The Shadowspawn class was written and taught by Eniara Sedai. It was an elective open to any member.
Eniara Kisharad straightened her wide, striped stole and glanced at the clock. In just a few minutes her students would begin arriving. She looked over her notes on the day's lesson and by the time she closed the folder nearly every seat was filled. Many of the students looked nervous, understandable since the class was being taught by the Amyrlin Seat, herself.
"Good morning, class. I hope you all brought notebooks. If not, I have a small supply here which you can use." Several students came forward and took one off the stack. Eniara waited until they were seated again, then continued.
"As you all know, this class is on Shadowspawn. Being from the Borderlands, I have seen many kinds and fought them as well. In this class I will be covering Trollocs, Myrddraal, Draghkar, and Darkhounds as well as a brief lesson on the Blight. Each day you will have an assignment dealing with that day's lesson so I suggest you take notes. Any questions?" No one raised their hand. "Very well. Your final in this class will be an essay so make sure you pay attention." Eniara paused and took a sip of water from the glass on her desk.
"Today, we will jump right in and start on the first lesson. During the War of the Shadow, the Forsaken Aginor engineered corrupted creatures to serve the Shadow. The first of these creations were the Trollocs. Cross-breeds between humans and animals, Trollocs were bred to be soldiers. Aginor used naturally agressive animals such as wolves, bears, and eagles in the creation. Most Trollocs stand ten to twelve feet tall and have human bodies with the heads of the animal they were created from. A few also have the hind legs of that animal but all Trollocs have human eyes. Unfortunantly, Aginor's constructs had less than average intelligence and were prone to act on animal instincts. They were effective killers but they killed for the fun of it and couldn't be controlled once set loose. The Dreadlords set in charge of Trolloc groups were often killed by their charges. In time it became evident that the way to control Trollocs was through fear. They had to be more afraid of their commander than the foe if they were to engage in battle. The Shadow had nothing at that time that Trollocs greatly feared. The Trollocs were considered a failure. But, eventually, it was the Trollocs themselves who provided the solution. Because they were cross-breeds, Trollocs occasionally produced offspring that was a throwback to either the animal or human side. The animal throwbacks died but the human throwbacks survived and were called Myrddraal. We'll save Myrddraal for a later time but let me say that Trollocs were scared of Myrddraal and so the Shadow found something to organize and control the Trollocs." Eniara paused and took a sip of her water.
"Trollocs were intelligent enough to organize into groups and have their own language. They have a terrible sense of humor and many of them show individuality in the way they dress, tattoos, or bone ornaments. The fighting groups are called fists and contain one hundred to two hunderd Trollocs. Outside of the military units, Trollocs have thirteen bands, or tribes. They are the Ahf'frait, Al'ghol, Bhansheen, Dha'vol, Dhai'mon, Dhjin'nen, Ghar'ghael, Ghob'hlin, Gho'hlem, Ghraem'lan, Kno'mon, and Ko'bal." Eniara stopped and waited for everyone to finish writing.
"Does anyone have any questions?" One hand went up and Eniara called on her.
"What about the female Trollocs?" the girl piped. "I assume that the males fight but what about the others?" Eniara smiled.
"Good question. Yes, Trolloc males are the soldiers and no, the females do not fight. They are kept in clusters as...how shall I put it...breeding machines. Fortunantly for the Shadow, female Trollocs enjoy being pregnant. Any other questions?" Several shook their hands no and others looked sick. Eniara picked up a stack of paper from her desk and walked around passing it out.
"Your homework for today is to write a paragraph or so summarizing today's lesson. Try to touch on at least three or four points. That's all. Class is dismissed. I'll be here for awhile if you have any questions." Eniara sat down at her desk and sipped her water while watching the students file out.
OCC: Okay. Post the homework below this message. You need to write a short RP about the lesson and writing your summary. I'll be grading the summary, not the RP so don't feel obligated to write a long RP. The summary doesn't have to be real long but I do want some thought to go into it and I'll be grading on detail. The more thorough, the better the grade. Enjoy! =)
*Next lesson: Myrddraal*
Eniara watched her class file in and gave them a warm smile. Rising from her chair, she walked around and collectd their homework.
"Well class, how many of you had trouble with the assignment?" A novice timidly raised her hand. Eniara called on her. "Yes, child?"
"Mother?" the girl asked, "may I use the privy? It's an emergency." Eniara laughed making several of the students jump.
"Yes, child. Go right ahead." The novice quickly left the room and Eniara turned back to the rest of the class. "While we're waiting for her to return, why don't we get to know each other better. Do any of you have any questions of me?" Several spoke up and Eniara answered them as best she could. Many of the students seemed shocked that the Amyrlin Seat would be so frank and open. Finally, the novice returned (looking quite relieved) and Eniara began the lesson.
"Today, we will be discussing Myrddraal. Have any of you ever seen one?" A few heads nodded. "Well, since most of you haven't, I'll give you a quick description. Myrddraal are known around the world by different names. Some places they are called Fetches or Lurks. Elsewhere they are called Halfmen or Fades. The latter two are more common in the Borderlands. But, wherever you go, Myrddraal are always know for being "eyeless." Several students went pale. "That's right. They have the face of a normal human being except that where their eyes should be there is nothing but smooth skin. Don't think this makes them blind...quite the opposite. Myrddraal can see like hawks whatever the conditions and their stare strikes fear into the hardest heart. The toughest soldiers have been know to quake in their boots under a Myrdraal's gaze. Myrddraal have egg-shell white skin and straight, dull black hair. They are all alike as if poured from the same mold and have no individuality whatsoever. Remember how we mentioned Trolloc variations in dress and ornamentation earlier. All Myrddraal wear a form of black armour and a black cloak with a wide cowl. Strangely, the wind does not touch their cloaks nor do their horses leave tracks." Eniara paused to take a sip from her water glass.
"Now, as I mentioned before, the Myrddraal were the solution to the problem of controlling the Trollocs. We all know that Trollocs must be controlled through fear. We also know that Myrddraal are very good at making things afraid. So as it turned out, Myrddraal are very good at controlling Trollocs. Myrddraal are very cunning and are quite capable of taking and following orders. By ordering the Myrddraal and having the Myrddraal in charge of the Trollocs, the Shadow developed a formidable army. The Myrddraal proved to be formidable on their own as well. They are master swordsmen and have lightning quick speed and reflexes. Very few people have been able to kill a Myrddraal in hand to hand combat. Unlike the Trollocs' homemade weapons, Myrddraal swords are only made at one place in the world. On the slopes of Shayol Ghul, the shadow-forgers of Thakan'dar quench the new blades in tainted water and then season them with a human soul. These swords can kill with with merely a scratch and added to a Myrddraal's skill, make the Myrddraal nearly invincible. When mortally wounded, a Myrddraal won't die completely until the setting of the sun and until it is dead, it is still dangerous." Eniara let the students catch up on their writing, then went on.
"Perhaps the most remarkable thing about these Shadowspawn is their ability to travel in shadows. No one knows how Myrddraal can step into a shadow one place and reappear halfway across the world in another shadow. For this reason they are extremely difficult to follow or capture. That's it for today. Any questions?" No one had any so Eniara passed out paper again.
"Today's assignment is to write another summary on today's lesson. You're dismissed."
OOC: Once again, post your summary below this post. I'll be grading on detail so do a thorough job.
*Next lesson: Draghkar*
"Good morning, class," Eniara greeted her students as she entered the room. She set her glass of water on the desk and went around collecting homework.
"Today's lesson is on Draghkar. Now, Draghkar are extremely dangerous but not as fighters. Rather, it is their unnatural ability to hypnotize their victims that makes them deadly. Draghkar are another Shadowspawn created by the Forsaken Aginor. They are the height of a tall man and are quite slender. They have very thin arms and fingers tipped with long, sharp nails. Their eyes are too large for humanity and a small mouth with puckered blood-red lips covers contains sharp, pointed teeth. Draghkar have large, black, bat-like wings that fold around them and give them the appearance of a man in a black cloak. The wings together with elegantly arranged black hair have been responsible for passing the Draghkar off as a man at a distance. This aids in their effectiveness as assassins." Eniara paused and looked over her notes before continuing.
"Draghkar can fly quite well and so are often used as scouts for the Shadow's forces. Because they are silent in flight, Draghkar can drop to the ground fairly close to targets undetected. This silence gives them the element of surprise and most of their victims are caught unaware. Once withing hearing distance of a victim, the Draghkar begins its crooning which overpowers the person's will and draws them into the Draghkar's deadly embrace. At this point all hope is lost. Even though it has sharp nails and teeth, the Draghkar gently kisses the victim and drains away first their soul, then life itself. If the victim is rescued before death they are nothing but an unresponsive shell. Most everyone who has ever seen someone saved at this point feels it would be better to not be rescued at all then to be rescued too late. I once saw a man who had been saved from a Draghkar after only seconds in the Shadowspawn's grasp. When I touched him he felt...well, utterly empty. There was nothing of him left. He shouldn't have been alive. Any questions?" No one moved except the few who gave a small shudder.
"Well, I guess we will leave it at that for today. The homework will be...yes, you guessed it...a summary on Draghkar." Eniara passed out paper. "Have it ready for collection when arrive for the next class. You may leave." No one spoke as they left the room. They all were lost in thought.
OOC: Same thing yet again for homework. I'll be grading on detail as always.
*Next lesson: Darkhounds*
Eniara stroked her black wolf and waited as her students took their seats. Many of them eyed Tsorovan uneasily and others looked shocked. Giving him a final pat, Eniara stood up and collected everyone's homework.
"I notice some of you are curious about my having a wolf in the room. Today's lesson is on Darkhounds and Tsorovan is here for a visual reference. All of you have heard tales of "Old Grim and the Wild Hunt" I'm sure. While the Dark One does not ride around, the existence of Darkhounds is very real. Darkhounds have jet black coats, like Tsorovan, and are the size of ponies. Think of Tsorovan as being ten times larger and you'll get a good idea." Several sets of eyes widened in shock. Eniara laughed.
"Darkhounds are kept in packs of ten to twelve. These packs are nearly always used solitarily. If more than one pack was sent on a trail, each pack would tend to turn on and kill each other. Darkhounds can travel faster than a horse for longer periods of time. Once on the trail of prey they won't give up and they only way to stop them is to but a body of water between them and their target or else kill them. This relentless pursuit makes them very effective. But, of all these characteristics, one in particular makes Darkhounds the one of the most deadly Shadowspawn. Darkhound saliva and blood is very poisonous. Just a small drop will kill very slowly and painfully. Only immediate healing with the One Power can reverse the damage. Even then only small wounds are healable by the most skilled Aes Sedai." Eniara took a sip of water.
"That will be all for today. Tonight's assignment is another summary. Have a good afternooon." Everyone left and Eniara sat down to pet Tsorovan and grade the homework.
OOC: Yes, another summary! But, next time the homework will be something different.
*Next lesson: The Blight*
Eniara smiled as the class filed in on the last day of lessons. She hoped they had taken thorough notes so they would do well on the final exam.
"Good morning, class. Today will be quick lesson." Everyone broke into wide grins.
"Yes, I thought you would like that. So far, I have covered the four major kinds of Shadowspawn and now I will give a brief overview on the Blight. How many of you have seen the Blight?" Several hands went up. "I assume most of you are Borderlanders." Those who had raised their hands nodded.
"Good, then for you this will be a review. For those of you who haven't seen the Blight, let me tell you first-hand that it isn't a pleasant place. Near the Blightborder the corruption of the landscape is minimal. The temperature is somewhat warmer and the air is more humid. There is some sickness of the foliage but that is not terribly bad. The deeper you go into the Blight, however, the more corrupted the land becomes. Plants are wilted and rotting. The humidity is opressive. Everything smells sickly sweet. When you near the mountains of Dhoom, everything is tainted. The air becomes stifling and cold blasts from the mountains freeze you to the bone. Very few dare to travel that far and return alive." Eniara paused for a drink.
"Many varieties of Shadowspawn can be found in the Blight. I don't want to go into all the different varieties but take note of this: while Shadowspawn near the Blightborder are deadly, even they fear the creatures of the mountains and beyond. The deeper you go the more dangerous it becomes. No one living has ever seen Shayol Ghul without being taken there by Shadowspawn. To venture into the Blight is to take you life in your hands. Well, that'll be it for today. Next class will be your final exam so make sure you review your notes. For today's assignment, I want you to ask around and write a short description of one creature found in the Blight. It cannot be a Shadowspawn already mentioned in this class and I do not care where you get your information. Beware that I am a Borderlander and am familiar with many types of Shadowspawn. I will spot any made-up creatures. So, to stay out of trouble, put in a little effort and find a real creature. See you next class." Eniara grabbed her notes and water and followed the students out of the room headed for the kitchen.
OOC: Here's a change in pace. Check the books or ask someone esle about a creature. If you know of one yourself, use it. The description doesn't have to be long but I want to get a good picture of the creature. If it is a Shadowspawn I have not heard of, you may be expected to provide your source.
*Next lesson: Final Exam*
Lesson 6 (Final)
Eniara walked around the classroom passing out paper and collecting homework. When she had completed the circuit she leaned against her desk and adressed the class.
"Today is your final exam on Shadowspawn. I hope you have learned a lot in here and if you ever need to speak to me, feel free to drop by my study. I also wish to thank you for being a wonderful class. For your final exam you will be writing an essay. It needs to be at least two hundred words long and also I want it well thought out. The essay question is this: How do all the various types of Shadowspawn work together to be an effective force for the Shadow? You need to mention all four types of Shadowspawn discussed in this class as well as the Blight. When you are finished, hand in your essay and you are free to go. Any talking will be considered cheating and you will fail the essay and so fail the class. If you have a question, raise your hand and I will come to you. Any questions before you begin? No? Then begin." Eniara settled back in her chair to grade homework and wait for the students to finish.
OOC: This is it! The final exam has arrived. Post the essay below this message. I may decide to actually count words so make sure it is long enough. Detail, flow, and length will be taken into account when grading. This will count as 35% of your final grade. You have one week from the date of this posting to complete all the assignments. If you are not finished by then you will fail. If for some reason you can't make this deadline, e-mail me and we will work something out. Also, I will be posting grades attached to your essay unless you leave me an OOC message not to. If you leave this notice, also leave your e-mail addy and I'll mail you your grade. I enjoyed teaching you and I hope to have you in class again sometime.