The Exiled Tradition
North of the Fourth Meridian, little is known of the Exiled Tradition. The continent of Rela had its first introduction to southern magic (with which the Exiled Tradition is synonymous) during the Cativene Dynasty, just under 2000 years ago, when with the help of the Cativene lords, Berythian mages retook the magically rich territory now known as Draksineon. Shortly afterwards, horrifying reports started to roll in about what their arcane brethren in the south were suffering under the oppression of its mundane population. Due to a condition known as The Wrack which visits greater harm to mages the further south they travel, neither Berythians nor other northern casters had had any real contact with spellcasters from this untread part of the world (the continent of Tyril and beyond). Thus, despite the dire nature of the news, these distant cousins were greeted with a measure of fascination and wonder. Small parties of southern mages implored the Berythian Order to bring aid to their cause, offering in return a most elusive knowledge: the secret of how to heal through spell energy. While Berythians traditionally avoided overt political moves, the Cativene, motivated by the medicinal boon, pledged financial and military support for the cause. And so began the The Southern Crusades - a war waged over nearly two centuries that drastically extended the territory and power of Tyrilan sorcerors. Use of newly acquired healing magic in battle guaranteed victory for the Berythians against their mundane foes. As the Cativene encountered new threats on their own soil - most notably, the Drakoya - their support fell away, leaving Berythian forces no option but to withdraw, thus separating them from their southern cousins once again by a great geopolitical rift. Small delegations from Tyril continued to travel north to smooth relations so that no one in Rela would discover that the Tyrilan mages had initiated a reign of terror over their prior mundane oppressors, enslaving and subjecting them to a multitude of cruel and unusual experiments. The Drakoya defeated the Cativene and established what is now known as the The Old Empire, a period of sweeping change and progress. At long last, Berythians formed a truce with both the Nurhetic mages of Delhiza and the The Aurimbic Tradition of Arlok, and proceeded to share with them the newly acquired knowledge of magical healing. The apparent charity of this act was to be rewarded by widespread death and destruction: Unknown to all, a dark warp in the healing caused terrible illness and deformity, not in its original users, but rather later generations. The long-term scheme of the Tyrilans paid off as nearly half the population of the Relan continent was eliminated. Their motive: to claim the Berythian's magic-rich lands. The period came later to be known as The Plague Years (1212-1112). The Drakoya bargained with warlords on the Tyrilan border to suppress the threat, and Berythians reluctantly provided them with vital knowledge of how to identify and combat those with the Gift, effectively boxing in the mages of the south. With these tools, mundane populations overthrew their arcane masters, and drove those with the Gift south of the Fourth Meridian, where their magic would bring about the most severe symptoms of the Wrack. (The strict policing and surveillance that began here would grow to be an integral part of the later-established Uvan Empire.) The mages of the south came to despise their northern kin for the role they played in helping to oppress them once again. The final product of this hatred was a radicalized faction, The Hex, which emerged in 1109. Along with the utter worship of their founder/God, Khajuro, the wholesale destruction of the north and all magical Traditions there is central among The Hex's goals. As soon as its true nature was grasped, The Council of Landezon forbade all use of healing magic. To this day, its use or possession remains strictly off limits and severely punishable. However, there are so many people desperate to be healed of malady that a black market developed as soon as the ban was put in place. A small branch of the Council, The Black Mercies, was created to track down outlawed documents and deal with those involved in their trade. Through The Mercies comes the only verifiable information about what southern organizations may be up to, and given their top secret rank, such information is tightly controlled. All else is pure speculation - or, more properly, superstition - for so much time has passed, with so little in word or deed from the Exiled, that they have assumed a truly legendary status among the people of Rela. Tales of dark sorcerors are frequent fare, used (for instance) to scare children into good behaviour. Though quite impossible to derive fact from embellishment, certain repeated details do keep showing up across accounts, including the common notion that Exiled sorcerors have unnaturally long lifespans. Those born with Exiled-leaning gifts within the north - which does occur, if rarely - are generally monitored, although not overtly and not with disciplinary consequences. In Draksineon, such talent is harnessed (or controlled) through the Order of the Razor, a military wing of the Council of Landezon.