07/24/07 - Mzohari's Mantlement


  • Tangaza, juvenile lion, Nabana's son
  • Mzohari, lion, Balana's son
  • Kesonam, lion, Siombe's son
  • Balana, lioness, Siombe's adopted daughter
  • Siombe, lion
  • Matoke, lioness cub, Nabana's granddaughter
  • Nyunya, lioness, Mzohari's mate
  • Nabana, lion, Balana's son
  • Kasjari, lioness, Nabana's mate
  • Mtala, lioness, Nabana's mate
  • Tarikhi, lioness
  • Kiini, juvenile lion, Mzohari and Nyunya's son

TLK Balana - Tuesday, July 24, 2007, 10:42 AM

Edge of the Kopje Valley
You have reached the edge of the Kopje Valley where. The ground slopes gently down into the fertile valley. The lush green grass about you is a welcome sight that makes you want to rest there. One large Acacia tree stands not too far away from you. A smile crosses your face as you gaze upon the beauty of the distant valley. A disarming calm comes over you and a feeling of peace fills your body.

[W]est to the [B]order [K]opje [V]alley

The Kopje Valley 'Pride Listing'
The Kopje Valley 'Family Tree Thing'

You can see…
[IC ] Kesonam
[ZZZ] Mzuhali
[IC ] Tangaza
[ZZZ] Kenta
[IC ] Mzohari
[ZZZ] Nafsi'hiliki
[ZZZ] Nabana
[ZZZ] Kasjari
[ZZZ] Simbayo
[ZZZ] Leitana
[ZZZ] Khichaa
[ZZZ] Nyoka
[ZZZ] Kiini
[ZZZ] Nonceba
[ZZZ] Kia
[ZZZ] Wapenzi
[ZZZ] Chiboa

Tangaza lounges about in the grass, half snoozing under the sun. Bored out of his mind and without the will to go somewhere else hoping something would be happening there. For now he was just going to lay there and enjoy the sun until it became hot enough to the point of unbearably so.

A few minutes tick by with Mzohari simply staring off towards the west, his figure unmoving except for a few strands of his mane when the winds pull at them. But the lion then voices an abrupt grunt and stretches out his forelegs, looking around the more direct vicinity. Hmm. Nobody he doesn't recognize, which is always a good thing. Standing again, he ambles over to the base of the acacia — and then leans his weight back, pressing his forepaws against the trunk, where he unsheathes his claws and begins to carve through the bark, producing a harsh scratching sound.

Kesonam slowly makes his way up towards the group from the direction of the valley, pained eyes aiming as straight ahead as he can and locking on the other male in the vicinity. Ah, good. He begins to quicken his pace but almost immediately stops in his tracks, a low growl in his throat rising up while he turns his gaze away and to the side, eyes shutting tight.

"Easy, Kes, easy," Balana says as she follows up behind him. She saw that Kizingo was resting nearby where Kes had been, but she didn't see him awake, so she doesn't know if she managed to check up on Kesonam or not. He doesn't /look/ ill as far as she can tell, but who knows what might be going on.

Tangaza blinks his eyes and glances over at his uncle when he heard the grunt. It's just Mzo though. Tanga thought to himself and settled back down to his snooze. It doesn't take long until he is jarred from his half-snoozing state by those irritating noises from his uncle. It only took a quick look around to see exactly what his uncle was doing. Tanga grumbles to himself before getting up to go see if there was a more specific reason for the tree-clawing other than making that noise.

The marking upon the tree done, Mzohari takes another moment to stretch out — leaving his claws emerged in the bark as he flexes his shoulders and then rolls them, the joints popping. And this is how he is, leaned back with his forefeet still stuck in the acacia's trunk, when he catches the sound of an unpleasant growling. He immediately stiffens, yanking his claws from the tree — and hauling a fair amount of wood free as he does so. He looks westward initially .. but sees nothing. Puzzled, he looks down the descent into the Valley — and sees Kesonam, and Balana nearby. Eh? Confusion upon his face, he takes a few steps towards the older lion. " .. Kesonam? You alright?" Distracted, he doesn't see Tangaza approaching.

Kesonam manages to take another three or so steps before stopping again, but this time he justs sits where he is. No more. "…You really wanna know?", he murmurs, head lifting slightly so he can view the younger male nearby. "..I'm sick. And I don't know what with, but whatever it is isn't playing around. Can't see straight, dizzy, and with a headache like you wouldn't believe. ..Only seems to want to happen when I wake up though."

Balana pads up alongside Kesonam, looking at him with concern before she turns to look over at Mzohari as he yanks himself away from the tree, the same concern there. She's really not sure what it is either. Vague motion is seen heading towards where Mzohari was, and the lioness' attention perks a little. Is that one of the cubs?

Tangaza was about to start his inquiry when Kes's little distraction drew his attention away too. Tanga stands back though, not knowing anything about helping someone when they're sick and just left it to the two other adults nearby, surely they would know something to do and he didn't need to be in their way.

A short blink is his initial reaction to Kesonam's rather blunt answer, before worry overrides it. "Sick?" Yet Mzohari is wise enough to not come TOO close — one of the things Kizingo has taught him about is the chance of a disease being contagious. Better safe than sorry. "How long have you been feeling badly? Have you spoken with Kizingo?" He looks aside to his mother, likely hoping for some additional information — but she seems to be looking past him at something else. Mzo' bends to look back over his shoulder, finally spotting Tangaza. A quick grin is given to the cubling, before he turns himself back towards Kesonam.

Kesonam merely shrugs a shoulder, eyes blinking a little as he starts to brighten a little. His eyes, anyway. "Mmf. There we go. Well, I've been having a headache for a little while now, but.. yesterday is when it really hit. I remember waking and sitting up, then a wave of immense pain and incredible dizziness.. a few words were spoken but I can't remember what, and then darkness until I woke up just a few moments ago." Turning his head towards the female he manages to smile, leaning over to nose just behind her ear. "..No, I haven't seen Kiz, but your mother here saw me wake up today and thought that coming here would be the best idea."

"You zonked out shortly thereafter," Balana says aside to Kesonam. "I think Mtala found Kizingo, I saw them sleeping nearby, but I don't know if he figured anything out or not." She looks briefly over to Mzohari and gives him a light smile, and then look back to the youth. "It's okay, Tanga, you can come on over!"

His frown deepens at Kesonam's description, tail snapping around his ankles. "So it's getting worse? I mean .. It was worse when you woke up today, than when you woke up yesterday?" If such is the case, that's definitely not a good thing. And that's about all Mzohari knows — he has little to no experience when it comes to sicknesses. "But Kizi' is the best one to ask .. He has the training." And seeing as there's not much else he can offer by way of assistance, he falls quiet.

Tangaza gave a half-smile back to his uncle before continuing to listen to Kesonam, that sounded horrible! And Tanga still had no idea on anything he could do to help. Grandma called him over though and after a shrug he did just that, moving forward until he was next to Balana's paws but still looking at Kes. What Mzohari had to say didn't make him feel any better about kes's illness, it sounded so serious!

"Nono. Today's just a headache with a bit of dizziness, yesterday was.. well, for the first time in my life I actually wished for death.", the old lion's body droops in a sigh. "..Which reminds me, Mzo, there's something of a personal nature that I need to talk with you about." Kes is quick to his paws, motioning to a nearby tree and starting to head for it, moving away from the lioness and the youngin'.

Balana looks slightly confused over as Kes goes to take Mzo aside, but just gives the pair a slight shrug, though there is some concern there too. Meanwhile, she turns her attention down to Tangaza sitting beside her. "So. I hear you've been wandering around the border here a little more often recently."

His features smooth, even brighten, as Kesonam corrects him — that the pain was worse yesterday, and better today. "Then maybe it's going — " But Mzohari cuts himself off as the older lion speaks again, and begins to move back to the acacia that he'd been busy clawing when Kesonam and his mother first arrived. Blinking in mild surprise, he nevertheless turns and follows after, leaving Balana and his nephew to themselves.

Tangaza pulls his ears down some at Kes's comment of how bad it was yesterday and then Tanga was left to watch the other males leave hima nd grandma on their own. Although it didn't take long for Balana's statement to get to him and steal his focus and place it back on her. Tanga flattened his ears farther and refused to make eye contact with her. He was hoping no one would tell her about that, wasn't getting in trouble enough for the adults?

The elder lion halts with a sigh upon reaching the tree, turning to face the younger lion and managing a little weak smile when he comes near. He takes a moment to flash a wider smile back towards the lioness, but that smile starts to fade as he starts to speak in a lower tone than normal, still slightly audiable from the other's perspective.

Kesonam mumbles "… … … … this … there, … … … want … upset the … … … … … don't … any … … there … … … time … … well, … … … have … ask you to kill …", to Mzohari.

Balana lifts a paw to wrap it around Tangaza. "Dear, if you're interested so much in the border and how patrols go and such, I'm sure you could ask your uncle Mzo to show you how he does what he does." She doesn't mention Nabana because, well… quite frankly she's not sure about his behavior lately. Kesonam's words drift vaguely towards her, but it's his second to last word, the last one she hears, that causes her to suddenly look over towards them, gaze highly worried.

It's a good thing for Kesonam that he's facing with his back to the pair of grandmother and grandchild — otherwise, the expression of frank alarm that spikes onto Mzohari's features would do nothing to ease her concerns. He gives a few low-throated splutters, before quickly snagging his shock under control. As Kesonam said, no need to upset Tangaza .. or Balana. "I seriously doubt it will come to that," he murmurs, voice quieted but intense. "You said you've only been feeling badly for a few days .. Some diseases take longer than that to recover from. And you also said you're doing better today than yesterday. AND you still haven't spoken to Kizingo."

Tangaza frowns, continuing to avoid eye-contact at all costs. He wasn't crossing over the borders when he did because he was curious about the patrols, and having Mzo nearby wouldn't help with that very much at all. Tanga keeps glancing over towards the elder lions by the tree, it was just something he could divert his eyes to more safely, and how he wish he kenw what they were talkinga bout. Adults kept so many secrets from cubs. It wasn't fair!

Kesonam closes his eyes and lowers his head, shaking it slowly with a sigh, voice picking back up. "I don't want it to come to that either, believe me. It tears me apart to even think of asking you to do that, but.. I'm too much of a coward to do it myself." Again his gaze shifts, looking back across the way towards the lioness and the child. "You're more hopeful than I am, Mzo, but you ARE right.. We'll see what happens."

In this case, it's not just from cubs that the secrets are attempting to be kept. Balana lowers her head again as Tanga keeps avoiding eye contact, a bit concerned at his lack of a response. She does her best to block out the conversation of Kesonam and Mzohari right now, and starts nuzzling at her grandson. "What's the matter, Tanga? You haven't said two words all day."

He gives a firm nod. "We'll see," Mzohari agrees. He pauses for a moment, before adding, "And I've made no promises." The lion's voice lowers to a whisper again. "I won't even really discuss the matter till it comes right down to it .. No need to go thinking along those lines already, old-timer. I have a feeling you'll be sticking around to get on my nerves for awhile." Mzo' winks, trying to lighten the mood, before he turns about and speaks to everyone. "Anyway .. I'm gonna go grab a nap before it gets too ungodly hot out. See you guys later." A final smile is given, before he turns and moves down into the Valley's heart.

Mzohari has disconnected.

The elder is silent as the younger male speaks, glancing down to his paws. But it's those last words to him that really get to him, unable to contain the smile that creeps across his features. As Mzo heads off towards the valley Kesonam remains by the tree, head lifting with eyes locked on the pair nearby. "Hmm." He murmurs, lifting himself to stand and trotting back over at a quick pace, taking only a couple of moments to close the distance.

Tangaza leans into the nuzzles a bit, finally looking up into his grandmother's eyes after her question and the little meeting in the distance dispersing. "I'm sorry grandma… I was just trying to help before." he says with a guilty look in his eyes, upset more about being caught and then confronted about it multiple times than about actually doing it.

"Oh, I know, my dear one," Balana says to Tangaza, giving him another series of gentle nuzzles. "I wasn't getting mad at you. I was just trying to see if there was something we could do that would help make you feel better, but would also have us not worrying about you." Her ear twitches as she looks over at Kes' approach, ears folding.

"..M'sorry, Bal.", murmurs the elder as he comes close, taking a seat beside the lioness opposite of the juvenile. Speaking of the youngin', he looks awfully familiar.. oh. Yes. "Hey, weren't you the cub I caught in the Tsavo pridelands?", he frowns, leaning forward so he can side-eye the cub just past the female's legs, ear flicking a tad. "Nabana's kid, right?"

Tangaza was feeling better after the nuzzles and reassurance from Balana, his ears raising back up to their normal posititon up until Kes blurted that out, immediately making Tanga yank them back down and cut off anything he was going to try and say. He even tried to get directly behind grandma's legs to cut off the line of sight from the older male, all without giving an answer to either of them.

Balana's expression as she looks to Kes is one of deep concern. She heard a little of what he said to Mzo, and has a hunch what the rest of it was. However, she soon looks down at Tanga as he hides, before turning to look back at Kesonam. "Tanga's little venture into the Pride Lands has been forgiven. As such, I think he'd appreciate it if we didn't talk about it anymore," she says, lifting a foreleg to look down at Tangaza. "Wouldn't you?"

Mzohari has connected.

"Hmm. I'm just glad I was there to grab him, those were tense times." The elder male grunts, lifting his head back to it's original spot and managing a smile to the female. "Alright. It's dropped." That smile quickly fades though once he sees her expression, turning his face away and releasing a heavy sigh. "I guess you figured out what I talked about with Mzo."

Tangaza nods his head almost immediately once he's asked and changes to a scowl and then a much more relieved half-smile when Kesonam agreed to drop it. The last part got him anxious though. "Tell me!" he begs, nudging and nosing at Balana's legs, wanting to know what that little meeting was about earlier.

"I think, if I heard correctly, Kes here was asking your uncle Mzo to make a kill for him." Balana leans down to give Tangaza's forehead a lick. "Probably something that we could use the help of the lions on, like a cape buffalo." Of course, she didn't exactly hear what they said, but she has an idea—and such things she's not about to tell Tangaza right now.

Tangaza shakes his head after the lick, trying to fix the small ridge of fur on his forehead that just got licked. He gives Balana the discerning eye, trying to see if she was telling the truth. "But thats not a secret, why did he pull Mzo over by the tree. He could have asked that right here." Tanga goes on, showing that he was at least decently perceptive, whether or not it was a much desired trait in the cub at the moment or not.

Balana quirks a brow as she looks down at Tangaza. "Now… tell me this. If YOU had figured out a special way to do something, your own little secret way to pounce someone, or to hunt something, wouldn't you be wanting to keep it a secret too?" She grins a little. "I know I have my secrets when it comes to hunting."

Tangaza thinks about it for a good long couple of seconds before eventually nodding. "Yeah. I guess so. But how did you figure out what the secret was from over here?" he asks, feeling rather left out as he glances back over towards Kes.

"She's special, that's why.", replies the male, eyes locking on something off on the horizon. "Very, very special."

Balana casts a glance aside to Kes before she turns to look at Tanga. "Easy. I heard him mention a kill. And lions don't like to include lionesses when they go hunt something. They'd much rather do it themselves and prove that they can still hunt. Surprise the lionesses."

Tangaza waits again, thinking it over before accepting it as a working answer. "Alright." he says plainly, seeming to give up hisq uestioning as he dropped down off his paws, looking like he was about to take after Mzo and take a nap right next to grandma, who was more of a mother than his mother was. She wasn't around much anymore.

Kesonam smiles lightly when the cub accepts that answer. Mmf. He was starting to get just a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing anyway. "..Yeah, you'd be surprised what a lioness can do when you surprise them. Just make sure it's a good surprise though, otherwise you won't live it down."

Balana smiles gently to Tanga, nestling him close as he settles down to rest. "Rest, dearheart." She lifts her gaze back to Kesonam as he speaks, the smile slowly fading into a look of concern.

Tangaza has disconnected.

Kesonam catches Balana's gaze, the male's ears folding against his skull as he looks away from her. He doesn't have the nerve to meet her eyes, even closing them as he feels her looking right at him. "You know, don't you?"

"I suspect," Balana says quietly, "that you asked Mzo to end your life if the circumstances were right, though I don't know if it's if the pain becomes to great, or if you appear to become a danger, or something." Indeed, she keeps her gaze on the lion.

Kesonam's head dips in a nod, and he finally brings it back around to look the female eye to eye. "Your suspicions are correct, m'love. I don't want it to come down to that, trust me. But if it does.. I think it'd be the best option, because I don't want to wither away and become this whining, drooling invalid who's always screaming in pain. It'd be a burden on you and the others, and I can't have that.."

Now it's the lioness' turn to look away, this time down at Tangaza sleeping near her. "Well. Time will tell what happens," is all she says, quietly, lifting a paw to rest it across the juvenile's back.

"That it will. I hope it tells me that everything will be fine.", he drops his muzzle and nudges the side of the female's neck with his nosebridge, offering a weak little purr. "Because I don't want to leave, now. I'd rather die than walk away from you and the Valley."

Balana leans gently into Kesonam's nudging. "One day at a time, Kes. One day at a time." She lowers her head to rub her cheek softly against his shoulder. "Then don't leave. You know, despite all your claims, you seem to be fitting in here pretty well."

Kesonam lifts his head to groom tendery along the bridge of her nose, up between her eyes and nosing between her ears. "Mmf. That's sure what it looks like… I don't think Mzo would ever accept me, but I think all that's changed now."

Balana noses lightly under his chin. "Some things take time. After all, your arrival here wasn't exactly at an ideal time. But I know he was certainly glad to have you there when he came looking for me in the Pride Lands. And for snagging Tangaza here at the waterhole before he made a beeline for Pride Rock."

Kesonam chuckles, eyes lidding with a heavy purrr as he tilts his head, rubbing his cheek firmly along her own. "He was right when he said that more than one lion, let alone three, would probably cause some issues. Not only there but leave the valley unprotected. I was just there as backup though, so other than grabbing Tangaza I wasn't much help."

"Sure seems to be displaying more sense than Nabana has lately. If he'd had his way he probably would've taken everybody who'd go with him." Balana rolls her eyes a little bit. "But it worked out alright. And I'm sure he was glad to know you were there even if it was just for backup."

"Well..", he pauses, muzzle close to her ear. "I can't lay the blame solely on Nabana, because it was my original idea for all of us to go. Stupid at the time now that I think of it. I'm just glad there's someone with enough sense to be in charge of the place."

Balana shrugs a shoulder. "It's not just been that. He's been behaving strangely for quite a while." She leans over to lick at him. "But yeah, it probably wasn't a very good idea. But I do agree that Mzo will do alright."

Kesonam pulls his head away with a light nod, turning his gaze over towards that tree that the other lion made his mark earlier. "Think he's jealous of his brother?"

Balana lifts her head to follow Kesonam's gaze. "What, Nabana?"

Kesonam nods. "Yeah. Weren't they supposed to be kings together?"

Balana nods lightly. "Yes, they are. But I'm almost starting to wonder if Nabana is… stable enough for such a position."

Kesonam's ears flatten against his skull at the lioness's words, slowly turning to look to her. "Have you discussed your concerns with him..?

Balana shakes her head. "No. I've not really seen him since I told him and Mzo that we were to meet with Mtukutu, something which he was not pleased about."

Having rested in the cooler atmosphere that the waterfall provides, Mzohari has been awake for a fair amount of time — thinking. Such a request as the one that Kesonam made has never been presented to him before, but the lion has no one to discuss it with. Nabana was the first to come to mind, but he hasn't seen his brother in .. in .. well, it's been awhile. So with no one else to turn to, he aims back for the source himself — making his way up the ascent to the border, he rumbles out an inquiring greeting to whoever might be left up here.

"I see.. Well, I—" the male's cut off when he hears the familiar rumble, ear perking towards the source. His gaze soon follows, and when he spots the approaching male the elder's expression falters a little, eyes going sad. "Ho boy.

Likewise, the elder lioness' head lifts up as she turns to look towards Mzohari. Balana gives him a bit of a smile, before she turns to look back over at Kesonam, letting out a soft sigh.

And it looks like the two of them are still here — though Tangaza's nowhere that Mzohari can see. The lion's own features fluxuate as he approaches Kesonam and his mother, brows drawing downward and a small frown pulling at the corners of his muzzle at both their downcast looks. " .. What's everybody all bummed about?" A minute pause, and then he adds, "And don't tell me it's about YOU, Kes'. You're just going through one part of being old. It's a consequence for the priveledge of being able to call me a whipper-snapper without me thumping you upside the head, and you'll get over it just fine after talking to Kizingo."

"Oh, no. Course not. Just talking about.. things.", he offers. He's lying, of course, turning his gaze away from the approaching male and looking down to his forepaws. "Though.. I don't know, what's Kizingo able to do? Is he actually a healer?"

Balana is quiet for a moment as Mzo speaks, but she gives a nod to Kesonam. "He is. I don't know what it is he might be able to do, but talking to him and letting him take a look can't hurt," she says softly. She moves her forepaw back down to the ground, which had been resting atop a sleeping Tangaza.

A single raised brow — a distinctly dubious one — is enough to make it clear that Mzohari doesn't believe the older lion's first reply. But still. "I know he's been able to offer remedies to certain things," he says, nodding to Balana's words. Finally crossing the last bit of distance between himself and the pair, he sees the slumbering Tangaza and snorts a laugh. "Amazing how they just konk right out, isn't it?"

"Yeah, I suppose. Can't be any worse than say a panther healer or such, right?" Kes chortles, shifting to lie upon his belly now and get a bit more comfortable. Concern washes over him though, even with a little bit of fear mixed in.

Balana smiles a little at Kes again. "I know he'd do whatever he could. Even if he doesn't know just what's wrong, he might know something that'd help your head stop hurting so badly until you get to feeling better." No need to be not hopeful here, is there? She then looks down at Tanga with Mzo's mention. "Yeah. Getting himself a bit of rest I guess."

"Healers in the true sense .. You know, primates and whatnot .. seem to have become few and far between. Unfortunately. I don't know if I've ever really seen one." Mzohari gives a lopsided, if not somewhat helpless, shrug. "Can only do the best with what we have." He leans aside to give Kesonam a reassuring nudge with his shoulder, before sombering. "And not to drag everybody down worse .. but have you given any thought to what caused this? Where you might've caught something that started the headaches and dizziness?"

"I've seen quite a few in my travels, but never really needed one." He sighs, shrugging a bit before the lion gives him the nudge, smiling lightly as he looks up to the other male with a shake of his head. "I didn't eat anything out of the ordinary, didn't run into any thorns or such which could be poisonous.. so I honestly can't think of anything."

His muzzle wrinkles in fresh puzzlement, and Mzohari lightly taps a forepaw against the ground. "Hrm." It's not exactly an answer he was expecting .. not that he'd really have much more input if Kesonam HAD said he'd accidentally eaten a bunch of funny-looking weeds. But still, it would've been a start. "Kizi' will have more questions to ask you .. Better ones than most of the ones I can come up with. I don't really know what I'm looking for, so I don't know what to ask to get there. I'm no healer. I just walk around with my muscles all puffed up to look scary on the border."

Kesonam chuckles and shakes his head, pushing himself up to sit back on his rump. "And for the record, I've never been scared of you. Intimidated? Maybe. But never scared. .. I'm sure I could still whip you from here to Utatu if I wanted to." He's teasing, of course, flashing a grin as wide as he can make it.

He snorts haughtily, making a flamboyant display of flexing the muscles in his chest and shoulders as he tosses his heavy black mane. "Oh puh-lease," Mzohari huffs grandly. "EVERYBODY is scared of me .. Especially Balana. I just ACT like I listen to her because .. y'know, I don't want to upset her in her old age. Just like I don't want to upset YOU." He beams a crooked grin.

Balana quirks a brow as she looks aside at Mzohari with an 'are you kidding' expression. "Please. All I have to do is give you 'that look' that only mothers can give and you'll be cowed. You know that."
"Right.", chuckles the elder, reaching up a paw and pressing in against Mzohari's muscular shoulder and giving it a light push, green eyes rolling skyward. "I'm easily as tall as you are, but you're just built a little more than I am, that's all."

A winning smirk is flashed to his mother, before Mzohari voices a grunt at the unexpected shove from Kesonam. The lion sways for a moment where he's seated, his tail giving a lash to compensate, knocking over more than a few blades of grass in the process. "Is that you're way of calling me fat? I'm NOT fat .. I'm .. big-boned." Mzo' nods matter-of-factly.

Tangaza has connected.

Kesonam browperks at the lioness beside him and chuckles, shaking his head with widened eyes at the younger male. "I dunno, I've seen that look from her before and it's stopped ME in my tracks. And I'm not even her son!" He steals another gaze back at the female, blinking innocently at her before returning his eyes to Mzohari. "And yes, you're fat. Fatty fat fat."

The elder lioness just shakes her head as she looks between the two lions. "Yes, we all know that you two are both large lions from a line of large lions." Balana just plucks herself to her paws. "Anyway, I don't know about the two of you, but I think we ought to head somewhere more comfortable to rest than out here."

He leans back slightly, just enough to be able to lift a forepaw to pat at his own stomach — grinning mischeviously. "And that's just how I like it. Every lion needs his cushioning." Mzohari chortles, before his eyes divert to Balana, his ears cupping forward from the tangles of his darkened mane. He looks out to the west for a moment, contemplative .. before nodding. "Sure. Might as well head down into the Valley .. I don't have to leave for my nightly patrol quite yet."

The old male begins to rise but stops himself just short, resettling back onto his haunches and offering a light smile to the two. "You go on ahead, I'll be fine right here." As he turns his head away to look ahead the smile vanishes, quickly replaced by a grimace followed by the lion's eyes closing tight.

Balana casts a concerned glance over at Kesonam, giving him a slight nod. Her gaze moves to Mzo as she starts to lead, before pausing to look at Tangaza. Is he still asleep?

Tangaza was indeed right where he was the last time he moved, but got a sizable nap in the meantime. He rolled over to his side but remained dozing, oblivious to what the others were up to at the moment.

Well… probably better to go ahead and move him. Padding over to where Tanga is, Balana leans down to give him a light nosing. "Hey Tanga… wake up dearheart."

But as Balana begins to head down the descent, Mzohari hesitates — frowning in Kesonam's direction as he says he'll stay behind. As his mother goes to deal with Tangaza, he steps aside, back to where the older lion is settled. "You alright? Head starting to hurt again?"

Kesonam mmmfs lowly and waves a paw blindly at the male as he comes close, growling in annoyance. "No no no, I'm fi-…" Bah, what's the use? The old male drops his paw with a sigh, nodding once. "..Soon as I got up."

Kasjari has connected.

~ Very close to where you are, from 'Kopje Valley', a male lion roars!

~ Very close to where you are, from 'Kopje Valley', a male lion roars!

"Then you're definitely NOT staying here," Mzohari says — in a tone of voice that leaves no room for debate. "Come on. I'll help you." With a look to Balana, the lion steps up beside Kesonam, leaning his shoulder against the older male's for both support and as guidance. After all, if he can't see .. he'll need to borrow another pair of eyes. But then a roar sounds from nearby — and he takes a brief moment to step away from Kesonam to return it, before returning to the lion's shoulder.

~ Mzohari holds his head high and ROARS!

Balana blinks a little, her head lifting up. "I believe that was Dad," she says, hearing the pair of roars. "Sounds like a summoning," she says, giving Tangaza another nudge and heading down into the valley.
You make your way slowly down to the Valley.

Kopje Valley
You come down from the edge of the Valley into a large open plain. Small baobab trees dot the landscape. You can see the cliff edge looming above you, sending a shadow over your body. To the north you can see a large cliff with a waterfall flowing from it. To the west you see some beautiful plains, and there is a large and expansive savannah to the south.

[UP] to the edge of the valley [W]aterfall [C]liff
[L]ukesia's and [S]iombe's [P]lace [P]ath of rememberance

You can see…
[IC ] Matoke
[ZZZ] Mtala
[ZZZ] Kingukera
[ZZZ] Tamulu And the darkness of sorrow covers his heart.
[IC ] Siombe Wisdom incarnate.
[ZZZ] Japhta
[ZZZ] Sirima KNOWS Finals are evil!
[ZZZ] Hajima

Siombe's attention is facing a lioness cub who has piqued his curiosity.

Matoke doesn't seem fearful, and trots over towards Siombe. "Have you seen the bush lion? I woke up and he was gone." She blinks a couple times as she realizes she doesn't know him. "And who're you?"

~ From afar, the barely discernible roar of a lion king can be heard.

Mzohari comes slowly down from the top of the valley to join you.

Mzohari has arrived.

Kesonam has arrived.

Mzohari enters, with Kesonam walking along next to him.

Siombe smiles down at the roly-poly cub, though there is some sadness to the old lion's features. "Siombe, little one," he says softly. "My name is Siombe. I'm no one special."

Balana makes her way down into the valley, looking rather curious upon hearing the pair of roars. "Dad?" she questions, noticing Matoke as she sees where Siombe's looking and hears him talking. "That's Matoke, Nabana's granddaughter," she says. "Long story."

Matoke looks a little bit confused as she plops herself down on the lion's forepaw. "I think I heard about you before. You're the grass lion's dad."

And coming along behind Balana is her youngest son — with Kesonam directly alongside him. The elder lion is being lightly guided, though Mzohari's main attention is focused down and ahead, seeking out the source of the roar. Soon enough, Siombe is spotted .. and then Matoke. He restrains the urge to grimace, fastening his eyes upon his grandfather, waiting for him to reply to Balana.

Nabana comes slowly down from the top of the valley to join you.

Nabana has arrived.

Nyunya comes slowly down from the top of the valley to join you.

Nyunya has arrived.

Kasjari comes slowly down from the top of the valley to join you.

Kasjari has arrived.

"Thanks, Mzo. I can take it from here." Kes gives the lion a nod before pulling away, grumbling a thing or two about "damn racket" before actually realizing who the beckoning roar belonged to. "Oh..", he blinks, moving to a spot next to the elder lioness and settling down onto his haunches.

Siombe looks up as Balana comes in and identifies this cub. "Nabana's?" He looks back at Matoke and exhales a soft grunt, then gives the cub a gentle kiss on the head. "I am dad to many, little one," he says. "I don't suppose I can have my paw back, can I?" And suddenly, there are many in the valley. Strangely enough, the elder is awed by the sight and momentarily forgets his paw.

Nyunya makes her way in slowly, drawn by the loud roaring. She lifts her brow curiously, getting closer to the group, but pauses a few steps away.

Reluctantly making his way towards the source of the roar, Nabana comes out of where he'd stashed himself away recently, and moves to sit down a little bit away from the rest, expression rather… expressionless.

Balana looks aside to give Kes a light nosing as he approaches. "You'll have to see Kizi after whatever this is…" She continues over to where Siombe is, though, sitting down alongside him, unaware of just what's going on, although she has a suspicion.

He glances aside to Kesonam for a moment before the elder lion moves away, still a few steps outside the area where the core of the group seems to be building. Mzohari, in eerie similarity to Siombe, stands back — so that he can simply watch as the pride begins to gather. Nyunya is spotted, and he immediately approaches the lioness — greeting her with a smile and an affectionate nuzzle. "Don't be a stranger," he murmurs, before bumping his side against hers as a gesture to come alongside him as he finally heads over to Siombe and his mother.

Matoke cheers at Siombe's affection, and then blinks a little bit as he's asked for his paw back. She reluctantly does so, but catches sight of Kesonam a moment later, and moves over towards him. "Have you seen the bush lion?" she asks of the elder, plopping down beside his paw.

Kesonam nods silently and returns the lioness's nosebump with one of his own, nuzzling lightly under her chin before pulling back and watching the.. well, elder. Good, he's not the oldest one here! Upon Matoke's approach he lifts a paw, giving the cub's head a light noogie before resting it beside her. "Dunno who you mean."

Kasjari comes down from the border, and spotting Nabana makes her way around, approaching from behind him she slips up against his side and takes a seat there, giving his cheek an affectionate stroke of her tongue.

Mtala has connected.

The elder looks down on the cub with a somewhat expressionless smile as she moves away. The wind whips, and Siombe knows. "Hmm," he says aloud, though not really speaking to anyone in particular. "I didn't ever picture it would be this way." He looks to the gathered audience, careful to really look at each in turn. "Denizens and vistors to the Kopje Valley, I ask your attention for a moment—I only intend to do this once."

Nyunya blinks as she's nudged and smiles to Mzoh. "I just didn't want to be underfoot," she assures him, and does move closer as he returns to the group. She perks her ears and gets quiet as the elder lion speaks, resting a bit and listening quietly.

Nabana looks aside to Kasjari as she moves in, and smiles a little bit at her, leaning over to give her a nuzzle, but is otherwise quiet.

Mtala lifts her head, stifling a yawn as she senses she had better listen, and she stands, padding her way over to Nabana to give him a silent nuzzle, her eyes on the lion speaking.

It looks like perhaps it is time. Balana takes a look around as well, giving a bit of a smile, though ultimately focusing on Siombe and what he's saying.

Coming up amongst where the others are settled, Mzohari seats himself comfortably — though he does take a quick look over his shoulder, waiting for Nyunya to join him. But when Siombe speaks again, the elder gets his attention swiftly. He is silent, listening attentively, still save for the occassional rustling of his mane in the breezes.

Siombe speaks. "Sun upon sun, cycle on cycle I have labored--tried--spent my life's energy in pursuit of something that it seemed I was not meant to have. Most of you are too young to fathom that thing--so I will not waste time attempting to describe it. But as I look at you all here and now in this time and space, I am struck with an inimitable sense of--" the lion pauses before his head tilts downward ever so slightly. "Fatigue. It's been a long fight, but even those deepest coffers of energy, hidden in the darkest corners of my soul have been exhausted." He shakes his head. It's a useless motion, a practiced motion that does not speak to the profound numbness forming these words. "My time is done. And though, at one time, I wished for that news to be met with sad tears--it would not surprise me for it to be greeted with indifference. Too many years have I worn the mantle--long past the time when it was too heavy for me to bear. Its damage is done--as am I." The elder rises, the hitch in his hip perhaps all too evident with the little sidestep he does to gather himself. "The valley thrives, and Kwasi's dream lives again, in spite of itself. I could not have forseen as an adolescent king that I would end my days here passing the mantle to another, but fate and chance have seen it true." His eyes wander through the crowd before landing heavily on the face of another lion. Siombe starts toward him slowly. "You will hear my last roar from the throne of these lands, and the next from the throne shall lead on--as he has been so uniquely trained to do." His approach, though slow, has led him directly in front of Mzohari. The elder's eyes stare directly into those of the younger lion. "Come with me. It is time." And Siombe passes by, headed toward the Waterfall Cliffs without another word.

Nyunya smiles to Mzoh a few moments, then turns her attention to Soimbe. Her ears perk and she listens still, without interupting. She scrunches her brows a little at the somewhat…somber tone.

Kesonam earflicks, blinking wide as he gives his sister a quick look of shock.. but that shock fades within moments as he releases a heavy sigh, turning his eyes back to the elder as he starts off towards the cliffs.

Matoke doesn't get a chance to reply to Kesonam about who she means, but instead hears the words of Siombe. She doesn't really follow everything that's going on, but something important apparently. She looks up at Kesonam, then back to Siombe, and waits to see what everybody else does.

Without a word, Balana remains where she is as Siombe heads over to Mzohari, ears intent on his words, gaze focused on him. Her expression is… hard to read. As he starts to turn and head back towards the cliffs, she rises to her paws, and turns to follow him.

It would seem the damage has been done. Nabana listens from where he sits, his form slumping with every step that Siombe takes towards Mzohari. Mtala is given a halfhearted nuzzle as she approaches, but he gets up to his paws, waiting for the moment.

He holds his silence, though his eyes widen fractionally as Siombe continues his speech. He isn't entirely sure if this isn't something with a double-meaning .. It's quite clear that the elder is speaking of Kopje's crown, but is he also speaking of his own life coming to an end? However, it seems evident that this is not the time. Mzohari meets Siombe's eyes evenly as his grandfather comes to stand before him — and answers only with a single nod of assent. He stands, following after.

Siombe offers to let Mzohari walk along with him.

Mzohari decides to walk along with Siombe.

Siombe decides to relax at the Waterfall Cliff.

Siombe has left.

Mzohari has left.

Siombe leaves, with Mzohari walking along with him.

Tarikhi slowly comes into view, travelling from the waterfall.

Tarikhi has arrived.

Kesonam's paw lifts and gently strokes down the little one's spine, the elder lion leaning down to nose the cub's cheek with a weak smile. "Remember this, kid. It's not going to happen too often."

Kiini has arrived.

Balana changes her mind after a second upon seeing that everybody else seems to be gathered here, and rather than moving to the base of the promontory, she moves back to sit down next to Kesonam.

Matoke looks off after the pair that left, and then up at Kesonam again. "What's going on?"

There's… nobody at the waterfall! Having seen Siombe and Mzohari pass through, Tarikhi's look of confusion remains on her face as she moves towards where they came from… and stumbles on an enormous crowd.

Nabana again lets out a soft sigh, casting a glance aside to Kasjari, then over to Mtala. "The decision… has been made," he tells the pair of them softly, his ears slicking back into his mane, gaze lowering to his forepaws.

Of all the nicknames the cub's given, the one he DOES remember is Mzohari's. Kes chortles low in his throat, trying to explain to the youngling in terms she'd understand. "Mud-lion's going to become king in a few moments, kid. Soon you'll have to start calling him.. lessee, "Mud King." That's a good one, no?" When Balana approaches he manages a smile, leaning up to give the old lioness a welcoming nuzzle.

Nyunya watches them wander off. She looks to the others and lightly moves over to give Nabala a little nudge. "Cheer up," she whispers to him. "That's just more work you get to miss." She offers what she hopes is an infectous smile and glances back up a moment.

Mtala stretches over to give Nabala another nuzzle. "There are things better than being king anyway…" she says softly, hoping he isn't too upset.

Balana leans over to return Kesonam's nuzzle, straightening herself again after a moment. "And as a new king steps up… so soon shall others be put in charge of the hunting and such," she says, looking over to the trio of lionesses gathered around Nabana, giving them a smile, before looking at her eldest son with concern.

Upon not seeing Kizingo there, Tarikhi decides to move over towards Matoke and Kesonam, hearing the elder lion's words on the subject, looking a little bit surprised. "So, er… why is the pride sitting here?" she asks of him.

Just what's all the commotion about anyways? Kiini comes up towards the others after being off who only knows where playing. Spotting mom, he heads straight for Nyunya, purring as he rubs up against the adult.

~ Not too far away, a male lion roars!

Matoke makes a face, although she doesn't look as displeased as might be expected. "The mud lion's going to become king?" She hears the roar, turning to look over towards it. "What was that?"

Nabana tenses a little bit at the roar, giving the lionesses gentle nuzzles in return, a faint smile on his muzzle. However, Kiini's approach gets his attention. "Your… dad's becoming the king, kiddo. He'll roar soon."

Kasjari's brow furrows worriedly for her mate, nosing his chin up gently, "You were not king yesterday, you're not now. All that means is that nothing has changed in you, dear. You are still the lion I love and all I could ask for," she whispers to Nabana.

Nyunya's ears flick a bit and she looks to her son. She offers him a smile and nuzzles, "Yeah, that's apparently what's going on," she tells the boy, though still looks worriedly to Nabana.

~ Not too far away, a male lion king roars!

Balana's expression is hard to read as she hears the first roar, though there's definitely some sadness there. It's… the end of an era. However, she knows what the second one means. The circle continues, as it has from the first passing of the mantle. She's done her job in raising up her children. And there, pride slowly finds her face upon the second roar. She's silent for a moment before looking to the others. "Alright, Kopje… raise your voice to let Mzohari know that his pride is here for him—and to let everyone else know that a new king has been mantled." She slowly stands, taking in a breath, and lets out a roar in response.

~ Balana holds her head high and ROARS!

~ Mtala holds her head high and ROARS!

~ Nyunya holds her head high and ROARS!

~ Kesonam holds his head high and ROARS!

Matoke doesn't really understand everything that's going on… but nonetheless lets out a cubbish roar as well at the cue of the others, though it doesn't go very far.

Nabana slowly lifts his head, his ears pinning back at the pair of roars. Halfheartedly, he joins in the chrous of the others, although there's a slight sorrowful note to his roar.

~ Nabana holds his head high and ROARS!

Ack, so noisy! Well… what the heck? Tarikhi joins in the roars of the others too.

~ Tarikhi holds her head high and ROARS!

Kasjari sighs softly, her words lost to the chorus of roars that set the circle to turning once again. She does add her voice to it in the end, though she waits for Nabana's voice to sound.

~ Kasjari holds her head high and ROARS!

Kesonam drops his head with a sigh, rising to his paws and moving away from the elder lioness and the cub, head hanging low.

Mtala notices the tone of Nabana's roar, and she tries to comfort him by laying her head on his shoulder, sidling a bit closer, to try and let him know that he isn't alone.

Kiini lets his own roar out, though the "Rrrarrr." leaves much to be desired…

Nyunya's tailtip flicks and she looks to Nabana a moment and lets out a light sigh. She turns her attention to her son, offering a gentle smile and gives a light nuzzle. "Very good," she tells him.

Balana hasn't seen such a gathering in… quite some time. As Kes turns, the elder lioness watches him move. He really needs to go see Kizingo. Speaking of which… where is he, anyway? She'd have thought he'd have come see what the racket was about. For now, though, she pushes to her paws, straightening up and turning to move towards where Nabana is with the other three lionesses, her gaze focused on her son. "Such is the path that the kings have laid out for us, even though sometimes we may not understand why." She looks back at the rest of the group gathered there. "Give Mzo your congratulations when you see him," she says gently, and then turns to slip quietly away.

Matoke tilts her head, turning to follow after Kesonam. "Hey, what's going on now?"

Is that it? Hmm. Tarikhi's never seen anything like that before, and she gets up to move over towards where the other lionesses and Nabana are. "I don't suppose anybody's seen Kizingo today, have they?" she asks.

Kesonam's flatten firmly against his skull as he finds a place to settle down onto his belly, shifting to lie onto his side. "Sleep. Least for me.. I dunno what you're gonna do.", he shifts, head tilting so he can view the youngin'.

Despite his mother's words, Nabana doesn't seem to be comforted at all. He looks up to her ever so briefly, before he looks between the trio of lionesses about him. Kas, Mtala, and Nyu. Even he's not dumb enough to miss the affection and concern that they're giving him. "Thank you," he tells the three of them quietly, before he looks off in the direction of the promontory. "I guess… I'll have to speak to my brother as to where my future lies."

Matoke wastes no time in flopping herself down across one of Kesonam's forelegs as he settles. Well, without Kizingo's presence, Kesonam will just have to do. "So the mud lion's king now? That was it?"

Nyunya nods a little, "I guess," she says. "Though I hope you plan on staying here." She offers a gentle smile. She's worried everyone'll move off, break up and leave.

Kiini grins back as his mom, apparently more occupied with with his roar attempt than his dad's new title. "Rrrrarrr!" He exclaims, doing it all over again. He's a big little cub now!

Mtala shifts, glancing over to Balana for a second and turning back to Nabana with a hmm. "I also had something I wished to discuss with you, Nabana." she says, tail and ears twitching.

Kasjari lays down at Nabana's side, looking up at him, and lifting a brow towards Mtala curiously at her comment.

"That's the gist of it, yeah." The old lion manages a warm smile as he leans his head over, ducking his nose down and giving the pudgy cub a quick cheek-nose. The cub's presence seems to bring him some sort of comfort.. at least someone likes to be around him, anyway. "So like I said, call him MudKing when ya see him, got it?"

Balana's absence is just quick enough for her to take a covert look towards the promontory. It appears Siombe retired into the caverns, and Mzo… off to sleep somewhere else. Not coming back here for now. As such, she turns around and comes back, moving to sit next to Nyunya. "Well… it looks like the next point of order will be reassigning my duties."

"Oh," Matoke says in response to Kesonam, lifting a paw to paw lightly at his muzzle after the nosing. "Okay." Kiini's cub roar gets her attention, though. "You go sleep, grass lion. I'll just go… see who that is over there." And with that, she scoots back off Kesonam's leg and trots over towards Kiini.

No real response. Must be a no. So Tarikhi just sits down where she is.

Nyunya's ear perks and she smiles to Balana, just a little, and gently. "I see." She leans into her a bit. "I'd imagine that's not going to be an easy challenge," she mrrs.

Nabana lifts a paw to place it on Kasjari as she lays down beside him, a faint smile given to Nyunya before Mtala gets his attention, and his ears perk a little. "Something to discuss with me?"

"Oh.. alright.", he blinks and watches the cub hop up and walk over towards the other youngin'. He's alone again, a light sigh escaping his muzzle as he turns his eyes away from the crowd and rests his maned head on the ground. "..Kids."

Kiini hasn't a clue what mom or Balana are discussing, but as they seem to have lost interest in his 'mighty' roar, he looks for something else to take his attention to. Ah hah! His beady eyes spot Matoke though. Grin… He immediately starts heading towards her.

Mtala nods and smiles reassuringly to Nabana. "Yes, and in private, but I'd like to hear what Balana wants to say." she says, swiveling her ears to said lioness.

Kasjari smiles gently up to Nabana, trying to act 'normal' despite her concerns, hoping to remind him that nothing's changed in all the other parts of his life. Her ears do fold back a little though as Mtala doesn't voice her concerns, wondering what the other lioness has on her mind.

Balana looks amongst the other lionesses. "Mostly I've been serving as the head of the hunt, and also kind of keeping track of domestic issues to discuss with the king. What's going on with the pride, how everyone's doing, if anyone's ill and whatnot. I've been thinking that it probably would be easier to divide up the two roles, really. But to this point, I don't think I've really discussed with anybody, or Mzo at length, about decisions on things."

Nabana gives a slight nod to Mtala, halfheartedly curious, but not so much right now. Since Mtala turns over towards Balana, he lowers his head to lick softly between Kasjari's ears.

Nyunya nods lightly. "A head lioness and a huntmistress mm?" She shifts her weight ever so slightly and her tailtip twitches. "Well take your time." She noses her friend lightly, then grins down to Kiini. "Oh no," she grins.

Well, this doesn't concern her… And as such, Tarikhi leaves the gathering and makes her way over towards Kesonam. Maybe he's got an answer. "Um… excuse me," she asks him softly as she nears.

Kasjari shrugs softly, resigning herself to ignorance for the time being. If it's anything important Nabana will discuss it with her when the time's right for him. She smiles and leans up to kiss his cheek before curling up at his side to sleep.

"Mmm?", the old lion blinks when he hears the sound of a young lioness's voice, turning his head to view Tarikhi through lightly narrowed eyes. "Oh, h'lo there. What's up?", he asks, brow furrowing just a bit.

Mtala gives a small hmm and turns back to Nabala, giving his cheek a small lick. "Is there somewhere we might discuss?" she asks him quietly, ignoring the other lions now.

Tarikhi sits down next to Kesonam's head. "I… don't mean to disturb you. I just wondered… have you seen Kizingo today?"

Kasjari has disconnected.

Balana nods softly to Nyunya. "Yes. Now… I know that there had been talk about priming you for stepping up alongside Mzo, which I think I've… kind of neglected, to say the least. Have you heard anything from him on the matter since it was initially brought up? I know that was quite a while ago."

Nyunya shakes her head lightly. "I haven't," she admits. "I've been bad about following up with it though. I'm sorry."

"No.. no I haven't, though everyone keeps telling me to." Kes scowls a little, turning his head away from the young lioness and shifting a little on his side to get comfortable, tufted tail thumping against the ground behind him.

Matoke perks up as Kiini sees her. Hooray! Has she met him before? Who knows! "Hi!" the lioness cub greets him cheerfully. "Who're you?"

Nabana lifts his head up from Kasjari as she settles to sleep, and looks at Mtala. "Indeed." A glance is cast towards the training grounds, and he gets to his paws. "Come. We'll head over this way."

Nabana offers to let Mtala walk along with him.

"I'm Kiini!" The boy announces proudly, still grinning at the other cub. "Who are you?" Apparently they haven't met before. At least, not as far as Kiini is concerned.

Nabana offers to let Mtala walk along with him.

The banana-colored cub's tail sways around behind her as she stops a little bit in front of Kiini. "My name's Matoke. That's my grampa over there," she says, pointing out Nabana. "Momma went nuts, so Tarikhi brought me here to stay."

Mtala decides to walk along with Nabana.

"Oh," Tarikhi says. Well, apparently he's not in the best of moods. "Sorry," Tarikhi says before she decides things are over here, and heads on back to the cliff.

Tarikhi decides to relax at the Waterfall Cliff.

Tarikhi has left.

Balana smiles a little. "It's alright. To be honest, I wasn't totally sure just… how all of it was going to go." She leans to give Nyunya a nuzzle. "I probably ought to talk to Mzo about what he wants to do, though. His pride now, after all."

Nabana walks away from the valley and towards a grove of trees.

Nabana has left.

Mtala has left.

Nabana leaves, with Mtala walking along with him.

Nyunya smiles a little and nods. "I suppose it is at that," she purrs. She keeps an eye on Kiini, letting him make friends and whatnot, but not letting him stray all too far.

Kiini blankly stares at Matoke for a few moments after her remark about her mom. Finally the silence is broken, "Cool! You wanna play?" Kiini tenses as he awaits the 'yes!' answer he hopes to get.

"Wait, I.." Too late, the lioness is gone. Dangit." The elder male shakes his head and sighs, deciding that just curling up is probably the best option right now. "Mmf."

Matoke doesn't seem to have any sort of emotional reaction to the words she says about her mom, it's just a statement. "Sure!" she responds to Kiini's offer, crouching slightly.

"At least, so he thinks," Balana says lowly to Nyunya, winking a little bit. "But I guess I should ask… despite having been a rogue, and all your complaints about how you'd not fit in, and blablabla… do you think you'd be able to do it?" She looks over towards Kesonam after a moment, and perks. "You doing alright over there, Kes?"

Kiini starts to grr playfully, crouching down himself after seeing her do just as much. His little tail snakes back and forth behind him, eyeing up his new playmate. Then all at once, he pounces at the girl!

Nyunya shrugs, "I can. I can do anything I put my mind to," she admits. "I'm tough. Really." She offers a gentle smile.

"..Not really, Bal.", he grumbles out from his spot, ears perking forward to catch her reply if she chooses to. "M'just not all here at the moment."

Matoke watches Kiini intently for a moment, but seems to be taken off-guard when he pounces at her. She lets out a bit of a giggle, lifting her forepaws to try and swat at Kiini as he makes contact.

Balana picks herself up, giving a nod to Nyunya to invite her to follow, moving to lay down next to Kesonam. She lowers her head to give him a bit of a nuzzle, though attention focuses on Nyunya. "Have you been keeping track of just who everybody is?" She nods aside at Kesonam. "Like who he is?"

Kiini doesn't seem to give up so easily though. He tries to get his paws around any part of Matoke that he can in an attempt to drag the other cub down with him.

Nyunya briefly glances to the cubs and then looks to Balana. "Kesonam, I believe?" she offers. "Nabana's…son I think? I admit keeping up with relations here is…sometimes trying."

Kiini has disconnected.

Kesonam mrps in light surprise as his field of vision is taken up by the sight of the lioness, brows furrowing in light confusion as he lifts his head to nose at her cheek. "..I didn't mean to interrupt ya, sis." He smiles, however. Infact he's almost beaming when he turns his gaze to Nyunya, even when she says that he's Nabana's son. Hm. "Siombe's. I'm Siombe's biological son."

"No interruption," she tells Kesonam, but can't help but laugh softly at Nyunya's response. "Right name, wrong father. My brother, not my grandson." What, does she look THAT old? Balana just shakes her head a little. "Relations is less important than names. Keeping track of what's going on in the pride and reporting to the king the important events, since he'd be dealing mostly with outside events."

Brief play session. Matoke finishes up with Kiini before she wanders back over and once again plops herself on Kesonam's foreleg. "That was Kiini," she reports to the elder lion.

Nyunya's head tilts and she smiles, "Ah something like that. I was close." Her weight shifts lightly, getting a little relaxed. "I see," she says to the last part with a light nod.

Kesonam blinks? and glances down as the cub reappears, depositing herself onto his foreleg. He pulls his foreleg away, instead curling it around the cub and pulling her close to his chest with a warm smile. "Gotcha.", he purrrs, giving the youngin' a kiss between the ears before looking back up towards the other lionesses near him. "Mmmf. I really don't know where I stand in the pride, honestly. I guess I just live here."

Matoke lets out a bit of a squeal as the lion pulls her close, and giggles slightly. She sounds pleased.

Balana grins softly over at Nyunya. "Can be difficult sometimes, but it just kind of… involves checking up on others every few days if possible, reporting back to Mzo if anything major is going on, including visitors… basically just any domestic issues are reported to you, which in turn to the king if they involve him, sometimes just directly handling things." She looks aside at Kesonam. "What, a resident of the valley?"

Nyunya gives a light little nod, settling in. "You know he'll just sleep through everything I tell him," she teases softly, though lets out a yawn herself.

"Yeah, a resident. Sounds more like it.", he smiles upwards at the old lioness and offers a nose to her shoulder before turning his attentions back to the cub he seems to have caught, tilting his head in and pressing his cold nosepad between her ears, foreleg still wrapped securely around her. "M'glad you decided to stay here, kid. It's good to see ya runnin' around with a smile on your face."

"The, er… Tangaza said we could be friends," Matoke responds to Kesonam. "And the bush lion too. And I think Kiini would be friends with me too. And you're nice." Her ears flatten. "Even if now there's a mud /king/," she says with disdain.

Balana smirks, leaning to give Nyu a nuzzle. "Well, you think on it. It's just one of the things I'll have to talk to Mzo about." She looks back to Kesonam, head tilting. "Do you want to just be a resident? I mean… well, you're not /that/ isolated from the rest of the pride, you know."

Nyunya smiles and returns the affection before she settles in. "I think I'll nap," she murmurs, starting to doze right off.

Nyunya has disconnected.

"..With Mzohari being the new king and all, is there even space for me to be an active participant in the pride? I might be a bit too old, m'dear." The elder sighs, letting his head drop to fall into his mane, but he can't help but smile again at the cub's words. "Least ya think I'm nice.."

Balana smiles gently to Kesonam. "Well, what difference does it make with Mzo as the new king, except that the decisions are his now?" She tilts her head. "Besides, you said earlier that you didn't want to leave me or the valley, so… really, what's to lose?"

Matoke lifts a paw to pat it at Kesonam's foreleg. "Does that mean I have to do what the stupid mud lion tells me now?"

"..You know the saying, Bal. Out with the old, in with the new." Even as he quotes that the male gets a rather.. nasty scowl on his face, glancing over towards the younger males and females sleeping nearby. "..I used to laugh at those words, but now I really don't like hearing 'em." The cub's poking gets his mind back to a more pleasant mood. "Huh? Oh, yeah." The lion dips his head in and nuzzles the cub's cheek, chuckling. "You have to do everything he tells ya. Within reason, of course."

"Oh pff," Balana tells Kesonam, leaning to nuzzle at him. "You know very well that this pride is made up of a mix of family and refugees and those who just want a haven and a family to be a part of. Sounds to me that you fit the bill pretty well."

Matoke grumbles a little bit. "Alright, but I don't have to like it," she says, grumpily settling down.

Kesonam lifts his free paw and wraps it around the top of the lioness's neck, tilting his head to nip playfully at her cheek with a low, rumbling chuckle. "I guess you're right.. but since Mzo's king now, what's YOUR position now in the scheme of things?" His foreleg gives the cub a quick squeeze, shhing. "You'll learn to like it eventually. Mzo's a nice guy once you get to know him."

Matoke hmmphs, closing her eyes as she settles down to sleep. It was an eventful day… and now she's got to figure out just what she's going to do about this mud king thing.

Balana leans her head against Kesonam. "I guess you didn't hear me talking to Nyunya. Right now I'm… I guess you'd call it the outgoing queen. One thing, though… I'm definitely the matriarch of this family, no matter what my pridal title is. I'll be working on handing over my duties to Nyunya and possibly Mtala."

Matoke has disconnected.

When the cub conks out he relaxes his grip a bit, smiling and pressing his head warmly against the female's. "Well, since you'll no longer be queen in title, that gives you.. well, a lot more free time, doesn't it?"

Balana's tail flicks about behind her. "Oh… after a bit, it will. Right now my time might actually become a little less free as I work on passing my duties over."

Kesonam glances around for a moment and leans up to nose around the female's ear, his voice turning hushed and quiet as he whispers to the lioness.

Tarikhi slowly comes into view, travelling from the waterfall.

Tarikhi has arrived.

Kizingo has arrived.

Tarikhi enters, with Kizingo walking along next to her.

Balana smiles gently down at Kesonam. "Now haven't you realized that by now? Of course."

Moving back through the valley to where she left the group, Tarikhi is leading Kizingo along. Hopefuly he's still awake.

THat makes the lion smile for sure, nodding as he settles his head back down to the ground with a sigh, eyes sliding shut as he starts to doze off. "Good.. because I've got some plans for it."

Kesonam has disconnected.

With the last of those awake drifting off, Balana just lays her head down against Kesonam's mane and stares off into the valley, letting her mind wander for the moment.

Well, there everyone is! Hrm.. guess it makes sence for the sake of this presentation he missed. Damn it. He cares for his brother and would not have wanted to miss such a thing. Don't these things usually have some lead up that he'd have caught wind of? Kizingo stashes those thoughts for now, hurrying past Tarikhi to head to where Balana and Kesonam lay, grunting deeply so his approach is clear.

Tarikhi lets Kizingo move past her, for the moment falling in line behind him and moving closer, but not too close.

Yes, there does seem to have been some sort of gathering, given that everybody is resting within a pretty close area. Usually they do have a lead up, but apparently Siombe just… decided it was time. Hearing Kizingo's grunt, Balana lifts her head up, startled from her thoughts, and gives him a soft grunt in return.

A bunch of thoughts and questions fling through his head just then, all of which he rattles away with a shake of his head.. no.. no.. later. "Mother… is Kesonam alright?" he calls as he hurries nearer, arriving at his mother and uncle a few moments after, slowing just before reaching them, head diped down to meet hers.

Tarikhi simply moves to sit down near where Kesonam and Balana lay, staying out of the way.

As her son asks about Kesonam, Balana's ears fold back, leaning to give Kizi a light headbutt. "No," she says softly. "He's apparently been suffering from on and off headaches as of late. Said they've been getting worse, and tend to be just after he wakes or gets up." She looks down at Kesonam for a moment, then back to Kizingo. "Yesterday he passed out from it. Said it felt like he'd gotten an elephant tusk through his head."

Kizingo slides his bulk down to lay right there after meeting Balana's head nudge, eyes looking over the now resting old male with a thoughtful note in his throat, ears slanted back, tail twitching stiffly behind him, "Headaches are the hardest thing to place a reason for." he states right away, meeting his mother's gaze. "I can give him a few things when he wakes next to help with the pain and possibly ease any ailments he has out, but you have to realize.. being as old as he is lends to weaker health." which, of course, applied to her directly.

"I know," Balana says softly. "I know." The lioness lets out a faint sigh, shaking her head a little. "Kes… already spoke to Mzohari about what he wants done if he deteriorates too far." She keeps meeting Kizingo's gaze, nonetheless. "But as I told him, talking to you certainly couldn't hurt anything."

Kizingo nods his head once, quite simply, shifting his weight to push up into a seated posture so soon after having laid down, "I'll see if I can't contact my mentor, too.. just to be sure." his tone suggests doubt at this. He has not seen the golden cat since before his last journey, so the likelihood is grim. This added to what else has been on his mind leaves his eyes rather faded at the moment.

Balana casts a glance aside at Tarikhi for a moment before she turns to look at Kizingo again. "I'm not sure if you heard, Kizingo, but Dad passed the kingship on to Mzohari earlier this evening," she says softly. "Just Mzohari." In short, Nabana was glossed over.

Kizingo also looks at Tarikhi when mother does likewise, grunting lightly as he realizes he's nearly forgotten her, head gesturing for her to come set closer to his side, inclined to make his affections towards her be known, after all. "Tarikhi told me about that… isn't Nabana.. well.. the more likely condidate?" at least by his figuring.

Tarikhi gets to her paws and turns to move to sit down next to Kizingo, though like she did with Matoke near last night, she leaves a slight bit of space between them.

At his questioning, Balana's expression goes a bit grim. "To be honest, I'm… not fully sure on your elder brother's state of mind these days," she admits. "He was off causing trouble with the Tsavo again about a moon ago, and apparently almost fought with a pregnant lioness while just on their side of the border. I'm not sure if he's completely… well… stable."

Kizingo sounds a soft note to that, diping his head once.. He never really connected with Nabana.. not that he's connected with anyone beside Balana, Sirima, and, just recently, Tarikhi. "Well.. do you feel that Mzo is the best choice?" he then asks, feeling that pang of jelousy again, which he grunts away, passing a kind glance at Tarikhi, letting her have a bit of space stil..

Tarikhi has disconnected.

Balana glances off towards the waterfall cliff after a moment before she looks back at Kizingo. "Given recent events, and the way Nabana's been behaving towards the Tsavo… yes." She sighs, shaking her head. "I just don't feel I can really trust him."

Well, this sort of answers the long running question over who was in charge here.. all this time he figured it was Balana.. seems it was actually Siombe, and now his brother. Hrm. "Then why'd you allow this?" he asks in a softened tone after a short delay as he considers his mother, another glance given towards Tari just then, only to find she's laid down and dozed off… hrm.

Balana looks a little bit confused. "I don't feel I can really trust Nabana, not Mzo," she clarifies. "I know part of it has got to be his lingering pain at the fact that Sayt was killed while protecting the Tsavo… but that doesn't mean he can go over there and potentially endanger the rest of us."

"Oh.. oh.. okay." he had wondered what might've brought mother to distrust Mzo. A simple nod of his head then follows, "Well.. hopefully Nabana will find a better place for himself." is all he can say to that subject since psychology is not his area of experience.

Balana lowers her head down to her paws. "Kings, I hope so… He'll definitely be among the things that I discuss with Mzo when I see him next. I had suspected that this might be the case, but I don't know if Dad said anything to Nabana beforehand or not." She shakes her head. "I figure this will either knock him back to his place… or make things worse with him. I'm not prepared to deal with the latter."

Kizingo wishes he could help with that somehow, but there's not a chance he could, so he can only lower his head and touch her shoulder gently with a comforting rumble, "Well.. it had to happen.. Mzo seems to be the ideal choice for being a leader for Kopje.. not that my word has much meaning, of course.. and he -is- my brother after all." he -almost- says 'younger brother', but decides not to at the last moment.

"I know." The elder lioness nuzzles Kizingo warmly. "Your word has meaning, dear. You two may not always get along, but I don't think any siblings do." That said, though, Balana closes her eyes. "I need to rest. It's been an eventful evening… and I need to be sure I'm rested as discussions and getting other business taken care of takes place."

Tangaza comes slowly down from the top of the valley to join you.

Tangaza has arrived.

Tangaza comes back down to the plain deeper in the valley after his rather long and stubborn nap from before. It took him awhile to eventually come back down, even after being awakened by the roars awhile ago. He looks around tosee who was up and who he could pester about his questions of what happened.

Kizingo could rabble about lots of things on that subject, but her just lets it all go, lowering himself down to lay as well. A glance is given at Tarikhi beside him once again before then murmuring, "I think I may've found a place for my heart to rest, mother." before she can get too far into going to sleep just yet.

Balana doesn't yet see Tangaza making his way in, but Kizingo gets a curious look as the elder lioness' eyes open up again. "Oh? And just where is that?"

Kizingo doesn't notice the young male till mother does, also glancing that way but then immediately focused back on his mother's eyes, "Tarikhi and I.. well.. I haven't felt so comfortable with anyone since… Sirima." speaking her name is still difficult, but he managed to get it out.

A brief glance is given over towards Tarikhi as Kizingo mentions her, before Balana looks back to him. "I'm glad to hear that, Kizi," she tells him honestly. "I haven't seen much of her, to be frank, she seems pretty shy. But she seemed nice, as far as I could tell."

Tangaza quickly figured out that the only ones awake were Grandma and Kizzy talking over there. And since he hadn't been noticed yet Tanga took his time walking over to join them at Balana's paws, where he plopped down, listening to what they were talking about first. Before he started blurting out his own questions.

Kizingo nods his head a couple of times, leaving the matter at that as it's evident from his mother's eyes that she's tired.. best to leave this for another day, but he figures it good to put that out there so that she knows that he's been better off than usual lately. A supple lick dabs over her cheek ruff before he rests his head down and settles in to rest, though not before murmuring a kind note to the young lion that joined them.

Yes, she's looking tired. However, her grandson's appearance gets her attention before she shuts her eyes again. "Well hello there, Tanga. Decided to come see what all the noise earlier was about?"

Tangaza smiles back to the older male, returning the note iwth a soft mew. Then Grandma's question came and Tanga nods his head "Yeah, What happened? There was a lot of roaring."

Balana smiles sleepily over to Tangaza. "Yeah. That was just the pride celebrating your uncle Mzo taking over as king."

Tangaza blinks, not expecting to hear that from his grandmother. Uncle Mzo is the king now? Did something happen to Siombe? Is he OK?" IT felt awkward even thinking of not having that old lion as king anymore. Ever since he was born it was that way and it always seemed like it would just always be so.

Kizingo has disconnected.

Balana gives the boy a soft nod. "Yes, he's alright. He just… well, he's old, dearheart. So am I. It was just… time for Mzohari to take over. You get older and bigger, and so does everybody else. Well, now Mzohari's old enough."

Tangaza nuzzles against the lioness when she called herself old. She wasn't that old, although shew as the second oldest thing he knows, Siombe was still older than her. "What about Papa? Isn't he older than uncle Mzo? How come Siombe didn't let him be king? I think He would be a great king. Hes the best." Tangaza says with all the bias of a child.

Truth be told, Kesonam's older than she is too. "I… really don't know, Tanga. I didn't speak to him about his decision. I'll be talking to Mzohari tomorrow… so I suppose Dad told him just what was going on." Balana furrows her brow a little bit, and she's quiet as she looks at Tangaza for a moment. "I think… your dad could use your help," she says finally.

Tangaza tilts his head listening, "He could?" Tanga asked excitedly, glad to get a chance to help but also a little cautiously, the alst time he tried to help didn't turn out so well.

"Yes," the lioness says softly. "Deep down, even though he looks happy sometimes… he's sad, Tanga. He hurts." How to best explain this… After a few moments of thought, Balana goes on. "Has anyone ever told you about Sayt?"

Tangaza frowns at the things he was being told, thinking about Nabana being sad didn't exactly make him feel any better, automatically blaming himself a bit for the unhapiness. He shakes his head. "No.. Who is that?" he asks slightly more detached than before but still too curious.

Balana pauses again before going on. "Sayt was your older brother. He was about as old as Mzohari, and was an adult before you were born." She gives a nod off towards the Pride Lands. "He fell in love with Mtukutu's daughter, and chose to live with the Tsavo. Unfortunately, their pride was attacked by another pride, and while helping defend the Tsavo, Sayt was killed. It wasn't Mtukutu or anybody in the Tsavo's fault, because they were there helping Sayt fight… but it made your dad very sad. Instead of being upset against the other pride, who he doesn't know, he got mad at Mtukutu and the rest of the Tsavo. This all happened before you were born, so it's been a while ago… but I think Nabana is trying to get back at Mtukutu for something that wasn't his fault."

Tangaza listens attentively, scooting in closer to the elder lioness as she was explaining it all to him. He thought over all of it, doing his best to follow along, just one major question he couldn't answer himself. "But… What can I do?" the question comes out eventually, Tang still trying to help out as much as he could.

Here the lioness smiles, reaching out a paw to wrap it lightly around the young lion. "Well, you see, Tanga… Sayt was your parents' only child until you and your siblings came along. You guys were kind of another chance for them." She curls her tail about her haunches. "And I think Nabana's gotten so concerned with trying to get back at the Tsavo that sometimes he forgets to be happy that you're here. Not that he doesn't love you, or that you don't make him happy when you're there, but sometimes it's hard to remember to be happy when you're as sad as he is. What you can do is to help remind him that you're his son too, and you're here and you love him, as does the rest of the pride."

Tangaza just barely nods along, almost unnoticably so. Balana was really good at talking with cubs because the first thing that sprang from the young one's mouth was "Where is he?" suddenly missing his father a whole lot more now, not sure exactly what he would do when he got there but knowing that he should go.

Seasons of experience with her own cubs and grandcubs helps. "He went to talk to Mtala, I believe," Balana says. She flicks her tongue out to lick his cheek. "For now, Tanga, just spend some time with him. But in time, I might tell you some things to ask him that'll hopefully make him think and help realize that being mad at Mtukutu won't make him feel any better. Okay?"

"Well where is she?" Tanga asks as the tongue comes to lick his cheek where he stays still, not wanting to disrupt Balana. "Ok." he agrees with another nod. "It'll make Dad happier right?" the last of his questions shoot out to seek for a last bit of reassurance.

Balana looks into Tangaza's eyes. "We're sure gonna try, dearheart. And I happen to know that you kids have a certain magic touch sometimes in the way you say things that doesn't always work if we adults say it. The most important thing right now is to remind him that you, the rest of your siblings, and your cousins are all depending on him." She gives a nod over towards Lukesia and Siombe's place. "I think they took off that way."

Tangaza smiles, turning away and saying "Thanks Grandma" before he started heading off in the direction she told him to go in. He was moving at a decent pace for the first time today, done with the slow and sluggishness for now.

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