagonist walked a Broken Pattern, and fixed it.

I don't want to fix it. I want to see what'll happen when I use Ilsefranvir's Pattern as a proxy-reflection of what that Pattern could have looked like without the Break.




Which of the elements would you attribute to the characters?

Aaron with his affinity to Arms and Armor, combined with his the rigidity of order. He would represent Metal. . .

Cyan is both nurturing and yet firey in Nature. Wood? Fire? Earth?

Jack is capricious and strong in nature and will, Air? Water? Earth?

Berd… Power… Fire? Air?

To bad Kia is not here….She would be water.

What is Ygg is not the dead center, but only part of the center?… One component of it. With there being a marker or embodiment for each of the other elements. The combined total equaling dynamic balance and the true center? Representing not just the boundaries of order and chaos, but the embodiment of shadow it’s self.

What is we could set one of each of us that best embody that element working with that element and it’s embodiment. tap the undercurrent through each element and combine to tap it again in the center of the elements creating a flow of power. Then send that combined power of balance out into the worlds, flowing through them and giving them a dynamic substance and reality.

How does that sound?

What do you all think?

What About you Dworkin?


[Post 1]

Cyan is nurturing, but she has the attention span of a rabid hummingbird. :) She doesn't stick with anything or any one idea for very long - she burns brightly, but not forever. I would say Fire, though I need to look this up.

Ironically, it is Berd that keeps her under control, and keeps her from going all over the place. Berd is dark, hides himself under layer after layer, and can be cold - very cold, much moreso than people think. Berd changes at will to fit the observer's perspective, never giving away his own form, but merely taking on the form necessary to deal with the person to whom he speaks. Berd, controlling Cyan, is water.

Should Aaron be Metal, Aaron allows Berd freedom. With Aaron in command, Berd is pretty much free to do as he will. Aaron, as metal, gives Berd growth.

I see Jack as Wood - Jack grows, Jack changes, Jack is flexible, yet stays true to his form. Jack has bent under the storm, but never breaks. He always comes back.

I need to look this up. Hang on.

Here are the basic Five Element personality types, with positive and negative values. Keep in mind that most people aren't PERFECT fits, and the more experience one has, the more one SHOULD overcome their negative values.

Wood - High morals and good confidence. Know intrinsic values of things, apt to appreciate all they have. Wide, varied interests.

Systemic in thinking, and possess executive personalities. Expansive and Cooperative natures.

Diversify. Unselfish. Share recognition and rewards. Find support and finanaces when in need.

Their main shortcoming is that they take on more than they can handle.

Also, they can look for the easiest way out.

Sounds like Jack - not all, but hey - he's grown.


Decisive, confident, aggressive and positive. Love adventure and innovation. Always on the move, exploring new horizons. Dynamic speech and action - given to trying to dominate with originality and clever thinking.

They should cultivate patience and compassion to curb their impulsive tendacies.

Same - Cyan, a more balanced fire person.

Earth -

Serious, logical, methodical. Foresight and deductive powers. Intelligent and objective.

Planning and administrting. :) Conservative, rarely blow things out of proportion, and keep things in perspective.

However, they are too governed by own interest. Lack imagination, and have too secure an outlook on life. Must become more adventurous.

Metal -

Success driven. Pursue goals with confidence and determination. Undeterred by Setbacks, failures, or hardships. Sometimes can refuse to release situations that are not feasible.

CAN be highly unreasonable, inflexible, and stubborn. But very self-reliant. Choose own destinies, and fashion lives to this end. Dislike others interfering in affairs.

Carry with them a certain electricity, strength, and energy.

Yep, that's pretty close to Aaron - a more relaxed metal.

Water -

Above average in interpersonal relations and persuastion. Communicate well, wear away opposition with constant and inobtrusive efforts. Advance their ideas by influencing the thoughts of others.

Flexible, intuitive, diplomatic, and unimposing.

Eye for spotting things with potential. Good at getting the ball rolling.

Recognizing and using talents at fingertips, without making others feel used.

Too concilliatory, look for the easy way out, and may be very passive. Tend to lean on others for support.

Oh, you don't know how much that fits Berd...sickeningly so. :)

VERY interesting idea, Jack. I'm heading to bed, now, but I shall think on it over night and let you know my thoughts tomorrow. VERY interesting... :)

[Post 2]

Going by a less stratified look at the elements, you make some good points above for your choices of elements for the characters. I rather like the way two of them fit, for Aaron and Cyan. For Jack, I'm still thinking Wood. Jack GROWS more than anyone - take a look at his powers - and always along the same line, branching out but coming from the same root.
Funny how it works. Let us consider the PAST in the game as well as the present. The present, we have growth. In the past, the characters were their baseline, so look there, too.

Now...look at the CYCLES, constructive and destructive (assisting and controlling).

Berd DOES control Cyan to some extent, control in this case meaning 'preventing from getting out of hand'. He is bolstered by Aaron - with Aaron as group leader, Berd has essentially been given free rein over his stuff, but needs to report back to Aaron what he finds (and to protect Aaron). It gives him more focus, and puts him in line with the group. Berd feeds Jack, in his turn, assisting Jack with his work, and (sometimes to Jack's annoyance) with all sorts of advice.

Berd - Water. Controls Fire, Assisted by Metal, Assists Wood. Controlled by Earth, but ominously, we have no Earth....

Aaron - Aaron keeps Jack under control. No, really. The new Aaron, with his new authority, is laying down the law and Jack seems quite content with this (understandably - Jack needed the pressure off HIM). Aaron supports Berd's work, gives him tasks and focus. Aaron is, ironically, kept on the right path to some extent by Cyan. He looks to her in some odd, unidentifiable way...I'm still working on that, but I see it. Maybe it's because Aaron can BE too cold, too logical now, and Cyan is a good, emotional benchmark. Certainly her moral standpoint on certain issues has come up in the past. Certainly Cyan was set to flip out when he came back, and made some good points about his leaving them (though that was all sorted out). Did that help Aaron?

Aaron - Metal. Controls Wood, Assists Water, and is Controlled by Fire. It is assisted by Earth...Andrej? Who can say? Poor Aaron - no obvious assist. :(

Cyan. Jack feed Cyan, getting her focused in the right direction. He points, and she goes. He also keeps her confidence up, and his calm keeps her from getting overwhelming (this has happened several times). Cyan's emotional morality may keep Aaron a little more focused on the 'people' side of it, though Aaron seems to have come a long way already. Berd definitely keeps Cyan from blazing out of control, more often than people might think.

Cyan - Fire. Controls Metal, Assists Earth (we have no Earth!), Assisted by Wood, and Controlled by Water.

Jack. Jack supports the younger, more emotional Cyan (and gets the same out of it as well - sometimes the flow DOES reverse, when one Element is significantly weakened). He keeps her focused on the task, keeps her rather jumpy mind from straying by laying out kernals for her to follow. Jack is assisted in this by Berd, and in other things. The two make a fine team, Berd working alongside Jack as an assistant or partner, defending and making fine-tune adjustments with his own power and skills, where applicable. Jack is controlled to some extent by Aaron - Aaron has taken the pressure off Jack to be everything, and has given him managable tasks. Jack takes to that, feeling more relieved that his own tendancy to try to do anything has been curbed by the group leader. Now he can act to his best.
Jack - Wood. Controlled by Metal, Assisting Fire, Assisted by Water. No Earth for Jack to Control. Hmmm....

We're missing Earth. If Ilse was more involved...but I don't see her as Earth, in any case.

So we're looking at FIVE different places of power. Assuming the universe is built on the Five Elements, that would make sense. They would have to be linked to Ygg as well - you'd find either Water or Fire nearby (as they Assist, or are Assisted By). Farther away, you might find Metal and Earth (Controlling and Controlled).

I like it, in a metaphorical way.

And I like the system, thus far. It makes sense. But we are then missing Earth....

Sigh. We need Earth for this to work.
 player, 1107 posts
 The Ghost, The Blade.
 The Heart, The Truth.
Sun 10 Apr 2005
at 23:35
Re: What is Reality, really?
God, I was so self-centered. :P

Thanks for reviving this thread and opting to opening it up to everybody! I was afraid it would die a slow, sad death.

Considering the implications that particular thread has already had on that game, however, it just goes to show that we've come up with quite a bit. And that was just between the four of us!

I really can't wait to see what everybody else has to say. :)
 GM, 1771 posts
 Renegade Lord of Chaos,
 creator of the Pattern...
Sun 10 Apr 2005
at 23:51
Re: What is Reality, really?
Yes, it helped to solidify a few very vague ideas that I was planning on using in the game, and tie them together into something more coherent than just a heap of coincidences.

Plus it gave me some new twists on those ideas that I hadn't thought of.

So you have only yourselves to blame for what happens next...

*wanders off, whistling cheerfully*