As the Eschaton’s momentous creation of Lightsworn Fire concluded, Sapience abruptly transitioned into a period of stark illumination. This newfound light cast everything in an unforgiving sharpness, stripping away the softness and mystery that shadows once provided. The sun’s glare became relentless in the following days, and the night sky lost its ability to shield the world from the brightness of morning and noontide. This relentless glow stemmed from the downfall of Severn, the Manipulator, whose demise disrupted the essential link between the realm and Czjetija, the Fundamental Plane of Shadow. Without its counterpart to maintain equilibrium, the element of spirit surged in unchecked abundance, leading to a significant elemental imbalance that concerned arcane theorists and learned planar scholars from corner to corner of the continent.
The populace began to experience a cascade of unsettling changes the longer the phenomena continued. Initially, it was the challenge of sleepless nights, with the unusual brightness turning rest into an elusive pursuit. As the influence of unchecked spirit grew, however, more bizarre events surfaced. The element imposed its intrinsic order upon the world, causing vegetation to start sprouting in unnervingly precise patterns, while collapsing structures crumbled into neatly arranged cubic ruins. Soon, reports of even more alarming changes came in from the local healers: a noticeable rise in individuals with peculiar growths and protrusions on their skin emerged, leading many to believe that spirit had begun making visceral changes to the populace
Not all beings found themselves at odds with the new order, however, for the Akkari and Sapient Duamvi thrived under conditions such as these. The intense light that unsettled many instead granted vitality and strength to these lightbound folk, their symbiotes protecting them from ill effects in quite the same manner that they claimed they would survive the glory of their promised Age of Dawn.
Behind the frozen walls of Spinesreach’s citadel, the Sciomancers found themselves bereft of power, unable to channel Shadow for their magic. While they could still access this font from Albedos – and indeed, all of this phenomena was localised to Sapience itself – the connection immediately severed upon crossing the continental threshold. The sole exception to this predicament was the Shadow Warden Kagura, whose Shadow Mark – the emblem of Sciomancer leadership – retained a constant link to Czjetija. Seeking to find a way to use her solitary priviledge to assist her fellow sorcerers, the guildmaster sought the wisdom of Priestess Kuona and Nevithor, the Shadow Tutor to the Sciomancers. Through their collaboration, Kagura harnessed the Shadow Mark to awaken the lesser marks bestowed upon mages for their mastery of shadow magic, granting them access to their powers once more. This method, Nevithor warned, was both dangerous and transient, and the Sciomancers would need to discover a more permanent solution to the inaccessibility of Shadow.
Soon thereafter did the Sciomancers gather to awaken Severn’s Inheritance and receive His final orders to search for, enable, and advise the successor to His mantle as the conduit of darkness for the realm – as detailed in the previous posting. Their scholars delved deep into historical archives, seeking precedents of Divine elemental succession and transformations. Others traversed the length and breadth of Sapience, exploring locales steeped in shadow lore and engaging with local legends and myths. The Revenants, ever-watchful, fortified their vigil over their sacred charge in the tundra, poised to respond should the weakening shroud of darkness threaten its integrity.
It was Lady Lexadhra, the Indelible, Whom granted the Sciomancers an insight, responding to prayers spoken in Her name to impart some of infinite wisdom She held solely within Her control.
A successor has the potential to outstrip the One Who came before, the Goddess explained to the gathered Sciomancers, and nothing would please Memory more than to see Her Father Severn consigned to the forgetful dregs of time. With these words, the Indelible unveiled to the mages a vision of the recent past, a pivotal moment overshadowed by the awe of a Creator engaging in the utmost glory of Its purpose. For every Light shone, Shadow must be cast, Lexadhra reminded them, and thusly expounded upon the fundamental nature of Eschatonic intent. They witnessed the memory of Sapient Shadow, its final shreds fleeing in fragments to the darkest corners of the continent, concealed beneath the grandeur of Celezor’s divine genesis. The essence of shadow was fragmented and troubled, but yet still survived. It was at the suggestion of Boube the Great-To-Be that the Goddess imparted only hints to the Sciomancers, leaving the rest for them to solve in hopes of deriving the spectacle She eternally craved.
Stirred by the Goddess of Memory’s enigmatic visit, Nevithor, their ancient tutor, found inspiration to recall a long-forgotten sorcery: the art of seeking and binding elemental essence. He shared this knowledge of shadowbinding with his guild, cautioning them about the arduous and perilous journey ahead. Under the vigilant protection of their Revenant wards, the mages embarked on a meticulous task across the breadth of the continent. They scryed the myriad locations of the fragmented essence, carefully guiding these elusive shadows back to their Master Crystal, there to be bound until a time when they could be fully integrated once again.
As Nevithor had forewarned, the endeavor proved to be a marathon of patience and determination, consuming the better part of a week until they succeeded in gathering the last vestiges of the essence scattered across Sapience. With their mission momentarily at a pause, the guild members convened once again before the Shadow Tutor, eager to learn the next phase of their critical undertaking…
Penned by my hand on Tisday, the 13th of Severin, in the year 1 AC.