Shifters is a webcomic by Marie Tary and set in the fictional Shade City. It began in 1997 and the first major story arc ended in August, 2005. The universe of Shifters is inhabited by such fantastical creatures as lycanthropes(called shifters), vampires, various other magic races, and apparently technological races such as cyborgs. The fantasy races are shielded from the rest of the world by a semi-secret organization known as the Veil.
The comic follows the actions of a particular lycanthrope, or shifter, named Ferrah Rolly and occasionally referred to as Ferral. Ferrah is a Kinsmir, or a vampire/shifter mix. Apparently in the Shifter universe, most shifters bitten by a vampire die a slow and painful death from a virus in vampire saliva (it is this virus that makes someone into a vampire). Ferrah instead integrated the virus into her body and has become a much more powerful being than either a vampire or a werewolf. Kinsmirs are very rare, very dangerous, and there are more than a few people who want to see Ferrah dead.
 Main Characters
Ferrah Rolly (Ferral): Kinsmir. Ferrah is the central character of the comic, and it arguably revolves around her adventures in coming to terms with being a Kinsmir, and what that exactly means. Ferrah 'awoke' to being a lycanthrope when she and her friend Alice were attacked by vampires after a school function. It was during this attack that Ferrah was bitten. While Ferrah has been seen to display several typical werewolf abilities (shifting into a full wolf and into hybrid forms, increased strength, aggression) she has also been shown to drink blood to heal grievous wounds. She seems to have a crush on Ben.
Alice Sherry (Kat): Werecat. Alice is Ferrah's best friend and comes from a long line of werecats. She first shifted at age 13, and has worked for the Veil since then. It was Alice who protected Ferrah when they were attacked and it is Alice who helps Ferrah's transition into life as a lycanthrope.
Ben Harkus (Sominous): Werebear. Ben is a shifter shaman, like his father before him. He helped Alice explain being a lycanthrope to Ferrah, and seems to quite gifted magically. Near the end of the first chapter, Ben accidentally channels Coyote and nearly kills most of the pack: it is only Ferrah, as a Kinsmir, that can stand up to him physically.
John Sterling (Sterling, Kinsmir): Kinsmir. John Sterling is the 15th Kinsmir, and apparently as old as Maverick. He was a part of a group of gypsy slayers sometime in the 1400s, was captured by the Mages, and survived whatever it was that killed the other 14 Kinsmirs (it's not clear if any other Kinsmirs were alive at the same time as John). He has reappeared to help Ferrah, the 16th Kinsmir, for reasons of his own. In a recent fight between him and Maverick, he wielded a weapon designed to kill Kinsmirs and apparently wielded it by 'chaining' his extra Kinsmir power somehow.
The Wereraven (Raven): Werecorvid. An informant, and a shifter apparently unconnected with the Veil. Seems to be able to get any kind of information and deals equally with lycanthropes and vampires, though neither side trusts him much. Is currently working with Shelly, though why is a mystery.
Vince (Vamp Squad P.I., Boss): Vampire. The self-styled bishonen 'boss' of the Vamp Squad P.I. Along with his underling, Piotr, he serves as the comic's main form of comic relief. Seems to be tailing Ferrah and her pack, but at the end of Chapter 1 is taken off the case by his mysterious employer.
Piotr (The Sidekick): Vampire. Vince's sidekick, also a member of Vamp Squad P.I. Apparently homosexual, he seems very interested in his boss, Vince. Along with Vince a major source of comic relief.
Kaylie (The Younglie): Vampire. Kaylie was made into a vampire as a child, which means while she's over a century old she still appears and acts like a fourteen year-old. This doesn't stop her from visiting vampire clubs where the children of the rich and the serious clubbers await to be dined upon by vampires. Takes a keen interest in Ferrah, and treats the girl as a full vampire.
The Ancient One (Schala): Vampire. Age unknown. Apparently once a Romanian noblewoman, Schala is currently Nikki's 'boss.' Regularly attacked by more vampires, regularly frustrates such attackers.
Nikki Holland (Slayer of Slayers): Cyborg(?). Nikki's parents were both military personnel who were killed in the Middle East when she was very young. She was bounced from foster home to foster home as she became increasingly moody and angry. After meeting Ferrah, the two girls seemed to bond and became fast friends. At only 14, she fell in love with a vampire who was, unfortunately, being targeted by a slayer (vampire hunters). After a chase that left him dead and her crippled, she was offered to become a slayer of slayers and provided tools, training, and the finances to bring it about. Up to this point, she has not shared her dual life with her friends.
Maverick: (???) Maverick's real name and his history are both unknown. He's probably over five hundred years old. What is known is that he is a living weapon, created by the Mages to fight against something known as the Dark Star. What that is, exactly, is unknown. The Maverick has been sent to kill Ferrah at least twice (when she was attempting to leave Shade City and in the Underworld) and has been seen attacking with claws and blades made of dark energy (or possibly shadows). Appears to know John Sterling, and may have been friends with him once.
Din Tau (The Seal Mage, Tau, the Tiger): Mage. Possibly more than a century old. Once the greatest of mages, he was thought to have 'died.' Probably still the most powerful mage in existence.
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 the movie Underworld, although the comic existed prior to the movie.
 External link
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