The spell would animate shadows from an existing anchor point and extend out, up to 50' (15.2m) and ensnare a target. The shadows would hold a creature down, preventing it from moving away, or if so desired, slowing it considerably. The affected creature could free itself from the shadow's hold with some considerable effort or great strength.
Lesser shadow tentacles required only somatic components.
The Sharran monkish Order of the Dark Moon often used this spell. In fact, when these sorcerers' arcane capabilities grew to levels that they could handle the spell, it was taught to them. It did not deplete the sorcerer's ability to cast additional spells for it was a gift from Shar.