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 Vir and Shapeshifters
the mermaid
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Time Zone: EST
Nov 1 2015, 12:32 PM
Introduction and Basic Understanding

Shapeshifters are a unique manifestation of Vir corruption. Vir is a symbiotic form of magic, a living magic, that manifests in living and throbbing skin markings and patterns most closely related to tattoos. In Talented, Vir corruption is caused by the breaking of their well (and results in soul-consuming Meisters), for shapeshifters they have been externally infected by the Vir. In the case of shapeshifters, the Vir decides who it infects, it is not through bites nor scratches automatically, but a choosing from the symbiot. The manifestation of the beast is something more psychological. The Vir allows the deepest raw emotion to manifest in animal form, something the body chooses upon first shift.

Before Goddard's reliable consumption of all Vir, and subsequently his suppression of all meisters, shapeshifters were kept in check by the Dark God. He allowed the Vir infrequent infection of some of his most loyal, turning them into stronger, better, faster creatures to serve him. Upon Goddard's death and subsequent release of all the Vir, the symbiot became hungry for stronger hosts and began spreading widely. Shapeshifters are now an epidemic across North America and is quickly spreading into South America, hopping from strong-willed host to strong-willed host.

All shapeshifters on site were either once controlled by Goddard or lived so remotely in rural towns as to not be swallowed by the army that was in the Dark God's control. Most major cities were ransacked of their shapeshifters and meisters to meet his goals.

Unlike lycanthrope of lore, shapeshifters are not swayed by the moon. They are effected by the pulsing Vir in their system to shift at least once a month, but their animal form feels more at home. Many shapeshifters prefer to keep to their animal form, they feel safe--and even safer among their own kind. Heightened emotions and stress tend to also bring out the beast within, but they are in full control of their faculties even in their beast-form. Shapeshifters, in general, tend to embody the animal they shift into in personality and aggression. Upon a shift, they will prefer to stay that way for several hours, acting as the animal they are.

Introduced during a site wide mini-plot during October 2015, shapeshifters on Black Prism are completely unique to Black Prism, designed specifically for use here and is not featured in the novels at all.

Placement in the Regime

Generally, shapeshifters are rather unwelcome everywhere. They are seen as nothing but animals, somehow deserving of their fate. Their existence has raised quite a fuss in the community, religious groups have become more active in the protest of allowing shapeshifters to exist, picketing for a shoot-on-sight policy. However, there is also the opposing side, wanting equality for all and even shapeshifters are human. After all it is not as if they aren't themselves, even in their beast form. The Chromeria and the Sa'Kage have offered tentative homes to shapeshifters, the Chromeria prefers the 'prettier' or more 'welcoming' shifters into their territory whereas--as usual--the Sa'Kage prefers the more grotesque, the more dangerous. Any member seeking to join either side should understand Life in the Slums and the Sa'Kage or The School and the Chromeria.

Shapeshifter Terminology

Vir A living type of magic that infects hosts externally and transforms them into shapeshifters. See also Meister Vir.

Symbiotic Vir, is a living and breathing magic. Shapeshifters are not swayed by the moon to shift, instead they are persuaded by the Vir that pulses inside of them, resulting in at least one shift per month, more depending on stress and heightened emotions. All shapeshifters are naturally more physically enhanced, stronger, less prone to illness with heightened natural senses such as scent and smell (regardless of animal). Their physical form is decided by the 'animal within,' and is permanently stable though externally covered in black, wriggly tattoo-like shapes--much like Meisters. Vir-shapeshifters are not born and the Vir-infection is not contagious, meaning that no amount of biting, scratching, or exchange of bodily fluids will result in infection unless the symbiot chooses--that does not mean that people aren't afraid of such things with the mythology of werewolves and lycanthrope running rampant in modern day. Generally, the Vir symbiot does not enjoy a host that is younger than the age of seventeen and does not enjoy sharing room with other magics and generally suppresses them upon infecting their host.

For the most part, control of the shift and the Vir comes with time. Many shapeshifters in the community help each other out in teaching newly infected shifters to control themselves, but since there is no rhyme to immediate danger if the new shifter attacks someone, through time and effort any shifter can become experts of their breed.

There is some argument that the Vir that corrupts wells and the Vir that infects hosts into shapeshifters are two different kinds of Vir come to life after Goddard's death.

Shapeshifter Weaknesses

Common weaknesses of shapeshifters, like Vir, include but are not limited to: cold iron typically disrupts magic and their shift, white luxin has been theorized to affect Vir.

The Shift

The vir forces all shapeshfiters to shift at least once a month, with a variety of possible opportunities between resulting from stress, emotion or comfort level. However, even these variables too can be controlled by an experienced shifter.

Once shifted, a shapeshifters will want to keep that shape for several hours and may be inclined to act more like their animal (hungry, hunting, blood lust, the works, up to the member).

Experience Control Shifts per Month
5-6 years Great 1-2
3-4 years Some 3-4
1-2 years Minimal 5-6

Don't be afraid to mess with these parameters a bit, these aren't to limit you, it's to give you a guide. If we have a huge problem with any of the parameters you want during character creation we will discuss it! No worries!


Shapeshifters are very open and varied in abilities. All shapeshifters have heightened senses, strength and resistant to general illness and other infection. Their animal form is also much much larger than a natural animal of the same breed (a wolf being of size a shapeshifter the relative height of a car). But the Vir also allows them general access to magic. This magic manifests in a manner similar to the beast that they become, often relating to lore or general abilities of their beast.

OOCly, players may design their own abilities affiliated with their characters beast, up to two, and must be related to the one animal their shapeshifter can turn into (more forms and abilities may be earned through the achievement system or purchased through the gem shop). Alternatively, a player may be surprised by staff and we will design one power for your character based on the beast you've chosen.

If you choose for staff to surprise you with a power, this may extend the approval process since sometimes it takes time for us to write out powers. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading!
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. None as of yet!
Have something to add or adjust?
The information here is not exhaustive, this is bare bones information to get you started in this world. If you have suggestions to add to the shapeshifters or information regarding the Vir you'd want explained/detailed, or you'd like something removed, Delphi is very willing to try and make Black Prism as accessible as possible. Just ask!
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