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The Shifters
Shifter Map.png

The Shifters ("or Kikachi") have lived as a conglomerate of tribes in the Ravenswood Forest as long as anyone can remember. Following the end of the War of the Forest in 1533, the tribes united into a federation of sorts. The prevailing tribe rules over the others, who each have a leader subordinate to the overarching leader of the Shifters, known as the Matriarch.

As indicated by the title of their leader, the Shifters have a matriarchal society with women given a prominence not seen in many other societies within Valoris. However, despite this and the title given to their leader, men are considered equal and may hold any leadership position, including that of the Matriarch. Though men have often led the smaller, subordinate tribes, no man has yet been chosen to be the Matriarch of the tribe.

 

The Shifters believe in a Goddess who is an all encompassing mother figure. She ushers her children into the world, supports them, disciplines them as required, and sees them out when it is their time. They believe the Goddess provides her children the tools they need, but it is up to them to make use of what she has provided. 

While the Goddess may punish her children, it would only ever be for significant breaches of a moral code. The Shifters see the Empire’s deference to their various gods as rudimentary and the idea that a deity would smite their crops in a tantrum of sorts is seen as ridiculous. For the Shifters, the Goddess watches over them, but only steps in where there is no other choice.

The Goddess is believed to be eternal, and therefore, so are her children. Reincarnation is key for the Shifters and they believe you may return as a person or an animal. Often it is thought that a magical’s animal form represents an animal they lived as in a past life. This belief in reincarnation causes the Shifters to behave in the more relaxed manner of someone who might be immortal and for whom, therefore, time is of little consequence. This aloof style lacking in urgency can frustrate some of the other cultures.

The Shifters do not seek to interact with the other tribes of Valoris, preferring to remain in their forest and rarely leaving unless in animal form. They do not run a market accessible to outsiders, as they do not wish to encourage visitors. The Shifters will occasionally make exceptions for the Trolls who enjoy visiting with other tribes, but this is rare. 

The Shifters opposed the First Annexation by the Empire more than the other tribes, resenting the arrogance of the pronouncement, as well as the intrusion of Empire soldiers into their forest. Similarly, they have been the most negatively impacted by the Second Annexation. The Shifters violently opposed the imposition of the Empire’s rule and their Testing, and as a result many of their people have been collared and sent to the labour camps instituted to cope with the Empire’s overcrowded prisons.

Due to their resistance, the Empire has pre-emptively collared their more powerful children, identified by the Testing, resulting in a number of Shifters who do not even know what animal form they can shift into. This has created a cultural schism that is incredibly painful for the Shifters.

Maps made mainly with “The Map Effects City Map Builder” from Map Effects and elements of the "Fantasy Mapmaking Bundle" by Lizard Ink Design

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