Shadow is a fickle and vain substance. Yes, it can be used to enchant items in seemingly Necrotic ways, but the aspect of Shadow is not as abhorred as vile Necromancy. The key difference is that Shadow is a direct manifestation of a world-binding force. Everything except the most unnatural of creatures and object will cast a Shadow. The Art of Shadow in your Magic is a simple manipulation of such natural energies.
Calling on the Shadows is often a game of sweet words and mental focus. You need a clear mind to conjure true darkness. Closing your eyes is a start, but even in the back of your eyelids there is color and flow, sparks or reality and imagination struggling to the forefront. You must focus on the black void in the night, see nothing, see black. Do not let your mind wander into the light of things, the flitting sparkles and shimmering specks are not what you seek when you are dealing with Shadow. You need to whisper to the darkness, call it by any name you feel most comfortable with, for to each the Shadow is unique. It is your Shadow you are calling in the end, so do not be afraid to give it a name. A common one would be your name spelled in reversed order, some Shadows like that. Regardless of name, Shadows like to be safe, they take comfort in the night and dark places, as well as having a strong mind and body to hide behind when there is trouble. If you are weak, so the Shadow you summon will be.
Once you see the Shadow, like a black path extending into a black forest of black mist, you will be able to move it. Manipulate it and coerce it into items, for enchantment, and regions of your own body, for augmented ability.
Relish the sight of your Shadow in your mind, because your Shadow is an extension of yourself. Imagine, if you will, that your Shadow is you. You, as you once knew you, are merely an anchor for infinite possibilities. The Shadow may bend and stratch with the light, running from it because only that can destory it, but it is stuck to you. Free your Shadow and you free yourself. Seek a friendly companionship with the Shadow and merge your forms for nigh infinite results.
You might be saying, this is all rather vague, what can I actually do? Fear not! There is much to do with your own Shadow.
This is a common name given to "hitting" something with your shadow. It is best used against other shadows as a form of fatigue-inducing combat, or to attack spirits and such otherworldly beings. Masters of the Shadow-Physical Arts may be able to inflict physical blows to scorch their foes with frostbite-like burns.
Another application of this Shadow-Boxing is the Longstrider technique. You literally extend your step into your shadow, and appear at its opposite end. This obviously works best when the shadow is long, or when it connects to something else. Nighttime is the ideal time for a Shadow jaunt but, be aware, even your shadow has its limits.
Like I stated earlier, everything has a Shadow. This is the art of using someone, or something, else's Shadow. Some Shadowcasters can get in tune with the Shadows of others, making them into puppets and minions. To do this, you must first reach the Shadow in question with your own. Esnare it in your webs of inky darkness, pull it towards you, consume it, embrace it, make it your own. Then set it free. You will be able to call it again by means of a Shadow Transposition, where you swap your Shadow with that of the object or creature you intend to summon. This may sound awkward, but it actually quite a thrilling feeling to have the shadow of a bird, or weild the shadow of a sword.
One of the Prime Methods of learning to maintain a Shadow is imbueing magical items with its essence. You conjure forth the darkness, slather it on nice and thick, plug the gap, bottle the residue. and you've managed to attune an item to your Shadow (and probably have a nice bottle of Shadow Swill left over). The idea is to allow the item to be stored in and used by your Shadow. Quite a nice way of concealing a weapon or secreting an item away.
Oh, yes! There is also a combination of Shadow Summoning and Shadow Enchanting. Very dangerous and tricky, but with intense results. You can enchant an item with shadow magic, then graft the shadow of another creature onto it, and well... I've really said too much, as is. Shadow grafting is an evil art. You see, as with all magic, there is abuse of the magic. And to steal a Shadow from another posessor is almost as bad as stealing their very soul. Forget I mentioned it.
A very serious threat to Shadow users. You must take caution to NEVER touch raw Shadow, or else suffer a painful Shadow Burn.
- A affliction similar to freezer burn caused by the stinging chill of pure Shadow. It appears on the skin as an inflamed black scar and causes a severe numbing sensation to travel through the body. The cure is simple, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, but can be hard to obtain if the wound is suffered in a dungeon or at night. The numbing sensation can make it hard to use limbs or perform an action that require the sense of touch.
That's all for today, Kids. Go home, sit in the dark, think about what I've told you today- I hope you took notes!
Additional Ideas (1)
More information on Shabow Boxing and Masters of the Shadow-Physical Arts -
Well, it seems one of our students is a bit more interested in Shadow Boxing and, in particular, its relation to the Longstrider Technique.
You see that the Shadow-Physical Arts rely on using Shadow as an extention of yourself. With Shadow Boxing, you touch someone with your Shadow and cause then harm. With the Longstrider Technique you are extending your Shadow in a very similar way but then, and this is a very difficult Technique to master and use quickly, force your physical body to travel the legths of your Shadow. As it is being used as an extension of yourself, it is often considered related to Shadow Boxing, but in truth Shadow Boxing is only the first step towards learning Longstriding. The proper name for this area of study is Shadow-Physical Arts and I am sorry for misleading you.