Shadowhunter's Codex (Page 23)

Shadowhunter’s Codex(23)
Author: Cassandra Clare

Raziel seemed less annoyed with everybody back then.

Dealing with humans for the last thousand years probably hasn’t helped his mood.

IDRIS

The Angel Raziel, in his generosity, had two more gifts for Jonathan Shadowhunter.

The first was the gift of adamas, the heavenly crystal that glowed with heavenly fire, that could not be cut or carved by mundane means, and the secrets of whose working could be found only in the Gray Book. Demons will recoil from its power, said Raziel. It shall be the metal of the Nephilim forevermore, however much is needed. And he presented to Jonathan a polished branch of adamas, the first stele. With this will you draw the sigils of Heaven.

Then he raised his hands, and from the ground came spires and towers, many times the height of a man, spiked and yearning toward the sky. From many places on the plain they came, and when they had all grown, Raziel led these first Nephilim to a spot in the midst of the towers, where four smaller towers stood describing a diamond, and there he gave them the second gift, the gift of Idris.

This shall be your country, he said. A haven for all the Nephilim and those who beat against the shadows of this world. He described the wards he had created, and the safety they promised. And then he began to rise back toward Heaven. Now never contact me again, he said.

Legend tells us that then Jonathan Shadowhunter cried out in a moment of human weakness, asking Raziel how he could be called if the need became too great for mortals to bear. And Raziel answered him that he had given all he could, the many gifts of Heaven: the Cup, the Sword, the Mirror, the Gray Book, the adamas, the land of Idris. He could give no more. This mission, he said, must be the mission of men. But then he relented, and his sternness briefly faded, and he said, If you again find yourself in true need—true need—of me, take the Cup, the Sword, the Mirror—these Mortal Instruments—and summon me by the shores of the lake.

And then he departed.

But seriously, never call me.

THE RISE OF THE NEPHILIM IN THE WORLD

We owe a great debt to the earliest Nephilim, Jonathan, David, and Abigail (for Jonathan’s first task once Raziel had left was to nurse his friend and his sister back to health, and to have them drink water from the Mortal Cup to transform them, too, into Nephilim like himself). On their own, recruiting as they could from among locals and trusted associates, they laid the stones upon which all of Shadowhunter society was built.

Abigail Shadowhunter set the precedent for Shadowhunters comprising both men and women, a guiding principle that has continued to this day. With the intensity of a new Boadicea, she established that the female Shadowhunters were no less fierce and resolute than the men organized under Jonathan’s banner. When she grew older, and could no longer wage war against demonkind as she once had, she turned to the esoteric knowledge of the Gray Book and the beating angelic heart of adamas beneath Idris to become the first Iron Sister. Along with six other Nephilim she constructed the first adamas forge, and the earliest incarnation of the Adamant Citadel upon its volcanic plain.

David, by contrast, was never a warrior and always a scholar and medic. Early in his time among the Nephilim, he witnessed a ritual sacrifice performed by a Greater Demon in an anonymous cave in Idris, and the horror of what he saw caused him to take a permanent vow of silence. This sent him, too, to the farthest depths of the Gray Book, into deep research. Over time he and his followers grew away from the world, remaining Nephilim but sacrificing some of their humanity for more angelic power. David became the founder of the Silent Brothers, and with the help of the Iron Sisters, he exorcised the cave of his nightmares and created the beginnings of the Silent City.

Meanwhile, Jonathan and his followers went out into the world to recruit more worthy men and women to become Shadowhunters. When possible they recruited whole families, bringing them wholesale into the Nephilim and granting them new names, in the compound model of the Shadowhunters. There is, of course, scarce space in these pages to tell the stories of those early Shadowhunters, blazing their warrior’s trails across Earth, but we encourage the interested Shadowhunter to seek out some of the more interesting tales in the library of their local Institute:

• The tale of the first Institute on the British Isles, in Cornwall, where the first Nephilim arriving with the Cup were believed to be wielding the Holy Grail, and whose tales of bravery and vigor have become mixed up with the mundane folklore of the isles.

• The earliest European Nephilim to arrive in the New World, and their struggles to survive the harsh winters and totally unfamiliar demons. Many were slaughtered, and if not for the assistance of the first peoples of that continent and a small number of helpful warlocks among them, they would surely have perished.

• The massacres of the 1450s, when the Institute at Cluj in Transylvania changed from a small mountain backwater to the busiest and most treacherous Nephilim posting in the world.

• Patrick of Cumbria, who united faeries, Shadowhunters, and mundane earls across Ireland in 1199 to drive the demons out (and whose work was unfortunately undone by Henry VIII, who ended several hundred years of demonlessness in Ireland when he began to reassert English control over the kingdom of Ireland beginning in the 1530s).

• The great Scorpion-Riders of the Australian backcountry, in the mid-1600s.

• The doomed Dazzling Charge of 1732, when a crack squad of Nephilim warriors in central France discovered, to their horror, the ineffectiveness of firearms in fighting demons.

• The lost Ethiopian Nephilim, separated from the entire Clave and Idris for hundreds of years beginning in the 1300s, but who kept up the ways of the Shadowhunters, the knowledge of Marks, and the use of the seraph blades independently, until they rejoined the world body in the 1850s.

Oh, come on, these sound great. Codex gives fifty pages of demon history but not this interesting stuff?

So go find stuff in the library! That’s what it’s for.

Clary, I hereby order you to go read about Scorpion-Riders, whatever they are. Scorpion-Riders! They ride scorpions! I assume!

MUNDANE RELIGION AND THE NEPHILIM

In the earliest days of the Nephilim, their greatest worry was the possible negative response by the dominant religious-political powers in Europe at the time, the Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches. Both churches were very watchful through the Middle Ages for what they would consider heretical positions, and while many of their interests were aligned with the Nephilim’s, we could not be said to in any way be in line with church orthodoxy. While local skirmishes sometimes broke out, the leadership of the churches and the Clave prevented any all-out battle.

It was, in fact, a difficult moment in history to recruit for a secret confraternity. There was a tremendous amount of competition, in the form of the various orders of religious knights that were appearing then in the world in the wake of the Crusades. The Knights Hospitaller were founded around the same time as the Nephilim; the Knights Templar in 1130; even the famed Assassins came about only in the 1090s. The Nephilim had to be very selective and chose to recruit only superlative candidates, “allowing” those they rejected to take vows in a military order. On the other hand, disappearing into the ranks of the Nephilim was not as difficult as it would be today, since such life-changing vows were fairly common.

In the course of the first several hundred years of the Nephilim, contacts were made between us and the more mystical orders of the world’s major religions. A very small but well-chosen collection of religious leaders signed secret treaties to provide havens and weapons for Shadowhunters in exchange for protection.

I bet the church excommunicated the heck out of Jonathan, though.

Nope, they’d have had to make a public statement, officially they’d never heard of JS.

Warning: If you don’t already know about this, it is some bad stuff.

THE HUNTS AND THE SCHISM

Many are the stories of noble Nephilim, stouthearted and powerful men and women who can inspire us today with the tales of their courage and valor. History is, however, not a storybook, and we would fail in our duty of instructing the new Shadowhunter if we ignored the more shameful and contemptible actions of our forebears. The Nephilim have always acted with morally upright objectives and out of a desire to do good in the world, but with our modern sensibilities we must mention, and condemn, those occasions when from those ambitions came behaviors that we would now consider to be evil.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw a tragic fad sweep through Europe: witch-hunting. It arose for a number of historical reasons—among them, religious fervor coinciding with the Protestant Reformation and a renewed interest on the part of the Catholic Church in condemning “devil-worship.” What began as the lynching of innocent and mostly mundane women (and some men) as “witches” expanded quickly, to become official mundane law. England, for instance, passed the first version of its Witchcraft Act in 1542, which made it illegal to:

. . . use devise practise or exercise, or cause to be used devysed practised or exercised, any Invocacons or conjuracons of Sprites wichecraftes enchauntmentes or sorceries, to thentent to get or fynde money or treasure, or to waste consume or destroy any persone in his bodie membres or goodes, or to pvoke [provoke] any persone to unlawfull love, or for any other unlawfull intente or purpose . . . or for dispite of Cryste, or for lucre of money, dygge up or pull downe any Crosse or Crosses, or by suche Invocacons or conjuracons of Sprites wichecraftes enchauntementes or sorcerie or any of them take upon them to tell or declare where goodes stollen or lost shall become . . .1

Many Shadowhunters attempted to calm their local mundanes and direct their attention to less violent concerns; however, historical accuracy demands that we admit that many Shadowhunters took upon themselves the people’s fervor for witch-burning and helped them pursue it. Some Shadowhunters thought that this new enthusiasm for stamping out demons could be directed usefully, that mundanes might become aware of and able to deal with demons on their own. Instead the Enlightenment happened, mundanes developed modern science and began to build modern technology, and belief in witchcraft became something an educated mundane would consider a silly superstition. By the end of the 1700s, across all of Europe witch-hunting had died out, and maintenance of Downworld had reverted fully to the Nephilim.

In those two-hundred-odd years, however, Downworld suffered badly from these Hunts. Warlocks, especially those with marks that could not be easily disguised or hidden, were especially in danger. Such “disfigurements” were seen as clear evidence of witchcraft among mundanes. Luckily, most warlocks were living among mundanes already and were used to either hiding or explaining away their warlock mark, and most were able to avoid accusation. I know about this, we read The Crucible in English class.

In fact the Downworlders who suffered most directly from the Hunts were the werewolves. Recall that the mundanes’ zeal for witch-hunting was based on a belief that witchcraft represented dalliance with “satanic forces.” Just as the towns and cities were cleared of their witches, the forests of Central Europe had their werewolf populations decimated by mobs that swept through them, often with bands of hunting dogs, seeking to kill the “half-men who dally with the devil in the guise of a terrible wolf.” Unlike “witches,” who were regular people who had committed terrible crimes, werewolves were considered less than human and thus did not merit a trial before the death sentence was passed. Shamefully, the Council in 1612 declared its support for werewolf-hunting, arguing that those werewolves who lived in the forests rather than towns had become out of control, like wild animals, and could be put down like animals. The forests, the Clave said, contained only “savage werewolves” rather than “those respectable lycanthropes who are in control of their unusual Trait and integrated into the mundane town and city.” The Council, however, knew well that the forests being hunted were full of werewolf collectives who had gone to live under a more lupine social order in places where they would not be persecuted for it; these very human werewolves were given up by the Clave and were allowed to be destroyed. Werewolves died by the hundreds, possibly the thousands.

Not sure I even want to ask Luke about this.

While warlocks suffered less from the mob violence that decimated European werewolves, a different kind of damage was done to them by this anti-“satanic” fervor. Prior to this time, warlocks and Nephilim had been mostly allied, and often were close collaborators in pursuing demonic activity. We Shadowhunters possessed the tools most effective in killing demons, while the warlocks had access to magic and magical research that were of great help to us but that we could not perform ourselves (most obviously, demon-summoning). Jonathan Shadowhunter’s friendship with the warlock Elphas the Unsteady set a precedent that lasted more than four hundred years.

In the wake of the witch hunts, however, a great Schism came to pass between Nephilim and warlocks. Many Shadowhunters, caught up in the fervor of the Hunts, declared warlocks to be “by nature Demonick” and fully evil. In 1640 the Clave forbade the hiring of warlocks to assist in Shadowhunter business. In some parts of the world warlocks were rounded up, or were required to make evident at all times their warlock mark (thus instantly making criminals of all those warlocks whose marks were usually hidden by clothes and the like). In other parts of the world, warlocks went into hiding, sometimes banding together for safety but more often making their way alone. These actions by the Clave worked against the interests of Shadowhunters, making it significantly more difficult for them to hunt demons. They also antagonized and dehumanized those other members of Downworld most likely to be willing partners of the Shadowhunters.

In 1688 Consul Thomas Tefereel brought about his set of well-known Reforms, which officially declared that being a werewolf and living outside mundane habitations was not in itself a capital crime. The Reforms also required Nephilim to “be careful and clear” in judging werewolves and warlocks, such that these Downworlders would be persecuted only if they were actually breaking the Law. It was not, however, until the notorious trial in 1721 of Harold and Robert Grunwald—Shadowhunter brothers who had set fire to a local tavern house in which had been gathered the entire local werewolf clan—that the werewolf hunts died away for good. The Clave was horrified by the Grunwalds’ actions and, unusually, turned over the brothers to mundane authorities, who hanged them. The proactive persecution of warlocks continued in pockets around the world and dwindled only in the early nineteenth century. Warlock persecution was officially made illegal, and the laws against Shadowhunter-warlock collaboration revoked, in the First Accords in 1872. Okay, went and asked Luke anyway. He didn’t have much to say: