Year of the Rabbit Prose in Game of Tomes | World Anvil

Year of the Rabbit

A stylized golden rabbit on a red background with Chinese lanterns
Chinese New Year Rabbit Lantern by Linnaea Mallette

Year of the Rabbit - Part 1

January 22, 2023

The Warren, 8:31 am Pacific Time

“Happy Lunar New Year,” said Kitoypoy to Sable over breakfast.   Sable looked up from her rice toast and lactose-free yogurt with a smile. “Oh yeah, that’s right, too. Happy New Year, Kit.” Did they celebrate the Lunar New Year in Filipino culture? She didn’t know for sure, but she imagined they must. The Philippines had a significant Chinese population, after all. “Are there traditions we ought to be observing at the Warren today? Aside from the fireworks tonight, of course.” She had Hong Bao she’d been saving for today, in fact. She figured that regardless of cultural heritage, she couldn’t go wrong with monetary gifts in lucky red envelopes.   “We should have had the fireworks last night at midnight,” Kit explained with a smile. “But that’s okay. We know you’re trying.”   Sable shook her head. “You’d think I’d have thought of that. Jewish culture celebrates a lunar calendar, too, and their – our – day starts at sundown on the previous evening. It should have occurred to me to ask. But I guess better late than never, eh?”   Wait; what time was it? Sable glanced at her phone, and realized with a familiar sinking feeling she had to be in Vancouver in 45 minutes for the annual Lunar New Year parade. She’d promised last year when the Vancouver mayor had specifically asked, because this was the Year of the Rabbit.   “Dammit, I’m late again.” She wolfed down the rest of her breakfast – not much food, really, but the best she could manage this early in the morning, and she really didn’t need Flubb narrowing those icy blue cat eyes in her direction at this hour. She downed a few glugs of her Void coffee and poured the rest into her trusty no-leak travel mug, then topped it up and splashed in some oat milk. “Is what I’m wearing okay, or am I going to need to change?”   Kitoypoy shrugged. “There isn’t really a dress code. You might want to consider wearing something red. It’s considered auspicious.”   Well, at least it wouldn’t have to be some kind of formal gown or something then. She supposed her usual T-shirt and jeans wouldn’t do, though. That might be thought of as disrespectful. “I think I still have that really pretty satin blouse…” It was a thrift store acquisition from before she was a real Queen, and it was so out of fashion it was cool again. Still, not much protection against the elements. “Will the red jacket I wore at Tomesmas do, do you think?” She considered it. “Or would it be better if I wore Lapin pink?”   Now Kitoypoy laughed. “I dunno, Sable-rah. Pink is appropriate for spring. It’ll probably work.”   “Better grab Tempest; we’re going to have to Tang Portal if we’re going to make it on time. I’ll get changed.” Sable rushed to her office chamber and quickly buttoned up the blouse. She’d forgotten how pretty its mother-of-pearl buttons were, but they were slippery and hard to fasten.   She selected a necklace of freshwater pearls because she vaguely remembered pearls were supposed to be auspicious, too. She shoved her arms into her Lapin pink long coat while she stuffed her feet into her favourite weatherproofed leather boots with the good rubber treads – winter often meant rain in Vancouver. Last, she donned the white fuzzy half-gloves and bunny ears that had become her trademark, and the simple silver and moonstone moon crown she preferred when a crown must be worn.   Tempest came to the door, dressed in their usual “fire-casual” style; flame orange T-shirt, jeans, orange Crocs. Sable was to blame for the Crocs; they were Sable’s preferred footwear around the Warren, and she’d sung the praises of how they were both shoes and slippers and really comfy, and Tempest was hooked. Their scarred orange rabbit ears were sticking out, but they’d managed short brown hair instead of a torrent of flame. Mostly awake, then, even though they were yawning and scratching their butt. “Sis, I wish you’d told me I had to be up for this,” they grumbled. “I haven’t even had coffee yet.”   “Sorry, I forgot. Here, have some of mine. We can grab some more on the way.” She handed over her travel mug.   Tempest was just tipping it back when Flubb appeared, making a beeline for them with a determined gleam in her glittering, slitted eyes. Her calico dwarven beard braids were streaming behind her.   “Oh no, you don’t,” she tisked, fixing both of them with a death glare. She reached into a sack slung over one arm and handed another travel mug to Tempest, along with a coil of salami. “You have to eat something. And you are not going anywhere without lunch and your prescription!” She shoved the sack and a sports bottle into Sable’s hands, almost forcing her to drop her phone.   Oh, right. Sable had almost managed to forget. The bottle sloshed with a now familiar sound. Probably Crocoade rather than the much-preferred “rabbit crack” a mix of carrot and banana juices. Well, she supposed it kept better.   She pinned it awkwardly to her belt loop with the carabiner without protest. She was still under strict doctor’s orders to keep her caloric intake and electrolyte levels up, since being hospitalized for magic drain after the war. Her protests that she’d been the recipient of both a Heal spell and a Greater Restoration right out of roleplaying games had fallen on deaf ears.   Tempest handed Sable back her coffee and took a gulp of their own. Even with the spout cracked open for just a moment, Sable could see the steam pouring out. Tempest, of course, was unharmed.   She shook her head, marvelling at her sibling’s power. She wished she had the guts to put that to the test herself. Wouldn’t it be so useful, if she, too, were immune to heat and flame! She supposed she’d better try risking it before the next war, though. It would be a good thing to know. But for now, it just seemed to be Tempest’s flames she was immune to.   Tempest’s flames, and the Overflow. Most of the time.   Well, that was already a miracle, and she wasn’t ungrateful. Somebody had to be able to hold Tempest when they cried. Even Buddha couldn’t do it.   “We can get food at the festival,” Sable said to Flubb, bringing her mind back to the present. “There’s going to be a million food vendors there. Vancouver turns it into a kind of Pan-Asian community event. Pho and salad rolls! Maybe satay beef!” She knew those were gluten free for a fact, and they were among her favourite foods anyway.   Flubb was undeterred. “If you remember to get food, that’s fine! But this way, you won’t have to remember.” She took the bag and hooked the handle firmly over Sable’s shoulder. “Spam sandwiches on rice bread. Nothing fancy. So if it ends up back in the Warren fridge tomorrow, I don’t care.”   Sable knew better than to argue. She grinned. Engaging Flubb as the Royal Cook was one of the best decisions she’d ever made. She and Tempest now had their own personal Self Care Mafioso ready to hand, and damned if she didn’t actually make both of them listen, which even Sunny could not do. It’s because we know she’d be genuinely hurt and upset if we didn’t. And Frith knew they needed the babysitting.   “Okay, we’ll take the food. Thank you.” She reached into a jar of amethyst on one of the bookshelves and shoved a few into her coat pocket. “There. Now I’m prepared for anything.”   “Have a good time, don’t forget to hydrate, take frequent rests,” Flubb chattered goodnaturedly.   “I’ll do my best,” Sable promised. She doubted there would be much resting. She’d been a child the last time she’d been to the Vancouver Lunar New Year festival, but she remembered a lot of noise and colour and people and smells. She also remembered sore feet. “We ready?”   Kitoypoy ran through a manual check of his various weaponry. “Ready,” he said after a minute or so.   “I suppose,” said Tempest with another yawn.   “Do you have your weapons, Sable-rah?” Kitoypoy reminded her.   Right. Sable sighed. “No, I’d almost managed to successfully dodge that, thank you, Kit.” There was more than a little sarcasm dripping from her tone. “Are you going to insist I carry the .44, or can I get away with my falchion or maybe just a dagger? We’re not currently at war.”   “Carry something, sis, or I’m going to insist you wear the combat vest,” Tempest growled.   “I hate the combat vest. It’s hot. And bulky.” Sable looped her weapons belt through her jeans and slid the falchion over so it rested gently on her hip. “There. Can we go now?” Goddamn mother hens, she thought, but her irritation faded almost immediately. They all just want to take care of me. I’m lucky to have so many people who do. And they’re doing it for me, not just the Protectorate, and I know it.   “Ready when you are,” Kitoypoy said brightly.   “All right, where are we going?” Tempest muttered, taking another long swallow of their coffee.   Sable unlocked her phone and ran a quick search. “Here,” she said, showing Tempest a beautifully colourful Asian gate with three portals standing over a bustling city street. “The Millennium Gate, on Pender Street.”   “Oh, that’s pretty.” Tempest shook their hands out and cracked their knuckles.   “Oh shit, wait! I almost forgot the Hong Bao!” Sable reached into her closet and removed the panel that concealed her safe. Until late last year, it had been sealed with an old-fashioned combination lock, but now there was a retinal scanner. She stood in place until the light had passed over her eyes, amused by the fact that anyone trying to fake it would have to squat awkwardly, since the scanner was at her eye level.   The safe popped open with a flash of green light and a friendly beep. She took out a leather fanny pack and strapped it on over the weapon belt. It wasn’t terribly impressive to look at, but it had been charmed with the same enchantment that gave Rowean’s backpack seemingly unlimited storage space.   “Okay, finally ready,” said Sable. The safe door made a simple snick! noise as the airlock re-sealed itself. She replaced the panel, too.   “Stand clear,” said Tempest. They thrust their hands forth and summoned the swirling tunnel of fire from the Overflow that formed their unique teleportation portal. Few knew how much effort that took, but the flicker of fiery sweat on Tempest’s brow was enough to tell Sable the truth of it, even if she hadn’t shared a direct empathic link a couple of times.   Sable didn’t delay. She slammed up the electromagnetic force field bubble that could protect other people from the Tang portal’s deadly heat and radiation, and stepped in to fill the portal with that field.  
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.

Articles under Year of the Rabbit

Cover image: Iron Tome by Misades


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