"The dark burden given. And a hidden force created. One that could step up should the mightiest Immortal fail. The Shadows. Constant challengers to the would-be defenders of Sanctuary. They would test the Immortals, looking for weakness. Apathy. Led by Akeba, the Shadows would overthrow the Immortals when the time was right. But even in victory, she knew her watch had just begun. For this is an eternal cycle."
— Faction description(src)
The Shadows are a secret group, formed to keep the Immortals from going mad with power or becoming complacent.
The Shadows constantly test the Immortals, including conducting numerous raids on their vault. However, even from within, there is competition, the Shadows fight amongst themselves to discover the strongest candidates to take on the Immortals before initiating the Rite of Exile. Before commencing the rite, the Shadows will initiate a congregation of war, before sending their strongest members into battle.
Groups of Shadows can rally under their own banner.
"I'm hunting Shadows! You're not a Shadow...are you?"
The Shadows were formed by Akeba, who at Daedessa's request, formed a group that would constantly test the Immortals, to ensure that they were always capable of defending Sanctuary. Alternatively, if the Immortals ever fell against Hell, the Shadows were to step in and take their place.
Working in secret, Akeba found those brave enough to help her constantly test and challenge the Immortals. They would look for cracks and weaknesses and they would do everything they could to make sure the elite defenders of Sanctuary were always up to the task. She called this group the Shadows. It was agreed that if the Shadows ever overthrew the Immortals, they would take the Eternal Crown, and become the Immortals themselves. After the Immortals battled against a force of demons led by Rakanoth (a battle that apparently ended in their defeat), Akeba and her Shadows moved in, attacking the Immortals. The Shadows prevailed, with Akeba becoming the next Immortal. Knowing that she could not rest on her laurels however, Akeba created the Cycle of Strife, where the Shadows would continuously test the Immortals, culminating in the Rite of Exile. This remained true well into recent times.
Shadows players can form "dark clans." After a player's clan is made, that clan's members will join the Shadows together. If that player’s Dark Clan succeeds in besting the other Dark Clans and overthrowing the Immortals, then that winning Dark Clan will become the Immortal Clan. Players in an Immortal Clan will stay together as a unit and can invite up to two other Dark Clans to become Immortal Allied Clans. When the Immortals’ reign ends, as all reigns must, the Immortal Clan will return to being a normal Clan as the Cycle begins anew.
Aside from the Rite of Exile, Shadows have access to the following events:
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This article contains information that is no longer relevant to gameplay, but is kept here for informational purposes.
- In aesthetic, tactics, and even 'mission statement,' the ancient Shadows bear strong resemblance to the Demon Hunters.
- Khazra appear in the Cycle of Strife trailer for Diablo Immortal, showing ancient nephalem Immortals battling khazra and other demons. This is either an error (as the khazra were formed after the Mage Clan Wars), or indicative that the original group of Immortals (and therefore, the Shadows) were formed and/or were active well after the Sin War.
- 2021-04-22, Diablo Immortal's Team-Based PVP Endgame Cycle of Strife Revealed. IGN, accessed on 2021-06-16
- 2021-04-21, DIABLO IMMORTAL CLOSED ALPHA — THE CRUSADE BEGINS. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2022-05-25
- 2021-12-03, Cycle of Strife | Introduction. YouTube, accessed on 2022-05-10
- 2021-12-03, Cycle of Strife | Shadows. YouTube, accessed on 2022-05-10
- 2022-02-23, DIABLO IMMORTAL: CLOSED BETA LEARNINGS. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2022-03-30