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    The Story of The Halsteadarian

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    Colne Engine
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    Posts : 37
    Join date : 2011-02-08
    Location : UK

    The Story of The Halsteadarian

    Post by Colne Engine on Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:33 am

    The Halsteadarian started at as a small short story I was toying with about small town mentality back in 2007.

    In this story a man has to get from A to B in a land he doesn't belong too, but there is a gatekeeper blocking his way.
    To get past this gatekeeper the man shows him his birth certificate that states he was born in a Town, that as far as the gatekeeper is concerned, doesn't exist. The gatekeeper calls on his partner to authenticate the certificate and when it is proven to be true, the gatekeeper lets him go on his way.

    I actually come from a small town on the Essex/Suffolk boarder of the UK, and always wondered why majority of its residence never stray too far from the town throughout their life...even to this day a large collection of people I knew from school, still live there, the town is called Halstead which means 'Place of sanctuary' so maybe that has something to do with it...but for me, I couldn't have gotten out of there any quicker, there's nothing wrong with the town, it was just home to some real arseholes, that if I hadn't of left I would have probably ended up drowning them in the Colne River.

    But I digress, the whole point that people can be born, live and die in such a small radius sparked a story, which I decided to run with, but because I still to this day do not understand why someone would not want to leave the area in which they grew up, I had to add some other reason as to why the players in my story stayed in the town.
    So, having recently watched Baz Lermans 'Romeo & Juliet' I ran with the idea that there is no world beyond Halstead's walls, no one remembers why, but this is the reason no one can leave or wants to leave, other than the protagonist, as he is convinced by his birth certificate that he was not born of this place and thus does not belong.

    Next for me was the town itself, what would a town that has no world beyond it's walls be like? What would their fashion be, their houses be like, their source of energy and their technology be?

    So I did some research into alternative energy, and was also watching a lot of anime, and through a coincident of whatever nature, I was directed towards Steampunk.
    I had heard of Steampunk, as it had appeared in some films and anime I had seen years earlier, namely 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' and 'Steam Boy' and I had been very interested in the idea that the Victorian era had similar if not better technology than we have now, but of course it was powered by steam.

    It all seemed to fit, I was living in Leicester at the time and there are some fantastic Victorian buildings and streets around the city centre and some a little further from town, and through a brilliant contact I had made at the Leicester Lending Library during the making of my short film 'Dementia' (yep Simon, I'm referring to you =) I gained access to other sites I didn't even know existed!

    So going back to my original short story I placed it in a town that had no world beyond it's walls which had disappeared during an Victorian era, so the town was an epitome of that culture and technology, but since the town had been lost for centuries the technology had advanced to 20th century levels, but still powered by steam.
    The gatekeeper became an Irish coal miner and his partner became an Authenticator who possessed special steam powered goggles that did the job of scanning documents of their authenticity. Then the reason why our protagonist was trying to pass changed, he was seeking a special flower that would allow him to pass through the Gloom, which is an impenetrable fog that surrounds the town. But the only place that the flower could grow was Dead Wood.

    Dead Wood is a real place in Halstead, well just outside Halstead on the way to Hedingham if you take the Love Lane route. The wood's correct name is Blue Bell wood, as during the summer it is home to some beautiful beds of Blue Bells. But since the wood is in some part man made (man planted), it has turned a majority of the soil inside the wood to a sand like substance, & thus majority of the trees are dead from the root up and only survive due to the photosynthesis they get at the very tops of the trees.
    So from the outside the wood looks green and healthy, but once you get inside the wood, the trees all look dead and are so brittle that a good kick to anyone of them can bring them down like a house of cards (this was fantastic to us as kids, as we would play Photon in there & as we ran down the corridors of trees, branches and trunks would snap and topple under our immense power! lol and thus re began referring to it as 'Dead Wood')

    Next for the story came the reason why a seemingly dead wood would require a gatekeeper.

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