In between working to finish off a couple of short story collections, I’ve been doing some world building for an epic fantasy series that I’ve talked of before – The Oncoming Storm. Back some time ago I made a solid start to the first novel (almost 60K words) but it has been sitting idle for a while, something I want to rectify.
In contrast to my other stories, it is a more traditional fantasy, set to have knights and castles and princesses and all that. Yet, as ever, other ideas and inspirations have come in that threaten to change things up again. One thing especially among that are the Polish Winged Hussars, one of the most dominant, and striking cavalry forces of their time.
For a view of what they looked like I found this youtube clip.
So, I’ve been wanting to add something similar to the setting, but somehow retain the knights and also another group, the Warrior Brotherhoods, plus various other groups, which has led to a varied mix, and also decentralised, make up of the setting. I think I may have figured it out as well.
The setting comprises a number of states that form a unified League – while semi-autonomous, they are under a High King. Each state has their own nobles, with their personal collection of retainers. Normally this is where the Knights would figure, but instead I’ve made them more like the old Military Orders, such as the Knights Hospitaller, the Knights Templar, or the Teutonic Knights – independent entities that owe allegiance to no state or noble, but operate across all of them. The Warrior Brotherhoods operate in the same manner, but are a precursor to the Knight Orders, and aren’t made up of noble born like the Knights. The largest of the states, Liantria, home to the High King, is the one that uses the Winged Lancers. The nobles and their retainers form the various units of the Winged Lancers, and when combined they are a formidable cavalry force.
And one of these days I’ll get it all written up and a story finished…