The darkness was absolute in its totality and its wonder. Nalusa let her breath free as she began to focus on the task that Archon Erebri had granted her. It would have been far easier if he had actually bothered to tell her how to complete this actual task, but apparently, that would make the lesson far too simple or some suitably obnoxious answer that those who taught so often relied upon when they thought they were being cryptic or simply did not want to say figure it out. While it was a cynical thought but not one that no one had yet disproved to her. Focus. The word echoed in her mind, a reminder that she did have a task at hand and while it might have been nice to stay in the dark it would not have been wise.

Nalusa closed her eyes. The last source of light in the darkness, her glowing tyrian eyes, was extinguished. It would have seemed like a pointless gesture in most cases but for her it was giving herself to the dark, trusting it. She felt the tug of the void pulling at her soul like a chain trying to pull her heart through her back. Nalusa pulled back though, she was stronger than the spirits of the void. They needed to learn their place. She called upon the spirits of the darkness, the life of the shadow, the very essence of the pall. She began to feel the air, the darkness gaining a nearly imperceptible weight to it. Like one might begin to weave the threads of a silken sheet together she began to try to thread the wisps of darkness.

With every motion of her arms, she pushed the darkness down in front of where she sat. It could destroy her, if she was not careful, she reminded herself as she forced down the shadows in front of her and it pushed back against her. Each thread of darkness growing ever harder to entwine than the last, wanting no more than to detangle themselves and be free. It was not the nature of darkness to be bound.

The dark spirits of the void wanted more from her and she could feel the pull growing stronger, her mouth growing ashy and dry. Spitting fresh ichor, Nalusa hands clenched tight. She was in charge here, not the abyss. She ripped back at the chain of the void if they wanted the essence of life they would have to give her their power. She could deny them and starve them from the life that they desire, gritting her teeth she forced them down with a mental force that caused the veins in her head to pulse angerly, threatening to pop.

Nalusa felt the invisible tooth and claw of the spirits begin to wrap around her, tearing at her, lashing out at the threat to deny them. She ignored them, letting them tear at her soul, as she continued to work ripping at their power as they ripped at her soul. She could not win against them, she could feel the void growing stronger with every moment, filling her heart like fear.

With a curse, she opened her eyes and forced away from the ghosts of the void with no small amount of effort. She reached out and felt something, it was not metal, nor wood, nor stone, or any material that she has ever know. A tiny shard, not dissimilar to onyx, rested in her hands.

"Congratulations Shadowcaster," Archon Erebri spoke, almost laughing in his tone. With a snap of his fingers lights filled the room, the shadows about them being snuffed out by the birth of flame, "I expected more, but you show promise."


I had always thought of a type of magi who used shadows to forge things, but until recently I did not have a name for them until recently.

Please check out Trials of the Witch Hunter, The Codex Magistrate, or Tome of A Thousand Small Tales to learn of this world (5/18/2020)