The Shadowhunter’s Codex – Cassandra Clare

Hey. I don’t know you. I can’t guess who you might be. But I’m done with this Codex now, and I think it’s time I pass it on. Okay, I’ve written all over it. And . drawn all over it. But I think it’s better than a fresh clean Codex, because I’ve corrected some stuff and added some things. I think it’s more true, has less of the political stuff the Clave puts in to make themselves look good. So this is yours now. Whoever you are. If you need to find this, you’ll find it. Anyway, welcome.

This is the Codex. I always thought it was like this great tome of wisdom, but it’s more like an army field manual—how you teach someone to be a Shadowhunter when you’re already being chased by demons. So I’m not the usual reader. Luckily, Jace has added some notes too. He’s taking my training a little too seriously, by the way. I think it’s because everyone already thinks we’re just pretending to train and actually making out. So, he’s Jace, he has to prove them wrong. Hence real serious training. Which is why I am writing this with an icepack on my hip, by the way. Simon has appeared to announce that the Codex reminds him of a Dungeons & Dragons manual. “Like, you know, it tells you the rules. Vampires are weak to .

fire! They bite you for 2d10 damage with their vicious fangs!” Now he is making a bitey face at me. He kind of looks like a hamster. Seriously, I love Simon, but he is like the worst vampire ever. Simon, you don’t have to make pretend fangs with your fingers. You have actual fangs. Why Do People Become Shadowhunters, by Magnus Bane This Codex thing is very silly. Downworlders talk about the Codex like it is some great secret full of esoteric knowledge, but really it’s a Boy Scout manual. One thing that it mysteriously doesn’t address is why people become Shadowhunters. And you should know that people become Shadowhunters for many stupid reasons. So here is an addition to your copy.

Greetings, young aspiring Shadowhunter-to-be—or possibly already technically a Shadowhunter. I can’t remember whether you drink from the Cup first or get the book first. Regardless, congratulations. You have just been recruited by the Monster Police. You may be wondering, why? Why of all the mundanes out there was I selected and invited to this exclusive club made up largely, at least from a historical perspective, of murderous psychopaths? Possible Reasons Why: 1. You possess a stout heart, strong will, and able body. 2. You possess a stout body, able will, and strong heart. 3. Local Shadowhunters are ironically punishing you by making you join them.

4. You were recruited by a local Institute to join the Nephilim as an ironic punishment for your mistreatment of Downworlders. 5. Your home, village, or nation is under siege by demons. 6. Your home, village, or nation is under siege by rogue Downworlders. 7. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 8. You know too much, and should be recruited because the secrecy of the Shadow World has already been compromised for you.

9. You know too little; it would be helpful to the Shadowhunters if you knew more. 10. You know exactly the right amount, making you a natural recruit. 11. You possess a natural resistance to glamour magic and must be recruited to keep you quiet and provide you with some basic protection. 12. You have a compound last name already and convinced someone important that yours is a Shadowhunter family and the Shadowhunteriness has just been weakened by generations of poor breeding. 13. You had a torrid affair with a member of the Nephilim Council, and now he’s trying to cover his tracks.

14. Shadowhunters are concerned they are no longer haughty and condescending enough—have sought you out to add a much needed boost of haughty condescension. 15. You have been bitten by a radioactive Shadowhunter, giving you the proportional strength and speed of a Shadowhunter. 16. Large bearded man on flying motorcycle appeared to take you away to Shadowhunter school. (Note: Presence of flying motorcycle suggests bearded man may be a vampire.) 17. Your mom has been in hiding from your evil dad, and you found out you’re a Shadowhunter only a few weeks ago. That’s right.

Seventeen reasons. Because that’s how many I thought of. Now run off, little Shadowhunter, and learn to murder things. And be nice to Downworlders. PEOPLE AND PLACES We are called Nephilim or Shadowhunters. We are the children of men and angels; the Angel Raziel gave us our power. Our primary mission is to eliminate demons, who come in a large variety of species and forms. We also seek to keep the peace among several populations of demihumans, known collectively as Downworlders. These groups are werewolves, vampires, faeries, and warlocks. We preside over a treaty known as the Accords that ordains how we and all of these groups may interact, as well as each group’s rights, responsibilities, and restrictions.

The Accords are revised and signed every fifteen years by representatives of the Nephilim and all Downworlder groups. We have our own secret country, which is hidden in Central Europe and is known as Idris. Its capital city—indeed, its only city—is named Alicante, and that is where the Council resides, and where Clave meetings are held (see below). Most Shadowhunters spend their younger years as warriors. The exceptions are the members of our two monastic orders, the Silent Brothers and the Iron Sisters. The Brothers serve as our keepers of lore and knowledge: They are our librarians, our researchers, our medics. They reside in the Silent City, a place deep underground, many of whose levels are kept secret even from normal Shadowhunters. The Sisters design and forge our weapons; they are the keepers of adamas, the holy metal given by Raziel for our use. They reside in the Adamant Citadel, which is even more hidden than the Silent City; except for a single receiving chamber, it can be entered only by Iron Sisters. Obsessed with secrecy? A little? CLAVE, COUNCIL, CONSUL, COVENANT The Clave is the collective name for the political body made up of all active Nephilim.

All Shadowhunters that recognize the authority of Idris—and this should be all of them in the world who remain Shadowhunters—make up the Clave. When Shadowhunters reach adulthood at the age of eighteen, they declare their allegiance to the Clave and become full Clave members, with rights to contribute to any Clave issue under discussion. The Clave keeps and interprets the Law, and makes decisions about the guidance of the Nephilim through history as it unfolds. What if you don’t declare allegiance? That’s called “leaving the Shadowhunters.” It’ll be covered later. Smaller, more regional groups of Shadowhunters, for instance the Shadowhunters of a specific country or sometimes of a particularly large city, are collected in what are called Enclaves in most of the world, and Conclaves in the Americas and Australia. These regional groups coordinate their own local decision making and organizational structures as they see fit, although the Clave as a whole is responsible for placing Shadowhunters in charge of specific Institutes. The Clave may intercede in cases where an Enclave or Conclave is organized in some way that is against the spirit of the Nephilim as a whole (for instance, in cases where some individual Shadowhunter has tried to seize dictatorial power over nearby Downworlders, as with the infamous cult of personality and human sacrifice declared by Hezekiah Short in the Mayan ruins of southeastern Mexico in the 1930s). The term “Clave” comes from the Latin clavis, meaning “key,” and its use in such terms as “Enclave” and “Conclave” refers abstractly to the idea of an assembly “under lock and key”— that is, meeting in secret. The Clave is, so to speak, the great secret of the Nephilim; with the key of the Mortal Cup, one earns entrance to its chambers.

The Council is the governing body of the Clave. Once, there were few enough Shadowhunters in the world that in matters of importance the entire Clave could be canvassed for their opinion, but it has been many hundreds of years since this was the case. The Council does, however, in representing the larger Clave, retain the power to recall any Shadowhunter to Idris at any time. Today local Enclaves choose representatives to sit on the Council, which deals with matters of immediate import that are not large enough for the entire Clave to become involved in. Enclaves may decide for themselves how to appoint their Council representatives. Most times this is accomplished with a simple vote or by the Conclave head appointing a chosen delegate; sometimes the Conclave head sits on the Council herself. Some regions have more colorful means of appointing their representative. For instance, in eighteenth-century France under the Sun King, the Council delegate was appointed by means of a dance competition. The Saint Petersburg Enclave to this day holds a massive annual chess tournament; the competitor who loses the most matches is named the Council delegate. The Consul is the highest appointed official in the Clave.

He is something like a prime minister rather than like a king or president; he wields little executive power but rather serves to preside over the Council, to officially tally its votes, and to help interpret the Law for the Clave. He also serves as an adviser to the Inquisitor, and is intended to be a consulting mentor for the heads of Institutes. His only real source of direct power is his authority to call the Council to session and to adjudicate disputes between Shadowhunters. The Nephilim do not have such uncivilized mundane notions as political parties; the Consul is voted into office by the Council and, like most prime ministers, can be put out of office by a vote of no confidence. Tying all of these entities together is the Covenant, another name for Nephilim Law. It provides the rules of conduct for Shadowhunters and Downworlders; it is by the right of Covenant that the Nephilim enforce their Law in Downworld. (There have been times and places where that rule of Law has been held in place by force rather than by Covenant, but we happily live in more enlightened times today.) The Covenant protects the rights of Shadowhunters to enforce civilized relations among the Clave, Downworld, and the mundane world, and also protects the rights of Downworlders so that they may not be maltreated by Shadowhunters. It is the Covenant also that guarantees that the Shadow World remains shadowed from the mundane world. Nephilim are sworn by Covenant never to reveal the truth of the world to a mundane, unless such a revelation cannot in any way be avoided.

All Downworlders who have signed the Accords agree to the same. Demons are the great unpredictable force in keeping the Shadow World secret, but so far demons have decided that secrecy is best for them as well. This description makes the Covenant sound simple, but its fine print is more or less the entire legal system of the Shadowhunters, specifying not only the criminal code that the Nephilim and various Downworlder communities have agreed to abide by, but also how that criminal code may be prosecuted, how trials may be run, and so on. This means both Shadowhunters and Downworlders may refer to the Covenant to claim some specific right. For instance, Shadowhunters may swear upon the Covenant to keep information confidential that has been shared with them in an investigation. The Covenant long precedes the Accords; the Accords can be seen as a kind of Bill of Rights, amendments to the Covenant that are agreed to be taken as the law of the land by all of the Shadow World. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND THINGS TO TRY 1. What do you notice about the kinds of words that are used to make up Shadowhunter names? What do they have in common? What might this say about the Shadowhunters’ identity and what family names are supposed to represent? SIMON NIGHTRAVEN NEEDS NO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS. It’s not your book, Simon. You don’t need discussion questions either, CLARY HORSEPHONE.

2. Do you know who your local Council member is? Do you know who runs your local Institutes? Find out! Yes. Yes. Okay. WHO That’s not what it says! SEE ME 3. Try: Introducing yourself to a Silent Brother! Their appearance may be intimidating, but you will find them to be friendly and patient. (Note: Do not try to introduce yourself to an Iron Sister at this time.) ARMS CHOOSING A WEAPON Shadowhunters do not use firearms, and typically we fight in close quarters. We also usually fight in short, improvised confrontations rather than in planned battles. As such, the basic armaments of the Shadowhunters are those hand-to-hand weapons that humans have used for thousands of years.

Each of these come in endless variations, and you will need to tune your training to the specifics of your locale. Here we endeavor to lay out the categories of weapons and briefly discuss their pros and cons. You should plan to quickly achieve a basic competence in each of these categories. Remember that demons are infinite in type and variety; a Shadowhunter never knows when she might face a foe against whom her preferred weapons are totally useless. You should, however, also give thought to what kind of weapon you might choose to specialize in. Some feel called to the longsword, while others will have a natural gift with a bow and arrow. Finding the intersection of your interest and your talent is a major goal of your early training. Any decently stocked Institute should have on hand a selection of all of the weapons mentioned here, in addition to other basic useful combat tools such as: binding wire of silver, gold, and/or electrum; wooden stakes in oak and ash; amulets of protection; assorted holy symbols for major world religions; and basic magic implements (chalk, iron filings, small vial of animal blood, etc.). A truly well-stocked large Institute might add to that list such specialty items as lead swords, holy trumpets, bone staves, etc.

, depending on location.

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