I jerked violently and dropped the coat. I’d seen that kind of “parchment” before. I’d seen dozens of them, blowing down the deserted streets of the abandoned neighborhood that day I’d gotten lost in the fog, all different shapes and sizes. I remembered thinking that there must be a defunct paper factory somewhere nearby with broken windows.
But it hadn’t been paper blowing past me—it had been people. Or what had been left of them, anyway. And that day, if I’d not made it out before nightfall, I would have become one of these… these… dehydrated rinds of human matter, too.
I backed away. I didn’t need to peer beneath any more coats to know those husks were all that was left of Rocky O’Bannion and fifteen of his men, but I did anyway. I lifted three more, and that was all I could take. The men hadn’t even been able to see what was killing them. I wondered if the Shades had attacked simultaneously, waiting for all of them to get out of their cars, or if only the front two men had stepped out of each car and then, when the two in the rear had seen them go down, sucked into little scraps of whatever it was the Shade palate found indigestible in humans, they too had lunged out, guns blazing, only to fall victim to the same unseen foe. I wondered if the Shades were clever enough to wait, or merely driven by mindless, insatiable hunger.
From Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning.
For as long as humans have existed, there has been a fear of the dark. Children beg their parents for a nightlight. Parents assure the kids that there is nothing to be afraid of. The parents are so very wrong. The children in their innocence can see what the parents cannot see and have forgotten. The shadows that move on their own are barely sentient, but have a need to feed.
Shadow shades are fae creatures that live in the shadows. They are a member of the Unseelie Court, but one of the lowest among the various castes. As this creature is Fae, the shadows can only be seen by one who has innocence (a child) or who has devoured the flesh of a Fae. The only reason the Shadow Shades have not overtaken is because of their weakness. Simple light makes the creature cower into the furthest dark crevices possible. Sunlight, a flashlight, streetlamp, or even the light of the full moon will keep the shades hiding in their corner.
When darkness overtakes the area surrounding the shade, they will kill. Weapons will not harm them, because they are simply a shadow and are not corporeal. When this creature kills, it leaves behind a dried husk that looks like a withered piece of parchment buried in the clothes the victim was wearing. This husk does not contain DNA, so it is impossible to tell who the shade made a meal out of. Many of the stories that are told of people who just went missing, never to be seen or heard from again became victims of the shade. What makes this more difficult, is with each body consumed, the shade will grow larger.
It is difficult to kill a shade, but not impossible. The shade must devour light. If the Shade sees the light, they will not come near it for they know what it can do to them. The easiest way one can force the shade to eat the light would be to take dynamite and wrap it up in a bit of flesh. Have the fuse lit, so once the shade chomps on its treat, it will combust from the inside out.
CON 2D4 5
SIZ 2D4 4
INT 1D4 2
POW 2D4 5
Av. Damage Bones: None
Weapons: Hide 75% , Sneak
Sanity Loss: 1/1D2 to see the Shadow Shade in normal conditions. 1/1D6 to see it devour it’s victim.