Somewhere far away, there exists another Earth… a parallel reality to our own where man has never existed, but animals speak, think, and act like us. Not fully human and not fully animal, they emulate the best and worst of mankind without ever being aware of it. This is the story of a group of exiles trying to survive, a noble but flawed society constantly teetering on the edge of chaos, and a world that will need the very outcasts it has rejected to save it from destruction. This is TASAKERU.
Tasakeru is an ongoing Web Serial Novel series written by BHS. Planned as a series of 24 short books, the series aims to use animal characters to reflect on human nature. Think "Redwall, but grown-up", or Zootopia as a young adult High / Heroic Fantasy.
A relaunch of the series is in progress as of April 2015.
Now has a character sheet, still in progress.
Tasakeru is currently undergoing a relaunch and major revisions. As such, the information on this page may be outdated or inaccurate. Until the revised chapters are posted, please excuse any discrepancies or contradictions.
Tasakeru contains examples of:
- Alternate Universe: The story takes place on "another Earth" where humans and their ancestors have simply never existed. That includes ALL primates, in case you were wondering.
- The Artifact: The tumblr used to be a Fourth-Wall Mail Slot, but is now the author's writing blog. It's still called "Ask the Outcasts".
- City with No Name: The island country has no name, because its inhabitants live in a Closed Circle, with no concept of anything existing across the ocean. To them, their home is simply "the world".
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The story of Minerva (a fox lady who whipped off her dress and spun it over her head like a drunk fratboy during a multi-species church service) brings to mind the Bible story of King David going streaking whilst caught up in a fit of religious ardor.
- Don't Fear the Reaper:
- The ferrets' worldview. Unlike the other races, their Death God isn't expressly evil, it's a force of nature that's incomprehensible to mortal minds. And if it's killed, something even worse happens, because the "balance of nature" gets futz'd up.
- Wolfox godlore presents their Death God as The Sacred Darkness; an entity of pure silence and darkness, since their other two deities are personifications of light and sound as much as they are time and life. The dark and quiet modulate the other two into recognizable forms, rather than being blinding and deafening.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Death God is depicted as everything from a snake, to a lady wearing Indigo robes or a black-furred todd with a facial scar, to a writhing ball of snakes/bug legs.
- Expy: Due to Interfaith Smoothie, the mythology of the island is stuffed full of them, including but not limited to, Odin and Zalgo.
- Famed In-Story: The "Song of Tasakeru" postdates the Outcasts by 400 years.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
- Squirrels are Ancient Japanese, with Samurai and ripping good fairy tales.
- Rabbits are Classical Greco-Roman, with a slight emphasis placed on the intellectual facets of the period.
- Wolfoxes are medieval-era Romani, nomadic, dreadfully maltreated, and eking out a living as street performers and charlatans.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Gunpowder exists, and it is even called gunpowder, but there are no guns. There are cannons, though.
- Furry Confusion: Averted. It's explicitly stated which species are "sentient" (see Insistent Terminology), all others are "animals".
- Gargle Blaster: Faun's favorite, Dead God Firewater, a blood-red drink with fumes that can cause fainting in lightweights.
- Green Thumb: Hanami's Mage Flower can grow anything, anywhere, in any shape she wants. For the Outcasts, who have had constant troubles getting enough food, she's a blessing.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Hanami's Green Thumb isn't limited to growing just flowers... it can grow anything that she's touched before, making her a potentially unlimited source of food.
- Hive Queen: N'Ktane, a sentient female spider who uses her smaller, feral children as drones.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter opens with a haiku rather than a chapter title.
- I Know Your True Name: Doesn't really give someone supernatural authority over them, but this is the reason Raccoons are Known Only by Their Nickname.
- Insistent Terminology: The characters are referred to in-universe and out as "sentients", as distinct from "animals", which are species that aren't evolved or intelligent (all non-mammals, goats, rats, and "pigboars").
- Intelligent Gerbil: Squirrels, actually. Along with foxes, badgers, wolves, skunks, ferrets, rabbits, and raccoons. These are the eight formally-recognized sentient species, but there are traces of others that have since died out, and one that is discriminated against due to mixed heritage. Somewhat combines this trope with Petting Zoo People, see below.
- Interface Spoiler: The author has posted all the titles of the planned books on the website. From this we find that a war and an outlander expeditionary force is on the horizon.
- Interfaith Smoothie: Sanshinto (or "Tritheism") is primarily based on Shinto, mixed with Greek and Roman mythology and a little bit of Japanese Buddhism. The individual species' beliefs draw liberally from just about everything else, from Hinduism to Native American mythology to the Cthulhu Mythos.
- It's Not Porn, It's Art: In-story only. Foxes will mate publicly (and spontaneously) as a "celebration of physical beauty".
- Lady Land: Skunk society. Most males aren't even allowed outside without wearing concealing robes. So, basically, a Gender Flipped Iraq /Iran. Also has elements of Arcadia.
- The Lost Woods: Tasakeru forest itself, huge swathes are uncharted.
- Love Makes You Evil: In the mythology; the Scarred One (foxes) and Aconite (skunks) are corrupted by unrequited love.
- Magic Is Evil: Squirrels have this viewpoint, they believe that the Life-Goddess is the only one who should mess with nature. They even believe that magicians will get stricken down by her displeasure.
- Magitek: Spellstones. Runes (or sigils?) are engraved on specially prepared flat stones and coloured in with the appropriate pigments by a skilled mage who then sells them. Also: Message Scrolls, which are something like text-messages or E-mail.
- Meaningful Name: Admittedly, completely guilty of this. "Hanami" is the Japanese flower-viewing festival. "Reimaru" can translate to "zero zero". A faun is a playful trickster. In fact, each of the sentient species have their own naming conventions.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Each species has its own customs and beliefs; the main characters are Outcasts in the first place because they either rebelled against or have been rejected by their societies.
- Not a Morning Person: Faun's way of "greeting the morning" is to curse its existence.
- Oh My Gods!: Justified, as the Three Gods form the basis of all of the world's culture.
- Pardon My Klingon: Easily translated; "Mange" substitutes for "shit" and "shed" or "pinch" for "fuck". Rather humorous Translation Convention, as mange is a skin disease and shedding is moulting, both rather inconvenient and embarrassing for animals.
- Planet of Hats:Every race has their quirks, typically tied to their religion.
- Precursors: The jackal-like Titans, who raised a mighty empire before inexplicably disappearing (except for their version of Imhotep).
- Psychic Powers: "Readers", such as N'Ktane, can dig through your memories or hypnotize you just by looking at you. N'Ktane and her drones have venom that renders their victims more susceptible to these powers.
- Rule of Three: Three Gods, three books to a volume, three seasons on the calendar, etc.
- Ronin: Zero is called one by Nadeshiko, in a way that's clearly meant as an insult.
- Samurai: Part of the squirrel culture, which is based on Feudal-era Japan. Used here as more like a modern army/combat service than the knights/noblemen of Japanese history.
- Schizo Tech: The sentients have a Magitek version of e-mail, crossed with elements of instant messaging.
- Smelly Skunk: Mostly averted, but the Fantastic Slur towards them is "Stinktail". By Word of God, calling a skunk "stinktail" to their face is the easiest way to get the stuffing beaten out of you.
- Story Within a Story: The Legend of Hayaoh, a folk tale from Zero's childhood.
- The Nicknamer: Faun gives everyone nicknames. Hanami is "Kitto", Zero is "Takky", Rowan is "Stripehead"... she hates her own full name so much that she gives everyone nicknames, including herself.
- Through A Facefull Of Fur: Completely averted, characters never blush, they swivel their ears flat when embarrassed or angered.
- Trick Bomb: Faun makes them as a hobby, and has an ammo belt full of them, with many different varieties. She has the expected incendiaries and flashbangs, but also tar bombs, ribbon bombs, compression bombs...
- Urban Segregation: Unify is divided into sections for each species, walled off from one another.
- Wolverine Claws: Faun's gloves have switchblade fingers.
- Wutai: The squirrel culture is based on feudal Japan. They also developed the first spoken and written language, which is why Japanese names and titles are used frequently, sometimes even among other species.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Seker. He's been awake for every second of the last 3,500 years. He may be invincible, ageless, and immortal, but he's completely unable to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep.