Plane of Shadows
This dark and deadly dimension has many names: Vale of Shadows, Shadowfell, The Shadow Plane. But, most know it as that place between heaven and hell where lost souls go to wander for eternity, Purgatory. No gods, angels, or demons dwell here, however, as this plane of existence is far unlike those known as ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’. This one is like Lithrydel, the Yin to its Yang, or in some cases, its evil twin. It mirrors the landscape of Lithrydel, but it is still quite different in its own way. Nearly all within are mortal, save for a few of the elder races that mimic the lifespans of elves and dragons.
This is part of the Planes of Existence.
This lore credited to Khitti.
Dangers of the Shadow Plane
Besides the bloodthirsty wildlife and the various territorial, the plant-life itself is out to get non-natives.
- Spores from local flora cling to the skin, draining the life of the mortals that seek to adventure through the realm. Once ingested, the spores take root and sprout within the bodies of the living, devouring them from the inside out, using their blood and sinew to grow.
- The entire realm itself is a weight on the body. Oxygen levels are dangerously low in such a place as if it were situated in higher altitudes.
- Mortals will feel sluggish after prolonged exposure and will certainly want to ward against the lack of oxygen and the spores via magical means. Enchantments on objects to help with breathing or air magical could prove useful.
Regions of the Vale
The Plane of Shadows is a mirror of our world, but much less advanced. Those that choose to visit this realm would see the similarities between their home and the Shadowfell, but would immediately realize that it much older, darker, and deadlier than home. Various animals and plants, similar to that of Lithrydel and the rest of the world, make their homes here, but are not to be taken lightly.
- The White Woods
- The White Woods is the space where Kelay-Sage and the Enchantment lie within Lithrydel. Bones litter the ground, covering any grass that might’ve been growing in layer upon layer of skeletal pieces that have long since been picked clean of any meat.
- Stark white trees, similar to paper birch, make up the majority of the plant-life in the forest. Other small plants and fungi, all deadly in nature, can be found peeking through the bones and clinging to the trees.
- The Moor of Mourning, the Harbor of Horrors, and the Yawning Abyss
- These three represent this world’s versions of Cenril City, Chartsend, and the ocean, respectively.
- The ocean is vast, dark, and troublesome, often times mimicking the void itself.
- Mountains of Madness
- The mountains of Xalious and Frostmaw are much more treacherous here. Shadow-ice and snow covers all, leaving the trek a dangerous one for any that wish to pass through.
- Death’s Steppe and the Maw of Souls
- This region is holds the likeness of Venturil, the barrows to the north, and the topside portion of Craughmoyle, with the entire area being that of plains with very few plant (besides the dry, white grass) and wildlife residing here.
- The Maw of Soul mimics that of the large sinkhole within Venturil’s north. It is, however, home to a terrible beast (much akin to Charybdis from Greek mythology albeit with sand instead of water). Row upon row upon of thousands of teeth can be spied from the air, but those that happen to fall in will find out just before death comes to claim them.
- Wasteland of Suffering
- This portion serves as this realm’s Gualon and the Nameless Desert. This area is very similar to the Lithrydel version except there is no swamp, it’s freezing cold (compared to Gualon’s heat), and the desert is nearly sandless.
- Lake of Echoed Screams
- Larket’s mirror is known as the Lake of Echoed Screams. Here the soothsayers that dwell within this area give sacrifices to the lady in the lake, whom they depend on for their divination rituals. There is no actual deity, however, and the poor innocents that’s been forced to forfeit their lives by way of drowning are trapped beneath the crystal clear water’s surface.
- Ashfall Peak
- This mountain is actually a rather large shadowfire volcano. None of the tribes that call the Shadowfell home lives on the island known as Rynvale in Lithrydel. There are, however, some forms of wild and plant life, but were there to be an eruption, most, if not all, would perish in the purple and black flames.
- This neutral city is the echo of Vailkrin. Much like the city of vampires, portals are used for travel in and out of the city. The is the largest city in all of the Shadow Plane.
Humanoids and Other Intelligent Creatures
- The Darkfel
- These feline-like creatures, whom are small in size much like dwarves, hobbits, and gnomes, live in both port towns on either side of the continent. They’re the friendly sort, always keen on helping people on their journeys, and warning them of the dangers within the Yawning Abyss.
- The Shadowseers
- Tall cloaked figures that live around the Lake of Echoed Screams. The Shadowseers are a neutral race that worship the “lady of the lake”, offering sacrifices in her name. They also dabble in divination, use water magic to heal those in need, use shadowice as a means of defense. They are Silver Stalkers that have become touched by the Lake, which has lifted their quantum-locked state and given them more sentience past the murderous tendencies of their Silver Stalker brethren.
- The Gloomglut
- The Gloomglut are terrifying to behold. They are the epitome of the deadly sin known as gluttony, for they are almost constantly feeding on anything they can get their fat fingers on. Their smell is putrescent, their bodies bloated and veiny from over consumption, but they are fast. Very, very fast and immensely evil.
- The Greydusk
- These are the elves of the Shadow Plane. Tall, gangly creatures, they worship the moon and the stars, calling up to the great silver orb in the sky for guidance through the forest and on adventures elsewhere. Their skin and hair vary in shades of purples and blacks, helping them to blend in with the shadows better. They are the hunter-gatherer sort of people, and are always happy to give a helping hand to non-natives.
- The Umbrawisp
- They are the keepers of the dead. Various mage types are found within this tribe, mainly that of necromancers. Though the Umbrawisp technically hail from the Sanctuary of the Damned, they have moved on to the mainland, using their magic to herd and temper the souls that wander the Shadow Plane so that they might remain docile and not lash out at the realm’s denizens. These typically neutral folk are the most human out of all races from the Shadow Plane. The Umbrawisp are tall and possess rather spindly arms and legs, reminiscent of a spider’s legs. They travel within the shadows using an ability that turns them into wisps of black smoke. They also can shapeshift into a faceless, terrifying creature whose “face” peels outward, somewhat like a lily, revealing only rows and rows of sharp teeth. This form is near to seven foot tall, but it’s typically only used in dire situations.
- The Mistborne
- This tribe of storm mages utilize the water droplets in the air to create a thick fog, allowing for cover when traveling in large groups across the hills. Aside from this, it would appear that the storms they can collectively create works quite well against the deadly beings that roam the land.
- The Whispering Walkers
- These are the ghosts that flicker in and out of existence between the world of Hollow and the Shadow Plane. They may be malevolent or benevolent, and wander throughout the Plane.
- Mindflayers and Their Creations
- Typically subterranean dwellers in the mortal realm, here they thrive in the dim light of the Shadowfell’s cold, dwarf sun and the near pitch black of its night, save for the moon and a few stars. They are just as horrifying here as they are in Lithrydel and the like, using their brain golems, mindworms, and vampire squids amongst other things, to do their bidding in the Harbor of Horrors.
- These aberrations live in the trees of The White Woods. While normal cloakers are dark in color, these are either white or light grey, using this as camouflage so that they might sneak up on unsuspecting victims. When unfurled they look like giant manta rays, but allow themselves to appear as cloaks flowing in the breeze, so that their prey are none the wiser.
- Gelatinous Cubes
- While perhaps not quite as intelligent as the rest of the creatures in this list, it’s just as deadly. These massive beings float about like jellyfish in the Yawning Abyss, though thankfully, the Darkfel have means of deflecting their absorbing bodies by means of enchantments placed on their boats.
- Various forms of undead litter the land. Banshees, ghouls, and ghasts specifically make their homes in the Mountains of Madness, while it is said that the White Woods are also haunted.
- Corrupted merfolk, they are fiercely territorial of the waters around The Moor of Mourning, and won’t hesitate to tip of small boats and lure sea-faring folk from the largest ship down into the depths.
- The Silver Stalkers
- Quantum-locked treants, that live in the White Woods, who appear as normal everyday trees when looked upon, but the moment you look away could be your last. They are very fast and are one of the reasons for the bones that cover the ground.
Flora and Fauna
- Nearly everything is poisonous via touch to non-natives.
- The plants do give off oxygen, but likely not enough to counteract the high altitude-like atmosphere. They may give off other chemical elements as well, but without an alchemist or other type of person with herbal knowledge, there’s no way to be sure.
- Certain plants give off spores in the White Woods. (See Dangers of the Shadow Plane above for more info)
- Some native fruits may be edible for non-natives. Best to check with one of the friendlier tribes to be sure.
- Animals here are very similar to the ones in Hollow. Spiders, wolves, large cats, etc. Lots of them are massive, all of them deadly. Also, can be eaten by non-natives if they manage to kill them.
- Most range in colors of black, white, or shades of grey. Ocean-dwellers are darker shades of cool colors (blue/green/purple).
Traveling to the Shadow Plane
- Incantations to open a portal may be found within tomes on the subject of the realm itself.
- Something like this would certainly be found in the restricted section of Lithrydel’s various libraries.
- Those adept in shadow magic may focus their shadow-stepping abilities to summon up their own portal, if only for a short time.
- Others may travel via this route with the shadow-user, much like with the instantaneous teleporting that shadow-stepping normally provides.