Tag Archives: HISTORY

CHARLES THE SIMPLE

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I discovered a rather funny medieval figure known as Charles the Simple, who was a notoriously useless French king from the 9th to 10th century. His subjects overthrew him and locked him in a jail because he was such a bad general. “The Simple” is not a wise name for a king to earn. Three centuries later, Simon de Montfort said that Henry III should be locked up like Charles the Simple due to Henry’s own poor military record. Thinking about locking up your king is one thing, but saying it to his face like Simon did is flirting with treason.

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SECOND BARONS’ WAR

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The Second Barons’ War took place during the reign of Henry III of England. It was caused by Henry III constantly trying to extract new taxes from England’s barons, but due to the restrictions of Magna Carta, the barons were not legally obliged to the king’s commands. This created a power struggle between the king and his barons. Eventually, the barons were united under the leadership of Henry’s former best friend turned sworn enemy Simon de Montfort. After defeating and capturing Henry, Simon de Montfort used him as a puppet to take money, land, and power for himself. This was the case for over a year until Henry’s son and heir the future Edward I raised an army and defeated Simon de Montfort. After Simon was killed, his corpse was butchered as a warning to the rest of the kingdom, “no one defies the king and lives.” Simon was castrated before having his privates rammed into his mouth before having his head cut off and mounted on a spike. In the aftermath of Simon de Montfort’s defeat, every baron who sided with Simon were stripped of all their land and were given the opportunity to buy back their lands and a pardon with heavily punitive fines. Even though the monarchy had to abide to Magna Carta, the rebellion left the barons’ severely weakened and explosively increased the power and authority of the monarchy.

 

For my third fantasy book, I am thinking of portraying a civil war that will be based on the Second Barons’ War. However, I have a puzzle to solve. The main character’s family commands dragons, the Sword of Power, and other mystical secrets. What would it take to tip the scales to make this civil war a more even fight? I am currently brainstorming on ways the rebels may fight the ruling dynasty on even footing.

ANCIENT SECRETS

With magic returning to the world, long forgotten secrets will resurface from the ash heap of history. Some secrets revolve around manipulating the elements, some to prolong life, and the greatest and darkest of these secrets can be found within the deepest and most obscure levels of the Imperial Palace itself. History has a way of coughing up old secrets from the sands of time. We see it all the time in both paleontology and archaeology.

FLAWED RULER

When I first started my third fantasy volume, I originally considered the main character’s reign to be relatively peaceful with the exception of one major war and a few cutthroat politics. However, thinking back to everything I have learned about medieval monarchs, life was NEVER that easy. We often think of the medieval kings and queens of Europe to be either great leaders or tyrants. My father, for instance, has a strong animosity towards the English kings of old for how they treated our Scottish and Irish ancestors. The reality is that they were both the heroes and the villains, great leaders and tyrants, all at the same time. They were flawed individuals who made human mistakes every day of their respective reigns. Every one of their decisions had consequences that either launched a long-lasting dynasty or cut their reign short. I am thinking of applying this deeply flawed nature to the main character. They will be the most human character in my fantasy series so far.

THE FIRST BARONS’ WAR

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I just realized something! It turns out the storyline of Numen the Slayer is VERY similar to the First Barons’ War of 1215 to 1217. It all started with the reign of King John of England. King John proved to be a weak and spiteful tyrant. To counter this, the barons drafted a document called Magna Carta, which not only limited the king’s power, but also provided basic human rights to all citizens of England. Magna Carta served as the blueprints to what would eventually become Parliament. However, even though those were Magna Carta’s original purposes, it also gave the barons more power and influence than the king, which was something the barons craved since the reign of Henry II. An example of this superior power is the fact that the barons could cut off additional taxes to the crown whenever they wanted, which would prevent the king from fighting much needed wars in France. Eventually, King John could not abide by Magna Carta and he went to war with the rebellious barons. King John was overthrown and replaced by the Crown Prince of France, Louis. Unfortunately, when Louis started bringing all of his French allies to England and appointed them to high ranking positions, the English threw him and his allies out and made him swear that he was never King of England at all. Meanwhile, King John died of dysentery and was succeeded by his son Henry III.

Overall, the story of Numen the Slayer is similar to the First Barons’ War. A group of barons rebel against a tyrannical king and ultimately replace him with one of their own. I didn’t realize this until now.

LOVE VS POWER

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Permit me to tell you a medieval love story. In the middle of the War of the Roses, King Edward IV snatched the crown from Henry VI. His right hand man, Richard Neville the Earl of Warwick AKA the Kingmaker, initially planned for Edward to marry a French princess because this would not only provide a powerful ally against the return of the Lancastrians, but it would also end England’s century long feud with France. Ultimately, Edward chose to marry one of his own subjects, Elizabeth Woodville. This made Edward IV the first English king to marry one of his own subjects since the Norman Conquest of 1066. Unlike the prestigious French princess Edward was arranged to marry, Elizabeth was a widow who came from a large family of very minor nobles.

The Woodvilles were not barons, earls, or dukes. Instead, they were landed gentry, who were the middle-class of medieval society. Due to this, Elizabeth and her family did not possess the power and influence that would have allowed Edward to firmly consolidate his hold on the English throne. Therefore, for political reasons, she was far beneath Edward’s status. Even so, Edward did not care because he was in love with Elizabeth and Edward had a well deserved reputation of being led by his loins.

Edward’s decision to marry Elizabeth had dire consequences. This union stirred the wrath of Edward’s right hand man, Warwick, as well as the rest of the senior nobility. To them, the Woodvilles were a bunch of low-ranking opportunists muscling in on the well established order. Their worst fears were realized when Edward IV established political marriages between the Woodvilles and the senior aristocracy.

Eventually, Warwick and his allies could take no more and rebelled against Edward IV multiple times before being put down for good in the Battle of Barnet. However, even though Warwick was defeated, Warwick and his allies managed to exterminate a number of the Woodvilles including Elizabeth’s father and one of her brothers.

I am thinking of creating a similar love story in the third volume of the Magnus Dynasty Saga. Instead of landed gentry, the main character’s love interest will come from an ancient family of middle-class landed knights. Landed knights are the lowest rank in the Gradaian nobility. They possess less power, wealth, and influence than a baron and can only muster small armies that number in the hundreds.

CURIOSITY STREAM

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Tonight, I hit the mother load! I came across this streaming website called Curiosity Stream, which features all the documentaries I will ever need for inspiration for my books. The genres the documentaries came in included history and science. The history documentaries will come in handy while writing my fantasy books because there are plenty of medieval documentaries. The science documentaries will come in handy with my science fiction and superhero books due to having futuristic and biological documentaries. I look forward to start watching everything this website has to offer and I will share what I have learned with you.