Shades are of similar size and build to elves. However, that is where the similarities end. While elves have a tan or olive-colored skin, shades are pale, from a unhealthly pallor to a monstrous gray. Their hair is one of two colors- Jet black or an odd pastel red. They have pointed, slightly curved ears, and their eyes have black irises and red whites. They are usually rather lithe; finding a highly muscular shade is rare. Most notably, however, are their retractable, elongate canines, or fangs. It has been proposed that the evolutionary ancestors of elves once had these and used them for hunting, however, only the Shades retain them. Contrary to popular belief, they cannot use them to suck blood- in fact, Shades retract them to eat. They unfurl their fangs to show contempt or to seem more intimidating. Only truly insane Shades would use their fangs as weapons.
It has long been considered racist amongst other fairies to call shades "Dark Elves" or "Drow". Shades are the heavy metal and punk rockers of fairy music, Edgar Allen Poes of fairy literature, and.... gee. I can't think of a dark minded painter. Someone help me out here. If a Shade doesn't have a career in fine arts, they tend to be shrewd buisnessmen and women or lawyers. They rarely join the LEP. They are considerably less motivated by doing the right thing like elves, so they're closer to humans on a moral standpoint. Shades are more criminal-minded though, and form hushed, undercover gangs, less prominent than the B'wa Kell. More notably, Shades create cults, based around self-created religions and dark magic.
Dark magic is, as its name implies, a different form of magic. It can be used in all of the ways as normal magic, and a few more (see below). While normal magic is light blue or green while visible, dark magic is purple. Shielding is notably more effective with dark magic. Dark magic can only be used by Shades.
Elves and ShadesEdit
It is of note that elves and Shades are of so similar physique, that through exposure to concentrated dark magic, Elves can be turned into Shades. However the amounts of dark magic required are simply astronomical, it would take at least twelve Shades an entire four years' worth of magic.