A therianthropic creature is any creature able to shapeshift into another creature using their inborn magical abilities. Therianthropics can be any classification; however, civilized and mundane can only transform into other species of their own classifications. Therians often possess other magical powers beyond shapeshifting. The majority of therianthropics are humans who are capable of shapeshifting into animals, although there is a considerable population of creatures who are capable of shapeshifting into other creatures.
Therians are very rare, and can shape-shift into any of their forms at any time, as long as they have enough magic to make the transition. Once a therian has transformed, they can hold the physical form for as long as they desire and have the magic to transform back. However, if a therian does not have enough magic to transform, he or she is stuck in that current form until their magic has recharged. Iron can prevent transformation if in a large enough quantity. Clothing and accessories do not transform with a therian, and subsequently may be damaged during the transition.
Shapeshifting is a born trait and cannot be learned. What a creature can transform into is based off of the region it is born into, or its parents’ abilities. For instance, a human born with the trait randomly will be able to shape-shift into a civilized creature from their region, such as a polar bear if in the tundra. This human would not be born the ability to shape-shift into a flamingo. However, if two therians that could transform into humans had a child, this child would be able to shapeshift into either or both of its parents’ second forms. Therefore, if a human-polar bear and a human-flamingo therian had a child, this child may be able to turn into a polar bear, a flamingo, or both. There is no size limit. A dragon could theoretically shape-shift into a mouse.
Therians are classified as how they are born. For instance, a human-giraffe therian was born human, but can transform into a giraffe. A giraffe-human therian was born giraffe, but can transform into a human. The specie that they are born in is called their birth-form.
Therians have the ability to reproduce through either of its shapes. A woman who can transform into a giraffe can have children with either a civilized male giraffe or a man, depending on her form. Her children have the chance to inherit the ability, but it is a recessive gene and is unlikely to appear. Human children will be more likely to inherit the gene than the giraffe children, as a majority of the therians are human, and therefore more likely to find a mate that carries the therianthropic gene. It should be noted that pregnant therians will lose the child(ren) if they change forms. So, if a therian becomes pregnant while being a human, she should remain as a human until the child is born, unless she wants to terminate the pregnancy.
A common mental disorder in therians is specie-dysphoria, where a therian feels distress that their secondary form is not their birth-form. This creates a complication in self-identity and self-worth, and may lead to a lack of self confidence, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms.
Therians may or may not have other magical abilities, and it depends purely on the individual. An individual’s magical power or abilities appears to be based off of the natural born form of the therian. For instance, a unicorn-wolf therianthropic is most likely more magical than a wolf-unicorn therianthropic, because unicorns tend to be more powerful than wolves magically. The magical characteristics usually follow what is common in the true form (what a therianthropic is born as) than what they are able to shape-shift into. For instance, hypnosis is a common magical ability for unicorns, while telekinesis is more common for wolves. A therian will retain the same magical abilities and power no matter its form.
Fey are an exception, breaking two major preconceptions of therianthropics. First, therianthropics are very common among Fey. Second, Fey can transform into civilized species, but not the other way around. No creatures, human or otherwise, are able to shapeshift into any type of Fey. There are no human-Fey, and no horse-Fey. There are however, many Fey-deer and Fey-dragons. Second, some Fey are capable of shapeshifting into multiple different forms. A Fey may be able to transform into a boar and a falcon, and may not even have to revert back to its true Fey form before shapeshifting into another one of its forms with practice. Greater Fey can transform into several different creatures, depending on the individual. The record is held by Gorphenal the Many, a Greater Fey who could transform into twenty-one different species. However, like with all creatures, Fey included, there is only a set amount of creatures that they can shapeshift into, and new forms cannot be learned, only born with.
Examples of Therianthropics: