I definitely like feelings that Robin's ideas about the mantle evoke (it's tough to get the image of Charlize Therone playing this role out of my mind after that suggestion). I think I would replace all of the crow imagery with bat imagery instead though... as the Mantle would have been crafted from dragon wings rather than from something with feathers. ... and we are talking about vampires, of course
RobJN wrote:Is control over shadows in an undead-ish liege/pawn type of relationship on the list of Things The Robe Does?
This kind of power is actually listed as the special ability of nosferatu/vampires of Sijaru's line. It may be what gave her an edge when battling the night dragon Rhaetos in the first place. The Mantle could certainly boost those powers, making Sijaru even more dangerous than she normally would be.
RobJN wrote:How about spontaneous generation of monstrous shadows from ..er.. normal shadows and/or darkness?
Yes - this could be a possibility. While the normal power of this vampiric line might grant control over normal (humanoid) shadows, perhaps the Mantle extends that to monstrous (and more powerful) versions of those creatures.
Going back to the wing origin of the Mantle we could also give it some minor powers associated with dragons (and their wings)
- Flight is probably something that the Mantle would grant, stretching out like a pair of giant bat wings from the wearer's shoulders.
- Perhaps the Mantle is capable of producing a buffeting attack, or creating a vortex of "shadow and wind". Perhaps such shadowy winds have some minor intelligence of their own (that could be akin to the tendril attacks of the Huntsman's Evil Queen that Robin mentions above)
- Perhaps by beating the wings the shadow vortex could actually coalesce into a portal to the Shadow Plane. That would allow travel to that dimension for the wearer and anyone with her inside of the vortex when it forms.
I also kind of like the notion that the Mantle may slowly be fusing with its owner, almost grafting itself to her back like a pair of folded wings. Maybe Sijaru keeps the mantle draped over her body most of the time so that no one ever sees the shadowy/draconic transformation that her body is undergoing.