Qaraxa: "Custom" [Oromo]
Mjane: "Widow", "Lonely/Solitary/Bereaved Person", "Spinster"
Pride Affiliation: Snow Falls Pride (birth), Sun Pride (Betrothal), The Rightful (Marriage)
Voice Actor: TBA
Relations: Daughter to Canohita, Taliza
; sister to Popo
, Halkan, Maleuni/Chui
; mate to Sahibu
; mother to Selwisegolo
Qaraxa is the eldest daughter of the King and Queen of the ValeLands, and she is wild and free, always quick with a tongue-lashing for any stupid enough to cross her. Against her will, she is Betrothed to the Crown Prince of the Sun Empire, and she hates the very idea. Sure, her father and Prince Sithakala's father want this union to solidify the bonds between their lands, but that does not mean Qaraxa has to like
it. But she is sent to the Sun Pride anyway.
There she finds her new husband is beyond distasteful -- he's downright sadistic and cruel. Qaraxa decided after that first meeting that she is very much not going to marry the beast, and as soon as the opportunity arises, she leaves that place. He can hump himself for all she cares.
Qaraxa does not go far, however, for she has never had to fend for herself. She had always been a Princess, a lioness cared for by others and provided for by the prides she dwelt with. She is woefully unprepared to be on her own. So she wanders aimlessly in small circles, trying to find some scent marker that another pride is around. As luck would have it, she smells out three differing prides in the same area. She picks one at random, and follows the trail to its source. Luckily for her, she chose correctly, for the other two prides would have slaughtered her just for existing.
The pride she encounters is lazing sedately on a great Mountain, and their leader, a large male by the name of Sahibu is the first to greet her. And that greeting is composed of jumping her, flipping her onto her back, and pinning her. Struggling gets her nowhere. Sahibu lets her up when he sees she is less than no threat, and he just shrugs when she asks if she may join his people.
Qaraxa quickly finds that no one will wait on her here, and as Sahibu puts it: "You don't work, you don't eat." Everyone here has a job, and they better do it well. Hunger and a drive to prove that she is worthy of more than shrugs, Qaraxa quickly picks up the skills of hunting and fighting to rise in ranks with her new pride. And when at last she is a respected member of the team, only then does Sahibu ask her what her name is.
She is stymied.
She knows that her real name is dangerous to reveal, for someday someone may come looking for her -- Sithakala certainly won't let her just go
-- but she had even considered her name until just now. Thinking quickly, she decides to call herself Mjane, and spins a story of being a widow from another pride, leaving them out of bereavement. Sahibu's pride doesn't question either name or story, and the newly-monikered Mjane is heartily and formally welcomed to their ranks.
Some years down the road, Mjane is wed to Sahibu -- a willing bride this time -- and she loves him deeply and purely. Unfortunately,she seemed to have tempted fate with her choice in her new name, and she is widowed in truth when a rival pride's male challenges Sahibu for the Mountain. Both are killed, and Mjane is forced to bear and attempt to raise their son without a father.
Mjane dies when Selwisegolo is still a child -- killed while defending the same mountain Sahibu died to keep.
I had a monumental brain-fart right after I posted Sithakala and had to stop and think about Sithakala's mate, Lalela. Someone mentioned that Lalela would need to be a darker gold. For some reason, as I was thinking of how she would look, Chui's face kept popping into my head. And that made me consider Chui's family. RabidPanda1313 had said she was youngest of six. So why not use one of her sisters for Lalela? And then my brain farted some more, and I though: I can place her family, and her kingly father, in the Vale -- it had a pride before the Quake, so why not just put that whole family there and tie up those loose ends? I could further explain the Sun Pride-ish looks of Chui by saying her people were an offshoot of the Sun Empire -- not really a part of it, but spun off from it. Chui' sister could then marry the evil sod Sithakala for political reasons (keep the peace between them both and give the Sun Pride no reason to get in a conquering mood).
Now that I had my setting, backstory, and family all planned, I focused on this Betrothed. Lalela I see as meek and timid (mostly), and as I developed her story in my head, I went off on ANOTHER tangent. I had long had in my head that Selwisegolo's mother was of Sun Pride (or similar) looks. So I jumped over there and said "aha! I can make another of Chui's sisters HIS mom too!". But there was a problem: why the hell did that sister GO to the PrideLands in the first place? It's a mess, and chaotic. Brain fart #3 occurred then -- make Lalela the SECOND of Sithakala's Betrotheds, after the first, more headstrong sister leaves him high and dry. THEN that original Betrothed can choose to hide out in the fractured PrideLands, under an assumed name, meet Selwi's dad, and ta-da! PRESTO CHANGO -- WE HAVE A STORY.
So yeah. Praise the birth of Qaraxa/Mjane. Like Athena from Zeus, she sprang from my brain into life. HURRAH!
Qaraxa/Mjane, art and story © me.
Please do not copy, alter, trace, or reproduce in any way, shape, or form without written permission from me. Thank you.