Firebrand Pride History
Mwenge -- The Lands of Firebrand have as vibrant a history as any kingdom in the great vortex of the circle. The history of these lands are so closely related to those of their geographic neighbors, The Pridelands, that speaking about the Lands of Firebrand without mention of the Pridelands is something of a fallacy.
Mufasa, the king of the Pridelands before the current Lion King, easily overshadowed Malaki, the ruler of the Mwenge during that era. Malaki had a spiteful heart, and he had been raised in the tradition of his father: the lesser predators were to be moved as far away from the Lands of Firebrand as possible in as harsh a matter necessary. Most of the animals that were pushed out of Malaki's kingship moved eastward, into the Pridelands, and would have been glad for almost any ruler: they found Mufasa, a kind and just king, and quickly this king's legend grew.
Moto was born into an era of bad feelings between the Pridelands and the Lands of Firebrand, though no action was taken by either side in the form of physical attacks. Malaki, as time passed, grew increasingly frantic to improve the condition and span of his lands, but could never give up his father's policy of genocide toward the lesser predators. This type of hubris would eventually bring his downfall. Scar passed into power in the Pridelands, and the Firebranders watched in a sort-of stunned awe as the once-mighty Mufasa's reign came to a crashing halt. It was around this time that Moto and the next generation of cubs was being raised. Fresh blood was found through Chifa, a rogue lioness who Malaki took in for mostly breeding purposes. Moto, the prince by tradition, and his younger brother, Mvuka, grew alongside the half-sisters and cousins, learning the emotions of the land. As the animals moved away from Scar's lands, however, they were forced to come across the Mwenge. This was a prosperous time for the Firebranders, without competition for the excess of food that flowed from the Pridelands.
Prosperity went to Malaki's head, and he overexerted his power. A failed hunt -- a confrontation between raging hyenas and other angry predators-- and the king was dead.
Moto was forced to take control of the Lands of Firebrand barely a moon before Simba made his legendary return to the Pridelands and helped slay Scar. As the pieces were picked up and the Outlander lionesses searched for a home, they moved into the southern portions of the Lands of Firebrand. Moto, young and without experience, lost nearly half his family's ancestral land to Zira and the Outsiders in the coming moons.
Time passed, and tension grew between Moto and Mvuka, the second born son of Malaki, and they grew tense in each others' presence. The wet season approached, and lionesses came into heat. Moto, as the king, maintained the proper traditions and asked his brother to move away. Mvuka, angered at what he deemed stubbornness on Moto's behalf, mated with Mwale, his sister, when she came into heat. The rumor persists that Mwale consented outside of heat to the union, but the truth is obscured by bad memories and confused perceptions. Three cubs were born, but Mvuka would never be honored the chance to see them. Moto, in a battle, force Mvuka out of the Lands of Firebrand; this was three seasons before Mvuka would unknowingly return. The three cubs were left for dead in the southern regions of the Mwenge: two females and a male.
And now it was time for the Mwenge to come into balance. Simba and Moto spoke on regular occasions, working together when they may for the benefit of all. Tension was still steep at times, and Simba had fallen behind in his diplomacy of late due to the situation with the Outlanders and his new pride. Moto, too, had fallen out of the ring of diplomacy -- he was awaiting the birth of cubs from his queen.
The new Firebrand generation grew, and things seemed to be looking up for the pride as a whole. Nobody knew the full extent of Moto's true plan with the exception of himself and his sister, Choma. Unfortunately, and to his great dismay and ever-rising fury, circumstances beyond his control kept him from escalating it very far at all.
Moto's pride burned for years at losing his land to the accursed Outlanders. Firebrand vengeance was far past due. The plan involved treachery and deceit on a grand scale-a double murder during one of Moto's ambassadorial audiences with Simba, wherein an Outlander was implicated for attacking Moto's entourage and killing one of Simba's pride. The Outlander to do this to was Ruka, one that was only taken in to be used, unbeknownst to her. With this plot, Moto hoped to drive a wedge between the conjoined pride of Outlanders and Pridelanders, turning them against each other once more. By cajoling Simba into allaying with him, and attacking the Outlanders on multiple fronts, he could surely retain his old lands, as well as teach the Outlanders a valuable lesson.
This plan would require more than intrigue, however. For Moto to commit to all-out warfare, he would need to strengthen the Mwenge, or fear losing more of it. It was for this reason that he brought the Baraduma's cheetahs to act as fast eyes and ears, and sought out the nomads to supplement his strength. He even offered the former lands to the Mistweavers if they would assist in his effort, but they refused.
Treachery runs deep in the blood, however. Before the pride could even become comfortable with living alongside the cheetahs once more, Nguvu, for reasons Moto never could fathom, betrayed the pride, bringing word to Simba that Moto wished warfare with the Pridelands. With this word out, Moto's plan was a shambles. None would trust him. Even under the threat of death, the cheetahs moved out of the Mwenge. It was the beginning of the end of a generation... the end of an era.
After years of trying to hold the last remnants of Firebrand together, King Nguvu decided to stepp down. His only heir, Kudura, then rose to the throne. With Kudura, a pure-blood and student of the teachings of Mbarika and Kura, as king, the future of Firebrand seemed a bright promising flicker. The old teachings had been brought back and the Tree of Passing had grown anew for this generation. Though despite the good omens, Kudura, well-versed in tradition, parted from ordinary tradition and chose an offlander as his bride, specially Sisimka of the Valley. Then, in a more daring act, Kudura just recently made an alliance with his new brother-in-law, Maliki, King of the Mistweavers. In such a short time, Kudura has already proven to be a very capricious Flame, but his moves are not without purpose. For generations Firebrand has had it's sights set on the Outlands, to reclaim what was stolen from them generations ago. Elders, Mbarika and Kura, told Kudura not to forget about their ancestral land... Kudura has not forgotten.
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