the Shadow

It’s a calm, unassuming sort of plane at first, the Shadow is. Plenty of broad fields and lush water meadows, sprawling copses of luxuriant trees with game ready for one’s snare or arrow, nothing is burning or discorporating or transmogrifying before one’s eyes. But then – then the eternal creeping sunset registers, and the strange, sprawling compounds and complexes of milk-marble that dot the countryside, crowning hilltops and guarding riverbends, prove far, far more common than a village or farmstead.

Then one might also notice the clashing forces between those pale holdings, who are more than happy to sweep up any strangers into their conflicts.

Who don’t seem to always stay dead – or alive – from day to day. Who sometimes seem to replicate themselves.

Who sometimes have another you amongst their number. Or more than one. And never seem to comment on it. Not even when the not-so-strangers are also long dead and gone.

Who might be found amongst their number, if only one searched …

Some sages of the realms cast their thoughts across these things and find themselves at odds over whether it is strange, or simply expected, that those who find their origin in the Shadow are resolute in the face of near-anything that should shake one’s resolve or self-identity and have little fear of death even worlds away from their quixotic homeland.

And the clashing warriors are not alone: across the lands prowl remnants such as the echoes of the lost, riddling umbra crows, and the silkily lumbering marble titans.

But, still, the Shadow can be a refuge, and many a would-be warlord has taken a marble castle for their own. As many have ventured down deep below the pale milky donjons to find themselves agape at the broken, wheeling, tattered artefacts and ruins of aeons and realms uncounted that press, wailing faintly, through the twisting passages. It’s almost enough to distract one from finding the milky plinth or archway or obelisk that will whisk one to another world. Or back to one’s own.

The Shadow is a passage across and throughout the Corerealms. Through rings, through portals, through duress and the passing of a shadow across the wall — all these may grant passage. Terribly easy. Fiendishly simple.

What it gains in return, well …

* mementos * gathering * ruin * echoes * connections * nostalgia *

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