When the Advent turned against the Divine as well as the Fallen, the Divine Adonai along with three others created the Shifters by granting select mortals abilities and powers to fight against the Fallen and their minions. Adonai granted these humans a himsati form so that they might injure the demons and spirits. Haziel gave them the Sight to pierce the veil between the prime realm and the Reflection and with it see the true form of their enemies. While all mortals have the gift of free will, mortals impact the threads of fate with their actions and decisions making it possible for seers and oracles to try to divine the future. Mamaroth used his Voice to remove them from the threads of Fate thus making it difficult for any to foresee what impact on the future the Shifters would have. Lastly the Divine Jeduthun sacrificed himself to grant the first Shifter, the Purebloods, the gift of the Voice.
The Shifters were gathered into a Bloodhood, a pact to protect the innocent and the redeemable, to preserve the free will of humankind. Only those born with the blood are Shifters and they are uniquely gifted to fight the Fallen and their minions.
As humanity has grown over the centuries the Divine have grown more aloof and take little interest now in the affairs of humans. Shifters have become the chief protectors of the world against the machinations of the Fallen. In ancient times Shifters acted in packs much like their more animalistic cousins, however in these modern ages they are much more structured functioning teams of five called a Hand. Hands are typically led by a senior Shifter and given missions and goals by a Council of Elders. How they accomplish their assignments are largely left up to the members of the Hand since the odds of receiving help is slim and they must often make do with whatever resources they can find or bring with them.
In modern times the number of Shifters in the world has begun to decline. There is a belief amongst the Shifters that their ‘blood’ has weakened and new offspring of Shifters and humans have less chance of being born with the blood. Because of this many Shifters seek out other Shifters as mating partners. The extremely physical nature of their work however, has increased the frequency of miscarriages early on in a Shifter’s pregnancy.
Despite popular belief mortals cannot be ‘infected’ with lycanthropy and turned into a Shifter. However, the bite of a Shifter when in their himsati form has the side effect of increased aggression and impairing cognitive thought which has led to this myth. The lifespan of a Shifter is the same as for humans, allowing some Shifters to live to be 80 years or older. As can be expected such elders are highly valued for their insight and experience because of the high mortality rate of their kind. Should a Shifter become to old to be effective in the field then they take on other supporting duties with the oldest and most experienced taking a place on the Council of Elders or on a regional Council. These Councils do not govern the Shifters like a government, but are tasks with organizing and assigning missions and to coordinate the actions of individual Hands to try to prevent them from interferring in each other’s investigations. The Council of Elders is also charged with monitoring the overall progress of the Bloodhood on a global scale, moving resources where needed.
Shifter society is based on respect and honor. A Shifter’s status and accomplishments carry much weight among other Shifters. It is considered impolite for a Shifter to boast about his own accomplishments unless he is speaking to a conclave. Elders are respected and revered because the average lifespan of a Shifter is brutally short. Purebloods especially are becoming a rare commodity as with each generation there are fewer and fewer of them.