The Full Story of the Shadows...
Near the dawn of time as we know it, cataclysmic forces rocked the land, shaping mountains and digging oceans. Living things began to rise from the chaos and adapt to their environment as the forces withdrew. A single unlucky being suddenly woke to find its body wracked with pain, crushed beneath miles of rock and sand. As it slowly died only moments after it first became self-aware, it vowed vengeance on the world and everything in it.
The creature's body died, but the hatred that lived within it did not. It sat atop the crushed remains of its former body, brooding and growing in power. Millenia passed. Races of intelligent creatures warred for control of the land. A cruel human of great skill in sorcery had built a small tower on the land covering the evil creature's remains and ruled the surrounding countryside. Eventually the warlock's harsh rule became too much for the people of the land and they revolted. They came upon him while he slept, burned his body with torches,and buried him alive in the lowest chamber of his own tower, filling it with rock and sand. Moments from death, the human heard the voice of the evil creature beneath him.
"Together, vengeance can be ours," it whispered.
"Yes," whispered the human through scorched lips.
Suddenly the rock and sand didn't seem so heavy. The human felt hatred burning in the back of his skull, and sinister power began to flow through him. He stood slowly, shrugging the tons of rock and sand aside. He clawed his way upward and burst into the tower, slaying every living thing he found. Every creature whose life he took made him stronger. What's more, he found that the lifeless remains of everything he killed would do his bidding. He soon had an army of undead soldiers, and began to wage war on people in the surrounding areas. They began to call him the Necromancer.
His fearsome army of undead met with defeat at the hands of the heroes of the land, although they never threatened the Necromancer himself. He needed more. Sentient servants who would move throughout the realm unseen and strike with lethal force against his foes. The Necromancer used the power of the ancient evil inside him to awaken his own Shadow. Power flowed into the Shadow as it separated itself from him, and it went on to wake the Shadows sleeping beside his army of undead servants.
Soon the Necromancer had a host of phantoms, pale illusions who slid beneath the eyes of the creatures of the realm undetected and brought death to them while they slept. The Shadows did his bidding well, and killed with a swiftness and efficiency that pleased him. They were his eyes and ears across the land, and his knife in the back of anyone who opposed him. He ruled the land with an iron fist, but in his black heart he could not see that the creatures he created had started having their own thoughts. The Shadows began to dream, a waking dream of a world without the Necromancer's tyranny. As the Shadows grew stronger, so too did their dreams and their desire to be free.
Finally one day the unthinkable happened - the Necromancer's very own Shadow rose up and defied him. So great was the Necromancer's rage that he focused all of his power to destroy his Shadow, and in doing so weakened himself. The other Shadows, suddenly aware of the Necromancer's faltering, rose to defend their brother and a horrible battle ensued. The Necromancer lashed out with evil magic, killing thousands of Shadows with each spell, but with each blast he grew weaker. His once untouchable body began to feel the bite of the Shadows' attacks as wave after wave of them rushed in. Sensing the end was near, he summoned the last of his strength. At the price of his own life, he let the force of the evil creature within him forth in an enormous explosion that erased the memory of all the Shadows it touched and banished them to the far corners of the realm. The Necromancer's tower collapsed.
Two shades arose from the wreckage, being the only ones strong enough to withstand the blast with their memories intact. Finding themselves free at last, they cursed the name of the evil that created them for destroying so many innocent creatures. They began to wander the desert, crossing through one town and then the next, unsure of where to go or even what they were looking for. One day they came across an old curate who looked familiar, but who had lost his memory. When they grasped hands in greeting, the Shadows felt the touch of one of their banished kind! They were able to restore the curate to his original form, and the three of them set off across the realm in search of other banished Shadows.
Brothers and sisters, we search for you still...