Friday, June 24, 2011

Realms of Faerie: Castles

On to the next series! And, to begin our perilous journey through the strange and fantastic realms of fantasy, is...castles galore!

Yes, that's right--castles. Strictly speaking, a castle can be two things {sometimes both}: One, a large building or group of buildings fortified against attack with thick walls, battlements, towers, and, in many cases, a moat; or, two, a magnificent and imposing mansion, especially one that is the home or former home of a member of the nobility.

So, why do castles pop up so often in fantasy? Well, basically, fantasy looks to the past--especially back to the Middle Ages, Medieval times, the era of valiant knights, fair ladies, and, of course, magnificent castles. Not that it has to; in fact, if you've got a fabulous idea for a modern fantasy, go with it! {Less competition, y'know.} But, back to castles, since royals crop up a lot too in fantasy, as I've mentioned in another post {here}, they need a place to sleep. So--voila--castles!

Now there aren't too many ties between Christianity and castles {that is, there could be a lot, but I'm not quite energetic enough to tackle them in the present post!}. So, I'll just post some pictures here that will hopefully leave you gasping in awe, full to the brim of inspiration for that evil tower you've been envisioning for weeks.

And, without further ado, enjoy!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What Next?

We've been through a bunch of beings of Faerie - from royalty to guardians, from dragons to elves, and a few far-off and mysterious things between. Obviously, I can't possibly post on every single being in Faerie--it would take all my lifetime, and I probably wouldn't reach the end even then! So, for now, this first series on beings of Faerie is at an end. {Still, be on the lookout for a continuation in the future!}

Now, what's coming up next?

I'll be writing a short series on realms of Faerie. I will post about castles, landscape, and a few other topics related to fantastic places. Along with writing about these "realms" and connecting them with a Biblical worldview, I'll also post some inspirational pictures for you to use in your own dreaming, imagining, and writing. So enjoy!

May your pencils stay sharp!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beings of Faerie: Guardians

Guardian: a person who protects or defends someone or something; defender; protector {represented as knights, Rangers, and other human guardians}

Public Domain
Guardians & Faith:

Guardians are pretty straightforwards fellows, altogether. Defending and protecting other people, things, or realms against evil has been the task of brave men and women since Creation.

However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't take a look at what the Bible says. So here are some key verses that deal with protection or guardianship:

Psalm 68:5, "Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation."

Isaiah 31:5, "Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem; He will protect and deliver it; He will spare and rescue it."

Proverbs 31:9, "Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Nehemiah 4:8-9, "And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night."

Again, fairly straightforward, but interesting nonetheless. Now on to creating!

Public Domain
On Writing Guardians:

It's pretty easy to throw in a knight-in-shining-armor here, a ranger-hooded-and-cloaked there, right? Wrong! Your guardians should be a fundamental thread in the fabric of your story and your world - or else nonexistent. That way, each piece of the story will add something valuable and crucial to the framework and structure of your world.

Some other considerations:

1. What do they guard, defend, or protect? Are they like Tolkien's Rangers of the North, the Dunedain, who kept out evil creatures from the more civilized lands? Or do they share similarities to either the knights or the rangers from the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan? Perhaps they might guard a sacred object or natural wonder. It's yours to decide!

2. Structure of authority ~ how do they fit into the governmental structure of your world? Are they the "policemen" for a king? Also, what is their internal organization - each man for his own, or a council of leaders that directs the whole group of guardians, or something else entirely?

3. Quirks ~ like many of the beings in Faerie, guardians leave ample room for your own creativity. So don't be afraid to be different! Make your rangers have an awesome tattoo, or give each of them a pet hawk. Imagine and dream!

Of course, as always, there's so much more to explore - but that's for you to do!

John Howe: Weathertop on the Horizon