While this is an origin of how Terry Stonewall came to be, I can’t really talk about Terry without also discussing her sister, Sherry. They came about as an idea for identical twin superheroes, initially having the same energy projection powers but with different personalities. They were called Star & Light. Sherry, who was Star, was the more outgoing of the two. She had the drive to be popular and to look good at saving the day. The way I would look at it today, she’s the extrovert. Terry is the introvert. She was more cerebral, who cared more about reading a book and figuring things out than putting herself out there. As with a lot of my early Champions concepts, the characters were initially pretty bland. But over time, they evolved.
I abandoned the idea of these characters when I created my next world, the St. Mary campaign. I felt they weren’t interesting at the time, so I never made an updated version of the characters. But I started toying with the concepts again during an intermediate step between St. Mary and PCU world, the world New L.A. takes place on. In the time between, I created a character that I thought I might be able to take into a one-shot game being played at a gaming convention. The character would essentially be a super-hero team, where I would have the main character and a small team of followers that would be the team. While creating characters for the team, I revisited Terry & Sherry. It was at this point that I decided to scrape them having identical energy projection powers that were quite boring. Instead, their powers would become reflections of their personality. Sherry being the extrovert, her powers became more physical and active with enhanced strength and agility. Terry the introvert gained powers of the mind. During this particular incarnation of Terry, I also merged her with another concept I had during the St. Mary era, which was a telepath who wore powered armor to disguise they were a telepath. Sherry became Kylan and Terry became Tempest.
When I started creating the world that is now the world of New L.A., I revisited these twins again. More accurately, I revisited them when I decided to write my first story that took place in this world, the one I never finished. That story ended up being their story and how they discovered the world that is controlled by the PCU. And while writing that story, their characters started forming a clearer picture in my head. They became living breathing characters in my head.
Eventually, I hit a roadblock in that story and I moved on to other things. But, over the years, I would revisit the characters again, mainly when I played super-hero genre video games. I made versions of them in both City of Heroes, and then later Champions Online. I even created a version of Terry in DC Universe Online, but in that particular instance, I made her a Green Lantern, mainly because I wanted to build a Green Lantern character.
Eventually, everything came full circle and I returned to the world that New L.A. inhabits and revisited that story. And I knew I wanted the twins to be involved in some way. I was able to get Terry into New L.A., and someday, we will find out more about Sherry. But that is a story for another time.