There are eight different cat types which are broken down into two separate clans per type: a high clan and a low clan. The high clan is considered to be the ‘noble’ class. They have a tendency to look down on their low clan counterparts. There is really no difference in population numbers between the two groups. Despite them being the ‘nobility’ they still have poor among them. This isn’t widely known to non-chume’taly and they would prefer to keep it that way.
The low clans have a nobility of their own. Members of the low clans are most often encountered in the outside world. They are more given to exploration as they tend to not have all that much in the way of material wealth or possessions. There is a slight numerical difference in population. There isn’t all that many more of the low clan members, but the difference is still one of the more popular subjects of low clan jokes.
The eight types are formed of five base types and three sub types. The base or ‘pure’ types tend to look down on the subtypes as being inferior. The only real difference is in their coloration. The five base types are panther, lion, leopard, tiger, and cheetah. The lion and cheetah types see themselves as superior to the other three as they don’t have a sub type. Snow leopard, white panther, and white tiger are the three subtypes.
High clan: M’peln
Low clan: S’rethran
High clan: M’peln
Low clan: L’trusha
The panther clans are from the mid part of the forest and largely dwell around the city Cha’ha’set’el, relatively close to the Snow Demon mountains where their subtype makes their home. In point of fact, the white panthers are the least reviled of the subtypes as they perform a very important function in Chume’taly society. They guard the edges of the mountains that fall within their territory with a single minded obsession. This is the function of the town of Fros’ke’hal. They believe that dangerous monsters, creatures worse than even the wyvern, slumber in hidden caverns beneath the mountains. They don’t want to risk an intruder waking there creatures and so maintain a constant vigil. The mountains are accessible from the territory formerly held by the white wyvern, yet there is no record of any Darkriders entering the mountains at any point in time. It would appear that the wyvern have decided that the place is either dangerous or not worth bothering with.
The regular panthers far outnumber the white. They have larger litters and are far more likely to throw female kits and male. There are also fewer dangers in the city and the females have a higher number of years where they are capable of having children.
The whites have much more dangerous lives. Their litters are quite small, up to three kits only. A matriarchy of sorts was developed as a result in order to prevent the trade and theft of female kits. It is unknown to anyone outside of the panther types as to why the High clans of the blacks and the whites have the same name, while the lower ones have different names.
High clan: H’let
Low clan: Z’patchn
The lion clans are very strange, preferring to range in the grasslands to the northeast of the forest. They range more between Andunas’chet’kavren and Duna’chet’lok. It’s not common to see a lion type living inside the forest. The type prefers a more nomadic kind of existence. H’let is the one high clan that is noticeably smaller than the low clan and rules absolutely. Lion society seems to be a patriarchy to outsiders as the male is the one that holds the title but he acquires his title through his mate and it passes to the eldest female child. From there it passes to her mate and so on and so fourth in a matrilineal succession.
High clan: T’kern
Low clan: D’nyer
High clan: A’melren
Low clan: T’ketchn
Leopards tend to be very antisocial in and out of the clans as well as with the other types. They’re very isolationist and don’t talk to outsiders. Within the clans, the defining line between high and low clan is very vague and it’s often extremely difficult to tell simply by observation. If an introduction is made, then it’s simple enough, as all chume’taly give their clan name as well as their given name. It’s rude to do otherwise. There are rare circumstances in which it’s best if one’s clan name isn’t known.
The pure leopards are very rude to their white counterparts and insult, snub, or ignore them at any given opportunity. It is therefore more likely that a snow leopard will be more friendly to an outsider than a normal one.
Most looked down on of any chume’taly clan is T’ketchn. They are atypical of their type as well as of chume’taly in general, acting in improper ways.
High clan: B’nyern
Low clan: Q’xer
Cheetahs are the far ranging cats and thus have a substantially larger portion of the territory that they call their own. They range around Kata’chume’eial, Sho’va’kapei, and Auhara.
High clan: Y’naraln
Low clan: O’makel
High clan: Z’char
Low clan: M’trawn
The tigers of both types live in the central regions of the forest. The white tigers are still looked down on by their counterparts but they are more tolerated by the pure type than any other white cat.
Tigers, as a general rule, are very peaceful. Disputes are settled by forms of traditional one on one competition, such as duels, races, swimming, or logic puzzles. Both types are equally numerous.
They are ruled by an elected set of three clan elders per cat type. These elders are frequently elderly members of the community and Masters of a particular craft. Their duties are evenly shared between types.