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chakrii argyris, kyriaísos of asteriae, queen of the lionsland, mahaagasat of the hyenas, wife of her celestial majesty melina of house argyris, hyena guide, huntress of the lionsland
place of birththe lionsland (asteriae // volubisia)
currently inthe lionsland (asteriae // volubisia)
marital statuskyriaísos (spouse of the king) but also open
face claimlalisa manoban
you never let the weight of the past settle into your bones. you never understood why the others did. all that is too far gone for you to see it, and you know the sand tainted with history has all been replaced by the dredging continuance of time, anyway.
your teeth aren't sharp enough to flay away flesh until blood loss summons weakness, but you are patient enough to wait. you find the colonies of ungulate tracks stamped into the mud of the riverbeds and shoot arrows fletched with shikra feathers when they flee into the thickets. the blood slicks the game trails and you follow it until the animal has no choice but to stop and rest.
unlike your non-human teachers and guides, you don't rip apart the animal while it still clings to life. you grant it mercy and thank it for its sacrifice. you always take your time to make the most of it once the last breath escapes. the bones, you leave for the hyenas, except for the ribs you use to craft your arrows or pin your hair from your face. nothing is wasted.
because the most important lesson you learn is that one day you will be nothing but food for some predator, too, and you think there's something beautiful about that.
it's you who spins the most time with her, trailing through the veld in search of kudu and zebra. it's you who first urges the hyenas to let her in, until you don't even need to be close for them to press their large noses against her, blowing hot breath into her face and chewing on hair so much lighter than your own. it's in her you find a connection, because though your people learned hunting from the hyenas long before, you are one of the only ones who can physically come close, one of the only ones welcomed in as something not quite human anymore. but then there's melina, and you like the way her eyes look when you work together to chase down a kill from the pounding heat of the afternoon to the murky humidity of the evening. there's something wild there, something you know your own reflect back.
you kiss her mouth and everywhere below it, muffled by the crackling logs of the fire while you roast some of your kill and dry out the rest to carry with you back home. and only when the hyenas pitch up their voices in laughs and shrieks do you notice the sun dying below the horizon and pull yourself away to head back, your tongue tasting of poison you keep drinking, every single time.
the kingdom does not call you, though. you stay with your people the majority of the time, because despite your new position, the lionsland is your home. your heart and your soul and your reason for being are scattered in pieces under the sand and in the watering hole and beneath the ancient trees with their arching trunks. your power exists in the instant the spear leaves your hand to burrow into a heaving, fur-covered shoulder. your power exists in the collapse after the exertion, your head nuzzling into the mane of one of the beasts that understands you better than any human ever will.
and it's important you stay, after all. you doubt your people will stray from the sacred relationship you've formed with the world, with the push and pull for survival and the way the terrain can change its mind in an instant whether human presence is welcome. but there's so much to learn, and so much to teach.
you're never certain if you believe the stars truly house the long-fled souls of those who came before, but the possibility exists that there are ancients humming their way through the fabric of space, and you want them to be proud of the legacy that you are crafting.