Marco Pollo's photograph

AuthorMessage
Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Our characters treasure the torn photograph of Marco Pollo's crew celebrating their goal in El Dorado, partly because it gives the knowledge needed to find who else has the remaining fragments of The Map, but most importantly for the image of our long lost mother. Any big clue like this gives rise to promising avenues of speculation, and one particularly interesting one (alas, I do not know from whom this originated) is that the person taking the photo is none other than our long lost father.

It certainly is possible that the photo is taken by someone else. But if the camera is being operated by our father, then the question remains: when did this photograph take place? When mom and dad were just friends, when they became sweethearts, when they were newly married, or... when they were already parents? Is there another person, an infant (or a toddler) who saw those golden shores of El Dorado too? Have we already been to El Dorado, only that memory is gone?

If the answer is yes, then the next question is: how much of this does Kane know? Sometimes his orders seem to be intent on capture, other times on killing, though the latter might be due to overzealous interpretation on the part of Deacon, Rooke, or Bishop. That Kane was interested in us from the start seems to indicate that he suspects there is a connection between our young adventurer and the human (or humans) on Marco Pollo's crew. But if he then had been able to discover that we had been to El Dorado already... (and of course, Kane would not realize that we don't remember a thing!)

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
5752
Anne Radcliffe on Aug 11, 2014 wrote:
Our characters treasure the torn photograph of Marco Pollo's crew celebrating their goal in El Dorado, partly because it gives the knowledge needed to find who else has the remaining fragments of The Map, but most importantly for the image of our long lost mother. Any big clue like this gives rise to promising avenues of speculation, and one particularly interesting one (alas, I do not know from whom this originated) is that the person taking the photo is none other than our long lost father.

It certainly is possible that the photo is taken by someone else. But if the camera is being operated by our father, then the question remains: when did this photograph take place? When mom and dad were just friends, when they became sweethearts, when they were newly married, or... when they were already parents? Is there another person, an infant (or a toddler) who saw those golden shores of El Dorado too? Have we already been to El Dorado, only that memory is gone?

If the answer is yes, then the next question is: how much of this does Kane know? Sometimes his orders seem to be intent on capture, other times on killing, though the latter might be due to overzealous interpretation on the part of Deacon, Rooke, or Bishop. That Kane was interested in us from the start seems to indicate that he suspects there is a connection between our young adventurer and the human (or humans) on Marco Pollo's crew. But if he then had been able to discover that we had been to El Dorado already... (and of course, Kane would not realize that we don't remember a thing!)
Thrilling idea, Anne! I've been trying to work a time-line for the events of this story and it's impact on our pirate's lives.
15 - 20 years ago The Polarian War, Kane and the Armada are created
18 ( ? ) years ago the War ends with the capture of Napoleguin by the Armada, Avery buys Skull Island skyway and creates his haven for pirates.
so between then and the present Marco Pollo makes his journey to El Dorado and we are born.
Present time - we are captured by Deacon and then recued by Boochbeard
SPOILER!
In Aquila we lose our memories of the first five years of our lives.

Now I see a problem with the time line or your hypothesis, the fact that everyone in the picture are much younger looking than a mere decade passing can account for.
Perhaps you can see the discrepancy?

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6079
Ohhh interesting concept. I like it. With Kane having all his memories at his disposal he would not understand us suffering from something like forgetfulness or just giving them up. I doubt he could even comprehend such a thing. I had always assumed that our parents left us in good hands for the trip that took their lives but being with them and possibly being saved from death by our Presidio companion would really add nice fodder for the story.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
5752
Anne Radcliffe on Aug 11, 2014 wrote:
Our characters treasure the torn photograph of Marco Pollo's crew celebrating their goal in El Dorado, partly because it gives the knowledge needed to find who else has the remaining fragments of The Map, but most importantly for the image of our long lost mother. Any big clue like this gives rise to promising avenues of speculation, and one particularly interesting one (alas, I do not know from whom this originated) is that the person taking the photo is none other than our long lost father.

It certainly is possible that the photo is taken by someone else. But if the camera is being operated by our father, then the question remains: when did this photograph take place? When mom and dad were just friends, when they became sweethearts, when they were newly married, or... when they were already parents? Is there another person, an infant (or a toddler) who saw those golden shores of El Dorado too? Have we already been to El Dorado, only that memory is gone?

If the answer is yes, then the next question is: how much of this does Kane know? Sometimes his orders seem to be intent on capture, other times on killing, though the latter might be due to overzealous interpretation on the part of Deacon, Rooke, or Bishop. That Kane was interested in us from the start seems to indicate that he suspects there is a connection between our young adventurer and the human (or humans) on Marco Pollo's crew. But if he then had been able to discover that we had been to El Dorado already... (and of course, Kane would not realize that we don't remember a thing!)
May I suggest an alternative? Since the people in the photo appear young, remember Avery's comment "so young." before he names them for us; maybe our mother is equally as young ( maybe the same age we are supposed to be in this game? ).
So later, after we're born, she and Dad share stories of their adventures in the fabulous land of El Dorado and this becomes our favorite bedtime story. We learn the story by heart, because we hear over and over again. This makes me think our parents die when we are five years old and then we are sent to our foster families.
When we lose those memories ( to the Mysteries ) we lose the story of El Dorado. I wonder if there's a way to restore them?

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Well, yes, the idea that our pirate was in El Dorado as a baby is a highly speculative one -- and I don't have a shred of evidence to support it! You're right, Esperanza, Marco Pollo's trip might have been well before we were even a twinkle in our parents' eyes. But though our mother is young in the photo, she looks to be an adult rather than like our teenaged (or just under teenaged selves).

However, as far as a time line goes, I always imagined that Marco Pollo's fabled journey to El Dorado took place before the Polarian War. I think it might be easier for him to have taken such a journey during a time of peace, and the happy innocence of the crew seems to imply a time before the trials of war (never mind any nasty surprises they find in El Dorado after the photograph). This could be about 20 years ago (before our time), but even as little as oh, 12-15 years ago, which could be the time of our infancy. Maybe, like Virginia Dare, we were a baby born in a new world.

I envision the Polarian War happening thereafter. Perhaps, Marco Pollo, a citizen of Valencia, signs on to fight in the war... like his counterpart in the real world (hopefully he doesn't meet the fate the real Marco Polo does, and become a prisoner of war. Though it turned out to be the best thing for his legacy, as the only reason we know of Marco Polo's adventures is because he told the story to a writer -- who happened to be his cellmate! But I digress). The advent of the Armada helps the war come to a speedy conclusion in just a year or two. No wonder they would be heroes!

So now, it would be 6-10 years ago. The war is over, but the shadow of the Armada is beginning to be felt. After all, the Armada is known to have killed the parents of some of us pirates at this time. Thus begins our life permanently with our foster parents. It might have become a habit for our parents to do this during dangerous missions. Perhaps El Dorado was the first lesson in unknown dangers and small children... or not

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Chrissy Th'Blesser on Aug 12, 2014 wrote:
Ohhh interesting concept. I like it. With Kane having all his memories at his disposal he would not understand us suffering from something like forgetfulness or just giving them up. I doubt he could even comprehend such a thing. I had always assumed that our parents left us in good hands for the trip that took their lives but being with them and possibly being saved from death by our Presidio companion would really add nice fodder for the story.
Yes, Chrissy, good point concerning Kane's point of view, and I don't know about you, but I generally think it is a bad thing when a powerful and implacable enemy thinks you have information which you don't actually have. Though maybe it can be a point in our advantage, if we are crafty (or if a slyer member of our crew speaks up before we can make the "I'll never tell you anything, Kane!" speech)

But as far as being on the ship to El Dorado... Marco Pollo's crew in the photo all made it back home safely - we have been tracking them down, after all, so if we were there, we came home safely too. The foster care situation would happen much later, I think.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6079
Anne Radcliffe on Aug 12, 2014 wrote:
Yes, Chrissy, good point concerning Kane's point of view, and I don't know about you, but I generally think it is a bad thing when a powerful and implacable enemy thinks you have information which you don't actually have. Though maybe it can be a point in our advantage, if we are crafty (or if a slyer member of our crew speaks up before we can make the "I'll never tell you anything, Kane!" speech)

But as far as being on the ship to El Dorado... Marco Pollo's crew in the photo all made it back home safely - we have been tracking them down, after all, so if we were there, we came home safely too. The foster care situation would happen much later, I think.
Thank you Anne. I totally agree, that would be beyond scary trying to counter such flawed logic.
Re: The possible rescuing of us by Presidio companion; I didn't mean they died in the El Dorado trip. I just was referring to the later trip that took their lives and whether we might have been with them or not.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
5752
Anne Radcliffe on Aug 12, 2014 wrote:
Well, yes, the idea that our pirate was in El Dorado as a baby is a highly speculative one -- and I don't have a shred of evidence to support it! You're right, Esperanza, Marco Pollo's trip might have been well before we were even a twinkle in our parents' eyes. But though our mother is young in the photo, she looks to be an adult rather than like our teenaged (or just under teenaged selves).

However, as far as a time line goes, I always imagined that Marco Pollo's fabled journey to El Dorado took place before the Polarian War. I think it might be easier for him to have taken such a journey during a time of peace, and the happy innocence of the crew seems to imply a time before the trials of war (never mind any nasty surprises they find in El Dorado after the photograph). This could be about 20 years ago (before our time), but even as little as oh, 12-15 years ago, which could be the time of our infancy. Maybe, like Virginia Dare, we were a baby born in a new world.

I envision the Polarian War happening thereafter. Perhaps, Marco Pollo, a citizen of Valencia, signs on to fight in the war... like his counterpart in the real world (hopefully he doesn't meet the fate the real Marco Polo does, and become a prisoner of war. Though it turned out to be the best thing for his legacy, as the only reason we know of Marco Polo's adventures is because he told the story to a writer -- who happened to be his cellmate! But I digress). The advent of the Armada helps the war come to a speedy conclusion in just a year or two. No wonder they would be heroes!

So now, it would be 6-10 years ago. The war is over, but the shadow of the Armada is beginning to be felt. After all, the Armada is known to have killed the parents of some of us pirates at this time. Thus begins our life permanently with our foster parents. It might have become a habit for our parents to do this during dangerous missions. Perhaps El Dorado was the first lesson in unknown dangers and small children... or not
Thank you for making that clear! I loved the image of our toddler selves running around in our diapers, picking up the 'pretty shinies' and trying to put them in our mouth. "No, no, sweet heart, those aren't good to eat," ..

Commodore
May 31, 2009
801
Eh, that was confusing...

But it is a very interesting theory! I have a screenshot of the picture being debated, and it's obvious from the gold and jewels that the crew is in El Dorado. Our pirate's mom looks to be around 20-ish. But, if we had been to El Dorado as a baby, then where are we? If our father took the picture, is he making sure we don't photo bomb?

And the fact that our parents are dead. How old was our Pirate when that happened? I remember Milo Graytail saying something similar to: "Hold on Pirate, I know you! (words words) your parents showed you off to me when you were just in diapers!" So were we orphaned as a baby or a toddler?

I recently made it past the 'losing your memory' bit in Aquila. If our Pirate has indeed been to El Dorado, they've certainly forgotten it now, along with every memory of their parents.

Lieutenant
May 01, 2010
160
It must have been quite the effort to think up this entire timeline, but I must say I'm impressed with the results; from all three of you . However, I don't think we were with our parents (or mother at least) when they went to El Dorodo. Told us about it as a bedtime story, definitely possible, but I doubt we were actually there as an infant. And I highly doubt Kane suspects that we know first-hand about El Dorodo and Pollo's crew, otherwise he would still be sending the other elites to capture us instead of trying to kill us.
Other than that, you've all done a great job thinking this through. I have a feeling everything will be explained to us when/if we meet our foster parent(s), and even more so when we meet our parents (or their ghosts anyway).

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Ah, I've tracked the idea of "Our dad took the photograph" to 'Galactic Mindswipe', who wrote the post April 1, 2014. It's in Blind Mew's Musings #5. I do like to give credit where credit is due!

Pirate Overlord
Mar 16, 2012
5752
In the movie The Pacifier; the hero is a CIA agent assigned to keep a family safe ( his cover story is that he's a nanny ). He is taught a song that helps the youngest to sleep at bed-time. The song turns out to be a code that lets the hero avoid traps and allows him access to a safe.
What if a similar story or song taught to us by our parents tells the way to El Dorado?

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
anecorbie on Aug 13, 2014 wrote:
In the movie The Pacifier; the hero is a CIA agent assigned to keep a family safe ( his cover story is that he's a nanny ). He is taught a song that helps the youngest to sleep at bed-time. The song turns out to be a code that lets the hero avoid traps and allows him access to a safe.
What if a similar story or song taught to us by our parents tells the way to El Dorado?
Oh, yes, that plot device was also used in the cartoon series Darkwing Duck, where the child Goslin knew the secret code because of her grandfather's song that he taught her. Mind you, if we did know that song, by the end of Aquila, we don't know it any more...

Lieutenant
Dec 15, 2012
135
Anne Radcliffe on Aug 13, 2014 wrote:
Oh, yes, that plot device was also used in the cartoon series Darkwing Duck, where the child Goslin knew the secret code because of her grandfather's song that he taught her. Mind you, if we did know that song, by the end of Aquila, we don't know it any more...
Its called putting a 'remember at a convenient time' spell on us after we hear it or on themselves before they sing it but seriously...maybe we do remember it when someone says like a 'trigger word' if you know what I mean.