The were-cats might just be the
most notorious Changing Breed that the Garou have ever heard of. Vain, arrogant,
self-centred and secretive, the Bastet seem to serve no useful purpose to Gaia
at all - and worse, they seem to revel in the fact.
The Bastet may be the race that
the Garou know the most about, and yet they are reluctant to confess that the
cats are better at hiding their secrets than the Garou are at sniffing them out.
It is known that the Cats divide themselves along tribal lines, but not in the
same way as Garou. Whereas geography and culture distinguish the Garou tribes,
feline race seems the determining factor in a Bastet's heritage. The leopard
cannot change it's spots, so the saying goes, and the coat a Bastet is born
with, marks it for life.
So far, the Garou have
discovered eight tribes of Bastet. In the Amazon jungles live the Balam, the
were-jaguars. Driven by the Ahroun Rage, they lash out at anything they perceive
as an enemy (which the Garou have discovered is anything not a Balam). The
tribes of Bastet the Sept are most familiar with are the Pumonca (pumas) and the
Qualmi (lynxes). The Pumonca are rarely seen, and are quiet, dour folk by Bastet
standards. As far as the Garou can tell, they almost seem to have a ronin status
in Bastet society. The qualmi seem to communicate only with the theurges, when
they choose to communicate with Garou at all. The theurges report that the
qualmi speak in riddles and seem to care little whether the recipient of their
words is able to translate what they are saying. The garou suspect that this
riddling system might be the Qualmi way of hiding their ignorance on topics.
There are no Bastet native to Europe, although rumours abound that qualmi roam
the Arctic Circle and the Pyranees, leaving a trail of chaos in the territories
of the Get of Fenris and Black Furies.
The true strength of the Bastet
lies in the East and Africa. In Asia, are located the leopards and tigers with
shifting blood. The Bastet seem to regard the Bagheera as their philodoxes, and
by all accounts, they are the steadiest of the Bastet race to communicate with.
The khan on the other hand are nothing more than stripey Balam, sharing the
Jaguars rage and xenophobic ways. The Khan also seem to be members of the
mysterious Beast Courts, the warriors and canon fodder of the Hengeyokai. Africa
houses the rest of the Bastet, and also the strangest. The Silver Fangs of the
Bastet are the Simba, lords of their kind and self-styled King of the Beasts.
The were-lions are feared throughout Africa, and Garou who have been there say
they have earned their reputation. But they also whisper of something else, many
simba they have come across have been tracked by Garou with a nose for tracking
minions of the Wyrm. Everyone fears the Simba, and the Garou are beginning to
suspect that these cats are the essence of the Wyrm festering in the hearts of
the Bastet. In Egypt, there are apparantly a mysterious race of sorcerous cats
known as the Bubasti. The striders have mentioned them, in dark whispers,
seeming uncertain of whether the Bubasti are allies in their personal crusade
against the vampires, or something just as dangerous. The last race of Bastet
are also almost extinct. The Silent Striders of the Bastet, the Swara, are a
tribe under seige. Cheetahs have little power and weak blood, the Garou consider
their slow and silent death one more example of how the Simba are leading the
Bastet to the Wyrm. What race would claim leadership of their kind then let them
die? Yet the Garou have little sympathy personally with the swara's plight.
Bastet are part of the problem afterall, and the swara always maintained the
chain of information between the various tribes. If the African Bastet are so
foolish as to cut off this important link, then the Garou are content to sit
back and let them.
The Bastet are loremasters of extraordinary ability.
They have horded all the secrets of the Apocalypse, and yet refuse to reveal
them. They call themselves the Eyes of Seline (their name for Luna) and claim
that as Gaia gave them no voice, it is for others to learn the wisdom they know.
The Garou have observed that there is a silent war of secrets and information
hording, between the Bastet and the Corax. The Garou help the Corax all they can
- the Corax may not be entirely trustworthy, but if they find out what it is the
Bastet are hiding, the Garou are almost certain to find out what it is from