The Rise of the Shadow Fiend

The Rise of the Shadow Fiend

A Story by Zeuxis

Short story about a changeling orphan turned wizard. From boyhood to becoming a mad sheltered adult.

Rise of the Shadow Fiend

From the earliest he could remember there just wasn't enough to go around. A nameless forgotten orphan alone on the streets at the ripe age of five he had no one and nothing but himself to rely on. Luckily he was far from ordinary. His clear white eyes, stringy pale hair and slightly darker skin complexion made the little boy an absolute pariah on the streets, but he had the power to change that. At will he could look at someone and completely change his features to that person. Never did he wonder why or how this fantastic gift was granted to him as the orphan had only one thing on his mind to sate the painful sting in his gut. Each day spent lurking in the shadows overlooking the field where the children played. They all looked so happy and completely unaware of the eyes that watch, but all he could feel was pain. At this time he would choose a child meld into his appearance and head back to their home tent. It was only natural for him and it was an extremely easy meal. He always ended back under those wooden stairs though, the crawlspace he called home. He spent years doing this and became quite adept at picking up on even the most subtle of personalities traits of the kids. He was now called by many names, Johnny, Chad, Geralt, Teron, Yorick, and so many more. He knew that it was customary to have a name yourself, but he had no one to name him. Six more years of being the children of the Cyre refugee camp he thought he would spend his whole life doing this. It kept him from the pain and there was always more than enough for him until one day.

The boy awoke in the same crawlspace it had begun getting more and more cramp as of late. It was then he came up with the plan that would destroy his little life of leisure and loneliness. Teron, a boy he had been melding into for some time now, had a beautiful life compared to most of the Cyre refugees in this meager section of Sharn. The young changeling felt he deserved such care Teron got from his mother and father everytime he played that part. Warm soup, soft beds, and hugs that kindled a fire inside him. He had snuffed out the life of small animals in his crawlspace for years. What was Teron but a small animal whose life was much brighter? He would simply pose as a friend of Teron lead him to the crawlspace and use his trusty rat rock. It went exactly to plan even easier than catching the rats. Teron didn't see it coming until the rock bashed his skull in so cleanly over and over and over again. The small crawl space would now be this small animal's tomb and he would be Teron!

 That same day the boy who now called himself Teron went to his new house to greet his new parents. To much dismay the boy forgot one aspect of his plan he would now have to play this role forever and Teron had two older brothers who spent much more time with him than his parents. The first few weeks went off without a hitch. The boy was living a life that he could only have dreamed of as the real Teron's body became a moldy decayed corpse nipped at by the rats. At the dinner table one night the boy got greedy and into a fight with one of his now older siblings. The boy was really but a wolf at this point his life fighting for scraps when there was more than enough to go around. In a heated fight the young boy was knocked unconscious and his true form was revealed, a small gray child with cold blank white eyes. Teron's family was absolutely stunned and demanded answers and vengeance from the boy. They got what they wanted. They each took turns beating the changeling with various objects until his body was broken. Shouting "BEGGAR! DIE! For Teron! Beggar! You don't deserve to live!" Then in pain he said he crushed Teron's head. After hearing the horrifying truth they threw him in the gutter like the piece of trash they saw him as, the little murderer had took the baby from the family, and they would snuff him out as if he never existed.

In the gutter the changeling knew he was going to die, he had embraced it. With himself gone there would be more to go around in this little community and the world. Was it luck or misfortune to find him on that day would be history's decision, but the boy was spared. A wealthy and well off wizard just happened to be scouting out this little section of what he deemed as a human zoo. He caught a glimpse of the boy's body out of the corner of his eye as he laid there broken in the sewers waiting to die. The wizard picked up the boy and with a huge grin looked at the boy's face. Yes, this one was perfect.

 The boy woke in sheets of velvet and in clothes that tickled to the touch. He saw his savior and tried to flee, but to no avail his legs were broken like the little boy's skull in the crawlspace. The wizened wizard came over to the changeling leaned over the boy on the floor next to his bed and asked. "What is your name boy?" The boy hadn't had a name before the day he died so decided to take the one his would be murderers gave him. "Beggar." The wizard let out a hearty chuckle and picked the boy off the floor. "Perfect, absolutely perfect." Laughed the old man as he looked over his new boy. "From now on your name will be Apprentice." He then took out a small picture of a boy that looked a little younger than Beggar, now called Apprentice. "Change now. Apprentice." He said in a cold voice and Apprentice did what he asked. "Perfect. From this day on you shall be mine and as mine you'll have no need to beg. For you shall become my prodigy." And it was so because he said it to be so. As the man turned away he looked back at Apprentice and said "By the way you may address as Master Beckett." 

 Apprentice spent the next decade training in Beckett's back room. Everyday Beckett would arrive home from work, work that Apprentice was completely ignorant of, and trained his young Apprentice in the art he had so finely crafted himself. Not even aware of where he was or Beckett's purpose in his training he just did what he was told. There was now more than a hundred Beggars would ever need in their life and all he had to do to earn his keep was become stronger. So he did become mightier and once he was taught how to read the wizard's library was a true source of the child's inspiration. Constantly learning, constantly improving Apprentice did nothing but please Beckett. Trapped in the same appearance the same room it all seemed clear to Apprentice the gluttony of the few made the masses suffer. Apprentice knew the power he was gaining could topple cities, kingdoms, and if he dared enough to dream the world. Apprentice wanted only two things, to become more powerful and to see the moons of Eberron again the moons he remembered fondly from Teron's little tomb. One day after years of studying he asked Beckett if he could see the moons again. Beckett's mood changed from the avid instructor to a violent malicious captor in an instant. Slapping Apprentice across the face and scolding him. "You are my property boy. Don't you forget it. I saved your life now you, are, mine." 

 Trapped in a dark room Apprentice used his new powers to create a small flame to light his tight space. Was all Apprentice was a slave? His stomach didn't hurt he knew that, but from what he had read slaves resented their masters. As such Apprentice, master of his own emotions, secretly began resenting Beckett without his master having a clue. He readily obeyed his 'master' and grew more powerful. Apprentice was no fool at this point he did nothing but questioned what was Beckett's motive behind giving him this knowledge and ability. Was he just a simple pawn to be used at Beckett's whim? He felt as if he had to rebel. Apprentice guessed by now his master had been reading his thoughts. Always seeing a simple copper piece in his hand whenever instructing Apprentice a clear sign of a detect thoughts spell. Keeping his surface thoughts as deep as possible was challenging, but with time he learned to make his mind a fortress. The question the now adult Apprentice asked himself now was "When do I decide to break the tether to my master and how?".

 Apprentice now nearly twenty four years of age after spending nearly a decade and a half enclosed in Beckett's tower decided this would be when he made his move to freedom. After another long night of study Beckett retired and locked Apprentice into his room, but unbeknownst to Beckett the Apprentice had surpassed the master in one area, picking locks. Slowly did he creep into his master's main room of his house. He picked up three objects: a rag to cover his victim's mouth, some rope to keep his hands at bay, and lastly a small kitchen knife to complete the deed. Apprentice sneaked into his master's room without a sound and with a sudden burst of violence attempted to restrain the sleeping man. First stabbing the knife directly into the stomach of his captor then with a quick jerk Beckett rose from his bed and in an instant Beckett sprang to life enveloping flames around his body in a cold heat. Apprentice was immediately burned from this and sprang back. Both struck serious blows, but Apprentice had definitely got the better of the exchange. Wobbling and stumbling Beckett turned towards his Apprentice and immediately let out a blast of fire that shook the room. Flames covered the entirety of the room leaving Beckett unscathed in his shield surrounding himself. Apprentice was tossed about like a rag doll though he was still alive and kicking and it was his turn to test his master's mettle. Putting everything he had behind one spell Apprentice let a lightning bolt that struck Beckett dead in the chest despite his best attempt to dodge such a blow. Beckett laid on the floor bleeding heavily on the ground disabled, but still conscious. "You.... Beggar. You.... were to be my s-s-...." And with a series of quick strikes to the head with his fists Apprentice snuffed out Beckett's life. 

 Upon ending his captor's terrible reign as mentor and master over him. Apprentice felt a wonderful feeling of astonishment. With Beckett dead, all his resources shall be allocated to everyone! He had done the world a favor and freed himself in the process. The gluttonous few ruled the world with iron fists and inflexible tyranny while urchins and beggars are under their thumbs. It was utter chaos! Letting those with power rule without power. Apprentice sat in the room with the body of his ex-master. Quickly shifted back into his original changeling form for the first time in as long as he could remember. As he looked in the mirror he thought he would be seen nothing as a fiend in this world by the ruling elite. So he must strike from the shadows in order to topple the backwards system. The penniless shall be equal with the gluttons. For he Apprentice, the Shadow Fiend shall strike at those who has even a little more than they need. For those gluttons are the ones who deserved to burn. Every soul The Shadow Field consumes it becomes stronger as the wealth that gets dispersed becomes vaster. Yes! This was the man's purpose this is what he would use his knowledge and power to do! TO DESTROY THE WEALTHY! 

© 2016 Zeuxis

Author's Note

Changelings have always been a favorite race of mine ever since first reading about Eberron. Doppleganger humans are ripe for story telling and one without any sense of place or family is a dangerous and dark fellow indeed. As always constructive criticism is more than welcome.

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Epic! Just epic! Keep on writing!

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


7 Years Ago

Thank you!

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Added on July 14, 2012
Last Updated on February 26, 2016
Tags: dnd, Eberron, Fantasy, Wizard, Dark, Sad, Socioeconomic, class, warfare



Apopka, FL

20 year old guy living in Apopka. I enjoy comic books, role playing games, and music. more..

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