Idris is the homeland of the Shadowhunters and is protected by the demon towers,
forcing demons out and protecting the city,
the only way to bring them down is to wipe demon blood
on them from the inside—an almost impossible feat.
Idris is in Central Europe. It is a small country between Germany and France,
with protective spells and wardings all around,
all over the borders, preventing mundanes from entering.
When they attempt to cross the border into Idris,
they are simply transported into the next border without noticing.
Idris is mostly forest, littered with vampire nests and werewolf packs.
There are mountains that can only be crossed in high summer without freezing to death.
There is a small system of towns throughout Idris.
These towns are not very big and are all sort of oriented around the one city,
Alicante, which is also known as the Glass City.
Alicante is the only city and the capital of Idris.
It is often called the Glass City because of the presence of the Demon Towers
that guard the city against demon attacks,
reflecting light and looking like glass. The entire city itself is lit and powered by witchlight.
The houses throughout the city are built from all eras.
The Gard, the meeting place for the Clave, sits atop a hill at the edge of the city.
All around are residences of several Shadowhunter families and the Council.
There are stores throughout the entire city that display
and sell a wide array of objects from weapons to clothes.
~ GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS ~
The Nephilim follow a strict set of rules set out in Codex and the Covenant.
There are many rules and guidelines that must be followed.
Clave, Consul, Council
The Clave is the collective name for the political body of all active Nephilim.
Shadowhunters become members of the Clave upon reaching adulthood at the age of eighteen,
when they decide to declare their allegiance to the Clave.
Members of the Clave all have rights to contribute to any Clave issue under discussion.
They keep and interpret the Law and have the right to help decide on important matters that affect the Nephilim.
The Clave's governing body is the Council, and the Consul is their highest appointed official.
The Consul holds little executive power but presides over the Council.
The Council may represent the larger Clave when making decisions that don't require a vote—matters of
immediate import that are not large enough for the entire Clave to become involved in.
The Clave is divided into smaller groups in different countries and cities of the world:
Enclaves in most of the world, and Conclaves in the Americas and Australia.
These regional groups are then locally led by individual(s) put in charge of each Institute;
the head is also the Enclave's representative on the Council,
and every active Shadowhunter residing in the area under their jurisdiction answer to them.
These local Enclaves coordinate their own local decision making and organizational structures as they see fit,
though the Clave may still interfere in some cases.
Young Shadowhunters who are orphaned, or whose parents have left the Clave,
are asked every six years if they would like to join the Clave and become a Shadowhunter.
If the child answers no every time until they are eighteen, three times in total,
they are left alone, free to live as a mundane forever.
At any point during the eighteen years, the child can go to any Institute and ask for training.
The Covenant is the Law upheld by the Clave. It provides the rules of conduct for Shadowhunters and Downworlders.
The Covenant protects the rights of Shadowhunters to enforce civilized relations among the Clave,
Downworld, and the mundane world, and also protects the rights of Downworlders so that they may not be maltreated by Shadowhunters.
It is also the Covenant that guarantees that the Shadow World remains shadowed from the mundane world.
The Covenant also elaborates on the legal system of the Shadowhunters.
The Accords acts as amendments to the Covenant agreed to be taken as the law of the land by all of the Shadow World,
a treaty that ordains how Shadowhunters and Downworlders interact with mundanes and one another, as well as each group's rights,
responsibilities, and restrictions. With the Accords, groups of Downworlders also in peace with the Accords
agree to the same oath to never reveal the truth of the Shadow World to mundanes.
The Accords are revised and signed every fifteen years by representatives of these groups.
~ WORLD RELATIONS ~
While Shadowhunters living in Idris do not fall under any of the mundane authority surrounding them,
they are still technically humans and citizens of the countries in other parts of the world outside of Idris
and are subject to their laws. Aside from that, they do have alliances with different governments in the world.
In London, monarchies through the ages have tithed to the Shadowhunters in secret to keep their kingdoms safe.
In USA, the Department of War and the Department of Justice have both affiliated with Shadowhunters.
~ MISSION ~
The goal of the Nephilim is to fight, and someday end, the plague of demons on Earth.
They are dispatched to every place on Earth to fight against demon hordes. The fight even continues after death.
Their bones and ashes are used, as the bones of demon hunters are powerful protection,
to fortify important buildings and to supply power to the Silent Brothers.
Aside from this, the Shadowhunters have also placed the responsibility of upholding the peace and secrecy of the Shadow World,
as well as the protection of the mundanes and the world in general from the supernatural, upon themselves.
~ CULTURE ~
As with all populations, the Nephilim have developed their own culture and traditions.
They have traditions and habits that, though not official laws, are expected of them.
~ LIFE ~
Most Shadowhunters spend their younger years as warriors.
An exception would be when Shadowhunters join one of their two monastic orders:
the Silent Brothers and the Iron Sisters. The Brothers serve as the keepers of their lore and knowledge;
they serve as their librarians, researchers, and occasional medics. They reside in the Silent City.
The Sisters design and forge their weapons; they are the keepers of adamas, the holy metal given to them by Raziel.
They reside in the Adamant Citadel.
~ RELIGION ~
The Nephilim do not conform to any mundane religion as they have allied themselves with every mundane belief system.
Also, individual Shadowhunters are allowed to believe what they choose. Some Shadowhunters see their own lifestyle and beliefs
as a separate religion. Mainly, they have their own beliefs about angels, demons, Heaven, and Hell,
and they worship the Angel Raziel as their creator. Still, the Nephilim acknowledge the truths in mundane
religions, mythologies, tales, and legends, and often integrate this into their real world knowledge.
Every mundane religion are also partly aware of the ongoing battle against demons, having been affected by the Incursion themselves.
However, since mundanes would not be capable of fighting demons, they merely incorporated their existence and the battle against
them methodically into belief systems as different evil entities. Their leaders instead opted to help by assisting the Nephilim,
who are equipped to battle the demons, in their mission, as long as Shadowhunters do not cleave to a single religion.
Contacts and relations were established between the Nephilim and the more mystical orders of the world's major religions,
with a small group of chosen leaders acting as the representatives of each religion, signing secret treaties that promises
the continued provision of havens and weapons for Shadowhunters in exchange for protection.
Their end of the bargain is upheld by allowing the Nephilim access to their different religious communities,
holy buildings, or places of worship as havens, or for their numerous hidden caches or reserves of holy tools
and equipment for Shadowhunter use, the oldest of which is said to be in the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio in Milan,
dating to over five hundred years ago.
~ FESTIVITIES ~
While most Shadowhunters typically do not participate in or observe mundane religious or cultural traditional
celebrations or holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, some have accepted it as a custom,
though without the religious significance it has for mundanes.
~ TRAINING ~
Shadowhunters may be trained at a very young age, by their parents or other mentors and guardians.
Some Shadowhunters may train at an academy in Idris, or at Institutes in other parts of the world.
Typically, children of Shadowhunters, whether biological or adopted, can choose to train to be Shadowhunters when they're about ten.
They can also refuse, and in a Shadowhunter family, that once meant the child was sent away, but the rules have since changed.
Ascension would then be open to the non-Shadowhunter, adopted child.
Upon completion of their training, it is customary and traditionally expected that Shadowhunters travel
to other Institutes to learn about other Nephilim cultures.
There are varieties of weapons and gear used by Shadowhunters. Most of these weapons are made with materials capable of killing demons,
some using adamas forged by the Iron Sisters.
Most used are the seraph blades, the primary weapons of the Nephilim, made of adamas and calls
upon the power of an Angel's name to access the blade's power.
In addition to seraph blades, some Shadowhunters choose to have a weapon of specialty, such as swords, bows and arrows, and many more.
The Nephilim also have devices, such as the Sensor and Portal, that make their tasks easier.
Each species is weak to a certain element.
Blessed iron is effective against fairies, silver powder and bullets against lycanthropes,
holy water and other religious symbols against vampires, and demons are generally susceptible to damage from angelic weapons etc.
~ CEREMONIES AND RITUALS ~
Newborn Shadowhunters have spells cast on them to protect their minds from demonic influences.
These rituals protect the Shadowhunters from demon visions and possessions directed towards them.
Technically, the ritual is mainly only necessary for those who are in danger of being targeted,
so people with Shadowhunter blood but who are un-Marked and raised among mundanes,
with no one knowing what they are, will remain unaffected, or minimally so, by the lack of the spell.
The rituals are performed by a Silent Brother and an Iron Sister.
Since Nephilim blood is mostly dominant, if a Shadowhunter has children with any species,
their children will still be Nephilim. A special case is when one parent is a faerie,
wherein some of their kind's characteristics or attributes may manifest in the child, and a demon, such as Tessa Gray,
though this is very rare as the child of Shadowhunters and demons are usually stillborn.
When the half-breeds continue to have children,
the trace of the other species will either slowly diminish through the generation or disappear entirely.
Shadowhunters were given runes by the Angel Raziel, all contained
in the Book of the Covenant and copied into the Gray Book.
These runes, or Marks, are applied on the Shadowhunters' skin and gives different effects and abilities.
Clary Fray, a Shadowhunter with an exceptional amount of angel blood, finds herself able to "create" new runes,
or recall ones, not given to them by Raziel.
When a young Shadowhunter is set to begin his or her formal training, usually around the age of ten,
they receive their first rune, typically the Voyance rune, in a formal ceremony done by Silent Brothers.
In some cases, like when the child of former Nephilim choose to join their ranks at a later age,
they receive these runes years later; another special case is the reception of a different
Mark than what is usually given first when the child is weak or sickly.
Parabatai is the term for two Shadowhunters who fight alongside each other.
These Shadowhunters are partners and are particularly close to each other.
Shadowhunters have the option to choose
their parabatai before they turn 18, after which the option will the longer be available to them;
in fact, having parabatais is quite uncommon among the Nephilim.
The runes drawn by one's parabatai are stronger than those used by another.
Also, there are some runes that can only be used by parabatai for it
draws on the parabatai's double strength.
Most Shadowhunters don't have a parabatai, so they are not very common.
In a Shadowhunters life, they can only have one parabatai, even if their partner dies.
Most will just fight along side a wild animal they have raised from a
cub or so on
When proven guilty of a violation of their important laws,
Shadowhunters may be stripped of their Marks.
This is mostly done when a Shadowhunter chooses to leave
the Clave to marry a mundane, and become one in the process.
Another act of treason to receive this punishment is by consorting with demons;
this grave act may even be accompanied by the forceful
transformation of the violator into a Forsaken mundane,
as well as the removal of the family's Marks and the removal
of their family name and records from Nephilim history.
Shadowhunters often die young as their fight against demons kill off many of them in battle.
The traditional color of mourning among the Nephilim is white,
contrary to the mundanes' typical black, which is their color
of fighting, for their clothes, and red for runes.
To honor a Shadowhunter's death, most of them are burned, and their remains are later interred.
Those who die in Idris are traditionally entombed in its necropolis outside Alicante's walls,
where most old Shadowhunter families have not only grave plots but large family tombs and mausoleums.
Those who die outside Idris are entombed in the ossuarium that makes up a level of the Silent City,
though still smaller than the cemetery in Idris, wherein the desiccated bodies are burned and turned
to ashes used to make and reinforce its marble arches.
The Silent Brothers have responsibility over the dead in both locations.
However, those whose deaths are not considered honorable,
such as suicides, criminals, and monsters, are instead buried, whole and unburned,
in other places, such as at the crossroads in Idris outside the Brocelind Forest.
During funerals, or when a Shadowhunter dies with another present,
their name and the words Ave Atque Vale, taken from a poem by Catullus,
which means "hail and farewell" in Latin, are spoken.
Before being set on the funeral pyre, the Shadowhunter's body is
presented so that words of mourning can be spoken
and those left behind can pay their last respects.
The eyes of the dead Shadowhunter are bound with white silk,
and he is laid to rest with his arms crossed over his chest,
a seraph blade clutched in the right hand and resting over his heart.
Funeral rites vary depending on the part of the world the Shadowhunter is from
but traditionally conclude with a sentence from The Odes of Horace:
Pulvis et umbra sumus.—"We are dust and shadows."
Nephilim burial ceremonies were generally for Nephilim only,
but an exception could be made for those who died in the service of the Clave.
The Nephilim's motto is "Facilis descensus Averno," or "Descensus Averno facilis est,"
which means "The descent into Hell is easy" in Latin. It was taken from Virgil's poem, The Aeneid.
“ Black for hunting through the night
For death and mourning, the color’s white.
Gold for a bride in her wedding gown
, And red to call enchantment down.
White silk when our bodies burn,
Blue banners when the lost return.
Flame for the birth of a Nephilim,
And to wash away our sins.
Gray for knowledge best untold,
Bone for those who don't grow old.
Saffron lights the victory march,
Green will mend our broken hearts.
Silver for the demon towers,
And bronze to summon wicked powers.
–Shadowhunter children's rhyme, City of Heavenly Fire
Colors mean different things to Shadowhunters than they do to mundanes.
Black is the color of their gear; white is for mourning;
gold for weddings and red is ceremonial.
According to Raphael Santiago,
the demon towers also light up different colors depending on certain messages:
gold for celebrations,
red signifies magic, which can also be interpreted as danger,
and blue as the color of the Accords.
Red Marks are also used for mourning,
and was the color used by the Endarkened.
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