Bound for the Styx is the second book in Bonsart Bokel's Steampunk series The Association of Ishtar: a blend of the SCP Foundation with elements of Wyrd Fiction and Noir. The series focuses on the investigations of the Association who guard their world against the Rifts: Gateways leading to other worlds inside the multiverse.
Bound for the Styx is suitable for older teens and fans of Scifi/Fantasy alike. The story features our protagonist Igraine Mortuba and her best friend, Anwin the doll. A novel exploring the world of Hades and its capital, Arkology, from the perspective of a young woman in need of a life-changing operation. Igraine is a young exile sent to the world of Hades by the Association to restore the damage done to her implants, which are the source of her extraordinary abilities. However, Igraine finds more than she bargained for. Freedom, romance, and responsibility.
Most of the adventure takes place in the city of Arkology, the capital of Hades: an interdimensional space station built eons ago by unknown architects. Arkology is a city I created for myself and my friends as we performed at conventions in Germany and the Netherlands. Arkology is not your typical Steampunk city with gears and top hats. It is the result of a philosophical yet grounded view of Steampunks and creatives as a whole and their place in the world. If you want my views of Steampunk, I recommend you watch my video, What is Steampunk, really?
It is also the headquarters of Dankaert Lexicon. The host of my Youtube channel. Igraine is a visitor seeking to use one of Arkology's many opportunities.
This is not just about the characters. In Noir fashion, Arkology is a character in its own right. Like a smothering parent, it either protects or kills its children. Want to learn more? we have a video guide.
Arkology is inhabited by humans who didn't just lose their homes. But their entire worlds. Their history and everything else that formed their identities. At first glance, it's a city of refugees who can't communicate with one another. However, it is also a place where people are reborn. I could talk for our about its many locations, anomalies, and concepts. Which I will probably do in the audio commentary if that gets unlocked. In the meantime, I suggest you pick up the Arkology companion instead. Speaking of which!
The Arkology Companion is a supplemental anthology containing five stories for those who want to learn more about the secrets of Hades and its capital Arkology. It contains five short stories that inspired Bound for the Styx. Each one is a case file compiled by the Association of Ishtar.
Bound for the Styx will become available in paperback, Ebook, and audiobook on Kickstarter. The campaign is planned to go live on March 1st and lasts until April 1st.