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Cult of Forgotten Shadow
Dark Archangel.jpg
A Shadowpriest unleashes his full power, taking the form of a Dark Archangel.

Main Leader:

IconSmall Human Female.gif Natalie Seline

Races:

IconSmall Undead Female.gifIconSmall Undead Male.gif Undead
IconSmall Human Female.gifIconSmall Human Male.gif Human
IconSmall Banshee.gif Banshee

Character Classes:

Priest crest.png Priest

Capital:

Neutral 32.png Netherlight Temple

Other Major Settlements:

Forsakeniconnew.png Undercity
Inv hordewareffort.png Deathknell

Affiliation:

Priest crest.pngConclave
Forsakeniconnew.png Forsaken

The Cult of Forgotten Shadows (or Cult of the Forgotten Shadow) a group considered heretical by most, believes that dark energy practitioners are just as vital to the survival of life and reality (which they call "the Shadow") as wielders of the Light. The cult preaches balance, mandating that shadow priests must never forget the dangers of falling too deep into the dark energies they manipulate, for it is often too hard to find one's way back to the Shadow from the deep reaches of the darkness.

After the First War, Natalie Seline, a bishop from Lordaeron, began to delve into workings of the orc necrolytes who had poured through the Dark Portal and desecrated their hallowed dead. While at first this was done in order to provide Azeroth with the knowledge it needed to fight against such dark magic, the bishop's studies over the years became increasingly obsessed with finding out why such dark energies existed at all, and why she began to see the ebb and flow of such energies in the world around her. She began preaching about the necessity of balance between dark and light, but after her death, her books were locked away in the Kirin Tor's vaults in Dalaran.

The cult was created through the (re)discovery of the teachings of bishop Natalie Seline by Forsaken priests in Lordaeron after the capture and refurbishing of the Undercity. They teach that one must first know the light before one can know the dark. Shadow priests generally do not practice openly, and not all members are Forsaken, although they formed the cult. Within the last few years, the number of non-Forsaken (and non-Horde) members within the cult have grown sharply, making the Cult open to members of all factions.

Legion

It is unclear when or how it happened, but the Cult of Forgotten Shadows eventually fell apart. When the Conclave wished to restore it and join them at Netherlight Temple, their High Priest journeyed to Raven Hill Cemetery in Duskwood where the last remnants of the cult were gathered near the grave of Natalie Seline. After her spirit was pulled from the Void and restored to her body, Natalie and the cultists traveled to Netherlight Temple. News of Natalie's return would quickly spread fast among those who shared her beliefs, and soon Azeroth would see the rise of the Cult of Forgotten Shadows.

Beliefs

While many priests draw on powers such as the Holy Light or the goddess Elune, shadow priests turn to dark energies to accomplish their goals. The Light is often said to bring about feelings of positive emotion— hope, courage, comfort— and the like. Shadow abilities are just the opposite, able to impart feelings like despair, doubt, and panic. In a poetic sense, it can be said that the emotions which the Light brings about come from the "heart," whereas the emotions manipulated by shadow are often based on survival logic, and therefore affect the "mind."

Members of the Cult consider faith in themselves is what separates them from others, and that with their powers, they will cause great change in all of Azeroth, the weak will come to lean on them, the lepers will call them Lord, and the ignorant will look to them for guidance.

Tenets of the Cult

"Embrace the shadow..."

The cult builds upon the Three Virtures of the Church of the Holy light, adding and changing tenets to better represent the nature of the void. Many of the virtues and principles of the Holy Light exist within the Forgotten Shadow, but are twisted to an egocentric view.

The cult preaches balance, mandating that the shadow priest must never forget the dangers of falling too deep into the dark energies they manipulate, for it is often too hard to find one's way back to the Shadow from the deep reaches of the darkness.

Respect

The universe is the physical manifestation of other's wills. Thus, for people to denigrate the universe is to ignore the personal power of those around them. This is not only disrespectful, but it is also dangerous. Followers of the Forgotten Shadow must develop their personal power in order to exert its will on the universe, but seeking too much power too quickly puts them in conflict with other, stronger beings. Only a foolish follower seeks to challenge their superiors right away. Showing respect ensures a measure of self-protection.

Tenacity

Followers of the Forgotten Shadow put even greater stock in the virtue of tenacity. It may at first seem impossible for people to change the universe when countless others seek to do the same surround them. Through unwavering perseverance and tenacity though, they may triumph.

Power

Sister Rot, a Forsaken Shadowpriest.

Power is the third virtue of the Forgotten Shadow, and the most difficult to attain. Forsaken who grab greedily for power might encounter power too great for them to handle, and die in their attempt to master it. Forsaken who succumb to despair and seek no personal power has no reason to exist; they crave nothing, desire nothing, they sit alone and pine for their old life. To the cult, Forsaken who do not seek to better themselves might as well still be part of the Scourge. The quest for power requires caution, forethought, and a subtle touch.

Compassion

Despite their mercenary outlook, the cult possesses a streak of compassion. The living world fears and shuns the living dead, and who can blame them? The cult understands the plight of the Forsaken and wishes to ease their burden if only a little. This compassion tempers even the most heartless priest - through the compassion they show is only towards other Forsaken.

Death

Forsaken reach the pinnacle of power when they master death itself, transcending it. This power over death requires the same delicate touch of any other power. Forsaken must not kill indiscriminately, nor can they withhold death from the weak. To kill wantonly escalates the Forsaken's risk of encountering power too great for them to overcome. It also robs them of their strength; Forsaken who spend all day slaying wildlife and human peasants might exhaust its power, and be left defenseless when a true threat arises. Likewise, Forsaken who show mercy to the weak and forgoes the regular exercise of their power may gain a reputation for weakness themselves. This draws predators and offends the cult. They must always preserve a balance.

Ascension

A Forsaken Priest in Shadowform.

The ultimate goal of practitioners of the Forgotten Shadow is to ascend. Ascension occurs once a person achieves complete control over itself and the power to transcend death.

No one known has fully reached shadow ascendance, but Forsaken believe that those who do would become invulnerable, invincible and eternal, in essence, gods. Those on the path to ascension often become able to ascend partially, by morphing into shadow form. Exceptionally powerful priests can unleash their Dark Archangel form, sprouting great black wings from their back.

The Cult of Forgotten Shadow teaches that the Forsaken of Azeroth was too weak to fully ascend. Their undead state is a curse brought on by that weakness. Once the Forsaken learns to master themselves and control the world around them, they shake off that curse and become what they always should have been. This belief led many Forsaken to join the Twilight's Hammer Cult, and become Elemental Ascendants.

Shadow Sermons and Divine Humanism

Instead of seeing both a self and a universe and seeking to create a bond between them through compassion, the Forgotten Shadow preaches a much more self-oriented idea. Along with others, this philosophy is preached during Shadow Sermons.

A constant element of Shadow Sermons is that the universe revolves around the self. A shadow priest may preach that if undead were powerful enough to rise from the grave on their own free will and become sentient, they may strengthen themselves by increasing their control of the world around them, thus becoming more godlike. Many priests dub this concept "divine humanism".

Divine humanism is the concept that the self-shapes the universe. In essence, each sentient creature in the world is a tiny god, able to exert their will to manifest small changes in the universe. A minor example of divine humanism might be something as simple as mood. The Holy Light teaches that to be happy, one must work to better the universe, and the effort of reflecting joy back through the universal bond spreads happiness. However, divine humanism notes that angry individuals who show rage trigger anger in those around them. They do not change some insubstantial universe "out there" - they make a choice and others sense the strength of their emotions and change themselves. In short, the Holy Light teaches that by changing the universe, followers change those around them. The Forgotten Shadow teaches that by using power, followers can change those around them and change the universe. Power is key, not some mythical bond.

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