A changechild is a creature who undergoes extreme magical modifications to its body. A changechild can begin as a human or some other creature, though human-based changechildren frequently conduct the modifications themselves. The type of magic involved is similar to that used by the Tayledras and their Kaled'a'in fore-bearers to create the Shin'a'in battlesteeds and the Tayledras bondbirds. However, in the creation of a changechild the technique is taken to an extreme that the Shin'a'in and Tayledras consider to be obscene.
Changechildren are often created by accident, and the Mage Storms following the Cataclysm created many, as did the Changecircles caused by the Storm echoes several milennia later. In some cases, creatures were made much larger and more dangerous, especially if they were given an intelligence boost as well. In other cases, multiple creatures caught together in something like a Changecircle might be melded together. This is what happened to Ree, who acquired many physical characteristics of both the rat and the cat he had been near when a Changecircle caught them. As this sort of accident often creates dangerous monsters, it is fortunate that few of these changechildren survive, and those that do usually cannot reproduce.