That the elves sometimes steal a human child from its crib and place a changeling in its stead has been known amongst the barbarians for as long as the witches can remember. Since the arrival of the Ambrians, changelings have started to emerge among them as well. While a rare occurrence, it is still a traumatic experience for every family affected. It is unknown what exact purpose the elves have for doing this, but Ordo Magica’s catalogue of known cases in Ambria implies that children have been taken throughout the entire population, literally from both high and low.
A changeling looks human during childhood and starts to develop more elf-like features in their adolescent years, though without ever becoming an elf in the true sense of the word. A changeling reaches adulthood approximately at the same age as a human; the changeling then continuous to live a long life but apparently without taking any further steps in the life cycle of the elves. This has made some scholars develop theories stating that changelings are a race of their own, created by elven magic. Others claim that changelings indeed are elf-spawn but that their natural life cycle has been truncated in some mystical way by growing up among humans.
A changeling’s lot in life is usually a hard one, since few of them are allowed to stay with their families when their true nature has been revealed. Changelings are sometimes taken in by witches or wizards to serve as assistants, but most of them end up on the street where they have to fend for themselves as best they can. Exiled from human society the changeling wanders a long and lonely road, often bitter and dark minded, in other cases frivolous and indifferent to the hardship of others.