Shadow Realm

The Shadow Realm is a different world, hidden behind an invisible veil, vastly different from Dunia. Not many know how to access it and even fewer have any idea how to survive it's poisonous, toxic atmosphere. The vast majority of people who visit either flee in terror, or die to shadow sickness.

The dungeon was dry as death and Runeig found it hard even to breathe. She had regretted her participation in this expedition several times over since they passed through the gateway into the Shadow Realm, but never had she regretted anything more than she did now.

The dungeon was just a single corridor, lined with iron bars with doors leading into six cells. There were bodies in them. Three, maybe four or five in each cell. Some frozen in some twisted, horrific shape as if they'd died convulsing. Each body was pale as death itself and their faces contorted in grimaces of fear and torment. From their eyes, mouths and noses were thick, black lines, as if black tears had flowed down their faces. Runeig gasped and gagged, struggling to prevent herself from vomiting.

"By the goddess!" she exclaimed, incapable of holding back her horror. "What has happened to these poor souls?"

Dr Ergyn, the expedition leader, gave her a cold stare.

"This is what happens to anyone who stays here for too long. That itch you feel in the back of the throat? That feeling of sand in your lungs as you breathe? That's only the beginning." he said with a small chuckle that turned into a cough. He adjusted the stained mask that protected his mouth.

Suddenly there was movement in the corner of Runeig's eye. A scream rang out, hoarse and terrible, lacking any resemblance of a Kykr voice. A vindral woman threw herself at the bars and from her lips came a plea:

"Lu' ghus dah ghoj'tah!"

The vindral was beset by a terrible hacking croup before falling to the ground and exhaling that characteristical breath of one who has taken their last gasp of air.

"Let me die with honor." Dr Ergyn commented.

"Excuse me?" Runeig was still in shock. She had backed into the bars on the opposite side of the corridor, and her hand was covering her mouth in shock.

"That's what she said. It was Qaj. These people must have come from Morvátu. He was utterly unmoved by the scene before them.

— A Kfandrian expedition into the Shadow Realm encounter the corrupted.

What is the shadow realm?

There certainly are speculations. Hard facts are hard to come by as the only information available is thousands of years old and written in a language long since dead. Some are just ramblings of fanatics and cultists.

The Shadow Realm is some form of parallell universe or metaphysical plane of existance, separate from Dunia by something dubbed "The Veil". One can pass through the Veil by a few methods and end up in the other realm. The two realms seem to partially correlate space and time, but not fully and in very unpredictable ways. Time passed in one world isn't necessarily the same or even relative to the other, nor is space. One can move in one world and come out near or similar to where one would end up if one moved in the other world, or one can end up days or even weeks of travel away.

As far as the kykr know, no one has figured out how the two worlds relate to one another or made any observations that point to a repeatable experiment how time and space correlate between the two realms. Sometimes a place can exist in both worlds, but on different time scales. A building that is a ruin in the Shadow Realm can be complete in Dunia and vice versa. In some places, particularly the shadowscars, both worlds can exist in the same place and time, at the same time, forming a ghostly "middleworld".

Alternative Name(s)
Dimensional plane

Related Reading

Shadow Sickness
Condition | Jul 2, 2022

Also known as the Black Death, shadow sickness is a fatal toxic reaction to the energies of the Shadow Realm.

Species | Jan 15, 2022

Native to the Shadow Realm, this hive-minded species is made up of a multitude of biological castes, each designed to fulfill one role or another. They are highly aggressive towards invaders of their realm and lethal in combat.

Species | Jan 13, 2022

The Shadelings are goo-like creatures who haunt the shadow scars of Celenia.


The Shadow Realm was discovered through the uncovering of a fanatic cultist order, lead by Sanret Da'Goeva. These cultists seemed to be able to use the energies of the Shadow Realm to perform what they call the "mystical arts". Horrifying magic on the scale of fay witchcraft.

The continent of Celenia seems to be the only place so far where crossing the veil is possible and it is the easiest inside the Shadowscars that litter its landscapes. Inside these scars, both Dunia and the Shadow Realm seem to exist at once, inhabiting the same space at the same time. The process isn't exactly clear, but one can end up permanently stuck in the Shadow Realm by exploring these scars. Or one can remain in Dunia. Something in them determines where you end up.

Mist Portals and Mist Gates

The "safest" way to travel reliably between the worlds is to use Mist Portals, but unfortunately, those require some form of ancient power source to be activated and only last for a few moments at a time.

There are also mist gates, but these are far less reliable and the method of both activating them and directing them where to go are...unclear.


A breach in the Veil manifests as an area of blurred reality. It's not simply a rift or an opening, but the two worlds seem to almost occupy the same space at the same time. Both worlds existing in a strange, ghostlike state within the rift. These locations are usually called "Shadow Scars" or "Mist Portals", although the latter is usually reserved for constructed portals that allow passage through the Veil. The name "mist portal" comes from the purple, swirling, mistlike substance that permeates the air within these portals or scars.

These breaches offer the most efficient way of passing the Veil without using excessive amounts of energy to run a portal. The only problem is that the breaches seem to be a natural phenomenon only occuring within the shadow scars of Celenia or seemingly at random. This makes them not so reliable.

The Horror beyond the Veil

There is a another problem with passing the veil. Creatures from the natural realm do not fare well in the shadow realm and vice versa. There is something about it that causes a sickness in everyone and everything within less than a day, leading to a horrifying death by suffocation. The condition is called "shadow sickness".

The Shadow Realm itself is a dark and desolate world. It's skies are pitch black with dark, purple auroras dancing across its tumultous skies. The world itself is almost devoid of any plant life, only shrublife, dead or dying trees and thick, thorny vines seem to live in this hostile environment.

The surface is shattered and cracked, frequently falling off into endless voids. It's as if the entire world hangs in an endless void, with cracked and free floating landmasses. The surface is mostly rock, covered by a thick layer of dust or a sandlike substance.

The entire world is draped in a purple darkness and it's frequently covered in a thick fog, making traversing the world an extremely dangerous prospect, considering all the endless pits.


The Shadow Realm is inhabited by hideous, insect-like creatures that the kykr call shadebeasts. They are extremely hostile to everything that does not belong in the Shadow Realm. They make their homes inside caves and large, built mounds, like gigantic ants or locusts.

Articles under Shadow Realm


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