CJ Bernstein

CJ Bernstein

The Making of The Monarch Papers – Episode Eleven

In this episode, CJ and Simon discuss Fragment 11: Durkonos. They discussed The Last Oracular Eye, Consolatory Teatime for Misplaced Memory, and The Low Report, and Deirdre among other things.

In this phase, the Mountaineers continued to face off against Teddy Fallon, the head of Kemetic Solutions, and assembled a drawing from a little girl named Portencia. At the end of Fragment 10, Aether escaped his body, and was now inside the internet, trying to communicate with The Mountaineers. Mountaineers also discovered the website of a real mental health institution, called Go-Getters, where they found Augernon.

CJ then stopped and told a strange side story, involving his assistant Devin and Go-Getters. When Devin caught up on the TMP story, and discovered that Go-Getters was involved, he was confused, and asked CJ if they had discussed it before. As it turned out, Devin’s Mom had worked at Go-Getters before he was born, and CJ had just happened to pick it out of thousands of similar institutions, just because he had previously said that Augernon was from Maryland.

In any case, Aether was trying to lead the Mountaineers there, and Martin Rank discovered that it was because of Augernon. At the same time, Aether unlocked a website called The Lost Aetheneum, which was connected to The Low. Readers received a username and password that gave them access to parts of the site. It was impossible to give them access to the whole site, because then virtually endless webpages would have to be written. They were then given a spell called Consolatory Teatime for Misplaced Memory, which they would have to use on Augernon. Marty went to meet Augernon and, using the spell, got lots of new information. Readers learned that The Silver had been wiping out The Mountaineers and Monarch’s Mountain every time the Book of Briars attempted to return to the world. The Mountaineers have been trapped in this cycle for many years.

This fragment brought over 1500 posts on the forum, and so it was important to be more careful than ever with the establishment of the lore. The Low Report podcast was released in the midst of this, as a means of giving the last clue to readers. CJ and Simon created a number of different characters, with different accents, for the podcast. CJ noted that it was a low-stakes way of enriching the world. As Simon said, the description of a world should start with the writer and end with the reader. It’s a two-way relationship, and this was another step in that. The listener had to build the visual side of the podcast in their own minds. Simon talked about how sound is a fantastic medium for this. CJ talked about how he had a record of the sounds of Disney’s Haunted Mansion when he was a kid, and how this created a similar effect.

In this fragment, the readers learned more about the internal workings of Kemetic Solutions, both from Fallon’s journals, and from Whistler (Sacha). Whistler would always come across as a puppet of Fallon’s, brining sympathy. Also, logistically, the readers had to be given an inside source, so they would have all the relevant blueprints, etc. necessary to carry out a heist, if they decided to (which they did, thankfully).

Readers also learned about Sweeper and Wanderer. Wanderer was Fallon’s son, who had the power to trade items with other time periods. This was necessary to set up the fact that Deirdre’s father had been sent to the 1800s, and was still alive. Kendrick was also introduced. Kendrick was an employee of Kemetic Solutions, who was in the room when experiments were carried out in ‘the chair.’ If Teddy Fallon had killed Aether’s body, which was one possible scenario, Aether would have inhabited Kendrick’s body. It was important, in the end, to give readers the victory of saving Aether, since they were about to lose the Book of Briars.

This was also the fragment in which the Council of the 18 Gates was revealed to readers for the first time. They discovered the Last Oracular Eye, in closed form. When the sun set over Central Park, the eye would open, and offer you a choice of two of the following choices: hope, illumination, and despair. Then, it would tell you your future in terms of those two choices. Aether brought it to the Mountaineers, and readers chose hope and illumination. CJ found a video of a fiery eye on a loop, which was used for this. CJ also set up a chat channel with the eye, and for some reason, it didn’t load properly, so that the readers couldn’t message it. Instead, CJ had to communicate with them directly. The eye revealed for the first time that magiq was fading from the world. It also revealed the nature of The Council’s protection. They also learned that no group of Mountaineers had ever been closer than this group. They learned that the storm was coming, and that it had come for the previous group of Mountaineers at the end of Fragment 12.

Lastly, Deirdre travelled to Israel and Montreal, met Colby, learned the truth about her father and mother, and received one final test from her father. Also, the doors came knocking for her, setting up the imminent appearance of Neithernor.

Questions and Answers:

 

Robert

Q: How concerned were you with the chance that we might actually contact the real Teddy Fallon, or get ourselves committed to Go-Getters?

A: Very worried! Someone actually called Teddy Fallon and Go-Getters. This was because new people wanted to find a way to make their mark. This is when CJ created The Cabinet and started contacting readers when he wanted to stop them from doing something.

 

Vivanne

Q: Were you hoping for a different response to Teddy Fallon and Kemetic Solutions? I ask because it seems that some of Teddy’s logs were meant to garner sympathy for him.

A: Originally, The Devoted was meant to be just another secret organization. However, because they kept hurrying The Mountaineers, and came off as cold and clinical, the Mountaineers considered them an enemy. The same thing happened with Teddy. Teddy was a very conflicted character. However, all interesting villains have a degree of humanity. There was even a topic on the forum where people debated whether or not he was a good person, which was really exciting.

 

So, at the end of the fragment, they found Durkonos, and Aether released the Low Report through Youtube, tagging the megahertz and gigahertz onto a page that lead to an email from one of Martin’s old friends. This lead Martin to explain how he has let down many people in his life, included Brandon Lachmann. This was around the time it was decided that Martin would narrate the novelized TMP.

 

Links:

Fragment Ten (wiki): http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/Fragment_Eleven
Fragment Ten (forum): http://forum.basecamp33.com/c/tmp-fragments/fragment-eleven
Phase Three: http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/Phase_Three
Durkonos: http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/Durkonos
Aether:http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/Aether
Consolatory Teatime for Misplaced Memory: http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/Consolatory_Teatime_for_Misplaced_Memory
Deidre: http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/Deirdre_Green
Kemetic Solutions: http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/Kemetic_Solutions
Teddy Fallon: http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/Theodore_Fallon
The Low: http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/The_Low
Whistler: http://magiq.wikia.com/wiki/Whistler

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