The Kupotea Pride was started by Uhodari and Naima when they were still young adults, after they had left their old pride wandered the land until they took residence in a warm area with plentiful grasslands, few rock formations, and a river nearby one of the larger hills. Not long after settling there, Naima gave birth to her daughters Utamu and Jaburu, the former of whom possessed fine, light tan fur, and the latter a distinguishing pelt of dark brown, along with her son Njaa.
Of the four lions Uhodari and Naima produced, Njaa was and remains to be the mightiest of them, large with rippling muscles and fur the same golden hue as his mother's. Thanks to a somewhat abundance of food sources, and a lack of any other prides in the area, the pride's cubs grew fast and strong, for the most part life for the pride going unhindered.
Some months later, Utamu met the lion who would end up becoming her mate, a juvenile named Kubwa. Due to the size of the land they inhabited, the king and queen saw no problem in letting Kubwa join their pride. Mahubi, Uhodari's final cub was born shortly after Utamu and Jaburu reached adolescence; a female with tawny fur and brilliantly blue eyes. In addition to this new member of the family, it was about then when, while on a hunt with her sister, Jaburu came across a very young cub, barely older than the new-born Mahubi, and took him back to her father.
After several weeks of scouting, it became clear that no-one was looking for the cub, so they adopted him and gave him a name: Nadhifu. By then, the pride had swelled from it's original two members to eight, something that pleased the king greatly. By the time Kubwa and his mate had reached adulthood, Utamu made her mother and father grandparents by giving birth to Vikali, a small female who has grown up to be the spitting image of her mother, save only for her eyes which are a gentle shade of green.
Merely a few weeks after Vikali was born, Mahubi bore Nadhifu a daughter, called Nusara. Sadly, during one of the hotter days that summer, a wildehond attacked the young Nusara while her mother was sorting out a concern about caracals with one of the local birds. Although Mahubi managed to chase off the canine, her cub died soon afterwards. This attack on their young had planted a seed of worry in King Uhodari's mind, and after much deliberation, he decreed that no-one younger than an Adolescent is allowed to leave the kopje where the pride slept.
While still quite a young cub, tired of staying put in the same spot for days on end, Vikali managed to sneak off from her father and follow the lionesses as they went out on a hunt. When the cub reached the longer grasses of the northern savannah, she had to move slower, much more so than the lithe huntresses she was following, and ended up losing her sense of direction and relatives. Due to a stroke of rather back luck, Vikali started north in an attempt to try and get back to her family - inadvertently walking away from the pride's lands. When their cub did not return, Kubwa and Utamu were frantic with worry, and spent almost every waking moment trying to find her, barely pausing to sleep.
One day, the two parents split up as usual so they could cover more ground while searching for Vikali, and Kubwa headed up to the northwest border of the lands, planning to ask a flock of birds who lived up their to scout around for them. Before he could speak to the flock, however, he came across a rogue lion, who after a short and heated argument killed Kubwa - His body was found the next day by Utamu when she came to look for him.
Distraught, Utamu returned to the pride and informed her family of her plans, before setting out northwards to find Vikali, accompanied by the king's majordomo and her life time friend, Epsi. With Utamu gone, Jaburu became the eldest of Uhodari's children, making her the princess that would follow in his place when he stepped down. Jaburu had always been close with her brother, Njaa, and became his mate.
In light of this, Uhodari and Naima stepped down so that Njaa could become the new Lion King, with Jaburu as his queen. Soon after this grand occasion, Jaburu became pregnant, and a few months later gave birth to an adorable cub: a peach-coloured male called Ujinga, whom was declared to be the future king. Shortly after Ujinga was born, Mahubi gave birth to two cubs, a small male by Nadhifu that was named Afnu and Ngulozi by Njaa, who bears the same golden-hued fur as her father.
Thriving with life and having peace with most of the species in their lands, the Kupotea Grasslands were and still are a superb spot for the pride's cubs to grow up. However, Njaa had begun searching for a bird to take over Epsi's old position of majordomo, due to rumours of another pride moving in nearby. Hearing of the king's plight, Nadhifu volunteered to leave the lands in search of their old majordomo. At first, Njaa was unsure about this, considering that Utamu had not returned, but he eventually gave in to the lion's wishes.
Promising his mate and cubs that he would be back soon, Nadhifu set out north, that being the direction Epsi and Utamu had headed. Two months passed, and none of the animals in the kingdom had seen any sight of him. During this time, Njaa had begun to get reports from some of the animals that indeed a small pride of lions had settled just by the borders of the Kupotea's land. Mirroring a decision made by his father not long ago, Njaa forbid the cubs from straying out of sight of the kopje until contact was made between the two prides.
Since her mate had left in search for Epsi, Mahubi had not left to go hunting with her sister or mother, instead remaining at all times with the pride's cubs not letting them out of her sight for one second. Whilst out hunting a couple of weeks after Nadhifu's departure, Queen Jaburu had come across a strange reddish-hued lioness, quite similar to the fur Afnu bares so proudly. Friendly and yet wary at the same time, she introduced herself as Kipazi, one of the pride that had settled on the outskirts of the grasslands. Before they parted, Kipazi informed the other that her king would like to speak with the other female's and would like an envoy to be sent with a reply.
Troubled and highly worried, the queen arrived back at the Kopje to find none other than the old majordomo reporting to the rest of the pride on the happenings during his travels. Despite having Epsi rejoin them, the family all seemed rather upset; Mahubi's head hung low whilst herself and Afnu cried gently; Uhodari had a foreleg around a weeping Naima, barely keeping it together himself; King Njaa was left to comfort the other cubs, though he himself looked red-eyed.
It transpired that after several moons of searching, Utamu had suffered a grave injury and was left unable to walk, though with the help of the swallow her daughter was found and brought to her. She had spent four peaceful, happy days with Vikali before she passed away silently during the night. The swallow went on to tell the leonines that after staying with Vikali's Pride in a place called Kopje Valley for not more than a few moons, he had came across Nadhifu who had been searching for him, so told him about the now location of the missing juvenile.
For some reason unknown to the bird, Nadhifu had taken it upon himself to try and 'return' Vikali, against her will and that of the pride's. After describing the lion's first blundering attempt to take his niece, he went on to describe the next few days according to reports from other avians, overhearing the local fauna, and from Vikali herself, culminating in Nadhifu's rash and violent attack upon the Kopje Valley Pride, where he was killed eventually by a lion called Nabana. Following a dispute with Utamu's daughter, Epsi had took off from the valley to return to his natural home.
Even though the pride were in mourning, the king and queen are never ones to forget the problem that face them at the present. After deep discussion between King Njaa, his father Uhodari, and the re-instated majordomo, Epsi was sent to find this pride of lions, give them their reply, and then report back with what he found there. Returning late in the evening, the swallow returned to the waiting king and informed him of what he had learned. Led by a young adult called Msaada and his mate Bayana, the pride also consists of two lionesses who appear to be related and three very young cubs. This news, as well as the rest which Epsi had to offer pleased Njaa greatly; they appeared to be quite friendly, affectionate with their young, with no show of hostility whatsoever.
After conveying messages with the help of the majordomo, the kings and queens of the two prides agreed to meet together on the hill by the grasslands' river and discuss matters while the remaining lionesses can socialize and the cubs play by the water. Things went smoothly right from the beginning, Msaada had brought a gift to show his good intentions to the other king and his mate - an impala kill from his own territory. As night fell, the leaders of the two prides went off to talk with their families and before taking a much-needed rest. The next day, the four monarchs met a second time and decided that the two prides shall merge as one, with Njaa and Msaada as the joint rulers.
Together they decided that the now united prides would abandon their old dens in favor of a new home. A new pride deserved a new den in which they could all feel comfortable. The very hill they had picked to meet atop was chosen in the end. Neatly located in generally the center of the new kingom, it also provides a well placed vantage point and just as fortunate is the fact that it is a comfortable resting place with many jutting rocks to bask on. A ready water source, and excellent place to begin hunting parties from.
The coalition of the prides was welcomed especially so by Ujinga, who by then were just passing out of cubhood into adolescence, but where as his sister's interests in the new lions were innocent, his had been taken by the beauty of one lioness in particular. His particular fancy happen to be the most unfortunate ones he could pick, at least as far as pridal relations goes - before long, the young prince had developed a crush on Kimajo, King Msaada's sister.
Afnu, however, while having mild interest in the lionesses, had the reverse happen to him. One warm day, a lioness from Msaada's half of the pride approached, the lead him to a most beautiful and romantic view across the Kupotea grasslands. There she revealed her love for him and the dark male discovered that he has feelings for her also, then after a few tender minutes of gazing across the plains together, they retreated to a nearby cave to celebrate their love in a most procreative way.
The two exhilarated yet exhausted lovers we chanced upon soon after by Ujinga, who was curious at hearing the roars and horrified to see what his brother had down, along with what consiquences could follow if Msaada finds out. Luckily, the female managed to explain things to the prince and settle him down before Jaburu made her presence known with a call after her son. Leaving the two brothers to talk, Queen Bayana left the cave to greet her fellow monarch before explaining how she was giving Afnu tips on roaring and they decided to do a pratical. Her curiosity satisfied, the brown-furred queen returned to the river in order to help look after the younger cubs with Mahubi and Kipazi. But there was something much more troublesome than Njaa's queen almost catching them, for now both Msaada's sister and queen had gained young leonine fanciers.
A couple of days later while Queen Bayana and Kimajo were up with the cubs at the Northern Border, a rogue lion stumbled in through the savannah to drink. After finding out that the name of the lands, he became apprehensive and reluctant to share any information about himself, yet insisted to speak to the king. Once brought before King Njaa, he revealed himself to be none other than Nabana, the lion from Kopje Valley who had slain Nadhifu in an attempt to save his pride. He had travelled to the Kupotea Grasslands to try and atone for his past deeds. The young Lion King, wise beyond his ears, made the rogue an offer - to join the pride for two months at the bare minimum, more if he so wished. Njaa had seen that not only would another male lion would be useful to the pride, but also he could help water down their gene pool.
A month into his stay, Nabana was still having trouble fitting in, despite the pride's friendliness towards them. However, he continued his duties of marking the borders, checking up on the pride when need be, and following persuasion from the females, eventually mated the lionesses Mahubi, Kimajo, and Kipazi. While this move was welcomed by the king and most of the pride, there were two that did not. One afternoon, while Nabana was with Mahubi, Ujinga and Afnu attacked him on the grounds of murder, along with mating the prince's sweetheart. The adult lion defeated both of the Kupotea males and rendered them unconscious, before seeking out King Msaada and doing so to him also.
He finally came across King Njaa and attacked him from behind. A short, swift fight insued and the golden monarch was soundly defeated by Nabana. After summoning the pride to him, the ex-Kopje lion declared that he had bested both kings and as such, is now the one true King of the Kupotea Grasslands for the rest of his time in the lands. This went down with many a murmur from the lionesses, but he soon explained the reasons for crowning himself king and dethroning his predecessors. Though this news still didn't go too well down with the lionesses, their moods were changed upon the elderly Naima giving her blessing to the new King Nabana.
A little while into his rule, the king had successfully managed to mate with half of the lionesses in the pride, including the princess, Ngulozi. Mahubi and Kimajo both were baring visible signs of pregnancy, and the king was loved by most all. Then one day, Nabana risked a lot on the line in a gambit; he took young Umivu out a little away from the pridal den and got him to shriek in pain before falling asleep. Bayana hurried onto the scene to see her cub, apparently murdered by the king. She summoned the pride with a roar, and as when they had swiftly gathered, Nabana challenged the former kings. While Njaa skulked off to one side, Msaada stood tall and even attacked his king for seemingly murdering his son. Only after a short but briefly battle did Nabana step aside to let the grieving mother examine her cub's body.
As the pride realised that Umivu was not infact dead, Bayana challenged the monarch on why he played such a horrible trick on them all. He revealed that it was an example that a pride should not let any rogue lion join them without treating him with great suspicion, for he could and potentially would wipe out all the cubs. Nabana then performed his coup de grâce - he revealed to the entire pride how Njaa begged for his life, even if that meant letting the ex-Kopje lion become king, even if it meant abandoning his cubs to Nabana's mercy.
As the pride started to show some animosity towards their fallen king, the monarch mentioned that he could very well take the lionesses - and the cubs - back to Kopje Valley, where they can see how a real king functions. The tides swiftly turned against Njaa as they learned more of a potential life either in or near Kopje Valley; fresh lands, a fresh start, with proper lions like Nabana nearby. Some of the lionesses that formally were on good terms started prowling towards the cowardly ex-king, who was henceforth banished from the lands until Nabana departs or invites him back, with instructions not to travel more than half a moon from the Kupotea and that if Njaa crossed the border, he will be killed.
It was further stated that he will not receive any support from the pride and that if he so much as talked to a pride member outside of a life-or-death situation, certain parts of the exile's anatomy would be removed. With that dire note, Njaa fled eastwards from the pride, soon followed by his faithfull majordomo and friend, Epsi the swallow. In a show of compassion for the exile's son, Nabana then reconsidered his words and permitted Ujinga - and only Ujinga - to help his father if need be. Msaada was not exiled for the reason that when Nabana leaves the pride in order to return to Kopje Valley, he wants someone to be there to protect his offspring, for he, unlike Njaa, stood up to the king's challenge and declared admist combat that he would protect all of the pridal cubs, regardless of their father.
A month later, a great storm passed over the Kupotea grasslands, soaking all that did not flee to hiding. It was during this storm, on one particularly violent night, when Mahubi and Kimajo travelled to a secluded cave to give birth to their litters. Six beautiful cubs were born that night, though by the morning, only five remained. Most of Kimajo's cubs bore - and still bare - the same pale, creamy fur of their mother, or variations of it, whilst one of them also posseses the same nose as Nabana. On the other paw, Mahubi's twins bare the same hued fur as their father, though their muzzle fur is considerably darker than the king's.
Early on in the birthing night,
Ujinga left the warmth and comfort of the pridal den to visit his father, over by the easten border.
Upon arriving there, he found his father busy bullying a heavily pregnant cheetah out from under a small tree, its canopy providing shelter from most of the rain. An argument then broke out between Njaa and his son, in which Ujinga finally saw his father for the coward he really was and, disgusted by it, engaged him in battle midst the raging thunderstorm.
Three days had past since Ujinga went off to visit the former king, and the pride still had not received any word back of him. Then, during the fourth day, whilst on their regular walks around the lands, the eldest members of the Kupotea Pride came across a leonine body half-laying in the river, nearly drowned, and rather viciously torn into to. After several minutes of trying to rouse Ujinga to consciousness, a single word managed to leave his lips: Njaa. Appalled that his own son would do such a thing, Uhodari took off at once to confront him.
Though the disgraced king obviously took a beating from Ujinga as well, he came out a little better. Shortly after the eldest of the lions arrived at the eastern border to confront his son, he put Njaa in the position where he would risk having to kill his father or dying himself, but before things can get out of paw, Naima shows up and manages to talk them down before anything physical breaks out.
Afnu, however, is not so forgiving. Ujinga is his best friend, after all, and even though Nabana killed his father and got his mother pregnant, he had been teaching him how to fight. He went to face the weakened Njaa himself and it didn't take long till he reached the point where he could finish off the older male. But the adolescent could not bring himself to murder in cold blood, so instead he turned and left Njaa there in his weakened state. A few days later, Nyoni - the pride's new majordomo - brought word to King Nabana that, upon surveying the area where Njaa was last spotted, she found the remains of a lion carcass, with hyena pawprints surrounding the area.
In order to make sure the hyenas didn't choose to settle nearby and put his cubs in danger, Nabana and Msaada swiftly departed after them. There, the golden-furred male saw his king's unbridled viciousness as he mercilessly ripped through a couple of them like a thing possessed, which was enough to send the rest of the clan fleeing for their lives.
Peace and relative calm hangs around the grasslands for a couple of months following the demise of Njaa. During these pleasent times, a certain swelling started to grow around Jaburu and Ngulozi's bellies, a sign that their king had not just been sleeping idly during the day. The former queen's litter was born shortly before her niece's, consisting of four beautiful girls that bore the same fur and dark nose that Nabana possessed. The royal princess, Ngulozi, gave birth to two cubs, one female and one male. The female cub, sadly, was considerably smaller than most young cubs and graced her mother's life for merely a few hours before fading away.
After one final, glorious month, which saw much fussing over the new cubs, the new mothers, and a very happy time for the pride, one of the saddest events in the history of the Kupotea grasslands took place.
Nabana needed to return to his former pride, and the ones he left behind. He gave the pride direction to Kopje valley should it ever be warranted, gave his apologies to a now-healed Ujinga and Afnu about all that happened and admitted that once he's gone, they would be able to kill every last one of his cubs without him being able to do anything about it, but warned that their paws would be stained with innocent blood, and that even the killing of non-innocents is something you carry on your soul every day. He then placed his trust in Msaada to see his cubs to adulthood, requested Nyoni to check in with him from time to time, nuzzles the cubs, and gives his well wishes that they turn out better with someone else raising them. Then, with the pride bidding him a teary farewell, Nabana heads back northwards, before he can get too attached.