January 22, 2019
Anyway. what’s the deal with Redmond Faraday and Reverend Jesse Cauldwell? glad you didn’t ask!
I miss blogging about character dev as it’s happening, and it’s an exceptional occasion that I get a kick for anything that isn’t moribund-related, so I thought it would be fun to journal my thoughts on these two as they coalesce.
here’s what I got so far:
- The guiding premise for this nonsense is to make a female character in the archetype of The Baron (of The Cat Returns) and Professor Layton (of, well, the Professor Layton games.) I wrote my thoughts about this archetype beforehand and my desire to design a woman who had the same appeals as these characters; they are peak female fantasy in a way that I feel is really compassionate.
- Jesse Cauldwell is the one who’s filling those shoes (hopefully.) The blurb I wrote about her when I first designed her still applies, so I’ll copy and paste it here;
Jesse Cauldwell is the reverend to a small town of castaways, exiles, untouchables and ex-cons. Everybody has a tacit understanding that she’s (horns gesture) but she’s such a woman of community that nobody talks about it. This unspoken agreement becomes so ingrained in the town’s culture that folks start barfights with strangers that Just Don’t Get It over her good name.
But not even the town really knows what or who she is– a trickster entity, a dedicated theatre major, the devil. She just blew into town one day and spoke the word so well that folks have been flocking to the dilapidated chapel ever since. It helps that she’s done so much to improve things, and every one of her church songs is what the kids call a club banger.
her congregation caught the eye of an inquisitor who blew through town recently, and so she’s in a secret on-again off-again desk romance with her politely abiding investigation and cautiously waiting for the right time to invite the inquisitor in to collaborate.
- In general she’s a mild-mannered, somewhat soft-spoken woman, with the patience of a saint. The town has never seen her get affected over anything, so they’re not entirely sure she’s capable of fear, frustration, or anger.
- She never starts them, but all of the fights she’s been in end with her folding like a wet napkin. She never so much as shoves away her assailant in retaliation.
- nobody knows what Jesse actually is and neither do I. I’m leaning into the idea of her being some sort of nature spirit, who’s likeness and history have been appropriated into this world’s image of The Devil (sort of like how Satan’s modern likeness has been derived from gods like Pan and Bes.) I like to dig at western cultural anxieties about nature that view it as a monolith separate and apart from humanity, but understand that when I say “the devil” or “god” in this, I mean it in a High Fantasy Stand-In For Christianity kind of way. Not literally Satan or God with a capital G.
- Despite being a mild-mannered beanpole who cannot defend herself, she upsets everyone and everything around her by virtue of being Ostensibly The Devil. It’s possible that she has tried many times before to settle down and forge relationships with others, but is forced to uproot and disappear when things inevitably go south in preposterous, over-the-top ways. Her current efforts with the town would probably be the most she’s ever had to show for it, in this case.
- (I do like the idea of her just being Some Guy, though.)
- I actually know a lot less about Redmond than I do Jesse. She’s some sort of Inquisitor who forcibly adopts the Reverend as her arch-nemesis in what she sees as a battle for everyone’s souls. But Jesse just sees Redmond as an equal / potential friend and treats her with almost somber, apologetic courtesy
- tentatively possible that Redmond is also something not quite human, but if she is, I think it would be a “mixed” situation with a distinctly human upbringing emphasized. I’m attached to her being the layperson in this, but I also like the idea of putting a check on any real or imagined power Jesse has over her. (granted the illusion gets shattered the minute Redmond socks Jesse in the face)
- It’s also possible she and Jesse have some kind of prior history, which causes the reverend to bend over backwards trying to smooth things over with her (though that’s not exactly out of character for Jesse lmfao)
- In general the Inquisitor is the world’s most affected Lawful Good Paladin Who Can And Will Strangle The Daylights Out Of Fantasy Satan. She’s very black-and-white in her sense of justice, as she’s been trained to be, but she also has a strong belief in the idea that anybody* can be Saved (and that it is her Personal Responsibility to make sure everyone has the tools they need to succeed)
- *except reverend cauldwell fuck you
- to complete the lesbian professor layton revival, I think Jesse adopts a small child as her ward some time before Redmond shows up. Redmond aggressively inserts herself into this family to try to dismantle it, but instead it just ends up a “holy shit two moms” situation where Redmond and Jesse wake up one morning and realize they’re functionally married with a child
- All of Jesse’s interactions with Redmond are very tender but infuriatingly platonic and chaste. That makes Redmond angry for reasons she doesn’t really understand because she can NOT discriminate between righteous anger and attraction
- that’s it
- that’s all i got thanks for coming to my ted talk