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Literature / Volle

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Volle (2005) is an adult, anthropomorphic animal-novel written by Kyell Gold. It takes place in the world of Argaea, a furrier version of our medieval times. Ferrenis and Tephos are two reigning powers in this world, and when word gets out that Tephos is planning an attack against Ferrenis, their kingdom summons a group of three to spy on Tephos and gather information. Seir (mouse), Reese (rabbit) and Volle (fox) travel to Tephos and settle into their new lives in and around the palace. Seir poses as a commoner, Reese as a merchant, and Volle as the thought to be long dead lord of Vinton. The stories obviously focus on Volle from then on out, who soon discovers that he must find a way to balance his promiscuous ways with the responsibilities of his mission.

The story arc began in an adult furry magazine, Heat, in a story called Prisoner's Release, about a fox in prison and a wolf coming to "torture" him. This story was eventually re-written in novel form and released, along with other tales, in the novel Prisoner's Release and Other Stories (2007).


Pendant of Fortune (2006) was the second novel, detailing the events after Volle and his newfound lover, Streak, return to Tephos after living on a farm for several years. Volle discovers that Dereath hasn't wasted time in slandering the fox's name over the years, and accusations quickly arise against him, which he must clear his name against.

Shadow of the Father (2010) is the third actual novel, taking place from the perspective of Volle's second son Yilon, a fox who is thrust into lordship and sent on a mission to Dewanne with his friend and lover Sinch, a mouse. He soon realizes that, for some reason, the people of Dewanne aren't too fond of mice, and more so dislike the idea of having a fox who loves a mouse as their lord.

Weasel Presents: Tales from Argaea (2011) is an anthology containing short stories dealing with several characters before, during and in between the events of the other three books.


"Sibling Rivalry" (2013) is a short story published in the anthology What Happens Next that takes place during Shadow of the Father and is told from the perspective of Volle's first son Volyan, who is not exactly taking his younger brother's ascension to lordship well.

The novels of Argaea contain examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: Very common among the nobility. Volle and Ilyana and Yilon and Dinah are the most prominent ones, though it's mentioned Tish and Tika were an arranged marriage as well.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: At the end of Shadow of the Father, when Yilon's crown is retrieved and he finally accepts lordship of Dewanne, all in front of his parents.
  • Ax-Crazy: Kites and Shreds. To a lesser extent, their father, Dewry.
  • The Chains of Commanding: How Yilon comes to regard his appointment as Lord Dewanne in Shadow of the Father. Despite being gay and in love with Sinch, he resolves to take a wife and be faithful to her because that's what lords are supposed to do (which also folds into his resentment of Volle, as Volle has Streak as a lover alongside being married to Ilyana). Luckily Dinah (his prospective wife) gives him an ultimatum: she'll only consider marrying him if he stays with Sinch and doesn't torture himself trying to be a perfect lord.
  • Cheerful Child: Volle's first son Volyan when he first appears in "Pendant".
  • Chekhov's Gun: Volle's pendant.
  • Clear My Name: Volle must do this against the accusations that have arisen against him during the time he spent away from Divalia. Somewhat ironically, the accusations are Right for the Wrong Reasons.
  • Clear Their Name: Streak is found holding a bloody knife covered with his scent in the same room as a mouse who's just been killed, and who just so happened to be a "witness" against Volle's case. Volle then sets out to prove Streak is innocent, despite his own small personal doubts.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For Love Or Family is, in a nutshell, about a wolf of noble heritage who is fighting his responsibilities requiring him to marry a vixen and produce a noble offspring. Instead of following his father's wishes, he begins visiting the Jackal's Staff to experiment with the same gender. He later falls in love with Richy, then buys out Richy's contract from the Jackal's Staff, freeing him from his life of prostitution, and runs off with him.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It is hinted that Streak has one of these because he doesn't feel comfortable telling Volle his real name.
  • Decadent Court: Blackmail and "bedroom deals" are all but standard in the court of Tephos.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Hef speculates that Dereath shifted his attention to men after all the women he pined after rejected him. He's also not above practically forcing Volle to have sex with him before he'll allow him to see Streak.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: The focus of Jherik's Tale in Weasel Presents is about the title character struggling to find a place for himself outside of the shadow of his too perfect brother (whose friendliness and caring only serves to make Jherik more bitter).
  • Dirty Coward: Lady Dewanne believed herself to be one, as she chose to secretly abort at least one child for fear that she would be unable to survive the pain of childbirth.
  • Disappeared Dad: Volle's father vanished when he was a cub, leaving his mother to raise him alone. Ironically, he does the same to Volyan between Prisoner's Release and Pendant of Fortune, though he makes an effort to catch up once he has the chance to re-enter the country. He's a bit neglectful to Yilon too.
  • Double Entendre: Kyell Gold, the author, is fond of these, and uses them all over the damn place.
  • Fantastic Racism: In Shadow of the Father there is a major divide between the mice and the foxes in Dewanne.
  • Gambit Pile Up: Dereath's scheme to frame Volle and Streak is surprisingly clever. Using scent transfer, he applied Streak's scent to the knife that was used to kill his witness, then later does the same to Volle to make it look like he killed the palace guard. Volle finally figures it out right before his case, and Nero and Archie fight for Volle during the trial, with Archie stating that he himself witnessed Dereath kill the palace guard. The king thereafter sentences Dereath to death and strips him of his title. Later we find out that it really WASN'T Dereath who killed anyone, rather his assistant Terril, and Archie lied to protect Volle.
  • Hereditary Homosexuality: Yilon, somewhat reluctantly, shares his father's - and his maternal grandfather's - preference for the same sex.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Richy, whose contract is bought out by Cef, saving him from his life of prostitution. Jonas also qualifies, who despises working at the Jackal's Staff and wants desperately to get out a make a better life for himself.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The Jackal's Staff, the name of the brothel Volle visits frequently, and another brothel by the name of "The Lonely Cock."
  • Interspecies Romance: Volle (fox) takes a number of lovers from a variety of species, but his only meaningful ones are Xiller (cougar) and Streak (wolf). While Volle's son Yilon is in love with a mouse. As an aside, Helfer (weasel) has a thing for rabbit bucks.
  • Jerkass:
    • Dereath, a Depraved Bisexual who develops a grudge against Volle and makes several attempts to discredit him and frame him for murder.
    • Lord Sheffin of Dewanne. In spite of much Character Shilling in Shadow of the Father describing him as a benevolent and caring Lord, he barely lets an appearance pass where he doesn't make insinuations that Volle should be with his own kind (foxes) rather than falling in love with Streak or being friends with Helfer. He attempts to manipulate Volle and sire a son with Ilyana behind Volle's back. His tenure as Lord is marked by extremely hostile racism between mice and foxes in Dewanne, including at least one attempted genocide that went unpunished until the Shadows killed the noble that started it. In fact, his sole redeeming quality seems to be his devotion to his wife.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Maxon in Shadow of the Father did some pretty shady stuff throughout the story, and was a major contributor to the problem in the first place, but he genuinely had Dewanne's best interest at heart and believed he was acting in the land's best interest.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: Male example. Volle has no interest in women whatsoever but needs an heir so he gets completely shit-faced before having sex with Ilyana. The second time they have a threesome with Streak.
  • Literalist Snarking: King Barris at Volle's trial. When Lord Wallen (a deer), suggests that Volle (fox) is no more related to the late Lord Vinton (also a fox) than he is, the king comments, "Surely a little more related."
  • Love at First Sight: Volle, to Streak.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: In Pendant of Fortune after it turns out that Dereath himself wasn't the killer and he'll probably get out despite his assistant killing them, Volle suggests to his guard that it would be better for the kingdom if he happened to escape and slip down a flight of stairs.
  • No Name Given: Volle gives Streak his nickname due to the "streak" of black fur running down his thigh. Streak refuses to reveal his real name to Volle afterwards, hinting that it reminds him of a dark past.
    • Though it is revealed towards the end of Pendant of Fortune.
  • The Nose Knows: A key plot point in the murder mystery in Pendant of Fortune. Streak's scent is found on the scissors used to kill Dereath's witness to Volle's supposed treason, and later Volle's scent is on a knife that killed a guard. However, in the second case Archie notes that the cinnamon powder Volle washed his hands with was absent from the knife. It turned out that Dereath had groped their anal glands to cover his hands in their scents, which he transferred to the murder weapons.
  • Oedipus Complex: A major part of Yilon's character arc. He was extremely bitter towards Volle for various reasons, including leaving Yilon's mother alone in Vinton while he stayed in Divalia with his lover Streak, and then taking Yilon away from Vinton to groom him for a position as Lord and generally not being completely in touch with what Yilon was going through (though not for lack of trying). Yilon eventually gets over it.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Downplayed, Volle's father left behind a gold pendant when he vanished, but Volle leaves it behind in Ferrenis early in the first novel and it's not seen again until Pendant of Fortune, where Tish claims that it's evidence of royal blood, but later admits to making that up.
  • Platonic Prostitution: Cef visits Richy at the Jackal's Staff initially just to experiment with the same gender, but soon falls in love with him and returns just to get to know him more.
  • Royal Blood: Volle poses as the son of the long dead lord of Vinton in order to get into the palace and begin spying for Ferrenis, but we're led to believe he doesn't actually have any noble blood in him. In Pendant of Fortune, Tish states that Volle's pendant was passed down only through royal families, then later he admits to partially making up that story. In the end, it's never revealed if Volle actually has noble blood in him or not.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Dinah, when she dons a white, flowing dress to Yilon's crowning ceremony. This is in contrast to the rest of the book, where she is portrayed as a huge tomboy.
  • Shout-Out: Captain Nero, who happens to be a wolf, is a Shout-Out to Nero Wolfe, the main character of a series of mystery novels. The other detective's name, Archie, is also borrowed from the same series.
  • Spare to the Throne: Yilon initially believes this is why he was chosen as heir to Lord Dewanne. His brother Volyan was already set to inherit their father's title of Lord Vinton. Though in truth the sole reason his parents even had sex a second time was to provide Dewanne with an heir. Not as Vinton's "spare".
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Yilon and Sinch. Though it isn't made entirely clear WHY, the people of Dewanne inexplicably hate mice, and banish them all to live in the Warren. Despite this, Yilon is ever faithful to Sinch.
  • Surprise Witness: During Volle's second trial, Lord Wallen calls for "Bayard Lilian" to testify. After a few moments, Streak stands up, therefore revealing that Bayard is Streak's real name.
  • The Talk: Volle attempts to have one of these with his son when describing the responsibilities of his newfound lordship. Yilon already knew plenty about it, however, not that it really mattered because Yilon turned out gay too.
  • Talking Animal: All of the characters in Kyell's novels are anthropomorphic animals.
  • Title Drop: In Pendant of Fortune.
    Dereath: The pendant of fortune swings back and forth.
  • Token Minority: Dinah, who serves as the only lesbian character in the entire series.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Sinch dons a fox costume created from the head and tail of an actual deceased fox, and it's convincing enough to trick the other foxes of Dewanne, at least until they observe it up close.