Lurking Shade (and Shadow Animates) – Hunters of Darkness from Across the Planes

Vashta Nerada (PIc: BBC)

“Hey, who turned out the lights?”

Deep within the Plane of Shadows, a sinister creature bred into a race of genuinely horrifying hunters.  They blend in the darkness, awaiting anything foolish enough to step into their lair.  These superior predators fade into the murky and dark depths, ready to jump an unsuspecting victim.  Those who are caught within their trap within moments, sometimes devoured completely.  Others are merely killed for quick sustenance.  However, some are unlucky enough to become puppets for this twisted horror; undead slaves operated by their new shadowy master.  What the Shades themselves look like is largely unknown, as they’re typically merged with shadows.  Perhaps they’re just amorphous shadowy blogs themselves.

While no one is certain what these creatures truly are, there is only one certainty; they are the embodiment of the darkness.  They are the reason many fear The Plane of Shadow itself!  Perhaps they are magics of shadow that became self-aware over time.  Perhaps they’re the demented craft of a mad wizard.  Maybe they’re an apex predator that has gotten so good at concealment they evolved into the shadow itself!  No matter the truth, this wretched beast has proved to be a terror beyond measure.  Usually, they’re contained within numerous spaces, in effort to quarantine them from a universe that can’t fight back.  If enough of these were to escape into another world, it could result in numerous extinction events in no time.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I’ve been quite busy, so this one didn’t get out as soon as I had hoped.  Also, it’s kinda funny timing that this monster was done when fans saw River Song before she goes off to the Library.  (Silence in the Library is what inspired this monster in the first place.)  No matter, here’s my take on the Vashta Nerada.

Lurking Shade

Small Aberration, chaotic evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)

Hit Points 50 (9d6+18)

Speed 25 ft., climb 25 ft.

STR 7 (-2), DEX 14 (+2), CON 15 (+2), INT 12 (+1), WIS 16 (+3), CHR 8 (-1)

Skills.  Perception +6, Stealth +8

Damage Resistances.  Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing damage from non-magical weapons.

Condition Immunities.  Poisoned

Damage Immunities.  Necrotic, Poison

Senses. Blindsight 60 ft.

Languages. –

Challenge 5 (1800 XP)

Consume Host Body.  When a victim is brought down to 0 HP and is killed, the Lurking Shade will partially consume a target it wishes to control to regain energy.  Then, it will merge with the target and reanimate it immediately after the target dies.  Multiple Lurking Shades can inhabit the same body.


Multiattack.  The Lurking Shade may use its Shadowy Slashing up to 3 times.

Shadowy Slashing.  Melee Weapon Attack.  +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 13 (2d10+2)

Shadow Stretch.  The Lurking Shade can use part of its movement to extend its reach, so long as it has a point of origin.

Shadow Teleport.  While in absolute darkness, the Lurking Shade can teleport up to 30 ft. as a bonus action.



Type: Changes to Undead

Alignment: Changes to form of evil, depending on sub alignment.

Condition Immunity: Poisoned

Damage Immunity: Poison, Necrotic

Shadow Vessel.  The Shadow Animate makes no attacks of its own.  Thus, the Lurking Shades attack on the Animate’s turn.  However, the Shadow Animate may attempt to grapple a foe as long as at least one Shade is possessing it.

Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media.




One thought on “Lurking Shade (and Shadow Animates) – Hunters of Darkness from Across the Planes

  1. Pingback: Expedition to Barrier Peaks – D&D 5th Edition Conversion (PART 4) – Pre-Existing Monsters and Custom Stuff | Daemons & Deathrays

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