Shifter Species in Luridity | World Anvil


...they're only human, they do what they can...

Shifters are able to change form between their human and animal selves. Once the ruling sapient species of Ferzona, they are now hunted by invaders from the stars. Before the "Hunters", Shifters presided over vast kingdoms. Various Shifter cultures were defined by the specific type of animal with which they shared forms. The largest and most impressive kingdoms were the ones that belonged to Tigers, Leopards, and Pandas, but Shifter cities that were considered marked territories of any one of hundreds of other animal soul types also existed.  
A few cities, such as those in the Polar north, shared space with more than one animal soul type, though most Shifters struggle to share space with other dominant animal types. How birds such as the Hawks, Owls, and Corvids managed to coexist in their enormous aeries is a matter of great mystery.


Shifters are humans at the core. Their bloodlines, however, are heightened by a dual-souled existence. Each Shifter has a secondary soul within them, a mammal or bird which in normal circumstances they are able to "shift" into, allowing them to assume their animal's form and capabilities. Greater sensory input is available to all Shifters even in human form, however vary from person to person. Different animal soul types also have notable variances in senses, leading to tests of strength and weaknesses within their own ranks and even animosity between kingdoms.   The animal within is thought to be the reason why minor wounds heal much faster for most Shifters, and is also thought to contribute to the mysterious process of rapidly mending major injuries when assisted by Shifters who specialize in healing their own kind. Even in human form, a Shifter's animal soul affects their skills, temperament, and appearance.   Patterns and colors on a Shifter's skin result from their animal soul and are often--but not always--reflected directly in the fur or feathers they can call up to shield their bodies from temperature changes and weather events. Tiger Shifters, for instance, typically have more orange in the tone of their skin, with stripes of black and patches of white, but these can be inverted, shuffled, or even faded to monotone shades. Though there is no evidence of more power or a stronger animal soul connection for those with more vibrant colors, Shifters have used this as a determination of royal family lines for hundreds of years.  


Regardless of varying strengths and weaknesses, all Shifter senses are more powerful than Forsaken senses. This is behind the sense of superiority Shifters have over the minority species and the centuries they spent hunting and enslaving Forsaken, pressing them into anything from grueling labor to monotonous errands and from light entertainment to pit fighting, as well as using them to fill any number of other whims.  


The years of their dominance over Ferzona have come to an end, however, and they now reap the consequences of their actions. When the Hunters brought war to the planets they first destroyed the Shifters' workforce, crippling kingdoms and cities. With no Forsaken keeping things running, the Shifters tore each other apart as they struggled to maintain hierarchies and accomplish simple tasks that some had never even learned.   It wasn't just their way of life that flipped upside down; the real damage done by the Hunters came from the Towers they built to continue their subjugation of the world. Though bombardments of cities and wholesale slaughter have stopped, the Towers brought a new threat to Shifter existence...and their sanity. Shifters within range of the Towers that covered each planet discovered that their innate animal souls were suddenly locked within their bodies as if in cages, furiously attempting and failing to escape. Though their appearance and stronger senses remain, and though some stronger Shifters can call up minor physical changes with intense focus and effort, all of their kind remain in their human form, unable to shift at all.   If the Towers are able to be brought down and the infighting resolved, Shifter-kind might stand a chance against the Hunters, but until then, every single Shifter will feel the weight of their animal souls' desperation and despair within their trapped forms.
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!
Non-Zoned System
Ferzona Prime and Ferzona Deux
No Dominant Region, Scattered
Over the last few years, Shifter kingdoms have been shattered and the survivors have sought previously unpopulated places to take refuge. Alliances must be made if they want to fight back--or even merely survive--but centuries of pride and exclusionism and prejudice are not easily set aside.
  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.

Cover image: Placeholder Luridity Header by Dani via Midjourney and Canva


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19 Jul, 2023 22:18

This makes me want to reread Tiger's Catch. <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
31 Jul, 2023 20:50

I was very intrigued about this species and the Hunters, and that bonus factoid made me even more curious. Even if they are a proud species I feel a bit sad for them.

Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
7 Aug, 2023 11:45

I love savor chance I get to visit Luridity, and you did not disappoint here. I love the turn this takes, from me sympathizing with them for being hunted to me having complicated feelings when I learn about their own exploitation of the Forsaken.   Great work on formatting and pacing of the information dispersal, too. I loved the Bonus Factoid!

10 Aug, 2023 04:57

Nice work on the lay up and reasons for the fall. Also the factoid bubble.

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