"Can you tell me about the reifa?" Liya asked.
"Er, sure. What you wanna know?"
"Okay..." Vlad thought for a moment. "...They were big suckers. Like, twice your height. They could take any shape they wanted. They were one of the only shapeshifters that could change form permanently. There's probably a lot of creatures that never actually existed--they were just reifa in disguise. They picked up new languages as fast as new shapes. They mostly ate fruit, raw meat, and clay. They could stop death."
This last line caused Liya to look up from the bookshelf.
"Supposedly," Vlad amended, and then noticed the expression on Liya's face. She was staring at him now with a deep, unsettled frown. "What?"
"Y'don't stop death," Liya said. "Death ain't a--a thing, it's--it's a bunch of processes stoppin'. Too many cells dyin'."
Vlad seemed taken aback by her vehemence. "I'm not arguing with you, hun," he said, raising his eyebrows.