Shifters of Liminal

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Ability Scores
Your Strength score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Basic Traits
Age: Shifters live half-again as long as most humans, reaching some 120 years or so in age. They mature at the same age as humans, though, reaching adulthood before two decades, but their aging slows down as adults. A shifter generally looks only about half as old as he is, to human standards.
Alignment: Shifters are headstrong and independent, with a trace of wildness to their blood. As such, they tend toward chaotic alignments.
Size: Shifters are largely indistinguishable from humans, ranging between 5 and 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Languages: You can speak, read, and write Common and Elvish. Long generations of living closely beside the elves of the Delannwood have made the learning of the Elvish language a natural byproduct, and many shifters speak far better Elvish than they do Common.
Other Traits
Darkvision: Thanks to your wolfblood, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Natural Hunter: You have proficiency in the Survival skill.
Predator's Senses: You have a sixth sense for danger, and gain advantage on Wisdom saves and Perception checks to avoid being surprised by danger.
Visage of the Wolf: As a bonus action, you may invoke a physical shift in your body, assuming lupine physical traits - a light dusting of fur, growing claws, and shifting of facial features. You develop natural weapons that inflict 1d6 slashing damage and are considered magical. You may also use a bonus action to spend one of your Hit Dice at any time, manifesting as a natural regeneration. This shift lasts for up to ten minutes, can be ended as a free action, and you must take a short rest before you can do so again.
Subrace: Shifter legends claim that there are also tribes of shifters far to the south, beyond the Ilandor Mountains, whose blood is blessed by werecat lineage as theirs is by wolves.

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.

Savage Nobility

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.)

Shifter Names

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.