The Legend of Kuvaroi (The Golden Tower)

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This is as it was before my father's father and before his father's father.

My people once lived in the shaded paradise Anhurra, what you would call "Nazca" now. When the catfolk people saw a star fall from the sky and land in Anhurra, they treated it as an omen of good fortune. Beings without fur or tails--soon to be called "hairless"--came from a great shape in the ground where the star fell, They were as mewling cubs and needed our help. They were tolerable at first, but once they found new ways to live with Anhurra using special magic they called "science" they became a nuisance. The hairless became a threat when our catfolk were captures and made to be slaves.

Catfolk were being enslaved everywhere the hairless went. Warriors tried their best to hunt and kill them, but were defeated by the hairless science every time. Many of our people went into bondage; none ever left alive. Our people cried out for freedom and deliverance, asking the the skies above to send a savior. We waited for many months, until the months turned into years. We began to think our prayers would never be answered.

And then one day, he came to us as the hairless did so long ago: from the sky.

None knew which pride he came from, but he too felt the bite of the lash as a slave. He did not stay a slave for long, breaking free and taking a number of us with him. He learned from us of what happened: the hairless, their betrayal and their atrocities. He swore that no catfolk would ever be a slave again. Thus began the age of our savior, the one called Kuvaroi (pronounced KOO-va-roy).

Kuvaroi was as big as a tall tree, his full mane swaying like so many leaves. No normal catfolk male could ever hope to match his ability. In his time with us, he found a mate and pledged to lead all our prides out of slavery. He led us on many raids, destroying the hairless things and their cold science with his mighty powers. He threatened to destroy all hairless in our jungle if they did not leave. In their arrogance and malice, the hairless made many attacks throughout the jungle, pushing back all our people to the northern edge. While their soldiers held us back, they took the time to erect a line of posts. These posts were taller than any tree I have ever climbed, and they gleamed like water in the sky. They made a fence of fire, which the hairless called a "sun shield". We laughed at how this hairless science could not shield anyone from the sun; we stopped laughing when we lost many brave warriors to the flames of this shield.

Kuvaroi would have no failure in his quest to free our people. He led a great army against the hairless science called sun shield and attacked many posts all at the same time. His idea was to destroy the post, hoping that the shield would fail. Kuvaroi led us against the hairless warriors and beyond, charging the post with a mighty bellow and we followed. When he struck the post with a mighty fist of rage, a great fire consumed him...and he was gone.

Our great pride wept for many days at the loss of our savior. We prayed for his return, and tried to free the rest of our people ourselves. The hairless were even more ruthless than before, slaying out of revenge and taking those they could catch as slaves. Very few of us remained free on the other side of the shield, our people lost. And so we thought we were defeated, to be born into bondage. Yet it was Kuvaroi who saved us all, even in his absence, so great is his might.

The sun shield science burned to keep us free catfolk out, but it began to destroy our ancient homes--the trees. The hairless decided it better to burn the trees than let us in. So it was that we lost our freedom and our homes. Then a thing happened: the hairless began to leave. Those who were slaves closest to hairless said they did not have any use for the land or for us, once it was all gone. They packed up what science they could and began to leave by great shapes that thundered in the sky. Soon all the hairless were gone.

The fence continued to burn for many more years, until it failed. When it did, the damage was done: no more trees stretched and the land was barren. The wind, once sweet in the leaves, filled our mouths and noses with sand. We almost died out in those days for want of food and shelter in the dry heat. And yet, we were free. We had no homes and wandered, but we were free. Our people split by trauma, but we were free. So we remain free always, with thanks to Kuvaroi: he our savior, our defender and our king.

--as told by Losing Battle, catfolk shaman (History of Nazca, pp. 108-129)

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