These creatures have 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 appear as shiny tar, their features blobby, imperfect.
- Shallan recognizes that these creatures look like themselves; she and her companions, some of whom were originally members of Bridge Four (i.e., Teft, Lopen, and Drehy, amongst other members).
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, and the body deflates "like a leaking wineskin". After dead, each their bodies resembles a "black silk sack".(Dalinar killed one by stabbing it though the chest in one of his visions.)
- Later in this same vision, a female Radiant comes to his aid and together they kill the rest of the creatures. They are the ones who identify the creatures as Midnight Essence.
- The vision is set in the Eighth Epoch, year three thirty-seven, in Natanatan. The Desolation had not yet come, but was predicted to be close, by whom the Radiant named as Harkaylain.
|“||"Harkaylain says the Desolation is close, and he is not often wrong."||”|
- At the time the creatures attack Dalinar, the first moon, Salas - the smallest of the moons with dim violet light - was up in the sky.
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 the Midnight Mother being mentioned in The Way of Kings, Dalinar's vision is the only instance therein in which the name, Midnight Essence, occurs.
From the insistence within the narrative in referring to the moon and its light during the entire chapter, this information might have some importance with regard to Odium.