Eric Breitenbach
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The Shade Realm

The Shade Realm exists on the periphery of Alluvium. The Counties within the Kingdom of Praelia are often defenseless against the chaos that spawns from within this otherworld. The Realm is referred to by many names. Some call it the Oubliette, or the place of forgetting. Others call it the Reflection, the Abyss, the Shadow Land, and simply the Dark World. The Reflection is a frightening place to visit. Of unknown creation, the world is that of nightmares and fairy tales. Vast landscapes of every type are found there. Chroniclers and Adventurers have been drawn to this world for many reasons. Among the most common goals of the traveler is greed. Power and riches are available for the taking. Magic is rampant, and monsters creep in every form. The Inquisition has forbidden travel to the Shade Realm, as has the Kingdom itself.

The bestiary of the Shadow Land is expansive, as if all creation were fused or altered. Gigantic bears, lions and birds are rampant within the landscape. To add to this, fusions of creatures are common. Beasts of Myth are vibrant in this world. Griffons, half eagle – half lion creatures, roam the plains, while even darker beasts stalk the land. The most common of these beasts are; the Manticore- a lion with a scorpion tail and wings, the Basilisk- a lizard birdlike creature, and Hydras- Multi headed snake monsters.

Those few Chroniclers that have survived prolonged adventures into the Shade Realm have returned with tales of civilizations of creatures, Kingdoms and Empires of monsters. It is unknown as to where they have come from, and most are believed to be descendant of Humans that have become lost. Elves, Dwarfs, Merfolk, Goblins and even Humans form Kingdoms in this forsaken land.

For many cycles, and before the time of Altarius, the Shade Realm was supposedly open. Creatures could flow easily from one world to the other. The gateways are found in conspicuous places, often a cave, or odd rock formation. Some temples of the past have been built around the gateway portals. During this time many adventurers were lost in the Oubliette, and many wars were fought with the denizens of the realm. In 16 ACI, the Fourth Great War with the Shade Realm was fought, and the Chroniclers sealed the known entrances. Praelian Counties sent their warriors to aid in this task. The Chroniclers were successful in sealing the known gateways. Warriors from across the Kingdom hunted the remaining Monsters from the areas. Gateways were found mostly near Counties, and as such it was the charge of the Chronicler’s Guild to keep the keys to the seals. With the Seals locked away, the Kingdom and all of Alluvium was safe, for a while. It was not long before the monsters began to reappear. Though limited in number, these creatures were sought and destroyed, and peace has been kept. Some Adventurers have sought to re-open the Gateways.

Rumors of a Fifth War brewing, supported by Wizards and Races within the Shade Realm, are being heard in taverns across the Kingdom. It is an act of treason to open a seal, though the Kingdom has on at least two occasions opened one seal or another to investigate rumors of the uprising, and to banish the Four Highland Factions. For now it appears that this new War is just a rumor, However there are still gateways open in the deep wilderness, and more denizens of the Shade Realm seem to be appearing every cycle.