Yava is a term used by Bastet to describe a tribal secret inherent to all of their tribes. The secret of Yava is hidden from all outsiders, for it supposedly grants another being power over them if learned. It is most tightly guarded of all Bastet lore, and only exposed under the most extreme circumstances, if even then.


At the end of her First Year, a new-changed werecat finds herself alone. Before the Kuasha wanders off into the mist, he gives the newcomer a great gift — the three ultimate tribal secrets. These secrets, collectively called the Yava, must never be revealed.

Most Yava concern taboos or weaknesses, but their power extends beyond those things. Any supernatural creature (mage, werewolf, vampire, etc.) who knows a tribal Yava finds it easier to use its own powers against werecats from that tribe. Therefore, an outsider who knows a tribe’s Yava could pose a real threat to any member of that tribe, including the one who gave him the information. Any one of the three Yava might be true — perhaps all three are. This secret among secrets is the final initiation into full Bastet society; it’s a sign of trust and responsibility.

By Seline’s decree, a Yava can only be passed on with your consent. No force of mental magic can pry the secret from a cat who doesn’t want to reveal it. As some hunters have discovered, the Yava can be pried from a Bastet’s mouth with torture. According to Bastet traditions, the one who fails to keep the Yava will be killed and the one who acts upon it will be ripped apart by hunting cats. There is no forgiveness for this crime.

Telling some outsider your tribal Yava voluntarily isn’t a sign of trust — it’s betrayal of your entire race.


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