Volcra Explained: How The Shadow Fold Turned Humans Into Monsters
The volcra are the greatest danger of the Shadow Fold in Shadow and Bone, but their backstory reveals the horrible secret that they were once human.
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The volcra are the greatest danger of the Shadow Fold in Shadow and Bone, but their backstory reveals the horrible secret that they were once human. The Shadow Fold is a sea of darkness that cut Ravka in two, created centuries ago by the Black Heretic. The darkness itself is threatening enough, but it is also home to the volcra, flying creatures that prey on people entering the Fold. The volcra are assumed to be simply monsters of the Fold, but Alina Starkov learns that the creation of the Fold turned humans into volcra.
Alina first encounters the volcra when the First Army sends her and Mal through the Fold on a sandskiff. The volcra quickly attack the skiff, taking several people and injuring Alina and Mal, but Alina’s Sun Summoner powers drive them away: as creatures of darkness, light hurts the volcra. Later, the Grisha teacher Baghra tells Alina the true history of the volcra: General Kirigan created the Shadow Fold himself centuries ago, transforming all the men, women, and children who lived on the land taken by the Fold into monsters. In a flashback scene in the show, it’s also shown that the king’s soldiers who have surrounded the Darkling are also twisted into volcra when he unleashes his dark power to create the Fold.
The creation of the volcra was an unintended consequence of the magic Kirigan used to make the Shadow Fold. Grisha practice the Small Science, the ability to manipulate nature and its elements at the molecular level. They do not consider their abilities magic since they are only controlling what is already there and it fits within the laws of nature. Kirigan, in his desire for more power, began using corrupted magic, called merzost, which breaks the boundaries of physical nature to create something out of nothing. However, it has unpredictable results, either taking something vital from the person using it to harness its dangerous and uncontrollable power, or rebounding with unintended consequences.
In the show, Kirigan’s intentions are less clear, but in the book, Baghra reveals that the Shadow Fold was not a mistake. The Darkling intentionally created the Shadow Fold to use as a weapon against Ravka’s and the Grisha’s enemies, but he did not plan on the volcra, not realizing the people would also be changed. The force of unpredictable merzost-created darkness and shadow affected humans the same way it affected the land of the Shadow Fold, twisting them into dangerous weapons. Since that time, the volcra have bred as monsters, creating new generations of ravenous creatures to inhabit the Fold.
As Alina will soon find out after the events of the Shadow and Bone season finale, the volcra will not kill General Kirigan. In the book Siege and Storm, he reveals that the volcra do not feed on each other. Since he created them, he is too much like them to be their prey – though that will not stop them from attacking him. Alina may also struggle with using her power against the volcra in the future. Once Alina learns of their humanity, she finds it more difficult to kill them in the later books, always hearing the screams of humans in their cries.
Alina may now be a weapon against the volcra, but they are still a threat to anyone who enters the Fold. Ravka continues to be held hostage by the Shadow Fold and the terrifying creatures that live within it. The volcra and the Shadow Fold still have a role to play in Shadow and Bone, and the story is just beginning.
Link Source : https://screenrant.com/shadow-bone-volcra-fold-monsters-humans-explained/