The Shadowfell is the dark echo of
the mortal world, a twilight realm that exists “on
the other side” of the world and its earthly denizens.
Legend has it that an otherworldly dimness
arose around the remnants and tatters of the raw
stuff of creation. Over time, these shadows coalesced
and assumed a form similar to the natural world,
but darker, more ominous, and thrumming with a
strange and unexpected power. This murky land
spawned beings of its own and drew others from different
parts of the cosmos. It came to be filled with a
diverse population of creatures, fair and foul.
landscapes, of vistas that snatch the breath, and of
mind-rending visions, the Shadowfell is the gloomy
reflection of the natural world. It is a plane dimmed
and dulled by a pervasive and insidious pall. The
home of the dead, the realm of the forsaken, a haven
of the lost and the twisted, the birthplace of wretched
creatures famous for their grief and sorrow—the
Plane of Shadow is all this and more.
The Feywild reminds the traveler of the mortal
world, but exaggerates its verdant splendor. The Shadowfell
is similarly reminiscent, but the reflection is
far different. Familiar landmarks, peoples, and places
are changed, as if born from half-remembered nightmares
or perverted by fear and doubt. Perils abound
in the Shadowfell. Still, the allure of lost treasures,
strange mysteries (including those of death), and
alien vistas draw the bold and foolish alike to test
their mettle against the forces of darkness that rule
this chilling plane.
For all the Shadowfell’s dismal reputation, it does
have bright spots where those who fight against the
malaise and the chill live almost ordinary lives. In
fact, for many visitors to the Shadowfell, the plane has
more in common with the natural world than it has
differences. This is both comforting and disturbing.