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SKINCHANGERS

LORE

“Awake, arise, or forever be fall'n.”

- John Milton

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 Something wicked this way comes...

...and it wears a familiar face; a friend, a relative, perhaps a pet. It stole their face, their life, their memories.

 

This is a Dyuku (pronounced die-yuck-koo), a skinchanger. 

Skinchangers or Dyuku as they call themselves are the   cursed people of the lost city of Edinnu. Once tasked by   their gods to rid the world of deviants and cast out   daemons but now forced to live as the worst of them. 

Straddling the line between deviant and daemon but   ultimately classed as the former, spirit creatures forced   to cling to the stolen skins of people or animals lest they   be dragged back to Nepheer the wailing depths. Cursed   centuries ago, by the Lumeia for siding with the Asuries   during the Divine War when the Asuries convinced them   to steal the Welkin Flame. 

BAD FAITH

 The Lumeia are the first generation of deities, also   known as the old gods, celestials and the gods on   high. They make their home in the Welkins (the   heavens). Even though it was the Asuries who made   the human race, the Lumeia sort to control them   which sparked the rebellion that causes the Divine   War. Once the war was over, they created Nepheer   where they threw the Asuries. 

The Asuries are the second generation of deities, also   known as the new gods, the infernals and the   undergods. Despite being generally referred to in   plural by their followers, only one Ashurie is known to 

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 still exist. After being thrown into the wailing depths they disappeared leaving their hell   empty of its devils while the surviving Ashrie went onto to roam the earth. 

 Annukarta are a loose collection of deities who did not side with either the Lumeia or the   Asuries, they are also known the forsaken gods, the earthbound and the gods of the   earth. They were not condemned to Nepheer but they were no longer welcome in the   Welkins either and so were left to roam the earth as nature spirits. Once they were   strong, but they have been severely weakened by deforestation and pollution. 

There is an unusual paradox propagating skinchanger existence in that the temporal and   unpredictable nature of their subsistence in any particular time or place, they will not be   able to put down roots that are guaranteed to last however their longevity on earth   albeit not necessarily continuous allows and encourages the settlement of lasting   institutions if only to make their existences easier. The result is Demimondes which are   maintained not by skinchangers themselves but by human cultists known as votaries.   Over time four Demimondes have developed: the Children of Absolution, the Tellurian   Warriors, the Chthonic Foundry and the Heresiarches. 

SACRED MYSTERIES

“History is the nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”

- James Joyce

 The Children of Absolution are those who seek to reconcile with the Lumeia by   aggressively targeting other deviants, sinful humans and in some cases other   skinchangers. They view their history and faith through a Christian and more specifically   Roman Catholic lens, using terms and trappings of Mother Church. The Children of   Absolution were active during the Victorian era where they perpetrated the Ripper   murders. During the Crusades they acted through the Knights Templar, and they were   responsible for the Holy Inquisition and stocking the flames that caused the witch trials   though most of the actual templars and inquisitors were human. Today they often work   through their front Deliverance Landing and its many ministries. 

The Tellurian Warriors are those who seek to protect the earth and in turn serve the   Annukarta. Choosing their prey selectively and trying to make the world a better place.   Unfortunately, they have more than their fair share of zealots. They often work through   their front Children of Gaia and to outsiders they would appear like an environmental   charity. 

The Chthonic Foundry are those who seek to overthrow the old gods by using   humanity and seeking out the Asuries to lead them. They often work through their front   the Peoples’ Refuge and to outsiders they like a charity helping the homeless and   refugees. 

The Heresiarches are those who reject all the gods and seek to unlock the secrets of   creation itself in order to destroy it and in turn themselves, to end their suffering and   take their revenge. They are pretty much universally hated by all other skinchangers   and are generally the only ones of their kind that are commonly denied refuge. They   often work through their front Nexem Gate and to outsiders they seem like a self-help   organization. 

CULT OR CULTURE?

 Votaries live in and maintain dugouts which act as refuges and safehouses for   skinchangers often under the guise of a charitable organisation. Despite the name   many dugouts are actually extremely nice and modern places to live with Wi-Fi, semi-   private rooms, TVs and more. Every dugout has a hidden chapel area for religious rites   known as a chancel though while the rest of a dugout is often open to all skinchangers,   the chancel is often closed to all but members of their Demimonde. 

Some votaries are also dragomans, those bestowed with abilities known as benefices   that allow them to be ‘gutter emissaries’ between the mundane and the spiritual. Some   skinchangers will have their own personal dragoman while other dragomans will act as   votaries. 

Becoming a votary is regarded as a lifetime commitment and members may usually   only leave to in order to recruit new members. They are allowed to have partners and   children though only from among their number in fact this is encouraged in order to   ensure the continuation of the dugout though seldom forced since actual attraction and   affection greatly improve the chances of conception and generally improves moral.   Each dugout is run by a senior votaries known as a mystagogue, who is often a   dragoman. In some cases, a dugout may have more than one mystagogue. Some   skinchangers may have a private refuge, known as a bolthole, though they are rarely   as well staffed or stocked as a dugout. 

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

 Want to know more? Check out the other lore sections, check out discover or consider   purchasing a print book, eBook or audiobook from the store. Click on the links below to learn more about other Harrowed World Lore. 

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