You hear the thundering of canons and the explosion of magic as your airship flies overhead. The demi-human realm isn’t an assortment of kingdoms like the human realm of the partitioned lands of the demon lords like in the demon realm. Instead, demi-humans are separated by tribes. There is typically a tribe for each type of demi-human. No unlike humans, all demi-humans don’t get along.
Many years ago, for example, there was a war between the catkin and the dogkin. It all started when the catkin stated that they were cool and the dog’s drooled. This started a brutal war where thousands of beastmen laid dead. The war lasted for a decade, and only ended when the dogkin discovered a drug called Nip and circulated it amongst the cat population. Ninety percent of cats became drug addicts, and the dogkin became their overlords and drug dealers.
Catkin as drug-addled low rungs of society is a stereotype that still continues to this day. It was exactly Nip that took Elena and Jasmine’s mother and father from them. Jasmine was born a Nip baby, and that was the reason she was so sickly and ill. It was also the reason Elena, a genuinely sweet girl, was pushed into joining a local gang. It’s almost expected from cats that they join gangs and do drugs. Elena only managed to avoid this fate herself thanks to you wiping out the gang, taking them in, and ultimately reforming Riun into a place with relatively little crime. It should be no wonder why Jasmine’s life was completely turned around and why she so desperately wants to stay by your side.
As for the rest of the demi-human realm, they were at constant war with each other. They were an unstable country of different animals who don’t get along, despite what Zootopia tries to claim. The only time demi-humans worked together is when they were under attack from human slavers. Most demi-humans who weren’t constricted to war, joined gangs, or were addicted to drugs were forced into slavery by the humans.
“Holy shit that’s dark.” You mutter to yourself.
Elena nodded sadly. “It was why we fled to Riun. It was the only place I thought my sister and I would be safe. We left with a group of fifty, but by the time I stepped through Riun’s gates, there were just Jasmine and me. I carried her the last hundred miles on my back. I don’t even know how we made it those first few months.”
Tears began to fall down Elena’s cheeks. You carefully pull her into a hug as she cries softly. Gently, you pat her head. Her sobs calm down and soon she’s purring against your chest.
“You know, I went through that all too!” Jasmine cries out. “I could use comfort as well!”
“If I gave you attention, you’d only abuse it.” You sigh.
“What? That’s discrimination!”
“Fine, come over here.”
You reach out and pat Jasmine’s head too. She puts on a smug look and closes her eyes as you pat her.
“Yeah, you stroke this naughty pussy.”
You flick her on the forehead. As she’s rolling around the ground in pain, you look out over the war torn land. Most of the area is thick forest and wilderness, but fires have sprung up all over the place. Luckily, the thicket is too lush and thick and the fires don’t seem to be spreading. If it had been a dry season, the entire place would be ash by now.
“What should we do, boss?” Minnie who is driving the ship while for some reason wearing an eyepatch asks.
You glance over at Florian. “This is your quest, where do you want to do now?”
Florian breaks into a cough. “You want me in charge now!”
Florian gives a sigh, looking out over the same war-torn landscape. He shakes his head, his lip trembling as who knows what thoughts run through his head. Probably ‘blah, blah, blah, I’m the hero. Blah, blah, blah, I need to save everyone. Blah, blah, blah, I’m strong enough and I can do it!
“That’s not what I’m thinking.” Florian responds dryly.
“Eh? I didn’t say anything!” You raise your head and look away, wondering if your thoughts were heard out loud.
“These kinds of things become stronger when we’re together.” Megara, sitting nearby on the stern says to no one in particular, looking strangely wistful.
“Huh? What’s stronger?”
Megara shrugs. “The heros. You, me, Florian. Interdimensional travelers.”
“Oh, right, you’re a hero too!” Florian said with a snap, “To think, we traveled together for so long and I never realized.
“That’s because you were a conceded idiot.”
“Ha… I missed you too Megara.”
“Ugh… this is why Pocahontas and Nala just pretend they never knew you or spent nearly a year traveling with you…”
“…” Florian looked away, a flash of regret on his face for just a moment. “Anyway… you wanted orders. Let’s go round up some slaves!”
“Now you’re talking!” You clap your hands.
“To free them…” Florian adds, eyeing you sideways.
“Oh.” You look down. “I knew that… I swear.”