COMPARING PIRATES

As I ponder on my potential fantasy pirate story, I think about the evolution of real life pirates. Sadly, pirates are broken shadows of their former selves in the modern world. Today, a pirate is either a petty thief who steals DVDs or undisciplined rabble with machine guns. Between the 1700s and 1800s, pirates possessed a sense of style and class that made them strangely charismatic despite the crimes they committed. There was always something to admire about their morally ambiguous nature, which made them heroes and villains at the same time. They were men who were bound by no laws, limits, or boundaries. This made pirates the ultimate personification of maritime freedom. This absolute sense of freedom, their insatiable lust for gold, and their brutal ferocity were so extreme that pirates wielded the power to challenge entire nations such as the British Empire and the Spanish Empire. All of this is what made pirates a force to be feared and respected. It is thanks to the pirates of the past that we have the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise and ride, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and One Piece (the longest running anime and manga in recent history). Now, modern pirates are more of a nuisance and hardly the stuff of legend.

A PIRATE’S BOOTY

My treasure? If you want it, I’ll grant it! Search on! All the world had to offer, I left in that place!

Gol D. Roger, One Piece

A pirate’s lust for gold has always been legendary. They would raid merchant ships and towns of all their wealth and goods. I once went to a museum exhibit that talked about what the pirate Blackbeard pillaged, which mostly consisted of trade goods like crops and silks. Blackbeard and his crew would sell these stolen items to the black market, which was when they would get to roll in gold. Sometimes, pirates would hide and hoard their treasure in a location only they knew. A rare few pirates possessed a sense of avarice that was so extreme that they would never want to part with their treasure even in death or let anyone else have it. An intriguing example of a pirate’s booty would be that of Olivier Levasseur AKA La Buse or “The Buzzard”. La Buse was known to have collected and hidden one of the largest treasure hoards in pirate history. The crown jewel of his booty was a seven-foot-tall crucifix made of solid gold and decorated with rubies. By today’s standards, La Buse’s treasure hoard would be worth well over 160,000,000 English pounds or $221,533,600. The main ambition of the pirate king in my spin-off fantasy story will be to collect a treasure hoard that shamed all others. This hoard will not just be created to enjoy every vice and necessity the world has to offer. It will also serve as the ultimate symbol and monument to his status as the greatest pirate the empire has ever known.

FANTASY PIRATE STORY

“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.”

Pirates of the Caribbean

I just had an intriguing idea for the future of my fantasy series. I am thinking of doing a spin-off series that talks about the origin story of my fantasy world’s most legendary and feared pirate king. I will be drawing inspiration from real life pirates such as Blackbeard, Charles Vane, and Olivier Levasseur. I will also be drawing inspiration from fictional pirates such as Captain Flint and Long John Silver from Treasure Island. My character will become so infamous that even the mystically and politically powerful Imperial Dynasty will fear him.

TWELFTH ILLUSTRATION COMPLETE!!!

The latest illustration for The Kaligen Experiment has been completed. It is a fictional species of small ornithopod similar to Dryosaurus or Othnielia. While it has the same body plan as Dryosaurus, it has a pair of fang-like tusks in its upper jaw, which gives it a vampire-like appearance. I got the idea from Heterodontosaurus, which has teeth that resembled canine fangs. I also drew inspiration for the tusks from the real life vampire deer. To highlight this creature’s bird heritage, I wanted it to be more heavily feathered than normal. The name of this animal translates as “Hickory Lizard”.

ALTERNATE CHARACTER: GALBATORIX

Out of all the characters in the Inheritance Cycle, the one I found most intriguing would be the main villain, Galbatorix. In terms of swordsmanship, magic, and the size of his dragon, Galbatorix was the most powerful Dragon Rider in the series. He was also a tyrant and a butcher who ruled Alagaesia with an iron fist. In addition to his power and tyranny, Galbatorix was driven mad by the loss of his original dragon. I often wonder what kind of character Galbatorix would have been if he didn’t become a villain. Would he have used his immense power for good? I am thinking of having the main character in my future fantasy series evolve into a representation of what Galbatorix could have been if he was a good man instead of an evil one.

ELEVENTH ILLUSTRATION COMPLETE

Another breed of armored dinosaur I included in The Kaligen Experiment was a fictional species of Ankylosaur. When brainstorming its appearance, I based its physical structure on that of the prehistoric armadillo, Doedicurus, which had similar adaptations to Ankylosaurus. Its head is based on Psittacosaurus, but more heavily armored. The name of this beast translates as “Kernel Lizard”.

NINTH ILLUSTRATION COMPLETE

During the Cretaceous Period, hadrosaurs or duck-billed dinosaurs served as a staple in the diets of several carnivores such as raptors and Tyrannosaurs. While writing The Kaligen Experiment, I decided to create a dinosaur that served the same role as the hadrosaurs of old. Like the other dinosaurs in the series, this herbivore is a fictional species of my own design. I envisioned it to have the head of Edmontosaurus, the head crest of Saurolophus, the nasal crest from the unused Malusaurus from Jurassic World, the thumb spikes of Iguanodon, and the back sail of Ouranosaurus. In order to symbolize its status as a new species of hadrosaur, this creature’s name translates as “New Duck”.

MHA: HIMIKO TOGA’S THREAT

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” 

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

In recent chapters of My Hero Academia, we got an idea of what kind of defenses the superheroes put in place in preparation of the supervillains’ next move. The hero academies have been turned into evacuation shelters for both superheroes and civilians alike. UA Highschool has drastically upgraded its defenses since the USJ attack to the point in which it rivals those of Tartarus Prison. It has been noted that the defenses of UA Highschool seem to be specifically designed to counter Tomura Shigaraki’s augmented Decay quirk. The previously disillusioned civilians have also begun to reconcile with the superheroes after Deku returned to the academy.

Despite all the preparations they have made, I think the superheroes and civilians are still in danger. Even though Himoko Toga has been MIA since the Paranormal Liberation War, the superheroes believe they have found a way to counter her shapeshifting abilities. The reason for this is because they have deduced the time limit for her Transform quirk. After hearing how Toga’s quirk evolved by copying the quirks of those she turns into, it is likely that Ochaco Uraraka revealed this information to the superheroes after the Paranormal Liberation War. Still, I think the superheroes continue to underestimate the threat Toga presents.

The superheroes are under the impression that Toga will directly try to infiltrate UA herself with her shapeshifting abilities. I think she already has infiltrated the school. However, I think she will use a different strategy, one the superheroes will never see coming. I mentioned before the possibility that Toga will get her hands on the blood of Twice’s corpse. Toga has always said that she wanted to be closer to those she loves by drinking their blood and shapeshifting into them. She saw Twice as a surrogate big brother, which would make him someone she loves. She might acquire his blood from the villain mansion or from a morgue. With Twice’s blood, Toga won’t only assume Twice’s appearance and copy his duplication quirk to resurrect him, but I think she will use it for something far more ambitious. If Toga copies Twice’s quirk after ingesting his blood, the threat that Hawks tried to prevented by killing Twice would return with a vengeance. Not only would Twice be resurrected and be able to unleash his Sad Man’s Parade once more, but Toga could mass produce an army of spies for herself.

With these spies, Toga and a Twice clone could kidnap and kill dozens or hundreds of civilians and make copies of them. These copies would infiltrate UA and be assumed to be normal citizens. With Twice dead, the superheroes will not suspect that his duplication power was being used. When enough infiltrators are in place, Toga and the Twice clone would attack UA from within. It will be like the MHA version of the Fall of Troy.

Overall, I think Himiko Toga is preparing a nasty surprise for the superheroes. I hope we find out what it is in the next few chapters.

A BEDDING CEREMONY

Throughout medieval history, noble marriages were normally consummated by what was called a bedding ceremony. This ritual involves priests blessing the union while friends and family witnessed the consummation. Back in medieval times, a marriage was not legitimate unless it was consummated. I am planning to depict a similar ceremony in my third fantasy book. While there will be priests to bless the union, the only witnesses to the consummation would be the newlyweds themselves. However, something awkward happens when the newlyweds are left alone, which will add a sense of romantic comedy to the mix.

Superheroes – Autism – Fantasy – Science Fiction