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Rome: Bastet 

 

 

 


 
The Fera
Mosaic
Rome, a bastion of filth and squalor, is not beloved by the Fera. They would be fools to ignore the capital; few shapeshifters are afforded the privilege of ignoring its tax collectors, merchants or soldiers on the move. The empire's long shadow stretches over territories prowled by solitary werecats and rare Simba prides. Another dark legacy ties the Bastet to the fortunes of the Eternal City, a source of stories and sorrow for the youngest generation.

During the Punic Wars, the Fera assaulted Carthage and its colonies with unbridled ferocity. Demons corrupted the landscape and poisoned the spirit world with their foul malignancy to such an extent the shapeshifters rose up to cut out the cancer. Bastet elders choked on their overweening pride after underestimating their foes. Kin became Carthaginian booty, their siblings and children slaughtered. Fera in Carthaginian lands became virtual bond servants or tainted to the point of madness. Collectively they could not break free of the Baali and their demonic servitors.

Allies elsewhere were necessary to free North Africa from its demonic yoke. Help came at a dear cost. The Bastet provided some of the lore necessary for the Tyrrhenian Alliance to vanquish their Carthaginian enemies. Warriors joined the Legions raised to combat Carthaginian vampires and their enslaved soldiers, while mystics searched for a weakness to compromise infernal spirits. Secretive Fera, forced by duress into cooperation with vampires and mages, struggled terribly under the heavy lot demanded of them. Their spirit broke when the first attempt at a ward encircling the besieged city of Carthage failed due to a faulty prohibition on the demons.

Kuasha teach their children in the Nights of Antiquity that unseemly haste caused the brightest sorcerers and elders among the Bastet to neglect to notice a fatal flaw in their binding. Even the mortal magicians who lent their aid overlooked a fine detail. The ward stipulated an ineptly worded ban the infernal spirits exploited, and twisted the curse upon the nearest breed of Bastet: the Ceilican. Power shattered the minds of the European wildcats and sent shockwaves through the Fera. Only by coercion, force, and outright treachery were the Bastet compelled to remain and try again. They succeeded and rescued what they could of the shapeshifters imprisoned by Carthage, though for many victims, redemption came far too late.

Bastet laid the crucial components to maintaining the binding spells and rites that hold Carthage, and no vampire can possibly duplicate their participation -- although it's rumoured a great many have tried. To add insult to injury, the Fera cannot free themselves of their troubled past. Elders must perform the rites and watchers observe the terrible prison of Moloch and Troile holds fast. Their periodic involvement is much less frequent than the Eternal Senate's annual ceremonies, but Bastet cannot free themselves of their storied shackles. Abandonment of a hated cause would open the prison to demons with a taste for revenge and blood.

So the Fera hold their lonely duty, resentful of its price, mindful of the glories.

Bagheera

It fell upon the judges to organize and gather the participating European and North African Fera against Carthage, and their greatest members traveled far and wide on a mission certain to end in death. They compelled the Swara’s participation and held back the Simba from striking down the Bubasti. Their diplomacy efforts required them to expose themselves to outsiders, and many bore the wretched stains of corruption as best they could. When Carthage fell, so many of the leopards lay among the ruins. They stand sentinel still, ensuring the Fera honour the commitment of their kind and the loss of the Ceilican, year after year.


Bubasti
The kyphur of Egypt led the thrust to overwhelm Carthage, when their Elders entered the city and stole secrets from the Baali. Their attempts to parlay their forbidden knowledge to free their kin from the Setites brought them to the Romans’ attention, and the Lasombra-led tribunal of magistrates forged a secret pact to aid the bond. Agents acted as foremost of the Fera infiltrators and spies in their desperate bid for liberty, a fact that is totally lost on their fellow Bastet, who blackened their names along with their fur.
 
 
Ceilican
The wildcats of Europe went mad during the first failed attempt to institute the ward upon Carthage. The banes under Baali control proved too strong for the Simba and Khan to contain alone, and the backlash of shattered taboos and promises ricocheted among the present Ceilican. They were struck by the very curse meant to disperse and weaken the fallen fera inside the city of Carthage.
 
 
Simba
The Barbary lions were most impacted by the Carthaginians activity in North Africa. Simba and their kin led violent guerrilla assaults on outlying settlements to avoid encroaching upon sacred places. Baali and their corrupt allies claimed many holy nodes, defiling the shrines, and driving the Elders into frenzy. No other Fera lost as many as the Simba, who forged themselves into the gold-tipped spear plunged into the heart of the corruption. They wound their influence into the Legions, whom they perceived as their best hope to tip the balance.
 
Swara
Unwillingly driven from their native ranges, the far-ranging cheetahs fell under the shadow of Carthage as prisoners, pets, and slaves. Released from imprisonment or escaping from the city, they brought harrowing tales and valuable inside information. The Bagheera and Simba pressured their participation in the great ward, given their unparalleled skills crossing into the Umbra and dealing with its denizens. Bearing the scars and a terrible fear from days captive, the tribe gathered in unheralded numbers to strike their revenge, and accept penance for their lost ones monitoring the area from afar. 
 
 


 

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