The home to the Throne of Shadow is a multilayered mystical plane strongly associated with illusion, deception, and (unsurprisingly) shadows. It is unclear exactly how Shadows’ Crown relates to other magics associated with such things – certainly its (nominal) current ruler, Wu, does not claim dominion over such figures as Overshadow, Nacht-Krieger, or most other shadow mages. That said, Shadows’ Crown clearly is a nexus of great power, the truest extent of which is unclear even now.
The creatures that live in Shadows’ Crown are rather diverse in appearance. From the one-eyed, one-armed furry raptors known as the Azvok, to the spiny-backed Ritarn and their colonies of silk-spinning Tarl, they are almost uniformly alien to the eyes of natives of Earth Prime.
If one word could summarize the essence of the residents of Shadows’ Crown, which of course is impossible, it would be “deceptive.” Some beings appear to be shades, but are capable of physically seizing their prey and occluding their minds. Others seem to be standing in one place, but are in fact several feet away, allowing them to be excellent ambush predators.
Even the skies of Shadows’ Crown are not without their residents – some flying creatures of the realm devour truths from the minds of their victims, leaving them confused enough to be hauled away by the larger, nastier creatures of the ground.
The Throne of Shadow
A great castle situated somewhere in Shadows’ Crown (though where exactly is often disputed and sometimes changes in truth), the Throne of Shadow was once the center of all power of the realm. According to the natives of Shadows’ Crown, long ago, those who could find it and claim it, whether native, dark fey, draconic, or otherwise, commanded shadowy magics across hundreds, if not thousands of dimensions.
Sadly, such potency is long since lost. Nowadays, not even the whole of the realm of Shadows’ Crown acknowledges the supremacy of the Throne, and many consider its current occupant little more than a usurper. Naturally, this is just as Wu prefers it. What better way to overpower deceptive shadows than by appearing powerless?
The castle itself is home to servitors of many sorts. Some are immigrants from Earth Prime who are eager to serve Wu, whether because he got them out of bad situations or because they hunger for his knowledge and power. Others are native shades that remained devoted to the Throne even in the long absence of a bottom to sit upon it. Some of the servitors are those who once held the Throne itself, but failed to keep it, and were bound in turn to its service.
Shadows’ Crown is an odd place – some of its environments are very similar to Earth’s, like the Plains of Mist and Mystery. Other places are more exotic, such as the River Bright, which blazes with Light, and Dark, which consumes all light around it. They flow in opposite directions and divide the plane into three.
Other places are stranger still, such as the eternally twilit Graven Forest, whose trees show echoes of possible pasts and futures. The Weitsicht flowers spit fluid into the eyes of those that smell them, cursing them to see three seconds into the future, but never the present. The ravine-ridden Canyons of Color radiate a prismatic rainbow when light touches them, which is rare, but attracts the natives to harvest the light-spun songs.
The Throne of Shadow is elusive, sometimes appearing in different places at different times and disappearing entirely at other times.
As what might be a heart or center of the powers of shadows, Shadows’ Crown holds a great many ways to leave the plane for other dimensions. Almost any realm with a strong aspect of shadow can lead to Shadows’ Crown, and vice versa. Realms strongly associated with Light and Dark are also only a hop skip and a jump from Shadows’ Crown. However, in the case of such realms, it is often harder to get back once one has left.
Some places on Earth Prime can bring one to Shadows’ Crown, though those gates are often temporal as much as locational – only opening during solar eclipses, for instance, or a twilight during the equinoxes.