The series this book is part of is critiqued in The Fall of the Astral Shapers Critique (Book).

The Fall of the Astral Shapers by Teruvax Tristem - Part 2

The Astral Shapers relied more and more on their slaves' workforce as well as on their knowledge network. This situation worked well for them for a while. But then a new powerful warlord arose. The wars were often a back and forth like the tides of the sea. This was the way things were and the races had grown accustomed to it. This new warlord, however, was tired of that game. He decided to eliminate the one advantage that turned the tides of battle once and for all. Instead of fearing to lose the support of the Shapers by fighting them, he speculated on bolstering his own strength if he managed to steal the Shapers' powers somehow.
The Shapers were no longer prepared for war. Their slave troops, equipped with magically boosted weapons, were labourers not fighters. Moreover, they harboured no love for their masters. The more remote communication towers were the first to fall. This led to confusion and fear among the Shapers. The gaping holes in their communication were highly disturbing, leaving blind spots all over the realm. In this state of disarray, the first cities of the Shapers fell quickly.
As word spread about the actions of the warlord, another flaw became evident. Greedy as the Shapers had been, they had made some humble customers but never friends. When the other races heard about the warlord's success, they feared for their own power. To show the warlord their good will, they started to attack the Shapers, too. Things snowballed as even the more benevolent races decided to join in. After all they could not afford to leave all of the Shapers' knowledge and powers to their enemies.
Soon the Shapers' cities were razed to the ground by a tidal wave of armies. In a last-ditch effort some of the Shapers used their quickly dwindling knowledge to forge themselves into living weapons. This, however, only led to more severe retaliation against the Shaper populace. Within less than a decade the cities of the Shapers lay in ruins. Their people were enslaved and deported into remote realms.
The enslaved Shapers lacked most of the knowledge they had once shared. In an effort to recreate the lost knowledge, several of the captor races squeezed out each bit of knowledge from their captives and compiled them into so-called Shaper records. The fragmentary knowledge they acquired was hardly of any practical use. Moreover, the different races were unwilling to share the records with each other. For this reason, a reconstruction of the Shapers' work was impossible.
During this time, a vast number of Shaper records was created and even copied. However, when the astral forges fell into disrepair, the records were considered worthless. Instead of gathering and comparing the records, they were soon forgotten.
Unable to operate the Shapers' forges, most of them were destroyed by the conquering races. They did not want to risk them falling into the wrong hands.

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