I would think that of the nine alignments, Lawful Neutral is the least played, and yet it is perhaps the easiest to understand and implement. Film and literature are replete with Lawful Neutral characters, from U.S. Deputy Marshal Sam Gerrard of The Fugitive, to Inspector Javert of Les Miserables, Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and James Bond of the various Ian Flemming 007 stories and films. What I find most interesting about these characters is that, while most are considered law-enforcement professionals, all of them have a deeper stake in maintaining the status quo. I tried to challenge that preconception, that LN is the defacto alignment of the man terrified of change. Instead, I use background and personal achievment as motivating factors in a LN character who seeks to effect change. What's more, I toned down the logic and rationality a bit and made this profile slightly more passionate and emotional than I have with the others (to a certain extent). I think this helps humanize an otherwise cold alignment.
As always, comments and criticisms are happily recieved, and thank you for reading.
Please enjoy The Thinking Mans Lawful Neutral.
I know I’m not well-liked. When I was young, it was a source of great consternation for me that I wasn’t as popular as my peers. I wanted to fit in, have friends, and be as charming and beloved as anyone else. There was a lot of prestige to be had from social standing, obviously, and I tried so hard to make everyone see why I was so great. As you have probably already figured out, I failed. The harder I tried, the easier it became for others to notice that I was trying too hard. I wasn’t overly handsome. Plain, I think, was the word my brothers would use. I was always lacking for confidence, also. I remember struggling to get my words out, missing out on many opportunities with the girls in my town. I was always smart, though, but a fertile mind isn’t as attractive as other physical endowments women tend to appreciate.
Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t the sort who was going to win affection easily, so I just stopped trying. Best day of my life when I figured that out. I had to find a way to exist, and make myself as important as I wanted, without relying on my accursed social skills. I found a school that would take me on scholarship, and I learned as much as I could. I dove into literature, art, history, economics, and the law. I wanted to know something about everything, especially legality. I loved my legal studies. I did well in my classes, I pleased my instructors, and I gained self-esteem. I refused to recognize the envy and disdain other students had for me; their opinions no longer mattered. All that mattered was that I finally mattered to me, and I had found a way to do it in a way that made sense to me.
One might assume from this account that I went on to become a successful barrister, or perhaps a career-academic, perhaps even a local marshal. All fine ideas, and I admit to having considered all of them when I left university. There are reasons I chose to free-boot across the Truth Marches that I won’t speak of. They are much more personal, and I don’t know you very well. You understand, of course. However, I will say that in the law, I found equality among men. My intellect did not make me any more important than the next man in they eyes of the law, and his silver tongue did not make him any more important than me. Every man is the same where I come from. We are not distinguished by birthright or title. My people earn our station by merit. Our children may be rotten little punks, but by the time they become men and women they know that no one is going to hand them anything, and they work to help themselves.
Other lands are not so fortunate. There are places in the world wracked with disorder and inequity. Realms of poverty and corruption, where might makes right and the common man has no option but to step aside or be crushed underfoot. I don’t care who a man is. I don’t care what he does, or why he does it. Saints and sinners abound everywhere, but without so much as a choice, an opportunity to be treated as a man and not as a commodity, the concepts of good and evil may as well not exist. In the absence of egalitarianism, how can we judge the actions of another? In the absence of law and order, how can we say what is right and what is wrong?
All men deserve the right to be treated fairly, as equals. All men need an advocate, and all men can exist as they are meant to when their advocate is the rule of law. How many little boys like me are out there, who will never have the chance to be as important or meaningless as they choose to be?
I fear the answer to that question is: too many.