Pride's Defender (Lioness)
Published on / 8 Chapter(s) / 6 Review(s)
Adelaide Panthera Rex comes to a city in which secrets are held and horrors are present and it all hides under a facade of normalcy. Will Addy be able to navigate her way through town and take care of the threat to her family?
Chapter 1, The assignment
Finally!!! Lioness, now known as Pride's Defender, has plot! I've started from the beginning, provided background, and generally fleshed out the world they live in. Sorry that it took way to long to get this to you. But please let me know what you think, because your opinion is greatly valued.
P.S. I really do write more when I get comments.
The mighty High Lord of the Tribes paced the floor of his study within the stone walls of the only permanent settlement ever made by the Leonine peoples. His paws made no sound on the bare stone floor, their claws politely sheathed. His brow was wrinkled deep with worry, his mane was disheveled in the way that usually meant he had been deep in thought, and he held a sheaf of papers in his hand loosely as he walked. At a knock on the door, his eyes regained the look of an alert predator. Resignedly he walked around the deep mahogany desk that occupied a large portion of his study, then called for the ones at the door to enter.
Wrapped in elegant silk, the daughters of the High Lord bowed at the entryway before walking in, closing the door behind them at his gesture. “You summoned us father?” Said the one on the right. Her hair a beautiful slick auburn, her fur only a shade lighter. Zola was the spitting image of her powerful father except for her eyes. Zola’s eyes were a vibrant green rarely seen on the people of the Savannah. The woman beside her had eyes that were a deep amber. Although they were sisters, Adelaide was unlike her sister. Her hair a dark golden color, her fur a light tan, and she had the musculature of a seasoned warrior. Her every step proclaimed her skill with weaponry. Together they faced their father across the mighty desk.
Jelani regarded his daughters with pride. Adelaide occupied a place as one of the most skilled warriors in his Pride. Zola, an accomplished healer and white mage. When they fought together, they were incredible. Jelani looked down at the papers he had spread on his desk, then motioned his daughters to seat themselves. “Thank you for coming in such a timely manner my girls.” he said, sitting down in the comfortable, overstuffed chair that occupied the remainder of the space behind the desk. Steepling his fingers in front of him, Jelani sighed. “I have a matter of some importance that I need your help with.” he said.
Adelaide nodded. She’d thought they might have been summoned for something like this. Their father had been distracted of late. “Anything we can do, we shall.” she said. Zola nodded in agreement.
Jelani held up a hand to forestall any more speech from the two. “Listen to everything I have to say before you agree to help me with this.” He took a deep breath “I refuse to send the two of you into a dangerous situation without first informing you of all the details.” He paused, “Keep in mind, everything I’m about to tell you, you must keep secret.” He waited as they both nodded agreement. “Do you remember the trouble we had a long time ago with the black mage Sefu?” The girls jumped slightly in surprise and their pleasant looks disappeared. “Yes. That male was evil and the Tribes are better off without him.” Said Adelaide. Zola added, “The things he did to our people with his black arts and blood magic was tragic. He perverted the hunting ritual so thoroughly that all the Tribes had to perform a Cleansing.”
Jelani nodded. “If you remember, he was caught, tried, and banished from the Savannah. Supposedly his dark powers were locked away from his reach before his banishment but apparently we were wrong.” Jelani passed a hand over his eyes before again picking up the thread of his tail. “After he left the Savannah he settled in the city of Orogol and I assigned one of my most trusted investigators to keep an eye on him. For the first few years, there was no trouble with him. But about a year ago, Sefu managed to ingratiate himself into the court of the nobles who lived in Orogol. I didn’t think anything of it, until my investigator happened to mention the sudden increase in the traffic in slaves, human and otherwise. Orogol is in the kingdom of Retali which, as you know, has outlawed the keeping of slaves. For some time now, my investigator has been observing strange activities around the house in which Sefu now lives.” Jelani stood up and walked over to the window. “Activities such as an increase in the number of people going into the house,” he turned back to his daughters “without an increase in the number of people coming out.” He paused significantly and the two girls nodded in sad acknowledgment. “My investigator reported his suspicions that Sefu was once again taking up the forbidden black arts of blood magic, and advised me to send some of my people to check up on his bindings.” Jelani paused again as he walked back over to stand behind his desk. “My investigator has now been missing for two weeks. In the last message I received from him, he said that he would be attempting to attain better information. He said the attempt would be dangerous, but he didn’t think it would be to much of a problem.” Jelani chuckled a little. “My investigator considers himself in a much more,” he paused to find the most polite term “proud fashion than that to which his skills can attest. If you understand my meaning.”
Adelaide nodded. “He thinks better of himself then he actually is and most likely got caught during his attempt.”
“Just so.” Jelani said in agreement. “I cannot risk my messenger between my investigator and myself being discovered, so I have decided to send others in to pick up where my investigator left off. If you’re willing, I would have the two of you go.”
The faces on the girls showed alternating feelings of surprise and excitement. “are you sure father?” Zola asked. Adelaide added “You haven’t let us do much of anything outside the city since the whole matter with Sefu happened.”
Jelani sighed. “I would rather not send the two of you.” he said. The faces on the two girls fell slightly. “But as you also know, I’m having trouble keeping my Tribe Leaders in line and I just can’t afford to send anyone else.”
Adelaide nodded. “We understand father.”
Jelani handed them the packet of papers he’d been holding. “Here’s my last message from Spot, my investigator, as well as the message I received from Spot’s mate Kira, after he went missing. Once you are settled in Orogol, she will meet you in the Plebian’s Park.” he gestured to the papers in Adelaide’s hands. “The instructions on how to contact her are all in there. Memorize them, then destroy them.” he stared hard at his daughters for a moment before continuing in a lighter tone. “While you’re in Orogol, you should look up Cousin Red.” at the mention of the name, broad grins spread across the faces of the girls. “He’s got an inn there now. The Red Raven, named for himself and Elora. You remember her?” They both nodded. “I’m sure he’ll be eager to help you in any way he can. Any questions?”
“None that I can think of at the moment father.” Zola said, then looked over at her sister, who shook her head. “I can’t think of anything either.” she said.
“Then prepare yourselves my girls. You’ll need to leave within the next three days. That way you have enough time to get to the city to meet Kira.” Jelani walked back around the desk to hug his girls. “I will see you at dinner tonight.” He opened the door for them. They bid their goodbyes and walked down the hall, their father watching after them, worry plain in his eyes. He turned to his bodyguard standing beside the door. “I am doing the right thing sending those two aren’t I?” He asked, but the bodyguard just looked at her Lord with a raised eyebrow and a small grin. Jelani nodded and walked back into his study, closing the door behind him.
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