The above picture might not be the best example since the calicos of Windemere aren’t super strong, easily angered, hard to hurt aliens. I’ve been using these cat-people since Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero. They could be considered monsters in some fashion, but it’s probably better to call them a species or race like elves and dwarves. Calicos don’t appear like random encounters or roam the wild since they’re civilized. Instead, you have characters like Theresa Marley and Conrad Deviltongue who happen to be members of this race. They even make an appearance in The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks if you want to go take a look. So, what are they?
I’ve already said cat-people, but there’s always more than that. You have so many versions of this that range from frightening lycanthropes to stuff from Japan that you don’t want to look at on a work computer. The calicos are in the middle, which still doesn’t sound good now that I said it. Physically, they are built like humans and are normally very slender, except when they get older and more homebody. They have small retractable claws, tufts of hair on their ears, some have whiskers, and they all have tails that can be thin or thick depending on their subspecies. Not that they have alternate names since they’re all called calicos.
Small aside here is that I had the hardest time figuring out what to do about the pants and skirts they wear. A skirt with the tail means it would be lifted up all the time and a hole felt incredibly restrained. Imagine having your pointer finger put through a tight hole in a glove all the time. I assume it would be uncomfortable or annoying after a while. So, the calicos have special pants and skirts that have a dip that goes below the base of their spine to grant freedom of movement for their tails. Connected to this, I ended up designing weapons that could be strapped to the tail. As of this post, I’ve only come up with a small dagger put over the tip, a chain that looks like a decoration before unfurled, a whip, and an axe head. Not sure what else I can do, but who knows what the future holds.
I’ve yet to introduce the full Calican society and I’m not sure people have picked up on what ‘Calican’ means. It’s a work in progress, I guess. So far, I’ve revealed that they’re capital is in the Cerascent region and they are a major trading power. My hope is to have some future series take place there and show more of these people. They’re actually one of the oldest Windemere races, so the pre-Cataclysm stories might showcase them more often. Still, they have shown an attraction to being warriors that specialize in stealth and speed, which means there are bound to be thieves out there. I already know that their capital will be a walled city too and they’ll have some sailing expertise. Nothing like the halflings, but the calicos have been traveling and trading long enough to be talented navigators and sailors.
The origin for this species isn’t as flashy as I would have liked, but that seems to be the case with many monsters. In fact, it actually stems from a different series that was eventually absorbed into Windemere. I had 11 heroes and 11 villains who were chosen by the gods to do battle and show if good or evil is strongest. A cat-girl was one of the main heroes and she caught my attention again when I was thinking about making some ‘unique’ races for Windemere. Since I was carrying her over, I decided to do the same with her species. So, the calicos came over with the fireskins, placids, and a few others that were wiped out by the Great Cataclysm.
Wait, that isn’t the full origin? How did I come up with calicos for that other series? Uh, I was big into anime at the time, a friend kept yelling cat-girls when we were hanging out, and I decided that I needed cat-girls. Also . . . I really liked the character that’s pictured at the top of this post. (Sorry if that’s a let down.)