Here we are, everyone! The first glorious page of our fun little side story, with story by myself and artwork by Jayelle Anderson! When we decided to work on this side story together, I actually wrote up two separate one-page pitches, using a similar structure to pitches that I put together for game narratives. This was the one we decided on, though that’s not to say the other won’t materialize someday in the future–it’s good to have that stuff in the back pocket for later!

When I work with an artist on something like this, I usually begin by asking what kinds of things they’re most interested in exploring. After all, the text alone is only part of the story–the artist is a storyteller as well, and I wanted this story to be as much a collaboration as anything I’d do with Rachel or Jerome.

To that end, Jayelle offered a very interested request: a story about differing cultures. I spent a good deal of time thinking about what that meant in the context of Beyond the Western Deep. A lot of the main story has to do with culture and history, politics and personal allegiance. But to write a short story that could stand on its own separate from the main timeline that was strictly ABOUT culture proved to be a fun challenge.

The felis themselves are a perfect vessel for these kinds of stories, with the felis Scholars literally devoting their lives to the acquisition of stories and information around Dunia. I decided to mix this in with a culture we never really got a lot of time to see: the lutren.

So this evolved into the scenario we see here, and the story we are about to read.

Jayelle and I truly hope you enjoy it!

For guest art this week, I just had to share this super cute adorable papercraft rendition of Quinlan by RainCoyote!

OMG OMG OMG look at how gorram cute he is! Rachel and I were totally blown away by this one. We love it! Thank you so much, RainCoyote! Incredible work! :D