Bright Lions

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Bright Lions
A member of the Bright Lions wields a sun sling.
(Organization)

Type
Revolutionary Group
Leader
Sihar, former mercenary turned freedom fighter
Headquarters
Various,
The Golden Mouse restaurant, Mzali
Goals
End the corrupt rule of Walkena
Scope
National
Members
Mzali citizens
Source: The Mwangi Expanse, pg(s). 227–228
Walkena: the Bright Lions fight to overthrow this tyrant.

The Bright Lions are a revolutionary group dedicated to overthrowing the rule of Walkena, a tyrannical God-King who rules the city-state of Mzali. Operating from the abandoned districts and safehouses within their ancient temple city, the Lions have waged a cloak-and-dagger war of attrition against the Child-God's regime with the leadership of Sihar, a former mercenary who holds the teachings of the Old Sun Gods close to her heart.1

Background

Entrenched in the mortal world by the strange forces behind his resurrection and ascension, the Child God Walkena rose as an undead entity and reclaimed the ancient throne of Mzali early in the 46th century AR. Although Walkena was one of the strongest points of resistance against foreign colonization and the exploitation of the Mwangi Expanse, his totalitarian regime is characterized by stifling cruelty and an intolerance for anything resembling sedition or conspiracy. Many were reluctant to confront the Child-God of his abuses, allowing close to a century of uncontested and absolute rule of Mzali.2

When Walkena ascended to the throne, his priests scoured Mzali of any trace of other deities and revised history to press his right to rule. The three Old Sun Gods, Chohar, Luhar, and Tlehar, were among those who were erased from public memory, with any remnant of their existence found only within the deepest chambers beneath Mzali's decaying temples. During her childhood as an orphan raised by temple priests, Sihar discovered the remains of the Old Sun Gods' teachings and realized Walkena's views to be blasphemous corruptions of Mzali's past traditions. After leaving the city to work as an adventurer and mercenary for two decades, she returned with wealth and allies to establish the Bright Lions.3

Mission

Forced into covert guerilla warfare by Walkena's deific powers, the Bright Lions take delicate steps to undermine Walkena's authority within and outside of Mzali. Although the Lions do not have prominent headquarters, much of their intelligence is brokered within a restaurant known as the Golden Mouse.1 Within the city, members of the rebel group disrupt the daily operations and demonstrations of Walkena's regime, such as interrupting public executions or making daring rescues of the oppressed. Beyond the city-state's walls, bands of Lions routinely sabotage supply lines and harry troops that march to extend Walkena's rule. The group employs both violent and non-violent methods to further their cause, with Sihar using her knowledge of the Old Sun Gods to spread word of these kinder deities to the citizens of Mzali and beyond, while stirring discontent towards the God King. It is the hope of Sihar that, even if the Bright Lions are destroyed, the memory of their patron deities would still be honored.3

Prominent Members

Azeeko
An old, bearded man who owns the Golden Mouse restaurant. He is considered to be the primary information broker of the Lions and the core of the Bright Lions' relationship with the people of Mzali.3
Sewell
Sihar's most trusted lieutenant and rumored lover is a fierce and powerful Mzali woman who coordinates the military arm of the Lions.3
Xor Beninch
A nonbinary halfling spy who serves as the eyes and ears of the Lions outside of Mzali. Xor also manages all external points of contact for the group, as they cannot enter the city due to Walkena's xenophobic policies.3

Relationships

Within Mzali, the Bright Lions have tempered their approach towards revolution with care towards the safety of Mzali's citizens, who are at risk of retribution from the Child God. These efforts are chiefly facilitated by Azeeko, the kindly old cook whose generosity has granted him the ears of Mzali's most destitute inhabitants. Beyond the city, the group's spymaster Xor Beninch facilitates negotiations and exchanges supplies with foreign parties, having treated with the newly formed state of Vidrian and, more recently, Chelaxian officials seeking to help topple their shared enemy in Walkena. The Bright Lions are secretly well-supported by their Vidric allies, and in turn are poised to help defend Vidrian from a supposedly impending attack by Walkena.1

The Bright Lions are currently facing the most opposition from Themba Sufu, the leader of Walkena's secret police. Known as the shadow of the sun itself, Sufu and many others under his service have tried and failed to infiltrate the ranks of the Bright Lions. In turn, the Bright Lions have succeeded in planting their own members in Walkena's own clergy, who are capable of near-perfect imitations of faith towards the Child God. Some speculate that this is made possible by the influence of the Old Sun Gods, who may be lending their power to hide Lion agents from detection or mimic Walkena's own divine strength.1

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Paizo Inc., et al. Mzali” in The Mwangi Expanse, 227–228. Paizo Inc., 2021
  2. Paizo Inc., et al. “Religion” in The Mwangi Expanse, 143. Paizo Inc., 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Fabby Garza Marroquín. Sihar” in Legends, 99–100. Paizo Inc., 2020