It is not known exactly when it happened, though many suspect it was soon after Dar Tania's passing. The god emperor, Alerius, found himself becoming too tangled in the multiplying affairs of the people. To step back and focus on uplifting leaders, Alerius began to rely on certain heroes to rule more and more of Tania. By convention, this became:
- Court of Patriarchs
- A representative of Harkenwood's Throne, when allied
- The High Priestess of the Temple at Morbatten
- Dar Ana, of the Temple at Bloodstone
- Daryx as the head of Perdition (Thieves Guild)
- Others, like Sai R'Dar
As the affairs of the people continued to grow, Alerius began to cycle Dar rank members of Morbatten through the Circle. To the average citizen in Malcor's time, the Circle is synonymous with the God Emperor and those close to him. For the guild heads and those who know, the Circle has been as many as a 100 people and as few as those mentioned above. Dar rank members of Tania are invited to attend an annual meeting during the Festival of Transcendence in autumn, which marks Dar Tania's anointment as Tiamat's priestess. These are secretive affairs. While the permanent members of the Circle know who the others are, no one knows the entirety of the Circle at any given time. Part of the Dar promotion in rank is that every Dar has a designated contact that is part of the Circle at the time of their appointment. In this way, the Circle has a bit of a hierarchy. The Court of Patriarchs stands uncontested. Daryx is the most active member of the Circle. Most guilds have a Dar representative either directly or through this hierarchy into the Circle. In Malcor's time, these additional members serve on the Circle:
- Sai R'Dar
- Jan Darel (Alchemy)
- Dar I'tain, Tania's ambassador
- Dar Shara, Lost Temple of Glass in Merakor
- Dar Kendra, head of the paladin Order of Water
- Dar Reznor, head of Mages Guild
- RiVule, Inquisitor
- Pole Star, Tauran High Cleric of Baphtomet
- Cori kell Dan, Krentismar Cleric and Slayer
- 3 Vampire Generals, even if absent
- R'Dar Ora, as Ynt'taris Rider
- The named dragons: Aminoth, Crimson, Armageddon, Cor'tanos/Teleris
- Alerius' sons: Blaze/Apprentice and Blade/Order of Fire (slain in Bloodstone)
- Head of the Military: Rojo I and now Malcor as Rojo II
- Dar Jeffreys, head of the Mercy Court
- Dar Cain, Imperial Tax Assessor
This is what is known. The Circle can speak for the god emperor in his absence. They are empowered to declare war, settle disputes, and some are able to command the Kerchki, the eldar fire giants.
Hatched in 515 DAR with his younger brother Blade, Blaze is known as 'the Apprentice', Alerius' oldest son is able to use mortal magic when in human form. Like his father, he is human but exudes a presence of dragons and fire. When in dragon form, the people of Tania know him by his common name, Blaze. It is not known outside the Circle that Blaze is the Apprentice.
Tania's Mages Guild is headed by the archmage Dar Reznor. Unlike a mortal mage, Blaze struggles to use mortal magic, only mastering it spell by spell. By Malcor's time, 1800 years after Dar Tania's inception as high priestess, the Apprentice is considered an archmage and co-rules the Mages Guild with Dar Reznor.
As you might expect of a spell-casting fire-breathing dragon in human guise, his fire and destruction spells are magnified many times.
“You know, I really do [enjoy this]. The pleasure of well-laid plans
and to bring one such as you down, fills me with delight. I live for your
While Daryx, or Malyx Do'Allarus, is a contemporary fixture of Tania, it is hard to imagine the empire without his touch. Before Daryx, Tania did not care about the subtleties of politics, royal intrigue, trade negotiations, or the value of eyes and ears throughout the empire.
It is hard to imagine that a devout servant of Lolth would serve Tiamat. Yet, Tiamat desires a return to Tehra just as much as Lolth desires advancement towards the Gate of Chaos and hegemony over the Abyss.
It is hard to say what motivates Daryx. Here is what is known:
- He appeared in Tania in 590 DAR
- The establishment of the Circle, and the Tanian Thieves Guild "Perdition" came in 605 DAR
- Daryx was the first non-Temple member of Tania to be awarded the title of Dar. Dar Malyx became shortened to Daryx, or Dar Yx
- Tanian interrogation techniques changed from post-death interrogations to psychic ones courtesy of mind flayers in 605 DAR
- By 700 DAR, Daryx brought the 3 Vampire Generals into Alerius' protection
- By 800 DAR, Daryx built a team of paladins, priestesses, mages, and thieves, which almost overthrew Taysor except that Alerius and Oranstakar agreed to block a war
- By 820 DAR, this same team led by Daryx, helped Dar Ana secure the remaining 6 Bloodstone Fortresses
- By 1200 DAR, Daryx began selling phase spider silk textiles throughout the Forsaken Isles and controls a monopoly on the material as its sole supplier. This became the Merchant Guild later.
There are many rumors about Daryx, which include:
- All high priestesses since 590 DAR have had children with him
- Dar Ana tried to force a marriage with him
- He is cleric or paladin or assassin or ranger of Lolth
- Daryx is the actual head of the Merchant and Thieves Guilds
- Daryx is the actual king of Tania
In Malcor's time, Daryx heads special teams of powerful heroes who seek out to slay, capture if possible, the hellhounds of the Jade God and the wands or sceptres sent by them into the world.
"This sense of purpose, of being part of something bigger than you, this is what separates a Tanian archmage from other mages."
Reznor was the first Tanian mage to fully master the Tanian Codex of spells. This occurred in 1710 DAR. Prior to that, Alerius or Spark headed the Mages Guild, or hired Taysoran or Morilon mages to do so. By apprenticing to each member of the Court of Patriarchs, Reznor finally earned the trust of the dragons and to him Alerius opened his spell books from Merakor. Reality-altering spells became part of Tania's Mages Guild, which brought with it new challenges.
To meet those challenges, Reznor instituted an Archmage rank and council into the Mages Guild, membership in which required the mage candidate to write their name in the Darkhold - so that Tania could know that mage if needed. Also, Reznor instituted a quid pro quo process by which any spell in the Archmage Council could only be gained through the development of a new spell for trade.
Reznor is a devout worshipper of Tiamat. Though powerful at nearly god-like levels, Reznor retains a humble air and quiet demeanor, preferring to do his work outside of public view. Because he is so quiet, when he speaks, even the Circle listens.
Reznor also convinced the dragons to extend longevity to the Archmages as a way of preventing research into lichdom. Reznor proved to be increasingly powerful and many speculate that he will ascend as Tiamat's God of Wizardry. Though a complete listing of Reznor's achievements would fill volumes, he is credited with:
- Mastering the Wish Spell
- Unlocking a golden era in magical research that drew and inspired many more to become mages
- Making Tania the center of magic research, study, and application
- Battle Mage Twist... that is combat application and use of spells otherwise not having combat application. He also determined that less than 1 in 100 mages has what it takes to use magic effectively in battle. Understanding this, Reznor reorganized the Order of Shield and Earth around protecting mages and integrated them into the Order of Fire along the front lines
- Monetization of magic. That is, Reznor created the rune marking process by which Tania marks magic gear so that it can be recovered. In doing so, this allowed certain levels of magic enchantment to be monetized and directly contributed to Tania becoming a must-visit place for anyone seeking magical gear and artificing
Recently, Reznor has been studying the ancient books kept by Dread Lord Spark and Alerius of Bomoki's gate research. Most Tanian songs about magic-users are about Reznor. Though not a contemporary of Bomoki, bards have taken liberties to present Reznor and Bomoki as brothers alienated by Bomoki's worship of Orcus.
A story is told in the Mages Guild about Reznor:
"There they were, practicing their summoning glyphs and making preparations to summon a weaker devil. Summoning and binding a devil to some task is a required step for apprentices, after all. Little did that group know that, on that day, Asmodei and the Hell Lords sat watching and waiting for a chance to come through to Tehra. When the apprentices finished the circle and chanted the last syllable of the spell, they were stricken dumb as Asmodei himself came through. He laughed at the protective wards and moved to kill them. The first apprentice died, his soul pulled into the Warp Lord's hand. The others panicked and tried to escape but the evil being tortured them by locking the door and bringing forth a horde of the exact lesser devils they had originally sought to call forth. 'Feast, my pets,' Asmodei commanded them.
Suddenly, a bright light appeared in the room and Reznor appeared. The lesser spawn fell back behind Asmodei, who growled at the newcomer. 'Asmodei,' Reznor said bowing.
Something passed between the two, an unspoken communication. In the tense silence, whatever it was, it satisfied Asmodei, who left and took the horde with him. Reznor pointed to a glyph on the floor and said, 'You made a mistake there. Fix it. Repeat the ritual.' Then, he vanished. To this day, no one knows what power or promises were exchanged to save the class. But, Reznor knows. He knows the thrice-cursed Warp Lord Asmodei!"
“I see you working to make this right. I have decided to not obliterate you.”
Following the 1st Cascade in 350 DAR, Alerius retreated into his laboratory and all but vanished for 100 years. Dar Ana ran the empire from Bloodstone; the nation's focus on building and holding the Temple at Bloodstone, with occasional help by Ynt'taris and Spark, kept the nation together. When Alerius emerged in 457 DAR, he presented Sai R'Dar.
Though it is not known widely, Alerius acted as an archmage in Merakor and studied many topics. One that he mastered was golem magic. Sai became his ultimate creation, at great personal cost. Made of pure mithril, Sai was tempered in each of the 3 Gates: Creation, Chaos, and Warp. Sai considers Alerius his father and is a unique sentient being. Able to shapeshift, able to perform magic, Alerius created Sai for reasons that are not clear. The Temple of Malcor's day considers Sai an immortal member of the Circle and 'a son of the god emperor, even if not a dragon.' What is clear is that Sai possesses all of Alerius' lore about golem smithing, and continues to refine and improve on it.
Sai prefers to interact with others through intermediaries, like Ora in Malcor's time. He has learned that his view of the world and thinking/decision making processes cause discomfort in those around him.
“Time, it came at us like a murderer. If someone attacked you, wouldn’t you fight back? And if you killed the murderer, would you be evil?”
Alerius encountered Syliri long before Time moved. He knew about the medusae as eldar obsessed with affixing and studying the eldar space. They did this through petrification. In the non-Time based "epoch" of the eldar, when Alerius next encountered Syliri, she led a rebellion of her sisters against the maedar. The maedar were a race of eldar created by and aligned with Set. Possessing great power through Set, they enslaved other eldar and pointed them as weapons against the Gates of Creation and Warp, and other Chaos-eldar (like Gorgos, the Darkhold, and the Jade God). The maedar found the medusae ideal front-line fighters, able to petrify by gaze, and - when under Set's sway - with a will that defied their enemies' ability to resist petrification. It gave the maedar all the "time" they needed to persuade the eldar to join Set. Or to sacrifice them to Set outright.
Fascinated by a possible connection to the dragons, as Alerius was beginning to factionalize the dragons into pro and anti-Tiamat factions, Alerius watched Syliri shake off the maedar's influence and lead her sisters in an uprising that wiped out the maedar. While Set may have sequestered some off here or there, Syliri's rebellion wiped away that entire eldar civilization... and Alerius coveted her for the coming Dragon Wars. This was right as Time began to stutter. Perhaps the eradication of the maedar was what made Time move?
Alerius offered Syliri understanding of what was to come... knowledge obtained by Takhissis via the Darkhold. When Time moved, Alerius saved Syliri from falling into Set's Dream when every other non-god powered eldar fell. Syliri watched her sisters lose sentience and fall into madness. She hopes to ascend and bring her sisters to Tiamat. Her promised afterlife is as a dragon goddess with a petrification breath weapon and the worship of the medusae. She has completed her First Rite and gained Tiamat's acceptance. Her Second Rite is what stymies her... Opposition, for Syliri aligned with Tiamat, is to master her abilities granted by Set... an alien dominion already claimed by Set and unwelcome in Tiamat's dominion. Until she can separate herself from Set, she cannot complete her Ascension and free her sisters.