Racon wrote: ↑
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:01 am
That in my opinion is the big question. Is the shadow something character invokes himself based on what he views right and wrong (taught morality) or is it an external force, which works ruled by a higher order (Eru Ilúvatar or mechanism created by it).
IMO it is neither wholly one or the other. Here a source is of crucial importance (or relevance) that cannot be quoted or obviously used in TOR for licensing reasons.
In the HoME there is a insightful essay about the nature of Evil and its agents (i.e. Morgoth and Sauron) in Arda. Here Tolkien compares Morgoth and Sauron and names all of Middle-earth as "Morgoth's Ring" (which is also the title of the book), since he poured a major part of his immense and vast power as the greatest of all the Ainur into the very fabric (i.e. matter) of Middle-earth (a technique similar to Sauron's strategy with the One, though Sauron concentrated
this externalised essence in the Ring, whereas Morgoth dispersed
it throughout all the matter of Middle-earth). Thus every single piece of matter in Middle-earth (however big or small) is tainted to some degree by this "Morgoth-element" (sometimes called the 'mordo
'). Some material is less affected (e.g. silver) but nothing is wholly free of it. Thus every being born in Middle-earth and nourished by it contains some part of Morgoth's essence. This is an external source of 'Shadow' which affects every being in Middle-earth with some degree of taint.
Add to this the inherent weaknesses and failing of the Free People: Envy, greed, pride etc. (in addition to noble traits), which they exhibit throughout Tolkien's writings and which is a major driver for the overall drama. This is represented in TOR by your character's Shadow Weakness - something that external sources (the mordo) can use against you - though the weaknesses as such is not external, but part of your very own personality.
Thus, Shadow is a combination of both: Your morals and the "compass" of good and bad play a role in whether you know that something is right or wrong. Acting against this better knowledge opens a wedge in your "armour" of goodness which can (in addition to your own conscience) be exploited by the mordo
to grant you Shadow (i.e. the game mechanic) more quickly. Without "evil" deeds the mordo
has a much harder job to seriously affect you (i.e. gaining Shadow Points), but it may still succeed in giving you the occasional point.
In addition to this, the mordo
can be much higher concentrated in certain areas or beings (or both), so that exposure to this concentrated mordo
may grant you Shadow in itself (without doing anything wrong as such).