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In the ancient past, the great Primordials Ashra and Edea lay dormant in the fabric of the cosmos. Ashra, the embodiment of void and darkness, and Edea, the essence of light and radiance, existed in perfect balance, their energies entwined in an eternal cosmic dance. With a sudden cosmic shift, the Primordials awakened, and their boundless power surged forth, permeating the very souls of mortals and gods alike.

From the moment of their birth, every creature in the world of Sundering Shadows finds itself infused with the essence of these two powers. Forever entwined in the cosmic struggle, their lives reflect the eternal dance between light and darkness. As a being grows in power, the energies within become more pronounced, resonating with the increasing strength of their convictions and actions.

A Character's Soul Resonance

Your character's resonance describes how closely your values, ideals, and motives align with each primordial. There are three main types: Dark, Light, and Twilight. These are further divided into twelve steps, following the day from dawn's first light to the darkest hour of the night. As the day progresses and shifts into night, so too does the soul of a creature darken. A single character of a given resonance is unlikely to possess all the qualities described in the corresponding step, and it does not have to fit perfectly. It is a foundation upon which you can build your own character.

The Light

Those who find solace in the light of day, where the sun's warmth and kindness nurture their spirits, will see their souls saturated with the radiance of Edea. Guided by the principles of compassion, protection and justice, they strive to defend the natural cycle of life, to build and protect, to heal and to grow, their hearts filled with hope and love for the world. The Light steps are: Dawn's Embrace, Morning's Glory, Midday's Clarity and Afternoon's Resolve.

The Twilight

Those of a twilight resonance exist in a state of balance, their souls influenced by both light and dark. These beings navigate the complex moral landscape of the world, grappling with ethical dilemmas and recognizing that the world is not simply black and white. They may bend the rules for the greater good or act out of self-interest while still maintaining a desire to do good. Their actions and choices are influenced by both the nurturing radiance of Edea and the alluring void of Ashra, creating a unique blend of motivations and moralities. The Twilight steps are: Golden Shadow, Sunset's Ambiguity, Twilight's Balance and Dusk's Gloom.

The Dark

Those who are enticed by the cool embrace of the night, find their souls stained by the cold touch of Ashra's void. These beings indulge their darker impulses, drawn to the shadows where self-indulgence, chaos, and greed hold sway. Their thoughts and actions of domination, destruction, and benefitting from the suffering of others, causes darkness and void to infuse into their soul. The Dark steps are: Nightfall's Darkness, Moonless Whisper, Starless Despair and Abyssal Nadir.

The Twelve Steps


1. Dawn's Embrace

A beacon of hope and light, a character at this resonance is unwavering in their resolve to safeguard all life against the darkness. They are selfless, virtuous, and merciful, embodying the purity, optimism and new beginnings associated with the untapped potential of a day whose history is unwritten. Their innate empathy and compassion leave no room for cynicism or despair. Because they cannot conceive of a creature that is without redemption, some of these beings are known to be relentless in their pursuit to cleanse and heal a tainted and corrupt soul, to lead it to its true redemption. So unwavering are they in their convictions, they might come off as condescending when dealing with those whose ideals do not match their own, and as possessing a self-righteous belief in their own infallibility. Though some may strive for Dawn's Embrace as a perfect ideal, mortals rarely fall into this category; it is usually the realm of entities of almost pure radiance and selflessness.

2. Morning's Promise

Characters at this resonance are usually driven by a strong sense of justice and a commitment to fairness. They generally strive to build a world where everyone is treated equitably and justly, protect the innocent, and work tirelessly to protect the vulnerable and uphold the common good. Their strong sense of justice can sometimes become a rigid and uncompromising moral code that they feel compelled to impose on others for their own good. While others may struggle with a rigid moral code, their resolve to do what is right never falters. They are honest and righteous, and tend to see the best in others, sometimes to a fault.

3. Midday's Clarity

Often guided by a strong sense of duty and responsibility, these characters tend to be practical and pragmatic, acting with a clear vision of righteousness and justice. They are not always as compassionate as those at Dawn's Embrace or Morning's Promise, but their actions are deeply rooted in good intentions. As the heat of day is strongest at noon and shadows are driven away, so are the champions of light who fall into this category dedicated to protecting the vulnerable by vanquishing enemies, often with righteous fury. This enthusiasm for vanquishing those perceived as enemies can lead to a lack of empathy and the belief that the best way to protect the greater whole is to cut away cancerous rot.

4. Afternoon's Resolve

Often tempered by history and experience, characters at this resonance are more open to compromise and can be flexible in their approach to morality. They have a more nuanced view of the world, and understand that it is complex place, often with multiple paths to achieving their goals. They strive to adapt to changing circumstances and act with wisdom and grace in the face of adversity, and while they may be willing to make tough decisions or compromise on moral principles to achieve a greater good, they are selfless and remain committed to ensuring their actions benefit others.


5. Golden Shadow

As the sun dips towards the horizon, shadows lengthen, but light still shines. These characters find themselves at a moral crossroads. They walk a path that often dips into shadow, grappling with complex ethical dilemmas, and will work within and often around existing rules to achieve their goals. They are not afraid to push boundaries and take risks, and they recognize that sometimes the ends justify the means. They possess a keen awareness of the consequences of their actions, but they also understand that the world is not black and white and are willing to make difficult choices in pursuit of long-term ideals or a greater good. While their approach may appear morally ambiguous to some, their intentions often remain pure.

6. Sunset's Ambiguity

As the sun sets, these characters exist near the boundary between day and night, embodying the uncertain nature of the border between light and dark. They may be morally ambiguous, acting out of self-interest or making choices that could be seen as both selfless and selfish. Their actions are often unpredictable, and they may switch allegiances based on what benefits them or those favored by them the most but will generally avoid causing widespread or wanton catastrophic destruction.

7. Twilight's Balance

Shortly after sunset, there is still light and the sky remains blue, but shadows cover all. These characters often embrace the darker aspects of their nature. They may be driven by personal ambition, vengeance, or a desire for power, using cunning and manipulation to achieve their goals. Their actions may be perceived as selfish, but they are not necessarily harmful to others. They may employ cunning and strategy to achieve their goals, but they also recognize the benefits of cooperation and forming alliances. While their actions may still help others, this is often incidental and done for reputational purposes, as they have their own self-interest at heart.

8. Dusk's Gloom

Only the barest hint of light remains in the sky. Characters at this resonance are often masters of deception, intrigue, and secrecy. Many are at home in and operate among the shadows, manipulating and leveraging others to further their own agendas, often while masquerading as operating for the greater good. While not necessarily malicious, their actions can cause harm and suffering to those around them, and they are not above using ruthless tactics to achieve their goals.


9. Nightfall's Darkness

Night has fallen fully, and these characters are deeply rooted in darkness, consumed by negative emotions like vengeance, hatred, and greed, with almost all others' concerns secondary. While they may not derive pleasure from inflicting suffering, they are not likely to shy away from it if they believe it will advance their goals. While these characters possess a flicker of light within them, it is often overshadowed by their desire for personal wealth, power, or control.

10. Moonless Whisper

Dark as a moonless night, characters at this resonance are ruthless, cold-hearted, and nearly devoid of empathy, using any means necessary to achieve their nefarious aims. They will stop at nothing to achieve their wicked ambitions, often resorting to extortion, torture, and murder to get what they want. They often sow pain and suffering wherever they go and can delight in the suffering of others. They have no qualms about causing harm, even to large numbers of people or entire societies, if doing so even tangentially aligns with their goals. They may even revel in the pain they inflict, so long as they and their closest allies remain relatively unscathed.

11. Starless Despair

These characters are the epitome of darkness and despair, with malevolent intent lurking beneath every action, and they may even feel satisfaction at seeing others suffer. Often, they seek to tear down the fabric of society and plunge the world into anarchy, taking pleasure in the destruction they cause others as it raises their own contentment in comparison. They typically only think about themselves and may actively avoid thinking about how others view the world, except when trying to determine how to best manipulate them. Given their destructive and self-centered nature, and almost completely lacking empathy, most do not even have a path for redemption, much less any desire to walk it.

12. Abyssal Nadir

Characters at this resonance represent the ultimate darkness of a night where all light has been completely extinguished. They are entities of pure evil, driven by an insatiable and sadistic hunger for power and domination, and are often incapable of even understanding why one creature would have empathy for or help another with no expectation of repayment, much less take an altruistic action of their own. Their deeds are beyond redemption, and they revel in the devastation and despair in their wake. They are the true embodiment of darkest night with no hope of dawn. Most mortals are not capable of darkness of this resonance; it is typically the realm of entities of pure void and malevolence.

the_resonance_alignment_system.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/10 16:21 by titania