|Characters:|| Ferrah Rolly|
Alice Sherry (Kat)
|Updates:||Twice a week (Usually)|
Shifters is a graphic novel style webcomic set in the quasi-futuristic Shade City. The story revolves around a girl named Ferrah Rolly, who, after a fateful halloween night discovers the hidden world under her very nose. On the night in question, she is bitten by a vampire and infected with the vampiric virus. However, instead of turning into a vampire, she transforms into an enormous wolflike being. It is later discovered that she has become a Kinsmir. A powerful being which possesses the qualities of both a shifter and a vampire, but is truly neither.
Through the story she is introduced into the secret world of the Veil, learning the truth about vampires, shifters, and other beings that inhabit the shadows of the world in plain view. She also learns that she is an hated creature, and that many people fear her for what she has become. As a result, many factions want to see her dead, and will stop at nothing to see it happen. Fortunately, she has good friends, and just as enemies have appeared from the shadows of the veil, allies too have stepped forth.
About the Comic
Shifters began in early 1998 on the personal website of the artist, Marie Tary aka ShadowsMyst. It was moved to what was then Keenspace in August 2001, which is the date that the archives reflect. The archives have over 400 pages, including fillers. (last total was 446). The comic was written originally by the artist for the first two issues when she joined up with a writer named James Strocel. James would write for 6 issues after that, his writing ending in the issue "In Wolf's Clothing". The writing then returned to the artist, who has been writing for it since. As a result of this fusion of styles of writing, the comic has had some difficulty maintaining a consistant feel and pacing. However, it does improve as the archive progresses as well as huge leaps in quality of the artwork. The first major storyarc finished in August 2005, and since then the comic has limped along as the author/artist has had a number of setbacks. In August of 2006, she
Currently it is undergoing a complete and totally overhaul and is set to re-start sometime January 2007 under the title "Shifters Redux"
Ferrah was by all rights a normal girl until the faithful halloween night she was bitten by a vampire. But instead of turning into a vampire she shifted, violently, into a huge wolf! However, it became apparent quickly that she was no normal wolf shifter. She had become a creature both hated and feared, a monster neither shifter nor vampire, but sharing aspects of both. She had become a Kinsmir, an ancient horror not seen for 500 years.
Alice Sherry aka 'Kat'
Alice, also known as 'Kat' first shifted when she was 13. Her family is an established line of feline shifters and so her transition to the veil world was relatively controlled and almost planned. She was and still is being trained by Edward Harkus, Ben's Father. Prior to the vampire incident, she never reveiled her shifter nature to Ferrah, who was always her 'normal' friend. Alice is often looked down upon by other shifters due to her small size and apparent weak animal bond. But she knows she has power that they lack, and is always struggling to prove herself.
Ben Harkus aka 'Sominous
Ben is a year older than either Ferrah or Kat. He's quite involved in sports and dreams of playing professional football. But that dream is forever out of his reach as he is expected to take up his mystic calling and follow in his father's footsteps, becoming a shifter Shaman. He possesses gifts spiritually that have earned him a reputation among even the elder shaman, however it is a talent that costs him dearly. He is extremely self concious that his gifts cost him his intelligence when he shifts to animal form, becoming stalid and unable to think quickly or clearly.
Holly Tate aka Foxy
Holly is a less that nice personality. She's all about power and position. She latched onto Lupus for his strength, position and ease of control. She is not at all pleased about his wandering eyes. In fact, she makes it her personal goal in life to see that any woman that challenges her position learns to regret it. However, when she decided to teach Ferrah that lesson, she got more than she bargained for.
Nikki Holland aka 'The Slayer of Slayers'
Nikki Holland has had a rough run of it. Her mother and father were both military personnel. They were both killed in the Middle eastern Conflict when she was only three years old. At that point, the headstrong youngster was put into foster care where she bounced from home to home as they couldn't deal with her 'attitude'. She fell into youth gangs and drugs for a time until one of her foster homes she was placed at brought her into contact with Ferrah Rolly. After a brief period of rivalry, the two became best friends. Nikki cleaned up her act and met a man who changed her life forever. He was a vampire and she fell in love with him at the tender age of 14. Unfortunately, he was a hunted man, and after a car chase with a slayer, it left him dead and her crippled. While she was recovering in the hospital, a vampire who was an associate of her boyfriend approached her. If she would avenge her love, he would provide the means, finances, and training. She agreed. Since that time she has lead a dual life as both a student of the 'normal' world and the Slayer of slayers under the employ of vampires of the veil. She has never disclosed her dual life to any of her friends, including Ferrah.
Schala aka 'The Ancient One'
Schala's exact history is a mystery to most, but those who have done the research on her have found evidence to support that she was once a romanian noble woman who has disappeared and reappeared periodically throughout history. She appears on outset to resemble any new generation vampire, however her power and demeanor do not suggest that she is. She commands a huge respect from any B vampire she meets, even Old Generation vampires are wary of her and have been known to attack her from time to time with significant force. All such attacks have failed miserably. In recent years she has been known to be operating with Nikki Holland and acts as both a guide, protector, and companion. Although her motivations for agreeing to aid the youth are unknown.
Lupus Nash aka 'Big White'
Lupus comes from a fairly powerful and respected shifter family with a strong canid history. He's been blessed with a strong wolf shifter aspect that puts him in a situation to lead his family later in life. Unfortunately this has gone to his head slightly and he's created his own 'pack' at the highschool as it were. He leads this group, but his arrogance, bad judgement, and general inablility to see beyond the end of his nose doesn't make him an ideal leader. Physically however, he is more than capable and is fully willing to exert this dominance over anyone who questions him. He's something of a casanova when it comes to women and expects any female canine shifter to be 'fair game' despite what his current 'girlfriend' Holly Tate would say. His animal form is that of a large white wolf. Thus his veil name, which almost no one calls him.
Not much is known of Maverick prior to his capture by the Order of Mages in the late 1500s. Over the centuries has become a key weapon in the Mage's arsenal against the forces of the Dark Star. The magic that controls him is very powerful and very old, using the nearly lost art of Mage Seal magic, a power that only Din Tau, once head of the order, truly understands. Maverick is unique among vampires in both his range of abilities and immense power. It is said that he is truly immortal among vampires and that he cannot be killed and that is why he was captured. He displays the normal tell tale signs of a type B infection, ( red eyes, pointed ears.) but his power is more like that of a mature old gen. The seals on him currently alter him from his original appearance and restrain his power. As well the mages have given him special claws and key items on his coat allow his controller to remotely view whatever he sees and hears as well as speak with him telepathically.
John Sterling the 15th Kinsmir
John's history prior to when he became a Kinsmir is largely lost to anyone save him. Rumor has it he was part of a gypsy group of Slayers prior to the Veil in the late 1400s. He apparently used to be friends with Maverick prior to his capture by mages and knows Schala as well. John became a kinsmir shortly after the first major outbreak of LTV B in europe. He was the only one to survive the cleansing that destroyed the other 14 Kinsmir. He vanished until recently where he has returned to seemingly aid Ferrah, the 16th Kinsmir. Why is anyone's guess.
Kasha the Demonkitty
Kasha is an ancient creature known as a Darkling. The originate from the first attack ever done by the Darkstar and are speculated to be fragments of the Star itself. Normally they are quite evil and selfish beings living only to cause misery, corrupt or kill the creatures of gaia. Kasha is somewhat different than most Darkling largely due to her relationship with John. She provides a very useful service to him and as a result of their close bond, has changed her nature somewhat. She's still very violent and often very selfish, but she has come to be able to control herself more for the sake of another and has learned to care about someone other than herself.
Din Tau aka 'The Tiger'
Din Tau was once the First of the Order, and had been for quite some time before he suddenly up and supposedly died. When it was discovered that he had faked his death and had violated several of the orders rules by both leaving, faking his death, and covering his body in forbidden mystic tattoos, the order tried to stop him, once. They failed horribly and as such have left Tau alone, content simply to follow his movements for now. Tau is unchallenged and is still widely ( if in hushed tones) regarded as the most powerful mage on the planet. Tau seems to be working to his own designs now, using his powerful magic and mage connections to his own ends.
Though the universe of Shifters appears to be very similar to White Wolf's World of Darkness, the author has stated that the comic is not based on WoD, except in the vague way that all werewolf and vampire legends have contributed to the world. Indeed, with its theme of vampires and werewolves combining to create something much more dangerous, it seems closer to the movie Underworld, although the comic existed prior to the movie.