Stories of people turning into animals are found in all cultures of Telar. The most common method is by magic, though calling someone like this a Shapeshifter would be an insult to the true Shapeshifters.
Shapeshifters can be born or are cursed (though not many born Shapeshifters consider it a curse). Those born tend to see their abilities as a natural extension of their body, like an arm. Shifting from their humanoid to their bestial form is like gripping a tool to them. Cursed Shapeshifters very likely have not been taught on how to control their shapeshifting powers, so their transformations come at times of great stress.
Most shapeshifters on Telar live in the nation of Kuumaa, a union of several dominions ruled by its Shapeshifter nobility. Aside from Kuumaa, most Shapeshifters tend to live regular lifes, as anyone else of their humanoid form would.
A special mention goes to Shapeshifter Halfbloods. It can happen, that the gift of changing shape is only given to the child incomplete, most often when a Shapeshifter has a child with a non-Shapeshifter. These children are born with the animalistic features of their parents side, with only limited abilities to take their bestial form, if at all.