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.
War against the Black CompanyEdit
At the time of the Black Company's arrival in Taglios, the Shadowmasters finally re-organized to prepare a decisive strike against Taglios and seize it. With Croaker's generalship, however, the Taglian army smashed the Shadowlanders at the Battle of Ghoja Ford, and pushed the Shadowmasters back into their own territory. At Dejagore, one of the Shadowmasters, Stormshadow, was killed in combat by the Company's immensely powerful ally, Shapeshifter. However, Moonshadow brought a large army up to retake Dejagore, and Croaker's Taglian army was destroyed by additional Shadowlander reinforcements with Shadowspinner at their head. After this Battle of Dejagore, a skeleton force of Company men and Taglians managed to retreat into Dejagore. But a second Shadowmaster, Moonshadow, was lost in the fighting: he was impaled on the Lance of Passion and finished off later by Soulcatcher.
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 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 finally retake the city, he was battled to a standstill by Soulcatcher. Shadowspinner was assassinated by Lady, her band of Stranglers, and her ally Blade.
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 during the Battle of Charandaprash was a major defeat for Longshadow.
Longshadow's capture during the Siege of Overlook marked the end of the Shadowmasters as a force in the world. He would shortly thereafter become a prisoner beneath the Plain of Glittering Stone, and then ultimately be returned to Hsien 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|