"In the middle of the Opal Sea sits the Auriel Isles. The archipelago is made up of thousands of islands, some big, most small. Huge, unforgiving pine forests cover the islands like a blanket, holding secrets lost to time.
The largest island is Aryala, and on it is a small little port town called Leek. Its inhabitants make a living off of mining Aryala's natural chalk, coal and iron reserves, and from shipping timber back to the mainland. A small but fiercely wealthy aristocracy governs Leek. The nobles of Leek live in huge mansions on the coastline, and are each intimate and supportive, and hugely jealous of, one another. Their families have ruled Leek since its founding, and they do not take kindly to newcomers and trouble makers.
So, it is to their ultimate annoyance that there is one family worth as much as all of them put together. That of Aryala Halls, the most prized estate on the island. A mansion of marble that has been on the island forever, once in disrepair, now restored to the jewel of the island. Though they envy it, even more so do they despise it.
Aryala Halls is home to all things wrong in the world, or so they tell one another. The family's matriarch, (yes, matriarch!) Lady Sapphire Mars, claims she is the heir to a fallen line of wildcat warlords, though rumours suggest her true wealth is ill-gotten. Her mate isn't even a cat himself, but a grey-fox; the Lord Ari Mars. He, at least, the nobles of Leek can pretend to respect, but it is their children that shock them the most. Hybrids. Unnaturals. Marina and Rusty Mars. She looks like a cat, but not quite. He, a fox, but not quite. Such corruptions of nature are not welcome in Leek.
If their perversion was not enough, these new members of the aristocracy act as anything but. They have no servants, despise the high fashions, and most of their estate's earnings is donated (such a filthy word!) to the Explorer's Guild, which is quickly becoming a competitor with their own interests. Their heirs often frequent local drinking halls, and they allow commoners into their home of their own 'good will'.
For the sake of good society, Aryala Halls has got to go!"
A collaborative project between myself and Acorntail
. The Aryala stories take place chronologically after my comic/story The Treasure of Greyfox Village and Ocean's Daughter.
Be sure to check out the group for Acorntail
's written work (he is a fantastic writer
) and comics, and various worldbuilding materials.