Campaign of the Month: January 2015
Skies of Glass
White is one of the five colors of mana in the universe. It is drawn from the plains and embodies the principles of morality and order. The mana symbol for white is represented by a sun. White mana is allied with Green and Blue, and is an enemy to Black and Red. Exceptions to this rule are not unusual.
To detail emotions and beliefs typically associated with those who use white mana, I’ll simply refer to a white mana users in general as White. The same will be true for all other capitalized colors.
White as a color is easy to define, as you can simply grab a handful of White cards and get a feel for what White is about. To be clear, White puts value in the group, the community, and its civilization as a whole. White’s ultimate goal is peace, harmony, and perfection — a world where everyone gets along and no one seeks to disturb the bonds of unity that White had worked so long to forge. To govern and protect its community, White makes use of and puts value in a number of broad concepts: Morality (ethics, religion), order (law, discipline), uniformity (conformity), and structure (government, planning).
In White’s belief, there is very little grey area in morality (as morality is defined, clarified, and guided by rules of ethics) and thus very little room for straying from the path. White does not focus on the individual, but instead on the whole. Individuals are indeed encouraged to act on behalf of White and stop those who oppose it, even inside its own borders, but their personal views and feelings are often disregarded and even discouraged in a manner, in order to preserve the health and bond of the group. To expand on that note, while Black can be perceived as an advocate of the underdog (the individual who stands against the group), White does stick up for the little guy, and feels that he deserves a fair share of the pie as much as anyone else. It doesn’t care so much what the little guy has to say about anything, but it doesn’t want anyone picking on the little guy, because that wouldn’t be fair or moral.
One can view White as a large clock tower composed of many cogs, which is structured rigidly to the point that there is no room for divergence or deviation, and on the outside looks striking, beautiful, strong, and glorious, attempting to make others want to come into its fold and under its wing. White seems to say “Look at us, we’re doing great in here, nothing could be better. Come join us, come be a part of this magnificence.” Inside, every cog is content with its job, because its job is no more important than any other cog’s job, and each cog is kept entertained by what it’s supposed to do. However, not one cog can see outside those walls to see what the grass on the other side of the fence is like, so they won’t ever know if they’re truly happy as they can be. The cynical on the outside of the tower recognize it as a symbol of fascism, lack of individuality or divergence, oppressive, and generally no fun.
Leaving that analogy, White cannot afford to allow the individual much power in its jurisdiction, for the individual inherently holds its own well-being and satisfaction above all else. This is dangerous to White’s way of life, and thus White uses more tangible civil laws so that individuals do not disturb the whole with their ambitions (Black) or their craving for freedom (Red). This shows that White is very concerned with the society it watches over, in that the good of the society is much more important than the rights and welfare of a single individual. The phrase, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” certainly applies to the White way of living. This again implies that any dissident will be dealt with swiftly, so no opposition can form within the White society (where such a “cancer” is most dangerous and most difficult to remove).
To defend itself from such an occurrence, White creates a deeply immersed political system, a bureaucracy littered with taxes in the fees, in order to prevent much changing of the ways of its society from within. White is typically very open and honest about what it is doing, and tends to enjoy displaying its laws for all to see and to obey without question. The fact that these laws are so widely available and so often displayed justifies White, in its opinion, to enforce them to any degree it deems fit and to warrant punishment of equal veracity. White is also very defensive, and chooses to strike only when struck first or when a significant threat is posed. However, it has been known to stretch this belief with the reasoning that a preemptive strike is the best way to defend itself — “the best defense is a good offense” one might say.
White also holds balance and equality in high regard in order to maintain its society, likely based on the functions and workings of its enemies. Equality, if disregarded, can result in diversity and individuality. While not a clear problem to most, it is a worry on White’s mind, because it fears that diversity and individuality will cause for tensions between people and make people uncomfortable with one another due to the fact they are no longer visibly united. Regardless of whether or not these fears and suspicions are grounded, White finds it smarter to play it safe and not chance it. Balance, though synonymous with equality, is important for much the same reasons. If one citizen excels above the others, the others will desire to become something more (or worse, feel inadequate and suffer a loss of morale), which also leads to others fearing for their own positions with the threat of being replaced. White attempts to prevent this not only through equality and balance, but through intolerance for nonconformity. Of course, White’s enemies are not expected to play nicely, so sometimes the scales need to be balanced by force.
White is not a racist color; instead, it is proud to the point that it is elitist. White sees itself and its people as “the chosen people,” better than everyone else. White believes itself to be the best because it fights on the side of righteousness. White sees everyone else as unclean or incorrect in some manner and seeks to defend itself from those impurities, as opposed to persecuting and leading an otherwise unjustified assault on them. White doesn’t discriminate against anyone directly nearly as often as it spends time promoting its own. In doing so, it may even promote its enemies if they happen to share similarities.
White’s strengths lie in two areas — its ability to handle laws and its organization. In the latter, White’s ability to organize enables it to grow incredibly efficient. In the former, White’s ability to create laws is one of its primary attributes, but its strength lies in its ability to work and defeat its opponent under these laws when others cannot.
Other strengths that White features to a lesser extent (without the assistance of another color) are its numbers and strategies. White uses religion — and its concern for and control over the group — to motivate large numbers of creatures to fight for its cause, allowing it to outnumber the opponent. To White, the loss of one person in an attack is irrelevant if it allows several others to succeed, further expressing White’s lack of concern for the individual. In terms of strategies, White is a great military strategist due to the discipline it implements in its troops, but it is much more skilled at defensive strategies. It rarely focuses on offensive strategies, and most tactics White uses to support offense are equally, if not more, useful in supporting defensive strategies.
White’s weaknesses lay in multiple areas but at different scales. Its first weakness is its lack of focus on the individual. White will attempt to make a sales pitch for its ideal and goal to a large group of people, and it is likely to succeed. However, making the same pitch to an individual would result in “So… what do I get out of this?” It’s far more difficult for White to appeal to a single person, so to compensate for this weakness it ignores that step and tries to appeal to as many people at once in hopes of them disregarding their own desires in exchange for the desires of the community.
Another one of White’s weaknesses is its lack of creativity. It can grow xenophobic to the point that it will not tolerate differentiation of any kind, even condemning such innovation or individuality as blasphemous or evil in hopes of turning the community against it. It does so in order to protect the group and keep it under its jurisdiction, in certain fear that differentiation can only serve to destroy everything White has built and worked toward. This makes White very slow to react to new threats. White’s rigid structure also accompanies this weakness, handicapping White as much as it does its enemies. If xenophobia does not set in or stand in the way of change (even changes potentially beneficial to White and the group), then law, structure, and tradition will.
Misconceptions and Controversies
A common misconception is that White stands for Good and that it is a fact without doubt. Granted, if you take a random lot of White cards and compare them with Black cards or Red cards, they will likely give off more of a “Good” feel than the others. However, taking the time to really look into what White is based upon, then you will see that White is not always good.
White doesn’t always stand for Good, but it invariably stands for good in its own mind. As a real life example, fascism is very White in essence, and many would argue that fascism is quite evil, though others would certainly disagree. Communism is also a firmly White doctrine, but often reverts to oppression for the sake of “the good of the nation” as they see it.
Interactions with other colors
White and Green: White and Green converge against their common enemy: Black. Black represents the need of the individual, and at its worst, selfishness. White enjoys the companionship of Green because it agrees that the value of the group outweighs the value of the individual. White also enjoys the idea of an agrarian society, which both serves to employ many of White’s citizens while simultaneously feeding everyone, further encouraging the idea of selflessness and extending it to a concern for nature as well. Green also values other White ideals, such as peace and tranquility, toward which ideals White strives. White and Green both seek to protect order, though of different forms. White can see that Green cares as much for the denizens of the forest as White is concerned about its people, and most fascinating of all, Green puts as much emphasis on spirituality as White, though it is admittedly more free-form than religion.
White and Blue: White and Blue join to quell and control a common enemy: Red. Red fights for personal freedoms, for the right to express its emotions, whether it be through screaming as loud as it can or through a pen or paintbrush. This threatens both Blue and White’s ways of life, because together they find common ground in thought, planning, and discipline, both in the form of self-restraint and rules. White enjoys the company of Blue because of its thoughtfulness, its recognition of the importance of law, structure, and rules, as well as its ability to plan for the future. All of these traits are undoubtedly useful for White’s society, and thus it values Blue’s assistance. Blue would prefer things be done in a quiet, neat, and orderly fashion, and though it may lack the warmth that White would occasionally like to display, such is the price it pays to control its citizens and to prevent them from getting too comfortable. White seeks peace and Blue seeks prosperity, together falling hand-in-hand for what they believe to be the common good of the people.
White and Black: White respects Black on several different issues, some obvious and physical, and some not so apparent. White respects Black because it puts importance on religion — Black individuals are not necessarily godless, and thus not without aim or sense, like Red. Black’s faith also demonstrates loyalty and a desire for self-improvement — aspects to which White can relate. They, too, are fighting for the values they believe in, and that deserves acknowledgment and respect. White respects Black’s affinity for sacrifice: the grim necessity for death in order to achieve one’s ultimate goal. White also understands Black’s stance in terms of its conflict with Green, parasitism vs. interdependence, working together as opposed to leeching from others. While within its walls, White encourages cooperation among its citizens and will work together with allies, but on larger scales outside of the community, it understands that in order for its nation to win another nation must lose, the grim facts of life to which Black has already grown well-accustomed.
White and Red: White respects Red for the simple similarities the two share. White can see that Red is very driven and that its followers are willing to die for its cause, and can relate because White’s followers can be equally zealous and will proudly die in the name of religion or morality. White is fascinated by Red because it shows respect for the power of numbers and the group, while Black stands alone and for itself. Red also has a “strike first, ask questions later” mentality that White can understand, because it recognizes a preemptive strike as an effective strategy for self-defense. White also respects Red because of the importance it places on emotion, because White wants to show its followers that it cares and is concerned for them. White is also aware of the dangers of inaction and realizes that to achieve peace, it must prepare for war — truths that Red embraces.
White and Black: White and Black do battle on several premises that divide them, many of which are obvious, some of which are more subtle. In Black, White sees a foe who spits on the moral laws that White proudly displays, making a strong statement about itself and where it stands. In White’s opinion, Black selfishly disregards morals for its own benefit and must be destroyed lest Black set a dangerous example for White’s impressionable citizens. This is not the only issue at hand, however, as Black and White despise one another not only because of what they fight for, but how they act. Black’s amorality and dishonesty means Black uses underhanded tactics in fighting, while White fights with honor and respect. White sees Black as deceitful, malignant, and believes it to be a cancerous seed, while White believes itself to be open and honest. However, the most subtle but most intrinsic difference is Black’s value in the needs of the individual over the needs of the group, which flies directly in the face of all that White holds dear. After all, how will White ever maintain and uphold a civilization if it must tend to the whims and needs of every citizen within its borders, one at a time? To White, the ideal is absurd, and its believers must be vanquished.
White and Red: White and Red clash on simpler, but much less recognized grounds. White looks at Red and sees an enemy that does not respect civil laws and does at it pleases with little regards to the rules and well-being of the community, let alone itself. Red is unnecessarily aggressive and its brash and unthinking action often leaves White’s citizens injured, homes burnt, and crops ruined. As a contrasting defensive figure, White will not tolerate such action. In combat, White favors strategy, structured ranks, and planning while Red prefers not to plan ahead and strike without warning or lines, before the opportunity leaves. Red claims to be an advocate of Freedom, but in White’s ears the word is synonymous with chaos. White believes that if Red is to be allowed freedom to express its often radical and inherently selfish emotions, it will incite similar emotions in others within White’s community, leading to unrest, or worse, insurrection. If White is to ever achieve peace and order within its community, the forces of chaos must be destroyed.
White and Green: Like all allies, differences rarely surface but will surface nonetheless. Between Green and White, the conflict is thinking versus feeling. White believes that Green should spend more time thinking on its actions and not act so brashly at times. Green acts based on instincts (a word White generalizes as being almost synonymous with emotion), which will heed to no law and knows nothing of morality. Green would rather have a fun party than die for a noble cause. This ruffles White’s feathers, because law and morality are fundamental to White’s functions. If Green were to have its way, only the strongest and the fittest would survive, and the weak and those with no natural purpose would be consumed. This goes against White’s interest in giving everyone a fair chance, no matter how strong. White is also more concerned with law in the abstract. White can be dogmatic and hard-nosed, which tends to step on Green’s toes. While Green appreciates the protection and safety that law affords, it isn’t interested in the subtle bureaucracy that comes with it. Green is only concerned with law and morality as long as it applies to everyday life.
White and Blue: White and Blue do not always see eye-to-eye either. The conflict between the two is interdependence versus parasitism. White is very interested in working with the community in order for it prosper and succeed, but when Blue looks at the community it sees merely subjects to be observed and notes to be recorded. The people are merely a means to acquire the knowledge Blue seeks and it’s not particularly concerned about them beyond that. This upsets White, because it believes that Blue should be more actively involved and open about its projects, but Blue is secretive and often deceitful, which makes White even less comfortable. Above this, Blue sees value in the individual and in doing things (and keeping things to) itself, but White feels that putting any value in the individual can only serve to devalue the group. Also quite notable is that Blue puts the most importance on facts, data, and solid information, which makes it the most scientific (and thus arguably the most secular) color. White puts importance in religion, which can be used to fervor its own with zeal and purpose while maintaining moral and civil order, but White fears that if Blue were to have its way, the community would be entirely comprised of atheists. This is simply intolerable.