Almost nothing is known about the heritage or the full powers of the Darkin. There are very few representatives of their kind and even less information. While Mia Corvere is able to understand the rudimentary functions of her powers, she has long since realized how hard it is to gather knowledge pertaining to her race.
A Darkin is one with the ability to control and shape shadows. Darkin usually keep a daemon, known as a passenger or familiar, in their company, that devours their fear and strengthens their abilities to werk the Dark. Mia Corvere keeps two shadow daemons, Mister Kindly and Eclipse. The former is her own, kept since her childhood, and the latter originally belonged to Cassius, Lord of Blades, but since his death at the end of Nevernight, Eclipse has accompanied Mia. The darkin Furian largely rejected his own powers, and therefore was accompanied by no familiar.
Other primary abilities of the Darkin include:
- Trapping someone or constricting them within their own shadow, rendering them immobile and defenseless against a Darkin's attacks. Mia Corvere frequently uses this ability during combat.
- Concealing themselves amongst the shadows, making themselves near invisible. However, like all gifts in the Nevernight universe, it comes at a price- when a Darkin is concealed from the sight of others, they have little to no sight at all.
- Traveling through the shadows. This is a more difficult task, especially in the absence of darkness - say, in broad daylight. It usually causes sickness, such as splitting headaches and nausea. But in the absence of light - say underground, or during truedark - the Darkin Mia wields this ability with relative ease.
- Controlling the shadows and forcing them to do their bidding, e.g., destroy objects. This is an extremely difficult feat. It is utterly impossible under the suns, in full light. Not counting her two daemon passengers, who are formed out of shadows but are actually sentient beings, the only time Mia Corvere managed to actually control the dark at this level was at the height of her power, during the last truedark.
- Less defined powers include the ability to sense other Darkin. Mia Corvere immediately sensed the presence of Lord Cassius in the Quiet Mountain, and, again, immediately senses Furian in Crow's Nest. Darkin are drawn to one another, the feeling described as a mixture of hunger and lust.
- The ability to merge consciousnesses with other Darkin. Mia displays with Furian during the venatus magni. The two Darkin warriors were a seamless, flawless, fighting pair, distinctly aware of one another, and, at times, even possessing and controlling one another for optimal impact.
The only known weakness of the Darkin is the blessed artifacts of Aa - for example, his holy Trinity. The reason for this is unknown, but it is possibly due to the lasting enmity between the Light God and the Black Mother, Niah. The Darkin are, supposedly, her Chosen. Standard artifacts tend to cause no discomfort. Only holy symbols blessed by a true believer are endowed with the power of the God of Light. In the Nevernight Chronicle, only two so far have been seen. The first is the Holy Trinity of Grand Cardinal Francesco Duomo, a devout worshipper of the Everseeing. The second was the property of the Red Church Shahiid Mouser. It was part of a priestly disguise he utilized in his lessons, and evidently once belonged to a zealot. It is later stolen by Jessamine Gratianus for use against her rival, Mia Corvere, and then stolen again by Ashlinn Järnheim, for a similar reason. For a Darkin, the mere presence of these types of symbols causes excruciating pain, a feeling akin to being subjected to the fury of the Light God himself. It has been the cause of many of Mia's defeats in combat, and its use at the end of Nevernight in the battle of Last Hope led to the death of Lord Cassius, greatly weakening the famed warrior and rendering him defenseless to his opponent's attacks.