Zodiac Leopard (A to Z, Z)

30 April, 2022

The birds flew out in clouds from the top of the tree as the great cat leapt from branch to branch.  The spots on its pelt flashed with stellar light as it moved in and out of the shadows.  When it saw me, it paused, its eyes glowing silver as if it was judging me.  Apparently, it found me . . . not a threat and pounded on its way.

Watching the stars (and you)The zodiac leopards were once the beloved pets of the goddess of astronomy, before she was slain, she freed them and passed on an inkling of her divine power to them in the hopes it would keep them safe . . . and so it has.

The patterns of the zodiac leopards’s spots matches those of various astrological signs, between three and six are on each leopard.  The patterns are empowered by magic allowing the leopard to call upon the aspects of the star signs so depicted.  They do this on an instictual level calling on the powers as needed to protect themselves and the other leopards as needed.  When the magic of the star sign is drawn upon, they glow with a stellar luminescence.

The zodiac leopards average around one hundred and thirty pounds (60kg) though they occasionally grow larger, to around two hundred pounds (91kg), and it is rumored that there is one zodiac leopard who is much larger who has been alive since before the Gods War and who was specifically tasked by the goddess with protecting the other leopards.  Sighting of the great creature are rare even amongst those who venture in the lands were the zodiac leopards roam and its existence has yet to be confirmed.

The reason that the zodiac leopards might need a protector is that their belts are highly prized, they are valuable foci for astrologically aspected magic and some people have become obsessed with seeking out and acquiring a zodiac leopard pelt that matches their zodiac sign.  Unfortunately for such hunters, the leopards have an innate sense of when they are being hunted and cooperate to actively hunt their hunters.

Those who have interacted with the zodiac leopards have found them to be quite intelligent for animals, a fact their hunters often lament,

Notes:  Z is another, and thankfully final, tricky letter.  Thank you for joining me on a romp though the unusual animals of the Sea of Stars.

Image found on the Graphic Fairy site and is in the Public Domain.

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