We passed through the Shadow Gate, and didn't find Mystra at the end...
  — A shadow guard[1]

A shadow guard was one of the temple guards hired to defend the new Temple of Mystra in Wheloon, Cormyr, in the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR. Corrupted by the false priests, they had been transformed into dark creatures.[2][1]


Temple guards who proved obedient, unquestioning, and uncurious were promoted to duties deeper in the temple. Those who were especially obedient and pious underwent the so-called Mystra's Sacred Trust themselves and passed through the Shadow Gate.[2] Those who survived having their flesh subsumed by shadow received a "shadow mantle", and some, whether through multiple crossings[3] or continued close association with the Sharrans, became wholly dark creatures—the shadow guards.[2]


As dark creatures, the shadow guards appeared colorless and beshadowed, causing torches near them to dim.[1]


A diary recovered from a guardroom in the temple detailed how one particular shadow guard's personality changed. After passing through the so-called Mystic Gate, and surviving, yet having no spiritual encounter with Mystra, she felt disappointed and lacking, a failure. She developed doubts and fears about the strange temple and its cruel methods, yet over time these turned to pride in associating with such, and satisfaction as others failed as she did. Finally, she was contemptuous and gleeful at the suffering of other petitioners, and despised her earlier views, considering them weakness.[4]

In fact, most of the shadow guards understood their earlier piety to the goddess Mystra had been betrayed, but believed that their new dark natures forced them to serve the false priests of the temple and their unnamed gods.[1] They fought to the death, and looked always to the priests for instruction rather than take initiative.[1][5]

They dwelled in a rather austere guardroom below the temple, but in truth needed little sleep.[4]


The shadow guards stood guard in the Inner Temple and the subterranean areas of the temple, giving access to Starweaver Deinyn Fembrys but barring petitioners of Mystra's Sacred Trust.[2] They also guarded the duped petitioners kept captive prior to being smuggled out.[6]


The shadow guards wielded longbow and longsword, and wore banded mail armor. They were equipped with a potion of cure light wounds.[1]



  1. Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave describes at least one shadow guard in evil terms, yet gives them all neutral alignments. This article adopts the official alignment nonetheless.


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