| In the time of the Creation, the Angels of Death knew well that change would come, and with change would come death. But where, then, to give respite to the undying souls of those who had shuffled off the mortal coil? Charon, who stood among the foremost ranks of these angels, had the answer. He and the other Angels of Death would plunge into the Void and fashion from it a realm to which the souls of the Dead would fly when death bore them through the Shroud. Thus were the Shadowlands--the collective Realm of the Dead--brought into creation.
Charon then entered the Shadowlands to govern it and to watch over the souls who would dwell there, and the other Angels of Death sealed the Void behind him, and bound him therein. Separated from all other angels, Charon continued his work. He crafted the necropolis Stygia--the City of the Dead--and surrounded it with a Tempest to better ensure that the wraiths would be jeopardized in leaving Stygia and that outsiders from the Land of the Living could not enter Stygia at all. But his creation was imperfect; Wraiths left to explore the Far Shores rumored to lie beyond the Tempest, necromancers began to walk the Stygian streets as visions or even in body, and the foundation of the Shadowlands began to rot and cast maddening tunnels and shadows, giving rise to the Labyrinth--home to the dread Malfeans spat out from Oblivion and host to legions of spectres, the wraiths eaten by their own dark sides and forever enslaved to the eternal darkness.
The Shadowlands are filled with the nigh-forgotten remnants of many extinct civilizations and forgotten gems of enlightenment. The countless facets of cryptic lore are here for the picking of any worthy necromancer, but how easily will the Shadowlands give up their secrets? And at how great a price would such knowledge be gained?
|The following map is crude and lacking in detail; Though young Tomas Randler has heard a great deal about the Shadowlands from the wraiths with whom he frequently speaks, he has yet to explore the Shadowlands personally (as does every other player character in the campaign). What he has heard of the Shadowlands and their topography is featured below:
|Stygia: The greatest and centermost Necropolis in all the Shadowlands. Charon himself created Stygia from the surrounding darkness, and while the wraiths have since erected smaller necropoli throughout the Outlands, none of these cities can compare to Stygia in respects to either magnitude or population. Stygia is the seat of the Heirarchy's power, and hence most of her residents march to the beat of Charon and his appointed Deathlords.
The Outlands: Everything in the Skinlands--the Land of the Quick--is mirrored somewhere in the Shadowlands, albeit in a state of ruin or decay. It could be possible to find the ruins of the Colliseum within a mere mile from the crumbling Statue of Liberty. Wraiths who are capable of navigating the Tempest may use currents, nihils and warps in space and time to reach the shadow of any location on Earth in moments; Without the aid of a Ferryman, a Harbinger or someone else who can find shortcuts through the Tempest, less skilled wraiths will almost invariably find themselves tossed around by the Tempest to emerge at a seemingly random location in either Stygia or the Outlands. The Outlands are less accessible by the Heirarchy, and so both Heretics and Renegades dwell and gather more freely on these isles.
The Far Shores: Little is known of the Far Shores, for none who have ever ventured to these remote regions have yet returned. Rumors suggest that each region of the Far Shores rises from the Tempest more and more greatly as the religion to which it is linked gains in power and influence on Earth, and that each Far Shore reflects a Heaven, a Hell or some other version of the Afterlife; Wraiths who venture to the Far Shores are said to infallibly find a final reward fitting for his or her own religion. Alas, even these rumors are scarce. Such is the mystery surrounding the Far Shores.
The Tempest: The Tempest is the eternal cosmic storm of mist and darkness and nightmare which blankets the Shadowlands. Only the insightful or the foolish dare venture into the Tempest; Even the wise stand a chance of becoming lost in the Tempest forever, and that chance is even greater for the ignorant and brash.
The Black Labyrinth: Or, simply, the Labyrinth. Beneath Stygia, the Tempest and the entire Shadowlands sprawls the Labyrinth, the crude and endless maze which is all that lies between the Shadowlands and Oblivion. Spectres roam freely here, and their overlords--the dread Malfeans--are said to dwell in the darkest, most horrid reaches of the Labyrinth. Few wraiths who enter the Labyrinth survive for long...at least as wraiths.
The Veinous Stair (not pictured): Legend claims that Charon crafted this impossible stairwell which descends from Stygia directly into the heart of the Labyrinth. It is warded against wraith and spectre alike, but were these wards ever to fail, Stygia would find herself swiftly overrun with spectres and other agents of Oblivion.
Oblivion: Nothingness. The end of all things. Oblivion--already strong in these atheistic times--has gained more power since the Sixth Great Maelstrom ravaged the Shadowlands. Oblivion now exists as a great black hole in the Void; Wraiths who meet Destruction are plunged into Oblivion. But sometimes, they come back....
|to The Cabal|
|to the Omniverse.|