Catfolk are optimists in all respects. They take life as it comes, usually with much laughter and merriment, and never look to the future, past, or indeed the present. This outlook sometimes does more bad than good, but Catfolk are quick to make amends, and even quicker to forgive themselves. In battle they are quick and lively, leaving their enemies confused and bewildered as to what they will do next, but even after a battle they are a nuisance, sometimes trying to make friends with their captives.
Catfolk get along well with members of just about every other race. They admire those who live in the wild more than city dwellers. Because of this, they seek out the company of halflings, wood elves, and gnolls. Catfolk have a hard time understanding the slow, steady approach that dwarves take to life, and the two races have little in common. Because they are such opposites in both temperament and physical abilities, catfolk and dwarves rarely enjoy the other’s company, although no real animosity exists between the races.
Catfolk admire adventurers and see accomplished adventurers as great assets to the tribe. The nomadic catfolk life is fraught with danger and unexpected encounters, and the life of the typical catfolk is more akin to that of an adventurer than the life of a typical human or elf. The life of the town or city-dwelling catfolk is less dangerous, however, all catfolk tend to be more adventurous and restless than other races.
Catfolk express their opinions quickly and expect others to do the same. Catfolk can listen to others patiently enough, but once they have expressed a clear opinion, they expect the conversation to come to a conclusion quickly. They have little time for those who attempt to persuade or debate by simply restating their opinion. They grow bored when others take a long time to reach a point or who view an exchange of opinions as a trial of endurance.
Catfolk live to the northeast of Cambria. (Think of catfolk like an Asian or Arabic Race) They live in a warm, dry desert environment which is the climate they prefer. They tend to live in tribes which are broken down further into familial groups. Catfolk have only a few of established cities or towns, however, most like to stick to the nomadic, traveler lifestyle. Catfolk are not known for being inventors, but for being innovators. They, naturally being curious, love to take existing technology and just tinker with it. The results can be…disastrous or fortuitous. Bast carries one such example of this tinkering. His father loved to experiment (much to the dismay of his mother) with black powder weapons of the most advanced kind he could find. After much trial and error and singed fur, his father came up with the modified double-barrel shotgun that Bast carries slung over his back. He was able to carefully modify the barrel and the firing pin mechanism in such a way that the gun is far more reliable than many other shotguns of the same make and model. However, there was a tradeoff as it seems the bullets fired out of this shotgun sacrificed power for reliability. The shotgun, normally forged with very tight tolerances (very little space between moving parts, so very little space for error, like an m16 or m4), was changed so that there is more room between moving parts which simultaneously makes it easier to find or make replacement parts for the gun and allows the gun to “breathe” more. With more room between parts the gun (more like an AK47) the gun can be dirtied and abused and neglected and still be reliable and work. However, due to the increased tolerances in the gun, the gas has more places to vent out of instead of being trapped in the barrel with the only escape being through the barrel. Thus, the gas does not aid as much as it normally would in hurling the projectile down range with as much force as it used to.
The catfolk, whether in nomadic group or in town/city will have a hierarchy that is generally the same all around. There is usually one main elder, usually a magic-user who is studied and well travelled. There is then a council of up to 9 sub-elders who represent the different interests of the people. Most decisions will be decided by the council only with the Elder occasionally giving his opinion, advice, or even vote. He can lend strength to a decision or make the decision a tie so that the issue can be revisited. There is a huge emphasis on ancestor worship and so the Council and Elder will often times retire to a special building designed for the express purpose of communing with the ancestors. This is only done for the most serious of decisions, both to respect their ancestors and because the ancestors have earned their rest. Cats hate to be disturbed while resting. Every year, the Elders will get together with the largest issues that potentially affect all catfolk. The Supreme Council and Supreme Elder will congregate at the largest City. At this time many people from all the surrounding regions will form caravans and go together with their elder to the city and celebrate the year. They themselves form a council of 27 (there being 27 elders to represent the 27 different tribes, towns, cities, etc.) plus one Supreme Elder elected by the 27 from among the nation. The Supreme Elder holds the title for life or until voted out.
In general, catfolk get along with most races. They tend to be friendly towards most races, however, are quick to judge based on first impressions. Humans have been judged to be “friendly enough” but are kept in low regard amongst the cat folk as they tend to think they are above the other races. Catfolk tend to reflect back the treatment they receive. If you are friendly and polite to them, they will be friendly and polite to you. If you are aloof and haughty, they will be as well and they will throw in their own sarcasm and insults to bring you down a notch or two. Catfolk diplomats sometimes get themselves and their race into trouble.
Bast was born into a modest family in one of the few established towns amongst the catfolk – Tendrimar. Tendrimar had a well earned reputation – A third of that reputation for drawing in the eccentric enthusiasts of the new black-powder technology; another third of the reputation was for the way sensible folk avoided this town. You see, Tendrimar was no stranger to the sounds of accidents (usually in the form of explosions) due to all the tinkering and experimentation with black-powder and anything else technology related. Despite this reputation for tinkering and experimentation, the Tendrimarians were generally very careful and methodic in their practice. Any accidents were generally well controlled and caused little collateral damage. The last third of Tendrimars’ reputation comes from the fact that it produced the absolute best modifications for firearms to be found.
As a child, it seemed like Bast had an endless amount of energy. He devoted his abundance to pranks, tricks and mischievousness. It is important to understand that Bast never did anything out of hatred or revenge – he just liked to laugh and have a good time. Sometimes he took things too far but never out of malice. Bast was always larger than the other kits and unfortunately did not seem to know his own strength. The ‘folk were always telling him to be careful around others because of his size and strength. He just did not understand exactly what they meant by be careful and so at times, kits would get hurt and Bast would feel terrible. It is important to understand that the ‘folk are generally jovial and fond of jokes and the occasional prank. Most catfolk seem to instinctively know where the line is and so jokes rarely go too far and almost no one is hurt by them. Bast, however, seemed to be blind to this particular line and sometimes people got hurt.
One serious example of this is occurred early one morning. Bast thought that one of his Maestro’s (Teacher) was too serious and could use a good joke to loosen up a bit. Bast woke up bright and early and found a good perch right over the doorway of his Maestro. He balanced with one hand and held a bucket of egg yolk and flour in the other. It was the Maestro’s Mewlingday (Birthday) and so Bast thought he would give him a cake (some assembly required). This particular morning, however, the Maestro was in a hurry and so kicked the door open quite hard. As the Maestro was hurrying out, Bast overbalanced from the force of the door being kicked open. Down tumbled Bast, bucket and all, right on top of his Maestro. There was a loud snap as the Maestro’s leg broke under the weight of the fall and unassembled cake went everywhere. Bast stood up and dusted himself off as best he could, unaware as yet that his Maestro might be seriously hurt. He began to apologize profusely until he noticed that his Maestro had a large gash in his head and that his leg was bent funny. Realization finally dawned on Bast and as gently as he could he picked up his Maestro and hurried him off to one of the healers. Bast had to work for two years as indentured servant to his Maestro for recompense.
After the fiasco with his Maestro, Bast faced expulsion from the educational system in addition to his indentured servitude. Bast’s father stepped in to intervene, stating that Bast had boundless energy and just needed somewhere better to direct his energy than with pranks. Up to this point, the only thing that could keep Bast’s attention for any amount of time was working with gunpowder and guns. After several weeks of looking for other things to occupy Bast’s attention, his father and Maestro struck upon two different things. The first was anything related to skills with the sword, the other being Magic. These seemed like the only subjects that could get Bast to actually sit down, keep still and study for any amount of time. He seemed to have a natural aptitude for both activities. His instructors in the sword argued with his instructors for magic and vice versa as to who would have more time with him. He picked up both with ease and each set of instructors thought that their subject was most important. The matter went disputed for a long time until the year-end festival. At the festival, Bast saw a display of power that was unequaled by swordplay or magic by itself. There were several Magi at the festival who were looking for pupils and a place to live and study the catfolk. These Magi were Drakenbred, or half-dragons who had come down from the nearby mountains that border the desert. The Krth’naal Drakenbred are about the same size as your average humans, but have spiny scales covering their bodies. They have normal skin, with patches of spine-covered scales along their jaws, shoulders, forearms, shins and feet. These scales range in color from gray to bone-hued, and are the same color as their hair. Their eyes are raging colors of red, blue, green, orange, yellow, purple and sometimes brown. They generally have two long horns that protrude from their eyebrows and sweep backward along their skull. Bast and his father invited one to join them at their town, to study the ‘folk and to train Bast and any others who would join.
Bast spent the majority of his time practicing or being instructed, finding little time for his previous pursuits. As Bast grew in skill he began to experiment with his magic and firearms and other weapons. Bast, unlike most Tendrimarians, did not take very many precautions when doing his experiments. An idea would occur to him and he would just go ahead and do it. One of these so-called experiments destroyed an entire city block, causing enormous amounts of damage and wounding and killing many folk. That last experiment turned out to be the last straw for the council of Tendrimar and so the council unanimously voted to oust Bast. He would only be allowed to return on the conditions that he grow up and learn caution, make recompense for what was done by supporting those who can no longer support themselves because of him, and come back with some discovery or artifact that can enhance the lives of the folk.
On his first night out of the city, Bast was feeling quite depressed, but, resigned to his fate. A black katana appeared amongst Bast’s gear and he was baffled as to how it got there. It was perfectly weighted and as he held it, he knew that its’ name was Stormbringer. An image of lightning seemed to run up the blade and flashed as the blade turned. His spirits immediately brightened and he knew there was more to the Sword than met the eye. After weeks of travel he suddenly began to have conversations in his head and began to recognize that many of the thoughts were not his. As his awareness and sensitivity to magic grew he realized that Stormbringer was indeed speaking with him somehow. Eventually a complete telepathic connection was made and Stormbringer finally was able to explain that it had a purpose that it might reveal late, but, was content to accompany Bast on his travels.
Over his travels, Bast has grown up. He has sent letters of apology and sent back trinkets and money to those he wronged. He continues to write letters to those he wronged as well as to his father. With each letter he sends money and a trinket by way of apology.
Bast has decided that he will not go by his full name of Bast Aman’Kor until he has redeemed himself in the eyes of the entire town and has been accepted back as a full citizen of the nation. He is known only as Bast Kinless.
As Armen places his hand on your shoulder, you are pulled into a dream. Immediately you can tell that this is the dream you have been having for months, yet something is different…
You move forward through the ancient hall, the sunlight glistening off the armor of the Elves that line each side of the aisle, their faces adorned with tattoos. Clutching the large, leather book to your chest, you take a deep breath as you near the alter. Two large elves; One male, one female, dressed in robes made from the leaves themselves, await you. The female fixes a stern gaze on you, you are just a child before them. Are you ready to become the Guardian of our History, the Priestess of the Hunt?
Your breath catches..No, her breath catches, as she struggles to maintain a composure in front of her people. A strong nod answers the female.. Yes, Oracle. She speaks with the voice you would recognize of a young woman, but by the standards of the elves, she must be barely a child. With that, the male oracle takes the book from her, opening it reverently upon a pedestal. He begins to read aloud, talking of the tattoos that the Gladeborn take upon themselves to remind future generations of what they guard: The Chronicle of the World.
The younger elf takes her place upon the alter, lying still, but you can feel her anxiety as the female Oracle bring a tattoo quill to bear. Beginning to etch the markings upon the girl’s face, you can feel the pain she feels, each jolt reminding her of the oath her people made at the beginning of time. Suddenly the Oracle jerks up over the girl, dropping the quill before falling back, an arrow embedded within her chest.
The entire hall erupts as elves move to protect the remaining Oracle, and more importantly: The book and it’s Guardian. Hundreds of more arrows rain into the hall, felling elves all around. With a start, the girl rises to her feet, drawing a short sword from the belt of a dead guard just a few feet away. As the twisted, dark creatures enter the hall, they are met with a well trained force of elves, and the tide is quickly turned back before the creatures are routed back, the sun still reflecting off the armor of those who give chase to the creatures. The girl turns back to the dead Oracles, the male corpse peppered with arrows, and she takes the book, closing it gently. Looking to a elf in ornate armor, she speaks with authority, her anxiety gone: Cast the surrounding lands into the water…I am leaving. With that, she moves past the man, leaving the book upon the dais, leaving her people to a an uncertain future.
Suddenly the dream shifts, you are standing in a place void of light save for a pool of water, the water surges out, shaping itself to a form. As it drips away, the world around you shimmers from place to place, many buildings, many cities. Where the water was stands a beautiful elf, her eyes on you. Tattoos adorn her face and body, and all that covers her modesty is a torn a tattered robe. You know her, she was the one who sent the dreams, she was the one in the dreams. ..She was the Guardian. A smile forms upon her face as she speaks to you: I am Eylunae, Guardian of the Chronicle, Lady of the Coast. The voice echoes all around you, and you feel as if you should know this name. As Armen has told you, we all need your help. Break my seal, and together we shall lead our world, all worlds, to a better future, a future of free will. Stepping forward, she locks gazes with you. To awaken your soul, I bind ours, Elric. For all pasts, for all futures, we will destroy Her. Eylunae begins to fade back into water, stepping back from you. The world around you fades once more, you can feel something awaken deep within you. An innate power coming to life, coaxed from it’s nest by the whispers of another. You can feel yourself being reborn.
Awaken, Soul of the Storm, and unleash our wrath upon Her. You can feel Eylunae return to the seal, to fight that ancient evil. As you open your eyes, Armen has moved away, but where he had touched your shoulder, you can feel the burning of a tattoo, glowing bright white on your skin.
As you sleep, you begin to dream. This is not like the dreams that were sent by Eylunae, you cannot feel her presence within this. No, this is something different..
The temple of Angaroth, last bastion of life within your world. The miles of steps leading up to a summit marked the most defensible position left. One thousand warriors, and a larger number of non-combatants.. This was all that remained of the empire you served.
“Tarkus! I need you to ready the spell.” As you turn to the source of the voice, you look the rough, grizzled man over. High-General Daro, the only commander who had the sense to pull his forces from the slaughter that could barely be called a battle. Pulling a large leather-bound book from your robes, you nod to the man.
“Of course, High-General. I have already prepared the circle.” Your voice is thick in an exotic accent. It feels so foreign, and so strangely familiar.
Daro’s voice is commanding as he looks the circle and the book over. “Will this work, Tarkus? We don’t have much time.”
You contemplate this answer for a long while, thumbing through the book, the journal left behind by a great archmagus. Would it work? It seemed like such a fool plan.. You finally have an answer after the wait, looking up to meet the High-General’s eyes. “There is nothing else we can do.”
With a grim look on his face, Daro grins, clapping an armored hand on your shoulder as the warning horns sound. “Open the portal Tarkus, give our people a future.” With that, he turn and strode out. You could feel it in your very soul: You would never see that man again.
Turning to work on the incredibly complex spell, you lay the book on a pedestal in front of you..
At this point, it is clear that the dream jumps past it, as if the knowledge of the spell is not yours to learn..
The doors of the great hall slam open, with a squad of soldiers led by a Commander running in, closing and barricading the door behind them. You recognize the lead man as Wolf, the assassin that had joined the mass exodus from the Capital. As the men took position to defend this last room, you returned to the spell, igniting the circle of magic in the first stage of the portal opening.
The door is blasted open behind you..you cannot look, you must complete this spell.. With a blast of energy, the portal sunders open, the energy required can be felt in the air. In elation, you turn to tell the others to follow you, coming face to face with a massive man in black armor. His fist slams into your face, spinning you around. You see Wolf fall through the portal…at least one had made it..
The last thing you hear is a haunting laugh as the knight shoves his great sword through your spine.
Jolting up in the bed, you can hear the usual going-ons of Tora’Lan outside. You can feel the familiar presence of Eylunae as her voice echoes softly through the room..
“You did not fail. And there will come a time when life will demand everything from you once again.”
The world begins to blur and spin as you are drawn into a distant memory..
You slid over the fallen tree, pulling the crossbow from your back. Firing the bolt into the lead orc in front of you, you toss the weapon aside. As you round another tree the butt end of a spear caught you in the chest, sending you to the ground. As the orc raised his weapon to deliver the killing blow, his chest erupted in a shower of blood.
An elf dressed in tattered robes bounded over to you, tossing her staff to her other hand to help you up. “Come on, Hahlyen, we’ve got to get out of here.” Her cheerful smile stretched the tattoos on her face, mirror images of your own. As you regained your feet, you drew your sword. “Focus Nyn, I promised your father I’d get you to the coast. We are nearly there.” Even as you spoke those words, dozens more orcs came through the foliage. You pushed Nyn toward the coast, turning to face the enemies.
“Go! Take the boat and search for Armen, he’ll guide you!” You raised your sword, glaring down the charging creatures. Good day to die.
Again the blur began, and you are pulled to another memory.
The city burned around you, the rocks of the street dug into your knees as you looked around. Looking up, you saw him, the man who destroyed your kingdom. Seven feet tall and dressed in pitch black armor. He laughed at you, your destroyed armor, your broken sword..
“Eldric, you brought this upon yourself for joining them against the Tree. She chose us, and you betrayed her.” He raised his giant sword, and you answered it with a laugh of your own.
“I’ll meet you in hell, Braxas.”
Suddenly you were pulled from the memories, standing before you was Eylunae.
“Do not look further back than this, you’ll find only pain.”
And once again you were standing before Avaric the music box.
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Ring / Amulet / Etc.
|Name||Type||Bonus||Special Qualities||Name||Type||Bonus||Special Qualities|
|Sleight of Hand||Dex|
|Use Magic Device||Cha|
Special Abilities+ Add
|Light Load||Medium Load||Heavy Load||Lift Over Head||Push/Drag|