Shadow Fey Guardian

“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.

A hulking brute, this shadow fey towers over his fellows and wields massive weapons. Patches of his body are swallowed by inky blackness that writhes and crawls, distorting his form in places, and his eyes are hollow black pits.

Shadow fey guardians are massive creatures trained and bred for battle. They appear as massive versions of shadow fey, but the stuff of shadow corrupts them even more than their brethren, expanding their size and power to an ogrish strength. Patches of pitch black shadow swallow parts of their body and crawl about, revealing and obscuring more by inches at a time. They stand nearly 10 feet tall and weigh over 700 pounds.

Guardians are fanatically loyal to their superiors. Employed as house guards or even personal bodyguards for important shadow fey, guardians are unshakable in their duty. The shadow corruption reaches into their minds and souls, so that not even powerful magic can bend their hearts or break their resolve. Guardians aren’t independent thinkers, but they discharge their duty with single-minded dedication.


Large humanoid (elf), neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (chain shirt)
Hit Points 110 (13d10 + 39)
Speed 30 ft.
18 (+4) 14 (+2) 16 (+3) 6 (-2) 14 (+2) 8 (-1)

Saving Throws Str +6, Con +5
Skills Athletics +6, Perception +4
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Elvish, Umbral
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Fey Ancestry. The shadow fey guardian 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.
1/day: misty step (when in shadows, dim light, or darkness only)

Shadow’s Vigil. The shadow fey has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks, and magical darkness does not inhibit its darkvision.

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.


Multiattack. The shadow fey makes two pike attacks.

Pike. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) piercing damage.

Javelin. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage.


Protect. The shadow fey guardian imposes disadvantage on an attack roll against an ally within 5 feet. The guardian must be wielding a melee weapon to use this reaction.

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