Alisha
ALISHA
Alisha.jpg
Name Meaning 'To set off, explode, create ripples'
Gender Female
Species Lioness
Age Adult
Birth Pride Vuma
Current Pride Kopje Valley
Rank Huntress

APPEARANCE

A mild gray cloaks the lioness, the hue like a cloud of low-lying fog during the earliest morning hour. But it is broken in many places. Charcoal, the color not quite an honest ebon, shades her upper eyelids and the tuft of her tail, and darkens the pad of her nose. Clean white is sported in many other areas, around her muzzle and along her stomach. Squarely between her ears is the beginning of a dorsal stripe, which flows in white along the entire arch of her spine. But the rims of her ears are also white, and the color flows in a line across the back of each ear towards the dorsal stripe, which each line ultimately joins and blends into. And finally, slashes of white follow the curve of each shoulder blade, starting on the outer fringes of her chest and then outlining the bone beneath, eventually cresting over the back of her neck to also join with the dominating dorsal stripe.

Her eyes are an electric blue, bright and brilliant, made even more outstanding considering the neutral backdrop of her body's colorations.

The lioness's build also sets her apart from her savanna-born sisters. Her figure is stocky rather than wiry, a trait which helps her maintain balance and grip upon uneven, rocky terrain. Her legs are thicker, her shoulders broader and her haunches more keenly layered with muscle. However, she still holds her own distinct feminine qualities, most notable in the way that she walks. She seems to be free of any major scars, save for a few nicks that have been long-covered by the length of her mist-colored fur.

HISTORY

Alisha and her brother, Zau, were born to a small pride which makes its home high in the mountains. The pride's high-altitude lifestyle involves not only a unique way of life, but also a unique coloration. To better blend in with their rocky surroundings, the cats are predominantly gray, though every now and then a cub is born whose pelt contains the faintest glimmer of gold. But such instances are extremely rare. In addition to the color of their fur, the general body shape of these mountain felines is different. Made for leaping and climbing across stones and rubble, rather than sprints across flat ground, they are stocky rather than slender. Shorter, wider legs and thicker muscle throughout their shoulders and haunches are typical, as are slightly longer tails. The pride, called the Vuma, is one of the few groups of leonines living in that particular area. As such, dominance of such a pride is quite valuable, and only the strongest of the mountain males manage to rule.

Alisha and Zau's father, Sadikisha, had inherited the pride from his own father several seasons before, and had proven to be a worthy ruler .. but not an invincible one. A band of rogue males from the farthest reaches of the mountains swept into the pride's territory one evening just as the sun was setting, intent on killing the adult lions and seizing the lionesses for themselves.

Fully aware that he was sorely outnumbered and out muscled, Sadikisha ordered the first young lion he came across to go after his daughter .. for Alisha had retreated from the pride only days earlier, to give birth to her first litter. The young lion was Zau, who did as his father commanded. Eventually finding his sister and her newborns, Ithabise and Kunge, Zau helped move them even farther from the site of the battle, and the four of them huddled in a thicket for an entire day.

Afterward, instructing Alisha to keep herself and the cubs well-hidden, Zau snuck back to the heart of Vuma territory. He found devastation, with all the grown males killed .. Sadikisha and Kisikusiku, Alisha's mate, amongst them. The young lions were missing, presumably having been run off, or perhaps chased down and slaughtered in more remote reaches of the territory. With a heavy heart, Zau retreated and returned to the thicket that held his sister, niece and nephew .. and told them it was time to go.

They walked for many moons, leaving the ruin of their former lives behind them. Eventually, they descended out of the mountains and onto flat grounds; and somehow, both of Alisha's cubs managed to survive. Weary of endless travel and hoping for a fresh start, the foursome decided it was time to find a new place to call home. Arriving at the western border of Kopje, Zau spoke to Mzohari on behalf of his family — and the King granted sanctuary to Alisha and her two cubs, and limited access to Zau while he helped patrol the Valley's borders. After a few weeks spent within the comforts of Kopje, Mzohari invited Alisha to join the ranks of his pride — an offer that Alisha gladly accepted. Her first few moons in the pride saw her settle into her new role as a group huntress, a part she had not played for a long time, and one made even more challenging by the fact that she is now hunting amongst grasses rather than boulders. All told, she adjusted well.

Not only has she become a valued member of the hunting party, but Alisha has also managed to find friendships amongst some of the Kopje lionesses — Kikora, Lutalo, and Mthama. But even more surprising to her was the interest one of the young Kopje lions showed in her — Maro, who himself was a newcomer to the pride. The two began spending quite a bit of time together, and eventually, exchanged pledges and became mates.

FAMILY

Name Sex Age/Species Relation Rank
Sadikisha Male Adult Lion Father Former King of the Vuma (deceased)
Imarisha Female Adult Lioness Mother Vuma Huntress
Zau Male Adult Lion Brother Guard
Maro Male Adult Lion Mate Guard
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