I got reeeeaally hung up the other day working on the scene where Frost eats the bad guys. I had the wrong baddie driving the truck, and that wound up with me trying to do some pretty impossible physics. This lead to some interesting discussion between me and the girlfriend about the nature of Shades and souls.
A note on Shades, Shadows and the Mother Darkness-
Mortal sentience is like a balloon. You have the balloon, the string, and the weigh. Physical bodies are the weights, they hold balloons to this place. The string is the aura/astral body. The balloon itself is the soul.
The primal Nothingness between existence is known by Shade-kin as Mother Darkness. It is one very large soul, with bits and pieces within it that are self-aware. Some of that awareness is little better than lizard brain, and some are almost their own souls (shades vs. Shadows).
Shade-kin can interact with the mortal plane is through the balloon strings. Some follow different colored balloons/strings down to the mortal anchors (like shades that feed on anxiety or your hunt for missing left socks) while others attach more directly.
When a mortal sentient dies, the connection between balloon and string is severed. Some Shade-kin latch on to that falling string, creating what The House of Blood called “newly made vampires”. They are barely related to proper vampires, but they do feed on blood and possess many abilities than involve dexterous aura manipulation. Instead of being manipulated by the vampire itself, it is instead the attached Shade performing all the “magic”.
The further stretched away from the Mother a piece of darkness is, the more likely it is to form what is known as a Shadow. The idea is the same, but more of the string is made up of the Shade-kin’s own sense of self. The “soul” of the Shade-kin becomes like a balloon string, connecting what is left of a mortal string and anchor to the Mother Darkness. You are left with what is basically a “human” shade. These Shadows will feed like any other Shade-kin, though usually thoughts and energy are sufficient, instead of the blood and flesh required by newly mades.