"Once I called them friends. I suppose we can be friends no longer..." -Evard the Black
First: Evard the Black
Distinctions: Fading, ephemeral forms
In the year 82,950 BC, the wizard of the spire Evard gathered five of his closest friends, and together, they performed the Trail of Five Darknesses ritual. The five were transformed into shades, their forms fading, light, and ephemeral. They infused shadowstuff with their souls, granting them fantastic powers of darkness and death. The five began to change, becoming suspicious, and even paranoid, and their bonds of friendship fell away.
Nulathoe - StrifeEdit
Evard's instructor at the Spire, first mage Nulathoe was always considered a touch mad by his peers. As the foremost expert on blood magic at the Spire, Nulathoe's experiments required living sacrifices, and the archmage quietly ignored the living test subjects that entered Nulathoe's laboratory and never left. Though Evard's ritual went beyond what even Nulathoe had attempted, the first mage was both honored that Evard asked him first, and intrigued by the physical effects of infusing shadowstuff with a living soul. Following the Trail of Five Darknesses, Nulathoe adopted the alias Strife, and learned from Evard as he developed his school of necromancy. Strife followed Evard in the Conspiracy of the Nine Towers.
Acererak - WarEdit
Like Evard, Acererak was refused admittance to the Spire on the grounds that he was human. Also like Evard, Acererak refused to be deterred. He would challenge apprentice wizards to duels outside of the Spire, and though they often won, Acererak studied their spells and learned their techniques. It was during one such duel that Acererak met Evard, and the two were immediate rivals. Over the years, they drove each other to excellence, and when Evard prepared the Trail of Five Darknesses, Acererak was the second wizard he invited to join. Naming himself War, he continued his regular duels with Evard, and through them, learned his new school of necromancy. War joined the Conspiracy of the Nine Towers with Evard.
Opash - HatredEdit
The only woman among the Five Wraiths, Opash was also the only one who never studied at the Spire. Before meeting Evard, Opash had no arcane training at all. She was a slave in Alluria, and her master was a cruel Genasi. Evard sacrificed her master to power his first ritual, and he declared her a free woman. Opash and Evard became involved shortly thereafter. At first, Evard refused to allow her to become involved in the Trail of Five Darknesses, but Opash would not be deterred, and she insisted, becoming the third. After the ritual, she became Hatred, and she helped Evard develop his school of necromancy. Hand-in-hand, Evard and Hatred became involved in the Conspiracy of the Nine Towers.
Szass Tam - Doom Edit
The final invitee to the Trail of Five Darknesses, Szass Tam was the archmage's apprentice, and one of the most respected mages at the Spire. Though his reputation was sterling, Evard singled Szass out, and focused on tempting him with the dread secrets of blood magic. Szass became hopelessly dependent on his teachings, and though the archmage remained Szass' official instructor, Evard was his true master. Swept away by promises of power, Szass entered the Trail of Five Darknesses ritual, and became known as Doom. Continuing to learn from Evard, especially as he developed the school of necromancy, Doom followed Evard for years, even leaving the Spire and entering the Conspiracy of the Nine Towers.
Evard the Black - TerrorEdit
After being recognized as a full wizard, Evard began seeking knowledge of blood magic, intent on discovering secrets that would lead to immortality. It is believed that these early forays into blood magic led Evard to make his first living sacrifice to power a ritual. This knowledge would lead him to develop the Trail of Five Darknesses ritual with four of Evard's inner circle. This ritual transformed Evard into a Shade.