It contemplates the competition for objective truth between the illusion that is seen and the physicality that is imagined.
Although symbolised by shadow and named after it, the art itself can take many forms with or without actual shadows.
Even before history could be recorded, there is evidence for the practice of shadowmancy in some form. It might be reasonably considered to be a defining feature of human origins.
The old era is filled with instances of the art recognisable even now, albeit under different names, and appears to have been rife with variations that we can barely grasp.
Then came the Darkness, for which details can only be surmised from oracular proclamations.
Then came the Light; a dark age for historical records, but folklore and physical remains reveal an age of promise and industry. But no shadows. It is conjectured that the absence of shadows might have been used for illusory purposes, but studies of the early ruins have yet to provide any confirmation.The arrival of Shadow began the current age. Shadowmancy emerged instantly as people independently and in many locations sought to understand the strange new phenomenon. Ruins are almost the only evidence for the practice of that time, as their creators, working in isolation, left no progeny.
As communications improved, a few pioneers brought the art into public consciousness.
The Shadowmancers' Guild was founded to preserve and consolidate this legacy and promote its advancement. Today, shadowmancers take inspiration from the old era, but do not cling to it, instead celebrating the promise of a new reality with wonder and curiosity.
The Guild exists to:
- Provide encouragement and support to practitioners of the Art.
- Consolidate and improve knowledge in the field.
- Promote acceptance as an instrument of civilization and progress.
- Advocate unprejudiced modes of inquiry.
Why not "shadowmatics", "-ology" etc?Edit
A proverb of the old era says, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Art is our technology. And with our former science made obsolete by the deformation of reality, existence has become a new mystery. Only magical thinking releases us from outmoded assumptions to discover this reality on its own terms. Nor can we assume that it will be logical; Shadowmancy is defined by practice, not theory.
A new science may come, but not without a new history.