Wait a second... These are a sapient race who breed with normal, unintelligent horses? I don't know, but in addition to the other flaws this post has, that detail just doesn't seem right. Maybe they don't care, but any description of an intelligent species that was fine with getting it on with what would be animals to them, whether or not it makes sense in the context of their history just seems a little weird.
Also, the fact that they "breed" so the Catfolk can sell their offspring seems to imply that because they are not quite as intelligent as other intelligent races, they are being taken advantage of.
Don't get me wrong... There are some good parts of this, but there is definitely some history and other information that needs to improve this.
"Also, they look like horses, which means, since they cannot talk, that the other races will *treat* them like horses"
Then how did the catfolk originally partner up with them? There's some history missing here that could explain some things.
"The Catfolk have also bred up a race of horses that are as far advanced over the Forevergrass horses as the Forevergrass horses are over the normal horses bred by the other races. The other races call them battlesteeds."
You say that the catfolk bred up the Battlesteeds. But then you say that they were created wholecloth from this Lord of Horses breeding with standard horses. So which is it?
Huh. I seem to have unleashed a monster here.
In my campaign, the Catfolk. the Wolfkind, the Dwarves, the Elves and the humans are all co-equal, separate but equal. Each live in their own realm and, in theory, all acknowledge the High King.
The bsttlesteeds were created very recently by the Lord of Horses. They are recognized as sentients, but ones that need help surviving in the world, since they 1) are less intelligent (?) (although the Catfolk realize that that is skewed towards being able to read and write) and 2) they are totally, physiologically, unable to speak any of the other languages. Also, they look like horses, which means, since they cannot talk, that the other races will *treat* them like horses. Battlesteeds have an honored, respected position in the Catfolk society.
I can easily imagine a plot hook where a human, or elf or whatever stays with the Catfolk for a while and one of the battlesteeds decides to partner with him. The Catfolk, with generations of protective instincts, say '[No', the battlesteed, with the support of other battlesteeds, says 'Yes', and we have a roleplaying scene where the Catfolk. the battlesteeds, and the prospective other party discuss it.
I don't have a problem with raising their IQ. In our game, 80 is the arbitrary cutoff for sentient intelligence, but since they can't talk, a higher IQ would work too.
Axlerowes, interesting plot idea, I may try to work it up into a scenario someday.
sverigesson, they took the updated strain of horses, the battlesteeds, and continued to refine them. Somehow, along the way, they discovered that the battlesteeds were different from regular horses. I can see a young Catfolk archer or something who starts to get the idea that his horse is trying to tell him something. Perhaps the Catfolk is also a bit of an empath and he realizes that it really *is* trying to communicate with him. A story there, I am sure.