Impact of the Ark Myth on Society

Impact of the Ark Myth on Society

How does the Ark Fantastic relate to the Animal Kingdom? Why is it central to their society and our game? Well, the entire caste system of the Animal Kingdom is derived from the ancient Ark myth. Let’s briefly go over it again:

In the past, there was a flood and an ark housed all the animals whose ancestors are alive today. The journey to stay alive on the ark during the flood was perilous, but possible due to the guidance of the lions.

The other noble cats ruled over wings of the ark, the steward animals kept peace aboard the ark, the commoners were the hardworking animals who kept the ark afloat, and the vermin were the no-good scoundrels who didn’t do anything right. Once the flood subsided, the ark reached land and animals spilled forth and formed what is now known as the Animal Kingdom.

That’s the long-short of it. There are many scholastic debates in modern ark-lore, for example – what was the world like before the flood? Did the lions build the ark or did the world begin with the flood and all the animals on it?

If the world didn’t begin with the flood, then how did it begin?

The orthodox view is that the ark myth is also the creation myth and that the flood was the beginning of time, a primordial eternal sea of nothingness with an ark with all the animals being the only point of life. There are others with opposing beliefs – that the world is eternal, and it had no start, nor will it have an end.

They hold that the Animal Kingdom existed before the flood as well, and the flood was just a moment in history that happened, and perhaps another flood will happen again, or many.

Leaving scholastics aside, what does it all mean in the context of society? Well, the story is seen as both a historical truth and as an allegory of which species are good at what in society – lions are excellent rulers, other cats are great as administrators, the species belonging to the steward caste are great at overseeing the commoners, and commoners are good workers, while vermin are good for nothing.

The caste and the hierarchy

There have always been dissidents to this idea of course – animals who believe the myth is fake and/or that animals should follow a different hierarchy or none at all. During the course of known history, there were many uprisings and revolts, but none succeeded in breaking the unified and strong Animal Kingdom and its lionese rule. The belief in the caste system is so engrained in the populace for countless generations that it is difficult for animals to imagine a different hierarchy.

Now, if the myth were to be put in question, what would happen? This happened a few times in history – when the southern continent was discovered, it confused the scholars at first. Didn’t all the animals from the ark later embark and form the Animal Kingdom? Where did these animals come from? Are some animals found here not mentioned in the ark myth?

The problem with these questions is that it is difficult to answer them without having the original ark myth to compare. The original ark myth was of course lost in translation from the forgotten ancient lionese language of 2000 years ago, but the modern translations were also prone to historical inaccuracies.

For example, it makes sense that animals that haven’t been seen or heard from for centuries would not appear in modern ark myth. That would explain no mention of monkeys or alligators from the southern continent in the modern translations of the ark myth. The modern ark scholars point to older non-translated texts in ancient lionese which hold many more species names in the ark manifest than are in the current translation.

Big moment of disbelief

Another big moment of disbelief in the ark myth happened when king Michaël’s finding of the ancient Ark landing site was proved to be a forgery by scam artists. This put a stain on ark-seekers that persists to this day. However, it is not easy to sway the opinion held by so many for so long. Not by evidence, anyway.

What has started to happen recently is that certain factions have started to question the myth in order to back up their political and philosophical ideologies. Some say that the ark is a fake story to keep the hierarchy in place, a helpful tool that helped the lions to “divide and conquer” the rest of the animals.

This is not said out loud and certainly not printed on paper, but the sentiment grows stronger, especially amongst reformists seeking a democratic rule of the Kingdom and revolutionaries seeking to bring about anarchy.

The problem, however, is that none of these have so far provided a compelling counter-narrative. If not with the flood, how did the world start? Why is the Kingdom the way it is, and what is the natural order of things anyway, if such a thing exists?

The status quo?

In the end, perhaps it will be shown that these minute and deep questions do not matter much. Not for a faction whose leader can boast of great charisma and rallying skill, nor for a faction composed of castes tired of being trodden down.

Or maybe most animals will see that the status quo of this enlightened monarchy is not so bad, and fear of unknown change is greater than the allure of hazy promises.

But perhaps, in a chaotic social situation the Kingdom has found itself in, just perhaps, a single scholar could tip the scales ever slightly in one’s favor, and change the course of history? That’s what the game is essentially about.

Dabrovit, the key figure of the Commoner Caste

Dabrovit

The story about Dabrovit

The history books are full of royals and nobles, as these castes are the ones ruling over the Kingdom and generally believed to be deciding the course of history. So it is interesting to discuss the most famous historical figures from the commoner caste – Dabrovit.

Born in The Dams to a wealthy family

Dabrovit was born in The Dams to a wealthy family of beaver woodworkers. His father Drvovit was an engineer well versed in woodwork and the science of lumber. He was so good at it in fact, that the bear owner of the lumber mill almost never interfered with him. To young Dabrovit, and others living there, it might seem that the Dam was run by him. And to keep on top of the newest developments in the industry, Drvovit had many books imported from the nearby capital to study and keep informed. As the oldest son, Dabrovit was expected to continue his father’s legacy and was given all the books and papers to read and research.

When he came of schooling age, he was sent to hone his skills in Blackbark where he excelled under the tutelage of the turtle Methus. His works were of such good quality that they soon started getting sent to all the major lumber towns, and Dabrovit also showed interest in other fields – botany, anatomy, history, physics…

In the service of the King

When it was time to return to The Dams, King Michaël actually petitioned to keep him there, as a royal tutor to his son and grandson, and as the overseer of the royal library. Never has such a young animal received such a big honour, much less from the commoner caste, but this was only the beginning of his long life of success.

Sadly, Laurent died young while Michaël was still king, but Michaëls grandson Valent, who received the same tutelage as Laurent, was impressed by Dabrovit’s ideas. Dabrovit was adamant that the scholarly pursuits were slowed down by tradition and wrong beliefs.

The scholar’s manifest

Thus, Valent, when he became king, tasked Dabrovit to write the Scholars Manifesto, a paper that would be the bedrock of what is now known as the scientific method.

In this time, it was often so that the research from animals of the higher castes were always given more weight than those of the commoners. He was also frustrated that many of the debates at the time could be easily solved by finding the right evidence instead of endless debates. Thus, he created the three maxims of scholarly pursuit:

  1. “The proof is not the prover.” – This meant that it didn’t matter if the proof (mathematical, scientific, historical) was found by a vagabond or a king, that good science should separate who wrote a paper from what the paper actually concludes, and how. He famously said: “The laws of nature act the same to tigers and snakes alike.”
  2. “Words are but chisels on the stone wall of proof.” – Unlike many scholars up to that time, Dabrovit believed discussions alone cannot bring us closer to the truth. When a dilemma is shown, words are only tools that shape the evidence we found into an argument.
  3. “To part with doubts, doubt each part.” – Similar to our own concept of “Cartesian doubt”, Dabrovit believed that any information should be questioned, and broken down to smaller parts that are easier to question and ascertain their truthfulness.

During King Valent, the funding of scholarly pursuits achieved never-before-seen levels. The discovery of the southern continent and new plants and animals brought new life to the scholarly pursuits as well. A craze of scholarly pursuits struck everyone from the noble families to commoners lucky enough to have learned to read. Soon, a Royal Academy was formed in Blackbark where animals could come and learn and research together.

How many feet does a horse have on the ground when running?

An interesting anecdote concerns Hyeronimus the horse who wrote a treatise on horse movement. In one part, he wrote, “as can be attested from personal experience of any horse, during the gallop, when all our legs are facing inward there is a short time when all of the legs are above ground”. This infuriated Dabrovit, as it clashed against all three of his maxims, and yet every horse knew it to be true.

To put this matter from the hands of horse experience into the realm of science, Dabrovit petitioned the King to fund the research and discovery of a “photograph”. Thus, after many years and funds, the first simple photographs were created at that time. These were used to answer many questions that have puzzled scholars for years, and, finally, brought proof of horse movement that wasn’t reliant on personal experience of the ‘prover,’ but evidence, not by looking at a horse in motion, but by looking at parts of that motion frozen with a photographic machine.

Created a “peer review” system

While maxims two and three were adhered to, and well respected, there were still problems with the first maxim. When Dabrovit created a system of “peer review”, where scholars were financed by the crown to read and critique every published scholarly paper, it wasn’t what he expected. Whenever a rich noble wrote a treatise, rarely anyone was willing to disprove it even if it was complete nonsense, since nobles mostly funded the other scholars’ efforts.

Dabrovit was increasingly frustrated at the end of his life by this. He was also growing old and took ill soon. He famously wrote his last book, “The Revised Maxim”, on his deathbed. He wanted to change the first maxim to: “Words are untied to worders.” He wished to make all scholars submit papers anonymously, and hoped this would stop the problem of highly reputable scholars being given “free rein.” However, many scholars have by then reached a lot of fame and fortune by doing this, and he was too old to fight them, so the last maxim was left unchanged.

Reportedly, as Dabrovit died, and his Revised Maxim was not accepted at all in the scholarly circles, king Valent believed not intervening in this aspect to be the one flaw of his otherwise perfect rule.

Learn more about Trip the Ark Fantastic

There is a lot more to be learned about the world of Ark Fantastic, and much more is coming in the future.

Make sure to join our Discord, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter!

So we went to GodotCon 2020 and it was awesome

So we went to GodotCon 2020 and it was awesome

Yes, it was that magical time of the year when everyone’s happy and gathered around to share merry thoughts and fun stories. We are of course talking about GodotCon 2020!

Gamechuck was there, too, in the form of the two of our awesome employees; Piet Bronders and Karlo Koscal, and both are programmers.

We have sat down with Karlo when he got back home to ask him about their trip fantastic (get it, get it) to GodotCon and the experience he remembers.

So Karlo, tell us, why in the world did we attend GodotCon?

Well, glad you asked! We have attended GodotCon Brussels 2020 to meet with other users of Godot, exchange contacts, showcase projects, and get people to know about Gamechuck. Also to hang out with coworker Piet and see a bit of the city since this was my first plane trip outside Croatia ever!

Meet Karlo, our celebrity Gamechuck programmer.

What was happening on the GodotCon?

GodotCon lasted for two days (Monday and Tuesday), from 9:00 to 18:00. I’d say there were roughly 100 total attendants, including the organizers. More details of the event can be found here and here.

Some attendants did several talks, with various topics about Godot (shader magic, Vulkan implementation, educational talks, …). After the talks, everyone could showcase their projects. Most of the Godot core developers were there as well, including Juan Linietsky, the lead developer, who did a talk about progress on his Vulkan renderer implementation in Godot.

Watch Gamechuck’s part of the presentation in the video below:

Attendants also got some free Godot merchandise like Godot-shaped stickers, sew-in patches, and pins. They were also selling Godot t-shirts for a fair price.

At the end of each day, core devs didn’t hesitate to continue hanging out with attendants and grab a few drinks or go to a restaurant.

It’s worth mentioning that 2 days before the event (Saturday and Sunday) there was FOSDEM conference held in Brussels as well, and Godot had its stand there, mostly answering people’s questions and handing out merchandise.

What kind of projects were showcased during the GodotCon?

Mostly projects that people do in their spare time, as a hobby. There was a wide variety of things people do in Godot: Katamari Damacy clone, casual games like block breakers, and there was also a mobile app made in Godot which can communicate with homemade thermostat and control heating in a room.

Piet showcased Subsonic, our game for Global Game Jam 2020 (that was held 2 days right before GodotCon (we were both very sleepy!)). The next day I showcased 12 Traps of Christmas, my game for Godot Wild Jam #4.

Did some of the showcased projects there catch your attention?

Crafty County, a casual 3D game made by Tim Krief. I love the aesthetics, smoothness, and overall gameplay.

I was also surprised by Zylann’s voxel module. He showed a large world with complex terrain, and also a Minecraft-like world, and the framerate was quite good. It shows that Godot really is a capable engine and can parry with current engine giants like Unity and Unreal.

Did we get some shout-outs from someone during the GodotCon? (I mean, of course, we did)

Yes! Matejs Balodis from Rocknight Studios did a talk on Vertical Slice. He said they were inspired by how Gamechuck uses the concept in their game Trip the Ark Fantastic. Vertical Slice is similar to the prototype, but every component of the game has to behave like it would in the final game. More on vertical slice can be found here.

He was also interested in other Gamechuck projects, especially interactive comics. We introduced him to our Discord server.

Was Piet super handsome during his presentation?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Were there some new technologies and features announced for Godot?

Oh definitely! Here are some highlights for you:

  • Vulkan renderer implementation (coming to Godot 4.0).
  • Escoria, a Point & Click adventure game framework, made by Julian Murgia.
  • voxel module by Zylann.

Was there anything particularly cool that caught your attention?

GodotCon was held at Ludus Academie, a school for game development in Brussels. In the hallways, there are large display cases with a lot of figures from video games like Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Metroid, Pokemon, etc. Each room is marked with some video game character protagonist. It was fun to navigate and admire the school, and a good location choice to host a game development conference.

Side note, it made me wish that Croatia invested more in game development education.

Gamechuck gang attending Global Game Jam in Novska, Croatia

There are gamedev education courses by PISMO in Novska and Machina in Zagreb, and there’s a gamedev school opening up in Zagreb soon so hopefully it will continue to grow.

Got some nice pics from GodotCon and Bruxelles? 🙂

You even ask!

Anything else you’d like to mention?

Attending the conference was a great experience. Meeting other Godot users and sharing and discussing our projects was interesting and fun. Seeing people make all these cool games motivates you to work even harder.

Ah yes, this random pic, too. Context: after a few glasses of that awesome Belgian beer, Laurent, Piet, and I decided to joke around on Godot Wild Jam Discord server (nothing harsh, we promise). At some point, we announced that we “killed” Piet, and Laurent drew a coffin so we can all pay respects to him, including the now-dead Piet himself. There was an “F” on the coffin, so we pressed F to pay respects.

Most of the talks were on point and very educational (I learned a bit more shader magic!). Hopefully, Piet and I will prepare a kickass talk for next GodotCon later this year in Poznan, Polska. And hopefully, the attendance then will be the same or higher.

Godot is a fast-rising FOSS game engine and very soon it will become a great competitor to current industry standards. I’m glad to be part of the community that helps shape the engine for the future.

Here’s to a soon-to-be best game engine: Godot. 🙂

Science and Technology in the Kingdom

Science and Technology in Animal Kingdom

Science and technology in the Animal Kingdom

As the game begins, the Animal Kingdom is far from its humble animalistic beginnings. It’s a brewing civilisation on the very beginnings of the industrial revolution and (possibly) a social revolution as well.

Science

As for science and the scientific method, it has been steadily advancing since at least King Valent. However, in the Animal Kingdom, there is no difference between science, engineering, history, and other intellectual pursuits – all thinkers are called “Scholars”, whether they are scholars of botany or scholars of machinery or scholars of the Ark myth.

You play the game as Charles, one such scholar of the Kingdom. A botanist by trade and son of the famed scholar Herbert, you have always been in the spotlight which you’d rather avoid. Here’s a peek at Charles’ lab:

Our protagonist Charles is a botanist, and gained fame after he invented an indoor plant irrigation system, more commonly used in the kingdom as – the shower!

As previously considered, the difference between engineers and scholars in the Kingdom is vague so Charles doesn’t only work on the theory of botany but also works on the greenhouse technology that would help preserve plants from the cold conditions on the outside. His wish is to create a stable environment for growing crops even in winter-time, but he is still far off from that goal.

Technology

The industrial revolution made steam engines available in many mines and centers of industry throughout the Kingdom, including Charles’ hometown – the Burrows. The usage of steam engines made coal production skyrocket and made it possible to dig deeper and deeper into mines. Luckily, the rabbit miners didn’t meet any Balrogs down there, but the health hazards of being so deep might be just as deadly!

Complex machinery operating on steam and helping run the elevator down to the Burrows coal mine.

Other cities use steam machinery for other things, such as connecting the various treetop dwelling animals with their ground-based friends in the small squirrel trade town of the Scurries.

Yet another steam-powered elevator!

The Kingdom hasn’t (yet) started building railroads or any other steam-powered vehicles, mostly because of the convenience of travel by paw (due to the small scale of the Kingdom’s mainland), and the larger distances are traveled by using the royal Elephant Transportation Company (which has been known to stifle innovation so it could stay in the transportation game).

There are some technological issues we haven’t decided on yet, such as whether the Kingdom has learned to use powder for guns and weapons.

They certainly use dynamites, but guns seem too modern for a fantasy setting to some in our creative team, even if our fantasy world closely resembles the 19th century which was FULL of guns…

So be sure to drop in on our Discord and let us know whether you think this wolf guard would look better with a rifle or not 😛

Fantastic Game Jammin’

Fantastic Game Jammin’

It’s a busy week behind Gamechuck as we go forward in the Trip the Ark Fantastic production. But before we give you a sneak peek of what’s coming for our game, we are really excited to show you what we’ve been up to!

Gamechuck on Global Game Jam

Our team has participated in a 48-hour long Global Game Jam on two locations simultaneously!

Having fun at Global Game Jams in Novska and Rijeka.

Objavljuje GamechuckPetak, 31. siječnja 2020.

Our 6-manned team in Novska produced Subsonic; a rather cool 3D first-person video game made in Godot engine where you’re the sole shiphand of a submarine powered by musical instruments. It’s your job to keep them in tune and bring music to the ocean’s depths.

You can download the game on Itch.io for Windows and Linux.

The second game we’ve made during GGJ was made with GameMaker engine thanks to Vanja, Serena, Guglielmo and Gianluca. In Cat-ASTRO-phy! you play as a “purrfect” feline astronaut who is on a quest of becoming the furrst cat on the moon.

The 48 hour long Global Game Jam is complete! The challenge was to make a game on the topic of "repair". We went in two…

Objavljuje GamechuckNedjelja, 2. veljače 2020.

Grab the game here for Windows and Linux.

Want to learn more? Check our Godot programmer Piet who showcased our Global Game Jam project on GodotCon 2020 (7:23:00 mark)!

The code is available on GitLab for free, as well.

Kings of the Animal Kingdom

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.

King Michaël the Zealous

 A portrait of King Michaël the Zealous
A portrait of King Michaël

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.

King Valent the Scholar

King Valent the Scholar
King Valent the Scholar

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.

King Vincent the Explorer

King Vincent the Explorer

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.

King Leopold the Tyrant

King Leopold the Tyrant

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.

King Leonard the Wise

King Leonard the Wise

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.

King Lav

King 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.

The Burrows

Pride, the capital city of the Kingdom

“Sometimes I think, Charles, what’s the point of living underground if you can’t put your head under a rock and ignore the jibber-jabber from the Capital?”

The Burrows

The burrows is where we start the game. Here in this quaint little mining town, our protagonist (Charles, the hedgehog scholar) has his lab.

This is an early map we’ve made to showcase where the first part of the first act takes place, close to the capital city Pride:

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/619813040224862208/635585119746523196/Map2.jpg
We’ve made this map using the cool freeware program Inkarnate which is really cool if you are running DnD campaigns or just need to make some cool reference maps for your upcoming RPG masterpiece (like us)

It’s in the introverts goldilocks zone: far enough from the capital to be left alone by pesky colleagues but close enough so he can get his hands on all the latest scientific equipment on a whim.

Most rabbits in the burrows work as miners and live in the residential area below during the workweek. The rooms are very humble and simple but Charles’ has built a large lab for himself here:

The smith of the Burrows is Quince, a downtrodden lizard belonging to the vermin caste, the lowest caste in the Kingdom. He replaced the former rabbit smithy who got ill due to the poisonous fumes eroding from the metalwork. This is where the player first has a chance to explore the societal differences in the various castes of the Kingdom.

A short way away from Quince we have Orville’s mansion. Orville is a badger who is the foreman of the mine. As part of the highest caste in the Burrows, he is in charge of the entire mining operation, and de facto owns the whole underground site. He finds himself constantly competing with other mines and digsites and trying to stay afloat but the industrial landscape is changing fast and it’s hard for his little mine to keep up.

Thus, the Burrows serves as an introductory place to start the voyage into the world of Trip the Ark Fantastic. Here the player learns of the caste system, the way things are in the world and how characters react to it.

Since the Ark myth is central to the story of the game, its underlying hierarchy is important to understand as early as possible.

Learn more about Trip the Ark Fantastic

There is a lot more to be learned about the world of Ark Fantastic, and much more is coming in the future.

Make sure to join our Discord, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter!

Kings of the Animal Kingdom: King Lav

This is the last Ark Lore about the line of kings, and ends with the current king. That would be King Lav the Rebel who deposed the Tyrant King Leopold.

During King Leopold, many animals saw their wealth and health diminish in newlyfound harsh industrial conditions. This, combined with Leopold’s cruel and non-diplomatic approach to many royal issues, led to a bloody rebellion. Leopold was finally deposed in a rebellion led by his younger brother, prince Lav 30 years ago today.

Lav, the current king

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.

Lav is a shrewd diplomat and has kept these dangers at bay, but he is growing old. He fears that when his cub Otto succeeds the Throne, he will be too inexperienced to prevent the brewing unrest. In this difficult time, he sends to you, Charles the hedgehog, to help him secure his hold on the monarchy. In modern times it is widely known that the ark wreckage found in Michaëls time was a fake. However, it is the king’s hope that if a scholar of your reputation were to find the real ark, this would again appease unrest and usher in much needed peace for his son Otto.

Kings of the Animal Kingdom: King Leonard

King Leonard the Wise

In the past few weeks, we spoke of many kings. There was Vincent, the beloved Explorer king. Before him, there was Valent, the scholar king tutored by master Dabrovit. Before Valent, there was Michaël, the king obsessed with the ark. Leonard, on the other hand, had no ambition towards exploration nor science nor mythology.

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.

A debated law regarded scholars in Leonard’s time – they were funded by the Crown only if they could show that their work would improve and modernise the industry. This led to less interest in historical and mythological discussions and ultimately gave rise to the steam engine, which would soon reshape the economy of the Kingdom.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Leonard_FINAL-1080x1080.png
King Leonard the Wise

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, of whose reigns we will speak in later posts.

Until then, be sure to check out our Discord or wherever lore-junkies hang out these days!

Kings of the Animal Kingdom: King Leopold

Kings of the Animal Kingdom: Leopold the Tyrant

Leonard’s son Leopold started off his reign as a direct continuation of his father’s footsteps as King. However, his main preoccupation soon had to shift to stability and centralisation of power in the Kingdom.

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Leopold_FINAL-1065x1080.png
Leopold the Tyrant

But as more animals saw their wealth and health diminish in newly-found harsh industrial conditions, resentment rose. Combined with Leopold’s non-diplomatic approach to many of the Kingdom’s issues, his end seemed nigh. He was finally deposed in a rebellion led by his younger brother, prince Lav. A small consolation, at least.

The reign of Leopold, “The Tyrant King”, was over 30 years ago, but the Kingdom still resonates from the consequences of his reign. Be sure to tune in for our next blogpost and read about the current king – Lav!

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