Explore the world of Bravelands, the new series by Warriors author Erin Hunter.
Almost every animal believes in the Great Spirit, a god-like force. Different species interpret and relate to the Great Spirit in different ways. Most of them believe part of the spirit lives in the Great Mother (or Father) who leads the animals and resolves problems and disputes across the plains. While a Great Mother or Father can in theory be any animal, as far back as any animal can remember he/she has always been an elephant, the most spiritual of all the creatures.
The animals of Bravelands live by one code: Only Kill to Survive. They may therefore only kill to eat or defend themselves. Breaking the code is taboo; only crocodiles and the odd rogue animal don’t keep to it. Even those animals who don’t follow the Great Mother, like the lions, keep to the code.
The lions see themselves as the most important animals on the savannah. Prides are named after their male leader, who is comparable to an absolute monarch. His mate is the most important female and his strongest male cub will inherit the pride. The lionesses are mainly responsible for hunting, and being a talented hunter is revered. Despite this sense of superiority, lions still follow the code. However, they no longer follow the Great Mother.
The most spiritual of the animals, all elephants can glimpse the past through touching the bones of their ancestors. The past is very important to them, and they love sharing memories and stories. The herds are entirely female, apart from the male youngsters. They are egalitarian, with the herd making decisions together, and they all help raise the calves.
The baboon troops are organized into rigid hierarchies, but they are meritocratic—every baboon starts at the bottom and can work his or her way to the top. The structure of their societies is based on trees; they believe all creatures fell from the sky, so to be high in a tree is to be closer to the Great Spirit. They also look to the sky for guidance about the future. The Starleaf of each troop interprets clouds, bird flight, lightning, shooting stars, and other celestial phenomenon.
The vultures are dispassionate about the cycles of life and death on the plains.They can tell before they start eating a carcass whether or not the kill broke the Code, and if it did, they don't eat it. Instead they take a bone to the Great Mother to read.