Alien and ethereal, the Deva are a mystery to most who don’t bother to learn about them (which is actually most people). Outsiders believe that Deva are a little spacey but can access old histories through some kind of racial magic.
In truth, Deva are in some ways eternal. Every time a Deva dies, his/her spirit can reincarnate in a new adult body elsewhere in the world. The new form will be a new person (see also Time Lords), but can access some of the memories of former lives. This is embodied in their racial ability and racial bonuses to things like History checks.
Many Deva, while they may worship one god or another, believe their race to be an ascended life form, getting ever closer to leaving material existence entirely. Almost like the whole Hindu reincarnation philosophy, Deva believe that once you’ve lived enough lives to have experienced all that a mortal form can offer, you will transcend and become something greater… maybe a god, maybe an angel, maybe an elemental force, maybe just the essence of light. Nobody knows for sure, but there are many Deva who practice meditation mantras and a holier-than-thou sense of tranquil superiority as they move (hopefully) towards this perfect form.
Other Deva are more utilitarian, worrying more about dealing with troubles in this life before moving on to the next.
Things My Racist Relatives Say
“If only these mortals could see the fleeting insignificance of their own lives.”
“That dragon? I remember watching his mother hatch. He’s hardly worth our time.”
“The Elvish are so focused on differences within their own kind, they are blind to the higher truths that we are all on the same journey.”
Most Deva are TERRIFIED of becoming undead. The idea of being trapped in your body after death is unpleasant enough, but there’s also the pervasive belief that if you miss your chance to reincarnate immediately when you die, you’ll never be able to do it (think of the Cylons when they realized the resurrection ship was gone).
All Deva go a little crazy at times. Having so many voices of past versions of yourself in your head would drive anyone a bit loopy. While most Deva put up a good public face, appearing in-control and wise all the time, in reality there are many times when a deva may need to stay sequestered in her house for a couple days until the madness passes. Adventurer Deva do their best to push those crazy thoughts aside, but occasionally it might come out (in non-combat scenarios via roleplaying), if you’re not careful.
Deva who live particularly evil and depraved lives are known to reincarnate as Rakshasha, evil trickster spirits who often appear as tiger-men. The only thing scarier than becoming undead to a Deva is reincarnating as a Rakshasha. This is why, though they know it’s not the end, many Deva still fear death, and venerate the Raven Queen in the hopes that she’ll guide their souls away from the Rakshashic path.