As the Pyrewardens patrol the day, so do the Shadowguard safeguard the night. They are the open secret of the Wardens, the rival organization that everyone knows is in full cooperation with (and may even be an offshoot of) the authorities of the city. They are not bound by the Wardens’ rules, and as such are quite a bit more motley than their counterparts. The Shadowguard have no uniform, no matching coats of brilliant scales; instead, their sole identifying device is a small badge, worn discreetly under clothing or carried somewhere that is easily procured.
They are the true investigative wit behind the Wardens’ might. Without the Shadowguard, the Pyrewardens’ reputation as sterling pursuers of the guilty might be well diminished. Like the Wardens, they often have work for those willing to put their lives on the line, but they do not post bills in the Pyrecourt; those who wish to do the Shadow’s work must first find the Shadowguard, and that is sometimes easier said than done. They have offices in Shadowhaven, but the days that those offices are open are random and unannounced, and the willingness of the Guardsmen within to connect callers with the lieutenants and officers of the Shadowguard is suspect at best.
Like many institutions of the city, the Guard began as a compromise between the Wardens and one of the powerful mystical elements introduced into the city (and the world) on the first Pyre’s Eve. The Wardens approached the Shadarkai trapped in the city by the shifting shadows that led back to the Shadowfell and offered them conditions, the most salient of which was the exchange of service for continued survival. Trapped in the unflinching light of the Pyre, the shadowkin took the only option available to them.