The Shadow People are a nomadic space-faring race. Not much is known about their interstellar civilization, but the most notable and influential group thus far is the one that colonized Sakaar roughly ten thousand years ago.
The shadow people are a race of gray-skinned "giants", they seem to average 7 feet in height, physically fit examples of females are noted as weighing 270 pounds, and physically fit males 430 pounds. Their eyes have black-sclera (the part that is white in Humans and Imperials), and they have black bodily fluids such as blood and tears.
Newly born Shadow People are much more developed than their Imperial counterparts - standing at least two feet tall, a Shadow infant finds its feet within minutes and can run within hours of birth. Development is rapid, with the average six-year-old Shadow Person having the height and build of an average thirteen-year-old Imperial. But once reaching adulthood Shadow People are much longer-lived than imperials.
The Shadow People appear to be nomadic amongst the stars, traveling between worlds and healing their wounds with the Old Power. They appear to establish permanent settlements on many of these worlds abandoning their stone starships. Known worlds touched by the shadow include Giausar, Sakaar, Doarj'n, and one unknown world they were forced to abandon because of Galactus.
The Shadow that live upon Sakaar live mostly in the mountains and deserts of the world, creating few permanent structures and cities. Most live in nomadic tribes, most no larger than a hundred members. The tribes form loose coalitions and pool military resources and leadership in times of crisis. Being nomadic they live in camps which can be moved at an instant's notice. A tribe's location on any given day is nearly impossible for an outsider to guess, but the general patterns of movement seem to be linked to the seasons and the migration of the trizelle herds which provide the Shadow People with much of their food.
The survival of a shadow tribe depends on its success in hunting, so from childhood, every Shadow Person is trained to be a warrior. Traditional Shadow weapons include the javelin, and a seven-foot-long staff with blades running along its entire length. Both men and women are hunters and warriors, the Shadow do not cultivate any crops. Only occasionally harvesting wild roots and vegetables to supplement their diet.
Ancient documents describe a great Shadow City somewhere in the Northern Steppes, but no traces of such a city have ever been found. The only known permanent outposts created by the Shadow people are the Saka Temples they have built, usually along the highest and most inaccessible ridges and mountaintops of the steppes and deserts. A small number of Shadow People trained as Saka priests live in these temples and minister to the pilgrims who visit them. Most tribes of Shadow People also contain at least one Saka priest who makes a pilgrimage to a Saka temple at least once a year.
The Shadow People religion seems to be the basis for most religion on Sakaar. It is their prophecies, territories, and ideas concerning the Sakaarson and the Wolrdbreaker that almost all Sakaaran people revere and know. Their Saka temples seem to be found in most territories, and are seem to be the spiritual centers of Sakaar. It is unknown if this religion was something they brought with them from the stars, or something that was created after they settled on Sakaar.
Their interstellar society created some unique technological accomplishments, great stone starships capable interstellar travel, and they apparently created an organic version of something similar to an obedience disc.
Very few Shadow People on Sakaar make use of any of the advanced technology that has fallen from the Great Portal over the past two generations. And given their nomadic lifestyle, the Shadow People undertake every little original manufacturing of their own. But using techniques unique to them, the Shadow produce a limited number of forged items of incredible hardness and durability.
These "Shadowforge" products include virtually unbreakable chains, armor, and weaponry that are among the most prized possessions in the Empire. Imperial engineers have determined that the materials may actually be an alloy of stone and metal but have been unable to identify the individual components or reproduce the process by which they were combined.
The Old Power is a mysterious energy source created by the Shadow People, the power is stone-based and can be used to harden the users body, reconstruct the body, and to cause earthquakes or repair stone. It was created by the Ancient space-faring Shadow, and seems to be both semi-mystical, and semi-scientific in nature.
The power is used by the Shadow Elders, and the Oldstrong for many purposes. It is so powerful that it can heal planets, but it is also somewhat unstable and requires much training to be used properly. When those with the Old Power die it passes onto other Shadow People, and in at least one instance a user of the Old Power was able to give a human the ability to wield it.
The Clear-Eyed Shadow are an offshoot culture and race of the shadow people who live within isolated enclaves, called "Vanishing Towers" (how many of these towers there are is questionable). They were driven from shadow society during the Dust Plague, roughly 200 years ago. After this the two people diverged, the Clear-Eyed Shadow focusing more on science, and the others on Mysticism. It would seem though that after being driven out they slowly died off with Old Sam being the last of their kind. The only notable physical difference between the Clear-Eyed shadow and the others is the color of their Sclera (white rather than black).
The shadow people first arrived on Sakaar ten thousand years ago, in great stone ships seeking a world that would need their unique talents. Sakaar was dying and they used the old power to heal the broken world, it is said that the monuments of Kama Va'al are the first shadow elders, turned to stone to save the world.
Living in the deserts and steppes in which the empire had little interest, the Shadow People were largely unaffected by the wars between the imperials and the rise of the Empire. But with the alien invaders known as the Spikes, the Shadow People faced a threat which could not be denied. The Shadow People united their military forces under the leadership of the great warrior and strategist Hiroim the Shamed, who saved his people from destruction on numerous occasions.
But eventually the Shadow recognized the need for the help of the Father Emperor in wiping the spikes from their lands. The Shadow Treaty represents the first formal agreement ever made between Shadow People and Imperials. It guaranteed the political independence of the Shadow People and the assistance of the empire in wiping out the Spikes in exchange for a certain number of Warbound Shadow dedicated in service to the empire. The Father Emperor chose Hiroim to be his warbound Shadow; the Father Emperor's son, later to become the Emperor himself, chose a young Shadow Warrior known as Caiera the Oldstrong, who still serves as his first lieutenant and personal bodyguard.
Known Shadow PeopleEdit
- Hiro-Kala (half mutated-human)
- Skaar (half mutated human)