Following the Virtues in Avatarhood is not always a choice between right and wrong. Sometimes the direction we choose will favor one path over the other. Take this example:
You work for a wealthy business owner. At the end of your shift, you’re tasked with delivering the day’s cash earnings to the owner at their home. Along your way, you come across a poor mother with her child. She is asking for money for food. You know a small amount of money will not be missed and it will help the two eat for the day. Do you remain true to the Virtue of Honesty and pass by the needy? Or are you compelled by the Virtue of Compassion, helping them with a small offering of your boss’ money?
Along our journey of Avatarhood, we will find ourselves having to choose between two or more Virtues. The world is not always black and white, right and wrong, good and evil. You will sometimes have to favor one virtue over another. Don’t feel you have failed when you cannot perfectly abide by all of the Eight all of the time. It’s not possible.
The Virtues we favor are part of our personal relationship with the Principles. For example some may always choose to align with Truth over Love. But even then, choices are still not simple. The Virtues of Honesty is governed entirely by Truth. Justice is Truth tempered with Love. Consider this situation:
You know a man who rightfully owes a debt to your friend, but he has refused to pay her. You see the man on the street one day and notice that he drops a money-clip. The amount will cover the majority of the debt he owes. Will you honestly return the carelessly lost money because you know it belongs to the man, or will you give it to your friend because she justly deserves it?
In this situation, the principle of Truth is being tested. If you do nothing, you outright ignore Truth, because you know who dropped it and therefore you have an obligation to either return it or use it to pay the rightful debt that is owed. As with the previous example, it’s not about right or wrong. Sometimes, we will choose a path to favor one specific Virtue over all others. These are the Pilgrim paths. A Pilgrim path is when you focus on a specific Virtue and always use it as your guidance for actions and thoughts.
|Pilgrim Path Name||Focused Virtue|
|Path of the Mage||Honesty|
|Path of the Bard||Compassion|
|Path of the Fighter||Valor|
|Path of the Druid||Justice|
|Path of the Tinker||Sacrifice|
|Path of the Paladin||Honor|
|Path of the Ranger||Spirituality|
Those who choose to always favor Humility are known as Shepherds. Their choices are based on the situation over all other Principles. At any given choice they may favor any of the other Virtues based upon what they believe is for the greater good. This is a difficult path to follow because it requires a strong understanding of all other paths. Unlike those, where choices may be made based on devotion to a single Principle or Virtue, the Shepherd will consider all possible choices and weigh them against what they believe is the most right thing to do.
The Shepherd is one who has traveled the other paths extensively, so they can fully understand what each Virtue means and how they are best applied.