DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

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Pirates have always been a popular theme in both film and literature for many years. They have gained a healthy reputation as raiders, plunderers, and reavers who like to fight, drink rum, and swim in their loot. I am thinking of including pirates in my fantasy trilogy, but they will be nothing like the ones that existed in the 17th and early 18th centuries. They will not have the gunpowder weapons such as pistols or cannons, but will have cutlass swords while their ships will not be the classic war galleys but Viking-style longships.

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THIRD FANTASY VOLUME: WHERE TO BEGIN?

As I plan for the third volume of my fantasy volume, I find myself in an interesting position. The third fantasy volume is intended to depict an emperor’s life and reign from start to finish. However, I cannot decide whether to go David Copperfield and start the day the emperor is born and go from there or start from when the emperor is first crowned. What do you think? Because I like to promote democracy amongst my readers from time to time, I will put this decision to a vote. What kind of beginning do you want to read? Please let me know.

INSPIRATION: PALACE OF VERSAILLES

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The Palace of Versailles was a large chateau constructed by Louis XIV to serve as the new capital seat of the French royal family after they moved from Paris to Versailles. Louis invited the entire aristocracy to the Palace to participate in extravagant events to keep an eye on them. I have seen photographs of the Palace on the Internet and it is a beautiful and glorious manor full of all the pomp and luxury fit for a king. Due to this, I am thinking of drawing inspiration from the Palace of Versailles for a new castle in my fantasy series.

KING REVIEW: LOUIS XIV OF FRANCE

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One of the most interesting kings in European history would be King Louis XIV of France also known as the Sun King. Louis was the longest reigning monarch in all of European history due to the fact that he ruled France for over 72 years and 110 days since he was four years old. He successfully established an absolute rule for the French monarchy that lasted until the French Revolution three-quarters of a century after his death. One of the ways he established absolute monarchy was constructing the Palace of Versailles and invited the entire aristocracy inside for extravagant celebrations. However, these celebrations were a facade so that Louis could keep a close eye on his vassals and constantly keep them in line. In addition to a long and absolute reign, Louis was also a prolific womanizer who sired 22 children (6 legitimate). Two of his illegitimate sons he made into Counts and the Grand Admiral of France at an early age, one at two-years-old and one at five-years-old. Most kings would have left their illegitimate children in the streets, but Louis XIV was different because he took good care of ALL his children, legitimate and illegitimate alike, by giving them lands, wealth, and titles of their own. For the main character in the third volume of my fantasy trilogy, I will be drawing inspiration from Louis XIV.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WESTWORLD

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While watching Westworld, I noticed that the androids were not allowed to harm the human guests, but the human guests could do whatever they wanted to the androids. Because of this, the humans were given a golden opportunity to release their inner darkness while venturing into the park. For example, Ed Harris’s character started out as a good-natured, soft-spoken, and mild-mannered man, but after visiting the park for thirty years, he became a far darker person and a hardened survivor of countless skirmishes. With this in mind, I wonder what would become of me if I went to such a theme park. Even though I am generally a good person, I have always known that I have a darkness in me that must never see the light of day. If I had the opportunity of letting my demons off the leash like in Westworld, I highly doubt I will ever be the same person again and I may not be able to cage the beast again. In the original Westworld film, there was a Medieval World and that would be the park in which I would be right at home. It would also be the best place to gain REAL inspiration for my fantasy books. The reason for this is because up until now I have only gained rudimentary information and experience. With a place like Westworld, I will actually get to LIVE the medieval lifestyle and be exposed to the savage world that breeds savage people I learned so much about.

THE GRAEGA

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In Numen the Slayer, there is a colossal monstrous bear called the Graega. I named it the Graega because “Graega” is one of the Anglo-Saxon words for “gray”. Due to its status as a monster, I decided to give the Graega the same feel as Grendel in Beowulf. When standing at full height, the Graega is over ten feet tall and weighs over three tons. Its fur is ash-gray mixed with bone white. Its jowls are large and enclose powerful jaws filled with crooked and crushing teeth. One of its eyes is dead and its broad back has the scars and broken spears and arrows it acquired from countless battles with every warrior and hunter who was bold enough to face it. Its arms and legs are as thick as tree trunks while its paws are tipped with curved claws as big as meat hooks. The Graega’s roar is deep and guttural like a damned soul screaming for salvation. For a decade, the Graega was the scourge of the northern borders of Umbran, terrorizing every village and Welt settlement and killing every creature in sight like a demon of death. At some point, Numen and his companions encounter the Graega on their journey and have to deal with it.