Shifters of Liminal
The Wolf Blood
A people with blood-ties to ancient lycanthropy, shifters are a wild and free-spirited folk, with a love for wild, natural places, and a distrust of cities. Though they occasionally venture out on their own, their journies inevitably return them home, for nothing is dearer to them than band and clan.
Shifters are a tribal people with very close ties to nature and their own animal selves.
- Characteristics: Active, alert, fierce, free-spirited, intuitive, perceptive, predatory, self-reliant, unrestrained, wild.
- Nomadic Predators: Shifters usually live life as nomads, hunting in small groups together. They are at home in the wilderness, and sometimes chafe at urban existence. They revel in the hunt, and consume mostly meat (supplemented by berries, wild fruit, and nuts).
- Skin Writing: Shifters practice extensive tattooing as part of their tribal life, highlighting battlescars with patterns of ink, indicating their accomplishments and affiliations with symbols and patterns, and the like.
- Suspicious: History has taught the shifters to be suspicious of outsiders, particularly humans. They are not quick to trust, and they avenge betrayal with terrible lethal finality.
Life Among the Tribes
Life among the shifters is one of the still-extant barbarian cultures in Rinhony today.
- Bands: Shifters live in small bands made up of between one and three families of different clan affiliations. Such families occasionally leave one band and join another, or come to stay for a time in one of the shifter settlements (Wolfhaven or Moonhold).
- Spirituality: The shifters are a wild people who hold to the Primal Spirits. Those with the sensitivity required become shamans among their people, acting as intercedant with the spirit world, and a performer of the few civic rites the shifters practice. The shifters share a reverence of the Primal Spirits of the Delannwood with their elven neighbors (particularly Ithildinnir and Orntaural), but they consider their primary relationship to be with Rîgaraf, the "Crowned Wolf" whom they see as the ancestor of their kind.
- Relationship with Elves: Though they dwell in the elven woodlands, shifters are a wholly separate culture. They are happy to serve as a boundary between elven settlements and the rest of the world, and defend the sanctity of the Delannwood ferociously. They regard most elves with a great deal of respect, and shifters have reputations for falling somewhat in love with elven beauty. (Less spoken of is the fact that the reverse is true as well, with those half-elven children showing no ability to shift, and always being raised among the shifters.)
Shifters use the names of natural phenomena, usually rendered in Common among themselves, but also commonly translate such names into Elvish, along with the suffix -gaur (which means "wolf" in Elvish). Thus, a shifter who is Frost among his people might use the name Helegaur (heleg frost, and gaur wolf) among elves or outsiders.
- Male Names: Ash, Brook, Claw, Cliff, Flint, Frost, River, Rock, Storm, Thorn, Tor
- Female Names: Aurora, Autumn, Dawn, Hazel, Iris, Lily, Rain, Rose, Summer
- Clan Names: Shifters of the Delannwood belong to one of eight clans of that wood. These clans are: Blackmane, Moonsong, Swifthunt, Redfang, Woodshadow, Wardance, Coldmoon, Bloodscent. Shifter tattoos usually include patterns that indicate what clan they belong to. They will introduce themselves to elves and those who have proven themselves as friends to their kind by clan name, but otherwise keep such affiliations to themselves.