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PostPosted: Tue, Feb 10 2015, 3:57 AM 

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Joined: 26 Jul 2010

In the advanced library a new tome graces the shelves. Most of the pages are yet empty, and it still appears to be a work in progress. Those with three insignias from the Academy have access to the book, and the deliberate art on the cover make the author obvious to those who have been around the Academy for long enough to know her. There is a personal note that serves as a preface upon the first page:

Day 9 of Alturiak, 1384

I have started writing this manual one hundred times before, and I have stopped myself one hundred times. My reasons were different with each time. There were concerns that others would follow me down a path that never seems to have an end. The dangers of knowing as much as I know. The possible perils of others learning more than I have learned. The complete and conquering horror of encountering every dark corner of one's own mind.

It is not something I considered until it was too late, but in a path where the key is adaptation and corruption there does not seem to be a viable solution to reverse the actions. I know, in my heart, that the shadows are not a thing of evil. The substance has no agenda, it is merely a tool. Tools can be used to either end... in theory.

This guide will detail my elaborate forfeiture of nearly all I have gained. This is intended for advanced shadow adepts, though the theory will be inclusive of even the most novice of practitioners. I hope that redemption are not beyond those of us who have come so far. My only hope is that someone might learn from my methods should they also stray too far.

I am still wary of distributing this information. However, I fear the time has come where my caution has been surpassed by need. I need to have all of this immortalized in ink before the worst comes.

I need to fully understand the steps I have taken so that I may retrace them... and perhaps, if I can, undo them.

~M.E. Everguard


Penumbra Artibus Enchiridion
The Art of Being Nearly Shadow
Emilie Everguard

Proposed Table of Contents

I. Nature of Shadow:


    Negative Energy

    Shadow Magic

    Shadow Weave

    The Dance

II. Theories on the Arte:
    Inverse Reflections: Self and Shadow
      -Interior Landscape
      -Exterior Landscape
      -Interpersonal Landscape

    A Woven Web: Evocation and Conjuration

III. Sensory and Perception




IV. Prime and the Literal




V. The Path of Eternal Shadows:
    Step 1: Acclimation

    Step 2: Adaptation

    Step 3: Transformation
      I. Parasitic
      II. Sympathetic
      III. Corruption

VI. (… Alteration?)

PostPosted: Tue, Feb 10 2015, 5:07 AM 

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Joined: 26 Jul 2010

I. Nature of Shadow:
My path has been named by some as the Mystic's or the Sympathetic’s Path, in short I use intuition and emotion to manipulate shadow. This will be detailed in later chapters, but in order to have a full understanding of my path in shadows there are some very fundamental basics that need to be understood. The following are the catalysts, methods, and reagents for all of the works in Shadow with which I am familiar.

    While the term is vague, Shadowstuff refers to the barest substance of shadow. This is the thing that pools together in the Plane, and also composes the shadows on the Prime. It is more than meager darkness, it is every bit as elemental as fire, lightning, water, etc. There are several ways Shadowstuff manifests and the ways it can be manipulated I suspect are numberless. The substance itself can be used to deflect, corrupt, empower, distract, daze, learn, control, and if concentrated enough – directly harm.

    Negative Energy
    It would seem that all things shadows come with Negative Energy as a by-product. Though the two have similar qualities, such as bearing a corrosive nature, being wide-spread across several Planes of existence, and the energies being nearly elemental in nature, they are not one in the same. It is unclear to me whether it is the manipulation of shadows that created Negative Energy, or whether Negative Energy is latent and attracted to the substance. It is possible that the two could be tangentially related, but further studies need to be conducted to be sure of the relationship.

    Shadow Magic
    Shadow Magic is a separate casting paradigm, and is completely unrelated to the Shadow Weave. Shadow Magic can refer to the manipulation of shadowstuff from the Plane of Shadows, or the manipulation of individual shadows in any given environment (up to and including the living shadows of sentient beings). The former I refer to in this manual loosely as Shadow Conjuration, the latter is referred to as Shadow Evocation to make them easier for casters to understand within the structures of the common schools of magic. It should be noted that more than the named schools can be tapped into with this method, Illusion tends to be quite potent, for example.

    As the name suggests, one needs to possess a talent for conventional magic as well as a thriving hunger for the unknown to practice Shadow Magic. All Shadow Magic draws from one universal truth: Balance exists without compromise. Nothing is entirely isolated, everything that will ever happen occurs with a reactive reflection. It is up to the practitioner to manipulate that balance in their favor.

    At heart, I am a Shadow Caster, most everything in this manual is detailed through the lens of the planar arcane.

    Shadow Weave
    Note: The Shadow Weave and Shadow Magic are not the same, or even remotely related. An arcanist is fully capable of using Shadow Magic with the traditional Weave as a catalyst. Same goes for Shadow Dancers and their abilities.

    As noted in the above section, there is a reflection of every thing and action, along this vein the Shadow Weave is the counter to the creation of the traditional Weave. The Shadow Weave occurs in the absent spaces in-between the known threads of the Weave. Accessing the Shadow Weave requires a very intentional corruption of the caster's methodology, or simply learning to cast from one that uses the Shadow Weave. Just as those with traditional magical training do not need to consider where their power is drawn from and primarily access Mystra's Weave, once corrupted, one with the Shadow Weave only accesses magic through the Shadow Weave.

    I would be remiss if I did not mention matters of faith here. The Shadow Weave was Shar's counter to Mystra, and it lies within Her control. Those without divine protection from Shar go insane if they access the Shadow Weave. To my current knowledge, there is no returning to the traditional Weave once tainted.

    The Dance
    The Dance is a more martial and intuitive art than that of overt Shadow Magic. There is an inherent connection to shadows and the Plane of Shadows that all dancers posses. The manipulations through the Dance normally revolve around using and entering shadows, though it can extend far beyond that. Though the connection is innate and the abilities are more often a product of instinct, all manipulation of shadows is accessed through a Weave.

    There are certain personal commonalities among those who can use the Dance. Often there is talk of always being drawn to the unknown, feeling an affinity for the misunderstood, or even having a penchant for mischief. Nearly all Dancers within my instruction have told me an origin story of how they eventually brushed against the Plane of Shadows by accident. We tend to be light on our feet, open-minded, and extremely tenacious in our pursuits. Unfortunately, we do not always tend to be the most cautious.

    There are several theories and uses of this natural link and predisposition to shadow. I hope to convey some of these uses in this manual.

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