by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.0
Creature Type: Undead
Special Talents: Incorporeal form, travel through shadows, shadow-melding.
Special Attacks: Possession, enervation, fear aura
Locality: Wherever the original vampire was slain.
Longevity: Eternal until destroyed.
Class Types: Bloodshades will be whatever class they were as a vampire.
To see a bloodshade at all is a rare and dangerous thing. When they choose to show themselves, they will appear as a vaguely humanoid-shaped phantasm; a moving shadow that becomes impossible to detect visually in the dark, unless the vaporous fiend chooses to reveal itself.
The bloodshade is the result of a powerful vampire being slain and the corrupt life-force of that vampire remaining in the mortal realm while the body is turned to ash. This is most often results when a vampire of significant magnitude is slain by arcane means, rather than divine means; without the condemnation of holy power or the bite of a blessed weapon, there is always a small chance that the blackened spirit of the vampire can remain.
Bloodshades have no social structure, no real part in the natural ecology of the world and do not have any particular means of reproduction. They are the dark impression of the vampire that was destroyed; a remnant if you will that lingers on, always seeking a way back into a body to serve as a vessel for its continuation of unlife. To this end, they will haunt the area where they were slain for up to two hundred feet in any direction and observe those who dwell in this area or travel through it. This range can be greater still if the Bloodshade is haunting a building of some kind; it will have free roam of the entire building, regardless of range, though it will never be able to leave that area.
Once a victim has been chosen, it will attempt to possess them by first overwhelming the would-be host, using their enervation talents to weaken the strength of their souls first. If the possession is successful, the victim’s body will serve as a vessel for the bloodshade, allowing it access to all the victim’s knowledge and memories, while simultaneously consuming the soul of the victim over the course of a week. After a week, the victim will become a vampire as strong as the one that was destroyed; furthermore, that vampire will have full command over the body it claimed. If the bloodshade possessed a mage and they were a warrior in their previous life, the bloodshade will now become a mage when they take over the new body. The process shows its progression over the course of the week; aversion to sunlight, garlic and a fading reflection all become apparent, but any attempt to cure vampirism will fail. The bloodshade must be exorcised from the body to reverse the process.
This can be resisted of course and doing so will make further attempts by the bloodshade more difficult to engage. Should it become evident that the bloodshade is simply not able to overtake their would-be host, they will attempt to kill them outright and feed upon their life energies to enhance their own strength. Once possessed however, roles are reversed and it becomes more and more difficult for the one possessed to retake their body. By the end of that week, it becomes nearly impossible to break the control.
If there is a need to deal with multiple attackers, a bloodshade will use their fear aura to scatter its enemies, while using its ability to meld with the shadows so it can manipulate any object within fifty feet to throw, stab or otherwise injure with if possible. In this shadow-melded state, the bloodshade is everywhere there is a shadow within that fifty foot radius. It will often possess the tactically best choice from those attacking and turn that individual against the other attackers. This is not always a permanent possession, but can be if the bloodshade feels that the person in question suits their needs.
Bloodshades cannot communicate with the living, save through Speak with the Dead kinds of spells, or if they possess a person, they may speak through their chosen vessel. They can also manipulate a quill of some kind to write out their thoughts, but these sorts of messages are very short and written poorly as it is difficult to have fine control over an object using the shadow-melding talent. Usually, any attempt to communicate with a bloodshade will end with unadulterated rage and attack, unless it serves the bloodshade to communicate, lull and make its potential victim relax
If it becomes evident that a bloodshade is not going to win a confrontation, they are able to move seamlessly through shadows, though various forms of undead detection will reveal their location. They can be exorcised from a locality in the same manner they can be exorcised from a person. It is also possible to turn a bloodshade, but doing so is much like attempting to turn a powerful vampire and will have the same slim chances of success, unless the individual doing so is extremely powerful in the strength of their chosen deity. They are wounded by blessed silver, magical weapons, Witchfire and most importantly, sunlight. Exposure to sunlight will give a bloodshade one round of combat to escape or be destroyed forever.