I had an idea in mind from a few months ago sparked by the picture of a riverboat on the cover of a book and yesterday, since I was so braindead from the convention weekend… I wrote the first story for it.

The first story, at the moment, doesn’t have a title, but it’s 4,898 words long. I’m going to shoot for around 5,000 words for each story and will be writing several stories based on this setting. The River is basically a set of short stories featuring Darius, Sheana, Celina, Vincent, Darrik, Kel, Syrys and others as they explore Aciace – the other continent on Centralis that I’ve revealed very little about. It’s full of details. πŸ˜€ Mostly.. it’s full of Jiliac and other species of creatures I haven’t covered yet. The goal is to also add illustrations to these stories.

IF anyone is interested in contributing and can write well, you’ll get a copy of the book – and the original pencil drawings that I’ll do to go with the story.

The content stays within the realms of my comics (there is a romantic bent to many of the ideas I have in mind, because it’s not touched on heavily in Akaelae/Darius, but I will note that on the timeline, it takes place between Akaelae and Campus Safari .. AFTER the Wars. There’s even .. oh.. here’s a snippet of it for your enjoyment:

It was like a dream. The water was as smooth as glass and so clear that the fish and other creatures below it were easy to see as they avoided biting the baited hook. The white wolf wouldn’t have it any other way. Actually catching a fish would interrupt his current state of mind and the smells he was enjoying.
There was an exciting scent on the air of places he had never been. All around them, strange plants rose up along the edges of the river that was noted on the map as Primary 003. It was one the largest and most explored river that wound its way through the continent of Aciace. Tomorrow, they would be deviating from the standard river to explore another river that nobody had ever navigated.
Darius let his nose do the exploring for him for now, leaning back on a soft cushion in the hanging canvas chair on an extended wing of the long cyantian twin paddle-boat that would be serving as their home and base of operations for the next several months.
Clad only in a pair of green shorts that stopped mid thigh, Darius was a striking young wolf with a stocky build. He was short for his age and his fur was pure white shadowed with a dusty brown from his darker skin. His long white hair was mostly bound out of his way, but unbrushed clumps were free over his face, just short of covering a pair of alert dark green eyes.
Now, his eyes were shifted just enough so that he could easily see one of the other members of the exploratory team sunning herself further up the deck. He could smell her clearly and the smell had recently tickled his nose and mind more than he would like to admit. Seeing her beautiful golden fur also thrilled him more than annoyed him lately. There were also the adoring brown eyes that had been fixated on him for decades.
They weren’t silly little cubs anymore and a lot had happened through their young adult years that had pushed aside the normal lives they should have experienced at that time. Normal would always be something that would be denied to them, even if there had been snatches of awkwardness during the war and a few indiscretions that led to even more embarrassing situations and shy encounters.
Sheana’s eyes were closed as she napped in the warm sun, resting on her back with a relaxed smile across her muzzle. Like Darius, she was short for her age. She was slighter of build and appropriately feminine for a wolf, not as much as her best friend Celina, but enough to turn heads quickly with a twitch of her well groomed golden tail. Her fur was a rich gold in color, nearing a reddish brown along her back and shoulders. It had changed with age as wolf hair and fur often did.
Near her, the aforementioned best friend was resting on her stomach. Celina was also pure white in the color of her fur, but it was completely different from Darius’ fur. It was thicker and curled on the ends, something which was even more noticeable on her tail and the cascade of ringlets that framed a sharply pointed muzzle and well defined features. Her normally severe expression was softened by sleep and her ice blue eyes were concealed for the time being.
Two other male wolves were sitting out of Darius’ sight. He could hear them discussing a game they were listening to on the ship’s communications equipment. Vincent was arguing playfully with an unusually jovial Kel. Vincent and Kel were an inch taller than Darius each. A single inch, which they both used to poke fun at him at every opportunity. Kel was his cousin and the only wolf on the ship who could overpower Darius. It was not something either really acknowledged. They were as respectful to each other as family expected them to be. Kel’s fur was a very standard and normal patterning of greys. His brown eyes carried a weight behind them that was far beyond his age.
Vincent was thinner than either Kel or Darius, but his bluish grey fur shone with a healthy glow in the bright sunlight that Darius’ fur wasn’t capable of and Kel’s fur simply seemed to resist.
The other crew on the ship were out of sight, but their smells lingered. There was Syrys, Darius and Vincent’s uncle, who was hundreds of years older than all of them combined and the one in charge of their expedition. Then, Darrik, a black fox who was down inside the ship with another fox preparing lunch. He had taken to the slight chef and hunter and had been trying to get to know her for the last two days. There were two engineers, a captain, a first mate and a navigator/communications officer also on the ship. The captain was an Avistarian, an owl. The first mate was a mouse and the engineers were a father and daughter team of hardworking otters.
Darius turned his attention back to the trees lining the riverbanks. They were getting closer to the boat as the river began to narrow. Darius’ ears perked up with interest as his brain quickly worked its way out of slumber and into more interesting realms.
There were interesting smells coming from the trees, that of people. They were nearing one of the villages they were to drop supplies off at. Darius glanced back at the massive pile of crates weighting down the rear of the boat. They would make faster time once they had unloaded the excess supplies and they would spend the night in the village visiting with the natives.
Darius settled back into his chair, smiling to himself as one thought in particular made its way through and demanded attention. He might just have to follow that one.