How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Eberron
Changelings are the offspring of doppelgangers and humans. One the one hand, they retain many of the shapeshifting abilities of the doppelganger parent, but on the other hand, they inherit all the identity awareness of their human parent. This mix is volatile psychologically, often coupled with traumatic childhoods (upon discovering their heritage, many changelings are exiled or worse). So the changelings on Eberron today are understandably a mixed bunch.
There’s a common joke in Khorvaire: “What’s the best way to know that a changeling is telling a lie? If they say they’re telling the truth.” Changelings are widely discriminated against because of the less ethical behavior of their brothers and sisters. In response to this, changeling society has slowly split into three basic groups.
The first, passers, are the kind of changeling many people have met without knowing it. Upon learning of their heritage, this kind of changeling takes great strains to assimilate themselves into their local culture, almost never changing form, and denying any changeling heritage.
The second, becomers, revel in their adaptability, rarely keeping one identity for long. These are the spies and tricksters in urban communities who play both criminal and investigator, pauper and prince.
The third, reality seekers, have embraced the non-human side of their heritage, forming small communities, and staying in their base doppelganger state on a regular basis, with changes and shifting being a regular part of their culture.
While changelings are most common in Khorvaire, they hold a special place in Riedran culture. The Inspired have created a racial hierarchy in their empire. At the bottom are the creatures with animal-like appearances: ogres and shifters are only slightly better than animals and slaves, while humans are creatures of potential, only a lifetime of good deeds away from becoming Inspired. Changelings embody this change and evolution, and are treated as blessed creatures.