Gramble Sawall Kadios Xau is a blood sibling of Emperor Swayvil, and mother to Mandor Sawall. He is one of the oldest creatures still engaged in the observation of the universe. In his youth, he was apparently quite the tearaway child.

Excerpt from a letter to Lord Despil, from Prince Mandor:

Sawall fell in love with a woman in shadow. He brought her, heavily pregnant, back to Xau. The woman did not take well to the social structure, having been a princess in her home shadow. She was rude and abrasive and full of unearned airs, and Sawall’s mother suggested that the woman be returned to shadow until she learned some manners. Sawall refused, but in an effort to smooth things over with the rest of the family, he built a tiny shadow to keep his mistress in, and joined it to Xau. It was there she gave birth to twin boys, whom she named Suhuy and Dworkin.

Sawall’s mother strongly suggested that the boys should be raised properly, but the mistress would have none of it, and Sawall was so besotted with her that he gave in to her every whim. So the boys were raised in this pocket shadow by a woman who was convinced that the world revolved around her. They learned no graces, and the few times that Sawall brought them to Xau the family were so utterly appalled by their behavior that Sawall’s mother threatened to disavow him.

Now, foolishly perhaps, Sawall taught the boys most of what he knew about power, and the universe. They, knowing that they were the children of the queen of all reality (their mother was by this point quite mad), were perplexed by many of the things Sawall told them. They came to understand that their father was in some way being held in thrall by an evil wizard, who had caused him to lock his wife and sons away from the world, to prevent them from claiming their true inheritance. The Emperor was their enemy, an evil being holding their parents hostage.

It was pure luck that allowed them to survive their first disastrous introduction to society. The entitled can be very close-minded about lords of shadow, and I suppose they simply did not see these two young men as a threat. The Emperor was dead before his praetorians even drew a blade.

The aftermath was just as bloody. In return for his sons’ lives, Sawall offered his own. The Legion refused, calling it an insultingly unequal trade. So Sawall’s mother, Princeps of the Xau, gave her life instead, to save Sawall. The rest is rather dull – Sawall unpicked the pocket shadow and left Xau while the shame blew over; and Suhuy and Dworkin vanished into shadow.

…Where one of them built a fastness and forged a shadow empire called Amber, while the other joined forces with the lords of chaos.

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