The Story of the Shadow Temple
The Shadow Temple... the name conjures images of the greatest Mystic Warriors of legend, yet one would never suspect it's legendary past to gaze at it. A plain arboretum in the city of Jacinthe, there is nothing to attract the eye. This is just how the inhabitants, the mild mandalan tree-tenders and gardeners, would have it.
Session 1, January 14, 2000
Our story begins on a quiet spring day. Four of the younger students, Jen-Jiou, Jig-aa, Yen-Shua, and Zan-Yen, are caring for a mated pair of D'oko trees. Meanwhile, Master Xin-Sho is in the central living quarters, pondering a letter he has received. The students work is interrupted by a young Kang. Sitting in the branches of a tree, he verbally assaults the students. He goes on to express his anger at the fact that vital resources of the Empire are wasted on plants, rather than going towards supporting the many military campaigns of the Kang.
While the students try to ignore him at first, he refuses to be ignored by a bunch of slaves, and demands their attention. Each of the students tries his best to explain to the Kang why the plants are so important, and all fail. In the process, Jig-aa barely avoiding insulting the youth. Xin-Sho, having watched the entire encounter, comes out from the living quarters and greets the young Kang, who is called Kuto and is apparently the Warlord's son. He explains to the youth that the plants are considered valuable by some, who will pay a great deal to the Ispasians for them, and that the Mandalan's are doing their best to serve the Empire, however they can.
Once the Kang has left, both Jig-aa and Jen-Jiou express their hatred of the Kang, and their wishes that they would simply go away. Xin-Sho, apparently distrubed by their obvious anger, endeavors to instruct all four students in the perils of such hatred. He tells them that should they let their anger control them, they will be beyond his power to help. He then leaves them with a letter he has reacieved, telling them to learn from it what they can. Zan-Yen takes the letter, and holds it up so that all four can read it. It reads as follows.
The Dark Ones have acted again. I have spoken with Her, but I fear she is lost to The Way. She and her Dark Ones are taking direct action now, not hiding at all. Her anger consumes her, father. I fear that we shall have to act soon, to save everything we have striven for for centuries.
How are your new students? I pray that they will be ready to take up their Role soon, for our numbers dwindle. One day soon we may face dual opposition... that which the ancient masters always feared. Civil war.
Your devoted student and son,
The students are stunned by the contents of this letter, not at all prepared for what it revealed. Jen-Jiou loudly expresses his distress at such difficulties falling upon him, while Yen-Shua silently looks to the sky, seeking to compose his thought. Zan-Yen silently returns to tending to the plants, and Jig-aa runs to the living quarters, there praying for guidance. Each of the students seeks in his own way relief from the doubts and questions which must now plague him.