The plane of Shadows is a dying realm, far more ancient than our own. It is not coherent or pervasive. It is a collection of reflections, pockets of Almost-Wasses and Never-Weres. They congregate on the other-other side of the mirror: there’s a reason no sane man looks into the infinity of a double reflection. Its apocalypse was not a final destruction, but the triumph of Order. It is a place of absolute Law, of cold and darkness; not because it is evil, but because even the twitches of the Atom are slowly becoming linear, even light is slowing and one day will stop. Now it parasitizes our more Chaotic realm, mining us for heat and light, for creativity and impetus.
The vast majority of Shades have no will, aping out the lives of their reflections. A select few, however, are infected in the mines. They do more than parrot, move in courses proscribed to their kin. Wizards call forth Shades to labor; only the Undead are easier to bend to the will, and the Shade is grateful rather than resentful to feel the Sun again. Sometimes a magi calls up one not yet overtaken by the Law. It is well this happens seldom.
A Shade lives slightly out of phase with reality. They interact poorly with this good Earth even when Summoned, and frequently find objects rebelling against their ministrations (no matter how tender or wrathful). On the other hand, a quarter of all attacks made against them simply fail to connect, and a quarter of those rebound upon the ones so foolish as to assault these (generally) inoffensive creatures of Law. Encountered on their home “plane”, Shades are either rapacious hunters or scenery.. and the Hunters are old beyond knowing and cunning beyond ken.
Somewhere in the world, rumors claim, there are the parts to build a great Gate. If assembled and aligned perfectly, every pocket and hole, every faintly-lit fragment of a dead realm, could find a path to the noise, heat, light, and geneation of a world still in flux, sucking it dry as well. Even a badly-built Gate is a danger; all it requires is two mirrors – and patience…