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.
“That Terminator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear and it absolutely will not stop . . . EVER . . . until you are dead!”
Kyle Reese, The Terminator
I thought of something extreme about the vengeful character that will appear in my fantasy series. I am thinking of making him like the Terminator in the sense that he will have complete tolerance to pain and have an all-consuming obsession to kill the target of his vengeance. No matter how much punishment this character sustains, he will not stop in his pursuit of my main character.
My vengeful character’s immunity to pain is also inspired from Viking berserkers. These guys were beyond terrifying on the battlefield. Even if you chop off an arm, chop off a leg, or stab them in the gut, they will still come after you. Not only that, but the berserkers were possessed by an insane level of rage that increased their ferocity in battle.
Finally, I will be drawing inspiration from the unused version of Enishi Yukishiro from Rurouni Kenshin. Before settling on the version we are all familiar with, the author of the manga considered making Enishi a Terminator-like character. He would clearly fight and defeat each of Kenshin’s allies one by one, sustaining a lot of injuries after each duel before facing Kenshin himself. The author openly said that he regretted not making this version of Enishi. Personally, if Enishi was like this version, that would have been beyond badass and cool.
For my future fantasy books, I will be depicting a sword style that is unique to my fantasy world. I am envisioning this sword style to be a mix between Mace Windu’s Vaapad lightsaber technique and Enishi Yukishiro’s Watojutsu. Both fighting styles relied heavily on offensive and counteroffensive techniques used to overwhelm their enemies. In addition to power, these styles also utilized extreme speed to increase their already formidable offense. These styles’ heavy reliance on offense gives their opponent little room to either evade or counter, but it also reduces the wielder’s defensive capabilities. Even so, their use of counterattacks reduces the wielder’s need for defensive methods. With Mace Windu’s Vaapad, it was also a mindset that enabled the wielder to focus and channel their inner darkness in order to further amplify their formidable attacks. Overall, I am envisioning a sword style in my fantasy series that has similar features and it will be the fighting style of choice for three characters.
“Revenge is like a poison. It can take us over and, before you know it, it can turn you into something ugly.”
Aunt May, Spider-Man 3
When I wrote The War of the Gilded Beasts, some of my readers said that there did not seem to be any justice in the story as the Magnus siblings burn towns with their dragons. This was intentional on my part because it paves the way for a new character to appear in the sequel series of the Magnus Dynasty Saga. This character will act as the embodiment of the consequences of House Magnus’s sins in their quest for the Imperial Throne. The main character of my sequel fantasy books will come in contact with this vengeful character. I will not say whether this character will ultimately become an enemy or an ally for the main character, but their first encounter will be epic. I am envisioning this character to be a mixture between Enishi Yukishiro from Rurouni Kenshin, Kylo Ren from Star Wars, and Davos Seaworth from Game of Thrones. Like Enishi, my character will be vengeful and be a highly skilled swordsman. Like Kylo Ren, my character will be in a constant state of emotional and psychological conflict. Like Davos Seaworth, my character will be a skilled negotiator and sailor.
For my story on the Kraken, I am thinking of having the story take place on a cruise ship that is of the same design as the Oasis of the Seas. It is the largest kind of luxury cruise ship there is, reaching nearly 1,200 feet long and 236 feet tall. Based on these estimates, this ship will be roughly six times the size of the Kraken. One of the questions that will be explored in the story is how does a two hundred foot sea monster take on a ship that is six times its size? Like I said in my previous posts, cephalopods like octopus are highly skilled problem solvers, which means the Kraken will find a way to take on this big ship.
I have been brainstorming on the potential setting my Kraken story might take place in. The original legends of the Kraken came from ancient Scandinavia during the Viking days. With that in mind, I toyed with the idea of having the story take place off the coast of either Norway or Sweden. Then my mind turned to the Bermuda Triangle, which is a place full of haunting mysteries. Then I thought about the Mariana Trench, which is the deepest and least explored part in the world’s oceans. There are trenches and canyons down there that are deep enough to hide Mount Everest. If there were a place where a giant sea monster would hide, it would be the Mariana Trench.
The Kraken is often depicted to having tentacles that were long enough to reach the top of the mast of a ship. In order for its tentacles to do that, they would have to be at least one hundred feet in length. When you take those numbers into account, the rest of the Kraken’s body would have to be around the same length as its tentacles. That would mean the Kraken would have to be two hundred feet in length! Can you imagine being on a boat and running into a two hundred foot sea monster with strength to match, the weaponry of a colossal squid, the intelligence of an octopus, and the aggression of a humboldt squid. When you put those traits together, you get yourself the ultimate sea monster. That is the leviathan I intend to depict in my story on the Kraken. No wonder the fisherman’s tales of old were scary.