Backmatter Part 2: The Decline and Fall of the Western Warren

High Concept: Gibbon meets Malory meets Richard Adams

Genre: Animals in trouble/classical history/chanson de geste

Overview: The Western Warren had thrived as long as rabbits have lived in the Pines, establishing outposts far and wide while and maintaining the lore of rabbitkind in the midst of many enemies.

The warren attained its greatest heights under the rulership of Last. Upon his birth, a seer declared the young kit the last king of the Western Warren, an augury which many joyfully took to mean that one of the western outposts would rise to prominence in its own right and allow the next king to be an emperor over a vast domain.

Although Last ruled wisely and well for thousands of generations, he has grown cruel and capricious. He exiled Oakroot, the head of his Warren Guard, and replaced the guard with a pack of hares from the woods beyond the Warren. He sits, unconcerned, as his hares foul the Warren’s food stores and kill any who questioned them. He ignores the stories told by brave scouts of a metal cave in the middle of the woods that smells of human corpses, where wild dogs live and hunt under the iron claw of a massive, scarred brute called Caesar.

And now, as the hounds bay ever closer and the larder runs empty, rumors and stories have spread about a warren to the east where Oakroot and his followers have settled. As the Pines grow colder and winter approaches, that eastern haven may be the last light of civilization before barbarians storm the gates of the greatest kingdom in the world.

System: Bunnies and Burrows
Illustrator: Charles Vess
Director: Hayao Mizayaki
Potential casting: Peter Stormare, John Hurt, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, C.C.H. Pounder
Royalties paid in advance to: Everyone who cried at the end of Watership Down.

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