If you dislike reading long texts, I advise you leave now.
STORYLINE AND CHARACTERS ARE BEING REVISED
PROJECT GREYKNIGHT What I need help with
1) Deciding if this is worth the time and effort
2) Deciding if it is a good/interesting & original/not-too-cliche
3) If the events that happens are perfectly logical and plausible
4) Pointing out inconsistency errors
(And no I have not done my research)
More about this story
The genres are Politics/War, Action & Romantic Drama
The story is mainly about Change
The Target Audience is Males aged around 15 so far.
Until my manga-drawing skills become good enough, this will be a Light Novel series.
I deliberately added in a lot of anachronisms.
The Male:Female Ratio is almost balanced.
23 named Male characters :18 named Female characters (Not including Redshirts and Mooks)
Factions (First story)
The Holy Empire of Dral
A theocratic aristocracy named after it's first Pope. A huge, militarily superior Traditionalist empire with a powerful army of Legionnare infantrymen, mounted Knights and a large air force . But the Empire is slowly crumbling from within; it's Nobility is in constant disagreement and suspicion of eachother. Another issue damaging the Empire's unity is that most powerful Noble families have become strong enough to start independent kingdoms of their own. The third main reason is that many Noble Houses want to break from Traditionalism while others don't. The rule of The Pope is weak, for behind the scenes he is a brainwashed puppet of a power-hungry and corrupt Sect of Cardinals.
Other nations regard Dral as a threat to their independence and existence; A reason being is that Dral is wealthy as it's conquered territories have a lot of natural resources and goods that are in high demand, so Dral has a very prominent position in Trade. Thanks to The Empire's high position in Continental Trade that's only rivalled later on by The Trade Federation of Reizen, many lesser nations feel that it harms their economy by making them "obsolete" in Trade thus many nations secretly dislike The Empire and want to be rid of it so they can rise higher in significance. But what really makes Dral a threat is it's army and air force. The Dralese Army is strong; turning thousands upon thousands of simple drafted peasant levies from across the Empire into well-armed and well-drilled professional Legionnares. Not only do their Legionnaire Infantrymen shine, the Empire has not made the same mistake that Rome did: Dral also invested in an elite cavalry force to be reckoned with. Dral's Cavalry units are mostly compromised of Knights from Imperial Noble Families. Dralese Knights look like European Knights crossed with Winged Hussars: They wear Plate Armour with a woven tunic with their Noble House's Insignia embroidered on it. And then there are the pair of "wings" strapped on their backs, to symbolise the Angelic Warriors that "rode down from heaven itself" and wiped out an entire enemy army that invaded Dral in it's early days as a single independent state.
The Empire's social structure is Feudalism. The head of state is called a Pope: He is a religious Emperor revered as a God by his people. What comes below are the group who elect the Pope among themselves, The Cardinals (Basically more powerful Bishops). Then there are Archbishops who run a "Diocese" or state. These states are divided into Provinces that are then divided into Fiefs. These fiefs that are distributed by The Pope to be run by a relatively independent, powerful class of people called "The Nobility" who are sworn Vassals to The Pope, and pay homage by giving a significant portion of their earnings. And everyone else below them in the Feudal System such as workers are labelled "Commoners" who have no say in how their country is run. The life and freedoms of a Commoner largely depends on which Noble Family they live under. Sometimes a Noble Family is kind, and the Commoners live good lifes and sufficient food, and sometimes a Noble Family is cruel, making their workers pay high taxes or worse.
Even more on Dral's Military: Dral is one of only 5 nations in the world that allow woman to serve in combat roles in the Army which is a controversial idea to many. Aside from that, Dral's Military is divided into Legions each numbering about 4500 soldiers (Not including the numbers of people in support roles such as Field Medics, Cooks, Smiths and Logistical Workers). The Majority of a Legion is made up of Legionnare Infantry supplemented by Archers, Combat Mages and Knights and Special Operations Rangers.
About 96% of Dralese peoples (Not counting native peoples of provinces that were annexed into the Empire by force) practise the Dralese faith. They worship their Popes as deities very devoutly almost but not quite to the point of devotion. While other religions are tolerated by the state (But followers of certain religious denomination or faiths are still targeted by some comminities).
The Empire is based on The Roman Empire and The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Grand Duchy of Bard
A relatively small former province of Dral that earned their independence after winning a bloody War of Independence around 35 years before the start of the 1st storyline. Is lead by a Grand Duke. The country is called "Bard" because the Grand Duke, a man of a peasant background who rose to Nobility, worked as a travelling musician before joining The Revolution.
The Bardish are mainly Modernists who are currently leading the world in Technology. To be simple, The Bardish were the guys who started the "Renaissance" of that world in things such as Science, Agriculture, Art, Literature and Philosophy. Bardish emphasize the importance of education for better future generations, making School compulsory for all children (Not just Nobles) and making it free for all at the same time (Which has put a great strain on their economy though). With good-quality education for all children, a Bardish commoner child is generally academically smarter than the average Dralese peasant.
Despite being the definition of "Modernist", the Bardish still live in the Medieval Era. They still abide by The Fuedal System with a clear gap between The Aristocracy (Nobles) and The Peasantry. The country's Nobility is a mix of both former Dralese Nobles who sided with The Revolutionaries and high-ranking Bardish Revolutionaries from The Bardish War of Independence bestowed a Noble Title by The Grand Duke, a peasant who rose to power during the war, eventually becoming the leader of Bardish seperatists and then Head of stare.
This country is also the first to ever officially make use of "Guerilla Warfare", which they effectively used to defeat The Holy Empire of Dral and their Convential Warfare and Roman military tactics. Bardish tactics now differ from current conventional warfare; most of their small army is equipped with guns and cannons, with the remainder being pikemen to defend their musketeers from cavalry charges. Bardish Tactics became ranks of musketeers firing with multiple ranks taking turns to fire volleys. This art would later be perfected into rapid Rank Fire by The Trade Federation of Reizen. Ever since word of how "Thousands of them (Bardish) harnessed fire straight from hell from the ends of simple sticks", spread across The World, Bard has become feared as a powerful nation. But Bard's reputation as a force is not be screwed with; it's long history of repelling very powerful foreign invaders from their land like Afghanistan. The native Bardish population basically have "Resistance", "Freedom" and "Warfare" running through their veins.
Bard's Head of State being born a peasant from a family of stonemasons is very controversial, with other nations viewing his rule as "Illegitimate" and "Absurd". A consequence is that Bard has a very low diplomatic standing, meaning that Bard has few decent trustworthy allies.
The Grand Duchy's population has a strong sense of national pride of both their culture, heritage and technological superiority. The countries I drew inspiration from while creating Bard is the USA (Love of their freedom), Afghanistan (Long history of repelling foreign invasion fron Military Superpowers that both outmatch and outnumber them) and the Kingdom of Sweden (Contemporary Army of gun-toting Musketeers).
A country that spans across a small mountain range bordering both The Holy Empire of Dral, The Grand Duchy og Batd and The Trade Federation of Reizen. The Mystvalese Shogunate is a military dictatorship currently headed by The Sagamori Clan. The Mystvalese were believed to have descended from a rogue faction of warriors that split from the fallen Yz'it Khanate. This faction is thought to have originated from the uncharted lands in The East. According to History Books, these Eastern Immigrants amazingly travelled far into The West on foot, eventually settling in a desolate Mountain Range leased to them by a long-fortgotten Kingdom.
A clan in this country is simply a group of families related through blood or marriage that take on the family name of the most prominent family. For funds and survival, every clan specialises in something such as Mining, Assassination, Espionage or Mercenaries. In a politically unstable world where a world war looms and people are at eachother's throats in widespread warfare, it's a haven for Assassins and Mercenaries. With Mystvalese mercenaries and assassins being renowned as the greatest in the world with close to zero chances of failure, warriors and shinobi are in VERY high demand, with people bidding a lot of gold just to buy the services of these people.
Mystval is dreaded for their elite clans of masterful Assassins and nearly unmatched Mercenaries. Mystval's rugged mountainous landscape with little farmable soil means that the population isn't very large. To compensate for this, the Mystvalese train their young to become the overpowered killing machines the country is feared for. Most of this country's income comes from contracts from foreign bidders and countries seeking their services.
A very controversial aspect of Mystvalese culture tracing from their original homeland in The East, is that Mystvalese children are SERIOUSLY trained to fight since they were toddlers. This is compulsory for all children in Mystvalese Society. If a child is born with a physical disability, what becomes of these children varies from clan to clan. The training is rough and intense, putting great physical and mental strain on the individual. But the result of all this, if the child is not disabled and survives, is that the 15 years worth of training since childhood turns the trainee into the overpowered Marty/Mary Sues the world knows them as.
Ironically, Mystval is usually a neutral and peaceful country, only going to war when they absolutely have to.
People find this hard to believe because of their Warrior culture. Internally, the numerous and diverse Clans of Mystvalese Highlanders know well why being a unified country is a good thing. To further increase unity between clans: They are very careful to not steal eachothers' contract-givers or to start pointless rivalries or feuds between clans. The most spectacular way of keeping the unity fresh is a Sporting Competition similar to The Olympics or Scotland's Highland Games: A team of contestants from each clan participate in several non-war-related sports both native to The Mystvalese Culture and imported from abroad. This prestigious sporting event is often attended by thousands and thousands of spectators both from within and outside Mystval's borders. Clans are very eager to win this Sporting Competition because the winner gets more fame which leads to more contracts.
In Mystval, magic is considered Heresy against their God, and actively hunts down anyone within their borders that is capable of using magic. People discovered to be mages are burnt at the stake. To avoid these "Witch Burnings", most remaining Mystvalese mages have immigrated to other countries, bringing their unique Shaman-style form of magic along with them.
Mystval's inhabitants have distinctive appearances. The "Commoner" clans (e.g Aizen) are born with Red eyes and jet black hair and the "Royal" clan (Sagamori) naturally have Silver eyes and white hair. Mystvalese people have very pale skin because of the Mountain Range's very cloudy climate with very little exposure to sunlight.
Mystval's mostly remote, desolate and mountaineous geography makes it a bad choice for invasion. But underneath these mountains are rich deposits of Tesurillium, a gas element that machines such as Airships depend on to go airborne. As Mystval doesn't have enough forests to cut for wooden airships, they have no practical uses for it and so they export it to other countries for additional profit. Mystval dominates around 50% of the Tesurillium Trade.
It is not uncommon for Mystvalese Clans to live underground, digging into deep the mountains to exploit the vast reserves of recently-discovered Gold veins and diamond deposits beneath their rocky homes. This Gold Rush has further boosted Mystval's growing economy and attracted the ire and envy of others.
Based on Japan, Scotland, Switzerland and Sparta.
The Trade Federation of Reizen
A coalition of countries mostly situated in a large Desert. The Federation was formed to rival the recently unified Holy Empire of Dral to rival it's position in Trade using the unified strength and wealth of the many independent desert states Th Federation is made up of. The Federation dominates The Spice Trade and to the disagreement of Dral, Bard and Mystval, The Slave Trade. The Federation is infamous for their Guilds of Assassins and Mercenaries who are beginning to adopt Modernism into the way they work.
Reizen controls 80% of The Slave Trade. Reizen is currently warring with a minor independent Kingdom called Rix iq Josiri or "Kingdom Of Josirs" in Standard Speak. Reizen captures many Josir soldiers and civilians to be sold into slavery. Although only one of Reizen's coalition states actually supports this.
Reizen's unified military is mostly equipped with muskets based on stolen Bardish designs by the middle of the 2nd storyline. While their air force is small, their navies rival The Troskan Confederacy's and their multiple regiments of War Elephant "Tanks" and Assassin/Mercenary Guilds make good supplements to their small but rapidly modernising army of gun-toting Janissaries.
The Federation is surprisngly culturally diverse; The states that together compromise The Federation are all individually unique with their own distinctive architectural styles, ways of life, histories and area-specific goods and stuff. How all these special little states manage to harmoniously work together to create the Uniqueness of The Federation is a mystery to everyone who noticed this. But the uniqueness of these states poses a problem, as occasionally there's a cultural clash some place somewhere, and the great number of different native languages means that communication within the army is messed up and hard for everyone to comprehend. To counter this problem, The Federation has put forward that everyone must learn Standard Speak to be used as a "Common language".
The Federation is a Modernist State based on The Ottoman Empire and The Persian Empire, Austria-Hungary and Arabia.
A confederacy of a long strip of states stretching along the coastline of The Great Ocean, starting at Mystval's northern borders to lands surrounding the freezing cold north pole. The Troskan Confederacy is named after the state the Confederacy was created in, Trosk.
60% of the Confederacy's area is snowy Tundra and Taiga forests, with snow all-year-round (The snow doesn't melt quickly because of how cold the north is, and quite frequent heavy snowfall quickly replenishes snow) . In these colder northern states, the population density is very low compared to the warmer states further south. The coastline in this area is littered with icebergs and large floating pieces of ice from the Northern Pole, making sea travel hazardous for the wooden ships of the era. With sea travel out of question, most travel is done through airships (When there isn't a blizzard or snowstorm) or by reindeer-drawn sled coaches running along a very-well built road stretching across the entire Confederacy (An architectural feat/wonder for that era). The Confederacy has both Modernist and Traditionalist states that co-exist and complement each other very well unlike the rest of the world. The total area of The Confederacy's combined states makes it the largest in the world
Like the vast majority of nations in the world, The Confederacy goes by the Feudal System except there's only a Tsar (Nothing more but a wise Boyar that is elected to represent The Confederacy as a whole) that simply leads the Boyars in matters such as war and calls together The Council. The Confederacy's Government is a council consisting of Boyars (A representative and feudal ruler of one of the states) that meet up with each other periodically to discuss issues and decisions running the country.
The Confederacy's army is completely of The Traditionalist type, who use the conventional swords, spears and bows because they don't know how to manufacture firearms and explosives like most Modernist states eventually do. The ground force is almost entirely made up of Viking-like shock infantry lead by local Jarls (A commander of soldiers and a leader of small fiefdoms that answers to The Boyars). A Troskan Soldier is basically a Viking considering the similarities of their equipment and tactics. Because of their heavy focus on infantry, The Confederacy lacks a sufficient cavalry force. The Troskan Navy is something to be scared of: Their fleet of specialised longboats is perfect for navigating through their icy seas and going down rivers to loot and plunder the villages of nations that were dumb enough to tick them off in the past. Troskan soldiers are world famous for their Berserkers, Large Roundshields and the bloodthirsty rampages of each individual soldier in battle.
Despite their very diverse individualistic infantry not being very specialised, they are not disorganised rabble at all. The Troskan Confederacy has an army of axe-swinging bloodthristy warriors naturally resistant to the cold climate of The North. Their general battle strategy is to form a densely packed shield wall that slowly advances together in a long thick line or stays in a place that gives terrain advantages to them.
The Confederacy's cold climate and lack of fertile sole means wheat is usually not a viable option, so potatoes are grown en mass instead.
The Confederacy is inspired from The Muscovite Tsardom, Vikings and Slavs.
Ezekiel Strauss is the middle child of the Noble Strauss Family. He is 19 years old at the start of the story. He is well-educated with a (pretty much set up) fiancee called Elisa Reynard, a girl from the Noble Reynard Family. When he left home, he adopted the alias of "Daniel Fisher" to avoid suggesting his Noble origins to his Commoner-dominated regiment.
Thanks to his Noble status, Ezekiel is actually a Knight, something he keeps a secret.
A girl hailing from the Noble family of Reynards. She is Ezekiel's fiancee arranged by their families. She is disappointed at times with Ezekiel because of his lack of assertiveness and inability to "make moves" on her, but despite this she stays loyal.
Elisa practises Ballet.
The well-educated non-commissioned officer of Ezekiel's platoon. He is an intelligent, tactical bookworm thanks to his obsession with Military History books. He hails from a family of Millers that somehow managed to get him into university.
The Traditionalist, honourbound father of Seiya Takeshi and a member of The Aizen Clan. Hanzo is a talented swordsman, and his world-renowned skills in assassination are in high demand all over the world. His fame is a double-edge sword; The profit he makes from contracts makes both him and his clan wealthy but he almost never has the chance to see his family.
Wears a grey Hannya Mask
Pope Tristan II
The weak Pope/Emperor of The Holy Empire of Dral. Compared to the previous Pope, he is a very weak ruler and figurehead. Before the previous Emperor, his father, died of old age Tristan II was brainwashed by a small sect of corrupt power-hungry Cardinals so he could be used as a figurehead while the sect secretly ruled.
Duke Jared Bannon
The son of the assassinated Duke Mark Bannon and now The Grand Duke of Bard. He was raised with the idea of hatred towards The Imperials firmly drilled into his subconscious. He had a good relationship with his father (Jared was Mark's only heir and child). Jared had a mental breakdown upon receiving word of his father's death in Imperial lands, awakening his hatred of the Imperials. His thirst for vengeance made him insane enough to declare war on The Empire.
At heart, Jared isn't really a villain, he is usually calm, wise and understanding. But the death of his father drove him to become what he is now.
The only female General in the entire Dralese Military and the distant cousin of Ezekiel, unknown to him. Alicia, thanks to her gender, is subject to numerous sexist remarks from others high up in the Army. As expected of a Dralese General, she is very strategic and intelligent in her field.
Alicia is also an active supporter of gender equality, which is the most controversial aspect of her. As the only child of The House of Cortes (The Noble family she is from), her parents were disappointed as they wanted a boy. Since birth she has had to live with this disappointment.
A Shock Trooper of Corporal rank in Ezekiel's regiment. Bailey has had an obsession with swords since he was a child; His parents are Weaponsmiths. During his childhood, Bailey often pretended to be a Knight, being fascinated by stories of Chivalry, great bravery and noble deeds. This childhood aspiration to become a knight is still strongly present even in adulthood.
At the base whenever he has spare time, he would often visit the Equipment Repair areas to lend a hand with his smithing skills inherited from his parents.
Main Characters (Second Story)
The ambitious but illegitimate and only son of the late Henry Ploughman and the now elderly Tiffany Potter. When Zeke was born, he was named in honour of Ezekiel Strauss, a close friend of his parents. Zeke resembled Henry except his hairstyle was strikingly similar to Ezekiel's, who was an important person to him.
Zeke's entire childhood was spent tagging along his mother's regiment because he wasn't able to move to his grandmother's home due to The Civil War. Also because he was the only child in the regiment, he was lonely and didn't have any friends his age.
During his late adolescent years, Zeke was involuntarily dragged into Mystval and The Federation's "Shadow War" to retain it's secrecy. After recieving basic military training under The Aizen Clan, he was partnered up with Seiya, another training graduate.
The youngest daughter born to Shinobi parents in Mystval's Aizen Clan. She lived in the shadow of her late father's infamy. Seiya, like other Mystvalese children, was trained to become elite shinobi warriors in the service of The Shogun.
Seiya is depressed by her history of being called a "letdown" compared to her father. But still her remaining family loved and supported her dearly. By the time she graduated from Basic Training, she became very skilled in the Mystvalese Art of Assassination, like other Mystvalese children of Shinobi clans.
She was partnered with Zeke because no other graduate at the time actually liked her. Initially, she disliked Zeke almost in a tsundere way:
(1) Because he was a foreigner.
(2) Because Zeke was VERY unskilled compared to the rest of the class, having only a few months worth of training while the rest trained since early childhood
Wears the damaged remains of her father's Hannya mask with the top-left corner of it broken off, fully revealing her blood-red left eye.
Other Characters (Second Story)
The female Shogun of Mystval and head of the ruling Sagamori Clan. She is responsible for Mystval coming out of total isolationism from the world. Arisa tries her absolute hardest to retain Mystval's Traditions and heritage/culture.
Arisa is a lonely person, and as The Shogun, the military dictator of Mystval, other people her age refrain from speaking to her partially thanks to the efforts of her advisors.
A 14 year-old Arisa became Shogun in an emergency because she was the only child in her family when her father, Sagamori Ichida, died of tuberculosis a few years prior to the start of the 2nd Storyline. Her older brother, the intended heir to the Mystvalese shogunate, and the only child in her family with any knowledge of politics and stuff like that, was murdered by Federation assassins a a few days earlier.
Because Arisa had no knowledge on how to be a Shogun, she has to follow the teachings and advice of her father's power-hungry and corrupt advisors (Although she has no knowledge of her advisors' corruption). Fortunately for Arisa, she was strong-willed, clever and had a correct sense of justice. Arisa also has a special sense of clairvoyance, unknown to everyone but her.
One of the few Cardinals that didn't succumb to corruption and greed. He is a fanatical follower of the Dralese religion. Vermont rose to power after the Reunification of The Empire, where Ezekiel's faction established him as Pope. Vermont is a man in his early 50s. He is a wise man with a strong sense of justice.
Recurring character. A female member of a Federation state-sponsored Mercenary Guild. Farah hails from a Nomadic Tribe in the Reizen desert. When she was a young adult, Josir slavers ambushed her Tribe on one of their travels. Farah was taken to be sold as a slave. On the way to a Slave Auction, the Josir slaver caravan was attacked by members of Farah's future guild. Farah, being grateful for being freed and was in awe of the Guild's combat skills, joined The Guild as an apprentice.
Since then, Farah became one of The Guild's most sought after mercenaries. Farah's proficiency at wielding a scimitar turned her into a local legend. During her training to become an official member of The Guild, she adopted her Trainer's unique style of swordsmanship.
In the 2nd storyline, Farah appears as a recurring character that is contracted to kill Seiya and Zeke. Throughout the storyline, Farah and other members of her Guild sabotage Seiya and Zeke's efforts to end The Second Great War in Bardish/Mystvalese/Dralese victory.
Farah is an optimist, but is depressed in the inside because of how much she misses her parents, who were both killed during the Josir raid on her Tribe. She has grudge on the Josir race.
My manga is set in an (almost) Medieval Era somewhat analogous to Earth. The story is set in a supercontinent called "Syril" where a mix of nations are entering a new age of change (For example, in Technology) and rising political tensions.
Later on the world is in essence split in two over whether or not to accept new changes (The changes mentioned are basically like The Renaissance) or to stick to Tradition and the way of life they were accustomed to. Those who accepted this "Renaissance" are "Modernists" and those who stuck to Tradition being "Traditionalists".
Glossary & some concepts
Initially a large tribe of Native-American-like people that tamed and rode Gryphons. They joined the The Holy Empire of Dral after missionaries converted them to the Dralese Religion. Since then their techniques have been recorded and now Dral offers becoming a Gryphon Knight as a choice for stupidly brave people. A Gryphon Knight and his Gryphon develop a very strong bond with each other.
A Gryphon Knight flew his Gryphon steed and launched arrows and dropped stones from the skies. They were also used to board the decks of enemy airships.
In a nutshell, Gryphon Knights were flying horse archers.
Both Modernists and Traditionalists used these colossal steampunk flying fortresses.
Floating wooden hot air balloon-like ships (VERY Similar appearances to Naval Ships except they are like blimps when you include the balloon) in the sky attached to a huge reinforced balloon filled with a special gas. Archers stood at the sides to shoot at enemy airships or the helpless enemies far below.
Often used to assault fortresses or to transport soldiers behind enemy lines. Specialised airships called "Carriers" were modified to have bays at the side to house and deploy Gryphon Knights.
An Airship was propelled by large steam-powered turbines located at the back and sides of the vessel. In a large room, a large water-filled contained was heated by a multitude of coal-fired furnaces.
The balloon used to make these huge flying fortress airborne was filled with a special gas element called "Tesurillium". Tersurillium is an increasingly rare and expensive gas imported from countries such as Mystval and The Troskan Confederacy. The specialized fabric used to create these giant balloons vary from country to country. But a requirement is that these balloons must be fire-proof and sturdy enough to withstand a lot of arrow fire.
An airship is manned by a crew of hundreds, not including the hundreds more crewmen employed as archers or boarding crews.
Depending on who and where these airships are produced, airships can differ from each other.
1) Bardish airships were fitted with iron plating on the hull to make them more resilient to both projectiles and to reduce the effectiveness of incendiary weapons.
2) Dralese airships had balloons made from a special fabric (A closely-guarded state secret) that was fireproof, lightweight, cheap to produce and made projectiles such as ballista harpoons and arrows simply bounce off.
The Dralese Air Force also constructed specialized Carriers to act as mobile staging areas for Gryphon Knights and other airborne troops to easily deploy from.
Disadvantages of The Airship include:
1) Expensive to maintain and construct. Construction also takes years.
2) Wooden Hulls are very vulnerable to fire caused by both enemy actions and from accidents in the furnace rooms.
3) Most airships are very slow-moving and easy to hit.
4) An airship can become very imbalanced and crash if it flies in winds that are strong enough to toss the balloon and hull around.
Airships would be flown close to enemy airships, and boarding parties would swing across to capture Ships after archers mostly cleared the enemy airship's deck of enemies.
An airship could also be destroyed by launching several volleys of flaming arrows at it to burn it up along with everything inside it. Airships are mostly wooden, so are vulnerable to fire.
The Dralese Gryphon Knights were also deployed from Carriers to harass enemy vessels by firing arrows, boarding and dropping incendiary bombs on enemy decks.
Later on in the 2nd storyline, The Troskan Confederacy developed a mid-range flamethrower that was capable of devastating entire enemy fleets.
Stationary but rotating Ballistas armed with grappling harpoons were launched into the hulls of enemy ships to pull them into the ship that fired them. These ballistas made boarding actions much easier to begin.
Stationary but rotating Catapults were fitted onto the decks of airships were used to launch firebombs onto enemy vessels. Stones were not used because stones are too heavy and would weigh down an airship significantly thus reducing mobility, something airships already greatly lack in.
Opposing airships would traditionally align next to each other at close range so archers (Later on, The Bardish would replace these archers with musketeers) could shoot at each other in volleys.
Very rarely, mercenary Gryphon Riders would engage with Imperial Gryphon Knights in very tense, fast-paced dogfights.
Magic in this story is basically when your body has some control over the elements, similar in some sense to Avatar's Bending. Magic is perceived differently depending on which country you are in.
1) In some countries children discovered to possess magical properties are abducted to be trained to become weapons of mass destruction, being robbed of their humanity in the process.
2) Some countries regard Magic as blasphemy and Witchcraft, so people discovered to be capable of wielding magic are hunted down.
3) Many countries see mages as an advantage, and may for example be granted good education and access to top educational facilities.
In countries where magic-users are accepted, mages often form Guilds like Assassins and Mercenaries to accomplish special tasks that are beyond the limits of human beings or form Orders like Knights sometimes do. Independent mages often study hard to become professors in Universities.
Magic in this story works like this: Some humans hailing from a special bloodline (A tiny percentage of the world population) have the ability to telekinetically manipulate the elements using the power of their minds.
You don't need special body movements to control objects like in Avatar: The Last Airbender. All you need is your brain. But if it helps a mage maintain control over something, they can move parts of their body around (Like in avatar) to help them concentrate or coordinate their power on something.
For example, a mage could produce fire by using his mind to heat the surrounding air to high temperatures, and using friction (Like rubbing your fingers/striking an object or kicking your feet against solid ground) to combust surrounding air or using the power of their mind to lift rocks and stuff.
But still, these mages ARE human. If they over-exert their minds too much on manipulating the world around them, they will become exhausted and might feint. Using telekinesis in this world to such an amazing extent uses a lot of brain power.
At the moment, I don't think there should be something like Naruto's Chaakra or Fairy Tail's Magic Power flowing within the bodies of this story's mages as I think that concept is too cliche for me.
While each faction has it's own national flag, for example, the Holy Empire of Dral has Cardinals that appoint Noblemen to run fiefdoms while they govern the country. In times of war, these Lords and Vassals raise armies for The Pope. One of the duties of Noble Families is to provide a steady stream of recruits for military service in times of war. When these Nobles raise an army, the soldiers fly the banners of the Noble Families they are in service of as well as the Imperial Standard.
If a nobleman joins the military, they are automatically given a position of authority such as Lieutenant or Captain or Major plus they get the right to have their family's insignia on their Armour and uniform.
It's a similar system for the other countries of the world.
The Holy Empire of Dral has a strong land army. In each Legion of the army, there are 2 platoons of elite archers called Rangers. Rangers are often used for reconnaissance and sniping high-priority targets on the battlefield such as enemy Officers using their specialized War Bows.
If skilled archers are a shortage in a regiment, regular archers are randomly selected via raffle to become Rangers. But the requirements to become a ranger doesn't involve being an accurate shot with a bow or expertise in using swords and daggers; All you need is good wilderness survival skills such as Tracking and Path-finding.
Occasionally, Rangers are given the task of Special Operations that require stealth, infiltration and assassination.
Rangers are not usually deployed on the open field. They are supposed to be used as Stealth Units that hang around forests, observe enemy troop movements and recon an area before a battle. In the rare case Rangers are deployed on an open battlefield, they are position at the flanks to snipe enemy officers to wipe out the enemy's morale and chain of command.
Rangers are the equivalent of modern-day Snipers or Special Operations Units.
Not trying to stick the middle finger up at/or discourage at possible female readers, but as this is similar to the Middle Ages-Renaissance and suffragettes and womens' rights movements weren't really in those times (I'm not a Historian). Males and females were not on equal terms. Basically just like in old traditions in the real world.
e.g Males were the dominant members and females were usually not allowed to go into Politics and in the story's democratic countries were not allowed to vote.
In this story, there are characters both male and female who campaign to prove that a woman is just as capable as a man.
The First Storyline
The first story is about a Great War sparked by the assassination of The Grand Duke of Bard and the experiences of a young adult called Ezekiel Strauss.
After an argument with his family, Ezekiel leaves behind his, name Noble status and family to join the Army under the alias of "Daniel Fisher".
In his military service, Ezekiel is selected to become a Ranger, an elite Special Operations units. In his new unit, be befriends a man named Henry and develops a crush on a girl named Tiffany despite his engagement with a girl at home called Elisa.
Together, Ezekiel's Legion takes part in The Holy Empire of Dral's Offensive into hostile Bardish Territory, experiencing good times and going through bad ones.
The War draws to a tough and bloody stalemate, as neither side is able to push the line in much further in their favour. The Dralese government is questioned, and the smallfolk of Dral see the war has taxed their poor lives too much and demanded Change. Amidst the widespread chaos over the issue, a rebellion in a province overthrows the ruling Noble Families in that area and establishes an independent state. Soon, other areas of the empire follow suit, with even sworn Noble vassals of the realm establishing independent kingdoms of their own. The Dralese government fails diplomatically to please the Seperatists and resorted to Military action instead, and so The Dralese Civil War began.
The Dralese are sandwiched between two fronts, torn apart and divided in the this Great Schism, with their enemies on the offensive. While the remaining Loyalist Armies are scattered, Ezekiel and his Legion work towards reunifying The Empire, recruiting more remnants of the Military to join his ranks.
Eventually this tattered faction grew into a powerful Order that both wins the war against Bard and succeeds in reunifying the Empire after a bitter struggle to gain the support of as many people as possible.
The Second Storyline
Long after The Great War, The Holy Empire of Dral has adefensive pact with country called The Mystvalese Shogunate, a small but powerful nation that supported Ezekiel's faction during The Great War. The Mystvalese and the newly formed Federation of Reizen are undergoing a covert war with eachother where assassins and agents from both sides secretly sabotaged and fought eachother.
The reason for this is that both nations are famous for their skilled mercenaries and lethal assassins. The Federation has many guilds of Assassins and Mercenaries that are influenced by The Hashashins and Assassin's Creed's Ottoman assassins. Meanwhile Mystval has many clans that are specialised Shinobi or Mercenary clans. The Shinobi clans are based on Japanese Shinobi.
Both nations make a lot of profit off contracting Assassins and Mercenaries to foreign and countries and private bidders, and both country's services are in incredibly high demand by contractors all over the world. This generates a VERY strong rivalry as both sides think the other side is stealing their customers thereby threatening their income.
But neither country can be rid of eachother, as they can't simply declare open war on eachother. If the Federation declares war on The Mystvalese Shogunate, then Empire might declare war on The Federation, resulting in Reizen getting steamrolled by the militarily superior Empire, which is in a defensive contract with Mystval. And conversely, Mystval can't declare war on the Federation because they simply lack the manpower to defeat The Federation on the open battlefield and that the Empire might not join the war on their side. If this were to happen, Mystval would be steamrolled by the Federation.
Besides, everyone wants to avoid a 2nd Great War, which would break out if the Shadow War were made public. So what better way to covertly vent out anger at eachother than to secretly send agents to sabotage and assassinate eachother in order to eliminate competition?
The 2nd story revolves around the son of Henry and Tiffany, Zeke, being sent by the new Dralese Emperor to inspect their allies,The Mystvalese Shogunate, but is involuntarily drawn into The Shadow War between Mystval and Reizen to avoid the war becoming public. Zeke becomes involved after surviving a failed attempt by Federation assassins on the Mystvalese Shogun's life, where Zeke is almost killed in the process.
A short-lived clone of Zeke magically created by a fugitive Mystvalese mage is sent back to report to The Empire in order to cover up Zeke's abduction into Mystval. Zeke is then taught the ways of The Mystvalese Assassin by a Shinobi clan. To the surprise of his new masters, Zeke's willpower and ambition inherited from his late father allows him to pass the harsh training methods imposed on him.
Zeke is then paired up with a girl named Seiya. They quickly get along with eachother. They both go on missions together around the continent, sabotaging the endeavours of The Federation. But in one of his contracts, he returns to Valis and finds the grave of his clone while walking through a cemetery on his way to link up with
Seiya. His grave is surrounded by flowers and messages of "I miss you" by his mother and his old friends. Zeke sees a frame with a photograph of himself prior to his life-changing journey to Mystval. Since then Zeke was torn in two when he stopped to think: What has he become?
One night, A large contingent Federation Assassins from an independent guild launch a sneak attack on the Mystvalese Shogun's Citadel, bearing the insignia of the Trade Federation of Reizen. The battle. The battle is swift but fierce and bloody. All the Assassins are killed, but at a heavy price for the Shogunate Guard. Seeing this is as a provocation for war by The Federation, an enraged Arisa after witnessing most of her close retainers and guards dying to protect her, with further encouragement and persuasion by her advisors, officially declares War on the Federation.
All Mystvalese clans are called to unite against The Federation. Some are reluctant at first, but eventually Seiya/Zeke along with other envoys manage to convince most reluctant clans to join. The clans and their troops mass at the Mystval-Federation border, entrenched in a well-fortified defensive line, lying in wait for an invasion. But made an unexpected move. Bard, still recovering from The Great War, is suddenly invaded by The Federation without a declaration of war, thus betraying their recently-formed Pact.
Taken by complete surprise with no effective defenses in place on their border with The Federation, the unprepared local army regiment is annihilated. The regiment's equipment (Including their recent models of Guns and Cannons) is taken to be reverse-engineered to create replacements for The Federation's old, unreliable models from The First Great War. The Bardish hastily erect quick fortifications and called for evacuations from the invaded counties in the east into the western counties. As the remaining Bardish armies left from The Great War fend off the Federation Invasion, they plead for assistance from The Empire and The Troskan Confederacy.
The Confederacy agrees to send supplies such as food, water and medicine while The Holy Empire of Dral hesitatingly agrees, to the widespread anger of it's populace, to send several Legions to aid in Bard's counter-attack. Seiya and Zeke volunteer to serve on The Bardish Front as saboteurs aimed at sabotaging Federation supply lines and supporting Bardish Resistance forces in their Guerilla campaign in Federation-occupied counties.
Eventually The Troskan Confederacy joins the war on The Federation's side by invading Mystval from the north, thus turning the war into The Second Great War. Eventually Bard's former allies become involved in the Bardish counter-offensive. The two alliances become locked in a stalemate while Mystvalese/Bardish Guerillas take the fight to the Federation behind enemy lines.
This thread will be constantly edited as I attempt to finish it off. Check again soon!
Its really well put together and interesting, with all of this information here alone I can see it being a long story with many twists and turns. Really has a lot of potential! I believe its worth creating it. I would say more but it looks good starting it off this way from different viewpoints. Best of luck.