Chapter 1: A House of Shadow, Shrouded in Light
Standing amid the swirling snow, Head deep within a brown-hooded cloak, Leshac was not quite sure what to make of the sight before him.
The Lair of a shapeshifter is a thing precious to their kind. To see the lair of one is to know that shapeshifter, for you see, their kind pour all of their self into making a home, completely without their usual masks and forms. If a dlutholl had a true body, then the lair would be the reflection of it.
If one of their kind shows you their home, that means that they consider you to the dearest of friends, that or they wish to be your partner in love.
To destroy or alter a lair is to express utter contempt for their existence. To a Dlutholl it would be the same as beaten up, spat on and called mean names. There is nothing that would pain a pure shapeshifter more than seeing their home defiled.
So, you should be able, in some small way, understand how Leshac felt, when, in the place of his glorious beautiful home (so he would call it with pride). There was naught but shimmering shadows. His house could not be seen for the shadows hanging over it, obscuring it from sight.
Leshac fell to his knees. It was almost too much.
Several hours kneeling dumbstruck in the freezing cold, Leshac decided that was enough wallowing. Feeling more than a little chilly, he decided to see if he could get into his lair, even though it was draped in shadows.
Putting his hand forth, he found that the shadows would actively repel him. It was of course hardly going to be as simple as that. Thinking for a bit, Leshac wondered, if, in the world of light and such, his home was draped in shadow, then perhaps he could get into his home by slipping into world of shadows.
In Kigan, there is a second world over the physical one. It can be entered into by mirrors, dreams or shadows. It has many names, The Dreamworld, the Mirrorland, the Shadowrealm, but the true name of it is Awarth. In some ways it is easy to get into Awarth, no magic is required, you only need to know how to slip through shadows, walk through a mirror or dream while being awake.
Leshac, being a shapeshifter had an affinity for shadows, and thus long ago they had told him how he might enter Awarth. So, grinning, Leshac stepped backwards, out of the light… and into the shadows. Awarth is an odd existence, it seems like a copy of Kigan, but some things that should be there are not, and many that shouldn’t be are. Normally Leshac would watch for a moment looking at the black snow flying upwards into the leafless branches of the Anchor Tree’s Reflection. Beyond the branches would be the swirling maddening expanse of the nether, in which dark shapes swam, lazily drifting in red and black maelstroms.
Leshac did none of this, for the moment he came into the world of Awarth, his eyes were assaulted by blinding scintillating light. He cried out in pain, he was in part a creature of shadows, and to be confronted here, in this realm where light held little sway was most distressing. Covering his eyes, he waited for his sight to return. When it did, he tried peeking out of his hands at whatever it was that had so wounded his eyes. Leshac let out a little yelp as he almost lost his sight again. Sighing, he slid through the shadows and back into the physical Kigan.
There was a small chance he was wrong, but it appeared that his home was not only in shadow in Kigan, it was shrouded in light in Awarth. Leshac however, was not going to give up, he knew of an old acquaintance who would possibly help. Hopefully he hadn’t left Nortrieln.