Kings of the Animal Kingdom
Through the past several weeks we have talked about all the kings who have ruled the Animal Kingdom. Some were noble and kind. The others wanted to explore the world and give it all to science. But some rulers were brutal, tyrannic and only cared about the industry and power.
Let’s meet them all, one more time.
Michaël inherited the kingdom in great unrest from his father Marius. However, Michaël actually spent less time dealing with the unruly nobles and more time obsessed over the ark myth. At the time, a young scholar beaver named Dabrovit has popularised the scholar’s method in the Kingdom. The scholar’s method (similar to the scientific method in our world) is a methodical way of approaching the Kingdom’s mysteries. Inspired by Dabrovit’s method, Michaël funded many scholars and explorers and tasked them to find the mythic Ark Fantastic.
Eventually, after many failed attempts, one scholar returned with good news. He found a wreckage on an island shore southwest of Pride, with evidence suggesting it is the Ark Fantastic. Along with its great historic significance, this had a surprising effect on quieting the kingdoms unrest. Many historians believe this discovery was what ushered in centuries of peace in the Animal Kingdom.
Even as a child, King Valent was tutored by Master Dabrovit, and fell in love with science and exploration from an early age. He funded many great expeditions to all sides of the Kingdom during his long reign and remade the kingdom in the image of science.
He funded academies in every regional capital, and built the largest library in Blackbark, holding copies of every book found in the Kingdom.
As the only son of Valent, the king who found the southern continent, he was less interested in ruling than in the vast unexplored reaches of the newfound land.
Nevertheless, denizens of the Animal Kingdom adored him, and his exploits were the talk of tales all over the Kingdom. He oversaw much of the Kingdom’s exploration and mapping. Indeed, most of the maps in his expeditions are in use to this day. Many feel that his early demise in the southern jungles was the end of an era.
He died relatively young, contracting a strange disease while leading an expedition into the heartlands of the colony. His most enduring legacy is his deathwish. On his deathbed, he decreed that his castle be remodeled into the central hub for exploration in the colony. Thus Vincent’s Keep becomes the Explorer’s Guild, a crown funded organisation tasked with exploring and mapping this new continent.
The steam engine changed much of the industrial landscape of the Kingdom… This, along with the vast resources coming from the newly discovered colony, all gave rise to new powers. Not all of these new powers were satisfied with their newfound wealth, and some wished to secure even more power.
Add the proliferation of the press, and you have a Kingdom filled with various ideas. These ideas, when left unchecked, could unravel the Kingdom itself. This is perhaps what Leopold feared most- the undoing of his predecessor’s life’s work.
And so, for fear of being usurped, and to secure his hold on the Kingdom, Leopold tightened his grip. He slowly transformed the royal newspapers into a mouthpiece of the monarchy. In his later years, he also funded a secret spy network that operated throughout the Kingdom.
Known in the Kingdom as Leo the Wise, he focused on Making Things Work. In his reign, all parts of the Kingdom were developed and connected. Leo oversaw the implementation of intricate systems of sharing goods and information across the Kingdom.
He funded the bastions of modern civilisation such as the Elephant Transportation Company and the royal newspapers. The printing press was brought to every major city of the Kingdom, and, after the steam engine was built.
Due to his father’s early demise, Leo was very young when he ascended to the throne, and also a king of unusually old age when he died. His great deeds and accomplishments cast a large shadow on his two sons – Leopold and Lav.
Lav is referred to in modern accounts as The Rebel King. He rolled back many of the authoritarian decisions created by his brother.
He sought to rebuild the kingdom in ideas of enlightenment and freedom. In his 30 years in power, he has already funded massive projects such as public schools and hospitals.
He also funded royal medics sent to take care of the workers in the mines and industries of the kingdom. As beloved as he is for his reforms, Lav is now in a difficult situation.
Many animals think reform is coming too little and too late… For years there have been whispers of reforming the monarchy. As these whispers become louder and louder, Lav is finding himself in a very difficult situation.