The Shadowmasters were a group of four sorcerers - Longshadow, Stormshadow, Moonshadow, and Shadowspinner - who established the Shadowlands in the far south of the Southern Continent and had designs to conquer the world. Using their control over lethal shadows, they and their armies were the primary antagonists of the Books of the South.
Their major holdings were:
- Stormgard (formerly Dejagore) ruled by Stormshadow
- Shadowlight (formerly Tragevec) ruled by Shadowspinner
- Shadowcatch (formerly Kiaulune) ruled by Longshadow
The Shadowmasters also captured Pityus, Six, Fred, and New Dhar. Before reaching Taglian territory, their tenuous alliance began to fracture and the Shadowmasters began to battle one another. Eventually, they did attempt to attack Taglios, but were turned back by militia led by Cordy Mather, Blade, and Willow Swan.
Involvement with the CompanyEdit
At the time of the Black Company's arrival in Taglios, the Shadowmasters finally re-organized to make a decisive strike against Taglios and seize it. With Croaker's generalship, however, the Taglian army smashed the Shadowlanders and pushed the Shadowmasters back into their own territory. At Dejagore, the Shadowmasters were decisively defeated, and Stormshadow was killed in battle by Shapeshifter and Lisa Daele Bowalk. However, Moonshadow had brought a large army up to reinforce Stormshadow's position, and Croaker's army was destroyed by the Shadowlander reinforcements, with only a skeleton force managing to retreat into Dejagore, though Moonshadow was lost in battle after being impaled on the Lance of Passion.
Shadowspinner led the Siege of Dejagore after the battle, containing Company forces led by Mogaba and Murgen. Although Shadowspinner continued to assault the city and eventually even successfully flooded it, his army was eventually routed by fresh Taglian forces raised by Lady and by Croaker. Shadowspinner himself had been operating at low power, being deliberately hobbled by Longshadow. Eventually, he regained much of his strength with the help of the Howler, but when he attempted to use his powers to end the siege, he was battled to a standstill by Soulcatcher. During the liberation of Dejagore, Shadowspinner was murdered by Lady's band of Stranglers.
Once Dejagore was freed, the Company proceeded south, continuing to liberate the Shadowlands, now with little resistance. Longshadow remained crippled as a general, even when he was joined by Mogaba, whom he kept on a short leash. Repeatedly, Longshadow unleashed shadows against the company from the plain, but Lady's fireball artillery rendered them largely ineffective. Unwilling to let Mogaba fight the war as he wanted to, Longshadow ultimately enabled Croaker to enact his master strategy. Croaker inserted Blade into the Shadowlander ranks as a mole, and the sudden turning of Blade's troops in the climactic battle was a major factor in Longshadow's defeat.
Longshadow's capture marked the end of the Shadowmasters, as he would shortly thereafter become a prisoner beneath the Plain of Glittering Stone, and then ultimately be returned to the Land of Unknown Shadows to face judgment for his many crimes.
The Shadowmasters share similarities with the Princes Thaumaturge of Shinsan, in Glen Cooks earlier Dread Empire series.
|Longshadow • Moonshadow • Shadowspinner • Stormshadow|