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May 29, 2016

The Schattenreich Mythology: Five Things You Always Wanted to Know About the Schattenreich

Some things that some of you have asked. I would like to answer them so as to not give too much away.

1. Why the Schattenreich?

The German word Schattenreich can be interpreted as the realm of shadows, the kingdom of shades or even a plenitude of shadows. My interpretation of this realm, where many shadows do exist, is that through their special relationship with the Otherworld (Ande-dubnos or Anderwelt), the von der Lahn family (and their ancestors) have carved out their own special portion, directly connected to the waking world and which has borders, where they can practice their craft in a relatively protected state.

2. Who can enter the Schattenreich?

Those of the blood, which mainly consists of the generations affected by Cathubodua's original curse - nine times nines generations - where the women are destined to die soon after childbirth. The ability to cross the veil to the Schattenreich is not without its obligations, however. These duties can and do vary according to a person's ability and affinities.

3. Is there a connection between Burg Lahn and the Schattenreich?

Yes! Burg Lahn, ancestral home to the von der Lahns and before them the Du Bois family and a few other branches of the family tree, is - through repeated usage - the well-worn path, easy access to the Schattenreich and through that domain to Ande-dubnos proper. Some would say that it constitutes a special sort of nemeton - a connection through the veil between the waking world and the Otherworld. A Schattenreich construct, Lahn-dunum, the Otherworld equivalent to Burg Lahn, exists in the Schattenreich and is also a place where crossing is facilitated.

4. Who built Lahn-dunum and where is it?

 No one knows who crafted the original construct. Access to Lahn-dunum is mostly restricted to the heir - the current Baron of Burg Lahn (formerly a count, but the family was demoted due to their stubborn adherence to their pagan heritage) - and his direct descendants (see, for example, Shadow Zone and Triple Junction). The construct is located within the Schattenreich - or at least it was until relatively recently, when Caitie accidentally translocated it (book 3, Double Couple) to Ande-dubnos.

5. Who lives in the Schattenreich?

The only (known and accounted for) permanent residents of the Schattenreich include:

Korri. An ancient being, most probably a Korrigan who rather than remain in the waking world , chose to dwell there with some of her brethren, who may or may not still exist outside of dreamtime. (see Double Couple)

Five-fingered Yan. a being out of legend whose fingers are lit. He can manifest on the borders between the Schattenreich and Ande-dubnos and can sometimes act as a (not necessarily reliable) guide, especially in dark places. His presence does not bode well (see Primary Fault).

The Lost Children.  Legend has it that during a later Crusades campaign, children were recruited to fight for the so-called holy lands. What is more likely is that the children were conscripted, possibly sold as slaves. The lucky ones who were rescued and taken to the Schattenreich, constitute a band of helpful but sometimes mischievous children who dwell permanently near the borders to Ande-dubnos. It is rumored that they can cross to the waking world, where they pilfer foodstuffs and other useful items to stock the ancestral von der Lahn cottage, Ker Gisell (see Double Couple).

Nymphs or mermaids (Breton Morverch) and probably many other names, live underneath the swift flowing waters of the so-called River of Life that forms the westernmost border to the Schattenreich. They guard access to a place of mystery and beauty, an eternally blooming wildflower meadow. Why this particular patch of land should remain inaccessible to humans and inhabitants alike, is not clear. This is likely due to the meadow being a transformative place and so not without special reason, off limit (see Shaky Ground) The nymphs can wear beautiful faces.

And one more as a bonus:

6. Is the Schattenreich black and white?

One reader always had the picture of the Schattenreich in shades of gray (shadows=gray, black, and white). The answer is No. The Schattenreich has very vivid colors (the trees, the sky, the grassy clearing), sometimes even more vivid than counterparts in the real world. The Schattenreich (and Ande-dubnos) do not seem to have strong scents or smells.

Additional questions or comments more than welcome!

photo credit:

Underweald, Sussex via photopin (license)

1095 via photopin (license)

 Dawn Mist via photopin (license)