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The Old Robes

The Sunset Empire (598-362) - the last gasp of the old Drakoyan Dynasties - suffered from widespread corruption and moral indulgence within the ranks of both the governing nobility and the The Berythian Order. Overseeing the latter during the period's last years was Sevegal Incodes, a Grandmaster of the Column of Taharjin. Widely known to be a member of a Devokan cult, Incodes sought to expand the Order's temporal as well as arcane power as part of an effort to restore the mythic empire. To do so, he widely overstepped conventional boundaries of his position, abusing the traditionally esteemed status of Fire mages to justify a number of very costly projects and initiatives, the most exorbitant of which included a series of excavations in far off lands aimed at recovering artifacts from ancient Devokan. He was also strongly of the opinion that mages were inherently better than mundanes and widely discriminated against non-magical folk, behaviours long cautioned against in central Berythian texts.   A small group of mages gathered from other Columns (Earth, Water, and Air) to oppose Incodes. They took issue not only with the direction of the Order under his tenure, but also the underlying doctrines which upheld it on the simple basis that his magic was aligned with the Element of Fire, while those of others weren't. Deeming themselves the Children of the Sage - a name suggesting a closeness with the original teachings of Beryth - these mages called for Incodes' immediate removal, and for a more democratic approach to rulership which would allow anyone, regardless of Element, to oversee the Order.   The conflict took a bloody turn, and fighting between the Children and those loyal to Incodes bled over from the confines of the Loraeus out into the streets - one of the few moments in the Order's history such flagrant discord is observed. Mundane innocents would fall in the crossfire, but Incodes held many nobles in his pocket and any justice they might have received was hastily overturned. When the dust settled, Incodes at great cost was finally ousted, but he took a contingent of mages loyal to his ideals with him into exile, along with a large number of precious and powerful artifacts. Vowing revenge, he travelled south, some say to join forces with the sorcerors of The Hex.   The Children of the Sage worked long and hard to reform the Order after Incodes' departure. But while the Grandmaster was many things, his legacy was not in the end distasteful enough for the majority of the Conclave to overturn key doctrines, such as the Model of the Elements. Incodes was not a bad ruler, the Conclave said, because Fire holds precedence over other Elements, but rather because of his own overreaching nature. Everyone agreed that the Order needed additional checks on its power, and the Children grew to become its conscience during a fertile period of Reconstruction. As the Order rethought itself from within, it also connected with new noble families unaffiliated with the Sunset Empire's Amazar Dynasty, and worked with them towards a more modern and democratic model of governance, evidenced today by the contemporary nation of Draksineon.   In 304, decades after the new society had proven a success story, the Children of the Sage disbanded. But perhaps 30 or fewer years ago, another group was to emerge, extolling the Children's ideals and apparent purity. The Old Robes - so-called for their resurrection of the old, grey outfits worn during the Old Empire - formed vis-a-vis the certain corruption they saw creeping back into the Order, which as they explain is all the more deceptive because of how "just" everything seems on the surface these days. While they currently practice within the bounds of Loraeic sanction, they walk a fine line in some of their more controversial beliefs. They reject, for instance, the branching of Elemental magic into the Four Columns affected during the Middle Empire, and cleave to Beryth's original words that mages should strive to master all Four Elements. They are weaker in the spells they cast because they are less specialized, but have rediscovered many lost Techniques. Mainstream opinions on the Old Robes vary. Most regard them as a well-intentioned but ultimately misguided lot (who, by the way, have terrible fashion sense). They are only seen as dangerous by those who interpret their divergence from the Order as the foundation of a nascent Magical Faith, adherence to which would lead too many astray from established truths.  
by Midjourney


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