Bant Color Philosophy [Slicing the Pie]
Shards being rather complex while lacking many in-game examples, can create issues when trying to explain the philosophies therein, but it's not impossible. To accomplish this, we must simply take what we know of the color pie and use that knowledge to form our opinion as to what each Shard could be.
If you have read my other articles in the series, then you are familiar with the process I use to break down each Shard. For those of you new here, there is a system or framework that must be set up in order to make educated assumptions on a Shard or Wedge philosophy. I do this in steps, the first being explaining the core ideals of our bridge color, the color that bridges the gap between our two enemy colors; in this case, the bridge color is White.
From there, we can talk about how that bridge interacts with each of its neighbors. After that, we have to talk about the colors that are missing from the equation, as what colors are missing in a Shard is just as important as the colors that are within. So, let’s start things off with Bant’s bridge color, White.
The main thing to keep in mind when trying to understand White is that it is the color whose main focus is peace for all. The issue is that it knows there are those that don't share its ideals, and so uses strict levels of order and morality to achieve this goal. White is the color that will look to laws and religion to regulate our wilder sides, all in an effort to ensure peace and order for all. So, any version of Bant will have a focus on community and social structure.
I think we are getting somewhere with this, but there is still an important aspect that needs addressing, and that is the colors that are missing from this Shard. Let’s first think about what a world or a philosophy would look like with no Black mana.
For one, we remove selfishness from the equation. With no Black mana present, we can be certain that Bant is a color always thinking about the effect it has on those around it. Alright, now how about we take Red from this and see what we are left with. In the case of Bant, the lack of Red mana tells us that this is a Shard that respects the rule of law and is willing to restrict itself for the betterment of others. There are rules and the rules supersede impulses.
Now that we have created the framework, we can build the Shard’s philosophy, but before we do, I always like to say one thing.
Color philosophy is not an exact science, and while on this channel we aim to further expand upon it, there are many sides to every color, and especially of every combination.
So, if there is a version or ideal of Bant that I do not cover, then be sure to let me know in the comments or join the discussion on my Discord. Wizards of the Coast has laid out for us an interesting set of colors and it’s up to us to explore their potential. OK, with that, let’s get into my first point, and one that I feel is a great basis for understanding Bant.
I always like to start things off with the most low-hanging fruit, so to speak, and bring up the concept that is a good basis for any philosophies that lie within the Shard we are discussing. With Bant, I believe that concept is progression and order through tradition.
What I mean by this is that Bant believes that if we all were to mold ourselves around proven rituals, we could then all march to the same beat and thus march forward together. It takes Green’s predilection to maintain the old ways or traditions, White’s need for order, and Blue’s desire to move things ever forward. Typically, the Blue side may not be so inclined to follow along with the old, and would rather seek out the new, but when combined with White and Green, it can see the value in rallying around something, and from everyone’s progress as a unit.
What is important to note is that Bant is not stagnant because of tradition, as traditions can be iterated on. Instead, it's a slow and methodical march forward together. Reliance on an established order also creates roles, and by these roles, you are handed your purpose.
In this way, a perfectly functioning version of Bant would be similar to an ant colony. Everyone would have their place and know their role within the established tradition and rules, and from there, they could act accordingly, instead of creating the friction that individuality brings forth.
An ant colony is close to a perfect example, but I think that Bant, no matter the form, are always looking to accept others, and wouldn't be so tribal. Because at the end of the day, Bant will always be the most diverse and welcoming of all Shards.
Traditions can be taught, and through this action, outsiders are made to become a part of the collective, and then through those repetitive rituals, we can begin to march to the same beat. With that established, I want to move onto the next point: one that allows the growth to happen and leans a little more into Bant’s Blue side.
“Evolution through acceptance and peace” is a philosophy of Bant that believes we can only move forward as a society when we can work together. If we take our own existence as an example, humanity’s greatest weakness and potentially our extinction is our inability to treat each other as equals.
What I am saying is that our divisiveness will be our downfall, and what Bant believes is that in a world where all are one, we can become better as a whole.
Blue believes that we must always be looking to become a better version of ourselves, White believes that our strength lies within each other, and Green believes we all have a part to play.
Therefore, a perfect society to Bant would be one where the entire plane is banded together, and one where war is nothing more than a passing thought and chaos is nothing more than a concept. In this ideal world, Bant could create an environment where learning and expansion of thought, society, and culture could take precedence. In this way, Bant could accomplish the cultivation of both nature and nurture and in essence, reach a new plateau of evolution.
The interesting thing about this concept is that it wouldn't take place in a single tightly-knit city, as you might first picture, but instead could be sprawled across the whole plane. Imagine a web of small villages sprawled across the plane, none of which have to spend resources on war with each other. Instead, they could build up their own expertise and share freely. In this world, you would have networks of diverse thinkers, artists, and builders, all of whom could devote themselves to their specialty.
Speaking of community, I just want to give a shoutout to the great people who take part in discussions every day over on the DiceTry Discord. It’s always a great source of inspiration for me and keeps me making content. If you want to be part of the discussion, then be sure to head down to the bottom of the article and hit the Discord invite link. OK, let’s move onto the final point, and another broad philosophy important to Bant: religion.
I would say another important piece of Bant's framework is the concept of acceptance through piety. Where traditions give a guiding focus that can bring about natural order, I think religion is the catalyst for acceptance when it comes to Bant.
Of course, this might not be present in every version, but as you will see, it can appear quite naturally because of the colors present. Let's break it down first. In Green, we see a color that knows there is a greater force behind everything; some might call her mother nature itself. White, of course, is the color most drawn to worship and fellowship, and Blue is curious as to the deeper meaning behind things. All of this combined can easily culminate into a religion.
Now, it’s not enough for the colors to come together in this way. The real question is: why is it important to Bant's identity? Well, I think it comes down to the way it can bring people together that Bant finds not only useful but important.
It isn't doing it for its own gain or to manipulate, but it earnestly believes what it preaches and accepts others into its guiding ideals.
The specifics of the religion aren’t important as they change from plane to plane; it’s more about their willingness to accept a power beyond what they understand than to use it as a way that brings people together. There is a pureness to it that I don't think we have seen yet here on earth; it honestly seems to be one that only an idealist color philosophy could create.
What we have learned is that in the end, Bant wants to create a world where all are one; a unified philosophy dictating that all must be accepted so that we may march forward together. To do this, it may rely on things like tradition to create the ideals that unify us, or perhaps it's in a common belief that we may share a bond through piety. Once we have achieved this, we can then craft a world of peace, one that would allow us to concentrate on bettering not just ourselves, but those around us.
To some, this may seem like the philosophy of an idealist, but to Bant, no philosophy is worth considering if it’s not ideal for all.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this discussion on Bant, I know I did. Personally, it's the type of philosophy that has so much potential to shape a healthy society, but hey it may not be for everyone. If you liked this article then be sure to sign up to dicetry.com so that you can get notified when the next article comes out. With that friends, I'll catch you in the multiverse, bye!
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