Shadow Fey Duelist

“Kind words open even iron doors.”
—Twilight, a courtier to the shadow fey

To most, the shadow fey are little more than a dancing shadow among the leaves. To savants, they are the creatures that taught the shadowdancers all they know, and kept many secrets to themselves. They were once elves like all others, dwelling in mortal lands beneath the sun. An ancient catastrophe drove them to darkness, and now they are creatures of the shadow. Though they can be found on the Material Plane, they are inextricably tied to the plane of Shadows, and that is the seat of their power and culture.

Shadow fey superficially resemble other elves, but they’re rarely mistaken for their lighted cousins. Skin tones among the shadow fey range from alabaster white to ebony black, with varying shades of gray in between, but they are otherwise lacking in color. A few have a scintillating shimmer to their skin. Many shadow fey grow horns that sweep out from their hair, varying in size from subtle nubs to obvious spikes. Others have shocking sets of teeth.

Dual Natured. The shadow fey are contradictory beings. They boast some of the best features of elves, tempered by aspects of a fouler nature. They can be deliberate and purposeful, but they’re also given to perplexing whimsy. Mortal creatures trying to fathom shadow fey motivations are in for a maddening experience; they are often illogical, capricious, and seemingly thrive on annoying others.

Split Rulership. The Summer Court and Winter Court each rule the shadow fey in the appropriate season. The turning of these seasons follows no clear calendar or schedule, though it is skewed toward summer.

Other fey call them the Scáthsidhe (pronounced scAH-shee), or shadow faeries, and they are usually counted among the unseelie, though they would dispute that characterization. They simply call themselves part of the sidhe, and consider themselves an extension of the Seelie Court.

The Reach of Darkness. Their bond with darkness allows the shadow fey to slip through distant spaces, traversing darkness itself from one place to another. Not only can every shadow fey slip from a shadow or patch of darkness to instantly appear elsewhere, they also control the mysterious and powerful shadow roads. Shadow roads are magical pathways that connect points on the Material Plane by dipping through the plane of shadow, allowing rapid and completely secret travel for the fey—and more importantly, for their weapons of war, their trade goods, and their allies.

The shadow fey all have an instinctive understanding of how a shadow road functions, and they are adept at both operating the entrance portals and navigating any hazards on the road. This bond with darkness has a price, of course, and the shadow fey shun the sun’s light.

The pale-skinned elf wears a gleaming breastplate and tight-fitting clothing. He moves like the wind, evading blows with effortless skill. When he stops and smiles, his blade is slick with crimson.

Shadow fey duelists are elite warriors, often of noble lineage. Swift and sure beyond compare, duelists are often taller and more wiry than others of their kind. Their armor, clothing, and weapons are of exquisite make, fashioned from only the finest materials, as befits their station.

A nobleman or woman of the shadow fey is not to be taken lightly—many courtiers or politicians are deadly with their slim blades, and they are known to distill virulent poisons. Often a skilled duelist serves as a champion for her liege, standing in the noble’s stead in challenges or serving as an elite bodyguard.

Duelist

Medium humanoid (elf), lawful evil
Armor Class 17 (studded leather)
Hit Points 117 (18d8 + 36)
Speed 30 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
13 (+1) 20 (+5) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 12 (+1) 16 (+3)

Saving Throws Dex +8, Con +5, Wis +4, Cha +6
Skills Arcana +4, Deception +6, Perception +4, Stealth +8
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Elvish, Umbral
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

Fey Ancestry. The shadow fey has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put it to sleep.

Innate Spellcasting. The shadow fey’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma. It can cast the following spells innately, requiring no material components.
3/day: misty step (when in shadows, dim light, or darkness only)

Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the shadow fey has disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Traveler in Darkness. The shadow fey has advantage on Intelligence (Arcana) checks made to know about shadow roads and shadow magic spells or items.

Actions

Multiattack. The shadow fey makes two rapier attacks. If it has a dagger drawn, it can also make one dagger attack.

Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4 + 5) piercing damage, and a target creature must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. A poisoned creature repeats the save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.

Rapier. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 5) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) poison damage.

Reactions

Parry. The shadow fey duelist adds 3 to its AC against one melee attack that would hit it. To do so, the duelist must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.

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