This insight will be a little longer because Raikou provides a nice opportunity: To show how I can interpret characters and their dispositions while allowing room for growth for an otherwise ‘difficult’ individual. So, let’s get started.
A tricky thing one needs to remember when reading fragments, is I often blend the servant’s point of view with my own narration. It’s been more prominent in the later seasons, but it’s something that should not be forgotten, especially when it comes to servants with mental pollution or mad enhancement. It means this fragment has a lot more hidden meanings and interpretations than most.
I’ll use the scene with Anishka as a primary example. There’s a small snippet from her coming out speech:
But it was her soft reassurances that ‘mother will always love her for who she is’ which ushered the saddest of tears and wails from Anishka; It was terrible to feel the heartbroken sobs wet her clothes. Yet, it warmed her heart that she pined for her mother’s acceptance so much. But it wasn’t surprising. No, Raikou knew all too well how much acceptance could mean to someone, and offered it wholly to the master in need.Fragment 90, Scene III
For those who read without acknowledging the servant’s personal thoughts and disposition are influencing the narration itself, they might have missed the hidden meaning and just accepted it as her strangely crying to Raikou. It’s actually a hidden callback to Anishka’s fragment and history. Her mother died years ago, and she loved her parents. But she was always scared of revealing the truth of her sexuality to her parents, and it’s become a regret she couldn’t tell them before they passed away. Her parents who loved her for who she was.
It’s a tiny snippet, but Raikou thinks she’s crying profusely because her mother (who Raikou sees as herself) accepts her for who she is. The deeper truth is, Raikou is voicing the words Anishka dreamed her real mother would say to her, but she’ll never get that chance.
With that in mind, you may find I have more foreshadowing, keys, and building blocks scattered about the place than usual. You’ll also notice there’s a recurring trend with Raikou’s thoughts and patterns which very much coincides with her fundamental rules regarding her and her mad enhancement:
These are the canon circumstances involving Raikou, which makes for quite the interesting character to work with. That said, if one looks close enough like I do with every character I write now, there are windows of opportunity. Two counter points to these rules can safely be drawn, and are sprinkled throughout this fragment to showcase the possibilities to come:
This allows Raikou room for growth while being faithful to her difficult condition. Regardless, she still retains intellect and reason for most situations, so providing the right stimuli can lead to fun or warm interactions. Coddling Anishka, playing with Giovanni, and trying to help Tomoe are two some such offerings.
But then there’s the big question I’m, surprisingly, very rarely asked. What determines when I decide to use the servant’s one-and-only fragment? Why was Raikou chosen for this spot? And that mainly has to do with fit, critical juncture, or moving development pieces into play. Most are chosen specifically to fit the needs of my plans for the future while also providing nice entertainment and insight for you. Raikou was no exception.
One will notice in this fragment there’s quite a few subplots going around now, and light has been shed on some darker ones. It’s a balance to ensure they don’t completely invade or overtake a fragment, so servant choice plays a big role. In this instance, consideration was taken for who could be a good ‘observer’ for three subplots and two OC information reveals that need to be advanced.
Three underlying similarities are hidden problems. Two have to do with Japanese Servants. One has to do with a mother and her baby. Another has to do with a child. One has to do with Minamotos. Another with mixed blood individuals. As you can see with these examples, servants who haven’t been used are slowly crossed off the ‘viable’ list. As I go about the similarities, it often starts pointing to an ideal character to use, usually one who has a lot to do with one or multiple of the ‘points I need to advance or introduce.’
In this case, Raikou became an obvious choice.
From there, it was the usual design and development, then knitting it all with a connecting theme, or themes in this case. They emphasize Raikou’s fears of Chaldea finding out who she is, and then realizing she’s not the only one who’s suffering beneath it all, or hiding her own secret. While it won’t act as enough of a mental trigger for someone like her to change her viewpoint, it makes for another solid building block to help push her character in the right direction.
I hope that gave you some more insight into the whole design process.
Teaser: It was surreal, really. If he blinked, he could envision his world like it only ended hours ago. But his era was long gone. Sure, many would turn to admire him, though it wasn’t the same. Yet, walking down these unfamiliar streets, he felt very much home, as his friends likely did. It even made room for thought to cap off many months of pondering. Perhaps, like Ireland itself, it was time he truly reconciled and laid his past to rest.