Gender Female
Species Lioness
Age Elder
Father Nabana (I)
Mother Kurana
Birth Pride Golden Lands
Past Prides Zari Bara, Celestial Volcano, Utatu, Natamba
Current Pride Kopje Valley
Aliases Bal, Lana
Current Rank Elder
Past Ranks Queen of the Zari Bara, Queen of the Kopje Valley
Current Status Old but Healthy


Balana has definitely seen a fair share of life. Her features show signs of age, the numerous grey furs intermixed into her pelt and the look in her eyes suggesting she's lived past her prime. A tawny color covers her topside, a lighter tawny/off white on the underside, as well as the inside of her ears. Her eyes are a deep brown, almost the same dark chestnut as her tailtuft. She's a bit leaner in muscle than she used to be due to her age, but still has plenty of strength to hunt with, and fight with if necessary. Her height continues to make her slightly taller than average, though it's really only noticeable when she pulls herself up tall. She has her fair share of scars, but there's only a few of them that seem to stand out. She carries herself with a certain confidence and nobility, revealing her past as a queen. Currently, she appears to be in good health for her age, though is often tired.


Balana was born in the Golden Lands' Pride, ruled by her parents Nabana and Kurana, along with her littermate Mtunga. They were young rulers, and the litter was the pair's first. As the older of the pair, Balana was named heir to the Golden Lands. Life was happy enough until Kurana was swept into the river and over the falls at the edge of the cliffs. Presumed dead, her mate Nabana fell into mourning and refused to carry out his pridal duties, barely eating. He had been with another of the pride's lionesses at the time, and blamed himself for not being there to save his queen. He was chased out of the pride by the lionesses. The cubs, not wanting to leave their last remaining parent, followed as he headed off into the desert. Weakened by a lack of proper nourishment as well as the trip through the desert, Nabana was killed by a rogue lion while attempting to protect his cubs.

Balana and Mtunga were left for dead by the rogue, but managed to find their way to the Pride Lands. The pair took shelter in a small sheltered spot in the gorge for the night. The next morning Balana went looking for something to eat, but when she returned with a meager meal, Mtunga was gone. With nowhere else to go, the lioness cub went looking for her brother, ultimately finding herself at the Pride Lands' waterhole.

Scared and lost, she ran into a lion cub there who offered to take her home with him. With nowhere else to go and no idea where Mtunga was, she followed the cub home. She was taken in by his adoptive parents: Amani, a panther, and Kilonda, a young lioness, who were unable to have cubs of their own and had taken to adopting lost children and siblings of many species, ranging from lions to jackals to birds. Balana found it more than a little unusual, but it was a source of shelter, food, and companionship, so she chose to stay. She took a particular liking to a lion cub by the name of Simbayo, who was born with a birth defect of having a partial mane as a cub.

With so many cubs to look after, Amani and Kilonda had a hard time keeping track of all of them. As a result, Balana often ventured out with other cubs or by herself, often back to the Pride Lands' waterhole. It was here that she met many friends, including the lion cub Nyanya. He found her crying at the water's edge after having been hit by an older lioness who accused Balana of stealing her love interest. He stood up for her, and the two quickly became friends. Nyanya, Simbayo, and Balana often hung around together, supervised only by a pair of meerkats, Kimya and Msondo, who had befriended Nyanya after finding out he was allergic to red meat. On one such outing, she was finally reunited with her brother Mtunga, who she brought back to Amani and Kilonda. Naturally, they adopted him too.

During one of the few times Kilonda went anywhere with Balana, the pair went to a large mountain surrounded by a bleak landscape. After disappearing into a cave in the side of the mountain, the pair moved into what turned out to be a dormant volcano. Kilonda introduced Balana to her father Siombe, a massive lion in his prime, and the only adult lion Balana had gotten near since her father was killed, taking a quick liking to her adoptive grandfather.

Kilonda's suicide shortly thereafter found her seeking comfort from Siombe, and taking up part-time residence in the volcano. When one of the lionesses of the volcano pride, Svelta, adopted her, Siombe followed suit. Though she enjoyed spending time around the pride and learning about pridal life, her independent streak often found her continuing to wander and explore with only the company of Mtunga, Simbayo, Nyanya, Kimya and Msondo. This drove Siombe to worry on more than one occasion. Despite being adults, Kimya and Msondo were ultimately only meerkats, and unable to do much if danger should arise.


Name Sex Species Relation Rank Pridal Affiliations
Nabana (I) Male Lion Father Former King (deceased) Golden Lands
Kurana Female Lioness Mother Former Queen (deceased) Golden Lands, Kopje Valley
Mtunga Male Lion Brother Former King (presumed deceased) Golden Lands, Utatu
Mashaka Male Lion Half-Brother Elder Utatu, Kopje Valley
Chagra Female Lioness Half-Sister Rogue (presumed deceased) Zari Bara
Siombe Male Lion Father (adoptive) Pride Elder Kopje Valley
Mohatu Male Lion Uncle (Adoptive)/Stepfather Former King (deceased) Kopje Valley
Kesonam Male Lion Brother (Adoptive) Rogue (guest of Kopje) N/A
Kwasi Male Lion Grandfather (Adoptive) Former King (deceased) Kopje Valley
Nalia Female Lioness Grandmother (Adoptive) Former Queen (deceased) Kopje Valley


  • Balana started life on the muck on March 10, 1997 as an elephant. She was that way for a week or two before getting her species changed to lioness cub.
  • I have absolutely no idea who drew that particular picture of Balana. It was done many years ago and is simply labeled 'JC' and was the result of a random person paging me and asking if I wanted a portrait done of my character.
  • Apparently Balana in inspiring the naming of someone's daughter (along with the Star Trek Voyager character B'Elanna Torres). See the bottom post.
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