The following versions of these animals represent variations specific to the Levant and Mythic Middle East where Mythic Islam holds sway over the populace.
Unlike in Mythic Europe, cats are held in high regard in Islamic lands and considered to have pure spirits, based on a story where a cat saves the Prophet from a poisonous serpent when he was a lowly camel driver. The Prophet’s favorite cat was named Muezza and he was reportedly so fond of his feline companion that he would rather cut the silk of his sleeve than disturb the sleeping cat lying on it. This fondness extended to all cats, although according to the teachings of Islam strange cats that come into houses and black cats are still to be avoided and considered potentially evil. Mistreating a cat however is considered a great sin and Muslims in Mythic Europe are not permitted to buy or sell cats – all cats must be given or received as gifts.
The desert wild cats of Mythic Arabia are slightly smaller (Size -4) than their European cousins. They use the base statistics of the Cat (Felis) detailed in The Book of Mundane Beasts PDF or Realms of Power: Magic, page 140-144 modified as follows: change Size to -4, decrease Strength to -9, increase Perception to +2, Quickness to +5 and adjust combat statistics accordingly. Change to a positive Reputation of Snake-killer 2 (throughout Islamic lands) and change Hunt specialization to snakes. Their long fur is a pale sandy color except for white markings on their chin, belly and pale stripes along their torso. Black markings on their legs and tail highlight their distal limbs and they have sprouts of fur between their toes which allows them to pad across soft sand without leaving tracks.
Many Muslims in the Mythic Middle East believe that cats can readily detect the true forms of lesser jinn, possibly through the possession of the Second Sight Minor Virtue, even if these felines otherwise lack magical capabilities.
A Muslim Lineage of Magical Cats?
Magical cats similar to the felines descended from the familiars of the Founders Jerbiton and Mercere exists in the Mythic Middle East although a distinct lineage that breeds true is not recognized. Cats descended from the wild cat that saved the Prophet from the snake in the story above are known for guarding their adopted human companion against serpents and malevolent jinn and are greatly favored by sahir and hedge wizards alike.
Some sahir even claim their magical cats are descended from the Prophet’s pious cat, Muezza, and draw their powers from the Divine Realm making them able to readily detect or drive away the invisible shaitan and other evil jinn.
These magical cats can be created using the Cat Character Template presented in Realms of Power: Magic, pages 70-73 or the Book of Mundane Beasts PDF and/or by modifying the Semita Errabunda sample character, Virgil the Magical Cat, available as a free PDF from the Atlas Games website.
Common Virtues (or Qualities): Adjuration, Ferocity (fighting snakes), Lightning Reflexes, Lesser Magical Power, Magic Sensitivity, Personal Power, Purity, Second Sight, Sense Holiness and Unholiness, Puissant Penetration, Tireless, Tough, True Faith, Warrior (adds to Brawl), Ways of the Desert.
Common Flaws (or Inferiorities): Busybody, Dependent (Owner), Dutybound, Small Frame, Pious.
Common Powers: Fear of the Mouse, Puffed Up and Hissing, Unmarked Passage.