About the cost of being a Panther

A desperate situation


For a female to run for the forests the situation has to be pretty desperate. Whether she is a free woman from the city or villages, or a slave from the farms. Many would not even reach the forests, whether to the North or the South. Failure would see the salve hamstrung and the free woman enslaved. Most would only have heard the words Panther or Taluna in stories told by men who had never seen themselves. Just words handed from one trader or merchant to another.
For a woman to travel alone was to ask for trouble, any male could take them as captive and sell them. A slave girl would already have no rights, yet a free woman would give up her Home Stone and any caste, she would risk her freedom. Once given up she was most unlikely to ever have a Home Stone again, without a Home Stone, there can be no caste. A woman running away is considered outside the law an outlaw with no rights. Whilst ooc wise a panther can join the Physicians caste, in ic they have no caste, they are the tribe healer or shaman..
When someone reaches the forests in the North or the Jungles of the South, they will find the most daunting and frightening experience. They will never have come across this before, dark forests and jungles. There will be little chance of finding paths and the best way is to try and follow the path of a river, because any settlement will not be far from a river. The atmosphere will dense and intense. At night there will be no light, the trees will shield out the moon, even in day time it will be dim. You will feel fear of the slightest rustle of breeze through the grass or trees. Shudder at the howl of the wild animals. Probably unprotected unless you have picked up a solid branch. You will have little food and therefore will be hungry. At anytime a wild animal could come lunging out of the darkness to take you. For here in the forests such animals as the panther roam, that which Panther girls are named after. Some will starve to death never finding anyone for the forests are vast, lost and alone. Only the most resourceful, daring and desperate, will ever find their way..
During this time which could last for several earth months, how you feel and how view life will change completely. The Home Stone, the safety of the City or the farm, the Priest Kings will all seem far off things. here everything lives, everything has soul, even the river, you will feel it course through you, both scaring and invigorating you. Animism the believe that all things live and have soul will grow in you, for it is there before your eyes. The birth and growth of Mother Earth, the power of the 3 moons becomes ever real, when you can actually see them.
Then you find them wild and free, they treat you more as an enemy than a friend, they may well take, cap and sell you themselves. They may put you to a life and death test to prove your worth. Becoming  a Panther was no easy journey, most would never achieve or make it. Yet once they left their homes, there was no way back, this was their only chance their destiny.

©Minxie.

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