Some time back I revisited the Seven States with the idea in mind to come up with motivations, virtues, and goals of each. The first one was easy. Mortal creatures seek to transcend their mortality. Going by that same idea of transcendence, I tried to figure out what the others wanted out of their existence. Looking back on it now, I wonder maybe if I went about it correctly.

Looking for meaning in things might be strictly a mortal/human thing — then again that’s one of the things I’m trying to take into account with the Seven States. Part of the idea is to separate different philosophies into comprehensible banners for the characters to take up and fight for, and if their motivations can’t be understood… there’s a chance for serious disconnect and audience apathy.

Oh, so, in order to avoid any one State from becoming the Good Guys or the Bad Guys, I tried to come at them from the angle that each and every one was both the good guys and the bad guys at the same time, fighting amongst themselves while to them, any other sides taking part in the conflict are incomprehensible to their eyes.

Of course, as I set out to create the list of virtues, I ran into the problem that a good sixty percent of what I came up with clashed spectacularly with work I had already done, necessitating a “back to the drawing board” moment. I’m still working on them now, but I have some ideas for reconciling the two attempts.

Every State has its origin — where it begins. Each State has a goal — where it wants to end up. The States all have resources that are semi-exclusive to them — they share resources with their neighboring states, though they have a few solely at their disposal. Balancing this wheel is the idea that each State wants to achieve something that the States opposite them already have.

Ultimately, I wind up with a wheel of virtues that any character or group of characters may aspire to, regardless of from where they draw their power. I’ll also wind up with a ton of “resources” for them to accumulate, organize, and fight over. Many of the virtues should be straightforward and relate-able, and everything will begin from the “positive” perspective. Everything begins with good intentions, it’s through corruption (which itself needs no representation) that these good ideas, “go bad.”