The Simba represent the best Gaia has to offer, in that they are regal, proud, and powerful beyond compare. However, they are also arrogant, domineering, and malicious, even under the best of circumstances.
The Simba aren't villains; they are magnificent lords, slayers of demons. They believe things are simply out of order. When the balance is restored, when the humans know their place and when cities become graveyards, the lions will be proven right. In the minds of the Simba, the demons of the modern age can be traced to the end of Impergium and the laxity of the Changing Breeds. And they intend to put things in the right order: if that requires bloodshed, so be it. Warfare is the sport of kings.
Like all Bastet, they are bound by a yava.
- A rope made of lion's mane will bind a Simba fast.
- To defeat a lion, steal his roar. In it, you may find a bit of his soul. He will not harm one who holds that soul until he finds his roar again.
- No male Simba will kill his wife, or allow another to do the same.
The Simba firmly believe that they were created to rule their brethren, something the normally antisocial Bastet almost universally reviled. Created as rallying points and leaders of their kind, the Simba took insurrections and challenges to their dominion poorly. During the time the Bastet split, three princes of the Simba guided members of their breed to their new destiny. The fierciest followed Amadu into the deserts to wage the Impergium against humanity, the smartest followed Mayi into the steppes and attuned themselves to nature and the remaining followed Abuja, who ventured into the north and is regarded by some to be the ancestor of the Ceilican. The Simba ruled nearly undisputed over Africa and it was only when the Ajaba began to neglect their duties that they could fell.
Black Tooth remains one of the most reviled Changers in history, but in the same turn, no one incorporates the nature of the Simba in their pride and arrogance better. With the aid of vampires, he destroyed the court of the Ajaba king and roamed over Africa with his pride, the Endless Storm. He ruled with terror and fear, but he kept check of the Wyrm beasts that lay under the african soil.
With the fall of Black Tooth, the Simba are now ruled by a descendant of Mayi, King Hakimu, who allied previously with the Ahadi. But he is facing ancestral hatred of those Simba who supported Black Tooth and of those Ajaba who want to exact revenge against the lions. Only time will tell if the Simba can rally themselves to be the shining example they were originally intended.
As one of the most social tribes of the Bastet, the Simba adore their loved ones, and watch their Kinfolk very closely. The central organization of the Simba is the pride. Each pride has one Mtolo ("father"), or dominant male, and several Kirii ("wives") and Anuwana ("young hunters"). Small prides defer to larger ones, and may owe allegiance to a Chakuva ("High King") like Black Tooth. Every pride conatins more females than males and is usually mixed with feline and/or human kin to ensure a healthy progeny. Children and kittens are raised within the pride and must constantly prove themselves to survive. Strong prides rule over weak and despite having almost no formal organization within a pride, everyone adheres to a pecking order that is born out of respect and dominance.
Simba have rites of initiation and rank. Body markings — tattoos, neck extensions, scars and painted designs — are common markers, particularly among the aggressive Amadu'o, the descendants of Amadu. Advancement in the pride is by combat, and only three adult males are allowed to remain in a pride. Most have only one. Females fight to be First Huntress and First Wife, though few can be both. Losers either die in combat or wander the plains in search of a new pride. Some Simba drifted into India centuries ago, and their descendants have become the most aggressive of their kind.
The Mayi'o prefer harmony to aggression. They seem to favor the lions of the Okavango Delta, relying on their ferocious strength to keep their bloodline strong. Smaller than their Amadu'o cousins, they avoid scarring their "young," respect outsiders and prefer negotiation to violence. Naturally, the Amadu'o see this as weakness, and refer to them as wimps. However, most Amadu'o avoid the Kalahari, so no one bothers the Mayi'o much. Those who insist on a fight discover that even for their peace loving ways these are still werelions. It is a mistake that few make twice, if even they survive the first encounter.
Most Simba are muscular, charismatic, and attractive. Their hair flows thick and rich; white Simba have cascading hair which blossoms into a mane during transformation, while african ones have thick afros or dreadlocks. Although female Simba have no manes, their hair grows wild and thick. This alone tends to make them stand out, as many African tribes believe that the absence of hair marks the line between man and beast. Thus, Simba are considered "not quite human" — which is, after all, entirely accurate.
Most Simba descend from Zulus, British, Germans, Bantus or Bushmen. Although they're not fond of magic, a tangible aura of command surrounds event the youngest lions.