Rakorag, king of the River pride, has issued a decree that whichever lion wins a hunting tournament will be given his youngest daughter’s paw in marriage. Mremba is a beautiful lioness and hence, the competition has attracted many competitors. Of course winning her hand in marriage isn’t the same as winning Mremba’s heart, and unfortunately her heart has a different set of criteria than simple hunting skills...
"Hurry up, Vrasku," Harufu said to the jackal further down the hill, trailing in his footsteps over the morning dew. “If we don't hurry we’ll miss king Rakorag’s speech.” And, more importantly, we’ll miss seeing Princess Mremba, the most beautiful lioness in Africa. Considering there weren't many lionesses elsewhere it meant she must be pretty darn beautiful indeed, and Harufu didn't want to miss out on catching a glimpse at his potential future mate.
Bringing up the rear of this two beast parade was Vrasku who trots along panting heavily as he tries to keep pace with the lion. A rolly polly beast Vrasku was smaller than the lion but plumper.
"I'm coming, I'm coming..." he growls, "Keep yer fur on, I'm coming." He pauses to catch his breath before continuing on. Vrasku wasnt one push himself like this for, really even himself let alone others. But there was much at stake, just as much for the lion as for the jackal.
If the lion was married to the princess then he would be welcomed into the pride, and it would be easy living for the jackal after that for helping said lion into the pride.
Or so Vrasku thought at least. "How far (huff pant) until we get there anyway?"
"If you look at something other than your toes for a while, you'd see how close we are," Harufu said. In the near distance was a river, which bulged part way along its curving trail like a snake that had eaten a hyrax. But where the hyrax would be was a large, flat rock, right in the middle of the river. They were just close enough to see little figures moving about on its top, if one squinted. "Looks like it's about to start. Pick up the pace!" He took off at a loping run on long, lanky legs.
ooc: do you mind if I jump in? I'll be using Bordi. :3
Bordi padded silently across the field that lay in front of his usual sleeping place. It wasn't much, just a rock that had an overshadow, but it kept him warm at night and cool in the day. The red-tinted lion smiled softly; it was a gorgeous day for a hunt. There was a contest for marriage in the lands, and though Bordi was not looking to settle he always welcomed entertainment. He could see figures moving in the distance, likely other lions who would vie for Princess Mremba's affection. Bordi could just make out the preening habits of the lions. He shook his light mane and laughed as he got closer. The other reason for his lack of entry was that he simply couldn't stand up to these lions. He wasn't particularly large, nor did he have any skills the other's didn't. He was average by all accounts, and not someone a princess should end up with.
He heard the sound of running behind him, and broke away from his thoughts to see a lion and...a jackal? They were running towards him at a good pace, and Bordi had just enough time to side step out of the way. He scowled. "Hey! Watch it!"
"W-wait! Come back!" Vrasku calls with an out stretched paw. He grumbles about heing left behind but quickly calms himself. "It's just a little more exercise Vrasku. Get you in shape for all the gorging you will do once your the royal jackal." the beast chuckles at the thought, imagining himself with a crown and cape as he lords his position over a pack of bowing jackals.
It probibly, ok most certainly wouldn't happen that way but a jackal could dream, cant he?
It was qll this day dreqming that blinded Vrasku to the second lion to appear before them. Coming to a sliding hault the jackal falls backward onto his rump before sliding into this new lion.
Letting out a paniced yalp the jackal scrambles to right himself and scurry away to the safty of his friend.
"Sorry, presentation," Harufu said by means of excuse to the new lion, but then he had an idea. The river below was flanked by forest. It was easy to get lost in forest. Harufu reached out one paw to a tree he was passing and used it to change direction and run back to the lion he'd passed. Which was good because Vrasku had stopped at the lion's feet. "Hello, I'm Harufu," Harufu said, gripping the lion's paw in both of his own. "And this... That, is my assistant, Vrasku. We're hunters, here to participate in the tournament. Bow low, friend! You're talking to future nobility here! Heh, heh... Just kidding. About the bowing part only, I hope." "Say, would you mind showing us the fastest way to the presentation? We just got here and we'd hate to miss out on seeing the princess. Don't want to get 'lost in the woods' on my first day here, if you know what I mean." The grin that followed was weak. Of COURSE you mean 'lost in the woods.' Idiot.
Bordi continued to scowl, readjusting as he stepped back from the jackal. The poor thing seemed a bit dazed, but he quickly scrambled back from Bordi. The lion who was accompanying him muttered something about a presentation, but Bordi disregarded it. Half the savannah was headed to the hunting grounds; meeting others on the way was no surprise. Still, he had to double take when the other lion approached him and grabbed Bordi's paw in his own. Bordi shook his paw loose and held it up, affronted. Harufu and Vrasku. They were hunters, of course. Bow low? Bordi raised an eyebrow at the other, but quickly lowered it when Harufu laughed the statement off.
Show them the fastest way to the tournament? Bordi huffed audibly. "It's...friend, it isn't very hard." Harufu mentioned not wanting to get lost in the woods that separated them from the actual tournament grounds, and that he didn't want to miss seeing the princess. Bordi nodded, but had to supress a chuckle. If this lion couldn't even get through the woods on his own, how could he hope to win the princess? Seeing her from afar was as close as he would get at this rate. Still, Bordi took pity. If the only chance for this kid to get close to the princess was to watch her from the ground, Bordi would walk him there. He was heading the same direction anyway. He looked at the jackal and nodded again. "Alright, I'll show you. Just stay close, I suppose."
Without another word, Bordi turned his back on the pair and began walking down the slope toward the woods. He hoped he wouldn't be wasting precious time with these two...weirdos.
If one were to ask Vrasku he would say any time NOT spent with a jackal would be wasted. But no one did ask him so they do not get his words of jackally wisdome! So there!
The jackal does however reply, "We would be much abliged if you would kind sir." His voice is jovial now that he knows he is not to be lunch. Coming this far only to end up in the stomach of a lion would ruin Vrasku's whole day. "As harufu said, M'names Vrasku, at your service." the jackal manages to bow his head as he trots a little behind the lions. "Well, actually I'm in service to Harufu but only for the purposes of the tournement. If you should ever find yourself in need of a trusty assistant jackal be sure to give me a call."
What? WHAT? No harm in hedging his bets a bit...or prepairing for the worst should Harufu fail.
Harufu bowed in gratitude. "Thank you, friend. If we could be speedy about this I would appreciate it. The ceremony was due to begin shortly after dawn. Rather a vague time bracket but I believe it even fits now... what's your name, by the way?" he said, walking along.
Bordi stared at the jackal. Most animals smaller than him just ran, or more often ignored him. He seemed to have regained some confidence, possibly due to Bordi not being particularly aggressive. Vrasu, the trusty lion assistant. Bordi couldn't contain his grin at this suggestion, but he did manage to not scoff at the little beast. "Thank you for your offer, I'll keep it in mind." Harufu bowed his head in Bardi direction and thanked him for helping them through the terrain. Bordi was well aware they would need to get through the woods quickly, as the tournament would start in just few more hours. He nodded and continued walking. "You can call me Bordi, and we'll get there in time as long as we don't get distracted. I like watching tournaments, so I don't want to miss anything either."
They were nearing the forest now, and Bordi could feel the dirt under his paws change in consistency. It was softer and cooler here. "Watch where you step as we go through here. Wouldn't want to dirty up your coat if you're going to try and impress the princess." Bordi grinned at Harufu and continued on.
Little did the lions of the river know that they were being watched with greedy eyes.
"Look at them, so calm, so placid. They have no idea what's coming, do they?" the heyena possesed the amount of charm as one would expect from a member of his species. Even less with the trio of claw marks running down his muzzle.
"To be fair neither do we." Swiftpaw replied with a stiff yawn. Unlike his leader Rock was a fleshy obese creature. One with darker spots across his back. "You havn't tols us what we are doing here Visiki." the hyena gulps at the dark scowl directed toward him, "Er, sorry. Krull."
"And don't you forget it." Krull growls. "And we are here because we are going to make history. We are going to-"
"Kidnap a princess?"
Krull pauses, twitching an eye, both he and Swiftpaw turn to look at the third hyena in their party as she rolls around in the grass biting flees off of her hind leg.
"No...possibly...well maybe. The point is-"
"It will be an adventure!" the younger hyena rolls to her feet, tail wagging, "Just like Gar the first Krull, or Bloodmuzzle the firth Krull. They all kidnapped lions as their claim to fame."
"They were both eaten by lions too," Swiftpaw points out, tactfully. The way Visiki is biting his lip and shaking its only a matter of time before their Krull blows a gasket. And Swiftpaw would rather his anger not be directed at him...again.
"Well I'm not going to die because my plan is better!" Krull snaps, "Now get off your lazy arses and listen up. Cause we have a lot of work to do before this contest begins...
Swiftpaw sighs. Visiki's ambition only grew after becoming the packs champion, their Krull. But Swift just couldnt see why a sane rational beast would covet so a position was held for life, and quickly replaced at least once per year...
Harufu better win! Thought Vrasku as he struggles to keep up. It was clear that the little jackal was not doing so well trying to keep pace with the taller more agile lions.
#ill try to post some background on Krull later on :3 they are currently on the other side of the river, far away from the party#
Harufu hadn't considered that. Considering he had nobody else to groom him over his entire trip (except for Vrasku, who wouldn't groom him for anything less than an entire elephant carcass), his coat must be awful. "Hey," he said, "you don't know anyone here who provides professional grooming services, do you? Monkeys or birds, or even some lionesses?" Nevertheless he looked closer to where he was walking now, trying to step best the trail, out of the mud.
Bordi stepped around a puddle of mud before looking back at Harufu, Vrasku trailing behind. Grooming services? What kind of animal, lions especially, needed grooming services? Couldn't this kid clean himself? Bordi raised an eyebrow, but answered nonetheless as he turned and continued walking. "As far as I know, you're on your own for grooming. Though you might meet someone while we walk through here." Bordi looked up at the trees. They were slowly getting thicker, obscuring the daylight and casting a blue green shadow on the ground. Though they had made themselves scarce, Bordi knew snakes and baboons lived in this place. He was keen on not meeting them.
Neither did the jackal really. He has even more reason to avoid such creatures causing him to trot even closer to the lions, nervously eyeing the trees and shrubs around him.
"I guess you will have to go for the scraggly rouge this time around Harufu." The Jackal says mostly to get his mind off of the potential danger around him. "Do you remember how you are going to present yourself? I came a long way to help you with this just for you to stumble over your own words. I can add a bit of flair before you introduce yourself but its up to you to sell yourself to the pride."
"Introduce myself? How about, 'Hi. I'm Harufu. I'm going to catch the biggest buffalo in your kingdom and marry you.'?" Harufu said, walking the paths to the rock. Kingdom Rock, he'd heard it called. Where he would meet his future wife. "What do you suggest?"
OOC: Ah!! I'm so sorry for how long this reply took, work's been crazy D:
Bordi snorted at Harufu's response to the jackal. It was true. There were few ways to introduce oneself to a princess. Bordi looked up and tilted his head as they walked. They were now in near dusk colored territory, the sky was so hidden. Bordi's fur had turned to a dark pink shade in the light, and the others had similar shadows. Bordi stopped and looked around, thinking. It had been a while since he had been in this forest, so it took him a moment to get his bearings. He looked around and chose a path. "Yeah, this is it." He continued. Looking back, he asked,"So. Where are you two from? I don't recall ever seeing you."
With a loud groan the jackal scoffs, "Lions!" shaking his head he replies first to their guide, "I come from a place where one addresses royalty with a bit of flare and grace, appearently the opposite of where my friend is from." Vrasku slugs Harufu in the shoulder. It does absolutely nothing.
"Harufu, what do you think every other barbarian brute of a lion is going to be saying? 'Hello! My name is Brutus the great, I will bring you many yum yums to eat'." the jackal says in his strange, if slightly yammering voice. "We need to make an impression, we need to make you stand out! We need to..to...pick one quality and build that up. Give it some flare. Like your...um..." the jackal looks over harufu for qualities to highlight.
"Help me out pal, what does one do to put a positive spin on 'scraggly'?" Vrasku asks their guide.
#XD no worries. It happens. I will be idle over the week end myself. Also, feel free to time-y whime-y gap as needed or when needed :3#
"There are no royalty in the congo. Unless you count the gorilla king, but I never met him," Harufu said, then turned to Bordi. "That's where I'm from. The congo. Haven't been there for a year though. "Poisitive spin on scraggly... hmm..." Harufu cocked his head. "Ruggedly handsome?" He gave his most charming grin to Vrasku. Then, at the sound of a roar his head whipped around. "It's starting. Quick! We're almost there!" He ran forward, leaving the others to keep up. The forest whizzed by him for a moment then broke into a bright glade, dominated at the far end by a large flat stone connected to the mainland by a fallen tree. Atop the tree's roots stood a lion, roaring to announce the beginning of the event. All around the glade the animals joined in: elephants blew their trunks. Gorillas thumped their chests. Zebras whinnied and babboons shrieked. Harufu grinned and, along with the other lions in observance, gave his most throaty roar. "We made it!" he said, once he was done.
OOC: I'm so sorry guys, work has been crazy this week. I'm back!
Bordi smiled slightly at the other lion and his friend. "Scruffy isn't necessarily a bad thing, or scraggly." Harufu suddenly brightened and looked ahead. The forest had cleared now, and they could see the gathering across the small river. Harufu bounded ahead leaving Vrasku and Bordi in his wake. Bordi looked at the jackal and grinned. "We better catch up, or all we'll see is dust!" Bordi ran ahead toward the other lion and allowed himself to enjoy the wind in his face. They gained on the gathering, and made it there just as it started.
Bordi stopped just before the throng. He was certainly not planning on being a part of this. He leaned again to Vrasku. "You certainly have your job cut out for you." He watched as Harufu roared with the other animals, showing his worth.Bordi scanned the others, and furrowed his brow. Harufu also had his job cut out, if he was competing with these beasts.
It takes a moment for the jackal to appear behind the lions. "Again the running! Why are you always running? Why can't you lot walk like normal beasts?" the jackal plops down infront of Bordi, scanning the crowd assembled, "Ugh, no joke there. Just do me a favor Bordi and stick close just in case someone thinks Im on the menu..."
Finally catching his breath the jackal steps forward ahead of Harufu. Then sitting back onto his portly haunches the jackal calls out in a loud voice. "Lions! Preditors, beasts of prey lend me your ears!" his shrill yelps are all but lost on the crowd assembled. "I said lions, preditors and-" the jackal twitches an ear most violently before he closes his eyes, casting his head backward to yell, "Hey you miserable lot of flees! Listen up!"
Well, that got the attention of at least a few beasts, for better or for worse. Coughing politely the jackal continues, "Thank you. Now that I have your attention, behold! Coming from the darkest heart of thr Congo we welcome a mghty hunter of un parrelleled strength." the jackal moves closer and closer to the out skirts of the crowd using his upper paws enthusiastically to add some flair to his speech. "A terror so fearsome his roar shakes the trees, his gaze turns rhino's to flight. A beast with wisdome to match even the Gorillia King of the Congo. Cunning as a viper, stealthy as a spider!" the jackals eyes go wild and his motions even more frantic. "A fearsome warrior with a noble heart make way for the future champion of this contest, Harufu! The Prince of the Congo!"
The jackal nods his head to Bordi, "And deadly warrior assistant in training Bordi."
#feel free to spoof how ever you want beasts to react to this. I am ok with success or failure.#
(edit: Not as lengthy as I planned as I decided not to put the whole speech down in one post:))
The entire crowd was silent by the end of Vrasku's speech, and all eyes were either on him or Harufu. Harufu did his best to puff out his chest and look regal, but his eyes betrayed his panic, which he stabbed at Vrasku. "Ahem," said a deep, polite voice from atop the fallen log. It was the lion that had roared to begin the proceedings. "There will be a time to announce each contestant towards the end of the ceremony. If I may have your attention, please." There was a more subdued shuffling of hooves and paws as each animal turned back towards the podium. "Lions and beasts of the River Valley. We are about to see a competition the likes of which this valley has never seen before..." Harufu used this opportunity to quietly side-step over to Vrasku. "Prince of the Congo? Are you kidding?" he hissed straight into Vrasku's ear. "You idiot. If they think I'm a prince then find out I'm not, I could be kicked out of the competition!" "-due to having so many daughters, King Rakorag has seen fit to marry his youngest to a warrior-hunter of outstanding skill..."
Bordi watched as the crowd reassembled themselves in order to hear the lion speak. He had an exceptionally calm demeanor, but he seemed to be the only one feeling that way. The other beasts stomped nervously or shook their heads. Harufu seemed upset at Vrasku's introduction for him, and Bordi nodded slightly. "He's right, you should have been more vague. Nothing to do for it now though." He turned his attention back to the speaker, but whispered,"We'll just have to make sure you don't get found out. That's all. As long as no one slips up, you'll be fine. Pay attention, I think the first event is being announced."
"Oh yes because the king is going to be thrilled about marrying off his daughter to the first mangy lion off the savana." the jackal whispers back harshly. "At least now the King will know his /name/."
"I get nothing from this either if we fail, so I know what Im doing." the jackal lays down to listen. Oh he hopes he knows what he is doing.
"... hence all male lions gathered here today may, if they wish, enter the hunting tournament." There was another general roar of approval, but Harufu hardly heard it. "They're gonna kill me," he said, to nobody in particular. "All stand for his royal highness, King Rakorag, and his royal daughter, Princess Mremba." All the animals stood on all fours, as across the river on top of the log strode the meanest looking lion Harufu had ever seen. He was big and bulky with a black mane, and a scar running down from his nose to his lip. At his side - for the log had been flattened on top so two lions could walk abreast - strode a lioness. There was a sigh from the audience at the sight of her. Harufu couldn't make out any details yet, and he had fairly good eyesight. But like every other newcomer he squinted and peered forward to get a good look at her before she disappeared behind the mess of upturned logs that acted as the podium. It didn't work. She disappeared too quickly, and before he knew it the king was standing in the place of the speaker. He cleared his throat then spoke in something that was nearly a whisper, barely audible over the sound of distant baboons. "What's he saying... what's he saying," he said to Vrasku, whose ears were bigger than his, but then a moment later a small, portly hyrax took up his place on one of the roots and spoke in a loud, clear voice: "Greetings to you, my people and travelers from distant lands." He paused, listening as the old king wheezed on, then added, "It is a father's privilege to give away his daughter's hand in marriage, and accept new daughters as the wives of his sons. I have received five and released four, and at no point is the enormity of each moment lost on me. "Nevertheless a royal child must marry according to her station. When a suitable partner cannot be found, a contest is a traditional method for determining those who are most fit to reign and rule over a portion of one's kingdom. Hence the tournament we are holding here to find a suitable bridegroom and husband for our most cherished daughter, Mremba." The crowd cheered. The hyrax strained to hear the king over this more gentle applause, and Harufu strained to see the princess. When the cheering died down the hyrax continued: "But skill of body is only one criterion to enter the upper echelons of a pride's society. A keen mind, a strong sense of justice and a selflessness befitting a life of public servitude is also required, as is the ability to attend and perform civic duties, as I do so before you now. "So understand that while this is a hunting tournament, you, the contestants, will be tested on much more than your ability to catch game. All aspects of your persona will be examined closely. You will not be able to deceive us when your time is done." Harufu gulped. "We will be seeing you inside out. With that said, welcome. And may the best lion win. There was another round of applause, as Harufu gulped. "Brains... I can win on the brains department... strong sense of justice... well, yes. I think so? I know right from wrong, don't I? Selflessness... well, I permit the company of lesser life forms." His eyes shot towards Vrasku, just for an instant. "Surely that's good practice for when nearly everyone will be a lower life form, no?" Only then did he notice the original speaker was back, and the king was no longer visible. Where did the princess go? "Now the contestants will be announced before princess Mremba," the speaker said. "This is it," Harufu said. "Ooh boy..."
The jackal twitches an ear as he leans back on his haunches, for legs crossed over his chest. For him most of the speach is fluff and pomp. What where they looking for, a lion with a noble heart? Ha! That was just what one was required to say at large gatherings where your prey was attending. Behold! The lion who will be eating you eventually has a noble heart!
Although the jackal is currious as to why a suitable mate has not been found for the princess, there is certainly a large enough turn out for the contest, in the end who ever brought down the most game was still going to win.
"That's your cue tiger. No go get them." Vrasku slaps the lion on the side, "Remember! Confidence! Big scary congo lion! Rawr! Knock em dead!"
The jackal then moves closer to their extra lion, whispering out loud. "Doom. We are so doomed. This is doomed to failure. Everything is goong to fall appart and I'm going to end up on the menu..."
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2016 13:29:37 GMT by coolcoyote