I learned a great deal about both the early and late Middle Ages. Among these revelations was the fact that in the Early Middle Ages, countries such as England and Ireland were divided up into several petty kingdoms before being unified under a single banner. Throughout history, empires started with a single kingdom before being forged by conquering new territories. With this in mind, I am thinking of including such petty kingdoms in my fantasy book. Each of these petty kingdoms will be based on my ancestral heritage in Scandinavia, Ireland, England, and all of Western Europe.