In the Pursuit of Greatness
“We know not from whence they come, nor how many of them there may be. It is an extraordinary fact, however, that these mysterious beings have been the driving forces behind two of Ashara’s most critical points in History.” -Korbin Alendar, High Magus of the Spiral Tower
From PHB2: In appearance, Devas are very similar to humans, but with an unearthly beauty and an uncanny stillness about them. They are almost as tall as Dragonborn, but much more slender. Devas’ coloration distinguishes them most strongly from humans. All Devas have patterns of light and dark colors on their skin. The light portions are chalk white or pale gray, and the dark areas range from blue or purple to dark gray or black. In any individual Deva, either light or dark can be dominant, with the opposite shade appearing in simple, elegant patterns on the face, chest, and shoulders. A Deva’s hair is typically the same color as these skin patterns. When sitting or standing at rest, Devas remain almost perfectly still, except for the occasional blink of the eyes. They don’t fidget or twitch, and their eyes move only when they are actively examining something.
This makes Devas are extremely unsettling, and because of this they can expect to be met with a mixture of wonder and fear – sometimes more of one than the other.
Devas in Ashara
Less than fifty Devas have appeared in the world in the last thousand years. In the last three hundred years, there have been only two:
The first appeared in the vast desert region of Hash-I’sah. He organized the isolated nomadic tribes of that land, bringing them together as one unified people. Under his leadership, the Hash-I’sai developed grand cities and prosperous trade routes. He was hailed as Amar A’zim, or “Bright Hope” in the language of the tribes. The Hash-I’sai continue to worship his image to this day, though he disappeared many years ago.
The second was, perhaps, even more influential. She appeared in a small village near a volcano in Azoria, the kingdom that would, thanks in large part to this Deva’s influence, become Vecora. Naming herself Adara, she instantly became known to the general populace as Adara of the Ash, due to both the location of her arrival and the dark purplish-gray color of her skin. She wandered for a decade, performing great feats in battle against the various native foes of the region. After killing a black dragon that had been plaguing Azoria’s farmlands, Adara was brought before King Leoras. He declared her the First Knight of Azoria, giving her command of the kingdom’s military in times of war. When Azoria launched a campaign against the mineral-rich kingdom of Pelira, it was Adara who led Azoria’s armies into battle.
Two years into the invasion, however, Adara disappeared. Azoria was forced to withdraw from Pelira after suffering several consecutive defeats, and it was only four years later that Adara reappeared – at the head of an army of Dragonborn. Within a year, she was standing behind the throne of a new ruler for Azoria, a previously minor noblewoman: Delina Carandis. Delina immediately began making changes, beginning by declaring herself Empress of the new Holy Empire of Vecora, named for the Church of Vecorim, which had become hugely popular during the invasion of Pelira.
Why Adara turned against Leoras is still uncertain, but that only reinforces the mystery inherent in the appearances of Devas in the world. Adara herself has not been seen in the last eight years, and it is unknown whether she is still in Ashara, or if she has disappeared like Amar A’zim did.
Playing a Deva in This Campaign
You appeared in Ashara at a natural location of power – just as Amar A’zim appeared in the scorching deserts, and Adara appeared at a volcano, you may have appeared at a grand waterfall, or in a secluded grove, or atop a majestic mountain. When you appear, you are a full-grown adult, with only a few memories of your previous life to guide you in the world.
You are a mystery even to yourself, never quite knowing your destiny. Vague memories of a thousand lifetimes find you when your mind is at ease, but they say nothing of your destiny – only that you are meant to do great things. Your only hint at your purpose is a line of prophecy that lingers constantly in the back of your mind.
The people of Ashara see Devas as heralds of change, for good or for evil. As such, you will be met with open stares, awed gazes, and nervous trembles. Make no mistake, however: even Devas will make enemies, and a blade can pierce a Deva’s flesh just as easily as it would a loaf of bread. Change, even the unspoken promise of change, is a threat to many ideals.
If you want to play a Deva, let me know. We’ll talk about how you see your Deva, and determine a fitting line of prophecy. Obviously, due to their rarity, I only want one Deva in the party at most… The first person to show interest in playing a Deva will be able to do so.