The Shepard Family are a bunch of assassins that have dated back for centuries, perhaps even millennia.
Their people are considered to be highly skilled and tough to kill, due to their inherent abilities in badassery. In most cases, it takes another, more skilled assassin from the family to take them down.
Several Shepards are found in DYOS XI. Some are killed off and even those ones are usually revived.
The Shepard Family is a family mainly in biological terms. Family members are all siblings, but they are allowed to marry outside the family. The spouse is then considered to be an honorary member and through rigorous training, becomes a full member. This is mainly to offset the inbreeding problem most royal families suffer from.
The leader of the Family is known as "Father" and usually is the biological father of many of the assassins. Leadership is attained by succession of the eldest, as many prestigious families do.
While the gods have changed over the years, they all tend to follow some sort of god of the dead. The most recent generation follows the religion of Kelemvor.
They also believe in a great prophecy involving Universal Essences, and family members in Narratorspace are sent out to retrieve them.
Family members who try and leave the family itself are usually hunted down and killed by the more experienced/skilled members of the team. Otherwise bounties can be sent out to other assassin or mercenary groups looking for a quick paycheck. The bounties though normally don't work, but they could get lucky...
- The Father (Unknown)
- Dalia Shepard (Revived)
- Delia Shepard (Unknown)
- Fate Shepard (Deceased)
- Marth Shepard (Undead)
- Tama Shepard (Revived)
- Bradley Shepard (Deceased)
Behind the scenes
The whole idea of the Shepard Family was only created once Tama was introduced and she met a mysterious assassin who had been stalking the Blood Gulch Mercenaries for the past few DYOS comics. It was decided that the assassin and Tama were related and that Tama was an outcast from it. It further evolved once Marth was introduced, with the worship of Kelemvor and other bits and pieces of info.
Details have not been completely made yet, but one inherent property the Shepards all share is the impossible feats they can perform.
Just to note: No one in the Shepard Family is THE Commander Shepard from the Mass Effect series, or even related to him/her.