In Maressea, they're revered for their connection to the gods. Here in Aldenia, they're revered for their rarity and status. It's funny how the world works, sometimes.
Feline species native to Aldenia have typically medium or long length that is brown in tone, from having to camouflage in wooded areas. Maressean cats however, hail from the continent of Mysandros, which lies to the east of Aldenia and as such, these cats do not follow this pattern and instead have very short, white hair. This is likely an adaptation to the warmer climates of the Kingdom of Maressea, where they specifically originate from. This almost hairless-at-first-glance appearance can sometimes be striking to some people that are not used to seeing this breed, but their rarity in Aldenia affords them a certain level of status and highly sought after by richer folk. Their larger ears is another key indicator of their native hotter environment.
Wild Maressean cats have a more sandy colour to them. The domesticated versions' white fur is a result of selective breeding as the whiter colour was associated with purity and therefore were more highly regarded by the leaders of Maressea.
Status & Symbolism
In Maressea, cats, in general, are regarded as sacred and none more so than the Maressean cat. Due to its white-ish colour (since bred to be stark white), this species is centred in their mythology as being Alios' gift to his supposed brief one time love, Bast. Bast expressed the desire to travel the planes and by creating a species of her wards, he aimed to stop her leaving, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Bast, as a result of this, is worshipped in Aldenian culture as a minor deity under the name Sharess. However, in her homeland of Mare, since this cat shares her feline aspects and the light aspects of Horus it is therefore doubly honoured within their society.
Whilst Bast has a presence in other pantheons, Horus does not. In Aldenia this symbolism has somewhat transferred to Pelor, their primary god of light and/or Lathander, who is associated with the sun. Locales and organisations with heavy links to these gods, such as Dawnstone, hold this species in similar regard. However, due to their rarity, only people with the money and status own one as a pet.
Maressean cats originate from the Maressea region of the continent of Mysandros. They are hugely common in their home region.
Maressean cats were originally imported into Aldenia via the port of Esotar
. which now lies inaccessible following the separation of the Eastern Isle. Since the end of the Cataclysm Wars, Brinewatch became the primary port for Aldenia and as such blossomed into a multicultural haven and is the only place within Aldenia where Maressean cats are legally bred and sold. The breeding of Maressean cats in Aldenia is limited to the one company of breeders thus ensuring that these pets remain rare there.
Famous Orysian Felines
Due to their sought after nature, these cats end up as pets for people of great importance. None more so than Theobald, the Royal Cat of Dawnstone, owned by the Queen herself. Within Dawnstone, two other people of high ranks are known to be owners. A cat called Alder is owned by Archmage Tybor Firebrand, residing in the Radiant Tower. Trade Guild Minister Roberta Rallo is the other.
Outside of Dawnstone, naturally the Lord of the only town which has official breeders of the Maressean cat, Mikarl Yolassi
, owns one. It is reported that Arman Justor
, head of the Justor Trading Company, bought a cat for this daughter, Lara.
Back in their native Maressea, the Archon of Maressea will always have at least one Orysian cat by their side.