Kiimnōt ["Strength, Power" -- Kalenjin]
*Role in Graphic Novel: None
+Mother: Queen (deposed) Hamza
+Siblings: Tajamali (maternal half-brother), Magomu (maternal half-brother), Araawa (paternal half-sister), Several (paternal half-siblings)
+Mate(s): Eka (first), Stara (second), Kashore (third), Zalira (fourth), Several (Un-mated)
Kiimnōt is conceived between the black emperor and deposed queen Hamza, in a quick and brutal affair that resulted in himself a few months later. Her pride were a different people than most, hidden away in a small secluded patch of land and valuing peace and serenity above all else. Violence was the absolute last answer to anything, which meant the resident males -- skilled at talking problems away -- had little in way of fighting skills. Hamza had never begrudged their choice to live as peacefully as possible (foolish as she thought it was, being a foreigner that'd adopted into their number) before, but now, seeing what it had wrought and how it'd turned out for herself, she resolves to raise her son to be strong.
Kiimnōt is a large cub when he arrives into the world and Hamza breeds in him both a hunger for power and some sway towards justice. But, he is just as much a product of her teachings as he is of his surroundings, and when pushed, the grayish lyon can reek cruelty reminiscent of his fathers if not so dark and depraved. He grows into a gaunt but muscular lyon who is deadly intelligent and angled in such a way that he looks to be a weapon against his father in any way, big or small. Oh, he still has the sense to fear
the freakishly huge lyon when he comes around, his rebellions small and unnoticeable. When Mōbōr starts destroying any others not of his blood with magic, for instance, he takes to smuggling and hiding away those same individuals before his father gets his paws on them (although should anyone come snooping too close to where he's stashed them, he's not above slaughtering them and hiding any evidence he'd had them in the first place, before continuing to stash them again once things have "cooled off".).
After one such "cleaning" he finds the tigrisa Eka and is intrigued by her stripey visage. He keeps her around, closer to him than all the other refugees, if only to marvel at her, but then he learns she can do magic like himself and takes an interest in her kind -- The Javan Tigrisians, who, of the several subspecies, were the only ones who had any sort of magic in their blood. Furthermore, it wasn't unheard of for their those of their bloodline to show mastery over two gifts instead of one, something even the lyons could not claim to do. The cogs in Kiimnōt's head begin turning, but screech to halt when he learns that there are no more Javan tigrisians alive -- Eka is the last one. There will be no breeding of magical soldiers. None.
But then the little tigrisa demures up to him, and tells him that she has heard of great beasts borne of lyon and tigrisian blood. Beast that dwarf even the largest lyon or tiger. Beast that may even dwarf his father if nurtured correctly. Kiimnōt is not so seduced by her touches or the way she purrs her words, but the idea of owning -- being the sire
-- of such powerful beings. The idea is enough to inspire his lust.
Kiimnōt keeps his dealings subtle, until his father and uncle begin to clash; when he knows
that Mōbōr's eyes will be elsewhere. Only then does he marry Eka, breeding three children off of her. With their sire distracted, Mōbōr's children, once rigidly kept in line, begin making aggressive motions towards each other. When the black lyon finally dies, killed along with his brother and buried in the waste, the tension finally breaks and the siblings begin to war upon each other. The land is rife with death and suffering, but that is all well and good for Kiimnōt and his magics. Upon the blighted can he lay his paws, and while he cannot free them from their icy caskets, he can command the soul within and make it his own. Such creatures are called Coldwraiths and the devastation they cause in battle earn Kiimnōt his name as the ColdWraith Emperor.
He kills his neighboring siblings, taking the wives of his brothers as a show of domination, if not necessarily mating to them. However, there are three who's looks he enjoys enough to take it to that level -- that and the stress of war demands he seek outlets
. Eka would be his first choice, but she has honorably borne him three strong ligrisian children and he knows how taxing that is for one so small. This result in several more children, of whom he doesn't favor all that much. They are but simply lyons, his first children from his first wife will be gods
among them. Kiimnōt loses interest in war and land-grabbing as his siblings begins to stay their aggressions, satisfied with what he has carved out for himself (and made aware that continuing to grab land would make him look an awful
lot like another lyon he spent his life hating, fearing, and plotting against...). His Coldwraiths still walk the borders just in case anyone tries anything stupid, Kiimnōt allowing himself to sit on the Endian Throne as it's first Emperor and peacefully grow grey and marvel at his hybrid children as they tower over even him. He marvels over them and ignores his lyon children, sowing the seeds of disdain between the siblings.
Kiimnōt dies mysteriously a few months after he steps down and Tavisi rises.
----Eka ["First" -- Javanese]
*Role in Graphic Novel: None
+Somewhat Power Hungry
Eka is a Tigrisian of the Javan variety, a smaller species of tigrisian with slighter, lankier builds and longer, thinner striped. Along with physically different, this breed of tigrisian is the only breed to deal in magic. Other, non-magical tigrisians had quite the mix of opinions on them, ranging from good to bad with attitudes from welcoming to hostile. Eventually, though, the magis decide that they don't want to spend their lives ducking and dodging and worrying -- the Javans come together and leave en masse, settling and scattering in a secluded place where there will be no greater predators but themselves. The magic in their blood thrives and the usually solitary cats grow somewhat social as they tame it and teach others with the gift to do the same.
Eka's parents were both mystics, her father able to commune with and control lesser, simpler animals to his whims and wishes while her mother held control over water. At a young age, she finds her gift -- healing and regeneration -- and her parents teach her to control the best they can before the black emperor appears and kills them, effectively stopping their lessons. Eka manages to find adoptive parents among the other Javans, but as Mōbōr advances, he snuffs out any magic he can find. Soon she is alone.Totally
Her teenhood is spent trying to find others like her and avoiding the black lyons forces, the former task she grows more apathetic about as the years pass by. Her life becomes all about survival, and so when she hears of a lyon taking in refugees, she is intrigued. Of course, she does not go immediately (and good for her, as those refugees are erased by Kiimnōt when suspicions grow to great) but, drained, half-starved and crippled in a failed hunt, she finds herself slinking among the everyone else seeking safety. As the only tigrisian, she catches the Lord of the land -- Kiimnōt's -- eye, and complies with his wishes for her to accompany him out of a simple need to keep herself safe. That now includes keeping him happy and satisfied, even when he needles her about sharing her magical abilities with him. She does, but then scathingly tells him thanks to his father, there are no more Javan tigers. No more magical striped cats -- shes looked
...And then she gets an idea to secure herself for the rest of her life, or at least many years to come. She seduces him, saying she will give him something better than Tigrisian soldiers, born from his seed and of her own body. He does not take her then and there, but rather waits until Mōbōr and Tšatši start to clash. Then he marries and breeds three children off of her, all of which take a great effort to bare. Yes, Kiimnōt takes other wives and has other children, but Eka is a tigrisian -- this is not strange to her, and she is mother of his favorite
children. Her security is assured.
Until he is assassinated
Phew, that was a lot to write. And you know? I think the story above is just one version of it. Maybe Eka was the ruling
Empress and Kiimnōt was a consort that she bred three monstrous children off of, but he went behind her back and had five children on the side specifically to help him prey away a part of the Empire (which would become the Northen Lyon Tribes
who, even to this day, fend off Endian aggressions). Perhaps that's the tigrisian version, and they're coming together becomes Yu Song or whoever uses this story (and his own lust for glory and fame) to go Hey! A Tigrisian Empress ruled this empire before any lyon did and it's about time we took it back.
Maybe there was an uprising before, but it failed, which is why the Tigrisians were forced/exiled to the edges of the continent.
So many possibilities!