What are they but not pupae for a true Hag like me? They're young, naive, downright delusional thinking they have a choice in all of this. Eventually they'll all succumb to the temptations. To the call of their mother asking them to grow up.
Children of Hags, Changelings are an all-female race of those cursed by the coven's blood. While not driven by the wickedness of their mother, their existence is still as feared. Sometimes by themselves, more often by others...
Changelings are often described as eerily gorgeous women, alluring but unsettling for many. They take on traits of their father but also have claw-like hands and heterochromia from their mother.
Due to their nature, they can only be born female, making it impossible for any male Changelings to exist. At least, biologically.
Found near the seas, Brine Mays come from Sea Hags. While their hair flows like water, many suffer from an unavoidable fishy smell. Thanks to their heritage, many make excellent swimmers and deep sea divers. In some cases, they even act as ambassadors for meeting aquatic races.
The most common type of Changeling is the Callow May, a child of a Green Hag. Although they might appear shy and timid, they're master liars who use their appearance against others. They understand the beauty of the world, both to care for it and to exploit it as they please.
Fiery and energetic is the best way to describe the Hearth May. With the blood of Ash Hags running through their veins, many are masters with the flame in hand. Some don't even suffer from intense heats, making them ideal for extreme climates. Others instead make excellent entertainers.
With hair as white as the moon and skin as dark as the night, Moon Mays are the children of Night Hags. Such Hags often leave them behind with their father after a fruitful night. As such, many believe they are born from an intense nightmare.
Many are resillient individuals, able to endure some rather harsh diseases. However, they strive the most when awakened, being able to create a heartstone to replace spell components.
Broader and taller than other Changelings, Slag Mays come from the brutish Annis Hags. Not only are their bodies built for strength, they're also deadly on the battlefield. Stories tell of their claws being so deadly they can kill someone with only but a single slash.
Snow Mays are as acquainted with the frozen cold as their Winter Hag mothers up north. With pale blue skin and white hair, many tend to call them Frost Maidens as well. Thanks to their heritage, they're highly skilled at enduring the coldest of climates.
I understand it. You fear me. You all do. You worry one day my heart freezes over and I become one of them. But that's fine... You're just scared to lose me, as am I... ...right?
Sorrow Mays are an enigma even for Changelings. Unlike others of their kind, they don't require a Hag to be involved at all. Instead, they are born with a blank eye, referred to as an "emotionless gaze".
Emotionally mute, Sorrow Mays struggle with expressing feelings more than others. As they age, many might become distant and cold, leading down a path of becoming a Mute Hag.
Hence why it is so important for many to try and remain social. Many explore alongside adventurers to deal with the loneliness, if not finds jobs at local establishments as well.
Few people can describe what a Veil May looks like, as they blend in the most out of all Changelings. Children of Blood Hags and masters of speech, they know how to deceive their victims. As such, they make excellent ambassadors, or even better scam artists.
Unmoved by raging storms yet flipping emotions like a coin, Virga Mays represent the blood of a Storm Hag. These emotionally unstable girls show excellent control over the winds and mist. As such, they make great allies for when the weather is against someone.
The rarest of them all, Waker Mays are the sleepless daughters of the most feared Dreamthief Hags. Their thoughts are a cage for few to enter, thinking in ways that few can describe. Some even assume their unique traits are due to insomnia.
Genetics and Reproduction
Changelings are one of the few races who are completely infertile for their entire lives. Due to unknown Hag effects, their bodies reject any methods of bearing children. Even magical aids are denied by their bodies, some even violently.
Instead, their kind comes from Hags who find suitable partners to have children with. Through trickery, illusions and lies, they conceive a Changeling child. Most are then put in the care of their father until it's time for their mother to return.
Growth Rate & Stages
Most Changeling daughter don't show their hag heritage until their 8th birthday. Before that, they appear almost identical to their father's race.
From then onwards, they start to develop Changeling traits. One of their eye starts to shift colour while their nails grow longer and harder. By around the age of 16, many take on their new Changeling appearance permanently.
Around the turn of their 18th birthday, some experience what is known as an "awakening". Their dormant powers emerge and grant them extra skills without turning to a full Hag.
Around these years, their Hag mother also takes them away to turn into a full Hag. Through a secret ritual, they strip away their humanity and leave behind only their Hag nature.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Changelings can see in complete darkness, perceiving things in black and white during it. However, this does not hinder sight in normal sunlight as one might think.
Civilization and Culture
I never asked for this lifestyle, I never wanted to be a Hag's daughter. Don't you understand just because I have two different coloured eyes doesn't mean I will use your teeth as a potion's recipe?
Little is known about the Changeling's history on the material plane. Due to dogma regarding their kind, many Changelings hide their heritage in records. At best, their existence is secretive and at worst demonised and feared by mankind.
What few records describing them put them alongside Hags and other Witches. Exiles and executions were a common practice, only to find it out it worsened the Hag issues. As such, Changelings found a bit of relief when Hags directly were confronted instead.
To this day many still see them as a sign of misfortune, but support is more prevalent than ever before. While some small villages might still exile them, advances in magic do help with ensuring their safety against their Hag mothers.
Common Myths and Legends
- Changelings eat babies: A rather insane claim made by common folk. Believed to come from one accident where it did happen with a screwed up Changeling.
- Changelings curse anyone by touch: Another claim due to bad encounters with a few. No confirmed heritage can curse anyone by touch alone.
- All Changelings know magic: A bold lie, as many Changelings still need some learning before they can use magic. Some never even learn to cast at all.
- Changelings smell bad: There's no real evidence that Changelings do smell worse than others.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Most of the time, Changelings are not welcomed with much praise. Due to their Hag heritage, many are seen as potential threats to any community they belong to. As such, many often hide their true nature to either avoid banishment or at worst, execution.
However, wherever they do get accepted Changelings are devote researchers in the arcane. Whether as professional wizards or backyard witches, many find their ways in magic studies. As such, they often form alliances with Elves, Gnomes and Syrinxs alike.
Changelings tend to live in secrecy of the world, hiding their true nature for others. As such, they might move across the land, trying to win time or flee their past, begin anew elsewhere. Although nothing stops them either from confronting their mothers and ending the threat as well.
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