The Darkwalker is a particular group of sorcery wielding rogues of the Sayune. Studying under their own sayune sorcerers, these rogues learn dark magic to augment their own skills. Darkwalkers are masters of alchemy, stealth, blade combat and certain aspects of sayune “dark magic”. Their greatest ability is their skill is known as “shadow walking” which allows them to appear and disappear, move about unseen, walk through walls and call upon dark powers.
Many sayune are embittered by the way their people have been treated over the centuries. While most sayune are good people, there are those who do indeed dabble in dark sorcery and consort with demons, just as the legends say. Those rogues who choose to embrace the dark ways become darkwalkers. Most do so to become greater thieves and use their skills to gain wealth or power. Others seek to avenge their people and take back from the more populous races of the world.
The darkwalker is a master of blade combat, but they tend to use dirty tricks including poisoned blades. Because of their skill in alchemy, they often brew their own poisons. They usually will concoct antidotes for their poisons and use such antidotes in negotiations or threats. Curatives, sleeping potions, concentrated acids and truth serums are also frequent. They are adept at climbing walls, picking locks, disable traps and other machinery and moving silently. With such skills they excel at covert infiltration.
Darkwalkers may be of any alignment, but most tend towards neutrality or evil.
Darkwalkers often worship gods taught to them by sayune sorcerers… elder demon lords and foul entities from far beyond the realm of the mortal world. Darkwalkers eventually gain the ability to directly commune with some of these dark entities. However, there are also many darkwalkers who also choose to worship other gods, often gods of thievery and magic.
Darkwalkers often begin as common thieves but are introduced to dark magic by their clan sorcerer. Darkwalkers tend to leave their clan and wander the world, sometimes alone and sometimes with other rogues or adventuring companies. Once they begin on this path, they will seek out sayune sorcerers and scrolls to learn of the dark path and increase their skills.
Only pureblooded sayune can become darkwalkers. Sayune of mixed heritage cannot learn darkwalker magic. This may be because of some genetic trait or perhaps because of some bond formed when the sayune consorted with demons from long ago. In any case, only sayune of pure blood are able to perform this magic.
Darkwalkers are exceptionally adept at alchemy and herbalism. Like thieves, they are very skilled at physical movement including running, climbing, balancing, swimming and tumbling. In addition, they are quite skilled at hiding, moving silently, picking locks and disarming traps.
Armor and Weapons
Darkwalkers are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, rapier, short bow and short sword. Rogues are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
The darkwalker gets his name from his spell ability which is known as “dark walking”. This form of magic is unique to darkwalkers. Darkwalking is actually the ability to access the ethereal plane and shape its energies. At first, the darkwalker can only tap into the energies of the shallow ethereal plane, but with greater experience, they are able to go deeper and deeper into the ethereal and doing more amazing feats. The darkwalking ability has many manifestations. The following is a list of darkwalking ability from the most basic talents to the most advanced abilities.
Darkwalking is a taxing endeavor and tires the darkwalker. A darkwalker has a limited amount of magical energy to use for his abilities. Each use of an ability consumes this magic. A darkwalker's magic is replenished each night with rest. The more skilled a darkwalker, the more magic he has which affects how often he can cast spells and how long he can maintain them.
Magic Sense – The first ability of darkwalking is the ability to sense disturbances in the ethereal by the presence of magical energy. Hence, the darkwalker can see the magic in an enchanted sword or even see the casting of a spell on the other side of a wall.
Life Sense – The darkwalker can see disturbances in the ethereal by the presence of life energy. The life energy appears as a shimmering bright glow within a creature. This glow can be seen regardless of physical barriers and can be used to determine the number, size and approximate strength of living creatures within range.
Shadow Cloaking – The darkwalker begins to be able to partially transition into the border ethereal plane. In so doing, he can make himself appear incorporeal and shadowy, making him difficult to see. At higher levels, he becomes almost completely invisible.
Ethereal Sight – The darkwalker gains the ability to see into ethereal plane and the prime material plane with equal ease. By peering through ethereal space and back into the prime material, the darkwalker can see past physical objects into nearby places. With this ability, a darkwalker can see through walls, doors, floors, etc.
Dimensional Strike – The darkwalker causes a small section of a target item to shift slightly into the border ethereal plane. Darkwalkers usually use this to make an opponent’s armor insubstantial to the darkwalker’s blade. Thus, the darkwalker’s blade passes through the armor of the targeted opponent as if it were not there. This ability only affects non-living objects such as armor or a wall. It is more taxing for the darkwalker to use this ability against magic armor.
Shadow Walking – Once a certain level of mastery is achieved, the darkwalker begins to be able to actually transition his physical body into the ethereal plane. By temporarily phasing through ethereal space, the darkwalker is able to pass through solid objects such as walls or floors. It is possible for a darkwalker to walk into a solid object and remain there, but continuous shadow walking is exhausting.
Summons – The darkwalker is able to summon a creature forth from another plane. The size and form of the creature summoned is random, but such creatures are usually small and not particularly fierce. The summoned creature will obey the darkwalker to the best of its ability. It remains on the prime material plane for only a few minutes.
Contact Entity – This ability allows the darkwalker to commune with an intelligent entity in the outer planes. It requires several minutes of concentration and meditation. Once contact is established, the darkwalker may ask any questions of the entity. The answers he may get are often vague and cryptic, but usually contain valuable clues. This communication can be maintained for only a short amount of time (depending on the skill of the darkwalker). In addition, the contacted entity usually will require a sacrifice of gold or treasure which is immediately transferred to the contacted plane before questioning begins.
Dimension Leap – When the darkwalker achieves a mastery of darkwalking magic, he is able to do a "dimension leap". By vaulting into and out of ethereal space at discontinuous points, the darkwalker is able to instantly transport himself from one point in space to another. This functions like a short range teleport spell and the darkwalker can bypass solid objects. The effect is instantaneous and the darkwalker can reappear at any point within range. The range of this ability is fairly short, a few dozen meters at most.
Rapid Phasing – By phasing rapidly between the ethereal and the prime, the darkwalker can become insubstantial and allow weapons to pass through him. This makes the darkwalker difficult to hit in combat. However, a darkwalker will rapidly exhaust his magic with this ability.
Null Space – Allows the darkwalker to travel into the edge of ethereal space and wrap himself in an ethereal bubble. From the point of view of creatures on the prime material plane, the darkwalker simply vanishes. The darkwalker may remain in the null space as long as he chooses. It is often used to retreat from a battle to conduct healing or make preparations uninterrupted. Once he exits the null space bubble, the effect is over.
Dimension Armor – Creates a faint, shimmering foggy grey aura about the darkwalker. All weapons, spell effects, etc. that contact this shield will pass through to the ethereal plane. The darkwalker can see, hear, move and attack normally while cloaked in dimension armor. This makes the darkwalker essentially invulnerable. However, due to the high energy costs, a darkwalker can maintain this for only a short amount of time before completely exhausting his magic.
Shadow Cage – This is essentially the ability to force an opponent into a nullspace bubble. The darkwalker must make physical contact with the target. Upon touching the target, the darkwalker can envelop the target in the bubble. The effect can be countered. It is possible for a target to leap clear of the effect. Various spells, magic items and natural resistances will prevent this spell from working. If the darkwalker is successful, the victim is placed in a nullspace. From the point of view of others, the darkwalker’s victim simply vanishes. The darkwalker must continually expend magical energy to maintain the shadow cage bubble. Therefore, a shadow cage can only be maintained for a few minutes.
Plane Walking – At the highest levels of training, the darkwalker gains complete mastery over ethereal travel and can now travel to another plane of existence. A true master of darkwalking can even open a rift (essentially an interdimensional portal) that allows him to take others with him to other planes of existance.
This website was last updated November 16, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.