Day 89: Cochos

October 24, 2009

Cochos are powerful and intelligent beasts that have the shape of large predator cats but which are covered in broad, brilliantly covered feathers rather than fur.  They do not have wings, but are extremely light in comparison to their strength and can leap and glide with such speed that even mountain heights are available to them.  While personalities vary from individual to individual, most young Cochos hunt large areas, seeking new experiences, while older Cochos tend to be more contemplative, puzzling over mysteries and paradoxes that are at once childish and profound.  Cochos are normally found in the more lush regions to the west of the Spine, or south beyond the sawtooth savannah and the dead ocean.

Cochos see themselves as composite souls; while they still refer to themselves with the usual names and pronouns, they see their varied organs as possessing separate identities. For example, in the presence of a delicate golden chain a masked sphinx might apologise for its greedy eyes. This multifaceted view of the soul accompanies an complex belief in reincarnation, where each new Cochosphinx reveals a new combination of souls, each taking new roles. These beliefs likely account for cochosphinxes’ remarkably sanguine attitude towards death (even their own).

Cochos dwell in tunnel-shaped nests woven from rope, torn down trees, or jungle vines.  The favorite food of cochos is poisonous snakes, and they are immune entirely to poison.  Experiences with Kissers have made them wary of any race of temple-builders, and they frequently destroy. However, they can be bargained with, although their determination of value is quite odd, while in a way obvious.  Tales speak of bargains for brightly colored ropes, potions, poisons, and great ceramic bowls.

Their most frequently shared legend tells of Flawless, whose entire body was a pure black.  Flawless is described as strong, brilliant, and indefatigable, and other cochos speak his name with reverance.  Flawless’s reincarnation is said to be unchanged one life to the next, but he has not been encountered for several lifetimes. In his last incarnation, he took to battle against a Kisser ascendant called Mirosh Matsa, and has never been seen (living nor reincarnated) since.

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