So, you want to create your character, or you have a pre-existing character, but you're not sure just where they should stand with regards to the various groups? Well, we will try to give you a hand there.
Now, the first thing to remember, and I will try to make this clear...there is no inherently good or evil schism within either the Empire or the Alliance. So if you just wanted to be pure evil incarnate, then your decision is made already; be an Outsider.
But for those of you who don't want to be shut down by an army of Inquisitors within your first 5 minutes of walking Amaranthine, there are a few points that should be considered when deciding upon your alliegence.
Yeah, it seems fairly simple on the base level. Noble Bloodlines would stick with the Empire, and Common Bloodlines would go with the Alliance. It's not always that clear, though. Whilst it's safe to assume that many Common Bloodlines are quite opposed to many of the Empires policies, the Oath exists for a reason. Even amongst the most obvious statements there are exceptions. Magi HAVE served in the Alliance, and there is a Psyian amongst the Lors (albeit a Hybrid).
However, if we're assuming you're keeping a tally of where you'll end up, we can draw the Noble-Empire/Common-Alliance barrier and give a check to whichever bloodline you're in.
So, you have your first checkmark, starting you down the path to either the Empire or the Alliance. That's good, it's a start. So, what now? Well, thus far we've assumed that just 'cause you're of Noble Blood you're instantly a huge fan of the Empire and everything it stands for. But, as we all know, that's total bull. So, let's have a little pop quiz. Simple enough, I give a statement, and you either agree or disagree.
Killing a person is justified if it saves yourself.
- Agree: The Alliance courts tend to lean towards refuge for those who kill in self-defence.
- Disagree: The Empire is of the opinion that self-defence is not grounds for immediate justification. The court would still treat it as a murder case, with a self-defence verdict granted only with sufficient evidence.
War should be fought on fair terms, with legitimate challenges made.
- Agree: The Empire conducts all their battles by what is known as the Imperial Code. Challenges are issued ahead of time, and armies are granted time to prepare and pray to Lord Sekheimos.
- Disagree: In the past, the Alliance has favoured guerilla tactics, and Outsiders often rely on surprise to gain a foothold.
Killing one person is justified if it saves two others.
- Agree: Past cases within Alliance courts have followed the ideals of "Innocent until proven Guilty" and protection of others is often justifiable.
- Disagree: Imperial Courts would consider the backgrounds of all those involved in the incident; age, bloodline and occupation all play a pivotal role. Often, the survivors cannot be called upon as witnesses, and are occasionally treated as suspects until proven innocent.
There has to be some form of leader to keep order.
- Agree: Both the Alliance and the Empire rely on a single leader.
- Disagree: Outsiders tend to prefer the nomadic lifestyle.
A known murderer should simply be killed, rather than tried.
- Agree: The Alliance has a history of simply making convictable murderers "disappear".
- Disagree: The Empire tries every criminal captured, regardless of the severity of the crime. Lethal force is used only against those who refuse to co-operate.
Violence should only be used as the last resort.
- Agree: All of the alliegencies(The Empire, The Alliance and Outsiders) have shown preference to a more diplomatic approach.
- Disagree: Outsiders are granted the right to decide themselves whether violence is the answer.
Having ranked organisations promotes teamwork.
- Agree: All of the Imperial organisations are ranked, with members answering to those of higher rank. The Alliance previously showed evidence of having the makings of an "army".
- Disagree: Outsiders are without rank or file.
Power in the hands of few ensures stability.
- Agree: Both the Alliance and the Empire rely on a small leadership body, centred around the single leader figure. Most prominent in the Empire, however.
- Disagree: Outsiders are their own leader.
So, your moral standing has now been worked out, and you may well see a large lean towards one of the sides, but there is still more that must be considered. Primarily, just who your character is. This is a rather pivotal point, and may well render everything else here entirely obsolete (fun, eh?). Whilst we can create every possible framework to tell you where you Should be, if often comes down to where you Want to be.
Whilst a Common-loving Imperial may not get very far, they're certainly possible, just as an Empire-supporting Alliance member or Outsider is. If we assume that you come from a family who served loyally under the Kingdom, having lived in Locke all your life, would you abandon your home and your job just because you no longer support the policies of your leader? If you are in no immediate danger, many people would not. Why would silent martyrs come between you and your paycheck? Indeed, often the case is people go where they are most comfortable, but then that depends on what your character sees a comfortable; an equal society, or a heavy purse.
So, for example, a Fulgur Trader would flourish in both the Empire and the Alliance, just as a Firas strategist would...but what of an Amaranth who is gifted with Aether Manipulation? Yes, you're Common-Blooded, but after swearing the Oath, you would be able to gain education from within the Council of the Aether, an ancient organisation offering many chances to advance your power. Do your morals come between you and personal greatness?
This is the final question you have to ask yourself when deciding upon your alliegence; who do I WANT to be?
And hey, you can always jump ship later on.
...assuming you're willing to pay the consequences for betrayal.