The Pumonca, also called Stormwalkers, are the werecougars of the Bastet tribe. They are the restless wanderers and guardians of the Bastet and constant in the move to protect their sacred home. Like all Bastet they share a Yava.
- A Pumonca is one with her land; if she leaves it for more than a full moon cycle, she will die.
- The essence of poisoned land (toxic waste, radiation, sewage) is deadly to a puma. Immerse him in its toxins and he will quickly perish.
- All beasts fear the puma. No horse will bear him, no dog will follow him. The great cats are his Kin and they befriend him, but no other animal can approach without terror.
The tribe traces their roots to Mother Earth and Father Sky in all their many forms. Thunderbird, guardian of Purity, swept the tribe into being and he flies beside them wherever they go. All Pumonca, even though without official Jamak, revere the Thunderbird for his honor, wisdom and ferocity. His charge to defend the sacred land almost led to the tribe's extinction, but they follow that command gladly, even now.
At one time, the Pumonca shared their lands with many other tribes of Bastet, and many other Killi as well. Since the Wars of Rage, however, they have walked alone, and this has hurt the tribe considerably. Gaia never intended for the werecougars to function without the support of the other Bastet, and they are not terribly well equipped to go it alone. They managed to make do with the aid of America's other native shifters, but the near-genocide of the second War of Rage and humanity's war on predators effectively removed even that tenuous support. They joined forces with the western Garou in order to defeat the Storm-Eater, but many Pumonca had fallen either to the Wyrmcomers or to the awakened Banes. As a result, the Pumonca are bitter, confused, and angry, and most are looking for a way to serve Gaia that lets them keep their pride and dignity intact. The lucky ones forge ties with Garou of the Pure Tribes, or perhaps with Mokole or Gurahl, but most just wander aim-lessly, fighting the Banes of the Wyrm, however they can so long as no one wounds their pride too terribly.
The Pumonca spend their entire lives traveling from place to place, looking for signs of Wyrm taint in the spaces in-between. It is their task to meander, to take their time, and to notice the world around them. However, this is only restricted to the Americas, because no Pumonca would ever leave his continent. Pumonca have a penchant for spreading stories and lore wherever they go. In the past, these were typically tales of great deeds, whether of Garou or Pumonca or anyone else who tickled their fancy that were shared at the camp fires with those who where interested. Nowadays, however, these stories are often bitter tales; the Second War of Rage has cut off the Pumonca from the rest of the Killi, and they have lost their focus as a result. This makes them quite difficult to work with, as they tend to be filled with bitterness and regret.
With the Amazon War heating up and their feline Kin re-establishing themselves in North America, the Pumonca have begun to take a more active role in the affairs of the Killi in general and the Garou in particular. In the process, they have become involved in everything from native rights movements to wars against the Sabbat vampires, and they have been happy to find that the Garou are typically glad to receive their help. So, for that matter, are the other Bastet tribes in the Americas. In the north, the Pumonca are aiding the Qualmi in their efforts to protect Alaska's great Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is under siege by political minions of Pentex that have opened it up for oil drilling. They have also taken to forming close ties with the Gurahl, whose recent reappearance is taken by many Pumonca to be a good omen for the future. Meanwhile, the southern Pumonca are becoming involved in the great war in the Amazon, fighting to protect the rights of Brazil's native peoples even as they assist the Balam and the Garou in ousting the Pentex invaders. The range of the Pumonca's activities is truly extraordinary, and is everything you'd expect from Gaia's Wanderers.
Pumonca have traditionally been most populous in North America, despite the fact that their feline Kin extend all the way into South America. Specifically, they tend to prefer wooded, mountainous areas, particularly the Rocky Mountains of the United States and Canada. But they have also found the Andes to be very much to their liking, and the Balam don't seem to mind sharing their territory with their northern cousins, particularly since the Pumonca rarely stay put for long and always respect the territories of those they encounter. Pumonca rarely establish territories, preferring instead to wander the continent and take in all it has to offer.
Pumonca tend to choose their human Kin from Native American racial stock, but the tribe is so loosely knit that this is no more than a general trend. The werecougars tend to be pickier about their feline Kin, however; those born from Florida panthers will find other cats in that population when it comes time to mate, and the same holds true for cougar populations ranging from the Rocky mountains right on down to the Andes.
Pumonca have no organization. They are so isolationist, in fact, that they are the only Changing Breed in existence whose members are more likely to encounter other Changing Breeds than others of their own kind. This has hurt the tribe considerably, since cubs have no real way to advance their rank and learn about Gaia and their role in protecting the world. Some of the tribe's elders (such as they are) are quite concerned about this, and are working on establishing at least rudimentary communications networks with their fellows. The Pumonca are independent enough that this is slow going, though.