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Once Upon A Table... (#532) -- Pretentious-Sounding Drama
Horror! (Also, a bit of a continuity error.  Oops!) With the loss of their god and the desertion of the orcs, the war came to an abrupt halt, but the Solumbra remained and continued to defend their territories. Reclaiming the lost land and hunting down the remaining Solumbra was a long and dangerous task. Occassionally, the clean-up forces would come across a hidden fortress used by the other side as a prison and dungeon. Most occupants of these places were recently slain. It was assumed that the Shadowy Minions that remained were taking what revenge they could on their remaining captives.

When survivors were finally found, their stories brought to light the full horror of the conflict. They told of dark magics granted to the Shadowy Minions by their dark gods that gave them the power to manipulate a thing's shadow and have those manipulations affect that shadow's source. This power was used as shackle, torture method and, ultimately, for the creation of the Solumbra.

Cutting the strings This last application required the use of a device known as a Shadowsmoke Brazier. The shadow of any object projected onto the column of smoke produced by one was given a life of its own. Using the smoke as form, the shadow could separate itself from its host and step free from the Brazier. Given only enough intelligence to follow orders and to kill, these beasts became the terrible Solumbra.

But the animated shadows retained their innate connection with their hosts. Prisoners used in this process would no longer cast a shadow as long as their Solumbra remained. Thus did the Minions need an ever-growing supply of prisoners to supplement their army of Solumbra. Additionally, physical changes to one affected the other, requiring the Minions to keep their prisoners alive.

Isn't it cute? The physical connection worked both ways. When the forces of the Allied Races began killing Solumbra, their own prisoners of war met the same fate. It had not been the remaining Minions that had been slaughtering the prisoners, but the rescuers themselves who had to cut through the guardian Solumbra to reach the prisons. This revelation led to a number of very high psychiatrist bills.

A high priority was placed on locating and destroying all Shadowsmoke Braziers. There are no longer any believed to exist. No other device has ever caused as much pain and suffering.

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