**"Attention, citizens of the Empire,
Based on the collected information of this year's census, your esteemed Rulers have determined a solution to the overpopulation:
Beginning every First Frost of the year, all families will be required to donate one or more representatives to compete in the Arena in a FIGHT TO THE DEATH. These representatives will battle to earn the right to not only survive, but handsomely supply their family and themselves with food, riches, and comfort.
Be not afraid; even those who lose have a place among our Overlords and in the Afterlife - sacrifices made to the Kindly Ones*, that they might continue to bless our grand civilization with their wisdom and their grace."
---The Council of Twelve
---The Kindly Ones**
So I had this idea. (W.D. is still awesome to this day.)
The very quick, basic plot in a nutshell: There is a rabbit empire in Eastern Mossflower. Not HARES - Rabbits. (Hares will make an appearance later.) This empire runs itself a lot like a rabbit warren, in that it's a very regulated and controlled setting, but unfortunately, with little to no natural enemies in the area, they are suffering an unhealthy, massive boom in population. The dictators' solution to this? Just start killing people off, of course!
The so-called "gods" that the citizens answer to are, without spoiling much, owls, cats, and/or foxes that are fed the fallen competitors* (the Kindly Ones). Only the General and the Council know this, and so the citizens are taught to believe that the greatest honor of all is to fight, and hopefully be someday "welcomed" into the arms of their gods.
This solution ensures that not only will the population be under control, but that only the strongest fighters survive - and in fact, the empire has broken down into two dominant strains of genetic carriers that are immune to certain poisons and diseases (but also horribly subject to others, outside of the territory).
Now, outside of the empire is an up-and-coming community or rising kingdom in a forest of thorns called Briarwood. It is a peaceful woodland society, a peaceful village and refuge for runaways and wandering travelers. The briar is so carefully tended to by the residents that there are only a few ways in and out, and hidden, forming the wall of the fortress "Briar Bastion". Free from aerial attacks and impossible to simply march upon, and guarded by steadfast warriors.
The General and Council have learned of its existence and would like to find a way to conquer Briarwood before it grows too powerful, and before anyone mobilizes to overthrow them.
There are also wild hares, nomadic, wandering loners, that may get mixed up in all of this, too.
Healers, elders, gladiators/competitors, wanderers, warriors, rulers/thanes, bards, clergybeasts, spectators, gamblers, rogues, rebels/runaways, veteran fighters, trainees, councilbeasts, outer-city vermin, Champions of Briarwood, and a death metal group (totally optional).
-rabbits (imperial and Briarwood)
-wild hares (not Sal. hares)
-TKO "gods": owls and cats (though you wouldn't be doing much other than hiding in the shadows and getting fed…)
Also, would totally love to see this thing played out in 2-4 parts: the Arena Battles and life in the Empire, and then the escape to Briarwood (and then maybe the reveal and overthrow of the Overlords.)
So...yeah, what you guys think? :3