02/06/10 - Night Before

The Players:
Badiliko - White Lion from Kopje Valley
Balana - Pride Mother of Kopje Valley
Elimnyama - Rogue Black Lion and Mystic
Eshe - Rogue Lioness
Itumele - Juvenile Son of Balana
Johari - Badiliko's Mate and Kopje Valley Lioness
Kahini - Rogue Lioness and Kumalo Guide
Miiba - Wandering Hedgehog-Turned-Guide

*Still at the Pridelands Border*

Johari is being lazy tonight, it would seem! The lioness has been sleeping soundly all afternoon, though a stiring would suggest that's about to change.

And then there's Badiliko, who is NOT sleeping but feeling just about all as lazy, lying next to his mate comfortably while keeping an eye on the sleeping hedgehog who is going to be the guide to the Jahusi lands. Johari's stirring prompts him to look over to her and smile, which is followed by a lick on the head.

Johari murmers something undetermined as she feels the tongue across her forehead. She blinks her eyes open, though her nose has already told her who it is. "Hi love, how are you?"

"Feeling lovingly lethargic with you around…though the patrol I did helps with it a little," he says with a smile. "And how about you? Sleep well?"

Johari can't help but giggle as she licks the other lion back on his nose. "Of course, knowing you're here to keep me safe and warm. Who wouldn't if they were me?" That said, she rolls to her opposite side up against the white maned lioness. "Was that enough the other night? Or do I need to hunt again?"

"Oh, Johari, any more and I'll be too fat to go on the journey…it's like when you ate all that fish, only I ate wildebeest." He smiles, nuzzling her affectionately.

Johari giggles and wraps her forepaws around his neck best she can. "Hey you, we're mates now, you gotta tell me the truth. When you're hungry, you're hungry." Though she gives him yet another lick when she pulls his head up against her own.

"The truth, then," he says through a genuine smile. "It may not have been much, but you caught it and so I let myself savor every bite. It tasted great and it's good enough to keep me going until we get going. You caught a prize."

"That's more like it." She answers, having already guessed as much. "You just say the word, and I'll go hunt again, okay Badi?" The lioness rubs the side of her cheek deeply into Badiliko's mane now, purring a little. "So how are we doing with our trip?"

He laughs softly and breaks from the rubbing to plant a small lick on the back of Johari's neck. "Just waiting on everybody to be assembled and awake…then we'll follow the hedgehog's path."

"Just how big is our group, Badiliko?" Joh's happened to notice the number of furs increasing around them. "It almost feels like we have a whole pride going with us."

"Well…we have Balana and Itumele, but I don't think Uzo won't be coming with us. There's our guide Kahini, the black lion…Elimnyama, I think, and of course the hedgehog. Then us, which makes…seven?"

Johari perks her head up at this. "Wait a sec, Great Grandma Balana is coming along with us, with Itumele? You mean just to the volcano, right?"

Badiliko nods. "I don't know if she's stopping at the Volcano or not, so I'm assuming for now that the two of them are joining us." Fair assumption, although a bit of a strenuous one. "If they don't, then it will be five."

A black ear perks at the sound of his name, moving in the mantle of equally pitch dark mane that surrounds the somewhat unusual looking lion. Elimnyama lifts his head from his paws and speaks in his usual, somewhat muted voice. "If you'll have me, that is. The… spirits tell me that my destiny is twined with yours, at least for now." He inclines his head towards Badiliko, tail twitching as it thumps against the ground just once. For the most part, since coming out of nowhere to join this band of strangers, he's been quiet about his reasons.

Johari looks over in the direction of the black maned lion, her own ears cupping in his direction. She knows next to nothing about this cat, let alone his reasons for being here. "The spirits? I'm not sure I understand, what spirits?"

Badiliko looks over to Elim and examines him a few moments. "If it's alright with you, Elimnyama, I would very much like to hear what you mean as well? How do you communicate with these spirits?"

The black lion's head tilts faintly, the motion nearly hidden in the movement of black on black. His blue eyes blink once before he reaches one paw out infront of him, moving a few small stones into alignment with each other. "My mother was Prisa, the shaman of the Natamba." He explains, drawing a line between the stones with one dark claw. "The 'spirits' as I call them, are the essense of all things. All those who came before, or will again. Perhaps you have heard them called the 'great kings'?" He asks, looking curiously at the two mates. "They guide our path, although it is… imperfect. They tell me I must follow your path, but not why."

Some distance off to the south, if anyone had been listening closely to the goings-on, it would've sounded approximately like this: "Please?" "No." "Why not?" "Because I said so and it's not safe." "That's not fair!" "Life's not fair!" And so on. They were too far off to be heard by those gathered just outside the border of Kopje. The pair heading north can be seen soon enough, though. Leading is a bright gold youth, growing ever taller by the day, his features looking just as bright as his pelt. Behind him, moving with a much heavier pace, is the tawny form of his mother, gaze fixed at the back of the young lion's head. Itumele catches the last bit of Elimnyama's words, and bounds ahead to interject. "You hear voices too? Uzo said something about hearing things in the rocks once."

Safe guess that Badliko can feel Johari pressing a bit up against him as she listens to the explination about spirits and the such. "So you can actually hear them, speaking to you?" Johari has never heard of such a thing. She catches the sound of Balana and her son, though this has her undivided attention.

And meanwhile, all this banter and discussion has roused the faculties of a certain hedgehog, who lets out a small yawn and slowly unbinds himself from his protective ball of quills. He was doing very, very good in this position, though the prospect of being surrounded by lions was still frightening, oh yes. "G-good morning?" he says, unsure of how else to address the group.

"I admit," Badiliko begins, "that I've heard about the Great Kings, but I was never given instruction in them. I did not know that there were those with the ability to speak with those who are gone and not yet with us." He does feel Johari against him and does not shirk it. "How do you speak with them?" he asks as he discerns the voices around him. And Miiba's especially.

Elimnyama's head turns as his ears catch the conversation between mother and son. The question, of course, is more interesting to him than the argument, of course. "Then, perhaps, she reads things in much the same way I do." As he pushes himself up into a sitting position, the lion regards the younger male more as an equal than as a child. As he looks to the others, he moves a few more stones into line until there seems to be one to represent each member of the arranged group. There is even a tiny pebble for the hedgehog. Between them, various lines connect and weave, drawn by the lion's claws. "I see things in stones, and signs in the world around us. I don't hear in words, but feelings." He shrugs a little bit, ears tucking back as he's not quite used to being the center of anyone's attention. "Please, don't mind my strangeness. It's lost me one home and I wish no discomfort here."

Kahini strolls into the area moments later, glancing back and forth between the furs having the conversation up ahead. "Good evening, Lion Nyoto, lioness Johari, and…" She gives an expectant look towards them to reintroduce the black maned lion who she has yet to meet.

Itumele wanders up and promptly sits down next to Elimnyama. Apparently, despite Katili's warning, he's unconcerned about the lion's presence. Badiliko doesn't seem to dislike him or be worried, after all. So why be concerned? "She's always talkin' about seein' and hearin' weird stuff. Maybe she does, but /I/ never saw anything. A rock is a rock unless you pretend it's not." He glances over towards Kahini as the lioness comes wandering in. "Who is that?"

Balana's gaze looks over the group as she gets close, but doesn't interject into the middle of Badiliko and Elimnyama's conversation. However, as the dark lion seems to end the line of thought, she meanders close. "The Natamba is not a place those of us who lived there stayed for very long, though our time was long before you. Are you Sumi's or Ghedi's?" she asks, gaze flitting over to Kahini briefly.

Johari looks to Balana and Itumele as the pair wander up. Catching the words of the young male, Johari decides to introduce them both to Kahini. "This is Elimnyama, and the young one is Balana's son." Or, in essence, Johari's uncle if one where to get technical about it. As she knows next to nothing about the Natamba, she listens in to figure out the black maned lion.

Miiba does not say anything else, instead coming down from his safe, rocky perch to the ground and towards the lions in a shy yet expected manner. Not a word out of him for the time being.
Badiliko looks at the shaman lion with a smile. "It might be strange, but it is not unwelcome. You are not minded at all, Elimnyama, and whether you join of your own volition or the heed of the Great Kings we are glad to have you with us." He gives similar regarding looks to the other leonines. "We're glad all of you would join us." And then to Miiba. "And thank you, little one, for showing us the way."

Elimnyama seems to give a regarding look towards Balana before admiting his sire, "Ghedi. Although I'm afraid I never knew my father. He was not… a part of my life." As for Itumele, the dark lion seems to have some affinity for the boy, offering him a nod of his head. "Sometimes there is more to the world than what we see. But you are right. Sometimes a rock, is just a rock." He laughs a little, and then wipes it over the display of stones and lines, returning them to the same state they had been. "But I am curious. You are all… family?" He asks, looking from leonine to leonine.

Kahini nods her head to Badiliko's remark to the group in general, "A pleasure, Lion Elimnyama." This spoken to the spiritual one as Kahini pads past him to where Balana is. "Lioness Balana, you forgot to mention that you were going to be one of the group." The lioness offers a nuzzle to Balana, before looking over Itumele. "And I've heard much about you, young Lion Itumele."

Itumele's attention is still not as focused as perhaps it ought to be… so Elimnyama's words kind of get a vague nod as he looks again to Johari, and then at Kahini. "And who are /you/?" he asks with a little bit of irritation in his voice. Johari didn't bother to introduce the dark lioness, nor did she introduce herself!

"I am afraid I know not much of how Ghedi turned out… but from what I saw, he was too much like Tahzhoo. So it is perhaps for the better. As for family, Itumele there is my son, and Johari my great-granddaughter. Badiliko is of our pride." The elder lioness dips her head lightly to Elimnyama, and turns to move towards Kahini and address her. "That is because I am not. I don't know how far you're going, or if I would survive such a trip. There are things here to be done. I trust, however, that Badiliko will see to it that my son is returned to me. He is Siombe's son, in case you had not been informed, Kahini."

Johari opens her mouth to answer Itumele directly, but doesn't get the chance before Balana speaks the other lioness's name. "Right, that's Kahini, Itumele." She offers Elimnyama a simple smile to confirm Balana's summary of everyone else in the group. "Oh, and welcome to our group by the way." She adds thoughtfully, finding the group quite the interesting mix to say the least.

Elimnyama seems to catch the name offered by Balana, and so he inclines his head politely in return to Kahini. "A pleasure, Lady Kahini." His own way of speaking isn't quite as formal, which is probably for the best. As for the discussion of his father, well… the dark lion doesn't seem up to getting into that too much and manages only a brief nod of his head. As for Johari's welcome, he offers a brief smile, which shows through his dim exterior. "My thanks." His tail curls around his haunches, seeming content to not be the center of attention for the moment.

"Pardon my saying so," the spiked midgit pipes up, "but do ALL of you have to come with the Jahusi? I mean, you all are practically a pride…how are you going to greet these lions anyway? They'll want a fight with this many of you around…"

That prompts Badiliko to look over once more. "You know…I think it's important. They're all lions I can trust, and in case you get in danger…well, they can help." He smiles before looking to Itumele and Balana. "And you have my word that Itumele here will be back to you without as much as a scratch on him, Balana."

Kahini lifts a brow to Balana and her request for her son, looking down at him while Balana explains who the father is. "If this is Lion Siombe's son, then I will be sure to keep a watchful eye on him, especially once we are north of the desert."

"Kahini. Okay," Itumele seems to take that well enough. Of course, what else is there to say at that? Instead, the youth turns his attention back up to Elimnyama. "So did the rocks tell you more about what we're gonna see?"

Balana gives a light nod in Badiliko's direction. "I trust you would do nothing less. And you as well, Kahini, though I am placing the responsibility in Badi's paws. Itu will no doubt be an adolescent by the time you return… and there is much to see between here and there that he should see." She gives her tail a couple of flicks. "I'll see you all to the volcano… and there I'll remain until you return."

Johari eyes the hedgehog after his remark about the group. "Anywhere he goes, /I/ go." She states, pawing at Badiliko's shoulder there after. "And don't worry Great Grandma, we'll be back before you know it." There's a hesitation in her voice as she glances back to the small tour guide. "Right?"

Elimnyama raises a bit of an eyebrow towards Itumele, and then shrugs his shoulders slightly. "I thought you didn't believe in talking rocks?" It's a light teasing, his muzzle continuing to show the light smile that this group seems to have brought out in him. "But… no. I'm afraid it's not a perfect process. They show me what they wish, but not all pathways are visible to me." As for the question the hedgehog offers, Elimnyama's head just tilts. "I think it would be beneficial for our white-furred friend here to have another male at his back. Especially if these ones beyond the desert are as bad as our spikey friend believes."

"Believe? This ain't no belief, mister black lion! They swore they would kill me if I came within smell of their borders without something more than stories, and let me tell you: I don't care to die!"

"And nobody will, I promise." He sighs as he gives a glance to everybody around and then to Johari. As he looks at her he smiles and looks strengthened already. With a brief headbump against her he looks to everybody else. "This journey might take several weeks. We will all leave on the morrow, unless anybody wishes to leave now."

Kahini soon turns her attention to Elimnyama as he goes on. "Let me worry about what dangers lay beyond the great white sand desert, both of you." Kahini looks back and forth between hedgehog and Elimnyama. This spoken, she gives a rather expectant look to Badiliko. "I leave whenever you're ready, Lion Badliiko."

Itumele squints up at Elimnyama. "I don't! A rock is a rock," he says defensively. An ear twitches towards Badiliko, and he looks over. "But… can't we at /least/ go to the volcano and spend one sleep there? Everybody kept sayin' we were gonna go and we never did!"
Elimnyama's head tilts slightly as he turns his regard on to Kahini. "My appologies. I mean no disrespect to you, m'lady." With that, the lion goes somewhat quiet. He does glance one more time at Itumele, a half-chuckle sneaks out, but he then seems to settle into the background, unwilling to upset or say anything too bothersome.

"I know you will, dearheart," Balana says to Johari, then, "and my schedule is whatever you all are doing."

Johari finally drags herself to her paws. The young girl was rather sleepy before the conversation started, and its obvious that its not entirely worn out of her system just yet. She takes a moment next to shake out her coat before answering "Sounds good to me." to Balana.

"Then it's settled," Badiliko states. "For now…let's get some rest." He grins at Itumele. "And yes, we'll go to the Volcano first to rest up for a day. But then we'll head out, agreed?"
Miiba sighs a little. "If it's what you really want…I'll go with you and back, if everything is going to go good." The little hedgehog scitters over to Badiliko and using his little claws begins to…CLIMB Badiliko until he's sitting on the lion's back. "Shall we?"

Kahini casts a strange look to Balana, but in the end doesn't actually say anything in return. Instead, her interest shifts to the odd hedgehog who seems to be the cause of all of this. She's still not really sure what to make of him, other than that he's a 'lesser fur'.
You page, "And now it looks like we're going to migrate to the Volcano for a night's rest before we head off on the trip! :D" to Eshe.

Itumele looks briefly disappointed, but then it seems they /are/ actually going to take his idea. Yay! "At least we can have ONE day to see it," he says as he gets back up.
Eshe pages, "Nice" to you.

Balana turns to move up alongside Kahini, giving the dark lioness a return look. "What? Thinking it strange that a non-lion is practically leading this trek? I'm sure it won't be the strangest thing you see, Kahini."

Miiba muses about this. "A hedgehog leading a pride of lions on a crusade of knowledge…this could be my most defining tale yet!" He looks terribly proud of himself and finally done away with being shy. How fitting.

As promised Eshe has stayed along the outskirts of the Kopje/Pridelands. Now heading for a gathered group the only one she really recognizes among them is Badiliko. Stopping off a safe distance she chuffs loudly to gain anyone that may hear or notice.

The chuff doesn't go unnoticed, for within moments Badiliko is turned to look at the lioness and then, with a smile, calls to her. "Eshe! Over here!" Badiliko turns briefly to the others. "Everybody, this is Eshe, a lioness I met not long ago." He's speaking quite cordially, but with the excitement as if he didn't think he'd see her again.

Johari doesn't seem to mind in the least that her mate suggests to rest. She's actually quite pleased with it. She's just being lazy today, and she's quite aware that she won't get experience it in the future. She's just about to lay down again when Badiliko calls out the name of another. Johari spots the lioness in question right away, offering her a smile along with "Nice to meet you, Eshe."

Kahini settles down to the ground. "Lioness Balana, you have no idea what I'm thinking right now." She keeps her expression rather neutral at best, and also shifts her attention to the new comer. Another one? Kahini will have her paws full for sure in the Kumalo lands.

Itumele looks about to the lioness… and then back to Badiliko. "Well, if you guys are going to stay here, then I'll go by myself," the juvenile lion says, and promptly starts at a determined pace down the path along the border.

Balana leans over to nose at Kahini. "It'll be alright," she says, turning to give Eshe a nod… but her son apparently decides to take matters into his own paws before she gets a chance to greet the lioness. "Itu, Itumele…" but the juvenile shows no signs of paying attention. The elder lifts her brows and gives Badiliko a roll of her eyes. "I'd best keep an eye on him." She's not really in the mood to argue with him at the moment, and as such she turns to follow just to make things easier on herself.

Miiba starts to get impatient and then scitters to the top of Badiliko's head. "Well…what are we waiting for, then? We've got a whole world between us, lion pride! Giddyap!" Badiliko has been promoted to "steed" status?

Eshe ears perk towards the familiar voice and approaches as asked. "Hello, Badiliko." she smiles towards him before her eyes look over the gathered. Offering a polite nod to them all with a light, "Hello." Coming to a stop still leaving enough comfortable space, "Did I interupt something?"

"We were actually about to go on a journey," Badiliko informs, "and we were going to get some rest before we left." He thinks for a moment and then bluntly asks, "Would you like to join us?"

Johari looks to her mate for a moment (along with the new 'decoration' on top of it), before nodding her head in agreement. "Sure. Yeah, come along with us, its gonna be a really exciting trip."

Kahini clears her throat some at this. "Lion Badiliko, might I remind you that I have to get all of you through the Kumalo lands?" Someone's not too happy with all the open invitations flying around.

Badiliko looks to Kahini and states, "We're also going to be supporting a half-dozen mouths, and Johari can't feed that many by herself. I trust Eshe and I promise that she won't make this any harder than it is."

Eshe loos over at Kahini at the words. This didn't feel very inviting but she looks back at Badiliko. "I did tell you that I'd go whenever you decided to leave. My promise stands firm unless things have changed." Once the lion does speak up a smile creeps up, "I can definitely pull my own weight."

Johari is rather appreciative to the whole idea of having other lionesses around. "I think its a great idea." She would, right? "Uh, if you don't mind me asking, how do you two know each other anyways?"

Kahini doesn't look all that impressed with it. Quite the reverse. "It is your quest, Lion Badiliko. I'm mearly your scout." This spoken, the lioness gets up and stretches out some. "Just roar when you're ready to go, hmm?" Yup, she's not too happy in the least.

"Kahini…I'll get us all through safely," he promises as he looks to Eshe and further adds, "we'd be happy to have you with us." He yawns and then looks at the lionesses, stating "I think I'd best get some rest myself. I'll see you all soon." And with that he lies down next to Johari, keeping close.

Eshe nods her head to Badi before laying down. "I was wandering a little beyond the borders into the Koje. Just happened across him and we began talking. Told me that he might be starting something of his own. Having no real place in life, I figure why not make one." she smiles towards Johari lightly.

Johari seems overly excited at this prospect. Someone else to hunt with? No nomadic hunting to keep them fed for the rest of her life? Oh, its rather tempting indeed! She settles back down at Badiliko's side now, leaning into his mane once again. "That's right. When this trip is over, we're finally going back to the volcano lands, its going to be great!"

"As you say, Lion Badiliko." Comes the reply from the ex-Kumalo cat, along with a quick dip of her head, before Kahini ventures off a ways for who only knows what reason.

~End Part 2~

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License