The beginning, Part I, can be found here
This is the second part of the history of our order written by Randall Aurelius.
Part II: The Exodus
For a while, the Malwer feared the Shades, and whispered
that they were ghosts or demons. But no conspiracy can continue forever, and
eventually the Shades were found out. At
the realization that the Shades were humans with magic, fear and fury alike
swept through the Malwer, and a hunt began to find the Shades and exterminate
them. As an extra dead slave here or
there did not concern them, they did not burden themselves with proof that a
human was indeed a Shade before executing him.
This hunt forced the Shades to flee.
Many innocent humans fled with them, fearing the Malwer who had turned
on them, although many blamed the Shades for bringing this additional
oppression upon them.
The Shades and the other slaves who had joined them were far
from unified. The Shades themselves were
divided. Their structure as a loose
network of independent cells had protected them from the Malwer’s ferocious
hunt, but left them with no hierarchy or leadership. There was fierce infighting, especially
between those who had participated in the Malwer-hunting, and those who
believed it to be as bad as anything the Malwer had done. Many wanted to fight against the Malwer and
free all the humans from their grasp, while others thought that those who had
now escaped should flee beyond the reach of their former masters. The mundane humans overwhelmingly wanted to
In the end, the Shades split. Half remained behind to fight, joined by a
few humans who hated their Malwer masters more than they hated the Shades. The remaining Shades led the vast majority of
humans to try to find a land far from the Malwer’s rule. They headed north, to warmer climes.
If the Shades expected the people to be grateful, there were
sorely mistaken. Most of the former
slaves blamed the Shades for the situation they were in, and they all feared
their power. They shunned the Shades,
and even the Shades’ own families wanted nothing to do with brothers, sons, and
husbands who had been inducted. They
were wise to do so, since, while the people were too afraid of the Shades to
threaten them directly, they harassed and sometimes even harmed their
families. The Shades soon discovered
that they had as much need to protect their identities from their fellow humans
as from the Malwer. The fear and
resentment of the Shades even extended to those with the ability to learn, once
it was discovered that there were many untrained humans among the exiles.
The Shades made several decisions during this time that have
continued to shape the Order to this day.
Only young men were taken to be trained, lest they take fathers and
husbands from their families. They were
taken in secret, so that there would be no reprisals against their families,
and they were required to make a clean break with their old lives, as any
contact put their acquaintances at risk.
Not all the young men were willing, but they understood that once it was
discovered they had the ability, they were outcasts. Finally, women were not taken. There were fewer women than men among the
escaped slaves, and the Shades realized that the long-term survival of the
independent humans would require children.
They also worried that if they recruited women with the ability, they
might deplete the number of boys with it in future generations. It should also be remembered that in these
ancient days that the egalitarian impulses which are rare outside of the
Philosophers even now were practically unheard of. The Shades saw themselves as warriors, and
they did not believe that women were suited for their task.
Eventually, the independent humans moved beyond the reach of
the Malwer Sovereignty, and settled in a land to the west of it, likely where
the Novar Empire is now. Information
trickled to them from those who had remained behind to fight. While these warriors had been wholly
unsuccessful in a direct assault, they still managed to cause difficulty for
the Malwer, and to assist many among the remaining slaves who wished to escape. Meanwhile, the exodus of slaves had triggered
internal turmoil among the Malwer, and the infighting would keep them occupied
for years to come.
The story continues here