Touched by Darkness Condition in When Darkness Craves | World Anvil

Touched by Darkness

While a rare sight, it is possible to encounter normal animals inside the Dark Halls. While the First Halls don't target them to be taken away, sometimes, if they were too close to humans, they might be spirited away too. But it seems that the darkness is way kinder to them than to humans. As long as the animal stays in the light, nothing will happen to them. But when it finds itself in the too low light level instead of taking something away from them, the darkness will change and adapt them so they have it easier to survive here.  


The first symptoms start to show up after the first "bite" (the time it takes for the darkness to take. away something. It varies between each hall. In some cases, it can be felt physically or mentally.) of the darkness and intensify with each additional one. The "bites" cause the animal's body to become darker, and slightly transparent. Some witnesses described also something that could be called a "slight loss of the depth" of the affected animal. The animal starts to feel aversion towards the light. As the condition progresses, it is clear to see that the animal turns into a shadow.  

Second stage

Once the affected animal truly turns into a shadow, it is at the most vulnerable stage of the condition. The sources of light hurt it and a sudden, strong enough flash or prolonged contact with the light can completely disintegrate the dark-touched creature. However, if it survives long enough, the edges of its shape will start to move and change. At that point, the condition reaches the third stage.  

Third stage

The third stage progresses very quickly. The shadows that now form the body of the animal start to move not only on its edges but also outwards. It once again gains depth, growing rapidly and taking on a new shape, with possible new limbs and appendages. While the aversion towards light remains, when the creature becomes more physical, it is less hurt by it and won't be disintegrated by strong flashes.  

Process finalization

At this point, the dark-touched beast might still grow and change, however their metamorphosis is finished, in most cases.  

Stories and rumors

It is said that one of the settlement guards got trapped by the Dark Halls with their dog. While they managed to travel together for some time, the two of them got separated. When the owner lost the hope of finding their friend, they settled down and became a guard. Sometime later, the settlement got reports of creatures moving closer to them. While the guard was on duty, one of the creatures noticed them and rushed towards them. But instead of attacking, this four-meter-tall monstrosity made out of solid shadows started jumping happily around them. The two reunited and a settlement gained a new guardian.   Once in a while, when looking into the darkness during a journey, one might barely notice and hear the sound of many paws and claws rushing by. While some creatures could make sounds like these, there are stories of a whole pack of wolves that got taken by the Dark Halls. Now, long after they could be called wolves, they still travel together.

Changes in the diet and personality

Another way the darkness shows its kindness towards animals or unkindness towards humans is by changing their diet. Plants are pretty rare in the Dark Halls and it seems that the dark-touched creatures gain the ability to digest flesh, even if they didn't have it.   The other very visible change is that once the animal gets affected by this condition, no matter if it was tamed or domesticated, it becomes feral, losing any inhibitions against attacking or feeding on humans. Only one in many of them will still retain some memories and loyalty towards them.  
Darktouched Fido by Revyera


The only way to prevent an animal from contracting this condition is to always keep it in light strong enough to stave off the darkness of the Hall. Once afflicted, there is no cure, but the progress of the condition can be indefinitely halted at the first stage as long as the animal is brought back to light. Once the sickness goes into its second stage, there is no return as contact with light will be harmful to the creature.

Cover image: Dark-touched by Revyera


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Dec 26, 2023 10:32

This is super interesting, I always get shivers when it comes to conditions that change you in a way you have no control over...   The story with the dog is very cute though, heart warming :3

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
Jan 19, 2024 20:22 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

I really like how consistent this article is between visual styling and your topic. The story at the end is cute and offers some hope for what seems to be a tragic condition transforming friends into enemies. Well done.

Follow my worlds: Arrhynsia and Compendium and check out my author website at to see my latest work!
Jan 19, 2024 21:53

Thank you very much and I'm happy to hear you liked it!

Jan 29, 2024 00:31 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

I did! There are a lot of articles, and this one made it through the first cull easily!

Follow my worlds: Arrhynsia and Compendium and check out my author website at to see my latest work!
Feb 25, 2024 22:17 by Aster Blackwell

Aw I love the idea of the guard's dog finding him again even though it has been turned into a shadow creature.

Mar 1, 2024 07:53

I'm happy to hear you liked that part.