The Oracau is the most feared predator on the Narfost Plain. A cat with exceptional stealth and cunning, this cat of the grasses is one very much respected in the plains.
The Oracau is not as large as its cousin, the Shingar,
residing in the Sharadon Forest just north from its home. Male Oracaus are
usually about 2.6 peds in length and about 2.3 fores at the shoulder while
females comes in a little less, averaging about 1.6 peds in length and 2.25
fores at the shoulder. Weight for adult males is typically above 2.5 pygges
while females weight about 2.5 hebs less. The tail is about a fore in length,
used for swatting off mercarto flies. These
measurements can vary greatly in some cases. A dead Oracau was found that had a
length of nearly 3 peds and 1 ped at the shoulder, which weighed about 3.00
pygges! However, such cases are very rare.
The color of the pelage of this cunning beast is usually a tawny yellow, blending in very well with the autumn grasses of its home in the Narfost plain, allowing it to stalk and kill its prey with a greater surprise and thus a greater success rate. The distinct mane, usually varying from a ginger to a dark brown is present in all males. The color of the mane can depend on the area, age, or by the individual Oracau. In general, the Oracaus living in drier parts of the plain have a lighter color while the ones living in a wetter environment, such as near the Sharadon Forest, have darker manes.
In rare cases albino oracaus have been spotted on the Narfost Plain, but such occurrences are very, very rare.
Oracaus have excellent hunting skills and are extremely skilled and stealthy.
They have wonderful social relations with each other and will work together to
bring down a prey, surrounding a herd of their prey or a singled out member and
attack from all sides. People of Meh'met, a tribe of
Shendar origin, think that the
Oracaus can communicate with their minds, which would explain their organized
Territory. The Oracaus are found exclusively on the Narfost plain, ranging from the Sharadon forest to cliffs of Bardavos.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Oracau lives on the Plains of Narfost, living, eating, sleeping, and playing with little fear as there are no predators of the Oracau except for people. They are the undisputed rulers of the plain and have their own social rules. Usually groups of Oracaus consist of about 3 to 8 or 9 female Oracaus, as many as 20 kittens, and one male who rules over his harem. However sometimes a female will leave the group to join another male. The females are the hunters and do most of the work. However, they are viciously guarded and defended by the males. The females tend to be the more clever, stealthier of the genders, and are very organized in hunting, which they usually do at night or early in the morning when it's still somewhat cool. Most of the females will go out hunting while one or two will look out for the kittens. During the heat of the day the Oracaus can be seen laying lazily around without a care in the world. At this time an aj'nuvic can saunter right on by without worrying about being taken down.
Diet. The diet of the Oracaus is mainly on the aka'pi, as well as the jumping ellez'ga. Very rarely will an Oracau be able to bring down an aj'nuvic as they are extremely smart and clever, though at times the Oracau may use the aj'nuvics uncanny ability to locate water holes. The Oracau usually hunts in groups of anywhere from 2 to 7 female Oracaus as the females do most of the hunting due to their faster, sleeker figures. Oracaus are wonderful hunters, hiding in the grass until their prey comes close enough before attacking, usually using sharp teeth to tear the neck and kill the animal. The group will then eat the kill, joined later by the male Oracau who gets the biggest share of the feast. Kittens are usually the last ones to eat.
Mating. Females usually go into heat around the end of autumn on the condition that the hunt has been good in previous weeks. The mating ritual is a rather intimate one. The male first calms the female with gentle nuzzles and nips before and while and engaging in sex. Afterward the male Oracau will leave this female and court another female. The goal is to mate with any and every female to ensure that kittens survive thus strengthening the species. If another male attempts to mate with one of his females the two will fight. These fights tend to be very vicious, using claws and teeth. Some males have hideous scars all over their body from such fights. Whichever male wins gets to take over the group and mate with the females while the loser has to leave the group.
Females give birth to kittens in spring in litters of 2 to 3. Giving birth to them early in the season is extremely important. Usually kittens born late in the season don't survive the scorching summer on the plains. Many kittens die during their first summer on the plains, suffering from dehydration or starvation. However, survival of the dry season ensures that only the strongest genes get passed on to the next generation. Kittens usually stay with their mother for about a year or a year and a half until the prominent male of the group forces the kittens to leave the group. Many young male Oracaus die as wanderers while others, usually the stronger ones, make harems or steal one from another.
Origins. The Origin of this creature is disputed. Some say that, like most of the cats in southern Santharia, the cat came from the Ancythrian Sea and migrated southward to what is now the Narfost Plain. Others say that its true origins lie in the Occen's Lake. However, most agree that both of these views are partly right. A smaller prehistoric cat intermingles with one that moved down from the Ancythrian Sea. This intermingling eventually caused each species to become one and form what is now the Oracau.
Information provided by Rayne Avalotus