Herodotus Forsythe was the longest standing Arch Justice of the Magimundi, and one of its founders. An accord between Gilles Charpentier and Herodotus Forsythe in 1610 created Destiny and Solaris Provinces and the idea of the Magimundi. Herodotus, who was already more than 200 years old when he founded Destiny, and he ruled from 1610 until 2018. He was succeeded as Arch Justice by Montana Styles.
His name and power has been synonymous with the Province throughout its history. He established a family dynasty, with the Forsythes as the largest Unsoiled magical family in the Province and his relatives holding high-ranking regional positions of control. Forsythes have been strategically married into other prominent Destiny families, such as the Radcliffes, Oehlers, Ostranders, and Reeses. The amount of wealth, power, and magical artifacts owned or controlled by the Forsythes -- with personal oversight by Herodotus in most cases -- has been unparalleled.
Herodotus was revered and feared by most Magimundi citizens, and is often considered legendary in terms of his power and exploits. His strength and political mastery kept Destiny both safe and prosperous, and generally with the upper hand in any negotiations. Though he could sometimes be dogmatic or overly reactionary, he was considered a wise, powerful, and benevolent -- if capricious -- maestro-wizard. His unchallenged governance was respected without question by most Destiny citizens who stood to continue benefiting from his policies and favor. And Herodotus saw to it that his supporters remained loyal.
Not everyone believed this lifelong single position of power was best, however, especially as Herodotus continued to live well beyond the lifespan of most mages. His rule was absolute, and his decisions law. To some, that amounted to tyranny, and Herodotus became a symbol of despotism and nepotism. It had long been rumored that Herodotus had undertaken dubious magical means to prolong his life. Scant records point to a plausible theory that he had at least one child who was sent to the Miroven to be raised for the purpose of becoming Herodotus's replacement body. Herodotus had a voracious interest in necromantic arts, especially those of ancient Egyptian, indigenous North American, and West-African mages. Although he enforced the edicts against necromancy as a Justice, he also showed particular leniency to those who shared his interest.
Eventually, Herodotus's 400-year rule was ended, but the exact details of his downfall are still unclear. Some say he was done in by members of his own family conspiring to discover his secrets and end his existence. Others say that a group of radicalized students seeking revolution discovered a single weakness in his plan to live forever and used it to assassinate him when the stars were aligned. Still others claim that a shadowy lodge of loup-garou Gorecasters destroyed his phylactery and ate him to absorb his power. All such claims have been categorically denied by Bertram and the Marshals, who will only confirm that Herodotus was tragically murdered, and that those responsible are either dead or in the deepest levels of Avernus.
Herodotus was last seen in summer 2017. However, the administration of Destiny continued as usual for more than a year, with heir-apparent Bertram Forsythe, long the face of difficult decisions and hardline politics in the Province, at the helm as Acting Arch Justice. Destiny citizens had grown accustomed to eccentric Herodotus's occasional extended absences. He always reappeared, and he was always rejuvenated at his return. Acting Arch Justice Bertram Forsythe admitted Herodotus' absence in late 2018, but those in the know date his destruction a year earlier. As above, the official story is one of murderous treachery with justice having been swiftly, thoroughly, and unwaveringly dealt to those responsible.
Some diehard supporters of Herodotus (and some conspiracy theorists) refuse to accept that he is truly gone. They believe he will reappear in a stronger, though thinner and more skeletal form, as he has always done. Wild rumors about his mysterious practices continue in his death as they did in his life. Some say that Death herself tired of his defiance and came for him personally. Divinatory attempts to contact Herodotus have all failed, leading to the confirmation that his essence, or “soul,” has been so fragmented as to no longer exist, if not been totally destroyed.
Once the death or destruction of Herodotus had been confirmed and accepted, Destiny Province, for the first time in its history, needed to appoint a new Arch Justice. There is no established procedure for this exchange of power, as it has never been needed. Contingency planning for what most considered an inevitable need was always vehemently opposed by Herodotus, so fonctionnaires eventually stopped bringing it up. A Destiny Conclave is scheduled for March 2019, at which representatives from the powerful Destiny families gather to determine the procedure for appointment and select a suitable candidate.