Catmen

Catmen play a very important role in Legendworld. Catmen are a sophisticated race in Legendworld that resemble large humanoid cats. They walk on their hind legs, they communicate with intelligent speech, and they create art and music. Much of the life of catmen is duality. A peaceful side and a chaotic side. Catmen become knights, clerics, and noblemen. Catmen are a very formidable race, they have a strong sense of honor and are ferocious fighters.


Appearance

Obviously, catmen look like cats. Depending on their heritage, they may look like a tiger, lion, jaguar, puma, cheetah, leopard, or lynx. The largest catmen (tigers) grow around six feet tall, and the smaller ones (lynxes) grow about five feet tall. Their bodies are covered with fur which helps camouflage them. They are usually quite athletic causing them to be slim and strong. They have sharp teeth and claws. Their pupils are that of cats. Their ears are on the top of their heads. They still have tails. Catmen paws are more articulate than normal cats, but they still don't have as much manual dexterity as humans so they can't grip small objects. Catmen live for around 65 years.


Habitat

Catmen can be found all over Legendworld. The lionesque catmen are found in the the plains and tundra, the cougaresque are found in the mountains and hills, the tigeresque live in the jungles and some of the tundra, etc. However, much like humans, they have the ability to live comfortably in nearly every location on the planet.


Culture

Catmen get their food from hunting, fishing, and keeping small farms. Most catmen refuse to keep livestock because they view it as a weakness. A proper catman should be able to catch his food. Catmen are wise to the ways of nature and they will never hunt a region dry. They would rather move to a location with more plentiful food. Even though they respect nature, hunting is a major sport for catmen. Catmen are omnivorous, but eat meat more than anything else.

Most catmen keep a farm large enough for their family in order to grow various crops. Some of the major items they grow include black tubers and hard corn.

The catman language is fairly common amongst the entire race. Although there are slightly different dialects and accents, most catmen speak the same language. The language is very cat-like consisting of growls and hisses. Catmen have a hard time learning how to speak other languages, but they can learn to understand them just fine. Most other people have a hard time learning the catman language.

The writing system that catmen use is rather simple. Every letter starts and ends in the same spot, and none of them require a lifting of the writing utensil. This allows for a very fluid system of writing. Each letter represents a sound a catman can make. Catmen scribes will often hollow out their index claw to act as a reservoir for ink because their paws cannot grasp tiny objects like quills.

The males of catmen are usually farmers, politicians, knights, and clerics. The women are usually the hunters and trainers of the children. Catman society favors males over females.

Catmen are advocates of honor, and place it above all things. The protocols of conduct are very strict for catmen. Breaking protocol is a very serious offence. Catmen society is very strict and structured. There are many social taboos that everyone is expected to shy from. Catmen families are very important. A family gains respect and honor for succeeding in life. They lose honor and respect by failing and having lazy worthless family members. Keeping your word and not lying are very important to catmen. If a catman lies or goes back on his word, the punishment is severe.

In order to get family honor members of the family will choose important careers and lifestyles.

Peasant - Families with low honor will become hunters, farmers, fishermen, etc. Their life is pretty basic. They visit the temples often and have good strong bodies and logical minds.
Knight - Most often in the Order of the Lion. Very strong, very strategic. This is an important lifestyle to catmen and is considered a great honor. A discharged knight is a terrible thing to have in a catman family.
Soldier - Knights are employed by the Knighthood, soldiers are employed by high class families for protection from other families. It is considered an honor to be a soldier, but not as much as a knight.
Mage - Catmen rarely become mages because they are not very fond of magic. Catmen mages are looked down upon by other catmen. Catmen believe that their body should be enough to sustain them at any cost. Having to rely on reagents, weapons, and things of that nature is a sign of weakness.
Cleric - Many catmen become clerics. Clerics are honorable roles, but not as honorable as a knight or soldier.
Artists - Although good artists are respected, they are not supposed to come out of high class families. They come in different styles including, dance, music, paint, etc. Artists are often employed by nobles.
Nobles - Catmen, because of their high regard to honor have many noblemen in their society. These people have large quantities of money, and they utilize it wisely. They often employ peasant catmen to live on their property to farm and hunt for them, because they cannot be burdened with such mundane tasks. Nobles are just very successful families.
Royalty - The royalty of catmen is very defined. Catmen have a large ranking system, the royalty being at the top. Royalty is earned through family honor, not through heritage. It is possible for a low class family to rise in honor over time and become royalty.

Other things that positively effect family honor include sacrifice, victories in battle and sport, and spirituality.

Catmen government is not a monarchy, it's a oligarchy. Each great family is its own kingdom with its own laws and military. The families are often at odds, but rarely at war.

Catmen are very solitary people. They usually keep to themselves and spend a lot of their time alone. They are also very quite, and usually only speak when it's important. They are also very passionate about several things including physical training, meditation, combat, art, and life.

The catmen clerics are very devout and enjoy worshipping their chosen angel. They worship Starr, Daine, Pheonix, Karei, or Bane. Catmen temples are very elaborate. All catmen are expected to worship at least one angel.

Catmen aren't very technologically inclined and usually shy away from inventions. Instead they try to live a simple life with beautiful tools. Most of the architecture and tools of catmen are made with beauty in mind as well as function.

Art is very important to catmen. Artists usually come from lower class families and are employed by upper class families. Painting and calligraphy are the most important styles of permanent art. Music and dance are also very important.

Catmen will often gather for a tournament to test their physical prowess. They will compete for notoriety through their various martial arts. Winners give honor to their families.

Even though catmen are very solitary, they do occasionally have formal parties. These are where couples are usually matched for marriage.

Catmen are fond of games based solely on strategy.

Catmen often keep lesser cats as pets. They have a great respect for these cats and treat them very well.


Combat

Catmen walk upright most of the time, but during combat or times of quick sprinting they will can go on all fours. Catmen rarely use large weapons relying on their natural claws, or metal claw fixtures, and their teeth to fight with. They wear light armor that's easy to maneuver in. They are natural warriors and very fierce in combat and can become very animalistic and ferocious. Catmen are fast and agile, and are quite strong, as it is part of their culture to remain in shape. Catmen are also great strategists in battle.


Creation

Catmen were indirectly created by Starr and Karei at the same time. Both were trying to create a new race, and their creation became the catmen. This shows in their natural dualism. They are both honorific with order, and warriors of great chaos. During peaceful times they are children of Starr, but during war times they are children of Karei.

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