Beneath the modern City of London, an ancient evil has found a new home…
The demonic Orochi, Yōkai of the ancient world, has broken free of a failed seal, and desires to wreak a terrible revenge on humankind for her millennia of confinement.
Fortunately for the city, she is opposed by an unlikely duo:
Jessica Cartwright, a Scene-of-Crime Officer,
and Hikaru Arashi, a Nara-era samurai.
Orochi’s power grows every passing day. She manipulates the vulnerable living and disenfranchised dead, forcing them to carry out her will, all in an attempt to regain her former strength.
Jessica is a keen investigator, and Hikaru a great warrior, but neither can hope to stand alone. They will need to work together and learn from each other if they are to protect the people of London, foil Orochi’s plans, and find a way to defeat her once-and-for-all.
This is the World of Orochi, a media franchise formed by the books of Ethan Fox.
In autumn 2015, a murder investigation pulls Scene-of-Crime Officer Jessica Cartwright into a case that will change her life forever. A sinister series of events have released a Yōkai and a Kami, Japanese spirit creatures, in and around modern-day London. Caught between these two powerful forces, Jessica assists the Kami, and is present as it sacrifices its immortality to return to the form of a mortal man; a disgraced Japanese samurai from the distant past named Hikaru Arashi.
The other, the Yōkai known as Orochi, has concealed herself beneath the city, and uses her powers to manipulate and twist the vulnerable living and disenfranchised dead to do her bidding, finding many would-be soldiers in this unfamiliar place on the far side of the world.
Paired up by these unlikely circumstances, Jessica and Hikaru are forced to work together, with London as the battleground. The World of Orochi chronicles their adventures as they fight Orochi’s minions, and try to prevent her from reclaiming her lost power.
The World of Orochi currently contains the following works:
The City and the Dead (coming Q1 2018)
More to come in the future!
Characters & Setting
Born in Brighton, Jessica Cartwright moved to London after university. She became a front-line police officer, receiving several promotions, before taking temporary leave from the force to re-train as a Scene-of-Crime Officer. Though technically a civilian, she holds the discretionary rank of Detective Inspector.
Jessica is skilled at her job, with keen investigative senses and an iron constitution. However, prior to the events of The World of Orochi, she was not taken to believe in the supernatural. Consequently, the appearance of Hikaru and Orochi has turned her world upside-down.
Jessica is confident and has a short temper, rarely hesitating in showing it. She is known for putting herself in harm’s way to prove a point, and has an acerbic wit, not making friends easily, but caring deeply for the ones that she has.
Jessica possesses an omamori; a spirit charm that grants her protection from supernatural harm, that was given to her as a gift. When wielded as a weapon, this charm is capable of destroying spirit creatures, radiating a golden aura that burns them upon contact. However, the charm’s protective qualities are limited, and must be allowed to recuperate each time it is used. Hikaru is attempting to teach her swordsmanship, but Jessica’s true weapons are her courage, police connections, investigative ability and knowledge of modern London, all of which make her a formidable presence.
Touched by Orochi’s power, Jessica is tormented by nightmares that give her insight into the evil yokai’s plans. Her actions in helping Hikaru have left her “known” to Orochi, meaning that Jessica has little choice but to help save London, if she wants to save herself.
Jessica during the events of The Scissors and the Sword
Former chief bodyguard to the daimyo of Izumo province, an indiscretion and subsequent failure led to his disgrace, dishonour and exile.
Out of love for his master’s daughter, Hikaru sought to gain his blessing for their marriage. With the best of intentions, he set out to defeat the noble house’s greatest enemy, with whom they had feuded since ancient times – the great Yōkai Orochi.
Bound by the same seal that contained Orochi, Hikaru awoke in modern London to discover that his efforts were in vain. Released from his vow, but mortal once again, he struggles to cope with life in an unfamiliar time and place.
Hikaru is a master of the Izumo Wolf Form fighting style, including several secret techniques that are passed down to those who inherit his hereditary title. As a former soldier he is educated in the military tactics of his era, in addition to specialised training to fight yōkai, yūrei and other spirit creatures. He is armed with the Shattered Sword, a weapon that grants him supernatural strength and speed.
Hikaru possesses great power, but he has failed to defeat Orochi in the past, and there is no reason to believe he can succeed if they were to meet again. Fallen from a noble position, now reduced to sleeping on Jessica’s sofa, he searches for a way avenge the life that was stolen from him.
Hikaru Arashi, during the events of The Scissors and the Sword
Orochi is an immortal yōkai, a type of “spirit creature”. Aeons ago, she was cast down from her role in creation by higher forces, and cursed to inhabit the physical form of a gigantic, multi-headed serpent.
Stripped of much of her power, Orochi came into conflict with the ruling family of Izumo province in some age past, leading to a feud that would go on for generations, one that would culminate in the arrival of Hikaru Arashi, who sought to end her evil once and for all.
Hikaru’s actions, though well-meaning, disturbed the status quo, and set in motion a series of events that would see both of them awaken in London in 2015, ready to resume their ancient vendetta. This re-awakening freed her from her cursed serpentine form, and allowed her to conceal herself beneath the city.
As much a primordial force as a living creature, her motivations are enigmatic. However, she has made clear that her ultimate aim is reduce all living things to ashes and dust.
The World of Orochi predominantly takes place in the City of London and its surrounding boroughs.
From its early history as a trade settlement, to profting from the legacy of a powerful empire, London is one of the world’s most recognisable and cosmopolitan cities. Home to nearly 9 million people, Jessica and Hikaru will need every ounce of courage they can muster if they are to protect it from falling into Orochi’s clutches.
Where to start
The World of Orochi begins with the first book, The Scissors and the Sword, available on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon:
The World of Orochi needs your help!
As a self-published franchise, The World of Orochi depends heavily on the support of readers and fans. Most important are Amazon Reviews, which affect how the books appear in search results.
Even with a large group of readers, only a small number will typically leave reviews. However, it’s also unethical for authors to incentivise reviews in any way, which can make those all-important reviews difficult to acquire.
This is a problem where the only solution is to simply ask for help. A review on Amazon can be as simple as a couple of words and a star rating, and takes only moments to make.
The future of the series is in your hands too.
Ethan Fox practices strict review ethics, more of which is explained here.
Keeping up-to-date with the World of Orochi
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Background & Franchise Information
The “world of Orochi” franchise unofficially began with the publishing of The Scissors and the Sword, at December 2015, however, it did not come to have this over-arching name until The City and the Dead was being prepared for release, in October 2017.
The series will expand over the next few years to contain a number of different books and supporting materials.
Ethan is amenable to expanding the franchise to other media, via licencing agreements. If you wish to discuss this, you can reach him via his contact page.
Ethan Fox is a UK-based author of anime-themed urban fantasy & speculative fiction.
The World of Orochi franchise was born from his own experiences living and working in Japan, observing common attitudes to folklore and the use of mythology for storytelling that are present in both Britsh and Japanese culture.
Today, he lives in the south-east of England, where he works as a product designer whilst writing in his spare time, between attending events to meet readers and other authors.
Further information can be found at http://by-ethan-fox.com
All images used on this page are commissioned art, purchased stock, or were provided explicitly tagged as free for any form of re-use. If you take issue with any of these images please get in touch.
The Jessica and Hikaru images were created by Anna Fitzpatric – more of her work can be seen here.
If you feel this is in error, get in touch.