Outlawed and hunted by the Alliance, the Nai practice in the shadows, assassinating their foes and plundering Akari Tombs in their quest for power.
Etched in the founding tomes of the Akari Order it is written: “The Shades of Kaos, in their balanced and immaculate nature, bear no innate morality of their own, neither benevolence nor malevolence. The power to guide Kaos towards the Divine or the Void resides within the intentions of those who wield it. By harnessing the Shades with selfless purpose, the path to the Divine may be forged. Only those who attain mastery over the entire spectrum of Kaos, and relinquish all selfish desires, may wield Divine Kaos and become Ascendant. Yet, those who act with selfish intention, perverting Kaos for their own desires and impulses, shall find the path to the Void laid bare before them. The plunge into the shadows corrupts both mind and soul, leaving an indelible stain upon one’s aura. The Fallen are those who carry the mark of the Void, having ventured so far into the abyss that redemption remains beyond reach.”
In the earliest days of the Akari Order, members were united in their quest to become Ascendant. The Shades of Kaos, when used with pure intention, could unveil the path towards the Divine. The Shades themselves were neither good nor evil, and the Akari were free to wield the full spectrum of Kaos, provided they did so selflessly. However, some forms of Kaos, such as necromancy and bloodmancy, were deemed too dangerous to permit their practice. Though both could be employed with noble intentions, the Order deemed their effect on the Kaotic Balance and potential for misuse to be too great of a risk.
As time passed, some members began to become restless and push back against the restrictions on Kaos. They desired the freedom to wield the Forbidden Shades, deeming the Order’s rigid edicts to be stifling the power they believed was theirs by birthright. These individuals became known as Shadow Akari, a formidable, albeit small, force that spread tendrils of influence across Lyra. Though they still professed allegiance to the Order, The Shadow Akari’s provocative and contentious practices incited the ire of those most devout in their practice, resulting in centuries of tension and internal conflict, but without yet a decisive fracture.Even the common folk became divided. Though they had long revered the Akari, seeds of uncertainty began to take root as they questioned the Order’s absolute prohibition. Why had such powerful Shades of Kaos been withheld from the denizens of Lyra for so long?
At the dawn of the second millennium of the Akari Order, a Grandmaster named Valgoth rose to prominence, possessing mastery of the Six Primal Shades. He proclaimed that Kaos was never destined for confinement, that balance does not always beget symmetry, and that those gifted with the ability to manipulate Kaos should do so freely. Valgoth’s heretical teachings spread like a plague throughout the Order. The Council, recognizing the danger in his words and rapidly growing influence, cast him from the Enclave and banished him from the Order, branding him and his followers as the Forsaken.
In exile, Valgoth’s ambition and malice only grew. He founded a new order, and they called themselves the Nai, mages devoted to the way of the Void. Led by the charismatic, yet ruthless, leader, the Nai grew in strength and number. Ensnared by a vision of a world purged of the Akari Order, Valgoth bided his time until the Night of Shadows, when the Nai struck without mercy, cutting down unsuspecting Akari Order members in every corner of Lyra. As the sun rose, the land was soaked with the blood of the fallen, heralding an era of war between the Akari and Nai that would span centuries.
The tide of battle ebbed and flowed until at last, the Mainland Nations, with the Doru Republic at their vanguard, defeated the Nai in the final confrontation of the War of Shadows. The Accords of the New Dawn were signed, branding the Nai as enemies of the Alliance and their practices as crimes punishable by death. But even in their defeat, the Nai had left their mark on the world. The Kaos Tattoos they had created to counter the Starfall-rich Akari Order gained widespread acceptance as an accessible source of power, adopted even by the Akari themselves.
Though the Alliance had hoped that the Accords would eradicate the Nai from Lyra, the few remaining retreated into the shadows, biding their time as Valgoth once had, nursing their wounds. Whispered rumors spread of Nai infiltrating the Akari Academy, corrupting the hearts of young mages and luring them into the Shadows with the promise of unrivaled power. In the hidden corners of the Skyland Frontiers, the Nai trained a new generation, reigniting their efforts for dominance. Only recently have the Nai emerged, striking with lethal precision, assassinating their foes and plundering Akari Tombs in their quest for power. Though their presence is hidden, the name of the Nai still incites terror into the hearts of even the bravest warriors, a grim reminder of the darkness that lurks in the shadows of Lyra.