The lowest of creatures from the bowels of the void, descended from their larger ancestor, the Weeping Shadow. These creatures are varied in shape, size, and form, although they do tend to follow certain guidelines. They are summoned into this world as the eyes and ears of the sorcerers they are enslaved to. However, just because these creatures serve mostly as scouts does not mean that they are easy prey for humans. They have claws that could rip through tank armor, and acidic venom which allows them to melt the flesh straight off of their prey, spraying them from meters away. These creatures enjoy the hunt, their heightened sense of smell and taste making victory all that much sweeter. If one should catch the ire of a Shadow, may God have mercy on your soul. Neither wall nor floor, steel nor concrete, bullet nor blade, will save you from its grasp. Magic is your only option, if you can even harness it. The creatures are not inherently evil however. Along with their venom is an antidote. The by product of creating the venom creates a healing antidote that gathers in their saliva. Their bones and flesh can be used in medicine to heal even the most ill. If its respect is earned then a Shadow will prove the most loyal companion, willing to sacrifice its own life to save its friend. However, some Shadows are trapped as soon as they come into this world, their master corrupting them, turning them into harbingers of death and famine. Possessing a small amount of Ley allows them to hide during the daytime when they are most obvious, as well as cast Primal Spells to aid them in pursuit and combat. The only spell they know that is not Primal is the ability to change their appearance to that of another animal.
All Shadows are creatures of their own shape. Most have four arms, followed by two legs ending in talons. Their arms end in human looking hands, but instead of nails, each finger ends in a razor sharp claw capable of ripping through tank armor as if it were paper. Most have an elongated snout, similar to the traditional depiction of dragons, razor sharp fangs hanging out even when closed. While horns are standard to most Shadows, the size, shape, and length vary. A Shadow's horns grow longer the older it gets. Underneath their leathery black skin is a rippling tide of muscles, ready to launch the Shadow into action at a moment's notice. Their eyes are small white orbs, eyelids black flaps of skin protecting them from the elements. Small pointed ears limiting their hearing, but also are hard to hit during the traditional mating ceremonies.
Species does not have specific genders. Genitalia are non existent as they are not required for reproduction.
Genetics and Reproduction
In order to create a new Shadow, two Shadows gather materials from the surrounding area. They create a disc that is about two feet wide, and an inch thick. They then carve runes, unknown to anyone, appearing in the minds of the Shadows as they carve them. Once the disc is complete the Shadows hold the disc between them, pouring their soul, the source of their Ley, into the disc. They will it to create a child Shadow and, if the gods allow it, they succeed.
Growth Rate & Stages
A Shadow starts out no more than a half meter tall, horns non existent. They grow for the next five years to their full height, horns appearing about age two, and growing out to an inch by age five. After this the only way to tell the age of a Shadow is to measure its horns. Every extra inch means an extra ten years past age five. The oldest summoned Shadow was almost 200 years of age. Some grow bigger every few years after this, but it is a rare occurence.
Ecology and Habitats
The Shadows inhabit the Void, a land of darkness. There is no light in the Void, but the humans that have gone there with torches have come back babbling about hideous creatures not yet summoned, and ruins of ancient civilizations, from the colony of Roanoke, to the grand Empire of Atlantis.
Dietary Needs and Habits
The Shadows are strange creatures. They do not wither, age, nor do they need sustenance. They eat only to satisfy a pleasure in their meaningless existence, and to prove their worth among their peers in their "tribe." They do kill out of need however. Their Ley is not infinite, requiring the souls of a living breathing creature to replenish. Various unsolved kidnappings, murders, and other events are the result of a Shadow replenishing its Ley, leaving nothing behind to find. The younger the prey the more Ley that a Shadow can replenish.
The Shadows are nocturnal by nature, owing to their black skin and light sensitive eyes. They have lived in the Void, so pure darkness is best for them, some even refusing to be active on nights with a full moon.
Coalesce in groups upwards of 40-50. These "tribes" have their leader determined through brutal combat, using any means the Shadow can utilize. Typically each group has a maximum of 4 "officers" which are selected by the leader to help him lead the group. Only the leader and "officers" can mate with other members of the group.
Proper summoning causes the sigil of the summoner to appear on the Shadow's body, allowing control and connection with the Shadow. Improper summoning can cause a Shadow to go berserk, killing the summoner and going on a murderous rampage. A are event, but not unheard of.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Typically enslaved by the more intelligent species of the Void. Summoners on Earth use them as scouts, due to their telepathic connection allowing them to assume control of a Shadow.
Elongated Snout with fangs hanging over the bottom lip. Small white eyes near the sides of the head. Ears are typically small and pointed. Horns are the marking of a Shadow, their length telling the age of the Shadow.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Terra - Wherever summoned and sent by their masters Void - Common everywhere, birthplace Ascension - Can not enter
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Shadows have extraordinary taste and smell. This allows them to track their prey in the darkness of the void they inhabit. The ability to smell the scent of a flower from upwards of 200 feet away allows them to "see" around corners at fleeing prey.
Large and Muscular creatures. Above Average when compared to human abilities
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Black leathery skin, paler in areas such as arm pits and and between the legs.
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