- When sun does set in the west
- World begins to quiver
- When moon does cast shadow eerie
- Children cry out in fear
- When long does darkness come at last
- Terror is wide as the river.
I heard this poem once when I was young. In Orcish society we are taught to be strong and cast aside our fears. Despite what we are taught some never get over being afraid of the coming night, or the black shadows in the corner of a room. There are some who claim that their heritage lets them see through that night, and in the dark there is nothing to fear. Yet from a bard I heard of a place where the light can never pierce. A place in which those blessed with eyes that see in the deepest of night, are rendered blind. Even deep-kin, those who see in the dark, feel fear in the night of Pforthrull. What can induce such a panic? One god is all it takes. I have seen his symbol when the moons cross the sun and make day to night, the black orb, the eye of terror and fear, King of Shadow Telraedye.
Many things throughout the ages have stirred fear in the hearts of mortals. Monsters terrorize settlements, bandits stalk the roadways, and cruel despots rule kingdoms. The hardened adventurer and greatest hero will not even balk at these. Yet at the days end when they set camp, they light fires and hold watch around the flame, praying the sun will come soon. They are warding off the darkness, for unlike their physical woes, this very real terror surrounding them is filled with the unknown. They fear the shadows.
Telraedye controls the darkness and his presence is found in the shadows. He is always a part of every person in the world. The darkness that drifts in their hearts is within his domain. When chills run down your spine and fear grasps at your heart, the god of Shadows is gracing you with his presence. His control extends into the realms of subterfuge and clandestine activities.
Followers of the god of Shadows, known as Shadowborn are often met with distain. They are viewed as blasphemers and charlatans. They can be found in virtually any temple, seeking to gather followers through simple argument with opposing officials. A gathering was once observed where two clerics of Estridae where preaching of the power of light. A cleric of Telraedye soon joined in on the conversation.
- “The power of the light gives hope; heals those in need.” Taught the first Cleric of Estridae.
- “The power of the light gathers for the betterment of all. It weeds out cruelty and banishes the shadow!” Affirmed the second Cleric
- “The power of the light… Hides your dark side behind you, and sometimes beneath. When you see your dark side, you are inclined to turn away and ignore it. Therefore the power of the light spreads ignorance and fosters conceit.” A Shadowborn called out to the crowd.
At this, the clerics became annoyed. Their tenants prevented them from lashing out at the newcomer, so they tried to continue their teaching, notching up the volume.
- “The power of the light takes away your need! It nourishes the soul and brings out humility!” spoke the first Cleric.
- “The power of the light uproots the lawless, uncovers the corrupt, and frees the grieving!” cried the second Cleric.
- “It effectively hides the sins of the gluttonous, and glorifies the pretentious! Reveals the lawless yes, but who are the lawless? We the tax paying masses forced to hide in the shadows as the light cascades upon the vain and illustrious! They proclaim the light will cast out the shadow, but the light is born by men like these, presumptuous and falsely pious!” the Shadowborn heckled.
The crowd began to mutter amongst each other “Why am I still hidden? I try and try but still I get nowhere.” “Everyone passes by me, there are no coins to spare. I am overwhelmed by the darkness!” The clerics were growing angry with this blasphemer.
- “Yea, I say to you. You are hidden not because the shadow consumes you, but because the righteous are wicked, and the benefactor the antagonist! So to say the Hero is the Villain! They who bear the light do not bring it to the places that need it. No, instead the shadow must embrace you to give you the edge you rightfully deserve. Yea, the evildoer here is not the darkness or night! Nea, I say to you! It is the penumbral light, casting blackness upon you!” the Shadowborn preached.
- “Blasphemer! You have said enough. That is not at all what the light is. It casts away your lot. With the rising sun you are banishing. See, in this very hall, the essence of your god hides in the corners!” cried the second Cleric.
- “Those dark places here are the confines of your sin, your shallowness, and…” shouted the Shadowborn.
It is at this point the first Cleric of Estridae decided to ignore his tenants and vows, and proceeded to punch the interjecting commenter clear into the streets. There the brawl continued downhill until all three were placed in cells for disorderly conduct in a peaceful quarter.
Followers of Telraedye like to keep things quiet most of the time except when they are challenging the teachings of other gods or in street brawls. However this preference for silence comes from the Telraedye himself; as their god waits for the most opportune moment so do his followers. Shadowborn do have prayers to the god of shadows but they prefer to whisper them.
- "For those who are alone on the blackest night."
- "For those who are tired of endless fright."
- "For those who desire peerless might."
- "For those who have lost from wasting blight."
- "Pray to the One who will make it right."
- "The One who watches with darkened sight."
- "The One who shuns all hope and light."
- "Come with us and join his fight."
Telraedye takes many forms, appearing briefly as a dark orb drawing darkness from all around before filling the dark spaces with his presence. He can be the shadow at your feet, or the thick cover of night beyond your fire. Sometimes he appears as a shadowy apparition with white eyes that give no light. Rare is it when he assumes the shape of mortals, but when he does it is most often as a human with pure black eyes, a goatee, and black hair tied in a ponytail. He stands wherever a person is casting a shadow.
When the god of Shadows speaks, his voice is smooth as silk with a general’s command. He is not a militant god, choosing to use his followers to carefully subvert, and then convert others. He does not disguise who or what he is however. Any individual encountering the god knows without a doubt that they are in his presence. Often the shadows in an area he is in become so thick that they could be walls. No light source will penetrate them.
Like Estridae, Telraedye advocated burial in the ground. His reasoning? It’s tidy.
Telraedye was the third of the gods to appear from the veil. He appeared just after Estridae burst into light, casting a shadow off of Ambries. Telraedye was responsible for devising a source from which to create Saratta. His inspiration created Demüen and subsequently Balphurus; when he meddled with the chaotic order of the Abyss. Telraedye took responsibility for raising the two fledgling gods.