Houston by Night: 1995 to the End of Days
The Euthanatoi are a Tradition of mages intimately devoted to the forces of death, destiny, and karma in the world. They represent a collection of thanatotic cultists, necromancers, priests of fate, assassins, 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. 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 destined for it.
For detailed information on the Euthanatoi see Euthanatos Tradition Book and MTAs: Tradition Book: Euthanatos Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip.
Faction: Council of Nine Mystic Traditions
Duty and the Sacred Self Edit
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.
Tools and Practices Edit
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.
Tradition foci serve to bring mages closer to different aspects of the world, with bones and funeral 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.
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. A few heretics come 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.
The Himalayan War Edit
The arrival of the Akashic Brotherhood in India around 900 BCE provoked a philosophical conflict with the Thanatoic cults that had grown there. While walking together, an Akashic 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. Outraged, White Tiger strikes and accidentally kills Ranjit. When he returns to his peers and speaks of the corrupt practices of those like Ranjit, the Akashic Brotherhood decide to coordinate a strike against the disparate cults with the intention of eliminating them. A vicious war begins and continues 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. Eventually disparate group of death mages learn of one another’s existence and realize they are threatened by a common enemy. When they unite as the Chakravanti, the Akashics are beaten back and forced into seclusion.
The Chakravanti Edit
After Alexander the Great’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. They found in Greece cults of the Underworld with practices similar to their own. The beliefs of the Celts likewise included sacrifice, reincarnation, and other ideas with which the Chakravanti could find common ground. Wherever their emissaries traveled over the next several centuries they continued to encounter other death mages, and in 1304 a man named Sirdar Rustam organized a gathering of the different groups to discuss a common foundation for their magic. The emissaries debated for eighteen months, followed by another ten years of discourse by messenger, resulting in the Eight Spoked Wheel of the Law which outlined their collective beliefs.
The Euthanatos Edit
By the time of Grand Convocation, the Chakravanti was a powerful Tradition with members around the known world. Despite this the death mages still have great difficulty earning the recognition and trust of the other Traditions. A number of African and Mayan mages joined them, but their cultures suffer or die completely in the centuries of colonialism. India and Ireland become battlegrounds between the Euthanatoi and the Order of Reason. Later, the Euthanatoi are the only Tradition to oppose the Third Reich from the beginning and actively assassinate mages participating in war crimes. The Tradition continues to quietly police their peers for traitors or Nephandi, while struggling to combat the increasing levels of decay impeding the Wheel’s turn.