ANOTHER IMPERIAL PALACE

At first, I thought of giving the Magnus Dynasty only one Imperial Palace as their seat of power over the Gradaian Empire. However, I learned that monarchs such as Henry VIII had up to SIXTY castles and residences! With this in mind, I am thinking of giving the Magnus Dynasty a second Imperial Palace that further symbolizes their power and majesty. This castle will have been built in the aftermath of the War of the Gilded Beasts. In terms of style, size, and appearance, I am thinking of this new Imperial Palace being a combination between Hampton Court and Versailles, both of which were the favorite palaces of powerful kings. This palace will make its debut in my third fantasy book.

PALACE OF VERSAILLES

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This morning, I discovered a new documentary that further described the history and inner workings of Versailles Palace. Versailles Palace was constructed by Louis XIV of France. He built this palace because he did not feel safe and powerful in Paris. In Paris, the visiting nobles were close to home and had plenty of opportunity to plot against him. In an attempt to regain his power and security, Louis developed a system of running a royal court that had not been beaten.

At this time, the French monarchy’s power was weakened and the various nobles had more authority in various regions of France. This caused Louis to enter a power struggle with the nobility to regain control over France. Louis learned from the mistakes of Charles I of England. If he went to war with his own people, he would gamble his throne and the future of his dynasty. Therefore, he planned to do battle with his vassals on his own terms and on a battlefield of his choosing. The battlefield was his family’s hunting lodge, which was located some distance from Paris. Its distance meant that his courtiers would be isolated from their allies in the capital and their ability to plot against Louis would be severely diminished. When Louis first moved his court to the lodge, it proved too small to accommodate everyone. With this in mind, Louis made the hunting lodge undergo an extreme makeover into the Versailles Palace.

Louis would conquer his enemies not with armies or weapons, but with fashion and refinement. Louis would set a series of strange yet strict house rules that even the most powerful duke had to obey. These rules even involved something as mundane as watching Louis wake up in the morning. Louis was called the Sun King and he compared his getting up in the morning to the rising of the sun. In exchange for following his strict house rules, Louis would grant favors to nobles who would visit him the most. Nobles who do not obey the house rules are denied any favors from the king. All the visiting nobles would fight with one another to gain an audience with the king, which greatly reduced their ability to scheme against Louis. It also gave Louis a cult of personality where he was almost worshipped as a god. This is something Louis absolutely believed because his mother drilled into him the belief in the divine right of kings.

Even if he did not grant nobles favors, Louis still smothered them with lavish hospitality. This legendary hospitality took the form of gambling, feasts, hunts, and elaborate parties. This constant sense of fun made Versailles Palace the ultimate playground for the French nobility. It constantly made them want to keep coming to Versailles. While the nobles were too busy having the time of their lives, Louis’s spies were gathering intelligence on them from the shadows. Even the mail was monitored in Versailles Palace. If there was any sign of treachery, Louis would be informed. Essentially, Versailles Palace became a gilded cage for the French nobility where all of their secrets were laid bare. Due to this system of surveillance, Louis was always a step ahead of his enemies and countered them accordingly.

Even fashion was strict at Versailles and it would constantly change depending on Louis’s decisions. If you wore the wrong type of clothes, they would be burned and you would be fined. Versailles also had its own version of a shopping mall for the nobility, which sold fashionable items such as shoes and jewelry. They were so expensive that the nobility lost a considerable chunk of the wealth just to please Louis’s constantly changing sense of fashion. With no money in their pockets, betraying the king became both unthinkable and unaffordable, which kept the nobility firmly under Louis’s thumb.

This system of courtly intrigue is what has allowed Louis XIV to become the longest reigning monarch in European history.

FIGHTER CHARACTER

One of the six main characters I will be featuring in my new superhero series will be a hardened fighter. Like the Comedian from Watchmen, my character will be more of a thug than a hero. Like Kenpachi Zaraki from Bleach, my character is the kind of person who loves the thrill of a good fight. Based on these traits, my character will join his comrades’ crusade against crime solely because he LOVES the thrill of fighting and doesn’t care about saving people or changing the status quo.

THE FIRST SUPERHEROES

In my new superhero series, superhumans will be regarded as either weapons or oddities of nature to the human population. This public opinion will be in place for a century. As a result of this status quo, no one considered the possibility of superhumans becoming heroes. With this in mind, a group of superhuman vigilantes will become my alternate timeline’s first superheroes. At first, the public considers them as vigilantes or part of a gang war, but as the threats they face become greater, the public start seeing these individuals as heroes. When this team is first formed, it will consist of 13 superhumans, but after fighting crime for three years, their numbers will be reduced to 6. The main storyline will revolve around the 6 survivors and their efforts to fight the status quo.

THE INHUMAN ENEMY

For the doomsday prepper story I am working on, I have a pretty good idea of what kind of creature the colonists will be up against. I have planned out their appearance and capabilities. However, I will not say where exactly they are or come from. They could be aliens, government experiments, living fossils, or inter-dimensional beings. That will remain ambiguous in the story and I will leave it to your imagination. I like monster stories that leave you guessing what the creatures are and where they come from. I will apply that to my story.

DOOMSDAY SIEGE

The doomsday prepper story I mentioned in my previous posts will ultimately culminated in the colonists fighting a siege against an inhuman enemy that attacks their community. This siege will involve heavy defenses such as mine fields, booby traps, and A LOT of firepower. There will also be the use of underground tunnels and bunkers. It is going to be even more extreme than the medieval sieges I depicted in the Magnus Dynasty Saga. It asks an unusual question: “How do you defend your home from an invader that is not human?”

CONFLICTING PROJECTS

I find myself in a strange position as a writer. Right now, I have so many different stories I want to work on, but it has my concentration divided. I want to continue the third fantasy book, my new superhero series, and the new short story ideas. However, I can only do one at a time or my mind will burst. I cannot decide which story I should focus my energies on at this time. I want to write more than anything, but I have not decided which one to tackle. I KNOW how each story should unfold and I am ALWAYS formulating ideas, but I can’t concentrate enough to actually write them. I am lost and I cannot find my way back without help. Does anyone have any suggestions? Your assistance will be very appreciated. Thank you.