One of the many Races which inhabit the World, Nekomata are cat spirits, jovial and bright. Childlike in nature, curious and kind, the Nekomata are the true children of the World, the most innocent of the Races. Theirs is the Gift of Joy, a people blessed with unfailing optimism and attunement to the emotions of their peers. The Nekomata live simple lives, driven by instinct, and that instinct is always “be happy, and make everyone else happy, too”. The Nekomata were sent out to live free in the World, not calling any particular region home. Natural empaths, mediators, and peacekeepers, the Nekomata live in blissful harmony, their innocent lives untouched and unblemished by the troubles of the adult World.
Nekomata begin their lives as cats, and are often mistaken as such. Like Kitsune, however, as they age, they gain the ability to take on a humanoid form. In this shape, they retain some of their feline traits; their distinctive cat’s eyes, a rough tongue, and cat ears and tail. It is through their cat features that they channel their innate empathy. Their ears and tail are extremely sensitive, augmenting their physical as well as supernatural senses. Because of this, Nekomata are uncomfortable around anyone exhibiting very strong emotions, as well as powerful psions.
Nekomata communicate with their peers primarily through body language, though they are capable of a rudimentary understanding of spoken language. Despite being natural empaths, and telepaths by extension, Nekomata display no magical ability aside from their ability to switch forms. Their strengths lie in their soothing, comforting nature, and their knowledge of the Wild. Nekomata make exceptional field guides and escorts through the wilderness, having great athletic ability and knowledge of the outdoors. Due to the traumatic nature of violence, Nekomata are extremely sensitive to and averse to armed conflict, and many refuse to learn any of the martial disciplines.
The Sundering caused a fundamental change in the souls of the Nekomata. The widespread trauma of such a massive cataclysm caused a spike in the Nekomata’s empathic network, traumatizing the vast majority of their population. The Sundering was their coming of age, the loss of their innocence. Many were trapped within their original cat forms. Resentment and cynicism festered in these trapped souls, and as they bred with normal cats, this gave rise to entire generations of supernatural half-breeds. This has led to the superstitions involving cats, as these half-breeds lacked the innocence of their ancestors and let spite and malice fester in their hearts. These half-breeds became spirits of ill omen, haunting the alleyways of the World, sowing chaos and deceit and gaining infamy in the myths of Man.
In Human Society
Nekomata often go unnoticed by Potentials by blending in with normal cats. In their humanoid forms, though the cat ears and tail remain hidden from them, their distinctive eyes are a dead give-away. Nekomata have a great love of the outdoors, and spend much of their time in human playgrounds. Since even adult Nekomata have the youthful appearance of human teenagers, many a human child has made friends with a Nekomata and been none the wiser.
Notable Nekomata include: