Strange animistic humanoids with limited shapechanging abilities. Shifters are nomadic and generally live in small tribes outside cities and civilization. A significant minority of the Shifter population migrates between small islands near the mainland, some between the small islands and the mainland. Some Shifters are out-tribals, in that they migrate between tribes and call no one tribe home. Out-tribals are generally respected, and tend to be either traders or shamans. Tribes often join together for small gatherings (2-5 smaller tribes) around the full moon, for trade and merry-making. Out-tribals often use these gatherings to join with another tribe until the next such gathering, though some out-tribals move across the land independently. Men join their wife’s tribe when they marry. Children are fostered out to other tribes – often their father’s or uncle’s tribe – at age 6, until they reach adulthood.
Their origins are wholly mysterious – neither the Gods nor the Dragons claim them. The shifters are not particularly interested in who made them, as their religion is focused on their ancestors. They view city dwellers as barbarians, because they consider cities to be filthy cesspools, and because city types close themselves off from the wider world.
There is suspicion that they have some contact with druids. Their religion is based on reincarnation: when someone dies, they enter a purgatory type state. Their descendants must accumulate merit for these spirits to be reincarnated. Individuals typically carry a number of totems representing their ancestors for whom they are accumulating merit. The numbers of totems carried is an indicator of social rank – only an important and responsible member of the community can be entrusted to aid so many spirits. The totems are worn and displayed.
Shifters have a significant population of shamans within them that share many features with shamans that belong to other races (such as use of totems, and certain abilities). There is speculation about some sort of root-origins between Shifters and shamans. There is a shared respect between Shifters and other-race-shamans, but there is also significant wariness and suspicion.