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A Shadow is an insect-like organism with a spiked, violet-black carapace. They are similar in shape to a praying mantis with an upper body, shoulder spines, a mobile head, and at least one pair of grasping forelimbs. The rear of the body is supported by multiple pairs of legs. Their legs resemble those of a spider, but each Shadow has six of them instead of eight.

The Shadows have fourteen eyes in total divided into four groups. Two sets of three arranged, slanted upward and two sets of four arranged to align perfectly under the first sets.

The spoken language of the Shadows is a rapid series of high-frequency bursts and chirps like a cricket or grasshopper. The endonym of the Shadows is ten thousand letters long, and unpronounceable by many.

Detailed descriptions are rare, due to their ability to "cloak" their physical bodies to visual wavelengths of light. They are thus rarely seen except as shadowy, mirage-like silhouettes, which can be seen by telepaths, those using visual enhancement devices, or when the entity chooses to partially or wholly reveal itself.

Other manifestations take the form of the Shadows' three pairs of glowing orange eyes, usually as a symbolic image within a telepathic or dream vision.

Shadows very rarely engage in hand-to-hand combat to accomplish their goals, relying instead on invisibility, behind-the-scenes maneuvering and their technology. They are, however, vulnerable to high-powered energy weapons