Shapeshifting is a supernatural ability or "gift" that few creatures in Crystal Prism possess. Some have it naturally, while others had to bargain for it. Non-humans or animals that have this skill are viewed as "false" or "fake" by those who do not. They are not human but they are not truly their animal species either, at least in the minds of "normal" or "true" animals. The reasons of those who bargained for it vary, and are not always selfish. Most shapeshifters today are born with the skill, regardless how their ancestors received it.
Known Species with the Ability Edit
The Bakeneko, the Askari, and the Galiugalius are the three known types of shapeshifters whose ancestors bargained for the ability. All are considered "false beasts" and looked down upon by "true beasts" (normal animals). "False Beasts" have only two forms: their natural, animal form, and a human form.
The Law of Changing Form Edit
The Law of Changing Form means that no matter the form a shapeshifter takes, their eye color and some form of their pelt/hide color will carry over from their natural form. The purpose is not to render their disguise useless, but to make sure that if one pays attention to details they can spot them. This "law" also effects characters who are redesigned since it went into effect roughly in the late 1990's.
Illusion Vs. True Shifting Edit
Those born with the ability can shapeshift in two ways. One is does not actually change them, but creates an illusion that fools the mind(s) of those who see them. The other is to truly shift and change form. Not all shifters can create illusions, but all species listed on this page can truly shift form.
Shapeshifters gain the ability at different ages. For most of the false beasts, it is often the age their true form would die in the wild. For the gifted, it is triggered by puberty. In both cases, emotional turmoil can delay the development.
When a shapeshifter takes another form, holding that form takes physical energy. Illusions will take less, but both are draining. It is not unlike the toll taken by physical activities such as weight lifting or walking. And if they hold the form too long, they will not have the strength to change back. They will collapse, too tired to move never mind defend themselves and will eventually die of exhaustion as the form continues to drain their strength. Most are aware when they are cutting it close and will excuse themselves or simply bolt.
Taking another form does not change the mind or the values of the creature themselves. Even in human form, a wolf is still a wolf, and will act accordingly. While they can learn to mimic the behavior, they are incapable of thinking like the species whose form they wear. If one pays attention on can usually spot the little differences.
Some species have effects unique to them, which will or will be covered on their pages.