Introduction

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

The Reborn are the souls of humans that have been subjected to Lesya, or soul coloring. These stains of the soul bind the Deva to the mortal world and enable them to reform a semblance of their living bodies. Driven to discover their purpose in returning to the world in the form of Dharma, the Reborn struggle with the changes that their death and rebirth have brought about. Whatever they once were, they are no longer mortal, no longer human. Whether they have ascended to godhood, fallen to become demons, or simply changed into something different is a matter of some debate.

Inhabiting the mortal world, suspended between the realms of the dead and of spirits, the Deva are able to see and influence all of these realms. Some see this as an opportunity for power and influence, while others view it as a curse. Regardless of their opinions about the ability to see these connected realms, all Reborn acknowledge that such exposure raises more questions than it answers, and so they call this in-between existence the Shrouded World. A statement about how much more they suspect to be hidden, than is revealed. Perhaps the most dramatic example of this, one that all Deva experience, is the existence of the Shadow. A constant companion to the Reborn, part of the Reborn, and yet eternally separate and adversarial. A Shadow appears to be everything that a Deva could be but doesn’t want to acknowledge, and their aims are difficult to discern.

As creatures of both flesh and spirit the Reborn are able to influence mortals, ghosts, and animistic spirits alike. This puts them in a unique position to act as mediators and shapers of the world, even as it shows them exactly how little they know. It also makes them dangerous to the other supernatural creatures, who focus on controlling these populations. As a result, the Deva are often torn between investigating the Shrouded World to pursue their own goals, manipulating the world to aid them, and defending themselves against the attention their curiosity and efforts have brought. Despite the dangers involved however, it is much safer for the Reborn to grow in understanding and influence than attempt to separate themselves from conflict altogether, for they are pursued constantly by the strange and hellish creatures known as Naraki.

Faced with the constant dilemma that gaining the influence they need to survive often draws even more danger, the Reborn tend toward secrecy and working through intermediaries. Often they will establish cults, or find other tools to shield themselves from view. The constant threat of outside destruction ensures that most conflicts between Deva are limited to indirect challenges, referred to as twilight war. When this method fails to resolve a dispute, to the point where violence is unavoidable, that violence is usually executed as quickly and thoroughly as possible, to minimize collateral damage.

Of course, all is not conflict between the Reborn. While their numbers are few and their outlooks often very different, the best possible ally for a Deva is one of their own kind. Only another who has returned can know what it is like to stand amid the veils of the Shrouded World and be blinded. Often, the only one that can help a Reborn see what insight they were missing is one who travels an entirely different path. It is for these reasons that when enough Deva come together, they form Circles and Councils for mutual protection and discourse.

The purpose of Deva: The Reborn is to explore the meaning of identity, responsibility and choice, in a mysterious setting of shadowed intrigue and brutal warfare. In this world, everything is alien, even one’s own mind and body. Every facet of the world holds a seed of both the sacred and the profane. Each action has consequences far beyond their surface implication, perhaps far beyond what any single character can ever understand. Your only allies are also some of your greatest rivals, often mired in a mindset directly opposed to your own, seeking an enlightenment you can only define as anathema. In the face of such great unknowns, how can you know yourself? In a world of such potential, what could you learn?

Themes

Introduction

Deva: The Reborn elielo