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 Wintersands Pride Overview

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Kittyclaw
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Posts : 106
Join date : 2015-02-27

Character sheet
Character Name: Greyfur
Pride: Bramble Pride
Rank: Pride Leader

PostSubject: Wintersands Pride Overview   Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:39 pm

Wintersands Pride

Wintersands pride Life

The Wintersands pride is located along the rocky coastline to the north of Port Town. A honeycomb of sheltered caverns a short way up the cliff side serves as home to the Wintersands cats, and provides them with a close, interconnected series of dens that keep the close-knit pride as physically close as they are spiritually. The abundance of seabirds, small mammals, and crustaceans keep the pride well fed, and their close proximity to their food source has allowed them to focus their energies into growing their pride spiritually and culturally. Exploration is also high on the list of this pride, and with a great expanse of unclaimed lands to the north, there is no end of wilds for these cats to journey to. An open-minded and diplomatic pride, Wintersands makes most of its decisions in the form of council meetings, which are headed by the leaders of their tasks but open to all cats in the pride. Individuality is key in Wintersands, and every point-of-view is welcome in the halls of the Wintersands council den.

Wintersands pride and the Gods

Wintersands is deeply proud of its legends and stories, and every aspect of pride life is immersed in some way in the spirit of Star Pride. While all gods have a place of honor in Wintersands, some are more thoroughly incorporated into daily life than others. Devotion and Wisdom guide the pride in everything they do, and as such they emphasize at all times the importance of the young and knowledge. The pride celebrates these beliefs through a series of rituals and celebrations, starting when a she-cat discovers she is pregnant and continuing until the kits reach adulthood. These include celebrations announcing a pregnancy, a Star cat ritual where the kit's genders are guessed and their star maps started, a celebration of the birth and presentation of the newborn kits to Star Pride, a celebration at the time a kit grows to yearling, a moonlight ritual where the mentors are assigned, and a night long ritual and journey to the sea where the yearling is announced as an adult, followed by a feast. Kits are inundated with legends of Star Pride from the moment they are born, with special stories told at special occasions, and particular legends shared for specific cats. All cats are taught that all ideas have merit and should be given a chance to grow, and participate in council meetings from a young age.

The secondary gods of Wintersands are Medicine and Wanderlust. Medicine is a cat of kind, healing knowledge, which Wintersands celebrates through the unconditional acceptance of the cats that call its pride home. Wintersands also boats a well developed, highly intelligent team of healers who are true experts in their field. Wanderlust, the lesser god of lost and pride-less cats, supports Wintersands unusual support of exploration, as well as a uniquely lax pride philosophy on cats joining and leaving their pride.

Wintersands pride and non-pride and pride-less cats

With their location so close to both Port Town and the homes beyond, Wintersands sees its share of pride-less cats, as well as non-pride cats from Seaport and Banyanwood pride. Pride-less cats are welcome on the sands of this pride's small territory, and any who are found wandering close on the eve of celebrations are invited to join in. When it comes to the non-pride cats, the Wintersands use a little more caution. Banyanwood cats, proud and noble, are fiercely protective of their boarders and, while not threatening, tend to make a show of chasing off non-pride cats. Because of that, Wintersands cats make a point of avoiding Banyanwood territory when possible. Seaport cats are equally defensive of their own hunting grounds, but also unafraid of venturing into Wintersands land as well. The Wintersands cats, for their part, take the intrusions in stride, although they do keep patrols active along that boarder to prevent the sometimes aggressive town cats from pushing too close to camp.

On joining and leaving

Wintersands not only acknowledges the normal feline urge to wander and explore, it celebrates and encourages it. Long journeys are at the heart of a number of important aging celebrations, and most apprentices are encouraged to take small trips away from the camp with litter mates or their mentors. A cat's decision to leave the pride is considered part of the maturing process for some cats, and cats who chose this path are sent off with supplies and well wishes. Their return to the pride, should they chose to come back, is celebrated just as much, and their returning knowledge added to the broad collection of wisdom maintained by the pride. Non-pride cats looking for a new home, as well as pride-less cats, are welcomes as well, although they do have to complete a complex ritual and visitation to the top of the cliffs before they are fully welcomed to the pride.

On mates and kits

Any adult cat can take a mate in the Wintersands pride, without first asking the approval of any member of the pride. Any adult she-cat can become pregnant, and once she is with kits she is exempted from work until her kittens have become yearlings. Gaining a mate is celebrated with a small union ritual, in which the two cats exchange vows and take a journey together. Pregnancy is celebrated by a feast, and when the mother is within the final third of her pregnancy, the Star cat performs a night ritual where the kits genders are guessed, and their star maps started. These maps, completed when the kits are born, are supposed to help the pride see what potential future the kits may have. The star maps are also used to select a special legend from the many stories of Star Pride, which will become the story recited at each meaningful event of the cat's life. The birth of the kits is celebrated with another night time ritual, where each kit's star map is read from, their chosen story told, their names selected, and a blessing given by the Leader to the mother and each kit.

On traveling

The whole of the territory is open to all pride members, and travel is encouraged from yearling age and on. While hunting in or entering another pride's territory is frowned upon, unclaimed non-pride land is considered open for exploration. Journeys are also a pivotal part of many pride rituals. At some point during their apprenticeship, yearlings are expected to journey, either alone or with another cat, on a four day exploration of the non-territory lands. This journey is supposed to help a yearling learn both that they are capable of more than they realize, and that they have much more to learn. When reaching adulthood, yearlings journey with the Star cat and their mentor to a rock far up the coast as part of a night-long trip to determine their adult name. When taking a mate, the pair goes on a three day round-trip to a small clearing, the Laying Stones, where they lay together and affirm their love under the eyes of Star Pride. Movements up the higher ranks all involve elaborate trips to sacred places high in the north, beyond pride territory.

Wintersands Pride and Growing up

From a moment a kit is conceived, its life is celebrated and its full potential explored. Star maps try to look into the kit's future and see where their potential might lie, while rituals and celebrations aim to bring the kit luck and good favor under the watchful eyes of Star Pride. A kit spends the first six months of its life living in the dens within the cliffs and pouncing among the dunes close to the camp, all under the watchful eye of their ever present mother. As they near six months of age, the Star cat, along with their mother and the Council cat, start deciding upon a mentor for the kit, which is announced at a midnight moonlight celebration. The bond between a yearling and mentor is almost as strong as that of kit and parent, and for the next six months the apprentice and mentor are inseparable as they learn and train together. The yearling under goes a Yearling Journey, and eventually graduates into an adult, through another ceremony, and takes on one of the many tasks available in the pride. Adulthood within the pride is a fulfilling life, and when old age comes a cat is welcomed warmly into the elder's den.


The Tasks

Star Cat: The spiritual leader of the pride, the Star Cat is almost as important to pride life as the Leader. Star cats keep track of all of the important events within the pride, and lead the ceremonies and rituals to celebrate them. They bless births, new mates, and cats who are preparing to leave on individual journeys, and keep record of the stories and legends within the pride. Star cats are also responsible for maintaining the star maps of all the new kits in the pride, and serve as spiritual adviser to the leader and at council meetings.

Council Leader: The council leader is the second in command in the pride, and serves as mediator of all pride council meetings. It is the job of the council leader to make arrangements for council meetings, and to convene meeting when they see a need in the pride. Council cats work closely with parents and adult pride cats during the mentor selection process, and make the final decision on mentor/apprentice partnerships.

Head Medicine Cat: The head medicine cat is the most skilled healer in the pride. Usually an older cat, the head medicine cat tends personally to all of the leaders within the pride, and their expertise called upon for the rest to handle difficult cases. The head medicine cat as present for all births, serves as one of the main voices at council meetings, and manages their small circle of medicine cats, partnering them with patrol groups and advising them when needed.

Patrol Leader: The patrol leader manages the pride's patrols, and organizes when and where they will patrol. The patrol leader is aware of any cats who are entering of leaving the territory, and manage any possible threats to the pride. The patrol leader serves as one of the main voices on the council.

Hunt Leader: The hunt leader manages to the hunting parties, knowing where and when the best hunts are. They know all the potential prey opportunities in the territory, and can lead their hunters into even the most seemingly impassable locations in search of food for the pride. The hunt leader serves as one of the main voices on the council.

Medicine Cat: Medicine cats are the healers of the pride. Each medicine cat serves a different branch of the pride: one lives with the mothers in the mother's den, some tend to the hunters and sometimes joins them on hunts, and some tend to the patrols and some times joins them on patrol.

Patrol: Intelligent and stoic, Patrol cats maintain the territory boundaries of the pride. Although Wintersands doesn't face many threats, with Seaport pride and the alley cats to the south, and Banyanwood pride to the west, it never hurts to know who is entering the territory or pushing in on its boarders.

Hunter: Hunters are, in a way, the life-blood of the pride. They are the ones who provide food for all of the pride's mouths, even those who cannot hunt themselves. Hunters in Wintersands are surefooted and brave, and work together in small groups to bring down even the largest and most dangerous seabirds.
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