Shapeshifters are a metamorphic sub-race of Ōéle that are thought to be a product of Gnor and Feyri. Technically, the Mōéle Tōen are a sub-race of the Feyr, who are most commmonly associated with Uren-Feyri unions. Both the Mōéle Tōen and standard Feyr have shapeshifting abilities, but their abilities are very different. The Mōéle Tōen are able to completely alter their form into something unrelated to their type, whereas the Feyr are limited to variations of the anthropoid shape. It is thought that the added ability must be inherited from the Gnor and their ability to shift between the Three Worlds.
Unlike other Ōéle sub-races, the Mōéle Tōen appear to be sterile. This means that occurrences of Shapeshifters are the result of direct Gnor and Feyri unions, and therefore rare. Some scholars have questioned why the appearance of Moele Toen is not more rare than it is. The answer to this is simple, but nothing that the Gnor are prepared to admit. The truth is that many Gnor prefer sex with Feyri more than their own kind. This is not a phenomenon restricted to Gnor (rf. Feyr). The hypersexual Feyri are often more than willing to comply.
The birth and raising of the Mōéle Tōen is also something of an oddity. The birth of a Shapeshifter is welcomed neither by the Gnor or Feyri. Members of this Ōéle sub-race are infamous troublemakers. Tales tell of many foster parents driven insane by their antics. For this reason, mothers of Mōéle Tōen typically leave newborn Shapeshifters in the care of other races. Infant Shapeshifters instinctually adapt to their new families, taking the proper form of the foster race.
Mōéle Tōen cannot assume an age category outside their own (i.e., a juvenile Mōéle Tōen cannot appear to be an adult Yrūn). Shapeshifters are also constrained by an economy of mass and volume. A slender, five foot tall Mōéle Tōen that assumes the form of an adult black bear will likely appear emaciated.
The longevity of Shapeshifters is unknown.
Most Shapeshifters are well-adjusted until they discover “differences” which set them apart from their foster families. This period of discovery can be very troubling for young Shapeshifters. Many of the Mōéle Tōen keep their abilities secret as best they can, for as long as they can. Those that are in-turn discovered are left with two options. Most leave their homes and seek out a new life elsewhere. Young Shapeshifters might seek out new foster families. Old Shapeshifters often take the opportunity to strike out on their own, and perhaps learn more about themselves and where they came from. Unlucky Shapeshifters are sometimes caught and delivered into the hands of Arcanists who pay handsomely for their parts. Shapeshiftters are unwelcomed family members, because they are usually swapped with the family’s legitimate offspring, which in-turn are raised by the Feyri or Gnor.
The result of this upbringing varies between individuals. Those that are cast-out are typically bitter and left with little regard for decent folk and their charade of professed love and kinship. Exceptional Mōéle Tōen, who manage to live “normal” childhoods, sometimes emerge as well-adjusted adults with all the positive social mores of their foster society. Sadly, this latter outcome is the exception and not the rule.
Shapeshifters are nothing if not adaptive. Mōéle Tōen that live among members of another race or people are expert at aping all aspects of the predominant culture.
Shapeshifters that congregate together often form small groups called gangs. The function of these gangs is to provide and support and protection for all its members. Because most Mōéle Tōen are disillusioned and from broken homes, the emotional bonds formed within these gangs are very strong. A single gang of Mōéle Tōen can wreak great havoc within a city or other populated area. The gangs’ collective disrespect for society and other races often precipitate increasingly extreme expressions of disenfranchisement. Disruption, thievery, violence, and even terrorism have been known to result from unchecked gangs. For these reasons, evidence of Shapeshifter activity is dealt with harshly in most civilized areas.
The Mōéle Tōen do not have a racial language.
Most Mōéle Tōen adopt the religious practices of their region. There are no Shapeshifter deities.
Unlike other Ōéle sub-races, Shapeshifters are inherently magical. In this respect, they are more akin to their Feyri ancestors than the Gnor.
Nomenclature: Toen Moele Dekàlic: Mōéle Tōen (subrace), Tōeni (pertaining to), Tōenyn (individual), Tōenyr (people)