The Euthanatoi, also known as the Chakravanti ("People of the Wheel") or the Niyamavanti ("People of our Rule") are a Tradition of mages intimately devoted to the forces of death, rebirth, destiny, and karma in the world. They represent a collection of thanatotic cultists, necromancers, priests of fate, assassins, scholars, gamblers and healers.
Euthanatos mages embrace the role of death in the world as that which cleanses and makes way for future growth. Most believe in the reincarnation of souls, meaning death in one life is not to be feared and in fact may be crucial to one's spiritual development. Even those who do not share this belief recognize a continuous cycle of death and rebirth throughout life, and accept that at times death may be necessary to end suffering. These mages guard the moment between life and death. Heretical reincarnationists, they see Creation as a spinning Wheel of Death and Rebirth. When something — or someone — interferes with the Wheel's motion, the obstacle should be removed. The method of removal may be as simple as a kind word or as final as murder.
Most controversially, many Euthanatos see it as their duty to push this cycle forward, removing sources of disease, corruption, and misery from the world in order to quicken the turn of the Wheel of Ages. This means judging when a person's moral degradation has grown too harmful to themselves or others to be allowed to continue, and when it is appropriate to deliver the Good Death. Euthanatos are not cavalier about this responsibility, and are painfully aware of the risk of Jhor, but they know their work is necessary and that they are the only ones for it. To the Euthanatoi, theirs is a sacred duty, one that must be carried out, but is so strenuous and terrible that only the most strong-willed can perform it. It is not so much that they take on a right, as they take on a burden: responsibility for pain, for release and for renewal.
Though the Euthanatoi have roots across the world, their magic is most commonly explained through concepts taken from Indian religions. They believe that all animate beings possess an Atman, their sacred self or soul, that which is divine and indestructible. Secondly, a person's Dharma describes their purpose and place in Creation, what they are meant to do and the rules by which they are to live. It is in fulfilling their Dharma that the Euthanatoi find enlightenment, and in doing so, strengthen their connection to the cosmos. Thus, what they use magic for is as important as the tools they employ.
Many Euthanatoi believe they are chosen to be agents of Karma, tasked with judging those who have strayed too far from their Dharma. Those of other cultural heritages have similar concepts with different names; Greeks speak of the Fates as the force which punishes those who act improperly, while the Celtics say all souls are bound by geasa that guide them to their destiny. Likewise, Euthanatoi have long sought guidance from incarnations of death such as various gods, spirits, and other chthonic entities. While this may involve actual worship, it is just as often the mage seeking some form of divine consent before making the life and death decisions they are tasked with.
For the Euthanatoi, death is not the end; death is an end. There isn’t much good in an existence that will serve no purpose, and there is less good in an existence that brings pain or trouble to everything it touches, so it is for the best to end that thread and let a new one take its place than allow it to take up space. Suffering and sorrow mar the picture that it is the Tapestry, and renewal means these threads will be rewoven into it. Every man must take up his burden, surpass it and accept the responsibility to deal with this inevitability. That responsibility becomes a keystone for the support of the world, for the willingness to support and shelter others — and to perform the duties necessary to release those who only bring or know suffering.
Other mages find it hard to understand the Euthanatoi. It is not that they fail to grasp the rationale for their magical arts; after all many Traditions believe in the notion of an all-encompassing cycle governs the Tellurian. The problem is with their whole mindset, the insistence of the Tradition on being the guardians of that cycle and cling to an ethos and a sense of duty that turns them both into healers and killers. What other Traditions cannot understand is that the Chodona, the belief system and legal code the Thanatoics live on, it is more than a moral duty and an ideal addended to a magical style. Duty is what makes the Euthanatos sacred and powerful. It is what allows them to use magic at all. After all, the soul must be pure to connect with the Akasha that serves as the hidden, formless foundation of reality, or the mage is confined to her small thread on the skein of Fate.
It’s a belief of the Wheel-turners that if all sentient beings had the ability to pierce the structure of reality and manipulate it, the whole universe would quickly dissolve into primordial chaos once more. That’s why the Wheel provides the structure of the Lokha — the Tellurian, enforcing the laws of cause and effect across all creation. While materialists and scientists say that only applies to physical phenomena, the Euthanatoi claim that causal laws shape the mystical universe, preceding and affecting as a result what transpires in the material world. Different Euthanatoi have different names for it, but the Tradition as a whole calls it karma.
Karma is inescapable and it affects everything, with only Moksa being able to contravene its laws. Karma is the mechanism by which all things occur. That means that when a sentient being decides to stray from the path to Moksa, a karmic punishment occurs, and while they complete their duty to their Atman, they are rewarded. In the same way, the Lokha it is shaped by the collective karma of Sleepers, creating a Consensus that makes physical laws and events occur.
Unfortunately, due to the state of affairs in the World of Darkness some Euthanatoi believe that the Sleepers are too far gone to save. Having followed immoral leaders and selfish impulses, they reap the sorrow of ecological collapse, war and, in the end, Armageddon. The Hierochthonoi (a group of greek chthonic priests inside the Tradition) calls this whole train of thought an abandonment of duty and folly hubris — something than mages are more than capable of nurture.
The Sacred Duty. The Wheel of ages spins towards a purpose only fulfilled at the terminus of every Cycle, when the gods of destruction put an end to the Lokha and recreate the primordial harmony so the universe can begin anew. Every soul cultivate themselves to this end by following different paths. This is what Indian Euthanatoi call dharma, while other Wheel-turners have other names for it (like the Aided's Geasa), but in essence the concept is always the same. This dharma is the duty bestowed by the Atman and the Wheel itself, with every sentient being having the responsibility to guide their Atman toward Ascension. Failing and hesitating with that duty means the Wheel turning to punish the wrongdoer with a painful karma, while succeeding and honoring their burden means good fortune and by the end, an union with the divine.
The Euthanatoi are special in the fact that they were given the hardest, most sacred duty of all: the Chakradharma as revealed by the Chodona. To attain liberation, they must enforce the dharmas of all other beings. Subtle workings and the Good Death are tools to be used in following their sacred law. Adherence allows them to refine their connection to the Atman and touch the divine state themselves, even if it means that their dharma sometimes offends the sensibilities of other mages. In their roles as enforcers of dharma, Euthanatoi must confront unpleasant realities about the people they influence and the Wheel that sets all things in motion. Destiny may be ultimately moral, but it sometimes carries dark truths that must be obeyed to serve the greater good.
The Atman, the sacred self. An indestructible self united to the whole creation. The awakened and mystical self. All Euthanatoi believe that, barring Gilgul, the Atman is indestructible, divine and the font of infinite potential. It learns to realize its own nature over countless incarnations. In some births it learns a little more of its true nature, and no longer follows the laws of karma it did as a Sleeper. Awakened, the Atman has the potential to achieve godhood or even Moksa — Ascension.
The Thanatoics see their souls as two separate halves. The first one it is called the Atman, source of their power, the sacred self that passes always after death and the link to the One. The second one is the Jive, the part of the soul that fuels the personality of a person and can remain after the Atman reincarnates, like what happens with wraiths and vampires.
Magic. Mystic power gained from meditation. Inner energy set free to do great works. Primi Chalech chose this word because it represented the Tradition's ideal. With discipline and meditation, a mage unlocks the power of creation's Cycle itself. Not the manipulation of impersonal forces and laws, but a state of being result of a thorough adherence to a dharma. According to Euthanatoi's belief system, the Awakened are permitted by the Wheel to access the primordial being and source — called by many names like Akasha, the Void, Brahma, Shiva, Om, Abu, the Cry of Creation — before it is woven into the Patterns of the Tellurian. If a mage uses this capabilities to unravel the Tellurian, that it is the same as to hinder the dharma of countless Sleepers and their own sacred duties, meaning that karma must punish the mage with a Paradox backlash.
As a newly Awakened Wheel-turner is nothing more than human, its dharma does not permit the mage to manipulate this primordial source by its own power, so it needs what it is called the Divine Union. By using rituals, the Atman merges with a god or an archetype that embodies the aspect of the Lokha that the mage wants to change. Thanks to the foci, the new Euthanatoi reaches a state of meditative absorption where she gains the liberated consciousness of a god. She can then use its attributes to alter reality. As she advances in her dharma, she becomes more and more able to do this without rituals; her consciousness becomes divine on its own.
The Euthanatoi have always recognized the traditional gods of the ancient world. As the Tradition grew, new gods and primordial symbols were added. Catholic saints, important mathematical formulae and figures from local folklore were added as new death mages tapped into the prevailing power of their cultures. A modern Lhaksmist might flood her consciousness with probability theory as a new aspect of the Goddess; a Chakramuni could use the divine face of Jungian archetypes to explore past lives.
Moksa. Liberation. When a mage masters dharma, it also learns to accept the divinity of the Atman. That is when the mage begins to discard her tools and abide in the soul's connection to the uncreated cosmos. That is when a choice comes, the Wheel-turner must choose between becoming one of the gods or to unite with the Creator itself. The first option means to become one of the aspects of the Cycle and be the guardian of that primeval power, while the latter option means joining with the Cycle and what guides it, attaining Moksa, the final liberation from karma. There is a third secret option however, that being rejecting both in order to serve as a guide for other souls striving for Moksa. The work of this Avataras should be subtle and go unnoticed, as traces of their guidance and work are very scarce and the stuff of legends.
Tools and Practices Edit
As it was mentioned, by virtue of their Awakened state and their unique Dharma, the Euthanatoi may merge with divine beings or principles, taking on their roles and attributes in order to perform magic. Shiva, Kali, Rudra, and other Hindu gods are seen as personifications of universal forces that Euthanatoi then embody through ritual and symbolic representations. Others sects extend this idea to pagan gods, Loa, ancestor spirits, Catholic saints, or impersonal forces like death and chance. Through practice, adherence to their Dharma, and greater wisdom they come to rely on these entities less and less as their soul moves closer to divinity in its own right.
Regarding the actual way the Euthanatoi perform their magic, most of them use it as a way to measure the balance of a situation or a life, making a divination to get an estimation of the most probable outcome of a given event. This can come in many ways, a coin flip, a rolling dice, or subtle gaze to see what a soul holds. What the Sleepers perceive as mere chance, the Wheel-turners use to their own favor, making their command of the Entropy Sphere a powerful weapon in order to create coincidental effects and avoid Paradox backlashes. In order to get such effects, some Euthanatoi master the ability to create a series of perfectly believe set of events that appear to just be random chance in order to get a desired result. Not every magic performed by a Thanatoic mage does results in death, actually killing is the last resort for a true Wheel-turner, only when they consider there is no other way around to redeem or save a soul the deed is done. A situation that can be changed for the better without losing any blood is always preferred.
The Tradition foci serve to bring mages closer to different aspects of the world, with bones and funerary objects symbolizing death, dice, and other games of chance representing entropy and luck, while staves signify divine law and punishment. Meditation, ritual purification, and extreme asceticism also help separate the soul from the body, allowing it to attain higher states of being. Mantras and songs attune them to specific gods or the subjects of their magic. As tools of death, weapons often have special meaning to Euthanatos, and serve to remind them of the seriousness of their duties. These foci are a way to fuse themselves with one of the attributes of the Wheel, as it was pointed, some older factions prefer to personify these concepts with gods of old, while other Wheel-turners use mathematics, formulas and other more abstract symbols, elevating their consciousness to spin reality into new forms. Regardless of the practice or the ritual tools they do to reach such states, Thanatoics take ritual precautions before and after a working, and direct their will with care. When you are playing with the powers of life, death and fate, an extra safeguard is worth the effort. Other common Thanatoic foci include ascetic practices, dances, bells and drums, computers, mathematics, drugs, poisons, eye contact, elements and self-sacrifice, among others.
Some Euthanatoi believe that every single language has its origin in the first sacred sound that brought the Lokha and all reality into existence. That means that the first sound manifests itself into everything that exists. That sound and other mystical mantras and songs representing other divine principles and concepts can be used to focus the innermost divinity and to power magical effects related to their meanings. Sound is one of the most important symbolic tools in India, being a key to the cosmos itself, and pronouncing a mantra incorrectly could make an effect fail or even turn against the caster. Mantras can only be passed on orally; written mantras are "dead" and supposedly have no power. Some Euthanatoi (especially orthodox Chakravanti) recite entire texts during important rituals. Time-consuming as this may be, it is considered a potent exercise of willpower, devotion and spiritual purity.
The rather evident link between fate, chance and mortality make cards, dice and other chance based instruments a natural foci and practice for Thanatoic mages, and most of their factions and different styles use them in one way or another. Games of chance have very old and traditional roots in the Indian subcontinent, while other tools like Tarot cards have a very obvious baggage in occult practices. It makes sense then for the Wheel-turners to have been using foci like lots and dice for the magic. Result may appear as something random, but they actually follow and show the mage the subtle workings of karma and how it manifests. Modern Euthanatoi use the Tarot and the I-Ching. A few Lhaksmists find high stakes gambling to be an effective way of working magic. This has brought some debate inside the Tradition about if mundane cheating without any magic involved it is a proper application of this principle.
Weapons are symbols of power. Holding a weapon with the intent to make some use of it exemplifies a will and the obligation to perform an undertaking. Different kind of weapons symbolize a diverse plethora of gods, like Shiva's trident or Rudra's bow. Also in the end, using a weapon in combat brings the mage face to face with death, mortality and the ethics of killing. Euthanatoi try to never forget the reason why they use weapons in the first place by consecrating theirs to the principles of Chakradharma. Other practice to achieve this is to forge the tool themselves. This Tradition employs a big variety of different weapons, turning them into a symbol of their work.
The Kalananda is the term used by the Euthanatos Tradition to refer to the true death magic, in other words what others would call necromancy. To the uninformed, the rumor that Euthanatos are death mages cast into them the preconceived idea of being a group of necromancers. That is not the truth, but indeed a common misconception. The Thanatoics study death and rebirth and the nature of the dead, but most of them actively avoid to engage into such practices because they are very dangerous, carrying the risk of Jhor. Their necromancy, it is as the word originally meant the art to communicate with the dead, and only one of the many practices that allows to be able to perform such rites. The name Kalananda refers to the staff wielded by the lord of the dead (Yama, Hades…), an instrument of authority that separates the realms of life and death. A mage who crosses the line between both does it by embodying the god itself or by defying him, just as Orpheus did when the journeyed into the Underworld to save his beloved Eurydice. Both approaches need a set of rules, an oral creed passed down by the gurus to their apprentices. These serve as a series of guidelines for the Euthanatoi to follow when delving into the Underworld, like never use Entropy on the dead, how to hidden their nature as living beings, or respect its inhabitants.
Different sides of the Kalananda are the Necromancy to channel and communicate with the death, the Necrourgy to master the dead through binding and warding and the Necrosynthesis to blur the line between life and death. Some of those are seen with more suspicion and distrust by the Euthanatos as a whole. Even so, certain Tradition sects make use of them, with spells that call the dead or channeling the essence of death itself. The Tradition is very wary of such practices, thinking that there is something very wrong about commanding the bodies of the dead as if they were still alive.
The way the Tradition looks at creation is very syncretic, a mix Greek, Celtic and Hindu stories. The First Samashti brought together mystics from all of these places and they examined the similarities between their creation stories developing an universal myth to the Tradition as a whole. It was not hard to do because Celts, Greeks and Indians were especially apt to amalgamate their stories because all three groups drew from the Indo-European cultural stream. Still, Madzimbabwe and other African, Mesoamerican, and modernist death mages still hold their own interpretations on how the world came to be.
The Primordial Sound and the Cosmic SacrificeEdit
It all began when the Wheel turned from diversity to unity. Sentience from a previous Age still existed, formless. This sentience was called by many names, Brahma, Shiva, Akasha, Pandemonium or even Void. That emptiness created a sound, a vibration that generated the very first karma of a new Age, encompassing all that would come after it. That sound was called the Om or the Abu, and it brought the first divine beings. Danu and Donn, the Trimutri, the Titans — whatever their names, many Euthanatoi think of them as hazy memories of the Pure Ones.
But those first beings were so great and static that they choked the young universe with their very beings. Celtic myth tells about how Danu and Donn were so great that there was no room in creation for other beings to thrive so Donn had to be killed. In Hinduism, the primordial man Purusa split his body into parts that became the cosmos and the different castes. In Greek tales, Zeus opens the belly of Kronos to free the gods. In other words, the primordial is the first sacrifice to create the world, the Tellurian, meaning the replacing of the unity of the Pure Ones by the dominion of spirits representing fire, thunder, the stars, and the other wonders of material universe. People like the Euthanatoi, who understood what had to be done to survive, were the ones to do the necessary but awful sacrifice.
Even after that, the Tellurian was short of its final form. Though the spirit of the Om had divided into many things, and those things had their distinct spirits, everything was preserved against change, so close were they to the enduring power of the Pure Ones. Beings were unchanging and eternal, their fates unable to intertwine. It was a time when nobody ever died. The trees never dropped their leaves, people did not grow old, and even fires lasted forever. Death was not even a concept yet; the first people crowded up a world where paradoxically nothing changed but there was never enough. That was when among the gods, Death showed up. Called Finn by some or Yama by others, unlike all gods who feared the memory of the first Sacrifice, he was made from the eyes of the Sacrifice and saw things clearly. It was decided that the secret of death should be shared with the world, but the other gods opposed him. He fought the other gods and broke the stasis that held creation in thrall, but at a price: All the things that were eternal, perfect in themselves, would forever be weighted towards death.
According to the Euthanatoi, this story is the reason why Entropy tends toward destruction and corruption, taking the form of Jhor, instead to just balance. It appears that Dynamism brought all things into existence, Stasis fixed them in rigid states and to keep the Wheel turning, Entropy became too powerful, giving everything a tendency toward corruption and doom. Even so, the Tradition believes that Entropy it is a vital component to creation, without that there would be no history, no death and also no true life.
Around 4000 BCE the oldest memories that the Euthanatoi can recall of their ancestors of the Indus valley show the passage from animist beliefs to a more abstract appreciation of the cycles of nature. Priests started to teach morals, read omens and perform funeral rites. In India, Persia, Greece and other places the people saw life and death in the passage of the water sensing what the Wheel of creation and destruction will do and even how it works. Their magic began that way, nudging things in the right direction, so their people get a little more food or a little less disease. They were not great mages, they just took small risks to get small rewards, until challenge came to them. By the 2700 BCE the Indus Valley Civilisation, also called the Harappan Civilization developed cities and craftwork, and the first notions of the Vedic religion appear. The Indus script from this age is still used as a secret code by mages with Harappan incarnations.
That was when the first Coumatha, a fated crossroad, began. By 2000 BCE to 1500 BCE the Aryans migrate to India through the Khyber Pass. They bring a nomadic and brutal way of life and the notion that gods are just purified souls, so an Avatara, a human being who merges his soul with divine virtue, could be a god on earth. These Yehnn fought against the Harappan and used the rivers as weapons in sorcerous combat, starting a period of chaos and floods in the Indus Valley. The Yehnn prevailed only because their poor understanding of the Wheel caused ecological devastation to the Harappans. They had to solicit wisdom from the Harappans to rebuild civilization. The Aryans' ideas made the gods complete and realistic as the beliefs of the nomads and the river people were, individually, incomplete. Together they found a new strength. The Yehnn learnt about the cycles of the river and understood that bodies, souls and everything moves in one continuous flow, ripples of karma creating a wave or a turn of the Wheel. This phenomenon was not exclusive to the Indus Valley, the same happen everywhere they went as the Celts learned the same things. Nomads settle and change their beliefs to account for the cycle of life and death.
So the spiritual predecessors of the Euthanatoi arose from the merging of the Dravidian people with that of nomadic aryans. As the two cultures evolved together, their religions combined and their gods became more complex: individual deities could be creators and destroyers, generous and cruel, vengeful but just. They came to see the flow of time as a cycle of life and death, with actions causing karmic reactions. In India, the caste system is developed and priests who soften the impact of the Cycle on people's lives were the most revered. Those Dravidian chose what later mages would call the "right-handed path" as preferred by Indian Choristers. The people closest to death — corpse handlers, butchers, priest-killers and the like — were at the bottom of the heap. That is from where the Euthanatoi came from, heretics that came to the belief that even things considered profane, such as handling dead bodies or the murder of others, are necessary for the turning of the Wheel and can serve a virtuous purpose. From these individuals willing to violate the taboos of their society in order to ease the suffering of others and aid destiny's course come the model of the first Euthanatos.
By the 1000 BCE the Vedas are written so native Dravidian and Aryan wisdom are synthesized, the The Bharata centralizes the Aryans under one culture and the caste system is formalized. This is known as the epic civilization of the Vedic period, documented in epics like the Mahabharata, and the more taboo elements of Aryan spirituality begin to be shunned. Outcast priests and sages form small cults and fellowships. The Handura, Idran and other proto-Chakravanti evolved with similar beliefs, but without any common organization.
While most Euthanatoi use Indo-European migrations to explain and promote common ties between the different factions, that is not a agreed by all the members of the Tradition. The Madzimbabwe point to the fact that their ancestors developed an understanding of the Great Wheel without one whit of Aryan influence, meaning Indo-centric history of the Tradition vastly exaggerates the importance of a few heretical Hindu cults.
The Himalayan WarEdit
- Main article: Himalayan Wars
The arrival of the Akashic Brotherhood in India around 950 BCE started well enough. Doctrinal differences with Awakened Brahmins encourage them to stay in their northern camps, but they were interested in proto-Euthanatoi like the Handura and the Dacoits, noting similarities between their doctrines and growing from the exchange. The Akashi showed them the transitory nature of the world while the Thanatoics showed them how everything acted according to karma.
But ultimately, the differences provoked a philosophical conflict with the Thanatoic cults that had grown there. A second crossroad, named White Coumatha began in 900 BCE and started everything. While walking together, an Akashic Brother called White Tiger witnessed a healer named Ranjit performing mercy killings on those too sick to heal in order the stem a plague's spread in the region of Bhutan. Outraged, White Tiger struck and accidentally killed him, accusing the Dacoits of murdering those destined to oppose them. When White Tiger returned to his peers and spoke of the corrupt practices of those like Ranjit, the Akashic Brotherhood decided to coordinate a strike against the disparate cults with the intention of eliminating them. Meetings between Dacoit Acarya Natadeva and Vajrapani sifu Chan Ng halt hostilities, but tensions remain high and one year later, General Chan reverses his position and orders an attack on all the death mages along the Ganges. A vicious war began and continued for centuries, with mages on both sides using their knowledge of the reincarnation of souls to be reborn with their memories in order to fight on and settle old grudges.
In 850 BCE the Wheel of Swords start, when thanatoic scholars start to document vendettas between warriors who have never even met, meaning that their reincarnating souls are carrying their hare into future incarnations, leading mages to become Marauders or Infernalists. The war also brought many magical innovations, like the necrosynthetic arts that turn the Idran into the vampiric Nagaraja. These led the fires of the Himalayan War to spawn the Naraki, fallen Thanatoics like the Nagaraja, the Apad-Dharma and the Vizvadagni.
The Battle of the Three Rivers happened in 790 BCE, with thanatoic mages using the power of the rivers Sarasvati, Ganges, and Krishna to hold the Akashic troops. In 535 BCE the Buddha Sakyamuni achieves enlightenment and his presence and teachings leads to several spontaneous Awakenings and a moment of peace, allow both sides to negotiate. But Thanatoic disunity and battle-hardened Avatars meant that only a minority agreed. Laters battles brought the Night of Fana in 514 BCE and the origin of the Ahl-i-Batin, while the years between 500 BCE and 384 BCE, known as the Years of the Shroud thwart the attempts to see what happened due to powerful wards against Time perceptions, set both during the war to avoid espionage and others by modern mages. Eventually disparate group of death mages learn of one another's existence and realize they are threatened by a common enemy, uniting into the Natapas and the Sapindya Sadananda. Finally in 354 BCE Vedavati, founder of the Natapas, and the Grand Harvester Subranamian, leader of the Sapindya Sadananda use their combined magic to manifest themselves as the Shivasakti Ayavatara or Iron Avatar. This fiery incarnation of Shiva and Kali's combined power destroys the last Akashic stronghold south of the Ganges ending the war at last, the Akashics are beaten back and forced into seclusion. Both sects unite after that, forming the core of the Chakravanti: the first true complete incarnation of the modern Euthanatos Tradition and the first time the death mages had a common name and an identity.
Alexander the Great tried to take India in 327 BCE. Priests from Persia and Greece followed him, comforting his dead by the side of the Indus a year later. The Chakravanti saw their rites and felt a certain kinship. After Alexander's invasion and retreat from India, members of the Chakravanti followed his trail with the intention of learning more of the world and the practices of other mages. There the Chakravanti met the Persians and the Zoroastrians, that even if they had a bit of the Wheel teachings in their beliefs, they did not believe in reincarnation but holy fire of the purified mind. In Greece they found cults of the Underworld with practices similar to their own. The Chakravanti found there death-priests in the shadow of their more popular Olympian counterparts, worshipers of Hades, Persephone, Thanatos, Hecate, Charon, the Erinyes, Radamanthys or the Moerae. While greek culture dreaded death, these mages believed that demise and parting were primal forces beyond the capricious natures of the Olympians, with a purpose higher than men or gods. The Celts likewise included sacrifice, reincarnation, and came looking for the Chakravanti to find other ideas and common ground. The Chakravanti — or Euthanatoi, as the Greeks would say, left people in Gaul, Byzantium, Iberia, and most of them then returned to India.
The First SamashtiEdit
Once Islam reached India, the contact with Ahl-i-Batin mages was a rough one, as their doctrine of Unity made them believe that Thanatoics were worshipers of corruption and disharmony. The Sahajiya also were among the ones to be hit hard by the Batini. Thanatoics and Extatics forged an alliance called the Ananda Diksham in order to survive, an alliance that still survives in the present days. Wherever their emissaries traveled over the next several centuries they continued to encounter other death mages, so looking for more allies and knowing how big the world was, the Chakravanti decided to rejoin with those mystics with a similar core of beliefs they met in the past. In Isfahan Persia, a Thanatoic by the name of Sirdar Rustam awakened and began a long journey. The mission fate gave him drew him farther away from home; to Japan, the very tip of Africa, and Ireland. In all of those paces he saw and met Fate and Death's children — usually despised, working in secret, and glad to find brothers and sisters. In a decaying Byzantium he met the Golden Chalice, practicers of chthonic rites that incorporated Galenic medicine and Roman alchemy into the mix. In Africa he met what would become the Madzimbabwe, tenders of the restless ghosts of the Shona people, healers in the daylight and punishers at night. In Ireland he saw the blood-bearing Morrigu and the people who did her job. His message was simple: you are not alone. It was not a message for the Wheel-turners alone, either, but for all awakened, seeing other mages as colleagues instead of enemies or rivals.
Sirdar Rustam returned to Persia and just waited. In 1304 all emissaries came to him, organizing a gathering of the different groups to discuss a common foundation for their magic. Greek cultists explained their chthonic secrets, Celts share the secrets of Geasa with Karma-weavers who wore the ash mark of Shiva. This meeting was to be known as the First Samashti: the Red Coumatha. Mages of renown like Chalech, Penthilus, Persephatta, Sean Gallagher, Polig Wightbinder, Genevieve Hartsborne, Aganippe and Chlidanope participated in the reunions. The emissaries debated for eighteen months, followed by another ten years of discourse by messenger, resulting in the Eight Spoked Wheel of the Law, the Chodona which outlined their collective beliefs. By 1314, the Chakravanti stretched out to embrace mages from the slopes of Nepal to the coast of Ireland. They were prepared for the next step of the Coumatha: the Council of Nine.
- Main article: Chakravanti
The Grand Convocation and the Council of NineEdit
By the time of Grand Convocation, the Chakravanti was a powerful Tradition with members around the known world. In 1425 Sh'zar came to them first to honor the old alliance between both groups, looking for mystics to defend against the new Order of Reason and join the Grand Convocation. The Chakravanti were too organized to suffer the same patronizing outlook the Dreamspeakers had, and they were joined by the Madzimbabwe. Even if other Traditions like the Celestial Chorus and the Akashics hated the Chakravanti because they got their hands dirty, they knew they needed someone who was ready for that. So at the end, the Tradition was admitted to the council due to necessity, and many of the mystics that joined the death mages were outcasts from groups that would eventually become the modern Traditions, like the Aided being to focused to death for Verbena standards and the Madzimbabwe being both witches and healers, unlike the Dreamspeakers. Factions like the Yggdrasil's Keepers, the Pallotino and the Yum Cimil also joined in this era. In order to focus into their similarities with the other members of the Council, they decided to call themselves Euthanatos, derived from "Good Death, the name Greek Wheel-turners used for themselves. Even if they did not liked it, the other Traditions needed the Euthanatoi. They needed a group of mages who would act when they could not, someone to do what was taboo for the others. The leaders to represent the Euthanatoi were Chalech, Black Jaguar, Persephatta, Metiadusa, Pheodora and Cygnus Moro. Thanks to the latter charisma and the backing of the Seers of Chronos and the Verbena, the new Tradition was accepted and got the Seat of Entropy in the Council of Nine.
The Great BetrayalEdit
Cygnus Moro was unanimously elected to be the Euthanatoi representative in the First Cabal, who began the March of the Nine, spreading many legends and wonder. Necromancers and healers flocked to the Tradition thanks to his efforts, and a new bright future seemed to start for the Nine Traditions. But that is when the Great Betrayal of Heylel Teomim struck the newly formed Council. Moro was a hero: even tortured by the Order of Reason, he was never broken even until death. His sacrifice vindicated the entire Euthanatoi; even the Order of Hermes and the Batini cried for his death. And with that, the third Coumatha was over.
Age of DiscoveryEdit
Despite this, the death mages still had great difficulty earning the recognition and trust of the other Traditions. While a number of African and Mayan mages joined them, their cultures suffered or died completely in the following centuries of colonialism enforced by the Age of Discovery and the European powers. Greece, Macedonia and Albania fell into the hands of the Ottoman Empire, while India was also ruled by the Mughal Empire, with more tolerance. Meanwhile in Africa, the Great Zimbabwe fell to plague and european slavery.
Age of ReasonEdit
The Portuguese and then the British bought, stole and conquered India looking for sugar, opium and an empire in the East. The Thanatoics suffered their actions and thuggee killers worshippers of Kali began to rebel against the new British powers. While most of them were Sleepers, some Euthanatoi were among these, like the Consanguinity of Eternal Joy who decided to temporarily break from the Tradition leadership and start open rebellion. Others lost their way and assassinated for revenge and control, joining the Apad-Dharma in Bombay. By 1840, British authorities had eliminated the Thugs as a pervasive force in India. Most Euthanatoi were relieved, since the British tended to capture pretenders and profiteers along with a few Apad-Dharma members. Thugs who stood against British colonialism simply changed their tactics, raining bad luck and political assassination to their enemies in the Order of Reason and colonial authorities.
Meanwhile, the Euthanatoi in Europe were not faring better. The clockwork world of the Order of Reason hit all Euthanatos hard. Paradox grew, their cures turned back upon them and as expensive medicine was at the time, their patients died. Leaders became committees and it became harder to find the men who gave the orders to kill mystics. With the Order of Reason entrenched in the schools of Europe more and more of our enemies became simple Sleepers who knew no better, innocent people that the Euthanatoi swore they would never kill. The celtism in Ireland were swept away and outlawed and the the Great Famine overcame us in Ireland. Slums, pollution, factories, child labor, disease, poverty and ignorance grew, and the Faith needed to combat them was not working.
At the Samashti in 1832 Senex from the Madzimbabwe made clear that it was not science what was wrong, but the hands holding it. The objective was not to destroy the new world, but to change it for the better. With tales of passion, death and longing, the Sleepers felt inspired and rebelled against the darkness of that new era. Romanticism started and that in turn inspired Senex to weaken the hold of the newly-renamed Technocratic Union, helping these new cultural movements in small ways, with luck manipulation, patronage, a sympathetic ear, or even encouragement without interference.
The 20th century and the World Wars it brought only made sure one thing to the Wheel-turners, the Age of Iron, the Kali Yuga was ending and with it started a final age filled with atrocity, and the defilement of the Wheel. The First World War meant the Fourth Great Maelstrom in the Underworld, with such an intensity that only the oldest mages were able to recall. A new Coumatha was starting.
The Second World War started and the Euthanatoi were the only Tradition to oppose the Third Reich from the beginning actively assassinating mages participating in war crimes. Only the Euthanatoi were able to see the Jhor behind it, the dark hand of the Nephandi manipulating both the Council of Nine and the Technocratic Union to do their bidding. The undeniable proof came when in 1942 one of the thanatoics, a young young Knight of Radamanthys called Michael McPherson gave sanctuary to a wraith, Fritz Auchmann an Austrian ghost fleeing from the Shadowlands of the continent. In his corpus he had tattooed a cry for help from the atrocities being committed at the death camps, but even with that the rest of the Council was afraid to act as that truth would probably split the Traditions. The Euthanatoi acted as medics, spies and soldiers, scattered into hunting parties and began to prune the tree on all sides. Auchmann named mages from all sides of the Ascension War who were assisting the Holocaust and the Albireo killed the Traditionalists on Auchmann's list. At the end, they were able to convince the other Traditions to act, to fight against the evident corruption of the Nephandi. The Technocracy also saw the light, temporarily allying with the Council of the Nine Traditions to drive away the Fallen and the evil being committed across the world.
The Fall of HelekarEdit
After the war ended, in 1946 a joint tribunal of Technocrats and Traditionalists tried and executed all the Awakened war criminals and discussed the dispersal of magical resources. A tainted node in Dachau, the Folterbrunnen, was made to be custodied by the Consanguinity of Eternal Joy, as they were foreigners and members of the only Tradition that stood against the Axis from the very start. Voormas from Helekar smiled, because that was exactly his plan all along.
In 1990 the Hermetic Mark Hallward Gillan found a mutilated and Quintessence drained body of a young girl in Capetown, South Africa. He traced the murder to Richard Somntiz, the most talented assassin of Voormas and the Consanguinty of Eternal Joy, unmasking the truth about the Jhor corruption of the whole chantry and the Grand Harvester himself. They were killers of mages and sleepers alike, all for their own twisted pleasures and the obscure plan of their master. The whole incident was obscured and Gillan persecuted by corrupt Hermetics and embarrassed Euthanatoi, so the investigation was postponed until 1996 when Voormas' assassins attacked the Verbena and the Sons of Ether and prompted the Council to arrest Theora Hetirck.
Even if she was acting out of fear of the Consanguinity, some Council mages tried to convict her in order to hide their own complacency and shame, but at the end she was cleared of most of the charges and was set to Senex's custody for an indefinite period. When the Traditions stormed the House of Helekar, the fortress and Voormas were long gone, dissapearing into the Umbra. Senex accepted stewardship of the newly deserted Shade Realm of Entropy were the chantry was located, and cabals were sent to capture the remaining members of the cult. The Knights of Radamanthys killed every single member of the first cabal of the House of Helekar, while some elements of the other two remained at large. The exposure of the corruption of House of Helekar and the Consanguinity of Eternal Joy forced the Euthanatoi to face their own dark elements. In the place of the old chantry, Senex placed his own Ghost Citadel.
The Week of NightmaresEdit
In 1998, the War in Heaven happened and the Primi of the Euthanatoi, Indrani Taktsang died in the destruction of Concordia. A bright Red Star appears in the sky, and one year later the rise of a vampire-king in Bangladesh and the death of millions made the Euthanatoi believe that the turning moment of the Wheel drew near. The Avatar Storm that followed only made clear that End Times were close. The Natatapas stronghold of Nagachakra suffered intense psychic and Entropic disturbances and elected to evacuate, but in their dying efforts the remaining skeleton crew was able to free of the taint and evil Resonance caused by the event, so the Node is now the eye of a receding Avatar Storms, meaning that it did not affect those passing through the Gauntlet. This was named Ravana’s Navel. Even if many masters were lost with the fall of Horizon, Senex survived.
The Turn of the MilleniumEdit
In 2001 the Euthanatos find clues in an Umbral library suggesting a Ixoi ancestry for House Janissary of the Order of Hermes. A cypher tied them to the mysterious Ksirafai, the fabled Order of Reason assassins who vanished before the 19th century, discovering in the process a hundred of years conspiracy and infiltration within the Hermetics, explaining Caeron Mustai role in the fall of Doissetep and the death of Porthos Fitz-Empress. The Golden Chalice (another descendants of the Ixoi) deciphered the cypher, the Locksmiths duplicated it and the Albireo made a trap in order to purge the Janissary influence of the Traditions. The gamble works and the Euthanatos are given policing duties permanently, becoming the new keepers of morality in the Council of Nine. One of the most important figures in the events was Alexander Moro, descendant of the hero of the First Cabal, Cygnus Moro.
In 2002 Senex starts calling the Euthanatoi from Cerberus, his own Horizon Realm, using Theora Hetirck and other mages as his heralds. Senex found that Voormas was trying to perform a ritual in the Shade Realm of Entropy to destroy death and push the world towards eternal stasis, so he needed all the help of the members of the Tradition to fight him back. He takes a full quarter of the Euthanatos Tradition with him to guard the Shard Realm against Voormas and if possible, undo the damage to creation.
Time of Judgment continuityEdit
By 2004, the world ends. In the Judgment scenario in the Ascension supplement, the resolution to Senex and the whole Euthanatoi Tradition fight against Voormas occurs. The corrupted Grand Harvester besieges the Shard Realm of Entropy and Cerberus, and Senex himself leads an army to defend it. The Ghost Citadel clashes with the House Helekar that appears from the middle of the Hell of Being Skinned Alive. At the end, knowing that he cannot win against Voormas' army of pretas, liches and the Pasupatta Astra he wields, Senex faces the Archmage himself in a duel. Even if evenly matched, the Phoenix reveals that there are only two outcomes: Senex can allow Voormas to pass or he can euthanize the world by using the power of the Realm of Entropy, a solution he has been preparing since he was given the stewardship of the realm. Instead, Senex chooses to do nothing and let Voormas pass, trusting the holders of the Tenth Seat to stop Voormas and bring Ascension. At the final battle in the Realm of Entropy, the Euthanatoi Tradition fights the final war in order to save creation.
With the surge of the New Horizon Council, some now want to shed their old name, often mis-rendered by the younger generation, and return to their Chakravanti name, while others believe that the return to an old name is no better than keeping their current. These propose a new name altogether: Niyamavanti. As it stands, no decision has been made.
Finally, a renewed Tradition returns to its roots and gets rid of the negative implications of having death in their name. The Chakravanti are revitalized and balance the recognition of death with the vitality of life, embodying not just death but renewal.
The Euthanatoi have never had a strong hierarchy, instead placing great value on mentor-student relationships. Mentors provide magical training, instruct their charges in the Tradition's code, and prepare them to carry the many burdens of the Euthanatos duty. When a student has undergone the Diksha, a near-death ritual meant to give the subject a greater understanding of death, they are considered a true apprentice of the Tradition. Their training under their mentor or other teachers continues for many years until they have obtained the rank of Guru, which generally means having performed their duties under great duress and either having become Master of a Sphere or Adept of several. Only then is the Euthanatos trusted to act without the supervision of their mentor.
The Euthanatoi have an informal structure of rank that pays lip service to the system of the Council of Nine Mystic Traditions, but draws much of the old organization of the Chakravarti. Students begin as shravaka, who are absolutely beholden to their mentors. When their aptitude has grown, they graduate to become chelas, who are allowed to administer the "Good Death" and whose tutorship focuses more on ethics and spiritual themes than magic. Most chelas and shravakas are organized into small "chakras" that study under the same mentor. If a chela is regarded as mature enough and has fulfilled his dharma under duress, he becomes an Acarya, who may take students of his own. Archmages of the Euthanatoi are called Paramagurus, great teachers with insights into the workings of the Wheel. Oracles are called Avataras.
The Euthanatoi, by virtue of their calling, take offenses seriously. Since the Helekar affair, even their own are watched more diligently against the death-taint. A chakra might choose an Arcarya to act as their defendant if one of their own is accused.
The basis for Euthanatoi law is the Chodona. The Chodona contains all principles that the Euthanatoi strive to fulfill. The interpretation of the Chodona for individual cases falls to the Acaryas, who may act as pramatars (judges) over accusations within the Tradition.
- Prevabhnava: The belief in a cycle of death and rebirth.
- Hiranyagarha: The belief in the unity of creation.
- Kala: The belief in the inevitability of time and decay.
- Gopaya: The belief in the necessity to protect the cycle from corruption.
- Diksha: The belief in the ceremonial death as initiation.
- Tyaga: The rejection of pleasures for the gain of pleasure.
- Sadhana: The belief in the necessity of spiritual advancement.
- Daya: The belief of the necessity of compassion.
As a diverse Tradition, the Euthanatoi gather groups of mages from all over the globe into their fold. The only real requirements are that the group believes in Fate and the inevitability of death and rebirth.
Several of these factions have their own sub-sects and specializations, as well as histories that are as venerable as those of whole Traditions.
Celtic death mages who sought shelter within the Euthanatoi from Christian persecution and have since maintained a strong group identity. They believe geasa direct everyone to their destiny, and those who violate their geasa are doomed to suffer misfortune until their next life.
- Corriguinech: Assassins who follow the triple-goddess Morrígan and employ a combination of poetic curses, martial combat, and tools that are both practical and symbolic of the Celtic gods.
- Filidh: Seers who watch over local communities, often employing animal husbandry, protective magic, and weather-crafting for the benefit of their flock.
- Main article: Chakravanti
The oldest group of Euthanatoi who represent the Tradition's core identity and ethos. They formed from numerous Thanatoic cults in the East during the Himalayan Wars. They believe in the reincarnation of souls, follow Vedic customs, and seek enlightenment by following Dharma.
- Devasu: A new sect of assassins and death mages which has taken over responsibility for protecting Thanatoic cults and holdings from outsiders. They use martial arts and yoga to channel the power of the god Rudra.
- Lhaksmists: Individuals who focus entirely on luck and manifestations of chance. Though traditionally associated with gods or goddesses of luck, many modern Lhaksmists see information theory, mathematics, and quantum physics as areas where the dictates of karma manifest.
- Natatapas: One of the two original Chakravanti sects (the other being the Consanguinity of Eternal Joy), they are a conservative group who practice historical Buddhism and Hinduism while preserving the oldest Thanatoic rites.
Descendants of Chthonic cults from Greece and Rome, the Hierochthonoi are less an organized group and more category of those Euthanatoi who employ Hellenic rituals and beliefs. Members typically draw upon the power of deities who regulate destiny, death, and the Underworld.
- Knights of Radamanthys: An offshoot of the Pomegranate Deme who formed in 1144 to act as guards for Chthonic cults, and later became highly sought mercenaries in the Ascension War.
- Pomegranate Deme: A collection of cults that focus on the goddesses Demeter, Hekate, Kore-Persephone, and the Fates. Their numbers have been steadily declining as new Awakened join other, less theological, sects of the Tradition.
- Main article: Madzimbabwe
An ancient society from Africa who have long protected their people by learning from ancestor spirits and quietly dispatching evil with poisons and disease. Despite centuries of decline and weakening identity, their numbers are growing and they have become a greater presence in the Euthanatoi.
- N'anga: Shamans who are devoted to an ancestor spirit in the form of a Wraith, Umbrood, or Avatar. They are the orthodox Madzimbabwe who consider themselves the inheritors of Great Zimbabwe.
- Ta Kiti: A subset of the Madzimbabwe tied to the Shona. They mix Santería and Voudun beliefs, while calling on Ascended ancestors for power and prophecy.
The Vrati are groups dedicated to specific duties needed by the Tradition as a whole. Promising members are typically selected from other factions, promoting continued trust and understanding between the Vrati and their more spiritual brethren.
- Albireo: Once considered inter-Tradition diplomats, it has recently come to light that they have long policed internal threats to the Traditions. Their attack on the traitorous House Janissary has exposed their secret, and now Tradition mages are divided on whether to condemn or welcome their actions.
- Chakramuni: These mages track the cycle of reincarnation, particular the Avatars of mages. They research the Tradition's history, watch for the return of ancient dangers, and pursue practical applications for their knowledge of the soul.
- Golden Chalice: Assassins descend from ancient Byzantium who specialize in eliminating Nephandi and corrupt Sleepers. They are divided into two groups: the Alphas focus on infiltration, disguise, and poisons, while the Omegas are experts in hostage retrieval, demolitions, and executions.
- Pallottino: A family of Italian death mages who preserve the magic of their Etruscan ancestors. They are only loosely associated with the Euthanatoi; they focus on protecting the graves of Italy's former rulers and preserving the rites that keep their ancestor spirits at peace.
- Scholars of the Wheel: The Scholars of the Wheel number a dozen or less, but the importance of their work grants them authority and influence within and without their Tradition. Simply put, the Scholars track souls and Avatars through their varied lives. Records of Rustam's samashti show that after the initial linguistic difficulties had been overcome, the Scholars dragged out their books, memories, abaci and (in one case) quipu and began enthusiastically filling in the holes in each other's genealogy of souls. Formed by reincarnationalists from all of the five cultural hubs of Thanatoic mages, the Scholars were the first Euthanatoi (rather than Chakravanti) sect.
- Yggdrasil's Keepers: Worshippers of Odin and Mímir, the Gallowsmen believe the gods take note of those who perform glorious deeds at great risk to themselves. Many study medicine and become combat medics so that the worthy can pursue their destinies.
- Yum Cimil: Secretive followers of Ah Puch who joined the Euthanatoi during the Grand Convocation but have largely been absent ever since. They are sometimes encountered when traveling through Central America.
|The Council of Nine Mystic Traditions|
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