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Alter Aeon
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This article was written by the gods Shadowfax and Void, and posted on July 25, 2011.
It was last updated on January 24, 2013.

Introduction

Thieves have long had a reputation of using the shadows to facilitate their dark arts. Shadow skills are manifestations of these abilities, literally allowing thieves to channel and manipulate shadow to their own ends and, by extention, drawing upon the shadow plane for increased power.

All of these skills consume both mana and movement. Channeling shadow is also taxing on a thief, so much so that a thief begins to take physical damage from overuse of such skills. Higher level thieves generally have less of a problem with this phenomenon, as well as more intelligent and charismatic thieves. With a little rest, however, any thief can quickly recover from use of shadow skills.

Shadow Skills

Shadow disciplines are primarily used for combat, scouting and stealth. They include:
  • Cloak of darkness - This gathers undispellable darkness around the thief which continues for as long as the thief can maintain it.

  • Shadow bind - Successful execution of this discpline pins the target's shadow (and therefore the target) in place, impeding defensive movement and hampering any ability to leave. To use the effect, there must be a light source present, natural or otherwise. The effect can be prevented or canceled by using a darken spell on the area so that characters no longer have distinct shadows.

  • Shadow blades - Use of this skill conjures blade-like weapons from darkness, which can then be thrown at an enemy. The blades last a limited amount of time before evaporating into shadow stuff.

  • Shadow strike - This skill attempts to strike an opponent by having the thief's weapon emerge from the target's shadow. The strike must overcome the target's defenses in order to deal damage. Any weapon can be used for a shadow strike, though piercing and stabbing weapons generally work best.

  • Shadow decoy - Two or three replicas of the thief are created from surrounding shadows. These clones attempt to protect the thief as best they can, but they can usually only withstand a single blow before dissolving. If undamaged, they will persist a short amount of time.

  • Shadow walk - A thief can pass through the darkness of unlit rooms unhindered using shadow walk. It is useful for navigating difficult terrain or circumventing patrolling enemies, however, vigilant guards will be on the lookout for shadow walking thieves. One can also pass through certains kinds of transparent yet otherwise unopenable doors using this skill.

  • Shadow mastery - Learning this skill allows a thief to utilize shadow disciplines more often and with less risk of injury.

  • Cloak of fear - Instead of gathering darkness around the thief, he is instead augmented with illusions designed to enhance his natural presence and strike fear into the hearts of onlookers. Terrified enemies will be too frightened to fight him and may even flee the scene rather than face him, however, wise and experienced opponents may see through the ruse.

  • Shadowworks - With this skill, a thief can create grenades using components created by shadow skills, such as the shadowbomb, bladebomb and poison gas bomb.

  • Shadow asylum - This powerful skill allows a thief to create and transport himself to an extraplanar refuge, which lasts as long as he remains inside or can maintain it. He is completely safe from interlopers or aggressors while inside the demiplane.


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