Interviewing Icons - Kain Pathos Crow

rating: +82+x

This is the third interview of my four-part series to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the SCP Foundation Wiki on Wikidot. These 4 people were very influential in our early success with this new platform. These interviews will be released every Sunday of July until we reach July 25th, the first day that other people were able to access the site we know and love today. To kick off this third week, I interviewed one of our longest-standing members and one of the most influential members from the EditThis days. I hope you all enjoy my interview with Kain Pathos Crow! ~ WhiteGuardWhiteGuard

The user Kain Pathos Crow became a member of this site on the 25th of July, 2008, and his top 3 most popular pages on the site by rating are SCP-035: Possessive Mask at +2815, SCP-076: "Able" (rewritten by DrClefDrClef) at +2496, and SCP-073: "Cain" at +2363. As an author, Kain has written a total of 12 SCP articles, 14 Tales, 0 GoI Formats, and 9 other pages for a grand total of 35 pages contributed. Kain was the originator of a number of Groups of Interest and created a number of general pages for the community to add to such as the SCP Artwork Hub. The following interview will consist of 20 questions from myself with his responses.

The bold text represents the questions whereas the text within the boxes are Kain's responses.

Interview Questions:

Hello, Kain! It is lovely to discuss things with you again. Thank you again for hopping on to be a part of my special anniversary series of interviews. As one of the original administrators on Wikidot and as a prominent member on EditThis, you have a particularly interesting background with SCP. Would you sort of detail how you came across SCP for the first time and your journey from reader to writer to administrator?

Glad to be here~

It was the summer of 08’, I was 19, unemployed, and recovering from a mental breakdown brought on by undiagnosed OCD and ADHD. Being listless, aimless, and thoroughly bored, I spent the majority of my time browsing the internet, particularly /b/ and /x/ on 4chan.

I had always had an interest in the supernatural, the spooky, and the somewhat bizarre. That explained my interest in /x/, which, if you’re unaware, is the paranormal board. Originally, it was dedicated to creepy things, real-life random encounters, creepypasta, and mild shitposting, as compared to the insane conspiracy theories and majority shitposting it is today.

With regards to my interest in /b/… well, when you’re coming out of being a teenager, shock humor and pushing boundaries is part of your natural development, even if a lot of it isn’t particularly cool.

Still, the sense of acerbic community they fostered felt nice, and I spent a lot of time there, rather than brooding over my own mental state. As a direct result, I happened to come across the first SCP posts, starting with the infamous SCP-173, “The Sculpture”, by some unknown anon, and immediately, I was entranced.

The SCP posts were not the first of their kind. Random experiments in creepypasta were common at the time, such as the Holder of the End, and general creepy posting. Still, this particular series of posts caught my eye. It was the dry informative style, the mystery of things not said, the larger implications. This helped rekindle a creative spark inside me.

So I researched it. Tried to find out what they were from, where had they begun, where I could read more of it. Aside from the posts on 4chan, which are transitory by their very nature, the only place I had managed to find was a rather barebones EditThis wiki. Still, it was clearly community-driven, and I decided to try my hand at it.

The very first SCP I wrote was “The World’s Greatest Tothbrush”. It wasn’t supposed to be anything earth breaking, it was just supposed to be some odd little artifact, something strange and unexplainable and surreal.

After that, I wrote a lot. As I implied earlier, I had a lot of free time and a tendency to focus obsessively on a topic that had aroused my interest, so further articles came quickly. There wasn’t any organisational process to it those days. Just a bunch of people who were interested in the subject and decided to write about it.

As for going from a contributor to an Admin, it was this obsession that helped. I wrote a lot. I commented a lot. There wasn’t much of a community at the time, no IRC or direct chats. Maybe some folks traded emails or communicated through instant messengers, but I never heard of any of it.

Fritzwillie, doubling as the Admin at that time, must have seen that and thought well of it, decided to make me one of the big four, the other three being Gears, and Fritzwillie/the Administrator.

So yeah, honestly, I just lucked into the position. Right place, right time, right qualities.

What was the user experience like on EditThis compared to Wikidot? What was the chat like and who were the driving forces running the site on EditThis? Do you happen to know how active the EditThis site was after the initial transfer to Wikidot or did it die out rather quickly? Did anything of note happen over there before its deletion?

The experience was… strange. There was a serious sense of disconnection, or like… a feeling of a degree of separation. You’d comment on articles, and others would comment back. It felt more like writing on a desk in class, then coming back and others would have responded to it. Less of a direct reply, and more yelling into a crowd and getting yells back.

With regards to a chat, there wasn’t one. We didn’t get a chat until the Mibbit Chat on Wikidot, and that was sometime later. Like I said, most of the communication was done through comments and posts.

Driving forces? I wouldn’t say that there were any major driving forces. We were just an uncoordinated gaggle of anons, with absolutely no experience in anything like running a site. It also didn’t help that whoever had created the original EditThis wiki wasn’t around anymore. Nobody had any administrator or even moderator privileges. That was one of the reasons that everyone agreed so quickly about moving to Wikidot.

As for activity after we left… there really wasn’t much. Most folks agreed it was for the best, due to the lack of administrator privileges, and the lack of control. If there was anything that happened after that, it wasn’t much.

Staying on the topic of EditThis, was there any real resistance to moving to Wikidot? How did the discussions for migration go before FritzWillieFritzWillie decided to create the site on Wikidot we know today? When people decided to move over, what did the migration effort look like? Was it just a few people doing most of the heavy lifting, or was there a large effort to transfer everything over?

See, you say discussions, but there wasn’t. None of us had any idea what the hell we were doing. The Administrator just rolled up and shouted “Get in losers, we’re moving!”, and we did. Somebody who sounded like they knew what they were doing? Damn right we followed him.

The migration itself was the equivalent of just picking up what we could and wholesale transferring it over. A lot easier than you might imagine, as we had just about three hundred or so articles then. There were a few of us at the time who did a lot of the transferring, mostly first come first serve, I think. I can’t quite remember a lot of it, because it was mostly just busywork, not much to it.

In an early thread on the current SCP Wiki, you mentioned some drama occurring on EditThis before the move. Do you remember any of the details of this drama? Additionally, were there any similar issues at the time with the absence of the original Administrator for the EditThis wiki which helped lead to the Wikidot move?

Drama… well, a lot of the drama came from that lack of an actual administrator. You had a bunch of anons with no real structure, no one in charge, no real rules, and no idea what they were doing. A recipe for petty spite and pissing contests.

For the most part, there wasn’t much of that. Most of the people there were an affable sort, or too lazy to really pursue any serious sort of bastardry.

The only exception to this that I can remember was the SCP-001 entry by a user called…. FoxFire, I think…. It’s been over a decade, and my memory has difficulty recalling the contents of last week, so it’s entirely possible that I could be wrong about the details.

The fact of the matter was that the general consensus of the community, small as it was, was that SCP-001 would be special. FoxFire decided to fill that spot, and to do so badly. The article they wrote was Ry’leh- or possibly Rapture- some sort of underwater city that was little more than blatant plagiarism, and badly written at that.

As you might expect, most of us didn’t particularly care for this, and made our displeasure known. FoxFire responded in typical channer fashion: with insults and personal attacks. Any attempts to revert or remove FoxFire’s work resulted in them putting it back up, mocking our attempts all the while.

With no administrative powers to counteract their behaviour, there really wasn’t any way for us to deal with them. It came down to who had more time and patience, editing the page to their wont. Ultimately, this was one of the things that galvanised us to move off site. More control, and the ability to actually deal with issues, rather than just put up with them.

Before we really dive into your works on the site, how about we talk a little about some of the other early writers? When you were really active in terms of writing in the early days, whose articles did you particularly enjoy the most? What set these writers and their works apart from some of the others?

Back then, there was less of a focus on writers, and more on the articles. There wasn’t any inserts, nothing like that, and a lot of the original articles were author unknown, something that was expected of original pastas.

Buuut, there were some names back then that started to seep through into the community that was starting to form.

Again, I really do have to reiterate, the “community” wasn’t that large, wasn’t that coherent, and really wasn’t overly talkative to begin with. Imagine a random, if somewhat interesting, abandoned building, and a couple of passers by found it interesting enough to start hanging around. None of them knew each other. Some of them just admired it, others tried to add to it, or alter it, some people complained, and no one had any idea what they were doing. That’s what it was like.

But like I said, there were a few people who started getting more memorable.

The first and most obvious was Dr. Gears. SCP-682, the “Hard to Destroy Reptile” was an early poster child, something overtly dangerous and violent that helped ratify the far end of the SCP spectrum. Our horror film giant monster.

His Clockwork series took care of the opposite end of that spectrum. They were insidious, peculiar enough to draw in the unwary, and seemingly benign enough to tempt them closer. Most, if not all, were no less dangerous than 682, though more often to the mind and world at large, than the body and immediate locale.

Another firm favourite, and one of the ones that really spoke to me, was SCP-002, the “Living Room”. Dangerous, but only if the guidelines were not followed, and strange beyond all reasoning. Unfortunately, there was no author attributed to that one.

Dr Dantensen was another that I remember for their writing, mostly 105. They seemed nice, but they quickly grew disillusioned with the site, which strangely enough echoed the general temperament of 105 herself.

by (from left to right) Amai-Ixchel, NightmareCode, again by Amai-Ixchel, Raddagher, Crystlon, Amn3siia, Tropinano, Yukki, and again by Tropinano

SCP-035: Possessive Mask is your most popular work on the site and a fan-favorite among the fandom. It was added on the 25th of July, 2008. This makes it part of the first batch of articles moved over to the Wikidot site, and it has avoided any major changes since then other than the picture. Is the SCP-035 of today practically the same as what you originally posted to EditThis back in the day? When writing for it, did you have any particular backstory in mind for 035 as there have been a lot of fans over the years guess its origin? Is it one of your favorite works you have produced?

Aside from some small changes to grammar and wording, and an addendum regarding the use of SCP-148, “Telekill”, 035 really hasn’t changed. Kinda proud of that, actually.

Truthfully, I took inspiration for the mask from the antagonist from a story that I was writing at the time, unconnected to SCP, one which I eventually scrapped. It involved a young girl who could see the unseen, and fought, Buffy style, against the creatures of darkness, with the four main characters based on interpretations of the Beatles, and everything being themed or referenced to music. Not exactly unique or original, but fun, nonetheless.

As for a backstory with regards to SCP? Honestly, no, not really. The backstory that’s there, where it was found, that was gotten to by writing backwards. A comedy/tragedy mask of that ilk seemed like a Venecian mask, so it only made sense for it to be from, or found in Venice. Being an old city built on top of an older city that’s sinking, it could easily be imagined that something dark and ancient lurked in its depth.

Beyond that, to me it was always more interesting to leave the backstory unknown, with nothing more than some little hints as to where it came from, or what it could be.

The fact that people have built on it, and changed it as they saw fit, well, that’s great. It’s remembered, prolific, and people have enjoyed building on it and imagining what its past could have been, what it itself might actually be… All of that confirms for me that I made the right choice.

Mind you, I have seen some more unusually creative interpretations of 035. I have to admit, when I was writing it at the time, I did not expect to eventually find Christmas themed pornography of it. Some people are just super horny for 035. I have no idea why.

by (from left to right) Amai-Ixchel, again by Amai-Ixchel, amindele, Hibikikn, ScarletDesires, NightmareCode, niram, and Maal

Your SCP-076: "Able" received a complete rewrite on December 7th of 2010 by DrClefDrClef with your blessing. Even today, the fanbase is normally split on this article with most liking it. The majority of those who dislike it cite the similarities of a character from an anime. What was your intention with Able? Why did you feel it necessary to let Clef rewrite it? Do you think the rewrite fixed some of the original's shortcomings?

To put this argument to bed, Able is not, and was never based on anime. It was much worse. He was based on what I thought was cool. Hell, I hadn’t seen, read, or played Fate Stay/Night until some point in my mid twenties, after which point I understood what people meant about Able being some sort of Gilgamesh rip off.

No, Able was entirely original. Much like 035, Able was based off of a character from a story I was writing at the time, another one since scrapped. The general idea on that one was more… strange. A lost soul, picked up between the realms of life and death, and made an administrative assistant for some malicious negotiator in a nexus dimension. Able was a character I never actually managed to get to in the narrative, a violent force of destruction that required said negotiator to beat back into his box.

At the time, there wasn’t any human or humanoid SCPs that were an individual in and of themselves, with the exception of perhaps Fernand the Cannibal. There was the Abdominal Planet, but with how they were written, they were basically an object with a person attached. I saw that, and thought that a humanoid SCP would be cool, and it would be cool if they could be utilised by the Foundation. I mean, they had all these weird objects, it would make sense to use which ones they can. If it comes back to bite them, then all the better for an interesting story.

There were all sorts of shadowy organisations in fiction, using their own supernatural forces made of flipped agents or captured anomalies of their own. It was practically a staple of the genre. I was hardly being original with what I was doing. I was just lucky enough to be the first person who thought of it at the time.

But there were a good deal of thoughts that make me cringe looking back on. Able being a white blonde guy, the leather armor, those are the primary things. Pretty anime, which is unsurprising, as I was and still am, a gigantic weeaboo.

Clef going back and streamlining, fixing that stuff, it really improved the article. Adding the storyline to Pandora’s Box was also good. He did a great job and completely improved the whole thing. Granted, I still think that the original concept of utilising clockwork weaponry was pretty neat, if for no reason than it was odd and may have harkened some sort of connection to the Church of the Broken God, rather than weapons made of shadow, but then again, I’m pretty biased.

All in all, I’m still proud of Able, though more of the current incarnation than the original. People talk about it. They argue about it, and get heated. They call me a self insert hack. Still, after ten years. I feel like that’s a success.

by (from left to right) SunnyClockwork, Maal, BrenZo, Amai-Ixchel, dekades8, again by Amai-Ixchel, Hibikikn, niram, and again by Hibikikn

Cain is a tragic figure in the biblical account of Cain and Able. A man who didn't truly understand the reason behind the sacrifice that was needed and failed to properly perform it. When confronted with his failure and given the opportunity to rectify it, he instead sought to take out his anger and jealousy on his brother. You then see Able unfairly dying and then Cain being cursed to live. In your SCP-073: "Cain", you have a simple but interesting twist where the personalities of each character are seemingly the opposite of what was found in the biblical account. Able is incredibly angry while Cain is calm and collected. However, you continued the idea of Able being cursed to die whereas Cain is cursed to live.

How did this duo come about in your mind for you to write SCP articles about them? Did you write them both at the same time or did one come after the other? In particular with Cain, why do you believe he is so calm and collected now? Has he made his peace despite his cursed state?

Long story short, I thought it would be interesting.

But considering that’s a boring answer, I’ll elaborate. The reason I imagine the two are the way they are is, starting with regards to Able, is that he’s frustrated. He’s been denied his destiny, his ability to create, for a family, to see his descendants and how he has affected the world and the future. It’s a big theme in that when Cain performed his act of murder, he did not only kill Able, but all that Able would ever be, as well as every single person his line would have given birth to. He diminished him, removed him from the tapestry of the world. He got shot at the starting line. I know I’d be pissed off.

To a certain extent, I’d believe that Able has made peace with it, at least as far as he can. He’s accepted the loss of his ability to create, expanding on his ability to destroy.

On the other hand, Cain is calm because he’s had an eternity to sit and ruminate on his guilt. They were brothers, they loved each other, and giving into jealousy and rage resulted in an act that will haunt Cain forever. Because he realises what he’s done. Perhaps he did not understand it at the time, perhaps the nature of death and murder were concepts not yet discovered, but as time has passed and he has grown older and wiser, he has seen the depths of what he has taken from Able.

Can you imagine that? Your entire life is defined by something terrible you did in the heat of the moment, changing not only yours, but a loved ones fate, forcing something upon them that they did not want and have no ability to change. Not only that, but your punishment is not death, but to live with that guilt, with no way to alleviate it. There would be no closure, no end, only a deepening understanding of the crime that you committed.

I think you’d have to make peace with it. Accept that terrible thing you’ve done. Because the alternative, letting that thought eat at you over centuries, millenia… You’d go mad. I mean, it’s entirely possible that he is, with a madness made of cold and rational parts. Then again, it really is down to personal interpretation. There is no canon, believe what you like, write what you want..

by DianaBerry

SCP-040: Evolution's Child was another original article of yours that was rewritten, this time by DjoricDjoric. I suppose when you are one of the original authors on the site, you are bound to have a few which need some updating over the years. What were you trying to do with this article? Whenever the idea for rewriting came up, you seemed on board with the idea as long as it didn't drift into the arena of grimdark. Why was this a worry for you?

In something of a pattern here, 040 is once again based on a character I was writing in yet another scrapped story. This one was about a pair of brothers, one who was forcibly changed by the character 040 was based on after stumbling upon where she was sealed, and became a feral monstrosity. Eventually coming back to his senses after killing their father, the two fled and went to magic college, before getting embroiled in a global conflict and picking up on 040’s trail of terrible changes. Actually, thinking about it, there were a lot of good ideas in that one… Maybe I’ll pick it up again…

Anyway, like I was saying, there wasn’t any real idea behind her. I just thought it’d be cool.

As far as grimdark was concerned, it was the theme at the time. As a result of the whole author self insert, and general “Rule of Cool” and wackiness they engendered, there was a huge pushback from the community in the form of an intense interest in making everything more horror themed, occasionally to the point of absurdity.

Frankly, that wasn’t something I found particularly interesting. Making things unnecessarily grotesque is tiring, as is consuming media like that, at least in my opinion. A child with powers beyond the comprehension of the general populace, and only somewhat under their control, well, it’s pretty cliche’d. But it’s cliche’d for a reason. It provides a good jumping off point for character growth, for further investigation, for narrative expansion.

Making it grimdark… honestly, it’s just further narrative flavouring. That said, it’s easier to make an article dark through further interpretation in expanded writings. It’s harder to make them less so. That’s really more retroactive reasoning. The reason I had at the time was because I just don’t like excessive Grimdark, and it was everywhere at that time on the site.

SCP-063 - The World's Best Tothbrush
by Alfred Alonzo

You mentioned in our preliminary interview that SCP-063: "The World's Best TothBrush" was your first article. It is a very short and simple article with an interesting little question towards the end. As many already know, most of the articles back then were short little entries that had something intriguing about them. Was this factor a major draw to you back then? Back on EditThis and even early Wikidot, was there any resistance whenever people attempted longer articles?

Bitesize fiction is pretty nice, but I don’t think I’m very good at it. I wouldn’t say there was any sort of particular draw to it because of that on my part. I liked it for the content, not the size.

I don’t think there was any resistance to size back then. Yeah, we’d encourage folks to trim it down if it waffled a bit too much. Being succinct about procedures is something we figured real world organisations would do. They tended to be short because of that.

Another likely reason that they were short is because none of us really had experience with the format. When you’re not sure, smaller is easier, and more likely to pass muster. It wasn’t until we started getting more confident with that manner of storytelling, it makes sense that the articles got larger. Not only that, but as more and more basic ideas were utilised, people probably expanded further, to differentiate their project from the herd.

Look at the earliest stuff, ones that haven’t been rewritten, and on average, they tend to be vastly smaller than the later stuff. You might even say it’s a form of evolution with regards to the writing on site. Earlier articles are smaller and simpler, later ones increase in size and complexity. It’s a natural part of the community growing and expanding.

SCP-143 The Bladewood Grove
by miumeat

It may or may not be a surprise to you, but SCP-143: The Bladewood Grove happens to be my favorite article of yours. I am a sucker for beautiful things turning out to be more than they seem. I am also a big fan of the Japanese family's rich heritage with the grove. It provides the idea that there is a strong and storied history behind your article without having to actually tell anything yourself.

Now, I must ask, were you a big fan of anime at the time that you wrote for the site back then? It is hard to believe such a coincidence could occur where many of your articles seem to involve various aspects of things often shown in anime such as cherry blossom trees. Regardless, where do you place this article in your head of your best works on the site?

Oh, I was, and still am, a giant anime nerd, and honestly, it probably influenced the nature of this article. Buuuut… a lot of it was also influenced by the cultural spirituality of swordmaking in Japan.

I like watching a lot of smithing videos. Youtube channels such as Man At Arms: Reforged, and That Works, are quite informative with regards to not only the mechanical processes that go into forging such weapons, but the spiritual and cultural ones as well. They’re really quite interesting.

Another thing that influenced the article links back to what I said earlier with regards to the Foundation utilising SCPs that they’ve found where they can. I felt that an organisation wouldn’t necessarily sit on useful resources without using them. So I figured chucking some useful anomalous materials into the mix would be pretty interesting. Granted, it has more potential as a supplementary material and a McGuffin than as a standalone article.

Though seeing a tale revolving around it would be pretty neat.

SCP-158 - Soul Extractor
by SunnyClockwork

SCP-158: Soul Extractor is another popular work of yours on the site. As our very own Jacob ConwellJacob Conwell said, "There is a lot of potential for crosslinks in a robo-arm that allows you to literally grab someone's soul, and stick it into something else." You seemed to exploit this fact by creating two different experiment logs pertaining to it, Experiment Log 158 Aa and Experiment Log 158 AG, the latter of which was involved in your tale series which we will cover in the next question.

In the article itself, you wrote the line "the chapters chronicling who built it and what exactly it did were too badly damaged to be read". Have you ever thought of any headcanon pertaining to who built it and why? Getting back to the experiment log discussion, would you say that is the part that really sells the concept behind the article?

Honestly, no, I haven’t. Similar to 143, it was created more as a supplementary article than a stand alone article by itself, but that is a problem with safe articles with no agency of their own. The interest and thoughts about them have to come from their application and their history. If I expanded on the latter in the article, it wouldn’t inspire a huge amount of thought. You’d have to leave just enough to intrigue, but not enough to raise a single concrete idea. Let imagination do the heavy lifting.

That’s the same idea with expanding on the former. Look at 912, the Clockworks. It’s one of the most popular articles on the site, because it allows people to be creative, to use it like a tool for their own ideas. I love that in fiction.

Cross testing is something that I’ve always loved, both in and out of persona. I have a tidy little document in my SCP folder that’s filled with lists of various SCP that I could conceivably write about in a creative sense, cross testing them in order to jailbreak the universe. Make new tools for the MTF, for the researchers, processes to increase survivability, ability to contain, to protect.

Your Olympia Project is a tale series based upon the construction of a humanoid through the use of several SCPs for the benefit of the SCP Foundation. A good number of tales and experiment logs of yours are dedicated to this series and it has led to a number of spiritual successors over the years. What was your goal for such a series? Unfortunately, the final tale didn't survive the test of time like the rest of the series. Do you ever think you will return to redo the ending someday?

Like many of the answers I’ve had for you today, I thought it’d be cool.

I love the idea of a newly created entity discovering the world, learning to be human, or just bearing that strange difference in perception. Also, robot girls are cute. So sue me.

The final experiment log was really just integrating another SCP into the project, 784-ARC, which was a nanomechanical swarm and the remnants of a former agent. I was trying to improve the functionality of the project, and to a certain extent, try my hand at introducing a darker element into the series in order to keep with the then themes of the site.

The fact that it was deleted tells you how well my efforts went in regards to that, and honestly, I don’t mind much. I still think it’s an interesting concept that could be expanded upon, but I’m not sure if that’s the path I’d take if I were to revisit it.

I do think that further crosstesting and the creation of artificial humanoids is definitely something I’d like to revisit someday, but as to when and how, I’m not sure. I’d have to let the right idea tickle my fancy.

GOC logo by Aelanna, Chaos Insurgency logo by TwistedGears, and the Nobody logo by MingoMongo

You happen to be the original creator of three Groups of Interest: Global Occult Coalition, The Chaos Insurgency, and Nobody. Would you mind taking a moment to explain how you thought up each of these groups?

Again, I thought it’d be cool.

I know, I know, that’s either the best or the worst reasoning to do something, but it’s true, honest. The actual process itself is a little more palatable.

The three of them had different inciting incidents. The first was the Insurgency. At that point in our narrative culture, the Foundation was staunchly against the use of SCP at all. This fact was reinforced by the real world dislike of crosstesting and use of Grimdark that resulted in most interactions with SCPs ending horrifically for everyone involved.

I figured that there would be an organisation that would prefer to utilise SCP themselves, and going one step further, that they’d use it for themselves. Maybe they’d dress it up as for the good of humanity and all that jazz, or maybe they were unapologetically jerks about it, but I felt that a dark reflection of the Foundation would be an interesting idea to explore. That they were originally an offshoot of that organisation made it all the more intriguing.

The second was the GOC. I had read a creepypasta at the time that stated that “God was dead, and we had killed him”. Not Nietzsche, but in 1948, with the combined efforts of the Western Allies and the Soviet armies. This thought just tickled my fancy. It was helped by the fact that there was very little information regarding how the foundation interacted with any sort of governmental oversight.

So all that fed into this idea of a rival organisation, more interested in keeping the status quo and destroying things that did not fit into their worldview, as governments are wont to do. Everyone else ran with it and developed the terminology it uses, Clef being one of them, if I remember correctly.

Third, Nobody was the idea of a singular agent, rather than an entire organisation, being someone who dealt with things of an anomalous nature on par with these other global conspiracies. The reason why there’s jack in terms of information on them, is because of the aforementioned “there is no canon, write what you think they are” idea that I’m quite fond of.

Among a number of other now staff-run pages, you set up the original SCP Artwork Hub back on November 19th of 2008. At the time, there really wasn't much artwork to justify such a hub, so why did you create one in the first place? This process of setting things up for others to fill out is something you also practiced in the previous question when you heavily contributed to the early Groups of Interest page. Is the process of pitching ideas for people to run with something that really appealed to you?

I wanted to see artwork for the SCP, and I knew that creative groups eventually cultivate parties who like that sort of thing. I mean, look at any popular fandom, and there’s a shedload of art. People like to contribute to things they like, or feel inspired by.

And yeah, I quite enjoy that sort of thing. Set up the framework, let others take the reins. Part and parcel of how I dealt with ADHD making it a slog to commit any sort of long term motivation towards a singular project.

It was also due to the fact that I was nominally in charge, so I felt it was part of my duty to expand the site structure to accommodate new ideas and have room to grow. The Tales Hub, the Creepypasta Library, the Groups of Interest, the “Adult” Section, these were all efforts to provide spaces for the community to stretch itself into, even if it took time for them to actually provide fruit. A way of saying “you are welcome here”.

Dr. Kain Pathos Crow as a character is known to be a very good boy. In all seriousness, your character is a dog researcher. Why did you decide to make your author character into a dog? Was that always your intention for the character? Is it ever strange for you to realize that your character is still used in stories even to this day?

Originally, author inserts weren’t a thing. We just had author pages, ones that were on the goofy side because they were disconnected from articles as whole. It wasn’t until Fishmonger, a writer who had written some very popular Tales but later left the site with his works in disgrace, included a number of the popular authors and active members of the community in one of his stories that author inserts really started to take off. It was like everyone simultaneously agreed that they were cool, and okay to use.

The name Kain Pathos Crow was a portmanteau of several characters I had written that I was fond of. The title of Professor was added because it seemed that we were all researchers. The fact that he was a dog was because the picture seemed neat, and I love dogs (though later I discovered that everyone in my personal life unironically equates me with a labrador, which when they pointed out several of my behaviours, made a lot of sense.).

But yeah, originally, there wasn’t an intent with the character. It was a throwaway joke on a page to collect my stories for ease of perusal, with a picture I thought was mildly funny. Everyone else ran with it.

As for strangeness, not really. I mean, we used to joke that there was an Iceberg/Kain slashfiction waiting to be written at some point, so that’ll let you know how strange we expected things to get.

So, as we discussed privately, you have a couple of things that have affected your writing, as well as your ability and motivation to write. Would you mind sharing a little about this and how you have worked around it on the site as well as in your own life?

As I opened with, I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. If you’re not sure what that entails, it basically means that I will obsess over intrusive thoughts which cause me a lot of stress and occasionally panic attacks, and I would engage in repetitive behaviours which give momentary relief, referred to as compulsions.

These intrusive thoughts differ from person to person, though the one that is most widely known is “contamination”, fear of germs and dirt. Mine is one called Harm OCD, in which you’re afraid you’re going to hurt someone, usually a loved one, either intentionally or in some sort of fugue state. It’s kind of like getting a song stuck in your head, except it’s the worst possible thing you can think of.

I have a variant of OCD usually referred to as “Pure O”. Most people’s repetitive behaviours are physical acts, things which they believe reaffirm or prevent these bad things from happening. My compulsive acts were mostly thinking, though I’d avoid scary media, sharp things, that kinda thing as well.

As you no doubt are beginning to realise, it’s a little difficult to curate a website mostly dedicated to horror stories when you’re not only mentally unwell, but specifically afraid of most of it to the point of avoidance. This was made doubly difficult by the fact that I was undiagnosed at the time, and just thought that “clearly, I was some sort of psychopathic monster”.

Suffice it to say, the site’s interest in Grimdark stuff didn’t go over too well with me, and I left for quite some time.

The thing about having OCD and writing, is that it both helps and hinders your ability to write. It helps, in the sense that in order to avoid your obsessive thinking, you pour yourself into your work, thinking about literally anything but what makes you upset. It hinders, because the resulting depression, lack of sleep or healthy eating habits, tanks your motivation for actually doing anything.

Popular media likes to portray OCD as a quirky sickness where you clean things, and are super productive. It’s not. It’s a mental illness, and it sucks.

ADHD on the other hand, makes you obsess about a topic, or not care. There is no middle ground. All or nothing. Kind of a pain in the ass when you want to get large scale projects done.

But time passed, and I got diagnosed, went to a mental health specialist, got Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and got better. I didn’t get rid of it, but it’s one of those things you’re going to live the rest of your life with. I still struggle with them today, but I have the tools I need in order to deal with it, one day at a time.

So yeah, if you’re having trouble, get help. I came from a generation, a family, and a country that was notoriously bad regarding mental health. It’s gotten better in recent years, but even then I wouldn’t wish my experiences on my worst enemy. But it does get better. There’ll be bad days and hard work needed, but that’s just the human experience. It will get better, I promise.

Back in 2012 when the SCP - Containment Breach game came out, your own SCP-035 was featured in it and the popularity boomed for the site you helped build. Was this a surreal time for you? With the SCP project's popularity continuing to grow, I imagine those feelings have continued for you even since 2012. Is it ever weird for you to come across SCP related content during your normal day to day business?

I just thought it was neat. I didn’t have any actual connection to the games, but it was cool to see something I had helped create inspire people to make more things.

I mean, I’ve used the experience I got administrating the early site, as well as the site itself to get jobs before. Granted, the people interviewing me had no idea what SCP was, but they did like the drive, the implication of organisational ability, and hardwork. I have also had people ask if certain characters I was playing in RPs were inspired by certain SCP articles, only for me to tell them that I wrote said article.

I tend to try keep it on the downlow in my real life. I mean, I wrote some neat things, and helped put in some of the foundations, but the community itself are the ones who made it as popular as it is today. I’m just some guy.

Who really is the one who goes by "Kain Pathos Crow"?

I have no idea. Narratively, whoever the hell you think would make the story interesting. If you ask my friends, they’ll say a friendly dog who’s relatively charismatic. My wife says I’m a doofus. Personally, I just think I’m a lazy, lucky guy who writes things he thinks are cool, who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Alpo or Purina?

Steak. Loooove me some steak. Though realtalk, the smell of tinned dogfood smells delicious to me and makes me super hungry. The cheap stuff at that. Like, the stuff where all the unidentifiable parts of the animal are tossed into a grinder. Unironically makes my mouth water.

Bonus: Next week will be the SCP Wiki's 13th anniversary on Wikidot. As one of the originals, it is not an exaggeration to say that the site would be very different nowadays had you not been around back then. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of this interview?

Keep reading, keep writing! As corny as it sounds, the world is made of stories! Make your own, in whatever way you can, in whatever way suits you best!

This concludes the third of four interviews to be released this month in celebration of 13 years of the SCP Wiki being on Wikidot. I hope you enjoyed it! I would like to thank Kain for being very kind and enjoyable to chat with about the old days. The SCP Wiki would have likely gone down a very different path without Kain's guidance and influence.

Thank you for reading!

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