12/03/09 - Queens and Successions


  • Mzohari, lion, king of the Kopje Valley
  • Tarikhi, lioness, Kopje pride member
  • Matoke, lioness, Kopje pride member
  • Jumdu, lioness cub, daughter of Kiini and Vikali
  • Kimada, adolescent lioness, daughter of Kesonam and Mzuhali
  • Badiliko, lion, Kopje guardian
  • Korzar, adolescent lion, son of Mzohari and Kasjari
  • Balana, elder lioness, Mzohari's mother
  • Mthama, lioness, Kopje pride member
  • Itumele, juvenile lion, son of Siombe and Balana
  • Kasjari, lioness, mate of Mzohari
  • Kikora, adolescent lioness, girlfriend of Korzar
  • Khairi, lion, nephew of Mzohari
  • Mzuhali, lioness, daughter of Mzohari and Nyunya
  • Mzozo, adolescent lion, son of Kesonam and Mzuhali

TLK Balana - Thursday, December 03, 2009, 7:07 PM

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

To the [K]opje [V]alley [Climb] up to the Promontory

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

You can see…
[IC ] Jumdu
[IC ] Kimada
[IC ] Uzo
[IC ] Itumele
[IC ] Badiliko
[IC ] Matoke
[IC ] Tarikhi
[IC ] Korzar finally has a new desc! Wh00t!
[IC ] Mzohari

He stands in silence, just beside the edge of the pool — the heels of his back paws just a few inches shy of the lapping waves. Save for the mild shifting of his mane in the breezes wafting off the waterfall, Mzohari is still — head high, ears pressed forward, listening. The last echoes of his roar are dying away, either stifled by the walls of the Valley or rumbling off past the borders. But that's not what he's listening for .. He's waiting for the sounds of paws stepping across the soil.

That sounded important… Unsure what's going on, Tarikhi makes her approach from further in the valley, ears perked. Is this going to be one of those huge gatherings? Well… maybe she can stay out of the way of the main group.

Matoke follows not too far after Tarikhi, looking mildly grumpy. She was sleeping quite happily, and then someone goes macking a racket. Bah!

Kasjari has arrived.

Mthama pads in here from the valley, looking to relax.

Mthama has arrived.

From up in the caverns, one of the newest bunch of cubs comes wandering out, looking properly bewildered. Somebody was making a lot of noise! Jumdu blinks several times, staring down at the gathering crowd in a amazement. She has no idea who… well, any of them are, and as such just stops in her tracks and stares.

Kimada is in a very similar mindset to Tarikhi, in that she is a bit hesitant to respond. She knows the tones of her grandfather's roars, and that one sounded important .. and will likely draw out everyone of the pride. The idea of such a massive gathering intimidates her, but she won't be selfish enough to ignore it. So the dark-furred adolescent slips in .. though she keeps to the backdrop, offering a friendly but polite smile to the others before sitting herself down in a somewhat isolated area.

The strong pawsteps of Badiliko make fall in the Valley floor. His eyes are darker than usual, but he nonetheless senses the changes that the rain has wrought among the Valley. Being a good Guardian the white lion came back, though something is weighing on his mind as he takes his place amongst the space in front of Mzohari.

Korzar pads drearily down towards the waterfall, shaking away the last remnants of sleep… his father's roar has just woken Kor from a nap. He glances around at the rest of the pride, wondering why Mzohari had suddenly decided to gather the pride. Had something happenned? Korzar hadn't heard of anything important since he had returned from the volcano. He takes a seat several yards away, watching his father with his light-green eyes as he waits for him to speak.

Balana is following a few steps behind Badiliko, having accompanied the young lion back, and brought Uzo and Itumele in tow. For the moment she leaves the greeting to others, and goes to find herself a nice comfortable spot to stretch out in. This might take a little bit.

Limping in from the west comes Mthama. She no longer tries to hide the injury, but figures it will resolve itself. Her eyes are on Mzohari as she walks towards Balana, settling near the older lioness and sliding slowly to lie on her belly, supported by her left forepaw.

Itumele's approach is energetic, practically bounding after Balana. Of course, as he draws into the area and catches sight of the older males, he stops abruptly and moves to make himself comfortable by his mother.

He watches as, one by one, the pride begins to gather — and his heart swells at the sight of them. Most of the emotion shining in his pale eyes is love and thankfulness .. but there is a glimmer of sorrow as well, for reasons that only a few of them are aware of. But even that small measure of upset is mentally shaken off — as this definitely isn't the time to dwell on such things. Clearing his throat, Mzohari's self-consciousness is apparent as he prepares himself to speak to the group. He's definitely not used to having to address them as a whole, nor is he used to feeling like a spectacle. Well, that spotlight will be elsewhere soon enough! The thought bolsters him, and with his typical grin swinging across his muzzle, Mzo' says, "Thanks for coming .. Sorry if I disturbed anybody, but this is something that I've been meaning to do for a long time. Now that we're all back in the same place, I figure the time is right. The training that took place wasn't meant ONLY to prepare the adolescents for their
adulthood. It was also for me — for me to watch, and consider, and decide on who would be best suited to take the role of King once my time in the position is over."

Tarikhi hurries up to go claim a seat on the fringes, glancing around and seeing that there's at least one other who seems shy… but as it's not the time to worry about that, or her discomfort being here, Tarikhi settles down to listen.

Kimada looks increasingly inquisitive as her grandfather begins to talk, though that look soon changes to one of surprise .. even excitement .. as that last sentence is spoken. An heir! As the girl immediately knows that there is no chance this will directly involve her, she relaxes a little bit .. as much as her eagerness will allow her at least. Kim' may be prone to lingering in the shadows of the others, but that by no means makes her disinterested in the happenings of her family.

Hmm. Jumdu looks around for several moments and doesn't see her mother. Or her father! Most of the others are bigger than she is, except… catching sight of Itumele and Uzo near Balana, the female heads on down the kopje, trots right through the middle of the gathering over towards the other youth, and stares at the larger male cub.

Matoke puts her sulkiness away for the time being and contents herself with only being a little bit irritated at being woken up, settling a little ways off from Tarikhi. Hopefully they don't get another Mud King!

Badiliko looks up at the news. A surprise, but not a very large one to him. He gives a little bit of a smile, looking to see where Balana wound up at. He wouldn't dare to move to her right now, but knowing where she is would be very helpful to the new adult.

Kasjari pads in amongst the others, smiling softly and looking about at the family she's found, head bumping any number of folks as she moves closer to the group.

As his father begins to speak, any lingering traces of Korzar's sleepiness fade rapidly away. His ears perk up, and swivel forward, listening intently. Whoa… this was big news, and somewhat unexpected news for the young lion. Sure, his father was getting older, but he'd been the king for all of Korzar's life, and this was a big change. He glances around the circle of lions, trying to gauge who his father's choice may be. Soon, though, his eyes are again focused on Mzo', waiting for his father to begin talking once again.

Itumele's attention is focused on Mzohari. He was told on the way back that this was something important he should see… and it sounds like it's something about a new king! Oh, now this is exciting! Better than old rocks. However, as a younger cub comes over and stares at him, he glances at her out of the corner of his eye, and then lifts a paw to try and wave her away. "Shh. I'm trying to watch," he says to Jumdu.

Balana looks rather pleased with things at the moment, though her ears shift briefly at the vague sorrow that flits across Mzohari's features, brow furrowing slightly. She looks aside to give Mthama a smile, and Badiliko a nod. Other than that, she merely watches. This isn't the first time she's seen this, after all… far from it.

Mthama blinks. What? She looks straight over at Mzohari, but she says nothing, glancing also to the other lions in the gathering, and smiling at Itumele and Jumdu a little. Still, her attention and her ears are almost exclusively on Mzohari, her tail flicking about. A soft chuff is uttered over to Balana, and then the lioness's maw closes and turns back to the king.

Thankfully for all of them, Mzohari was never really prone to being long-winded .. especially in front of a crowd. In truth, he's ready to barrel through this as quickly as possible, just so there aren't so many eyes pointed in his direction. "I'd had someone in mind for awhile .. but I didn't want to be premature, since it's hard to make judgements about a lion's character when he's just a cubling. Or when he hasn't had very much experience with more adult-oriented duties. But now that enough time has passed, and that I've had the chance to see what I need to see, I'm more than confident that my intuition was correct." The lion's head dips in a nod, though the gesture seems to be made mostly to himself. Lifting his chin a little, his green eyes sift through the crowd .. landing first upon Kasjari, who is given a subtle and knowing wink .. before moving onward, finding those that they ultimately seeked. With a beckoning wave of his paw to come stand at his side, Mzo' says, "C'mon, Korzar. Your turn to be self-conscious."

Kasjari smiles softly and nudges Korzar's side.

Badiliko can't help but smile a little bit. He looks from Mzohari over to Korzar, one of the lions he knew since he first came to the Valley. If only it was appropriate for him to comment or congratulate, but instead he's going to show it through an approving look and smile.

Kimada is used to being patient, as it is part of her quiet nature. But there are always exceptions .. and this situation is one of them. As her grandfather explains the delay of announcing his decision, she has the urge to stand up and shout for him to get to the point already, and her front paws actually twitch a bit with her desire. But before teenage overeagerness gets the better of her, Mzohari says Korzar's name .. and Kim' turns to look at her similarly-aged uncle with a dazzling smile that contradicts her usual withdrawn expression.

Jumdu doesn't seem particularly concerned with Itumele's dismissal… and instead she continues on, winding her way amongst the crowd and looking at all of their faces in turn. She doesn't know a single one of them!

Wait… what? One moment, Korzar is eagerly anticipating the announcement of the new king, the next he is standing shell-shocked. Whatever he may have expected, it certaintly wasn't *this*. He makes a jerky movement, half-lifting a forepaw as if to rub one of his ears… could he possibly have heard that correctly? Finally, with his mom's prodding, Kor sluggishly begins to move towards Mzo', almost stumbling over a rock on his way, still recovering from shock. He eventually makes it to the spot next to his father, and he turns slowly to face the rest of the pride. Yikes. If Mzo' has some slight trepidations about speaking in front of the pride, Korzar's are tenfold that. Gulping, the usually confident young lion glances at his father, as if for guidance, before looking over the rest of the leonines present. "Wow," he says softly, before raising his voice. "I… ummm… I don't know what to say."

Itumele straightens himself up again, glancing to his mother for a moment, and then over at Mthama, who he whispers to a little too loudly. "Pssst… Is Korzar going to tell us who the new king is?"

Kikora pads in here from the valley, looking to relax.

Kikora has arrived.

Sleepyhead! Kikora had managed to incorporate Mzohari's roar into her dream, but it took her a while to fully wake up — and now that she's here, her brown eyes are wide and her ears are perked. Yikes, the whole -pride-! Unsure of what to do with herself, she moves toward Kimada and nudges the girl's shoulder with her forehead, taking a seat nearby, eyes scanning the crowd curiously.

Balana smiles knowingly as the young lion steps forward, though there's also a hint of mischief in her gaze. Thankfully Korzar is probably too overwhelmed to notice it… She glances aside as the latecomer arrives, and can't completely stifle a bit of a chuckle at Kikora's timing.

If Korzar had tripped over a rock on his way over, it would've been all too fitting — like father, like son, as they say. Mzohari's grin widens as he observes the stupified reaction of Korzar, and that in itself helps reaffirm his decision. Any lion that expects to be King, that feels that they have a right to a throne — from what he's learned, they don't make good leaders in the end. Trying to ease the young lion's discomfort, he whispers, "You don't need to say anything. Just stand there and look pretty." He tips his son a subtle, joking wink before looking back to the crowd. "That's not the only announcement I have to make, though. There's another tradition here in Kopje that's been procrastinated for a VERY long time. If I delayed telling all of you about an heir .. then I don't know if there's a word for how long I've put off telling you about another important position. A lot of you probably thought it was a job that was going to fall by the wayside, but I couldn't let my mother think I was a slacker." A raspberry that lasts only a split second is shot over to Balana, and then his gaze returns to one it landed on before with a smile that's nothing less than doting. "Kas'." He calls for her and then nods to indicate his side that stands empty, the other already occupied by their son.

Khairi pads in here from the valley, looking to relax.

Khairi has arrived.

Mthama smiles as Mzohari makes his announcement, but she turns to Itumele as he whispers loudly. "It is Korzar." she purrs, licking the cub. "Now shhhhh, he's going to talk." she rumbles, chuckling softly before she watches Mzohari again.

Jumdu looks up as someone else comes shuffling in, and glances about. "Maaa?" she asks out, maybe a little loudly during a moment of silence, but falls quiet again as she sees Kikora. That's not her mommy either!

Mzozo pads in here from the valley, looking to relax.

Mzozo has arrived.

Kimada looks aside to Kikora as the other young lioness sneaks in and tucks herself down close by. That smile remains strong on her muzzle and even she is not above a little adolescent teasing, for she murmurs to her friend, "Your boyfriend was just named heir." It's hardly out of her mouth before her grandfather says that he has more to share .. and she is unable to puzzle out his comments about whatever position until he asks for Kasjari. An heir and a queen! What next, knights of the round boulder? She giggles at the thought but continues to watch, enraptured.

Kasjari blinks softly, "Yes?" she asks, looking up at Mzo, perhaps not quite as stunned as Korzar, but still quite disbelieving.
"Ohhhh," Itumele whispers out to Mthama. "Thank you," he says in still a loud whisper, before his attention returns to Mzohari, and then Korzar. Boy, Korzar sure has gotten… big.

Kikora's bright eyes turn toward Kimada and she hisses out a "What?!" between her teeth. Her face is painted with an open expression of utter surprise and astonishment, and she glances over toward Korzar with this same expression. She quickly replaces it with a bright, proud grin, lifting a paw to give him a low, almost hidden wave of encouragement. It's taking all of her strength not to rush over to him and pounce him flat on the ground in happiness. For now, she wiggles next to Kimada and can't seem to wipe that goofy grin off of her face.

Mzuhali pads in here from the valley, looking to relax.

Mzuhali has arrived.

Khairi moves towards this area for a drink after being on patrol. But seeing the gathering he blinks then has a seat within earshot but out and away from the crowd.

Korzar's nerves begin to calm slightly, and a grin flickers across his muzzle at his father's comment. Phew… he's relieved he doesn't actually have to speak… he's not sure he would be able to verbalize a coherent sentence at the moment. Instead, as he begins to relax a bit, he glances quickly at the other pride members… although he's unable to hold anyone's gaze for more than a few moments… except for Kikora's. As he looks at her, his grin widens, and much of his tension fades. And look! The attention was already focused elsewhere, as Mzo' speaks his mother's name. Kor grins at Kasjari… wow! Mzo's announcements have starled more than one lion, it seems.

Just as he knew Korzar wouldn't expect being named heir .. he knew Kasjari wouldn't be expecting the reception of a title. As the lioness stands in place, Mzohari chuckles and lifts a forepaw — motioning to her to make her way out of the crowd, then patting the soil at his unoccupied side. "You get to come stand in front of everybody, too," he says. And then, his head tilts as he questioningly looks to Balana. "Is there anything you wanted to say before your former position is taken by another?" Mzo' really isn't sure if he's going about doing this whole thing the right way. But he figures that the King tends to the new King, and the Queen — or former Queen, in this case — tends to the new Queen.

Kimada's reply is just as hearty as Kikora's although it consists only of, "Shhh!" Under normal circumstances, the girl would likely be well on her way to discomfort in a crowd of this side, with the young lioness at her side practically bouncing in place. But she's far too caught up in the moment to remember her shyness .. so much so that she does not even notice Khairi's arrival. Instead she is busy watching Kasjari.

Khairi just blinks looking towards his grandmother Balana. He had no clue this was coming. Getting up he decides to move closer and more into view. Standing though he just focuses on the elder lioness listening intently if she has anything to say.

Kasjari blinks softly, her ears folding back tight to her skull as she hefts herself to her paws and steps up to the indicated place beside Mzo, smiling sheepishly out at all those gathered to witness this.

Balana looks at Mzohari as he looks addresses her, thinks for a moment, then looks at Kasjari. "You'll do fine, dearheart," she says with an approving nod. "Kopje suits you well. I do not believe we have a proper queenly initiation as we do for the kings…" she says with a sly smile at Mzohari, "…so we'll just have to save that one for Korzar. In all seriousness, however… I did not imagine in coming here that we would grow to so many. Wear the Kopje Valley Pride name in good health, and with pride."

Mthama is intensely interested now. She's never seen any sort of ceremony before. In the desert it was always very simple. You die, your body is given to the sands. Kings and Queens are chosen at birth. The ways of this pride are a little unfamiliar, and her interest is piqued. She sits up, grunting with the effort of using only one forepaw to do so, and she glances now at Kasjari.

Jumdu still has no idea what's going on in this big crowd of (to her) strangers. The cub, finally getting tired of standing, sits to her haunches at the back of the group and looks at the back of a bunch of heads.

Kikora is doing good by keeping as still as she is, though the urge to meet Kasjari and Korzar with loving nuzzles and headbumps is nearly overwhelming. She watches in anticipation, eyes skipping from Balana to Kasjari, and then from Mzohari to Korzar. They linger on him longer than the others. There will -definitely- be a pouncing in order for him once the ceremony is over!

Badiliko, who has been smiling up through Balana's statement, finds that his smile isn't as bright a moment later. Something is *definitely* eating away in his mind, and given the time and place this isn't an appropriate area to be discussing. Instead, he tries to share in the joy of the Valley Pride.

Kasjari smiles warmly and bows her head respectfully to Balana, "Thank you," she murmurs softly. Raising her head she looks to Mzo and promptly buries her face in his copious mane.

The implications of Mzohari's announcement have yet to hit Korzar, as he is still only just recovering from shock. The responsibilities, duties, traditions… all that will come to the forefront of Korzar's mind sooner or later. But, for now, he isn't focused on any of that… Balana's comment about initiation has piqued his curiosity. Was this it… or was there more? However, he remains silent, instead just soaking in the moment, trying to forget his fears and worries. His eyes find their way back to Kikora, where they linger momentarily, before he again looks to his father, wondering what came next.

He has been quiet and still while the two lionesses — the old Queen and the new Queen — speak to each other, though his smile swells again as Balana mentions the improbability of the pride becoming what it is today. Who would've thought that the straggly group that gathered in Utatu would ultimately become this? Though as Kasjari turns to burrow into his mane, his head lowers so that he can nose between her ears — before a gentle bump of his cheek is made over one of her ears, encouraging her to show her face again. "Almost done," he murmurs. "Last step is to, y'know, make a bunch of racket. It's the Kopje way, after all. Me first, then you, then our son .. and then get ready to stuff your paws in your ears." A muffled chuckling is made, before Mzo's head swings the other way to whisper into Korzar's nearest ear, to essentially say the same thing. "Only thing you have t'do now is use your lungs. Me first, then your mother, and then you — then we wait for the others to answer. Then you're done being embarrassed!" Knowing that both his mate and his son are all-too-eager to be finished .. Mzo' moves a step forward, as not to deafen both of them, before releasing another hefty roar.

~ Mzohari holds his head high and ROARS!

Kasjari smiles and draws her head back, kissing Mzo's cheek before she joins him…

~ Kasjari holds her head high and ROARS!

Balana looks down to Itumele, giving him a nudge with her paw. "After Korzar, as loud as you can…"

Yes! The end of this ceremony is nearing… and all Korzar has to do is roar. He prepares, taking a deep breath… after all this *needs* to be the loudest roar of his life… and he joins in with his father and mother…

~ Korzar holds his head high and ROARS!

Balana glances about. "Alright, make sure they hear us in Uzima!" And she joins in.

~ Balana holds her head high and ROARS!

Kimada is also a newcomer to such ceremony .. though in her case it is because of her age. But she has heard the stories, and after her grandfather steps forward to roar, followed by Kasjari and Korzar, she knows what is expected of her. Even so, quick glances are stolen to either side, as she is not even sure what sort of sound is going to come from her mouth since she has never truly tried to roar before. Well .. here's hoping it is not some sort of squeak! Filling her lungs, Kim' releases a roaring .. one so loud that it startles even her.

~ Kimada holds her head high and ROARS!

Khairi grins at all of this and after three roar he steps up letting out an answer to them. "Long live King Mzohari, Queen Kasjari, and Prince Korzar!"

~ Khairi holds his head high and ROARS!

Itumele joins in with the adults! …although his is far from an actual roar.

~ Itumele lets out a small cry.

Badiliko's eyes close and he sighs. This was his family, after all. He smiles and takes in a breath before letting out his own roar—the first one of adulthood and as strong as the rest of his body.

~ Badiliko holds his head high and ROARS!

~ Kikora holds her head high and ROARS!

Jumdu blinks as everyone else suddenly starts roaring… but hey, she knows this game!

~ Jumdu lets out a small cry.

~ Mzozo holds his head high and ROARS!

~ Mzuhali holds her head high and ROARS!

~ Tarikhi holds her head high and ROARS!

~ Matoke holds her head high and ROARS!

Mthama smirks, and she lifts her head as well, her roar a somewhat higher pitch. Because she's weird. Anyway, just yelling feels pretty good, and Mthama's not above making noise when she can, despite being relatively quiet usually.

~ Mthama holds her head high and ROARS!

His ears, which had flattened back in the face of all that noise, slowly relax as the last of the pride's roarings melt away. Releasing a contented rumbling, Mzohari nudges his shoulder against his son's. "Go talk to Kikora before she explodes," he says with a laugh, his attention then divering to Kasjari as he simply plops his haunches down right where he is. He's done with his announcements, and his reversion back to his laid-back self says as much. "Weren't expecting that one, were ya?" he asks with a mischevious grin, the tuft of his tail snapping over the sandy soil.

Some of Kikora's nerves are calmed once she finishes her congratulatory roar, though she's still quite excited about the whole thing — and when Mzohari nudges Korzar, the girl hops to all four paws and rushes over to meet him, bumping her head against his own, rubbing her cheeks against his face. "Wow! And to think of all the trouble we got in as cubs …" she grins, stepping back to regard Korzar appreciatively. "…and now you're gonna be the -King-, Korz!"

Tarikhi gives a bit of a smile towards Mzohari, Kasjari, and Korzar… and as quietly as she came, Tarikhi heads on back to the valley.

Tarikhi decides to walk to the Valley

Tarikhi has left.

Matoke lets out a yawn and follows shortly after Tarikhi to go resume her sleeping. She was woken up for that?

Matoke decides to walk to the Valley

Matoke has left.

Badiliko smiles once more and approaches the Royal Family of the Pride. As soon as he can get a headbump in he attempts to do so with Korzar first. "Congratulations, Korzar. You're going to be a great King for the pride someday."

As things seem to be breaking up, Jumdu gets up and heads back up towards the caves. Maybe mommy is in there!

Kimada lets out a sigh of relief as it would seem that the business at hand is finished. Looking after Tarikhi, she decides to follow the lioness's example and she stands .. to slip off in silence in the same way that she arrived.

Kimada decides to walk to the Valley

Kimada has left.

Jumdu begins the climb up to the promontory

Jumdu has left.

Mthama considers getting up and heading over to the group of royals, but finds it seems a bit awkward, and she stands, paw dangling, before sitting back down again and watching them. Silently.

Mzozo begins the climb up to the promontory

Mzozo has left.

Balana gets to her paws and shakes out her pelt, turning to move towards Kasjari, Korzar, and Mzohari. She'll hang back for the moment, but congratulations are in order, after all!

Mzuhali begins the climb up to the promontory

Mzuhali has left.

Kasjari smiles and bumps her shoulder against Mzo's, grinning up at him, "You still manage to surprise me now and then," she comments to him. She grins at Korzar, having seen the state of Kiko as well, giving him a nuzzle before he can slip away. She smiles warmly at Badi when he nears, bumping her head to his fondly.

Itumele looks up at his mother for a moment, but she gets up and slips away before he can say anything to her. Rats! Well, Mthama's still right by him… he reaches out to nudge at her foreleg with a paw, practically grinning from ear to ear. "That was soooooooooooooo cool!"

Khairi moves towards the trio giving Korzar a nod and grin. "Congratulations!" Then moving on to Kasjari he gives her a nuzzle, "AM proud to call you my queen." Looking then towards Mzohari he gives him an affectionate bump against his shoulder, "About time Uncle." he winks playfully before stepping aside for others.

Badiliko, as the opportunity arises, turns to Kasjari and headbumps her. "Congratulations, mom. Now you have the title to match you," he says approvingly, though it'd be clear to her that something else is bothering him and he's doing his best to not let it get anybody else down.

"I might be gettin' older, but I try not t'be too boring!" Mzohari notes with another laugh, idly stretching out one of his forelegs — before his eyes move away from Kasjari to land upon Khairi. With a grin, his nephew's head-bump is returned with a nudge of his forehead to the younger lion's shoulder. "Shaddap," he replies with a chortling snort, tail lashing. "You're one to talk about takin' time to do things .. When're you gonna find a nice lioness so we can have some new cubs around here, hmm?" He winks teasingly, though he looks past his nephew for a moment as he hears his half-brother crow at Mthama. Both of them are sent smiles, although he remains seated where he is for now.

The ceremony over, Korzar just stands there, not entirely sure what to do with himself. Things would certaintly be… different, now. Still, as his dad nudges him, and Kiko comes running over, Korzar's muzzle breaks into a grin. "I know," he says, snickering softly, nuzzling Kikora warmly as she arrives. "I was… surprised." He grins, nodding and head-bumping Badiliko after he speaks. "Thanks, Badi." With a look around, he adds, "I'm going to go take a walk for a bit… I'll be back soon." Kor needs to get away from everyone for a little while, just to clear his head… today has been one of the most important of his life. With a final head-bump for anyone nearby, Kor makes to pad up towards the valley… but pauses just after he takes his first step. He moves over towards Kikora, nuzzling her once again. "Hey… meet me at the edge of the valley in a little while," he whispers, before breaking away and bounding up the slope towards the center of valley.

Korzar has disconnected.

Mthama leans over to nose at the juvenile, smiling. "It was cool." she agrees. "Maybe we should go give our congratulations." she remarks as she stands and limps over there, dipping her head to the royal family. "Well, it seems congratulations are in order Korzar, and Kasjari." she rumbles.

Balana looks after Korzar as he wanders, and gives him his space. She can congratulate the youth later. For now, though, she wanders up alongside Mzohari and rubs her cheek along his shoulder. "Are you trying to see how many times I can go between here and the volcano before I keel over," she asks him as she gives him a nip.

Kasjari blushes softly, so many faces and friends pressing up. She nuzzles and headbumps and smiles broadly, "Thank you," she murmurs numerous times. She nuzzles Khairi back, happy for his approval. She grins at Badi, "I just hope I can fill the title properly," she comments, smiling to him, "Don't leave til I get to talk to you," she chides him. She smiles and noses Balana as she passes, grinning to her. She bobs her head to Mthama, "Thanks, I hope I don't disappoint," she says with a bashful grin.

Badiliko nods to Kasjari, telling her "I'll be by the incline." He smiles and bumps her once more before turning around and, just as he said, starts to head in the opposite direction. He smiles at everybody, though as he passes by Balana his smile is a little weaker. He looks down as he walks on towards the inner edge of the Valley.

Kikora watches with a smile as Korzar heads off, and if she were furless, it would be more than obvious that she was blushing. She stands alone for a moment, calming down before turning toward Mzohari and Kasjari, her trademark grin plastered across her maw. She breaks into a silly little gallop, nuzzling against the pair happily, thrumming out a content pattern of chuffs. "Congratulations, mom." She smiles brightly at the older lioness, touching her nose against her cheek affectionately.

Badiliko decides to walk to the Valley

Badiliko has left.

"Yeah!" Itumele agrees as he gets up and moves to follow after Mthama. He's careful to avoid getting stepped on by all of the older ones, but blinks a few times as he goes past Mzohari. He's still big… but is he shrinking? He pads over to give Kasjari's foreleg a rubbing against. He doesn't know the lioness all that well, but knows she's helped bring him food. "We should do that more often!" he decides.

He now looks to his mother as she reaches him, leaving his son to slip away for some time to himself and his mate to be inundated with congratulations. "Hey, if you'd gotten there a little faster, you wouldn't have HAD to drag your wrinkled ol' behind back and forth any extra times," Mzohari replies, nipping at one of her ears. "What're you still doing over there, anyway? There shouldn't be anyone left by now."

Kasjari smiles and wrestles Kiko into a warm hug, "Thank you dear one," she murmurs warmly.

Mthama smiles and she looks over at Itumele. "Come here, I saw something on your fur." she smirks, and she looks back up at Mzohari, Balana, and Kasjari. "Hmmm…a good ceremony calls for a hunt." she grins, setting the hurt paw done. "You know, a nice juicy lion. Maybe a rhino." she jokes.

Balana smirks and sticks her tongue out at Mzohari, moving over to give Kasjari a soft headbump. "Congratulations… if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. And remind me to plot with you later about that son of yours," she says with a grin, then turning back over to Mzohari. "I'm taking time to show Uzo and Itumele around the volcano, and I filled in Badiliko about the history of the volcano involving the Kumalo," she says as she settles to her haunches next to her son.

Kasjari has disconnected.

Itumele looks slightly confused up towards Mthama. "In my fur? Uh… what?" he says as he glances back at his pelt, and then starts to move over to Mthama. "What's going on?"

His forepaws splaying, Mzohari eases his weight down until he's resting comfortably on his belly — still on the semi-sandy earth of the pool's shore, since he hasn't bothered moving himself since concluding the ceremony. Tipping an ear to his mother as she explains her continued presence in the Volcano, the lion's head bobs in a nod. "I see," he replies. "Well .. guess I'll see you whenever you get back again. Hopefully you can make it another couple times without breaking a hip." He grins impishly, before stifling a yawn as he sets his chin down along his front legs — lazily watching the interactions of the others.

Mthama lies down and lifts her uninjured paw. "Yeah, riiiiiiiight….here!" and her pawtoes wiggle on Itumele's side to tickle at him, as she feels bored and a little playful.

Itumele blinks slightly as he keeps trying to look at his pelt… and then startles as Mthama reaches out to tickle at him, attempting to dart away. "Hey!" he says with a bit of a giggle.

Balana settles down next to Mzohari. "It may be a while… or some goings back and forth. Badi is interested in learning more about the volcano…" she says, but then looks over towards Mthama as she reaches out towards Itumele. "Hey, keep her around. And make sure you get your other paw back into shape by the time Korzar steps in. That's part of kingly initiation!"

His head nudges up along his own foreleg as he tries to nod without putting in the effort of actually picking up his head. "Mm-kay," he mumbles to his mother, his eyelids already dangerously low. "Though that means I'll have t'help Kas' out if she needs any .. and that could be a bad idea." A drowsy laugh is snorted, before Mzo' finally gives up and simply closes his eyes. "Myeh. I'm goin' to sleep. Someone wake me up when s'time to go on my patrol." The last sentence is badly slurred as the lion is already mostly asleep by the time the last word makes it out of his muzzle.

Mthama giggles at Balana's words. "I get to tickle him to be king?" That actually sounds like fun, and she reaches out further to try and tickle Itumele again. "The paw'll get better. It's an old injury, I just bothered it is all." she says to the old queen.

Mzohari has disconnected.

Itumele giggles a little bit as he scampers back from Mthama, and lets out a bit of a yawn. "Can we play later? I think I need to rest."

Khairi marks this place with his scent.

Balana grins to Mthama. "Oh, it's part of the tradition! Siombe got it, Mzohari got it… Korzar has to have it as well. A pridal tickle," she says with a smile, and then stretches out next to Mzohari, making herself comfortable. Looks like it's going to be resting here tonight!

Mthama nods to Itumele. "Yes, we can." she smiles. "You can come sleep by me, though." and she looks up at Balana with a chuckle. "Sounds like a plan to me. I'll make sure the paw's healed by then." she smirks. "Can't miss out on my first pridal tickle, after all."

Itumele lets out another yawn… and since there's no big lions around to object, Itumele moves over and curls up alongside Mthama and drops to snoozing!

Itumele has disconnected.

Balana looks back over at Mthama with a smile. "Oh no. Of course… the real trick is to get in, get all the younger ones started, and then get out while everyone else is still going after him."

Mthama rumbles happily as Itumele settles alongside her, and she grins at Balana. "I'll remember that. That way I can't be blamed." she chuckles. "Though maybe I should just tickle through to the end." she smirks.

Balana glances down at Itumele with a smile, and then stretches out as she looks at Mthama. "So how have you been finding your time around the valley so far?"

Mthama smiles. "It's great here." she says happily. "Everyone's friendly, good food, water to swim in. Though I have picked up the habit of sleepwalking…" she hmms. "Besides that, and a few minor things, I couldn't be happier here."

Balana furrows her brow a little. "That's probably not too good for your paw… might want to see Kizingo about that," she says with a flick of her tail. "And I presume the boys have been treating you well? Young lions can get a little crazy…"

Mthama's ears flick. "It doesn't usually hurt my paw…it's just now I've rehurt it. I don't think it healed well the first time, and I was back on it too soon." she explains, and chuckles. "I don't have issues with any of the males. Not that I know many of them too well."

Balana grins. "Good. You never know with lions," she says, and then lets out a yawn as she stretches out. "Well, I think I'm going to get some rest. Have a good night, Mthama."

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