Time to do some explaining.
The Damned is one of my more recent projects, though it’s certainly nothing new. Originally, I had planned to do a short story as a sort of prequel to Politically Incorrect. It’s point was to recount Florian and Chalmar’s story and how they got to where they are in PI. ((Basically, everything Mordechai is trying to find out during PI.)) However, I am a stickler when it comes to historical accuracy and authenticity, so I’ve spent almost a year now researching Germany and surrounding details from the end of WWI to the 50s. I really wanted to start researching TWO years ago, but I was caught up in developing Fr. McCarthy, White Roses and its AUs, and then my newest project, It Takes a Monastery. However, TD has really taken precedence over all the others, and it’s stuck with me pretty fast.
Because of all the research I was doing and really delving into Florian and Chalmar’s characters, I ended up developing TD into a full story of its own, with a fairly large cast of characters and a much more elaborate plot line than I originally intended. However, the more things piece together in TD, the better the plot of PI gets, so I’ve just let it run rampant. It’s also been amazing AND eye-opening, all the research I’ve been doing, though it’s rather time consuming when I SHOULD be sleeping so I’m not dying in school during the day. >.> Thank God for my German IIII and Hns US History teachers, because they’ve been a big help pointing me in the right direction for this project.
So what is The Damned then??? |8U
Like I said, TD is a prequel to Politically Incorrect. It explains the story of Florian Hartmann(Brandt), and Chalmar Stroman through both of their perspectives as well as others working around them. Taking place mostly in a fictional city, Akterdau, located in southwest Germany, it spans through 1944 and 1945, the final stretch of WWII. Specifically, it follows the efforts of an underground Resistance group headed by Florian and Heinz Karhoff, that’s been working with the Vatican to help Jewish and political refugees out of the country. Things become complicated however, when Gruppenführer Chalmar Stroman is sent to Akterdau to uncover the suspected group and put a stop to them. A nearly forgotten childhood friend, Florian is able to gain Chalmar’s total trust, blindfold him, and keep him running in the wrong direction. Due to Chalmar’s rather surprising lack of success in Akterdau, an Obergruppenführer above him, Leon Amsel, threatens to remove him from his position if he cannot make any immediate progress. For good measure, he sends in a former criminal-now Gestapo, Ulrich Lachner to aid, and if Chalmar continues to bring nothing to the table, take over the operation. With Lachner on the playing field, who is not so easily tricked, the small resistance group is pushed to the breaking point to hold everything in place, and more importantly, stay alive.
Supporting characters to the story include Niklas Schäffer, a top ranking Hitlerjugend raised to despise everything the National Socialist party stands for. He works with his closest friend, Lennard Mies, a HJ by day, but a rebellious “Swingjugend” at night, to help Florian by getting inside information and covering for the group’s movements. Tobias Tuchman, the #3 to their trio, is a German Jew whose family hid him, allowing him to escape being taken from the ghettos to the trains. Hate and a need for vengeance have twisted him into an unremorseful and dangerous “pest” to the Ordungspolizei and Allgemeine in Akterdau, but a reliable ally to Florian and Karhoff. Rebekka Mandler is a young girl whose mother was killed trying to escape the country after being divorced by her husband when the Nuremburg laws came into place. She stays with the group and helps them by being able to get into places none of the others can and get around the city without being too noticeable. Ingrid Dockweiler is a resourceful ally to the group who married a pursuing Allgemeine officer for the purpose of prying information from him to pass on to Karhoff and Florian. Fr. Andrea Sessa, a Vatican ambassador, gets caught in the fray when he’s assigned to work with the group in getting the refugees over the border to safe zones. The story also introduces Solomon Tuchman, Tobias’ older brother and only surviving family member, but he doesn’t make an appearance until Politically Incorrect.
The Damned focuses on themes such as the corrupting power of revenge, the chaos of wartime, and the gray areas of morality. Developing the characters has been an interesting exercise, as the main antagonist, Chalmar Stroman, is not entirely evil at heart and struggles throughout the plot to justify his actions, ultimately losing his grip on everything he believed he stood for, and the methods used by the protagonists to achieve the good are hardly noble or ideal. Florian himself is manipulative and takes advantage of anything he can, while Tobias’ coldhearted ruthlessness matches that of Amsel and Lachner, being content to burn the city to the ground, women and children alike.
I’ve developed the plot line of TD farther and in more detail than any of my other stories, but unfortunately, have not had the time to delve into writing it, only having completed a two-part prologue and half of chapter 1. I’ve also been focusing a lot of my efforts on developing the aftermath stories for Lennard and Niklas and have been doing a lot of roleplaying with two of my friends who jumped all over them when they found out I wasn’t killing them and have shipped them off so I can’t change my mind. :I
Philippe Beaumont, that dorky looking French guy I keep drawing, comes from Niklas’ post-war story. I might explain where that one’s going later, because Philippe has become one of my favorite kids and I’ve been drawing him…. a lot.
Hopefully I will have more time to work on TD when senior year ends. I would also like to draw up and introduce the characters of Politically Incorrect as well. Mordechai is a journalist working for the town’s newspaper, so he gets around a lot, and there are a lot of interesting and diverse characters I’ve developed for that story line I’m eager to *coughshowoffcough*. I also don’t think I’ve talked much about the most recent developments of the plot of PI itself for that matter. XP
As I work on TD and PI, any feedback would be greatly appreciated. <XD This really has taken over the spot of White Roses and become my new baby. I’ve put so much effort into developing this, on top of school, I don’t really know what sleep is anymore. 8I
Really like how you explained it. Still love this picture, too. Can't wait to read more of this.
Don't worry, I'll babysit the WR lovelies while you pour yourself into this. *cuddles Kat and Koty and Elias and Ian (but not Zane or else he might kill me)*
I will attempt to write something other than short stories about my French kids. <XD
Fr. McCarthy has his own separate stories, but yeah, you might want to hug Koty, Kat, and Ian.