THE FUJIN RIDING CAT

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING - USAGES - MYTH/LORE

Invisible in the jungle and everywhere the Krath cavalry moves, the Fujin Cat's pelt reflects the colour around its form so that only the barely visible outline of the beast can be seen. For the many enemies of the Krath Empire, their last moments were spent seeing startling yellow eyes float unattached in the air, followed by a brief flash of white teeth, a red maw, and a curious wondering where those set of teeth have come from. The Fujin, with its colour reflecting coat, were responsible for these wonderings.

The Fujin is a large muscular cat capable of both stealth and speed which serves as a military mount under the Grand Empire of Krath. It is believed that this magnificent beast is largely responsible for the massive military success of the Krath Empire. The Fujin’s capabilities of great speeds, as well as its colour reflecting coat make the Fujin the ideal cat for military use.

Appearance. A great cat of considerable stature, the Fujin is famed for its aggresive, intimidating stance on the battlefield. A typical male of this species can grow up to 3 peds at the shoulder blades with its head resting around 2 fores above them. Many differences lie in the shape, size, and build between the female and male of these breeds, although each possess the distinct fur of their kind. The pelt of the Fujin is believed to consist of sleek short and hollowed hairs that reflected the colours around the beast thus making the cat hardly visible despite its massive size. When a military general, whose name has been lost throughout the fabrics of time, captured and succeeded to come up with a way to tame these massive cats, the Fujin pelt’s colour was used to the army’s advantage.

Fujin males reach maturity at about 10 years of age and are typically 3 peds tall at the shoulders. They are at maximum, with their tail outstretched, between 4 to 5 peds long and they are believed to weigh around 10 to 11 pygges. The male cat's body is heavy and muscular in contrast to the lithe, trim body of the Fujin female cat. Also noticeable, the Fujin is its massive jaw muscles and sharp teeth; the canines of Fujin being about one palmspan in length. In addition to sharp jaw and thick neck muscles, the Fujin male is also noted for its broad forehead because of a extra bone plate in the Fujin’s forehead almost completely separated from the cat's skull except for some connective flesh at the top of the bone plate. The bone plate extends from just below the cat's ears to just above the Fujin’s eyes, and extends from ear to ear in length. The bone plate spans at its widest point around a half a ped.

Muscles in the neck, jaw, and massive forehead are crucial in both the male Fujin’s hunting style and mating rituals. See the Habitat/Behavior section for more details on how the male Fujin fought and hunted.

In contrast, the female Fujins are noticeably smaller than the males of this breed. A female Fujin which reaches maturity at 15 years of age stands typically about 2 peds in height. The females are at maximum, with their tail outstretched, between 3 to 4 and a half peds in length. A female Fujin typically weighs between 9 and 10 of a pygge. The female Fujin is also built noticeably different from the males.

Female Fujins instead of possessing the heavy muscle formation of the males are lithely built for speed and endurance. The legs of the female Fujin breed make up half their height at 1 ped. Most of their muscles seemed to be located in their legs according to pictures painted in the homes of the Peninsula of Shár region of the Empire of Krath by various artists, some of Krean origin. The female possesses a much slimmer formed head, and their neck and jaw area while still retaining the strength of the male Fujin are nowhere near the massiveness of the male Fujin. Like the male, the female Fujin possesses a massive bone plate underneath its forehead which spans about a half a ped in width. The female Fujin is noted for its beauty and it is often seen in pictures of a great cavalry men within the Krath Empire.

Both the males and females possess long tails about 1 ped in length, which they use to steer while maintaining the great speeds for which their breed is famous for. All Fujin cats are born completely clawless.
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Special Abilities. The male Fujin is believed to be capable of great speed and is rumoured to be able to cover two dashes in five blinks. These burst of speed are very brief however, and the male Fujin is not able to keep up its fast pace over a great amount of distance.

The female Fujin is also believed to be capable of great speeds, but it cannot obtain the fast speed of the male Fujin. The female Fujin is able to cover two dashes in half a minute. Unlike the male however, the female Fujin is  able to maintain these speed for a long period of time, and can travel without rest for several days at a time before falling over in exhaustion, which is what made it a perfect mount for the quick moving and always traveling army of the Earth Empire.

In addition to these massive speeds, the Fujin cats have a hightened ability of smell. This ability, though useful in the wild when tracking prey, couldn't be exploited by the Earth Empire for martial purposes. The colour reflecting fur of the Fujin however, is a great advantage to the massive cat and the military. Only the portions of the beast not covered by its transulent hollow hairs are visible. These parts include its bright yellow eyes, the red of its maw and the white of its teeth, and the black pads that make up the bottom of the Fujin's paw. The Fujin’s pelt, when it is wild, gives it a big advantage over hunters and its pray for the colour reflecting ability of its pelt makes it very hard to detect. This ability makes the Fujin perfect for stealth assaults or hit and run attacks, since they cannot be noticed until striking. 
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Territory. Originally found in the Peninsula of Shár, but after being successively trapped and tamed by the military the Fujin were spread all over the Krath Empire. It was said that in past times wherever one found a military base, one would find at least fifteen tamed Fujins.
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Habitat/Behaviour. The Fujin by nature are very solitary animals and although it wasn’t an unusual sight in ages past to see a small pack of females (usually consisting of around 2 to 3 Fujins) occupying relatively the same area, one would never see two male Fujin closer than 2 dashes away from their territory. A typically male Fujin territory is about 5 dashes wide, and 5 dashes long, although some are wider and others are larger.

Originally wild animals, the Fujin habits changed much when they were trapped and tamed by the military. Wild Fujin are now rarely seen since the Krath military discovered a method of taming the beast. Keran and Viaquis civilians were paid large amounts to report, track, and capture the wild Fujins by the Kratharian military. These paid captures, and reports dwindled the number of Fujin who remained free down to a clever (or lucky) handful.

In the military and in the wild, the males and females had two similar but different styles of hunting. However, since the Fujin shows no hesitation about killing anything that is smaller than them, it didn’t make much difference that the military used them to track humans rather than the Fujin’s natural prey.

Male Fujin hunt by laying very quietly in the leaf-litter and wait for their prey to approach. When prey is spotted, the male Fujin will burst from their cover in a great blast of speed and the releasing of their tensed muscles. The Fujin will then latch on to the exposed fleshy throat of their victim and rip about the air way of the prey. If there is no fleshy throat present, the male Fujin will tear at the softest part of their prey. It is also not unusual for a Fujin to attack a weaker animal, not for food, but for the pleasure of the kill.

Female Fujins, on the other hand, actively seek out their prey and will wander for days until they finds what can be regarded as a meal. When their prey is found, the female Fujin will stalk it briefly to determine the best time attack. The female Fujin kills her prey by latching down on the throat of their prey and then slowly using their powerful jaws to constrict the air way until the prey ceases to struggle.

Female Fujins are tolerant of other female presences, and will often form what is called a "click" with other females after she gives birth. A click is a group of three to four female Fujins which gather together in a single safe place to give birth to the young. At least two females will be left at that click's communal nest to protect the young from the male Fujin who do not hesitate to eat the helpless young or the smaller females. With the sole excetpion of the mating month, male Fujin view the smaller Fujins as a legitmate food source, especially when the ever hungry male have had no luck hunting elsewhere.

Male Fujin in contrast are very territorial and mark their territory with special scent glands built in the cats' cheeks and in the glands under the cats' tail. The scent is particular to each male, and a male Fujin will spend at least 3 hours a day checking and redoing the territorial marks surrounding his territory. A male Fujin’s territory usually consists of an area approximately 3 to 5 dashes wide. When an opposing male Fujin seeks to take over another male’s territory it will often begin by marking its territory within the others male’s territory as an open challenge to the controller of the area. Male Fujin will go nowhere without leaving some trace of their scent somewhere in the region, and this is especially true after the Fujin makes a kill.

Male Fujins however cannot stand other males in their territory. Therefore, male Fujins are constantly smelling their territory, and if they sense another scent that is not their own, they will actively seek out the other animal that belongs to that scent. If another male enters a Fujin’s territory, the male Fujin will stalk out the offending male until they find the competing male Fujin. When two male Fujin come within the region of each they will immediately roar a challenge to each other, and then begin to run together in what is called a "rut". The rut will last until one of the males dies, and the other Fujin male will feast off the loser’s flesh for days.
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Diet. The Fujin are meat eaters. They are not picky eaters however and will eat just about anything in the region that is smaller than them. Since they were captured for the military however, the Fujin’s main diet consisted of the flesh of any enemy’s of the Great Empire. In the wild, the Fujin’s favourite food was the great krog draught beast.

Fujin must eat at least eat 6 hebs in meat every day, and thus feeding the Fujin in mass could be an expensive process to anyone beside the Krath cavalry.
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Mating. Fujin begin to mate when they reach maturity, the male Fujin at 10 and the female Fujin at 15. Fujin mate once a year beginning in the month of the Fallen Leaf. The mating ritual consists of a male finding a female in his area who usually signals her willingness to mate by giving loud cat calls that resound throughout the jungle thus attracting several males in the area. These calls sound similar to the ‘meow’ of a cat but with a distinct growling noise to the call making it sound like a ‘merow’ instead of a ‘meow’. If more than one male approaches the female, they will rut until one of them dies. During the mating season only will the male Fujin leave the vanquished male's body for the Fujin female to feast of. A single male, with lucky and no surrounding competing males, can impregnate up to 10 females.

The mating ritual done, the male will leave the area in search of another female, and the female will begin to search for a high safe place to bear her kits (this is what Fujin young are called). The female will most likely be joined by other females in consideration of their young’s safety to form what is called a "click". See Habitat and Behaviour for more details on the click.

In the military, these mating rituals between the male and female Fujin are carefully controlled so as to guarantee a safe breeding.

The female gives birth to a single cub or kit in the spring in the month of Awakening Earth. She will raise the kit for five months before releasing it off on its own. If a kit does not leave its mother care after these five months are up, then it is not unusual for the female to kill her own young.
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Usages. The Fujin are used as a riding mount after a Krathians accidentally inserted the wooden pole he was using to defend against the beast behind the thick skull plate of the Fujin. The resulting scuffle ended up with him on the beast back followed by the discovery that when he tugged on either side, the Fujin beast went in whatever direction he tugged. Using this method, the man tamed the beast and then in great ceremony rode the thing to his military base.

Afterwards the pole was replaced by a thick metal rod extending a fore outwards from the beasts skull. The rod has metal loops on either end so that reigns can be attached. A Fujin beast is usually tamed at 5 years of age by a man riding on the Fujin until it begins to obey its will. A Fujin in this state is called "broken". After being broken, male Fujins are used as scouts due to their great speed and their intolerance of the presence of other males. Females, however, are used as the main mounts of the cavalry.

Other than riding beast and war beast, the Fujin pelts are also used once the beast dies. When a Fujin dies, the Fujin would be skinned and then carefully preserved by tanners. The pelt - when fashioned into clothes - provides an extra element of stealth since the pelt retains its colour reflecting abilities. However, only the very wealthy can afford these pelts outside the military.
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Myth/Lore. Gifts of the bountifulness Ankriss, Godess of Life, the Fujin are merely one example of the wide assortment and size of life one can find in the Peninsula of Shár.

The Fujin are believed to have lived happily until the cataclysm of the Breaking (known as the Year of Darkness on Sarvonia). The Fujin cat struggled to withstand the cold that came after the Breaking. After this year, the legend of the Fujin ceased to spread abroad. The Fujin are still alive, but their numbers are nowhere near what they used to be before that dark time.

The Fujin are also the legendary mounts of the Krathians cavalry, and these massive and blood thirsty beasts are believed to be credited with the vast military success the Grand Empire experienced.
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 Date of last edit 2nd Fallen Leaf 1667 a.S.

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