The Book of Shadows was the eighth Ravenloft Netbook published by the Kargatane, a group of Ravenloft fans who went on to run the official fan site for many years. The Book of Shadows is a collection of articles about the people, places and monsters of the Ravenloft and Masque of the Red Death settings. It also contains some new rules, and articles on running games in those two settings.
From the preface of the book:
"And the lamp-light oi'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted -- nevermore!i" -- E. A. Poe, "The Raven"
A shadow is a stab of darkness in the heart of the light. It is the eternal affirmation of night's dominance over the day. The brighter the radiance becomes, the murkier the shadow. And when that light fades, the shadows come out to take over, their sharp edges blurring into mist.
Shadows can be your friends. A renegade soldier, pursued by Drakov's Talons, takes refuge in a stand of trees. A small child hides in a closet, as alcohol turns his father into a monster. The cool shade of a boulder greets a lost traveler in the desert, and a few precious drops of water cling to the dark side of the stone.
Shadows can be your enemies. A frightened woman hurries home through the twilight, her pursuer's unseen footsteps echoing from the dark alley where he parallels her path. A vampire billows from his hiding place, awaiting the end of sunlight. A party of pious priests walks though the Svalich woods, oblivious to the wolves which lie in wait beneath the trees ahead of them.
In the end, however, shadows simply are. Whether refuge or ambush, shadows hide the dark from the light. You have reached into the shadows and brought forth wisdom and learning. You have reached into the shadows and brought forth terror and evil. And, as day fades, and the fire burns down to embers, the shadows are reaching for you as well.
Welcome to the night, weary traveler.