GRADAIA’S INFRASTRUCTURE

Gradaia

In order to get you all ready for Numen the Slayer when it is released, allow me to give you a little overview on the politics and overall infrastructure of its setting, the realm of Gradaia. Gradaia is a supercontinent empire that is divided up into nine petty kingdoms, each ruled by their own royal family who answer unquestionably to the ruling emperor or empress of the empire. Under the kings are the barons, who rule over the various baronies that divide up each kingdom. All of the barons are wealthy and politically influential in their own right and can each summon armies numbering in the thousands, but nowhere near as much as the royal or imperial families. Under the barons are the landed knights, who serve as a baron’s best warriors and can summon hundreds of men-at-arms of their own. While these knights have their own wealth, titles, and lands, they are only soldiers who follow their lord’s orders and are not astute politicians. Under the landed knights are the peasants, who do the labor such as lumberjacking, mining, farming, and fishing among many other things. As the title suggests, the peasants are the lowest rank in this society, but they are divided into two categories: the poor serfs that serve as the main working force and the modestly rich gentry that serve as the middle class. At the very top of all of this is the emperor or empress themselves, who reside in the capital city of Chrysos in the kingdom of Gaena.

Each of the empire’s kingdoms have their own environment and their own economy, but they all worship the same religion. The northernmost kingdom is Umbran, which has a cold yet temperate climate similar to Scotland. Just south of Umbran are Aemarr, Valai, and Varland. Aemarr is a coastal kingdom with an environment and economy similar to Vietnam, full of jungles and beaches while being rich with fish, grain, and trade. Valai is a valley kingdom that is fertile beyond measure and filled with rivers. Varland is a volcanic kingdom that produces the finest iron and steel in the empire. Further south is Storuuk, which is a heavily forested kingdom that produces lumber to its neighbors and depends on hunting and trade. South of Storuuk are Waes, Raevor, and Gaena. Raevor is just as fertile as Valai, but has fewer natural defenses. Both Waes and Gaena are filled with unimaginably rich gold, silver, and crystal deposits, but Gaena is the wealthier of the two. The southernmost kingdom is Darrm, which consists of savannah and produces exotic crops, livestock, and wine.

This is all the information I can give you without spoiling everything. The rest of this world you will need to discover on your own when the book comes out. Thank you for listening.

MOTTE-AND-BAILEY CASTLE

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To make my fantasy world as medieval as possible, there will be a special type of castle present called a motte-and-bailey castle. This type of castle was mostly made of wood and consisted of a man-made hill and moat. Stone castles were not introduced to England until the Normans invaded. While a motte-and-bailey castle will be featured in the kingdom of my first fantasy book, these castles will appear more frequently in heavily forested regions where timber is easily accessible.

FOREST KINGDOM

I had another idea for a kingdom in my fantasy series. Its scenery and environment will be similar to Yellowstone with lots of wild animals and heavily forested. The people who would live in this kingdom would live off the fat of the land. Apart from some pig and corn farms, this kingdom will be mostly inhabited by hunters who rely on the local animals for food and clothing. On a side note, medieval hunting was not just about food or sport. It was about preparing people for war. Due to this, the people of this kingdom will be among the most battle-hardened warriors in the Empire because everyday they have to hunt for food and risk their lives in the process. Apart from hunting animals and raising corn and pigs for food, they would also harvest wild berries, nuts, and honey. In terms of economy, the inhabitants of this kingdom would rely mostly on trade with animal furs and timber from their dense forests. Because this kingdom would be so heavily forested, wooden motte-and-bailey castles would be very common. Overall, this would be one of the wildest kingdoms in my fantasy world.

NUMEN MAGNUS

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Allow me to give you a little overview of the main character of my fantasy book, Numen Magnus. I named him based on the Latin language with “Numen” being one of the words for “God” and “Magnus” being one of the words for “Great”. So the rough translation of his name is “God is great.” I based him on legendary figures such as King Arthur and Beowulf as well as historical figures such as Henry VII and William the Conqueror. Numen is the ultimate fantasy underdog because he is stripped of everything he owns and forced to survive in the uncharted wilderness.

FANTASY MAP IN THE WORKS

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I am in the process of making a map of my fantasy world: Gradaia. Because I am proud of my Irish heritage, I will make the shape of this supercontinent identical to my ancestral home, Ireland, but on a much larger scale. I will be using this map as a template for Gradaia and draw the borders of the nine kingdoms that make it up. I will then share it with you as soon as I am done.

VALLEY KINGDOM

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For my fantasy series, I am envisioning a kingdom that is a fertile valley full of farmland, fields, hills, lakes, and rivers. This kingdom would be surrounded by three natural defenses consisting of mountains, swamps, and forests. The annual crops would be so ripe and juicy that they would explode with flavor in your mouth as you bite into them. Their livestock would be so healthy and well fed that their meat would melt in your mouth. In addition, the rivers and lakes would have all the fish you could eat and the water would be fresh and purifying. The various rivers would connect to numerous ports throughout the valley as well as to some neighboring regions, giving it abundant trade. I can also see a sizable population due to the fertile and rich land the people live in. Overall, this would be a kingdom I would want to call home. I live in a valley so drawing inspiration for this kingdom will be very easy.

VOLCANIC KINGDOM

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I had an insane idea for a kingdom in my future fantasy books. I am envisioning a kingdom that is volcanic in nature. With a volcanic kingdom, the inhabitants would have access to both igneous rock and volcanic ash. Igneous rock and lava have a high iron content, which will come in handy when it comes to forging armor, weapons, and other metallic items. Volcanic ash is one of the best fertilizers in the world, which would help the kingdom’s farmers fertilize their fields. As I contemplate this idea, I will be drawing inspiration from Iceland, which not only has a history with my viking ancestors, but also has several active volcanos. It is often said that hard places breed hard people and if these people live in a volcanic environment they would be the hardest people of them all.