View Full Version : Build-A-Legend: "The Day of Shadow"

Admiral Squish
2014-11-28, 10:55 AM
Welcome to Build-A-Legend! It's a simple game, but I do hope you'll enjoy it.
Your task is simply to create the legend behind the name given below. It can be a creature, a place, an event, an idea, or pretty much any other sort of noun you can think of. It can be in any setting you can think of, from high fantasy, to sci-fi, to alternate history, to official settings, or it can even be its own setting, if you're that ambitious. Each week, on Friday, I post a new thread, with a new name for people to build on, and add the last one into the archive. If you'd like, you can suggest names for the future. There's no rules, just have fun and try not to insult other people's creations. Do those count as rules?

The Name: The Day of Shadow

“The Iron Cathedral” (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?378644)
“The Glass Sea” (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?378644&p=18306562&viewfull=1#post18306562)
“The Hounds of Kel'ranu” (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?380942)
“TheVanishing Heights” (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?382217)
“The Order of One” (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?383641)
“Rono's Folly” (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?384719)

2014-11-29, 07:38 AM
"I was in the Day of Shadow. We were marching our army against the undead threat, and we had to go near the Vanishing Heights. We managed to cross at the side of it, although we lost a few comrades. As soon as we were reaching the Kestal Keep, however, the skies turned red as an explosion happened in them, and then completely dark. The day had become night, and we still hadn't managed to find anywhere we could take shelter. Then, all of a sudden, the skies turned red, and the fields were consumed with explosions. Before we could react, we lost a good deal of the army, before we were ambushed by the Undead. We marched to the South with two million men, with two thousand siege weapons, and enough provisions to support a three year siege. We reached the Kestal Keep with twenty men, no siege weapons, and no provisions." - Adrian Teer, Marshall of the Northern Division, member of The Twenty, and survivor of the Day of Shadow.

2014-11-29, 04:22 PM
We'd held the flat in Great Gloaming for a few months, just training, hanging out and watching the loot run dry, so when the holiday neared I guess we were half crazy for adventure, and we voted to stay rather than safe it up in a mote-tel like Matthias wanted. I can make a good pitch.

Come Shadowday the town was flooded with travelers and the desperate, one group eager to make the crossing, the other to offer their dull fates to the rock tumbler in hopes they would come up valuable. Yedri flocked off with the other dusklings to do whatever dusklings do in their hordes. At my suggestion the rest of the party bought tickets to tour Nightcastle (for the second time, but with the auroralike spikes that were starting to appear in the sky drowning all its rooms in eerie light, it was twice as good). As sunset came we hurried to the highest tower, from whose top level a bridge leads to the delicate earthmote where you can observe the city best.

There was no tremor as the planes met, each slid straight into the other's lock and it was Shadownight. Leaning on the railing, I saw thin, black, light-studded spires replace our own. Shadows climbing the sky like birds, the moon a redshift medallion, all of that. The woods withered, leaving barren tracts, trash appeared in the streets and every building put on thick graffiti.

What to make of our night in the Shadowfell? Matthias was willing to hold the fort. I wanted to try the Houses of the High. So did the fighter. The eladrin had a longer life and didn't want to gamble it, so she went with Mat. Funny how that works out; later we found the trick-or-treaters had drained her neck to toe.

But for now we held hands, Mat said his sun god babble, and we leapt over the edge.
Sailing down, world at the tip of your lungs, landing in perfect grace.

So we split ways and Fara and I each got in line before a mansion. (One of the houses we passed on the way had its curtains open; I swear the partying silhouettes we saw inside had claws.) I found it embarassing—the other people there were real wrecks. But the wheel turned and finally I stood on the front porch.


A panel like a confessor's opened in the bronze door. Eyes came up to it, green and so crayoned with kohl I couldn't see anything of the surrounding face.
I gave mine.
The eyes withdrew and a pale gaunt hand unfurled a slip of paper through the slot. I picked it up, read it as I walked off across the lawn, and my eyes widened.

We were swilling on the couch of my new house before Fara would say how she'd fared, or even look straight at me. I had asked something stupid and she was shaking her head, then opened her mouth at me. Her teeth had become tiny, tapered flowerbuds.

Admiral Squish
2014-11-30, 12:53 PM

I have almost no idea what's going on in this story, and I love it. So delightfully strange.

2014-12-02, 08:39 AM
Hey! You're just in time for the festivities! The Day of Shadow's tomorrow!

Heh, not surprised you haven't heard of it. It's a bit special to the northern rim here. As the sun fades and dips, tired after a long summer of constant days, we bid her rest and welcome her mate. She is never far just on the other side of the Prismatic Heave, that's the mountains in the distance, there. The Heave protects her and so her light is scattered everywhere. Her mate, the Stars of the Dark, watched over us. Everything is shaded, all the shadows are long and just fade away.

She has been readying herself all this past season, rising lower and lower. Tomorrow she'll bed down, and Shadow Season begins. Be ready for celebration and feasting. The Lady will rest, but her mate can be fickle, all the Seers say this Shadow Season will be worst than last year. If you're planning staying any length of time here, make sure you eat, and eat well. It may well be one of the last meals you'll have in a while.

2014-12-02, 05:10 PM
The Day of Shadow was the twenty second day of harvest, eleven years ago. For the better part of the preceding decade, the civilized races of the world fought a fierce war against the lich-king, Aserran, fighting nonstop against his undead servants and abominations he summoned from planes long forgotten. As the war grew more and more desperate, larger and larger forces began to step in, on both sides. Many legions of undead, having spend centuries hidden, now saw a chance to take the world from the living; likewise, many reclusive species, rarely found outside their borders, recognized the risk taken if they did not intervene. Dragons on both sides waged war, giants and kobolds tore at each other, the Drow came from their caves, even the gods came down to fight.

Then, one night, Aserran himself snuck into the Hall of Fallen Warriors, where all the honoured dead of the dwarves were buried. By the end of the night, some two hundred and fifty thousand new dwarf zombies were ready for battle. They ran down the hill, to the dwarf city surrounding it, and began turning its residents. Within the next three days, the entire city, plus the original zombies joined the fight, attacking the flank of the forces of order. When the dwarves saw what had been done to their brethren, they broke off to attack Aserran themselves, where they were slaughtered. Without the dwarves' forging techniques, and siege weaponry, the forces of order found themselves at a severe disadvantage. Over the next three years, the races fell, one by one, until the Day of Shadow.

The city of Westhelm was the last fortress. Originally, it belonged to the humans, but over the course of the war it became home to all civilized races, and was progressively built outwards, with more and more defensive locations. The surrounding landscape had been wiped clean by gods and monsters, leaving a spectacular line of sight in all directions. Thousands of troops stood guard at all times, creatures of immense power waited to be unleashed; even the last five great wyrms fighting against Aserran were stationed there. When the armies of Aserran were seen on the horizon, everyone was awoken. Within a day, they were at the walls, scraping the iron armour covering it. Thousands - millions - of undead stood around the fort. While they were dispatched by bows, colossal boulders began flying through the air, to crash into the fortress walls: reanimated giants, dragons, and other horrors were flinging them from leagues off. Eventually, with a great crash, the walls came down, and undead poured in. Retreating to the inner walls, the defending forces scrambled to regroup. This happened three times before the inner fort was reached, with thousands upon thousands dead, on both sides. When the final level of the fortress was breached, the surviving members fought to the last man, but were greatly outmatched.

That day was the day of shadows. Because it was that day when the last light of hope for our world was doused.

2014-12-02, 07:29 PM
Now Aten rises!
To-day is always to-day.
Now Aten rises!

The disc of Aten squatted over the day of shadow.
The arms of Aten stretched over the priests of old.
The hands of Aten slapped those pulling down the altar!

Now Aten rises!
To-day is always to-day.
Now Aten rises!

The disc of Aten squats on the brow of Ra.
The arms of Aten shade Ra from the eyes of love.
The hands of Aten seize the foods of god from Ra!

Now Aten rises!
To-day is always to-day.
Now Aten rises!

The disc of Aten will squat over the day of light.
The arms of Aten will strengthen those who pull down Ra.
The hands of Aten will open again with gifts!

Now Aten rises!
To-day is always to-day.
Now Aten rises!

Papyrus dated to the 19th(?) dynasty.

2014-12-03, 05:15 PM
Well is known the Kingdom of Golau, that old and brilliant nation, home to so many light-blessed warriors, noblest among them their Kings, the lineage of Tristan Sunherald, who brought to that land the Sunray, a spear without peer. Many are his legends, and the legends of his sons and daughters, warriors all. It is well known how Victoria, who was known as Nighthunter, drove the last of the vampires from Golau, and how Harold the Wise found peace between Golau and their neighbors when war seemed inevitable. The tales of Golau's bright and glorious people are as many as the stars in the sky.

Yet, darkness still stretches between the stars, however bright they may be. So it was with Golau, and this is why Golau no longer stands.

This is a tale which is not told by the bards, for there is no glory in it, nothing to inspire young folk to heroism or to stir the blood of the old. After many, many sons were had by Tristan Sunherald, and they had many, many sons, and so did their sons, a king did sit on Golau's throne named Jason Sunherald. In all respects, he was a true son of Tristan. He was brave, and honest, and humble, and charitable, and pure in his love and devotion. In all respects, he was judged a good and wise king by his people, despite his youth. But Jason held in his heart a secret, something he judged dark and terrible. He could not touch Sunray. His ancestor's weapon burned his skin, and even looking upon that most holy of weapons was painful. Though Golau had long been at peace, this thing troubled him, ate upon his mind. Eventually, he could stand it no longer, and sought out an oracle to find some secret to break his curse.

He entered the cave where the ancient speaking stone lay alone, and to this day, there is none who could say what he heard there, save perhaps the stone, and the stone will speak to no one of it. But when Jason emerged, something inside him had changed. Gone was his youth, the lightness in his eyes. Now his gaze was darkened, deep circles of sleeplessness marred his face, and his eyes darted about in fear. His limbs, once strong and sure, started to wither and shrink from lack of food. Still, the king was wise and fair, and though his subject whispered about the fearful change which had come over him, none could expect what would happen next.

On the Summer Solstice, which is the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of harvest season, in the tenth year of his reign, King Jason Sunherald made a fearsome proclamation. He ordered every newborn babe in the city, and their mothers, to come to the palace grounds at the very stroke of noon. He had special glasses prepared for his eyes, and heavy wool gloves kept the burning at bay as Sunray was blackened in pools of blood.

After that, Jason found he could touch the spear.

We call that day, so long ago, the Day of Shadow for many reasons. It is the Day of Shadows, for that is when the shadow of evil and madness fell over the line of Tristan Sunherald. It is the Day of Shadows, for that is when the holy spear Sunray was turned from the light, and became an instrument of darkness. And it is the Day of Shadows because, since that day, the sun has not shone on Golau's fields, a death-cloud always circling over those lands. No mortal makes their home in those darkened lands now, though it is said the mad king Jason Childkiller still wanders the ruins of his city, waiting for Sunray's return.

2014-12-05, 04:59 PM
Don't look at me like that, lass. When you've been part of the Tiercelords for sixty more years, then you can judge me mad, not before. It's a hard life: Bring war against those dark in the mind, body or soul, keep safe the day from the night, burn away your life for the fires of Man, and you see terrible things that would send most people under the bedclothes, but I'm as sound in the mind as I've ever been. You haven't seen the things that come crawling up from before we were born, haven't stood face-to-face with a troll, haven't cut away an evil life from this world. I don't know whose idea it was to recruit a girl to do a man's job.

Don't you complain at me, miss, I've been fighting the fight for more than five decades and seen things you won't believe. Feminism! Who invented that! Life was so much better when women didn't want equality.

... Look, lass, I've spent most of my life in the Tiercelords, and I don't expect to see more than another five, fifteen if I'm wrong about the Day of Shadow and this peace holds, years before my candle burns out. Just humour an old man, alright? My day's passed and I know it.

Oh, thank you. Kindness like that's what we fight for. Back before I joined, they say it was simple. You fought the evil and it came at you with lying fiends when it felt subtle, and armies and dragons when it didn't. Now you get them making promises to provide for people, and half the time they keep those promises. How are you supposed to fight that? They're helping people, and it's probably all for some wicked plot, but you can't help but think that maybe some of them want to help people. But if you let them get a toehold, you'll be up to your neck in orcs before you can sneeze.

Sometimes, though, you find what look like families, families of boggarts or vampires or gremlins. They say that they just want to live their lives and not fight in the war, but your duty is to kill everything that belongs to the dark. I know how that sounds, lass, but if you get too many creatures of the dark in one spot, they start to attract more of them.

Between you and me, we rarely caught any of them. We'd turn up armed to the teeth at some godforsaken place and only find an empty house built from trash, and sometimes there'd be cakes and tea left out on the tables. For some reason, those missions always took several days to get approved, if you know what I mean.

I hope they remember that we showed them kindness, because I'm pretty sure that we're going to be needing some from them soon. For the last two decades, we've not really had anything stronger than a Bogle on the radar; no cockatrices, no sphinxes, no dragons. We've gone soft, right when we need to be armed and ready. You see, magic likes things to run in lines, especially blood lines. Once a warlock or a Dark Lord learns his trade, his children may just be able to use it, just because they're his children. There hasn't been a Dark Lord for nearly a hundred years: we've had a few close calls with his decendants, but we never let them build up a real empire. If a Dark Lord were to rise once again, a power that the Tiercelords haven't faced in living memory, that is what is called the Day of Shadow, because the dark will have risen over us and blocked the light.

Eight years ago, I found that there was a rising politician who was directly decended from the Dark Lord. I called the top brass, and they refused to snuff him. Said he was too well-guarded and there was no evidence of him being a threat. I told them, but they said I was going senile. Me! Senile!

So they put tabs on him, found nothing and did nothing. Said it would cost the entire order to kill him and refused to do it. They took the vows, they knew that we give everything to fight the dark! And while they sat on their thumbs, he kept rising up, up to senator. Senator Pickman. Ah, I see you know the name. Of course, it's pretty bloody easy to know that name now: Vote for Pickman, and we will rise.

So I said to the brass, he's gone far enough, we need to stop him before we have a Dark Lord with atomic weapons on our hands, and they said that the numbers of monsters were dwindling, not growing like they would if there was a Dark Lord about. Well, I couldn't argue with that, could I? Now, though, I wonder if the creatures of the dark can be commanded to lie low; commanded by a greater monster, a monster that looks like a man, had an education and was taught to strategise and talk to the hearts of a country.

Well, you'll know how this story ends. Three months ago, President Pickman was inaugarated. The Day of Shadow was last January.

Maybe I'm wrong about Pickman. I certainly hope I am. But I'm still a serving member of the Tiercelords, and I can tell you that there's been a rush to start gathering arms and allies. There are dark days coming; if you want to leave, do it quickly, before they have a chance to make you swear the binding oaths.

... You're a brave girl. Do your best to survive: I think that they'll be needing you later. Remember, we will burn everything if it keeps back the Day of Night, when all that is - Stop laughing! The Day of Night is no laughing matter!

Bring war against those dark in the mind, body or soul, keep safe the day from the night, burn away your life for the fires of Man. That's right, lass. Tiercelady.