The Aftermath Chronicles

MarcoPolo121

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Apr 24, 2017
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In a world in which the Champion of Hawkethorne triumphed over Kasyrra, Tollus and the Demon Cult, but not without consequences, Kinu Otomo is doing her best to come to terms with her lingering grief while holding her very extended family together and organising hunts for the remaining cultists and demons in the world.

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I'm doing this as a writing exercise, and a holding pattern while I wait for interactions between our named kids. Feedback is appreciated but not necessary.
 

MarcoPolo121

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2017
489
567
29
Ireland
The day Kinu Ōtomo set out from her home touch base with her siblings and half-siblings and bring war criminals to justice, she did so with her head held high and one of her father's bows slung across her back. She'd kissed all her children goodbye, left her husband and oldest daughter in charge of the household while she was away and briefly made a visit to the Kitsune Den in the Frostwood to ensure everyone knew where she would be for the next few days. From there, it was merely a matter of walking through the forest to the nearby settlement of Hawkthorne, where her father had effectively lived for the last few years of his life and where a small number of her younger siblings had moved into some of the empty houses after they came of age, fascinated by the foreigners and their unorthodox ways of doing things.

Of course, Kinu could have simply used the crystal her father left for her to teleport right there from her home, just like she used it to visit the Frostwood. But honestly, she wanted the opportunity to walk through the forest and appreciate its natural beauty rather than having to watch for prey and berries when hunting or foraging, an opportunity she didn't get often. Besides, given how boisterous and vital her half-siblings up at the Wayfort often were, she needed this alone time to prepare herself for what was to come.

----

Indeed, once Kinu walked through the village gate, encountering far less resistance than she would have if she tried to enter the conventional way even a few years back, she was grateful for the limited number of people awake and out of their homes. She had a difficult enough time fitting in among her own kind, but interacting with humans especially put her on the backfoot.

Of course, it probably didn't help that the cold season had set in and the village was facing a cold winter. The freshly-fallen snow crunched softly under her sandals, and if not for the thick wooly lining of her kimono, she might be too busy shivering to walk. As she strolled briskly past the nearby smithy, nodding politely to the blacksmith as he stepped outside for a breather, she soon found herself at the doors of the local chapel, musing on the darkness and majesty of it compared to the simple, if still adorned shrines to Keros kept in many Kitsune dwellings. Nevertheless, Kinu was not here to sightsee. There was a greater purpose to being here, just like the day her mother and father met on the Astral Plane. She pushed the door open with a heavy creak, slipping inside and tugging the door shut.

Inside, she found things were largely the same as outside, but the darkness had given way to a golden radiance from every corner of the room. Candles dotted portions of available space on all the furniture and parts of the shelves, creating a radiance such that Kinu felt the instinct to cover her eyes, but settled for blocking the worst of it with her braid. At the centre of all this light, the local priestess and leader of the chapel stood with a smile almost as bright as the horde of candles in the room. Kinu gestured at her awkwardly and vaguely, but she seemed to get the message, and with a snap of her fingers, a score of the candles dimmed, making the light much more bearable.

Gratefully, Kinu folded her hands together and bowed gently.

"Greetings, Miko-san. How fares the- oof!"

The words were knocked out of her along with her breath as Liaden crossed the threshold and swept her up in a hug. Ah, yes. She had forgotten just who she was talking to. Sanders, the priest who performed last rites for her father 20 years ago, had moved on to other things shortly after, succeeded by his boisterous daughter. At the time of the funeral, Liaden had been even moreso, with a dangerously short skirt that might have let Kinu see her buttocks if she bent over and an outspokenness that reminded her of her own. But the letters sent by her siblings told her that the priestess had mellowed out over time, though not enough that she wasn't fond of hugging people she knew who came into the chapel on her good days.

"How many times have I told you, young lady? Just Lia is fine. No need to stand on ceremony with me!"

Kinu tapped three times on her back to indicate she wanted to get down, and to her credit Liaden did lower her to the ground, gently. "Well, what can I say? Old habits die hard," she said blandly. "Perhaps if you married one of my sisters, I'd feel more comfortable addressing you as family."

At this, Liaden chuckled softly, her cheeks reddening. "Uh, ahaha, I don't know. Maybe if my existing wife was okay with it, an' we got along well, it could happen..."

"Oh, I have no quarrel with the kitsune," piped a voice from an adjacent room. "If you ever found one and fell in love with her, I'd be quite at peace with it, just like you understood my affection for the Champion!"

Kinu turned to face the doorway as a tall and intimidatingly muscular but beautiful hornet woman stepped through the door, her stilettos clacking on the floor. For someone with such a soft gooey centre, Junior Queen Azyrran projected an intimidating aura, with her hard-bodied physique and curvaceous silhouette. That Spear of Conquest had been good to her.

Once again Kinu folded her hands at her lap and bowed, lower this time. "Joō-sama."

Azyrran smiled and put a hand on her chest before bowing back to her. "High Lady Ōtomo."

Kinu smiled appreciatively. Azyrran was one of the few non-Kitsune people in the Marches who respected her wishes for formality. "I hope you and yours are well. My household have had little contact with your mother's Hive since my father's passing."

"Well indeed. My mother has been preparing me to take over the Hive for the last few years, and in that time, I've been making preparations with my dear little Hive Wife here," Azyrran wrapped an arm tightly around Liaden's waist, holding her close, "to find a suitable successor for here in this church, seeing as I doubt she'll have much time for saying mass or performing ceremonies while swollen with my eggs."

Liaden's face was absolutely crimson, and Kinu was doing her best to avoid passing a remark or making a joke at her expense. "Good to know you're doing well," the kitsune said politely. "Perhaps I will bring my children to visit your hive someday. It's important for them to learn about other races and cultures and how they live their lives."

"I'd be happy to arrange it," smiled Azyrran. "But I'm sure this can't be why you're here, is it?"

"No, I'm looking for my siblings. Kitsune ones, that is. Can you help me track them down?"

They could, and they did. The process took a little while, what with the formerly small and fluffy kits having already started their oddjobs and routines around the village, but soon they were all present and accounted for. Kinu ushered her siblings into the home of Aya, who had the largest sitting room, and nodded gratefully to Azyrran, who smiled at her and walked back towards the chapel. When Liaden didn't follow, and seemed to be expecting to be let in, Kinu sighed.

"Lia, my siblings and I have some family business to attend to. Could you please leave?"

"Well, if you insist, but personally I really think I could-"

Kinu's face became a stone mask. "Sorry for this, but even though I said, 'please', that wasn't a request. You need to leave, now."

Lia seemed to recoil as if struck, and Kinu pushed down the twinge of guilt at the hurt in her eyes as she turn and trudged down the road after Azyrran. She'd deal with that unpleasantness later. For now she had a family meeting to attend, which couldn't wait and was not open to anyone else.

"<That was unnecessarily harsh of you, Big Sister,>" scolded Aya as Kinu stepped inside, shutting the door curtly. "<I know you've never been one to hold your tongue, but Lia has been a dear friend to all of us. Just last week, she helped me organise a birthday party for my daughter, even paid for half the gifts out of pocket. If you won't be gracious to her for decency's sake, then at least do it for us.>"

Kinu sighed and folded her ears flat against her head, shuffling her hood off at the same time. "<I know, Aya. I'm sorry. But what we're going to discuss is not for her to know. We cannot have outsiders sitting in on these family meetings. I shouldn't have to explain why.>"

Aya muttered under her breath that she wasn't the one Kinu should be apologising to, but Tatsumi put a hand on her shoulder and shook his head, indicating it wasn't worth it. With the matter momentarily put aside, Kinu smiled for the second time since she left home that day and pulled her six siblings into a warm, floofy hug. "<It's good to see you again, brothers and sisters,>" she said with a slight catch in her throat. "<I've missed you all.>"

They all wrapped their arms around her and each other, a show of genuine affection. Whatever else passed between them, today or any other day, they would always be a family.

----

Author's Notes:

I struggled to get started with this - if you notice the disaparity between this post and the thread starter, you probably guessed that - but it wasn't just writer's block. I also struggled because I was trying to start with an interaction between Kinu and her eldest daughter explaining what she was going to do and having a bit of an argument, but I couldn't get it to come out right, and when I finally did, woops, I somehow lost the draft that was supposed to be saved, so in the end I could only move forward by junking it.

If it wasn't clear, I decided to make Kinu the Inari Shoujo version because that fits the story I plan to tell better. Plus Kitsune Hime Kinu is too savvy and personable to have any of the drama I plan to wring from the story so, there you go.

Finally, I won't be writing anything specific about Tychris or what I think will happen there or any specifics on Kasyrra's plan for Khor'minos because a) I genuinely don't know what's happening there and b) even if I did, I'd probably be sworn to secrecy or something so it wouldn't be included in this anyway. Even what actually happened to Kassy will be nonspecific except she's not around anymore, which I don't think counts as a spoiler since why would that not be a possible ending?

Anyway, I'll keep writing as best I can. Next time, more stuff with the siblings, Kinu goes to the Wayfort and a ton of exposition on the state of the world post-K Day. Ta-ta for now!
 
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MarcoPolo121

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Apr 24, 2017
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Ireland
(So this is a dormant fic that may never wake up, but I do want to post the one scene I originally came up with that inspired me to start writing this to begin with. Think of it as a teaser trailer in written form.)


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A horned figure entered through the gate in the north, and Kinu immediately seized up with dread when she recognised the shock of black-red hair and heart-shaped birthmark.


"Hello? Everybody okay in here? I heard a fall and..."


But the sentence was cut off with a gasp. Another of Kinu's many half-siblings - Freja Wayfarer, Champion of Frost - stood barely three yards away from her with an expression of shock - many emotions, really, but especially shock - writ large on her face. "K-Kinu?"


Kinu, sensing that things were about to take a turn for the irritating, tried to stand up straight and dust off her robes discreetly. "Well met, Imouto-chan," she said. "It has been quite some time since-"


"It's been too long, Kinu! Too long!"


The dragonoid girl sniffled, tears pooliny in her big green eyes, as she rushed forth and pulled Kinu into a tight hug. Being that Freja was a fairly tall 5'10 give or take, the hug fast became incredibly awkward, as DDD boobage engulfed the poor fox's entire eyeline. Freja, who seemed to be having a good old cry, didn't notice.


"Freja, are you okay? I can hear your crying!"


'Oh, no,' thought Kinu. 'Not her too.'


But her it was - her in this case referring to Mitra, yet another half-sibling of Kinu's. The young red-feathered harpy glided into view, an expression of concern on her face before she noticed Freja wasn't alone.


"Oh, hi Kinu!" Mitra's expression immediately shifted to a warm smile. "Nice to see you again. Hope you won't begrudge me a proper sisterly welcome!"


"...'At's rlly nought..." Kinu's protests were muffled by quivering, freckled tan titflesh. Mitra just grinned and wrapped her arms around Kinu from the other side, meaning the foxy girl's head was now surrounded on all sides by sizable dark-skinned breasts, an experience she hoped not to repeat once it was over. She thought she heard the young harpy (literally and figuratively, she thought to herself) patting Freja on the back and telling her it would be okay.


Just as Kinu thought to herself that at least it couldn't get any worse, she heard what sounded like smooth scales clinking softly over the paved stone floor of the Wayfort. As if on cue, three fluffy serpent people - vesparii, she reminded herself, it was important to remember the proper name for their species - came into view. Vaguely, she recognised them as yet more half-siblings - the triplet sons and daughter of Vatia, the vesparus mage who once nestled at her father's feet. Surveying the scene, the three of them exchanged glances before smiling wicked smiles.


Immediately she could guess what they were planning. Kinu tried pleading with her eyes, tried waggling her hand back and forth, but the triplets ignored her protests and proceeded to add themselves to the growing crowd of people around her. Their hands just barely on top of each other, their tails wrapped around Kinu, Freja and Mitra's legs to further demonstrate their (Love? Mischief? Kinu couldn't tell).


Eventually, Kinu managed to disentangle herself from the bodies and tried to calm the raging blush in her face. Hagara and Argoyle had appeared nearby in the confusion, the former with a massively smug grin plastered all over her face.


"Not. One. Word," Kinu growled, anger warring with embarrassment on her face.


----


A/N: Yeah that's one of the key reasons I decided to write this. To put one of the otherwise reserved kitsune through a massive PDA while also showing our kids growing up. Plus a bunch of our old titles and weapons end up being passed down. Fun fun fun! Will we ever get to this point in more detail? Hell if I know.