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The Changeling is a creature with origins in the mythology, legend and folklore of Europe. In particular, accounts of its existence arose in the mythology, legend and folklore of England, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Norway, Scotland and Wales.
First and foremost, it should be noted that a Changeling is not a specific race, descended from one bloodline. Changeling is a general term for one child that has been replaced, as 'equal exchange' for the abduction of another.
Most commonly, it is a Fairy, Elf or Troll that abducts a human child, and leaves one of their young (or even one of their retiring elders) in place of the child they've taken. From there, the human child grows up in servitude, or as another part of this supernatural society.
In crueler cases, the human parents may not even receive a 'replacement child' at all; instead, the replacement might what is called a 'stock' (ie an object, like a piece of wood or a rock magically enchanted to look like the child). After a while, the magic might even wear off, so that the object goes back to normal. This, in the meantime, gives the appearance of the 'child' slowly deteriorating into poor health, and eventually dying (doubtless a traumatic experience for the parents or caretakers).
In either case, both the abducted child and its supernatural replacement are termed 'Changeling'.