The Outer Shadows

More is now beginning to be learned about the Sky Shadows that are connected to Argent. It appears that there is a full set of Shadows up there, which are just as numerous as those in the Earth Realm, where the game takes place. Much of this new information stems from first the visit by Eabha Aranrhod, an Argent noble who got trapped in Sable City, and more recently, from Sable’s various problems with Owain Emer, who tried to start a war between Argent and Sable.

It is now known that, certainly away from Argent itself, these Shadows are surprisingly malleable, for visitors from the Earth Realm, and react to the subconscious of those people. This does not seem to be a problem for natives of the Sky Shadows, although it is unclear whether they are immune to the effect, by virtue of being born there, or whether they are schooled to control their thoughts from a young age.

It is also now known that the boundaries between the Sky and Earth Shadows are not as strong as it was first believed. Significant disruption on the Earth Shadows can weaken the boundaries between the two, while major Powers-events in the Sky Realms can actually rupture the barrier between the two realms.

Caution is advised for Sable Agents when travelling up in the Sky Shadows. It is possible that better control might be achieved by initiating to the Isle of Dreams, but so far, no-one from Sable has done so, which means it is theoretical currently.

The Isle of Dreams

The Isle of Dreams is reached via a silvery light bridge which extends from the gardens of Argent Palace, crossing the clear, cold waters of Lake Muireann. From a distance, it appears clouded and indistinct, and is the location of the Great Design: a place of portents, and the source of power which keeps the Kingdom of Argent strong. The length of time it takes to cross the bridge appears to vary according to the perceptions of the one crossing, so it is impossible to really tell the distance to the Isle. However, the other side of the bridge eventually arrives at the top of a peak comparable to the one on the King’s Isle in Sable.

Descent to the ground is via a long stairway, from which can be seen lushly planted gardens of silver and white. Within the gardens, the two significant features as seen from above are a hedge maze off to one side, with a gazebo at the centre, and a large open amphitheatre, built in the ancient Roman style, and situated where Sable Palace would be in the world below. In the mythology of the place, it is the amphitheatre which is the gateway to the Great Design, and the portents it offers.

The Great Design can be traversed by those who are not of the Sable bloodline, as long as they are willing to brave its portents. All the Heads of the twelve Noble Houses have walked it at least once. A strong will is required, or its very easy to drift off the way and never be heard of again. The successful initiation rate is about 50%.

  • Basic initiation gives the ability to travel the Air Shadows, with some measure of control to tame the subconscious, and enough solidity to operate in the Earth Realm for short periods.
  • If an initiate is willing to try to take the Design a second time, they can gain an Advanced initiation. This gives them the equivalent of Advanced Broken Pattern abilities, plus more freedom to travel in the Air Shadows confidence, and extends how long they can operate in the Earth Realm.

The Estrum

It has been confirmed by a group of Sable Agents that there are “Broken” designs in the Sky Shadows, which may be Shadows of the Isle of Dreams, in the same way as the Broken Patterns are cast by the Sable Pattern, or they may be something completely different. These can be initiated to by anyone, human or Silver Shadows native.

One example, the Estrum, was found in the Sky Shadows above the Weimar Republik, named the Estrum, which was walked by Viscount Quentin Walsh and Lt. Col. Nathan Luca. This gave them increased sensitivity to places where the fabric between the Earth and Sky Shadows is thin, and they reported that they felt more in control while travelling up there.

It did have side effects, however, changing their inherent nature substantially, so they now demonstrate signs that they are a kind of Human-Argentian hybrid.

For someone with skill in such magics as Channelling, it is possible manipulate this energy both in the Sky and on the Earth worlds, although doing so can cause breaches between the two.

There is now also an iteration of the Estrum on the world of Pelagius, in the Earth Realms, and this is being observed closely, to see if a Sky Power in the Earth Realms is likely to cause problems.

Argentian Nobles and the Earth Shadows

Some idea of the capabilities of dwellers of the Sky Shadows have been gleaned from these Eabha Aranrhod and Owain Emer and his family.

  • The solidity of the Argentian nobles when in the Earth Realms waxes and wanes with the moon. However, initiates of the Isle of Dreams seem to have more control over this:
    • Subject Aranrhod was not an initiate, and only had any real solidity in the days around the full moon.
    • Subject Emer and some of his family are initiates, and were able to operate easily during the night, and maintain a certain amount of stability during the day.
  • As well as a form of magic which is, at least, recognisable to a Sable practitioner, it appears that the Argent Nobles also have something that the SIS is referring to as Night Magic, which bears a more than passing resemblance to the tricks and glamours of the Fae of Celtic mythology.
    • It was thought, initially, that this form of magic could only be learned by members of those houses, or by those who are lucky enough to marry into them. However, Owain Emer demonstrated significant skill with this, and appears to have taught it to the Pelagius Sidhe.
    • It has been proven to bring nightmares to life: reaching into the mind of the victim and pulling out their worst fears. This appears to work better against shapeshifters.
  • Subject Aranrhod demonstrated the ability to affect the weather and the environment, managing to cause a snowstorm in June.
  • Subject Aranrhod also unintentionally killed and injured a number of people through hypothermia, when trying to communicate with them mentally.

It is not known whethere non-noble Argentians share these abilities.

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