A body thief, also known as a body swapper, is an immortal who uses supernatural powers in order to migrate or swap their minds and souls with those of other humans either through innate psychic abilities or through the practice of dark magic, with a number of exceptions.
Body thieves are largely immoral, sometimes mad humans who assume the identities of other people through consistently hopping between bodies. Social networks of body thieves exist in order to allow those among their kind to better hide among the mortal populace and assist one another in emulating the identity and personality of their host bodies.
Body thieves can swap bodies with lesser supernaturals - thaumaturges, psychics,Wolf-blooded, and ghouls - although they cannot use any of their new body's supernatural powers. They are incapable of swapping bodies with major supernatural creatures, including as vampires, werewolves, or mages, and cannot switch bodies with other immortals except for blood bathers and other body thieves.
Mentally Talented Edit
Mentally Talented body thieves are humans who all possess the innate and instinctive ability to use their own force of will in order to overcome others and eject their souls out of their bodies, with nothing to pay for it. Mentally Talented body thieves require some form of sympathetic connection with their targets in order to steal their bodies - a blood relation or an emotional bond, each is different for a Mentally Talented body thief. It is not entirely known what happens to a soul overcome and ejected from its body by a Mentally Talented,
Many Mentally Talented treat body swapping as a pastime or game as well as a lifestyle, forming small groups and networks of other body thieves to both use as allies and to commence competition and rivalry with to make their immortal lives more interesting.
Magically Talented Edit
Magically Talented body thieves are humans who utilize dark magical rituals in order to more literally "swap" bodies with their victims for periods at a time; the only means for a Magically Talented theft to remain permanent is for either of the bodies to die, trapping the swapped soul in their new body. Magically Talented are required to possess a sympathetic connection with their victim, with either the magician possessing something dear to the victim, or the victim possessing a piece or possession of the magician upon their person.
Unlike Mentally Talented body thieves, Magically Talented tend to keep more loose and fast connections between one another rather than close-knit social networks. The most common justifications for Magically Talented to interact is to exchange secrets and information or to discuss matters which have very little to do with the nature of body swapping.
Oddities are a special kind of body thief who cannot be categorized under either Mentally or Magically Talented due to the nature of how they happen to swap bodies. In some cases the switching of bodies for Oddities is uncontrollable and involuntary, usually through a drastic stroke of fortune or misfortune, including two people being struck by lightning simultaneously or a site occasionally switching the bodies of its residents and visitors. Occasionally, however, there is absolutely no discernible source for the process of a body swap, whether permanent or temporary.
Body Thief Societies Edit
The Club Edit
The Club is a loose collection of both new and old Mentally Talented body thieves who are brought together via their sadistic means of operation and where they hunt and recruit; notably, among prestigious schools and academies for the social elite. Each private school has its own branch of the Club, often naming themselves as "the Lion's Club" and "the Fox's Club" to differentiate between one another.
The body thieves of the Club operate more specifically and harmfully than other Mentally Talented, requiring their victims to either be dead or dying through self-afflicted wounds to be considered viable for body swapping, as the soul would have either departed or be in the process of exiting the body and make it easier for a Club member to steal. The Club is comprised of monstrous and maniacal students from high-class families who seek to retain their youth for eternity and the benefits that come with it by stealing the bodies of others of their age rather than growing old.
Seekers of Knowledge Edit
The Seekers of Knowledge are an ancient Mentally Talented network of Gnostic body thieves who believe that, through body stealing, they have escaped their "prisons of flesh" and are free to find and teach enlightenment through God. A number of them use the bodies of willing disciples of their beliefs in order to retain their immortality and hold the belief that the theft is a two-fold advantage, with the hosts' souls departing to Heaven and leaving behind the physical body to allow those willing to remain in their material Hell to pass on their teachings to others.
Body theft is not a sin in the eyes of the Seekers, but a matter of duty, even if more militant members of their order are concerned to the point of paranoia that others may view and misunderstand their activities as sinful. To the Seekers, death either allows the soul to accompany God in Heaven or to be reborn into a new body to fulfill its intended purpose and learn what it was supposed to learn - a process that the Seekers of Knowledge believe they are shortening and simplifying for both themselves and the former-hosts of their bodies.
House of Avalon Edit
The Avalon House is a site located in Milan, overlooking the Duomo di Milano, that serves as the center of a fashion business ran by a coven of Magically Talented body thieves and populated by a dozen young, beautiful women who have been subject to dark rituals accomplished by the masters of the House. The Avalon House was founded by apprentices of Franco Italioni, who created an amulet through dark rituals in order to hollow the soul of a victim from its body, as the Mentally Talented do, in an unsuccessful attempt to spare his wife from old age and death. Using these secrets taught by Franco, his apprentices remained young and infiltrated the upper echelons of Italian and European society while keeping their secrets closely-guarded.
The House specializes in amulet-crafting, as Franco did, and while many of these serve as trinkets and gifts for those among the international elite, a very small number of amulets capable of allowing body swapping are reserved for special clients. Agents and members of the House tend to be manipulative and the special amulets they craft destroy the soul of a Magically Talented body thief's victim to allow for a permanent body switch.
The Archer Family Edit
The Archers are a branch of a family of Irish Travelers who have been shamed and exiled out of Europe by a council of pavee elders due to their upholding of negative stereotypes about their people and culture, such as being composed of thieves and con artists, and instead have taken to wandering the United States. While they are Magically Talented body thieves, such theft is secondary in how deep their cons run and it is almost second nature to them, using such magic to further their goals of defrauding and stealing from almost everyone members of their family happen to encounter.
The rituals and charms the Archer Family use to perform their body swaps are considered to be sloppy and lazy, with the Patriarch of the clan, Bobby, retaining little, if any, faith in the work of magic beyond what he happens to know that works. Due to their prolonged confusion with the rites, no permanent body swap is possible for the Archers unless the victim happens to be a redhead and it is often required for a magician to be intoxicated while performing the ritual to switch bodies.