This hideous force of undead swarms across the galaxy, destroying anything living that comes in its path. Headed by its Necridian masters, it aims to dominate or destroy all living things. It has few concerns, morals, or taboos-the only thing that matters to it is victory.
Shadow society is dominated by the powerful Necridian race, of the Shadow Necridians faction. All undead are considered below a Necridian, and must accept any order without question. The one exception to this is the ravenous Blood Drinkers, Necridian vampires who are among the highest in rank. All Necridians plot against their equals, if not their betters, and familial ties or friendship is valued little- or at least in theory. Necridians obviously are as capable of love as any other race. However, their vicious god and goddess demand the sacrifice of any known lovers who transcend much beyond physical lust.
Shadow Necridians sacrifice any child at birth that shows any major flaw-from lack of physical attractiveness to lacking skill with magic. They shun physical combat and esteem arcana as the highest of arts. To them the dead are merely assets, and they would gladly raise their own kind if they could-Necridian corpses combust in unnatural flames soon after death, meaning that Blood-Drinkers must be created while the recipient is still alive.
Shadow- gun: Shadow technology is powered by an arcane necromantic energy field all undead and Necridians give off to some extent, colloquially called unholy energy or Shadow energy but scientifically known as E-571. This energy causes a minor to intense psychological reaction in most living things, wildness of the mind and such, when in low, widely dispersed regions-such as a Shadow-held ship- but can be adapted to cause devastating burns and wounds in high enough concentrations-thus Shadow guns.
Close combat weapons and armor have no uniform composition in the Shadow. Many are made of strange black steel or even of hardened human bone. Some are in excellent repair, others rusty and battered. All, however, are infused with Shadow energy and perform at full or nearly full efficiency.
Necridian Classes: Shadow Necridians have specific classes. Only Shadow Necridians can gain access to these classes.
Forsaken : The downtrodden Forsaken are those Necridians who have barely enough magical potential to save themselves from being sacrificed at birth-in other words a roughly human average. They turn to the arena of physical combat. Although their strength is only somewhat above the average NecridianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s, they are incredibly fast and agile, and their disembodied arms allow them to have an incredible reach, making them very, very deadly warriors. They occupy the very lowest rung of Necridian society and often serve as bodyguards.
Signature Equipment: Necridian Warrior Garb: This suit of light armor is durable and light, often engraved with arcane runes to speed its wearer further. It imparts incredible stamina and speed.
Master : These powerful Necridian arcanists are not impressive in physical combat. However, they are mighty users of the dark arts of chaos arcana and the grim schools of necromancy. Masters are far more powerful then their average human equivalent, but their dominance of necromancy is truly incredible. Among other powers is included a powerful form of telepathy Masters use to command bodies of the mindless versions of undead, and force the sentient ones to do their bidding.
Signature Ability: One of their most dire and powerful abilities is known as Simulacra. The Master selects a mindless undead creature under its control-rogue and free undead are immune- and possesses it. They then transform the thing into a duplicate of themselves. They may only control one body at a time and some of their arcane skill is lost, but the advantages of having a second body are obvious.
Blood-Drinker : These horrifying vampiric Necridian undead are the only members of their kind. Necridian Blood-Drinkers are generally old enough and powerful enough to have four to six arms. They are masters of dark arcana-chaos and death arcana are their forte, with some even experimenting in multi-sphere spells- and excellent close combatants. Blood-Drinkers are above Necridian law, and can accuse, try, and execute-or accuse and try posthumously as they desire. All Necridians fear and despise them because among their other faults, like many other vampires, they are cannibalistic. Most are nobles.
Signature Equipment: Kukris: These medium-length blades curve front-wards like a scythe, and are weighed for slashing attacks. They are of the finest metals, often embossed with necromantic runes, and most Blood-Drinkers carry four of them. The Kukri is an incredibly potent weapon and can often cut through armor with its razor-sharp edge and perfect weight. However, they are designed for the Necridian fighting style and few non-Necridians show much proficiency with these exotic blades.
Shadow Archon : These powerful Necridian wizards specialize in the use of arcana to perform or assist with nearly all physical tasks. They lose access to most worked arcana, but their physical frailty becomes mostly irrelevant. They become a creature totally of magic, able to project beams of dark arcana, deliver arcana-charged blows, and defend against attacks with fields of arcane force. Though none are as powerful as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“trueÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ spells, and they lack the shaping or refinement of a worked arcane function, performing them is a function of their being and requires little exertion or draining of a magical reserve.
Signature Ability: Archon Arcane Functions: The ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“physicalÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ attributes of an archon are somewhat unpredictable. Because they cannot be shaped or trained they can be extremely powerful one moment and not nearly as much so the next. In most cases, however, the arcane functions are reliable enough to exceed normal Necridian physical functions.
Shadow Classes: Shadow undead that are not of Necridian descent have no specific classes. They simply take a Generic class.
Not all survivors of the Core went the same direction. One group wandered far into the ghost stars past the known Outer Rim, unbeknownst to them the same area from which the Necridians came. Eventually they were so badly pressed that they were forced to create children in test tubes and speed up their maturity-basically they were born as teenagers. However, combined with the dark arcana permeating the region, the new children's genes, as well as those of their creators, became horribly corrupted, resulting in bizarre mutations, and strange enzymes and chemicals that could cause unpredictable capability fluctuations and sometimes even more horrendous temporary mutations. Fallen despise normal humans and other races for their 'normalcy' and resent their genetic stability. However, they are extremely powerful, often sporting minor, hard-to notice natural armor such as mottled areas of scales, or such natural weapons as claws and horns, spikes, or even wings.
The Fallen are against all other factions normally, but their existence is as of yet unknown.
(Note: the race 'Fallen'also applies to persons suffering from arcane overdose for long periods of time without any treatment or cessation, though such a condition is so rare as to be almost unknown.)
Primary Equipment: Same as Alliance.
(Note: Fallen classes are really more like breeds then classes.)
Shredder : The incredibly powerfully built Smashers lumber across the battlefield, tearing anything in their way apart. The battle mutations of Smashers are especially inhuman; grim spines protruding from shoulders and knees, incredibly powerful, terrible limbs spiked, scaled, and studded, ghastly, inhuman grins on their gaunt faces. It's no surprise that they can drive blows and weapons into tank armor. Smashers are close-combat specialists. Their battle mutation is time-consuming and extremely painful even by the standards of Fallen, but once they can undergo it they are a force to be feared. Smashers cannot wear normal armor or use standard ranged weapons when in their monstrous form-they are simply too huge.
Signature Weapon: Smasher CCW: A variety of natural and enormous manufactured weapons, Smasher close combat weapons are always incredibly powerful and usually rather brutal, leaving trails of groaning, maimed wounded and torn-apart dead in their wake. They are, after all, powerful enough to force their way between the gaps in heavy armor!
Daemons : The strongest of will and determined of the Fallen gather in small groups before a battle, honing their obsession for vengeance and vindication to such an edge that it warps the fabric of arcana about them. The result is these soldiers, known as Daemons for their obsessive hatred and bitterness, warp the very trails of arcana about them, giving supernatural aspects to the cruelly edged, exotic weapons they carry and making them particularly deadly against spell-casters. Spells bounce off them or are greatly weakened when used against them-the maelstrom of emotion is simply too chaotic. In addition, it only increases their rate of mutation, making more of their mutations major in scope instead of minor. Daemons are especially psychotic and often unpredictable, preferring a bloody fray to anything else.
Signature Equipment: Combi-Weapon: Daemons use exotic close combat weapons with ranged guns set in their bodies. The most common example is a one-handed sword, with no tip per se, that when used in a thrust unleashes a pulse pistol shot from the hole at the end. As a result Daemons are always ready for either ranged or close combat. Combi-weapons are often exotic and vary from person to person.
Sphinx : Sphinx are yet another variety of Fallen super-mutation. These quadruped, partially leonine lower-bodied Arcanists have evolved an intense sensitivity to arcana in any form. They can see and feel it at all times, and they are adept enough to attempt to sense and counter spells at a much quicker rate then normal. In addition to this Sphinx receive quite a bit of arcane training. Though the shape of a Sphinx complicates their use of equipment, despite their leonine fur and some difference of build they are still relatively human in anatomy down to the ribs and they are still capable of humanlike movement and stance, with some difficulty, so the problem is not insurmountable. All the same, many Sphinxes wear gear more reminiscent of creature barding then modern armor. They carry weapons strapped to their backs, but most Sphinx utilize them only rarely, preferring their incredible arcane prowess. Also, Sphinx have a felineÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s agility and are quite fast.
Signature Ability: Sphinx Arcane Sensitivity: Sphinx can literally ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“seeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ arcana as easily as breathing. This has a variety of effects, but foremost among them is that they can easily sense spells being cast, or their effects, even in cases of illusions, magical deception, and other enchantments. They can also instinctively grasp at the forces of arcana to create temporary close combat weapons, much like a traditional arcanist.
Fleshdancer : Through careful meditation and iron-hard discipline and control over both mind and matter, some Fallen gain a modicum of control over their racial instability. By using this they can manipulate parts of their body at will through use of special disciplines, meaning that while they can look quite inhuman, Fleshdancers are also the ones who are best equipped emotionally to deal with 'normal' people. Fleshdancers have no consistent uniform or loyalty. All, however, are mystics. The Fleshdancers choose one of two signs-yin or yang- and this sign is key to what disciplines they practice. Examples of yin techniques are regeneration, emitting a healing balm, or a deceptive aura of helplessness, while examples of yang techniques are causing razored spines to form from bones and erupt from points on one's body in a piercing attack (obviously with a healing discipline to ensure you don't kill or injure yourself!), enlarging one's size to increase muscular power, spraying corrosive fluids, powders, or poisons, or other offensive attacks. As a rule, there are few Fleshdancers who are proficient in true arcana-most simply must concentrate on their own abilities!
Signature Ability: Fleshdancing: Based on the attributes of 'yin' and 'yang', positivity and negativity respectively, these powers have a variety of paranormal but biological effects. They are not to be underestimated! Fleshdancing is called such because the disciplines involved often actually look like dance-a routine of physical motions engrains the necessary steps into muscle memory.
Gene Scribe : These Fallen scientists are geniuses in the field of genetic manipulation. They often serve as counselors and teachers in addition to techs. However, despite their roles as comfort to Fallen soldiers, they are also capable of being quite callous, and often will experiment upon other soldiers. Despite this, most Fallen would die for their Gene Scribe gladly. Gene Scribes carry a variety of exotic biology equipment, usually able to experiment with soldiers on the battlefield. They are adequate combatants but excellent medics.
Signature Equipment: Volatile Concoction: This somewhat unstable chemical immediately induces a massive mutation to any Fallen's systems. Some are random, while others temporarily change a Fallen into a targeted form. Such a change is, as one might imagine, unbelievably painful, but Fallen soldiers will rarely refuse. It lasts approximately two hours. Preparing the Concoction takes time in a lab; generally a Scribe carries about fifteen doses of it on their person.
Ironmaster : This class is roughly the equivalent of the Alliance Machina Semideus. Like them, they are amazingly good with machinery, and like them, they possess a powerful tool to work with machines. The Ironmaster, however, has that ability due to genetics. They have amazing senses of sight, touch, and smell. Their forearms and hands are actually an extremely malleable substance instead of actual flesh and bone, meaning that they can simply form an uplink to a computer, a tool to work with a machine, or a close combat weapon, as needed. They are adequate combatants, if bad at arcana.
Signature Equipment: Ironmaster 'Hands'. These organs, in additional to being a close combat weapon in a pinch, allows the Ironmaster to better manipulate machines. It can form an interface with computer systems, repair mechanics, and other useful functions.