As Brother Caleb studies The Book of Shadows, he learns the following:
The Shadow-Desert is a bleak parallel version of our world, a sort of “pocket universe” where the sun shines dimly at best, where shadows are long and indistinct and sometimes appear where no shadow should be. The book states that in many ways, the Shadow-Desert resembles something called the Dreamlands, as it is accessible both physically and via dreams. The book also references a pharmaceutical method of entering the eerie desert world and you learn the spell Create Shadow-Drug (see below).
Many real-world roads exist as faint trails in the Shadow-Desert. Familiar cities and towns may appear as mirages or shadows, and in other cases the settlements (or slightly different versions of them) may actually exist as ghost towns inhabited only by specters and more shadows. The only supplies to be found in the Shadow-Desert are those that can be gathered (like firewood), hunted (animals), or taken from other inhabitants (e.g. ammunition or gear taken from a fellow traveler); in the ghost towns of Shadow only the buildings exist, not the whiskey, food, guns, or horses.
Anyone physically present in the Shadow-Desert who dies is actually dead, though he or she may stalk the Shadows as a specter thereafter; dreamers slain there lose 1D8 Sanity points and awaken in the real world when the spell or drug that sent them there wears off.
• Cost: 5 POW and 1D3 Sanity points
• Casting time: 5 minutes of singing
This rare recipe is known to a few southwestern American Indian medicine men. It requires a variety of ingredients, mostly animal bones and herbs (some of which can only be obtained in the Shadow-Desert itself ). Each casting creates 1D6+6 individual doses of the drug. The drug can either be ingested or smoked, and costs 1D6 magic points and 1D4 Sanity points to use. The effects appear 15 to 20 minutes after the drug has been taken.
The drug makes the user sleepy, and when it takes effect he or she falls into a deep sleep from which they will not rise until the dose has worn off. Each dose lasts 2D6+2 hours; additional doses add the same amount of time again. Additional doses are dangerous, however, as each dose after the first requires a successful CON roll, otherwise the user’s body enters a coma, leaving his or her mind trapped in the Shadow-Desert. For up to two doses, the CON roll is Regular, for three to four doses it is Hard, and for any more the roll is Extreme.