It began as all matters that spiral out of control begin: simply. The Usurper wanted to live longer. To prolong her life she discovered then mastered the art of stealing shadows. To steal someone’s shadow accelerates their death, while adding vitality to the thief. Most lost years of their lives without ever suspecting why. She stole shadows from the rich, from the poor, from the healthy, to the sick. No matter what person she stole from, the value of all shadows was the same. What if she could steal the shadow of a god?
So she stole death’s shadow, and killed it.
The woman who killed Nethane now lives in the highest spire of Reach. Somewhere between god and mortal, she frantically seeks to master Nethane’s energy. She needs to complete her transformation before the Steam King finds her and extracts her secrets forcibly from her. She sends her shadows to defend and protect the city, and some parts of Laeda. Reach flickers and shimmers in shadow from the light of her thousands of floating crystal eyes. She can see anything that happens in Reach, but is she really watching?
Will the Usurper reach her full potential before everything she has gained is taken from her?
“Truth is amusing. I once believed in it, but I now know it’s a matter of whether one stands in light or shadow.”
The Usurper is rarely seen, and even more rarely seen in her tower. Most adventurers will be more likely to meet her through communication with a shadow-crystal. Many question if she can actually leave Reach, but there is no evidence to support or deny this.
The Usurper killed the god Nethane in the middle of the Dying Day, a ritual where the god’s followers summon him to bow at his feet. Disguised as one of his clergy, she knelt at his feet. She rose to her feet holding the god’s shadow in her hand.
Nethane died on his own altar, screaming and bleeding before the whole city of Reach.
Adventurers and the Icon
The Usurper likes analytical heroes. Anyone who seems like they can solve a tough problem might find themselves spoken to by her, as she has no shortage of difficult situations to work though.
The Usurper is allied tenuously with the Lords of Kitani out of necessity. They haven’t asked much of her, yet. She also is a favored traveller in the Shadowlands. The Prisoner is a useful dog to offer a bone to. The Usurper hopes to open a dialogue with the Twin Serpents one day, but today is not the right time. The Speaker is a fool, but a useful tool if directed properly.
The Steam King is everyone’s sworn enemy. The Speaker is a running joke who the Usurper will surely kill if she can ever get to him. If the Twin Serpents don’t come to terms, they will be dealt with. The Prisoner might outlive his own usefulness one day, but he does possess a certain charm…
Tales used to be told of a nomadic cult of people who worshipped shadow. The Laedan church had once declared them heretics to be killed, but it appears that a few survived.
The True Danger
If anyone returns Nethane’s shadow to him, the world will learn what true anger is.