Without changing their form, a changeling typically looks almost faceless. Their skin tone tends to lean to the lighter side of blues, purples, and whites. The younger beings have a pearlescent look about them, and as they grow older that sheen fades to matte. Their hair matches their washed out palettes: usually ranging from ghostly silver and platinum shades, to a faint blue or faded, flushed red hue. Changelings lack most forms of body and facial hair. Changelings’ irises are absent of color and the eyelids are outlined with dark grey or black shadows.
Adults in their true form stand typically between 5 foot 2 to 6 foot for males and 5 foot to 5 foot 9 for females. Changelings in their true form are typically very emaciated and thin, the fine edges of their ribs and spine slightly protruding beneath the skin of their chest and back. Therefore they tend to be weaker than other races as they do not have much in the way of muscle.
Albeit, Changelings are rarely ever even in their true form after entering adulthood. Even in the small communities of changelings scattered around the world, you are much more likely to see them disguised as another being or person whose looks they’ve grown fond of.
Once every 3 days, Changelings have the innate ability to undergo a painful full-body transformation to duplicate the appearance of another being…
The being must have the same number of limbs as the changeling, including the same method of movement. (Must be another bipedal person or being. Quadruped animals and winged creatures do not meet that requirement.)
The changeling must be able to accurately recall and visualize the being, whether in person or through a high-definition painting or drawing. Anything the changeling is wearing is unaffected entirely.
Regardless after the transformation has been completed, the changeling is unable to acquire abilities of the target being, as the transition is purely cosmetic. Consequently, they do not inherit the magic gifts of the elves or the water breathing ability of the Merfolk. However, they do harbor a pseudo-capacity to heal themselves. Taking on the form of another being that hasn’t been damaged allows them to seemingly repair damage done to the physical form so long as lethal damage to vital organs or loss of limbs does not occur. If loss of a limb does occur, the changeling may still take the form of someone with all limbs intact, but the lost limb cannot be regenerated.
The transformation process typically takes between 18 to 24 hours to complete no matter how small the transformation is. The process typically starts with a burning sensation across the surface of the skin followed by an aching sore pain inside the bones which turns into a feeling of having a wave of broken bones across the entire body, starting with the feet. During the transition the changeling must stay conscious during the process or it will revert back to the last stable form.
Not much is known about the actual history of the changelings regarding their origins… Many theories suggest the race may be a subspecies of elf who had degenerated and become warped over time, but any evidence of that has since long been lost.
Changeling culture varies very wildly, as most individuals who live among other races tend to adapt to that race and embrace their customs. Families of Changelings may choose to live in peaceful secrecy within another society, or they may take a more nomadic approach to life and travel under the guise of a merchant caravan or a wayfaring ocean crew.
Most families of changeling bear a designated symbol typically worn on a pendant or as a tattoo on the skin to display their identity to others. Impersonating a member of a family by exhibiting their symbol is a punishable offense, though said punishment can range from a slap on the wrist to full expulsion from the family by the head of the household.
Changelings are usually friendly to most races or cultures, and can be quick to adapt into a new one. Though the majority are seen as travelers or merchants, adversely some do use their abilities for espionage and political sabotage. The changelings who choose this path in life are consequently quickly expelled from their households, and risk becoming hunting targets of other houses.
Written by irninja123
Heavily proofread and edited by Noctiluca
(Sources for images)