The word hengeyokai could be literally translated from the Japanese as "changing phantom". They share similar basic concepts with their western brethren, such as gifts and auspices, but have also developed their own unique cultural views that reflect these ideas.
These Fera tend to be most frequently recognized as official members of the Beast Courts.
- Hakken - the werewolves of Japan, who uphold the philosophies of bushido.
- Khan - the weretigers, who make up the majority of Bastet in the Beast Courts.
- Kitsune - the werefoxes, who consider themselves exclusively the property of the lands of Asia.
- Kumo - the werespiders who have fallen into the thrall of the Wyrm.
- Nagah - the wereserpents, who gather where any will take them.
- Nezumi - the wererats of Asia, who are running a Low War against humanity.
- Same-Bito - the weresharks, who consider themselves far more refined than the Rokea.
- Tengu - the wereravens of the Far East, who serve as scouts and heralds of the Beast Courts.
- Zhong Lung - Distant cousins of the Mokolé, the weredragons believe themselves to be the great descendants of the Ebon Dragon and the Scarlet Queen.
Like the other Fera races, the hengeyokai have auspices to determine the dominant traits of a Fera as well as tasks that a Fera can accomplish. However, theirs are not tied into the moon cycles that many of their western counterparts use. Rather, their roles are assigned to each member of a war party upon its formation. It is traditional and considered lucky to assign each party member a different auspice for the purpose of balance. The names and traits of each auspice are:
- Lantern - the coordinator and guide. Roughly equivalent to the Philodox.
- Fist - the primary fighting expert. Roughly equivalent to the Ahroun.
- Mirror - speaker and link to the spirit world. Roughly equivalent to the Theurge.
- Leaf - scout, spy, and master of silence. Roughly equivalent to the Ragabash.
- Pillar - the moral and physical support. Roughly equivalent to the Galliard.
- Courtier - reponsible for protection and maintenance of Dragon Nests. Also supervise Kinfolk and young shapeshifters. There is no equivalent Auspice.
Wheel of Ages
Much like the kuei-jin (and to a lesser extent, the wraiths), the hengeyokai view history as being divided into major periods in time. The hengeyokai believe that the Emerald Mother set forth twelve periods in time; however, some fatalistic Fera (namely the Stargazers) think that the wheel may break in the sixth age and bring about Armageddon. The game is set in the Fifth Age, the Age of Shadows. The known six ages are:
- Age of the Dawning - The First Age, in which the world was created.
- Age of the Ten Thousand Things - The Second Age, when the worlds between flesh and spirit began to divide themselves.
- Age of Legends - The Third Age, the high point (so far) of hengeyokai existence.
- Age of Testing - The Fourth Age, when war came upon the Beast Courts and its power began to wane.
- Age of Shadows - The Fifth Age, and current age.
- Age of Sorrows - The Sixth Age, yet to come, and yet not predicted to be a happy time.