This is not the story of Naram, son of a nomadic hunter-herder tribe from the plains above the autumnal Jasumin Lake, brother of the shaman-priestess of their people. This is the story of a guardian beast whose power had degenerated after centuries, left alone in a shrine long-abandoned and forgotten by time. It found a young boy on the verge of death and bonded with him, becoming his spirit guardian. Having found a new purpose, it now travels with its chosen human wherever the paths of fate lead them. This is the story of Zolzaya the Shrine Guardian, or Zaya the cat.About Zaya:
Zaya is a large female long-haired cat with a body length of two feet. She weighs eighteen pounds and has pale green eyes, with a blue mackerel tabby coat and pencil lines on her head. She has a white chest, full frontal ruff, legs, and underbelly. Her bushy tail is always fluffy due to Naram's daily brushing to clean out any knots. She is quiet and enjoys being with people, accepting offerings of food and affection. As a former shrine guardian, she possesses strong protective instincts when it comes to people and things she considers under her care.
Although her strength as a guardian spirit has waned with the years, she still holds great spiritual sensitivity and power. Zaya is capable of curing an individual of what ails them and can banish lesser spirits with ease. Locks do little to deter her and even things rendered invisible do not escape her gaze. She is also quite meticulous, always giving her human a 'purifying bath' every day to remove any possible ill effects from him. Unfortunately she has a tendency to do this on Naram's head and face, much to his chagrin.About Naram:
Naram is young man in his early twenties, with a lightly tanned complexion, dark hair, and hazel-green eyes. He is five feet and seven inches in height with a lean, muscular build. His long hair is untied reaching past his shoulders and he has a neatly-groomed beard which he takes great pride in. A skilled hunter and horseback archer, he is capable of riding while shooting in almost any direction. His elder sister was the tribe's spiritual leader, possessing the bear as her totem. Naram's totem was the tiger, fitting with his bold and unbridled nature. Unfortunately his sister fell ill and passed away before he came of age, making him a logical choice as her successor due to being her only surviving relative. However he had little spiritual power, and his reluctance to accept the position led to the tribe electing another individual as the tribe's head shaman.
During his rite of passage he was attacked by a monster and barely escaped inside an copse of silver pines with braided ropes around them. Collapsing from exhaustion, he was found by the weakened guardian who brought him to a small run-down shed. Little did he know, the run-down 'shed' was the remains of a long-forgotten shrine ancient peoples once prayed to for luck, good health, and good harvests. Because of his affinity with the spirit of the tiger, the guardian beast chose to bond with him as his protector. As his spiritual powers were weak, it was only able to manifest itself as a diminutive form of a tiger–a gray house cat with long fur. The color of his eyes changed, reflecting the influence of his totem. No longer bound by his sister's role in the tribe, Naram set out to experience the world and learn what it had to offer, broadening his horizons and knowledge.Tales of a Cat and Her Human: