Shadow Realm

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The Shadow Realm is the plane of existence where Althedeus resided. It is a realm of blood, flesh, and shadows, haunted with undead and demons. It was accessed through Lake Eonak at the base of Melgorehn's Reach, with the Palestra Blade using the Staff of Ith'can to make a portal. The shadows are a form of energy that have a corrupting effect on the living. Following the destruction of Talador in Eyes of the Dawn (5116 Modern Era), the barony was mostly turned into a wasteland known as the Bleaklands. The Bleaklands has been noted to resemble the properties of the Wizardwaste by Dennet Kestrel and Praxopius Fortney. By the year 5118 Modern Era there were tears in reality in the Bleaklands leading to the Shadow Realm, with its malevolent creatures such as oculoths spilling over into our world.

The Shadow Realm was used as an intermediary plane when transporting the shadowy maw of the blood apple trees to the Deadfall (5115 Modern Era). Harrower Ersix Severus Faendryl did not intend this, the rift was pulled toward the Shadow Realm and anchored on it. It was later used by Quinshon in 5116 Modern Era, who kidnapped a young boy named Acorn who had been acting as a spy. Quinshon may be related in some way to the huge abominations (called "behemoths" so far) above the Bleaklands, whose soil is somehow blood based now and may be transforming into a place like the Shadow Realm.

Shadow Realm

The Shadow Realm would seemingly have some relation to our own world, containing not only flesh and blood but also porcelain dolls.

[Shadow Realm]
The landscape stretches out in long lines and shadowed forms, all shades of grey and black accounted for as the horizon meets the fractured sky beyond.  There are no clouds, only a firmament of bruised purples and obsidian greys that roil above like a tempest-churned sea.
Obvious paths: north

[Shadow Realm]
Monstrous forms rise from ground, each a parody of reality.  Blackened skeletal trees sink fingerbone roots into the ground and are topped with leaves of dried skin, while broken statues stand aside, the stone from which they are constructed crumbling away to reveal corded and bleeding muscle beneath.  Even the wind is a mockery, carrying whispers and voices that both taunt and plead with wordless cries.
Obvious paths: north, south 

[Shadow Realm]
Underfoot, the ground evolves from what seems to be hard-packed earth to an ebon fluid-sopped mire that creates suction with each step.  To either side of this indistinct pathway are frightful curiosities - the skulls of birds and beasts mounted on pikes and set with eyes that seem very much alive as they wildly survey the surroundings and desiccated corpses whose chests rise and fall with something not so much like breath as the movement of carrion bugs beneath their leathery skins.
Obvious paths: north, south

[Shadow Realm]
In the distance, hulking shadows rise on the horizon, their forms misshapen and tall.  The trail leading ever onward branches here to the east and the west, one fork leading toward the indistinct shadows and the other to a destination from which a dull crimson glow pulses into the darkness.
Obvious paths: east, south, west

[Shadow Realm]
Heading westward, the distant shadows slowly resolve into the face of mountains, their peaks craggy and uneven.  Along the sides of the roadway are rocks that have tumbled from above, their misshapen figures strewn among other more mundane items.  Here the broken face of a porcelain doll stares with hollow eyes into the broken sky, and further along the road are the remains of weapons, partially melted and fused together in a solid mass of distorted metal.
Obvious paths: east, west

[Shadow Realm]
The face of the tumultuous mountain is altogether unlike any that can be found in the waking world.  Strips of cloth that may have once been banners peek out from beneath rocks and within crevices, their countenances torn and frayed, making their crests all but unidentifiable.  Sandwiched between the boulders that create the base of the range are humanoid limbs that twitch and swat at the empty air from time to time.
Obvious paths: east 

[Shadow Realm]
Within this stuffy chamber at the base of the mountain, the walls of reddish brown clay are bumpy and misformed.  A closer look reveals that the anomalies are faces just beneath the surface, caked with dirt and grime.  Some seem frozen, their open mouths perched on the cusp of silent screams, while others alternately blink their bloodshot eyes and stare, with half-crazed expressions, at something apparently only they can see.
Obvious paths: northwest, out

[Shadow Realm]
The ceiling further in the cavern slants downward at a sharp angle, forcing the tallest visitors to stoop.  At best, this dead end is cramped, and at worst, it is positively claustrophobic.  Only making things worse is the air, which is tinged with the coppery twinge of blood that seems to emanate from a sanguine pool cradled against the curved wall of the cavern.  The surface of the liquid ripples as if disturbed from beneath.
Obvious paths: southeast

[Shadow Realm]
Flashing against the battered sky, crimson streaks of lightning illuminate the area briefly with a ruddy haze.  The barren countenance of the landscape becomes even more so here, stretching out flat and unblemished by anything larger than the small stones found here and there.  An ever-constant tremble runs through the ground underfoot, subtle but unrelenting.  You also see a precariously narrow path that leads downward.
Obvious paths: east, west

[Shadow Realm]
The air hums with an unseen energy, and tendrils of deep shadow trail across the ground like snakes hungrily searching for prey.  In the distance, a scarlet light pulses, distorting the bruised sky and smearing the colors like so much paint under an artist's brush.
Obvious paths: southeast, west

[Shadow Realm]
Across the flattened plains that stretch out to the horizon, cracks have formed in the ground, shallow and slender.  There appears to be no distinct pattern to the formations, though they look similar to cobbled streets broken by roots rising from beneath.
Obvious paths: northeast, northwest

[Shadow Realm]
Deep gashes in the ground emit an incarnadine mist tainted by the stench of rot and decay.  Though the immediate surroundings are largely cloaked in darkness, movement can be detected at the far reaches of sight, mostly as mere ghosts of shapes.
Obvious paths: northeast, southwest

[Shadow Realm]
Interspersed among the fingers of shadow crawling along the ground are crackling veins of crimson energy, both their origin and destination a mystery as they flicker into being one moment and out the next.  Overhead, a noise like the flapping of leathery wings haunts the darkness, and a cry distinctly inhuman can be heard somewhere beyond.
Obvious paths: northeast, southwest

[Shadow Realm]
The fissures in the ground are so numerous here that sure footing is difficult to find, and a wan crimson light bleeds into the air from within their depths.  All around, the sharp crackling of energy galvanizes the atmosphere, raising goosebumps and hairs alike along the arms.
Obvious paths: southeast, southwest

[Shadow Realm]
The pathway here trails dangerously close to a ledge that drops off into open air clouded by churning, spectral mists before turning sharply southward.  Out in the vast nothing past the cliff's edge, the flash of glowing amber eyes lights up the shadows for but moments at a time, offering scant glimpses of the horrors that lie in wait.
Obvious paths: south, northwest

[Shadow Realm]
Where the path splits off to the east, a grotesque structure rises into the darkness to span the width of a chasm that stretches down into a perfect darkness.  The bridge, if it can be called that, is made entirely of flesh and bone and sinew, some in desperate states of decay, some unrecognizable as humanoid, and some still being consumed by carrion insects.
Obvious paths: north, east, south

[Shadow Realm]
Travel in this direction leads right up to the edge of a cliff, whose edge is crumbling and ravaged with deep, rending claw marks as if something had tried to clamber its way out of the darkness below.  Thunderous peals of lightning tear across the sky, shaking the ground underfoot.
Obvious paths: north 

[Shadow Realm, Bridge]
The indescribable stench hanging in the air makes it difficult to breathe and no doubt originates with the myriad body parts that form the structure of this bridge.  Looking over the edge of the railing and into the chasm below finds a depthless black clouded by a mist sheened crimson by the sparks of lightning that periodically spike through its heart.
Obvious paths: east, west

[Shadow Realm]
It is impossible to walk here without crushing bone under heel, the span of ground as far as the eye can see seeming little more than a collection of spines, skulls, and ribcages amid the bed of miscellaneous parts and pieces.  Somewhere in the darkness, the sound of wings flapping is accompanied by a beastial scream, savage and raw.
Obvious paths: northeast, west

[Shadow Realm]
Traveling to the peak of this bit of land, the climb is made more steep simply by the volume of bones scattered across the ground.  Layer upon layer, the remains are heaped until it is near impossible to even see what lies beneath them.  Tendrils of shadow writhe and curl in the air where the rise drops off in a sheer cliff, leaving nothing but crimson clouds of mist to haunt the darkness beyond the field of bones.
Obvious paths: southwest 

[Shadow Realm]
Moving away from the flatlands above, this path winds down a slope that quickly turns into little more than a track dug into the side of a rocky cliff.  The temors underfoot shake loose bits of rock and clumps of dirt from the ledge, and as they fall past and into the darkness below, there is a soft *plewkup* sound like that of a stone dropped into a pond.  You also see a precariously narrow path that leads upward.
Obvious paths: down

[Shadow Realm]
From out of the slow-moving current of black liquid, skeletal hands reach skyward from time to time, grasping at the air with flesh-stripped fingers that fail to find purchase on anything substantial.  Above, streaks of crimson and purple lightning crawl across the sky, and the colors reflect dully off the surface of the sludge.
Obvious paths: west, up

[Shadow Realm]
The viscous black liquid pools here in a shallow depression, and the surface undulates in an unsettling manner, as if something within were trying to reach up and out but fails to break through.  Across the face of the pool trail thin wisps of shadow, dark grey tendrils that curl languidly on the air.
Obvious paths: north, east

[Shadow Realm]
The treacherous pathway terminates in this tiny slip of land that juts out into the ebon mire, and though the ground feels solid underfoot, it is uncomfortably close to being consumed the surrounding black sludge.  From overhead, the subtle quaking shakes loose clumps of dirt and rock, which drop almost soundlessly into the pool.
Obvious paths: northeast, south, northwest

[Shadow Realm]
A particularly large boulder is situated at the end of this jetty, half in the viscous black pool and half on dry land.  Across its surface, black claw marks bite into the stone, as if something quite large had perched atop the boulder after straying too close to the liquid.
Obvious paths: southeast 

[Shadow Realm]
Half of a blackened skeleton rises from the pool, its size and structure making it entirely alien in nature.  Around its base, air bubbles occasionally surface in the black sludge, spitting the substance onto the bones, where it sizzles briefly before hardening.
Obvious paths: southwest