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Codex Umbra
Codex Umbra.png
-55 Max sanity
Summons shadow puppets
Stacks up to
Does not stack

Codex Umbra
Codex Umbra.png
"It'll blow your mind."
Papyrus.png × 2Nightmare Fuel.png × 2Health Decrease.png × -50
Icon Shadow.png
Always available
Unlocks shadow crafting recipes
Can Only be used by Maxwell
Stacks up to
Does not stack

Wilson Portrait.png


Willow Portrait.png
Would make a great bedtime story... for nightmares!


Wolfgang Portrait.png
Wolfgang is glad he cannot read!


Wendy Portrait.png
Do you want me to read you a story, Abigail?


WX-78 Portrait.png


Wickerbottom Portrait.png
I'm not letting THAT in MY library!


Woodie Portrait.png
Trees made into... paper? How unholy!


Waxwell Portrait.png
I'm so sorry Charlie.


Wigfrid Portrait.png
A tragic tale öf wöe and misery!


Webber Portrait.png
I don't think we should play with that...


Winona Portrait.png
I don't trust that thing one bit.


The Codex Umbra is a book on dark magics that Maxwell starts the game with. When used, it sacrifices 15 health and 55 of maximum sanity to spawn a Shadow Puppet clone of Maxwell. It has infinite durability and requires 2 Nightmare Fuel to be used. For each puppet active, Maxwell's maximum sanity is reduced, similar to how Meat Effigies reduce maximum health. A maximum of 3 puppets can be active at one time and each one will disappear 2.5 days after it was summoned. If a Shadow Puppet is killed or despawns, Maxwell will get the used max sanity back.

Shadow Puppets

Shadow Puppet
Shadow Puppet
Special Ability
Helps with chores and fights
Nightmare Fuel.png (Don't Starve Together icon.png only)

Shadow Puppets are Shadow Creature versions of Maxwell that do his bidding. While puppets are active, they will aid Maxwell in combat as well as also aiding him in cutting trees and mining rocks. However, they have low health and will die quickly in combat against more able foes. Shadow puppets will automatically die 2.5 days after their creation. On death the player gains back the 55 max sanity from the puppet.

Don't Starve Together icon.png Don't Starve Together

In Don't Starve Together, the Codex Umbra can be crafted from the Shadow Tab, using two Papyrus, two Nightmare Fuel and costing 50 Health. It is also no longer an item that can be used directly, instead it acts as a crafting station when placed on the ground, which unlocks Shadow Puppet recipes for Maxwell under the Shadow Tab. To create the puppets, Maxwell has to stand near the Codex Umbra. Creating puppets does not cost health.

Unlike in single player, Shadow Puppets are not universal, instead they have to be chosen upon creation of which task they will be specialized in. As such, they do not mimic the actions that the player is performing, but instead spawn with a specific task which they perform. They also do not disappear after 2.5 days nor have a durability limit and stay active until they are killed. To dispel them, Maxwell or any other character can simply force attack (Cntrl./Cmnd) click them. Shadow Puppets will drop 1 Nightmare Fuel when killed or dispelled by Players.

Shadow Helper Description Prerequisites Max Sanity Loss

Shadow Logger

Hold a grudge against the trees 2 Nightmare Fuel

1 Axe


Shadow Miner

Mines rocks closest to the player

2 Nightmare Fuel

1 Pickaxe


Shadow Digger

Dig that hole!

2 Nightmare Fuel

1 Shovel


Shadow Duelist

Defends the player from attackers as well as attack player's target. Naturally regenerates health.

2 Nightmare Fuel

1 Spear


Summon Limitations

Given the loss in sanity, the player can summon a maximum of:

- 4 Harvesters - Residual Sanity: 40 (20%)

- 1 Duelist and 2 Harvesters - Residual Sanity: 50 (25%)

- 2 Duelist and 1 Harvester - Residual Sanity: 21 (10%)

Shipwrecked icon.png Shipwrecked

A shadow puppet sailing.

In Shipwrecked DLC, Shadow Puppets summon shadow Row Boats to follow Maxwell into the Ocean. The Shadow Puppets act as though they are sailing, yet the boats do not have Sails and have the same speed as a normal Row Boat. Shadow boats can only be driven by shadow puppets, and disappear when the puppet exits the boat.

Placeholder.png Trivia

  • Codex Umbra is Latin for "shadow book".
  • The footsteps of the puppets make a faint warping sound.
  • It is possible for the Codex Umbra to be set alight and burn into ashes. The book will re-appear in Maxwell's inventory upon re-loading the world.
  • Despite being Shadow Creatures, prey animals will avoid puppets, and neutral mobs will fight back against them. Puppets are also unable to help the player against Shadow Creatures.
  • If using the Codex Umbra reduces Maxwell's health to zero, the Morgue will show the cause of death as "Shenanigans".
  • Like Abigail's Flower, the Codex Umbra floats when placed on the ground.
  • In Don't Starve Together, if Maxwell executes an emote, his puppets will stop whatever they are doing and will run over to Maxwell before proceeding to do the same emote.
    • They will do the dance emote with both /dance and /step emote.
  • In Don't Starve Together, one is able to become constantly insane if they summon 1 Harvester and 2 Duelists.

Mosquito.png Bugs

  • Despite being a starting character specific item, the Codex Umbra can be stolen by mobs like Krampus or Eyeplants.
  • Using a Sinkhole to enter the Caves or Ruins without the Codex Umbra can sometimes cause it to duplicate in the player's inventory.

Blueprint.png Gallery