The air was a abuzz with controlled excitement as the hunters moved forward to get a better look at their 'prize'.
Lions of all shapes and sizes were there, few were more fierce looking than Tor. A burly creature bulging with muscles that were tempered by a healthy degree of flesh. His square jaw was home to several scars.
Suddenly a lion next to him yowled quite loudly. "Heathen brute! What where you are going!" the lion shakes his paw in the air. Compared to Tor the beast is scraggly thing with crooked whiskers, hardly any meat on him at all. "Terrence...terrence!" the lion calls out. A jaguare appears at his side, saluting the lion, "I'm here Lord Snaggletooth."
"Terrence, I think my paws broken...it...it hurts...I want you to fix it then murder the beast that caused me this much pain!"
Tor raises an eyebrow but says nothing as the jaguare picks up Snaggletooths paw and examines it. "Oh the pain! The horror! I can't bare to look! I'm horribly crippled now arnt I?"
"You look fine me lord."
"Really?" Snaggletooth blinks repeatedly, "Not...not even sprained a bit?"
"Nope. You are in top hunting condition sir." the jaguare says, she salutes again. "Do you still wish me to murder someone sir?"
Snaggletooth glares at the offending lion, "No, you get to live...this time." he scowls as he slinks off.
Tor just continues to stare. "Well ok then." before he shrugs and follows.
(Can we make the jaguar a leopard? Unless you really want a south american animal to be in Africa:)).
Harufu glared at Vrasku and then stepped forward, following the other lions up onto a rise before the mighty fallen tree. He couldn't help but eye the competition, somewhat with concern and somewhat with embarrassment... for them. The big muscular lion would probably be a concern, but Harufu had brains. Of course a multitude of muscle didn't necessarily mean a lack of gear in the head department. But the skinny little thing with the killer jaguar(leopard?) was plain embarrassing. His spotted compatriot, however, was more of a concern.
There were two other lions too. An older, heaviset male with a grey eye and a golden-coloured lion with a mane like the sun. He nodded at Harufu politely, and Harufu hated him instantly.
They all stopped before the fallen tree, then the king stepped forward. Harufu held his breath. Beside him a young lioness padded into view... but her face was covered in a mask of leaves!
The older lion groaned. Harufu looked over to the golden-haired lion, whose eyes had glazed over. So he wasn't the only one who was disappointed.
The king gestured, and from between the golden-haired lion's feet stepped a little mouse. Harufu bent down to better hear it's squeak, but nearly recoiled in pain when it said in a shrill voice, "Prince Ayu, of the Sun Pride. Heir to the throne, victor at the battle of Kilamanjaro. A most eligible bachelor!" "Your Majesty. Your Highness," Prince Ayu bowed. "A pleasure and honour to have this opportunity." "From the Sun Pride. Don't you hail from the other side of Africa?" "I do," Prince Ayu said. The king frowned at this, but inclined his head. Then focussed his attention on the old male.
Harufu noticed he was lacking someone to speak for him. As the old male gave his talk - something about an 'old hunter' with 'good blood,' - Harufu looked backwards into the crowd. He waved Vrasku over urgently.
Stepping forward with his tail held high like a feather plume behind him Vrasku tries to conduct himself with as much dignity as a jackal can muster. "Me lords! Ladies! And nobel majesty." Vrasku leans back on his haunches to bow most formally.
"Allow me the honor to introduce to you Harufu the mighty hunter! Harufu the unstoppable warrior! Harufu the noble hearted! Harufu the just!" the lion doesn't want to be called prince of the congo? Fine, the jackal can work with that...he thinks...he hopes...
"Harufu, and so on and so forth. But who has time to list all the qualities of Harufu the lion! Instead I will.." Vrasku pauses for a moment. They are looking for a noble beast eh? A sly smile forms on the jackals lips before he continues, "Regeal you with my own experience! How this noble lion saved my own life!"
The jackal goes on, using excited gestures with his fore paws as he speak, "I can personally attest to his heroism on that oh so fatefull day! I was caught by a snake, a...python! Yes! In the heart of the congo! I was doomed! As the beasts deadly body coiled around me, crushing the very life out of me all I could do was stare into the jaws of the abyss."
He spreads his paws out wide, "And then! Like light cutting through darkness this noble lion," he said the word noble 3 times now. It must be true, "Harufu came and battled the creature! Tooth and nail they fought! Tussling through the jungle for hours until..."
The jackal relaxes, easying off the drama, "Well, I am fairly sure you guess who wom that battle." the jackal chuckles, "The point is, what other lion would have risked his life to save a lowly jackal? What lion would have even cared?" the jackal pauses to hold back non existant tears. When he opens his eyes again they are wide and sorrowfull. Lions may have strength, cheetah's may have speed, but canines have puppy dog eyes, "Who else would have a bigger heart? My king, I give you, Harufu..."
(Sorry about the wait, to make up for it I give you a campy speach )
Harufu gritted his teeth and grinned nervously, but to his surprise the king nodded in his direction. As the next contender started speaking he blew a sigh of relief, though still glared at Vrasku. He didn't like lying, and what if one day his wife asked about the snake?
Then the king's eyes strayed to the old lion, who cleared his throat.
"Your majesty," he said with a painful bow. "I may not be young or noble-born, but I was once the greatest hunter in my land. I single-handedly hunted and killed a bull-elephant while it slept, and have worked in teams to kill adult rhinos and hippopotamuses as well. Though I may be old I am of good blood, and my children will inherit the hunting skills I mastered in my youth."
"It is a pleasure to have you in our company, Rokar. You truly need no introduction," the king said. Then his eyes fell on the last two contestants, the strong male and the wimpy lion.
As the other lions are addressed, Vrasku appears by the lions side. "Catching Rhino's pfft," he nudges Harufu in the side, "And you thought I was a dirty rotten liar. Ha! You just keep letting me do all the talking and we will be living on easy street in no time." he whispers.
Tor steps forward but it's Snaggletooth who replies first.
"Sir Lord Grand Duke Snaggletooth of the Thorn Bush Jungles-"
"The what bussh jungles?" Tor interupts.
"Its the patch of jungle between the rivers to the east..." Snaggle stops himself short of calling Tor a heathen.
"You mean the island surrounded by gators?"
"Yep, the very one...now my king..."
"That's...barely a mile wide..."
"It's a small but growing territory and-"
"I thought they BANISHED beasts t-"
"Will you give me the moment!" the smaller lion shouts. There is a pause as Snaggletooth waits for Tor to interupt again. Satisfied the lion replies, "I stand to inherit quite the ammount of land after I take the thrown in my home land, a merger between our prides will...benefit us all."
"If you win," chuffs Tor, he steps forward, easily pushing snaggletooth out of the way, "My name is Tor, I am a lone hunter with out a pride. You will see my skills soon enough." Tor sits down as if to elaborate on this but never does.