Shadowlings are an unusual psychic race of creatures that dwell underground. They look like floating cannonballs with crescent eyes and claws that float alongside them. They trail a plume of dark gray smoke wherever they go. Some Shadowlings, like Darkeye, are able to grow one or two horns on their orb-like heads.
Shadowlings communicate via telepathy. Though they possess mouths, they do not speak with them. Shadowlings derive their sustenance primarily from the negative emotions of mammals, whom they have been known to stalk and torment.
Although shadowlings are not as physically strong as the other races, they make up for it with superior tactical knowledge, the ability to move farther in a shorter period of time, and with their powerful psy abilities. The vast majority of shadowlings have a strong affinty for Shadow skills. Their thirst for negative emotions also makes many shadowlings adept at some mental attacks such as feedback and vengeance.
For over 2,000 years, shadowling society was centered around a Queen who maintained her power by distracting her subjects from their quality of life through constant military campaigns and expansion of the Shadowling Empire. The Shadowlands under the Queen's rule often enslaved other "lesser" races such as spriggats and humans.
After the end of the Shadow War, the Shadowlands are now governed by a representative republican form of government that sits in the old capital, Somnus. This new Shadowling Republic has become more tolerant and less militaristic than it was under the Queen's rule. Many shadowlings oppose the direction in which the Republic is going, however, so they formed the Shadowling Loyalists. The Loyalists serve their long-dead Queen by underminding the Republic and attacking humans.
Shadowlings live multiple decades more than humans, possibly hundreds of years. Claw and eye color helps one to determine a shadowling's age. They start off red, generally progress to blue as they approach middle-age, and finally turn green when they get old. Shadowlings do not "green" consistently, however, and many remain red in color far into middle age.
The basic color progression is as follows: Shadowlings start Red -->Purple --> Blue -->Green.
- Just look at this color wheel. It is, theoretically, a wavelength shift of the light emitted by the shadowlings as they progress from red to blue.
A theory on the Queen's white color and General Tastidian's pulsing blue color is that it results from an elevated power level. With so much power, shadowlings begin to glow. Nelis' extreme power levels cause her to glow white, while Tastidian merely pulses.