World Book: Prysus
The Shadow-Walkers are a race that surfaced during the Age of a Thousand Magicks. Many believe they were actually a magical creation from that time. There are even those who suspect that they are a magical mutation of an elf due to their general size and their pointed ears. However, there is little basis for this rumor other than a couple physical characteristics and a passage from the book known as the Black Chronicles (see the section about the Three Sister Temple and the NPC Elra for more details about the Black Chronicles).
Shadow-Walkers are born with dark grey skin. As they grow older, usually within a few months, they begin to form black lines across their body. These marks grow in size and numbers as they grow older. By the age of one, these markings will usually cover 50% of its body. The markings form various designs and patterns. They often appear as tattoos, but are really just a natural occurrence and discoloration of their flesh. These markings are completely random but will not form some type of picture. The shapes and patterns typically vary from Shadow-Walker to Shadow-Walker.
They have a very short life span, only about ten years if they are not killed first, and are capable of reproducing asexually after the age of five. When it dies, a newborn Shadow-Walker is instinctively born from the corpse, even if it was an unexpected death. The newborn will reach full maturity by the age of one and instinctively knows how to use their natural talents with no form of training. Each Shadow-Walker is capable of having only one child in this way. It is not believed that they can reproduce in any other way. This means that the race is slowly dying off every time one dies before reaching the age of five.
The Shadow-Walkers have a language of clicks that only other Shadow-Walkers can understand. Those under a magic spell or with some type of psionic ability that allows them to understand all languages can also comprehend it. Though Shadow-Walkers are capable of understanding Elven and Demon tongues, they cannot speak it. When communicating with another race, their actions and expressions are the only way they can convey a thought. Fortunately, they rarely have much to say to another race that needs any further elaboration.
They are typically considered a subclass of demons, but in truth they are just an unusual mortal race that is simply well known for their services to demons. Their natural talents and abilities make them natural spies. Though their talents can make them excellent assassins for mortals, killing a mortal is usually not a major concern for a demon as they have many ways to do such a thing. Their ability to gather information is usually of a much greater value.
It is very rare for a Shadow-Walker to serve any master other than a demon. Usually they will only have one master a lifetime. There have been instances when a Shadow-Walker will leave after an assignment to find a new master, but will always finish the last assignment from their old master first. Under no circumstances will they betray their current master or any previous master. In this way, they have a very limited sense of honor. This loyalty also extends to other Shadow-Walkers, even if the other is loyal to a different master.
As a race, they live to serve their master. Other than not betraying another Shadow-Walker and their current or former master, there is little to that they will not be willing to do to complete any given mission. It is rare for a Shadow-Walker to refuse a mission from its master, but there have been a few incidents. This usually means that it will cross some line that the Shadow-Walker does not want to cross. However, if the mission has already been accepted, then they will complete it regardless of any possible reservations they may have.
Alignment: Any, but 90% are Anarchist or Miscreant with another 8% being Aberrant or Diabolic.
Attributes: I.Q. 3D6, M.E. 2D6, M.A. 2D6, P.S. 3D6, P.P. 4D6, P.E. 3D6, P.B. 2D6, Spd. 4D6
Natural A.R.: 6
Hit Points: P.E. attribute + 10, plus 1D6 per level of experience.
S.D.C.: Those gained from physical skills only.
Average P.P.E.: 6D6
R.C.C.: Detect Ambush (+10%), Detect Concealment & Traps (+10%), Intelligence (+15%), Locate Secret Compartments/Doors (+10%), Pick Pockets (+15%), Surveillance (+20%), Track Humanoids (+15%), and Hand to Hand: Basic. Shadow-Walkers speak their own unique language at 98%, but can also understand Elven and most demon languages at 75% proficiency. Also select a total of two skills from Espionage, Military, Physical, or Weapon Proficiencies.
Horror Factor: 8 (12 if identified as Shadow-Walkers)
Physical Appearance: They have dark grey skin and black markings that typically cover well over 50% of their body in various designs. Their hair is black and oily. It stops naturally before it reaches the back of the neck line. It is very smooth and stays naturally flat. They have pointed ears like an elf and yellow, cat-like eyes.
Size: 6 to 6 feet, nine inches (1.8 to 2 m)
Weight: 100 to 150 pounds (45 to 68 kg)
Average Life Span: 10 years.
Natural Abilities: In addition the Shadow-Walker's natural agility and speed, they also have a nightvision 60 feet (18.3 m) and can see in total darkness. In addition, they have a natural ability to prowl at 90% and they also have the ability to cling and walk on walls/ceilings like a spider. Perhaps their most notable ability is their unique version of invisibility.
Shadow-Walking: The Shadow-Walker is able to emit a field around them which allows them to go unseen by the naked eye. Even if someone is using See the Invisible, only a shadowy distortion can be seen. Since they tend to hide on walls and ceilings it makes them still very hard to detect to all but the most observant, or someone who knows where to look. It is impossible for an opponent to make a called shot on a Shadow-Walker while using this ability.
There is no limit to the time this ability can be maintained. However, it cannot be maintained during any other type of strenuous physical activity. Walking normally or crawling on walls/ceilings is considered normal light activity, as well as most skills. Lifting heavy objects, running, and combat would all be considered strenuous activity and cannot be done while this ability is still in effect.
Vulnerabilities: The Shadow-Walkers have a very unusual type of vulnerability. For some odd reason, anyone that is on the verge of dying is able to see through their Shadow-Walking technique as well as their magical abilities. In addition, these people can understand their odd language which usually sounds like nothing more than a series of clicking. Those on the verge of death are also capable of dealing double damage to a Shadow-Walker. A person could be considered on the verge of death if reduced to 25% or less hit points. Also, a character can be considered on the verge of dying if the individual has a terminally ill disease, usually only in the final stages.
Also, Shadow-Walkers cannot stand bright lights. Sunlight hurts their eyes and disrupts their Shadow Walking ability as if someone were using See the Invisible. A Shadow-Walker will only go out in sunlight if expressly ordered to do so, which few will do because they know a Shadow-Walker is not as effective during in the light. Even when ordered to follow someone, they will wait until night to try and pick up their trail. When in sunlight or other bright light, they are -6 to all actions and -20% on all skills. A Blinding Flash, Globe of Daylight, or other similar spell can be equally as effective. Try to use good judgment for in doors and torches, but usually unless very well lit the Shadow-Walker will be unaffected.
Magic: Shadow Meld and Wink-out only.
Enemies: Usually when discovered, most races will kill first and ask questions later. The main reason for this is that Shadow-Walkers are so rarely found, if they are around to be found they are usually on some type of mission. When that is the case, there is no telling how long they have been around and how much information they may have learned, or if they are planning to kill someone.
Allies: Other Shadow-Walkers can always be trusted as one will never harm another under any type of circumstance. Also, Shadow-Walkers typically are in allegiance with some type of demon.
Habitat: They can be found just about anywhere. Usually they are in at the side of a demon unless on a mission. This means that is not uncommon to find one in one of the demon realms such as Hades. In the last year, there have been two reported lurking on the island of Eltara.
Favorite Weapons: Small, concealable weapons such as knives tend to be among their favorites. Most commonly though, Shadow-Walkers carry no weapons at all as they do not like to fight and do not plan on getting caught.
1. Worship any type of deities, but most commonly worship the demon lords.
2. Typically wear no armor at all.
3. They are typically used for their talents as spies and assassins.
4. Tend to be very loyal (to their master only) and won't take an action unless specifically ordered to do so.
5. Usually only come out at night as they cannot stand bright lights. They can stand sunlight, but avoid it whenever possible only go out in it when absolutely necessary.
6. The Orcish Empire in Yin-Sloth Jungles named their secret unit of elite warriors the Shadow-Walkers after these creatures.
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07/29/2011 04:04:41 AM -0700