One of the deadliest assassin races around, the Shadow Knife is not to be trifled with. These air elementals are able to slide quickly from the shadows, kill their intended victim and then disappear. With built in weapons made of “air”, these hardened devices can extend past the shadow and effectively eliminate someone without forcing the Shadow Knife to leave his protection.
The Shadow Knife mainly lives with the cavern systems under Ozul. They are only seen in the upper world at night or in various shadows. Their society is based on creating chaos among other families so that they can better their place in the world. The only people that they can fully trust is their own family member. Anyone outside of that group is seen as an enemy and a threat. Even in the rare situations where more than one assassin is needed, they will always recruit a family member or try to do it themselves.
In their secretive caverns, they will train and share special techniques among their own family members. Their special sanctum of training has a number of magical devices to prevent other members of their race from spying on them during training exercises.
The only times that they seem to "work" together is with a common enemy and, even in that case, they will, more times than not, kill their own race in addition to the enemy force. There doesn't seem to any form of friendship between them unless something is mutually beneficial to both parties.
To contract a Shadow Knife for a task, the requestor generally leaves a memory ball in several specific locations (known only to those who have dealt with them before). The requestor goes back later and determines if the Knife has responded. The memory ball will indicate where to leave payment. Woe to him that decides to cheat the Shadow Knife and not pay. In many cases, the Knife will eliminate that person and those they hold dear.
No-one has ever professed to meet a Shadow Knife without being killed. If, by chance, a Shadow Knife is captured, they will immediately kill themselves. Each Knife has a spell imprinted in their brain where they can immediately call up the memory and "die". As they die, their bodies dissolve.
Since the Shadow Knife spends most of their time in the darkness, they are incredibly difficult to see and hit. If they are shown in the light, they are incredibly weak but will try to dissipate into forms of dark mists and spread out to the shadows.
Their preferred method is to form parts of their bodies into piercing weapons for impalement. However, a curious feature is that they don't need to form the entire weapon. For example, they could create a long tendril that is mists so that they get past the armor part of a foe and the part that is past the armor is immediately reshaped into a spike or knife.
In addition, they also like to surround heads or exposed features of an opponent and then solidify their mists into spikes. They are quite formidable.
Image Size: 11” wide x 14” tall
Original Pencil Drawing on Bristol Paper
Signed by Doug Hoppes (artist)
Provided with separate Bainbridge Clay Coated Archival Foam Board (1/8” thickness)