The Plane Of Shadow

Structure

There are three "layers" to the Shadow Plane, all coexistent: just Shadow(or Penumbra), Deep Shadow(or Umbra), and Deepest Shadow. The layer of Deepest Shadow is held in common among all alternate Material Planes. When returning from Deepest Shadow to Deep Shadow, you could return to any alternate Deep Shadow - which can generally not be told until a return to at least the Penumbra, to look at the other Material.

The Face Of Shadow

Upon entering the Shadow Plane, the first thing you perceive is the darkness. During Material Plane day, the sun is visible in the Shadow Plane like the moon; but during Material Plane night, the Shadow Plane is yet darker, with no moon, no stars, and less light from any artificial or magical source.

The second thing you perceive is the swarm of shadow matter particles blowing in the wind. This wind is the only sound on the Shadow Plane most of the time, and while the shadow matter is nowhere near as harsh as sand, it creates a perpetual tingling sensation as it strikes skin(prompting most shadow travelers to cover up as much as possible). This shadow matter is dark silvery-black, and continually precipitates out of the very air, or even the airless stretch to the sun. Indeed, this "shadowfall" is about six inches per month, and would quickly bury the Shadow Plane if it were properly substantial. But like shadow matter summoned to the Material Plane, the more force it is exposed to, the more quickly it leaves existence; thus a layer of shadow matter roughly a half inch thick blankets the plane but does not bury it.

In Deep Shadow, the sun will be a faint presence(though visible if you look for it), the shadow matter will be thicker, and the wind will blow harder. The layer of shadow matter on the ground is a foot deep. We have little record of denizens of Deep Shadow, even taking into account the smaller number of trips made there; there have been a few reports of larger versions of the scuts, ephemera, and scythewings of Shadow, but not even the keening wail of a tanta beast. "Larger" has meant roughly three times, however, and the possibility of a forty-foot tanta beast should give any man pause.

In Deepest Shadow, the shadow matter is thick in the air, and the wind fierce enough to make speech difficult even head-to-head. The terrain is almost entirely vast drifts of shadow matter. The shadow of the occasional Deep Shadow traveler is visible; the large scuts and ephemera should no doubt have shadows in Deepest Shadow, but they are so rare(and trips to Deepest Shadow likewise rare) that it makes perfect sense for these to have remained unfound. However, return from Deepest Shadow appears to be a chancy thing, and this author does not recommend those depths be plumbed.

Walking

"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time." Steven Wright

Items

Brooch Of Speak Language

By targeting a creature within 25' and tapping this brooch, you temporarily gain one of the target's languages. If they're speaking at the time, you gain the language they're speaking; otherwise, you gain their native language.

The language is a continuous effect, that lasts until another language is selected. When you first acquire a Brooch Of Speak Language, it probably has a specific language set.

Faint divination; CL 1st; Craft Wondrous Item, Comprehend Languages; Price 500gp.

Goggles Of Layer Sight

The lenses of this item are made of clear crystal. They overlay onto the wearer's vision translucent images of adjacent coexistent layers of the same plane.

Faint divination; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, True Seeing; Price 4 000gp.

Goggles Of Planar Sight

The lenses of this item are made of clear crystal. They overlay onto the wearer's vision translucent images of coexistent planes, and coexistent layers of the same plane. Based on their translucency, the wearer can "eyeball" their distance, but can't tell whether that distance is through planes or through layers.

Faint divination; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, True Seeing; Price 32 000gp.

Encounter Tables

Natives

1DCREL
433dusk beast (ephemera)
337pack of 2D2+1 dusk beasts
299ecalypse (ephemera)
21010umbral banyan (ephemera)
11818nightcrawler (nightshade)
11820pair of nightcrawlers (nightshade)
11616nightwalker (nightshade)
11618pair of nightwalkers (nightshade)
11414nightwing (nightshade)
11416pair of nightwings (nightshade)
255shadow mastiff
257pair of shadow mastiffs
1511pack of 1D8+4 shadow mastiffs
714pack of 2D3 helot scuts
518colony of 4D7 helot scuts
677queen scut
47/19colony of 1 queen scut plus 4D5 helot scuts
37/110colony of 2 queen scuts plus 4D5 helot scuts
scythewing
tanta beast
30varvarShadow Creature

Immigrants

1D16CREL
188bodak
2811gang of 2D2 bodaks
3-533shadow (undead)
6-737gang of 1D4+1 shadows (undead)
8-939swarm of 1D6+5 shadows (undead)
10-1288greater shadow (undead)
1355wraith
1459gang of 1D4+1 wraiths
15511pack of 1D6+5 wraiths
161111dread wraith

Tourists

1D23CREL
1-3var.12mercane trading mission
4-131414Shadow Walking 14th-level sorceror
14-231313Shadow Walking 13th-level wizard

Shadow Creatures

1DCREL
255basilisk
159colony of 3D2 basilisks
44grick
47cluster of 2D2 gricks

Creatures

Scut

Helot Scut

Type
Medium Magical Beast
HD
2D10+4 (15 HP)
Initiative
+0
Speed
40'
AC
14 (+4 natural)
BAB/Grapple
+2/+3
Full Attack
Bite +3 melee(2D6+1) and sting -2 melee(1D4 plus poison, Fort DC: 13, 1D4 DEX/1D4 DEX)
Space/Reach
5'/5'
SA
Chew, Impoved Grab
SQ
Blind, Blindsight 40', Tremorsense 80'
Saves
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +1
Attributes
STR: 13, DEX: 10, CON: 14, INT: 1, WIS: 10, CHA: 2
Skills
Climb +10, Hide +4, Spot +4
Organization
Solitary, pack(2 to 6), or colony(4-28)
CR
1

Queen Scut

Type
Huge Magical Beast
HD
7D10+21 (59 HP)
Initiative
+0
Speed
50'
AC
20 (-2 size, +12 natural)
BAB/Grapple
+7/+21
Full Attack
Bite +11 melee(2D10+6) and sting +6 melee(2D4+3 plus poison, Fort DC: 18, 1D6 DEX/1D6 DEX)
Space/Reach
15'/10'
SA
Chew, Impoved Grab
SQ
Blind, Blindsight 60', Tremorsense 120'
Saves
Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +2
Attributes
STR: 23, DEX: 10, CON: 16, INT: 1, WIS: 10, CHA: 2
Skills
Climb +20, Hide -4, Spot +4
Organization
Solitary or colony(1-2 plus 4-20 helot scuts)
CR
7

Shaped like flat, broad scorpions, scuts scuttle on two rows of myriad tiny feet. They're covered in plates of black, bony armor, with all their sense organs hidden behind the forward plate. The tip of their tail is a claw, rather than a stinger, with a central bulb to apply their poison.

Against smaller creatures, they bite to grapple, then chew; against larger creatures, they sting and bite.

Eight helot scuts can merge to form a queen scut. This weird metamorphosis takes two days, during which they're helpless, and guarded by the rest of their colony.

Chew(Ex): A grappling scut can simply make a grapple check to deal bite damage.

Improved Grab(Ex): Must hit with bite attack.

Skills: A scut has a +4 racial bonus on Climb, Hide, and Spot checks.

Scythewing

These flying creatures are thin sheets of living shadow matter, with great batlike wings and limbless bodies tapering from pointed noses to pointed tails. They have no perceptible sense organs, `

DR: 5/slashing

Tanta Beast