The largest fish that ever lived was the Jurassic fish, Leedsichtys. Leedsichtys was about 90 feet in length and was a filter feeder like basking sharks and certain species of whales. It was a favorite food item for large predators such as Liopleurodon. Imagine how much caviar and sushi you could get from just one of these creatures. That would be enough meat to feed a village for over a year. I may include this gentle giant in the infinite ocean of my fantasy world.
Among the many possible scenarios I analyzed from Game of Thrones, I thought of an alternate version of the iconic battle of the Field Fire. The Field of Fire was when King Mern of House Gardener and King Loren of House Lannister united against Aegon the Conqueror. Houses Gardener and Lannister outnumbered the Targaryen host six to one, but the Targaryens had three full grown dragons: Balerion the Black Dread, Vhagar, and Meraxes. Four thousand men were burned to death and thousands more were so badly burned that they could no longer fight. King Mern was among the dead and House Gardener died with him, which resulted in his stewards House Tyrell taking over the Reach. When King Loren Lannister saw Mern’s fate, he surrendered his crown and submitted to Targaryen rule. Personally, Aegon made a fatal mistake by sparing House Lannister because the Lannisters were the cause of the War of the Five Kings, which undid everything Aegon built. However, I often wonder how the story of Game of Thrones would have turned out if it was House Lannister that was exterminated on the Field of Fire instead of House Gardener. Who would take over the Westerlands? How would the Gardeners perform their duties as Lords Paramount of the Reach and Wardens of the South? Would the War of the Five Kings ever take place and would the Gardeners be the cause instead of the Lannisters? So many questions. Personally, I think House Gardener’s sigil, a green hand, would be an ideal symbol of one or more Gardeners serving as Hand of the King. What do you think?
Like with every civilization, the Empire of Gradaia has its own form of currency. This currency is in the form of gold, silver, and copper. In order for Gradaia to meet the standards of real life medieval times, I named its currency after the real world florins. In Gradaia, one gold florin is worth five silver florins and twenty-five copper florins. Ten thousand gold florins is enough money to bankroll a small army. The wealthiest kingdoms such as Waes and the Imperial captial region of Gaena have an abundant supply of mineral mines with Gaena being the wealthier of the two. The Imperial Palace itself was once the largest gold mine in the known world until its deposits were exhausted and it was converted into the largest and most impregnable castle in the Empire. Even the peasants in Waes and Gaena live better than those of the surrounding kingdoms. In addition to relying on gold, silver, and copper, there are some coastal cities and kingdoms that rely on trade. Before Galen the Bull conquered all nine Petty Kingdoms, there was no coherent currency or trade plan. Now that those kingdoms are united as an Empire, wealth and prosperity reign supreme. All it will take is a single change in the status quo to disrupt that wealth and prosperity.
Before there were crabs, lobsters, or crayfish, there were sea scorpions. These were common predators 450 million years ago and ranged in size from 8 inches to 8 feet in length. One species known as Brontoscorpio was one of the first species of animal to develop lungs that work out of the water and had a stinger the size of a lightbulb. Most of the descendants of this creature are long dead. The closest thing to sea scorpion that still survives to this day is the horseshoe crab. If you were a fisherman, imagine hauling a whole net-full of these creatures. Because of their size, I can imagine the Deadliest Catch guys making a fortune with a single haul of these sea scorpions. If you were to cook a sea scorpion, I can imagine it being similar in smell, taste, and texture to crab or lobster. I shall, therefore, order some crab or lobster next time I go to my family’s favorite restaurant, Captain Jack’s. If I can do that, I can incorporate sea scorpions into my fantasy series as a delicacy for the coastal kingdoms of Gradaia.
I have been shaking the cobwebs off my knowledge of prehistory and I remembered a beast that would make an ideal sea serpent for my fantasy series: Tylosaurus! If you want to draw inspiration for sea monsters in your stories, the prehistoric oceans were overflowing with all kinds of sea monsters both big and small. Tylosaurus was one of the largest carnivorous marine reptiles that ever lived, reaching up to 50 to 60 feet in length! They were the undisputed kings of the late Cretaceous seas, eating anything and everything they could sink their teeth into including other mosasaurs. I thought it would be fitting for these beasts to be sea serpents in my fantasy series because they are not just large, carnivorous, marine reptiles. They are also direct ancestors of snakes and lizards. If you think sharks are the most terrifying monsters the seven seas have ever seen, wait until you see this leviathan swimming past your boat! In a fantasy world, slaying one of these monstrosities would automatically make you a legend and a Monster Slayer like Numen Magnus.
When people think of unicorns, they think of horses with a straight horn growing from their heads. However, I am thinking of including a different kind of unicorn in future fantasy books. Like every other mythical creature, I will be very scientific when it comes to unicorns. Instead of a horse with a fancy horn, I am envisioning unicorns as resembling large reindeer or caribou with silver fur and a single, recurved horn made of polished ivory instead of antlers. There will not be anything magical about them. They will just be overly exotic animals that look magical. What do you think?
In BBC’s Top Gear, they had a challenge in which they had to make homemade limousines. Jeremy Clarkson, in particular, took a Fiat Panda and extended it to an outrageous size. By the end of the challenge, Jeremy’s Fiat Panda was eight feet longer than a bus. What would you do if you had a limo that big?