Shadow Magic is an obscure but powerful form of magic. It was first harnessed by Azra Nightwielder, who was the first to discover that shadow was not simply an absence of light, but a reflection of possible worlds created by forces in conflict. Shadows can be produced by mundane forces such as light hitting a rock, or by more powerful forces such as nations at war. Shadow Magic involves the manipulation of shadows to affect the forces creating it. In this way, Shadow Magic rivals even the power of the Elder Scrolls themselves, having the power to potentially change the past, present, and future through the manipulation of shadow. Shadow magics by their nature will twist on their casters, and shadowmages are often distrusted because of this. Shadow Magic is common around the Hammerfell-Skyrim-High Rock border, but is rarely used elsewhere. During the Second Era, it was harnessed by so-called "Nightblades".
Azra attempted to manipulate his own shadow to such an extent that he would meld all possible versions of himself, crossing over from a singular existence to all the existences in shadow. He disappeared after a battle with Redguard soldiers, so his experiment never came to fruition. During his absence, other shadowmages strove to take his place and continue researching the science of shadow, including Pergan Asuul and Skelos Undriel.
Shadow Magic played a central part of the War of the Bend'r-mahk. The large amount of conflict caused by the war manifested itself as an Umbra' Keth, or "Shadow of Conflict", a powerful entity. Jagar Tharn and Pergan Asuul competed to gain control of the monster for their own use. The Soul of Conflict, a questing hero under the guidance of Skelos Undriel and a returned Azra Nightwielder, used the power of the Star Teeth to destroy the creature.
One of the more common applications of Shadow Magic is in the creation of Shadow Gates. These are magical barriers often used to protect treasure, and can only be bypassed through use of a Shadowkey. Only eleven Shadowkeys are known to be in existence. Shadows can also be absorbed to strengthen the mind, or can be coalesced into artifacts such as the Shadow Stabber, a blade made from shadow. Second Era Nightblades frequently used Shadow Magic to "step through shadows", teleport short distances, or drain other people's life force. It is possible for shadowmages to use Shadow Magic to visit shadow realms, alternate versions of the world, to aid a different version of themselves. Similarly, shadowmages can summon different versions of themselves to their own world. Death in a shadow realm is the only way to break the connection.
- First Scroll of Shadow — Notes on what Shadow Magic may achieve
- Second Scroll of Shadow — A description of the end of Azra Nightwielder
- Shadow Draining: A Hypothesis by the Glimmering Foxbat — On the magical effect of absorbing another's life force
- Stepping through Shadows by the Glimmering Foxbat — On teleportation magic
- First Scroll of Shadow
- Brown Scroll — Jagar Tharn
- Events of Shadowkey
- Events of ESO
- Shadow Draining: A Hypothesis — the Glimmering Foxbat
- Second Scroll of Shadow
- Stepping through Shadows — the Glimmering Foxbat
- Shadowkey multiplayer