Cults of the Past:
Libra Facta

Hargin of Selna

  One of the oldest known cults, Libra Facta has its origins shrouded in the ancient history of the druids.  From time immemorial, the druids and their neutral followers have been working quietly to neutralize and balance the powerful forces for law and chaos, good and evil.  In Libra Facta, this task took a peculiar but effective form.

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  Recognizing themselves as the middle ground of all factions, Libra Facta also recognized that all their opponents were opponents of each other.  By playing on this fact, it was possible for the sect to arrange confrontations between opposable factions.  On the code that balance is easier to maintain between weak forces than strong, they used this method effectively to set law against chaos, good against evil, and decimated their enemies usually without ever drawing a weapon.

  It must be mentioned that there were exceptions to this rule.  In rare cases, one group proved powerful enough to withstand all challenge in an area.  At such times, after every locally available opposable group had been sacrificed to the cause of neutrality, Libra Facta's own considerable battle strength was brought to bear.  Eventually almost any group could be at least crippled, if not destroyed--and crippling was sufficient to meet the group's standards of balance.

  Of course, not all druids nor all neutrals regarded Libra Facta with respect.  For many of the clergy, neutral balance was either a presumed actuality which needed no help because it already existed, or a guaranteed eventuality which could only be delayed by the wisdom of mere mortals attempting to bring it about.  Others claimed that the beauty of balance lay in the variety of strong colors of different beliefs, not in the muted grays of homongeneity.  Harsher criticism came from groups of philosophers, especially the Lawmen, who maintained that the sect, far from attempting to maintain its glorified balance, was merely attempting to exalt itself through the elimination of the forces it alleged to be balancing.  Once its methods became generally recognized, its techniques became less and less effective.  The group dwindled and decayed under the recognition which defused its power, and the criticism which undermined its support among neutrals.

  A footnote on this story is the effects this cult had on other cults.  Its methods were fatal to factions which had localized strength.  But the truly great cults--The Mithril Chain, The Elfin Legal Defense, Moradin's Army, The Iron Hand, Libra Ficta, The Brotherhood of Death, The Border Guard, and others--had a transcendent strength that came from unity across extremely wide geographical areas, rather than from great strength in small pockets.  While not locally immune to the wiles of these neutralizers, the great cults had a resiliency which more than any other aspect thereof contributed to their survival--and perhaps to the demise of this champion of nothing, insidious enemy of everything.

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