Shadowseers, known in the Eldar Lexicon as esdainn, are specialist psykers that belong to the Eldar race and are seen within the ranks of the Harlequins, with their abilities focusing particularly on skills relating to confusion as well as fear. Their presence adds to the potency of any performances by their kin as they release programmed hallucinations by way of their creidann grenade launcher backpacks. During masques, a Shadowseer serves the role of a storyteller and form scintillating phantoms that dance and duel in the air. However, when called to battle, they are able to force visions of unholy terror on their foes or even remove the presence of the Harlequins from their minds completely. So far, all named Shadowseers and portrayals of Shadowseers have been women, say for one exception in the audiobook A Deadly Wit where one of the main characters, a shadowseer, is very much male.
These Seers play the role of fate and fortune within their performances with it being said that they know the doom of all their companions - even for the Great Harlequins themselves. These powerful psykers are known for their psychic abilities which are as great as those of a Farseer of the Craftworlds. Shadowseers, in terms of appearance, tend to wear masks like all Harlequins though theirs are uniquely blank and smooth. As such, it is claimed that those who see into their faces often see a different visage reflecting back at them which can either be their own face in a future or alternate time.
Every Shadowseer carries a Miststave - a weapon that directs their mental forces to crush the enemies armour, flesh and bones. They are also frequently equipped with the iconic Pack Grenade Launchers and a Shuriken Pistol (Which can be swapped for the more elusive Neuro-Disruptor).
Shadowseers use manipulation of the mind as their foremost weapon. In battle, they turn their victims' senses against them, blinding eyes, driving brave men mad, or gouging fatal psychosomatic wounds. At the same time, they shield their allies from harm, wreathing them in veils of illusion until the moment comes to strike. Enigmatic masters of trickery and misdirection, the Shadowseers' prodigious psychic abilities are a powerful tool in the ongoing war against the servants of Chaos. Amidst the mayhem of battle, Shadowseers use their phantasmic powers to terrify and misdirect, drowning the enemy in nightmare visions, and should one of the dreaded Solitaires deign to join a battle, they can slaughter entire enemy regiments in impossible displays of martial prowess which is honestly too ridiculous to suspend disbelief for. That would make the two together more powerful than most Space Marine companies which is...no, just no. In the Harlequins' performances, the Shadowseers play the role of Fate. They act as narrators, speaking in monologue, song or rhyme while their fellow Players whirl and spin around them. It is the Shadowseers' subtle psychic abilities, coupled with the hallucinogenic creidann grenade launchers they wear upon their backs, that provide diverse illusions for their shows. Blasts of multicoloured light, glowing swirls of blinding mist and white-hot illusory flame -- all are conjured forth with consummate showmanship.
All Shadowseers wear a featureless mask finished to a silvered, mirror sheen. They never remove their masks in the presence of others, and so none, even amongst their peers in a Harlequin troupe, have looked upon the wearer's true face. Instead, when each looks upon that mirrored mask, that individual see something different. Some see what the wearer wants them to see, others what they themselves want to see. During a performance, this mask takes on a myriad of identities, as is appropriate to the Shadowseer's role of the personification of fate. During battle, when a Shadowseer is performing the so-called Dance of Death, the mask reflects back upon those unfortunates that see it a terrifying range of faces. It is said that many see their own deathmask in that reflection, though, if this is true, none have ever confirmed it, for all who gaze upon it die within moments.
Though a Shadowseer's own mask is a blank, faceless thing reflecting nightmares back at those who dare gaze upon it, she carries two other masks on her belt. Facts are few but truths are many where the Harlequins are concerned and the masks on the Shadowseer's belt are no different. Some say they are the masks of slain Troupe members, held by the Shadowseer until a new Player is found, though there may be a little more to it than that: Shadowseers can foresee the fate of their fellow Harlequins, so when an Eldar becomes a Harlequin it will often be a Shadowseer who presents the new Player with their mask, peering into the new Harlequin's future to scry the role they were fated to play
Shadowseers are skilled in reading the skeins of the future. However, their second sight is differently honed to that of Farseers; they are concerned less with the literal manipulation of events, but rather the fulfilment of the mythic roles that others unknowingly assume. Concealing their identities with stage names, Shadowseers act as envoys to their Craftworld or Commorrite kin, their faceless masks revealing nothing of their thoughts or intentions.
|Forces of the Harlequins|
|Command:||High Avatar - High Warlock |
Shadowseer - Solitaire
|Troops:||Black Guardian - Death Jester - Master Mime |
Mime - Troupe Master - Trouper - Warlock
|Vehicles:||Black Guardian War Walker - Black Guardian Vyper |
Jetbike - Skyweaver - Starweaver
Venom - Voidweaver
|Allies:||Dark Eldar - Eldar|