Dharma

C : Introduction : Setting : Characters : Special Rules : Storytelling

In the early days of the Reborn, many who returned to the world quickly fell to madness and despair. They struggled with their own Shadows, and wandered confused in the world, without purpose. Many tried to return to their former lives, but the many changes the Rebirth brings made that impossible. It was in the region of South Asia that the Deva first and most thoroughly explored the concept of Dharma, the purpose and duty that the Reborn now aspire to follow. The concept of Dharma is what allows the Deva to function and grow, and it is due to this that they use their current name. At it’s base, Dharma is simply the idea that the Deva are Reborn to follow a specific purpose, one that they must hold to as their moral compass. It seems a simple enough idea, but most Deva find that seeking this purpose is a far greater challenge that adhering to the social mores of the mortal culture was. For the Reborn, Dharma is not a simple matter of conforming to the tenets others have already laid out. Instead, each Deva must uncover their own specific reason for existing. As they advance their Insight into their personal Dharma, each character grows in power, eventually seeking some final ascension into their true form. Most Deva believe that the Akashic form acts as a reflection of their ultimate nature.

While each Deva’s Dharma is unique, the Reborn as a whole have discovered certain broad categorizations that serve as starting points for individuals to begin their own journeys. These Dharmic Paths are taught to all new Deva in an established Court, and most find that one path or another resonates with them. Dharmic Paths do not come with an inherent set of right and wrong actions, only overreaching goals to which the Deva may aspire.

During character creation a Deva’s Dharmic path determines one of their starting Gates, as well as granting them Affinity with certain types of supernatural creatures.

Sage of the Perfected Soul

Nicknames: Gurus, Monks.

After the Rebirth it is clear to the Deva that they are something more than what they once were, and part of a larger world that they had ever imagined. The Sages believe that they have only taken the first steps on a longer path to transform and perfect themselves. Freed from their mortal shackles, they have been granted abilities that allow them to drastically transform themselves, and the time to determine what changes they should pursue. Though the Monks all believe they are but the chrysalis of something greater, none truly agree on what that something greater is. Some seek the ultimate refinement of spirit or philosophy, while others seek to transcend their mortal flesh entirely, or uncover all the secrets their Shadow holds close. Often a charismatic sage will gather around them a community of followers, both mortal and supernatural, guiding their followers’ development as they seek to further their own. Invariably however, any Deva they draw into the fold will eventually leave to find their own path. Dharma is ever a solitary pursuit for these Reborn.

Gate: Contemplation

Affinity: Mages

Minister of the Sublime Tally

Nicknames: Merchants, Balancers.

Some people believe in chance and coincidence, others in fate or the workings of a higher power. Ministers may believe in these things as well, but more than that they believe in cause and effect. In the idea of debt, and consequence. To the Merchants, the world is a broken machine, a ripped pattern. Everywhere are signs the the world is decaying, torn from it’s rightful course. Broken Mirrors pierce the skin of the Shrouded World like thorns, souls are dragged to Naraka for the sins of their killers, and the agents of entropy crawl from dark places to remake the world in an image of abyssal horror. In the face of this evidence, some Deva can come to only one conclusion. They are consequence, the debt owed to the world, made flesh again.

Gate: Passion

Affinity: Changelings

Scholar of Enduring Wisdom

Nicknames: Lorekeepers, Graverobbers

Though an individual Deva may become ancient, their collective lore is often lost to time. Constantly the Naraki seek to purge any record of the Reborn, more ferociously even than they seek the Reborn themselves. It is for this reason that the Scholars consider their cause to be the most vital, to maintain and recover the history and knowledge of their kind. Lorekeepers are not simple researchers however, more even than archaeologists and philosophers. Perhaps the most organized of the Dharmic Paths, they constantly seek new ways to conceal their lore from the demons that hunt it, and train in combat and vigilance to defend it.

Gate: Death

Affinity: Vampires, Mummies

Gardener of Flesh and Spirit

Nicknames: Shamans, Guides.

Sitting at the center of the Shrouded world, born of flesh and reborn into spirit. Fled from hell, called by heaven, and able to see the tides of many realms. This it the place of the Deva in the Shrouded World, entwined throughout it’s many twists and veils. Because of this unique position, the Gardeners feel their purpose come upon them as a vocation. A spiritual calling to act as a bridge between the realms, and bring harmony to their interactions. Often, this brings these Deva into conflict, not only with their fellows, but with other supernaturals from across the Shrouded World. Supernaturals who feel their particular realms already have Guides more that fit to the task.

Gate: Life

Affinity: Werewolves, Geists

Seeker of the Unknowable Light

Nicknames: Dreamers, Lost Ones.

There is a gulf of understanding between the Seekers and other Deva, for while the other Paths have a fixed goal to pursue the Seekers have only a question. What am I? It is because of this question that these Deva are known as the Lost Ones, and their fellows have a difficult time understanding how members of this Path keep their sanity intact. For whenever a Deva believes they know the answer to the question of who they are, and what the Deva are, the Shadow is always there to remind them that they truly know nothing. For the Dreamers this can indeed be a challenge, but the wisest of them persist after realizing that their goal is not to find the answer, but simply to ask the question. Most Seekers spend great amounts of time attempting to gain knowledge from their Shadows, and so they tend to quickly acquire very high or very low levels of reflection. They also seek to understand other supernaturals, to compare and contrast with their own existence.

Gate: Balanced. A Seeker favors the Gate opposed to their Lesya Gate.

Affinity: Promethians

Arts

Dharma

Deva: The Reborn elielo