Humans have been encroaching on animal territory since almost the very beginning of mankind. There are ever fewer places left that are safe for animals and untouched by humans. One of those last precious preserves is deep in the rainforest.
Or, at least, it was. Humans have recently become coming deeper and deeper into the rainforest, sending the animals who call it their home into living deeper toward the very center of the ancient forest and closer to each other. It is nothing unusual now to see prey and predator living within miles of each other, and sometimes, they can even become friends. After all, they share a common enemy, the worst of the enemies: the human being, who seems to intent on taking everything from the animals, including their very lives.
Every animal knows a story, even if they don’t want to share it, about the harms humankind has placed on themselves and their relatives. They have all feared the human and all been tempted by humans to lash back out at the one species that is trying their best to take over the world. Fang, King of the rainforest, understands the dangers humans represent more than most, but he has listened to his wife and not tried to attack the stronger species for fear that it will bring humanity’s wrath down too close to home.
But the humans are coming anyway. They’re bringing their machines into the rainforest and digging in the earth. They’re chopping down trees and taking lives for ivory, fur, meat, and worst of all to all the animals who judge them, “sport”. No animal in the rainforest has ever killed or even fought for something so cruel as to simply gain profit or fame by ending another animal’s life. The humans are doing that, though, and worse.
And now Fang’s daughter, his most prized cub, has gone missing. He’s ready to tear up the entire rainforest and kill every man he sees if it takes it to get his Princess back, and this time, he’s not listening to his wife, who fears their baby was not taken by man at all but worse, by one of their own kind, by an animal with whom they have lived for years, perhaps even one of those they’ve saved from the humans’ clutches. Now, to the Queen, everybody is suspect, and she’s equally determined as her mate to find the culprit and make them pay for taking their daughter.
Between the humans’ encroaching on their homes and their own King and Queen looking at each and every one of the animals as though they may hold the knowledge to their cub’s whereabouts, the remaining rainforest animals don’t quite know where to turn. Even the anacondas and caimans are keeping low profiles now and wondering fearfully if one of their own might have made the fatal mistake of eating the Princess. Yet, between the animals who fly high and those who crawl low, the Princess has yet to be found.
When she is found, will she be alive? Who will find her? How close will the humans come? And can the animals ever trust each other again if indeed, as the Queen growls, one of theirs has taken the Princess? They’ve always considered humans to be their #1 enemy, but only time will tell if they still are!
Fang is the King of this particular rainforest, a title handed down to him by his father, who ruled with an iron clad fist. His main problem, depending on who you ask, is that either he doesn’t take things seriously enough or, according to his wife for one, he’s too gentle on his subjects. Regardless, he’s been doing a pretty decent job of ruling over the rainforest, especially with the help of his royal advisor, until his daughter goes missing. Now there might even be war, and many of the animals are concerned Fang may not be the one to lead them to victory, rather that victory is against whatever animal took his cub, their Princess, or mankind themselves.
Estêvão’s father was the royal advisor to the mightiest and wisest King the rainforest has ever known. Both his father’s and the King’s paws are big paws to fill, and rebellion against the roles chosen for them by their dads first led Estêvão and Fang to become fast friends when they were little. They remain best friends today, with Estêvão often advising Fang on many of his motions that the forest animals consider the wisest. Despite his brilliant mind, however, Estêvão remains convinced that he is the most beautiful animal there is and can spend literal hours, not the animals measure time in such a way, staring at his reflection and preening his lovely feathers.
There are many animals who are drawn to Estêvão’s beautiful feathers, both through admiration and hunger, but none more so than the young male giraffe whose childhood nickname has stuck to him ever since he was falling over his own, long legs, Gangly. His tower (his family) thinks it’s far past time that he settle down with a female giraffe his own age, and his father, the leader of their group of giraffes is especially embarrassed by the fact that his sweet son would rather spend hours admiring the male peacock from afar than ever consider settling down with one of his own. It’s even worse, to his dad’s way of thinking, that Gangly refuses to consider any female as a potential mate.
Tiffany is Gangly’s best friend; like Fang and Estêvão, they have been friends since they were children, bonding together because they were both outcasts among their own kinds, Gangly first for his clumsiness and mating preferences and Tiffany because she refuses to just be another tapir. The other animals think tapirs are ugly, but Tiffany is determined to make herself beautiful. She’s constantly trying new beauty methods, from rolling in special muds found deep in the Amazon to covering herself with the juices of berries, but if you ask her best friend, nothing in the world could ever make her look nearly as beautiful as her big heart already is.
Born the first white tiger for three generations, the entire forest knew that Aline would prove to be a very special cat. She quickly excelled at hunting, climbing, wrestling, and even leadership. There was no question that she would one day come to rule the jungle, but rather than let her people fight for her to be their leader, she quietly started working to win over Fang’s heart. Their union was determined while they were still cubs, and she has done much as his mate to improve the lives of their people. Now that the humans are encroaching on their territory, she’s ready to fight, but she can’t convince her mate to fight what he believes will ultimately be a never-ending war that will cause great loss of lives on both sides. Now that her child, the future Princess, is missing, however, Aline has the perfect excuse to finally rally her people in force against the invading humans!
Andreia is the eldest of Fang’s and Aline’s cubs. As the eldest, despite not being a male, she is set to inherit the rule of the jungle, but she has no interest in ruling or in fighting, as her mother does. Having grown up around such family friends as giraffes, peacocks, and tapirs, Andreia has set her eyes on peace instead. She wants peace for all the animals, regardless of their differences, and has fallen in love with the very cat who thinks tigers and jaguars should rule side by side, Artur.
Artur’s and Fang’s fathers were good friends, but Artur has seen how the forest animals cower before Aline and Fang’s fathers. He believes they should cower before his family as well when the jaguars are on the prowl and is weary of the jaguars always being considered secondary to the tigers. He certainly didn’t expect to fall in love with a tiger, but that’s exactly what happened between himself and the princess Andreia. They were forbidden to see each other, but now that she’s missing, everything’s changed. Equality is no longer as important to Artur. All that remains of importance is finding Andreia, making certain she’s all right, and if at all possible, wasting no further time in courting her once she is found.
Estela was taken as a baby from one rainforest and lived among the humans for a long time. She had long adapted some of their habits before another human, thinking she was doing what was best for the primate, brought Estela to this rainforest and released her from captivity. She insisted on clinging to her pink dress, however, and still wears it to this day.
Feeling the peer pressure of the other primates in the congress that has adopted her as one of their own, Estela never says a word in defense of the animals they tease. Secretly, however, she admires Tiffany’s resilience and determination to still be beautiful and sometimes drops her hints of the things she can use to better herself. She also secretly admires Aline’s strength and likes the idea of women ruling their own futures.
Leopoldo is one of the oldest and gentlest animals in the forest. Like his father before him, Fang often turns to him for advice in leadership decisions. Now that he’s truly feeling more lost than ever before, with his daughter missing and his mate wanting war with the humans, Fang finds himself turning more and more to the sage advice of this gentle, old friend. Leopoldo, though happy to advise, would much rather spend his time grazing than even considering fighting, but he may have noticed a thing or two about the young, feline lovers that the rest of the forest, in their rush to find the Princess and blame the humans or each other, has overlooked.
Vito, the coatimundi, is the second oldest animal in the rain forest beyond the sloths, who never speak or do anything to attract attention or make themselves useful to others. From his high advantage in the treetops, Vito sees much, including the secret meetings between Artur and Andreia and the whispered conversations between Aline and other animals who think like her and want to run the invading humans from their home. He has his own ideas as to why the Princess has gone missing, but as to rather or not they’re right, only time will tell. Like Leopoldo and Estêvão’s father, he was also a close and trusted advisor to Fang’s father. Fang and Vito do not have much a bond, however, as Fang has never had patience for the primates who swing by their tails and seem to love life and laughter a little too much, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes that includes listening to those you never have before.
The leader of the conspiracy of lemurs, Javier knows himself to be the most beautiful and fit to rule the rain forest. Now that the animals are turning against each other, this may be just the opportunity for which he has waited his entire life for the lemurs to raise up and take the reigning of the forest from the big cats and back into their own capable and fashionable paws. Will doing so get him eaten, however, or might he prove to be wiser than everyone who sees him with his crown of leaves, berries, and nuts has ever thought him to be? Only time -- and this show -- will tell!
Episode 1.1: As the humans on their bulldozers and other mighty equipment draw ever closer to the center of the rainforest, Fang argues with his life mate and Queen, Aline, over how best to deal with the encroachment of the humans. Knowing that the humans will stop at nothing until they either destroy them entirely or force them into captivity, Aline feels they have no choice but to fight for their homes and lives, but Fang isn’t willing to risk lives in a battle he feels certain can not be won by their people. After all, the humans have weapons of which the animals have never dreamed, hard rocks that are searing hot and can kill an animal simply by touching them from miles away and giant creatures made of metal that chomp down more trees in a single day than a giraffe can eat in a normal life span. The Queen is determined to meet their enemies on her own terms, and she has quite the following of animals who are ready to fight. Fang, however, still isn’t willing to risk their lives, but as the humans keep coming closer, the disappearance of his eldest daughter just might make him willing to fight to the death after all.
Episode 1.2: The hunt for the eldest royal cub is on! Fang, Aline, and their friends scour the forest for any sign of their missing cub, but she is nowhere to be found. Fang learns that she has still been seeing her the mate he forbid her to allow to court her: Artur, the jaguar who believes his people equal to the tigers! Furious, Fang hunts him down, but Artur claims to be just as miserable without Andreia, as her father is. As they argue over the Princess, the missing cub is spotted on the opposite end of the jungle. Can they put aside their differences and reach her before she vanishes again?
Episode 1.3: With Andreia still missing and the humans continuing to come closer, the forest is in an uproar. More animals than ever before believe they should fight the humans. Fang is desperate to save his people, especially his family and friends, but he is as of yet unconvinced that waging war against the humans will do anything more than creature a slaughter of the animals his family has always striven to protect. He seeks guidance from the oldest animals in the forest, but he may not like what they have to say.
Episode 1.4: Tiffany the tapir has a secret, which Gangly and Estêvão are determined to learn! When they discover she has seen the missing Princess, they go straight to their King, Fang, with the news, including the daunting information that Andreia claims to be hiding to help her mother! What kind of a scheme is Aline hatching, and what will happen between Fang and his mate when he corners her with the news? Worse yet, when the royal couple go to where Queen Aline has been keeping their daughter, the young Princess is gone -- and has been careful not to leave a trace behind her!
Episode 1.5: Aline is rallying the animals for war, determined to fight the humans who she believes truly do have her daughter now. She no longer cares what her husband thinks, and she’s not taking orders from him, even if he is the King of the Rainforest! Fang warns the animals not to fight and, if they do, they will be committing treason, but Aline tells them they will die where they stand, helpless cowards, if they don’t fight for their freedom! As the whole kingdom is torn, Andreia seeks help for an injured Artur, but sometimes, help comes from the most unexpected of places -- and beings!
This is for a challenge over at tv_universe. As always, if you join, be sure to tell them Kat Lee of Team Bunny Ears sent YOU!