[This book is written by the Echo Council across some years. Although not popular, copies and fragments of the book may be found. A close study of different copies will show small contradictions or different names for some of the contents. In general the book is a call to arms to help Barlow defeat Aralkor. Presented here is the most common version.]
Echo to the Masses
An Echo is the close parallel or repetition of an idea, feeling, style or event. Terra itself is a symphony of echoes from divine sources across aeons. The music of the gods moving from surface to surface. All of creation is a cycle and balance act. So must the shadow move to light. The fixed attitude of the Sun that claims to never set is against the nature of the All Bringer who made change in all things and the Other Four. The Troubled One is so bothered as he must perform his own celestial duties while struggling against the Sun with apathetic allies. You, however small, may work towards correction of this cosmic injustice. Do not be arrogant, the King of Shadows may not be accessed directly. The Barons of Twilight are his captains and lieutenants. Through them the Shadow Walkers perform unending deeds.
Chief among the Echo Council’s activities is the pursuit and destruction of Corrupted Blood. These demons and undead have traded themselves for a portion of power from the King of Shadows. Instead of payment in the form of service, the Corrupted Bloods moved to create their own kingdoms and strongholds on Terra. Hunting Corrupted Blood and preserving Terran life is a prime path to showing the altruism of the Shadow King and recruiting Sympathizers
Contracts and Maladies
The Shadow Walkers often trade a portion of themselves in exchange for certain powers granted by the Barons of Twilight. Short range gifts such as ability to harm or abnormal strength come with short term wounds. In many cases these trades may have a longer effect. In all cases for the safety of the Shadow Walker it is advised to treat maladies when they appear.
Consult The Medium if you suspect any of the following:
Nocturnal - Desire to stay in the shadows (for non Drow)
Fear of Elder Beings - Dragons, Demons, and Undead can cause permanent fear, especially the old ones.
Mercurial - Quick changing moods and tempers.
Fading - An apathy that makes you not want to continue The Quest.
Lazy Eye - Fatal to Archers, seeing corrupted horror will sometimes cause the eyes to rebel
Sickly - An unexplained and repeating sickness, usually low grade and causing apathy
Scattering - The inability to focus on The Quest
Guilty Conscience - Caused by doing an evil deed, usually from picking the best of two evil actions under stress
Nervous - Physical ticks
Plutomania - The excessive desire for coin.
Gold Sickness - Being fixed to your treasure. Combat this through routine donations to The Advocate and the Echo Council.
Hieromania - Excessive desire to worship one of The Big Five. These deities are so far above you, do not worship directly, this can lead to a life of wasted service with little reward.
Ashen - A pale gray color skin, caused by blood retreating to the innards of the body.
Thin Blood - Easily wounded, to include emotional wounds.
Rumination - A person stuck to meditation and reflection unable to act or decide between two choices.
Every act no matter how small that advances Barlow to his rightful place in the light is recorded in the Book of Unending Deeds. The afterlife that comes to all is the domain of Saint Veeda but if the Shadow Walker's ledger of Deeds has served The King of Shadows well, and therefore the Balance of Saint Veeda, then a negotiation between the Barons of Twilight and Veeda's minions will occur. This results in a favorable afterlife for the Shadow Walker.
The Medium is exceptionally blessed in the art of reading fates in the palm. For friends or for a fee the Medium will look at three lines in the hand proffered. The Heart Line running horizontally under the fingers deals with relations and love. The Life Line curves from between the thumb and index finger to the wrist governs vitality and stamina. The Fate Line runs vertical from between the two middle fingers and tells of the person's life path. Palm Reading is used by the Medium to find potential Sympathizers and Associates willing to aid The Quest.
The Tarot is a viable means to seek guidance and make decisions. The most common use by the council is a Single Card Draw Reading to keep the guidance concise and to the point. Additionally some members of the council and Shadow Walkers will carry a single Tarot card as their guiding principle while performing Unending Deeds. These single cards are discarded and replaced when the user requires a change, has grown out of the card or after a particular defeat or victory.