A vast field lit only by the pale moonlight. Not too far from it, the sound of crickets cheering two proud warriors who are silently gazing at each other.
One of them is a hundini wearing a long cream kimono with an ample pair of trousers. His youthful face and dark eyes are ablaze with confidence, as the four pointy tufts of dark blond fur leaping out of his muzzle and his short brown hair are brimming with energy. His big left hand is already on the pommel of his sword, ready to be drawn.
The other fighter is… Well, also a hundini. He too wears a kimono of the same color, albeit one with his school’s crest embroidened on his chest : three squiggly lines under what seems to be the moon’s crescent. Why such a weird symbol ? Nobody knows, though everyone could say with confidence that this hundini’s face gives out an impression of peacefulness, which contrasts well with his opponent. His short muzzle also leads to eight pointy tufts of light blond fur, which looks purer. His hair is shorter, though as ruffled and greyer, as if he had been as wild as his adversary in a far off time. From lighter eyes hidden behind a pair of round glasses, he calmly observes the other hundini’s stance. His right hand isn’t even touching the pommel of his blade yet.
The two hundinis are staring at each other. A cloud gets in the way of the moon, covering the field in darkness. They both know light will only shine on the victor.
In the greatest of calms, they are waiting. The young hundini swiftly glances at the sky. Soon. He breathes heavily. The older hundini patiently awaits.
The cloud ends his travel. Light starts coming back to the field as the young man rushes towards the old one, who starts doing the same, finally putting his hand on the pommel of his sword. The young man, meanwhile, has already started to draw his blade.
And as they are barely metres away from each other and that the old hundini is finally about to unsheath his sword, a small rock meets the young hundini’s sandal, making him trip and miserably plummet to the ground.
For a few seconds, absolutely nothing happens. Only the sound of the wind blowing can be heard.
The old hundini leans towards the young one. “Are you okay, Jun ?”
The young hundini doesn’t move, feeling utterly ashamed. “Yes, Dad… Oooooow…”
Some stories begin with high feats and memorable scenes. Today’s story might not open with the most epic of confrontations, but, well, you know… You can’t really choose how they begin now, can you ?
The year is 1025. The place ? The mysterious land of Johsei, a country torn by an underground war between men and women who seek limitless power. Fortunately, this conflict will finally end in the next three years. Not with smiles, friendship and rainbows, but in tragedy, blood, tears and a whole lot of emotional pain. This story is far from being a happy stroll through some fields, which is why I chose to write it down here. Obviously, it won’t be doom and gloom all the time, as there will be quite a few happy and funny moments too, because life is just that : made up of highs sometimes really high and lows going as deep as the abyss. Life is also made up of contrasts, and appearances can be all too deceiving… But anyway, I’m rambling and it’s not really productive to say it all in the intro ! Let us give out a bit of leeway for suspense to seep in, okay ?
Also, real talk : this story is very intimately tied to another book I’ve written, which is called The Many Lives of Leo Davis and is bound to come out on store shelves by, erm… 2020, I hope (it’s a really huge series). Some events in one series may have consequences on the other, but I did my best to make both stories as independent as possible so that both tell their own story. Then again, just so you know and can be up to speed as fast as possible, there are six races in the Otter World : the lutrises (otter people), the hundinis (dog people), the kutzes (cat people), the beayerns (beaver people), the konijins (rabbit people) and the raions (lion people). Before they were all mysteriously wiped out five-hundred years prior to the events of these series, there existed another race, called the attilax (meerkat people) and any other type of animal represented come from other worlds in this Multiverse, are called Strangers and usually have some sort of super-power, but you’ll see them fairly quickly, as one of them is one of our heroes.
So yeah, there’s quite a bit of lore to uncover as the pages go by and I will make sure to give explanations if there ever needs to be any. Eastern Tails is there to make you discover another side of this world. A darker and much more “realistic” one, which I hope you will enjoy finding out !
Happy reading !
- David de Redalia