Where to start?
Well, it all began around spring 1998 when I found out about roleplaying over the Internet. I joined a place called SPR or the SocioPolitical Ramifications muck, which is a lot like FurryMuck.
I found a few nice people for some private and (somewhat) organized roleplaying. We build a dozen rooms in our own little corner of the place, a big treehouse above a jungle to be exact, and called it Catwood.
It was not so much the roleplaying, but more the possibilities of Catwood that kept swirling in my mind. We could do anything we wanted!
Unfortunately, I had to cut down dramatically on my mucking because of personal reasons, which also meant that I could find the time to write down all these neat things I wanted to roleplay with my friends there.
the idea just sort of evolved and I began making all the ideas and plot hooks and whatever
I had, into a real story. I took the names of some of my friends characters there
and elsemuck, plus a few names I made up myself, and utterly ignored everything else about
them. I redid every single personality, retaining only bits of the underlying
mood of the characters and molded them all as I saw fit... with the permission
of my friends, of course ^.^
(Not that such a pesky little detail could have stopped me..)
I remained true to the Furry tradition by banning all humans from my stories and using only anthropomorphic characters and plain animals, and then slowly started typing out the universe behind Catwood that had been hovering in my mind for all this time. With the future prospect of putting the thing on the Inet for everyone else to enjoy, I decided to write it in different chapters so I could show it while writing on it and nevertheless make it seem somewhat comprehensive.
It has sort of ended up as episodes of a TV series, I think. Each chapter can be read apart from the others once you know whos who and whats going on, but it will still be more enjoyable if you follow it from the beginning.
The story itself! Yeah, yeah, I was getting to that...
The universe or setting of the story took me about two years to create, what with all my doings in-between too of course, and it is very basically a future world of furries and animals (The way it is meant to be ;)
It is a future (hopefully) not too distant from our own where furries have colonized planets, taken to aviation and space exploration. Magic also exists in greater or lesser quantities, not everyfur is able to perform it, however, and the schools are actually divided into furs who have a magic affinity, (who are then taught magic as well philosophy, languages and other theoretical studies) and those who cannot wield magic or posses only a mediocre of the skills needed (whose education in turn is more physically oriented).
Ah, but there is a twist!
It is *not* about a furry hero traveling the galaxies and beating up hapless monsters to gain fame and glory.
In The Tall Tails of Catwood, I have portrayed a family of furries who are more primitive and back-to-nature than most at this point in furry history.
They live in a treehouse called Catwood (surprise, surprise) in a jungle outside the largest metropolis on the planet, since I wanted to show the furry world through the eyes of furries who are predominantly magical. The family has two nearly grown siblings, two parents and one pet tiger, and the stories simply revolve around the average day life of the family, starting from when the teenagers begin in a new High School-like education center and meet new friends and so on and so forth.
What I hoped to achieve was an entertaining story with memorable characters, and most importantly a good setting. Writing down all that is going on in the world at this point would take the fun out of it, so the whole mythology, beliefs, curiosities and worldview of the Catwood universe is going to be revealed a little at a time, neatly intertwined with the story itself.
I also squeezed some humor in there (or at least, that was the intention), what with the usual sibling rivalries, the difficulties of being a pet owner, the boring things you have to do in school etc. to make it all the more human (in spirit only!) to the point where the two worlds collide.
All the stories are written entirely by myself, I did not steal or modify anything from someone else. What's the point? This was finally my chance to write some cool fiction myself and take credit for it ^.^
To me it has been (and still is), amazing sometimes to just sort of wake up in the middle of a paragraph and find out that your characters have taken over the story and make it up as they go along, while I am just retelling it. I do not know if this comes from writing too much or roleplaying too much, and I dont really expect anyone else (besides other writers maybe?) to know what I am talking about here.
It's a Zen thing, you wouldnt understand... ;)
A handful of friends have been an incredible help in proof-reading, adding and commenting on my stories, and I offer my deepest gratitude to them, as they already know. I would never have had the confidence to put this out to the public if they had not so meticulously gone over my words again and again.
Some of the characters of the Catwood Tails still exist on the SPR muck (spr.ctrl-c.liu.se, port 23). Honestly I do not keep track of them much, but I can assure you that Mirri will be there. Occasionally.
However, this does not mean that they will behave in any way along the lines of what I have described. I remade the personalities, just kept the names.
My own character Mirri and the house of Catwood do exist on this same muck, but the place is locked off to the public and anyone without a key, due to the private nature of the roleplaying inside. Sorry -.-
And as always with these stories comments, suggestions, propositions, non-flames, constructive criticism and general correspondence with like-minded writers (furry or otherwise) are more than welcome.
What's that? You want to read the extended background story of all this? Well, say no more!