Did you know there are different measures depending on different species? What is a "standard" for an equine is obscene for a rodent....and Dewydd's an obscene kind of guy.
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Lyric seems to be a tad concerned and nervous.
Originally included alongside a very angry Xylia we felt the two figures together didn't fit the feel of the piece. In the end, they work nicely on their own.
(Timo - Plus Lyric isn't running the risk of being accidentally decapitated, now)
Looking forward to the New Year's celebrations?
Never a girl for regrets, Nekoia believes in starting the next year with a clean slate, which means she's free to dirty it just that little bit more before the day is out.
Remember, today we celebrate the year gone by and look to the next with hope. We look forward to spending the next year with you and thank you for staying with us as we continue with our journey.
Just as we've got a Guildverse version of Timot-Ei and Ridlee, we've got a version of Conall and Sasha.
This version of Conall is capable with a pole arm but remains a fanatic about archaeology. He continually insists on digging into the history of the Guild country from before the "Great War" and beyond. The risks of these adventures, however, are much higher than in the normal "Furverse".
This is the first time Paul and Xylia ever see each other. Something about Paul has caught her attention and he's definitely noticed her.
The fact she's just been woken up because of a problem you've caused has only served to make her even angrier than she might have been had she already been awake. I'm not entirely certain what's about to happen next but I do know I'm both horny and scared.
Initially done as a two character piece, it didn't work with them both together, so they've been separated for effect.
Oh, yes, her close quarters weapon of choice is a rather interesting design. More on that another time.
While denigration against Jipsum may be common, it's not wise to do so when it's against Guild members. This has a tendency to hit a nerve with Sorbin but, oddly, Xylia seems immune to such comments. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, Paul is blissfully unaware of his heritage, for many years, thinking his red stripe is because he's a Red Fox.
"The fuck you just say?"
Someone just said something very inadvisable right behind Paul and Abigail. I have a suspicion things could get ugly very quickly.
The rest of the week will see some experimentation in angry moments for some of the cast at different points in the story.
This was drawn, traditionally, over a year ago and scanned for inking before being forgotten about and rediscovered very recently. So, here's the finished piece. It really shows the improvements that the Artist has made over this last year.
Strolling with the young beasty.
Equal opportunities pole dancing.
Nuzzle kisses to celebrate the end of the week!
Paul looks after Xylia far more than anyone realises. Especially when the coffee runs out.
(Ridlee: Is she going to flick it or pet it?)
Xylia doesn't like Mondays. Do you think she's over-reacting? (Timo - I don't)
Originally given the ==== name "Bone Charmer" it become shortened over his time in ====== = as his specialities shifted. I could tell you about how he got the name but, well, then you'd have to go for a walk with "Brick".
You've already met Timot-Ei's guildverse version of herself (who is now known as "Honey Pot"), it's probably about time you meet Ridlee's. They're both introduced into the story some way through and are older than the main cast. You'll see more of them at a later date.
While the others hadn't given much thought to the implications of birthday culture, little Ashni had been thinking on it quite a bit. Paul may not have remembered his date of birth but Xylia certainly did and had been putting what she'd learned into practice. A present isn't as good without the surprise behind it and it's even better if it's hand made.....that's why she's been so secretive and busy these last few days. She pays a lot more attention than many realise, at first. When she puts her mind to something she's retentive to detail and, when it comes right down to it, she's very attentive when it comes to her big brother.
Thus, a new tradition starts within the squad. Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference.
START - PREVIOUS
He wants to know what she's been keeping from him and that curiosity always brings out his slightly mischievous side. When it comes to his cute little sister, however, it's always worth playing along with whatever she's got planned...it's usually more fun that way.
START - PREVIOUS - NEXT
Some time has passed since the discover of birthdays and the customs that surround them. While the squad will have remembered the 'lesson' there will have been very little further thought on the subject.
In the mean time, Paul seems to have been banished from the Barracks with Aurora and Jonah keeping him company. Xylia is up to something that she doesn't want anyone to know about...especially him.
START - PREVIOUS - NEXT
Did you know that the Hunters Guild doesn't celebrate people's birthdays? The concept was slowly lost over time due to the unique structure of the Guild. That doesn't mean they aren't celebrated outside of the organisation, however. There are many different cultures within the country and, thus, many different ways that birthdays are celebrated.
It would appear that the lessons on "Cultural Sensitivity" have led to a discovery by Abigail...
A long update this month....sorry about that....there's also an important Poll coming up tomorrow.
This month's Patron Only and Q&A stream will take place on the evenings/nights of Saturday the 29th and Sunday the 30th of December.
We've had a bit of an explore into the Old World Remnants this month, examining ruins, artefacts and delving underground. November's Poll had a very clear winning meaning we'll be exploring the Main South City and Slave Markets in January (Timo will work on that over this month).
In October's Poll we asked you to pick two characters for this Christmas's "lewd". At the time we didn't convey that we would pick the winning male and female in order to keep the theme of "ribbon and hat" as their censored version. In order to clear this up, we asked those in the November Patron Only Stream as to whether they'd like the winning 2 votes (which was two females) or for the winning male and female votes. The vote came in for male and female. Xylia came in as the top placing female, just ahead of Esme and then Aurora. Konrad and Dewydd came in joint place with Timot-Ei (The Artist) deciding to indulge herself by picking Konrad in the tie breaker.
This means the "Christmas Lewd" will feature Konrad and Xylia both with and without their hat and ribbon. In the last two years, we've gone with a Santa hat for male censorship but only used the ribbon on the female in one of them. To make everything fair, we're going to rework the images of the previous years and bring them in line with our new approach. So, this year, you'll get one version with the hat and ribbon and one without, including 2016 and 2017's images!
For December, we've taken a break from exploring the locations of the Guild country and decided to upload some alternative content. Long story short, Timo sometimes lets herself doodle things and practice but the content isn't in line with the uploads for the month. In order to give you access (before it looks dated) and to give us a bit of a break this holiday season, we're going to upload all of the additional content. This may mean you get quite a bit of Xylia and Paul content not just in December but in January and February as we finalise their character Explorations.
For the last week of November, we made a small story out of the exploration images. It's something we played with doing earlier in the month as a slight nod to the Fantasy Fight novels of the past (where you pick what you want to do and turn to a page number and, inevitably, die horribly). Did you like that format? If so, we could try and do it for one week of each month. You'll have also noted an extra feature we've decided to add in the form of "Process Videos". We hope you're enjoying the little extra insight into the creative process that goes into some of the work.
The November story was a little late, being uploaded on Wednesday morning instead of Sunday. Again, I apologise for this but I ended up adding more content and then struggled a little with some of the edits in order to get it right. I hope this shows in the end result and that you enjoyed getting a further glimpse into some of Sergeant Konrad's early days, along with the visual content you've received all month. You'll be seeing his Character Exploration sheet tomorrow.
And, of course, we come to this month's Poll. As per usual, we're asking you to choose which area we'll explore in February. If there is somewhere we've not had on the list and you don't see below but we've talked about and you want to see it, please give us a comment and we'll add it to next month's Poll. Don't forget, you can vote for multiple areas!!
As always, we're extremely grateful for all your support. The world we're creating is rich and diverse and, certainly, much larger than we initially intended but we're making good progress. Our university studies are going well and we've settled nicely with our time management in order to concentrate on work, studies and the comic project.
However, we're always looking for feedback from you. Be that about the area explorations, characters or extra content we add (such as Process Videos, stories, image format, mini comics, etc). Please give us your feedback! Comments on the monthly update or on specific posts aren't just welcome but actively encouraged. This forms part of our Q&A which we try to answer where we can (though sometimes it takes a little while).
Thanks again for continuing to take this journey with us!
Something moves in the darkness, behind the porcelain figures. Shining your light into the dark beyond we come to realise that, perhaps, not everyone decided to go peacefully. There's a reason some places are abandoned.
"You'd better draw your sword, Pierre!"
It's a shame we'll never be able to tell anyone about what we've seen here.
Heading into the Structure Below we find the only evidence of the people who were once alive here. They look like cracked porcelain statues but we know these were once vampires. Who knows how long they sat inside this structure and waited.
Vampires who neither sleep nor feed start to turn porcelain, cracks appearing upon their creamy white flesh as it hardens. They feel no pain as their body no longer registers sensation. While some choose to sleep and turn to crystal, it's not truly death as they can be awoken again in the future. Turning porcelain is the path some choose when they are tired of life but cannot end it themselves. Others take a philosophical choice to simply feed no more, their lives continuing for decades and, in rare cases, centuries, despite that lack of energy. It's not a bad way to die, simply fading slowly over time until you can move no more. Many who take this path say they find an inner peace.
There is so little known about vampirism as they are, usually, unwilling to subject themselves to study. Even less it known about those who turn to porcelain other than the fact their kin considered a dignified death which should be shown great respect.
If someone did manage to scale the cliff face and reach the Abandoned Cliff Settlement they would find stairs within the mouth of that great cavern. Stairs carved out of the rock and winding down into the unknown. Those stone heads, which we have seen before, are found not far from the entrance but in a much different area of the country. Some have nicknamed these creations as "The Thinkers".
The stairs continue down, past the thinkers, further as we descend further Into The Depths until we start to see a structure of some kind. Pillars dominate a large facade which has been built to support an overhang where an underground structure hides secrets unknown.
(Ridlee - I forgot to schedule/upload Monday's post, sorry it's late!)
High on a cliff face, near the Old Capital, an abandoned section of the city sits on the side of a mountain. A deep cavern shows why this settlement came to be. At some point there may have been a bridge which collapsed and wasn't rebuilt. Perhaps the mountain simply crumbled away too close to the dwellings for the comfort of those living there. The story behind this isolated set of buildings may never be discovered unless someone is willing to risk life and limb by climbing the sheer rock face.
Konrad hasn't long been in Division 1 and his status as the youngest Sergeant earned him a nickname, among the other Sergeants, that he didn't appreciate. Not only that but he's only a couple of days in and his squad training has consisted of nothing but a dictated classroom schedule.
His cadets are paying little to no attention during class, his fellow Sergeants are mocking him and his position seem to be superficial. Add in the reasons behind his transfer from Division 5 (Ridlee: a story for the Prologue) and, well, he's feeling a 'little' depressed. He's doing everything he's expected to do, everything been told to do, everything his Sergeant did and he's been getting nothing but grief.
Celia seems to find his sorry state, in the middle of the night with a bottle in hand, rather amusing. The young are so intent and earnest, it's adorable. She doesn't quite realise the consequences of but a few words. She'll find out, though....they all will. (Timo: And their little dog, too!)
FEW DAYS AGO - A WEEK LATER
The sand dunes of the great southern desert roll like an ocean....sometimes they shift and stir up old hollows. Or is it just your sun drunk mind dear traveller? You’re neither the first nor will you be the last to go raving on about lost cities the desert.
A experimental piece, sometimes cool stuff happens when you ask; "what happens when I press this button?"
(Ridlee: Sorry that Sunday's story post is a bit late this month. I ended up adding two extra sections at the start that I felt were necessary, doubling the length of the piece, before refining what I had through a number of small edits.)
A WEEK AGO
Despite his inebriated state, a week ago, the words from the feline Sergeant had stuck in his head. "Be yourself." The next morning he took that advice to heart and turned up to class wearing his Division 5 uniform, something which seemed to get the attention of his Cadets. That attention started to wane almost immediately, however, as he resumed their book studies. Ugh, he was already starting to hate the books and the stuffy classroom despite only being there a few days. No wonder these kids were fed up and lackadaisical.
As he was outlining yet another bullet point from the text, he stopped running the chalk over the board and stepped back to look at the words. What good would it do teaching these kids this stuff if they didn't actually care? Glancing to the book, he shook his head and closed it. He wanted to be outside, in the fresh air, and, looking over his shoulder, he could tell his 'students' had absolutely no desire to be sat at their desks. Their enthusiasm had quickly returned to the levels of the previous day, none existent. This wasn't how he learned. He learned in the field, in the snow, on the rocks. Cadets should be training outside, just he had.
It was then it dawned on him. He hadn't even seen what these kids were capable of. He'd been slid into his new rank at such a pace that he hadn't even noticed he wasn't an instructor but, instead, was a teacher. Well, fuck that, if these kids were under his command then he'd take command of them. Tossing the book on the desk it snapped an echoed "thunk" through the classroom, causing several ears to sit on end and some heads to lift from their desks in shock.
"Change into your training gear and gather on the field. You've got 30 minutes", the words glided between his lips in an effortless authoritarian tone that took him by surprise. Order given, he was shocked at his sudden shift of temperament. Of course, he couldn't let them see this and opted to simply walk out of the classroom.
That had been a week ago, a Friday to be exact. The following Monday morning, it took but a few words to uplift the Cadets during their classroom time. That same authoritative tone now seemed so effortless, as long as he didn't think about it.
"We'll spend the afternoon on the field from now on, providing it doesn't affect your...'cultural studies' ", and he was rewarded with their undivided attention in an instant. They wanted to be Officers and, by Mother's teeth, he was going to train them to be Officers, despite the outlandish orders from above. Thus the routine of the week settled into place. Every morning they turned up for their studies, bright eyed and engaging, and every afternoon he'd run them through fitness training down on the field. Fitness was all he could do with them for now, however. Their previous isolation was telling and half the squad couldn't even go through a basic warm up without being out of breath. Still, they had heart, he had to give them that.
It was Friday night or, perhaps, Saturday morning, when he was awoken from a light slumber by a thump outside his office door. There was no need to guess as to the origins of the sound. He'd heard it a few times before as the unmistakable thump of the barracks door closing. Hearing it in the middle of the night, however, had led him to investigate not too long ago. It turned out it was the Ashni girl going for late night walks. Father, that had been an experience.
Following her, he first assumed she was sneaking off for recreation and had starting planning lecture regarding the topic of her 'vulnerabilities' and the difficulties of excessive discretion. It turns out her actions were far more innocent than he predicted. Finding her sat upon one of the benches, staring up into the starlit sky, his initial impressions of the girl were challenged. Instead, he simply sat beside her for a short time and talked. It had been an experience and a very strange conversation that had left him with quite an interesting second impression of the young Fennec.
Staring at the ceiling, he couldn't help but chuckle slightly at the memory of the bizarre conversation with a girl who's mind was, most definitely, differently inclined. Rolling onto his side, he tapped his light stone and blinked a few times to adjust his eyes to the sudden adjustment from darkness to light. Why couldn't these damned things fade on instead of slowly dimming off? Reaching up, he took his pocket watch from the side table and checked the time before closing it again. He hadn't actually noticed what the time was, it was more a habit than a conscious action.
A few moments passed as he gazed, unseeing, into depths of his office with the light of the crystal slowly fading. He blinked a few times and shook his head, giving the crystal another tap to illuminate the room once again. Nope, he was awake and he wasn't going to get to sleep just laying there. With a slight sigh of annoyance, he decided to take a stroll of his own and got up. Dressed but bare foot, he left the office and padded out into the warm night air. There was no real destination for his walk, instead he just let his mind wander as his feet did the same.
Passing near the training block, his was given pause and cocked his head to listen. There it was again, a sound that didn't fit with the rest of those at this time of night. His curiosity was peaked as he followed it to source. Soft intermittent thumps were joined by a more hushed set of grunts coming from just down the corridor, where a door was siting ajar. A brow raised, he found himself a little surprised at his, irritatingly irrepressible, feminine curiosity and decided to peer inside. Having girls under his command was already starting to affect him.
Well now, isn't that interesting? Within the gym, visible only due to the low moonlight from outside, he was able to make out the form of the miscreant red fox who just happened to be under his charge. He was pounding away at one of the punching bags with a definite vigour and enthusiasm but his form was terrible. True, he was giving the bag a hefty wallop that would make an Cassu stop and pay attention for a second but it was all power and no grace. Stifling a slight chuckle, he shook he head and pushed the door open further as he called out to the exuberant Cadet.
"McPherson, what do you think you're doing?"
The young fox gave a guilty yelp before spinning around and hiding his gloved paws behind his back. Ears suddenly flat against his skull, his eyes glanced around the room, failing to look directly at his Sergeant as panic took hold of him.
"N-Nothing. The door was just...o-open. So I...um...c-came in to close it?" It was a terrible excuse and the lad obviously knew it by the nervous grin he flashed his way. Giving a slight laugh, Konrad shook his head and crossed the space between them, McPherson's eyes on him the entire time. Passing the boy, he gave the punching bag a couple of quick pats with the palm of his paw before looking to the nervous pup.
"You'll break your wrist like that, you know." Sucking the air in through his teeth, he then gave a sigh and shrugged. Well, the kid wanted to train as a fighter, just like any Sector One would. Guess it's time to be a real Sergeant and teach him how to be a real Officer. "C'mere and I'll show you how to throw a proper punch."
Broken and missing crystals but even the complete ones cannot be charged. Just what was this Gauntlet used for? Even crystal dust can be used to hold charge, so why won't these work any more?
Early on the guild adopted uniformity of utlitiarian design which remains their distinctive style to this day. It has been through a number of iterations but this fort in a seemingly unimportant tract of land comes as a shock. Things are built to last in locations they are needed...
There’s a lot of old things which are, many would say thankfully, no longer in the present day Guild world. At least...not that we’ve seen...
Wandering the desert, you come across a sheltered rocky outcropping. Perhaps this will help protect you from the blistering heat of the midday sun and let you take a, much needed, drink of water. Looking down, you see that the sands have been blown away to reveal stone and iconography etched into the surface of something buried under foot.
...The first four rules were of no interest to the squad. Perplexing since they were the first words his Sergeant gave to him when he became an Officer. Never the less, he forges on with the most important rule. This time, his words are a little more personal but still garner no further engagement.
It looks like the 'green' Sergeant is going to have quite the uphill battle to win their hearts and minds. You'll learn about the alternative approach he takes at a later date.
PREVIOUS - A FEW DAYS LATER
When Konrad first takes control of the squad their training is, very much, classroom orientated. In fact, it has been nothing but classroom activities for the past 5 months. They objected to this...but you'll find out more about those objections at a much later date.
In an effort to engage with the sullen youths, and try to find his feet as a newly promoted Sergeant, he decides to impart some wisdom unto them which was given to him by his own Sergeant...
(Scene totally stolen from DC's Flash TV series because it just fit so well...let's say it's a 'parody')
A rare flash of Konrad's ankles teamed with an expression of confusion. Early in his days with the squad, as Cadets, he faces a number of challenges. Dewydd's gender fluidity among them.
They don't do this sort of thing in D5.
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