About three centuries ago, however, evidence was unearthed that indeed the mind remains untouched by the change. Of course, even if news travel fast, not everyone today knows or accepts this. It might take shapeshifters centuries to regain acceptance.
"Naturally, the shapeshifters fulfilled a role in society that, when left empty, created a hole that we only now slowly begin to understand."Shapeshifters are spell users, whisperers, or were born with the ability. Whisperers can only change slightly. Spells are powerful, but don't last very long. Born shifters, depending on skill, can change their appearance or physiology indefinitely, and turn into creatures or even things. These are still feared today even by openminded experts.
— Vatarna, mage, in a lecture
Although it's hereditary, few shapeshifters are born. It's more likely to have shifter children when the parents shifted much, but most shapeshifting is done with spells. Much spellcasting in turn means the children are likely to be speakers, and speakers are never shapeshifters.
"The elves were the first to jump at the chance of changing their outsides. I suppose it was to be expected - if regular twins want to be different, how must it be to look like everyone in town?"
— Blinai Namtoneh, historian
I had created a huge war with shapeshifters early on. The logical conclusion was that shapeshifters would fall victim to genocide; prejudice and paranoia would bring anyone to the gallows who was suspected to have the gift. I then found that I robbed myself of a charming magical feature of fantasy worlds and thought hard how to get it back. I finally decided that the relentless effort and insatiable curiosity of the mages could rediscover the truth, and here we are.