Rarely seen, the enigmatic rilmani are perhaps the least known of all the exemplar races. Standing for pure Neutrality, they take it as their duty to keep the balance between Law and Chaos, between Good and Evil; seeking to ensure that none grows too powerful over the rest. Keeping their settlements not merely in the Outlands, but near the Spire itself, their homes are far from near every major trail, beyond the reach of the Astral, and few portals or access ways exist to bring others to them. This well suits their ways, preferring to keep secluded, quiet, and hidden, to manipulate events undetected. And unlike the yugoloth, their profile is so low, few ever even consider their existence.
Little is known of rilmani history; what is known has almost entirely been collected by Sazraen Tildoma some three hundred years ago, one of the few sages to ever have been accepted into a rilmani settlement for an extended period of time. By her reports of their own histories, the rilmani, while an ancient race, are not so much so as many exemplars. Long ago, the majority of the Outlands was made up of insular empires of the kamerel, expressing the apathy and uncaringness of neutrality with little regard for balance. Over the eons, their apathy for others began to progress into outright xenophobia, and their empires began to collapse as they withdrew closer and closer to the spire. It was in the wake of their absence that the rilmani first arose, amongst the near-empty lands. In these early days, few mortals walked the planes, instead little but petitioners and outsiders, and the rilmani would seem to have had much space to claim in the aftermath of the kamerel.
What greeted them beyond the Outlands, however, struck them to the core. In the Lower, the Blood War raged. In the Upper, the guardinals struggled to keep peace between the archons and the eladrin, while the brief war between aasimon and quesar had only just begun. Skirmishes spun off by the supposedly long-dead War of Law and Chaos continued to erupt now and then on the Inner, and of course the genies were as violent as they always are. And on the Prime, the aboleth may have fallen, but the illithid were slowly growing in strength, their empire expanding sphere by sphere. So much upheaval in all directions made for a terrifying time for rilmani beliefs. But any direct conflict would only spur upheaval more. The first Concordanach was held in short order, and the rilmani decided: while new, while unknown, they had their best chance at bringing some stability to the planes with but a light touch here and there. But it would require staying unknown, staying out of public notice. They couldn't merely take that which the kamerel abandoned; it would make far too big a mark. Some suggested moving opposite to the kamerel, settling within the ever-unexplored Hinterlands. But the majority decided that instead, they ought to move after the kamerel, where they would not only be hidden, but also protected by the very plane itself, by the great Spire.
In the name of the balance, they followed after the kamerel, encountering the last remnants of their empires in the foothills of the Spire. There was the occasional skirmish, but to their great surprise, there was hardly more than that before they simply vanished, their towns and fortresses abandoned. Though the odd mystery intrigued them, they had other matters. The kamerel left behind much in their rush, much that the rilmani could use to their favor. They established their cities, and dispatched their first agents to all corners of the multiverse. Always keeping low, keeping quiet, doing whatever they could to keep their efforts from being noticed. Always seeking above all else to maintain the Balance.
More than anything else, the first concern of every rilmani is towards the Balance. Towards ensuring that all forces of significance are equalized, that no force gains an unfair advantage over the others. The rilmani believe that all people, all intelligent beings, are nothing more but manifestations of various aspects and representations of the multiverse's desires and wants, and that by maintaining the Balance, the multiverse can be kept sane, for lack of a better word. The various reflections of its own base essence can be kept in a careful relationship to one another, and ensure that its continued existence will be a healthy one. As a result, rilmani have some odd views on individuality and their own personal existence that can lead to deep confusion in conversation. The rilmani language itself has no sense of first person, all actions viewed from an external perspective rather than an internal one; while they do believe in personal agency and will, they view it as the will of the multiverse expressed through the instantiated individual. As a result, many have trouble with near any other language, especially in their native lands where most innate translation faculties fail to function.
From this perspective, they see themselves as something of the "inner voice" of the multiverse. That bit of the mind that makes note when a person acts out of character, that nudges a person back to stability after a severe mental strain. They understand that certain stressful incidents can leave their mark — from the multiverse's view, great disasters, wars, things of that nature — but that after a period of time, the healthy thing to do must be to adjust back to stability. To eventually return to Balance. As such, they rarely intervene at such major events, instead far more likely to deal with the after effects of any such events.
The rilmani have no government or organizing body, and disdain the very idea of hierarchical arrangement; nor do they believe in a true anarchy either, however. Instead, they function through nothing more than direct democracy. An issue is brought up by anywhere from a small handful of rilmani for especially local concerns, to the race as a whole (although matters of relevance to the race as a whole tend to be brought up only at the Concordanachs). The wisest amongst any given group propose suggestions, and they vote on that which they find the most suitable means of addressing a situation, the collection agreeing to whatever decision is thus determined. None are allowed dissent from such decisions, but none would dissent, for it simply isn't in the rilmani character, seen as a neuron seeking to rebel against the brain itself and act independently. It's simply an incoherent thought to them. While the aurumachs seem to many to serve as something of a leadership position, it's more a function of their wisdom and reputation for well-considered argument. In fact, though the mechanism is yet unknown, at least one aspect of transformation between rilmani castes seems to be a function of how often a given rilmani's suggestion is successfully voted upon.
Once each hundred years, the rilmani gather at the Spire to discuss the state of things, and determine what the most pressing concerns to the Balance appear to be; this event is known as the Concordanach. All members of the race but for those in deep cover are called to return, with the Concordanach beginning precisely one month after notice is dispatched. The entire event spans anywhere from two to four months depending on the number of issues to be discussed. The direction for the race is decided, assignments are made, and though Tildoma wasn't allowed to view the event herself, from her discussions afterwards, it appears to be the occasion when rilmani castes are changed as needed.
- Planescape MCII, pp.84-91
- Tales from the Infinite Staircase, pp.102-103