Alamo City Furry Invasion Fictional Universe
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- 1 Setting & Characters
- 2 Narrative Synopsis
- 3 Bibliography
- 4 Copyright Information
- 5 External Links
- 6 References
The Alamo City Furry Invasion is a furry convention set in its own fictional universe, which is the exclusive intellectual property of ACFI and its affiliates. Themed as an annual rodeo and festival in the fictional city of Fur City Bluff—a city populated by anthropomorphic creatures of all types in the waning days of the Old West—ACFI has the distinction of being a convention driven by and giving birth to its own creative universe, within which the convention's events play out. A themed, universe-specific e-book on the subject appears on the ACFI official website, titled "The Town & People of Fur City Bluff".
This article uses that reference material and the various stories in the series as cited references.
Setting & Characters
The narrative setting exists primarily within the fictional town of Fur City Bluff, and is an independent alternate reality to our own world; therefore, events and time periods in our world do not directly or necessarily coincide with events in the fictional universe (in some ways, in can even be quite anachronistic). In this section, the convention's setting and its major mascots and supporting characters are explained in detail.
Fur City Bluff
Fur City Bluff is a fictional town of about 1,000 set in the waning days of the Old West in the area near San Antonio, Texas, with a small American Indian reservation located just northeast of the city (where the natives are represented as a tribe of anthropomorphic coyotes). Geologically it is bordered on the north by a series of low bluffs (the highest of which—Coyote Bluff—the reservation resides on and overlooks the town), and a small river to the south, the Coyote Run River. It was founded in 1848 in the fictional universe as Fur City, and later added "Bluff" to its name in honor of the Coyote Bluff Indians, who helped defend the town against rogue Mexican raiders. The fictional highway called the Ol' Fur Antonio Trail (a distortion of the real-world Old San Antonio Road) runs through the center of it.
Many of Fur City Bluff's most iconic locations are also some of its oldest, although a few are of recent vintage. The most well–-known and most well-–traveled establishments are listed below.
Government & Financial District
- Fur City Bluff City Hall: The city hall was originally a plantation house built in 1826, then bought and converted by the city into the town's city hall in 1848, at the time of the city's founding. The plantation's grounds became the government district's campus, and the longhouse built for farmhands became the sheriff's office and city jail. Among the city hall's unique features are the ballroom (converted into the hearing room), and the courthouse (converted from the dining hall).
- Fur City Bluff Jail & Sheriff's Office: The sheriff's office and jail were converted from the longhouse in which farmhands once resided, and are the same building; the bedrooms were converted into jail cells. The building has a front porch on which the local sheriff often relaxes as he surveys the town. Its convention presence is Con Ops.
- Fur City Bluff Bank: Founded in 1888, Fur City Bluff Bank was originally a competitor to a number of other local branches of larger, more regional bank chains, eventually growing large enough and successful enough to force the other branches to close. The bank is considered so secure that the city treasury keeps its money in the bank's vaults, rather than a private vault in the city hall. Its convention presence is Registration.
- The Buck n' Pony Ballroom & Rodeo: A combination rodeo and ballroom, the Buck n' Pony is so named for its owners, Billy Buck and Gabriosa "Gabby" Garrano. Designed to host both types of events interchangeably and concurrently, the Buck n' Pony is considered a featured location of the city. The idea of the Buck n' Pony ballroom was constructed to accommodate the typical events hosted in Main Events at a furry convention, and in-story is similar to and inspired by venues such as the Starlight Rodeo & Ballroom in Snook, Texas. Its convention presence is main events.
- The Dueling Foxes Casino & The Coyote Club: The Deuling Foxes Casino is a classic Old West, saloon-style casino, while The Coyote Club is a permanent midway housed on the second story of the same building. It is also considered a local attraction owing to its unique combination of games, and for the novelty of the midway. The location was inspired by Coney Island midways of the early 20th century, but also out of a necessity to combine the functions of the tabletop gaming and video game rooms of a furry convention, as arcades had not been invented as of the early 20th century. Its convention presence is the tabletop gaming room and the video gaming room, within the game room.
- The Dusty Paw Saloon: A staple location of the story series, the Dusty Paw Saloon is a classic Old West saloon, but doubles as a cabaret for late-night burlesque show performances. It includes a fixed piano and a backstage dressing area. In spite of housing burlesque performances, it is considered a family-friendly location during the day. Its convention presence is the con suite.
- The Pearl of the Orient Theater: A classical theater with balcony seating, the Pearl of the Orient Theater is a featured location, with a band box for a moderate-sized orchestra. Similarly to the Buck n'Pony, its stage can also be disassembled to allow it to be converted to a dance floor or ballroom venue.
- Fur City Bluff Fairgrounds: The city fairgrounds are where much of the Fur Antonio Trail Rodeo & Festival occur, with a sprawling campus of booths and events open to the public. Its convention presence is more generalized than the other locations, and it is in fact a blanket term for ACFI's panel rooms.
- The Gallows: A standard gallows, it is seldom used for its original purpose and instead has become a public watering hole and rest area, as it is near a public well. Though nearer to the center of town, it is considered a part of the Hospitality District due to its status as a public gathering place. Its convention presence is the fursuit lounge, and its name is a play on the colloquial term "headless lounge".
Fur City Bluff has a market district with unique locations for its area and time period.
- The Wheel n' Deal Flea Market: An open-air flea market, the Wheel n' Deal was conceived as a counter to competitor Richard T. Swindal's general store, which had become so successful as to put other similar businesses out of work. Its convention presence is the dealer's den.
- The Thrify Swindal General Store: The Thrifty Swindal is a highly successful general store, and a precursor to larger supermarket stores and retail stores of more modern times. It became so successful as to drive competitors out of business. Its convention presence is the con store.
- K–9 Commerce & Retale: An open-air market for art dealers and vendors of unique wares, "K-9 Commerce & Retale" is essentially a gallery for artists and those whose wares do not necessarily fit in the flea market. Its convention presence is the Artist's Alley.
- The Gallery Art Exhibit: The Gallery is essentially a combination art museum and flea market, allowing high-end artists to sell their wares in a controlled environment. Considered a unique feature of Fur City Bluff, it is another piece of the unique fabric of the city. Its convention presence is the art show.
Important Figures in Fur City Bluff
The ACFI fictional universe has a large cast of main and supporting characters, with many of its stories focused on either Sheriff Holliday, Deputy Red Feather, or the various major supporting characters.
Major & Main Characters
The major characters of the ACFI fictional universe are either point-of-view characters, or drive the plots by their actions.
- Sheriff "Dusty" Don Holliday: The main character of the series, Sheriff Holliday is an aloof, easygoing, and carefree sort, who often seems (to Deputy Red Feather) to not be on the proper trail of breaking a case, but through either serendipity, luck, or a sort of sneaky skill reminiscent of an idiot savant, he always solves a case before "Red" (as he calls her) is able to on her own. He never carries a firearm, instead wielding only a lasso (with which he is incredibly proficient). In many cases he is the primary comic relief, and was inspired as an amalgam of various archetypes, to include the titular character of the children's story series Hank the Cow Dog and the lead characters of films such as Support Your Local Sheriff!. The character's name is an overt reference to the legendary Old West gunslinger Doc Holliday. He was designed from promotional artwork done by the artist Thorgi, who was the artist Guest of Honor for Alamo City Furry Invasion 2017.
- Deputy Red Feather: A coyote like Sheriff Holliday, Red Feather is his top deputy, and a highly skilled and capable detective in her own right. Her sidearm, "Black Betty", is legendary among the people of the city, and is a shotgun modified for flip-cocking, and fires shells filled with a sticky substance that acts like a glue; she uses it to render targets immobile or to incapacitate them nonlethally. Like Sheriff Holliday, she is American Indian in heritage, but grew up on a reservation while receiving schooling in the city's schoolhouses (unlike Holliday, who was "city-raised"). Chief Thunderstick is her mother. Deputy Red Feather received her name from the original character art, taken from promotional artwork by Tatujapa, which depicted her with a red feather in her hat; she is also one of the first mascots created for the convention.
- Mei Long: Mei Long was a traveling performer of some renown with a prior working relationship with Tao Shien, having once traveled with his troupe when he was a wandering performer himself. In The Furry, Furry West she uses her relationship with Shien to gain backstage access to the Ol' Fur Antonio Trail Rodeo & Festival, and once at the festival revealed herself to be a commander in the Red Mask Gang; later kidnapping the visiting mayor (Path) and holding him ransom at the end of Alamo City Furry Invasion 2017. Like Tao Shien, she is unabashedly Asian, wearing flowing kimonos and carrying a large Oriental fan with her at all times. Mei Long is the property of a private owner and was adapted and licensed for use by the convention with the permission of the author, as stated in the e-book "The Town and People of Fur City Bluff" on the convention's website.
- Billy Quinn: Billy Quinn—known to have many aliases, including "Dynamite", "Quick", and "Buckskin"—is an infamous outlaw and boss of the Red Mask Gang, having committed a series of crimes over the West Texas region for the last decade, and is the primary antagonist of the fiction series. However, as he is so seldom seen, he is considered by some to be a tall tale, or possibly a moniker used by one or several persons to disguise their true identity. He is sometimes referred to as "The Man in the Red Hat", as it is said that he always wear a red hat and the trademark red bandanna of the Red Mask Gang. Legend says he is the fastest draw in the West, and tales abound of his uncanny marksmanship.
- The Red Mask Gang: The Red Mask Gang is a notorious outlaw gang who terrorize the frontier lands of the West Texas, reported to be under the command of Billy Quinn. Their hijinks, flamboyance, brazenness, and wild escapes are the stuff of urban legend, and their reputation for cunning and surgical precision make them among the most feared criminals along the Ol' Fur Antonio Trail. Though the roster tends to fluctuate over time, their trademark red bandannas remain the same no matter who is a part of it, and the consistency of their tactics lends credence to the idea of a single, brilliant leader, despite rumors that the Billy Quinn persona may not be a real person at all; the fact that the supposed leader, Quinn, is very rarely seen with the gang in public only furthers the confusion. The idea of red masks as a unifying feature is a reference and homage to the red bandannas worn by the Cowboy Gang in the 1993 Tombstone film.
Major Supporting Characters
The major supporting characters of the ACFI fictional universe either support the main characters in their endeavors, or appear in a large enough recurring role as to either steal scenes or help shape plots. Some are featured in promotional artwork as major supporting mascots.
- Tabby Sweet (Tabitha Furst): Tabitha Furst—who uses her stage name, Tabby Sweet in public—is the daughter of banker Thurston D. Furst, but rather than follow in her father's footsteps, she became an entertainer, throwing her lot in with a local burlesque house and becoming wealthy enough and successful enough that she could parlay her earnings into the purchase of the saloon that would become the Dusty Paw Saloon, a combination saloon, diner, and performance hall. Her position as the saloon's owner has garnered her some amount of local renown, and she is particularly friendly with Sheriff Holliday; the two make a habit of conversing regularly—either at the Dusty Paw or in passing on the streets of Fur City Bluff—and Deputy Red Feather finds amusement in accusing the two of being flirtatious. She is often featured in promotional artwork and was one of the first mascots created for the convention. Her name was derived from a confection factory in La Grange, Texas by name of Katy Sweet, Inc., combined with the name for the common coloring pattern of many cats.
- June Raccoon: June Raccoon is a minor, but recurring character in the series who is often the butt of slapstick comedy at the hands of Sheriff Holliday. He is a nuisance and kleptomaniac who is constantly getting into, and then breaking out of jail; the running gag is that he is really good at thieving and escaping jail, but really bad at staying out of jail. Sheriff Holliday is not convinced he is a kleptomaniac, however. He is often featured in promotional art and was one of the first mascots designed for the convention; his name is nothing more than a play on words.
- Thurston D. Furst: Thurston Furst is a wealthy banker who owns the only bank in Fur City Bluff, having put his competitors out of business with a combination of savvy business maneuvers and genuine hospitality. He is the father of Tabby Sweet. Though he is often a minor character, his relationship as Tabby's father puts him into prominent roles from time to time, and his position as the town's only bank operator makes him a target of outlaws and thieves. His name was derived as a pun on the ubiquitous "First Bank" theme found in banks across the United States, and as an homage to Thurston Howell III of the Gilligan's Island television series.
- Tao Shien: Tao Shien is a Chinese immigrant, who owns and operates the Pearl of the Orient theater in Fur City Bluff. He was once a traveling performer with his own acting company, but has since transformed that business into a permanent one. He is an unabashed cross-dresser who is so comfortable at it that the residents of the city don't know if it is an act or if he is a dandy. Though he is only a minor character, his past relationship with Mei Long often puts him into prominent roles in the series.
- Mayor Alejandra de la Vega: Mayor de la Vega is a minor supporting character, who often appears as comic relief or as a character central to a plot. She often speaks in "Tex-Mex" dialogue, mixing Spanish and English in her speech. She is a cacomistle, and a native of central Mexicoi. The character's name bears an intentional resemblance to Alejandro Vega, the father of the title character in the acclaimed Zorro literary and film series.
- Judge Sanford "Sandy" Dunes: A tall ape of German ancestry, Judge Dunes is the city judge and a snappy dresser, sporting sun cheaters and an Inverness cape as part of his normal wardrobe. He is a friend of Sheriff Holliday's, and often appears in scenes with Holliday at the Dusty Paw. The character's name intentionally has a similar vowel quality as Judge Doom from the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and is described as wearing a similar outfit when formally dressed.
- Richard T. Swindal: The owner of the only general store in town, Richard Swindal is a minor character, but his role in the business community often brings him into conflict with other characters and puts him at the center of some plots. He has an arrogant and unwaveringly bullish attitude on business, often coming off as callous. His name, pronounced as "swindle", is an intentional pun, but the character himself doesn't quite get the joke and therefore is confused when accuse him—even jokingly—of "swindal-ing" customers. The name was derived as a means of creating a pun for the convention's con store: The Thrifty Swindal General Store, itself a pun and an oxymoron.
Minor Supporting Characters
The minor characters of the ACFI fictional universe make only cameo appearances or are not (typically) major factors in storylines. A slight exception is Chief Thunderstick, who despite her minor character status, is often a comic foil for Sheriff Holliday and/or Red Feather. Some appear in promotional artwork.
- Barker & Howell: Robert Barker and Terry Howell are co-owners of the Wheel n' Deal Flea Market, a [wiki flea market]flea market near the city's fairgrounds and the Thrifty Swindal General Store. They are competitors of Swindal's, who were put out of business by his predatory pricing tactics but found a different niche to exploit. They are minor characters who typically only make cameo appearances. Their names are obvious dog and wolf puns, and Barker's name can be made into a reference to game show host Bob Barker. Barker appears in promotional artwork, and was one of the first characters created for the fictional universe.
- Kristopher Chase: Kris Chase is an entrepreneur whose market is artwork and related wares, via his specialized open-market store called the K-9 Commerce & Retale Market. Though the name is intentionally misspelled by the fictional universe's creators, Chase does not understand the misspelling. The name of the storefront is an overt reference to canines (of which Chase himself is a canine).
- Stirling and Ruby Reynard: Stirling and Ruby Reynard are French immigrants who own a dual-purpose building in Fur City Bluff: the Coyote Club and the Deuling Foxes Casino. They are themed as fraternal twins, where Stirling is a silver fox, and Ruby a red fox; their names, therefore, are references to their fur colors. They were created by Sixam as mascots for the Game room; specifically, Ruby for the video game room and Stirling for the tabletop gaming room. They are minor characters and only appear sparingly, but are often involved in comic relief situations, and they have a way of bickering.
- Billy Buck & Gabriosa "Gabby" Garrano: Billy Buck and Gabriosa "Gabby" Garrano are the co-owners of the Buck n' Pony Ballyroom & Rodeo. They are minor, but unique, characters, and their role as the hosts of the largest event space in the Fur Antonio Trail Rodeo & Festival puts them at the center of attention during each event. They were designed as a means of building a pun into the name given to the convention's Main Events stage: Billy Buck is a longhorn—not a typical breed used for rodeo bullriding competition, but bullriding is synonymous with bucking—and a garrano is a breed of pony, of which Gabby Garrano is a pony herself. The name of the event Buck n' Pony is a sort of double entendre, therefore. The Billy Buck character was derived from artwork done by Tatujapa for the convention.
- Janine Doe: Janine Doe ("Jane" for short) is a doe from the eastern U.S. who was once a musuem curator in Philadelphia. Her establishment, the Gallery Art Exhibit, is a kind of marketplace and showroom for artists. She is a minor character who rarely makes more than cameo appearances. Her name is a deliberate pun of the infamous "Jane Doe" name given to unidentified persons.
- Chief Thunderstick: Chief Thunderstick is a minor character, but as the mother of Deputy Red Feather she often appears in a comic relief role, teasing the Sheriff and imposing her brand of physical comedy on certain victims. Her staff is a sort of modified fire lance, which—like Red Feather's Black Betty—fires a single, but large wad of sticky gum that adheres its victim to another object. She disapproves of Red's career choice, but is supportive when she needs to be.
In The Furry, Furry West, the main protagonists of the series—Sheriff Holliday and Deputy Red Feather—are introduced, along with major supporting characters Tabby Sweet, Mei Long, June Raccoon, and several minor supporting characters; during the story, the sheriff is presented with a letter claiming that the local Red Mask Gang will be at the current year's rodeo and festival, and that another town's mayor may be a target as part of an undefined criminal act. Meanwhile, a scout for the Red Mask Gang surveys the town and fairgrounds, while a shadowy figure directs him. During the story, several characters are introduced, including the entirety of the city's most prominent businesspersons, and ends with a cryptic appearance of a man in a red hat. This story is then continued during Alamo City Furry Invasion 2017, expanding upon the events occurring during The Furry, Furry West, during which Mei Long springs her plan to capture and hold Path ransom, only to betray Quinn by giving away his location to the Sheriff in a note given to Path. Afterwards, the Sheriff resolves to pursue Quinn into the wilderness and bring him in.
The ACFI Fictional Universe is first introduced in the short story The Furry, Furry West by KL Sanchez, and features an ongoing series of interconnected short stories which tie the fictional universe together, setting the stage for events which occur during the Alamo City Furry Invasion each convention year; this narrative then continues between and during convention cycles, transitioning from story to live action scripted scenes and back again. What follows is a bibliography of the published installments in the series, listed in chronological order of release, and their relation to the events of the ACFI convention cycles.
- The Furry, Furry West (story) by KL Sanchez (published in the Alamo City Furry Invasion 2017 con book): Occurring directly before the events at ACFI 2017, this installment introduces the main characters and the basis for the plot of the convention's narrative cycle.
- Alamo City Furry Invasion 2017—The Furry, Furry West: During the convention, the visiting "mayor"—Path—was kidnapped by Mei Long, then ransomed back, only for Mei Long to then betray Quinn by giving Holliday Quinn's present location; always one step ahead, however, Quinn had already stolen a single safety deposit box from the city bank, prompting the Sheriff to embark on a quest to find Quinn.
The ACFI fictional universe is a fully-copyrighted intellectual property and borrows at least one established character, used with permission by ACFI from the original owner. The list of characters the ACFI fictional universe borrows include: