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Census
The Pridelanders
Scar & Zira
♂04 ♀05

The Outlanders
Kiume & --
♂04 ♀02

The Coldlanders
Ismahel & --
♂03 ♀03

The Shadowlanders
Ni & Abuto
♂07 ♀03

The Desertlanders
-- & Quanna
♂02 ♀03

The Lowlanders
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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 Immortalized Love

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Kiburi

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PostSubject: Immortalized Love   Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:47 pm

The orange lioness had waited patiently for everyone to leave this morning before she'd slipped into the spot she had been hidden her painting. She'd wanted to finish it before the Queen Duara was due to have her cubs, she'd carefully layered her small basin of water and paints over with a covering of leaves each night she'd stopped working. She always had to make fresh paints of course, the ingredients dried out but she had the materials all gathered, it was the water that was important, she didn't want to track blue pawprints along the floor as she'd once done before. With dirtied paws however, the sun high in the sky and a splotch of pain on her forehead that was dune in color she was trotting happily off to find her Queen Nyota.

She wanted to show Nyota first, to see what she thought of it before she showed it to Duara. The mural was lovely in her own eyes, the two lionesses sat with their bodies arched towards one another on the back wall of the birthing den, Duara with a sun in her belly, their gazes as loving as Kiburi could paint them. She often found the two Queen's lucky, they had found love in the best of places and to her their love seemed perfect. It had been warming to paint them as she saw them in her minds eye when it was clear Duara was pregnant, he was happy for them, and excited for the new life they would bring into the pride. Everyone was she thought, it was a joyous occasion when cubs were born after all! She hummed softly to herself as she followed Nyota's ever growing scent and pushed her way through the foliage, she wasn't sure where her Queen might be, possibly on a patrol, she had been taking on a lot of responsibility lately.

Her vibrant frame bounced along until finally she felt she was getting close enough to her Queen to actually call out and once she picked her way out into an open spot she cleared her throat. "Queen Nyota? It's Kiburi, may I have a moment to speak with you?" she called out, her tone nothing but sunny, she hoped that it would be the brown form of her Queen that would appear and not Duara's. Duara often had lingering scents of her mate so it was possible to get them confused, she just wanted to show Nyota first, she did rather like both of her Queens but it just felt right to present it to her first. She peered around with emerald eyes, waiting patiently, if she didn't appear than she'd be on her bouncy way again to find her, she wasn't so readily about to give up!

[It is soooo terrible, I'm sorry. XD]
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Nyota

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PostSubject: Re: Immortalized Love   Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:50 am

Had it really been three years since the fall of the Highlanders and the end of the bloody battles waged in the jungle? No, it had been longer than that, Nyota thought to herself as she traveled over the familiar, worn paths. She still had a habit of constantly searching for signs of unrest, even if that had been missing there for a long time. She had taken most of the patrolling duties onto her own shoulders, since Duara was presently in no condition to do it herself, due to deliver her litter any day now. Princess Nyima had even been given a few duties of her own, but Nyota had not witnessed her daughter in the act of protecting the pride just yet. She still had faith that her young heir would come around, perhaps express an interest in her role as the future queen soon, but maturity was swiftly approaching and Nyota was beginning to worry that Nyima hadn't the will or passion to lead.

Regardless, they were all fortunate to have the time to spend with their pride sisters, to explore their own hobbies and talents (except for Nyota, whose patrolling tendencies were borderline obsessive and left little room for pleasure). For some, the water spoke to their psyche, and a few of the Lowlanders loved to swim, bathe, and fish all day long. For others, they lived for the hunt; the thrill of the chase, the excitement of success or sometimes even failure, for without failure they would never learn and better their craft. But for one Lowlander, it was a strange talent that occupied her free time. Kiburi was well-known for her art, and not only because she was the only lioness who dedicated herself to the unusual gift. Her work, though uncommon in the leonine world, impressed Nyota and the others.

It was during these lapses from war times that Nyota got to see her subjects for who they truly are, not just as defenders of the jungle and warriors. She enjoyed getting to know each of the lioness who called the Lowlands home. Kiburi in particular was difficult for anyone to dislike, with an upbeat attitude that was often contagious like the smile often present on her cream colored maw. The sound of her voice caught Nyota’s attention and she turned to see the lioness, lovely and bright in the daylight. She trotted over to the younger lioness with a smile that had become characteristic of the queen in the past several weeks. ”Of course, Kiburi. What is it?” She noted the dab of color on the other’s forehead and her smile widened. ”It has been so quiet lately.” She mused aloud.


[Nah, it's good! Don't stress.]

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Kiburi

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PostSubject: Re: Immortalized Love   Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:08 pm

Much to her relief and happiness the voice that sounded through the jungle was Nyota and her rich chocolate pelt was apparent as soon as she appeared, confirming it was the Queen she had sought. She gave a bow of her head in greeting and respect before speaking, looking up in time to catch the widening smile of the lioness. She wondered if her offhanded comment had been a small joke towards the vibrant female, if it was or wasn't Kiburi smiled brighter herself, "Perhaps because I have been busy" she chirped and let a fluttering laugh escape her. She couldn't contain the shiver that ran through her at the thought of her mural and she sat down to contain herself though her tail flip flopped about behind her with energy.

"I hope you won't be angry with me but I was so excited to hear that Queen Duara was with cub, I couldn't contain myself from making you both a gift! It is such a joyous occasion when new life comes into the pride, and of course I couldn't be happier that we'll have more Prince and Princesses about!" she took a breath before putting on a more serious expression but her eyes glittered with the excitement of the reveal, "I painted a mural, in the birthing den, I've been working on it for some time...although simple I think you might be pleased with it, it is my tribute to my ever gracious Queens and our new royalty. If you'd follow me I'd love to show it to you, you'll be the first to see!" she said happily and jumped to her feet, ready to lead Nyota to said gift whenever she showed the inclination to go. It wasn't a long distance to the dens and the lioness would have to remind herself not to move too quickly, she already appeared so over eager.

She wasn't normally quite so hyper active but she was excited to be able to show her mural off. Art often did that to her, the act of painting it, as well as the act of sharing it with the other sisters of the pride. She had never regretted her decision to come here, not once in her life, despite missing her family she felt she'd found her place in the world. The Lowlands let her have her art and the lionesses were like her sisters now, so essentially she had both of the things she wanted most in life. She was happier than she had ever dreamed she would be, even in these times of strife, and she felt all the more lucky because of it. All of it, in part, thanks to the Queens who had accepted her into their pride.
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PostSubject: Re: Immortalized Love   Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:12 am

The light-hearted laughter of the younger lioness set Nyota at ease. The queen’s comment about the quietness as of late had been random, directed at no one in particular; simply an observation after hours spent patrolling without incident. A dull day was a good, safe day in the jungle. As Kiburi announced her work, Nyota’s brow arched curiously. "A mural?" She asked, following behind the enthusiastic lioness. The muddy brown queen's muzzle beamed a proud smile, like that of an expectant father, happy to hear from Kiburi that she and Duara were not the only ones anxiously anticipating the cubs’ arrival. "I suspect Duara's will be a small litter like my own. I had a dream about it, as I did while I was expecting Nyima. A small litter, but healthy," she announced as they traveled. The birthing den was not far away, located up on a hill and hidden behind the dense foliage of the jungle. The cave had not been used since the birth of Nyima and Sakitu, who were now nearly grown themselves, and the memory of the day nearly three years ago stirred up feelings of sadness and pride in the queen as the two females approached the sacred space.

What Nyota saw inside was surprising. In a world where no photographs existed, it was difficult to immortalize anyone or anything, and yet Kiburi had managed to do just that. The colors were correct and she had somehow captured real emotion in her art. The image would remain there unless the den was flooded, and its position on the hillside practically guaranteed that it would be safe even then. If only such art existed from the pride’s past for the younger ones to know about those who died to create and protect the vast, verdant territory they called home. But Nyota was touched by the gesture and could only admire Kiburi’s work in silence before she finally found her words. "It is lovely, Kiburi. Truly lovely," she breathed, voice touched and uneven with raw emotion that few seldom witnessed in Nyota. "In all my days, I have never seen anything like this. I am certain Duara will be pleased, as well."

For one who was normally so stoic, Nyota now found it impossible to keep from smiling, her joy overwhelming. The litter had not even arrived yet and already the cubs had improved the overall mood in the Lowlands, Nyota noted to herself. It didn’t change the fact that the jungle was still dangerous and threatened, but it gave Nyota a new strength. When she finally was able to break her stare away from the work of art, she turned to Kiburi with an airy laugh of her own. "Tell me, is this a skill that can be learned? And shall we go and find Duara, or let her be pleasantly surprised when the time comes?" Kiburi was a little older than her own daughter, about the age that Nyota herself had been when she had become the queen. Though Kiburi was not a Lowlander by birth, Nyota felt a certain maternal fondness towards her, and she nuzzled her briefly in appreciation for her unusual gift.

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PostSubject: Re: Immortalized Love   Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:18 pm

Kiburi made sure not to trot too far ahead of her Queen so she could hold a conversation as well. She nodded at Nyota spoke of having a dream about the cubs like when she had her first litter, "I'm sure the Spirits are smiling down on you then, perhaps it is all the want not to disappoint such a hopeful and expectant pride that makes them so generous" she said with a soft laugh. When they made it to the top of the hill the young lioness darted inside and cleared away some of the leaves she had been using to hide the back wall of the den before sitting down promptly after she turned to Nyota with an expectant glitter in her eyes.

She could take pride as only an artist could by the silence the Queen presented before breathing out her happiness with it. The female lifted her head proudly and smiled, "You really think so? The colors took a while to get just right but it was worth it!" she commented and looked to her painting. She looked back to her Queen and noticed the large smile on her muzzle, she truly did like it and that brought the young lioness more joy than any comment could. This was part of the reason she did what she did, to bring others joy, there was nothing like seeing true awe and happiness on the maw of another when they looked at her work. It made the hunting up of the tools and ingredients, as well as the work very much worth it and she sighed softly, happily with relief that it had been worth it this time as well.

The lionesses questions were light and Kiburi nuzzled the Queen back in return, Nyota was like a mother to all of them just as Duara was in turn. She had made the vibrant lioness feel nothing but at home since her arrival and even encouraged her unusual gift when Kiburi had revealed it for the first time. She smiled brightly and nodded, "Oh yes my Queen, it can be learned! My owl friend is the one who taught me and I am sure I could teach others, all that it takes is a love for creating something beautiful and unique, I don't suppose you would be wanting to learn?" she would have loved to teach others how to paint. It was an odd idea, just think of a class for cubs teaching them how to paint rather than how to hunt or something practical like that. The thought made her giggle to herself and she pressed a paw to her mouth before dropping it again.

"That is up to you, we can surprise her now or maybe the surprise will help take her mind off of the...pressure of labor when the time comes" she shrugged lightly. Either way she knew the dune Queen would be surprised, she didn't mind waiting, knowing that likely what Nyota liked Duara would as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Immortalized Love   Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:35 pm

As every lion born in the Lowlands believed, Nyota also had faith in the unseen Spirits that had guided her ancestors for generations. She smiled, though she said nothing else as the lionesses had traveled. Instead she considered what Kiburi said. Were the Spirits finally smiling down upon the jungle felines? It had seemed for many years that those invisible benefactors had all but forgotten the Lowlanders, after years of war and unrest. Perhaps now Kiburi was correct, and the Spirits were once again watching over them with favorable feelings. The Spirits had let Nyota down so many times, but perhaps now the tides had changed. Duara’s litter, as illustrated by Kiburi, was the hope of Nyota and the rest of her pride. The piece of art the younger lioness created still amazed the elder one as she continued to inspect it. The details were perfect. It was beyond what words could express.

The mention of Kiburi’s owl friend caused an eyebrow to arch curiously. Indeed, it was strange for a lion to become friends with other species, but not totally unheard of. Somehow, the fact that it was Kiburi and not someone else seemed appropriate, and Nyota allowed her amused smile to remain on her creamy muzzle. But when the younger lioness offered to teach the queen how to become an artist as well, Nyota shook her head. Even if the natural talent was lurking within her, it would have to remain undiscovered, for Nyota did not have the time to dedicate to a new craft. "I thank you for your kind offer, but too many of my hours are spent roaming the jungle. I do wonder, however, if Nyima would be interested?" The mention of her daughter seemed to dampen the brightness from Nyota’s smile, just barely. "Perhaps this would gain her attention and her passion." Because so far, Nyima didn’t seem terribly enthusiastic about learning how to rule a territory when her day came. Nyota worked expertly to hide any disappointment she felt over the princess, though, and she half wished she hadn’t brought Nyima up at all.

She wasn’t ashamed of the daughter she had created with a snow-white king from a distant land, but Nyota was thoroughly concerned that despite her regal bloodlines, Nyima wasn’t up to the task of becoming queen someday. The princess simply didn’t seem interested in her duties, and had often run off to avoid them, to who knows where? Biting back a sigh, Nyota nodded in agreement to Kiburi’s idea of a surprise for Duara. "Then we shall wait and keep this secret until the time comes." And likely, the day would arrive sooner rather than later. Nyota could barely stand the suspense for much longer, anyway.

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PostSubject: Re: Immortalized Love   Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:07 pm

Kiburi's offer was turned down but her cheery attitude wasn't displaced, she knew the Queen was a busy lioness and things such as painting were least important when it came to keeping the Pride running. She merely nodded but smiled with a hint of knowing when Nyota's smile dampened at the mention of Nyima, indeed the Princess had showed little inclination to learn the ins and outs of the monarchy. At least that was what the orange lioness had observed, it was rare to see the Princess with her mothers or even around the jungle these days it seemed. Kiburi knew her unrest well and she waited, biting her tongue while the Queen agreed to keeping the mural to themselves until the birth of the cubs happened.

When she did the orange lioness came to sit by her and looked up at her art with a smile on her face, and her eyes half lidded. "They will be beautiful cubs, fine Prince and Princesses...but my Queen if I may..." she turned her head to look at her elder and gave her a soft look. "Princess Nyima, she is young and despite what we are born for sometimes the spirits have much greater things in mind for us" she looked back to her art as if the emphasize before looking back. "Let her settle down, give her time, and if it is not meant to be...then it is not meant to be, the young are restless, I know that better than anyone. Maybe in time she'll come around, she has two good mothers to guide her no matter what she chooses" she said and bowed her head slightly in respect.

She hoped she hadn't overstepped her bounds but her owl friend had shared much wisdow with her and if she could help others out with it than she would. And she did believe what she spoke, sometimes lions and lionesses were meant for more than just their birthright, sometimes the powers above had more in sore for them than just to rule a Pride or be a Rogue.

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PostSubject: Re: Immortalized Love   Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:36 pm

Her heart sank as Kiburi, who was closer to Nyima’s age than Nyota’s, gave her honest opinion about the princess. Now, the disappointment that clouded the queen’s features was less masked, more apparent than before as her mismatched eyes stared straight ahead to the artwork within the cave. Though Nyota had never experienced the need to roam beyond her family’s lands, she had seen the very real damage that restlessness could cause to a pride. The lioness Shani, now dead for years, had been similarly selfish, running off heedlessly and endangering not only herself but also her cubs and her entire pride. She wondered where her daughter was at that very moment. Was she falling in love with a lion that would ultimately be her downfall, as with Shani? Was she safe, using common sense, or was she being reckless somewhere beyond the borders?

The brown lioness was silent still as her thoughts shifted from one cub to whom she had given life to the other, wondering about the son she had not seen for years. Was Sakitu still alive? Would he be a good king? It was entirely possible that Ismahel had found a mate after all, and that he had more cubs that would take Sakitu’s rightful place as the next king of the Coldlands. This, too, was beyond Nyota’s control, just as becoming queen of the Lowlands had been something she had no say in. Not everyone was given the luxury of choice. ”Has the princess said something to you, Kiburi?” She finally looked to the orange lioness, worry hiding in her blue-and-green eyes. Nyima seemed to avoid her mothers, and Nyota couldn’t recall the last real conversation she had had with her daughter.

Shoulders slumped forward as Nyota felt some semblance of defeat. These concerns had existed in her mind for a long time, but she had done her best to ignore them. Now a third party was bringing it up, and she had no choice but to acknowledge it. She had once had faith that Nyima would come around, but that hope was fading quickly with every passing day that her daughter remained absent from the pride. ”I fear that the young ones will never understand the hardships their ancestors endured. So much blood has been spilled on the sacred ground of the jungle, but the wars have been over for years, and Nyima…” She paused to sigh, even shaking her head a little. ”I worry that we have protected her too well from the harshness of life. She does not understand -- perhaps she cannot understand.”

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