The swirling nothingness surrounded him. He was lost, with no way to free himself, unable to live and unable to die. Thousands of years passed while he was trapped in this empty nowhere. Then he felt the familiar pull of one summoning him. Someone had power over him once more. He was a slave to the one who called and over the centuries, he became a finely honed weapon, used for whatever purpose they deemed him suitable for. He shut himself up inside, until his emotions were sealed, until he never blinked when he murdered a young maiden, or crippled a promising young man. He had to obey, it was part of his imprisonment and if he had to be coaxed, the pain that raged through his body was more than enough persuasion. He was of the shadow folk, and he was a Prince of his people, next in line to rule. But while he was imprisoned, his world became corrupted, the land became sick, the air tasted stale. And the shadow creatures that nurtured the forests and took care of the folk's dead were tampered with. Terrifying monstrous creatures roamed the forests, sent to kill and make certain ones disappear. The miano had changed and became the nightmares that stalked the Realm. But secrets were being played out and the world of the naturals was being used as a hunting ground by the miano and the ones that controlled them. Deaths were piling up and no one knew how many murders were going to satisfy the plans unfolding rapidly in the Realm. The beloved rulers were slaughtered and the heirs to the throne were abducted. When these terrible creatures haunted the night, folk went missing in whole households. No one knew where and everyone was too terrified to ask. Razi desperately tried to get free of his prison, but he had to find the other half of his soul, his shadow mate. Once they were joined, only then could Razi return to his home, for only in his shadow self could he pass through the gateways. But Razi had to find allies, and he had no one he could trust, for lies and deceit were safer than placing your life in the hands of a stranger. Razi had to stop the decay and the rot that was destroying the shadow lands. He had to confront the evil that was corrupting his people, their land, and even the very air they breathed, before the Realm and its people simply ceased to exist.