By StarGazer ([email protected])
Your eyes widen, kit. You do not believe me? Listen then, and learn; it was not the jaguars who ended the First Sun, nor were the basis of the so-called 'jaguar warriors'...but we. Is not the day-sign for the first age 4 Ocelotl, our own tribal name? Make no mistake, kit, we were the first.
Our ways are the true ancient ways, those of teacher, healer--yes, and trickster too. We may be small, but or wit's aren't dull. We can't always fight as well as some Bastet, to be sure, but always value your ability to think over brute strength -- it's the stronger of the two.
Do the Balam own the rainforest? Far from it -- little do the jaguars know how we watch all with the jungle. Let the brutes tear about after dogs and Asuras -- while we make strikes at the heart of the blight.
What? You ask if we keep to the rainforest like our brute cousins? Of course not. How can Asuras, Tezcalipoca, the Dark One, be stopped if we are not there to stop it? Travel about, kit; there is always more to do and learn. Being too insular means death by stagnation. One last thing I will tell you: don't be afraid to take chances. While the Balam shunned the Spaniards, we looked for the good among the evil, and their blood strengthened our tribe. In their hatred the Balam grow inbred and perhaps no little bit insane. Remember, the world is yours to play in; learn a little, maybe heal a little -- and never, never forget how to laugh.
For the Ocelotl, laughter is an important thing. It makes the hard times easier, and the easy times more entertaining. In the same vein, they remember that sometimes healing is as important -- or even more important -- than killing.
The ocelots pride themselves on their heritage as well, looking beyond the warrior Azteca and Tolteca to the eariler cultures, such as that of Teotihuacan. And so they claim Qutzalcoatl as their sire instead of Tezcalipoca. Quetzalcoatl taught them to heal, to dance and to laugh, they say, and in return for the great jest (a serpent, a feathered serpent -- paradox enough -- creating felines!) they gave him his ocelot-skin cap as a symbol of the tie between them. The Ocelotl look to the past, but also to the future. And whereever it takes them, they intend to enjoy it.
Their Den-Realms tend to follow this arboreal pattern as well; their Umbral presence is an eerie mixture of rainforest canopy and Mesoamerican architecture -- and the Ocelotl prefer their homes to be as mazelike as possible. One of the most deeply hidden tribal secrets is the existence of Ocelotl Tona, similar to the ancestral Balam Den-Realms; these lush pockets of forest and spiritual power are guarded diligently.
Many Ocelotl have left the forest for the city, and have even spread to many other parts of the globe. In civilized places the ocelots tend to live in towers and skyscrapers, the taller the better -- the love of the heights can never be totally forgotten.
Their human Kinfolk are a widely varied lot; while many of not most are of central American or Hispanic blood, any and all races can and are found as Ocelotl Kinfolk, as a direct result of Ocelotl wanderings and curiosity.
The Ocelotl, although a rare tribe, have one clear advantage over their Balam cousins -- their feline Kinfolk. Unlike the Balam, whose jaguar Kin are fading fast, the Ocelotl mate with ocelots, margays, Goeffroy's cats, and other small spotted cats of the rainforest. While many of these cats are also threatened, they give the Ocelotl a stronger Kin-base to lean upon.
In feline form they are small, lithe and compact. Their fur color runs from tawny to deep gold or gold-brown, always spangled with black rosettes, spots, and blotches. In general they resemble any or all of the small spotted cats of the rainforest.
Initial Willpower: 4
Beginning Gifts: Treeclimber, Twigdance, Hide From Prying Eyes
Balam: Foolish, cantankerous louts who lost their true heritage long ago. Poor fools.
Bubasti: Dark cats indeed; too close to the edge. They should beware, lest they step too far.
Ceilican: Ah, there was a fine tribe! ...Or should I say is? Not all of us are blind, you know -- and we appreciate the jest.
Khan: They may have 'honour', but they're as uptight as our jaguar cousins.
Pumonca: For all their wandering, they seem to have little to show for it.
Qualmi: Their riddles are great fun -- and of fine substance..usually.
Simba: Black kings, these tainted creatures should be humbled, and right quick. Time to rub their faces in their deeds.
Swara: Why do they run? Foolish kittens, life's too full to spend it fleeing.
Uncia: What a minute, aren't they a myth or something?
Hide From Prying Eyes (1)
Treeclimber (1): As the level 1 common Gift of the same name. Most if not all Ocelotl learn this Gift first.
Twigdance (1): As the level 2 Khan Gift Ricepaper Walk. Ocelotl generally use this Gift for navigating wires, thin limbs, etc.
Fluttering Spy (2)
Itz Darts (2)
Soothing Touch (2)
Call Coatl (3)
Touch Of The Tree-Frog (3): As the level 3 Balam Gift.
Vision Cloud (3): As the level 4 Balam Gift.
Skin Of Itzcoatl (4)
Banish The Moon's Bane (5)
Dance Of The Breeze (5)
Defy Mictlan (6)