Of the beast kingdom, the Wild Cats Tribe is the most varied. They have three chief forms: Leopard, Cheetah, and Tiger. The bulk of the population consists of Leopards, as most of the Efferii of Harrowoods are born to parents of that same Essence. Leopards have three types of colour patterns, the typical gold coat with black spots consisting of 2/3 of the population, the midnight black coat consisting of 1/6 of the population (panther), and the gray spotted one consisting of the remaining part (snow leopard). Cheetahs have a tan colour with round black spots while tigers have coats of ochraceus, zinc, and capuccine hues of orange with chaetura black stripes. While the body of the leopard reaches slightly higher than the stomach of a grown human when standing on its four legs, the one of the cheetah is smaller and slightly more slender with a less muscular build. Tigers are the largest, usually matching the largest Wolf Efferii in size.
When in their human forms, the Wild Cats do not tend to have spotted or stripped hair. Their hair is usually of one of the colours of their coat, whether it is the white of the fur of their ventral parts, the orange, yellow or gold of their coat, or their black spots or stripes. A characteristic that they all share is their eyes, which remain of the same colour in all forms. A curious fact is that Efferii of this tribe retain their cat-like eyes for long periods after they shift back to human forms, and sometimes even permanently if the Efferii stays in his/her cat form for long periods of time. Cat Efferii have slender and lithe bodies with well-defined muscles.
Cat Efferii have keen senses, with excellent sight even at night and amazing balance for climbing. Their long whiskers help them feel their way through darkness, their bodies are lithe, agile, and of stealthy movements. They posses long claws to grip, scratch, and slash which they retract to their top-tips to keep them sharp. Their long, sharp teeth are used to bite and easily tear flesh. Cheetahs are of a lesser strength than their leopard kin, but are the fastest creatures of Nyxheim. Leopards are the most balanced, while Tigers are the strongest and most powerful warriors. All cats are fast and amazing sprinters, but they tire faster than the rest of the Efferii and need to rest for long hours to be able to perform at peak capacity.
Probably no other Efferii Tribe loves meat more than the Wild Cats. It is the one and only thing they like eating and few will eat anything other than that.
The Wild Cats view of life reflects the cruel reality they live in. Their Tribe has been at war for years with those who seek to destroy their habitat and their numbers have dwindled along with Harrowoods’ size. They are often bitter, skeptical, cynical, territorial, possessive, and generally distrustful of others.
Within the pard, relationships are different. They enjoy the company of their own kind, support each other, and help every member to reach their fullest potential. Cats also have a need of physical contact for emotional reassurance, and thus frequently rub against each other and sleep together.
Tigers, on the other hand, are solitary and particularly vindictive when dealing with matters involving others. Instead of joining packs, they form temporary traditional families (mother, father, children) that last until the cubs are grown. .
Habitat & Architecture:Edit
The great majority of the Wild Cats live in Harrowoods. Snow leopards prefer the colder regions on the high mountains of the forest, while tigers live closer to them on the higher grounds. The rest of the Tribe are spread all over the dark woods.
The Dynasty lives in a large stone palace surrounded by other stone buildings in the main settlement of the Tribe. It is called Verdeluz.
Cats are not really into crafting much. They have clothes and body ornaments but nothing too elaborate. Since they spend so much time on their feline forms, many do not even bother to build houses or shelters. When they do however, it is typically made of wood or stone.
Ever since they can remember, Wild Cats have been ruled by a dynasty of White Tigers. The title for “king” and head of the family is “Byakko”. Royalty is easily recognized by the fur colour since the white gene can only be found in their family. White Tigers are aloof, and they are only allowed to establish close relations with Efferii with Tiger Essences. Tigers are the most highly esteemed class in the feline society.
Cat Efferii form packs which they refer to as “pards”. They raise their cubs together and support each other. Not all pards have the same dynamics, which is why it is common for cats to leave the pard to find another more suitable for them.
Tiger cubs are typically raised solely by both their mother and their father and grow up to lead equally solitary lives.
All members of the Beast Kingdom learn to hunt—and sometimes fish—from their elders. Being primarily Efferii of action, they learn best by example. Due to the dangerous reality of Harrowoods, the upbringing of the cubs is very survival based, and they are taught how to handle Humans and Undead, when to shy away, when to hide, and when to extinguish the light in their enemies’ eyes. Skills passed among the Wild Cats are tanning, weaving, handcrafting, medicine, tracking, climbing, and stealthy killing.
Culture & Arts:Edit
The felines prize strength, agility, and beauty. Being beasts valuing movement, they are most fond of dances, sports, and any other activities that show off these qualities with plenty of movement, keeping the audience interested. They are not so fond of statues and other forms of “still art”. Pards are very social amongst themselves, although sometimes, territorial issues may lead to violence.
Shamans, who are often Tigers, are the spiritual leaders of the Tribe. They have a strong connection with Harrowyn, the Muse of Harrowoods. She sometimes speaks through them.
For long years the Wild Cats have defended the Woods to the best of their ability. It has cost them much, but they trust Harrowyn to provide. They have such a profound spirituality and connection with the forest that it is relatively common for some of them to be possessed by Harrowyn during battle, and the very earth and green seems to fight by their side. The most horrific experience in the memory of the Wild Cats is fighting against the undead corpses of those who were once their brothers. For that reason, they try not to leave bodies behind, and when in a rush, cut the heads of their fallen comrades to make sure they cannot ever rise again.-- Royal Seal 03:05, July 18, 2013 (UTC)