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Fantasy RP In the Heart of the Pridelands (Rhys)

FaeWhisperer

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Stepping out from the large cave that sheltered the pride, Thornclaw took a long stretch- bristling out his fur before giving it a good shake. It was early in the morning, and he had yet to see anyone else to wake from their own sleeping piles. But he didn't blame them, for the weather was pretty cold for leafbare this time around, which was unusual but he knew the world was ever changing. His duty as a shaman in the pride he resided in made sure he knew that all too well. After a few moments of slowly waking up, Thornclaw began to pad over to the fresh kill pile that the huntresses of the pride kept full, but was mindful of the time of year it was, meaning most herds had migrated for the time being. So their pickings were far and few in between, but he was appreciative that there hadn't been any cubs born during this season, which meant less mouths to feed.

He eventually decided to go with a medium sized hare, knowing the morning hunt had yet to head out- but he was very hungry. He had just returned from a journey to the starpool, which was a large pool of water that had in its waters beautiful crystals. The starpool was hidden deep in the neighboring jungle, and that's where he and other prideland shamans went to receive visions from their ancestors, Starlit Pride. These visions he usually received were often in concern for his pride, to see if the upcoming months would prove a struggle for them or not- if there were any potential threats to the pride- or if he wanted to just receive advice on how he should handle certain situations. Thornclaw usually only went every four full moons, and that had been the night before.

He eventually settled on the sunrock, soaking up the morning rays as it began to peek over the horizon, and started to eat his meal. He remembered there was a time he had went without food for days- back when he was living in the outlands. He was thankful that he came across Lightning Pride when he did, as he had been a sick and injured cub. Usually, Lightning Pride didn't take well to outsiders, but his mentor- Brambleheart, the shaman at the time- took pity and convinced the pride leader to take him in, on the account that he would be her apprentice.

And like every apprentice, be it shaman or a warrior- he had to learn how to fight and hold his own whenever threats would arise to the pride. That was one of the unique sides to Lightning Pride, ones who usually boasted about their pride having the best fighters. But now, Thornclaw had settled into his shaman role, perfectly content with aiding his fellow pride members and using his healing knowledge when needed.

Lightning Pride

Territory:
Located in a ravine, neighboring a large dense jungle. This ravine floods from time to time during the wet season, leaving large pools of water for prey animals to drink out of. The area is very green with lots of sand and multiple trees, with the hot sun bearing down the valley if not covered by clouds- and because of this hot sun, the pride has seen their fair share of droughts.
Camp: Since Lions typically group together, they normally would sleep out underneath the stars. But this area is famous for its stormy weather (and wet grounds), so luckily they were able to find a large enough cave to reside in. The cave also has separate crevices to which the shamans over many a moon have found useful for storing their much needed herbs and remedies. This cave is thankfully located uphill of the ravine, so the flood waters in the valley below usually don't reach them.
A visual:​
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Freshkill pile: an area located near the cave, behind a few large boulders sheltered from any potential birds of prey.
Training area: located in a sandy grassy area, covered by some trees perfect for climbing.
A visual:​
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Lightningstrike Falls: besides the flooding that occurs during the wet/rainy season (aka greenleaf), there is a waterfall that resides in a northern corner of the ravine. This leads into a fresh pool of water- and down here is where the shamans can also easily look for their normal types of herbs that grow. During a drought, the waterfall is still active, although the pool of water is much smaller. This waterfall comes directly from the neighboring jungle. The water is very clean and is also used to clean most wounds, and for some herbal remedies. Young lions also go down here with their mentors to learn how to swim.
A visual:​
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Starpool: where shamans go to communicate with their ancestors - it is hidden deep within a lush jungle. The water seems to sparkle mostly based on the crystals down below the waters, usually illuminating with the help of the full moon. This starpool is also a natural hot spring.
A visual:​
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Some things to note:
The nursing/expecting mothers give birth outside of the pride in what is called the nursery den (to avoid any males killing the newborn cubs- normally Lightning Pride does not have this issue but one can never be too careful), the shamans (who are neutral in all things) also go and aid the mothers to make sure the cubs and the mother survive during the birthing process, and then checks in on them every week until the cubs reach 4 moons. Pride numbers are everything to Lightning Pride, so this is a crucial part for the shaman, and usually, if they have an apprentice- if old enough, their apprentice will stay behind with the Pride as the Shaman attends to the mothers.
A visual:​
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This pride is also full of shapeshifters, ones who had learned to survive the harsh climates long ago. It also gives them the upper hand from the poachers who kill lions for sport.

Thornclaw // Therin

Age: 48 moons / 4 years in lion age / 26 yr old in human age
Height/length: 6'2 / 187cm || 10 ft / 3m long
Weight: 410 lbs / 186 kg || 180 lbs / 81 kg
Gender: Male
Race: Human / Shapeshifter / Lion
Appearance (both human and lion form):
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Family: none
Background: growing up, he was a very sick cub, but thankfully (and reluctantly) Lightning Pride took him in, and he became the apprentice to the shaman. From there he learned how to shapeshift like the others, eventually adapting a human like form. Although he does prefer his lion form to anything else.
Likes/Dislikes:
Likes: Prefers the stormy, cloudy weather over the hot bearing down sun, but doesn't mind a good nap in the sun (usually in cooler weather) when he gets the chance. You most likely will see him by himself though, as he doesn't keep much company, and he prefers it that way.​
Dislikes: Hot, dry days, and the irritating buzzing of the cicadas. They are way too loud for his tastes and wish they would just shut up.​
Personality: He's mostly by himself, and doesn't prefer crowds (ironically even if he is in a pride). He has a playful personality and likes to tease those who are close to him from time to time.
 

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Name: Silvermoon || Cylvie
Age: 42 moons / 3.5 yr lion age / 22 yr human age
Height/length: Human Form) 5ft 4in || Lion form) 3ft 2in high; 5ft 4in long
Weight: Human form) 146lbs || Lion Form) 345lbs
Gender: Female
Race: Human / Lion-shifter
Appearance (both human and lion form):
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Tattooed on her upper left arm.
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Backstory: Cylvie spent the fist many moons of her life with no pride or family. Instead, she wandered the lands with a fierce adiretation for exploring, and never wanted to settle down. When she was about 2 ((lion years), she had made her way into the Pridelands, and found that maybe life was a little more than exploring.
She never had the heart for combat, preferring to run and stretch her long legs with grace and speed. She spent the next few moons living in peace with the Pride(s?), before eventually joining. Her birth name/human name, Cylvie had been replaced with Silvermoon.


Cylvie sprawled in the early morning sun, in her human form as she lazed on the slowly warming dirt. Her green eyes were closed, hiding the vibrant color of them from the world as she slowly relaxed. She was preparing herself for the morning hunt, and then planned to get some sleep afterwards. She would enjoy the hunt, always preferring to be running rather than training or fighting. It wasn’t her forte to fight, her smaller frame and slightly longer legs gifting her with speed and agility rather than brute force of a fighter.

She opens her eyes blinking in the morning light and turned her head, lifting it to see Thornclaw come out of the cave just before her hair fell into her face. She ran her fingers through the tangled looks, the small breeze doing perfectly to rake itself through her hair and make it messier than it should be. She smiles at Thorncalw, dipping her head slightly at the older shifter before dropping her head back onto the dirt. “Morning.” She drawled, her voice sounding just as lazy as she looked.
 

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FaeWhisperer

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Thornclaw hadn’t noticed Cylvie at first, for she had perfectly blended in with the tall, yellow grass. It was only when he had began to eat part of last night’s kill did he take in his surroundings fully.

And that was when his own vibrant green eyes fell on Cylvie’s form. “Oh,” he spoke and licked at his maw, cleaning the blood from it. “Good morning, Silvermoon,” he spoke her pack name, deciding to be formal. Their ‘human’ names were reserved for those close to one another, or family members.
 
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Cylvie shifts in a soft, barely noticeable flash of light, her lion form now appearing as she stood, moving closer to the male and sitting across from him. She yawns again, blinking slowly and watching the male for a long moment. She wasn’t big on formalities, and never really cared who used which name with her, but she did sometimes find it irksome to be called her full name. It was probably the mood she was in this morning that made it bother her a little more than normal, “You know. . . There’s no need to be so formal with me, Thornclaw. . .” She would respect the other’s boundaries though, and was always careful to use their pride name.

(I added her history, however brief- XD)
 
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FaeWhisperer

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(Well I thought I had the photo but upon my hundreds of blonde ai photos alas, I do not. (But I can assure you that once an rp starts I usually make ai photos for it, so if you’re interested I can always share what I make :3)
(lol I just realized I used ‘pack’ name T-T and I’ll give a check on her history too!)

Thornclaw watches as she shifts, his eyes trained to pick up on how exactly she did so, and even he was impressed with how quick she was at it. But he’d never let her know that.

Hearing her retort to his greeting her with her pride name he gave a slight flick of his ear. “I can guess,” he responded back in a slight sarcastic tone, his eyes focusing in on her face. “But I am,” he reminded, not really appreciating how close she was in the moment. He sighed, pawing slightly at the carcass of the rabbit in front of him. “You have to realize not all of us..are so lenient with formalities..” he mentioned next, a fair warning, knowing that a few here wouldn’t be this calm for her pointing out about how she’d like to be addressed. Even if it had to be with her birth name being replaced at one point when she decided to join the pride, she would bear a pride name. If you had family, or a mate, those were usually who called you by your chosen/preferred name.
 
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Cylvie backs away a little more, increasing the distance between her and the male. She always had a hard time reading social ques, having lived alone for most of her life, being with other felt strange. Nice, but strange. She could also put it up for being desperate to make a friend, even in the few moons she had been in the pride, few seemed willing to reach out to befriend her. She dips her head slightly, “Sorry. . . Just, everyone called me Cylvie when that’s all I was. The lonely lioness on the edge of the Pridelands. But the moment I have a different name. I don’t see why I should be called anything different.” She pawed anxiously at the dirt, flexing her claws and dragging them through, making faint lunges in the dusty ground.

She looks back to the male, blinking slowly once, her gaze soft and open. She never meant any offense to anyone, but. She was mightily curious and maybe a little pushy on her questions.
 
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Thornclaw closed his eyes as she backed away and he gave a low rumble in his throat, almost as if he had been about to growl at her. But what came next was something she wouldn’t suspect. “Lightning Pride.. you joined us, Lightning Pride. You should be honored to have such a pride name, as it means you are a part of a strong, powerful and cunning pride.” But it didn’t seem he was scolding her. “My other name was Therin, well.. I still am Therin, through and through- but to have a pride name like Thornclaw-“ he paused, inhaling before letting it out as he finished his words, “it fills me with a feeling of belonging..” and that was the shaman’s teachings within him, coming out and reminding Cylvie she should be proud of belonging to Lightning Pride.
 
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She drops her gaze back to the dirt, her green eyes focused on it as she grew her paw through it again. She didn’t exactly know why she had joined the pride. She’d known she was tired of being alone, of having no one. . . But was it really any better to be a part of a pride if the others didn’t feel like she respected their ways? She’d done her best, she’d learned them and always tried to remember how to greet each lion in respect to their station. And not just the social expectations, the expectations she kept her claws sharp and not just for her prey. . .

She flicked her ear, the only sign of irritation she’d let on as she looked back to Thronclaw. “I am honored. Deeply, I just. . .“” Heer he’d tilt to the side, thinking of how to phrase the words.

“It makes me feel more separated from everyone else. They’ve all known m as Cylvie since I appeared here, and now, to be called Silvermoon. . . It feels like a detachment. It’s a beautiful name, and I treasure it very much, but I don’t want detachment. I joined for a family, to have others I can be around and know. Laugh with.”

Her eyes close again, a deep, old ache in her heart as he remembered her parents. She could barely remember the sound of their voices or the exact shade of fur, she’d lost them so young. . . But she remembered the feeling of love and happiness she’d had, even so young.

“Somewhere to belong. It’s hard to feel like I belong somewhere if almost everything I do is breaking this social faux pas or that social faux pas.”
 

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“I can assure you your pride mates do not see it in the same sense you do," he remarked, opening his eyes to look at her once again, and noted her flick of an ear- "they understand Cylvie is your name..but to them, you are apart of our pride, and..our Pride Leader didn't just give you any name, you know." he wondered if she knew the history of her name, and certainly he knew that she would never know the whisperings of her arrival that he had received visions from Starlit Pride.

Cylvie's frame was suited for Lightning Pride through and through. 'As quick as lightning strikes' was how they had been mentioned in past wars between the prides. They were lithe, swift and powerful fighters, but for Cylvie, her role would end up being different.

She would be 'the lightning to strike before the thunder roars'…whatever that meant. He had yet to decipher all the details. But again, he wasn't exactly going to tell her that, because certainly she'd have more questions, and he— didn't have answers.
 
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She sighs, shifting back into her human form. Even though Cylvie had been born no where near the Pridelands, she still had the ability to shift her physical form. It always seemed she could never stay in one from for long, one moment a human, the a lioness and then human again. This was seen in her hunting style, one moment running after her prey as a human, and then leaping. She would always shift mid leap into her lioness form and sink her long sharp teething into the flesh of her prey.

"Well, if that's how they feel, then why does no one want to talk tome? No one does unless I corner them and pester them with questions." She gives Thornclaw a pointed look, her green eyes solemn.

She blows out a heavy breath, flopping down onto her ass and pulling her knees to her chest. "Don't get me wrong, I love my name, but. . ." She shakes her head slightly.
 

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Thornclaw watched her shift again, and he flicked an ear in response. He listened to her speak once more and he wanted to give her somewhat of an answer.

He knew he was trying to make her feel comforted, but also knew he was partially lying. And to that it was a mystery of why he was being nice to her. Perhaps he felt pity, because…because- well, he knew Lightning Pride weren’t that accepting of outsiders. He remembered in the past it had been the same for him when he was a cub when he joined. And it had been several moons before he was fully revered and respected. All because he wasn’t of ‘Lightning Pride descent’.

But things were a bit different now, seeing as they had a different pride leader, but some pride mates were stuck in their old ways. He knew that, but didn’t know what to say to her.

He gave a sigh and closed his eyes, soon shifting to his human form, perhaps he could connect with her easier.

He leaned back and looked up at the clear sky, his eyes seemingly lost in thought. “Well..I’m not sure if you had heard of our pride prior to joining but, Lightning Pride has always been..stingy to new comers. For a while they had been ‘purists’ of sorts, believing that keeping the bloodline pure made the best warriors for the pride.”

Therin shakes his head, looking back at her. “I was the same as you. Thankfully at the time though my mentor practically sheltered me from the coldness of the pride after I joined, but.. I will say it took way longer than you have been here in the pride for me to be accepted- especially by the older generations here. Our younger lions and youngest are easier of acceptance to outsiders joining but not as spoken up about it in fear of backlash from the elders.” he ended on that, hoping to offer some explanation, but he also knew because of the prophecy..it had happened about one moon in after Cylvie’s ‘arrival’ or, joining the pride, and Therin had to report this to the pride leader his prophecy from Starlit Pride. And before this happened, the pride leader at first had been accepting of Cylvie, as he saw the potential in her..but since he learned of the prophecy, he had been worried about the safety of the pride because of it, because he wasn’t sure if war would happen amongst the prides again in the not too distant future— and more importantly, he wasn’t sure what Cylvie meant for the pride, if accepting her into the pride had been a mistake on his part that would cost the pride later... And of course it didn’t help that the pride leader obviously had his personal circle of trust, and Therin didn’t know exactly what had been discussed between the pride leader and his close friends, so that could also be a factor as well in how others treated Cylvie too.
 
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(I'm so sorry T^T)

Cylvie sighs softly and looks at Thornclaw, "I know that. They like the purity of the pride and all that. And I respect it. They're a large family, and its worse than accepting an in-law. Its like accepting a poor little orphan. You have no connection to them besides the want to take them in. Sort for my example, it's a shitty one. Probably makes no sense." She runs her fingers through her hair and then pulls a lick in front of her face and starts braiding the golden stands.

"I guess I've just wanted a family and feel left out. I thought that I've I had gotten my name, I would make friends and such, not still do things by myself."

One look at Cyilve's face would show that the normally bright and cheerful lioness was lonely and, while nit depressed, sad. Her green eyes held a gleam of longing, of wanting to belong.

"Maybe you dint remember it, since you were a cub, but being alone, hunting by yourself and having no in to share the food with. . . No one to nuzzles up to to keep you warm at night. . . No one to seak for comfort if hurt. . . It's lonely, and. . ." She shudders, pulling her knees to her chest. "It's why I started to wander from hime I was looking for somewhere to belong."
 

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Therin stared at her for a while, listening to what she said. It was true he thought that the pride would be more accepting now, but.. that just wasn't the case. It would be the same for a new outsider joining. This proved difficult for him, in a position such as he - trying to be without bias because he's a shaman.. But then again that prophecy that was revealed to him..

"I'm sorry that our pride made you feel like that..I-" he spoke, looking at the ground then back towards her, "I cannot give any guarantee but, Starlit Pride willing- I hope our pride will become more accepting for you soon in the coming moons.." An he spoke as a shaman would, trying to offer what guidance and help he could.

To be honest, he was lonely too, but he knew that would come with him being in this position - and it would be harder if he had been a female shaman, seeking companionship. But then again, he had turned down any opportunity for pride members to include him in things, knowing how his elders had felt of him truly, after finding out that his mentor had sheltered him from the harsh reality. He had been bitter- he knew he wasn't supposed to be, but he could still feel that stirring in his chest.

"You're an excellent hunter, Cylvie - you strike just like lightning.. and I know the other huntresses talk, they're amazed by your speed and precision. But our elder members are still stuck in their ways, and chastise the younger members in such ways that..they're afraid of being outcast- so they don't....well, I can't explain it to you fully, but I'm sure you can understand.." He knew although the elder members were still stuck in their ways, and how the Pride Leader was worried for the prophecy because of Cylvie...it was bad all around. He also knew because he was a Shaman, he had the freedom to talk about with anyone, but still received the unapproved gazes from some elders.
 
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Cylvie pressed her lips together for a long moment, her green eyes thoughtful. "It's sad, honestly. How much influence older people have. Sure, they're wise, but also stick in their ways. They can't shun all the young folk, and if they did, then they're stuck up. And who wants to listen to a bunch of stuck up pricks? Not to be insulting." Cylvie had learned plenty in her years of wandering and if there was one thing she had picked up in all the groups she'd seen. The leaders learned to adapt, and accept new things, or they were overthrown.

In this case, the elders were the leaders. Sure, there were only two of them, her an Thornclaw, but she also knew that theale had a position of power, on that made others listen, or at least ask for his advice. Cylvie had a small liking for the elders, knowing that for some of them, wanting to keep outsiders away stemmed from a want to protect their family. She admired that.

"I just wish that there were enough to show that we can bring something to the pride. That we're just as important and amazing as everyone else."

She leans back for a moment, looking at the sun slowly making it way over the trees. "I joined because I was tired of being alone. . . But now I just feel even more lonely, being surrounded by others but unable to do anything. . ."
 

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Therin gave a soft sigh, knowing Cylvie was right. It wasn't just the elders, but the pride leader as well. They were heavily influenced by the guidance of the elder's, although most prides were not like that. Most prides were brutal and unforgiving- lightning pride, although similar..follow their own tradition. That's probably why they survived while other prides in the area perished or ended up seeking refuge somewhere else.

"Silver--Cylvie, I know you wish you could change things like this," he spoke the name she preferred. Although one should take pride in their given name, and it was only family and mates who would call you by your personal, preferred name.. Therin decided that perhaps to ease the younger lioness' mind, he would call her Cylvie. Not that it meant anything for him, but he knew once others learned that he started calling her by her personal name, they may talk.

Oh well. Others talked about him regardless of what was happening right now. He was used to it. If it weren't for the elders and the pride leader..

Perhaps it was time for things to change, but to challenge that and to go against the pride leader..

'The lighting before the thunder roars..'

Again that damned prophecy from starlit pride buzzed in his brain like a bunch of bees. If Cylvie was the lightning..who would be the thunder? It had to be someone who had great strength.. and although he was a pretty good fighter, Therin wouldn't consider himself to be apart of the prophecy at all. But how wrong he was.

"But sometimes, changing things can be for the worse," there was those damned shaman teachings again, to embrace tradition and reject change. But he knew he also was supposed to remain neutral in all things, to not have an opinion but.. he couldn't help it but feel similar to the way she was feeling in this moment.
 
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