In the early 1900s, the nation of Aetheri came out of its long interdimensional isolation and revealed to the humans of the Symphony Archipelago that they were not alone in the multiverse. Things swiftly got ugly after that.
In the early 1990s, Aetheri's leadership changed, and in the Archipelago, a tiny broken family of half-siblings banded together in the face of the bile and hate that was boiling up between the humans and the non-humans.
In the early 2000s, that family was split apart. Hawk Press and his sister Liya Kiski both begin a long and exhaustive journey towards understanding the difference between friend and enemy--and between the family you're given, and the family you make.
"Never mind," Yoshi murmured, suddenly seeming self-conscious. They turned down a hallway that burrowed into the bookshelves; the hallway itself was also lined with books and scrolls. "That was Vlad, Shinobu's assistant. Shinobu keeps him busy, but he'll be back. I should mention," he added, and grimaced at Liya apologetically, "she can be a bit....well...you'll see."
They'd reached a door with a frosted glass window set into the bookshelves. The writing on the window was in both curly Aetherian script and in Archipelagan; the same went for the handwritten sign just below it. The window read 'SHINOBU - BESTIARY STUDIES' while the sign (in more aggressive writing) read 'BY APPT ONLY.'
Yoshi slid the door open and stuck his head in. "Hannu?"
A voice answered immediately in Aetherian, sounding dismissive. Liya peered in around Yoshi and couldn't help her surprise--sitting at a copper-topped table, pecking at a large typewriter, was a large pale pink fox. She did not look up, seeming irritated at being interrupted; around the typewriter was a small untidy pile of papers and an open book, which she seemed to be working from.
"It's only half past eighteen, Shinobu," Yoshi said patiently, once the fox had finished apparently telling them to get out, "Your office hours are still in."
This made Shinobu's ears flick towards him; in a second she'd leapt her her feet, abandoning the typewriter. "Yoshi!" she exclaimed, fox jaws bent in a toothy smile. Yoshi let her sweep him up into a hug. "And here I thought you'd forgotten about me. Hello, terrible child."