(MYOO-sah); pl Myu'saa or Myu.
A mustelid known colloquially as the "little thief."
Capable of acrobatic feats up high in the trees they live and hunt in. They are intelligent, efficient hunters in the wild. In relatively recent times, they have made their own place in the human civilization that had pushed so many other animals out of their homes. The reputation they have gained is not the most flattering, especially among the city furrs. Myu'saa that have learned how to survive in the city have learned to steal their meat rather than hunt because it prevents long-term and long-distance persecution, but the wild myu' still hunt the same types of prey that always have, which includes small and young furrs. With the city dwellers thieving rather than hunting down pests, and the wild brethren picking off the furrs, it has aggravated the reputation for the myu' as a whole.
Despite the scavenging habits of the city myu', it seems that this living suits them. Whereas the forest myu'saa only roughly reaches the shoulder of a Draian, the city myu' are found to grow twice as large or more. This is because city myu' actually live much longer. When the animals lived in packs, they grew to this size, but since the extinction of their preferred prey and scattering of individuals, they've become easier targets for predators and angry furrs, as a result, wild myu' are all very young.
Myu' seem to like to collect odd and shiny things, especially the city myu', but since they are always moving, the things usually get left behind in the strangest of places.
Usually, myu'saa prefer to hunt alone for mammals of more or less their same size. Unfortunately, this includes furr species, such as the Mozu and the Korogo, and even the Rabben and Squirren pups (Porin are usually too small to be of interest), and neither natural nor artificial weapons will dissuade a myu'saa from attempting a hunt. Their preferred prey was dangerous itself: a rather large, tree-climbing, carnivorous, quilled rodent, but it has been hunted to extinction, apparently by the myu'saa themselves.
Myu' do not fish or hunt fowl, though they will raid nests for eggs. Young myu'saa bring down flightless fowl for play hunting, only sometimes eating them in lean times. They will scavenge fish from other animals for the bones, but shellfish and cephalopods are a more appetizing meal. During times of little prey, they will hunt smaller mammals, fowl and steal whole fish. More likely, they will band together to hunt animals larger than themselves as they once did before the extinction of their favored prey. They seem to learn one type of prey until the resource drops in availability, then they disperse, regroup, learn to hunt and target another.
Myu'saa are opportunistic enough when need be. City dwelling myu'saa once hunted rats, the bohar and furr pups, but since then they have learned that hunting usually brings very angry two-legs at them that they cannot shake off in the two-leg infested world. They've resorted to stealing from butchers and scavenging carcasses.
The myu'saa does not den, but it is small enough to be a target for larger animals, so it takes shelter in available thickets and the trees' canopy. This means that they live where there is vegetation sufficient to hide them: the temperate forests, tropical rainforest, and grasslands. The vast, empty plains of Siyari, the desert of Kuden, and dry plains of Hasseran are rarely crossed, unless the myu'saa population has grown too great; (this really only happens at the edges of the smaller forests of Hasseran).
Man does not pose a great inconvenience to the animal. Instead of pushing the myu' out of their habitat, man offers a new habitat in the roofs and alcoves of their buildings. Myu'saa actually prefer the larger civilizations because they offer easy food, warmth through all seasons, and a roof over their head no matter how far the animal travels, which is very much.
The myu' are always moving. Even when they breed, they will not settle, preferring to move their young regularly to avoid detection by predators.
Lore & CultureEdit
Humans and furrs have not had any luck taming this creature as a pet. It is not that it is impossible; the myu'saa isn't actually difficult to tame, though it really only becomes as tame as a feral cat, but with a greater wanderlust. It has no fear of humans, and will easily enough approach one that appears non-threatening, especially when offered something shiny or edible. But humans and furrkind have a troubled history with the animal. City myu'saa once hunted furrs and valuable pet bohars, not just rats. Later, when faced with greater danger from their prey and human predators, they opted to stop all hunting and started stealing already butchered meat from shops.
Myu'saa will sometimes bond to a Draian and become their familiar. Occasionally a spirit Myu'saa will act as a guardian to an individual in need.
- As a Familiar
Myu'saa will approach Draians in the wild merely to ogle at the odd little trinkets they create. As with humans, the myu'saa will usually try to take these things for themselves, but their thieving isn't taken as badly by the Draians, since they really only hold on to things for a short period of time and have a decent enough memory to find and return the object if asked.
Several myu' sometimes join with Draian packs for the hunting opportunity, but will disperse when feeling the need to travel again. The myu' only remain truly constant companions to Draians who wander. Those fierce, suited to patrolling often, with loose ties to the pack, and continent-wide wanderers, will offer the best mental stimulation for the animal. It is a useful familiar to have when journeying to new terrains because of their adaptability. Even though it is not normal for them, they will journey over empty lands and rest in the shelter in dens with their Draian. As long as no one tries to make them vegetarian, they are willing to break a few rules.
- As a Guardian
Like their living counterparts, myu'saa guardians rarely stick around for long after the objective has been reached. They teach their lesson and disappear, though they will never disappear without leaving a proper guardian for the new path and will sometimes even reoccur later in life when they have another lesson to teach. A drawback to a myu'saa's guardianship techniques is that they will not withhold information for long. In some cases this results in an unchecked flood of analysis, which may promptly make a long-term enemy of someone presented with a truth or fault that they are not ready to deal with.
The myu'saa guardian teaches adaptability and versatility while still keeping a strong sense of individuality and/or purpose. They often appear to those faced with a new and difficult situation, those that have lost their sense of purpose or self, and those in deep conflict with themselves and others. Myu'saa are neither rough nor gentle teachers, taking a rather matter-of-fact attitude in their teachings, and usually giving their charge an objective view towards everything. They still have their individual personalities and are hardly "all business". The majority of the time, they are actually rather casual. They serve not only as guides, but as friends—the kind that help relieve stress by being good listeners and pushing you into the water to show you what fun really is!
Like the living myu'saa, a guardian myu' will occasionally step out of its comfort zone and make an entirely new journey with the charge. It learns life's lessons along with their charge. Despite the obvious drawbacks, its objective analysis of every situation and event will usually provide a broader picture and offer new insight.