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 Pride Days (IC)

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:56 pm

Fusan shook his head, "I am sorry to say that I do not think we can prevent these events from occurring. I fear that several parts of the prophesy have already transpired. The rest of it is certain to follow." He had a regretful look in his eyes, "There have been, of late, rumors of war that have been spreading among nomads, and I have reason to believe them. This pride is the only one that has not threatened to execute me if I double-cross them. Even when I prove that I am not a threat, the other prides that I have recently visited treat me with hostility. Your pride is the first to treat me with kindness, and not immediately jump to the conclusion that I am an enemy threat." He sighed in dismay, "The world has been in a terrible state, so the tension is present enough that, given a proper spark, it would easily fall into conflict. No one has felt safe."

He looked at Shebla intently, "The only part that remains unclear to me is the final words of the prophesy. According to what the final reply was, a 'key of heart' was to ask something of the 'seer with sight'. I do not know what a key of heart is, but a seer with sight is very clear: someone who has gained the power of the Sight, but did not lose their physical vision when they received it. Taking into account that you have two figures in your pride that are similar to those who delivered the prophesy in ancient times, I would easily believe that the key of heart and seer with sight are also present. I doubt you have the Sight, but perhaps, because you were the only one to bring up this conversation, you might be the 'key of heart' mentioned in the prophesy. If that is the case, do you know anyone in this pride who has come to you for help because they suddenly struggled to fall asleep, for fear of extremely vivid nightmares, if they gave a cause?"

Fusan tilted his head, "Seers and seeresses often describe the visions they are given by the Sight as extremely terrifying and vivid. If someone were to suddenly suffer dreams like this, it would be a strong indicator that they have the Sight. I would think that as a medical lioness, you would be more likely to find out about these things than others."

In truth, Shebla had, in the past few days, had someone come to her for help due to sleep issues. Kyra had been asking for mild herbs to help her sleep, and had claimed that she had been suffering from terrible nightmares. She exactly fit Fusan's description.



In response to Kavis' question, Masika shook her head, "Supposedly, we can't do anything unless we were chosen to do it. Allegedly, there is to be a new hero, who will gather followers. They are supposed to stop the enemy when they come back. I don't know who that is, except that they are supposed to be born with golden fur that turns white, and that they are supposed to suffer from a traumatic childhood. The same thing apparently goes for a majority of those who are supposed to follow them, although 'many' does not really mean 'all'. Why a force of good would permit terrible things to happen to them is beyond me, but apparently, suffering through trials, while they might leave someone severely messed up, it can also make them stronger on a spiritual level. You get tested by a trial, and it's important to learn how to cope with whatever life throws at you. I personally think that's why whatever is responsible for the prophesy is letting bad stuff happen. To strengthen their hearts so that when something worse comes along, they aren't trapped or phased by it.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:23 am

Shebla ran many thoughts through her head in what seemed like an instant. "Kyra had been needing sleep herbs..." she mumbled. "And the key of heart... that was what Egret said I was..." she looked up at Fusan. "I know who you mean. I was called the key of heart, and I know a lioness who has been having trouble sleeping lately. She described terrible nightmares..." she paused for a moment, taking things in. "What do I do?" she asked. "I now know what all these signs mean, but how do I act upon all of this?"

Kavis looked slightly frustratedly as Masika. He hated the idea of Chosen ones, although he figured perhaps it had something to do with his past. He tried not to think about it and walked along trying to forget. "Well, then I suppose there's nothing we can do about it... It is getting late. Did you have a den picked out?"

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:00 pm

Fusan inclined his head slightly, "The final words of the prophesy state 'the key of heart shall ask the seer with sight,' so I would say, if I were to be so bold, that they were directions intended for you." He said, keeping his tone even, despite the fact that he himself was surprised by the turn of events. "It is likely that this lioness, Kyra, is the seer with sight, and it is very much possible that she is not having nightmares, but prophetic visions. I am also not by any means claiming she is unaware of whether or not she has the Sight, either. She might actually already believe that she has it, but if she were to receive prophetic dreams that foretold something horrible in the future, she may have been shocked into keeping such things a secret, save for a few individuals. If she does have the Sight, those who would know it would be her mate, if she has one, as well as the King and Queen. She could easily keep such an ability hidden from the rest of Sunset Pride, because in general, everyone has come to believe that those who have the Sight will go blind and lose their physical vision."

The storyteller's tail quivered slightly at its tip, "I would suggest you go and ask her directly and in private if she has been having prophetic visions or not. If you are to ask her something, it is clear that you are meant to know what the future is supposed to hold. I would not confront her on the matter in public, however, as it would be a highly sensitive subject. Most who have the Sight gain the ability by their own choice, and before they even develop it, acknowledge the weight that it carries. If this lioness you speak of did not gain the power in a traditional sense, then it was somehow forced onto her, and she may still be struggling to accept it. If she does have it, I would ask her what she thinks caused her to develop it, as well."

He sighed, and shook his head, "I can say nothing else on the matter, Shebla. I can only tell you what I would believe based on the evidence we have. I am almost certain that this lioness Kyra is the seer with sight, but I have no right to go and ask her. As a medicine lioness, you have a right to know such things, when you are responsible for her well-being and health. If she is a seeress, then she needs herbs to help her sleep, and she may even sometimes need counseling. She could not expect appropriate treatment if she keeps such things a secret. She cannot expect to keep herself healthy, though she may try. She will make herself sick if she is not careful." He looked at Shebla intensely, "I can only tell you that you should ask her yourself, if all these things are true. The prophesy was clear, that the key of heart would ask the seer with sight. There is no sense in delaying what is inevitably supposed to happen."


Masika thought about Kavis' question, before shaking her head, "Usually I don't even sleep in a den. Even if it started raining, I usually just rest under a tree." She looked up at the sky, before taking a deep breath, "The sky looks clear now, but if you breathe deeply enough, you can smell the clouds from further away. Pretty soon, the wind will pick up and it will start pouring." She observed. "A lot of lions say you can't smell the rain, but I'm positive that I can. If it isn't a smell, then I can only say that it's like the air is fresher before a storm. Or perhaps it's colder. I'm not sure." She looked back at Kavis, "I probably should pick a den, I'm usually not wrong about the weather." She said.

It was then that, in a sudden moment, a powerful wind hit the trees, and just over the treetops, clouds began to obscure the night sky. There was no thunder, but a strange sound could be heard in the distance. A calm, peaceful rain was coming, but it was not light or gentle. There was no lightning, but there was to be a torrent, hitting sooner than Masika could have predicted. She looked at the incoming clouds, "Okay, forget being choosy, which den is empty?" She asked.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:29 pm

Kavis looked around, not knowing the Pride that well yet. He madly scrambled for an empty den but found none. Kavis himself didn't have his own den yet, and the brief thought shot a blade of loneliness through his body. The medical den was too far from this point. Kavis knew that on the other side of the lake was a thicket wonderland, his walks with Shebla over there had proven that. "Follow me," he said. He quickly darted as fast as his scrawny legs could take him through the bushes and down the narrow shores. He found his way through a gap in the trees, where the limbs had grown over and made variable roofs across the forest heights. His thick fur was already beginning to weigh with droplets. He stopped when he came to a narrow spot where the rain was a foreign thing and the ground was dry. He sat against the trunk of the tree and waited for Masika.

__________________________________________________________________

Shebla nodded at Fusan before speaking again. "I'll do this, Fusan. I'll have to." She shook her head exhaustedly, wondering how she would approach Kyra. She felt the drops of rain hitting her fur and looked up. Her eye was splashed by a surprise drop and she winced. Winking it out of her eye, she looked back at Fusan. "Fusan you might want to come into the medical den, it's dryer in there."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Tue Mar 03, 2015 11:12 pm

Masika quickly followed Kavis and stood under the canopy, which for the most part blocked all the rain, "Ah, why can't I predict the weather sooner?" She groaned, raising her head to the canopy above with her eyes shut, though she did not appear entirely upset over the storm. She kept herself in that position, simply breathing deeply, in and out. She then sighed, opened her eyes, and looked at the heavy downpour on the lake, disrupting its otherwise calm appearance. Soon, frogs began to croak and chirp all over the lake, coming out to greet the storm, as creatures that were not in the least bothered by water. "Well, I guess we're stuck here," Masika said, "Unless you're up for swimming without ever diving into the lake. It has its own music, though. Listen to all of those frogs out there." She observed.

The lioness heard a frog croak behind her, and turned to look at a tiny brown tree frog with two yellow stripes running down its back, she inhaled a little bit, "These frogs must be nesting in this thicket, they're really rare. You normally only see these in the highlands, but I guess Sunset Pride is close enough to the range north of here that you can still find them." She said. She looked at the frog for a bit more, before it hopped off of the branch, and onto her snout. Masika then went cross-eyed, afraid to try and swat it off, in case she hurt it, "Okay...let's see...here..." She murmured quietly, while trying to get the creature to step onto her paw. Instead of doing so, it swiftly hopped off of her and onto a close-by leaf. It then vanished into the foliage, as though it had never been there.

Soon after the frogs started to sing, whistles and chirps of nocturnal birds began in the forest, which were far more muted closer to the pride. Masika inclined her head and listened, "You see, the reason I didn't normally like a den was because I was afraid I would miss these things." She turned to look at Kavis, "It's quieter in a den, but when you're out here like this, you realize that everything is truly alive. It's a beautiful thing."


Fusan quickly followed Shebla into the medical den, and was careful to stand out of the way in case she needed to do anything. "Rain is never something I can predict. Generally, it hits without warning, and in the middle of nowhere. I wind up getting drenched every time. As a nomad, I should have some sort of intuition regarding the weather, but I really don't. A lot of other nomads laugh at me when they realize I don't know to go and take cover until after I get wet, but in my defense, this storm came quite quickly." He said. His eyes glittered with amusement, however, so it was clear that he was not bothered by the fact that he was sometimes laughed at.




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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:39 pm

Shebla began scanning the medical den. Everything was in its place, except for one thing -- Kavis. Her stomach began to turn and she tried not to look quite as worried as she actual was. It was his first day out, she hoped he hadn't done anything too drastic like take off. She figured he must be caught somewhere, hopefully. Though she knew he had changed, she still did not fully trust him without a leash. That would just take more time. She stood at the entrance to the den and looked outside, trying to spot the black-furred feline in the midst of the dark rainy night. She saw only the moon in the sky above.

"Shebla! Shebla!" cried a tiny mew. A small ball of wet fur rushed into the medical den, clinging tightly to Shebla's paw. It was Thema, Jali's daughter. She could hear Sira's mew across the camp. Shebla looked down at Thema, who was shivering awfully and covered her with her other paw. She gave a loud yowl to Sira, letting her know that Thema was alright. Reassured, Sira quieted and simply waited for the storm to be over. Shebla looked down at little Thema.

"Thema, you ought not to be out in storms like these, you might catch a cough or worse," Shebla said attempting to shake the water off of her fur with the pads of her paw. Shebla escorted the cub into the hearth of the den where it was driest.


Kavis gave a look around the area, eyeing its life. He hadn't been exposed to this kind of wilderness in some time and was beginning to question if it were his own imagination. He knew there was something odd about his mind. He looked at Masika and then back at the lake which was pounding with rain. "This is unexpected," he began. "I've never been back here before."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:23 pm

Masika looked at Kavis, "Well, there's not much that would bring us back here in the first place. We're victims of circumstance, seeing as the rain picked up without any warning. It could have been worse, though. We could have chosen a thicket to hide in, and gotten thorns in our fur. Always try to look at the positive side of things; you're seeing something you didn't see before." She looked at the lake, continuing to shoot up tiny sharp points as the rain disturbed its otherwise serene surface. She saw something silvery-brown jump out and splash back into it, "Sometimes, things don't appear unless there's a change. You see different things at different times of day or night, but did you ever wonder what weather did? There's usually fish in any large body of water, but most of the time, they're hiding deep underneath the surface, and far away from the shore. When it rains, fish jump out of the water, and you get to see them."

Her ear twitched, "Unexpected things might happen for a reason, Dragonfly. I've always been told that. You have to believe, though, that good things will happen, if you want to find joy in life. I also used to hear, that I should never doubt anything, because you never know when something impossible might become a reality."

________________________________________________________


"It seems no one is safe from the weather," Fusan mused, sitting down in a distant corner of the den, "how are you?" He asked Thelma, trying to calm the cub down, somewhat.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:23 pm

Kavis thought on the note of the impossible becoming a reality. So many times had that happened in his life. He was looking for less of the impossible and he wanted a normal life. He felt the need to voice that. "I don't want the impossible," he said, "I just want normalcy, a regular life." His voice was sprinkled with memories which he kept out of his mind, he pushed them out. Some he had forgotten, while others resurfaced. But now he managed to raise his mind to a higher state, away from those dark thoughts which tagged at him. It was only Dalmaa down beneath, still tempting him, just as he said he would do. Kavis looked over at Masika. "I've been a victim of circumstance for longer than you know, this whole Pride has been. Why? Well it starts from moons ago, lions made mistakes, and now everyone suffers... I just want to return to the life that they seem to be so good at returning to." The rain poured on and Kavis looked at the lake as it was drowned out. He felt different this way and kept himself pulled together. He then turned to Masika, and while hoping she wouldn't look too deep into what he had just said, hoped that she might understand.

_________________________________

Thema shook the rain off her soft fur. "I've been better!" she said. Sheba chuckled as the cub sat down in the center of the den, looking around somewhat disoriented. Shebla began inspecting her immediately for anything of distress. Her voice didn't seem clogged or coughy, which was a good sign. She wondered though if they'd come later.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:08 pm

Masika nodded, “To be happy is the one thing that everyone truly wishes for. A life without strife, sickness, war, or death: A life that is free of fear. It is good to settle down and be satisfied with what you have, but where you might find peace, another would find dissatisfaction. That’s because everyone is different, and generally, nobody can ever agree on anything. There will be times where there’s peace, but there will also be bad times. Those things aren’t avoidable; they just happen, regardless if we want them to or not. It’s a part of the flawed world we live in; peace exists because there are those who make sacrifices for it. Peace and prosperity for lions is not peace for the animals we hunt. Peace for the animals we hunt is not peace for the creatures that eat the same things as them, because then they would be competing for food.”

She shifted her paws, kneading the mud beneath them, “No matter what we really wish for, bad things come with the good, because that’s the harsh reality of it. Even if you want a normal life, it won’t be perfect, even if you never suffer a major confrontation ever again. As for the heroes who maintain that peace, heroes aren’t always there, simply because they want to be. Heroes usually wind up being forced into their role, against their will, even if that role implies things that they have no desire to do, or tasks where they have no skill. Everybody wants peace, but if one individual has it, you can guarantee that someone somewhere else is fighting to maintain it.” She mewed, looking out over the water again.

“Dragonfly, I have traveled, and I have seen places in times of war and in times of peace. This pride will have peace, at least for a time, but it is the center of something more than just trivial affairs. I can sense it. It is surrounded by a strange, other-worldly aura, and it is so strong that it has attracted a Kubwa-Muti, and one of your members has somehow been transformed into a Vipofu Shujaa, which has not been in existence since ancient times. I caught a glimpse of him standing next to a small lioness; you can tell what he is by the way his eyes seem to glow with white rings around the pupils; no lion has natural eyes like that. It might not happen now. It might be many moons from now, the cubs in your pride might even be adults by then, but something will happen in the future.” She made the statement with conviction.

She turned to look at the black lion, “I might just ramble, and perhaps saying something so openly would upset most, but I would speak the truth as I saw it. Others think I am suspicious, and my ways of thinking tend to aggravate them but in the end, it still stands that I have not truly done anything wrong. I watched the lions in the pride, how they looked at you and condemned you with their eyes, but if I were to just go and follow suit, that would make me a victim of my own prejudice.” She turned back to look at the camp across the lake, “Society will often condemn someone for being different, whether it’s appearance, something they have no control over, the past that you’re supposed to have forgiveness for, or simply because your way of thinking is different from theirs. That doesn’t always make you the one at fault, though. I’ve seen where the ones who were truly great were the ones who didn’t conform, but succeeded in their own way, when the efforts of the masses failed.”

She looked back at Kavis once more, “You are a victim of circumstance, but that is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, unseen forces are on your side. You’re a good person, Dragonfly, so no matter what, don’t let anyone tell you anything different. Nobody can make you feel inferior unless you allow them to do so.”

____________________________________________

Outside in the center of camp, a small ball of sopping wet orange-gold fur darted around, splashing in newly-forming puddles as though it were the most fun that it had in a long time. Omari was standing outside his mother and father's den, watching it, with Atsu standing next to him. Both brothers seemed to resist the urge to go after the cub who was outside, "Kakra! It is too cold out for you to be getting wet in this kind of weather! You will fall ill from pursuing this venture!" Omari called to her, the older, most mature member of the trio.

"But it's fun! It doesn't bother me!" Kakra responded, continuing to splash in puddles as she was drenched by the rain. It was true, she didn't look as though she were getting sick from the exposure. Was it because she was part tiger, or was she just particularly robust and less likely to get sick, overall? Omari didn't want to take any chances with his sister's health. "Kakra, please come inside!" he urged.

Gamba stepped to look out over the heads of his two sons, "Kakra, listen to your brother." He said.

The cub froze and looked at him, continuously being washed by the torrents of rain, "Yes, Dad." She said, before slowly walking back to join them.


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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:53 pm

Kavis was silent for a long while, listening to Masika's words. He knew she was right in all that she had said. It was only natural that strife appeared, but still, he felt like the strife of his own life was unnatural. Why him? Why would he be the one to carry this burden? The burden of the aftermath of Dalmaa's puppeteering spell, why did he suffer that? Was it what Protheus would have wanted? He shook it from his head and went on. He then looked to Masika, slightly solemnly, and cracked an ever small grimace. "Maybe she will pull me out of the dark," he thought. "Maybe once I'm ready, I'll just leave with her. She's the only one who will accept me anyways... Other than Shebla, I suppose. But even Shebla isn't fully a friend to me. Even she has her distrusts... What will I do?" Kavis thought. "No, I just met this lioness. I need to learn more about her. But in time maybe. First, I need to build myself back up. I'm too weak and I could never live a nomadic life in this state."

Kavis then spoke, a bit shyly still. "Masika, do you think you'll be staying around for a while?"

__________________________________________________________________

Layla looked at Kakra, smiling a bit. "Kakra, you should listen to your father and brother. It's not good to be outside in this kind of weather. You could catch a cough, and that's never a good thing. If you get too sick, bad things can happen and we wouldn't want that. Please be more careful, sweetheart." Layla looked out of the den, at the rainy camp. Most lions had gone into their dens to avoid it, and the mud pounded from the recesses of the ground, filling the camp.

The kill pile was drowned by the water and the blood was spreading away from the carcasses and along the ground, the mud then swallowed it and rose to the edges of the pile. Layla spotted one lion through the rain, oddly enough. It was Var, his paws pushing through the mud, the blood, and the water. It had seemed his fears were behind him now. He was soaked as he lay a fallen warthog down on the pile. It wasn't much, but it was all that was available during his exceedingly short hunt after Fusan's story. He then stepped away and began walking through the rain towards the den which belonged to he and Kyra. After under some brush, he shook the excess water off to the point he was now only wet, no longer drenched. He would dry there and once that was done he would lay down.

Var eyed Saber, who was also out and about. Saber, disliking the rain, kept to the treeline and avoid the brunt of the weather. He was walking back to his den, where the soft agitated mew of his son was coming from, along with the hoarse groan of the cub's ill mother which radiated from the bushes. Saber disappeared through the thicket and the commotion came to a halt. Var only wondered now what the future held. What was next for these cubs, and what did the story mean.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:18 pm

Masika gazed up at the darkened night sky, illuminated only by faint moonlight through the clouds as it passed through the rain. She was silent for a long time, before she spoke again, “I think that I might stay here a bit longer; I feel as though there’s a voice telling me that I need to.” She looked at Kavis, “If there is anything I could say about making decisions, as a nomad, I go wherever I feel like I need to be. There’s this voice that you don’t hear, but you feel it inside of your heart. When I get that feeling in my heart, I always listen, and amazing things happen because of that. I’ve stopped a cub from eating poisonous berries because I had the urge to run to where he was, and one time, I narrowly escaped being crushed by a tree, because I felt like something was wrong until I stepped out of the way.”

Her tail slowly flicked at the tip, “That feeling has never been wrong, so I will stay in the pride for a little while longer. Something will happen, and I think I need to be here. I can’t say why, or what. I only know that there’s something that I have to do, and that it somehow involves this pride.”

Masika’s gaze suddenly turned hard, “With that in mind, I have something that’s been on my mind that I need to say. That little girl cub with the stripes that I played with earlier, I get a strange feeling whenever I get near her, I feel like the fur on the back of my neck wants to stand up. I get this horrible feeling, like something is watching her and it wants to hurt her. I would look around to see if I could figure out what it was, but I couldn’t find it.” As Masika said this, it was clear she was talking about Gamba’s daughter, Kakra.

Her amber eyes gleamed, “I do not have the gift of the Sight, but that feeling; that wariness that I get when I’m around her. I think something is going to happen, and she is going to be in danger. My stomach twisted, and I thought I was going to vomit at one point. It didn’t stop until I started talking to you.” She met Kavis’ eyes, “Dragonfly, somehow, I feel like you are the only thing that can stop whatever is about to happen from ending badly. I don’t know if I’m even making any sense to you, but something is telling me that you need to watch that cub, and that you’ll know what to do if anything happens.”

She then began pressing her paws in the mud to prevent herself from pacing, “I hate feeling helpless, but something is compelling me to beg you to do this for me.”

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:08 pm

Kavis was quiet for a moment, mulling the thought over. He was hesitant to reply, and the idea seemed repellent to him. He looked at her uneasily. "I don't want to interfere with Gamba's child. I'm already hated enough as it is, I wouldn't want to look like I'm stalking the cub, lurking and watching her every move. It would only cause them to destroy me. Besides, what good would I be for protection anyways? Look at me." He held up his severely malnourished foreleg to Masika. It looked as though it were mere skin stuck to bone, emaciated in every meaning of the word. Gaunt in all fashions, and even his face showed how unhealthy he was. He could walk, he could even run, but he was weak and feeble. He was no good in a fight any more. "I've interfered with their lives enough as it is. Gamba is a capable Tiglon. He can protect his children," Kavis replied, shaking his head.

Kavis looked at Masika. "It's getting late. We should both rest." With that, he laid down against the enormous trunk of a tree and curled with his tail over his nose. He gave her a glance before he closed his eyes and his mane blew with the breeze over his face.

__________________________________________________________________

"And the prophecy shall be fulfilled at last!"

Kavis woke up, panting. Aziza's voice still rang in his ears. He clawed the slightly damp ground beneath him, gripping into reality. And as he looked around he found that reality. It was morning, and the sun was shining brightly. Rays of light cast through the brush onto his body and his shadow cascaded over the trunk of the tree. The sky was nearly cloudless, having emptied itself over the African landscape. As he calmed down, his panting ceasing, he released his grip from the grass. It was a new day after all.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:24 am

Masika had woken up before Kavis, and was perched at the very edge of the lake, a paw ready to strike out over the water, her eyes narrowed with concentration, and her tail flicking with the constant anticipation of movement. A ripple appeared, and her claws shot out beneath where a shadow appeared; she did not aim directly for it, but below it. She then shot her paw into the air, and something that gleamed bronze landed on the ground behind her, flopping wildly. She then swiftly turned, and stuck her claws into the larger, blunt end, and it stopped moving. Her tail flicked for awhile, and then slowed, as she examined what must have been its head, perhaps checking its eyes to make sure that it was truly dead before she did anything else to it.

She picked up the fish by its tail end, and carried it over to Kavis, setting it down in front of him, "I caught a fish!" She declared, sitting back with finality. The way in which she said it was not only intentionally exaggerated, but was in the same tone that someone would have said 'good morning'. "You won't find a lot of lions trying to catch these. A lot of us wouldn't even get our paws wet, but at the same time, it's truly interesting compared to the typical things we would eat." She explained. She then proceeded to carefully bite into a part of it, although upon closer examination, she still looked tense. It seemed like a certain portion of her cheerfulness wasn't entirely real; she was trying to fake it for Kavis' sake, but the truth was that she was probably still worrying over that strange feeling that she had been getting around Gamba's cub, Kakra.

She did not oppose what Kavis said, because it was true that his body was emancipated, but at the same time, she had done a lot of crazy things, and she wasn't even the strongest of individuals who could have performed the tasks. The danger could not have been an immediate thing, but she still strongly felt like something was going to happen, and that the feeling she was getting was a kind of foreboding. She had seen individual parents fail to protect their cubs before, and it wasn't because they were incapable, but because of unpredictable circumstances that were beyond any sort of control. She would never imply that anyone was helpless.

She swallowed her bite of fish, and looked at Kavis, "Try some, it's very good." She said, prompting him to accept the gift of food.


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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:53 am

Kavis was weary to accept at first, being a male who was so used to having pride. But now was not the time for nitpicking. He accepted and swallowed his portion in a matter of seconds. Finishing, he replied, "thank you". He stood up and stretched. His long, thin arms were like black twigs in the morning light. He looked awkward, being so long-legged, so long, so tall, but so thin. It was painfully obvious to anyone that he once had a full figure rippled with muscles and powerful beyond most males' imagination. Dalmaa's influence had strengthened him beyond mortal limits during his life, and while he might not return to that incredibly powerful state, he knew it was possibly to come very close. But the amount of work that he knew was ahead of him was overwhelming. He had originally built up over a course of a lifetime, how was he going to build himself back up without growing old in the process? He put the thought to the side, at a place where he was suspending many thoughts he didn't want to deal with right now, and focused on this peaceful morning.

"Did you sleep well?" Kavis asked, looking over at Masika. He had hoped that he hadn't made any noises during the night in his sleep, for he knew that his dreams were rampant with nightmares and that he often woke up with a commotion. Shebla had often remarked that he made worried expressions while sleeping and stirred as though in complete torment. He only hoped it had not kept her up during the night, that is, if he had stirred in such a way. He pawed his way over to her and sat. He stuck his shoulders apart and put his paws out, trying to appear bigger and give off the illusion that he was larger than he was. His only saving grace was his incredibly thick fur, though. He felt self conscious with his smallness, but he did well to hide that.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:14 pm

Masika nodded in response to Kavis’ question, “Like a newborn cub. It’s a surprise we didn’t get soaked, though. These trees really do keep the water off of you. I guess the rain really puts everyone to sleep.” She said, looking out over the lake towards where the camp was, “We should probably head back to the camp, though, before everyone freaks out wondering where we went. We’ll just be honest and tell them that we got stuck waiting out the storm on the other side of the lake.”

“-Well, at least you two were dry. So this is where you ran off to. Perhaps you would assist me in bringing back some herbs? These old joints are really losing their function, anymore.” Masika whirled around and saw an ancient-looking wildcat walking up to them, having been concealed in the shadows of trees growing around the lake’s shoreline. The wildcat, Mabel, had grey and white fur growing around her eyes and chin, and it was also present all over her body, mixed in with the dark brown and red. Kavis recognized her, but Masika had never met her, and because her scent was being blown away by the wind, had no idea that any creature other than a lion was residing in the pride.

“Uh, but you’re not a lion…” Masika mused, not understanding the situation.

Mabel’s lip curled, “Of course I’m not, but I’m still the eldest medicine cat in Sunset Pride. The only reason I’m alive is because of the deal I’ve struck. Medical care is given in return for food and a place to sleep at night. Do my legs look like they could do me any good in chasing a mouse?” Indeed, Mabel walked with a stiffness that suggested advancing arthritis in all of her legs, although her left hind limb was significantly worse out of all four, based on how she favored it. She was dragging a large branch that had come off of a medicinal plant. It was larger than the wildcat herself, but somehow, despite the arthritis, she was strong enough to pull it and move at a casual pace. She was speaking through it.

“Oh, Shebla’s not the only medicine lioness?” Masika said, amazed.

“No, dear, there’s still me, although collecting herbs isn’t easy for me like it used to be. I’ve got bad legs, anymore. Now, can you help me carry this back to camp, or not?”


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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:29 pm

Kavis reached down and grabbed the branch with his mouth. It was not difficult for him to carry, given his size as opposed to the wildcat's. He had little faith that he could do it, at first, given his malnourished state. But he found that he was capable and began to drag it. Silently, and somewhat reluctantly, he began to head back to camp. It was almost as though he could hear the harsh voices of the camp's inhabitants taunting him and pouring out hate upon him. Despite the encouragement he had heard from Masika, the feelings of fear that he felt were unstoppable. He felt his heart beat accelerate slightly as he entered the camp. It was as though when someone looked at him, he could feel it on his form, almost like it was piercing his skin, going deeper and deeper like a claw. Kavis dragged the branch into the medical den, where Shebla laid along a rock which was lit by speckles of light flickering through the leaves above. Thema was curled asleep in a wad of weeds just beside the rock.

Shebla, who had been staring out at the lake and into the sunrise, turned her gaze to Kavis. She hopped off the rock, with a worried expression, as though she had just remembered that Kavis had disappeared last night. "Kavis, I was looking everywhere for you last night," she said, but kept negative feelings far from her voice. She followed sweetly as to protect his fragile mind with, "where were you?"

"I was caught in the rain with Masika. We slept on the other side of the Lake," Kavis said, his head drooping and allowing his thick mane to cover his eyes. Shebla swiped the hairs to the side with her tail.

"You need to eat. Your fur is so thick it's going to weigh you down and make you tired very fast if you don't get the muscle to support it fast," she said.

Kavis shook his head. "But power leads to pride, and pride leads to arrogance, and arrogance to evil." He did not look at Shebla as he said this, and spoke in a hushed tone. He knew Masika could hear him, and did not want to illuminate to her his past just yet. It was too soon, but he wanted to make this clear to Shebla.

Shebla sighed. "Kavis, it's all over. You don't need to worry any more. Besides, if you want to remain in this Pride you cannot be dead weight. You have to hunt and to work for your place. You'll never find a Pride that isn't more lenient than this either, so I suggest you do what you can. I'm going to find someone in the Pride to help you rebuild your strength. Something has come up and I have more urgent matters to tend to. I was talking to Mabel about having you help us around here, in the Medical Den. We need a new herb collector. Mabel and I simply can't do it all on our own anymore, not with so many lions in this Pride and so many jobs to do every single day. It could help you get started. But in the meantime I already took the liberty of gathering some food for you this morning, come this way," she said. She led him to a place in the den were an opening had been made and she walked him and Masika through what almost seemed like a brush hallway with many rooms that contained herbs and medical supplies. One room was empty and Kavis witnessed inside it instead a huge pile of carcasses. Several zebra, a plethora of gazelle, even a buffalo. Kavis' eyes widened.

"This is enough to feed an entire Pride, where did you get all of this?" he asked.

"Some of it I hunted myself, some of it Jali and Taru hunted for you," Shebla said.

"But this would be better spent on the Pride, not me. There are cubs that need to eat more than I do," Kavis replied shyly. "They're worth more than I am, you can't possibly want me to eat this when there's others that are far more worthy for it."

"We have plenty of food to go around, Kavis. There's been huge population increase with the prey right now. We already have several hunting parties out, so we're not going to starve. Now I want all of this to be in your stomach by this evening. I'll see you both later," she bid Kavis and Masika goodbye and left. She made her way to find Fusan again and was ready to discover more.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:57 pm

Masika looked at the pile of kills, “I don’t know if eating all of this is physically possible…” She said, amazed that there was so much prey that only a few individuals could gather this much. Her intuition had said there would be prey in this area, but it was even more abundant than she could have ever imagined. The buffalo alone could fill the stomachs of multiple lions at once, but to ask Kavis to eat this much meant that he was expected to exercise and increase his strength to what she could only imagine was almost supernatural levels. Building muscle, something lions in large prides did when they had nothing else to do, was stressful on a body. Muscles were torn apart and healed back larger than before, and more food was needed in order to give the body sustenance.

“If you’re expected to eat this much, I guess they want you to constantly exercise, huh, Dragonfly?” She asked Kavis, having decided that he was definitely a Dragonfly, in some sort of fashion. She flicked her tail, “You don’t have to be self-conscious about exercise, and I’ve seen prides further north where building muscle has turned into a sport, almost. It looked kind of boring, but the Butterfly has the right idea of how to go about it. You need more food if you’re going to get stronger.” She said. In truth, if Kavis’ immense size was mostly fur, and his limbs were barely enough to support it, she could only imagine what he would look like at a regular weight. “Also,” She added, “People might feel guilty if you refuse their help when they’re going to such lengths to assist you.”

Her ear twitched, “You might want to go ahead and do what the Butterfly asks, before that wild cat that I keep thinking reminds me of a Porcupine decides to take matters into her own paws. Shebla is really nice, but something tells me that if Mabel sees something that she dislikes, she would probably claw the pelt off of you.”

Coincidentally, that sounded exactly like something Mabel would threaten to do.


Fusan was standing by the edge of the lake, his brilliant red mane flowing gently in the breeze as he stared into the bright, early-morning sky. Clear blue eyes gleamed like raindrops that had never stopped falling from the sky, and he seemed to be contemplating something deeply where Shebla found him. He turned his head slightly and noticed her, “Ah, good morning, Shebla,” He said, greeting her with a respectful nod.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:46 pm

Kavis glanced from Masika to the pile and contemplated how he was to place his words. He had no intention of revealing his darkest secrets, his role as Dalmaa's puppet and ruthless murderer to her. He could not divulge his truest experiences to her, to anyone who did not already know. He began simply. "Long ago, I was the strongest lion in Ethiopia, in Kenya and Somalia even. I had enough strength to take on entire Prides all on my own. But I had an accident," he described, "and I lost it all." He looked back at the kill pile and stepped forward. "It's not the I'm self conscious to exercise, I'm just afraid of what will happen if I do. Back then I was so prideful, so arrogant. It took a great fall for me to see..." he bit down on the buffalo and began tearing through the tough skin. For a moment he was so lost in the meal that he forgot Masika was standing behind him and ripped into the carcass like a true animal, messy and angry. He was hungry and ate quickly. Then as he remembered her presence, he slowed and ate more civilly. After mauling for a long while he finally took a break and sat back, grooming himself. "I can't even believe the King would go through all the trouble... he must have spent days out there." He said. "I can't be that important."

Shebla found herself standing next to Fusan. She gave him a respectful nod in return, "good morning, Fusan," she replied. "I have tended to what needs tending for today. I think we should decipher more of this... prophecy, today."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:19 pm

Masika shrugged, “Is strength always a source of pride and arrogance? Are all strong lions like that?” She asked rhetorically, before answering her own questions, “If you suffered something that made you think that way, you probably wouldn’t become the same lion again, even if you regained your former strength.” She pointed out, “You remember too well the shame of failure to let yourself suffer it again, so why would you be afraid of becoming that again? As long as you have discretion and know what not to do, all you have to do is not do it again.” Her ear twitched, “It’s not good to be proud and arrogant, but…” She fixed him with her gleaming yellow eyes,

“…It isn’t good to be afraid of yourself, either.”



Fusan took a deep breath of the fresh morning air, before replying to Shebla, “Perhaps it is good to save these things until morning, where everyone’s mind has a better grasp of things after a good night’s rest.” He commented, before turning around fully to face her. “As we deciphered yesterday, Shebla, the words of the two strange figures from the legend appear to apply to today’s times, not to the days that occurred many ages ago. We already pinpointed that you are likely the ‘Key of Heart’ mentioned, and that we suspect that another individual in this pride is the ‘Seer with Sight.’ The Key of Heart is supposed to consult the Seer with Sight, so, I suppose what we do now, is go and ask that lioness you mentioned yesterday who suffered from sleeping problems, whether or not it is simply nightmares, or something she suspects is prophetic.”

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:43 pm

Kavis stopped speaking and simply stared down at the faces of the carcasses before him, frozen in the haunting millisecond before their imminent deaths. Their faces were scared and their cold, lifeless eyes only reflected Kavis' face back at himself. Wind from a hole in the bramble brushed about his mane. He now looked to his paws, a painful thought peeping into his mind.

"It's not just me that's afraid of myself... but everyone else, too," he thought. Kavis could see in a number of residents' eyes a degree of fear. It had dimmed throughout his stay and many people had accepted that he was no longer a threat, mainly because of how weak and easily defeated he now was. But in some, specifically Magir, Var, and Sira, Kavis could still see twinges of fear in their eyes. He knew that deep down they still did not trust him, but only because they were the ones who witnessed full on what he had done. He glanced over his shoulder at Masika, finally coming to hold a glance to her.

"I barely remember my past. I barely remember anything I did. But of the things I do remember, I can't be trusted. Not now, and maybe never. But one day maybe." He shut his thoughts away finally and came to crack a grin. He got up and began to eat a bit more, stepped aside to drink, and then sat in front of her.

"You're right," he said. "I'll change."


Shebla nodded in response to Fusan. She scanned the Pride for Var and Kyra. "On some mornings Var and Kyra hunt. Let's hope this morning they have not yet left. Their den is this way," she said, directing Fusan across the camp to the den of Var and Kyra. Var was already stepping out of the den to leave for a hunting trip, he stopped with bright green morning eyes, blinking in the light, seeing Shebla approach. He gave her a nod of greeting.

"Morning Shebla, is there something I can do for you?" Var asked, his ear twitching as a fly buzzed about it.

"Actually, I was wondering if Kyra was awake yet. There is something rather important I need to discuss with her, and perhaps Ramla," Shebla replied.

Var's face looked a bit more worried now. His ears drooped. "Is it about the dreams?" he asked. Shebla needed only nod in response. Var's tail brushed against the weeds at the entrance to the den. "You'll be able to make more sense of them than me. I told her they were just dreams and nothing odd should be going on, since Dalmaa's banishment. But... I've been wrong before," he said. "She's inside."

"Thank you, Var," Shebla said, walking into the den.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:14 pm

Kyra, upon noticing Shebla and Fusan, rose up from where she had been laying down into a sitting position, “Ah, morning Shebla, Storyteller.” She said, not having spoken with Fusan enough to use his name. Her eyes were bright and cheerful, and might have fooled many people into thinking that she felt perfectly fine, but it could not completely mask the faint hint of anxiety and alarm she seemed to experience when she saw her visitors. She hesitated for a moment, working out some sort of lump that was trying to form in her throat, before continuing to speak, “What brings you here?” She asked, although as close as everyone had been to the den’s entrance, it wasn’t really necessary for her to receive an answer. She knew what Shebla and Fusan were preparing to ask her about.

Just when Fusan was about to say something, Kyra began speaking quickly and quietly, her words rushed as though she were afraid someone she didn’t want to hear would pick up on them. “If you’re here to ask me about the dreams, I’ll tell you, but I can’t promise you that I’m sure of anything, anymore. Ramla already knows that I’ve been having these problems, but for everyone’s sake, I haven’t tried to convince anyone that there’s anything strange about it.” She took a deep sigh of relief, as though she had struggled to mention it at all.

She then looked between Fusan and Shebla, “I heard what you told Var, so you don’t have to explain anything. I see what I see, so I can only say that much and at best a random guess. When we traveled with the Sodaki, Dalmaa entered my dreams every time I fell asleep, forcing me to watch his prophesies, and then, I began to have dreams that had nothing to deal with him at all. I saw strange, flickering dreams full of faces that I can remember, belonging to lions and other creatures that I have never met. When Ramla lost her Sight, I began to have those dreams every time I fell asleep.” Her eyes teared up, “Horrible, horrible dreams and suffering. They never cease, and I am certain that when Ramla lost her Sight, I gained it, even though my eyes still work normally. I don’t want to frighten anyone, but these terrible things I keep on seeing never end.”

Fusan seemed shocked, with Kyra’s telling of events, “The Dark One himself intruded on your dreams? You have been touched by something that is both incredibly powerful, but also the most evil force to have ever existed…” He did not mention Dalmaa’s name so casually, knowing that he was very real. “But,” He began, “If a normal Seer or Seeress gains their Sight through the power of Protheus, and before he fell, the Dark One was just as powerful…it is possible that by entering your dreams and forcing you to see his prophesies, he gave you the Sight through his power, and it still lingers, because in itself, the Sight is used by all spiritual beings, who might sustain it, rather than letting it fade.” He tilted his head, “How your physical vision remains, however, has never occurred before, but it was foretold of, also.”

Kyra’s ears lowered, and she shook her head, “Dalmaa showed prophesy, and sometimes, he simply spoke to me, trying to manipulate me and weaken my resolve. He showed me things that the eyes of mortals were not meant to see, and told me things mortals were not meant to know. Some of those things I dare not repeat, but I know that Dalmaa was once a good being of immense power, and that he grew apart from Protheus, and then he was banished to the world, and finally deprived of his power. He is still present in this world, but he cannot manifest as a physical form or do many of the things he was once capable of. I know he was not destroyed, and that he probably still watches all the mortals of the world; I cannot say I love him, or that I hate him; I feel sympathy, but at the same time, I cannot let myself be near his presence, or he would bring me to complete ruin. I suppose that what I feel is grief, knowing he was good, and that he chose to betray Protheus for the things that he created. He was charismatic and creative, but he can never use that for the purpose of good ever again.”

Her eyes grew fierce past the tears, “May you never have his presence in your dreams, so that you can always find it easy to fear him, to loathe him and reject his appeals to your heart. Dalmaa takes you easily with his charm and those brief moments of what seem to be love and kindness, but he can do nothing for you. Protheus is now the sole judge of our life in the mortal world, and if you sympathize with his adversary, it is hard to choose the right path to follow. There is only hope for me that Protheus would overlook my offenses, having been exposed to Dalmaa’s presence as many times as I have and still managed to remain sane and aware of what is right and wrong, and still committed to the right purpose. Should he still enter your dreams, you should fear him, knowing who he is.”

Fusan seemed unnerved by the warning, but nodded, “You say it is easy to sympathize, but it seems to me that by knowing such things, you are aware that it might all be for the sake of manipulating you, and therefore might perhaps be for the better, having rejected that presence as strong as it was.” He said. “It is all the better for you, if you resist that presence, as alluring as it might be, and resist sin, as powerful as circumstances might be to push you to do so.”

Kyra sighed, as though she had lifted a great weight from her heart, and looked at Shebla, “What is it you wanted to know about my dreams? Was there anything specific.” The silver lioness seemed much calmer, now, having gathered composure for a serious conversation.

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:46 am




After hearing Kyra's frightening recollection and ominous warning, Shebla began. By now Var had stepped inside. Shebla started, "Things have been... strange, lately, Kyra. That is saying the very least. It has been several moons since Dalmaa's banishment and still nothing is the same as before. I don't know if it's just because of the new faces around this camp or if it's something much deeper, that the events have changed us to such great extent that we will never be the same. I fear it is the second of the two." Shebla shook her head, getting back on track.

"My ordeal is rather personal, and I don't often tell it to people. But... you, of all people need to know this. Your father Ammon, I believe, is wrapped up in an enormous prophecy. During his stay here I... I had a certain connection with him that I have never had with a patient before," she said. "I never quite understood him and I failed to reach out to him until some peculiar happenings. Of course Mabel knew Ammon, and she aided me and told me things. But... Ammon's mother, Egret, came to me in dreams. She would show me things from his past, talk to me, give me advice, and tell me what to do. She taught me how to change Ammon and help him learn love and compassion and such. I did this by providing him with something he had never had before, a friend who cared. Someone who did not challenge him, someone who did not require him to earn their respect, anything of the sort." Shebla sighed and began to grin, but she tried to suppress it. "Egret even said I was the key to Ammon's heart," she added in a shaky, shy voice. Her ears then drooped and her face became incredibly solemn. "I grew far too fond of Ammon, and he absorbed an enormous portion of my heart. And then Kavis forced him to leave and that portion Ammon took with him. I haven't been completely happy since, and at times I am very depressed. Sometimes I feel like the spirits are forsaking me, like I'm being treated unfairly. I cared for their blind Seeress half of her life after all. But Egret assured me I would just have to be patient, that I would see him again one day."

Shebla shook her head. "I just don't know."

"You're in love with him," Var said. Shebla's nose grew pink as her face expressed twinges of embarrassment. She felt a few butterflies flutter in her stomach.

"I've never thought of it that way before," she said. Her tail flickered anxiously a few times. It swirled awkwardly on the dirt.

"I think you have," Var said. "It's okay to admit it."

Shebla shrugged. "My hope has been so crushed lately that I'm just trying to forget right now, at least until I see him again."

"I will look around for him for you, Shebla."

Shebla smiled, "Thank you, Var," she said.  Then shook her head. "The point is, the characters in Fusan's story matched all the people I had seen in Egret's visions. And he taught me things I did not know before. We think your dreams may have a hidden meaning, and it may involve Ammon."

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:54 am

Kyra looked uneasy, and shook her head, “The truth was, I was frightened, when I heard the story about Relic and his followers. Time has taken so much of the answers away that I am unable to connect everything, but it was clear to me that Relic was much like my father.” Her ears lowered, “I know this pride has a low opinion of Ammon, because he deserted us when we needed strong warriors, but the truth is, Ammon would only ever run from a fight if he knew absolutely that he had no hope of winning. Everyone think my father is proud, and I used to think that, too, but now I don’t know if it’s pride in a normal sense. Anymore, sometimes I think it’s because he was judged so much, that he can’t stand it anymore, regardless if it’s good or bad. He probably thinks negative comments are based on information that’s lacking, and that good ones are cheap compliments meant to win him over, just so he can be betrayed in the end.”

The silver lioness sighed, “Shebla, my father does have an understanding of love and kindness; he is smart and capable of great wisdom, also. He doesn’t trust those feelings of warmth and affection, though; I think he feels like he’s violating his own beliefs in trying to accept others as family, so he avoids us. He’s proud of his own intelligence, but the truth is, he usually lives entirely based on logic, and tries to act as though emotion didn’t matter. In the end, he wants to ensure that the only opinion of him that matters is his own; he would intentionally make others hate him, so that he could keep everyone distanced. In the end, though, I feel like that pride and distancing, that coldness, was just a shell; we’ve all seen him act based on moral beliefs and ideals, and that he’s protective of those that he knew. He tries to cover it up by insulting the ones that he helps, or saying it was to further his own gain or repay someone for a debt that he owed; he never lets himself admit that he does it out of the kindness of his own heart.”

Fusan tilted his head, “It is not uncommon for those who face severe social rejection, especially early in life, to develop a preference for solitude, perhaps thinking that it is better to be alone than to attempt to bond with others at all. For one to become completely antisocial, however, it would take immense acts of cruelty to make them lose all hope. It would seem to me that this Ammon is highly sensitive, and has great insight into the reasons behind one’s actions, perhaps too much, because he might also try to find deception and betrayal even when it is not present at all. For such individuals, showing your true face is the only way to gain their trust; never hiding anything about yourself, good or bad. Those who like seeing all the faults and strengths of others value honesty and unwarranted kindness, because they so seldom see either one.”

The Storyteller then shook his head, “Ah, I’m going to deep into such things, I will not ask how this stranger wound up the way he is; we would like to know, however, what you saw in your visions, and if you interpreted any of it, what do you think they mean?” He asked.

Kyra nodded, “The dreams I had were strange; I would see brief images and then they would flicker out, but they keep repeating, and each time they do, the visions grow more vivid, and take longer to change. I think that means that the time those events are meant to occur in is getting closer.” Her eyes squinted a bit, as though the thought of the visions left her confused, “I would see strange places, what looked like two separate caves. One cave was extremely hard to see in; it was filled with an incredibly thick fog that looked tainted…it had a strange, almost purple-black tinge to it, but I don’t think it was natural. There was some sort of powder on the ground that I think was fragments of crystal; it was black and sometimes flashed purple like the fog. There were shadows everywhere, so dark that I didn’t see through them at all, and they moved almost as though they were living things. I had this horrible feeling that something malicious was watching me when I stood in that cave, and I heard whispers coming from the shadows; I really think they were alive and sentient, somehow.” She looked disturbed by the memory.

“The other cave I saw,” She began, “…seemed to be made entirely out of solid crystal, the walls, floors, and ceilings were black, but filled with brilliant flecks of light, and they seemed to have impressions carved into the shapes of creatures and plants and other things. There was a complex spiraling pattern carved into the floor, its center was in the center of the perfectly circular chamber, and around the edges of the room there were statues on pedestals; they looked like strange creatures I’d never seen before. They were beautiful and made of the same crystal as the walls, but the walls paled in comparison to the stones the statues were made of. The statues, no matter when I had the vision, had glowing blue-white eyes, and there were points of light on their foreheads. I heard whispers in that chamber, too, and there seemed to be something ancient, but those whispers didn’t scare me; I felt like there was something benevolent about those statues, the way they seemed to speak. I felt like they didn’t want me to be scared of them.”

Kyra dismissed this with a shifting of her weight from one paw to another, “Then, there were the images of creatures themselves. I saw a gigantic eye, it was pale blue, practically white, and it glowed. It was a slit, like a snake’s, but there was an area around the colored part, and it was a deep, blood-red. That eye was filled with intelligence, but it wasn’t natural, and I felt like I was seeing a monster. I felt like it knew it didn’t belong, but it didn’t care. It scared me, almost as bad as when I saw the Pawmark burning. It was an eye that made me feel like something important was being blatantly violated, something that should have never been touched...” She drifted off.

She paused for a moment, and then continued, “Then, there were the young lions and other creatures,” Kyra said, looking hesitant, “There was a cave where they gathered, but there was nothing strange about it; it seemed to be high up somewhere, and it had a sheltered mouth, but the opening was gigantic and light spilled into it. The cave was deep, though, and they were hidden so far back that I could only see their shapes. I saw them all, though, in separate visions.”

“There was a vulture with a feathered head carrying a bone in its beak in one vision. Two male lions that were mere shadows, I think they might have been brothers, but one looked strange; I’m not even sure if he was a normal lion, even though I feel like they were siblings.” She continued listing the individuals she had seen, “A lion with a brown mane and eyes that seemed to change from green to blue, who constantly looked as though he were filled with rage; I saw him in other visions, and I think that his mother was murdered right before his eyes when he was little.” She swallowed, “The shadows had something to deal with it.”

Kyra kept going, looking shaken by what she had already mentioned, “There was a pale cheetah that barely had spots at all, and she wore the skeleton of a venomous snake around her neck. A black rhinoceros calf was stranded in a forest, and he was crying, but his mother was nowhere to be found. A striped hyena cub that was barely old enough to do anything for himself was fighting off vultures from a half-eaten carcass. There was a gelada baboon weeping and looking up at the moon, but there were no other baboons anywhere in sight. I also saw a beautiful lioness with red eyes, staring at the bones of a dead buffalo, but it was as though she didn’t feel anything at all, like she was numb to the death that she was looking at.” She shook her head, “There were two more, a young leopard who had been attacked or beaten, somehow; I couldn’t see his fur beneath the blood, but he was limping somewhere with determination, there was a blue moon in the sky. There was also a strange monkey with an extremely short tail; he had a colorful face, and I think he fled as someone he loved was killed by humans.”

Kyra sighed, “I had other visions, but I saw all of these young creatures lose loved ones or not have anyone to look out for them; it was so depressing. I saw the shadows, also, and I saw groups of different lions with pure-black eyes whispering to ones who looked normal; they agitated them, and they began to fight. I also saw glimpses of shadows being slashed by something silver; something that made them scream as though they had been cut…I don’t know what it means, but…”

She shook her head, and then looked urgent, “I think that the shadows want to cause a war.”

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:06 am

Shebla's face grew distressful. She shook her head, her ears drooping. She placed her eyes in the base of her paw pad for a moment and sighed. Then she removed it and looked at Kyra and Fusan. "We have just reached a time of peace in this Pride, and now we are about to be mixed up in the middle of war once again." She seemed angry now. "What have we done to deserve this?"

"A lot," Var interjected. "If we were to look at the pasts of the lions in this Pride, half of them would be filled with sin. Look at me. I had to be a murderer to keep my father from killing me all throughout my life. And look at Jali's father, Star, who stole the Sodaki. Even Saber, who was a tyrannical king. Truth be told none of us have been saintly." Var groomed his black mane, removing some grasses from the hairs.

Shebla nodded. "You're right. But still, I just thought we were done with all of this heartbreak." She shook her head. "Before we do any further deciphering of these dreams, we must make Ramla aware. We should also tell Jali." She thought for a moment, pausing before she spoke again. "I want this Pride to avoid war at any cost. As a medical lioness I see every wound that passes through this camp. When war is present, wounds become so plentiful that you cannot escape them even in your dreams. After an entire day of fixing injuries, I go to sleep only to have dreams of doing the exact same thing, mending wounds. Not only that, but the fear and constant depression that swallows up the whole Pride. I cannot bear it."

"Shebla, we have Kavis. If we could strengthen him, he could be our greatest protector," Var said.

Shebla shook her head. "Kavis isn't ready to be used as a weapon. We are going to build him up gradually and healthily. He won't be ready for combat for many moons. I want him to soak in peace so that he won't be aggressive when he gains his strength." Her tail flicked. "We will have to rely on you, Gamba, and the royal family for protection. Our group of warriors is growing smaller since the mass deaths caused by Aziza's forces. As an added complication, lions like Kal are growing older and will be weaker. Kal has been showing beginning signs of arthritis. In some time he will be too old to fight. That day is not soon but not far either. We must be prepared."

"We need to train our children, then. All the cubs should be taught combat very soon, they'll need to help defend the Pride when they get older. We need them to be prepared," Var said.

"I agree," Shebla began. She then smiled, as if recalling old memories. She looked up at Kyra. "I will go and tell Ramla what you've told me. We will meet with Jali when he and Taru return from their hunting trip." Var nodded in response as he watched her lead Fusan out of the den. Var moved towards Kyra and gave her a comforting brush with his tail.

"I wish I could help you, Kyra," he said. "I ask the spirits every night to take this curse from you and put it on me instead. I can't bear to see you suffer." He sighed. "But there is something I've been meaning to ask you about." He looked at his paws for a moment, thinking his words over. "Of all of the people I have ever known, I love you the most. Of any feeling of pleasure or joy I have ever felt in life, the moments in which I am with you surpass them all. In fact I love you so much I want to gift you with the same happiness I see all of the other males in this Pride gifting their mates with. Kyra, what if we, in time, were to have cubs?"

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PostSubject: Re: Pride Days (IC)   Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:35 pm

Kyra was thoughtful for a moment, before giving a response, her eyes brimming slightly with tears, “The truth is, I was always thinking about it, what it would be like if I had cubs of my own. I really wanted them, but I kept putting it off, trying to ask you, because I was really scared that when they grew up, they would think I was crazy because of my Sight…” She then tried to compose herself, and forced the tears down, exerting strength over her emotion that was developed over constant trauma, from life events and from her constant encounters with Dalmaa in the recent past. “…In the end, though,” She said, “If I don’t decide to do it now while I am younger, where I could be stressed by the dreams and still carry them without complications, that might pass me by.”

She shook her head, and despite her best efforts, one tear escaped her eyes, “I would like cubs, Var, it’s just…these visions make me scared of the world they might inherit from us.”

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