Ocelotl: The Tenth Tribe
editing and additions by Otterpooka
The Balam claim to be more than what they truly are. Oh, fierce warriors they may truly be, but they have ursurped the honor of our tribe.
Your eyes widen, kit. You do not believe me? Listen then, and learn; it was not the jaguars who ended the First Sun, nor were the basis of the so-called 'jaguar warriors'...but we. Is not the day-sign for the first age 4 Ocelotl, our own tribal name? Make no mistake, kit, we were the first.
Our ways are the true ancient ways, those of teacher, healer--yes, and trickster too. We may be small, but or wit's aren't dull. We can't always fight as well as some Bastet, to be sure, but always value your ability to think over brute strength -- it's the stronger of the two.
Do the Balam own the rainforest? Far from it -- little do the jaguars know how we watch all with the jungle. Let the brutes tear about after dogs and Asuras -- while we make strikes at the heart of the blight.
What? You ask if we keep to the rainforest like our brute cousins? Of course not. How can Asuras, Tezcalipoca, the Dark One, be stopped if we are not there to stop it? Travel about, kit; there is always more to do and learn. Being too insular means death by stagnation. One last thing I will tell you: don't be afraid to take chances. While the Balam shunned the Spaniards, we looked for the good among the evil, and their blood strengthened our tribe. In their hatred the Balam grow inbred and perhaps no little bit insane. Remember, the world is yours to play in; learn a little, maybe heal a little -- and never, never forget how to laugh.
The Ocelotl consider themselves first among the jungle cats, the Balam being merely foolish upstart cousins. Unlike their jaguar relatives, the ocelots -- while attacked just as savagely during the Spanish Conquest -- learned to adapt, going so far as to take promising Spaniards as mates, thus expanding the bloodlines of the tribe. A clever, agile breed, the Ocelotl make their homes and Den-Realms in the canopies of the rainforest, and from there they watch the Amazon War -- and occasionally put a paw in themselves. Freely admitting their shortcomings as warriors, they fight with wits and guile, in quick precise feints which leave all concerned -- Garou, Asuras, and even Balam -- scratching their heads in frustrated confusion. And the Ocelotl laugh all the while.
For the Ocelotl, laughter is an important thing. It makes the hard times easier, and the easy times more entertaining. In the same vein, they remember that sometimes healing is as important -- or even more important -- than killing.
The ocelots pride themselves on their heritage as well, looking beyond the warrior Azteca and Tolteca to the eariler cultures, such as that of Teotihuacan. And so they claim Qutzalcoatl as their sire instead of Tezcalipoca. Quetzalcoatl taught them to heal, to dance and to laugh, they say, and in return for the great jest (a serpent, a feathered serpent -- paradox enough -- creating felines!) they gave him his ocelot-skin cap as a symbol of the tie between them. The Ocelotl look to the past, but also to the future. And whereever it takes them, they intend to enjoy it.
The Ocelotl share their tribal grounds with the Balam, with one notable difference; while the jaguars have the ground, the ocelots stick to the trees. Often an elaborate network of nests and walkways is created amongst the thick foliage, almost undetectable from above or below.
Their Den-Realms tend to follow this arboreal pattern as well; their Umbral presence is an eerie mixture of rainforest canopy and Mesoamerican architecture -- and the Ocelotl prefer their homes to be as mazelike as possible. One of the most deeply hidden tribal secrets is the existence of Ocelotl Tona, similar to the ancestral Balam Den-Realms; these lush pockets of forest and spiritual power are guarded diligently.
Many Ocelotl have left the forest for the city, and have even spread to many other parts of the globe. In civilized places the ocelots tend to live in towers and skyscrapers, the taller the better -- the love of the heights can never be totally forgotten.
Culture and Kinfolk
Ocelotl culture is a bizarre mix of the ancient and the modern. While happily embracing their ancient history, even continuing the art of featherworking (treat as a specialty of the Jeweler skill), the ocelots just as eagerly embrace modern trends, especially those in music and entertainment. Many Ocelotl think the Eighties pop scene was the pinnacle of civilization.
Their human Kinfolk are a widely varied lot; while many of not most are of central American or Hispanic blood, any and all races can and are found as Ocelotl Kinfolk, as a direct result of Ocelotl wanderings and curiosity.
The Ocelotl, although a rare tribe, have one clear advantage over their Balam cousins -- their feline Kinfolk. Unlike the Balam, whose jaguar Kin are fading fast, the Ocelotl mate with ocelots, margays, Goeffroy's cats, and other small spotted cats of the rainforest. While many of these cats are also threatened, they give the Ocelotl a stronger Kin-base to lean upon.
Ocelotl have very little real organization: at best, a code of colors, marks, and scents inform them of another's presence and activities in an area. However, once a year a tribal taighairm is called, so that all Ocelotl may spread the secrets and information they have gained during the past twelve months. Unlike most Bastet, the ocelots enjoy such social gatherings (which often turn into mad revels).
Like the Balam, the Ocelotl quest for their Mesoamerican heritage. However, they reach beyond to earlier cultures than the jaguar's warrior nations. In addition, Ocelotl take great pleasure in ferreting out the weaknesses of others, and most of all gaining in spirit and magical lore.
- Bar an ocelot from the freedom of the wind, and he will wither and die in madness.
- Wipe out an Ocelotl's tracks behind him, and he will be disoriented for days.
- Butterfly's wings, powdered in an ocelot's food, wil deal him damage as sure as silver.
An Ocelotl may be of any racial type, but certain characteristics tend to be present regardless: Ocelotl are short and rather slender, though they have sleek musclature nonetheless. They are usually very graceful, and tend towards mottled hair (rather like a strange dye-job). They prefer to wear rather eclectic clothing; many seem to be 'eighties-throwbacks'.
In feline form they are small, lithe and compact. Their fur color runs from tawny to deep gold or gold-brown, always spangled with black rosettes, spots, and blotches. In general they resemble any or all of the small spotted cats of the rainforest.
Ocelotl Character Generation
Initial Rage: 2
Initial Willpower: 4
Beginning Gifts: Treeclimber, Twigdance, Hide From Prying Eyes
|Str +0||Str +1||Str +0||Str -1|
|Dex +3||Dex +4||Dex +5||Dex +5|
|Sta +1||Sta +2||Sta +2||Sta +0|
|Man +0||Man +0||Man -2||Man -2|
|App +1||App -2||App -2||App 0|
Rage is fine in it's time, but laughter and wisdom are the greater path. Use them.
- Bagheera: Now these are fine cats. More power to them.
- Balam: Foolish, cantankerous louts who lost their true heritage long ago. Poor fools.
- Bubasti: Dark cats indeed; too close to the edge. They should beware, lest they step too far.
- Ceilican: Ah, there was a fine tribe! ...Or should I say is? Not all of us are blind, you know -- and we appreciate the jest.
- Khan: They may have 'honour', but they're as uptight as our jaguar cousins.
- Pumonca: For all their wandering, they seem to have little to show for it.
- Qualmi: Their riddles are great fun -- and of fine substance..usually.
- Simba: Black kings, these tainted creatures should be humbled, and right quick. Time to rub their faces in their deeds.
- Swara: Why do they run? Foolish kittens, life's too full to spend it fleeing.
Level One Ocelotl Gifts
False Speech: The Ocelotl can create a ventriloquism effect, bafflng his opponents.
System: The Gift requires a Perception + Empathy roll at difficulty 5. Each success allows one snippet (30 seconds) of sound or speech.
Hide From Prying Eyes: Using this Gift the Ocelotl blends in with his enviroment, making himself nearly undetectable.
System: The expenditure of a Gnosis point allows the Ocelotl to mimic his surroundings like a master chameleon. A Perception + Intelligence roll must be made at difficulty 8 to detect him. This effect lasts for 4 turns.
Treeclimber: As the level 1 Common Gift of the same name. Most if not all Ocelotl learn this Gift first.
Twigdance: As the level 2 Khan Gift Ricepaper Walk. Ocelotl generally use this Gift for navigating wires, thin limbs, etc.
Level Two Ocelotl Gifts
Fluttering Spy: The Ocelotl can call a small winged creature (generally a butterfly or small bird) to act as a means of information-gathering.
System: By rolling Empathy + Gnosis (difficulty 6), the Ocelotl may summon a creature. The animal will obey the Bastet's commands to the best of its ability, and the Ocelotl may see through its eyes with a successful Perception roll (difficulty 5). The Gift lasts for one scene.
Itz Darts: This Gift allows the Ocelotl to turn a patch of fur or body hair into razor-sharp obsidian spikes which can then be fired at an opponent.
System: By expending a Rage point and rolling Rage + Dexterity, the Ocelotl creates one dart per success rolled. Each dart does Str in aggravated damage, and requires a Dexterity + Athletics roll (difficulty 6) to aim properly.
Soothing Touch: As Lick Wounds, but heals 2 levels of damage per Gnosis point.
Spirits of Laughter: As the level 1 Midnight Sun Gift (Mokole) of the same name.
Level Three Ocelotl Gifts
Call Coatl: Through the use of this Gift, an Ocelotl can petition a servant of Quetzalcoatl for a service.
System: By spending a Gnosis point and rolling Charisma + Rituals at difficulty 7, the Ocelotl can call a lesser coatl to perform one service.
Stats: Willpower 7, Rage 3, Gnosis 10, Power 40
Charms: Airt Sense, Healing, Materialize, Break Reality, Create Wind, Lightning Bolts, Open Moon Bridge
Touch Of The Tree-Frog: As the level 3 Balam Gift.
Vision Cloud: As the level 4 Balam Gift.
Level Four Ocelotl Gifts
Skin of Itzcoatl: The Ocelotl's fur turns black and sharp as glass, dealing horrific damage through the use of this Gift.
System: The expenditure of a Gnosis point causes the transformation, and any body slams, grapples or pins cause Str+1 aggravated damage. Claws have a +1 to damage, and any bare-skinned attackers with less than six successes take damage based on their Strength when attacking (the Ocelotl still takes normal damage). The effect lasts for a scene, or until the Ocelotl cancels it.
Windwalk: Through the use of this Gift, the Ocelotl can walk though air as if treading on solid ground.
System: By expending a Gnosis point and rolling Dexterity (difficulty 7), the Ocelotl gains the ability to "walk" through the air. This effect lasts for 2 hours.
Level Five Ocelotl Gifts
Banish the Moon's Bane: The Ocelotl may heal silver damage for others as with the level 1 Gift Lick Wounds. In addition, the Ocelotl has become immune to silver's special damage.
System: As Lick Wounds for the healing aspect of the Gift, and in addition to that silver does only normal aggravated damage to the Ocelotl, and does not cause Gnosis loss.
Dance of the Breeze: The Ocelotl gains the ability to teleport himself or other objects/people (weight limit of 200 lbs.) to a known destination.
System: By rolling Gnosis + Enigmas (difficulty 7), the Ocelotl may transport himself, objects, and/or others to any location known and previously visited by the Ocelotl. An additional 100 lbs. may be carried for each extra Gnosis point spent.
Level Six Ocelotl Gifts
Defy Mictlan: This potent and rare Gift allows the Ocelotl to bring someone back from the dead.
System: By rolling Perception + Stamina (difficulty 9) and expending a permanent Gnosis point, the Ocelotl can resurrect one person; each success allows an additional decade of death to have elapsed.