I have been doing some brainstorming for the vengeful character in my fantasy series and I decided to give him some companions. These companions will be like a medieval version of the Knights of Ren from Star Wars. I won’t say if these characters will become bad guys or good guys, but they will be complex characters and play a significant role in the story.
One of the most prominent personality traits of the main character in my fantasy books will be his unparalleled kindness. While this trait has won him the love of his wives and respect from members of the imperial court, it will prove to be a weakness as the story progresses. Because my main character has lived a sheltered life, he knows nothing about the world outside the imperial palace. Due to this, he has never been on a battlefield and never experienced the horrors the world has to offer. As the story progresses, my protagonist will develop a more balanced personality as he learns to lead the empire against an inhuman enemy.
“It was thus rather the exacting nature of my aspirations than any particular degradation in my faults, that made me what I was, and, with even a deeper trench than in the majority of men, severed in me those provinces of good and ill which divide and compound man’s dual nature.”
Dr. Henry Jekyll, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
I always found the moral and psychological elements about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde intriguing. We all know the story of a mind-mannered yet misguided man of science who created an elixir that awakened his inner darkness. That darkness would then develop a mind and identity of its own. Then these two conflicting personas battle for control over the same body, causing all kinds of chaos in their wake.
The potion that Dr. Jekyll created serves as a symbol in psychology. When Jekyll drank it, it transformed him into Mr. Hyde. On one hand, the potion could serve as a symbol of what happens when a person is under the influence of drugs. When we are high on drugs, we do things that we otherwise would not do, which is similar to what happens when Jekyll drinks his potion and becomes Hyde. On the other hand, Jekyll’s potion could be the cause of chemically induced dissociative identity disorder. With dissociative identity disorder, we acquire at least two distinct personalities much like Jekyll and Hyde. It might be possible that Jekyll’s potion triggers an artificial equivalent to dissociative identity disorder. Overall, Jekyll’s potion serves as a reflection of certain aspects of human psychology.
From a psychological standpoint, Dr. Henry Jekyll symbolizes a human’s “normal” self. It would be a persona that serves as our public face and reflects our adherence to social conformity. The Dr. Jekyll persona is what humans would use to restrain themselves from performing deeds that would be considered evil or socially inappropriate. At the same time, despite being a relatively good and unassuming man, Dr. Jekyll is the kind of man who has hidden desires and urges that he maintains control over. If he loses control, it would undo his entire life’s work. This also highlights human psychology in that we keep our hidden urges under control in order to continue benefiting from our normal lifestyle. In this sense, the Jekyll personality is a person’s conscious self, which is the side that we are able to control.
For obvious reasons, Mr. Edward Hyde is the polar opposite of Dr. Jekyll. He is the incarnation of all of Jekyll’s dark thoughts, urges, desires, and impulses. The difference is that Hyde is completely and utterly liberated from any and all moral, human, and psychological inhibitions and boundaries. This gives him an all-consuming euphoric high of absolute freedom and an overwhelmingly pleasure to being alive and let off the leash. With no inhibitions to hold him back, Hyde is in a position where he can do whatever he wants and not care about the consequences. When we become Hyde, we are free from all social and mental restrictions and the world becomes our playground. Hyde represents the subconscious id of the human mind, which is the dark, animalistic, and instinctual section of our psyche. As the embodiment of the subconscious, Mr. Hyde is the part of our mind that we have no control over.
Overall, by understanding the psychological aspects of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one is able to better understand the inner workings of the human mind. It is not just about the struggle between light and dark. It is also about comparing and contrasting the conscious and subconscious parts of the psyche.
Here is a little excerpt from The Kaligen Experiment: Bestiary:
“The new Synapsids have earned the genus name of Lanxcoma or “Scale Hairs.” Unlike the original Synapsids, the creatures produced by the D-Mutagen are true hybrids between reptile and mammal. Like elephants, Lanxcomas have little hair, which helps carry heat away from their skin and prevent overheating. Their skin is scaly like a reptile’s, which gives them protection from the harsh elements of Kaligen Island. While they lay eggs like reptiles, Lanxcomas are warm-blooded animals that nurse their young with milk glands on their stomachs. Scent glands can be found on their snouts, which they use to mark their territory by wiping their glands on trees, rocks, or bushes. They even possess primitive inner ear bones that give them a more heightened sense of hearing than a pure reptile. Like true mammals, Lanxcomas are equipped with specialized teeth such as incisors, canines, and molars. With the bloodline of the original Synapsids extinct, the Lanxcomas may provide scientists with a scenario of how such creatures could have evolved if they had not died out.”
“I know what it feels like. It feels GOOD!!! The power. Everything. But you’ll lose yourself.”
Peter Parker, Spider-Man 3
I am thinking of writing a horror story that has a similar vibe and style to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It will have my own twist in that the character who is afflicted by this duality is a werewolf. The side of him that symbolizes Dr. Jekyll will be the human side while the side of him that symbolizes Mr. Hyde will be the werewolf side. The human half will reflect the character’s civilized and restrained personality while the werewolf half will reflect on the character’s animal nature. What fascinates me about the werewolf half is that it will be a persona that is completely and utterly liberated from all moral, human, and psychological inhibitions and boundaries. How is a person’s mind affected when they no longer need or even want to restrain themselves? That will be a question I will be tackling.
I discovered an app that will allow me to turn my speech into text. This way, I can write with no hands! This will also making the writing process a whole lot simpler. Mind you, I will still need to refine the text after I copy and paste it on my manuscript. Other than that, I look forward to experimenting with this new writing tool. The beauty of 21st century technology.
Prehistoric lost worlds often feature active volcanoes. Because Kaligen Island was created by unnatural geological forces, I am thinking of featuring an equally unnatural volcano in the next volume of The Kaligen Experiment. This volcano will have some features that make it stand out from natural volcanoes. I won’t say if this volcano poses a danger to the ecosystem or not, but it will be quite a sight.
Meganeura was a giant species of dragonfly that existed 300 million years ago. It was roughly the size of an eagle and ruled the skies of the Carboniferous Period. The Kaligen Experiment features a mutated species of dragonfly that is as big as Meganeura, but there are a number of differences between the two species. With my species, its exoskeleton is more ridged, its legs are more blade-like, and the tips of its wings more pointed. Like all the giant arthropods on Kaligen Island, this dragonfly serves an important role in maintaining the health of the ecosystem.
In the next volume of The Kaligen Experiment, there will be a character who is a bit of a stoner. Despite being a stoner, he will have an intimate understanding of what is really happening on the island. Plus, he will be a bit of comic relief in an otherwise grim story.
One of the mutated marine creatures that made an appearance in The Kaligen Experiment is a species of foot-long eel-like fish. They are like lampreys in that they are jawless and have eel-like bodies. Their heads are rounder and their eyes are larger. This makes them similar to the prehistoric conodonts, which lived from the Cambrian Period to the Jurassic Period. However, my creature has smaller teeth than a conodont and its tail fins are larger and more eel-like. Instead of being predators or parasites, my creature is a bottom feeder that feeds on decaying organic matter on the sea floor.