01/11/09 - Hyena in the Valley


  • Balana, lioness, Queen Mother
  • Darujo, lion, from Utatu
  • Kasjari, lioness, Mzohari's mate
  • Katili, lioness cub, Mzohari and Kasjari's daughter
  • Mashaka, lion, Balana's brother
  • Mzuhali, lioness, Mzohari and Nyunya's daughter
  • Onaedo, adolescent lion, Mzohari and Kenta's son
  • Zymacia, juvenile lioness, pride youth

Kopje Valley - Bottom of the Waterfall Cliff
You come to the bottom of a large cliff. Just above you is a massive promontory jutting out of the side, it sends a shadow across the waterfall. A large torrent of water comes down, creating a large 'lake' at the bottom of the cliff. Many sweet grasses grow on the edge perfect for grazing animals. As you look up the cliff face, you see a small path leading to the promontory and then stretches further along the cliff.

To the [K]opje [V]alley [Climb] up to the Promontory
[E]dge of the [S]avannah

You can see the 'end of' a runoff stream.
A sparkling and cool lake

You can see…
[ZZZ] Kizingo, feels the time warp, baby
[ZZZ] Msasi, young and hopeful.
[ZZZ] Onaedo
[ZZZ] Jabali
[ZZZ] Kenta
[ZZZ] Mzohari
[ZZZ] Kiini
[ZZZ] Darujo is just a lion!
[ZZZ] Balana, http://www.lionking.org/~balana/kopjetree.jpg
[ZZZ] Chiboa, rogue
[ZZZ] M'tazamaji
[ZZZ] Kasjari
[ZZZ] Mashaka
[ZZZ] M'tangalizi
[ZZZ] Katili, Newborn Lioness.
[IC ] Korzar
[ZZZ] Wingu
[ZZZ] Kipofu

~ Very close to you, from 'Kopje Valley - Cliff Promontory', Vikali roars!

All is quiet at the waterhole. There's very little activity at this hour. Most are asleep. If not, they still want to sleep. But the distant roar of a lioness is caught by the ear of the lion and one eyelid slowly peels upwards. He can't really see anything at this hour. Everything and anything is nothing more than a smudgy blur. But with a secondary blink he can see a bit more clearly. With a third, he can see everything in a fuzzy hue. That'll have to do. Seeing as no-one has claimed the roar at the moment, the lion rolls over and onto his back, tucking his paws into his mane while he smacks his lips. Guh. Does he want to get up?

Mzuhali is still snuggled up next to Korzar, sleeping silently. Occasionally one ear twitches, particularly when Vikali roars, but it's a familiar and safe sound so the lioness doesn't stir.

Being that the roar is just up on the promontory, it's enough to reach through Balana's sleep and wake the elder up. She knows who it is as soon as she hears it… and her response is to emit a low growl. Roaring to proclaim the territory is one thing… but roaring just to make noise when one is sleeping is rude!

As annoying as the roar may be at this hour, the lion does not get up. He's used to sleeping through thunderstorms or something equally violent. But then he remembers he isn't at home. Home is very very far away, and… well, it isn't home anymore, really. His head turns to look from one side to the other, trying to search for the sun to see if it's raised above the horizon. Has it? He can't tell. But the one thing he can do, whether or not it's a fine hour, is rise up and trudge to the waterhole. A morning drink will clear his senses. If it doesn't then he can go right back to sleep with no complaints in the slightest.

The roar issued by Vikali has managed to worm its way into Mzuhali's dream, and it must not be a very pleasant one. Her eyes open wide and she draws both Korzar and her paws close to her body, blinking drearily. It doesn't take her long to realize that she is safe, but her heart hammers in her chest nonetheless. Releasing a shaky sigh, Mzu leans down to check on her little brother, making sure that she hasn't startled him awake.

Grumblegrumble. Balana lifts a paw to rub it across her eyes as she looks to see what's going on. Sleeping, sleeping… movement! And it's that lion, nonetheless. Pushing up to her paws, the lioness takes the opportunity to stretch out her hindlegs, and then her front and her back, kneading her foreclaws into the ground a little bit. Ah, the joys of being old. "I guess that roar woke you up too, eh?" she says in a drowsy voice to Darujo.

"Uh-huh," the lion answers, not looking up to see who is talking to him. By the tone of voice he recognizes it's Balana, though. She's the only one who really spoke to him yesterday so he's fairly confident that it's her voice. Rather than lick the water's edge like a normal feline, he kinda scoops a mouthful by dunking his jaw then lifting his head. Another weird mannerism that the lion has, but it makes things quick and easy. Once he's had his drink he begins to drag his paws while trekking back to the warm spot on the ground where he was sleeping. Hopefully it's still warm. "Lemme guess, wake-up call from the Queen?" Darujo asks.

Sirima pads in here from the valley, looking to relax.
Sirima has arrived.

Mzuhali, having taken a few moments to calm down, now listens to Bal and Darujo's voices. When she catches the lion's words, she can't help but grin. Vikali, the Queen? The valley would go up in flames! She remains quiet, idly beginning to groom one paw. She hasn't completely cleared her mind of her nightmare, and so stays out of the conversation completely.

That's… a rather unique way of drinking, Balana supposes, but she's not about to try it. "What, that? No. That's just one of the young lionesses being noisy," the elder says with a roll of her eyes. "She does that a lot." The elder lowers back down to her haunches, tongue flicking over her muzzle a few times. "We really just try to ignore it, but it's hard when she wakes you up," she mutters.

"Oh," Darujo replies. He finds the spot he was laying in and flumps right back down, facing the crowd so he can peer at them. The lion does look tired. Tired enough to pass right out and go back to sleep, in fact. But he stays awake just a bit longer. "Quite a voice," he comments. Whether it's a good or bad thing he has yet to decide, but for now he'll simply move on. It isn't like he'll get used the the roar anyway. "Well, it looks like I'm still alive after sleepig. Guess I wasn't that bad of a guest," he muses.

Mzuhali stretches out a little, eyes following Darujo's movements - curiosity tinted with caution. Sure, he has made no unsettling moves, but his presence is still a little unnerving to the lioness. She leans against Kiini and casts her eyes upward, investigating the sky silently. Still, being as shy as she is, she has nothing to say other than a neutral, "G'morning'." to both her grandmother and Darujo.

"Or Mzohari hasn't been through here yet," Balana comments on Darujo still being alive. "He might demand to know what you're doing here, or decide he doesn't want you here and run you back to the border, but he wouldn't kill you out of the blue, especially while you're sleeping," she attempts to reassure the male. Her gaze drifts to Mzuhali as the lioness speaks up, and gives her a bit of a smile.

Mzuhali carefully removes herself from her brother's side and Korzar's tiny body, mindful of him despite his sturdy appearance. She pads a few feet away and gives herself a mighty shake, sending up dust motes; she continues to the waterfall pool, crouching down to slake her thirst. When she lifts her head, her tongue sweeps across her nose and chin, trying her best to round up the rogue water droplets. Presently she rises again and picks her way past all of the sleeping cats, headed in Balana's direction.

Cubs aren't that delicate. They bounce! Just throw one off the promontory and watch! Balana yawns as Darujo falls quiet for a moment, gaze falling on her granddaughter. "So did Vikali wake you up too, or were you already awake?" She yawns a hearty yawn, still not quite awake, and lifts a paw to start grooming at it.

Onaedo wakes up.

Mzuhali, coming shoulder-to-shoulder with her grandmother, nudges her lightly with the bridge of her nose. "Ugh," she groans, amber eyes rolling, "I was dreaming…something horrible. Dark lions made their way into the valley and they were attacking dad. That's when I woke up." She shakes her head briefly, as if to knock the dream right out of her ears. "I think she just fueled the fire in my nightmare. Glad I'm up now, though."

Balana leans lightly against Mzuhali as she comes over, her ears folding. "Dark… like Kyoko dark? Sounds like it might've been some kind of nightmare about the Kumalo," she suggests.

Darujo remains resting on his side, the occassional twitch of his ear and tail the only visible signs that he's alive. That and his breathing. At least he isn't snoring, though. For now he just listens to figure out whether or not he really wants to get up. Laying down is so much more comfortable than running around. He wants it to get a bit warmer first before he rises. Maybe just a few more degrees.

Another is making his way towards the lake, Onaedo glances around as he goes taking in who all is around. His ears perk forward as he peers towards the strang lion as he wanders on over to where his grandmother and sister are resting. "Hey.."

Mzuhali nods her head in response to Balana's question. "It was terrible. Glad it was *only* a dream," she says quietly, remaining quite reserved on the rest of the dream's content - the slaughtering of all the children. She's terrified to say it aloud. Onaedo arrives during her contemplation and she's grateful for the distraction, ears tipping forward and the corners of her mouth edging up in a smile. "H'lo, Ona."

Balana gives Mzuhali's cheek a gentle lick. "Don't worry too much, dearheart." The lioness glances over to Onaedo as the young lion enters, giving him a smile. "Morning, Ona." Still early morning, as a matter of fact. "Did Vikali's roaring wake you up too or were you already up and about?"

~ Not too far away, a young lioness roars!

Onaedo maw twitches while he settles down next to his sister while offering a smile to the two lionesses. "Naw.. I'm use to her roar so I just sorta ignore it anymore." He says with a joking tone. "Grandma.. "Who's the lion over 'der?" He questions, still curious about Darujo it seems. (repose)

At about the time Darujo is about to wake up and join in the conversation, he hears yet another roar. The same roar? He can't tell. "Sure is noisy here," the male murmurs. But he doesn't seem to be complaining so much as commenting. Darujo pushes himself to an upright position and sits, using his heavy forepaw to pat his pelt and knock out the dust that's gathered. "I'm Darujo," the male replies, speaking loudly enough so that others might be reminded of his identity in case they forgot.

Katili wakes up.

Mzuhali leans back on her haunches comfortably enough, craning her neck out to greet her younger brother with a light nudge of her nose. "He seems nice enough," she comments to Onaedo in a low voice, "he's from the Utatu." She isn't sure if this will ring any bells with Ona, but she offers it anyhow.

Balana grumbles again at the second roar, and dips her head towards Ona as Darujo introduces himself again. Yes, that's right. As is Mzuhali's words about where he's from. "Stumbled in accidentally last night, but he's not been any trouble." She smiles at Ona, leaning to give him a light headbump.

Onaedo maw twitches as he just watches the lion a few moments, a ear flicking to his grandmother and sister. "Does dad know his here?" Seems his a wee bit protective of his family here. The name doesn't ring any bells at the moment.

Spoken about, but not spoken to. It's a little harsh but the lion doesn't think much of it. He just isn't used to these social situations. So, with no one directly speaking to him, Darujo takes to looking at each individual leonine here. He isn't staring with a bad habit (like Mzuhali has) but he's just observing and taking in scents. The exercise doesn't last too long before he's reminded that he needs to stretch. And stretch he does, extending his forelegs to grapple the earth before he rocks back and forth until he's comfy. "I probably won't be around long enough to meet him," the lion vocalizes. "I just wanted to rest before I trekked out further."

Mzuhali watches Darujo, but she can't fathom how awkward it would be to have an entire pride of lions staring you down and speaking about you in hushed tones. She offers a few words to the lion, her tone friendly enough. "This is Onaedo, another of my brothers. It would be very nice for you to stay and meet our father, but if you must leave then we won't stop you." One ears flicks idly, possibly at a nagging fly. "Where do you plan on going next?"

Katili stretches and yawns, letting go an irritible little mew at all the noise before twitching in her sleep once, twice, three times, then settles back into her nap comfortably.
Well, there has to be a certain amount of filling the others in, no? "Mashaka knows, as does Jabali and Kiini," Balana tells Ona. She can't blame him for being concerned, but so far he's behaving himself. Since Mzuhali picks up the conversation, she falls quiet for the time being.

"Well, if the Tsavo is to the west, then I might try to venture elsewhere. I heard something about an Uzima mountain or some such, so I might see what's over there. I really don't have much else to go on unless you'd like to make a suggestion," he says, directing his question to Mzuhali. He doesn't know she hasn't stepped foot out of the lands, but he figures she may have at one point or another. Or at least heard some recent stories. "I figure I'll visit everywhere I can while I can still travel before I want to settle down." says the lion named Darujo.

Mzuhali dips her head lightly at Darujo's words, though she's soon to lift her shoulders amicably, shrugging at his question. "I've never been beyond the valley," she says, "so I wouldn't be able to help you…" She doesn't know the lion well enough to suggest that he stay here - nor does she have the authority. That is best left to her grandmother and Mzohari, respectively.

Darujo looks at Balana with a rather blank expression. "Huh." Not the most intelligent response but he's processing whether he wants to go through the Tsavo and Pridelands just to get to the Uzima Valley. He still doesn't get that the Tsavo IS the Pridelands. "I'll have to think on that then. I doubt Tahzhoo would recognize me, but, it's not like I'm worried about that or anything. Just exploring the lands before I decide whether or not to go back to Utatu. At least it's there for me." The male puffs out his chest a little, "More active than anyone else I know there." He could be King of it. Nah, not his style.

Kasjari wakes up.

Katili opens one eye to glare her hatred at those who disturb the small lionesses bueaty rest…as if she needed any.

Mzuhali, once again, falls silent to listen to the conversation between grandmother and stranger. There seem to be many different territories out beyond the valley's edge, and from what she's gathered, some appear to be abandoned (Utatu), some appear to be disliked (Tsavo/Pride Lands) and others appear to be filled with numbskulls (Natamba). She simply soaks in all of this information, tail twitching idly against the earth.

Balana nods lightly to Darujo, and lets out a soft sigh. "I was in Utatu not that long ago. It's… hard to believe that a place that was once so active is now so desolate. But at least it's inhabitable…" Sad, really. "Even if he doesn't, I'd be surprised if he did anything. Most of the time he just sulks around. I hear there's a whole branch of his family he's not acknowledging," she says with a roll of her eyes, not yet noticing Katili awakening.

Darujo gives a little dip of his head, then shrugs his shoulders to show his indifference. "It was never that active for me, but.. now that I -can- socialize, there's no-one there. It happens." He keeps an eye on Mzuhali for a moment, then focuses on Onaedo. He's trying to see the resemblences before he looks at all the others. One big family, it would seem. "I wasn't really part of Tahzhoo's pride anyway. Hardly related to him."

Mzuhali is not exceptionally furtive, and so her gaze back at Darujo is almost heavy in weight. She isn't staring out of any kind of malice, simply curiosity. As the lion's watch skips from her to her brother, she lowers her own gaze down to her paws, shuffling them with no rhythm, just a little boredly.

Katili narrows the one eye she glares at the others with for a moment before getting to her paws and starting to toddle away looking disgrundled.

Kasjari chuckles softly as her daughter stands and starts to toddle away, "And where do you think you're going young lioness?" she calls, glomping her lips onto her tailtip gently.

Mashaka wakes up.

Zymacia pads in here from the valley, looking to relax.
Zymacia has arrived.

Zymacia darts in from the central valley, ears turned back, chest heaving as she takes deep breaths, eyes wild. "Hyena!" She calls to anyone who will listen, practically hopping off of her forepaws, hindpaws still planted firmly on the ground.

"Yeah, you probably got there towards the end. During the Kumalo conflict, or after it… As for Tah, maybe that's for the better. Anyway, Ghedi and Sumi have more sense, so it's possible they'd welcome you." Ultimately Balana shrugs, and then glances over to Kasjari when she suddenly speaks up. Oh, and there's one of the other cubs! And yet another one as Zymacia comes darting in… The elder blinks a few times. "Wait, what? Hyena? Where?"

Mashaka is resting. Or was a second ago. But as the word hyena catches his ears, he's up in an instant, or as fast as a large lion can be. He looks quickly looks around to spot who sent the warning. "Where is the hyena?" almost echoing Balana at the same time.

Zymacia immediately interjects, feeling that this matter trumps all other idle conversation. "In the bottom of the valley," she huffs out, eyes still wild and frantic.

And here comes the large problem of being an Utatu lion. He doesn't react to the word Hyena. Why? Because Mtunga had some weird law that stated all animals should be friendly towards one another. He didn't buy it. Maybe that's why he was put on the very outskirts of the Utatu lands to begin with. But, seeing how everyone has sudden interest in the hyena, he begins to look around curiously. "You need help?" the lion asks. Surely not, if there's just one hyena. There's enough lions here to ward off a pack no doubt. Still, he wants to be somewhat helpful rather than seem like he's indifferent.

Mzuhali's eyes immediately narrow and a thick, hearty growl rises from her throat. Fragments of her dream come back to her and the fur along her spine stands tall, echoing both her defensiveness and fear. She makes no move to lope off into the valley alone, waiting for Mashaka to make the first move. After all, he is one of the protectors.

~ Very close to you, from 'Kopje Valley', Maovu whoops!

Kasjari frowns at the news, and draws her cub closer with her forepaws, her eyes going over to Mashaka, "Roar if you need me," she says softly, not wanting to leave her cubs, unless she is assuredly needed

Balana, likewise, is not about to go dashing off into the valley over a hyena when Mashaka is here. She also knows that where there's one hyena, there's usually more… although she doubts a whole legion of them could've made it into the valley. It's probably just a scout. She leaves it up to Mashaka to answer Darujo, and moves closer to Kasjari.

Mashaka glances over to Balana and Darujo. Balana doesn't seem concerned about Darujo's question, so he answers it. "That would be appriciated. Come if you want to help." he says to the other lion, then quickly makes his way to the valley bottom.

Mashaka decides to walk to the Valley
Mashaka has left.

Zymacia, the siren, follows Mashaka in leaps and bounds - probably against her better judgement. Her reasoning is that she can make it back here and alert the others should Mashaka need assistance.

Zymacia decides to walk to the Valley
Zymacia has left.

Katili blinks and glances back as her tail is caught, then utters her first word, "Ma ma?"

Darujo decides to walk to the Valley
Darujo has left.

Kasjari smiles gently down to her cub, giving the little lioness a warm nuzzle, "That's right," she says with a warm purr.

Mzuhali's low growl ceases as soon as Darujo and Mashaka exit the area to investigate. She notices the cub bounding after them, feeling a touch of concern. "Do you think the girl will be okay?" Her mind escapes her for the time being, as most of her thoughts are clouded and troubled.

~ Very close to you, from 'Kopje Valley', Maovu whoops!

Kizingo decides to walk to the Valley
Kizingo has left.

Balana watches the pair go off… hopefully if there's some kind of confrontation, Darujo will be a help rather than a hindrance. Sighing quietly, she lays down near the other two lionesses and Katili. "If it's just one hyena, I think Mashaka can take care of it."

Katili nuzzles her mother in return and gives her muzzle a few licks of affection repeating the word, "Mama…" Then following the new word with a squeaky little purr of her own, she watched the three adult lionesses curiously, she could tell something had everyone on edge but she hadn't yet connected the strange noises that rang through the valley with trouble yet. She simply was not old enough to understand.

Mzuhali keeps staring off in the direction of the valley, worry nagging at her. "My dream…" she says quietly, her voice barely above a whisper. Of course, lions slaughtering her beloved family and a straggling hyena are apples to oranges, but she's still completely unsettled by it all.

Balana gently leans over to give Mzuhali a nuzzle. "It was just a dream, dearheart… and it was about lions, not a lone hyena. I don't think more than that could make it into the valley without us noticing," she says gently.

Kasjari smiles and purrrrs deeply to the cub cradled protectively between her forepaws, nuzzling down at her lightly as she repeats her newfound term, "That's me, mama," she says, smiling and setting to work grooming at her only daughter. Her ears are perked, but turned toward the valley, "At least there's been no big noise," she murmurs softly.

~ Very close to you, from 'Kopje Valley', Maovu whoops!

Katili closes her eyes happily as her mother grooms her, could things get any better for a cub? Well maybe if she were fed but this was pretty darn close to the ideal for little Katili. One eye opened and her face wrinkled with aggrivation at the further whooping, She wished that thing would either go away or somebody would kill it…
Balana's fold at the hyena's whoop. Mostly quiet, anyway… "I haven't heard any roars, so I guess they've got things under control," she says with a sigh. "It was probably just the one of them. Thankfully."

Kizingo pads in here from the valley, looking to relax.
Kizingo has arrived.

Mashaka pads in here from the valley, looking to relax.
Mashaka has arrived.

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