Metaphysics of Amber

1 September, 2011 at 11:02 am (Amber) (, )

There is Amber, the only real place, of which other worlds are but shadows. There are also the courts of Chaos, ever changing, easily molded. Then there is Abyss, from which (almost) nothing has ever returned.

One way to think about it would be to take Pattern as the center of order and stability and lack of change, while have Logrus represent change and instability. But Abyss clearly is emptiness, which is totally unchanging, and still Abyss lies close to the Courts, which seems suspicious.

So I would have Abyss be emptiness while Logrus is everything. They are very close to each other, since neither can separate things from each other: None lie in Abyss, while all of them are in Logrus. Pattern, then, is structure – very far from nothing and everything. This is how an Amberite might see the situation.

But what of the Chaosite perspective? Certainly nothing is the ultimate in structure, for it (vacuously) has all the structure imaginable, and so Abyss must lie somewhere behind Pattern and Amber, if looked at from Chaos.

What of the Abyssian point of view? Well, it is empty, so there must be nobody looking, and so the issue is moot.

And what of Corwin’s pattern? Suppose it is another center of order. Is it compatible with the pattern of Amber, or do they simply not interact at all, or are their conceptions of order constantly struggling? And how does all of that look from whichever perspective one takes?

This all reflects on the use of powers when moving through Shadow. By Pattern-walking both Abyss and Logrus are distant from Amber, but maybe for the Chaosites, however they move, both Pattern and Abyss are distant places. Or do some Chaosites wield the powers of Abyss, or do some other entities? Then, for them, both Logrus and Pattern would be far, however they move.

Yet, as a further complication, it is tedious to shift Shadow near Amber. What of the other powers, and how well does Pattern work near the other centers of power? What of Corwin’s pattern, and initiates to it?



  1. oberonthefool said,

    I’d see it like this:

    Abyss Logrus
    Nothingness Balance “Everythingness”
    Entropy Stability Possibility
    Ultimate Order Literal Chaos

    Further, I’d postulate that it might wrap around- keep on going past Chaos, you get to the Abyss. Were it possible to continue beyond that, you might come to Amber again.

    I’m not familiar with Abyss, is that purely a game-conceit? Reminds me of early White Wolf’s Weaver/Wyld/Wyrm cosmology.

  2. oberonthefool said,

    Okay for some reason that did not come out right… oh, I know what happened. Let me try again.

    Abyss —————— Pattern ——————-Logrus
    Nothingness Balance “Everythingness”
    Entropy Stability Possibility
    Ultimate Order Relative Harmony Literal Chaos

  3. oberonthefool said,

    Dammit. Stupid blog post formatting.

    And I can’t go back and edit it.

    Let me try one more time and if this doesn’t work I give up.

    Abyss —————— Pattern ——————-Logrus
    Nothingness ——— Balance —————– “Everythingness”
    Entropy ————— Stability —————— Possibility
    Ultimate Order —- Relative Harmony ——- Literal Chaos

    My point being that Amber is more central in relative location, but in the sense that everything seems “outward” for Amberites, so both Chaos and Abyss seem perhaps equally “far”, even though they are in different metaphysical “directions”.

    I hope my multiple posts have not been obnoxious and more confusing than illustrative of my point =\

    • Tommi Brander said,

      I’m quite certain that at least some Amberites see it exactly like that.

      I would say that Pattern reflects structure rather than balance, though, but maybe that is my mathematical training showing itself. Balance seems somewhat hard an idea to use in practice.

      Structure explains (sort of) why it is hard to shift shadow near Amber – does balance do so? Or does it help in some other way when running Amber or speculating about the metaphysics?

  4. oberonthefool said,

    Yeah, “Structure” is probably better than “balance”. I think the point is that Chaos is mindless Everythingness, and the Abyss is mindless Nothingness, while Amber represents the organizing effect of *consciousness* on reality. Perhaps Amber represents *intention*?

    • Tommi Brander said,

      Supposing Amber represents consciousness or intention, what about the inhabitants of the Courts of Chaos? How does lack of intention or consciousness show there?

  5. oberonthefool said,

    Hm. You got me there. I was thinking less about the inhabitants and more on a cosmic level, I guess. I’m just making this up as I go along, more or less.

    • Tommi Brander said,

      One way might be: Chaosites most react to stuff that happens, while Amberites take initiative and plan more. The attack along the Black Road was, to large degree, caused by certain Amberites (or of Amberite heritage), or that is at least one interpretation.

  6. oberonthefool said,

    It was Corwin’s curse, IIRC… but yeah, that’s one way to look at it.

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