Nekomatas are land-dwelling creatures, closely related to Nekomimis, and evolved descendants of ProtoNekos; They have more feline behaviors and characteristics than Nekomimis. Nekomatas are a species under constant threat, with other species hunting them down out of hatred for their culture, a want for the land they hold, or to dissect their bodies for their meat. Their weight is comparable to a Human's, but they're a tad taller on average. The first game a Nekomata appeared in was in Day in the Life of a Harpy 2, and the first game a Nekomata was playable in was Mugeneko.
The most notable trait of a Nekomata is their cat ears, they have notably better hearing in regards to objects ahead of the listener, but it's easier to sneak up behind them because their ears are usually facing forwards. Another notable trait of theirs is their tail, which more often than not, has a mind of its own; some Nekomatas have learned to control their tail manually, and often use it for better operation of machinery or as a party trick. Their skin is covered with fur, though it is usually thin and functions just as peach fuzz, with some having slightly thicker, more proper fur. Other features include a catlike snout and whiskers. Nekomatas are more flexible than humans by a decent amount, and are more prone to physical interaction amongst each other than is considered normal for humans. Their larger height can be attributed to them needing to appear more intimidating due to their rougher living conditions.
Due to their constant being hunted, most Nekomatas have fled into hiding, with small populations usually totaling less than 20 per group scattered all across the western hemisphere, their populations in the eastern hemisphere are limited to a few major groups. The largest population of Nekomatas is in the Neko Reserve in Ascania.
Nekomatas have always greatly enjoy hunting, ever since their more primal times, they would utilize spears and crossbows to quickly take care of wildlife, their methods of cooking usually involve having one of their tribe's Espers use flame magic to cook the meal, if one isn't present, they'd start a campfire using glass shards found in the ruins of human buildings.
Nekomatas usually live in tribes, this is still intact in urban life, with tribes functioning more as political parties that push their political agenda upon the land they collectively inhabit. An average tribe consists of a leader, 3 representatives, 12 executives, and a varying amount of Espers depending on the population.
The leader of the tribe is selected based upon one's combat record and their general leadership ability. Sometimes a leader may rise naturally and be accepted by all of the people in the tribe, other times, a leader may be elected by the 3 representatives. More often than not, leaders are almost always charismatic war heroes that are well liked by the entire tribe.
The representatives are the collective 2nd in command, they all vote on what the leader's decisions to ensure that the tribe won't revolt against them. Every 2 years, the longest serving representative is removed in favor for a newly appointed one, this ensures that each representative's tenure is only 6 years.
Executives control sections of land in each tribe, keeping order to their allocated section of the village, usually appointing their own enforcers (that are approved by the representatives) to keep peace in their section. Executives are voted on by the people living in specific areas, so one's time spent in this position can last anywhere from 2 years to an entire lifetime. Executives are usually the ones to be promoted to tribe leaders.
Enforcers are essentially the police of the tribes, they patrol their local areas to take care of minor threats, and enforcers from all areas are sent to take care of larger issues, in wartime, it's not uncommon to see sections of the tribe's land completely deserted to fight against enemy forces in the event where Espers begin to struggle to fight defensively.
Arguably the most important part of ancient tribes, Espers serve as a powerful defense against invaders, and also serve to raise the quality of life within the tribe. Using powerful magic to deter any would-be enemy forces, and using weaker magic for utility purposes. Espers train for about 2 decades to gain the needed magical talents to become an Esper, it is a highly sought after position that not all can meet the standards for.
If someone takes Esper training but can't make it through the entire course, they are considered a mage. They are still highly regarded individuals, but are often pressured by others to continue their training to become an Esper.