"She is a fox spirit, and thus one of heaven's tricksters. The fox can take the forms of men and women and will often do so to test us".
- "She is the filthy fox spirit....she is a trickster and thinks of herself as a judge of wrong and right".
- –The Keeper
The Forest Shadow was a fox spirit of moderately high rank within the Celestial Bureaucracy, charged with guarding the Great Southern Forest, land owned by Lord Yun and his family for centuries. Her forest became infected with an unnatural blackness that developed on the bark and mad ghosts began to rise within the forest, attacking any who entered.
Forest Shadow's Heaven could be reached by performing the ritual of seasons at the Temple dedicated to her. Spear Catches Leaf felt that the Forest Shadow would be able to help cure the forest, whereas Lord Yun and the innkeeper of Pilgrim's Rest Inn were not so sure.
- "It was an honor to become the Forest Shadow's guardian. She is not like any other fox spirit".
- –Shining Tusk
The Forest Shadow had an elephant demon guardian and friend, Shining Tusk, who served her for centuries. When the Forest Shadow was appointed as the guardian of the Great Southern Forest, it was decided by the Celestial Bureaucracy that she would need his services. Over the centuries, the Forest Shadow and her other fox servants had wore away some of Shining Tusk's stern nature.
History with the Yun Family Edit
The Forest Shadow had a long standing and good relation with the Yun family. The Yuns owned the land in the human world while the Forest Shadow acted as the forest's supernatural guardian and overseer. No details on the origin of this alliance (if it was ever official) survive, but the current Lord Yun suspected that one of his ancestors had passed one of the Forest Shadow's tests (she is a fox spirit, after all) long ago.
The Forest Shadow's relationship with Lord Yun suffered as Emperor Sun Hai's politics and thus Lord Yun himself, became more secular. The ritual of seasons, used in the Forest Shadow's Temple to reach her, was practically forgotten. Lord Yun was also not entirely unconvinced that the Forest Shadow was behind the corruption of the forest.
Demon Counterpart Edit
- "The Great Southern Forest has held two spirits for longer than history can remember. It is the way of my kind. When we are tied to your world, as I am to the forest, there is a dark side to match the light. Usually one side will be dominant, but even in broad daylight there are shadows".
- –Forest Shadow
First Corruption Edit
The Mother tried to corrupt the forest once before, many years before the founding of the Jade Empire. Similar to her second attempt, she made dark promises of power to impressionable men. These men succumbed to her and became her cannibal servitors. The forest twisted and blackened as the Mother's power and number of followers grew. To counter her strength, the Forest Shadow began destroying the cannibals and closing the paths into the forest. Unfortunantly, the Forest Shadow's power diminished as the forest sickened and she did not have the ability to defeat the Mother.
- "The only way to regain control of the forest was to lose control. I had been fighting the Mother's magic with my own, but I realized almost too late that I could not defeat her that way."
- –Forest Shadow
The Forest Shadow visited the many kingdoms claiming portions of the forest at that time as a mysterious crone. To each king she explained that the other kingdoms planned to destroy the blighted forest with a huge fire. Any kingdom not prepared, she warned, would also be destroyed by the fire. In reality, none of the kings were planning to destroy the forest, for they believed the disease would eventually pass. In light of the Forest Shadow's words, however, each kingdom made preparations to withstand a firestorm from their peers. Within a few days of her warnings, each kingdom made what they thought was a pre-emptive strike. After they had dug fire breaks to keep their kingdoms safe, each kingdom set fire to there border of the woods.
The fires consumed the heart of the forest and the Mother, with her strength invested in the trees, was severely crippled and fell into a torpor. Though the fire also weakened the Forest Shadow, the fox spirit was prepared. When she recovered, the Forest Shadow returned to work and helped the forest to regrow. Through her efforts, the forest became stronger than ever before.
Potential Ally Edit
- "I am the Forest Shadow - I will help you understand the significance of what happens in my forest. And then I shall be most intrigued to see which fork you choose to take."
- –Forest Shadow, spoken to the Player
When the Player entered the Great Southern Forest under Lord Yun's request, the Forest Shadow sent a mad fox spirit to attack the Player and a messenger from the Pilgrim's Rest Inn. By sending the mad fox the Forest Shadow hoped to confuse and thus make the Player question what was truly happening in the forest. The messenger was recognized by the Forest Shadow as one of the Mother's cannibals disguised with a magical illusion to make him appear human. She didn't want to risk him reaching Tien's Landing and sent the fox spirit to kill him.
Meeting in Heaven Edit
- "Why don't you just destroy the Mother yourself?"
- "Had I acted sooner, I would have been able to crush her easily, but she is insidious. Her corruption spread slowly until it suddenly erupted like a fungal bloom".
- –The Player and the Forest Shadow
When the Player reached the Forest Shadow, the fox explained the situation of the forest and asked the player to destroy the Mother. After answering the player's questions, the Forest Shadow calmly waited for the Player's choice - to side with her or the cannibals. She was confident that, if the Player tried to kill her, she was more than a match for any human even in her weakened state.
If the Player sided with the Forest Shadow:
- "The [The Mother|Mother] is dead. In their burrowing, her followers riddled the hill with enough passageways that the whole system collapsed. I had not thought to drop a mountain on my ancient foe, but your kind is always so resourceful."
- –Forest Shadow, spoken to the Player
- The Mother was killed by the Player and the Forest Shadow spoke to Lord Yun, telling him of the Player's deeds. Afterward the Forest Shadow was assumed to have continued her role as guardian of the Great Southern Forest.
If the Player sided with the Mother:
- The Forest Shadow was killed by the Player, after killed Shining Tusk and her fox maiden servants.
Immune to support styles.
- Forest Shadow and her fox spirit handmaidens speak in Tho Fan.
- Forest Shadow's dialogue implies that the Fox Spirit the Player encounters in the forest is a servitor, but that fox spirit is identical in both costume (minus the halo) and voice to Forest Shadow herself. If the Player kills the Mother, the same Fox Spirit will appear and be presented as Forest Shadow herself. It's possible that this is an error in the script.
- Voiced by Jan Alexandra