Shades are a dark, shadowy race, undistinguishable from normal elves during the day, but wraiths of darkness at night.
In the light, a Shade is like any other person. In the darkness however, a Shade has the ability to meld with the shadows and become invisible to all but the most acute observers. When shadowmelded, the only give away to a Shade's position is the shadows swirling there, thus the very absence of light can prove a Shade's undoing. They prefer dark clothing, reminisciant of their power, and often prefer dark enviroments which assist their abilities, and where other beings as dark as themselves lurk.
In the long ages of history, there have been many variants of elves, high, low, and in between. However, long ago, when elves were still old, though younger, and Ceardia was young, if known at all, one group of ambitious Shadow Elves, a group especially talented at concealment, found a way to become even better at what made them unique. These elves used their powers, combined with those of one of the first Dark Alters, to merge with the very powers that create Vampires. Their elven nature rejected the evil that permeats the nature of a Vampire's power, but the simple darkness that is a benign power of nature enveloped their beings, twisting them into a race powerful and noble as only an elf can be, but dark and shadowed at the same time. Many shades reject their forced birthright, choosing to use the ancient high elven magic and the power of a Light Alter to turn themselves back, or merely hide their power and nature from the world. But many embrace their heritage, believing themselves better, or merely contenting themselves with their nature. And if one with a sharp eye and a clear gaze looks hard at a shade, they may percieve dark shadows swirling about their form, waiting for the time to be used...