The Shadows are a species of mortals in the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Black Dagger Legacy series.
Shadows are cousins, of a sort, to Vampires; they share the same cladistic relationship, biologically speaking.
At some point in the distant past, the Shadows were originally Vampires, but for reasons unknown (perhaps a birth mutation within the Vampires, or a divergent evolution after settling elsewhere away from the main Vampire colony, or a breeding with another species as yet unknown in the series), the Shadows became their own separate species.
As the Vampires in the series tend to refer to iAm and Trez as "Moors", it is possible that the Shadows were a group of Vampires who left the main group in the Carpathian Mountain range to settle in North Africa and the Iberian peninsula sometime after the fall of the Roman Empire or during the European Middle Ages.
Shadows share many of the same physical traits as Vampires, such as:
- superior speed and strength
- a six-chambered heart
- a rapid healing factor
- a blood feeding requirement from the opposite sex
- the ability to disappear and reappear at will elsewhere (phasing)
- mate-bonding (heightened obsession with mate soon after meeting, overwhelming desire to scent-mark, bite, and sexually penetrate/be penetrated by mate, violent territorial instincts where mate is concerned)
- a long gestational period
- a penchant within the species for twin births
However, there are some physical characteristics that are markedly different between Shadows and Vampires, such as:
- Shadows are described as being dark-skinned (using the Fitzpatrick colour scale: ebony, dark brown, brown/mocha), dark or gold-eyed (black, dark brown, brown, light brown, gold), and have dark, straight hair (black, dark brown, brown), whereas Vampires are paler of skin (olive, golden/medium, fair, pale), can have multiple hues of eye colour (blue, green, brown, grey, hazel, lavender, and diamond-white), and can have multiple hues of hair colour (black, brown, blonde, ginger)
- Shadows engage in cannibalism
- Shadows have a unique magical talent of bending dark areas/shadows to their use, including the ability to hide within a shadow without being seen or otherwise perceived by outsiders
- Shadows have the ability to walk in sunlight without it harming them