In my life's adventures I have had the good fortune to meet some great others who have helped me along the way. This area is dedicated to them, those big and little animals that have made my life worth living.

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The Lionesses

    My exmate and a dear lioness to my heart. She comes from a sad background of broken hearts and loneliness. She wandered into the Kopje Valley one day, and accepted my invitation to stay. She was quiet, and seldom seen until a fateful night when I was poisoned. While I lay nearly dying, she stayed with me, with tears of love and concern, keeping me alive with her loving words. Shortly after my recovery, I recounted those words to her, and we fell in love. She has been my mate ever since. She came out of her sleeping sickness and promised to warm my heart once more, but it was not meant to last. While looking for her, I encountered a bat that told me that her sickness had driven her from the volcano. When I looked around for her, all I could see was a spot where many vultures were descending quickly. Her fate is unknown, but from what I know of nature, I can only hope she is with the kings, her end a peaceful one.
A caring lioness with a heart as big as any I have ever known. She adopted me when I was a cub and alone. The above stories recount her efforts to keep me alive and going. She still lives in the Kopje Valley and the adjacent Savannah Grasslands. As I have grown, our relationship has changed in many ways. We always loved each other, mostly as son and mother. I still look to her for guidance when all else fails. Nobody can nuzzle, lick, or groom fears and anxieties from me like she can. She comes around every once in a while, but is getting old and time will soon catch up with her. Our love has not decayed though, and she is still a rock when I need one.
A wonderful lioness who has been in the Celestial Volcano Pride for a while now. She came to the volcano under the direction of my good friend Taltari. Her past is a story of disappointment and torment. Her former pride leader was the lion known as Kumalo, one of my greatest adversaries. Even though she has suffered perhaps more than she lets on, Svelta has a kind heart and holds her leaders in very high regard. She never fails to have something kind to say, and sometimes a cub will emerge from the life hardened lioness. Her fascination with the simple things in life always remind me to try and enjoy the good part of the circle.
This lioness met her fate in giving birth to her cubs. Sadly, I never truly got to know her. She was very quiet, and fearing although it is difficult to say whether is was from fear or respect. Her cubs, now Svelta's, are all that I have left of her. It was a sad day when she died, mostly because there was nothing that I, or anyone else could do. My hope, is that she resides somewhere better, where she has her own king.
This young lioness has recently come into existence as a wonderful daughter. She is mated to Amani at the moment of this report. The two just had cubs, a wonderful and dream fulfilling event for both of them. Kilonda is still an adolescent, or at least so she looks. However, she still has a lot of cub in her and it shows often. In truth, I worry about her because of her openness and vulnerability. I still keep an eye on her, mostly because it is the paternal thing to do and also because I care. Sadly, she committed suicide over an argument with her son. And because I never saw her one last time, my only hope is that she knows I loved her.
Swala's past is a mystery still to me. However I can see such wonder in her eyes, and a heart that matches in purity. She has come from a long way, and stumbled onto my lands while looking for food. She seems to like the volcano and the safety, although there are still many things I would like to know about her. I do know that as a cub, she lost her mother and was adopted by a long gone lioness. Being on her own has not seemed to affect her much, and she appears to be adjusting to pride life normally. She just had cubs, her young ones Zirai and Shairi prove an interesting pair, although they are always on the move, like their mother.
Makini hails from a long way away. She was found, burnt severely at the entrance to the Celestial Volcano. The pride and I quickly took her in, tending to her injuries as best we could. Since then, she has recovered nicely, and pledged her life to the Pride. Sadly, she still struggles with the memories of her lost daughter and pride, victims of the vicious fire to the east. However, even with her losses, she has a new home, friends, and a king that cares deeply for her. She has healed now, and even is carrying cubs once again. The lioness is happy, something that never fails to bring me joy. Especially when she calls me her 'warm blanket'. She left the volcano for some time, but has returned, with our cubs; Jini and K'nalo. I can't be happier that she's back. Unfortunately, she died, leaving Jini to succeed her.
After circumstances caused her to leave Gesten's pride, the hurt and distraught Shiido sought refuge in the confines of the Volcano. After finally finding out the true nature of her problems, I pledged myself to helping her. Perhaps I will be successful, perhaps not, but I am dedicated to not giving up. She had joined the ranks of my pride as a fine lioness, and I was sure that she will make a wonderful addition in the long run. However, she and Gesten made up and she went back to him. We are still friends, even though it bothered me to see her go.
Selena is a new addition to the Celestial Volcano Pride. Although I know little about this lioness, I can tell just from her son Simbayo that she is very loving. One night, while discussing the bloodclaw, Selena volunteered to help without any prompting. Although new to the pride, she impressed me greatly with her sudden dedication. I can see great things from her, and value her presence greatly.
Ajenti is a newcomer to the Celetial Volcano, brought by my son, Nwari. She is a fantastic huntress, and quickly accepted the role of hunt mistress. She successfully tutored Miakoba into making her first kill, something the pride was very proud of. Ajenti is reserved, mostly due to her former position in her old pride. Her life of the past made adjusting to Volcano life a little difficult, but I have found her to be very affectionate, strong, and controlled. She just know when to turn it on and off. She is slowly healing from the pain caused by her previous life, but I find her new personality to be very appealing and warm.
The quiet soldier of the Celestial Volcano. She's very affectionate, warm and caring. Her steadiness and steadfastedness adds another dimension of strength to our pride. She doesn't mind sitting in silence, and she doesn't mind a good nuzzling either. Oh, did I forget to mention she's a great wrestler as well? When this lioness gets playful, watch out! She watches cubs, guards the volcano, is loyal and loving with a mind as sharp as a porcupine spine. Heh, what more could anyone want? After Makini's visit, I decided to make her the new queen of the Celestial Volcano. She has come to life like no one ever could have expected and I find myself truly in love with her.
I haven't gotten to know the lioness Aeris as much. When she arrived, she seemed very nervous over some fact or another. Suddenly, it came out that she was Miakoba's true mother! You can imagine my surprise, as well as my delight. Mia was happy to have her as well, and she is now a great part of the volcano pride. She's a bit on the quiet and reserved side, but I see in her a light of goodness that can touch the hardest of hearts.
This big-hearted lioness appeared one day as innocently as many others who came to the volcano, but inside she had hurts of her own to deal with. She quietly assimilated her way into our lives and hearts, and now everyone knows her for her mild form of caring. She was responsible for finding the caverns in the walls of the volcano, a feat that reminds me greatly of Zalima's discovery of the volcano by having cubs there. In the time I've known Shirrah, I've grown to love her greatly and dearly.  She's been there for me when many others either left or were unable to stay.  In fact, there have been times when I'm sure I would have fallen apart if it hadn't been for this lioness.  She served as the hunt mistress until an unfortunate injury precluded her ability to hunt.  It has affected her terribly, and me as well.  I didn't realize how much I loved her skill.  I've often contemplated whether or not she'd make a better queen than hunt mistress...
This lioness holds a special place in my heart because of her eagerness to keep me happy. She did a lot of running when Mwenzi was having her cubs, allowing me the ability to get back and forth from the tortuously confusing Utatu to see them. And, as an added request, asked me to be the father of her cubs as well. She lives in the volcano with them, and is a welcome addition to the burgeoning pride. Her mildness and strength makes me happy to be around her, although for a few nights, she was awfully mean when the cubs kicked.

The "Youth"

Now here's a lion who I can really get into. Taltari, former King of Pride Rock. He renounced his throne there; however, his story starts back a bit further, when he was still a cub. When I first met Taltari, he was set on submissively serving the future king, Akinsanya. However, their father Chaka was never around, and it left the adopted cub lonely and wanting some guidance. It took a while to gain his trust, but eventually Taltari and I became good friends. Now, he has his own lands and we both are often too busy to see each other. We have agreed to assist each other as much as possible and with the threat of the Bloodclaw about, those promises have been renewed. But on a personal note, I can't help feeling pride when I see Taltari. When I think of his cubhood, the many strikes against him, and the terrible things he's been through, I am happy to have been a positive influence on his life.
Ah yes...Dukat. What would I ever do without Dukat? Probably lead a quiet and peaceful life. That cub has gotten me into more trouble than a lone hyena at a lion kill. But I still love him. Not because of his mating problem or our long-standing brotherly relationship, but because he keeps me informed of the outside world. He is also a foremost healer, the student of my mentor Amathambo. Dukat is pensive in nature, and when caught alone he will often silently regard you and think about gods know what. I do not see him often, but I hear of him, getting in trouble or doing those things that only Dukat can do. I have a strange feeling for that cub. Sadly enough, he does not seem to return it, busy as HE is. But I do care for him, there is no doubt of that. Recently, Dukat was killed by Achika and the Bloodclaws. Although I knew it was coming someday, I would choose anyone but the Bloodclaws. He fought against them valiantly, but to no avail. My biggest regret, was never being able to say good-bye...
I love Gesten. I think I always have. At one point he was just another face in the sea of cubs I used to entertain and protect, but he made a step away from that. He did not forget my efforts and what I suffered for them, and he is still a wonderful friend. Gesten never hesitates to come to me with his problems, together, there is nothing that we cannot work out. Together, we have made sense out of several of life's greatest mysteries, love, lionesses, and lands as well. My heart is with him always, and I hope that he never loses his great sense of purpose. He has grown closer, and after a deeply troubling personal time, he is healing his insides well.
Never have I suffered so much for the love of one cub, as I did for Rama. We were just friends for a while until his parents tried to convince him that I was evil and that I shouldn't be near him. The poor cub seemed to suffer a lot, fluctuating between me being there for him, and his parents telling him that I was evil. A mistake on my part caused him to temporarily lose faith in me, a few days of suffering I will never forget. But then came the catalytic lion who changed all, and suddenly Rama and I were on good terms again. He dropped out of sight, not really seeing anyone except his mate. Although I never see him, I fondly remember him as that cub who used to be so adept at pouncing, and just being himself.
My brother Mohatu is one of the few that I have really gotten to know yet know nothing about. He was part of the aforementioned sea of cubs, but special, because I was present at his birth. In fact, I was the one to lick him clean after his birth. We have always been close, mostly because he had taken the time to be with me. He has taken over his father's lands now, although the pride is a bit defunct. He still has hope though, and believes in himself, his son Nirbandi and his mate Kadjana. Between the three of them, I certainly hope they have happy times together. Mohatu has been an important informant to the volcano, especially dealing with the Bloodclaw. More recently, my brother has been a good friend just to have around. And he enjoys watching the younger cubs torture his older brother.
Balana has changed a lot. The once energetic and playful cub has turned into a beautiful, radiant lioness. Balana and I have gotten to know each other very well, and she brings me a lot of pleasure with her never ending quest to tickle and be tickled. The death of Kilonda hit her hard, and having as kind a heart as her, it hurt to see her in pain. Svelta took her in, adopting her as her own daughter. This brings Balana that much closer, and now she is my little princess who I love so very much. She enjoys entertaining me, and learning everything she can about pridal life. Her friends Simbayo and Nyanya also add a new dimension of fun to the volcano as the group continually endeavor to drive me insane with laughter. She has moved out now, with Simbayo. I don't hear much from her, but I know she is well and enjoys spending time with her dad.
Mtunga is a wonderful young lion. He is Balana's brother, and my adopted son. When Mtunga first met me, I thought that I would enjoy bringing him through the trials of cubhood. However, the little lion had other ideas, and ran off, abandoning his sister and I for adventures anew. Balana was able to find him, but I seldom was. Fortunately, he lived through the tumultuous times and one day, came home. Since then, Mtunga and I have been playing catch up and he is a truly wonderful young lion. He shares his sister's love of tickling and often outdoes his sister in tickling me. As he gets stronger, it is harder and harder to avoid him, but his love for fun is hard to beat, even for me.
Nwari is an interesting story in himself. He was an errant cub, a wanderer and drifter who got by by getting in good with one pride, eating, and then running away. For some reason, he decided against fleeing the volcano, and conceeded to become my son. We butted heads several times in his youth, especially since he enjoyed disobeying. But I must admit, he took his punishments as learning experiences. Once, he ended up getting himself attacked by a hyena named Decuna. I went after her and taught her a lesson as well. We both healed together, but that was the time when he really started to grow up. Now, he's training to be king. Nwari can be headstrong, and sometimes downright rude. Nonetheless, I love him. He will make a great king when he learns to control himself. The two cubs he is parenting will certainly help him learn that.
Poor Simb. This cub was part of the trio: Balana, Nyanya, Simbayo. They were a lot of fun in the younger days of the volcano. But when Balana ditched Simbayo for Nyanya, the young lion never fully recovered. He was often moody and depressed. It was rather sad to see him that way, but he never wanted any help from us. Eventually, he exiled himself from the volcano, now trying to make his way around the world like a cub with no direction. Wherever he is, I hope he knows that he has a home in the Volcano, and with me.
Mia is a strange and interesting story that is still not exactly complete. She seemed like just any other cub that came into the volcano, looking for a home and a little love. And she got a lot of both. But Mia developed a lot differently than any other cub I'd seen. She'd always seemed a bit clumsy, but it was a cubbish sort of clumsiness. Then, when she was practicing hunting as an adolescent, she ran into tree. The absurdity of this prospect really startled me, especially since she was woozy and couldn't see well for a few days. At one point, I thought she might not survive. But Ajenti thankfully took her under her wing and turned around her clumsiness. She is now a huntress, and I am proud of that. She and Nwari have grown close, and are now parenting two cubs.
Little Tarajai is a new addition to the Celestial Volcano. Miakoba and Nwari took her in, but I have found her to be immense fun as well. While she was feeling down one day, I gave her a playful tickle. Now, it has become her mission in life to pounce and tickle me into submission. The result of such a little cub versus a big lion like me tends to be rather comical. I'll never forget the time when she had tickled me nearly senseless, and just as I was about to get her back, she peed on me! Well, the poor thing was embarrassed, but I'm sure she'll get over it and live to pouncetickle me another day. Now, she has grown into a beautiful adolescent, and will one day make a fine lioness.
My son by Mwenzi, he is one of the only cubs that has come back to the Celestial Volcano to live with me. His desire to stay here has warmed my heart and given my terrific hope. He is an adolescent lion, but growing well and rapidly. I love his quirky behavior, and his intense desire to know what is going on at all times. Curiosity may have killed other lions, but it's going to make him a strong leader someday, king or no king.


Never had a panther meant as much to me as Thambo did. He was my mentor, a teacher, a counselor, and when Kwasi failed, a father. I loved him with all my heart, and hope that whichever star he is on, he is still looking out for me. He was renown as the greatest healer in the pridelands for a long time, and had saved as many lives as I can remember. His ultimate end, a disease that his hybrid nature caused. I could go on forever about him, his humor, caring, and loving nature
This regal caracal used to be Kwasi's majordomo. Now, he is my advisor and true friend. Kinah is getting on in years, but he realizes the importance of that cub energy that keeps older lions happy. He does not live in the volcano like other advisors, but he does visit, seemingly whenever I need guidance the most. I care deeply for Kinah, and he never fails to impress me with his wisdom, cunning, or cubbing for that matter. Kinah sustained a few injuries to his ribs that limit his motion, but he and his son Hajima never fail to be around when I need them most. has only been matched by a few others. I miss you Thambo, and I love you.
Sadly, Hakkie is no longer with me. Where parents, and most friends left off he filled the gaps in education and caring. This was even more amazing to me because the times I was with him most was when he was a cub. I first met a sore-bottomed mischievous cub, who's mother had just spanked him, one day when he was exploring the Kopje Valley. There was a bit of fear at first, but we eventually we warmed up to each other and ever so much. I was like a surrogate father to him and he was like no other cub I knew. This leopard could get into trouble faster than hyenas could surround a kill. Whenever I turned my head, he would take off to see Kinjaro or explore the elephant graveyard or some other mischief. I did not worry too much about it, but one night while Hakkie and I were taking in the view at my special place, his father appeared, and charged me with his discipline. I must admit, it was difficult for me to do anything to hurt a cub, but in the end (no pun intended) it strengthen us both. Sadly, Hakkie went off upon adolescence, and we grew apart. One day, recently I might add, I found out about his death. A terrible disease that took him and almost took my friend Kinah as well. Even with all those times gone, I feel as if something was torn away from me. He was so important in so many ways, and I did not even see his body one last time. Whichever star you are on Hakkie, watch me as I watched over you...
Kinah's son, Hajima, has become an integral part of the pride. He faithfully took up Kinah's position as advisor when his father was unable to do it anymore. He's just as much fun as his father, and twice as cunning. Whenever he thinks I'm in a bad mood, I had better be prepared for a serious tickling. Hajima's good with his fluffy ears, so I take his threats seriously. Aside from the fun he provides, Hajima is terrific with advise. It must run in the family line or something, because he just has an uncanny ability to say the right things at the right time. He even helped me crack the mystery of Ajenti when I didn't understand her. I really love Hajima, sadly, his health hasn't always been the best. I hope the kings keep and hold him.
You'd think after all the pain that hyenas have caused me, I'd never want to see another one again. However, somehow this hyena slipped past those barriers and into my heart. Kaja is not like the others. He is kind, a healer not a hurter like most. And his is willing to do what he can to help others. He worked for me for a long time, doing his best to keep me informed of Kinginko and her pack's moves. Because of him, we were able to stop them before they became too great a threat. I will swear for the rest of my life that he is bipolar though. Never have I seen anyone fluctuate between moods like he does. I may see him one day, happy as a warthog in mud, then the next day he might come crawling into my lands riding a wave of tears. However his kind heart does stand out, and he is still one of the best friends that I know.
Whew! What a name! Actually, we just call him Ntch for practical purposes. But when he was around, his heart and endurance was a big has his name. Ntch came into the Kopje Valley one day, looking for something to do. I asked him to help keep an eye on things and keep me informed and he never let me down. In addition to that, he turned out to be a pretty decent listener and very helpful in problem solving. I don't see him much, but last I heard he was living happily in his own lands with his mate and cubs. Whatever he's doing, I hope he's as happy as he made me.

There are many who have not been mentioned, friends that have done favors for me that I may never be able to repay, but that I will always hold a special place in my heart. Upon visiting the Kopje Valley Memorial Grounds, I marvel now at how many stones have been placed for those who have passed on. Sadly, many more will go. But I expect that they will leave a lasting impression of good and virtuous friends.


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