The Plane of Shadows is the dark and twisted reflection of the Material Plane. All things lost or forgotten eventually find their way here. Everything from missing keys to great tomes and powerful weapons can be found scattered across the darkened landscape. Small items that simply disappear on the Material Plane reappear on Shadowsfall when no one remembers them anymore. Larger things, such as buildings and forests, decay over time and show up piece by piece on the plane. Rarely, events on the Material Plane, like earthquakes and tornadoes shallow or otherwise decimate entire sections of lands and cities. When this happens, this decimated land appears almost instantly on the Plane of Shadows, taking any people and buildings once situated there with them. The people living on the Plane of Shadows call it Shadowsfall, just as those that live on the Material Plane have a name for their own realm.
On Shadowsfall, you will find ancient tombs and ruins of cities built hundreds or even thousands of years ago, their crafters hailing from different planes and long since forgotten by time. That does not mean that these places are empty. Some of these tombs are still sealed and contain powerful magic items ready for you to plunder. Others, monsters have taken over, making the ruins into lairs and vaults for their ill-gotten treasure. In a rare few of these ruins, the various races have fixed them up and made them their homes. The larger and more densely populated of these restored ruins are called strongholds. They provide shelter from the monsters that stalk the eternal night.
A number of themes are central to Shadowsfall. Among these is life versus death. In many ways Shadowsfall is more akin to a zombie apocalypse game than any other Pathfinder setting. With large numbers of roving zombies versus the few pockets of civilization scattered across an enormous gulf of wasteland, fans of zombie movies and games will feel at home in this setting. Another theme revolves around how much you will compromise your principles to stay alive and have security. Bloodchain keeps the majority of its population in constant pain and torture as the price they pay for not being overrun by the undead. Vole’s Deep does not suffer many attacks, but your character might have to murder someone just to be able to eat. Even Bastion, the stronghold of the faithful, requires significant compromise to maneuver the ever shifting alliances that rule there. In my own opinion, the most important theme is about discovering what your character lost. Shadowsfall is a land that absorbs things that are lost and forgotten in other worlds and incorporates them into itself. This is not limited to items; it can also include memories, loved ones, knowledge, honor, powerful artifacts, fame and dark power. Some are seeking answers to the question, "Why?" If there are two constants in Shadowsfall, they are that everyone is seeking something, and everyone has a story to tell. What stories will you tell, and what stories will others tell of you?