Monday, January 13, 2014
The varinid order are known as the varients.
The varinids are creatures able to blend in with normal creatures yet they are something different. In many cases they would be considered shapeshifters or changelings. There are two primary families of Varinids.
Personidae: Creatures such as lycanthropes and leechmen whom look human yet are not. Personidae are either humanoids that can turn into other creatures or creatures which can resemble humans.
Proteanidae: Creatures which are not human but can assume other forms. Proteanidae can be differed from Personidae in that they may not assume human forms at all or if they can assume human form they can assume other forms as well.
Taxonomical definition of Varinids can be extremely tricky. There are many different types of shapeshifters in the world. Some such as the Rakshasha are creatures with the inate power to turn into other creatures. Yet others such as certain strains of lycanthropy are passed through infection rather than genetics. Finally there are those that use magic or other methods to change their form such as elves.
The Varinid is a much newer taxonomical order that was brought about by the difficulty of placing other creatures. Werewolves are an excellent example of this dilemma. The canine lycanthropes could claim biological relation to either homo or lupus genus’s. Is it a wolf that turns into a man or a man that turns into a wolf? By organizing them and other creatures like them into their own category it makes for easier classification.
The distinction from putting a shape shifting faerie in the Varinid order as opposed to the Nhang comes from the primary regards of their purpose and abilities. A good way to think of it is that all Varinids are shape shifters, but not all shape shifters are Varinids.
These abilities can be in greater or lesser degrees. The leechmen are amongst the least malleable of the shapeshifter type. While they can hide their monstrous traits, what separates them from humans still lurk beneath the surface and many of them are capable of transforming even further.
Proteanidae such as the Armenian Nhang or the Scottish Kelpies can assume several different forms. The Nhang normally exists as a serpent; however it can also change into the form of a woman or seal. In these forms it lures men near to it where the creature will then drag them into the water and drink their blood.