Shatra were half man, half demon, though human in appearance. Shatra were used extensively as warriors by the Northern Empire during the Great War, the name being said to be an old word for "great warrior." They seem to have disappeared with the War's end, though some were said to still linger among the ruins of the Northern cities for years.
They possessed an eerily smooth, flowing type of movement which was unmistakable; though they could disguise their movements if they chose. It is believed that some shatra, but not all, were sorcerers. It is unknown exactly what shatra were capable of, but it was generally assumed that they possessed magically-acute senses, though probably not up to the level a good magician can achieve. There are stories of shatra dodging quarrels and even snatching them out of the air. They were still mortal, however, requiring food and water and able to be killed, though the only known stories of a normal human defeating one involve magic, such as the story of Valder and his magic sword Wirikidor- the only Ethsharatic soldier known to have defeated a Shatra in hand to hand combat.
Shatra warriors generally wore round, close-fitting helmets that covered almost the entire head.
"[Valder stabbed into the shatra's shoulder and] Something hissed strangely, and sparkles of yellow light spat from the wound before ordinary red blood appeared. ...
"[after stabbing the shatra's arm] There was no sound this time as the blade penetrated, but a single yellow flash preceded the first oozing blood. ...
"...his sword thrust through the northerner's heart. ...
"Shatra, however, were not mere mortals, and the northerner was not dead. He looked down at the sword that had impaled him, and reached for it with both hands. The [arm where the shatra had been stabbed] was unsteady. Valder stared in horror. He had no doubt that Wirikidor had found the shatra's heart; the blade was buried in the northerner's chest just left of center, yet he still lived.
"Valder tried to pull his sword free, but human reactions could not match shatra; the hands grabbed Wirikidor's blade.
"Wirikidor writhed, ripping open the shatra's chest, and that was the end of it; the hands fell away and the northerner toppled backward, sliding off the enchanted blade. He lay in a heap on the trampled grass.
"... He could see the proof of its inhumanity in the gaping chest wound, where something smooth and slick and black gleamed, something that was definitely not human flesh or bone..." ~The Misenchanted Sword