The Askari is a pride of mbumbulu imbube[1] currently led by the strong-willed lioness Amadi. The pride currently has four adult male members and six adult females.


The pride gets its name from its founder, a lioness named Askari. The name simply means "solider" or "police officer" in Swahili.


The pride started out with just Askari and her daughters. Shunned after her actions on their behalf, Askari withdrew from lion society and settled down in her own territory. She was later joined by a couple males, and had cubs of her own. Her sons, as per custom, were driven out, but not without being told to teach their cubs how to reach her territory. Due to her gift passing on to her offspring, Askari wanted to ensure than any descendant who shared it would have a sanctuary from the inevitable persecution.

As mostly mbumbulu imbube, the pride faced distrust and hatred from uqobo imbube[2], New blood came from those descendants that believed the words of their fathers and not only risked, but survived the journey.


Despite the "taint of humanity" in its members, the Askari still hold to lion customs and practices. The pride has always been led by a female, and males are simply "guards". Those that can take human form use it to keep the pride's land and members safe from any human persecution. Even here, it is known: Love is for mothers, sisters and daughters. Males come and go, we always remain." If ousted "guards" are of age to use "Askari's Gift", then they may integrate into human societies, though this is frowned on.


Spirituality does not play a large role in Askari life. They are aware of the Creator and the Destroyer, but simply live their lives as best they can. Yes there is an afterlife, but getting there takes time and there's little reason to dwell on such things when lives start and end with such frequency.


Besides "common speech", the Askari speak the true lion language alongside common human languages near their territory. This last is out of necessity not true desire.


Like all lion prides, the Askari is a matriarchy. The Leader role only changes with successful challenges or upon the Leader's death. There are no heirs, and ranks are established through dominance displays and brief spats among females. Males must fight to defend their place as guards of the pride, and will rarely be aided by the females.


Due to "Askari's Gift" being triggered by the age of ten years, most adult Askari live to the age of twenty at most, unless they leave and blend in with human society. Due to the exposure risk this causes however, such behavior is heavily discouraged.


Including cubs, the pride rarely goes over 30 members. As of this writing it is hovering around 15.


The only myth to speak of is the story of Askari herself, and the variation of the directions that are given to male cubs to teach theirs.



Cutler, Ashleigh D.J. (2016) Watching Shadows


  1. Zulu: false lion
  2. Zulu: true lion