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Ephemerals, also called ephemeras, were a class of outsider native to the Plane of Shadow.[1][2][3][note 1] It was a diverse group of creatures in form and abilities, with few traits in common beyond their origin and composition.


Ephemerals had no unifying form beyond the fact that all were partially or wholly composed of shadowstuff.[1]


Both dusk beasts and ecalypses were generally neutral in outlook, while umbral banyans were predatory and vicious enough to typically be evil.[1]


Ephemerals were native to the Plane of Shadow, but were often found on the Material plane as well, either from slipping through open portals or from being deliberately brought over as guards, mounts, or hunters.[1]


Known varieties of ephemerals were:

  • Dusk beasts - human-sized, two-headed lizards that appeared to be nothing more than shadows.[1]
  • Ecalypses - six-legged horse-like creatures that sometimes served as mounts to creatures capable of riding them.[1]
  • Umbral banyan - massive trees that could shift between the Plane of Shadow and the Material plane at will, and which hunted to use dead bodies as fertilizer.[1]

Additionally, it was possible that the ephemeral hangman was yet another type of ephemeral.[4]

Notable Ephemerals[]

In the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR, a dusk beast named Grask served as companion to the shadar-kai Sithierel on the Necreme as they plied the Shadow Swamp in the Plane of Shadow. It was presumably destroyed by adventurers in service to Mystra in early Eleint.[3][5] There was also a chance that dusk beasts were living wild in the swamp.[6]



  1. Manual of the Planes calls these creatures "ephemera" (singular; plural: "ephemeras") but Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave calls the dusk beast Grask an "ephemeral"). The later version is adopted here