On Being a Shadow Stalker
By Auren from the Shadow Stalker Series
Being a shadow stalker is new to me. Unlike others of my kind, I didn't grow up on the Dark Isle, so Kado asked me to write about what the experience of discovering who I am has been for me. A lot of you are curious about what it's like to be a shadow stalker, so I will share this with you and hopefully it will answer some of your questions. Or maybe not, since my experiences don't reflect those of the average shadow stalker. At least it might come close.
When I learned that I was a shadow stalker, the first thing I felt was fear. While I always felt I was different from others, I thought it had more to do with my appearance. Shadow stalkers tend to have darker skin, and we were living in Appolia with people who have very pale skin with light colored hair. So needless to say, I never felt like I fit in completely.
I never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined how different I really was from those people, though. Suddenly I had to deal with how people would react to me or how I would act around them if they knew about me. Shadow stalkers are feared by the general public because of the powers we possess. Even though our people aided the Coalition, and essentially turned the tide for them, in the first war against the Galvadi, there was no love lost when they believed the Galvadi Empire had wiped out all of the shadow stalkers.
I grew up believing all the shadow stalkers were dead and hearing stories about how dangerous we were. So it was those stories that first popped into my mind when I was told I was a shadow stalker. People were going to fear me and that in turn made me fear them. Society has a tendency to react violently toward anything it doesn't understand.
Then I began discovering the shadow world. Since it's where we get our powers, it was not a place I could avoid. Being in the shadow world to me is like existing in a sort of dream state. It's not like being here. There's no air. I could stop breathing and it wouldn't make an ounce of difference. I wouldn't die from lack of oxygen. You can't move physically. Everything is done with your mind. And the people there, well they're not very chatty. They're dead people (mostly), and if for some reason you do attract their attention (usually when they have something to tell you and not the other way around)…well speaking to them has never been a pleasant experience for me.
The shadow people don't speak with their mouths. They speak directly into your head and unlike speaking to another living person through the shadow world, they don't seem to understand the concept of boundaries. Having a shadow person in your mind feels like someone is literally crushing your brain. They can make their voices very loud if they don't think you're paying attention and it can feel very oppressive. The worst part is they don't speak our language (well some do, but that's another story), so until you learn theirs, it's impossible to understand them. Not a good thing when you have one who is adamant about getting a message to you.
Then there are the demons, the guardians of the shadow world. They are quite determined to make sure we stay out of the shadow world. I've learned as long as I am calm, they won't even know I'm there. As soon as they detect fear or anger, I will become a target, and they will come after me. It's happened a few times that I know of already, and it's not something I'm eager to repeat.
Learning to use my abilities has been both exciting and scary. It's exciting because, well I mean how cool is it to have the ability to teleport from one place to another, listen to people's thoughts, summon demons from the shadow world, and who knows what else. I have only just started learning, and I know I've barely begun to truly understand what I'm capable of doing. The scary part is using my abilities requires me to access the shadow world…see above.
In all seriousness, though, I've learned that the shadow stalkers were created by the shadow people for a specific purpose. I don't know what that purpose is; only the Foramar is given that information by the shadow people. What I do know is in order for us to fulfill that purpose, we need to live by a very strict code. For instance, we cannot marry who we want, we cannot bring a normal human to the Dark Isle unless that person has been approved as a mate by the shadow people, and we have to adhere to whatever the Foramar says regardless of how we feel about it personally. He is the voice of the shadow people in our world. In his absence, the Council of Elders acts as a guide to our people, but not even they have the power of the Foramar. The only power they have is to uphold the code as taught to us by the shadow people (at least that's the only power they're supposed to have).
I am living in a time of darkness for the shadow people, however. Our Foramar, my father, has been held captive by the Galvadi Empire since the day I was born. Somehow they have been able to keep him from accessing the shadow world, and therefore his powers. The Galvadi have developed technology they can use against us, and for now we have no way to counter it.
I fear that I will not be able to finish my training before I have to face our enemies. I am the delohi-saqu, the one Drevin, emperor of the Galvadi Empire, believes is destined to enslave the people of the Serpent Isles. He wants me dead so badly, he has become the thing he fears I might be.
So to me, being a shadow stalker means finding the courage and strength to stand against the one who would destroy us all.
Please check out Rene and her engrossing Shadow Stalker Series!
Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn't start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing high fantasy, and has recently began publishing her first series, Shadow Stalker. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter.
Renee Writes: http://reneescattergood.com/
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