Check back often, as this section will be frequently updated with new customs, recipes, denizens, locations and other ‘juicy titbits and morsels’, as they are discovered on Animus. Don’t be shy to send us your comments and questions here and watch this space, as we gradually lift the ‘fog of lore’!
ABOUT ANIMUS CUISINE
Although cats cannot taste ‘sweetness’, as it is understood by the human taste buds, they can taste adenosine triphosphate (ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism) and discern a bunch of other sounds, tastes and smells that humans cannot. For ease of comprehension of Animus stories, “sweet” is the taste of ATP, as interpreted by cats. So cat chocolates, jams, cakes and other ‘sweet’ delicatessen would in most cases be quite unpalatable to humans.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Earthly chocolate and other human foods may be harmful to your pets, so educate yourself and consult a veterinarian before sharing your meal with your furry, scaly or feathery friend!
CULINARY MAGIC and TONGUE-FU
Tongue-Fu is a feline Munching Art that incorporates elements of alchemy, founded by a great Anti-Dieter ages ago. It involves slimming down to bare bones and rebuilding all of the practitioner’s weight and more by eating only one food group (known as Kung-Food), selected for its specific anti-dieting properties. This process is known as the Fat Again Rite of Passage. Once ascension is complete and the maximum weight has been regained, the practitioner may, again broaden his diet and eat whatever he likes, but the body built through this method, retains certain special abilities granted by the food of choice.
Few cats have the will power and discipline to go through the gruelling fasting and culinary training that accompanies it, so although POOZESTAN has many great gourmet chefs, there are few true Tongue-Fu Grubmasters. Typically, chefs seek fame and fortune—they settle in population centres and cook for others, whereas Tongue-Fu Grubmasters lead a reclusive life-style, closely guard their secret recopies and cook only for the purity of honing their skills and eating—a much more self-centred approach to dining.
Some Kung-Food powers:
- Salmon Tartare and Sashimi: grants the Master ‘Paws of Purée’ ability. This Kung-Food is a favourite amongst Tora-Te practitioners.
- Liquid Meat Beer: grants the drinker hydrophilia and the 'Tsunami-Swallow' ability.
- Grilled Chicken: the Tongue-Fu Master gains the 'Stomping Jump' ability.
- Ice Cream: unlocks the 'Paralysing Lick Technique'.
- Chocolate Cake: chocolate is a rare and highly sought-after food group in Poozestan (largely because the massive demand always dwarfs the supply). The privileged few, who are lucky enough to be able to afford enough Chocolate Cake for their 'Fat Again Rite', are rewarded with 'Tripled Intelligence', 'Sweet Teeth and Claws' and the 'Mind-Snuggle' (irresistible cuteness that cannot be resisted).
Two classes of creatures inhabit Animus: Animals and Beasts. Though both castes arrived from Earth, Animals—felines, canines, ungulates (hoofed animals), amphibians/reptiles and rodents—were imbued with higher-reasoning and self-awareness when they discovered the White Lake beneath Mt. Seraph. Other creatures—such as birds, monkeys, bears, fish and other Beasts—remained wild and bound only by their basic instincts. A few individual Beasts have gained intelligence through magical encounters, but these had no impact on their species as a whole.
When the Earthlings arrived on Animus, they explored the dark, smoggy vicinity of their new home for food. Caught in a suffocating ash storm, they found respite in a concealed cave of Mt. Seraph. With the storm raging for days, they decided to explore the inside of the mountain and came upon a lake of white, magical water. The way they interacted with it changed their lives forever.
The liquid reminded the Felines of milk, so being the most adventurous and selfish creatures of the bunch, the felines drank long and deep of the lake. The magical waters endowed them with deep understanding of SCIENCE, which requires proof, hence, their curiosity. Cats on Animus excel in all things technological and enjoy a ‘technocatic society’.
Canines humbly took the second drink, acquiring esoteric power, which requires FAITH, hence, their devotion and oneness with nature. They excel in all things arcane such as magic and alchemy.
Amphibians and reptiles did not drink and just slipped and swam in the magical waters, acquiring the knowledge of COMMERCE, which requires CUNNING and is facilitated by their sly and wily natures.
Bovines and other ungulate folk meekly drank last, partaking of the troubled waters, after everyone else was done. They inherited an understanding of the soil and formed an AGREE-CULTURE, which requires hard WORK, hence, their DILIGENCE and dependable nature.
Rodents, bound by fear, did not enter the cave and find the Lake Beneath the Mountain, but being curious, they sniffed and tasted the soggy footprints of the others, when they came out. Thus they remained teetering on the threshold of intelligence, as well. Rats were fairly-smart creatures to begin with, so they benefitted the most from their brief magical encounter. Alas! Although most rodents are able to understand speech, they are usually haunted by their cowardice and notoriously-short memory-spans. However, once in a few-score of generations, a prodigious rodent hero (such as Homick) does rise and defy the genetic odds.
Properly-trained rodent butlers are highly sought-after and coveted in Poozestan. In the town of Cheezburg, the cats have even established a special Vermin Academy, with the motto: “To Solidify the Mind and Spine!”
Although rodent-eating is still quite legal and on occasion even encouraged in Poozestan, the vermin population caught a lucky break, when the baobab tree was successfully spliced with the Dainty Fat Mice of Burma, to produce the mousemeat trees the cats love so much. Nowadays, rodents are kept primarily as pets and handy workers, making it a piece of cake to conserve energy, not wasting it on stalking and hunting, rather focusing all efforts on science and cooking.
DOORWAY TO EARTH
A ridiculously-long time ago, the ‘World-foxhole’ (currently leading to Earth) was located in a forest that sprawled in the vicinity of the Sands of Siam and the Great Valley Gorge.
The Fiends of Animus had decided to use the Worlddoor, as a way to conquer whichever world lay on its other side and to prepare the way, pumped lava and ash through the conduit. Although the Door is indestructible, the toxic ash, hot rocks and gas wreaked havoc on the other side. As a result, the Earthlings arrived on Animus and began terra-forming the planet.
A war broke out between the Fiends (that had melded together to form a 500-kilometre-tall Titan with a view to invade the world beyond the Door) and the Angels of Angelholm—guardians of peace and order. As the battle raged, the Angels had to resort to using the power of the sun to split the ground (forming the Great Gorge) and banish the Fiendish abomination below the surface. Thereafter, the Angels spirited away the Great Oak and Mt. Seraph to Angelholm, where they could keep a closer eye on them and ensure that their powers are not harnessed by evildoers.
Animus has several moons and two small satellite suns that spin in opposite directions above its poles. The planet's gravity is immense, but greatly distorted and concentrated around the poles, where sit the primary land-masses. The world stabilises itself by circulating its gravity, channelling it through vortexes. The Giant Moon Mountains, that stand at the fringes of the polar continent, shudder with 'gravitational eruptions' almost daily and 'juggle' the spongy-cored moon between one another.
Every ten score of millennia, the tiny suns burn out, cool and are snatched back by the gravitational vortex of the Mountains. A new sun is born through a joint eruption of the Moon Mountains. As the streams of plasma, super-heated through gravitational friction, meet high above the world, a new star is born. However, this ‘cataclysmic fireworks’ comes at a heavy toll to the denizens of the world—the smouldering Moon Mountains cover the planet in ash for several years in the aftermath of the eruption. As a result, Animus has known many civilizations and species, most of which had evolved on other worlds.
The Tiger Paw is the predominant martial art in POOZESTAN and a must for anyone wishing to make his mark as a warrior.
The military might of the feline nation is made up of Battlecats. They are the soldiers and warriors who keep POOZESTAN safe from invaders. They are always led by a general appointed by the King or the King himself.