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Shadow Elves 3000 AC

by John Calvin

History: (or to some, the future)

The Re-Birth of Blackmoor:

Not long after the Radiant Shamans completed Rafiel's most holy project (the Chamber of Spheres), the Shadow Elves had their first contact with a mysterious culture claiming to be the direct descendants of the ancient Blackmoorians. The elves knew not from where these people came, but the one thing that they did know was that the "Blackmoorians" were very interested in their patron immortal's project.

The Blackmoorians (humans, strange looking dwarves, and green skinned creatures for the most part) were treated with much suspicion at first. However after communing with Rafiel, the Radiant Shamans decided to allow several observers inside of the CoS. Much to the surprise of the elves these strangers had many useful suggestions about how to improve their immortals handiwork.

Apparently however, the Blackmoorians were not satisfied to merely participate in the care of the CoS. They wanted the artifact for themselves. Somehow they managed to infiltrate several spies into the CoS. The spies had the appearances of Radiant Shamans and were able to walk about the compound with ease. Their actions and intentions were undetectable by both the Shadow Elves, and their immortal patron! Undetectable that is, until they made a move to take over the CoS.

The battle for the CoS was fierce. While the Radiant Shamans were busy dealing with traitors within their ranks, the City of the Stars, and the surrounding territory, was attacked by wicked metallic monsters. The creatures seemed to obey orders given to them by the Blackmoorians.

The battle inside of the shadow elven caverns lasted for a fortnight. All hope seemed lost for the shadow elves, who were on the brink of being overrun by the Blackmoorians and their foul steel beasts. It was at this point that Rafiel appeared to several of his shamans. Although the CoS was barred to them, the shamans could still call upon its powers from afar. Rafiel taught them how to use the powers of the CoS to take control of the Blackmoorian's metallic slaves. With this knowledge, the tides of the battle were turned.

The Cavern of Stars was secured within the week, and the CoS was re-taken by the Shadow Elves. Their mysterious betrayers had vanished without a trace, perhaps sensing their precarious position. With the full power of the CoS once again at their beck and call, the Shadow Elves routed the invaders. Their victory however, came with a price. The massive energies released by the CoS would change the Shadow Elves, forever binding them to the Radiance.

Victory turns to Defeat:

The Shadow Elves did not have long to savour their victory. The Blackmoorians returned, wielding powers very similar to those of the Radiant Shamans. This time their target was not the CoS itself, but the pockets of Soul Crystals that lay scattered throughout the subterranean land.

In order to combat the Blackmoorians, the Shadow Elves performed experiments on their recently acquired metallic slaves. They sought ways to "breed" the monsters, so that their supply would not dwindle. Eventually they succeeded, but the breeding program quickly ran out of control. So many of the monsters were being created, that it was hard to keep control of them all.

Then the unthinkable happened. Rafiel had taught the Shadow elves how to channel energy from the CoS and into the metallic monsters. This was how the Shadow Elves gained control of the creatures. However the breeding program produced metallic creatures that were able to tap into the CoS without any outside help. These creatures soon overthrew their Shadow Elf masters, and began a campaign to take the CoS for themselves.

What the Blackmoorians could not do with the help of their servant creatures, the servant creatures did for themselves. After 30 years of hard fought battles, the Shadow Elves were finally driven from the City of the Stars...and the CoS.

The Present (or the Future):

Beleaguered Shadow Elf refugees fleeing their homeland find a chamber hidden deep within Mystara's crust. The vast cavern holds a wondrous sight...the Nucleus of the Spheres! The Shadow Elves also find that they themselves have changed!

No longer can they walk under the light of the sun. To do so causes their bodies to fade away into nothingness. Bright lights (such as those that appear when a Light spell is cast) harm the Shadow elves, but starlight and other dim lighting has no effect on them.

While illuminated by starlight, a shadow elf appears to be a semi-translucent being, much like a ghost.

They have gained the ability to traverse any distance through shadows. Any material can be passed through in this manner (except that of the World Shield), as long as there is a shadow at both the entry and exit points. Shadow elves who can not find a suitable exit point may become "lost" (their essence goes to feed the NoS).