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Cathimpalas are a group of impalas who were converted by Italian crusaders gone astray. They then tried to convert the rest of their species, only to initiate a prolonged and bloody civil war. After fleeing their traditional lands, they resettled near Vatican City, where they live quietly to this day.

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

Britons Sir Edmond Cornwallis Olive IV and Arnie “The Stammerer” Zolts set out in 1150 to educate the masses with their short-lived 'Audio Manuscript for an Illiterate World,' which could be considered a forerunner to the modern Bugle. Due to their conversations being entirely in Latin, only a few people could understand their ranting, and of those people only one thought what he heard was worth writing down for posterity. That man was Thomas d’Oregano, a scribe for the Italian Prince Venerdi III, who was in London attempting to gain the support of British nobles in his campaign to Jerusalem. D’Oregano found the satirical commentary on the crusades refreshing, and so transcribed that portion of the audio manuscript. The transcription itself has been lost to time, but secondary sources say that it said something along the lines that the pope would soon be decreeing that any good Christian who didn't take up the cross, to seek to convert or kill the Pagans or Muslims, would be personally disemboweled by the pope himself.

The Conversion of the ImpalasEdit

Within the year the campaign set off for the Holy Land, but navigation being what it was in those days, they soon found themselves in the middle of the Sub-Saharan plains. But being good Christians they immediately set about converting the native populace anyway... in this case a few herds of impala and a single zebra who enjoyed the company of impalas, known Simply as Neigh! (Or Zebra in the traditional impala tongue). Neigh! became the herd’s historian, and it is due to his writings that we know any of the story of the Cathimpalas. Neigh!, known simply by his new, Christian name Alexander, tells us that the impalas became Christians with a gusto that made even the most religious of the Italian crusaders uneasy. After spending a few weeks with the impalas, whose herdmembers renamed themselves Cathimpalas, the crusaders continued on to the Holy Land, leaving much of their written works and a few knights behind to allow the Cathimpalas to continue their conversion to good Christian beings.

It is important here to mention that the written impala language is rarely used, impalas being a largely nomadic society and thus gravitating towards an oral tradition. But what is written down is considered sacred and unquestionably true, and the Cathimpalas maintained this philosophy even after they took Latin as their official language. Also note that sarcasm is an utterly unknown concept to many African species, the Impala being the most notorious among them. So when they came across the sarcastic rant of Olive and Zolts, as recorded by d’Oregeno, they took it to be fact, and soon set out to save the other herds roaming the savanna, least they suffer the pontiff's ire.

Impala Civil WarEdit

Alexander, being a Zebra and thus having no cultural taboos against recording events with the pen, writes proudly of the Cathimpalas’ first victory over the pagan impalic hords:

"In the fourth day of June in the year of our Lord, 1154, our glorious warriors fell upon those savage Impalians who refused to reject the devil in their hearts and embrace Jesus Christ our Lord and God. Having the advantage of surprise and the knowledge of war provided by good Prince Venerdi’s men, we slaughtered the heathens in great numbers before they fled, broken in mind and spirit, from the field of battle!"

It is important to note that in Alexander's account of the first battle of conversion, as he later calls it, the reasons for the victory were two-fold: the element of surprise and the help of the knights left behind. It appears that the knights were unnerved by the cold-blooded ferocity of the attacks and attempted to steer the Cathimpalas away from this type of extreme action. Alexander wrote that the Cathimpalas then said the knights had lost sight of God’s will, and then goes on to explain the gruesome penance which was carried out against them by wild Cathimpala monks (which would grossly violate various of the Bugle Wiki's policies to tell of here).

With their military aids saved (dead) and the rest of the impala herds now ready for them, the Cathimpalas were unable to reproduce their first victory and after a protracted and bloody civil war, the broken and scattered remains of the Cathimpala herds fled sub-Saharan Africa in the direction of the Vatican, (though being unable to swim or construct sturdy boats they were forced to take the land route through Asia Minor) where they arrived a mere three centuries later.

The Cathimpalas SinceEdit

Upon seeing the way human Christians, by this time split into various sects by the Reformation movement, practiced their faith, the Cathimpalas decided that it wasn’t worth the effort attempting to convert them to their brand of religion. The generations of Cathimpalas that followed were suspicious of outsiders, especially humans, and took to privately practicing their faith, which returned somewhat to a mindset that favored the old impala ways to the western civilization in which they now lived. When, in the early 1950’s, the impala herds formed their army and became a power onto themselves, the Cathimpalas acted as an important go-between for the Imapalian Army and the Catholic Church, most notably to stop the first attempt at creating the Bugle in the 1910's.

CultureEdit

Cathimpalas live a lifestyle that combines the grazing economy and oral traditions of the Impala with the fundamentalist beliefs and values of the Christian faith. Cathimpalas have among the lowest numbers of both divorces and homosexuals of any culture in the world, with only two couples divorcing and one homosexual Impala in their entire history.

Their views of religion differ slightly of their Roman Catholic counterparts in that they believe that the apostles Paul and John were in fact impalas, and they contend that any further epistles are heresy.

FlagellatingEdit

There exists a small group of Cathimpals that practice a form of ritualistic flagellating as a penance to God. It is similar to many Christian sects that have popped up from time to time. These Cathimpalans flagellate themselves with knotted cords as a punishment for their sins, which often leads to the disfigurement of their necks. Therefore it is possible to identify these Cathimpalas by their necks, which experts agree… are stupid. Nobody has, yet, worked out how they manage to whip themselves due to the whole hoof thing. Possibly there is a Cathimpala S&M group who help out on these occasions...

This would seem to justify the comment made by Andy Zaltzman in issue #41 of the Bugle, that sparked an outbreak of violence from the Impala community, but Zaltzman was, and still is, completely unaware of this sect. And anyway the comment was really just the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, as the conflict was destined to happen eventually.

Fuck you Chris

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