Definitely defiling - as the best sample of an almost irresistible temptation both in fantasy and in RPG.
Definitively defiling: on my opinion it’s the soul of Dark Sun, the root cause of the dying world …
It’s quicker, darker, a call to power !
Preserving is a dim light to say there is still hope and for a lot preserving is “good” while a preserver may be and often is bad or egoist person marked by a world that hate and fear mage. In order to survive magic will kill and destroy with defiling as well preserving magic.
Agreed. Preserving is great for the PC’s - it offers the world hope of some sort of redemption and provides some good story line (Veiled Alliance and such), but in my opinion, it’s too good, and too easy to import what in every other setting is simply the mystical realm of the druid and ranger.
Defiling is dark. It is the raw essence that demonstrates human’s nature to be greedy - to take things the easiest way possible with the least amount of expense.
Like many great epics, Dark Sun is, at its core, a story of good and evil and mirrors the experiences humans in today’s world are facing. War among the nations, loss of natural resources, corruption at the highest level of government, destruction of the world by man’s greed and desire to fuel our own gain. Our world is dark, and bad things happen because greed and ego get out of control - and to me, this is the power of defiling. The concept is attractive because in our world, it is morally forbidden, but in the world of Dark Sun, it is a manner of fact and how the city-states retain authority.