Early in the history of the Underworld, several groups of Ferrymen set forth to explore the deepest regions of the Tempest. After several years of exploration, they returned to the Isle of Sorrows. There, these missionaries told the wraiths there of the Far Shores, where all the paradises of the afterlife were. These Ferrymen, afterwards called Shining Ones, became the leaders of the Far Shores, a separate organization within the original Stygian mechanism.

The Shining Ones were sufficiently senior Ferrymen to consider Charon an equal, and many of them predated the Ritual of Severance. Before Charon founded Stygia, the Shining Ones were running the Far Shores as intensive spiritual therapy centers. Consequently, when Charon was getting deeply involved in politics, they were achieving near-Bodhisattva status in the Underworld. When Charon began founding the Stygian Republic, he first had to seek approval from the Shining Ones in the Quest of the Seven Signs; only by their approval would the other Ferrymen agree to the Stygia project.

That said, the Shining Ones themselves eventually fell. The Ferrymen always kept track of the Shining Ones, and urged them to accept the Ritual of Severance, which many did. Others, however, did not. In addition, as later wraiths came to the Underworld, particularly the Fishers, they established their own Far Shores with the Hierarchy not quite understanding the difference. By the time of the Proclamation of Reason, many Shining Ones had become Shadow-Eaten, and their Far Shores theocratic Dark Kingdoms.

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