As told by Wolysus
“Our pride’s story begins years ago, with our Great-Grandpaw Wiser. Great-Grandpaw Wiser came from a small pride of ten, where everyone worked together to keep the pride alive. Though Wiser was strong and hard-working, he was not the heir of his pride. This did not upset him, for he understood that the duty of a lion was not to become a leader, but to become worthy of being a leader whether the world gave him that chance or not. So rather than growing bitter, Wiser spent his cubhood and adolescence training, not so he could one day have a pride of his own, but so he could protect the pride that raised him, and so when the king died and was replaced, he could help train the next heir, and, if he were lucky enough to live that long, the next after that.
One day, while Wiser was patrolling, a great storm disrupted the world. Disoriented, Wiser attempted to make his way back to his pride, but he could not find them. In his desperation to escape the wind and rain, he had wandered too far from his home.
Not wanting his family to think he had abandoned them, Wiser tried to find his way back home. On his way, he came across a lioness. When he spoke to her, Wiser felt that there was something wrong about this lioness. However, she was kind to him and offered to give him food and shelter for a few nights before he went back on his way to his home. He accepted the seemingly generous offer, and let the lioness lead him to her territory.
When they arrived, Wiser felt the air grow cold. The other lions of the pride snarled and snapped at him as he passed. The lioness took Wiser to the opening of a cave. ”Father?” she called into the darkness. ”I’ve found a male who I would like to let stay in the pride for a few days.”
A few seconds of silence passed before the two heard heavy pawsteps, and suddenly, he was met with an aggressive roar that blew his mane back. When Wiser recovered from the fright, he found himself face to face with a Smilus king, with bloodstained teeth and wild eyes. ”Take this weak male off of my land, and see that he leaves with a scar,” the King roared. ”There is no room for him here.”
”Sir, please,” Wiser spoke, earning an angered glare from the King. ”I was separated from my family. If you let me stay here for a few days, I will contribute everything I can to help this pride prosper.”
The Smilus was silent. The entire pride stood back, tension in the air, before their king replied. ”You may remain here for now. But you will act as a member of my pride until your departure, and if you show any sign of making my pride look weak, you will be punished.”
So Wiser agreed. And he was allowed to stay.
During his time in the Smilus’ pride, Wiser saw that he was surrounded by hatred and bloodlust. Stronger cubs played by beating up the weak, or tearing apart small creatures they found. The prettiest lionesses lounged on warm rocks while waiting for overworked hunters to return from their hard work; the hunters themselves often insulted each other and hissed at the vain broodmothers. A vicious Grandpaw seemed to strike fear into the hearts of all but the king, spending his time tripping teenagers and harshly scolding cubs for having too much fun. The king was the worst of them all, somehow frightening the rest of the brutal pride into behaving only when he told them to. During it all, the kind Wiser stayed silent.
But one day a young cub appeared on the edge of the territory, crying for its mother. Wiser was the first to arrive. He comforted the small child, feeding it small meat chunks and playing with it until it calmed down. Before he could search for the mother, however, the cub’s laughter alerted the rest of the pride, and the Smilus king.
The king snarled at Wiser, outraged. ”What are you doing? Whose cub is this?”
”I don’t know,” Wiser answered calmly. ”He’s lost. I’m going to find his mother.”
”If he’s lost, he deserves to die,” the king insisted. ”Move aside, and let me dispose of this pesky cub. I’ll deal with punishing you next.”
Shocked, Wiser stood his ground, head held high. ”You can encourage evil in your own pride all you want. I won’t stop you. But you will not kill an innocent child. I won’t allow it.”
”You dare think you can stand in my way?” the king roared. ”You are weak!” With that, the king shoved Wiser out of the way, before raising his giant paw to slam it down on the cub-
Wiser, however, could not allow this, and with the all the power of all of his ancestors, he let out a roar so righteous and brave that the Smilus king froze. The pride watched in disbelief as the king set his paw down, backing up with his head low, before turning tail and running away. Some say that all the color left his fur and that he turned Albino from fear.
In return, as Wiser stood in front of the remainder of the pride, the sun shone down on him, and his fur changed colors too, until he was covered in sundogs.
One by one, all of the evil lions hurried from the land, until only one lioness remained – a lioness he’d never seen before, with the markings of a royal cheetah, and fur as black as the night sky, with eyes like stars. ”Your ancestors have sent me, Wiser,” she explained. ”You were separated from the rest of your family for a reason: to purge this land of Evil and form your own pride. Or, of course, you may return to your family. Whenever you wish, even if just to visit them.”
So Wiser, with his new wife and the cub he had saved, returned to find his old family, bringing them to a nearby territory so his old pride and his new pride could live side by side, and together, the two prides vowed to spread Good wherever they were needed."
Current Pride News
The ancestors have blessed young Ysthara with the grace of her grandpaw Ysther, naming her in his honour to revive the pride.
November is a time for growing closer to the ancestors. Ysthara often spends her nights on hills, close to the sky, to try and speak to her father, Weather, and past lionesses of her pride from her grandpaw's time. Old queen Aasis visits her often with advice and stories from her time in the pride. Former lore-keeper and ancestral medium Wolysus is growing concerned of the lack of an heir to his role in the pride, and intends to, once Ysthara's first litter is born, choose one of the cubs to continue his job.