Codex: Three – The Shadowhunter Rituals

After forming the Guild, it soon became apparent to Unu’mia that some Umbrians, who wanted to be taught the Shadow Arts, lacked even basic level of empathy and proficiency to even accept what she taught and had to be turned away. It was after many years of teaching that she and a few of her most promising and trusted disciples started to develop the Rituals. These Rituals were based on some of the ancient texts they had acquired from travelling merchants, ones that they could afford using the donated aurum that is, or from those (aptly named as Ruin Hunters) who had raided relics from some of the old forgotten dungeons, caves and keeps across Hexterra.

The collected texts Unu’mia was interested in described the darkside of the Patheon of Deusan and the influence they once had. It was the Dark Ones who saw through the hypocrisy of the Bright One’s plans, and their insincere influence over the ancient men and sumen races, and thus caused a divide among the Pantheon; some of the Divine even chose to remain impartial but not entirely without their own motives.

The Dark Ones were no longer being perceived as ‘evil’, as they once were, but those with a different form of benevolence that could be embraced by each individual Umbrian. Therefore, Unu’mia and her disciples started to pool their resources and share them with those that desired to embrace the Dark One’s blessing and who wished to pass the Rituals. Knowledge of the Shadow Arts and Unu’mia’s teachings had become a now desired commodity among many that merely wished to learn and better themselves.

The first Ritual was called: the Decerno Probitas. For Unu’mia knew that those who wished to possess the Dark Ones blessings could not do so with dishonest hearts. That her would-be disciples must be able to withstand the urge to use such power for their own nefarious ends, such as profound greed or the killing of innocent individuals. They too would have to fulfill the same criteria that Unu’mia was instructed to by the Dark Ones and to only kill in their name as acts of vengeance or mercy. Many would not even pass this first trial and were promptly turned away, never to be permitted another attempt.

Those who passed the first Ritual would have to pass a second, called: the Determinare Magika Potentia. For Unu’mia knew that only those who could possess the necessary saturation of Vis in an individual’s blood, that fueled ability to cast Magik, would be another requirement to fulfill the role of becoming a disciple. Those who failed this Ritual were permitted to continue to learn from what was taught but would have to live with the knowledge of never being able to cast Magik, in any form, as thus never be able to become a fully fledged Shadowhunter. Those who chose to remain, despite their inability to cast Magik, dedicated themselves to assisting the Shadowhunters in various other roles, such as porters, caretakers or armed guards.

The last Ritual was the most feared one to partake in, as many who passed the first two chose not to attempt the third Ritual, after learning about its rather demanding requirement. They would be permitted to continue with studies of the ancient texts but their lack of courage, their suseption to fear, as opposed to using it as a tool, would forever be a hindrance to becoming a Shadowhunter. The third Ritual was called: the Prorsus Imbuere Divina. This specific Ritual was the only one with the potential of not only harming the potential disciple but killing them; stripping them of their immortal soul from the very fabric of their fragile mortal body. Immense Magikcal stresses and pain would be placed on those potential few who partook in the third Ritual, those whom wished to be finally granted the Dark Divines blessing, in which barely half of those who attempted so died. Only after completing all three Rituals was a potential recruit permitted to become, like Unu’Mia, a Shadowhunter.

Training began in all forms, from sword fighting, Magik casting, to furthering the Shadowhunter’s research in many of the ancient texts within the library. Finally they would receive the Dark Divines blessing in order to become a fully fledged Shadowhunter initiate. Those who were family of those who died from the Rituals would rally against the Shadowhunters, believing them to be merely a deranged cult, entising their family and friends to their deaths. So on a regular occasion the guards of the warehouse were forced to defend the Guild.

These Rituals would be developed further, over the next thousand or so years, to filter out only the most promising potential recruits into joining the Shadowhunter Guild, and have been in use ever since.

from the Shadowhunter Codex of Vindictism: Codex Three – The Rituals
– Circa 638 M.W.E. (Magikron Wars Era)


Laura Steel ©2015

Codex: Two – Formation of the Guild

Upon her return to her home, Unu’mia Bristene was not greeted kindly. News from the battle of Ventrusarx, that everyone was killed when the floating-rocks fell had eventually reached the citizens of Umbranox. It was rumoured, unjustifiably, that because she was the only survivor, she must have fled the battle while her comrades died falling from the sky. They had not known exactly how she survived and more unlikely to believe her. Even if she were to explain freely what had happened, Divine intervention, let alone by the Dark Ones themselves, was not a widely accepted excuse. In the Umbrian Army desertion was a act punishable by death, so when she attempted to explain her side of the story, to her superiors and comrades, Unu’mia was met with scorn and threats of execution.

Before she could mount an adequate defense, it was swiftly and collectively decided, by many Umbrians, who were totally ignorant of the facts, that she must pay for her transgression against her fellow comrades. Many Umbrians, including those from the Umbrian Army, attempted to surround the young soldier while pointing their swords and pitchforks at her, with frothing anger on their lips and a red glare in their eyes. It was only then she was forced to reveal her new power. Desperate to flee, she disappeared as a puff of dark purple smoke in front of everyone and into the shadows protection. Those that had cursed her with blind anger were now cowering with fear; some steeled their defenses ready, while other’s dropped their weapons and fled.

A few trusted friends, who had harbored Unu’mia safely, while she was in temporary exile, attempted to spread her account of what happened and just how she escaped the impact by materializing into thin air and back again without so much as a scratch. Reluctant at first, the people of Umbrianox eventurally came to accept Unu’mia’s version of the events. In time many slowly began to seek her out in order to understand what it was she went through. Those who already worshiped the Divine Dark Twins, as it was for old Umbrian tradition, thought they might seek this power out for themselves too; the reasons for their ambition would known only to them but Unu’mia would eventually devise a method of combating this.

It was then Unu’mia began to teach the way that the Dark Ones had imbued her with, to explain the art of Shadow Phasing and the other knowledge of Dark Magik, that had slowly unraveled inside her mind. Praise of the Dark Twins Umbria and Noxia subsequently increased, along with Vindictus, Mortusus and even Timorus, as more and more began people started to lose their atheistic attitudes towards the existence of the Dark Divines. Over time the city was slowly flooded with new statues and iconography, in particular of the these five Dark Ones, and the belief in the power they all had hold over their mortal subjects.

Before their numbers reached the hundreds, Unu’mia began to realise that the warehouse in the merchant district they were using was too small and that teaching a hand full of people at a time had become vastly inefficient. She was also aware that many recruits had already wished to donate their possessions and aurum, as compensation, in order to them to trained by Unu’mia in the first place. It was then that she and her disciples conceived an ambitious expansion plan and sought to purchasing land and buildings to be demolished and replaced with a new gigantic structure that could house their needs. Many citizens, especially those who had began to embrace the Dark Ones, thought that the prospect of a singular point of interest would be beneficial to the rest of the city and promoted what Unu’mia was teaching. Other’s radically contested the idea, yet was of no use.

Despite the objections, along with the reported threats of bullying, extortion of shop keepers and home owners, Unu’mia and her disciples managed to purchase enough land to begin construction. The next decade slowly saw the rise of Guild’s monastery-like structure. It had finally become the Shadowhunter’s central point of focus in which anyone who past the initiation could assemble, with its vast library of ancient tomes and texts, halls for sword training, Magik casting, equipment and meditation rooms. Ever since it was completed it has became a world wide iconic symbol of Shadowhunter authority and Umbrian liberation.

from the Shadowhunter Codex of Vindictism: Codex Two – The Guild
– Circa 634 M.W.E. (Magikron Wars Era)


Laura Steel ©2015