Imagine, if you can, a world without shadow.
It's not easy, is it? And if it does seem easy, it's very likely you're not thinking far enough into it. No, I'm not making a jab at your comprehending abilities, it's just that so much of what we see is based on shadows and their contrasting highlights that we have difficulty imagining if they weren't around. We're just not built to understand a lack of shadow.
However, I'm going to ask you to suspend your disbelief for a moment, because this story will be difficult to tell if you don't.
This is the story of a land called Asadiea.
* * *
Asadiea was once a land very similar to ours, with the exception of a warped fourth dimension (that would be time, for you non-physicists). Asadieans had all the comforts we have in modern day, with even more advanced technologies, but they had the mannerisms and culture of our medieval age
As if this mix wasn't strange enough, they had magic as well. And I'm referring to the real, miraculous sort, not the illusions and cheap tricks that we may sometimes call magic.
And to top it all off, they had monsters. Creatures that lay hidden in the shadows and preyed upon the weak. Creatures that brought brave adventurers fame with their deaths, and brought many tears to widows, widowers, and orphans; those that had lost their family members to the beasts.
The 'monsters' came in endless varieties, but there was one common element they all shared; in the shadows, they thrived.
Now, you may be wondering why I'm speaking of shadows when I've asked you to imagine they don't exist, but I assure you, the explanation will come in time. For now, just take comfort in the fact that I only said to imagine a world without shadows, not that Asadiea was this world.
The infestation of creatures, once only a dangerous nuisance, was growing to the point of endangering the very Asadiean way of life, so the Kingmayor of Briarbramble, the largest citycastle in Asadiea, gathered the world's most powerful magicians, warlocks, witches, sorcerers, wizards, shamans, conjurers, enchanters, magi, and thaumaturgists, and set about finding a solution to their problem.
Eventually it was agreed upon that the source of all this trouble was the shadows from whence the creatures came, and that they would have to do something about it.
So the gargantuan group gathered and developed a spell that would rid the world of all shadow, and thus, all the monsters. It took all of their time and effort for many moons, and, when it had finally been developed, a ceremonious celebration (or perhaps a celebratory ceremony) was held in Briarbramble for the casting of said spell.
After a grand and splendiferous speech by the Kingmayor himself, the casting began, to much applause and a raucous racket.
The spell worked.
Most of the magic-types died casting the spell, sure, and the city was thus left more or less defenseless, yes, and the creatures that had previously been restricted to the shadows now roamed free instead of just disappearing with the darkness, of course, and they overwhelmed the cities of the world within minutes, veritably, and the military resorted to taking them all out with nuclear-magic missles, thus killing all of the creatures, true, but the spell did work. There were no shadows to be seen, anywhere.
Sadly, there weren't many Asadieans that had survived the nuclear-magic holocaust left to appreciate the fact that they had been successful in removing all shadow from the world.
* * *
None of the original survivors knew any magic, and all the technology and tools were either buried or rendered otherwise useless, so they had been forced to survive off of nothing but the barren land and their own wits for many generations.
But countless years later, in present day Asadiea, things are better. The ancestors of the original survivors, a hardy group, are starting to salvage and recover old bits of technology, and learn some of the arcane arts that were long forgotten.
It is still a world without shadow, but the people who inhabit it don't know what shadow is anyway, as most of the knowledge of ancient Asadiea has been lost to the sands of time.
But recently, the creatures of the past are starting to appear again, without shadow to keep them bound to certain areas, and they are beginning to terrorize the Asadieans once more.
In the midst of all this, a fateful child was born. He was born to a normal family in a small village, out in the desert wastes that much of Asadiea has been reduced to. Everything about the child was normal, except for one detail;
The boy had a shadow.
* * *
It is now exactly twenty years later, and with the monster infestation growing at an alarming rate, the owner of the only shadow in Asadiea is setting out to seek an answer to their problem, and to unlock the history of the ancients.