During the reigns of Henry III and Edward II, there were families who acted as enforcers to the king. For Henry III, his enforcers were his half-brothers the Lusignans. For Edward II, his enforcers were the Despensers. Both kings made these families their enforcers in exchange for being allowed to do whatever they wanted. Eventually, their brutality and greed created all-out chaos throughout England. The Lusignans fled for their lives from rebellious barons while the Despeners were hung, beheaded, castrated, drawn and quartered. I am thinking of basing some characters after these two families in my third fantasy book and their lust for power will result in civil war.
Simon De Montfort was a French knight who was given lands and titles by King Henry III of England. Henry III thought Simon De Montfort was the kind of man who could make the tough choices that he never could. However, Simon led a rebellion against the king and briefly made the barons more powerful than the monarchy. This resulted in the groundwork for what would eventually become Parliament. Henry was not strong enough to regain control of his kingdom on his own. However, Henry III’s son and heir, the future Edward I AKA Longshanks, led the assault to take De Montfort down. Eventually, Longshanks defeated De Montfort and had his body desecrated to send a warning to anyone who would dare defy the crown. Thanks to his son, Henry III regained control of his kingdom, but had to yield to the demands of Magna Carta forever. I am thinking of basing a rebellious noble after Simon De Montfort in the third volume of my fantasy series.
As I delve into my medieval research, I reach an undeniable conclusion. The medieval world was a savage world that bred savage people. It was not called the Dark Ages for nothing. Countless atrocities of all kinds were common place, pestilence and famine ravaged the land, religious zealots hounded and persecuted people they feared and hated, kings and lords always extorted the populace and betrayed one another for their own gain, and there was a nearly constant state of war when peacetime was very short-lived. When I write my fantasy series, I try to make the story as close to these dark standards as I can because it feels more real than the fairy tales we were told as children.
Piers Gaveston was a close companion of King Edward II of England. He was a skilled knight and tournaments star, but he was hated by both the nobles and Edward’s father Edward I AKA Longshanks. When Longshanks ruled, Gaveston was banished, but when Longshanks died, Edward II ordered him back to be with him. Gaveston gained a well-deserved reputation for calling many of the nobles bad names, which made them hate him even more. During Edward’s wedding with Isabella of France, Gaveston dined with Edward and wore royal purple, which was a color that only the king was allowed to wear. After seeing this, many nobles wanted to kill Gaveston on the spot. Eventually, they did kill him under the orders of Edward II’s cousin Thomas of Lancaster. This caused Edward II to seek vengeance against all the nobles involved in Gaveston’s murder. I am thinking of including a character who would be similar to Piers Gaveston in the third volume of my fantasy trilogy.
In 1381, the peasants of England revolted against the government due to unpopular tax laws. The nobles believed the peasants were disorganized and uneducated rabble, but the truth was the exact opposite. As a result, the rebels seized control of London and murdered many nobles and political figures. However, the peasants did not blame the current king, Richard II, for their problems. Instead, they blamed Richard’s advisors such as his uncle John of Gaunt. At the time, Richard II was only a 14 year old boy, which gave the peasants the impression that he was being controlled by his advisors. Eventually, Richard rode out to meet the rebel leaders and told them to follow him to Clerkenwell Fields. Believing the king was about to give them the freedom they longed for, the peasants obeyed Richard. Shortly afterwards, Richard’s surviving nobles mustered their remaining forces and surrounded the rebels, displaying the head of their leader on a spike. With this, the rebels lost their morale and surrendered to Richard II. Later, Richard sent his forces to exterminate any rebel remnants that remained and the status quo that the peasants hoped for was gone. I am thinking of including something similar in the reign of the main character of my third fantasy book.
Thomas Becket was the son of a merchant and former best friend of King Henry II of England. For a time, Becket served as the Lord Chancellor, which is the real-world equivalent of Hand of the King. Then trouble started brewing in the Church of England so Henry II appointed Becket as the new Archbishop of Canterbury in an attempt to bring the Church to heel. This backfires spectacularly because the moment Becket became Archbishop, he became a religious zealot and started defying the king’s orders. When Henry II crowned his firstborn son and heir as king-in-waiting, Becket excommunicated every priest involved. This was the final straw for Henry II and he spouted, “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?” Even though Henry II was only venting his frustration, his knights saw his outburst as a direct order from their king. So they burst into Canterbury and chopped off the top half of Becket’s skull. An eyewitness to the murder said, “the color of the blood and brain was like the white of the lily and red of the rose.” Becket’s murder caused a catastrophic backlash against Henry II’s reign. In the third volume of my fantasy trilogy, I am thinking of including a similar incident during my main character’s reign so I will be drawing inspiration from Thomas Becket.
In Numen the Slayer, the weapon of choice for King Robar Baal was the falchion in addition to a cleaver. At first, I thought there was only one type of falchion, but now I discover that there were multiple variants of the weapon. To give you an idea of what Robar’s falchion looked like, I provided this picture. This picture is of a French two-handed falchion. I first saw this weapon in Forged in Fire’s Knife or Death. Due to its jagged spine, this falchion variant looked like an ideal weapon for a villain, which was perfect for Robar. So Robar’s falchion would look like this weapon except its blade would be made of black Ferruman steel that glitters silver. Even though this weapon usually requires the use of two hands, Robar is physically strong enough to wield it one-handed alongside his cleaver.