Of Silent Shadows


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Vanitas. A world where light and shadow intertwine in an endless, moonlit dance. Every ten thousand years, the cycle begins anew, brought about by the coming of the Ten'Er Duin, or "Eternal Night", a century of total darkness, where beings wrought of living shadow wake upon the world and force their will upon the bindings of reality. Once the darkness comes, no light may shine, and no mortal heart can can beat to orchestral joy.

Sorrow is what they bring. Sorrow is what they are. It is their blood and their breath, their body and they spirit.

All light dies before their smiles, and all hope is given flight.

Only to be consumed as part of their rapacious hunger.

Seven are the harbingers of Shadow. Their names are lost to legend, but their number is known and it is seven. When they first walk the world, there is no sign. Only the wise and learned will know the Heralds, and only they will know their doom. With the Heralds is born a book.

The Book of Lingering Dusk.
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There are those who say that books can shape and sculpt the minds of men. And sometimes, those same souls whisper that some books—books of power—can go even further. They say that there are Books of Light that can redeem the darkest, most tormented souls. But so too are there Books of Shadow… and these books can twist, can warp the very fabric of good within the human spirit.

They are wrong.

At least, in a sense.

The reality of the books themselves is irrelevant to the issue of the human soul. For even should their existence prove true, the books themselves are merely catalysts for the transformation, not the substance of it. The books no more fill a soul with light or shadow than would a candle or the night sky.

Nothing has that power.

Instead, the books direct and channel either the darkness or the radiance inherent in the soul of any given individual. And they are all the more insidious for it. For objects possessed of their own inner shadows, or inner light, are to some degree sentient, and thus discernible to human perception. But empty shells, conduits for those unseen aspects of the human soul are forever invisible.

And so humans live their lives, struggling to shape and control their own inner balance. Some succeed and some do not. Some turn to light and others to darkness. But in either case, the decision is one that is ultimately a result of free will, and not some divine and demonic impetus.

Such is the way of things. There is good, and there is evil. There is light, and there is dark. And in all instances, there is balance, a balance the books claim to disturb.

Welcome, traveler, to the world of Vanitas.







TL;DR Character Creation: Ask for anything, but don't be stupid. Write a good backstory or face humiliating death.

A WARNING TO ALL: Be aware that I will not be pulling punches. All of you, as a result of your Brands, as discussed earlier, will automatically be resurrected with no penalties after your first death. Enemies will be mercilessly powerful (as optimized as all of you), and will be bestowed with homebrew abilities as much of this campaign world is not linked with traditional D&D.

Moreover, boss battles will require teamwork and strategy. None of them will be killable by a single character, no matter how powerful and will often seem on their face initially unbeatable. You will have to play smart, or death will follow.

In Vanitas, the shadows are always waiting.

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