Who is this who comes before me? Look close, stranger. You see your death. If you be no son of Ardan, begone!
You linger? Good. I see you are born of the Pale. Just another poor, lost Shade, looking for the meaning of your birth. I can tell you. You are right to leave behind all the others. The pale-eyed, warm-blooded fools who judge us by our faces, or our clammy touch, they are wrong. Their wisest quibble and debate over the consistency of our blood, while their "faithful" burn us in their hate. Both sides see imperfection, seeking to identify the accident that made us Shades, or to purge the flaws in our blood. They are blind. You and I are not flawed, pale cousin, and our birth was no mistake. We are perfect. We are Shades, life born of Death, and we are the heralds of a new world.
Katullus was the first to look beyond, to open his soul and find his true parents, the Null, They who Hunger. He ripped the Shroud from our eyes, and we learned to surrender ourselves to the Void, to tear the veils of perception and let the Darkness in. I remember when I first felt the True Death, when I was born again of the Shroud. Soon my Shroudbrothers and Shroudsisters shall wrap all this blighted World in its burial shroud. We are the harbingers, and soon our time shall come. It has already begun.
In the waning chill of autumn the Thirteen rose, and gave their ancient knowledge to the Brotherhood. Though the warmbloods defeated them, they could not know their Doom was already set in motion. The Thirteen taught us the Chilling Art, Orthanatos, and from them we learned how to set free the Queen of Ice. Even now we work her will, awaiting the day when Ardan, King of Shadow, at last reveals himself to us. On that day the Sun will die and the Long Night will fall. Then no flesh shall be spared. But there is much to do before then. Every death in this blighted world weakens the Shroud, cousin. Every rebirth at the stillborn trees of stone hastens the Shadow King's return. I can teach you new ways to kill, cunning arts that will draw the Dark ever closer. Come with me â€“ be born again of the Shroud.
Now, cousin, they shall learn why they are afraid of the dark. We shall teach them why they fear the night.