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Flux and Chaos: Up-and-down vs. upside-all-anywhere-around


In discussing the perspective and powers of the Seven Domains in The Side Ways with friends, the two that seem to be least clear (especially in relation to each other) are Chaos and Flux.

The others are pretty easy and easily distinguished: Earth, Blood, Sight, Increase and Release. They translate roughly to Ways and interests that align roughly to: nature, tribal bonds, knowing stuff, getting stuff and personal freedom. It's always pretty easy to tell where/when these folks will lay down borders on what they value and which way they'll jump. But Chaos and Flux sometimes jump the same way... but for very different reasons.

Chaos Reckoners value the sheer, unrelenting randomness of the universe. The flip of the coin, toss of dice, overlapping matrices of chance. For them, the fact that there's a chance -- even a very small one -- that thrill is knowing things might run off the rails into a strange and unexpected directions. They like to be surprised. They like wagers where the outcome can't be known and even predictions based on facts or history are fallible. In many cases, this does create a change state; something is won or lost.

Now... when things are won or lost, Flux gains power, too. But it's not usually because of random chance. The easiest way to conceptualize where Flux gets power is from two types of stories: rags-to-riches and how-the-mighty-have-fallen.

We like both those kinds of stories, don't we? Savvy but poor kid with moxie gives it his all and wins the brass ring. That change is what's interesting; not the final state. A story about a rich kid who stays rich? Bleh. But if the rich kid screws up and loses everything? Juicy. That's Flux.

Which is why, before and during the Reckoner Wars, Flux was so dangerous. They weren't interested in "winning" for themselves, per se. They were interested in "the turn" as they call it. Watching others rise to great heights and then plummet... usually causing someone else to rise up as well.

Chaos doesn't care if you rise or fall... as long as it's weird and unexpected.

Most days, I find myself drawn to Chaos because they seem like they have the most fun. They go with the flow. They step in puddles, make lots of new friends, piss people off, go on benders, sleep for days.

But there's an appeal to Flux, too, isn't there?

Which do you associate with most? Or are you, at heart, a child of Sight? You don't care whether Chaos or Flux wins, just as long as you get all the juicy details. ;-)


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