Post by sage on Apr 4, 2017 10:43:46 GMT -6
Here is where I'll hoard my ideas for a Warriors-inspired universe, created solely for my own amusement and practice. I'm taking the series and sort of putting a 'Here's how I think the Clans would've happened' spin on it. My focus is realism and authenticity. So, no, I'm not writing about anything from the original series, right down to the names and location and even how they came to be. The stuff from the books never happened. Or, if it did, it happened pretty far away and has nothing directly to do with my setting or characters. The biggest things to remain are the naming and ranking system, and the way of life. You are free to draw inspiration [though, I implore you to create your own original ideas] from my fanfiction, and share your thoughts on it as well.
For now, the 'series' will be called The Cats of Wildwood:
The cats of this universe live in a place similar to northern California, where the beach gives way to the valley and a naturally-occurring forest named Wildwood. The setting covers a pretty wide range beyond Wildwood's reaches, leaving room for travel, outside forces, and so on and so forth. I imagine the original Clans altogether were confined to a pretty small, sizeable territory most of the time. Which is understandable and fine 'n' all. However, I feel that if they'd been given more room to stretch their wings, then perhaps the Clans would've formed differently.
Not everyone wanted to conform to the ideas of the Clans, and there was no law saying they had to. Felines of differing views could form their own societies, to fit their own needs. And they did, several cats branched off to form ragtag gangs, close family groups, and even a few organized factions.
In present day, there are # societies surrounding Wildwood, and I will tell you a bit (or a lot) about each one and how they function.
The original group. Before Tom and his followers settled in their barn, Mishka and Abel were the barn cats of Russian immigrants who came to America years and years ago to build a life. The husband and his wife are animal-lovers, with all kinds of livestock. For as long as they lived they took care of the cats living on their farm. The couple were not bothered by the cats when more and more of them started to show up and use their old, worn barn. The woman will occasionally leave out cat food, leftovers, etc. for the cats.
Mishka and Abel made it clear who they were loyal to (the humans), but they were still apart of the birth of the Clans. Their children would go on to be the founders of a more organized Clan unit, calling themselves "MeadClan". They defend the fields, pastures, crops, and barns fiercely from outsiders, predators, and the like. One barn serves only as an [occasional] hunting ground, while the other is abandoned and can serve as a camp or nursery (especially in winter). MeadClan cats are unique that they do not have a single camp, but multiple ones used at different times of year, and they are willing to be close to humans. They will even eat the food the humans leave out for them if it strikes their fancy, but most prefer the prey.
Appearance: MeadClan cats are extremely variant still, seeing as the generations are still pretty young since the creation of the Clans. The most common coat colors or patterns would probably be ginger, brown, tabby, and patched. As for fur length, long pelts don't pop up as often as short and when they do they are usually more medium-length. There isn't really one body type that is more common than another, it usually depends on how active in the actual Clan life the individual is. If they aren't hunting or fighting or training that often, they probably won't have a very good form.
Personality: As for the personality of the barn cats, they are fairly social, bubbly, and outgoing. They aren't as used to the harsher ways of the wild, the food they hunt is easy to catch, and the humans tend to give them what they require (food, shelter, water), so they are more ill-prepared than any other faction to live in the wild. Some of the other factions actually call them spoiled, lazy, even stupid or "not a true warrior" is often a common insult thrown at a MeadClan warrior to try to instigate a fight. However, they are not to be underestimated. MeadClan cats don't have to spend nearly as much time worrying about survival as the others do, giving them more time to observe and satisfy intellectual curiosities or pursuits. They tend to know more about things than the other Clans, making them pretty resourceful. They also tend to live longer lives than the other cats, as they die to casualties less. Even better, most kittens born in MeadClan will see it through to at least their warrior naming ceremony.
>>>(The other Clans tend to lose, statistically, at least half of the kittens that are born by the time they would've earned their warrior names, so the math might look something like this; there are 6 kits born one season. 2 die before they are 6 months old, 1 dies before it is a year old, 2 die while they are still warriors, and only 1 makes it to old age. These possibilities can be mixed and matched, as long as the result is at least half or less of the kits surviving to adulthood, and even fewer getting to old age. Cats in the wild tend to live short lives, but since this is a fiction we've stretched it by a few years. So an average RootClan or other wild cat's lifespan would be 6-7 years ((MAYBE longer, if they're lucky)). And since MeadClan are basically half-feral half-pet, they live for more; 10-15 years depending on health and care.)
RootClan was created when a group of the barn cats decided that they wanted nothing to do with humans, and wanted to leave the farm to have a home where they could be "more free." After a fight broke out over this topic, the barn cat clowder was split in two and RootClan was formed, moving into the heart of Wildwood.
BlossomClan was formed because of a she-cat from the Creed named Blossom, who left the sect because she no longer agreed with its beliefs and felt that she'd become 'enlightened'. She met with the leaders from RootClan and MeadClan, where MeadClan allowed her to stay with them for as long as she needed to. She was actually extremely vital to the survival of many sick cats who would've otherwise died. When she stayed with MeadClan, they were experiencing an epidemic of sorts caused by the rats they were eating. Blossom discovered that it was the rats in the first place, and she also introduced the Clans to medicinal herbs and how to use them. She introduced spirituality as well, and caused the belief of the afterlife through legends and stories. She also caused the use of the -star suffix, based on a legend about how an ancient giant cat became a powerful leader by jumping into the sky and plucking a star out of it. The light from the star became apart of him and anyone who saw him couldn't keep their eyes off of him, they would follow him blindly. The Clans decided to implement it into their naming structure, using it for future leaders to symbolize how unquestioningly loyal their Clans would be to them, but also to remind them of the weight they carry with that knowledge. Blossom stayed in MeadClanfor a time as the cat who revolutionized the Clans and as the first-ever medicine cat. She had kits and later on started a Clan right beside the other two.
Not sure what else to call these guys, so for now 'those darned Orchard Kitties' will do... This is a group of no more than somewhere between four-six cats who have lived on the orchard either through the generations or arriving via humans. Their ancestors were living on the orchard before even the time of Mishka and Abel. They're very smart when it comes to human things and not to mention crafty, but actually they don't hunt often (and don't need to because RootClan does that job for them, so as far as their human masters are concerned the cats on the orchard are great pest control) and are seen as pretty lazy. As a general rule of thumb, they aren't really inclined to leave their orchard home, but they are surprisingly tolerant and understanding [and supportive] of the other groups of cats and the things that go on with them. They have given RootClan permission to use the orchards as a hunting ground and their pond as a water source (however, the rule is that they must never appear to the humans en mass).
Originally this was created and led by a rebellious juvenile who just wanted to break all the rules, and he had no intention of it becoming a violent gang. However, the group became greedier and more malicious in nature, and a much stronger force to be reckoned with than at first it was. They have caused many battles and disputes since their beginning.
In the universe I would like for a group to be extremely spiritual and more-or-less disconnected from the others. Not quite focusing on religious aspects but more-so spiritual stuff such as energy, auras, chakras, meditation, etc. It will be led, taught, and watched over by a hairless she-cat who calls herself the Oracle. She claims to have been gifted by some higher being, that she can see and hear things others can't. Things such as prophecies, long-forgotten secrets and stories, and on more than one occasion she has successfully foretold the future. She is regarded with immense respect by all, but her church is guarded heavily and she must request a meet with any outsider in question if they are to be given entry.
I like to think they live at the top of a very big, steep hill in an abandoned church. They are not really Clan-like, but more monk-like. I'll need to do more research here before I can really dive much deeper into this.
Personality: The individuals of this creed tend to be extremely peaceful and pacifistic, rarely trying to cause harm or problems. However, they are not open to outsiders and are actually very, very reserved and secretive. Rare is it to see a cat from the Creed wandering outside of the church's walls unless it is to approach one of the nearby factions. Not just any cat can 'join' them, either, they must be invited or valuable somehow. Some, who may or may not have been rejected by them, view them as self-entitled loonies.
(RootClan, MeadClan, agreed to follow these laws and to be respectful of them. Most factions and strays in the surrounding land have some idea that these cats follow a certain 'code of conduct'. If an individual is banished for breaking one or more laws, they will normally be talked about throughout the Clans and attacked on sight. As well, to affiliate with an outcast is to be an outcast. Some of these laws are actual rules that, to break them, could mean exile. However, others can be more like guidance, or values. That is why, when a law is broken, the offender is taken before each high ranking warrior from every Clan and he or she is judged accordingly. Sometimes, for extreme offenses, other factions have been known to involve themselves in this process.)
I. We must not purposefully bring harm to Man or the animals that he keeps, for Man is vengeful. [If this law is broken, it is said that all felines will be doomed if Man catches them thereafter. That is why it is the first law, and the one that is upheld at all costs. To repeatedly bring any type of grief to Man or Man's animals will result in banishment. This is because MeadClan heavily relies on Man, the history behind this law is actually that a RootClan hunting patrol killed some chickens and the man nearby set traps to kill those cats. After that, there has been a dog to guard those chickens ever since.]
II. Protect your den and your kin, defend your land and those within it, and keep out any who harbor ill intent. [This is not so much a rule as it is guidance, to anyone who ever ends up on their own somehow. This law is stressed as an important key of life, hence why it is the second law.]
III. Do not take another cat's life, unless out of dire need. [To murder another cat, especially in battle, is seen as an absolute last resort by almost all cats universally. The making of this law was a given.]
IV. Take care of those who have taken care of you. [This is a rough generalization, and can be translated to mean a few different things. a) if someone does you a kindness, you should return it. b) when your kin can no longer serve as warriors, take care of them and treat them as they have served for seasons. c) if someone has taken you in, don't turn your back on them.]
V. Mothers, kits, and the elderly must always come first. [No one else can eat before all of the queens, kits, and elders have. In case of a catastrophe, evacuate the queens, kits, and elders first. They must always come first.]
VI. To preserve your family name, take a mate who does not share the same blood as you. [There is an old story, with truth behind it, that is known almost universally by felines. It tells of a brother and sister who became mated and had a family. A generation or two later of the family breeding among itself, and strange birth defects started popping up as well as mental disabilities. Lesson learned. It is considered taboo to become mates with any closely-related cat, and since it's a law now it's even more frowned upon. Distant cousins as mates tend not to raise eyebrows, but it depends on who's looking.]
more to come...
ORIGINSI will write more about the origin story of the Cats of the Valley, but for now here's a sort of... quickly-put-together WIP timeline.
- A housepet [for lack of a better name, for now he is referred to as Tom] from the rural areas goes outside for the first time. He decides to leave home and "see the world". He meets an old, beat up stray who tells him a lot of stories about 'Man' (note how they are not called twolegs), and that Man only brings destruction and chaos to the world around him.
- The former housepet, with a fresh perspective, decides to escape to the countryside with the old stray and live out the rest of their days there.
- But the old tom dies suddenly before they leave, and the housepet realizes that he can't survive on his own. So he gathers up a group of 'followers', leading them to their new home.
- The group finds a huge farm with several other cats already there. The 'immigrant' group decides to settle. It worked out for about a year, but civil unrest broke out when some of the cats wanted change. The clowder split into two separate groups after a fight, one group stayed on the farm [MeadClan] and the other went further into the territory called 'Wildwood' [RootClan].
- When the one group went further into the trees, they discovered a band of cats on a neighboring orchard farm and made a "peace treaty" in exchange for a reliable water resource and a hunting ground.
- For about a generation, these two Clans lived relatively peacefully until they realized that, in order for their societies to succeed, they needed to add "new blood." Meaning, unless they wanted to die out without leaving any kin behind (which is one of the more tragic things that could happen to cats - especially toms - who could've reproduced so easily), they had to raise their numbers by bringing outsiders in. Word was spread, recruiters sent out, and in time their numbers swelled.
- The problem with inviting outsiders into a closed community that already has set traditions and rules... is that, generally, the outsiders will not all agree with the way of life.
- A rebellious juvenile left his home on the farm to cross the road and make his own gang in the open fields and rocky hills. He had a few, usually younger, followers who simply didn't want to live with rules and structure. They turned out to be pretty problematic for the other cats, being general nuisances but also causing real trouble too. To get the point across, they're usually regarded in the same way a horse might regard a fly; with low tolerance and vexation. I already have an idea of a name for their gang. They call themselves the Mountain Lions because they make their home inside of a cluster of boulders shaped like a small mountain and are pretty egotistical to compare themselves to the great predator.