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After the monarch of a species of dragons called Shadow Striders and her people was slain by a team of Dragonslayers (they like to eat humans, and they were getting too powerful), her human slaves were freed and the plan is to bring them back into regular human society. However, there are a few problems with this:

  1. Shadow Dancers have telepathy; no matter how far they are from their fellow Shadow Dancers, they can still communicate and know how the others are doing, mentally and physically. They can even sense where they are.

  2. Shadow Dancers can create and manipulate darkness; this is, quite obviously, dark magic. In a medieval fantasy world, dark magic is nay-okay.

  3. Shadow Dancers were slavishly devoted to the Queen and by extension, the Strider colony, like an ant or bee would be if it had human-level intelligence. The Queen and her colony were destroyed by powerful magic, so now they have no colony. They're emotionally shattered and will seek out one or perhaps all of the following:

  4. Rigid caste system-That's what they lived in. The entire colony was organized into castes: Worker, Soldier, and Queen.

  5. Slavery-That's how they lived for quite some time; they're used to it, they have no idea how to live differently.

  6. Royal employment-See above; the Shadow Dancers found purpose in serving a twisted, dictatorial queen, so they'll probably seek out "employment" under similar leadership.

My question is: Considering this, how can they be brought back into society?

Consider:

  1. Shadow Dancers are the former slaves, Shadow Striders are the dragons. The Shadow Dancers are to be repatriated because they were once citizens of the human kingdom, people who happened to hold the Dancer class. In other words, the kingdom wants to reclaim its former citizens. Also, while their magic may be taboo, knowledge is power and understanding it will allow the kingdom's mages to better handle, contain, and even cure dark magic's effects. Magic exists; it's just not that common. 5 in every 100 people is a mage capable of casting simple spells like Fireball, 3 out of that 5 can cast stronger spells like Compulsion or Alter Self, and 2 of those 5 are capable of casting spells like Resurrection and Awaken. If more details are needed, I will add them as soon as I can.
  2. This question can be split into three parts: 1. How to keep the Shadow Dancers from putting themselves back into a horrible situation, 2. How to teach the Shadow Dancers how to live differently, and 3. What roles would they have after being brought back into the fold? For number 3, there are some questions I posted about my version of the Dancer Class you can reference: Men Protecting Themselves From Bewitchment

Role Of Whirling Blades in Fantasy Society (RPG Classes)

Dancer's Role in Fantasy Society (RPG Classes)

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  • $\begingroup$ If it can be sit in 3 parts, it us best to do so. Also, can you make it more clear shadow striders are dragons and shadow dancers are the (former) slaves? Or if it's different, make it more clear? $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Jan 9 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ There is an episode of Star Trek Voyager called "Survival Instinct" with a similar premis. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jan 9 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ I think some context is missing here. What are Shadow Dancers? Why would people want to reintegrate them into society if their magic is taboo? Why are they being repatriated into an alien society rather than allowed to self-determinate, isn't that just another form of slavery? $\endgroup$ Jan 10 at 1:52
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    $\begingroup$ Good point user2352714, I'll add in that context. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jan 10 at 3:19
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Seek aid from a Benevolent Dragon.

Find a benevolent dragon (who we will call Naarshintqwytx) who has

(a) Similar magical talent to the Shadow Strider queen.

(b) Has a large number of followers already.

Strike a bagain with Naarshintqwytx where they get some of the treasure and other arcane goodies from the Shadow Strider lair, in return for taking the colony of Shadow Dancers under their care.

They might not know the binding ritual off hand. But they should be able to reverse engineer it from the spellbooks and magical bric-a-brac found in the lair.

Edit: One workaround is for Naarshintqwytx to use Necromancy to capture the soul of the Shadow Strider queen and bind it to his will. The Dancers still follow their Queen but their queen follows Naarshintqwytx. This is interesting because it uses 'evil' magic to beat other 'evil' magic. Being extremely long lived, dragons have a much broader view of magic and morality and don't shun so-called dark magic to the extent humans do.

Now the Shadow Dancers are bound to Naarshintqwytx rather than the Queen. This solves points 3,4,5,6. The dancers have a powerful leader to follow which keeps them out of trouble. Since the dragon already has followers he has things for them to do, so can keep the dancers occupied with jobs, ideally ones that do good rather than evil.

As Naarshintqwytx has more time to study the ritual they might try to weaken it and allow the dancers to slowly regain their free will. Perhaps the shadow magic can be blocked or replaced with another type of magic.

Probably they never fully reintegrate into society. Best case scenario is the dancers remain with Naarshintqwytx for the rest of their natural lives, but they become valuable and more-or-less free willed servants of good, with the occasional need for a magical checkup.

Edit: The dragon itself is not essential. You could instead use any sufficiently powerful spellcaster for (a) and find some other way to keep them occupied.

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  • $\begingroup$ Find a benevolent dragon (who we will call Naarshintqwytx). Or Naarshintqwy for short. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jan 10 at 1:34
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    $\begingroup$ Very insightful answer, thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jan 10 at 3:22

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