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.
In the sequel to The War of the Gilded Beasts, I intend on introducing a character who is a mercenary. This character will be motivated by two things: coin and the promise of a good fight. They will start out as a cynical sword fighter before evolving into a proper noble. Unlike most medieval mercenaries, their arsenal will be more diverse with a longsword and a Japanese short sword (wakizashi). They would serve the role of an enforcer at some point in the story.
I remember something I heard from the film Dragonheart. The villain referred to death as a release and not a punishment. With this in mind, if death is the release then what is the real punishment? I think the real punishment would be a fate worse than death. Imagine having your mind, body, and spirit so irreparably broken over time that when you are finally executed you would not be mourned as a martyr. Overall, if you are not dead then the real punishment will make you wish you were dead. In future fantasy works, I am thinking of this punishment to be how rebels and traitors will be treated. After doing a lot of medieval research combined with my dark imagination, I am more than certain to come up with a suitable punishment in my fantasy series.
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.
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.
A couple days ago, I discovered something fascinating. We often think that Megalodon was the most terrifying sea monster in the Miocene oceans. However, it turns out that Megalodon had an arch nemesis that was as big and ferocious as it was. That creature was a close cousin of the sperm whale known as Livyatan Melvillei. It was named after the biblical sea monster Leviathan and Herman Melville the author of Moby Dick. This beast had teeth bigger than Megalodon’s and was an apex predator that attacked and ate everything in the ocean including the occasional Megalodon. I have seen videos of whales outsmarting and killing sharks. Due to this, this creature would have Megalodon’s size and power, but would be much smarter. If you heard whales sing, then imagine how this thing would sound in the water. I can imagine it being louder and deeper than any modern whale call, which would be far more ominous and haunting. I am thinking of writing a book about this whale in the future once my schedule opens up. I am aiming to make this creature the modern Moby Dick!
In the Curiosity Stream documentaries, I discovered several segments that talked about the concept of megacities. We often think we can build cities horizontally forever, but the truth is that the Earth’s surface is finite. As our population grows, it would make sense to build cities vertically to accommodate our increasing numbers. Megacities are essentially super sized skyscrapers and can house tens of thousands of residents. Some megacities could be built on land, on artificial islands in the middle of the ocean, be 3D printed, or have plants and jungles growing from their walls. I am thinking of featuring a megacity in my new superhero series that could house a quarter million residents. It will be the last of its kind.