It appeared as a hazy and nebulous mass of darkness, pulsing and always shifting. It trailed smoky wisps of shadow and larger tendrils served as arms and legs, giving it a roughly humanoid form. Two pale eyes were all that gave it a face. It was insubstantial, yet still packed an icy punch. It seemed to drain light from where it went.
With mastery of shadow, the elemental was a more dangerous combatant if both it and its target were in darkness or shade. However, when in sunlight or a daylight spell, the elemental was drastically weakened.
A shadow elemental could use the dusk and dawn mystery of shadow magic, thrice a day. An area of darkness appeared, whatever the existing light, 40 feet (12 meters) wide and up to 30 feet (9 meters) away, lasting 20 minutes or until the shadow elemental willed it away (not that it was likely to). Darkvision pierced this gloom as normal.
They despised light, and though it caused them no harm, they found it very uncomfortable. They would do anything to leave a lit area or extinguish a light source. They were also disturbed by living creatures not of the Plane of Shadow, though not as much as they were by light itself, and were prone to lash out at them.
Shadow elementals lashed with tendrils of darkness, inflicting freezing blows with quick reaction. They directed their attacks against living beings and those carrying lights, or those who threatened it. If caught in illuminated areas, they would retreat or blot out the source of light with their dusk and dawn power, in order to have the upper hand.
Shadow elementals emerged from the raw shadowstuff of the Plane of Shadow itself, and wandered alone.
They rarely came to the Material Plane of their own accord. Those few who did almost always wandered the depths of the earth that had never seen light. Rather, most were summoned by spellcasters to serve some purpose. Summoned shadow elementals were obedient, tolerated light and life alike, and were only as cruel as they were allowed.
Shadow elementals had no known language and never communicated in any fashion. Nevertheless, they understood a summoner's commands, whatever language they used.
Notable Shadow Elementals
Two man-sized shadow elementals stood as guardians of the Dusk Lord's throne in the Shadow Citadel in the Plane of Shadow. They emerged from the clinging shadows and attacked anyone who dared stand near, let alone attempt to sit. An acolyte of the church of Shar was killed attempting to sit in the throne and Bestra Mornscroll ordered that be left untouched until she had the chance to destroy the shadow elementals. Adventurers in service to Mystra fighting Sharran operations discovered the Dusk Lord's throne in early Eleint and may have dealt with them themselves then.
- Matthew Sernett, David Noonan, Ari Marmell and Robert J. Schwalb (March 2006). Tome of Magic 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 164–166. ISBN 978-0786939091.
- Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (March 2007). Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 76, 91. ISBN 978-0-7869-4119-3.
- Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (March 2007). Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7869-4119-3.