“Man is the cruelest animal.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
Skinwalkers are a supernatural species that endows an individual to physically assume the form of an animal or animals, though the type and variety can vary by individual. Despite the number of similarities, they are not related to lycanthropes, despite common belief.
The origins of skinwalkers are not known for certain, but many stories tell of humans who can take the form of animals.
A common theory is one of humans making deals with fey in order to protect their people. This theory tends to hold weight in many communities, as the most common skinwalker lore comes from cultures who practiced some form of nature worship or animism.
Additionally, it should be noted that the way they change shape is extremely similar to the way fey change shape, as opposed to the painful method used by Dopplegangers and Werewolves.
Skinwalkers can be found in any environment that can support human beings.
Skinwalkers eat human food. However, many have a taste for raw meat, insects, raw fish and other foods favored by their go-to shift.
Breeding & Transformation Edit
As with most shapeshifters, Skinwalking is hereditary. An individual must be born a skinwalker; inheriting their status from one or both parents. They are able to reproduce with humans and other skinwalkers, but not lycanthropes or other supernatural humanoids. They cannot skinwalk from birth; this ability develops spontaneously at some point in their adolescence.
Nature and Psychology Edit
A skinwalker has the ability to take the form of any animal. To do so, the skinwalker must first mentally observe an animal's form in specific detail. A skinwalker need only do this once and that animal's form can be assumed at-will without the need to repeat this process. Skinwalkers cannot assume the form of a humanoid creature.
One particular characteristic in Skinwalkers is the need to run and play in open, isolated spaces with other skinwalkers all in animal form.
Go-To Shifts Edit
Skinwalkers tend to have forms that are easier to transform into than others. They usually each have one specific animal that requires little effort or thought for shifting, which is known as a "go-to" shift. Skinwalkers tend to assume characteristics of their go-to shifts in human form.
For example, Pip's go-to shift is that of a German Shepherd. As a result, he tends to be protective and has a habit of barking in his sleep.
Lesser Skinwalkers Edit
Sometimes, a human bit by a Skinwalker can get "infected" with the condition, gaining the ability to shapeshift. However, there are several noticeable differences between the Skinwalker and these lesser variants. Lesser Skinwalkers can only transform into the animal that bit them. Additionally, they can be killed through conventional means; they do not gain any supernatural resistances. The skinwalker condition is still passed on through breeding, however.
Biologically and socially, they are almost indistinguishable from humans. They aren't immortal and their rate of aging seems to be the same as humans. They have the same needs and weaknesses of humans.
Powers & Abilities Edit
- Accelerated Healing: Skinwalkers are capable of healing themselves much faster than humans.
- Enhanced Strength: Their strength seems to be greater than the average human's. This strength tends to increase in animal form.
- Infectious Bite: A Skinwalker possesses a poisonous bite; if someone is bitten by a skinwalker, they might become a Lesser Skinwalker themselves. Additionally, this bite is poisonous to vampires. It's not fatal to them, but it will weaken them in a manner similar to Dead Man's Blood.
- Superhuman Speed: In animal form, Skinwalkers can run and move much, much faster than humans and even faster than the animals they're mimicking.
- Supernatural Senses: Even in human form, Skinwalkers tend to have senses heightened far beyond human levels; their senses tend to be on par with werewolves in their human form. In animal form, these senses are enhanced, based on the animal form taken.
- Shapeshifting: A shapeshifter is capable of transforming into any animal they have observed and studied in detail.
- Blood Loss: If a skinwalker takes sufficient injury and does not heal in time, they could die. It's not likely, but it's possible.
- Decapitation: If one were to rip off a Skinwalker's head, they would die instantly.
- Full Moon: A skinwalker cannot change their shape during the night of the full moon. On such a night, they tend to be irritable and anxious.
- Goldthread: Touching this herb to a skinwalker will cause it to reveal its true nature. If they ingest it, they cannot shapeshift for about 24 hours.
- Heart Extraction: Ripping a skinwalker's heart from their chest will kill them permanently.
- Hunter's Knife: These blades, which can kill practically anything, have no issues killing a shapeshifter.
- Iridium: This extremely rare and expensive metal wreaks horrific damage to shapeshifters; it causes terrible cuts and burns and such injuries can only be healed with magic and always scar.
- Poisons: Skinwalkers are not especially resistant to poisons.
- Silver: Like most shapeshifters, a skinwalker is weak to silver. A silver weapon to the heart will kill it instantly.
- Wolfsbane: This herb burns the skin of a skinwalker.
Notable Skinwalkers Edit
|Peregrine Nuckley||16||Wolf||The Misfits||Alive|