Changeling


Changelings are shapeshifting fey beings. Most live in the Feywild, where they can be found among both the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court. They are not native to Exandria, and they are rarely seen there. In their true or "at rest" form, they have pale skin, colorless eyes, and white hair.

The player characters Loquatius Seelie in Exandria Unlimited: Calamity and Yu Suffiad in Campaign 3 are changelings.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

In their true form, or their form "at rest", changelings have pale skin, colorless eyes that can be completely white or completely black, and white or silver-white hair.[1][2] One individual is described as having dark shading around his eyes and very faintly visible black veins marbling across his skin that constantly but subtly move.[1] Another individual is described as having dark eyes that "swirl with galaxies" and opalescent skin.[2]

Loquatius Seelie demonstrated control over the visual effect of his shapeshifting. He was variously able to shapeshift as if paint was being drained out of his face and replaced with new colors[3] and as if a film edit or cross-dissolve was taking place.[4]

Abilities[edit | edit source]

As a playable race, changelings have the following abilities:[5][6]

  • Shapechanger: Using an action they can change their appearance and voice at will, even adapting their size between small and medium. However, they can't assume the abilities of other races, neither take a form without the same basic arrangement of limbs they have.
  • Changeling Instincts: they gain proficiency with two of the following skills: Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Performance, or Persuasion.

As non-playable characters, they also gain access to:[7]

  • Unsettling Visage: They can make someone frightened if said creature doesn't succeed on a Wisdom saving throw. Once a changeling uses this ability they can't use it again until they finish a long or short rest.

History[edit | edit source]

Changelings are not native to Exandria, where they are "extremely rare" to see. The majority of changelings live in the Feywild.[8]

At least one, Loquatius Seelie, lived in Avalir during the Age of Arcanum before The Calamity; he crossed into Exandria from the Feywild more than seven years prior.[9] However, it is unclear if his identity as a changeling is widely known, even as he chooses to spend most of his time in his "at rest" appearance.[10][1]

Changelings have belonged to both the Seelie Court[11] and the Unseelie Court[12] of the Feywild.

Notable changelings[edit | edit source]

A changeling tavern keeper shapeshifting, by Titmouse from "The Terror of Tal'Dorei - Part 1" (LVM1x01).[art 2]

In The Legend of Vox Machina, which has a continuity separate from Critical Role, the Emonian tavern keeper seen in "The Terror of Tal'Dorei - Part 1" (LVM1x01) is a changeling.[14] Their daughter is also possibly a changeling, but it is not clear.[15]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Matthew Mercer initially didn't consider changelings as one of the Exandrian races. However, when a poll was organized to choose the gender, race and design for a secondary character in The Legend of Vox Machina,[16] changeling was one of the options. It was eventually chosen for said character. This meant that changelings became "accidentally" canon to Exandria.[17] The Legend of Vox Machina is of a separate continuity from Critical Role, so changelings did not explicitly appear in the Critical Role canon until the introduction of Loquatius Seelie in Exandria Unlimited: Calamity.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • In folklore changelings were considered the fey babies left behind in the place of human children stolen by the faeries. Some variants of these legends were more general, considering changelings any substitutes for humans kidnapped by the fey.
  • Changelings were firstly featured as a playable race in Eberron: Rising from the Last War,[18] although the term was also used in the Monster Manual to refer to the doppelganger offspring of a humanoid woman.[19]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Excelsior" (E3x01) at 32:45.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Deathwish Run" (3x28) at 4:26:06.
  3. "Excelsior" (E3x01) at 33:47.
  4. "Excelsior" (E3x01) at 36:26.
  5. Wizards of the Coast, Eberron: Rising from the Last War, p. 17.
  6. Wizards of the Coast, Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse, p. 10.
  7. Wizards of the Coast, Eberron: Rising from the Last War, p. 317.
  8. Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "There can be! Extremely rare, and most often tied to the Feywild (where the vast majority reside)" (November 28, 2021) — in reply to: "hey Matt finally starting our Wildemount Campaign and one of my players is gonna to play a Changeling. are there Changelings in Exandria?"
  9. "Bitterness and Dread" (E3x02) at 1:31:21. Loquatius married seven years prior per "Excelsior" (E3x01) at 1:07:32.
  10. "Excelsior" (E3x01) at 36:26. Sam: His hair changes as well, and to the untrained eye, it would look like an edit or a cross dissolve. But to those who know that he is a changeling, he's actually changing his physical appearance live on screen to that of Orison."
  11. "Fire and Ruin" (E3x04) at 3:29:51.
  12. "Hidden Truths" (3x26) at 25:21.
  13. "Exandria Unlimited: Kymal, Part 1" (E2x01) at 36:31.
  14. "Tavern Keeper Build | The Legend of Vox Machina" at 6:17.
  15. See "The Terror of Tal'Dorei - Part 1" (LVM1x01) around the 5:46 mark.
  16. See Tavern Keeper Build | The Legend of Vox Machina
  17. Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "Technically (hilariously), changlings also aren't Exandria canon. That one slipped through via the person who made that list for the KS. So that ACCIDENTALLY became canon due to the internet trolling me." (December 11, 2019).
  18. Wizards of the Coast, Eberron: Rising from the Last War, p. 17.
  19. Monster Manual, 5th edition, p. 82.

Art:

  1. Official art of Loquatius Seelie, a changeling, in his "at rest" appearance, by Hannah Friederichs (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  2. A changeling tavern keeper shapeshifting, by Titmouse from "The Terror of Tal'Dorei - Part 1" (LVM1x01). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.