World Building: The Kingdom of Imperium

Population: 102,000,000

Capital City: The Capital

Language: Imperium

Races: Imperium and Aon

Religion: The Church of Mater

Leader: Emperor Saevra Phaedra

Natural Resources: Iron, Brass, Timber, Farm Land.

It is said that Mater herself blessed the lands of Imperium. Bestowing upon them rich soil, an abundance of wild life, and many flowing rivers. To the north east of Imperium sits The Iron hills, rolling mountains of rock rich in iron and brass. Rich in natural resources, Imperium has thrived, quickly becoming what is arguably the most powerful amongst the known kingdoms.

Some scholars believe that the ancient Imperiums did not follow the teaching of Mater, but was once held beliefs similar to those of the Aon, a theory based in the finding of many shrines throughout the Imperium lands. There are only few scholars who believe this, however. Many of whom’s careers in academia has quickly ended, as this line of thinking is in direct contradiction to the Church of Mater’s teachings.

War has been a constant part of Imperium’s history. Three Great Wars have been recorded in The Imperium Archives. These wars have been raged against Haram, a kingdom across The Continental Bay. The first Great War saw Aon, an island kingdom to the north, ally with Haram. After the Imperium Army withdrew from the lands of Haram, retreat the only option remaining for the Army that had become exhausted in the desert, it made sure that Aon would never again be in a position to oppose Imperium’s will. After the Imperium Army was once again fit and resupplied, it set it sights on the closer kingdom of Aon. The conquest was short, Aon could not defend against the sheer number of Imperium soldiers, and led to the occupation of all Aon’s strategic lands. Still to this day, the Aon lands are predominantly ruled by Imperium. This occupation of Aon is what led to the mixture of both Imperium and Aon races that can be found today throughout the kingdom of Imperium. Although in some places, Aon are treated as second class citizens.

In recent years, the economy has seen drastic changes. Since the end of the second Great War, the financial gap between rich and poor has ever increased. Citizens exploit other citizens in the pursuit of wealth and riches. This is evident in the number of servants, all but enslaved to their masters, unable to leave due to debt. Those who do leave find themselves roaming the streets, becoming one of the many homeless that litter Imperium broken and defeated. In The Capital, the homeless have become so many that they have become an integral part of the architecture, blending into the gutters where they lie. A problem that no citizen, noble or common, is wanting to fix.

A Completely Free Masterclass From the Legend Himself – Brandon Sanderson

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind you.” – Henry Ford.

I have found that I have always enjoyed writing. From the more formal academic writing, to writing fantasy where I can let my imagination run wild. Leaving school at 15 to join the Army, I have struggled in the past to understand the “how” when it come to creative writing, and primarily wrote from my gut instinct. In order to improve my writing, I had to take to the internet to find content which could help me develop my own writing style. Last year, I came across a series of Brandon Sanderson’s videos by BYU, where you can watch as a fly on the wall all of his creative writing for fantasy and science fiction lectures. I found these extremely useful and as Sanderson himself puts, has helped me to become more of a chef and less than a cook when it come to creative writing. The course spans 12 lectures across multiple topics including plotting, dialogue, character, and his renowned take on magic systems. Below you will find a link to each of his lectures. I hope you find them as useful as I did!

#1 – Course Overview

#2 – Chefs vs. Cooks

#3 – The Illusionist Writer

#4 – World Building

#5 – The Box

#6 – The Business of Writing

#7 – Character

#8 – Magic Systems

#9 – Guest Speaker – Brandon Mull

#10 – Plotting

#11 – Dialogue and Agents

#12 – Q&A

Bes: The Dwarf God of Ancient Egypt

When we think of Ancient Egyptian gods, many images come to mind. For me, my impression of Ancient Egyptian Gods initially came from watching Yu-Gi-Oh growing up. The card “The Winged Dragon of Ra” being ingrained into my brain as I desperately sought after the card, but never managed to get my eleven year old hands on it. Ra, the sun god (seen below), is probably the most known Ancient Egyptian God. This hawk headed god almost seems like the cover star of Ancient Egypt. However, during my most recent research for my novel into Ancient Egypt, I came across a god that was much to my surprise.

Re-Horakhty.svg

Bes, the god of dwarfs, protector of households, mothers and children, is possible the most bizarre looking Ancient Egyptian god I have come across, and that is saying something considering the Goddess Nut had skin made from the night sky and is often seen stretching over her husband like the night sky, which looks slightly awkward.

geb-and-nut

The Ancient Egyptians believed that dwarfs held magical properties. Bes himself was a dwarf and considered to to bring good fortune, as he watched over the common man. Bes was also said to ward off evil and came to be symbolize all things good, such as music, dancing, and even sexual pleasure. I think he has become my new favorite Ancient Egyptian God.

besImage result for bes god

A Very Grim(dark) Start

This is an extract from my prologue for my current work in progress. Too grim?

“I drained the remaining foam from my tankard. A familiar dizzying euphoria rolled through my head. I had lost count of how many I had drank, it was more than yesterday I’m sure. I didn’t mind, however. This was the only way I could feel. I had become numb. I remember hearing stories as a boy of soldiers who would wake in the night screaming. I was prepared for that. I had personally experienced several night terrors of that kind. What I wasn’t prepared for was the stripping of all human emotion. Anger, happiness, sadness, love. All fled, leaving a hollow shell.

It is true what they say. That once a man enlists, he seals his own death. If he is not felled in battle, the demons of the mind will soon finish the job. I had seen many a man lose to such demons, demons that are willingly accepted by young soldiers. It is hard to explain the reality of it to the young. I remember myself, eager to fight. Had I known what I knew now, I would not have gone. I was a naïve fool.

The tavern keeper had long since given up on speaking with me. At first, he would try to tell what he thought were funny stories of his recent days working the bar. One was about a tavern boy who slipped on his way to deliver a tray of tankards to a table, the beer spilling all over the patrons. As far as small talk goes, I suppose this would have been one of the more amusing conversations. But after years of living with death only a wrong step away, stories like this just seem pointless.

‘To the emperor!’ I heard merrymakers cheer from opposite end of the bar.

To the emperor. What a joke. If only they knew the true nature of the war and Imperium. There was little point in me telling them, they wouldn’t believe me even if I did. I threw some coppers on the bar and unsteadily rose to my feet.

As I made my way towards the exit, a voice called over to me. ‘Aren’t you the Rabasan’s kid, the soldier?’

I turned to see a small crowd looking at me, patriotic appreciation in their eyes. I despised that look.

‘It is him!’ One voice said. ‘It’s great to see you back safe and sound from the front’

‘The hero’s return!’ Another voice. ‘It’s brave men like you who keep the Haram from ever reaching our shores.’

A small laugh burst from my lips. Hero? I had always strived to do good in the world. A good deed can go along way. But during those years at the front, I had never felt more like a villain in my life. A heavy burden that I will take with me to the grave.

Much has changed over the past years. I had gone from a young boy, eager to serve his kingdom and to prove his worth to the world. To now, a man who needs to drink himself into a stupor just to feel alive.

Outside, the air smelled crisp. It sent my head to spinning. I propped myself by the wall of the tavern and vomited into the dirt. Money wasted.

I will soon be posted again. I am told my next campaign will be less bloody. I imagine it no less cruel though. I had considered leaving, running far away. But the reach of Imperium is far and wide. I wouldn’t get far.

I staggered back up the track, to my unavoidable fate.”

Let me know what you think in the comments!