The Midnight Essence, also referred to simply as Essence, are creatures with smooth black reflective skin; knifelike teeth; soft black heads with no visible eyes; sinuous, boneless necks; fluid, inklike bodies; six slender, very thin, legs bent at the sides and clawed paws.
They make a hissing sound and click their teeth when "tasting the air" around them.
Their skin is resistant to knife attacks at first, but when it breaks, it can be ripped apart easily. Their wounds bleed smoke and when killed (Dalinar kills one by stabbing it though the chest in one of his visions), the body deflates "like a leaking wineskin". After dead, their body resembles a "black silk sack".
|“||Harkaylain says the Desolation is close, and he is not often wrong.||”|
|“||Re-Shepir, the Midnight Mother, giving birth to abominations with her essence so dark, so terrible, so consuming. She is here! She watches me die!||”|
–Dated Shashabev, 1173, 8 seconds pre-death. Subject: a darkeyed dock-worker in his forties, father of three.
Although these dying words are the only record of the names Re-Shepir or Midnight Mother being mentioned in The Way of Kings, and Dalinar's vision the only instance in which the name Midnight Essence occurs, the phrasing above seems to suggest that the Midnight Essence is the abominations to which Re-Shepir gives birth. Further, Dalinar describes the creature's skin as dark-as-midnight which also corresponds to the phrasing her essence so dark.