Under a Bleeding Sun
“You might as well try to hide treasure from the Shadows.”
—Athasian proverb meaning something impossible
“Elves don’t scare me, but the Shadows do. My uncle tried to double cross them in a deal two harvests ago, and they took it out on everyone he knew. It’s why I am a slave. They can strike at you from anywhere…”
―Cherit Aztherax, former Draj noble and current brick maker for the God Child Atzetuk
The Shadows’ services do not come cheaply. A deposit of up to 1000 gold pieces is required for particularly difficult assignments, an amount that few Athasians can afford. After the job is done, the Shadows demand up to twice the value item they are asked to steal. Woe unto
the individual who cheats the Shadows, for the item in question will invariably disappear, along with much of the employer’s wealth.
Should the Shadows feel that their employer will use the information gained for evil or selfish purposes or to harm the innocent, that employer may well find himself the target of the Shadows’ vengeance.
Often, information or acts similar to what the employer requested are visited upon him, or his enemies learn his most devastating secrets. There is no telling exactly when the Shadows’ sense of fair play will be offended, but when it is, disaster invariably follows.
Most often, Shadows appear and disappear as silently and mysteriously as their name suggests. An individual in need of a certain item will often find that exact item offered to him by a mysterious, hooded elf who speaks little but always delivers as promised.
Shadows sometimes operate out of a normal elven market, usually by agreement with the tribe that operates it. Although they will sometimes present themselves openly as Shadows, they most often do business in the guise of their host tribe, allowing their hosts a share of the profits. The Shadows never themselves operate elven markets, preferring to work individually or in very small