...some people got the real problems, some people out of luck...
The Forsaken are a minority species of Ferzona who never seem to catch a break. Their people were subjugated by Shifters for hundreds of years, a status recently upended not in freedom, but in slaughter by a species from the wider Luridity Galaxy known to those on both of Ferzona's occupied worlds as the "Hunters". Today, the free Forsaken who've survived live only on Ferzona Prime and remain hidden as best they can manage, having gone from life on the move--to outrun enslavement--to living in outright terror of complete annihilation.
PhysiologyTechnically Forsaken are as rooted in humanity as the dominant species in the Ferzona System, the Shifters. Unlike Shifters, however, Forsaken do not have an additional animal soul, and therefore lack the dual nature that allows a Shifter the ability to change into that animal's shape. This deficit impacts a Forsaken's entire body. Due to their singular soul, they are undecorated by the colorful patterns of spots and stripes and other markings that Shifters have. Instead, Forsaken have a single shade of skin, though it might be anywhere on a spectrum of the palest peach to the deepest brown. They cannot summon fur on command which leads to them being often mocked for having thin skin. The weakness makes them more easily susceptible to the elements. Beyond visual differences, Forsaken cannot heal quickly through the aid of the additional soul, and their senses of sight, smell, and sound are stunted far below the capabilities of a Shifter.
The Forsaken's condition is referred to with the derogatory term of "Soulless".
EnslavedAs far back as anyone can remember, they were a slave class. The inferior Forsaken toiled under the rule of the Shifters, whose various bloodlines ruled kingdoms that sprawled incredible tracts of land. Forsaken were considered prized resources even as they were looked down upon as people. Entire cities ran on their labor and required them in large numbers, not only for their usefulness but also for how quickly they multiplied. Forsaken could be replaced easily when one was unable to work any longer, as there was always a supply being bought and sold and traded for cheap labor and cheap entertainment.
OutsidersA few exclusively Forsaken settlements existed even before the Hunters, but these were nomadic in nature to prevent Shifters from taking those able-bodied among them, especially their protectors, healers, and craftspeople. Some chose to rebel, striking Shifter trading caravans in the name of liberation. Many Forsaken lost their lives in these skirmishes even as the greater population surrendered to their role within Shifter kingdoms.
Wholesale ExterminationWhen the Hunters brought war to Ferzona, all of humanity suffered, but it was, again, the Forsaken who paid the heaviest cost. The visitors from the stars were somehow able to track the single-souled Forsaken energy and in doing so committed a slaughter that drenched the cities of the worlds in blood. Initially it was believed that the Hunters planned for the Shifter population to be the only peoples standing, and that they'd simply miscalculated. Forsaken losses crippled the Shifter kingdoms that had relied on their work so heavily, leading to utter pandemonium and eating away at a civilization that had been established for hundreds of years. By the time the Hunters began building their towers to subjugate the rest of both Ferzona Prime and Ferzona Deux, so few Forsaken existed they might as well have been considered extinct on Ferzona Prime...and were wiped out entirely on Ferzona Deux.
Luridity contains mature content. This article includes the following content warnings: Mentions of slavery, war, attempted genocide.
This article is a WIP created during World Anvil Summer Camp 2023 and may contain incomplete sections. It probably also lacks pictures and proofreading. And it most certainly was written frantically by a caffeine-fueled, sleep-deprived author. No worries--edits are a future me problem!
Over the last few years, over 95% of all Forsaken have been eliminated, including every Forsaken on Ferzona Deux.Bonus Factoid!
The two planets of Ferzona Prime and Ferzona Deux exist in the same star system of Ferzona. They developed similarly in hierarchies and cultures though neither are near the space age technologies that would allow travel or communication between worlds (or even instant communication between kingdoms; this is still done by courier). The Shifters and Forsaken living on these worlds have no way to know that the invaders they call "Hunters" are a group of magic users known in other parts of the galaxy as Oracles, nor that they crashlanded their spaceships on both planets and--upon discovering focal crystals to use with their powers--simply decided...not to leave.