As I ponder on my potential fantasy pirate story, I think about the evolution of real life pirates. Sadly, pirates are broken shadows of their former selves in the modern world. Today, a pirate is either a petty thief who steals DVDs or undisciplined rabble with machine guns. Between the 1700s and 1800s, pirates possessed a sense of style and class that made them strangely charismatic despite the crimes they committed. There was always something to admire about their morally ambiguous nature, which made them heroes and villains at the same time. They were men who were bound by no laws, limits, or boundaries. This made pirates the ultimate personification of maritime freedom. This absolute sense of freedom, their insatiable lust for gold, and their brutal ferocity were so extreme that pirates wielded the power to challenge entire nations such as the British Empire and the Spanish Empire. All of this is what made pirates a force to be feared and respected. It is thanks to the pirates of the past that we have the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise and ride, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and One Piece (the longest running anime and manga in recent history). Now, modern pirates are more of a nuisance and hardly the stuff of legend.
“My treasure? If you want it, I’ll grant it! Search on! All the world had to offer, I left in that place!“
Gol D. Roger, One Piece
A pirate’s lust for gold has always been legendary. They would raid merchant ships and towns of all their wealth and goods. I once went to a museum exhibit that talked about what the pirate Blackbeard pillaged, which mostly consisted of trade goods like crops and silks. Blackbeard and his crew would sell these stolen items to the black market, which was when they would get to roll in gold. Sometimes, pirates would hide and hoard their treasure in a location only they knew. A rare few pirates possessed a sense of avarice that was so extreme that they would never want to part with their treasure even in death or let anyone else have it. An intriguing example of a pirate’s booty would be that of Olivier Levasseur AKA La Buse or “The Buzzard”. La Buse was known to have collected and hidden one of the largest treasure hoards in pirate history. The crown jewel of his booty was a seven-foot-tall crucifix made of solid gold and decorated with rubies. By today’s standards, La Buse’s treasure hoard would be worth well over 160,000,000 English pounds or $221,533,600. The main ambition of the pirate king in my spin-off fantasy story will be to collect a treasure hoard that shamed all others. This hoard will not just be created to enjoy every vice and necessity the world has to offer. It will also serve as the ultimate symbol and monument to his status as the greatest pirate the empire has ever known.
“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.”
Pirates of the Caribbean
I just had an intriguing idea for the future of my fantasy series. I am thinking of doing a spin-off series that talks about the origin story of my fantasy world’s most legendary and feared pirate king. I will be drawing inspiration from real life pirates such as Blackbeard, Charles Vane, and Olivier Levasseur. I will also be drawing inspiration from fictional pirates such as Captain Flint and Long John Silver from Treasure Island. My character will become so infamous that even the mystically and politically powerful Imperial Dynasty will fear him.
Throughout medieval history, noble marriages were normally consummated by what was called a bedding ceremony. This ritual involves priests blessing the union while friends and family witnessed the consummation. Back in medieval times, a marriage was not legitimate unless it was consummated. I am planning to depict a similar ceremony in my third fantasy book. While there will be priests to bless the union, the only witnesses to the consummation would be the newlyweds themselves. However, something awkward happens when the newlyweds are left alone, which will add a sense of romantic comedy to the mix.
At some point in my story of Greek mythology, I will depict a period in my demigod’s life where he serves as a mercenary. Can you imagine what a demigod mercenary would be worth? A warrior who possesses divine strength, speed, and durability! Such a mercenary would prove to be quite valuable on the battlefield. With this in mind, I looked for real life wars that have taken place in ancient Greece. I found the Peloponnesian War, which took place during the fifth century B.C. This war was between Athens and Sparta. I am thinking of having my demigod character participate in this war, but I won’t say which side he will be on.
For the future stories in my fantasy series, I have been brainstorming what kind of historical civilizations to draw inspiration from. I mentioned the introduction of a new continent that will come into conflict with the Gradaian Empire. I have been toying with the number of kingdoms this new continent would have, but I have settled on nine nations. Among those nations would be the Ancient Greeks, the Ottoman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Franks, the Anglo-Saxons, the Ancient Chinese, the Byzantine Empire, the Ancient Egyptians, and the Rus Vikings.
“Members of the emperor’s fanatic bodyguard fight to the bitter end.“
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
While writing my third fantasy book, I have been doing a lot of brainstorming on a particular group of characters. When I think of an emperor’s bodyguards, I picture a group of warriors who are the absolute best soldiers the imperial military has to offer. This was the case with the Praetorian Guard of the Roman Empire, who served as bodyguards and enforcers of Roman emperors. At their peak, the Praetorian Guards numbered 15,000 strong, but they have been known to turn on their emperors from time to time. I also like the Elite Praetorian Guards from Star Wars: The Last Jedi because they were skilled in both melee combat and martial arts. Using melee weapons or martial arts individually can make a warrior formidable, but when these two styles are combined, the warrior becomes twice as deadly. Snoke’s Praetorian Guards were also fanatically loyal to their master, which was evidenced when they tried to avenge his death. However, the Elite Praetorian Guard of the First Order were too few in number to suitably protect someone as important as Supreme Leader Snoke. The Romans had the right idea because in order to protect a powerful and influential ruler you need to use an entire army and not just a select few bodyguards. My idea of the ideal bodyguards for an emperor are warriors that are fanatically loyal, merciless, persistent, fearless, aggressive, and highly disciplined. For my third fantasy book, a new breed of imperial bodyguards will be introduced. Like the Roman Praetorian Guard, these imperial guards will be organized into a sizable force. Like the First Order Praetorian Guard, these bodyguards will be highly skilled in the use of both melee combat and martial arts. Another twist is that these imperial guards will not be human.
“I came, I saw, I conquered.”
Gaius Julius Caesar
I have stumbled upon a treasure trove of inspiration for my fantasy series. I found a collection of documentaries that talk about the lives and careers of Roman emperors. I have been brainstorming on the personalities and backstories of future members of the Imperial Dynasty. After discovering these documentaries, I will be basing members of the Imperial Dynasty after various Roman Emperors. I have started learning about the man who started it all: Gaius Juilius Caesar.
One of the factors that judges the strength of a nation is the strength of its navy. This fact has been featured both in fiction and in real life. In Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, the Final Order had a fleet of thousands of Star Destroyers that were equipped with cannons that could destroy entire planets. In the final season of Game of Thrones, the Iron Fleet was equipped with scorpions that were so large and powerful that they could shoot dragons out of the sky. During the Napoleonic Wars, the United States created ships such as the USS Constitution that were larger, faster, more powerful, and more durable than any ship that existed at the time. The hull of the USS Constitution alone was nearly two feet thick with solid oak, which was a hard nut to crack. Those early American ships were so formidable that English ships were advised to not engage one alone. For my fantasy series, I am thinking of featuring a powerful armada that will have a similar construction to the USS Constitution and be armed with a highly destructive weapon like the Final Order Star Destroyers and the Iron Fleet.
“Are you not entertained?!”
Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator (2000)
Easily one of the most successful and iconic empires in human history would be the Roman Empire. Since my Magnus Dynasty Saga takes place in an empire, I decided to include elements of the Roman Empire into the Gradaian Empire. Among those elements is the usage of gladiators and fighting arenas. However, while Roman gladiators were slaves who were forced to fight, the gladiators in my fantasy series will be convicted criminals who are condemned to fight to the death. If these criminals can survive several years of death matches, then they earn their freedom. With this in mind, the usage of these gladiators is a prolonged death sentence that gets turned into a spectacle for the empire to witness. However, if they survive a certain number of years, then they get a pardon. These gladiators and the arena they will fight in will make an appearance in my third fantasy book.