Changelings are subtle shapeshifters capable of disguising their appearance. They evolved through the union of doppelgangers and humans, eventually becoming a separate race distinct from either ancestral tree. They do not possess the full shapechanging ability of a doppelganger, but they can create effective disguises at will. This ability makes them consummate spies and criminals, and many changelings live up to that potential For most of their history, they have lived in humanoid settlements, often mistrusted and rarely at ease. This scattering and dispersion of populations with no central cultural focus has led to a variety of coping techniques, expressed differently by each of the three major changeling philosophies.
- Becomer – For becomers, living is being not just one person, but many people.
- Passer – Passers are the most human-like of changelings in their thoughts and perspectives. Each most likely has one form he chooses and keeps.
- Reality Seeker – The reality seekers, also known as perfecters, prefer their natural form and the society of their own kind.
Personality: In general, changelings are prudent and cautious, preferring to take risks only when they feel that their chances of success are good or the payoff is worth it. They appreciate the finer things in life and take great pleasure in the comforts of a wealthy lifestyle when they can obtain it. They avoid direct confrontation, preferring stealthy strikes and hasty retreats whenever possible. In conversation, they are soft-spoken but have a gift for drawing out more information than the other party intends to reveal.
Physical Description: Changelings strongly resemble their doppelganger lineage, with only a passing nod to their human heritage. All changelings fall within the boundaries of Medium size, usually standing between 5 and 6 feet tall. Unlike true doppelgangers, changelings do have gender in their natural form, although they can adopt any shape they like. Changelings have pale gray skin, and their hair is thin and fair. Their limbs are long and slightly out of proportion compared to other humanoids. Their faces have slightly more distinct features than a doppelganger’s, including a hint of nose and lips, though their eyes remain blank white and the rest of their facial features don’t look quite as finished as those on a human.
Relations: Nobody with any sense completely trusts a changeling. Many people, however, have reason to do business with them. Most members of other races treat changelings with extreme caution. Dwarves have little patience for their deceptive and subtle manner. Halflings, on the other hand, enjoy matching wits with changelings, though they are often rivals in certain shady activities.
Alignment: Changelings of all alignments exist, but most gravitate toward the neutral alignment. They focus on their own concerns without any meaningful regard for laws or morals. Many have their own code of honor but are also fiercely independent. Some refuse to engage in assassination, while others embrace that path as the most perfect form of the changeling art of deception.
Changeling Lands: Changelings live wherever humans do in Khorvaire, blending in among them and living in their shadow. They are most commonly found in the large cities of Khorvaire, where they form the back- bone of the criminal underworld, though many find more respectable work as entertainers, inquisitives, government agents, and sometimes adventurers. Changelings have no established homeland of their own.
Dragonmarks: Changelings never develop dragon- marks, though they can mimic a mark’s form if not its power.
Religion: Many changelings revere the deity known as the Traveler, one of the Dark Six. Others follow a per- sonal philosophy of the perfect form, in which physical transformation is a mystical practice symbolizing spiritual purification. This philosophy is curiously amoral, and its practitioners include both assassins and saintly ascetics.
Language: Changelings speak Common, which allows them to move easily among humans and members of all other races. They often learn as many other languages as they can to facilitate a multitude of disguises.
Adventurers: Changeling adventurers might be fleeing from past crimes, seeking revenge for a wrong done to them, or striving for spiritual perfec- tion through the use of their shapechanging abilities. Others are driven to adventure through a simple lack of other palatable opportunities: Changelings who are not inclined toward crime or stealth often have difficulty finding steady work.