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ShadowBeasts / ShadowWright

Author: Tara Harkon
Date: November 27, 1011
Information Pertaining to ShadowBeasts and their Creators

I have many reasons for writing this document. The most obvious is that I was tasked with its writing by the Mononoki. But there are other reasons as well. If there is one thing I cannot and will not ever be able to abide, that is harm coming on innocent children. In light of that, I seek to put an end to this terrible practice.
Before I continue on with my report, I would also like to thank Ayuchi Kyomi for her part in researching the ShadowBeasts and their creators.
-Tara Harkon

Basic Summary
ShadowBeasts are mindless creatures made of shadow and a child's soul. They are given specific commands and will follow them to the letter. Without a master, the Beasts have no direction and may seek out new mothers. They can then be healed.

Here are some terms I will be using in this document that may be unclear. Some of this is due to the threat being at least 400 years running, with documentation going to at least 18 years ago, by mortal reckon. Some of this is due to ambiguity in the names used in the existing documentation. As such, I will be attempting to clarifying the existing terms.
Shadow Demon
The entity a contract is forged with
The one possessed by a Shadow Demon
Mach Med Dren
A creature that rides inside a person and controls them.
The Nameless One
A fallen Guardian of the Northern Wildes who became a vampire and attempted to conquer and destroy the known lands
A person soul bonded to someone else. In this context, a person bonded to The Nameless One. Braeling is the masculine form, sisling is the feminine form.

Historical Interactions
The earliest known sighting of ShadowBeasts comes to us from historical records. In 601, during the First War with the Nameless One, which we only know about from historical records, the Nameless One forged a contract with a Shadow Demon. This first ShadowWright was named Zallord. The modern heroes of the Realms first encountered the Beasts in 993 when they overran and destroyed the city of Victory within Tuath Fasach. Starting around this time, infants were also being stolen out of their homes. Villagers were being controlled by the Mach Med Dren and taking the children. In the year 994, they destroyed a village near the Northern Wildes under the orders of the Nameless One. On March 30 of 996, the second pack of Shadow Beasts coincided with the people of the Realms first discovering the alliance between The Nameless One and Zermarx. When next recorded to have been seen in 998, the ShadowWright's contract was found and destroyed, freeing the ShadowBeasts. Childrak was also killed during this battle. They appeared again in 1000 without a master and sometime around 1002, the healing process began. All fifteen, three packs worth, of the ShadowBeasts from the Nameless One's army have been healed.
The first known packs of ShadowBeasts were created and controlled by Zallord, a Braeling of the Nameless One. He did this because his Sisling asked him to and because she had the power of his Soul Name.
The later packs of ShadowBeasts, which served Tabitha, were created and controlled by Childrak, a changechilde created by the Nameless One and forced into a contract by Tabitha.

The Creation of the ShadowBeasts
In order to create ShadowBeasts, a contract must first be made with a Shadow demon. By all accounts, this then puts the demon in charge of the body of the person to be the ShadowWright.
The ritual to create a Shadow Beast entails taking an infant child and killing them while a shadow lies over them. The shadow bonds to the soul of the child as it leaves the body, creating the ShadowBeast. The ShadowWright who makes the ShadowBeasts is able to control them and give them commands. Packs are always made to number 5 ShadowBeasts because they are the hands of the ShadowWright, with each Beast representing a finger.
By historical reckoning, the person who has become the ShadowWright has never done it willingly. The contract made with the demon is, at least as far as is traditionally known, made on the skin of a baby.
According to historical record, Zallord used a specific candle to enact the ritual to make ShadowBeasts. There is no evidence that this candle was anything other than a personal focus. It is believed that he was a chandler before the contract was forged.

What is a ShadowWright?
A ShadowWright is to shadows as a wheelwright is to wheels or a shipwright is to ships. They are able to create shadows. A ShadowWright will only remain a ShadowWright so long as the contract is still whole and valid. A ShadowWright is a human who's body is under the control of a Shadow Demon.

On the Shadow Demon and its Plane
The Shadow Demon is a demon that the contract is forged with. It empowers a person to be the ShadowWright. The home plane for any such demon is the Plane of Shadow. The Plane of Shadow was created by the Kal kre Bain as a mockery of the creations of Kaetma. If that plane could be turned into true creation and made pure, then the threat of the ShadowWright would be gone forever.
The other option for ensuring that there are never again ShadowWrights would be to find out who knows how to make a contract with the Shadow Demon and kill those people so that the information is lost, but it is the opinion of the writer that information can always be found again and that this plan would most likely only work for a time.
The demon that was freed by Amergin and Shalindra nine years ago in a Red Arrow Emporium base is not the Shadow Demon that creates ShadowWrights. It is just a Shadow. It was tortured into madness by the Red Arrow Emporium until it was released.

On the Shadows
Shadows are not the same as the Shadow Demon. They are sentient shadows and are not evil. They wish to see their kin (the shadow summoned by the Red Arrow Emporium) returned home safely, but will understand if it cannot be saved. They are being manipulated by the Shadow Demon.

Known Abilities of the ShadowBeasts
Normal ShadowBeasts
The average ShadowBeast that a person may encounter will be quite powerful. They are capable of regenerating from their injuries, reforming their shadows, in about a minute. They are unharmed by weapons, excepting only weapons forged of silver or magic. The ShadowBeasts are sensitive to items which are magical in nature and will whimper or yowl to alert the other ShadowBeasts to the item's presence. Unless a member of a pack has been slain or healed, a pack will always number five ShadowBeasts.
Pack Masters
During the war with the Nameless One, all packs of ShadowBeasts were seen to have a Pack Master. This was a ShadowBeast who had been given their commands from the ShadowWright. This particular creature was capable of being used by the Nameless One for her to cast spells through. They were seen to disrupt light spells and circles of protection. They were also seen to howl and immediately reform their pack. It is possible that these powers are no longer available to them since they were coming from the Nameless One, but undoubtedly whoever the current master is can do similar feats.

How to Defeat to ShadowBeasts
Both the normal ShadowBeasts and the Pack Masters can be temporarily disrupted by use of silver or magical weapons. They can also be warded off by use of a light spell. If a group of people armed with light spells line up, they can form a barrier the ShadowBeasts cannot cross easily. These lines are, however, very difficult to maintain. If any shadow falls across the light barrier, the ShadowBeasts can use it as an opening to get through. The ShadowBeasts are mindless and goal oriented. Unless they have specific commands, they will not act. They will also continue to act on their commands until specifically ordered otherwise. The ShadowBeasts will also go so far as to allow themselves to be temporarily disrupted in order to allow one of their number to carry out their orders.
The best way to actually 'defeat' the ShadowBeasts is to find the contract with the Shadow Demon and destroy it, then banish the demon from the body it is inhabiting. Once the ShadowWright has been removed from control of the ShadowBeasts, they will wander, acting on the last orders they were given. The ShadowBeasts will eventually begin to choose surrogate mothers, since at base they are still infants. Once they have chosen a mother, the healing process can begin. The healing of a ShadowBeast is a multi-step process. The first step is for the mother to begin to find the name of the child, though this step is only truly necessary if the soul can be restored as a child. These names were, historically, found out by accident. Then, the ShadowBeasts must be Cleansed through use of a Kathrani circle. During the cleansing, anyone who is one of the mothers of the ShadowBeasts needs to keep them calm and reassured, making it clear to them that this is good and safe and necessary. They will be in pain, whimpering and yowling. They must be Cleansed. It is necessary to the healing process. If the soul is strong enough, and it may not be, then through the use of an intervention to create a new body and a call the soul, the child can be returned to life. If the soul is not strong enough, it may be best to put the child's soul in the body of an animal or even a plant.
To review, the healing process is:
1. The ShadowBeast chooses a mother
2. The mother dreams the child's name
3. The ShadowBeast is cleansed
4. The soul is called
5. The child/animal/plant is raised from the dead

The Current Status of the ShadowBeasts
The original packs of ShadowBeasts that served the Nameless One and Tabitha have been released and healed. They are various children, animals and plants of about nine years old at this time.
5 infants have gone missing from with Aerenor lands. It is assumed that they will be used to create ShadowBeasts. The names of the missing children are as follows: Amanda Thatcher, Joseph Hunter, Emily Farmer, Sebastian MacDanson, and Dorathy Keller.The rancid meat smell associated with Bainen was smelled in one of the homes, leading to the belief that the Ranelek are somehow involved in this. According to divinations, we have until February to destroy the contract and heal the children before they cannot be restored as children. Those who are attuned to the spiritual world will be able to sense this and may possibly encounter some physical symptoms such as nausea.
The current ShadowWright is a Ranelek by the name of Benjamin Miller. Miller was tricked into becoming the ShadowWright. He has apparently embraced his new position and intends to create 2 packs of 5 ShadowBeasts. Since this is what he desires, he will be needing at least 5 more children. The True Name of the ShadowWright demon is Gorian.

On Scrying About the ShadowWright and ShadowBeasts
Divinations on the subject of the ShadowWright and the ShadowBeasts are dangerous at best. Seers have been known to die because the Shadow Demon is manipulating the Shadows into attacking seers and destroying them. The best way currently known is to ask a god to protect an area for a time so that people may scry in safety.

More Reading
The information from these writings has been compiled into this document, but if you would like to read them in the original you can find them at these locations in the Library.
Tags: Personal Account, Historical Account
Created by Tara Harkon (Hillary Fotino) at 11-27-11 02:36 PM
Last Modified by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 12-01-11 12:00 PM