Tag Archives: KINGDOM

PALACE OF VERSAILLES

acceuil_tg_ete

This morning, I discovered a new documentary that further described the history and inner workings of Versailles Palace. Versailles Palace was constructed by Louis XIV of France. He built this palace because he did not feel safe and powerful in Paris. In Paris, the visiting nobles were close to home and had plenty of opportunity to plot against him. In an attempt to regain his power and security, Louis developed a system of running a royal court that had not been beaten.

At this time, the French monarchy’s power was weakened and the various nobles had more authority in various regions of France. This caused Louis to enter a power struggle with the nobility to regain control over France. Louis learned from the mistakes of Charles I of England. If he went to war with his own people, he would gamble his throne and the future of his dynasty. Therefore, he planned to do battle with his vassals on his own terms and on a battlefield of his choosing. The battlefield was his family’s hunting lodge, which was located some distance from Paris. Its distance meant that his courtiers would be isolated from their allies in the capital and their ability to plot against Louis would be severely diminished. When Louis first moved his court to the lodge, it proved too small to accommodate everyone. With this in mind, Louis made the hunting lodge undergo an extreme makeover into the Versailles Palace.

Louis would conquer his enemies not with armies or weapons, but with fashion and refinement. Louis would set a series of strange yet strict house rules that even the most powerful duke had to obey. These rules even involved something as mundane as watching Louis wake up in the morning. Louis was called the Sun King and he compared his getting up in the morning to the rising of the sun. In exchange for following his strict house rules, Louis would grant favors to nobles who would visit him the most. Nobles who do not obey the house rules are denied any favors from the king. All the visiting nobles would fight with one another to gain an audience with the king, which greatly reduced their ability to scheme against Louis. It also gave Louis a cult of personality where he was almost worshipped as a god. This is something Louis absolutely believed because his mother drilled into him the belief in the divine right of kings.

Even if he did not grant nobles favors, Louis still smothered them with lavish hospitality. This legendary hospitality took the form of gambling, feasts, hunts, and elaborate parties. This constant sense of fun made Versailles Palace the ultimate playground for the French nobility. It constantly made them want to keep coming to Versailles. While the nobles were too busy having the time of their lives, Louis’s spies were gathering intelligence on them from the shadows. Even the mail was monitored in Versailles Palace. If there was any sign of treachery, Louis would be informed. Essentially, Versailles Palace became a gilded cage for the French nobility where all of their secrets were laid bare. Due to this system of surveillance, Louis was always a step ahead of his enemies and countered them accordingly.

Even fashion was strict at Versailles and it would constantly change depending on Louis’s decisions. If you wore the wrong type of clothes, they would be burned and you would be fined. Versailles also had its own version of a shopping mall for the nobility, which sold fashionable items such as shoes and jewelry. They were so expensive that the nobility lost a considerable chunk of the wealth just to please Louis’s constantly changing sense of fashion. With no money in their pockets, betraying the king became both unthinkable and unaffordable, which kept the nobility firmly under Louis’s thumb.

This system of courtly intrigue is what has allowed Louis XIV to become the longest reigning monarch in European history.

THE BRIGHT PRINCE

640px-HenryVIII_1509

When Henry VIII came to the throne, he was just a seventeen year old kid. Before he became the obese tyrant we know, Henry VIII was handsome, sexy, athletic, intelligent, charming, generous, and charismatic. In the early years of his reign, Henry’s court was filled with young noblemen who were around his age, giving his court the energy and vigor of a frat house. He often engaged in sports such as jousting, hunting, and tennis. Also, while most kings appointed nobles to high ranking positions, Henry VIII appointed commoners to high ranking positions. He did not care if his ministers were nobles or commoners. As long as they ran his kingdom and made him rich, he was happy as a clam. Before divorcing Katherine of Aragon, the first half of Henry’s marriage to her was very happy. Before he became a tyrant, many thought of Henry VIII as the brightest and most charismatic prince and king England ever knew. Thomas More once wrote that “this king is loved” and he compared the passing of Henry VII and the ascension of Henry VIII to the transition of winter to spring. If Henry VII was the winter, then Henry VIII was the spring. However, Henry VIII had one fatal flaw in his character: he could not rule himself. A king who cannot rule himself must not rule a kingdom. Still, I am curious and interested in Henry VIII’s early reign as a young king. I will be basing aspects of one my main fantasy characters’ reigns on the early reign of Henry VIII. This way, we could see what kind of king Henry VIII could have been if he could rule himself.

UMBRAN​

Umbran

The majority of Numen the Slayer takes place in the northernmost kingdom in the Caliburn Empire, Umbran. I named this kingdom after the ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. It is a region that is geographically isolated because it is surrounded by mountains in the north and east as well as swamps in the south. Its climate is similar to northern England and Scotland, being cold and temperate. Within its natural defenses, Umbran consists of fields, hills, and lakes. To the far north is an uncharted region known as the Territories, which is home to several monsters. It is divided up into eight baronies, each one with their own collection of landed knights. Like all the other kingdoms in the Empire, Umbran is ruled by its own royal family, House Baal, who rules the capital castle of Blood Arrow. In times of war, Umbran’s maximum military strength is around 35,000 strong. In addition to being inhabited by civilized people, Umbran is also home to tribal barbarians called Welts. Overall, Umbran is a dark and wild kingdom that breeds savage people.

FOREST KINGDOM

I had another idea for a kingdom in my fantasy series. Its scenery and environment will be similar to Yellowstone with lots of wild animals and heavily forested. The people who would live in this kingdom would live off the fat of the land. Apart from some pig and corn farms, this kingdom will be mostly inhabited by hunters who rely on the local animals for food and clothing. On a side note, medieval hunting was not just about food or sport. It was about preparing people for war. Due to this, the people of this kingdom will be among the most battle-hardened warriors in the Empire because everyday they have to hunt for food and risk their lives in the process. Apart from hunting animals and raising corn and pigs for food, they would also harvest wild berries, nuts, and honey. In terms of economy, the inhabitants of this kingdom would rely mostly on trade with animal furs and timber from their dense forests. Because this kingdom would be so heavily forested, wooden motte-and-bailey castles would be very common. Overall, this would be one of the wildest kingdoms in my fantasy world.

VALLEY KINGDOM

Pololu-Valley-Overlook-37687

For my fantasy series, I am envisioning a kingdom that is a fertile valley full of farmland, fields, hills, lakes, and rivers. This kingdom would be surrounded by three natural defenses consisting of mountains, swamps, and forests. The annual crops would be so ripe and juicy that they would explode with flavor in your mouth as you bite into them. Their livestock would be so healthy and well fed that their meat would melt in your mouth. In addition, the rivers and lakes would have all the fish you could eat and the water would be fresh and purifying. The various rivers would connect to numerous ports throughout the valley as well as to some neighboring regions, giving it abundant trade. I can also see a sizable population due to the fertile and rich land the people live in. Overall, this would be a kingdom I would want to call home. I live in a valley so drawing inspiration for this kingdom will be very easy.

VOLCANIC KINGDOM

pictures-of-volcanoes-in-iceland-13

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.