Overview: Shadowsouls believe that all souls carry within themselves a shadow. It can be a slight wisp or an overbearing stain – but that darkness exists in everyone. But the blight upon the Shadowsoul is more than mere corruption; through a secret and risky ritual, the Shadowsoul calls forth an Umbral Parasite, a shadowy spirit creature summoned, captured and held to a contract. It is through the Parasite that Shadowsouls wield their fell magics – to hide, to deceive or to destroy as they will.
Without Shadowsouls, the Parasites would have never had any influence upon Midworld. But as the ritual of summoning and binding them proliferates, the Parasites also gain numbers and power. The Parasites ask for little beyond one’s soul and gladly protect and augment their host.
Shadowsouls exist in almost every Kingdom, although they are stealthy enough to avoid all but the most meticulous investigations. Since their discovery however, rumors point to several clans and families of Shadowsouls that dwell in the Obsidian Kingdom of Kenrei and in the Corpse-Kingdom of Gotterdammerung. Perhaps the greatest source of knowledge regarding Shadowsouls comes from the Sunless Kingdom of Kali-Ishtar; the Ishtari believe that the Umbral Parasites are the pieces of their thrice-aspected Goddess’ fallen enemy trying to piece themselves together. On the other hand, philosophers from Kenrei posit that the Parasites are alien intelligences from the spaces between the worlds that wish to cover Midworld in eternal darkness.
Even the Shadowsouls themselves are largely ignorant of the goals of the Parasites that they house. Generally speaking, a Parasite does not exercise their will upon its host. There are rumors of captured and executed Shadowsouls that deny the charges of which they have been accused. But those are only foundless, baseless rumors…words without truth, without roots in reality.
Role-playing Notes: Your way is the way of darkness, of stealth and deception and of overwhelming, inevitable oblivion. Through your spells, you can elude your enemies or destroy them with sharpened shadow. Those that would treat with you would do wisely to keep their senses sharp, with the Parasite’s help and a little training, you can do anything.
But there is something amiss. You have felt it even as the awareness slipped away from you at the last second. The Parasite is up to something; it seethes and writhes beneath the surface of your soul, within your shadow where you have imprisoned it.
No, wait. Nothing’s wrong. Trust in the Shadow and it shall provide.
Special Restrictions: Shadowsouls have a dark rune placed upon the middle of their brow, their base of their nape and right below the hollow of their neck. These three runes are carved into the Binder’s very soul and help imprison the fell-parasite. These runes must be repainted at least once every period to maintain the prison. The alternative is a disastrous one. The Game Marshall will show you what the runes look like, although some customization is allowed (with supervision).
SUB-CLASS FEATURES: A first level Shadowsoul automatically receives the following abilities at no cost to build:
- All Shadowsouls are adept at the manipulation of shadows and darkness to their benefit. You can use Umbral Grafts and you gain the Word of Veiling spell.
- While using the Word of Veiling spell, a Shadowsoul may forgo any Channeling that a spell requires, although the invocation of the spell’s verbal component will break their invisibility.
THE DARKNESS IN ALL SOULS
- All Shadowsouls are skilled in using the darkness with the souls of mortals to his advantage. You gain the Oath of Dark Influence spell.
- Furthermore, you can conjure swirling, chaotic shadows to overwhelm the senses of everyone around you. To do this, you must Channel for 2 seconds and then say “Whirlwind Confuse 5!” and everyone within a one-handed weapon’s reach of you is Confused for 5 seconds. After this function of “The Darkness in all Souls” is used, it may not be used again until after you have taken a Short Rest. This is an ability, not a spell, so it may not be interrupted nor is it subject to the regular rules of spellcasting.
The following Sub-class features can only be gained when the Character reaches the required level and has learned the required feats, skills and/or spells.
Level 2: Crow’s Feast
Requires: Disciple of Bloodcraft skill
Occasionally, the Umbral Parasite’s passions and desires bleed into your own. You can share in the Umbral Parasite’s hunger; after you slay another creature in combat, the Parasite feeds upon the fallen creature’s fading essence and soul and you benefit from the Umbral Parasite’s feasting.
Once per period, when you bring an enemy to 0 HP or perform a Killing Blow, you immediately say “Crow’s Feast!”. You regain up to 5 SP and up to 100 HP.
Furthermore, you may instantly cast the Word of Veiling spell without channeling if you fulfill its positional requirements within 10 seconds.
Level 4: In the Darkness Bind Them
Requires: Word of Shadow-Binding spell
At night, the power of the Umbral Parasite swells; so too does over the ephemeral shadows grow during the night hours.
During the night hours (before Sun-up but after Sun-down), the Word of Shadow-Binding spell can inflict a Shackle effect in lieu of a Snare effect. Likewise, your “Darkness in all Souls” attack inflicts a “Whirlwind Shackle 5” instead of a “Whirlwind Confuse 5” and your Howl of Sharp Shadows spell can inflict a Shackle 5 instead of a Confuse 5.
Level 6: Step Into the Night
Requires: Word of Exodus spell
Once per period, you may say “Step into the Night” to have impenetrable shadow suffuse your form like an invincible armor. For 30 seconds afterward, you must fully extend your arm before you and you are immune to all damage but not Control effects.
You may do nothing but move at a slow walk (1 step every 2 seconds) or use the Word of Exodus Spell (which ends “Step Into the Night” prematurely).
Level 8: Protect the Host
Requires: Channeling Mastery skill
Your Umbral Parasite not only siphons life force from you, but guards you while you draw power from it; simply put, the creature finds protecting its investment a worthy cause.
If you receive damage while you are Channeling or Casting a Spell, you may interrupt your spell-casting to say “Minimal”, indicating that you took only one point of damage from that attack.
This Sub-Class Feature cannot protect you from the appropriate Bane damage, especially Shadow-Bane damage and Mortal-bane damage.
Lastly, you may only benefit from Protect the Host once per minute, making this a useful Feature but not the mainstay of your defense.
Level 10: Master the Night
Requires: Oath of Dark Mirrors spell, Apotheosis (rank 5) and Toughness (rank 10)
Once per moon and only at night, you may say “Master the Night” to be granted ultimate protection by your Umbral Parasite.
For the next 10 minutes, you may invoke “Reflect” in response to taking damage from up to 10 different attacks of your choice. You cannot affect the damage of the appropriate Bane attacks (especially Shadow-Bane and Mortal-Bane). When use “Reflect”, you may negate the damage inflicted upon you and inflict it via melee strike or spell-packet upon the origin of the attack (and only upon that target).
After your 10th “Reflect”, you may say “Umbral Resurgence! Heal 100! 10 Spirit!”; this heals you for up to 100 HP and allows you to regain up to 10 SP.
Furthermore, the Shadowsoul gains the Poker Face skill as the Umbral Parasite makes his words and his non-verbal nuances more difficult to read.