Shadelings Species in Ayn | World Anvil
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In game mechanics
Shadelings will follow standard Pathfinder (Where they are known as Fetchlings) rules as detailed in this link.   Social difficulty: ★★☆☆☆ - Shadelings are an enigma to most, and sometimes even themselves, especially since most aren't aware of their common origin with humans. This feeling of unknown can breed tension, but also a sense of 'They haven't done anything wrong, so they're fine'. The most a Shadeling will experience (without provocation) is slight unease.
During the Immortal War, a renegade group of angels and demons splintered off from their duties in an attempt to rally and stop the conflict. After a series of events (that can be read here), the remaining Yman were pulled from the Realm of Shadows by Ciel - Goddess of Life and renamed to humans. However, not all Yman were killed in combat or escorted out, and a few remained in the dark and colorless plane, hiding from the Gods in fear they might be killed or removed. They named themselves Dakahn, which means 'Dark Walker' in their native tongue known as 'Old Tongue', but most creatures refer to them as 'Shadelings' because of their affinity for shadows.
Fetchling Portrait
by Mioree
Indeed, the immediate defining feature of a shadeling is their dusky, gray hued skin that varies between shades of porcelain white and a deep dark black. The Realm of Shadows is devoid of any sunlight or color, and their extended stay in the realm ensured their body adapted to best suit the environment. Otherwise they resemble humans quite a bit, with their rounded ears and almond shaped eyes, though either race does not like to be confused for the other.   Their eyes have also adjusted, not simply with the advanced ability to navigate the dark, but also with a dim glow, often yellow, but shades of white have also been seen. While rare, it is also possible for blue and/or green eyes to manifest, often a product of their genetics resisting the changes.   Their hair is naturally shades of gray like their skin, though many will dye their hair black or white. Those that have broken out of their shell and assimilated to human culture may even dye their hair blonde or brown to better fit in.
Shadelings introduction to Ayn is usually done by accident. Access to a realm can be granted generally through a portal, spell, or other means, but the entry to the Realm of Shadows is tricky. Unlike other magical doorways, the portal to the Realm of Shadows is difficult to pinpoint since it moves frequently, in seemingly random order, and is unseen...Simply any shadow is able to house the entrance and which shadow it is in is anyone's guess. Usually a shadeling will duck into a shadow to avoid detection from the many oddities and horrors that skulk the grey realm, only to find themselves whisked away to the material world of Ayn. Only experienced shadelings can master this travel and slip seamlessly between the two, which leads to many simply accepting their fate in this new and 'alien' world. It is also possible for a shadeling to be born on Ayn as enough have fell through the portal to form small enclaves or to assimilate to human societies, which accept and generally tolerate them.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Originally shadelings named their children to represent items in Old Tongue, such as 'Hayaglo' to mean 'With soft eyes', but since then they've allowed their names to simply sound similar. Surnames are given at birth and usually are meant to expand upon the name.   Male: Ytar, Ashik, Zozo, Jomesh   Female: Goima, Inesca, Zaitherin, Leusca   Surname: Halifan, Shusme, Loiphan, Zuenimi

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Their ancestry (although unknown to both races) and common looks allows them to assimilate to human settlements and culture most easily, so they are oft residents of human oriented towns, even if there is some slight underlying tension between the two.   Dwarves consider them creepy. The stout race is not above superstition and the shadeling's dusky skin pigment and glowing eyes is unsettling for a dwarf.   Elves are oft to find them unnatural as, indeed, they have not seen shadelings occur in nature, and unlike humans who skin and eyes are not too unlike their own, they are too young and unknown to be trusted.   They share a bond with half-orcs, half-elves, aasimars and tieflings due to being misunderstood and thus marginalized. The races are oft to discuss their feelings of not belonging and need to strike out and find their meaning in the world.   They are too sensible and civil to fit in with more savage races and find themselves often hunted or at odds due to their human appearance.

Alignment And Religion

Shadelings come in all sorts of alignment, though tend to favor the more neutral axis, prioritizing their well being and survival over nefarious or virtuous deeds. This, of course, does not mean they are incapable of good or evil, as many who heed the call one way or another often prove to be potent agents with their ability to slip into the shadows, sometimes literally, to achieve their ends.   Most shadelings favor deities of darkness, such as Heluna - Goddess of the Moon or Azox - God of Destruction, though they are capable of worshiping any known god.
Fetchling Female Example
Perception & Sensory / Extrasensory Capabilities

Due to their time spent in the Realm of Shadows, their sight is heightened to the point of being able to navigate darkness with ease.

Body Tint, Colouring and Marking

Their skin is very washed of color, resulting in varying degrees of gray, from a soft pallor complexion to a dusky grey. While they cannot tan, they do burn easily in the sun.

Anatomy & Morphology

They are your standard humanoids with a head, two arms, two legs, and a torso.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Shadelings speak Common.

Dietary Needs

They favor fish and have developed the ability to eat it raw with no stomach problems. That said, they prefer it cooked and try not to stand out from the crowd by eating it in such a barbaric fashion. Otherwise they are omnivores like humans.

Geographic Distribution

A majority are still in the Realm of Shadows, though there is a population on Ayn.

Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
Homo Umbra
130 years

Cover image: by Exellero


Author's Notes

The name 'Shadeling' was chosen because Pathfinder's lore for calling them 'Fetchling' would not apply in this world so it would be a very odd label. For all intents and purposes they're basically Fetchlings. Apologies for any confusion.

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