I’ve been thinking about my proposed “Fate” alignment all weekend.

The Destiny-Agency Axis (Oct 4, 2013)

Most modern views state that destiny and agency are incompatible — whether you accept or reject your fate, the outcome is the same and the only choice you have is how you feel about what happens to you. Maybe that’s enough, but if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know how important word choice is to me.

The axes of Law and Chaos and Good and Evil seem pretty clearly opposed, with one side being more desirable than the other. It occurred to me that I should provide a similar such dichotomy to invite a clear distinction between extremes.

Fateful versus Futile

On the one side, fate holds that all things (even and especially mortal lives) are predestined and come to a significant and dramatic conclusion. Every life is a tragedy that ends in death — and each fate unfolds in a personal drama.

On the other side, there is insignificance in every life and action — events occur without reason or consequence whether beneficial or adversarial. Without destiny to grant meaning or purpose to each mortal, they live meaningless lives.

Both extremes end in death, however the deaths of those who embrace fate are spectacular and resonate throughout time — whereas those who turn away from the pull of destiny will encounter a daily struggle devoid of meaning.

You know, there were other things important in Greek mythology now that I think about it — there was acceptance and practice of hospitality and such. Perhaps adhering to Sacred Law and recognition of the authority of the Greek pantheon should be considered a second axis?

Even the gods were considered beholden to Fate — there are plenty of examples throughout mythology about heroes who rejected the authority of the gods to their destruction. Taken by itself, there are scores of heroes who fell to hubris.

I think it’s possible for a hero to prescribe to Fate but not Sacred Law, and vice versa. I need to develop the idea some more, but I think it will go a long way to helping to better recognize heroes of an ancient world by their motives.