Mephit, Shadow
Mephit, Shadow

Mephit, Shadow

Shadow Mephit

CLIMATE/TERRAIN:Shadowfell, Lower Planes, Sigil
INTELLIGENCE:Average (9-10)
MOVEMENT:12, Fly 24 (B)
SIZE:M (5′ tall)
MORALE:Average (8-10)
AD&D 2e statistics

“Blasted thing!” Gan cursed as he bent down to retrieve the ring that had rolled off the table where he was sifting through his jink. Reaching down under the table proved to be a mistake at that point in time, for he had forgotten his ‘partner’ Sceadu was nestled underneath. The resulting puff of wispy black smoke surprising him. “Told you not to touch, ‘uman thing,” a wheezing hollow voice echoed from the underside of the table. “Now ring is mine..” Gan could hardly protest as he clutched at his blinded eyes, slumping to the floor, suddenly weak. “Wut good is blind teef?” Sceadu asked through a willowy cloud of moving shadows. He withdrew from the confines of the table and snatched up the rest of the loot he’d helped the human acquire. He then hopped back into the shadows under the table and left the thief to his blind stumbling.

There’s much debate in scholarly circles as to the nature of the so-called “shadow mephit”. Classical mephit theory held that there is one species of mephit per Inner Plane. The discovery of Mist and Steam mephits sharing the plane of Steam threw this theory to the wind, and then the shadow mephits were encountered. This could be a suggestion that the plane of Shadow is gaining influence in the Great Scheme of Things and is poised to become a full-fledged Inner Plane. It could be that mephits aren’t just confined to Inner Planes. Or perhaps the shadow mephit is simply a misnomer; while it might look and behave like one of the irritating little pikes, its special powers belie its shadowy nature, and some greybeards have suggested it may even be an exiles race from the Negative Energy Plane or a Lower Planar being. Some wag has even suggested shadow mephits are immature shadow fiends. Of all things!

Shadow mephits look like amorphous clouds of dark grey to jet black shadow. On a whim the can take a visible humanoid form, the sharp angular features of their race apparent. They’re snidey little blighters, always quick with a cutting remark, and like fiends they’re unwilling servants, always trying to get the upper hand over their masters. Wizards wishing to summon or use shadow mephits are warned to keep their eyes peeled for dirty tricks.

COMBAT: Shadow mephits’ clawed hands hardly make them dangerous opponents in combat, doing a mere 1d2 damage each. The real danger lie in their two breath weapons. The first is a cloud of dark shadows that blind all within a 15′ radius as the wizard spell of the same name, with no saving throw. There is a five percent chance that the blindness becomes permanent, and only curable by magical means.

The second is even more malignant. Once per day a shadow mephit can expel a roiling black cloud of energy-draining shadows, much like a shadow dragon’s fearsome breath weapon. This has the effect of draining 2 energy levels from all within 5′ of the mephit. A successful save vs. breath weapon halves the effect.

Shadow mephits can cast invisibility, and blur on themselves once a day. Once per hour they can attempt to gate in 1-2 other mephits, shadow, or radiant mephits most common. Presumable, the Inner Planar maxim “You can’t have shadows without light” applies to mephits as well. If two mephits arrive they are always of the same kind.

Shadow mephits regain one hit point per turn when in contact with any kind of shadow. Conversely, complete darkness or bright light (such as the spells continual light or darkness) are counter to their very nature and causes 1 hit point damage per round damage. When a shadow mephit dies its body explodes in a dark cloud of negative energy, draining one level from all within 10′. A saving throw verses death magic negates this effect.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Shadow mephits can be encountered on the Demiplane of Shadow, and increasingly in Sigil and the Lower Planes. They’re rarely encountered in pairs or larger groups; shadow mephits hate nothing more than being tricked by other shadow mephits. It’s a wonder the creatures can even reproduce, they’re so mistrusting!

Shadow mephits consume both light and shadow; when ‘eating’ the light level in a 20′ radius becomes muted, both bright and dark turning to grey. The creatures must spend at least an hour oper day eating, during which time they adopt a trance-like state and are particularly vulnerable. If interruped during the period, their armour class is reduced to 10 and they are unable to use any of their energy draining powers. It also appears the shadow mephits can consume any energy they do drain from victims; each level they drain negates the need for them to feed for one day.

ECOLOGY: In the complex Lower Planar Mephit Code, receipt of the shadow mephit means that an enemy of the recipient has discovered his plans (especially if those plans are against this enemy), has subverted and is now manipulating them to his own ends. For a fiend, it’s one of the most feared messages, because they never can tell which of their many enemies, and which of their many plans and schemes this concerns. This make a lot of recipients nervous, paranoid, and generally makes them change plans, make mistakes, etc… This can, of course, be used for bluffing, but it’s seldom done, for the senders fear that if this rare mephit is used too often, it will be taken for bluffs too much, and then won’t be useful as bluffs…

Source: Katclaw, Jon Winter-Holt, Draegarius

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