"True" humans make up the majority of the city's population. They have no special attributes, no unusual genes… but they have numbers, and they have status. Only true humans can claim a family name, by custom of society — they're the only ones who can pass it on. True humans are more likely to have high standing, to have resources, to learn such civilized skills as reading, writing, art, and music. Some do not, of course; there are always the have-nots, amongst any group. But the greatest advantage they collectively have is that only real humans are welcome within the Halls of the Ark.

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Depending on who you ask, changelings are either people with the poor luck to be mutated into something inhuman, or creatures whose human disguises failed during childhood. They bear the dual stigma of bestial attributes and sterility — no changeling can bear or sire children. Changelings are widely considered ill-luck and inferior; many are cast out from their birth families to make their own way in the city. Some families seem to have greater propensity to throw changelings than others, but changeling prevalence also seems to depend on where in the city you live. Why changelings occur is a mystery; a multitude of theories abound.

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Golems are near-mythical creatures, the living embodiments of high technology; they (along with technomancers) are the devils and demons of city mythology, spoken of in hushed voices and cautionary tales. Few people have actually met a golem, or know they have; these artificial intelligences date back to the Fall itself, and while they no longer remember that distant past, those who survived through the generations since have learned caution well. Each golem is a unique creation with a specific function it was intended to perform; some still attempt to carry out their original purposes, while others look for anything "interesting" by which to while away the years. Whatever their lifestyle, all golems are as haunted by mortality as fleshly life, or even more so — each has already endured long past its design life, and faces the specter that someday, repairs will become impossible.

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