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A cat has a total of thirty two muscles in each ear.

In 1386 a pig in France was executed by public hanging for the murder of a child.



SHIFTER INFORMATION
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Basics
Shifters are immortal creatures that have the ability to switch between a wolf and a human and are able to live forever so long as they are not killed. Each shifter is different, however most stop physically aging and changing in appearance between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five. There are some cases in which result in a shifter appearing older than that general guideline. Shifters have the ability to communicate with each other regardless of what form they are in. They also can communicate with wolves while still in their human form, but this gift does not extend to other animals.

In general, a shifter has greater strength, speed, and a brighter intelligence than your average human. Against one another, these traits tend to even themselves out. While in their human forms, shifters also retain the ability to use their wolf senses, but they aren't as acute. They also have a specific smell to them that any shifter can pick up on, letting them be identifiable to other shifters, even if they are strangers. Turned shifters do not obtain these abilities overnight, it can take a turned shifter years to reach the level of mastery a born shifter has by the time they reach adulthood.

Shifting Process
Learning to shift is something that takes a lot of practice and concentration to do when first learning. Born shifters usually gain access to their human form by the age of two years, however in some rare cases they may be able to access it some time after they turn one year. Usually this process is taught to children by their parents as they near their second birthday. Depending on their maturity at the time, they will appear between the ages of twelve and seventeen when they initially shift. They will maintain this appearance in a period of slow growth until their actual age catches up to the age that they appear to be.

When shifting between the two forms, clothing may either fade in and out of existence or be torn in the process depending on the member's preference. Being able to shift can be a complicated feat. It requires great focus and the ability to take all emotions and keep them centered. If a Shifter is experiencing serious emotion in a time where they are trying to shift, then they will be unable to do so until they are able to get control. With practice, shifting will become a automatic reaction that does not take as much focus. Any shifter and their ability to shift can still be severely affected by extreme emotions regardless of how experienced they are with shifting.

If a Shifter is in their human form and they get too angry, they will lose control and involuntarily shift to their wolf form. Depending on the extent of their rage, it can take a long time for them to shift back, anywhere between several minutes to a few days. While in this uncontrollable rage, some shifters even seem to lose their human part of their mind and can act much like a rabid animal during this time.

Ancient Ritual
When the Guardians realized that shifters were becoming a dying race, they created the ability for shifters to turn humans and wolves into one of their own kind. This is most commonly known as the Ancient Ritual and is not something that should be taken lightly. Immortality is not always what it seems to be and there are just as many shifters who curse it as there are who praise it. For this reason, shifters are generally cautioned when taught the ritual to not perform it unless the recipient agrees to it, or it is a dire emergency.

If the goal is to turn a human into one of their kind, then the Shifter must bite them over the heart in their wolf form. When this happens, the bite mark over their heart will never fully leave no matter how much time passes, leaving a permanent scar. After the initial bite, a human will experience immense pain throughout their body that can last anywhere between ten minutes to an hour. Of the two, turning a human is a much more painful process to undergo. The process varies from individual and there are cases in which the pain has lasted for days, although this is rare it is possible. Once the pain subsides, the individual would technically be considered a shifter at that point.

If it is a wolf that is to become one of them, then the Shifter must shed their blood in their human form and allow the wolf to drink it. This transformation is more subtle than the changing of a human and often the wolf does not notice anything different about themselves. However, in either case, it takes many days for their scent to alter and shifting is not possible immediately. The newly turned shifter would still need to undergo some training before being able to shift. The enhanced healing abilities would start to make themselves known within a day of being turned.

Healing And Blood Properties
In order to help preserve the race they created, the Guardians granted Shifters the ability to heal quickly when they become injured. Minor cuts and bruises can take mere minutes to heal while your larger injuries have a broader healing time. Broken bones generally take a week to heal or longer depending on the severity and internal injuries can take several weeks before they are fully healed. Even though a shifter can heal quickly, the more injured they are, the longer it takes before the healing properties can kick in. If a wound is deep enough, it will still leave a scar on occasion and all humans turned into a shifter will retain a scar from the bite over the heart.

Unknown to many, including most shifters, blood from a Shifter is extremely valuable. Their blood alone has strong healing powers that can heal even the most grievous of wounds. The purer the heritage of a particular shifter (born shifter vs turned shifter), the better their blood can work in different species. However, the more turned shifters (or humans for that matter) in their bloodline, the more blood it would take for the healing properties to be of any use. When a shifter has been drained of more than a forth of their current blood supply, they will go into shock and without appropriate treatment they will head to their death.

Reproduction
While shifters are able to reproduce with not only their kind, but with wolves and humans as well, it is generally considered unwise to do so. If a human female were to become pregnant with a male shifter's children, she would need to be changed or the fast growing offspring would destroy her body and result in her death. A wolf mother and shifter father would result in the mother being able to carry the offspring a little more easily, but she would still have a chance at a difficult childbirth. A shifter mother can reproduce with any of the three species as the father without any extreme difficulties.

The mother carries her children in the womb for three months (in character) to be considered full term. When it comes to the actual birth, the mother must be in wolf form at the time, or she and her children will die in the process. The children are born as wolf pups and will follow generally the same growing pattern as a pure wolf pup might until they reach their second year of life.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are shifters considered the same thing as werewolves?
A. No. While shifters do have a wolf form, they are not the same as werewolves. Instead they have their unique biology which can be referred to above.


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