When someone befriends an animal, s/he obtains the ability to unite their souls together and take on the form of that animal as well as its abilities. S/he also gain some properties of that animal even when they are no keener t transformed, such as resistence to cold or senses. If s/he really wants to s/he can half transforms taking on characteristics of the animal and their normal form
The cliff-hunters ride sheer-stalkers vertically down the cliff faces to reach the nests of birds and steal their eggs for sport. Sheer-stalkers are vicious agile lizards about the size of large komodo dragons. They must be muzzled and harnessed, but even so there have been some nasty incidents...