Friday, October 01, 2010

The History of the Domini: Part II

Old Post: 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 flee.

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.

New Post: The story continues here.

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