As The Chips Fall
The Second Law - Never Transform Another
The image of a witch turning someone into a newt is a popular and even amusing notion, but in the eyes of the White Council it’s a deadly serious matter—emphasis on deadly. The Council views such transformations as tantamount to murder, and they’re pretty much right on the money for one simple reason—human minds like to stay at home in familiar human brains. Transform someone into a newt, and you’ve just tried to cram a human mind into a newt’s brain; such an effort (if you’re even bothering to attempt it) usually ends in near-total destruction of the target’s self. Even if you could manage such a feat, the psychological shock the victim undergoes is bad enough that it would make no actual difference.
Not to mention a lot of transformations are pretty ham-handed by necessity. Warlocks attempting such a change usually aren’t well-versed in the ins and outs of human and animal biology, so they have to “fake it” with the new body, putting it together based on an intuitive understanding of how it all fits together. As a result, the new body doesn’t have much of a shelf life once the sustaining magic gives out, as improvised organs rapidly fail.
To take it a step further, let’s suppose you could manage creating the physiology of a tiger but wanted to keep your target’s brain intact—transforming him into a big-brained jungle cat. So how’s that work, exactly? Know of any successful human brain into tiger body transplantations in modern science? Very simply, it doesn’t work—as bad as a spellcaster might be at creating a known different body type out of someone’s flesh, creating an unknown body is even more trouble.
Suppose, however, that you’re able to pull it off—build a designer body, keep the mind intact, and keep the mind from freaking out and ripping itself apart inside its brand-new noggin. To an extent, you should be congratulated—you’ve managed to avoid actually destroying someone in order to accomplish your goal. But you’ve still stuck this hapless soul inside a new body that they don’t have an operator’s manual for. Will they even know how to eat, walk, or do other basic survival tasks? Probably not. In the end, your victim’s in a bad way however it shakes out—death in a variety of sudden messy ways, or at best, life imprisonment in a body that is not their own.