Friday, July 8, 2011

Stray Cat Blues


For those in the know, the whispered mumblings of an urban druid on the corner, the boastful wails of alley cats in the night, and the raucous debate of an ad hoc committee of the Parliament of Crows in the trees, can all point to the arrival of royalty in the City. In any night-spot from Broad Street to Solace, one might run into the coolest of cats, the Cat Lord.

The Lords of Beasts are held by (human) thaumaturgists to be eikones imbued with the symbolic power of their animal totems. The lords themselves dispute this and claim they're the gods of their respective species--the remnant of a time before mankind staged a coup and replaced the democracy of tooth and claw with the tyranny of the tool-user. A lot of the Beast Lords are still angry about the loss of the old order, the old balance.

The Cat Lord keeps his cool. From worship in ancient temples to the pampered care lavished on them today, man's done alright by his folk, and he’s got children amongst humanity. Certain families descended from ancient cat-worshipping clans still change into cats when their passions are high, or the moon is full. Sometimes he runs into one of them and maybe his green eyes show a hint of paternal pride, but he ususally shows no more interest in them than his other offspring..

What does interest him is avoiding boredom--and he bores easily. Secrets interest him, but he mostly keeps those to himself.  Sensual pleasures pique his interest, but he tires of lovers quickly. He used to enjoy the hunt, but he’s old and jaded now, and only something really novel is worth the bother.

A meeting with the Cat Lord should be handled with caution. He's got knowledge of possible use to adventurers, but he may or may not be motivated to share it. To try and coerce him is earn his ire, and that’s likely to end badly. Becoming too friendly with him is unwise, as well; the road he walks can be a dangerous one for mortals, and his friendship is often fickle.

The most important word to the wise: Only a rube gawks at the sharp-dressed guy with a cat's head seated in the corner table.

17 comments:

iNews said...

Interesting post, I love your blog!

Logan said...

Why do I think at "The Cats of Ulthar"? ;)

Justin said...

I like it. Excellent use of BlackSad for a pic as well.

Trey said...

@iNews - Thanks!

@Logan - 'Cause when its cats, can Lovecraft be far behind? ;)

@Justin - Thanks. Yeah, I don't know if I'd have done this post without the great Blacksad image.

Needles said...

The lord of cats sits near the vat brew & of forgotten lore. Nearby the music keeps time to the rhythm & rime of days of yore. What do the fang & claw catch before the dawn of the door lest sun rise to quick. Watch the eyes lest they betray the sighs of man with a cat's head.

NetherWerks said...

Very cool. Can Bast or Sekhmet be very far behind? Both might be former paramours from long ago...

The Angry Lurker said...

That's an excellent bit of spin.

Brutorz Bill said...

Really enjoy these posts! Like Angry Lurker said, you've got a real talent for this sort of "spin". : )

Trey said...

Thanks guys. Glad you like it. I do enjoy these "reimagining" D&D tropes for the City.

@Needles - Nice! Mayhe they could be set to bongs as a bit of beat poetry.

@NEtherWerks - Exactly! I had even thought about alluding to that in the post, but didn't have a good way to make it flow.

The Onion Gypsy said...

can i second or third what they said!? really great blog, always enjoy it :)

Trey said...

Thanks!

seaofstarsrpg said...

Nor have the old cat worshipers entirely died away, though the Lord feel only a passing loyalty to his cultists. He does not mind using their clubs and raking in the free drinks and gambling chips. In return, he protects them from the predations of the Hell Syndicate.

Harald said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Next time I'm coming back as a cat.

Btw, there are many times where I see similarities between the City and Itras by. Which is an exceedingly good thing, imo :)

Trey said...

Thanks, Harald. I can certainly understand the appeal of the feline reincarnation. It's a cushy life most of them have got.

@seaofstarsrpg - Nice addition!

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

The Lord of Cats and Queen of Rats, were fighting in the street.

Click-clack, click-clack, the sound of clawed feet.

The Prince of Bats flew high above, watching on the wing.

Faster, faster, ever-circling.

Chitter, chitter, hiss and spit.

Rat, ratty, ratty, kitty kit kit.

----

It was an inspiring post.

Trey said...

Nice one, C'norr!

I'm glad it inspired.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Thanks! So am I.