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Umbral Informant

School illusion (shadow) [shadow]; Level nightblade 4


Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a vial of good invisible ink worth 25 gp)


Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect one shadowy, humanoid informant
Duration 10 minutes/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no


As you finish the spell, you open the bottle of invisible ink, a fine mist coming from its opening as the ink is consumed and evaporated. Darkness coalesces about a nearby space and takes on a solid form of roughly human shape. Its glowing eyes shift about as if on the lookout for foes while it quietly waits for instruction.

Created by nightblades to survey areas and spy on targets, the umbral informant is a scout that can relay information to its creator. The umbral informant appears as a medium-sized humanoid composed entirely out of shadows (though it is still corporeal and takes up a space); its appearance is up to you, though it cannot be made to look like a specific person and always has a shadowy form, so it is never mistaken for an actual creature. It has AC 10, 10 hit points, and a Strength score of 6 (meaning it can lift up to 60 pounds and drag up to 300 pounds). The informant cannot attack; it is never allowed an attack roll. It can move at a speed of 30 feet along any surface, including walls, ceilings, and even across or through liquids, though it cannot fly. It uses your saving throws for its own. If reduced to 0 hit points, the spell ends. While the informant must be originally created within the range of the spell, it can thereafter move freely outside of the area to wherever you send it.

You can communicate telepathically with the umbral informant. It tells you any information that you wish to know that it can perceive. It has the see in darkness ability, so it can see to any distance in darkness, even magical darkness. It can read and speak any language you can. It has a Stealth check and a Perception check equal to your caster level. As with an umbral servant, it gains a +10 bonus on Stealth checks to remain unseen when in dim light; in darkness or supernatural darkness, it is effectively invisible. The informant itself can turn into a flat shadow at will to hide, as a shadow form spell. It cannot take any items with it when it uses this ability.

Once during the spell’s duration, you can command the informant to become a magical sensor (a standard action for you). The umbral informant becomes a scrying sensor, functioning as if you had cast clairaudience/clairvoyance at the informant’s location. The effect allows you to both hear and see that location for 1 minute (as opposed to one or the other). Because of the informant’s see in darkness ability, you can see in any darkness, even supernatural darkness, around the location. This effect can only be triggered if the informant is within the normal range of a clairaudience/clairvoyance spell from you (400 ft. + 40 ft. per caster level). Once the clairaudience/clairvoyance effects end, this spell ends.

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Path of Shadows, © 2015, Ascension Games, LLC; Author Christopher Moore