The Ildhuat Soher Document in TAHARJIN'S FLAME | World Anvil
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The Ildhuat Soher

The Soher is the earliest text on the history of magic, penned approximately 3000 years ago in The Kingdom of Khyr. Its author is unknown, and the book exists now strictly in copies of copies. Its first half sketches the beginnings of magical tradition, while the second provides a detailed list of famous practitioners across the ages and their key spells. The language of the first half of the Ildhuat is mythic in nature, and lacks in scholarly precision: while it eloquently captures the flavour of an older oral tradition, it is dubious just how much light it actually sheds on the true prehistory of magic. Nevertheless it is regarded as a gem for the truths it may contain, however distorted, and Berythians in particular hold it dear as the origin story for their Tradition, however colourful.   The Ildhuat's first chapter opens with a discussion of dragons, which are described as the earliest creatures to populate the universe. Eight of extraordinary supernatural power are outlined, who are said to have breathed life into countless “spheres” thereby giving rise to all manner of living creatures. The Eighth Sphere under the dragon Taharjin goes on to enjoy pride of place as the universe's central inhabited world (i.e. Taharjin's Flame), and the only one where magic is believed to exist.   After she creates the world, Taharjin waits for her breath to take shape. Eons pass before a vessel worthy of whispering her secrets to evolves, at which time there emerge two: Ruha and Nava. Ruha she entrusts with the secret of Fire, Nava with the secret of Darkness. Ruha goes on to found a mighty Empire – Devokan - and trains a priestly caste loyal to Taharjin in the use of magic. The Soher declares Devokan to have lasted a million years. Meanwhile, Nava escapes to the moon and observes mankind from this safe perch. She directs the souls of the dead as they travel up towards her en route to the next world. A few whose heart's wish in life was to study from her tarry before passing the moon, and opt to steep themselves in the wisdom of her lessons even above eternal rest.   Corruption and ambition eventually take their toll on the Mages of Devokan, who come to seek power without wisdom. Thus, Devokan falls to civil war. In the end, no trace of it remains due to widespread magical destruction. A number of artifacts are said to have survived this, and some mages today believing in their literal existence invest considerable time and resources hoping to unearth the secret of their whereabouts. Ruha – still very much alive after Devokan's million year reign – rues the loss of Taharjin's principles and vanishes, vowing to one day restore the Empire and everything it stood for. Nava persists in her lunar abode.   The fall of Devokan ultimately gives rise to the era of mortals. The separate continents they live on are described to be parts of the once-unitary land of Devokan, ripped asunder by the war. Although mortals lack the core of virtue the immortal race once had, every now and then, so says the Soher, the mythic figure of Ruha emerges from hiding to train exemplary men and women in the ways of magic. The first mortal kingdoms to have emerged are seen as very primitive. Individuals within them that come to be trained by Ruha are one-offs – a hero here, a sorceror there. These figures go on to play significant roles in their cultures but trained others only infrequently, and in no case did any lineage become well-established enough to endure the ages. The one exception to this pattern is Beryth himself, which Ruha trained as the greatest sorceror and last of his kind, passing finally the torch and burden of the Ruhic tradition on to him.   In contrast with its first few lofty chapters, the Ildhuat Soher's latter half contains relatively nuts-and-bolts information on Beryth's disciples, known as The Twenty. This section charts roughly ten generations of Apprentices of every Lineage established by each disciple, offering a full arcane genealogy over a 400 year span (though dates are shaky). Names of spells and other major innovations are recorded in depth, but the Soher is not in fact a magical text, rather an organized attempt to record the achievements of Berythian Mages. Modern-day critiques point out that the Soher was written during the infancy of the Kingdom of Khyr, when emerging magical traditions would have required legitimation by recourse to some more established provenance, and caution that this possible rhetorical function of the book should not be disregarded in its interpretation.


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