Shades (Creature) Edit

In the darkest shadows of the longest nights wander monsters more frightening than any ill-shaped beast. Born of pain, trapped in the twilight between this world and another, they torment their victims before feasting on their anima.

Shades are living shadows, clouds of dark matter that live in the physical universe but also exist in another dimension. Some cryptozoologists argue that shades entered our dimension purposefully to feed on anima, while others say they were unwillingly thrust and became trapped like ghosts.

They can take any form they wish. When feeding on anima, they grow larger, while without it they shrink. Shades thrive in the dark; the sunlight weakens them, though it doesn't destroy them. Because they exist only partially in this world they cannot be killed, only dismissed for a burst of time.

Shades exist all over the world, but those found in the dark corners of the Valley of the Sun God in Egypt are particularly powerful.

The ancient Egyptians believed the soul was divided into five fragments: name, heart, shadow, spirit, and life-force. The soul combined with a body made up a human. After the death of the body, the soul would split into its component parts. Some would journey on to the afterlife, living a second life in the presence of gods, while others remained tethered to earth.

The Aten cultists were fascinated by occult thanatology and their mad priests performed cruel surgeries to find the secret of immortality. They believed that the shadow should remain in the world of the living to live on in the glory of their dark god.

In a terrible process called the Corruption, the priests used dark magic to carve away Sheut, the shadow, while the helpless subject was still alive, leaving part of the worshipper's soul forever free to be a potent guardian of hall, shrine and temple. Through such violent soul surgery, the priests created a monster that had achieved one of the goals of the cultists: to be part of the essence of the dark god for eternity.

They feed on anima, delighting in ripping it from the living, whether animal, human or vegetable - it's all the same to those who delight in death. Although they can use magic, shades seem obsessed with strangling and beating their prey to death, as if repeating and ritualising the torture that created them.

Shades are alien, lacking any capacity for compassion and kindness, forever chilled to the core by the darkness they live in. Trapped in limbo, there is no deliverance for their level of damnation.