Hiatus

20th Mar 2020, 12:56 PM in The Visitor
<<First

Latest blogs:

Really Quick May Update
by LuckyFoot223
26th May 2020, 9:19 PM
Hello all! 

We are still alive and actually producing comic page again, we just haven't released any. Laura and I want to build up a good amount so that there is no lag between pages. 

Sorry that this is short but I wanted to let you all know that Beloved Chains is still here and will continue to be here. 
A Quick April Update
by LuckyFoot223
11th Apr 2020, 10:16 PM
Aeshela! (Hello in Xaltean!),

I wanted to take some time to write here and let you know how things were going and the fact that we have not disappeared, we are simply on hiatus. Laura and I have continued to develop pages and so far three more in with a bunch of Patreon work but we did not want to start posting again until we are sure neither of us will have to leave. That way we can avoid everything abruptly stopping again.

The Novella

The Novella is halfway done and I'm excited to release it here for those who are interested in reading about the Beloved Chains world more than just the comic. Lady Nisa Amet has turned out to be a rather interesting character to write and I have had the opportunity to dive into the Xaltean culture in ways that the comic has yet to let me.

The Card Game

My mind has been busy with all sorts of ideas and sometimes like to start little projects. Well, I also have a Beloved Chains card game in the development that is going to be released as a digital game while also being printed for those who want to have a physical copy. I don't have a lot to tell you except it is a hybrid of a Deck Building and a Collectible Card Game.

I hope to share more in the future.

When are we coming back?

For where I am in the United States, we have reached the peak of this COVID-19 pandemic and I am hoping as the summer comes, we'll start releasing again. I want to make sure we are all out of the "stay at home" orders before getting back to business as usual.

Ending

I hope this April post finds everybody as healthy as possible and keeping themselves safe! I'm glad that you are all still here and I hope you will continue to stay with us as we tell the Beloved Chains story.

Please post or send me a PM if you have any questions! We also have a Discord server if you are interested in using that! See the link in the upper right-hand corner.
                                                                                          
Ascendent Rising - Chapter 1 (Excerpt)
by LuckyFoot223
8th Mar 2020, 7:59 PM

Nisa Amet’s shoes clicked against the marble floor of the expansive hallway past the black granite pillars that towered to the vaulted roof above. Every so often, a guard stood quietly with phased rifle hung in front of them. Though they looked defenseless with some bare chested while others wore thin fabric which was typical of the Xaltean people, she knew the little bracelets on the wrists or necklaces actually housed the curved forcefields that could protect them in case they wound up fighting. That really did not matter since House Medekin was one of the more popular houses of the Empire.

The light haired beauty smiled as she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the marble floor. She wore the light iki’asel wrap that covered her body loosely and a wide dark cloth belt around her waist. The necklace of green gems with a matching tiara spoke of her new status among House Medekin. Nisa was excited and was happy to be summoned to the central home of Baron Kyl Medekin, head of the house of Medekin.

Making a few more turns, Nisa arrived at the stately doors where two servants pushed it open. Greeting her was the floating blue holographic screens while members of Baron Medekin’s personal space fleet spoke and planned.

Baron Medekin was a tall man which white hair and a bear that was the same color except for a stripe of dark in the corners. He was in fully military uniform as he spoke to three members wearing the ribbons of ship commanders. Nisa waited patiently to the side knowing Kyl knew she was there but the conversation could wait.

“How are we with the second task force?” Kyl asked, his low voice carrying the weight of his position in it.

The Illusive, Valiant, and Arlia have already been supplied and are ready to join the fleet in the Ghosa Sector. A cruiser and two frigates to meet the request of our Empress.” One of the captains said with a nod.

Transfer the Idola’s Love to the task force.”

She’s only just completed her upgrade,” another said. “She has no captain since the loss of Commander Ibelta against the last Drull incursion.”

Kyl seemed to be thinking for a second while Nisa frowned at the thought of the Drull. The reptilian like humanoids with four slits for eyes and insatiable need to consume meat had been the bane of the Xalteans since their first contact countless years ago. There had never been a true peace with them though under the Empress, the Drull have kept to themselves for the most part. There was nothing worse than the Drull.

“Promote Ibelta’s first to the rank of commander,” Kyl finally said. “I believe she’s earned it after getting the ship out of danger not to mention taking three of Drull ships before exiting.”

The officers nodded and turned to leave having recognized their silent dismissal. Kyl sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose before turning to Nisa. She gave him a slight curtsy though as a Lady know, she did not have to bow as deeply.

“Lady Nisa,” he said with a small smile. “Thank you for coming.”

“I’m honored, my lord.”

“I have an assignment for you that I do not think you’re going to appreciate but nevertheless has to be done for the Empire.”

“Oh?” Nisa asked her eyebrows furrowing in concern. She had just earned her rank but Nisa knew that did not protect her from horrible positions.

“Are you familiar with the Solaris System by any chance?”

“Unfortunately I am not. Is that one of the farther outlying sytems of the empire?”

“No, my dear, it is a system controlled by the humans.”

Okay. There was something worse than the Drull. Working hard to keep the disgust from her face, Nisa cast her eyes down slightly towards the ribbons to try and focus.

“Ah...humans. And how may I serve you in regards to...them?”

Nisa heard him chuckle quietly before continuing.

“It seems that Baron Avernell’s push to have a better relationship with our neighbor, the Terran Confederacy has landed on sympathetic ears. It appears someone in the royal house was able to convince her majesty that an outreach more than tacit acknowledgment is warranted for the humans.” Kyl said turning and moving towards a holographic screen. A hand gesture caused it to fly through the air to his hand.

“The Diplomatic Corp has successfully negotiated a cultural outreach center on the fourth planet in the Solaris System.”

“Cultural outreach?” Nisa said with delicate eyebrow raised.

“That’s what they wanted to call it. In short, you are being appointed as installed Lady of the Cultural center to liaison with the humans for cultural exchange.”

Nisa’s stomach turned at the thought. Her, having to deal and work with humans.

“I know, not what you were hoping for,” Kyl said with an understanding smile. Nisa quickly brought her facial expressions back under control.

“I serve where I must for the sake of the Empire,” Nisa said. “Even if it is with the humans.”

“I appreciate the sentiment,” Kyl said offering the holograph screen to her. She reached out and touched it with her wrist computer that absorbed the information. The tiny screen expanded and hovered above her arm as it scrolled data in their delicate script of their language.

We have purchased 20 acres of land around a large building the humans built when they first settled their colony. It has been garrisoned with a company of soldiers gifted by the Empress and a full house staff. We have changed it as much as we can to accommodate a Xaltean Lady but you will not have the usual comforts for which I apologize.”

“I understand. Is the house set up?”

“No. You’ll still need to appointment a Mistress or Administrator to assist you. Governor Jason Pryce has promised us that Xaltean customs will be honored as far as they can but you know how draconic they can be.”

“I do.”

I have tasked the tailors to design you clothes for your stay at the cultural center that will not offend the humans but still maintain what it means to be Xaltean. I ask you to be a bright example of the Empire and hold down the post until you are recalled. It should not be long as no Xaltean/Terran joint effort has lasted for more than a year.”

Nisa nodded her head and bowed. “I shall serve as best as I can.”

“I know you will, Nisa. You have always been a proactive. I assume you’ll need to brush up on their language.”

If you can call it that. A bunch of guttural sounds with no song to it, not to mention the rules do not make sense.”

“There are other dialects, it might be worth studying for the Royal Archive. You might be able to make it bearable.”

“Maybe,” she laughed. “When do I leave?”

In two days time. The courier ship Justice is enroute to pick you up and take you directly to Plymouth Colony.”
--------------
This is a sneak peek at the novella "Ascendent Rising" that is presently in the works! If you liked it and enjoy the rest of the Beloved Chains, please consider voting for us on Top Web Comics, the link above with the number beside it.

Happy February
by LuckyFoot223
9th Feb 2020, 5:38 PM

Hello everyone! First of all, thanks for your continued support of Beloved Chains and the story as we go. Both Laura and I have been enjoying telling/drawing the story and your continued dedication to come by and read really makes us happy. Here are a few things that are going on right now.

Delay with the Next pages

Due to situations out of our control, we are delayed for at least one or two weeks for the next page. In the meantime, we will be releasing one of our Patreon pictures here for everyone on Monday.

Continued Development of the world & Other Mediums

Both Laura and I are dedicated to keeping Beloved Chains going as long as we can. A lot of times what we do feels daunting but I know I enjoy the story and she has enjoyed designing the characters from the copious notes I provide. I have mentioned on Smack Jeeves before they decided to destroy themselves, that I’m working on some short stories and novella in the interim as I’m actually a novelist. I hope to be able to share you more of that if you’re interested in reading

Top Web Comics

Thanks to each and every one of you who has taken the time to click on the Top Web Comics link and vote for us. We have been hovering between 428 and 440 for weeks now thanks to your continued support. The higher we get, the more visibility and the more we are able to show others the story!

Ending

Well, that’s all for now. I hope to keep you all up to date with what is going on each month since you have been here with us for so long. Thank you from both of us!

Xaltean Culture – General Overview
by LuckyFoot223
9th Feb 2020, 5:38 PM

Generated Report for Diplomatic Bureau of the Terran Confederacy

Subject: Xaltean Culture – General Overview

By: Jane Openheim, Attache to The United Planetary Council

Before I begin this report, I should be clear that this is only a general overview of a very in-depth and fully mature culture and should not be seen as a definitive work. In the last three months on Hope Station, the agreed meeting grounds along the Xaltean Kingdom’s border, I have had the opportunity to speak with Lady Ashana of the House Kevena on many similarities and differences between our people.

Social Norms

There are many glaring differences between Earth and the Xalteans. One of the key differences is their approach to social hierarchy, free body cultures, and a rigid rights and privilege system.

As a Kingdom, the Xalteans are broken into many social stratas with their own duties and privileges that others of the lower caste do not have. They also have an enlightened version of slavery in which members of their society are indentured to the houses for limited to long tenures. Unlikes human history though, they have evolved out of much of the brutality we have seen and those who are indentured have their own rights and laws to protect them.

I was able to converse with a half bond indentured for an hour or two and he expressed to me that it would be better if he could have his rights restored, he did not feel threatened nor defeated in his current position. He explained that the reason of being bonded is usually a private matter but as I was compiling a research paper to better understand our differences, he would tell me. It seems that this indenture had lost his temper in a tavern on one of the worlds in the Kingdom and had severely injured the victim. When taken before the tribunal, he agreed to relinquish rights as a half bond and serve a period of time after undergoing anger management. A very enlightened response compared to some of the more draconic rules implemented in the last decade by the Terran government [FILE NOTE: Opinion insert of the writer. Not sanctioned].

On the other hand, certain crimes or things that they did not go into, the Xalteans can be cold and ruthless in metting out punishment. Treason and crimes against the royal family are punished not only by death but by methods that my interviewee would only explain that he would rather be castrated than go through.

Approach to Sexuality

Though normally not covered in a diplomatic report but by an anthropologist, sexuality of the Xaltean is something that any diplomat who will be dealing with them at length should be fully aware of.

From as far as I have been informed, the Xaltean male and female have intercourse like the human species for reproduction but have a 12 month gestation cycle instead of the 9 that humans do. Also, Xaltean females are only fertile within a 2-month window every standard year.

This has made sex a recreational activity among the Xaltean that is not regulated to the bedroom and privacy like humans. They do not copulate in the streets as my esteemed counterpart would claim but such activities could be part of a dinner party which one of our representatives could be invited to. It is highly recommended that care be taken to not insult or show disdain as they could see this as an offense.

Lady Ashana tells me that the best way to stay out of it is to complement and play off the fact that humans are stupid.

Ending

There is a lot on these people that I have not covered and hopefully we can continue the discord with them to learn what we can.