Tag Archives: HISTORY

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.

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.

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.

LUCKY FANTASY BASTARDS

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Imagine having at least twenty illegitimate children. Now imagine giving them all their own wealth, titles, and lands. I got this idea while researching such medieval bastards from both kings and lords. A prime example of this was an illegitimate son of Henry VIII, Henry Fitzroy, who was named Duke of Richmond and Somerset. I am thinking of including something similar in my fantasy series, but on a much larger scale. If a group of illegitimate children were given their own wealth, titles, and lands, then they have the ability to form their own cadet branches of the main bloodline. That way if anything happens to the main bloodline one of the cadet branches would take over. I will research the upbringing of Henry Fitzroy further to see how this can happen in my fantasy series.

WRITING UPDATE: SECOND FANTASY BOOK (CHAPTER 1)

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I have just started the first chapter of the second volume of my fantasy series and it is already becoming more socially strange and complex. The reason for this is because the opening scene takes place inside of a brothel, which was a type of location I never expected to write about. I am including a brothel in my fantasy series because brothels are as old as human civilization itself and people in medieval times frequently used them. Due to the privileged lifestyle of royalty, I can imagine members of royalty visiting a brothel often. I am incorporating this trait into the main characters of the second volume in order to give them more complexity as characters. What do you think?

INSPIRATION: BATTLES OF FULFORD AND STAMFORD BRIDGE

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The main war in my fantasy series will be fought on many fronts from land, sea, and air. Because I am modeling the main protagonists after Henry Tudor and William the Conqueror, I will be modeling some of the battles they fought after historical battles Henry and William fought. For example, during the Norman Conquest of 1066 A.D. ten thousand vikings under Harald Hardrada invaded England around the same time as William the Conqueror. In order to stay true to my viking roots and draw inspiration on Hardrada’s raids, I am thinking of including some sea and coastal battles in the second volume of my fantasy series. The first of Hardrada’s raids was the Battle of Fulford, where the vikings won their first and only victory in the Conquest of 1066.

While the Battle of Fulford allowed the vikings to conquer and sack Fulford and York, their victory was short lived. Soon the vikings wandered too far away from their ships and became trapped behind enemy lines. This misfortune really hurt their war effort when they fought the Battle of Stamford Bridge. By this time King Harold Godwinson of England raised an army to beat back the viking host and he had them outnumbered two to one. The losses the vikings took were so severe that only two dozen of their three hundred ships made it back to Norway.

However, while Harold Godwinson defeated the vikings in the north, William the Conqueror and his Norman army landed in the south. After landing, William and his Normans wasted no time in consolidating a foothold on their future kingdom. In an attempt to defend his crown from the second invading army, Harold and his English army ran south to meet William in open battle. By the time they reached Hastings, Harold and his men were exhausted from running from one side of the country to another. William and his Normans, on the other hand, were well rested and ready for battle. This was one of the factors that ultimately led to Harold’s defeat at the hands of William the Conqueror. This chain of events ultimately led to crowning William king of England and establishing a dynasty that has lasted for almost a thousand years.

In the second volume of my fantasy series, I am thinking of depicting a similar series of events, but with several unique changes of my own. This collection of battles and skirmishes will be even more intense and epic than what happened in real life.

INSPIRATION: BATTLE OF TOWTON

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For the second volume of my fantasy series, I am planning on depicting a very epic and bloody battle that will pit two armies that are each roughly one hundred thousand strong. To make the battle as believable as possible, I will be drawing inspiration on the Battle of Towton from the War of the Roses. The Battle of Towton was the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on British soil where sixty thousand men fought one another. Of those sixty thousand only half of those men survived the bloodbath. This skirmish was a crushing defeat for the Lancastrians and also consolidated Edward IV’s position as a strong and charismatic leader, which would eventually crown him King of England. While I will be basing my battle on some of the tactics of Towton, I will also be making it even larger and more epic as new weapons of war are deployed.