A shade is a shape-shifting, intelligent creature that lives in large groups of fifty or more. They generally live in temperate, deciduous forests with rocky soil, and they are capable of creating large buildings, usually out of stone. They communicate via images that have been broken down in to sound.
Shades are, in general, both brilliant and lazy. If it is possible to have someone else do something for them, they will take that route. They also do not believe in 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try again'. If something fails, they destroy the evidence of its failure and never mention it again.
Appearances change according to both the needs of the shades and the view of the observer. For example, if a shade was trying to be intimidating or fearsome, it has a set appearance that it can change in to. If it is actually the viewer that fears the shade, they will appear in a certain way, as long as the shade is not actively trying to have a different appearance. This method of shapeshifting is used through a psychic perception filter.
They can also turn themselves in to copies of an organism if given enough genetic material, changing their actuall physical form instead of just creating an illusion.
Common appearances include, but are not limited to:
Intimidation/Fear: A dark, cloaked, and hooded figure that has broad shoulders and is around ten feet tall. The cloak itself is a part of the body and can be injured. The arms have three joints each, and each finger has six. The fingers end in long claws.
Stealth/Unaware of presence: A bird, often a robin or crow.
Awe/Subservience: A bright, glowing figure with a slim body and long, thin legs. A long cape is attached at the neck, and is a part of the body. Similar to the intimidation form, but meant for a positive impression instead of a negative one.
Their actual physical appearance is a gray shape similar to the awe and intimidation forms. They use these when trying to show genuine goodwill, or when they trust the observer, or they are distracted.
Their other abilities include types of psychic powers. Over a long period of time, they can sort through, erase, or re-write memories. In a small amount of time, they can give a person a splitting headache, make them feel nauseous, or render them unconscious.
They can also manipulate many energies and 'auras', and change or combine them. This is generally how they acquire food, by taking energy straight out of a living organism. They supplement the Crystal in exchange for their ability to manipulate energy.
Being around a shade will slow down the body clock and metabolism. The more there are around, the more powerful the effect will be.
The blood of a shade has an extremely high pH and can eat through some surfaces.
There are no males or females; they reproduce asexually.
They live for an indefinite amount of time.