I discovered something utterly fascinating a couple days ago in yet another medieval documentary, Going Medieval. Guedelon Castle, which is located in France, is being built from the ground up for the past twenty years. It is not an ancient castle at all. It is a freshly made one that is still under construction. The people in the project have been building it with no modern equipment or materials, only using tools and materials from the period. They say the castle will be completed in the 2020s. I think I will wait to see this castle when it is finished, that way I can get a better scale of a freshly made castle for future reference.
Many monarchies in history had their own council of advisors or privy council to help them with the day-to-day affairs of their kingdom. When I wrote Numen the Slayer, I did the same by incorporating a similar kind of council for the kings and emperors of Gradaia. In the case of the ruling emperor or empress, their Privy Council consisted of a representative from each kingdom in the Empire, the Lord Chancellor, and the emperor or empress themselves. This would give the Privy Council a grand total of eleven members and I drew inspiration from the Knights of the Round Table for them. I even included a scene of how the Privy Council operated in Numen the Slayer.
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.
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.
The final battle of the Trojan War was the Sack of Troy. It was when the Greeks infiltrated Troy with a small force concealed inside a large wooden horse. By doing this, the Greeks were able to open Troy’s gates and allow the rest of the Greek army to sack the city. For the second volume of my fantasy series, I am thinking of drawing inspiration from the Sack of Troy in order to come up with a battle that will unfold in a similar fashion, but there will be no wooden horse.
As I cooked the Thanksgiving feast, I got to perform a task that I wanted to do: carving the turkey. The reason why I wanted to do this task was that it would provide more inspiration for my next fantasy books. In medieval times, the job of master carver was a great honor in a monarch’s court and there would be ways to carve different animals. While carving, you would follow the actual structure of the animal and the knife should be an extension of the arm. Thinness is important because if you carved the meat too thickly it would result in the lord or monarch’s teeth disintegrating and the carver would be a very unpopular individual. It was a good sensational experience as I worked my way through the skin, meat, and bones of the turkey. My family enjoyed my handiwork and I look forward to next year.
The Nzappa zap was a type of battle ax used in the Congo both in war and as symbols of prestige. In combat, the Nzappa zap could be used for hacking and slashing like a regular ax or be thrown from a distance and take a man’s leg off in twenty feet. I gave the Nzappa zap an appearance in Numen the Slayer during the Siege of Foxden. It is one of the tribal weapons I decided to give to a group of woodland clans called the Welts.