Devokan Myth in TAHARJIN'S FLAME | World Anvil
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Devokan

The story of Devokan is the earliest in Berythian literature, preceding the writing of the Ildhuat Soher, the famous chronicle of magical history where it is first found, by many centuries.   In brief, the tale describes the rise and fall of a mythic kingdom of sorcerors, presided over by the first individual said to have magical ability, Ruha. After learning the Ways of Magic at the feet of the world-creating dragon goddess, Taharjin, Ruha goes on to train a generation of powerful mages who he installs as co-rulers of his ever-expanding empire, Devokan. Their collective rule brings incredible prosperity, peace, and order to the mundane people that lived on their lands; and as the mages of this time were said to be nigh-immortal, this rule was one to last a very long time.   However, the mage lords, seduced by their own powers and critical of Ruha’s place at the top of the hierarchy, eventually wage war with him, as well as each other, doling out cataclysmic levels of destruction and death in the process to all around them. The chaos achieves such heights as to attract the attention of Taharjin herself, who leaves her celestial realm to purge the earth of those vulgar enough to have used their powers for personal gain. Few survive this blitz.   Those that do, did so on account of their ethics. This scenario is referenced in allegory to this day as it both provides the mythical origin for the intense stress on ethics in the Berythian Tradition, and also a cautionary example of why mages should not strive to cultivate power for worldly ends.   It further demonstrates the complicated place Devokan holds in modern Berythian thought. Mainstream tradition holds the Devokan story as profound, and metaphorically significant, but ultimately fictitious (‘the Legends’ is the proper term for related writings). However, the Legends are also deeply woven into magical theory, with certain of its characters symbolically representing arcane concepts. Thus, one cannot emerge from any apprenticeship without knowing the story inside and out. And because magical language, once acquired, becomes a basis for perceiving the world, the world itself thereafter tends to resonate with meanings drawn from the story.   Most Masters acknowledge the Legends as an integral part of Berythian history and begrudgingly accept the quasi-real status they’ve acquired through sheer repetition, stressing to their students to walk the careful line between denial and belief in such matters. A fringe minority do, however, take them VERY seriously.   Most of these fall into the innocuous category of Treasure-Seekers. Devokan’s level of magical technology was by all accounts absurdly advanced, and the Legends are chock-a-block with descriptions of fantastic devices capable of unthinkable things. More than a few mages have set sail for distant lands in search of these artifacts. Many perfectly good careers have correspondingly been ruined this way.   Such folk may be thought foolish (“Treasure-Seeker” is in fact the generic Berythian term for someone whose head’s in the clouds or tilting at windmills) but Berythian Elders typically leave these dreamers to pursue their illusions. However, a separate group - those who hold each word of the Legends to be the gospel truth – the Elders are not so tolerant of.   Like Treasure-Seekers, these fundamentalists chase phantom antiques, but additionally oppose many basic aspects of Berythian practice in favour of setting up Taharjin as a god, with the remaking of Devokan on earth their goal, a testament to their devotion for her. The Order’s spiritual care has been nominally overseen by the Congregation of the Ascended - Rela's dominant religious institution - since the days of the historic Pact of Three, and the social peace that exists across the Continent hinges greatly on the non-competition mages and the Church agreed to uphold in that document. So Berythian Elders take pains to avoid the perception that their practice is in any way faith-like, despite many parallels. Those with fundamentalist views are branded political enemies of the Council as they threaten that arrangement.   To avoid persecution, few mages vocalize their belief in Devokan as a real entity – so few, in fact, that it is unclear whether those who hold such beliefs operate within an organization per se, or as loosely affiliated individuals. Whatever the case, the Order refers to Devokan fundamentalists in the collective as the Brood of Taharjin, a term granting them at least some semblance of unity. There are many more tall tales and superstitions than facts about the Brood, a situation that has lent them a somewhat romantic air and even seen them figure in works of popular literature as a dark and scheming cult, but Taharjin worship has a definite place in the annals of history, and seems to enjoy a perennial relationship with political strife: the tenser the climate, the stronger the cause.  
 

Devokan: Seduction & Tyranny

 
Play a mythically powerful mage in a kingdom of legend, long before fantastic beasts were banished from the world and Taharjin herself reigned supreme.
   
BUY-IN: Jam-packed with epic adventure and encounters. Grand scale / high-level.   POLITICS: MEDIUM   ROLEPLAYING: MEDIUM   EXPLORATION: HIGH   COMBAT (LETHALITY): HIGH (HIGH)   MAGIC LEVEL: CRAZY HIGH   TREASURE: CRAZY HIGH  

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