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This article contains plot details from the latest book.

This article is about shadowflux. You may be looking for Shades, fire, wind, quintessence, or water.
The page for all the elements is Elements.

Shadowflux, the sixth element, is the rawer form of shadows. This element rests far in the atmosphere. The element is widely unknown, and the people who have heard of it often pretend it doesn't exist. Shades also prefer shadowvapor over shadowflux, because it is much easier to control and not many can control this powerful side-element. Shadowflux is very hard to manipulate, because the element only respects those with enough confidence to command it. It is rarely contained.

Shadowflux by itself is neither evil or good, and is just waiting for a strong-willed Shade to control it. When encountered, shadowflux leaves behind an echo as a remnant. Echoes from shadowflux are a burden to bear but will eventually fade with time. Shadowflux is loaded with emotion, and the emotion is what leaves behind an echo. The nature of the echo is determined by the emotion the wielder was feeling when they used the shadowflux. If anger is transmitted, the echo is destructive. If more calmer emotions are loaded in, the echoes usually don't affect the person negatively.

Malicious echoes haunt the victim in the area struck. For example, if a heart were to be struck, the pulse and emotions would be affected, whereas, for the head, certain thoughts would be affected. The specific emotion would change the toleration level and the time period it lasts. When the conscious isn't in control, the echo takes over, controlling thoughts, memories, and emotions. Though eventually fading, some tiny remnant will always remain of the echo.

Echoes cannot be fully cured, but the person it encountered can become very close. The shadowflux's echoes' effects can be cured with songs as performed by Calla's niece, Flori.


In Flashback, Sophie was hit with spears of shadowflux by Umber, a Shade of the Neverseen, which caused the shadows to sink into her skin, shredding muscle and a nerve. Fitz was also hit with shadowflux arrows. It didn't listen to any of Tam's commands and he was forced to wrap shadowvapor around the shadows to control them, resulting in them slithering away instead of fading.

Later, throughout many lessons though, Tam gains control of this pure darkness, although he is often shown to be afraid of this strong power. It is revealed that he had let a bit under his skin, leaving an echo, but it was much calmer then Sophie or Fitz's.

Umber and Tam are the only known elves to be able to control shadowflux. However, since Umber was crushed by the falling door at the illegal troll hive in Everglen, Tam is the only known living elf who can control shadowflux and if any other can control shadowflux is unknown.

Shadowflux can also be used to conceal mental transmissions from telepaths, as shown by Tam in Legacy. In Legacy Tam uses Shadowflux on Lady Gisela, which leaves her injured but she still escapes.