Balana, daughter of the lion Nabana and the lioness Kurana from the Golden Lands, hasn't had an easy life. After seeing her mom go over a waterfall, presumably dead, her father killed by another lion, and her being seperated from her brother, Mtunga, she came to the Pride Lands. She met a young lion at the waterhole, Kaisa, who took her home to his parents, Amani and Kilonda, who adopted her. She became betrothed to a young lion with a partial mane, Simbayo, adopted more parents, Swala, Kaminto, Svelta, and Siombe. The last of these would prove to be the most important. She was reunited with Mtunga, Kurana, and the meerkat healer from her old lands, Gzunki. Kilonda, Swala and Kaminto died when she was young, which prompted Siombe to take her in. Her mother became mated to Siombe's brother, Mohatu, which brought about yet another lion watching out for her.
One day while she was crying at the waterhole, she met a lion cub, Nyanya. He fell in love with her as soon as he saw her, and they became the best of friends. Their friendship grew into late adolescence, when he took a mate, Kitni. It was only then that she let Nyanya know how much she loved him in return, and broke Simbayo's heart. She took a chance in doing so, but ultimately Nyanya chose her. They lived in his home, the White Lands, until they became a bit older. When she was pregnant with their first litter, they returned to the Golden Lands with a small band of lionesses to start up a pride, the Zari Bara. The proof of Balana and Nyanya's love and came with the birth their first four cubs. She had two daughters, Lesana, and Nyoyo, and two sons, Nabana and Shaujo. Nabana was named as the heir. Things were starting to look better.
Then, Nyanya was stricken with an illness that made him blind and feeling useless. Balana stayed away on a visit to Siombe one time too long, and came back to find him close with another lioness, Tarlia, who she banished from the lands. Lesana died shortly after her return. And then the few short days later, Balana came upon what appeared to be the body of her love lying dead in the forest. Leaving her home, she took the three remaining cubs and brought them to the Celestial Volcano, where Siombe lived. Shaujo ran away, and she left the remaning two to wander, in mourning. She grew thinner, just barely avoiding the claws of the death that she felt her dead king wanted upon her so they would be together forever. With the help of her friends she made it. Finally she returned to the Golden Lands with her cubs, swearing swore she would never love again.
Things were still dark. In mourning, Balana couldn't think about anything else until her son made her see some hope for the future. The following day, her mother-in-law, Maelia, and her majordomo, Mabawa, came with news that Nyanya was indeed still alive, and his sight had returned. Overjoyed, the two met, and it looked like things might really be alright. However, he was not alone in his return, for a pregnant Tarlia came with him. This, and Shaujo's anger with his father for abandoning them nearly tore the pride apart. He would away for a while before making a return. Problems between Shaujo and Nyanya finally rose so high that Shaujo was banned from the lands, and Balana was supposed to choose between her mate and her son. Shaujo decided for her, and left while she was asleep.
Left with her mate, who didn't even feel like a king, Balana and Nyanya's love was tested with the birth of Nyanya and Tarlia's three cubs. Two daughters, Jaoja and Desmei, and a son, Twanka. The fighting between Balana was almost endless. Shaujo's came and went, but eventually he made up with his father, and Balana manged to make up with Tarlia. She and her mate were called away by Mtunga for a meeting. They spent some time alone and with friends and family. This included Kimya and Msondo, two meerkats who had adopted Nyanya as a cub. They were overjoyed to see he was alive. Kimya was, at least, for Msondo just fainted. Upon their return, Balana found panthress cub, Pala, that Tarlia wanted to adopt. Balana finally agreed she could keep her around, but not in the pride. Nyoyo and Desmei were both lost to the sleeping sickness, which brought much sadness.
This was soon countered both her and Tarlia went into heat. Balana was overjoyed. She was going to be a mother again! Both lionesses gave birth to a pair of girls. Tarlia's daughters, Kya and Tanja, looked similar to their parents. Balana's daughter, Alaira and Kisiri, were the color of mud and snow respectively. When Nyanya and Balana attempted to spend some time alone, Tarlia decided to take Jaoja, Kya, and Tanja away. Alaira and Kisiri almost follow, but the pair comes back to catch their daughters in time. However, the pride is slowly disbanding. Without Tarlia's group, few remained. Balana waited behind while Nyanya went after Tarlia. He returned without them, his self-confidence shattered. All that remained were the royal family, minus Shaujo, another lioness, Miara, and her son, Watuku. Still, the queen didn't lose hope that Tarlia's group would come home.
One day Jaoja came back, informing the king that Kya became lost, and Tarlia and Tanja were dying in the desert. The two left with Balana following a few hours later. She found that Tarlia and Tanja had been taken to Pride Rock, and she was needed to help find Kya. After few days around Pride Rock, she found herself looking into the face of Siombe once more. A while spent there, and Mabawa comes to take her back as Kya had been found. After recuperating in the Pride Lands, they were strong enough to return. The cubs, however, do not want to. They were carried back, protesting all the way. Jaoja stayed behind to take care of some business. Miara and Watuku were safe, and Alaira was overjoyed to have her parents back. New neighbors were discovered, living on an island off the coast. Things within the pride seem to be wavering, but perhaps the pride will become a single unit once again.
Things were quiet for a while, but in the end, take a turn for the worse. Alaira and Balana go visit her friend Tahzhoo, a young lion who came to know the Golden Lands as a second home. The lioness took her now adolescent daughter to see the lion. However, he's not in the best of spirits, for his parents have died. Balana runs across her grandson, Weupe, Shaujo's son. Her youngest son's whereabouts are unknown. Perhaps he's even perished. Upon returning to the Golden Lands, Balana finds that Jaoja has left to places unknown, and the other three runaways seem to have vanished once more. What's left of the pride slowly disbands as Nabana, Alaira, and Kisiri disappear. The only ones left are, Miara, whom is not known to still be around, and Nyanya, who has fallen ill with the sleeping sickness. After several moons of deterioration, he slipped away quietly in his sleep.
A moon or so passed before Balana emerged. It seemed the only ones left in the lands were her and the meerkat colony, headed by Aida and Karamu. Then fire struck, leaving blackened ashes where there once was golden savanna. The only ones found alive were the former queen and three meerkats, two of which are Aida and Karamu. Once again, the lioness set off with the meerkats in tow to go inform her family about what's happened, staying with Siombe and Mtunga. In her absence, a new pride was established. Nabana, having left shortly before his father's death, was determined to rebuild the pride. He returned with a group of lionesses to find the lands livable, not knowing the fate of his former pride and his parents. When Balana heard that Nabana has returned and rebuilt, she returned home, living with him and his pride for a few seasons, even though she never felt like she belonged.
While away on business, the lands caught fire once again, this time with a landful of inhabitants. When Balana returns, all she finds are ashes and the charred remains of those who were not lucky enough to escape it. Not being able to tell if any of them belong to her last son, she set out on a quest for the truth. Her search took her to faraway lands, questioning those she met if they knew of her son. After a few seasons of wandering with no luck, she returned to Utatu Rock, much to Mtunga's surprise and delight. He had suspected her dead long ago. She settled in to the lands, her grand-nephew Tunguja providing company in the beginning, but never really bonding with the pride, only staying within Utatu because it was safe. Rumors found her ears. A lion named Tahzhoo has settled in the Golden Lands during her absence. Could it be the lion she knew from so long ago?
Curiosity took her back, and she looked upon a form last seen long ago. The reunion was short, for that night she learned that Siombe has been taken captive inside the volcano by the lion Kuuran. King Mtukutu came to the lands, and when Tahzhoo seemed unwilling to work with him against Kuuran, Balana followed Mtukutu, leaving Tahzhoo hurt and confused. A few suns later, Mtukutu and Mtunga carried out a plan to rescue Siombe, and the lioness was reunited with her aging father. After Siombe seemed to be recovering, Balana returned to the Golden Lands. Her aim? To try to feel a little less lonely. A few days of dealing with pridal cubs, Ghedi and Mdhamana, and Tahzhoo's pregnant mate, Sani, helped improve her mood, but it's a hug from Tahzhoo that reminded her that there is only one place she wanted to live... where she always has.
Unfortunately, during her stay in the lands, diaster struck. The killer that consumed the lands after Nyanya's rule, and ended Nabana's rule retuend once again: fire. She saved two of the cubs herself, perhaps making up for not being able to save her son. Most of the pride was found, but a few were missing, and a couple confirmed dead. Tahzhoo was in bad shape, so after getting help, it was Balana who led them to Utatu. There, the Kumalo influence was much more easily felt. Coupled with the disaster of the fire, it was a time of sadness amongst the pride, and Tahzhoo wanting to go to the volcano to almost certain death nearly tore the pride apart... The three prides attacked the Kumalo in the volcano, and it was a massacre. During this time, Balana was growing closer to a rogue that was hanging around, Chiboa. Tahzhoo's mock-attack on him nearly tore her apart. But once again, Balana led her pride, as well as her father to where she knew they would be safe and recover: Tahzhoo's homeland, the Uzima Valley.
As time passed, Tahzhoo recovered and Balana fell for Chiboa, taking him as her mate. Ghedi's birth mother showed up, and it looked like the pride was going to enlarge, but eventually Sani ran out on the pride and various members disappeared, leaving the pride essentially with one of the former Kumalo, Kyoko, who became Tahzhoo's mate, and Balana. them While on a trip with Chiboa to accompany her father Utatu, she came into heat and became pregnant, returning home to find the same fate had happened to Kyoko. She gave birth to four cubs. Three males, Kizingo, Tahlili, and Mzohari, and one girl, Chanika. Kizingo's deafness presented her with a challenge, but not one she wasn't willing to attempt to overcome. Chiboa took a trip to the Golden Lands to see their state after the fire, but his prolonged absence has proven to be a worrisome point for the aging lioness as she knows not whether her mate lives or not.