The Shadow Brothers Profession in Toy Soldier Saga | World Anvil
WE DID IT! Thank you for supporting our Kickstarter for Book 1, A Few Good Elves!
Available now at most major retailers.

The Shadow Brothers

The Shadow Brothers are a sub-sect of the Brotherhood that principally deal with matters of wetwork and assassination. They are always male, though any type of goblin or half-goblin may be found in their ranks.

The brothers are known by their distinctive black, studded armor and helmets as well as by their two characteristic weapons. Though Shadow Brothers are trained in the use of Martial and Simple weapons and indeed will use virtually any weapon should the need arise, they are known by their signature weapons, the Ngombe Ngulu and the Goblin Iklwa.

Brothers are chosen at a young age, preferably before their 10th birthday, or before they are placed in a Ves'a in any event, if possible. When not possible, the Brotherhood will recruit the whole Ves'a with the hopes that any that are not suitable to the Brothers can join other branches of the Shadow Brotherhood. For those that prove to be unsuitable to any branch, which only can occur by their own will, the price is final. In other words, the Grandfather sees anyone who is trying to succeed in the Brotherhood as worthy of a place, no matter how small, within the Organization. This only serves to weed out the lazy and the selfish, making a brother being declared Il-muk to the organization all the more tragic.

This is not saying that all brothers get along or all brothers work together, but it is saying that all brothers are, at the very least, motivated, loyal, and competent. A brother will choose a brother over any other person, every time. And further, he will always choose his Ves'a over all others.

If the child is obtained before their 15th birthday, they are referred to as Vesya and remain at Shadowkeep until after their rites of passage into adulthood (In this case both a personal birthday celebration with their friends and family, and a Ves Coming of Age Ritual called a "Tysi La Zahb" (tyesee laa zahb).)



To qualify as a Shadow Brother, there are only 2 "official" requirements; be goblin-blooded, and be male. However, as some of the most competent and ruthless killers in space, and certainly, by far, the best in the Fomorian Empire, there are some "practical" requirements. Like the legendary Hashashin of Alamut, the Shadow Brothers descend upon a target like silent raptors of the night, and just as quickly, end him, and silently disappear. Since a target can have as many as 42 cut-throats (a Ves-ka),attack him and anyone associated too closely with him, these slayers had best be able to 1. operate as a unit, and 2. keep up with their fellows. There is a saying among the Brothers "Tiss vahk tas Vesya", which loosely translates to "you are [only as] good (swift) [as] your youngest sibling"

Career Progression

A youngster within the Brotherhood of Shadow is referred to as Vesya until their Rite of Passage, and thereafter, though officially their title becomes Ves, the other Ves of their Ves'a(formation) will often affectionately refer to them as Vesya. After many successful missions, a Ves may become a sort of Sergeant called Kax'Ves who leads a Ves'a. After at least 8 years, the Kax'Ves can be promoted to Vee and command a Ves-ka of his own Ves'a and six other Ves'a. A true leader, may, after their twenty-fifth birthday be promoted to Karr (A title borrowed from the Orcs meaning "Lord") to command 6 Ves-ka (Kax'Ves-ka). A talented leader of 5 years experience, can be promoted to Don/Donna, or Major and given a Cartel of about fifteen-hundred persons (six Kax'Ves-ka). And if the Don, Donna or Major survives 10 years and prospers, They might get promoted to General or Godfather/mother and placed in charge of a Syndicate of six Cartels. Above that is only the Grandfather, and he doesn't share, except with his wife and partner, though she has no actual position or duties within the Greater Syndicate.

Payment & Reimbursement

The members of the Shadow Brotherhood get paid, and get paid well.Each Ves within a Ves'a divides up their shares of any contract. 25% is "Taxed" upward to the next level. For example, if Rakkar the Bloody is hired to kill some one, he gives 25% of his contract earnings to the Ves'a (The Crimson Ves'a) that he belongs to. If each person does that, the Ves'a receives 25% of each Ves' income. The Ves'a then takes 25% and shunts it up to the Vee, which collects from six other Ves'a. The remainder of the Ves'a's earnings are used by the Kax'Ves for Ves'a operations. The Ves-ka then takes the earnings it got from it's seven Ves'a and sends 25% to the Karr, with the Vee spending the rest as he sees fit on Ves-ka operations, and so forth .

Other Benefits

Among goblins, a Shadow Brother always has an ally. In their uniforms, no one in a goblin warren would impede their movement, deny them sustenance, or reveal their location; not unless seriously threatened and forced, anyway. Outside of Folk Hero status, the benefits are mostly financial or immeasurable (such as protection for one's family). One of the biggest advantages is the fantasy equivalent of job security, pension and life-insurance policy. The brotherhood will take care of you and your family for the rest of their lives should you become injured, dead or geriatric (Brothers retire from the field at forty regardless of rank and earn a pension).



Shadow Brothers are Goblin Garbage Men.  They remove the trash of Fomorian Society.  In general, if someone is going to pay the prices The Brotherhood of Shadow asks, the person being killed, most likely isn't a good person; but in any event, any brother is free to turn down any contract that he is not ordered to perform by a superior, so better judgement can prevail.

Social Status

Shadow Brothers are Folk-Heroes to the oppressed masses of Fomorians, but Horrific Demons to those abusing their lessers.  Nobles among the Balorians use them to frighten children into behaving, and everybody knows of a tyrant that didn't get up in the morning.


Overall, about 2-3% of the Goblins of the Fomorian Empire work for the Brotherhood of Shadow, and the Shadow Brothers are the third biggest of the 4 branches.  Branches are, in order of size and demographics, Adamant Legion, Sisters of Dusk, Shadow Brothers, and Shadow Propagandists.


The Shadow Brothers are a relatively new fraternity with little long term history. In the short term, they were formed in response to events of the Second Interstellar War (IW2). Grandfather Ghost formed them to combat the rising tyranny of the High Chief, and to act as wetwork specialists against the Elves. Ghost chose two intimidating weapons for his warriors, the Ngombe Ngulu or Executioner's Sword, and the Iklwa. Having witnessed the ferocity by which Zalu warriors on Caer-Thun dismantled their enemies, Ghost held them in particularily high esteem. So he took the Zalu Iklwa and adapted it to goblin size. Now, the Brotherhood is known by these two weapons.
Don't forget that you can click on the blue compass on the left to access the Table of Contents at any time!
A Few Good Elves Cover Small.png

Want to read all of the Toy Soldier Saga fiction, even before the rest of the world does?Subscribe now!

Alternative Names
The Shadows, the Brothers, the Darkness
Depending on time and government, the Brothers may be highly in demand or a pure luxury to hire against your enemies.


Please Login in order to comment!
Powered by World Anvil