Storm Island Q&A
by, 24th August 2014 at 09:53 PM (298 Views)
For those unaware, I am one of the authors of a fanfic named Storm Island, Centered around a young woman's exploits in the tropical region of the same name. For those uninterested in fanfiction, this entry is not for you, and you may move along.
Over time, we've gotten quite a few questions about Storm Island, and I've taken the time to gather these questions up and answer them in one central place. They are in no specific order, but I've tried to group them up a bit. Needless to say, the content of many of these questions will contain spoilers to not only written chapters, but possibly future ones as well! While I try to avoid spoilers for the future as much as I can, tread at your own risk!
Q: Where has your co-author gone? Is this still a collaborative work?
To the mystical land of real life. She no longer has the time to fully dedicate to writing the story, but I do still consult her with ideas. It is still a collaborative work, but I do 100% of the writing and editting now, and have a lot more control than I did at the start of the project. She plans to return to writing alongside me when she has free time again, but she is not certain when that will be.
Q: Are you using “silver coin” as a device to allow you to avoid mentioning any particular country’s coins and currency?
The idea behind the silver and gold coins was the avoid any particular name for the currency. Fan names such as "Pokedollar" don't cut it. Coins come in four different varieties, from least valuable to most valuable: iron, brass, silver and finally gold. These coins are accepted by nearly every region as a universal currency, though most regions have their own unique symbols on them. Storm Island, for example, has "golden dragons" which are references to the royal family's favoring of Dragon-types, while Johto coins feature the official insignia of the Johto League.
Q: What is the R-Kit's intended purpose?
The R-Kit is intended to be a device that offers everything Andrea could need in terms of information. We've already seen that it has an encyclopedia, a map, functions as a Pokedex, and can display information about a trainer's Pokemon. It also functions much like a tricorder from Star Trek does, being able to determine an endless amount of useless information about something. It was intended to be the next innovation that every trainer needs, like the Poketch before it and the Pokegear before that.
Q: Where'd the comet that Andrea and Larson noticed in Chapter 2 go? It hasn't been mentioned since.
It hasn't been too important, especially since Andrea has spent over half of her journey buried under trees. That said, it will come back from time to time, forshadowing that the finale of the entire story is coming closer and closer. When Andrea first noticed and mentioned it, she and Larson discussed using it as a means of guidance when lost. The intended symbolism for it is to put Andrea back on track when she deviates from fate in any way. In fact, it's due to appear once more, soon...
Q: What's the deal with Andrea and Larson? Are they boyfriend and girlfriend?
They are not, but Andrea wishes they were. Her lack of self confidence has stopped her from making a move towards making it a reality, and Larson is just flat out oblivious to her feelings. Having known each other for over a decade, he has more or less assumed that he's in the friend zone.
Q: What happened to Larson's mother? She isn't present in the story, and all Larson or his father mentions are memories of her.
Larson's mother died several years ago during the incident at Silph Co. While the games don't mention any employees of Silph Co. dying, I will be trying to portray Team Rocket as ruthlessly vicious in its actions, sparing no one that stands in the way of its goals. The death of his wife is the main driving force behind Jack's crusade-like mission to expose and stop Team Rocket before they harm more innocent people. He hasn't been too crazy yet, but just wait.
Q: Team Rocket has been kind of boring so far. Will they actually do anything interesting, or will they be clowns like Jesse and James?
Team Rocket will hopefully not be boring, and they certainly will not be incompetent. Obviously, silly things will happen when it comes to their plans, or what the main characters do, but that's for plot convenience. However, they will be completely and almost inhuman in the amount of destruction they cause to achieve their goals. Their motives will be a complete surprise (hopefully), but the motives of those in charge will also conflict with the organization as a whole. "Some men just want to watch the world burn."
Q: Who is Salvatore? Is he a reference to a previously unnamed member of Team Rocket shown elsewhere, or completely original?
Salvatore is a completely new character, though his backstory has him taking part in nearly every known Team Rocket operation, ranging from Silph Co. to the Lake of Rage incident.
Q: Is Domino the same Domino seen in the anime?
Q: What was the stone pillar that was found in Chapter 7?
The stone pillar is an important artifact tied to the creation legend the original inhabitants of Storm Island believed in. It is but one of many. It is a stone capable of curing minor wounds, relieving stress and refreshing those who are fatigued, as well as return long forgotten memories to people with such clarity that it feels like they just happened.
It's also worth mentioning that the stone isn't the moss stone that causes Eevee to evolve into Leafeon. The reason I had Trent Foxworth's Eevee evolve there was because of the concentrated amounts of Leaf Stones laying around, rather than use the admittedly awkward mechanic that Gen IV introduced.
Q: Will Andrea be pursuing any gym badges? Will any of her travel buddies?
Yes. She has skipped two so far, but will begin trying her hand at it soon as her confidence and knowledge of training begins to increase. It's unlikely that any of Andrea's travelling partners will do the same, because who wants to read two or more gym battles in a row?
Q: Can you provide some insight into Raven Duskwillow? Who is he? What is his relation to Kamin?
Raven Duskwillow is a massive man, standing at 7'1" tall and being made of pure muscle. He is fit in body, mind and spirit, which allows him to shrug off the effects of the darkness of the Blackwood Forest that take hold of other people. He is inspired by Native American ideals of spirituality and honor, as can be seen by the names of his Pokemon. All of them, with the exception of one being of Mongolian origin, are based on words from various languages throughout the eastern and midwestern United States. His homeland is the western wilds of Unova, far from the bustling cities of the eastern coast, from an area known as Providence Bluffs. Among his tribe, he has reached the elusive rank of Brave, reserved only for those who have displayed an unusual connection with the spirit world, as well as going above and beyond to help and protect the innocent or less fortunate.
As far as his relation to Kamin, it's obvious that he's not Kamin's real father. The truth behind what happened to Kamin's parents and how Raven met him will be revealed in a later chapter, one intended to provide a lot of depth into Kamin's character and why he is the way he is.
Q: Will we be seeing more of the Cult of the Lost?
Absolutely. While Team Rocket will play major parts in the future, they won't be stealing all of the thunder. The Cult of the Lost already has two more large arcs planned for them, one subtle and one not so subtle. The not so subtle one is foreshadowed at the conclusion of Army of Darkness, while the other plotline will come from nowhere in hopefully a way nobody expects. There is also another minor appearance planned for when Andrea finally reaches the city of Ambervale, but that may be cut if it feels too out of place.
Q: What was with the bone creature featured in Chapter 14? Was it a Pokemon, or something else?
The bone dragon was something else, created by the dark arts of the Cult of the Lost. It was an attempt to show that there's more to the world than just Pokemon, that there are other legitimate threats out there that we haven't seen in other Pokemon media. It was also an attempt to weave magic into the story, something I've seen the anime try a few times, but never really succeed at, or even attempt to explain. Things like the bone dragon will appear further along the story, both under control of the Cult of the Lost, as well as independent entities that are just very pissed off.
Q: What exactly is the source of evil the Cult of the Lost is working with/towards? Was there any specific inspiration for it?
You may have noticed attempts through the dialogue/prose that the darkness within the forest was designed to eat at someone's sanity. The original idea behind it was that the darkness permeating through the forest was like a thick fog that chokes peoples' senses right out of them, effectively converting them to followers. A refined idea that I later based most of the arc on is that the darkness takes ones' violent emotions such as anger, hatred and fear and turns them against the victim, feeding off of the internal conflict. Andrea battled with this a bit, though I probably didn't do a great job of displaying it properly. There are still lingering effects related to their exposure to the darkness (for example, Andrea being difficult to work with for Kamin, while she was fairly submissive with Larson), though these will eventually clear up. However, they'll start to become more and more pronounced again as the Cult of the Lost works in the background on a bigger scale.
As far as inspiration, I tried to work in the sanity mechanic from the horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. In that game, the protagonist is chased by a shadow that he unleashed when he shattered an ancient orb he found during an archaeological dig. The shadow followed him all the way from Africa to Eastern Europe, killing everyone he interacted with. When he found himself in the confines of the castle the game takes place in, intent on sealing the darkness away, the shadow then turned on him. The darkness became overwhelming, and the longer the player stayed in the darkness, the more it affected their sanity. If you went insane, your vision distorted, your ears rang and you stumbled randomly, the last one being fatal if you tried running from a monster. I initially wanted Andrea to suffer all of this, but I figured that she would be a bit more comfortable around experienced adventurers.
Q: What was the orb that Andrea picked up, then couldn't put back down in Wolftree Keep?
I did a very bad job of explaining that. In fact, I did a very bad job with that chapter as a whole. The orb was intended to be a prison for souls, a powerful artifact used by the Cult of the Lost for their rituals. Andrea being unable to let go and the sensation of pain she felt while trying to do so was the stone trying to absorb her soul, which would have killed her if she wasn't freed from it. The mist escaping from the broken orb was the souls of those who were unfortunate enough to not escape its grasp. I'd say the destruction of that orb was more damaging the Cult of the Lost's plans than the destruction of the ritual room. Rituals can be rebuilt, soul shards can not.
Q: Is Officer Meyers a reference to Nina Meyers from 24? What other reference characters are there?
Yes. Officer Meyers' name, Sarah Meyers, is a combination of the character's name (Nina Meyers) and the actress who played her's name (Sarah Berkley). Other reference characters include Jack and his deceased wife, Terry (also 24, though this was originally unintended when we came up for names for family members) and Dr. Egon Belmonte (an obvious Ghostbusters reference and memorial for Harold Ramis, as well as a Castlevania reference). A character that's mentioned in an upcoming chapter, "Dr. Dodgesson", is a reference to the mysterious character Dodgson from Jurassic Park.
Q: How come Andrea didn't recognize the evolution that took place in Chapter 7?
The way we have the world envisioned, pretty much all things Pokemon are entirely optional in peoples' lives if they choose to make them. The games and anime seem to make Pokemon the be-all-end-all of existence, while originally, we tried to make a world where people have jobs that aren't strictly related to Pokemon, or where their exposure is limited (though, it obviously has an enormous impact on the characters once they got into it, since this story IS pokemon fanfiction). Things such as police officers, radio personalities, news reporters, restaurant owners, construction workers, astronomers, etc. In this world, Pokemon training at its core is supposed to be a hobby for most people, while it's a job for those who take it seriously and competitively, much like professional sports.
Andrea is one of those people. Her first proper exposure to Pokemon (besides her father's Growlith, which has never evolved, and Larson's Charizard melting her first bike, which she never witnessed evolving) was with Dr. Spruce's Furret; While it's impossible that she'd never interact with them every now and then, she chose to focus more on humanity than Pokemon, more on learning something useful for the benefit of mankind. It's like someone with a master's degree in engineering walking through the park and not being able to tell the difference between a duck and a goose (yes, I'm grabbing that example from someone I know).
That wraps up the Q&A!
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