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 Pride Days (IC)

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:14 pm

Coglon was not certain if Aziza could be trusted around Cyla, though she had made no move to harm Shebla. He walked past Cyla and emerged from the bushes, sitting back on his haunches, his tail curling around his paws, as he looked at the ligeress. A lock of his mane, which was starting to fully-grow in, as stubble had appeared around the lower parts of his neck, fell across his right eye, concealing it, though his left eye was still visible. His gaze seemed strange and alien in the night, his irises having darkened to a pure black like the void between the stars, and a white ring surrounding his pupils, which clearly glowed in the dark. His upper body was covered in strange markings in the form of scars, which had thickened and become like armor around vital areas there were spirals with offshoots like lightning on his shoulders, and a pair of spreading wing-like marks came from over his heart. These wings were neither feathery nor bat-like, but when looked at, seemed to be like those of a moth, with rounded triangular wings, the upper being larger than the lower. Long, trailing marks came from the lower edge of the hind-wing marks, protecting the area between Coglon's legs, and the upper part of his stomach.

Coglon watched Aziza silently for a moment, aware that if she picked up his scent, she would also smell Cyla on his fur, for he had spent so much time watching her that it would have rubbed off on him by this point. He said nothing, but it was clear he expected Aziza to say something to him. His presence, however, was absolute proof that Cyla had not killed him, as Aziza had sent the small lioness to do.

_________________________________________________________________________

Kyra did not disagree, and gently prodded Kavis, trying to get him to rise and eat.

(Yeah, running out of things to say for Kyra)

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:45 pm

Aziza's eyes widened with rage. Her pupils dilated and her ears fell. She dug into the dirt and then shut her eyes closed, restraining herself. "I sent her..." Aziza grumbled. She mumbled many grudges under her breath. Cyla stepped out from the bushes, her paw steps shaky. Aziza gave her a glare. "I expected more from you, Cyla..."

"I expected more from you too, Aziza. I expected you to kill her."

Aziza grimaced. "I'd rather kill you right now, to be honest. To think that you would live with her..."

"I won't even waste my breath arguing with you about her nature, Aziza. You're not worth it. Just say what you need to say and get out," Cyla croaked nervously.

Aziza's brow sunk. "Why did you leave me?"

Cyla turned almost immediately and showed her display of scars along her shoulder to the ligeress. "You're a liar, a cheat, a trickster, Aziza. I'm through following you. I want a new life."

__________________________________________________________

Kavis slowly rolled over just as Var brought the kill over and cut a bit out. Kavis took it with a paw and popped it into his mouth, chewing slowly. His eyes were still droopy and his gaze was off. He looked dazed, as though he were caught between this world and the next. His breath was rapid and hoarse sounding, even congested. Var looked up at Kyra.

"We should all rest."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:08 pm

Coglon's continued to watch Aziza, "Dalmaa's power was the reason you had followers, Aziza. Those who joined Moonrise Pride felt that they did not have a choice. Cyla remained as long as she did, because she feared what would be done to her if she opposed your orders. When she was captured in Sunset, she was placed into my custody; but she was given the freedom and protection to choose sides again. She may still be distrusted in this pride, and she may be forced to stay within my sight, but she is still more free, than had she been unattended, and serving you." He said.

As this confrontation took place between Cyla, Coglon, and Aziza, the moon had become a faint shade of blue, unusual, but not something anyone would be concerned about. What was strange was that as Shebla watched this, there was a faint breeze, rustling the leaves of all the foliage around her, and carrying with it, a moth. This moth fluttered over, and landed in front of her paws, where she would immediately see it. This moth was large, and appeared to be the same kind as the one depicted on Coglon's markings. It was a very pale shade of green, the membranes of the wings were even paler, and its body was white. Dainty, feather-like antennae curled from its head, and in the light of the moon, it almost looked as though it were glowing with a pale blue light, although she might have found it a trick of the eyes.

The moth rested before her for a few moments, before taking off again on another gust of wind, although it had not finished its journey though Sunset Pride just yet.


The moth next landed before the den of Gamba and Layla, where the two were currently resting, and watching over their three beloved cubs. If they happened to look out of the den, and see the moon, they would also see the moth. Omari, of course, who was the only cub to have open eyes, did see it, for he had heard the gentle beating of its wings, and had been woken up by it. He slowly padded to the den entrance, tripping a bit over his large paws, wide eyes looking at the strange creature. "Look, Mommy, Daddy, look. It's so pretty..." He said. Upon his words breaking the silence, the moth decided to fly up, and gently flutter down to land on a spot between Omari's eyes, opening its wings so that for a brief moment, it looked as though the eye-spots on the moth's wings were his eyes. The cub purred a bit, because it tickled, before it flew up and proceeded to fly into the den to land on the face of Kakra, the sleeping female litigon. From there, it slowly crawled onto Atsu's ear, Kakra's twin brother, and then down onto his face, also. The moth then took off, after being disturbed by a breeze that came into the den, and fluttered out of it, and away from sight.


The moth would next flutter into Jali and Sira's den, regardless of who was present inside of it. The moth would proceed to land on the faces of Sira's cubs, the young prince and princess, but only for a fleeting moment, before it fluttered out of the cave.


The moth would finally flutter away, past the moon, and out of sight.


All over the world this night, moths like this one came to touch the children, bringing with them a message, of which only one lion could see or read clearly. He was gone from the pride, however, and though he would return shortly, time was a relative thing, so one could not properly determine what 'shortly' meant.

_____________________________________________


Kyra nodded, but as she went to sleep, found herself dreaming once more of something she would deem to be prophetic. Her vision flickered to the image of a young baby primate, holding the hands of an older adult, who appeared to be bleeding to death from wounds inflicted by what seemed to have been a series of sharp points. They were the same species, both male, but Kyra did not recognize the species, except that the adult had the faintest amount of coloration that she had never seen before. The skin of his face was red and blue, noticed because of the fact that he was crying. She couldn't hear, but the male seemed to be saying something to the baby. Her heart was filled with sadness, watching this, as she noticed that there seemed to be no one present to help them.

The vision changed, as the wind blew, and both of them looked up suddenly, as though hearing something that frightened them. The male shoved the baby away, and as Kyra watched, the young monkey fled into the forest, as a stick with something sharp tied to it flew into the vision, which faded out, just before striking a killing blow to the adult.

The vision then flickered to a young male leopard cub, whose entire body was a mess of wounds that would leave hideous scars. His right eye had been gouged out, and was sealed shut from scabbed blood. He seemed to be limping desperately, and he would have looked pitiful, if not for the fierce determination in the remaining eye that she saw. His fur was so encrusted with blood that Kyra could not tell what color it was, or determine any markings. Despite this, the cub determinedly walked on, mutilated as he was, as he traveled north, guided by the light of the moon, which was an odd bluish-color.

The vision flickered out once more.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:07 pm

Aziza eyed the moth solemnly for a minute, then scoffed back at Coglon the next. She was indeed angry with their resilience, but she felt too defeated to fight back. She instead grimaced. "Very well," she said. She gave a harsh eye to Cyla and an angry shoulder. "I hope you enjoy your life here, Cyla," she hissed spitefully, in a way almost sarcastically. She then looked at Shebla. "We were getting at something."

Cyla tagged Coglon with her tail, still very nervous. "Let's go," she said and into the ferns she went. She pushed through the bushes and the undergrowth, crawling back to the camp's center and moving back to her prison den, kicking some mods and leaves over her and hiding, curled up in a furry ball.

Aziza then scowled, but following she relaxed her tensed muscles. "As I was saying," she said. "It's over for my family."

"Kavis still plots revenge," Shebla said.

"No, you're wrong. He'd be a fool, and Kavis is no fool. He knows his limits. Without Dalmaa he's nothing," Aziza said. She looked at her paws. "Kavis is the closest thing I ever had to a son. At times I've even referred to him as my son. But I know that I've ruined mothers for him."

"What do you mean?" asked Shebla. Aziza shook her head, her eyes finally beginning to water and looked as though hot coals covered in morning dew. Her ears then dropped and her tail fell silent. Shebla sighed. "I suggest you be on your way before you cause any more disturbances. You've already overstayed your welcome, anyways."

Aziza nodded. "Perhaps it's that time. Maybe one day we'll meet again..."

"I hope not," said Shebla.

Aziza nodded. "Same. But you know how old enemies always find each other." She took a final glance out at the moon and the winds blew through her fur. She gave a long, sad look to her paws. "It was always one of my deepest desires for you to understand, Shebla."

"I know now," Shebla replied, leaning forward a bit, as though to push the words into Aziza. "I get it." She was silent for a few moments as Aziza's soft breath grew fainter and fainter in any trace of happiness. Shebla's tail flicked and she sat straight and tall and looked out at the lake.

"There was so much more I had hoped to do..." Aziza said shakily. "I wanted Kavis to be a father and a mate. But I knew that no female would ever take him, not even a daughter of Snake. Kavis is handsome, but his wickedness is too great." Aziza tapped her reflection with her tail, in the water, sending ripples throughout. "But deep somewhere I knew this was bound to happen. I knew..." Aziza gritted her teeth as tears slipped from her eyes. "I knew he wouldn't win..."

"Then why did you keep going?" asked Shebla.

Aziza looked at her, red-faced and eyes bloodshot. "Because I knew that despite his defeat, Dalmaa would live on. Zalika told me. The Witchdoctors told me too, just before the Shadingtree collapsed on them..." She looked away again. "I knew that he would be angry with me, and I was afraid."

"He can't touch you now," said Shebla.

"Why not? Protheus detests me. He's not going to protect me, so what's keeping Dalmaa from destroying what's left of my life?" Aziza shook her head again and looked out at the moon. "But then again, what's left?" Shebla did not answer. Aziza finally returned her gaze to Shebla. "Don't ever forget."

"I won't," Shebla said.

Aziza gave a final nod and a solemn gaze. "Goodbye, Shebla." Turning, Shebla could have sworn she saw a half-smile on Aziza's face, the peace seemingly settling in. As Aziza parted, she was shooed out of the camp by the other lions in the area and finally out into the fields, disappearing from sight. Shebla had moved up to a high rock and watched Aziza as she left, eventually slipping into the shadow of the fields and being hidden from the moon's light.

Jali stepped up next to her. "Forget what?" He asked, confused.

"All that's happened this far," Shebla answered.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Five Suns Passed

There was a glad noise in the pride as the group finally made it into the center of the camp. Var, Kyra, Taru, Magir, Subira, Saber, Skar and her cubs, Ramla, and the feeble Kavis. Many gasped and shrieked at the sight of Kavis, but Var announced to them their reason for returning him. As they helped Kavis move into the medical den, Jali flanked them. Kavis fell to the ground immediately after entry of the medical den and Shebla rushed in with a mouthful of seeds. She placed them in Kavis' mouth and helped him chew them by moving his jaw for him. She then realized it wasn't going to work that way and someone would have to chew his food for him first. Though she found it unappetizing, she had done much more uncomfortable things. She chewed up the seeds and spat them into his open maw, while his dazed amber eyes simply stared into the open.

Shebla stepped back. "He'll live. It will take a very long time for him to recover. But he should be at walking strength in a few weeks. We'll start by feeding him some of these seeds for about a week, then we'll switch him to regular food." Shebla said. "He's in a very delicate state." Shebla looked at the others. "Congratulations, on everything. You should all go be with your families and your friends. I'm sure they miss you."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 am

A hushed wind blew, and a strange bird soared overhead. It looked like a vulture, except that its head was covered with feathers. If Shebla were to look up at the sky and see it, she would notice that it carried a bone in its beak. If she did, she would also see the vulture seemingly attempt to make eye contact, before dipping one of its wings, almost as though in a salute, with a small nod following it. Only Shebla would know this vulture, and perhaps she might have expected him to land, although Seker didn't. There was a reason, though, for why the vulture had obeyed his master's request. Love was an obvious thing, even when seen in people that had a warped or poor understanding of it. A lot of good individuals could be romantics at heart, even if only in secret. Ideals didn't often become reality, but one couldn't help but believe, if only for a few moments, that there was a chance of such wonderful things happening to them.

The vulture angled up, and then vanished into a cloud, never re-appearing, and returning from whence he had come. The time of landing was not yet, but he did serve another purpose, aside from appealing to the personal reasons. It was to see if it was time to return or not; although Seker sensed that it wasn't. There was something that secretly whispered to everyone, letting them know, advising them, on when was the proper time for things. Some heard it more strongly than others, but in the end, the whispering was wiser than a mortal being, or anything that could be measured with a span of time. There were also those who hated the voice, and ignored it, but they suffered grave consequence when they did. It had been a time to investigate, and a time to confirm that the Sunset Pride still stood, but it had not been a time to do anything else.

It had been a time, however, to signify one crucial thing that no matter how long the span, one could not afford to forget. The exile who had chosen his fate, and taken a path that led to hatred from the Pride, was still alive. He knew the Pride still stood there, and he would return, someday, though only when the whispers came to say so, would anyone know. The one who mattered most to know this, was the medical lioness. The wind whispered to her, and a silent voice told her to have strength, and remember that the day would come when he came back. She was the keeper of the key to his heart, and so, a silent tether connected them, and that tether would someday pull them together again. The true question, however, was if there was the strength to use the key, if the hated lock would fall away when the day came. That strength had not been explored yet, but the whispers claimed it was there.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:23 pm

Shebla eyed Seker as he passed and recognized him from her dreams. Ammon popped into her head and her eyes dropped a bit. She looked back up, seeing that Seker had vanished. She looked back at Jali. "All is good, Jali. Go, be with your family."

Jali smiled just before turning and moving down the ravine. Shebla kept her gaze at the starry night and the bright moon above. The fresh breeze moving through the tall grasses. It was peaceful and comforting all at once and the world seemed almost to move in slow motion. Shebla smiled at last, knowing in her heart that Ammon would return. Soon.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Two Moons Passing...

Big black paws padded across the dirt of the camp and stepped over the worn out grasses below. Two big amber eyes, innocent-looking, yet at the same time still possessing a lasting sensation of malice from their former bloody red father. Kavis dropped a bundle of herbs at the entrance to the medical den. Shebla emerged and smiled, nodding gratefully. "Thank you, Kavis."

Kavis nodded, turning and leaving. Jali approached from the other direction and looked at her. "How is he doing?"

"Quite well for his first week on his feet. He should be ready to hunt soon," said Shebla.

Jali nodded. "He hasn't been giving you any more trouble?"

"He had a few nightmares last night. Very nasty ones. I'm sure he doesn't even remember. But overall he's doing well. It's odd how different he is," Shebla said eyeing him as he walked off. Jali nodded in response. Shebla shook her head. "The Kavis that I met those moons ago was sly, cunning, a killing machine with zero emotions whatsoever. But now he's different. He actually seems a bit sweet, when you talk to him."

"I've noticed that," Jali said. "I spoke to him this morning. He seemed quite different. But there was still something in his voice that reminded me of his old self."

Kavis stepped out towards the lake and took a long drink. He seemed very thirsty. He soaked his paws a bit in the water. It had been a while. But he flinched when he saw his reflection. His fur stood on end and his face tightened, as though he were nearly about to cry, but not out of sadness, rather out of fear. He blinked his eyes a few hard times and closed them for a few moments. He gritted his teeth, breathed heavily, moved away, and opened them to only see dirt. He sighed, relieved. He felt a tapping at his back and he jumped, turning around. It was Var with Subira behind him. Though Subira looked as though she wanted to pull away. She wouldn't look at Kavis and looked as though she didn't want to be here.

"Kavis, it's Var. Do you remember me?" Var asked. Kavis hesitated but finally nodded. His eyes rapidly rushed around Var's form, and Var's own eyes seemed to hurt just watching them. Kavis said nothing. Var then spoke up. "How are you doing?"

"Good." Kavis said. It had been the first thing Var had heard him say since before the trip home. Var and the others hadn't been allowed to visit Kavis during his recovery, in case it triggered something. Shebla told them that there was still something strange about him.

"You remember Subira?" Var asked, looking back at his sister. She shot him an angry look, but he took it down with his own stern gaze. Kavis looked uneasily at her, remembering that she was the one he kidnapped and would have forced to bear cubs, had Var not shown up in time. He nodded and said nothing to her. Var looked awkwardly at Kavis. "How do you like our Pride?"

"It's a good Pride," Kavis said simply. He then grew a nervous look. "I'm sorry."

Var switched the subject. "If you need anything just let me know." Kavis nodded as Var and Subira walked off and he began walking back towards the other edge of the lake, walking along the shoreline. Shebla came up from behind him.

"It's a beautiful pride, isn't it?" asked Shebla. Kavis only nodded. "You're very lucky, Kavis."

"No, I'm not," Kavis grumbled. Shebla looked at him quizzically, but decided that it may be best not to ask yet. She still wasn't sure where his conscious was. For Ammon, she would have asked more. But Kavis was a much different task. She had a feeling that there wasn't something right. The nightmares were evidence.

"I remember when I was first brought here. My old mentor..." Shebla smiled. "He saved me, brought me back here. I felt so blessed. A bit like how you got here. We saved you. Do you like your new home?" Kavis didn't respond. Shebla grimaced but turned to leave him. "Let me know if you need anything."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:31 pm

It was then that there was an enormous uproar on one side of the camp, as Kyra was heard screaming with what sounded like shock, before falling out of the ironwood tree at the edge of the clearing, and landing roughly on the ground near Coglon's neatly-structured den. She rolled away a bit, but quickly recovered, having not fallen from a particularly high place. She did, though, look with a mix of surprise and anger at what had scared her off of the branch in the first place. Her limbs shook so much, though, that it was more like indignation at what had been done. Closer examination of the branch itself revealed the culprit responsible for sneaking up on her so effectively.

A strange lioness was lounging on the tree limb, laughing, as though she had just witnessed the most hilarious event ever. It seemed more like a mean prank, though, and nobody had any idea who this strange female was, although they immediately felt a certain degree of disdain, whoever she was. She was average in size and height, and she didn't look as though she had come from any sort of lion clan, although her looks were rather distinguished. Her fur was a darker tone, sort of brownish rather than gold, and she had a few black dots on her fur where the markings hadn't faded with age. There was a notable black dot next to her left eye, which might have been seen as cute, if she hadn't been laughing at someone else' misery. Her eyes were a pure shade of yellow, the color so intense that they might have glowed in the dark, and they were ringed by just the faintest darker patch of fur, giving them an almost hooded look.

Kyra shot a glare at the stranger, "Hey! What's wrong with you?!" She growled, angry.

The stranger finally stopped laughing, and regarded Kyra with amusement, "Ah, I can't make an entrance without messing with someone, forgive me for pushing you, but I wouldn't do it if I thought you would get injured from falling from up here." She finally calmed down, and her face became more serious, and somehow, more suspicious, just because of the arrangements of her features. "My name is Masika, I'm a wanderer. I smelled your pride's boundaries, and thought I'd drop by. I mean that I literally planned to jump out of the tree and surprise everyone, but that didn't really happen."

Kyra's expression changed to one of an incredulous nature, "You...what?" She then shook her head, "Okay, so you really didn't expect me to be up there, but when you saw me, you couldn't resist pushing me because it was funny, right?"

Masika nodded, lowering her head on the branch, "That's all there is to it. I don't know what I am, but I think you're a bit of a Turtle."

Kyra became confused again, "Turtle?"

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:43 pm

Var had rushed over as soon as he heard Kyra's scream and took to her side. His black mane, as it rushed through the wind, seemed to have grown a bit more than it had been two moons ago. He looked from her to this stranger. He gave an almost hostile glance at her, his gaze cautious and suspicious of her. "Masika," he repeated. "Why are you here? How did you even get past the sentries?"

Shebla bounded up through a gully of bushes and sprang out next to Var and Kyra, her senses alert. "I heard screaming, what's wrong?" she asked. She seemed very worried, and her ears were likely trained to be alert for screams and her conscious trained to react immediately. She was high on her paws.

Var shook his head. "Everything's fine, Shebla. Kyra just got spooked by..." he looked back up at Masika, Shebla's gaze following. "She says her name is Masika," Var added.

"Well, as long as she's not here to cause trouble she's fine. If you've got this handled I've got to go show Kavis around the camp," she said.

"How is he?" Var said in a more hushed voice, leaning towards Shebla to hopefully prevent Masika from hearing.

Shebla rolled her eyes. "He's strong. But I can't understand him. He's... he's odd. He avoids everyone to the best of his ability. But I'll tell you more later, not sure we should be talking about this right now," she said giving a short glance to Masika. She took back down the path aligned with bushes that cut past behind the medical den and opened up to the lake.

Var looked back up at Masika. "Well?"

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:59 am

Masika's tail flicked coolly, as she answered Var's question, "Your sentries' ability to guard against threats on the ground isn't something that you should see as faulty, their security is actually a bit tighter than most prides I've seen in the past. The major flaw in the way you guard your territory, though, lies in the fact that you only think about the ground, and don't consider the trees as a mode of transportation. There are leopards and baboons. They are both far more skilled in climbing than a lioness could ever be, and both kill and eat prey. If you want your ability to guard your territory to improve, you need to be aware that foes can come from the trees, just as they can come from the ground." She tilted her head at an angle a bit, casting a shadow over her face because of the way light fell on it, "It would be a shame, if something with a taste for lion's flesh were to stumble upon you, right now." Her tone on this note was dark, to the point that it sounded eerily by a threat. She immediately laughed a bit afterwards, and shook her head, revealing that it was actually some form or fashion of twisted humor, although it was still nerve-wracking and uncomfortable to listen to her say such things.

She looked at Kyra, before settling her gaze on Var, "There's no need for you to treat me like a threat, when I don't have hostile intentions. As a nomad, I travel around Ethiopia based on the weather, so that I am always following the pattern that produces an abundance or prey. I found you as a consequence, because there was not a pride here previously. You will find, because of the fact that there are not as many prides in Ethiopia as there used to be in the past, that there are actually many more wanderers like myself. You will never know when they might show up, and if you show hostility, you don't know what their connections are, although there are loose networks among us, so we always know where we should go, and when. It's a community, in itself, that you probably don't even know exists."

She sighed, and looked up at the morning sky, calmly regarding it, "I was reading some markings drawn further west from here, about seven suns ago. I recognized what they meant, so if you think I'm dishonest, I can give you a prediction that will probably be accurate. There's another nomad who is a spinner of yarns, in other words, a storyteller, who was heading in this direction. The only reason I got here first was because I don't like to wait around and contemplate things like he does, as I think I know this individual; I think I recognized the scent from somewhere. The chances are that he will want to tell a few of his stories here, in return for perhaps a few days' staying under your protection, before setting off again. He's a clear Fennec, but I mean that in the best way possible." She then seemed displeased a bit, "I still don't get how anyone can be that cheerful all the time."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:16 am

Var gave a thoughtful hum. The wind ruffled his mane. He inspected Masika thoroughly, but he detected no visible lies and simply nodded. He started a sentence, but he felt someone's presence behind him and turned to see Jali approaching from behind.

"Morning everyone. Who is this?" asked Jali.

"She said her name is Masika. A wanderer, apparently," Var said.

"I see," Jali said, his mind trailing off. He inspected her just as Var had done. "Well, Masika, welcome to Sunset Pride."

"This is our king, King Jali," Var said with a gesture of his tail. Jali nodded in return. Jali turned his head for a moment, distracted, as he saw Kavis at the side of Shebla. Shebla was pointing out the various dens and locations of the pride and was leading him towards the kill pile. He nearly smiled, seeing the sight. He still didn't trust Kavis quite as much, but seeing Shebla work with her patients was always a warming sight. A blue butterfly pestered her ear and she shook her head, smiling. Jali came back to reality and looked at Masika.

"Well, Masika, do you plan to stay? I believe we can find you a den if so. Most are full, but there's plenty of room to make one," Jali said. "I only ask because usually when we encounter visitors, they become members of this Pride. I don't recall many people who didn't stay. We are a welcoming Pride."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:15 pm

Masika tilted her head thoughtfully, "It is extremely kind of you to offer me a place in your pride, right after meeting me. The problem lies in the fact that you don't know me, and I don't know your pride that well, either. I might stick around for a certain period, but I cannot guarantee whether or not I would choose to permanently reside here. I do not want to make any sort of hasty decision, since choosing to settle in a single spot isn't something that should ever be taken lightly. I could stay in your camp for a bit, a few suns, maybe, and see how that works out, since I wanted to be here to meet the Fennic and listen to a few of his tales myself, but I won't promise you that I'll stay, even after that." She flicked her tail a bit, pondering, before remembering to add something.

"Sorry, you might not have overheard what I just told the Wolf, you probably don't know what I'm talking about. There's another nomad whose trail I crossed seven suns ago. I've met him before, and he's a storyteller, so he visits large groups under a regular basis, but he generally moves at a slower pace, which is why I got here before he did. He will probably show up by this pride in the near future later, and I guess you can say that I'm trying to put in a good word for him." It was then that she suddenly moved, leaping down from the tree limb, and landing impressively near the three Sunset pride lions, perfectly on all four of her feet. "You'll meet a lot of strangers in these times, lots of weird signs in the sky, like the blue moon a few nights back, and the lunar eclipse earlier before that, and such. Do I have any idea what all of that means? Not a clue, but nomads tend to be more superstitious about it. Usually that just means, 'Hey, start walking!'".

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:43 pm

"Wolf?" Jali asked, confused. He pushed that aside. "I'll have Kal fetch you a place to sleep, then." Jali opened his mouth once more to speak, but he was interrupted by the tiny voices of two individuals moving down the slope from the cave in the distance.

"Daddy! Daddy!" one small cub ran straight into Jali's back right paw. Jali smiled, looking back to see little Thema and Ramses. Two Moons old and happy, healthy, and strong. Thema was bright eyed and took her father's blue eyes. Her fur was soft and bright and speckled with hundreds of spots. She had a light tuft at the end of her tail, looking as though bleached by the sun. The same color of fur grew at her head and began to sprout as a tuft as well. Her brother, Ramses, was only a bit bigger and took his mother's brown eyes. He stood proud and tall even at this young age, taking his father's pride. He had slightly oversized paws and his tail was slightly shorter than Thema's. Thema went on with her joyful mewing. She pawed at Jali's hindlegs, as though she were attacking her prey. Ramses jumped up and clung to Jali's tail and giving playful "roars".

"I'm the best warrior in the land!" Ramses growled.

Jali laughed, pawing back playfully at his cubs. "That you are!" he chuckled, falling to his side and letting the cubs tackle his torso. "You both are," he said. Jali playfully rubbed the pads of his paw on Ramses' little head and the cub jumped up onto his shoulders, leaping up onto his head. He fell forwards, Jali catching him quickly with his paw and setting him back on the ground. He leaned down to their eye level. "I hear old Uncle Taru say he was the best fighter in the Pride, why don't you go show him he's wrong?!"

"Yeah!" Thema growled, her tail flicking wildly. "Come on Ramses, let's go get him!" The two cubs took off down the camp, moving towards Taru's den. Jali laughed as they took off and turned back to Var, Kyra, and Masika.

"Well, Masika, if you need food, the kill pile is at the center of the camp, by the edge of the lake," he said pointing with his tail down the long dirt clearings and winding paths. "The medical den is just beside it. My den is the cave in the west," he said pointing back at the cave on the hill, just a distance away. "You've met Var and Kyra, but there are plenty more to see. Beware the cubs though, you're liable to get pounced on while around them," Jali grinned. "And one more thing..." The King glanced over his shoulder a moment and back at where he had seen Kavis and Shebla earlier and came back to meet Masika's gaze. "Our Pride is a good Pride. Our people are good-natured and peaceful, until one crosses them. But we do have one lion in our possession that we're still cautious with. He's a black-furred lion. You'll know him when you see him. He was once a violent lion, but we believe he is tamed now, but still, you'll want to be cautious if you approach him. We have him being watched at all times."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:46 pm

Masika squinted one eye, "If he was violent at one point, I could see why you would distrust him. On the other foot, though, trust is a mutual thing, and what you give is what you get, most of the time. Constantly watching someone might be warranted, but it would also send a strong message that you hate them, because it proves you are unwilling to give them the chances they need to prove they are worthy of you." She looked out into the forest, as though searching it, "As a nomad, relationships for us are built on trusting that a message is telling the truth. It is putting your faith into the paws of a complete stranger. You will find that if someone is truly good at heart, they can do good things, if you give them the chance."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:27 pm

"You make a valid point," Jali said. "Something I will ponder. I will leave you to it, though. I should be getting back to my cubs," and Jali departed, padding down the rugged path. Var looked at Kyra and Masika quietly for a moment and then stretched, yawning. It was at this point that Saber began walking past them, followed by his young, dark-furred cub, Osiris. Saber's mane was its usual black peppered with strands of gray. He wasn't necessarily an elder, but he was much older than most people in the Pride. He stopped when he saw the two of them.

"Var, where is Shebla?" he asked. He looked rather distressed. His mane was a bit ruffled and his eyes were swollen with tiredness. Osiris hid behind his hindlegs shyly. Var shrugged in response.

"I think she went off with Kavis somewhere," said Var. "What's the matter?"

"Megira's come down with a nasty cough," Saber replied. "I don't know what herbs to give her. Thought I'd talk to Shebla." He eyed Masika. "Who's this?"

"A newcomer, Masika," said Var. Saber nodded and began moving again, Osiris at his heels. They quickly shuffled away and Var wondered what to do next. He turned back to Masika. "Anything in particular you'd like to do? Hunt? Eat or drink maybe? Meet someone? There's a lot to do here. Maybe you'd simply like a tour? You're storyteller might not show up for a while and you might need something to keep you occupied."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:27 pm

Masika seemed to quietly muse to herself for a moment over the options she had, although in the end, she was undecided, "I don't think I'm particularly hungry, and I just walked a long distance through treetops, so I'm not exactly interested in hunting, either. I guess you can just show me around and introduce me to the lions here?" She asked, tilting her head a bit. The innocent gesture became more shady as the darker line of fur formed a mask around her eyes. Masika did not have much interest in mind aside for perhaps resting a bit, and perhaps trading nomadic lore. It was a unique culture, a world hidden from all others with stories and traditions that were filled with great meaning.

She looked around at the camp, and saw that there was a lunar calendar in its center, marks declaring the typical weather pattern and season carved into each pillar's face. She looked around, and then saw the Great Healer, Shadow, reclining a distance away in the shade of a tree. He was almost pure black, although brighter light suggested that his fur was merely a dark shade of brown. He looked unusual, for strange markings had been branded into his flesh, and in addition to these, a living vine was twined around his body, wooden in appearance, yet somehow capable of permitting perfectly free movement, as though nothing restricted the lion at all. This vine, which had previously only possessed leaves at his tail tuft, had sprouted all along his back into a form of shrubbery, looking as though he wore the coating of a bush. Small nubs had appeared among the vines carefully cultivated along his back, indicating that they would soon sprout more pieces that would need to be trained, but overall, the vine was filled with much more life than before. Additionally, the leaves had changed color, taking on a dark olive coloration, with pale greenish-purple veins running through them, while becoming waxy in appearance, as though the plant had suddenly matured. Most suspected this was because of the end of the conflict between Protheus and Dalmaa, as it had seemingly healed many problems in the world.


Makisa inhaled slightly, "A Kubwa Muti? One is residing in your pride?"

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:52 pm

Var nodded, seeing as Masika had discovered Shadow. "He's done a lot for us. I'm surprised he still hangs around, being of a nomadic background," he said. He gave Shadow a thankful glance. "Masika, this is Shadow. He came to us a few moons ago, during the wet season. He healed a lot of people." Saber passed again, this time with a mouthful of herbs. Likely given by Shebla and Osiris was at his heels again. Shebla followed shortly afterwards with Kavis dragging glumly behind her. His amber eyes hiding behind some black fur curving forwards and draping over his face. He looked very shy and his body was uncannily weak and skinny but fluffy enough to make him look almost normal sized. Shebla smiled, seeing Masika.

"Sorry I wasn't able to introduce myself earlier," she said, stepping up. "King Jali told me you were staying for a bit. I'm Shebla, I'm the medical lioness." She said with a welcoming grin. She looked over her shoulder at Kavis, giving him an encouraging flick with her tail. "Kavis do you want to introduce yourself?"

Kavis looked up from his paws, but his eyes not looking directly into Masika's. "Hi," he said. "I'm Kavis." Shebla gave him another flick in reward and smiled.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:45 pm

Masika tilted her head to one side, before doing something unexpected, if not a bit childish. She moved so that she was directly in the line of Kavis' sight, so that before he knew what she was doing, he was looking the lioness in the eyes. "It's nice to meet you, Kavis. I'm Masika." She said, her yellow eyes glittering with a kind of playful delight that seemed almost contagious in nature. She then swiftly straightened up, so as not to make the lion too uncomfortable. He looked like he didn't feel a large degree of confidence about himself, and somehow, Masika couldn't see how anyone could distrust the lion, as scared as he seemed. Kavis didn't look dangerous at all, in fact, he looked more like he was fearful of what others would think of him.

She then became aware of a tiny voice coming from behind her, and realized that someone's cub was stalking her tail. "Waiting quiet in the bush, the hunter slowly sneaks up on her prey. The prey is not aware that a powerful warrior lies in wait for it, and the hunter draws ever-nearer to her victim..." Masika thought it was adorable, this cub seemed to be narrating her actions. She gave a kind of wink at Kavis, and when the little female cub jumped on her tail, she let out a mock-cry of pain and tumbled to the ground, sticking all four legs straight into the air for comedic effect, "Ah! A hunter has grabbed my tail! The pain! The horror! I think I'm gonna...gonna..." She then pretended to choke, and let her legs go slack, and her head to tilt to the side, her tongue sticking out, and her eyes closed. She had melodramatically pretended to die.

The cub, none other than Gamba's daughter Kakra, who had only recently matured enough to start walking around, was already somehow managing to engage in extreme activities like pouncing on things. The young litigon walked, tripping over her paws, to stand next to Masika's face, flicking her tail playfully, before pawing at Masika's snout. It was then at this moment that Masika's eyes shot open, and she gave a mock-roar, opening her mouth wide to bare her teeth. Kakra immediately backpedaled from it, as Masika stood up, "I cannot die!" She cried, letting power project in her voice.

Kakra's ear twitched, "I will find your weakness...maybe tomorrow, the warrior must return to her den!" She said, immediately turning to retreat back to her parent's den, before tripping over her paws.

Omari, her older adoptive brother, already a bit bigger than her, although only temporarily, stepped out of the den, a tuft of dark brown-black fur already growing on top of his head. He was a beautiful young male, his fur a unique brown, tan, and black brindle color, and his eyes the deepest, darkest shade of midnight blue. He looked greatly different from the orange-gold and striped appearance of his twin siblings. "Kakra, you shouldn't be doing that." He said, his voice already sounding mature beyond that of one his age. "If you get crushed, Atsu will fly into a panic."

Kakra flicked her tail, "He worries too much!"

Omari tilted his head a bit, "Does he?"

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:19 am

Upon Masika's greeting, Kavis' eyes followed her after she stepped back, for just a moment. They fled back down afterwards, nervously. He cracked an awkward smile, not knowing what to do or say next. Then came the cub. Perfect. It got the subject off of him. Although the Pride had renounced their hatred of him, he still felt alone and unwanted. Unloved. It was evident by the glares that people like Saber gave him on a day to day basis. The sarcastic, at times disrespectful murmurs that older cubs gave him. Mira's cubs were largely guilty of this. Their father, the warrior Kal, had obviously done some gossiping during the old war. He felt odd when Shebla assigned him to help elders and the injured patients and they would either be ridiculously rude to him or ignore him altogether. But he did his best to ignore. Behind his back, Shebla worked to spread good feelings about him. She smiled intensely after Masika's greeting to him.

"If this goes well..." Shebla thought, "She may be a good friend for him. She wasn't around during the war. Her opinion of him won't be so spoiled since she wasn't around. He needs someone who wasn't around to see him and get that horrible first impression of him." She watched as Masika played with Kakra and gave a laugh. "You seem to have a way with children, Masika. That's good. Our Pride has a lot of them," she giggled. "Kal and Mira's three, Sira and Jali's two, Gamba and Layla's three, and Saber's only son. We had a pair of older males but they left just half a moon ago for their own prides."

[i]"Thank goodness..."
Kavis thought. He hoped Shebla had not seen the relief in his face, but he kept his head angled so his mane fell over his face.

Shebla looked at Kavis. "Kavis, I need to go check on Megira. I'll leave you here. You should walk a bit with Masika. This is as much your first day getting a full view of the camp as it is hers."

"But Shebla, Jali told you to stay with--" Var began. Shebla interrupted his sentence with a grunt and a rotten look. Var hadn't seen her utter a sharp face before and felt his face drain of blood for a moment. He felt an icy chill in his belly that made his fur ruffle and his body slightly twitch nervously. Her look faded and she gave him a calm glance.

"He'll be fine Var. You and Kyra should come with me too, I need to talk to you about something important." Shebla said. Var grew even more anxious. Leaving Kavis alone with Masika. How could Shebla do that? But he took himself back to what Masika said earlier. Maybe if Var just tried to trust him. It was hard, especially after what Kavis tried to do. It was hard for Var to leave him hating him in his heard and then have him reappear and be expected to treat him like family. But he didn't want to argue with Shebla. He tagged Kyra with his tail and began following Shebla as she took off down the path. She looked at them both as they came down the path. "If I'm on Kavis every hour like a vulture, he isn't going to go very far. Sure, my job is to watch over him, but more importantly my job is to help heal him. That's my biggest priority and Jali knows that. So I have to give him a little bit of freedom, you know."

"But why would you leave him alone with that poor girl?" asked Var. Shebla gave him a glance that made him understand. "Oh, I get it," he added. "She's a clean slate for him. She didn't get the same first impression we did, so she won't be so fixed on opposing him."

"Exactly. I'm not sure how long Masika will be staying with us. I don't even know what kind of person she is. She could be a murderer for all we know. But she took kindly to Kavis even after we told her he was dangerous, I believe Jali would have told her that right?" Var nodded. She continued, "She took kindly to him. She proved to be good with cubs. Friendly. We still have a lot to learn about her, but I'm hoping she'll stay for just a little bit. Kavis knows that most people hate him. He won't improve until someone else befriends him. I'm just hoping there might even be the smallest chance that she might be beneficial to this."

"What if she isn't?" asked Var. Shebla shrugged.

"We'll get to that when it comes."

Meanwhile, Kavis awkwardly shifted his weight from one paw to another and gained the courage to lift up his eyes. He didn't smile though. Not yet. "So..." he began. He shuffled his tail along the ground. He came to look her in the eyes. "What are you like?"

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Layla emerged from the bramble, jumping off a ledge along the side. She came down to her two cubs, overhearing the conversation. "Who's getting crushed? What's going on?" she asked. She knew everything was probably alright, but motherly protective instincts kicked in. She licked them both along the foreheads.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:45 am

Masika tilted her head to one side, “Well, I could probably explain over a span of time that would be about five moons, a night, and a day. There would be a large number of details I’d miss, or I would mess up on something and have to start over.” She twitched one ear, her eyes gleaming, “That is why even though it is easy for me to determine and tell others what creature they are most like at heart, I have never been able to judge the thing that I myself resemble." She then flicked her tail playfully, "They don't get it, though, that even if a creature might have an overall negative reputation, that I never judge based on negative things. All things have something good about them. Kyra is like a Turtle, Var is like a Wolf, and Shebla is like a Butterfly. The little cub that pounced on my tail is like an Eagle, and Shadow is a Vulture."

She then looked intensely at Kavis, "I think you're a bit like a Dragonfly, but that's a good thing."

_____________________________________________________________

Kyra's tail twitched, "What was it you wanted to talk with us about, Shebla?" She asked.

_____________________________________________________________

Omari looked up at Layla, "Kakra is somehow already pouncing on random strangers, even though as young as she is, she shouldn't do that for another seven suns. I was telling her that if she accidentally got hurt in the process, Atsu was going to worry again." His ear twitched, "Actually, I believe Atsu is about to do exactly that." He said, just before Atsu emerged out of the den.

Atsu, Kakra's older twin brother, was a lean, gangly cub, although he largely looked awkward because at the end of his long, thin legs, there was an enormous set of paws that made him look as though he had stones tied to his limbs. There was actually nothing wrong with him, and he would grow into the size dictated by the paws, although Gamba had already determined when Atsu began to lose early the chubbiness that most cubs possessed at birth, he would be naturally thin, and perhaps slightly comparable to a cheetah in regards to his figure. Where such long legs came from, whether it was Layla or Gamba's side, was a family mystery that remained unsolved. He would, in the end, have a rather luxurious mane, not because of a thickness which was destined to be greater than his father's, but because the small brownish-orange tuft on his head possessed the softest fur to ever be found among lions or tigers alike. It was like silk or the down of a baby bird's, and when anyone came to visit and saw the cubs, it took a considerable amount of will to resist the urge to gently touch Atsu's fur.

Atsu currently wore a look of worry in his amber eyes, as he walked over to Kakra, repeating the same question his mother had just asked, "Who's getting crushed? Kakra, are you alright? You didn't get hurt?" He was now fidgeting over his sister's safety. Atsu did not worry about Omari, but Kakra was already marked for being a bit impulsive, and leaping into things without careful consideration beforehand. As Kakra's older twin brother, he seemed to feel responsible for any troubles that befell her, and was a worry-wart as a result. Overall, though, his father had been trying to teach him that while being concerned was good, worrying did not help, or make one take him more seriously. Now, Atsu only showed his worry when he thought Kakra had done something to become injured.

In contrast to the twins, Omari was different from the two litigons, and greatly stood apart from all of the cubs in the pride, in general. His speech and intelligence was clearly beyond that of a regular individual, and his senses, as his parents had already determined, were also acute beyond a regular lion's. Omari, despite not having his father's blood, could see in the dark, just as his siblings could. He could smell the faintest of things that even the most talented tracker could not detect, and at a range that was far greater than normal. Likewise, Omari's vision seemed capable of spotting things from miles away, and his hearing was suspected to be strong enough to detect the heartbeat of a mouse from an incredible distance. In addition to his advanced intelligence and senses, it seemed that Omari was not doomed to the fate of having stunted growth. He was going to be as big as his adoptive twin siblings, and he seemed predisposed to having muscle on his frame.

One would think Omari would be playful, as a cub, but in truth, he was not. He did not play with the other cubs, even though he was old enough, but instead, he silently watched the activity around him. When other cubs called him strange or odd, he would merely offer a mysterious look of amusement. It was hard to determine what he was thinking, but one suspected that he had some sort of capability that was greater than he let on. Gamba had started taking Omari a short distance into the woods to teach him certain hunting skills, and upon the first of these trips, he returned with news for his mate, that their son was truly a prodigy in every sense of the word, and had not only immediately learned from his father, but that he had somehow picked up techniques just by watching warriors who practiced in the camp, and managed to successfully execute them. Omari had never displayed his skills in front of anyone other than his father, however, and it seemed he intended to keep his talents as much of a secret as possible.

In the end, Omari was stand-offish and a bit aloof compared to his siblings, but it seemed this distance was mostly appearances. There were many occasions when he genuinely behaved like a brother. It seemed that the cub was simply more reserved than the others.

In response to Atsu's fretting, Kakra batted his face with her paw, "You worry too much, Atsu. That lioness is nice."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:29 pm

Layla raised a brow, wondering who had arrived. She peaked her head over some bushes to look at the camp clearings, looking for the newcomer. She spotted Masika and Kavis just in the distance. "That's right, Kavis is being let out today," she thought. At first she wouldn't have recognized Kavis, but his jet black fur was memorable enough to tower over any change in appearance. "He looks so different. Who is that with him?" She looked back at the cubs. "You should be careful though, Kakra. She's a complete stranger, she could have been a nasty one. But I'm glad you're having fun," she said smiling. "Who is this stranger, though? Did you hear a name?"

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kavis tilted his head slightly, then began to smile. "A Dragonfly?" he repeated, a bit happily. "I like Dragonflies." He was silent for a moment more and began looking directly at Masika a bit more. He oddly felt more welcomed by her. She likely didn't know who he was or what he had done in his life. She had no knowledge of the Dark King. That was a good thing. He gained a bit more confidence at this. "There's tons of them over at the lake. Want to see?" he asked invitingly.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Shebla repeated what she had said to Var. "I'm hoping we can keep Masika here for a few days. She doesn't have any knowledge of Kavis' past and therefore won't judge him as poorly as everyone else does. It could give him the start he needs, at least. He needs a friend or at the least an acquaintance that wasn't involved in the war."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:40 pm

Kakra seemed perplexed, “Her name was…” She drifted off, “I didn’t ask….” She said, before sinking down on her paws and resting her head lightly against the ground with irritation at her own lack of consideration for something so important. Although she often acted on impulse, she was not foolish. She knew that names were important, and that it was bad if she forgot to ask a stranger who they were. “I guess I should ask her, but she’s talking to that black lion that everyone says we should stay away from.” She looked up at Layla, “Mom, what did he do? Everyone says he did something bad. I don’t think he’s bad, though.” Kakra, being too young to know what Kavis had done to deserve the treatment that the pride gave him, did not understand. For as long as she could remember since she had opened her eyes, he had just been Shebla’s patient that Kyra and Var had brought to the pride. She was too young to remember Kavis as the Dark King.

Atsu was generally more likely to believe what his peers said about others, and while he, too, had doubts about Kavis being a bad lion, he did not like taking risks in matters where his little sister was involved. “Kakra, we don’t know what he did, but if he did something bad, then you need to be careful. Maybe he doesn’t do bad things anymore, but all the adults say we shouldn’t go near him, so we can’t. The rules are the rules. We aren’t supposed to go near strangers.” He said.

Kakra raised her head up from the ground to look at her brother, before it sank back down again, as she seemed frustrated, “I don’t get it! Why?” She asked.

“It’s because they said so.” Atsu said. He then sat down on the ground next to her, and lowered his head so that his snout almost touched hers. If Kakra looked up, he would be right there. He then proceeded to stare at her, until Kakra seemed to grow annoyed.

“Go away…” She murmured into the dirt.

In response, Atsu slowly reached over, and tapped her on top of the head with his paw, his tail slowly flicking.

Omari, meanwhile, shook his head slowly as he watched the two, a faint hint of amusement on his features, before turning to look at his mother, “I heard when they were giving introductions. The lioness speaking to Kavis is named Masika. She claimed that she was a nomad, and that a storyteller would be heading in this direction.” He then looked as Atsu went on pestering Kakra, trying to aggravate her to get her out of whatever sort of mood she was in. “Masika got past the sentries by walking in the trees. She is very smart." He observed.

_______________________________________________________________________


Masika's eyes gleamed, "Oh, I do like dragonflies, but I never get to see them because there's not a lot of lakes I pass on my usual route. Sure, I'd love to see them. Did you know there's a way to get one to stand on your paw?"

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:12 pm

Kavis shook his head. "I didn't, come show me," he said. He turned and proclaimed, "This way," and began walking down the clearings and paths. He led her to the shore where the lake was. It was a beautiful morning and the dragonflies were swarming across the lake. The croaking of toads could also be heard. It made Kavis smile. "It's even nicer out here at night, I noticed. I've been sitting at the edge of the medical den for some time, watching the lake and the woods at night from there. But there are lots of Dragonflies out during the day." He said. "There are frogs and crickets and fireflies out at night." He drank a bit from the lake, although reluctantly. He checked over his shoulder a few times, feeling as though when he drank from this side of the lake he was stealing from the Pride or being rude.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Layla sighed, patting Kakra's back with the pad of her paw. "It's very complicated, Kakra. But Kavis was a very bad man at a time. He made trouble for Var and Kyra, Jali, Shebla, and even your Mommy and Daddy. I know it's confusing and frustrating. You'll understand some day." She sighed and watched as Kavis and Masika had moved through the clearing and instinctively moved to the entrance of the den, blocking any angle of sight Kavis may have a her cubs. She felt the hairs of her neck come up as the memory of that old blood-eyed mass of black-furred muscles rippling through the Pride with a ravaging roar and making fools of every person who lived there. No more. Layla would not allow that, from anyone. Kavis was good now, perhaps, but she felt that there would be days to come when people of equal or greater evil rose to heights.

In that moment, Ramses and Thema barreled down the paths, fearless and reckless. Thema rolling on her back down the dirt path and Ramses jumping a million miles an hour. Their happy mews met Layla's ears and she smiled. Ramses stopped at the entrance to the path that took to Layla and Gamba's den and gave a happy hello. Thema stopped and jumped up, giving her own dizzy greeting. Layla laughed.

"Hello Thema and Ramses," she chuckled. "What are you both up to this morning?" She asked. It took Thema a moment more to collect herself, but she shook off any disorientation and looked up at Layla.

"We went hunting and got Uncle Taru!" Thema explained. She seemed very happy and Ramses next to her was giggling away. Their joy and hyperactivity lit Layla up.

"I bet he wasn't expecting that!" Layla said.

"He wasn't!" Ramses said. They both calmed down a bit, panting from the long run. "So what are you guys up to?" he asked. Layla shrugged. Another shape came down the path, much more slowly than the others. It was Osiris looking around at his surroundings somewhat negatively, giving aggravated looks when a butterfly tickled his nose, making him sneezed. Thema turned around, seeing the little male approaching and waved with her tail. Osiris smiled a bit.

"Hey Osiris! What are you doing here?"

"Mom is sick. Dad told me to go play," Osiris said. Layla was silent. She didn't know wha to think of Saber's son. She knew that he was somewhat a bully, even at such a young age, from all the complaints Ramses had spilled out. It wasn't long ago that Osiris pushed a big stone down a slope and let it tumble towards Ramses. Not surprising, considering who his father was. But she noticed that Thema was not so objective to Osiris as Ramses was. Perhaps it was simply a case of two males and their competitive nature.


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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:08 pm

Masika looked out over the lake, “It is a lovely thing, when water can settle like this. So many tiny things can be found in places like this.” She walked over to the edge, and looked in, before carefully cradling something moving close to the shore so that it was forced to swim between her paw and the mud, apparently not bothered by getting wet. She didn’t force out whatever it was, though, and was very careful not to hurt it. “Have you ever seen a frog cub, Kavis? They’re not really cubs, but they’re the equivalent. See; look at this creature, it’s called a tadpole. One day, it will sprout legs, lose its tail, and hop out of the water as a frog, but for now, it will die if it doesn’t have water. Frogs breathe air, but their young breathe water like a fish.”

Upon closer inspection, the tiny thing swimming between her paw and the mud was a little black dot with a flat tail that swished from side to side. When Kavis had taken a good look at the creature, she removed her paw from the water, releasing it. “If you think about how I say someone is like a certain creature, I should tell you that by looking at the life and talents of the creature itself, you know what it represents. Frogs are masters of change, because few transformations could be more dramatic than the ones that happen in their lives. The king of this pride reminds me of a Frog.”

She then backed a bit away from the water, “I didn’t come to talk about frogs, though. I was going to show you how to get dragonflies to perch on your paws.” She walked over to a spot where reeds were growing out, and dragonflies daintily perched on the tips of the stalks. A few flew up, disturbed by her presence, while others lowered their wings further, reacting when they saw her. Very carefully, Masika moved her paw so that the toes pointed straight up. Then, with extremely slow movements, in clear line of sight for the dragonfly she had chosen, she carefully eased one toe next to it, and gently, slid it under the creature’s legs, causing it to step off of the reed, and onto her paw.

By the end of the process, Masika lifted her paw away, to reveal the dragonfly standing on it, “If you move really slowly, and are careful not to crush their legs, they will step off of the reed and onto your paw. Sometimes they’re skittish and will fly off before they do that, but often, it works if you let them see what you’re doing ahead of time. Also, you have to point your paw so that it’s somewhat like a reed. They never seem to perch on anything other than the very tips.”

_________________________________________________________________________


Kakra heard Thelma, Ramses, and Osiris come up to the den, but regardless, continued to lie with her face on the ground in an oddly-comical fashion. "Hi Thelma, Ramses. Hi, Osiris." All of the greetings that she gave were muffled by the ground. It seemed like she had suddenly lost her energy and was simply content in laying there on the ground, or rather, she would have been, if Atsu would stop tapping her on the head with his paw. He tapped harder when the other cubs arrived, probably trying to get her to react in a normal fashion. The twins and their adoptive brother were already oddities in the camp, Kakra and Atsu being Litigons, not pure lions, and therefore possessing faint stripes on their fur, and Omari's intelligence and maturity being something that seemed alien. Atsu was the most aware of this fact, and often tried to convince his sister to play with the others. The problem was that she naturally had a rough personality, and was rather robust for her age, capable of doing things that one didn't think was safe for cubs her age, just yet.

Atsu got up off of his belly, and started shoving Kakra with his paws, although being so lanky, and his sister so predisposed to having muscle, she weighed more than he did. "Come on, Kakra, get up!" Finally, with more shoving, Kakra made a frustrated grunt, and got up, brown dust all over her face. When Atsu started to laugh at the comical appearance of it, Kakra gave him a sour look, before brushing all of the dust off of her face using her paws.

"Atsu, what's the big idea tapping me on the head? That's so annoying! Mom! Atsu's annoying me!" She said, resorting to wining to Layla, as cubs often did when something went wrong.

"You were the one who made it so easy!" Her brother shot back.

The two started to bicker, when Omari interrupted them, "Atsu, Kakra, we have guests. Is this really the appropriate time to start arguing in front of them?" He asked, tilting his head and squinting one eye.

With this statement, Atsu and Kakra immediately stopped arguing with each other. "Sorry, Omari..." Kakra said, looking up at her eldest brother sheepishly.

How did the oldest cub wind up the peace-keeper between a brother and sister in the middle of sibling rivalry?

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:22 am

Kavis came to the ferns and did just as Masika had done, holding the dragonfly on his claw. He grinned before sitting the bug back in its place. His tail brushed the ground a bit and the wind sent a gust through his mane. He did it again to another dragonfly and this time held it longer, inspected it more closely. He then let it go. "That's a good trick, thanks," he said. It was nearing sunhigh by now. Kavis fetched a long and lanky gazelle from the kill pile. It wasn't much, but he had a hard time getting it as it was. He felt guilty walking up to the pile and rude by taking something. He took the smallest carcass there and sat with it next to the shore. Shebla had told him to eat at sunhigh, but this wasn't going to suffice. "Want some?" he anxiously offered Masika as he bit into the Gazelle, but doing so in a careful manner as not to gross her out or make her feel off-put.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Layla chuckled at her cubs. She recognized Omari's ability to parent them in a sense. It was odd how mature he could be at such a young age. "Kakra, Atsu, you should both behave now. I'll let you all play now, just remember to stay away from that lion. I need to go talk with your Dad," she said, slipping through the brush again. As she walked back into the more reserved den that she had discovered all that time ago, where Gamba cared for her, where she nursed her cubs, she found Gamba. "Kavis has been let out, today, apparently. There's some new lioness walking with him. Omari said her name is Masika. It's interesting."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:32 pm

Masika kept on noticing how Kavis did everything, even eating and drinking, as though he were afraid he would be punished for it. As far as she could tell, the Dragonfly was not a bad lion, but he was being treated with such distrust that he was scared of everyone else. "Prides are nice, in the sense that you don't always have to be the one to hunt the prey, and larger things can be brought, since there's more than just one creature that needs food. Usually I just kill smaller things, so I rarely get to eat prey like this." She said, taking a bite of the gazelle, not speaking until she had swallowed, "Speaking of which, are you sure this is enough for you? It's more than enough for me, but you don't seem like you've had enough to eat for awhile. If you need to eat more, there isn't any shame in it. It's better to build up your strength so you can go hunt your own prey, if taking someone else' kill bothers you."

_________________________________________________________________


Gamba had been quietly musing to himself when Layla had arrived. He slowly got up from where he had been lounging, and walked up to her, "I suppose for the next few suns everyone will be as tense as mice being watched by birds of prey, if Kavis is finally well enough to wander around camp. He is free of Dalmaa's influence, but one does not easily forget who he used to be. The Dark King is gone, but we don't know what the lion that replaced him is like. Even though I know I should be more forgiving, I still feel suspicious of him, and I am certainly not positive if permitting our cubs to go near him is a good idea. I also know, though, what alienation from a large group can do to one's mind. I faced it many times, when Zanita told me to go and find a pride of lions to live among, and yet I could not find anyone who was willing to accept me. I got chased out of pride camps countless times, until finally, I had just given up and returned home. I didn't expect that my mother would ever bring me to a pride who would accept me as readily as this one did."

As charismatic as Gamba was, it was difficult for people to remember how his earlier life had been. As a Tiglon, he was not a pure lion, and had been deemed unnatural by the majority of prides he had come across, when his mother had decided that he was old enough to join one. That treatment, which had gone so low as to call him a monster at times, would have been difficult to bear, if not for the strong belief that if he could not find a pride, Zanita and her clan would always accept him. As long as he had at least one individual in his life that loved him, Gamba could bear the suffering that he had endured. It had still been severely discouraging, though, and after a year of searching in Ethiopia, Gamba had resigned himself to the fate of living among hyenas his entire life.

"I always knew that my mother would accept me, though. Aziza has left to go and turn herself in to the humans, who, if they do not kill her, they will surely imprison her as an oddity. She was the only thing reminiscent of a mother that Kavis had, and in truth, that lion has never seen anything truly resembling friendship or love before. If rejection by so many could make me give up on having a future among those like myself, and turn back to the hyenas, then what will it do to Kavis, who has no one? We do not really know Kavis at all, nor do we know this lioness. They are strangers, but perhaps it is better, if someone who does not remember the Dark King is with him. If we cannot truly accept Kavis, at least there is one who has the ability to do so."

He shook his head, "As for myself, I am biased against him, although I know that this is probably not right. I do not personally like the idea of our cubs going near him, at least until I know for certain that he truly is different."

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