Shadowtalent Explained


What is Shadowtalent?

Shadowtalent is the “magic” system for my Shadowhero books.

People discover they have Shadowtalent after a Triggering event, which normally means that person witnessed something so traumatic that it changes the core of who that person is. When that triggering event happens, something changes not just with you, but with your shadow as well. Your shadow enhances the five basic senses in ways that can make you especially resourceful and dangerous. As a result, you have an upper hand in life, and what you do with that is up to you.

You should know this though: your shadow will always tempt you to use your Talent for evil.


A Trigger is a traumatic event that reveals a person’s Shadowtalent. Not everyone has the potential to be a Shade. If even one of your parents is a Shade, chances are you might be one too. But even if you have the potential to have Shadowtalent, it will never manifest itself unless a Triggering event occurs in your life.


Glasses with a capital “G,” as opposed to glasses, are necessary for Shades to take full advantage of their Shadowtalent. The Glasses open up the connection between a Shade and her shadow, allowing her to fully access Shadowtalent and use it to her advantage. All Shades wear Glasses, so be wary of anyone in your life who wears what appear to be glasses.


Obsidian is the only material known to be able to harm a shadow. Most injuries, while they might be able to hurt your body, will leave your shadow intact, unless that injury is inflicted by a weapon made of Obsidian.

When a Shade is attacked and injured by an Obsidian weapon, such as a knife or a gunman with Obsidian bullets, his shadow bleeds purple. Shadows that have been hurt by Obsidian weaponry experience intense agony and pain and can eventually bleed out without appropriate medical attention. If your shadow dies, your Shadowtalent dies with it.


A Shade is someone who has Shadowtalent. Shades call those without Shadowtalent the “Blind” because they cannot see and interact with the shadows in the same way that Shades can.


The ability to see, hear, and otherwise interact with the world of the shadows. Shadowtalent grants special skills to those Shades who have it, and you can read more detailed descriptions of each kind of Shadowtalent below.

In short, Shadowtalent enhances one of the five basic senses of Touch, Taste, Sight, Hearing, and Smell.

There are many levels and limitations to Shadowtalent, so even though a person is skilled or might prefer a particular area of Shadowtalent, their Talent is limited in part to the Talent their Trigger and Shadowtalent gives to them.


Shadowheroes are a very rare kind of Shade.

Most Shades can only use one of the five basic Talents to its full potential, but Shadowheroes are capable of using all five Shadowtalents to their maximum potential. While there are advantages to being able to use all five Talents, most Shadowheroes have a difficult life. In general, their Triggering events are more traumatic than the Triggers for other Shades. Furthermore, Shadowheroes are notorious for giving in to their darker halves.

Other types of Shades, discussed below, include Bouncers, Seers, Listeners, Trackers, and Tasters.

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