This post is a bit of debate me and one of my sons once had about how the shadow works and the Seeming worked in the game. The resolution of the situation was that the Shadow Realm (while a negative image of Cerilia) was connected to the negative material plane in some manner. Over the last few years I have wondered how that connection might be best explained in light of the Bloodspawn’s revelations about the nature of the Shadow and The Seeming. We had lacked the book at the time.

While I have come up with answers of my own that explain the issue, others might have other ideas. If you have any opinion feel free to post it. I am going to put forth my opinion and in that opinion I will also relate a number of monsters that may be directly descended from the Shadow Realms bosom.

1) The Connection to the Negative Material Plane! While the plane of shadow is now detailed in the Manual of the Planes (3.??), the issues of the powers of the seeming and the apparent ease of undead to issue forth from the Shadow Realms form time to time flies in the face of the statement that (Pg 60 MotP) that the “No Elemental or Energy Traits: Some small regions on the Plane of Shadow have the minor negative-dominant trait”, (called Darkholds), but they don’t seem to fit either.

In the Atlas of Cerilia, pg9 “however", is populated with undead creatures; skeletons, and zombies serve as peasants, ghouls run towns, and ghosts control entire kingdoms”. This statement always made me think the realm of shadow was an extension of the negative material plane.

I do admit thought that the realm of shadow is very much connected to the plane of shadow; complete with the connection to superimposed image of the real world, and its ability to give life to illusion/phantasm. But there is much more to it with the very living nature of the seeming, and it’s ability to alter shadow magic or in the case of Cerilea Illusion. What makes the illusion connection fall on its face it the fact that spells of light will fizzle on the plane of shadow, which clearly some illusions of light generated by the seeming do!! (blur, dancing lights, mirror image are just the slight seeming power. With this reference they seem to put the plane of shadow out of the realm of use for the entire world of Cerilea and its connection to the Shadow Realm.

Maybe this is “small” in comparison to the plane of shadow, but as big as the world of Cerilea, which would create a significant Darkhold.

So if it isn’t the plane of shadow, what is the Shadow Realm?? The Atlas of Cerilia says it is a “presumably another dimension”.

I would say that since they recognize, “the Minor negative Dominant Trait” called the Darkland is part of the plane of shadow; I would extrapolate that the entire Shadow Realm of Cerilea is an extremely large & mutated Darkland that is at once both connected to the plane of light (positive) and darkness (negative) planar power. The ether is connected to the plane of shadow, so this connection is possible. It would also explain the use of those light based illusions as I’m sure that the positive material plane would offer power to the light based magic.

Furthermore, in the Rulebook from the boxed set it describes the Shadow World as, “A parallel world of cold, eternal twilight that exists when night falls over the land”. This “Twilight” might very well be a symbol of the fight of light & dark that caused the rift that created the shadow world in the first place. Add to that the fact that night weakens the border area (ethereal border) and allows for the rift to occur which can emit undead, and I’m sure you can see my point on the subject.

2) In the Bloodspawn I quote: “A power that suborneded by an ever greater force; the Seeming an unpredictable force”. The seeming is a force that appear to be alive. Alive in my opinion with the motive power of phantasm, which are a creation of light and dark magic that takes a physical misty form. I have read any number of spells (like phantasmal killer) that imparts a motive force (life energy driven) goals into a phantasm. I see the Shadow Realms of shadow as alive with this illusionary energy because of its battle between light and darkness. If you read up on phantasms they are neither a creation of light or darkness, but appear to have elements of both. And a motive force is imparted by the caster.

Then who is the creator of the Shadow Realm’s motive force?? Why Azrai of course. And the Cold Rider is an incarnation of his spirit that will abide in the Shadow Realm for all time! It is bore out in a number of parallels. First the shadow realm mirrors events, topography, and creatures on the face of Cerilia. The Cold Rider is the arch bad force in the shadow realm and by extrapolation he should be a shadow incarnation of azrai. I can’t find the reference this second, but it is mentioned that Elves fear the realm to this day. I would say that a lot of your folk being swayed by Azrai in the world of Cerilia, then I think in the evil phantasm forces of the Seeming that the dread of falling under his incarnations power would be a powerful force to fear, whether the elf was for or against Azrai at Deismaar. Remember some of these elves were there. Elves of Cerilia are very very long lived indeed.

The Seeming could very well be a part of the imprinted nature of Azrai’s chaotic & evil nature that is imprinted on this part of the plane of shadow.

This is why I play up the connection of the Shadow Realm and the negative material plane. I was playing it as a full blown connection until the (3.?) Manual of the Planes came out. I may not play 3.whatever, but I do convert usable material back into 1st/2nd edition.

3) I have a short list of creatures that I would like to ascribe to the Shadow Realm, and while some of the stats are from other campaign settings, their connection to a shadow realm can easily be made. The the (3.?) Manual of the Planes it mentions for the plane of shadow the shadow mastiff, the nightshade, the ecalypse, umbral banyan, and darkbeast. See the manual of the planes for the stats.

a) The Malaugrym: While these shape shifting masters of Faerun may seem incongruous with Cerilia, I would point out this part of the monsters entry, “Malaugrym’s are creatures of pure evil native to some Alien plane”. The Shadow Realm is quite an alien place. I have also read several novels that mentions there master/father being a dweller of the plane of shadow and and illusionist. Where better to hone your skills of illusion than a plane where phantasm creations of the seeming are but a thought away. Maybe he was even a child of Azrai who traveled to Faerun, or was it the other way around.!!!!!

b) Bastellus: A creature of Ravenloft, this creature could be a very easy addition to the Shadow Realm. The creature inhabit dreams which totally connects with the strengthening of the shadow realm at night also. It would be a threat to any creature sleeping in the Shadow Realm, which I have read can happen from time to time. (The Iron Throne).

c) Ravenloft Creatures: While I specially mention the Bastellus, the entire plethora of creatures created for Ravenloft could well have a phantasmal parallel in the Shadow Realm. The creatures conversions practically write themselves.

d) Flying creatures could be quite a threat in the shadow realm. The creatures sweep out of the darkness, snatch the hapless and slip back into the dark. Quite a killer. I would recommend Darkenbeasts to any spell casting undead of the Shadow Realm. Their creation is an evil act, but it just gives the evil magic wielding undead another reason to tramp on the surface of Cerilia to garner the needed components.

e) And of course there is the listed creatures at the back of Bloodspawn.

I could list more but I think the post may be too long. We shall see.

What do you think of the idea of the Shadow Realm being an extension of the plane of shadow, twisted by the battle of positive and negative energies to create a unique Darkhold????


Lo there do I see my father,
Lo there do I see my mother, and my sisters, and my brothers,
Lo there do I see do I see the line of my people, back to the beginning,
Lo they do call to me,
They bid me take my place among them,
In the Halls of Vahalla
Where the brave,
May live,

Randomize it adds spice to a predictable games plot line (especially if they have read it before).

Have everyone roll their dice before the adventure and tick them off one by one, it helps speed up the game and allows the DM more time to think on his feet.

Turn them all into rainbow colored mushrooms and drop them from 300’ to the tune of the anvil chorus!! (The Simbul did just that to some nasty Malaugrym!!)