MauEvigSky Kingdom An Original Story by Mau
The first chapter in a project I've been working on since 2012, this is my novel: Sky Kingdom.

Set in a world of anthropomorphic animals in a fantasy/science fiction type setting; where magic meets highly advanced technology in some parts of the world, while others lag behind in a medieval setting, the story follows the head strong feline princess known as Ravine. As the true heir of Sky Kingdom, her life is in grave danger when her Uncle, a half bird/half feline hybrid usurps the throne from her father and seizes control of a powerful magic staff that can only be used by those with royal blood. Thus she is sent to the remote country of Rodentia, home to various anthro rodents and other herbivorous creatures (like rabbits), under the care and guidance of the jerboa swordmaster Javelyn, where she is trained in the fine sword arts of her people.

Unfortunately for Ravine, Javelyn shelters her from the rest of the world, so that the only thing Ravine knows is swordsmanship, survival in the wilderness, and basic reading and writing skills with no knowledge of how the world outside works. Javelyn does this because she believes in an old prophesy that a foreigner from a distant land will come to learn about her people's ways and unite all of Ark'eth.

Ravine must figure out what her true calling is. She knows she has the responsibility of saving her people, isn't that enough without having the rest of the world on her shoulders?

Come and follow Ravine's rite of passage as she finds her way in the world, going on a journey to find and save her people, while finding love and friendship along the way. 

Will she be able to save her people from the tyrant who wants to enslave, and eventually wipe them out? What is her true destiny, to save her people, or more? Will she be able to have a choice in any of it?

So Sky Kingdom is a story I've been working on forever, doing edits here and there trying to get it good enough to publish. I thought I'd share it because I will admit, that I did draw some inspiration from Sonic and other types of media (like Final Fantasy) to bring a new kind of world to life.
Ark'eth like Mobius, is inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, but unlike Mobius it has no attachment to Earth, other than coincidental similarities. 
Because I do plan to publish the story, I'm only going to share very limited chapters of it, but I appreciate any feedback on it. I do plan on getting someone to help me edit the story eventually.

And if you can help me find a good publisher, that would be awesome. Smile

Sky Kingdom: Chapter One

       Dangerous flashes of lightning surged through the pitch-black cloud sky, the roar of thunder echoed in the distance reverberating throughout the Ark’ethian civilization known as Rodentia. 

       As rain poured buckets of water over the landscape and flashes of light cast frightening silhouettes in the forest, every creature that lived there scrambled to find shelter. Those who lived underground may have found themselves drowned out by the surplus of water. The river current picked up with a terrifying force crashing over the rocks and rising up to turn the water a deep dark brown from the constant mixing with earth. 

     There was something unnatural about this storm as it roared through the terrain. Trees swayed back and forth, some falling from the large gusts of wind combined with the rapidly eroding ground underneath their roots. Those trees that were merely stripped of their bark or losing a few leaves and branches might have counted themselves lucky had they been able to think. 

     The storm would rage on for hours until eventually the thunder quieted, and the lightning began to fade into the horizon.

      After the long stormy night on the outskirts of the Rodentian capital city of Ratlington, the sun peeked through the dark clouds to bring the dawn. The warm inviting light scattered through the trees and broke off into small beams shining through the forest ceiling, allowing the sky above to shine a bright orange and violet hue. 

      In the middle of the woods was a small log cabin composed of oatlarian wood and shingles of lockfir, which remained standing despite the destructive force of the storm. Although it had lost a few roof tiles here and there, there was not a whole lot of damage to the dwelling itself. 

      The ashes of a bonfire usually kept with a kettle on top had spread throughout the ground along with the corresponding fire logs, water damaged and scattered about. The metal iron kettle and set up were rolled across the lawn. The solid dark oatlarian wooden door was ready to come off the rusted iron hinges, with at least one of the nails meant to hold it up missing. A butter churn lay in splinters. An entire assortment of living items one would associate with living in the wild was destroyed in an instant.   
     The middle-aged sword master, a light gray furred jackrabbit named Javelyn, emerged from her cabin barely rested from all the thunderous noise, blinking her deep earthy brown eyes. She heaved a sigh and cursed to herself knowing that her front yard was left a complete mess.

     Despite her frustration, the Ark’ethian rabbit knew it was part of her responsibility as one of the trusted magic seal keepers to watch over the Kingdom from the outskirts, and thus it was her duty to venture out into the woods and make sure there was no immediate danger for her people that she was sworn to protect. Despite her misgivings, protecting the kingdom was her priority. Her fatigued and irritated expression took in the damage from all the lightning strikes and powerful wind gusts. 

     With a yawn and a stretch of her hands as she walked down the wooden steps, she noticed something rather peculiar. At first glance, one might think it was fog emerging from the surrounding woods, yet the smell and the way it rose into the air could not be mistaken for an after-rain mist. It was smoke! Alarmed that perhaps the devastating lightning could have caught the forest on fire, she immediately ran toward the source. The discovery of the smoke was enough to awaken her senses and snapped her out of her initial shock at the damage to her home. 

     With a water elemental magic seal equipped; a small card-shaped disk device with strange rotating gears inside of it that emitted a soft blue glow, she was prepared to put out the fire before it could do too much damage.

     Emerging from the smoke was a mysterious stranger cloaked with a dark gray hood covering her head, and a black scarf. She cautiously approached the jackrabbit, gently clinging to a bundle wrapped in violet silk and gold cloth.

      Javelyn was stunned as the hooded stranger cautiously approached her and put her hand on the handle of her sword ready to attack if necessary. The silent stranger stepped back giving a fearful gaze as she clung to the bundle, narrowing her bright blue slit-pupil eyes that glowed like the moonlight on the river, desperation in her expression and a protective stance in her body language.  

      “Who are you, and what are you doing in the Kingdom of Rodentia, stranger!?” Javelyn demanded as she approached the stranger, eyes narrowed with suspicion. “Are you friend or foe!? Answer me now!” Javelyn growled, doing her best to look intimidating, unsure if the stranger could be trusted and not wanting to take any chances that whatever it was that she was holding could be a powerful magic weapon of some kind.

       The hooded one took a couple more steps back, fearful of Javelyn’s aggressive approach, she turned her back to protect whatever it was she was holding, clinging tightly. 

       “P-please, I-I mean you no harm. I need your help,” a soft feminine voice replied. “I-I do not have much time.”

        Javelyn was taken aback and stopped for a moment, trying to soften her voice a bit, sensing the fear in her stance but still remained skeptical, her ears pointed forward and alert to her presence.The jackrabbit’s scut quivered a bit in anticipation. “My help? Just who are you?”

        The stranger shook her head frantically, pausing for a moment to find the right words before she sputtered, “I-I cannot reveal my true identity just yet, it’s too dangerous! You are the warrior known as Javelyn, correct?”

       The hooded stranger turned back around to look at Javelyn in the eyes, which were wide with fear and hesitation. Her head was constantly looking back at the smoke she emerged from to be certain she was not being watched from behind and back at the jackrabbit. Her long silk tail of beige lashed back and forth with anxiety.

       How does she know me? Why won’t she tell me who she is? She doesn’t seem like a threat...she seems more scared than anything...but...After taking a moment to collect her thoughts, Javelyn opened her mouth to speak, “Yes, but…” 

       As she started to question further after answering the stranger about her identity, the jackrabbit was cut off and distracted as the bundle started to move and soft mews could be heard from underneath. Javelyn finally caught a glimpse of what the strange woman was carrying and protecting. It had bright blue eyes matching the stranger’s that peaked out at her.

        The stranger cradled and cooed at the bundle, petting her softly to attempt to calm her. The bundle responded with soft purrs, and she blinked her eyes back at her. The hooded one then looked back up at Javelyn and responded, this time focusing directly on Javelyn’s eyes. 

      “Your old Master, Scimitar, told me to find you. He’s an old friend of ours,” the stranger explained. “He said you could help us. Please, I’m desperate. My daughter’s in grave danger. If Ishkar’s men find her, they’ll kill her! She’s the last hope Sky Kingdom has!”

       Javelyn gritted her teeth, but her expression softened when she saw the tears in the stranger’s eyes. The decision to give up her daughter to someone she has never met before must have been a terrifying and difficult choice to make. “Very well, if Scimitar believes this is the best course of action, I trust his judgement. I will take the furling and protect her with my life.” 

      She handed the small bundle over to the jackrabbit warrior and Javelyn could feel the warmth and weight of the creature that stirred in her arms. Her ears twitched a bit as she could hear the purrs and feel the resulting vibrations. The bundle stirred as a tiny furred hand with little curled claws wrapped around Javelyn’s finger. Javelyn unwrapped the tiny bundle, who gazed at her with her tiny feline face, confusion written all over her face. The feline furling mewed softly and looked back at the hooded stranger reaching her other hand out to her. The paws were pure white with little pink pads, while the rest of her soft furred body was gray and striped, with tiny little pointed triangle shaped ears.

      “What is her name?” Javelyn asked the stranger, looking back and forth between the furling, and the desperate mother.

      “Her name's Ravine. Please,” as the stranger pleaded, she clung to Javelyn’s cloak and put a hand on her child’s forehead to calm her once more, gently scratching her ears, “Protect her with your life, promise me.” Her words revealed how fearful her decision was, giving the impression that even she herself was questioning her decision. 

       “Alright. I promise,” Javelyn repeated, then shook her head. “I don’t understand what’s going on, but I am a warrior of honor. I give you my word that I will raise and protect her as if she were my own.” She nodded, and gave a reassuring look, her ears fell down a bit, her expression and stance softened now that she knew the stranger wasn’t a threat to Rodentia.

        “Thank you,” she pulled down her scarf for just a moment to give the kitten a kiss goodbye. “Farewell, my little Ravine. My prayer to Baslara is that you return to our people one day and save us all.” Her voice shook with sobs as she said her final goodbyes to her daughter. With a forlorn in her body language, she stepped back once more and closed her eyes, hesitating for just a moment.

        The smoke died down as the stranger turned away and disappeared into the forest. All was quiet, save for the mews of the tiny furling. Javelyn looked at the bundle who desperately wanted the love and warmth of her mother’s arms.

     Thoughts flooded through Javelyn’s head as she studied the child’s features, from her felinine face, to her fur and whiskers. This child is important to Sky Kingdom, but I fear what our own king might do to her. Still, a promise is a promise. I hope you know what you’re doing, Scimitar, getting involved with foreign affairs. I’ll never forget what happened before. I won’t allow you to die, Ravine. I’ll make sure of it. I will not only protect you, but I will teach you how to be a warrior. I have a feeling that fate has brought us together for a reason after all, little one. Perhaps one day, you’ll be the key to ending the king’s hatred of the outside world. After all, I haven’t forgotten the prophecy. Maybe you are the one destined to save all of Ark’eth one day.
I really liked this, it kept me reading and I don't get much time to do that. Wish I still had time to write things like this. lol

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