Otherworldly – Zodiacs and the Starcalling
The Zodiacs are seventeen dragons of unimaginable power and the driving force behind fate in the world of Vathis. They are the great creators of the multiverse, the magical essence of the Ether, and the deities that the citizens of Vathis hold dear. They alone can understand and manipulate the Zodiac Prophecy, as the threads of fate are known. It is said that this prophecy was written upon zodi’ite tablets now lost to the winds of time. The oracles and seers of old once transcribed portions of the Zodiac Prophecy onto clay tablets, stone walls, and magical manuscripts, but the ultimate meeting of the prophecy has never been deciphered in its entirety. The most well-known seer of this age to read portions of the prophecy was Aevalyn zi’Wisla, a goddess in human form. By studying the Zodiac Prophecy she was able to anticipate the Darkest War and prepare for devastation.
Although they are shrouded in mystery and nigh incomprehensible, the lesser beings and mortals of Vathis are aware of the existence of the Zodiacs, and the vast majority of these entities show the dragons of fate the reverence they are due. Some organizations and even whole races, such as the inuzen, place the Zodiacs in higher esteem than the gods, despite the Zodiacs’ lack of direct involvement in the lives of mortals. Instead, the Zodiacs bestow slivers of their power upon mortals by granting them sigils in a process known as Starcalling. The Starcalled utilize their cosmic powers to alter destiny itself and guide the multiverse to a different fate.
The sigils of the Starcalled are Zodiac constellations that manifest upon the back of the left hand of an individual. The Starcalled are not beholden to the threads of fate, and they can shape the will of the world with their actions. They can alter not only their own story, but the stories of others, including non-Starcalled individuals who would otherwise be confined to a predetermined destiny. In ages past only dragons were sigiled, but the humanoids of Vathis unlocked this potential within themselves when the Stardragon family discovered the Ring of Zodiacs in modern-day Vavaire. The Starcalled are revered by the common-folk of the world. They are shown respect in most societies, and in some nations merely being Starcalled grants an individual noble status. Many of the world’s leaders are Starcalled.
A sigil not only removes an individual from the shackles of fate, but grants one supernatural abilities related to the personality and domain of the Zodiac depicted in their sigil.
A Starcalled of the Cardinal Fire Zodiac, Hezin, will typically manifest sigil abilities following a theme of fire and heat. It is also worth nothing that multiple Starcalled who bear sigils of the same Zodiac will sometimes manifest similar powers. This is not always the case, however, and one’s repertoire of abilities can be wholly unique. Though it is most common for Starcalled to possess the sigil of the Zodiac they were born under, other times it is completely random.
Being Starcalled does not make a person important, or powerful, or inherently good.
Plenty of Starcalled are mere farmers or innkeepers, and they alter the course of history in small, undetectable ways, causing ripples that escalate and bring about changes both great and small. Some individuals are Starcalled while young, and others manifest a sigil much later in life. Some may go on to become Emperors or Empresses, Conquerors or Kings, and others go on to die in battle, or succumb to disease. A Starcalling is hardly an assurance of health or longevity.
Even so, the Starcalled are held in high esteem.
They are often viewed as a light in the darkness, or a beacon of hope during trying times. The populace of Vathis has come to see them as innate rulers and leaders. Organizations, clergies, and militaries clamor for their membership and patronage. The cemented role of the Starcalled has been woven into the very fabric of civilization. They are the fate-changers, the children of the stars, the Legacy of the Zodiacs – and it is by their touch, and the ripples their touches leave, that the fate of the cosmos is altered.