Shadows of the Sun

Where you can find information on the teams playing this era.
TheVoice
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IC Name: Yukora
 
Shadows of the Sun

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:05 pm   Subject: Re: Shadows of the Sun

Shadows of the Sun
A Swarm of Angels


Team Name: Shadows of the Sun
Demonym: Shadows, Dahra (Silhalin)
Race: Beastmen (Ant)
Religion: Yunvæ/The Faith
Languages: Lingua, Silhalin
Capital: Dawn
Magic: Infernomancy
Government: Unification (Totalitarian collectivist theocracy)

Introduction

"For this was the third world. A world where necromancers ruled over the shattered bones of almost half a dozen nations, stalked by daemons and dead things, where gods unknown to Zanzibar were praised in whispers and screams. The silent, starlit empire of the Shadows."

Epsilon Era, Conclusion.


A new era is breaking on Zanzibar. The world of Epsilon is long since passed, and new races have wound their way to Zanzibar across the plains, or accreted from amongst its scattered natives. Seeking fortune, or perhaps only some neighbours, they set out across this uncharted land. Along hiddens paths or across the oceans, the children of Zeta scout out their brave new world. Older nations, veterans of times past, greet them and welcome them.

And to warn then too, for there are stranger and darker remnants of the old world in the distant corners of Zanzibar. From its heart deep in an ancient and mist-laden forest stretches out a hermit empire, a forbidden nation driven by the inscrutable will of a remote and alien divinity and populated by a race from amongst the darkest chapters of their histories. The temple state of the god-star. The Unification of the Shadows.

Physiology

"All my life, I have wondered what lay beneath that insect armour, at the true shape of these monsters from our histories..."

Novarite explorer of the Raeyu, logbook.


Physically, Shadow resemble humans with a few significant differences. Their skin is a slightly mottled shade of grey (deeper amongst males than females), covered in small sections of small, jet-black exoskeletal chitin. These sections don't add up to anything resembling a natural defence, but appear decorative or vestigial. They often take the form of thin, curved lines around the lower-outside of the eyes, the jaw, the nose and forehead. Amongst older Shadows more thin lines will gradually emerge, until ancient Shadows have their features echoed by myriad swirling patterns.

From the point near to where their forehead meets their temples curve back a pair of hooked antennae. These sweep back before cornering and arching out forward, like those of ants. Their eyes are absolutely black - schlera, iris and pupil alike. This can be fairly disconcerting as it is impossible to be entirely sure where a Shadow is looking.

Their ears are essentially humanoid, save that they are slightly elongated and are normally rather flatter against the head than their protruding human equivalents. Their hair is universally a whitish-silver, and is worn swept back. It is usually worn fairly short and brushed back, with only certain members of the less-practical White Caste wearing the long hair and elaborate braids normally associated in Shadow society with their sorcerer-priests.

The mouth of a Shadow resembles that of a human - but only at rest. On either side of the mouth is a muscular mandible. When the jaw is at rest or speaking, these blend into the cheeks and a Shadow's mouth resembles a human;s, save for two barbed hooks protruding in front of it (these are intended for holding food, and aren't natural weapons). However, when a Shadow opens its mouth fully the mandible-jaws splay to either side, giving the appearance of three lower jaws opening around a central maw of fairly sharp teeth.

Society

"What little I saw of the Shadow way of life on my expedition to Dusk suggested a society as peaceful and ordered as our own, perhaps more so. There is no sign at all of commerce as we would understand it, no bartering, no raised voices of any kind.

Eomatl, Memoirs.


Very few outsiders ever get to examine Shadow society in any detail, beyond what can be glimpsed from tightly controlled outsider quarters in a handful of entrepots. The interior of the hermit empire, with its shrines and prayer gardens, tomb hives and charnel mines, remains to most the stuff of stories. But no border is impenetrable, and over decades a small collection of diplomats and adventurers has built up a general picture of live in the Unification, complemented in places by the histories of Epsilon.

Save for when a task requires particular dress, all Shadows dress simply and practically, in tight-fitting wrapped cloth. In most circumstances this will be dyed to fit the caste of the individual in question, although this tendency is less pronounced in rural areas. This does mean all Shadows, for unlike other races the subtleties of rank and profession are communicated via each individuals pheromone signature, and the Unification is a highly egalitarian society in any event.

The centre of the social and political life of the Unification are the hives, the surreal and organic Shadow cities. Amidst the towers and tunnels of these urban centres there is a constant, quiet susurrus of activity, for save when work requires it the Unification does not operate on a day and night cycle. Instead, the 24 hour Zanzibar day is divided into eight three-hour segments, a system known as the Wheel, which dictate the highly organised life of a Unification subject. Three sections - two adjacent, and one opposite them - will be designated for sleep, rest and relaxation. Three more will be assigned to the individual's profession, and the remaining two for worship, whether in the prayer-dances in the great plazas or by tending to the meditative gardens. Each turn of the Wheel is marked by the ringing of bells, whereupon the near silent streets of a settlement will briefly swarm with well-ordered activity.

Shadows are raised collectively from birth, when their parents surrender them immediately to the communal nurseries at the centre of any Shadow community. These will raise children, and educate them, until they reach majority at 15 and become full subjects. At the end of a child's education a panel of assessors will assign them a caste, and a recommendation to the overseers of that caste as to the child's strengths and weaknesses.

Each Shadow has a life partner, with whom they are expected to mate and bear children. Groups of such partnerships live together in caste-specific barracks. If a Shadow loses a life partner they will be found another as soon as is practicable. Shadows are initially partnered upon completing their education, by the same panel that assigns their caste. Pain is taken to ensure that the two Shadows are compatible, to maximise the chances of the union being successful and productive, but the control-focused Shadows are wary of lust and passionate love and it is the rare pair of childhood sweethearts who end up formally partnered in this way.

The hives allow for the purest representation of the Shadow ordering of life. Smaller communities and rural populations will follow as much of it as they can, although their lives will of necessity be less regimented than those of their urban brethren.

Castes

The entire Unification is, without exception, organised into three castes: the White, the Grey, and the Black. If these castes have true names in the whisper-tongue of the Shadows than they are not known to outsiders, but their core functions are by now well known to any with a passing interest in the Unification. Despite some common misapprehensions, true scholars of the Dahra insist that there is no hierarchy between the castes, and that any suggestion that the White represents a 'ruling caste' and the Grey a 'peasant caste' stems from the projection of the observer's understanding of society onto the Shadows.

The White is best described as the non-manual, or perhaps clerical caste. It contains scribes, clerks and other bureaucrats as well as the likes of medical personnel. Most importantly, it contains the Unification's witches and the entirety of the priesthood. The Black is the martial caste, comprising every soldier in the Unification military as well as a select number of support personnel. The Grey, by an order of magnitude the largest caste, comprise the worker ants of Shadow society and perform civilian manual labour such as agriculture, manufacturing, and mining.

Language

Unlike the rest of Zanzibar, the Unification actively suppresses Lingua, and resents the gods for thrusting it on them. In almost all contexts Shadows will communicate in Silhalin, their sacred tongue, a somewhat sibilant form of whisper-speech that few without a Shadow's sensitive hearing can even hear reliably, let alone comprehend. Only select members of any caste, usually White diplomats or Black interrogators, will have any familiarity with Lingua or proficiency with its intricacies. This is seldom a problem as, outwith those select circles, few of this intensely xenophobic race will willingly communicate with kora - outsiders - in any language.

Government

"If ants don't need a queen, who does?"

Unknown.


As best can be determined by those who make a study of the Unification, despite the all-pervasive nature of religion inside it there is still some distinction between the spiritual leadership of the nation and the day-to-day administration of the state.

The former is provided by the witch-priesthood of the White, amongst whose number is at least two of the Shadow Chosen. If the stories circulating around them are true, both of the Unification's most (unofficially) senior chosen are many centuries old, having been born on a distant world called 'Arl' before the Shadows began their long march across the planes. The true role played by any individual in the hermit state is hard to determine, but according to legend the eldest of the Shadows is venerated as a figurehead by the entire race.

Practical administration of the empire appears to be organised along caste lines. In most Shadow communities, from the smallest village to the greatest city and even provinces and the entire empire, each caste will be led by a ruling council who oversees the day-to-day operation of its duties. Communities will then be governed by joint councils of representatives from all three castes. The highest authority in the land has been termed by outsiders the 'Unification Council', and appears to comprise of the three most senior members of each caste.

Religion

"Nukora, yarayu syl rasha. Vusae syldesa uous, ul us sylhae miraya uozanza."

Shadow prayer.


To Dahra, religion is an all-consuming aspect of existence. From the day to day lives of individual Shadows to the organisation and administration of the Unification, the tenets of what they simply call the Faith reflect from every facet.

According to the few who manage to pass through the hermit realm, evidence of religion is all around. The course of the year is marked by huge and diverse festivals of processions, whispering song and ritual dances led by witch-priests of the White. Shrines great and small, laden with votive offerings, can be found from the greatest cities to the smallest villages, the sides of highways to isolated crags and forest clearings.

Meanwhile amidst the meditative gardens and prayer pools and from atop the flat-topped communion towers, the Unification's astronomer-clergy chart the course through the heavens of the cold point of distant light they have taken as their divinity, whilst others labour in the charnel factories and Redemptoires to grant the Faithful eternal life.

Faith and Kora

For much of the last age, little hard fact was known of the Shadow religion, for the silent kingdom brooked few visitors and offered no explanations to whatever that few might have glimpsed. Yet in the dying years of Epsilon two races, the wolf-like Ulfrand and the orcish Mikadoshi, sought shelter beneath the boughs of the Mistwood, and to the mystified surprise of their Shadow hosts they successfully adopted the Faith.

It is not known what has become of those races today, although the latter in particular appear to have left their mark, but in demonstrating that kora ("chaos-touched", non-Shadows) could maintain the tenets of the Shadow faith they appear to have produced a sea change in the Dahra's attitudes towards outsiders. Where unrepentent kora are still reviled and excluded as they always were, some within the Unification now try to convert rather than kill, to steer the lost races of Zanzibar onto the higher path. In the words of one convert: "Sin is sapience without Faith."

Whilst still rare and secretive, it is now not unknown for Shadow missionaries to establish themselves in what kora realms will have them, though their xenophobia remains acute and they usually achieve little. It is from these outreach efforts that the world has gained some measure of understanding of the Faith and its tenets, the scraps picked up bolstered by academic hypothesis and a few accounts from inside the state.

At the very heart of the Faith is the division of the Universe into two spheres: the Celestial, and the Material. Each of these has an unknown number of aspects, and many interact with each other in fiendishly complex ways utterly opaque to outside observers. However, in the course of centuries the basics of the two spheres are now guessed at with confidence.

Celestial

Metaphysics: The Celestial sphere is the realm of the divine, ordered and perfect. It is comprised entirely of the two higher elements: light, and darkness. The Shadows view these higher elements as the only truly pure essences in all creation, and it is from these and these alone that their god takes its form.

Theology: The Shadow god, Yunva, inhabits this sphere. It is a genderless, unknowable thing, allegedly comprised of two parts: Hruyun, comprised purely of light, and Vayæn, its dark counterpart. To each the Shadows ascribe aspects and dedicate certain offerings and rituals, but it is the union between the two, and the perfectly balanced result, that is the true object of Shadow worship.

Yunva manifests in the skies of Zanzibar as a wandering star, weaving across the heavens in no known pattern. Most adherents to the traditional pantheon doubt very much that it is anything more than a cold point of light like all the rest, but whatever the truth of it the Shadows remain convinced. It it not known whether the Dahra consider all the stars to be gods, with Yunva their particular patron, or their star to be unique.

Uniquely of all the sapient races, the Shadows consider themselves to be formed, in part, of the Celestial elements. It is this that makes them uniquely capable of living according to the doctrines of Yunva, of recreating the peace and order of the night sky on the earth beneath it, of taking charge of material life and readying the world for Yunva's coming. It was whilst attempting to sum up this semi-divine self-perception that an unknown wanderer who learned much of the Unification titled their book The Swarm of Angels, and it is from this rare work that most outsider knowledge of the Faith is derived.

Practice: The worship of Yunva and the Celestial inside the Unification is tied closely to the day/night cycle - somewhat ironically, given that the Unification in other matters strives not to acknowledge it. The course of the four-season solar year is marked with countless, carefully timed rituals and rites. Of these, the most significant are the huge festivals that mark the summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes, all of which are marked with dances, prayers and processions the purpose of which no outsider has yet determined.

Of the more private religious practices less is known. Meditative gardens are carefully planted for flowers which bloom at sacred points of the clock or calendar. Still pools, open to reflect the night sky above, dominate the centre of temple and garden alike whilst many urban Shadows carry small mirrors with them, that the sky may always be within touching distance. Meanwhile priests ascend to dizzying heights to pray and meditate from flat platforms atop the tallest towers.

Shrines: Menhir are amongst the most common grand shrines inside the Unification, usually erected by the priesthood. A menhir with a celestial focus will often have a hole cut in the top, through which a particular celestial event might be observed by a pilgrim praying in a marked spot. Others may cast specific shadows, or bear carvings that only certain light conditions reveal. Some may even appear completely pointless close up, only to reveal their significance at some greater distance.

Given the ubiquity of the higher elements, smaller shrines to the Celestial may be found almost anywhere, and take almost any form. Shrines to the union of Yunva are particularly located at points where light and darkness are considered to be in balance and are usually bedecked in offerings from Shadow life-partners, come to meditate and seek blessing for their partner and their own union.

Material

Metaphysics: The Material sphere is comprised of the lower elements: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. Unlike the higher elements these are impure, and it is from this impurity that sin and chaos arise. It is from the Material sphere that all mortal life arises, and the Shadows believe that their inadequate Material essence was imbued by Yunva with a portion of the Celestial that they might improve the lower world, and make it worthy of Its coming. Every Celestial element is held to be aligned with two Material counterparts: Earth and Fire with Light, Air and Water with Darkness.

Theology: Shadows consider all of the common pantheon - the "Lower Pantheon" or "Material Pantheon", in Dahric - to be of the Material sphere. This includes both Helos and Nox, and although in times past the Shadows utilised those divinities as bridgeheads to the true heavens it is not known if this practice continues today. As such the manifest deities are deemed by Shadows to be daemon kings rather than gods: enormously powerful and worthy of respect, but not divine.

Practice: In the Dahric calendar the Zanzibar year is littered with a parallel programme of devotional occasions to the Material, this time centred upon the changing seasons. Each season is understood to align with one of the lower elements, with the following hypothesis currently the most popular: Spring/Water, Summer/Earth, Autumn/Fire, Winter/Air. Each element also has countless distinct aspects, of which few are known. It is known that life, death and war are aligned to Fire, and communication to Water, but of the Dahric cults of Earth and particularly Air little is known.

The Material festivals tend to be less grand than their Celestial counterparts, focused more upon small or even individual acts of meditation and devotion as the Shadows focus upon the flawed, material aspects of their nature and the world around them. Larger activities will often consist of ritualised demonstrations from those whose crafts are aspected to the element in question: for example soldiers and harvesters for Fire, smiths and builders for Earth, sculptors and poets for Air, priests and couriers for Water.

Shrines: Menhir dedicated to the lower elements can take a wide variety of forms. These stones, like many smaller shrines, are often placed in locations carefully selected for their elemental significance, but whilst some are obvious enough the full list of criteria is a mystery to non-Shadows.

A stone dedicated to Fire might be covered in alcoves for votive candles, or rise adopt a natural vent to be topped with an everlasting torch. An Earth stone might be covered in carefully sculpted mosses and overgrowth, a water stone turned by cunning artifice into a fountain with patterns picked out in calcified residue.

Most famous of all are the Air mehirs, the song stones, into which are carved dozens or hundreds of shaped tunnels which capture the wind and create haunting music. These famous songstones are found on raised points throughout the Unification, from the spires of the hives to the tops of lonely hillsides, and it is rumoured that in great storms the songs of these shrines can carry for hundreds of miles across and beyond the Unification.

Aside from menhir Material shrines are ubiquitious, and invariably littered with offerings related to material concerns aligned to the element in question. A shrine to Fire might see prayers for a good harvest or the safe return of the Shadow army, for example, whilst a Water shrine might see offerings left in hope of fish, or a safe voyage, the hope that a message reached the next village, or a prayer reached Yunva.

Some shrines are seasonal: A Swarm of Angels tells of a great Autumn shrine in a forested corner of the Unification which almost seemed to moulder three years in four, tended by a single warden, before becoming for one year the centre of Material worship for half a dozen nearby villages.

Witchcraft

"See armies raised by witchery; from wretches saved from slavery; in starlit groves beneath the trees; the waking dead await for thee."

From a Queros shanty.


Entirely confined to the White, the Unification's witches are assumed to sit at something of an unofficial apex of political power, at least within their own caste. Every witch is a priest of the Faith, and as with everything Dahric their sorcery is intimately interwoven with religious theory and ritual.

To Shadows, infernomancy is a sorcerous path of sacral significance, for it is the only one which allows them to draw upon their Celestial essence - what others call the soul - to directly impact the Material sphere. They thus see in infernomantic magic a metaphor for their own race and civilisation. Additionally their stance on summoning, and their own belief in the semi-divinity of their race, means that Shadows consider themselves closer metaphysical kin to daemons, zombies and elementals than to any of the koratic races.

Calling

This interrelation between the Celestial and Material spheres is also at the heart of the Dahric fascination with summoning magic. To a Shadow witch daemons, possessions, and the elemental spirits of the planeswalkers all represent different fusions between the Celestial and Material essences of the universe, and are a source of abiding fascination. What is known of Shadow sorcery is relayed below, but it has been centuries since such witches were seen on the battlefields of the world and scholars can only speculate on what fresh horrors their researches might yet unleash.

Daemons: Daemons are viewed as holy manifestations of the distant Shadow divinity. Indeed, the presence of a rarely-summoned greater daemon is a profound religious experience for those Shadows privileged to witness it. Theirs is the most Celestial of all the schools of summoning, for to the Dahric mind a daemon of Yunva draws out the pure essence of the higher elements from the Material skein to assume its physical form.

Shadow daemons are alien things, even for their kind. They appear almost insubstantial, formed from light or darkness or some interplay between the two, with shifting forms suggesting at times aspects of man or insect but seldom settling on any concrete shape. Cold, bright, black, even vampiric: they are the stuff of the darkest children's stories amongst the civilised nations of the world.

Redeemed: All infernomancers have the power to bind souls to material objects. Many have done so to formidable effect, from the armoured saints of the Zazoolie to the strangling ropes and carrion flocks of the Queros. But few have carved a place in the history books as dark and singular as the Redeemed, the zombie-machines of the Unification. Fusions of dead flesh and cold metal, humanoid or giant or worse, Shadow witches are necromancers nonpareil and the Unification has in times past deployed thousands of their signature abdead constructs in times of war.

The sources vary from teller to teller: prisoners of war, criminals, fanatic volunteers and those dying of other means are all proposed as the sources of the raw materials from which the Redeemed are built. Some stories tell of great charnel factories, Redemptoires, where living beings are harvested for souls and physical parts on an atrocious scale.

What is known is that both vessel and donor undergo religious blessings and ritual preparation before the act, the moment at which the witch takes the life from one body and infuses it, bound to new purpose, into another, and that once forged the Redeemed is viewed as a sacred tool by the Shadows, for whom it represents the ideal of a purposeful, immortal life free from temptation to sin. Indeed, histories of Epsilon confirm first-hand that the Shadows view Redemption as a gift, especially to kora who could not otherwise hope for a worthwhile existence.

With its emphasis upon binding and permanence, Redemption and possession are viewed as the most Material of all the summoning disciplines, and is associated with the lower elements of Earth and Water.

Walking

Although not drawing upon the planar path directly the Shadows have proven adept wanderers of it, making regular use of infernomancy's gift of interplanar travel. It is assumed that this practice was honed during the race's long march from their distant, mythical birth-world, 'Arl'.

Indeed, despite being infernomancers the Shadows will forever hold a high place in the annals of the true planeswalkers, no matter how begrudged. It was a Shadow, Rukash of the Grey, who led the first successful infiltration of a god's hellkeep to assassinate the sorcerer Eomatl and recover the six artefacts which now form part of the rumoured Armoury of Heaven, the greatest collection of artefacts in the history of Zanzibar.

In addition to exploring other worlds, planeswalking tightly integrated into the Unification way of war, with embedded witches historically providing the Black with planar capabilities often used to formidable effect by Shadow commanders throughout the Epsilon era. Such witches also provided front-line tactical support to Black units once combat was joined, whilst others oversaw the daemons and Redeemed. Alas the Shadow method of war did not lend itself to casual study in that age, and the details of the operational structure of martial witches are unknown.

Diplomacy

"To treat with Shadows."

Old Queros mercenary saying, various meanings.


To say that the Unification has opened up in the long stretch between eras is not to say very much, for the bar in that regard was set very low and has risen only slightly. With the exception of a handful of clearly defined exchange stations the hermit kingdom remains completely prohibited to outsiders, scouted only by the brave, the foolhardy and the lost.

But if the Dahra show no more willingness to welcome kora inside their realm than ever they did, they appear markedly more prepared to leave it. Shadows remain a rare and disconcerting site in the cities of the wider world but they do appear, and the lords of the hives are even beginning to establish embassies - of a closed, particularly unwelcoming kind - in the capitals of those nations who will suffer them. To those rulers who do a representative of the Unification, white-robed, lingua-conversant and charismatic after a fashion, will always be on hand.

Embassy staff, together with the eerie missionaries, provide some cities with a small but nonetheless very noticeable Shadow presence. To many of these cities' more superstitious subjects, it was preferable when they had confined themselves to scary stories and their distant, silent state.

War

"Insectoids with black carapaces were drilling on the ground outside the city, moving smoothly back and forth across the landscape like a black tide. The hawk, with its primitive mind, reflected that from this great height they looked much like armies of ants did from the boughs of a tree. Hundreds of warriors, moving smoothly with one mind, implacable. A deadly foe to any who would oppose the Unification."

The Hawk and the Anthill, Epsilon Era pre-story.


For much of the Unification's history on Zanzibar, the silent soldiers of the Black were as much of the Unification as they ever saw, for precious few members of other castes ever strayed beyond the confines of their forest home. Clad from head to toe in black armour and sporting the insect-styled closed helms for which they were infamous, to many outsiders the history of the Unification is the history of the Black Caste, the sword and shield of the stars.

Generations have passed since the Unification sent out a host into the wider world, for the peace between eras calms the predatory efforts of even the stargazers of Dawn. Yet as the world portends the start of a new convulsion, and old monsters stir in the presence of younger nations, the histories are being unearthed and combed over as Zanzibar's strategist seek to learn about this potential adversary.

The annals of Epsilon describe a host led from the rear by anonymous senior officers. These invisible commanders favour aggressive infantry tactics, supported by closely integrated witchcraft for access to the planes and denizens thereof. Psychological warfare, in particular the defiling and even wearing of enemy dead, is a tactic that occurs on several occasions. Deeper analysis is lacking, for the Shadows neither conducted their manoeuvres in the open nor left many survivors to analyse them. Whatever evolution the Shadow way of war has undergone since the fall of Eirnovar, however, remains a mystery.
Last edited by TheVoice on Sun May 31, 2015 3:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Araith wrote:Megalomaniac schemer, more than slightly unhinged. Good at forging alliances even though he doesn't really play well with others...

Roark wrote:Voice's work load must've tripled this week. I think we all owe him a big hug.
TheVoice
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IC Name: Yukora
 
Shadows of the Sun

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:32 pm   Subject: Re: Shadows of the Sun

CRO: Yarayu-Koraveshæ

Player: TheVoice
High Concept: Ancient sorcerer-priest and voice of an alien nation.
Position: Priest and Emissary
Titles: Dahrach, various literary monickers of uncertain veracity.

Appearance:
Yukora, to use his core name, is a Shadow, and few people ever see enough Shadows for that to be insufficient description. He sports the short silver hair, grey skin and graceful antennae of that race, and despite his age resembles a man of indeterminate middle years in his human features - perhaps his thirties. Only his chitinous patterning gives those who know its significance any indication of his true age: whorls and spirals interlace and overlap in patterns that speak of a depth of centuries, and stain his exposed skin the deep, mottled grey of a clouded dusk.

Despite his undoubted seniority, in typical Dahric fashion Yukora wears precisely no external indications of rank, sporting only the tight-fitting, practical garments which are the uniform of the Unification. Only his caste, marked by the white of his clothing, is immediately apparent to outsiders.

Duties:
Any attempt at a comprehensive list of Yukora's duties would be ninety per cent guesswork. It is presumed that he governs Dahryan and the Eveningside Unification, and holds attendant ranks in the numerous Yunvaic cults that centre on that ancient city, but the cults of shade and dreams are secretive even by Shadow standards so it is impossible to tell for sure.

Despite this, some literature ascribes to him several titles believed to derive from his positions in the elemental and aspect cults of the western empire. These include Nightbringer, He Who Walks Behind, and The Hand that Draws the Veil. The significance and even the veracity of these monickers - and their exact meaning in lingua - is contested in academic circles but there is evidence of complimentary titles emanating from Rashyan and the Shadow east.

What is known is that he is tasked with serving as the public face of the Shadow dominion, a slightly contradictory position that he carries out without apparent discomfort. He speaks lingua fluently and without accent, as a scholar might, and is comfortable conversing in it with outsiders. He has even been known to make diplomatic excursions beyond the Unification's borders, variously to the delight, fascination, distaste or horror of those for whom the Shadows are merely monsters from childhood stories.

In War:
War is not, in the ordinary course of events, the business of the White caste, being the preserve of the fearsome Black. Despite this the witches and daemon-callers of the Unification have their role in the military and a respected if distinct place in the martial hierarchy, and few doubt that the Unification's most outward-looking Chosen plays some hand in it. However it is not the habit of Shadow chosen to lead ostentatiously or from the front, so without specific intelligence a foe of the Uniication has no means of knowing whether they pit their wits against a mortal general or the witch-priest of Dahryan himself.

Trouble: Black Legend
Yukora is, to those who actually meet him, something of a surprise. The sullen, xenophobic suspicion that burns in the hearts of the rest of his species is artfully disguised, perhaps absent, and he possesses a remarkable degree of tact, charm and dry wit as well as an active and apparently sincere interest in the world beyond the empire he serves.

However most inhabitants of Zanzibar will never meet him, and many will have been raised on tales of the Shadows, who for dramatic purposes make excellent villains for anything from ballads to histories to childrens' morality tales. Some races have a genuine sense of historical grievance, whilst to others the Shadows are simply the ghouls of parental admonitions and the more interesting sort of books and plays.

Worse still, the immortality of Yunvaïc chosen means there is no sense of historical distance either. Even some of the most studiously rational negotiators will still be unavoidably aware that they're talking to the actual White Witch, who stormed the cities above and below the mountains of Zanzibar with his daemons and dead things and werewolves - or whatever persona their preferred storytellers had woven around him instead.

Suffice to say, this does nothing to ease the diplomatic process. Even if Yukora manages to set the individuals dealing with him at ease, he is almost invariously an object of fear, suspicion or outright hostility in any country where the Shadows are a part of the historical folklore.

Sorcery:
Yukora is a witch, of some description. The extent of his skills in the art are disguised by the fact that a Shadow chosen in battle dresses no differently to any other witch who usually, apart from the magic, look no different to the infantry around them. It is probable that he has independent access to the planes which requires infernomancy of the second circle, but he has never demonstrated any spells from the third.

In an older age his seat, Dahryan, was the centre of Dahric necromancy, but it is not known whether it continued to fulfil that function as the Shadows expanded west. Whilst black reputations have started to accrue to the interior hives of Luhrdu and especially Yankith, Yukora still lives on in some stories simply as the Necromancer, the corpse-witch of the mists.

Equipment:
The equipment Yukora carries depends entirely on the circumstances, but it is always of good quality, understated and practical. He does not seem to carry personal effects, at least not that have been noticed, although he often takes pains to acquire new things if he is visiting a foreign location. What he does with these things is unknown, but he doesn't carry them around.

Retinue:
Much like his equipment, Yukora's retinue appears to be circumstantial. For a formal visit it could incorporate a Black lifeguard and sundry officials, on other occasions a single functionary, and on other occasions he will be alone. If he has a regular coterie when on business inside the Unification is not known.
Araith wrote:Megalomaniac schemer, more than slightly unhinged. Good at forging alliances even though he doesn't really play well with others...

Roark wrote:Voice's work load must've tripled this week. I think we all owe him a big hug.
The Sun
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:12 pm
Real name: The Sun
 
Shadows of the Sun

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:30 pm   Subject: Re: Shadows of the Sun

The Sun's CRO


Player: The Sun
High concept: Absolute presence in silence
Position: Divinely chosen leader - Pathfinder of the Unification
Residence: The Hive

Appearance: A typical Shadow of the Sun.

Stats: No information leaves the Unification!

Duties: The Sun is the mastermind of 'The Hive', the entity which is everything Shadows of the Sun. All work as one and all think as one, all for the greater good. The Sun is the pathfinder and fine-tuner of this machine working towards the greater good. A single word or gesture from The Sun is enough to let the SotS change pace and direction. [He is the alpha and the omega of his race]

In War: The Sun is rarely seen using his physique as primary tool of engagement. He rather uses his mind to oversee all scenario's and lead his subordinates to the most effective and efficient possible victory. He will however use his physique as sword and shield of the Unification if other 'presumed chosen' defy the natural balance of life in Zanzibar. Using his skills to analyse and plan the best way of engagement, striking with deadly precision where it hurts, cripples or kills.

Diplomacy: Diplomacy is for the lower species. Diplomacy is about compromising. There is no compromising the greater good or the path towards it.

Religion Hruyūn-Vayæn are the alpha and omega of Sun's existence. They gave him the goal of reaching the greater good with his Unification and gave him a new start after the depressing ages on the worlds of Arl. Though Sun's core vision remains*, he embraces Hruyūn-Vayæn with all he has.
*The gods are both a tool and path towards the greater good. Believing is natural, but following is a choice made in the benefit of the greater good. Not even a god may come in the way of the greater good.


Magic: It is unknown and often discussed if the 'presence of magic' in the surroundings of The Sun are his own doing or a direct act of the deities. Often enough things happen which even the most powerful mages in Zanzibar deem impossible.

Gear: One of his weapons is a broad sword engraved with a word on each side of the blade. On the right side it says 'Unity. On the left side it says 'Eternity. Although The Sun never disclosed the motives for this engraving, there are two prominent stories about. One says the blade symbols the thrive for eternal unity. The answer to the question of what the greater good actually is. The other says it is a message from The Sun whenever his blade his used. That as the blade comes down on his victim it shows the word Unity to bystanders, as to say this blood is the paving of the path to unity. And the victim itself can read the word Eternity, for it to know where it is going.

Retinue: No one has actually ever seen a retinue of The Sun. But since people randomly die in the presence of The Sun, it is thought that he is under constant protection of his Gods.
Joined Feb 2010, active since April 2012. Passive skills maxed out ^_^
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Tinúviel
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 7:16 pm
Real name: Michelle
IC Name: Siatris
 
Shadows of the Sun

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 5:02 am   Subject: Re: Shadows of the Sun

Profile: Siatris

Player: Tinúviel
High concept: Arcane Researcher Supreme
Position: Third of the White
Residence: Dahryan

Appearance: Very sharp, severe features. Narrow, piercing black eyes peer from a thin face, particularly gaunt and skeletally chitinous even for Dahra. She is smaller in stature and weaker of body, almost frail, but moves with a cold, decisive purpose in everything she does. She seems older physically, perhaps giving off the idea of a woman in her upper 60's, and she has a number of the typical chitinous protrusions that accompany Shadow older age.

Duties: Overseer of the Research program. Third of the White, chief scientist. Through study and experimentation, she tries to find new ways to further Shadow arcane use.

In war: Research and Development.

Diplomacy: none

Trouble: Curiosity to the point of self-endangerment as well as a general disregard for other people. This is not because she doesn't think others are valuable, just that her job is more valuable, even than her own life.

Biography: Siatris always had a sharp mind, and an odd fascination for the Material elements that made up much of the mortal body, Shadow or otherwise. Even as a child, she would tend to ask more questions about the Four Lower Elements rather than the Two Higher. Through her gifts, she found strength she otherwise lacked physically, taking delight in her duties. She became very proud in her purpose and her use, and gained an insight into what makes up the Material aspects of Shadow and kora through constant study.

She was assigned a life partner, Inshin, who she had no hate or particular interest in, but did her societal duty and had three children by him, almost one after the other as soon as possible so as to get it out of the way. He was a priest, a very devout practitioner of the Faith, and was as disinterested in her as she was in him, at least at first. In seeing his partner's almost fanatic devotion to her job, he took an honest liking to her, admiring how well she exemplified a model Shadow: utterly dedicated to their caste profession with a genuine passion for what they do. They still are barracked together, though she is a bit oblivious to his admiration.

Siatris realized she was Chosen through a particularly unfortunate series of events where she and a group of other laboratory assistants were attempting an experiment. Almost too quickly to realize, a beast went out of control and gulped up the closest individual to it, turning to Siatris and the others in the lab. The technicians fled, casting anything defensive behind them. Siatris, fascinated, stayed where she was, staring at the strange creature before her. The beast began chasing technicians, shattering laboratory equipment with its thrashing.

The destruction of the lab was what brought Siatris out of her frozen state, and she leaped into action to prevent losing their research. She desperately grabbed onto the monstrous thing and focused all her effort into shoving it into another plane in an attempt to stop it. Though successful, she herself was sucked in with it, though only partially. As the spell snapped to an end, she was sliced in two by the force of the closing, causing an end to her career, until several months later, she suddenly reappeared in Rashyan.

Surprised and elated with her Chosen status, she returned to the lab and threw herself even more deeply into her research, believing her task was now of the utmost importance for the continuation of the Shadows, and should be completely delved into at any cost.


Gear: various sample vials, scalpels and pruning shears, magnifying glass

Retinue: Laboratory assistants and guards, though they typically arrive onscene after a combat engagement to asses it, rather like a forensics team, and therefore aren't seen by outsiders.
Articus
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Real name: Stephen
 
Shadows of the Sun

PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:35 am   Subject: Re: Shadows of the Sun

Profile: Stayaru-Kashyvesa's CRO

Player: Articus
High concept: Hunter, Engineer, Explorer, Invader of Hell

Position: First of the Grey
Residence: Grey's Keep in any city

Appearance: Rukash stands heads taller over his average brethren and wider than some dwarves. He is big, tall, and stalky; a very intimidating hulk. Other than those different features, he looks like what most of the Grey Shadows look like.
Rukash has learned to 'talk' to Kora with his looks and his stare; they tend to speak louder than his words when getting Kora to do something.

Duties: As the first of the Grey, Rukash has the responsibility of managing the ins and outs of the cities and their structures. He meets with the Grey Council, representatives of each industry, to help with any given tasks on any given day. The Wheel, as the Shadows call it, needs to be kept as a well oiled machine with no wrenches. His job is to handle wrenches, re-oil, and maintenance of the city and its citizens. However, he is the first of the Grey and not a casteless radu-hyollin whom deal with policing. His jobs are ebb and flow.

As the invader of hell and the engineer of traps - he maintains a well balance of slice of life inside and outside the normal sterotypical roles of grey. Mapping out the landscapes of realms. Laying traps for his enemies. Hunting down the smallest artifacts, to the largest game. Being his last adventures, he has a keen mind to his skills at retrieving artifacts. This skill that may come up again soon..

In war: Rukash helps with the defenses with the Grey Militia. He usually handles the logistic & engineering roles.

Diplomacy: "..."

Interaction with Outsiders: Rukash does not understand Kora-races. They confuse him a great deal for their lack of efficiency and times when they 'break' (aka: taking a break) down. His attitude can seem gruff, stubborn, and impatient to outsiders; but this is nothing unordinary to him.

Trouble: Hands-On OCD - Rukash cannot stand inefficiency happening before him and sometimes instead of fixing the source and getting the right Shadow for the job, he will jump in and do the job himself to speed up production. He is dealing with the tree in the forest, where it would be overall better for him to manage it instead of doing it himself.

Gear: A large wooden hammer with a metal tacked head.

Retinue: The Grey Council for each town. A Black and White assistant.
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"Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for."
Kyukuru
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Shadows of the Sun

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:56 pm   Subject: Re: Shadows of the Sun

High Concept: Special Forces Commander
Position: Second of the Black

Title: Dusk's Shadow

Residence: Dahryan

Appearance: Slightly above average height, Kyukuru is a shadow at the peak of physical fitness, hardened by years of hard training, military service and pilgrimages through the harsh mountains of Sanshanuör Jacra. He is seldom seen, and then rarely out of his armour.

Duties: Known as 'Dusk's Shadow', Kyukuru appears to serve as Yukora's enforcer, leading an elite unit of Black infantry. It is said that he is tasked with matters of close personal interest to the Dahrach, and of supreme importance to the Unification.

In War: In time of war, his unit often seems to serve as an elite commando strike team, undertaking missions deep behind enemy lines against sensitive targets.

Interaction with Outsiders: None pleasant. He is said to either hunt or avoid Kora.

Trouble: Resisting Destiny. As a chosen, he was expected to take up the mantle of 'First of the Black' and take command of the Unification's armed forces. However, he is devoted to Yunva, even beyond the norm for Shadows, and believes that he was chosen by Yunva for a specific purpose, and shows little interest in politics. He grapples with the expectations of his caste and the callings of his conscience.

Gear: The gear of a shadow elite, all in masterwork quality. Often topped with a dusty black travelling cloak.

Retinue: A handpicked cadre of the cream of the elite infantry, usually accompanied by witches.


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