Return to Races
A lithe and graceful race, Catlines are a people who are only just beginning to integrate themselves into the realms, having emerged from the wild places of Mythmere to adventure the land with the ‘furless ones’. Said to be descended from a similar root to the centaur peoples of Mythmere, Catlines are the result of wild God Magics altering the structure of a band of roaming big cats into the graceful and secretive people that they are today.
A huge tome, written over the course of a lifetime, the ‘Guide to Norland’ has been created by human scholar Dahwyn to detail all aspects of life in the realms. The following extract may be of some interest to Catlines in the realm.
Excerpt from ‘The Guide to Norland’
Standing perhaps five and a half foot tall, Catlines have a lithe and muscular physique, that is perhaps best describes as ‘sinewy’, rather than strong. Their bone structure is light, yet tough, whilst their long tendons and elastic ligaments enable them to perform amazing feats of stretching and twisting, far beyond those achievable by other races. A long, flexible tail gives them an excellent sense of balance, and often acts as an indicator of mood by accident. Their low slung hips and relaxed stance often makes them look as though they are slouching, however, this is a natural side effect of the angled nature of their powerfully muscled legs. Catlines are able to leap great distances, due to their strong limbs and their excellent eyesight means that they rarely miss what they were aiming for.
Unlike the other races, Catlines sport slitted pupils, and large golden or green coloured eyes. They possess an unnerving stare, which can sometimes upset the more sensitive races. Amongst Catlines, particularly males, the staring contest is considered a vital element of determining social standing, with those that do not flinch from a long bout of glaring being considered socially ‘superior’ to those that give way. This custom, whilst inherited from their feline ancestors, was made a formal ritual by the wise Jaguar pride, when the race was seriously threatened by internal strife in the early years of the Cat people. Cataline vision also differs from other races in that they are naturally drawn by things that move. Originally a feature that made them the excellent hunters they are today, this unique adaptation means that Catlines have a hard time taking notice of unmoving details, and are forced to concentrate much more than other races if they wish to find secret doors, traps or other still features of a location. For this reason, Catlines make poor thieves, but excellent marksmen.
The fingers of Catlines are not as long, nor dexterous looking than those of humans or elves, and when relaxed, their hands tend to curl inwards into loose fists. Due to their feline ancestry, they conceal sharp retractable claws in the ends of their furry fingers. Catlines are able to extend these at will, but in moments of high emoting, often unsheathe them with out realising. This can easily lead to injury and ruined equipment.Similarly, Catlines are given to snarling when angry, bearing impressive meat rending fangs at the drop of a hat. These sharp teeth stand them in good stead for the entirely carnivorous diet that Phrall’s people enjoy. Catlines seem to have no preference for cooked flesh, over raw meat, though they often refrain from eating fresh kills in mixed race company, knowing that it can cause upset, and occasional fainting. Though the Catlines are at home using any type of weapon, and often excel with bows, they are not adverse to hunting bear handed, indeed, during the extended courtship rituals many of the prides insist on, the male must prove that he is a good hunter and provider by leaving fresh ‘hand hunted’ kills on the prospective brides doorstep.
Socially, the habits of the Catlines vary wildly from pride to pride, however, generally speaking, they are a cautious people, given to fast, and fierce emotions. They favor simple clothing, and complex ornament. All Catlines enjoy shining and dangling pieces of jewelry, and feathers and bells are also highly favored items of adornment. Trade amongst the prides is quite brisk, for all their stand offishness when with other races. Catlines are keen craftsmen as well as hunters, and due to the regulations on inter pride behavior that the lion pride instituted, there are regular festivals in which the Cat people gather and trade carved wooden goods, weapons, armour and string toys. It is very rare for Catlines to take mates from outside their pride, as extreme ostracism, and expulsion from the tribal homelands is the usual result of this.
The Catlines have a complex language that seems at first to consist entirely of yowling, snarling hissing an purring. The tongue of Mrrp is very difficult for non Catlines to learn, as it not only involves much use of body language, including tail position, fur fluffing and ear twitching, but also many different smells. Their race Godess, Phrall is said to have invented this language, however, no one has ever seen her to ask if this is true or not.
Catlines for their part, seldom speak of their mother Goddess”
Race Champion PhrallPhrall is the champion of the Catline race. Her symbol is a silver cat’s eye.
Phrall is seldom seen in the realms, as she firmly believes her children are fully capable of getting on with things on their own. She claims her presence can be felt whenever a kitten plays, or a Tom cat purrs. She has been known to appear at night, when the moons are in eclipse.
Pride Panther Considered the most dangerous catfolk to know the Panther pride seem to be responsible for most of the tales of unreasonable violence that circulate about the catfolk. Given to solitude and introspection the path of the panther is often walked alone. The panther pride have no time for anyone who intrudes upon their meditations, and can often lash out unthinkingly at people who interrupt their thought processes, hence their reputation. Curiously panther folk often mate for life, and make wonderful parents.
Coming from the warmer regions of the realm Pride Leopard are well known for their intense hatred of theold, and their love of water. Many of these catfolk make their homes near rivers or oceans, and spend their time hunting and killing all things aquatic. This life has made them robust and full of good humour. Catfolk of pride leopard can feel at home in any social grouping as long as there is wine, song and laughter. Cubs are seldom born to this pride, but their arrival is celebrated with great joy.
The numbers of this pride are steadily dwindling as the cream of pride tiger youth take it upon themselves to make their name as warriors. As muscular as they are determined, these catfolk are fearsome to behold when they are enraged. When a tiger sets his mind to something, he will achieve it, or die trying. The tiger pride have a natural affinity for swords and spears, and often prize their weapons above all other possessions. Due to the warlike nature of this pride cubs are encouraged to grow up as quickly as possible, in order to seek glory and honour in battle.
Whilst the males of pride tiger are impressive and very imposing, it is little known that the lion pride are the least warlike of all the catfolk. Given to ceremony and chivalry, the lion pride are very concerned with honesty and honour. This pride has a history of presiding over the disputes and wars that have peppered the catpeoples history. The females of this pride act as the warriors and protectors of their people, whilst the males take a less active role, preferring to act as judges and mediators. The cubs of the lion pride are considered the children of the whole pride, and as such grow up with a huge extended family.
The Jaguar pride are considered to be the shamans of their people. Often very quiet, it is to the Jaguar pride that Pride Lion come when they are unsure of a decision. Deeply spiritual, the Jaguar pride become enraged to the point of berserk when they discover people harming the beloved jungle. Each member of pride Jaguar has a very defined territory which they are loath to leave behind them. When a Jaguar pride cub comes of age, they are abandoned in the jungle to make their own way in the world, and to carve a territory for themselves.
Pride cougar make their homes in rocky and mountainous places, far from human habitation. They have a pragmatic and no nonsense attitude to life, with no time for the meditation of the panther pride the laughter of the leopards, the high falutin’ ways of the lions or the rage of the tigers. For many years they have not spoken with the Jaguar pride. Whilst the cougar pride take no joy in battle or killing, it must be said that they are rather good at it, making implacable foes. Cubs of the Cougar tribe are usually reared by their mothers alone, and many never come to know their fathers.