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Census
The Pridelanders
Scar & Zira
♂04 ♀05

The Outlanders
Kiume & --
♂04 ♀02

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Ismahel & --
♂03 ♀03

The Shadowlanders
Ni & Abuto
♂07 ♀03

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-- & Quanna
♂02 ♀03

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Nyota & Duara
♂02 ♀09

The Ashlanders
Nako & Heshima
♂02 ♀03

The Rogues
♂04 ♀04

The Other Species
♂03 ♀00

Total: 63
♂31 ♀32

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 Sunrise, Sunset

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Abuto

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PostSubject: Sunrise, Sunset   Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:19 am

It all seemed to be happening so fast. One day, she was a newly accepted pridemember suddenly thrust into the position of mother of abandoned cubs, and now her boys were growing their manes in and soon growing past her own shoulder. Not in girth, however, as Abuto had been steadily growing a softly rounded belly ever since a few months back when Ni and her had finally sorted out their feelings for one another. The once unwanted rogue was now mother, mate, queen, and soon to be mother again. With cubs of her own blood. She never thought that would happen. She would have never thought anyone would want her enough to let her carry his cubs, let alone the responsibility of a royal bloodline.

At least this time around Abuto was less anxious. She and Ni had raised Makosa and Kiasi well, despite her fears of being a failure as a mother. Her boy were wonderful, beautiful inside and out. They had even watched over her in turn as her belly grew with new life. Any reflection of her life nearly brought tears to the lioness’s eyes, so grateful was she for the beautiful life she had received after a cubhood of doubt. Sometimes she would go to sleep in the den, Ni, Makosa, and Kiasi at her sides, and wonder if she would awake the next morning elsewhere, with a different life. Surely this one was too good.

Then again, the pains of pregnancy were not so pleasant. Abuto had been surprised to learn she had conceived, and even more so when the litter within her kept growing. She had been anxious that her body would not be able to handle cubs, as she was still a runt and food in the Shadowlands was still hard to come by, but nonetheless her womb had filled. The pains worsened during the past day, and she had called for Ni in fear that she was dying or her body was somehow hurting their cubs. But then they realized the time had come for the long-awaited royal line to see daylight, and Ni cleared out the den for Abuto’s privacy and posted himself at the opening, awaiting for the permission to come in.

Abuto did not want to be alone, especially not with sharp pains that felt like buffalo horns ripping into her every few minutes. But she knew this is how it was meant to be. She was a lioness, a queen, and this was something she would have to face on her own.

It was and agonizingly slow process for Abuto, her babies seemingly fighting each other to escape her womb first. She spent what felt like the entire day breathing through the pain, head spinning, muscles aching. It took everything she had not to scream for Ni to come, to be there, to do something. The aches escalated until Abuto was crying, terrified her heart would give out from all its effort and her cubs with it, and then -- relief.

Momentary. A healthy cub slipped out (Abuto could not help but wonder how in all the lands something of that size could have come out of [/i]her[/i]). But the pain seized again, but it seemed none of her children were content to be still for long and with surprising quickness two more cubs pushed out of her womb.

Panting, Abuto let herself fall, cheek pressed against the cool stone beneath her, edging around to curl herself around her newborn litter. Her children. It was a strange, almost unbelievable thought. Three cubs squirmed and squeaked, healthy and large enough, despite all her fears, and they each climbed over and around each other to find the warmth and milk of their mother. It was a familiar, tender moment: curling around the tiny cubs. She remembered how tiny and lost Makosa and Kiasi had appeared when she first saw them, how they immediately sought the warmth and protection of herself and Ni. Her boys no longer so needed her anymore, each dependent and growing restless with age, and the lioness realized she had missed the feeling of being needed. Her heart swelled at how excited her eldest sons would be to meet their new siblings, blood siblings for all any but her and Ni knew, and she couldn’t wait to see her growing family all together.

Abuto was, however, somewhat anxious to see Ni’s reaction. She knew, of course, he would be a great father just as he already was, and would be like a cub during his first pouncing lesson when he came to see their cubs. But an unavoidable part of her still worried that she would disappoint him somehow, even though she knew that was foolish. Further, she was acutely aware of each cubhood spot on her children’s coats. Natural now, but would they fade?

It was a foolish concern; Abuto could almost here Ni lovingly telling her off for worrying about something everyone but her thought as unique and beautiful. So the mother turned her attention back to studying her children. She was a tad worried, they all pawed and picked at one another with a competitiveness she hadn’t seen in Kosa and Kiasi. Two looked like their father with golden coats, but the other was the color of the deep, burning sky at sunset -- exactly as her own. The first born, who had fiercely battled her brothers in-womb for first breath, if Abuto’s pains were anything to go by, was a beautiful golden girl, the biggest of the litter. She had dark eyeshades and fiery spirit even newly born. The second born was her spitting image, even down to her green eyes (though she would not know for another few weeks), a sweet little boy. The youngest and smallest was gold like his sister and father, pink-nosed and with dark eyeshades and a few more spots than his siblings.

Abuto’s heart swelled, and knew that the pain had been more than worth it. They were all beautiful, and Abuto had a child-like excitement to see how each would grow. She hoped desperately that all her children, young and old, would get along well. As an only child from a litter that did not last the night, Abuto had no memories of how to deal with siblings, but remembered always wanting one.

Exhausted but glowing, Abuto finally let out a roar to announce the successful birth, and to call her mate in.

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PostSubject: Re: Sunrise, Sunset   Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:07 am

"EVERYBODY OUT OF THE DEN! NOW!" Ni wasn't furious, he was excited for what was about to occur. So excited that he was pacing at the mouth of the den while some of the adolescents still lingered in the cave, wanting to see the wonders of how cubs were born. Ni came up behind them and stood tall, with an almost evil eye he growled in a playful way, "If you three don't get out of the den this instant I will slaughter you and feed you to the hyenas," The teens looked up to their king and quickly scampered out of the den, followed by the king who looked back to see his mate almost in pain. Almost wasn't the right word, he knew that his mate was in pain but for the moment she didn't show it. He smiled at Abuto and for the sake of privacy vacated the den. The next time he would see her, he would be a father, a father to an actual bloodline of cubs. The king was nervous to say the least, he was about to become a father again. What if his cubs didn't like him? What if they ended up hating him unlike Kiasi and Kosa ended up doing? But now was not the time for 'what-ifs', this was a time to rejoice. The heir of the Shadowlands would be born today, no matter what would befall their fates. Even though it had only been about five minutes, Ni began his pacing again, a worried look upon his face. He could see Kiasi and Kosa out of the corner of his eye sitting at the corner of the den's mouth, keeping all of their urges to go see their mother and siblings under control.

And five minutes later, the creamy-golden king of the Shadowlands was just about ready to pull his mane out. "What's taking so long?!" Naanda, a former Pridelander, sister-in-law of Mufasa, and loyal Shadowlander chuckled and replied, "Childbirth is a delicate process sire, these things take time," Ni looked to Naanda and his eyes widened, "But I want to see her now!" He was whining now, something unlike how Ni normally acted. The lioness sighed and shook her head, "You are acting like you're the mother here sire, man up!" Ni was confident that Kiasi and Kosa were now wondering if Ni acted that crazy during their birth, but they would never know the truth about their own. It was a crazy thought, his sons were going to be adults soon and no matter how much he didn't like it, it was true. The king's pacing picked up more and more now, he was now trotting across the land outside the den. It was an amusing sight for many, but many of the lionesses could understand where he was coming from. There was a high possibility that Abuto's small stature could inhibit problems during the birth, in that night they could lose their queen and possibly the royal litter. But thankfully Abuto would live, and the royal litter would be safe; if only for a few weeks. Finally there was a roar coming from inside the den, making Ni jump up with joy. He quickly approached the mouth of the den and turned to his sons. With an ecstatic smile on his face, he shook his head and shouted with excitement, "DON'T COME IN HERE UNTIL I SAY SO!!"

Quietly walking into the den and trying to calm his nerves, Ni approached his mate with a smile, "Abuto!" For a moment she was all he could see, but with another few steps he saw a small golden figure. Hearing many mews Ni quickly realized that more than one cub had been birthed to the royal family that day. Finally the king was upon them, standing right over Abuto. He nuzzled her softly and gave her a few affectionate licks before turning his attention to their children. Their children! Ni walked over to the other side of the cubs and plopped down with a large smile on his face. There were three cubs, two that shared his looks while the other looking more and more like Abuto with each passing second. Taking his eyes off the cubs for a moment, Ni worried about his queen, "You aren't in any pain anymore are you?" But once he received an answer he would go back to flaunting over his children. He picked up the closest one and placed it in his paws. This was the female, the one that looked much like her father. She had inherited his nose and on closer inspection it seemed that she was the only cub that had inherited his nose almost fully; one cub having a darker shade of salmon for his color. He brought his head down to the level of his daughter's energetic body and laughed with joy as she started to paw his face. He nuzzled his daughter and cooed softly, "You're so full of energy sweetie! You're gonna be big and strong just like your mommy! Aren't you? Aren't you?"

The sight was hilarious, but it was a special moment for the royal family. Finally after cuddling with his daughter enough -fascinated that she was so energetic and pretty- he placed her down and chuckled as she tried to wriggle her way back to her mother. With a small nudge Ni helped her and focused on the next cub that looked just like him. This cub had obviously more spots than his other siblings and Ni secretly hoped that they would stick around on the majority of his cubs. He loved Abuto's spots and everything about her, he would feel amazing if their cubs emulated that. The cub that was now in his hands wasn't as hyper as his sister however he was still moving around, mewing in protest that his father had taken him away from his siblings for a single moment. Giving into his son's wants, Ni placed the creamy-golden cub with his matching sister, "Fine fine fine, you'll be spending the rest of your life with them. Best get used to them now before they start picking on you," And finally he took up the dark, chocolate brown cub. His nose style was similar to his sister's but he carried his mother's colors. He smiled and pressed his nose against his son's, earning a sneeze from the cub. He chuckled and his heart filled with joy at this. "You're secretly going to be my favorite little buddy," Holding the small cub in his paws he looked into Abuto's jade eyes, oh how he wanted all of his children to have those eyes, "Abuto, they're perfect. They're," Ni couldn't think of the word, but finally he smiled and looked back down at the cub in his paws, "ours,"

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PostSubject: Re: Sunrise, Sunset   Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:28 pm

Abuto could hear Ni’s excited order from the mouth of the den, keeping all others out until he had a chance to see Abuto and their cubs first, which she was grateful for. She would need a little time to compose before being bombarded with the rest of the pride, including their two oldest sons. As of right then, the lioness was exhausted and fancied the idea of a nap, but there was a certain feeling in her blood like lightening that made her acutely aware to everything, mind alert even if her body was sluggish. She didn’t want to waste time sleeping when she could be coddling her cubs. Her cubs. Their cubs. Still a strange thought, perhaps one she would never get over.

”Ni,” she sighed out his name, a sound like one would make after quenching a deep thirst. She beamed at him, seeing his excitement twitch his muscles and hearing it lace his greeting. She revealed in his affection and singular attention, even if it was short. The exact sort of comfort she needed after the trying last few hours. Ni soon plopped down to complete the circle of their bodies, shielding their children from the rest of the world. Abuto smiled and shook her head slightly at his question, even though her silent answer was not completely true. She was exhausted and aching, but it was a good ache, and she was too excited about the cubs to focus on either complaints.

Watching him interact with their children, Abuto laughed softly. Their daughter was just as spirited as she first thought, pawing blindly at her father with her tiny legs. The lioness’s smile turned meek as Ni indirectly called her strong, and she case her mate an appreciative look. Perhaps she was, or more so than she thought, as a weak lioness would not have been able to birth three healthy, if tiny, cubs successfully -- not to mention raise two others with little guidance. Abuto shook her head, grinning at Ni and their daughter. “She’ll be a handful. A beautiful, spirited handful. You’d better not spoil her, or she’ll walk all over you,” the lioness teased with a laugh.

The next cub preferred to be within the warmth between his siblings, and Abuto laughed again at Ni’s comment. “Yes, little one, you have a nice big family now. I hope you can keep up with your father’s energy.” She looked back to Ni. “It’ll be good they have one another. I always wished for siblings of my own.”

The lioness did not hear her mate’s comment picking out the russet cub as his favourite, but saw the way his eyes sparkled in a way somewhat different from his other reactions, the way he looked at her with an affectionate longing. After a moment of holding his gaze, Abuto looked down, embarrassed. She understood his thoughts. “Don’t go playing favourites, Ni,” Abuto admonished softly, her shy tone revealing she knew why this little cub had caught his eye. She did, however, brighten with more shy confidence as he called them perfect, theirs. “Ours,” she repeated softly, awe still coating her tone. She looked over her cubs (as the two at her side shuffled around her her warmth and milk, pawing at each other to find a nipple despite the ample room) and then back a Ni. “Sometimes, I still think I’m dreaming.” She admitted sheepishly. Then, after a moment, she added self-consciously, “You really think they’re perfect?”

Abuto knew it was an unnecessary question. She thought them each perfect, Kiasi and Kosa perfect as well. Not in that they had no flaws or that they did not require teaching, but in that they existed, they were hers, and none had died. She had doubted her ability to deliver while she was pregnant, and was still overjoyed that they had all survived. Even Kiasi and Kosa who had been out in the harsh world for months, years now -- they had survived and even thrived still. But that did not stop Abuto from being self-conscious with her newborn litter, as they were physically a direct reflection of her, her strength, ability, and worth -- or so she thought, anyway -- none of which she had particular confidence in, even if she was more accepting of herself now than before.

Abuto looked to the mouth of the den, concerned. “Kiasi and Kosa are okay?” She asked, somewhat anxiously. She hoped they would be excited for their siblings and not scorn them for their novelty. Not that she thought her sons would do such a thing, but her own past made her nervous.

Then, she studied the three cubs with a critical eye while starting to clean them up, licking at their tiny bodies. “What should we name them?” She had a few of her own ideas, but wished to hear Ni’s first.

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PostSubject: Re: Sunrise, Sunset   Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:56 pm

The king chuckled when Abuto told him not to spoil their daughter, saying how she'd be able to get away with everything under the sun if he did. "I have to agree with you darling, she is going to be a handful. However, this is my daughter, it is a father's job to spoil her rotten no? Well, that's something my mother told me before she died," Even after all those years of being an orphan, the conversations of Ni and his parents still rang clear in his head. He chuckled again as he eyed his active daughter, knowing that she would probably be the more dominant of the litter, "But don't worry, I'll keep her in line. She'll grow up right as a noble princess, not as a spoiled one," His eyes looked to the male that looked like him, chuckling as he attempted to cuddle with his sister who only seemed to want to be on the move. Abuto spoke about how they were lucky to have another and how she had always wanted siblings. Ni thought back to his own brother, Kimondo, who had suffered a fate of death. There were some lions of the pride who wanted nothing more than the old king to return to them, but others were now starting to accept Ni as the new king. And the arrival of another litter from him and his mate was now brightening up the spirits of the Shadowland pride. However one thought was on everyone's mind, with now at least three heirs with claim to the throne, who would Ni pick to follow in his footsteps and rule? It was a though choice, but thankfully Ni would have some time to choose later.

As the king marveled his russet son he heard Abuto mention not to pick any favorites. He didn't realize that she didn't hear what he had said, but he then started to whine like a cub. "But Abutoooo! He looks just like you!" But finally his kingly attitude came back and he sighed, "Alright, I won't play favorites. However, this little child of ours will always have a special place in my heart, he's going to be amazing I just know it," The king kept his russet colored son within his paws as Abuto mentioned on how she kept feeling as if this was a dream. Ni smiled and looked at his beautiful cubs, "Well if this really is a dream? I hope we don't wake up," And yet again Ni comforted his mate's slight worries and smiled, "They are perfect, because they are ours Abuto. Because you are their mother they are even more perfect than I could ever have hoped for," The russet male in his paws started to cry out for the milk his mother would give him and reluctantly Ni set him down next to his siblings. It was at that point that the male found his way next to his fighting siblings and squirmed his way into the middle of them, ending their fighting and happily taking his mother's milk as his first meal. Ni scooted closer to his mate and his cubs, grumbling at the same time that their adopted two were fine. "Yeah, waiting outside the den. Told 'em not to come in until I said so. I think I scared them actually, they must think I'm insane,"

And now came the fun part, the naming of the cubs. Ni hadn't been willing to change either Kiasi or Makosa's names due to them already being slightly attached to them so now he was able to do what he saw fit with his own children. He paused for a moment and thought about it, speaking his thoughts out loud. "Well, I was thinking earlier today and I thought that I would like to name one after my brother in remembrance of him. But now that I look upon these cubs? None of them would be able to fit such a name. They are all better than a simple Kimondo. No, they all need their own special names. However I could see one of them being a Mateto or Jira, the names of my mother and father. However," Ni paused and pressed his paw upon his russet son, just gently enough so that he wouldn't be startled, "he looks like a Kanu to me. His roar will thunder throughout all of the lands. And I feel that he will be a better king than I could ever be. Heck, all of them would be a better ruler than me!" The more he looked at his russet son the more and more he looked like a Kanu. The name was sticking in his mind and he hoped Abuto would like it. "So how about we name this one Kanu? You alright with that my love?" Ni looked at his other two children, no names were coming to mind for them, so he motioned his paw to his queen. "I think as their mother you should be naming them, so what are your ideas?" This was all fun for now, but little did Ni know, his whole family would be torn apart. By one lioness, one lion, two minions, and a stupid goal in mind.

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PostSubject: Re: Sunrise, Sunset   Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:42 am

Abuto couldn’t help but laugh at her mate’s antics. “Well there will be no doubt that she will be loved, then. As so with them all,” She nudged each of her children fondly. “You make sure you find the balance between love and spoiling, else I’ll have to put you both in line,” She eyed Ni seriously for a second, but soon gave into a large grin.

”And he looks like you,” Abuto replied to his childish whine with a laugh, nudging her little tan male closer to herself, encouraging him to drink. She looked back to her russet son, unable to keep the concern from her face or voice. “Hopefully he won’t look just like me.” The mother would not be able to bare her children being looked down upon or made fun of as she had been for traits she couldn’t help. Just the thought put an unfamiliar rage in her, motherly instincts kicking in to protect her children from all evils of the world, even the ones within one’s own pride. She knew some of the pride still didn’t completely approve of Ni’s rule, and worried her spots would mare their children and be seen as further proof that he nor his children should claim leadership of the pride or land. Abuto knew of other lands where such markings were considered royal, but the thought was so strange she was never able to completely wrap her mind around it.

Shaking off the negative thoughts, Abuto smiled softly to Ni and her cubs once more. “They’re all going to be amazing in their own way... each will have an important part to play in the coming years for more than just the Shadowlands...” She wasn’t sure what made her say that, and thinking further on the issue she drew a blank, so she chose not to dwell on it. She was far too tired now as it was. The lioness smiled sheepishly at her mate’s loving comments, hardly able to contain them. Yes, she too would rather stay here in this world where everything somehow worked out, could be called perfect even, even if it was only a dream. “Oh Ni. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve you, but I’m so grateful to have you. You are more than I could ever hope for,” It must’ve been the whole ordeal of just giving birth and her varying emotions getting away with her that made her so sappy, yet she wouldn’t apologize for it.

Abuto laughed again as her look-a-like’s mere presence stopped the miniature battle between his other siblings, who were now distracted enough to drink her milk contentedly. She winced a few times as they kneaded her sensitive flesh, their mouths not always gentle, but her mood would not be put off, even if she grew more tired which each passing minute. “You’re a father of newborn cubs, my love. It’s expected for you to be insane,” she grinned at Ni. “Though I want them to meet their siblings and return to them as soon as possible,” Abuto said, suddenly serious, “I don’t want them to feel replaced.”

She nodded slowly as he mused through names. “Mateto and Jira are lovely... but I think they should have their own names, to live their own lives, not anyone else’s.” She spoke softly, hoping Ni wouldn’t mind. Glancing to their russet son, Abuto nodded again, smiling at the name. “Kanu, I do quite like that. What do you think, little one?” The mother gently nudged the cub, who mewled lowly with a mouthful of teat. “I’ll take that as a yes.” Frowning somewhat at Ni’s comment of rule, Abuto pressed her muzzle against his mane. “You are a wonderful ruler, Ni. Never think otherwise.”

Glancing back to their children, Abuto was silent for a long moment, humming to herself in thought. “I was thinking... Zuri, and... Kirabo.” She smiled. They were both such happy names, and Abuto hoped her cubs would always take solace in the fact they were named out of love. She beamed up at Ni, tired but happy. “They are all beautiful gifts, and hope they will always feel like that.”

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