The Mana (5e Deity)
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Alignment. Lawful Good
Domains. Life, Death, Virtue
Divine Rank. Greater Deity
For Her physical manifestation, see The_Mana_(5e_Creature)
|The Mana's Tattoo -- Max7238 (V. Mantis)|
The Mana, known in life as Sei'koh, is the representation of the energy of the world. She is the individual Her race chose before they committed their souls to a cycle of rebirth, as mortals. As their chosen, She was one of the two left behind, to remain immortal, as a conduit for the mortal races to access The Mana for energy used in casting magic. She was deemed to be the most incorruptible of them all, and therefore gifted with this great responsibility and power. When this conduit became abused, She entered a pact with a mortal, Musa'bo Shin'toku, who decided to signify this pact with a tattoo on Her chest of all the vices, virtues, and their associated Paths.
The Mana's home is in a place known as Shii, The Undercroft of Death, a temple on an island continent. Constructed last, Her temple was made by Her request, before its geographic location was moved to a more precise destination - in preparation for the creation of The Seal of Existence, marking the beginning of The Age of Agony.
The Mana is depicted in two ways. First, the burning of sage incense, which replicates the smell of powerful magic. Second, Her appearance for those who have seen Her: a tall, full-figured woman with pure white skin in a ruined black robe. The robe covers Her form to Her wrists and ankles, but has been clawed open in the front to reveal the tattoo on Her chest. What may be the remnants of that damage, She wears as a veil atop her head. If painted in color, Her eyes are also a pure white, without eyelashes, and give off a cyan mist. Her eyebrows and long straight hair are white. Her tattoo is spread across Her chest in black ink, with the top point just under Her throat, and the bottom point just above Her groin.
The Mana is considered the highest form of existence among the other "Paths" as taught by Her race. The others are, from highest to lowest, Ascended, Celestial, Mortal, Hollow, Animal, Wraith, and Demon. Each is or was a race of people, with the exception of The Mana itself as an energy. Sei'koh was crafted to be the soul through which all other races would interact with said energy - She interprets the will of the caster and helps to better form the spell they wish to cast.
The Mana is often worshiped by those who believe, rightly, that it has a will. During The Age of Agony, She was unable to directly interact with other races beyond more than a few words at a time. As a result, little was known about Her by the common people. Only Her Aspect of Death, essentially Her Warlock (in regards to 5e), could call upon a vague avatar of Her. When called upon in this manner, She only ever appeared as a female humanoid in a cyan mist. Only those who visited The Undercroft of Death, and successfully demonstrated Her virtue of determination over the vice of loss, could see Her in living color. As a result of this loss of knowledge, and the subsequent hands-off approach She has taken to Her duties, only small sects throughout the world worship Her in modern times. Clerics study Her virtues, and often recreate Her tattoo somewhere on their bodies in varying degrees of detail. Temples to mirror those on the island continent were constructed, and some are still inhabited by worshipers of The Mana, but churches and the like do not exist beyond their walls - so threadbare are Her followers.
In order to interact with The Mana, several things must be considered: Do you have a connection to magic? Are you notably more virtuous or, inversely, indulgent than most others? Are you attempting to change the world for the better, or have you drastically changed the world for the worse? Even one without the ability to cast spells may interact with Her and journey to Her temple, as all temples are designed to be completed by anyone with a measure of intellect. She recognizes those who display her virtue of "determination," who can overcome the vice of extended grieving associated with "loss."
The Mana is the originator of the Aspect of Death, the name given to a single person gifted with abilities that tie directly to Her. This person can commune with the recently dead as well as the energy contained in all things. If a person has died within the last year, Her Aspect can call its soul into view. No control is exerted over the soul beyond forcing it to appear. Her Aspect can also draw energy out of inert things, such as a road to ask who traveled on it, or blood to ask to whom it belongs. Because of this ability, creatures akin to elementals will rise to defend the Aspect of Death if they are in danger. Dirt will stand up as a golem, bricks from a road will band together with arms and legs, fire will take flight against their foe; the energy of the world will protect them.
There are three artifacts of The Mana, two of which are considered cursed.
The Sealer's Edge
A sword made of obsidian, right down to the grip and quillons. Through magical infusion, a power of the Aspect of Darkness, it is infused with several effects. First, as long as its wielder is alive or it is not in a vacuum, the sword draws Mana from its surroundings to power itself. Second, as long as it is powered, it is unbreakable by any force, even The Mana Herself. Third, it is capable of permanently removing one's ability to use magic, unless the person struck by it is of a race created by or altered by magic. More mundane races will not only lose their connection to magic, but they aren't so much cut as erased by touching the sword. Thick cured leather, stone, and other inert materials can be used to handle the sword by such a mortal, but touching the Sealer's Edge at all will result in irreversible injury.
Skull of Betrayal
The skull of an ancient mortal. This person is said to have demonstrated great virtue early in life, and reached The Mana in Her temple. For those who have cleared every temple, She had previously offered a great decision: leave as you are, or sacrifice your immortal soul to gain unimaginable magic power. By accepting the offer of power, upon death, your soul would be destroyed upon its return to The Mana, and crafted into an entirely new soul with new potential. This ancient mortal took the offer, but was corrupted by the power they received. When The Mana entered Her pact and received Her tattoo, this mortal used the new, stronger connection to magic to make himself into an overlord of indomitable might. Musa'bo Shin'toku rose in opposition, but was killed by the overlord... Until Musa'bo was raised as a revenant and returned from the dead for vengeance. The Mana kept the skull of this slain overlord, the first to accept Her offer of such incredible power, as an example to any in the future who would accept it.
Skull of Apathy
Yet another skull, the second person to demonstrate virtue and accept Her offer of power. This skull is black, as if made of obsidian, and has horns. Like the overlord before, this mortal received incredible power. Unlike the overlord, this mortal watched as disaster befell the world and did not act. They fell short of being truly virtuous, and allowed for great suffering to come over the world. As a result, when they finally died of old age, The Mana destroyed their soul and kept their skull as another example for posterity.
If used in Dungeons And Dragons, 5th edition, She should be considered Lawful Good. Subclasses relating to Her are in progress, such as a Patron for Warlocks, a Domain for Clerics, a Monk Tradition, and a Paladin Oath.
For events later in the history of Her world, see the Soulbringer class and Her mortal form (pending).
(Content contained on this page is derived from the Fireglass series of novels, only the first of which has been published as of the creation of the page. The page was created by the author, V. Mantis, as a resource for all players - but especially for the current campaign Parallel Anger, which takes place in the Fireglass universe. Birth of the reader is death of the author; readers of any of the Fireglass books are free to edit this page to help it better reflect a 5th edition adaptation of the deity. Much like the odd Steven Universe or other copyrighted pages, this deity page should be considered as Fair Use under copyright law, for the purposes of personal use in a transformative setting.)