Nier… What are the Shades?

Shades are mysterious monsters that are both black and transparent at the same time. They defy classification, as they are separate and distinct from the flora and fauna around us, bearing no apparent connection to the other beasts that populate our world. It is uncertain when and where Shades first appeared, but their numbers continue to increase day-by-day. Their reach knows no bounds, as they seemingly appear out of thin air in every environment, be it field, desert, or ocean. They appear in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from weak, child-sized monsters to gigantic nightmarish beasts that could eat entire buildings whole.

Classification

Shades are classified into four distinct categories based on size– small, medium, large, and giant.

Small Shades

Small Shades are child-sized, but deadlier than the hardiest warrior. They can wield magic, swords and shields, and are sometimes equipped with armor made from black steel. Other Small Shades are trained in deadly martial arts that can stun, and then kill, an unlucky victim. Small Shades should be avoided at all costs despite their diminutive stature. Beware!

Medium Shades

Medium Shades are like Small Shades, but larger and more powerful. They usually stand about as tall as an adult male and wield the same magic, swords, shields, and armor that Small Shades do, but also have some more dangerous powers. Some Medium Shades are able to fly, and some are trained in even more dangerous martial arts that are almost impossible to escape from. Expect to die if you encounter a Medium Shade in the wild.

Large Shades

Large Shades are almost always heavily armored and wield gigantic weapons of incredible force. Some are armed with enormous blades the size of a man. Others wield strange weapons that shoot out projectiles of incredible destructive power. The most dangerous Large Shades wield giant hammers that cause the very stone under your feet to splinter and rise up out of the ground to skewer you whole. You will always know you are facing a Large Shade– the very beat of your life will change as you face absolute oblivion.

Giant Shades

Giant Shades are rare. Few have seen one, but only because those that do face certain death and utter annihilation. Giant Shades take on the most unusual forms. Stories tell of ones that are shaped like four-legged scorpions, giant spheres, and even flying walls. No one can be certain what they do look like, but we can be certain that they do exist, as the destruction that is left in the wake of a Giant Shade is almost impossible to comprehend.

Biology

Morphology

Shades are generally black beasts with transparent sections that come in many shapes and sizes. The largest Shades are many times larger than most homes, but are fortunately found few and far between. Large shades are unfortunately more numerous, and still the size of most homes. The most distinct feature of Shades is their inability to survive in direct sunlight. Those Shades that do foolishly venture into the light eventually burn away to nothing and disappear. Whether they are dead or not at this point is unknown, as the way they reappear is basically the reverse of this– they magically appear like smoke and fully materialize in shadows and darkness. The only way to know for certain that a Shade is dead is to cut them open. Despite their strange transparent nature, Shades can be attacked using common swords and killed using the usual means, as they, strangely enough, bleed the same red blood that humans do.

Distribution and Habitat

Shades are found across all habitats and environments. They have been found across wide plains, deserts, mountains, and even indoors. As mentioned above, they flourish in the dark but die in the light, leading them to usually hide in the shadows on bright sunny days, waiting to attack innocent people as they pass by.

Behavior

Shades are dangerous monsters that attack without warning. They wield the very same weapons that humans do, such as swords, shields, and sometimes armor, but also wield incredible magical powers of flight and fire. They are mindless beasts that kill for no reason, sometimes going as far as to maim and desecrate bodies into a pulp once they have satisfied their murderous compulsions. Shades usually travel in packs, with several smaller-sized Shades seemingly being led, even protected, by medium-sized ones. Packs of medium-sized shades almost operating like teams can also be found, usually accompanied by a destructive large Shade. Solitary Shades should be avoided, as they are rare and may indicate some deviously different plan to kill and murder. Some Shades exhibit strange behavior that seems to mimic those of humans, including reading, writing, and even a type of speech. We can only assume that these Shades are merely more cunning than others, using their cheap imitations of human mannerisms to draw in unsuspecting victims.

Vocalizations

Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of Shades, besides their appearance and murderous ways, are the sounds they make as they gesture and attempt to communicate with each other. Their voices are difficult to describe, but they could best be explained as what one would imagine the souls of the dead would sound like, only backwards, more malevolent, and dripping with dark evil.


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