This week, Jacinth examines those who would rather he didn’t–the warriors of hidden wars who we may never see (outside of the occasional trip to the Egg Orchard), but whose presence can always be felt:

A saying from the Treatises of Archephoros says, “To fight the dark, one must sometimes be a shadow.” That fact has been no more apparent than in these past few months, where conflicts with both Sanamar and the forces of Grael have replaced large battles out in the open with quiet skirmishes fought in secret places, and in our recent wars with blood and shadow, subterfuge proved just as valuable as strategy in ensuring our victory, if not our very survival. This fact is hardly new to us Isparians, however; the histories of each of the four heritage groups represented on Dereth are filled with the names and stories of those who fight the fight from places unseen.

We’re all familiar with the Shagar Zharala of the people of Gharu’n–living weapons created to avenge the Poet Yasif ibn Salayyar who afterward served as the hidden hand of the Malik; when the order fell to corruption on our native world, the honorable Hamud ibn Rafik, Mothers rest his soul, brought the Zharalim to this one in the hopes of restoring their honor. Our blue-skinned neighbors in Viamont have their own hidden instruments as well, in the form of the Ordina Rossu Morta; though the Ordina has recently undergone a change in leadership, its purpose remains the same: To strike at the enemies of Viamont from where and when they would least expect. We Aluvians are hardly unarmed in this aspect either, as thieves and assassins the like of Vinchlane Dranal or the infamous Oswald have existed since even before the time of King Pwyll. Even the hidden blades of the Sho have recently revealed themselves, as the Nanjou Shou-Jen, the mercenaries and assassins also known as the Order of Shadows, appeared just a few weeks ago, acting as scourge to both man and beast whenever they are encountered.

Wherever their point of origin and whatever their goals, all these factions have one thing in common: Though we may never see their faces, they leave deep footprints upon the pages of the history of both Ispar and Dereth.

For more on the Shagar Zharala, read the lore article “To Be A Shadow”.

For more on the Rossu Morta, check out these quest walkthroughs.

For more on Oswald, check out his Encyclopedia entry.

For more on the Nanjou Shou-Jen, head to the nearest Egg Orchard and wait a while…

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