First, a bit of housekeeping on ages/names:
Wallace is around 23 in this fic. Madelyn's 20. The other key players are also in their (indeterminate) 20s. As for my naming scheme, y'all know I hate naming OCs and such, but I kept with a vaguely Roman-Britain/Celtish theme. Any other names that show up are from the game.
Cordelia -- a reference to Shakespeare's King Lear. (Kent and Cordelia, a duke and Lear's daughter respectively, are the only characters who remain loyal to Lear to the bitter end, even after Lear banishes them. Our Kent's mom has always been named Cordelia in my head for this reason. lol.)
Adrian -- a reference to Hadrian's Wall. Also, alliteration ftw!
Brandon -- pulled out of my ass. Well, somehow my brain jumped from William Wallace to Bran the Blessed, but this one's not so much an active ref. He just felt like a Bran, and it fit in my naming scheme.
I also switched back to the "Djute" spelling over "Jute", which I have preferred in the past. I still prefer "Jute" for various reasons, but not to the extent that I really care which one is used, so I figure I might as well just go with the fan translation on this one.
And now, three main things to point out about this fic:
1. People tend to have a very limited view of medieval women and their place in life; I was trying sort of to respond to that while not completely disregarding the limitations that *did* exist for them, and the general mindset of society. (The society that these women were born and raised in, and thus shared in the ideals of.)
That being said, I'm well aware that there are "anachronisms" regardless. Chalk it down to FE being not our world but a fantasy world -- with magic, and with at least two highly respected historical women, one of whom founded what is probably the major religion on the continent -- which does or *should* change the dynamics somewhat. Also, I'm admittedly lazy, so some of details I just threw in if I could make it sound more or less plausible. (potatoes -- which was mostly a nod to hooves EPIC depiction of Wallace XD, patronage of the arts, etc.) I mean, again, I have Lycia, especially eastern Lycia down mostly as early medieval, Roman-Britain-ish era, but there are definitely some world-building details I slipped in that are probably more accurate to later periods.
At any rate, mainly this is just to say, I don't really buy the spunky tomboy!Madelyn interpretation that I think is probably common. In a relative backwater canton like Lycia it's not unbelievable (see: Isadora, who is also a nobleman's daughter, though I wouldn't exactly call her tomboyish either), and in fact seems like a natural assumption to make, given Lyn's personality and well, the fact that Madelyn ran off to the plains. Nothing against it, I guess, but it's pretty cliched imo, and anyway it's more interesting I think to assume the opposite, and really make her a product of her society. It makes her ultimate decision far more difficult and complex. Instead I funneled off the tomboyish aspects to Cordelia, mostly because I like the idea that Kent's mom was crazy but mellowed out with age (also other factors, but won't go into them here). I was also setting up an obvious parallel there with the Cordy/Brandon relationship -- eloping probably did not in general lead to happily ever afters.
2. Sacaen/Lycian relations were modeled loosely on a mix of American Indian/colonist relations and Christian (Western Europe)/Saracen. (The Sacaens themselves are more Mongolian than anything though, as I've mentioned elsewhere.) I know very little about Roma, otherwise I'd say there's a bit of similar stigma attached to the Sacaens probably. Similarly to #1, I was writing from the viewpoint again that if you're born and raised in a society with a certain set of prejudices and standards, you're going to retain those same prejudices no matter how open-minded you might otherwise be. And often these prejudices will not be overt, but rather will manifest in very subtle ways -- not all of which will appear "negative" at first glance. Also, prejudice goes both ways.
More or less, I'm pretty cynical about Madelyn/Hassar and don't think it was quite the romantic episode everyone likes characterizing it as, though I have no doubt the two of them eventually fell genuinely in love. (We begin to see that happening towards the end of the fic, I think.) For one thing, I have a hard time figuring out what Hassar would be doing smack in the middle of Lycia anyway, not only for long enough to have become good friends with Wallace but also with enough freedom to interact with Madelyn on a regular basis and indeed, fall in love. Sure, Lycia and in particular Caelin probably has "looser" standards, allowing for more freedom of interaction -- hence the servants' relatively friendly relationship with Madelyn -- but I reeeally don't think Lord Hausen would have allowed his daughter to interact casually with just any guy off the streets, especially a Sacaen. (there is almost certainly an element of "savages stealing our women" involved wrt Sacaens and Lycians, though the truth is probably the opposite, i.e. probably more mixed marriages involve Sacaen women and Lycian men rather than the other way around.) Also, I could understand if Hassar were hanging out in Araphen or one of the other cantons closer to the border, but in Caelin of all places? Hmmm. (Guy in Santaruz is an exception -- we KNOW he's been wandering away from his clan, in order to prove himself. But Hassar's the chief of the Lorca, or at the very least the son of the chief!) Well, this is addressed in fic, obviously.
3. Lycian politics must be insane, if only for the sheer number of players involved. Military arms are probably a much larger factor than court intrigue in general (contrast Etruria). And aside from that, Lycia fascinates me because it strikes me really as the most heterogeneous of the various countries on Elibe. There are a variety of cultural influences at work, I think.
But, perhaps most relevantly to this fic, Lundgren has never really made much sense to me. According to primogeniture, Lundgren would in fact be the heir over Lyn in the order of succession. In most instances. Though actually the way inheritance is set up in Elibe frankly confuses me. Clearly we have something like equal primogeniture or actually something probably closer to agnatic-cognatic or cognatic primogeniture as oppposed to purely agnatic in place (see: both Lyn and Guinevere), but eh. To put it in plainer words, women *can* inherit -- i.e. females are not excluded entirely from the line of succession.
Bah, primogeniture is confusing period, though. This is a pretty decent rundown, though seriously lacking in sources. (see also: order of succession) Or see this book (published in 1895 by a British dude).
Lyn's case is simply weird in particular as she's not just female -- she's the daughter of a daughter. And the other thing that seems to be clear about Elibe is that, as a typical "medieval" setting, inheritance is traced through the male line. So if Lyn were a son, then yeah, she'd maybe have a stronger claim than Lundgren (by "quasi-salic inheritance", in which succession can go through the female line but only males can inherit still). And then there's also the whole deal regarding proximity of blood. And this is leaving out the fact that Lyn's father is Sacaen, and that Madelyn wouldn't have inherited if she had stayed and married Araphen in the first place. There are really a lot of factors at work here -- i.e. it's really not as clear cut as the game tries to make it. Lundgren actually has a pretty strong claim on the throne even without resorting to the whole "Lyn is an imposter spiel" (which is probably another factor in why he has so many supporters, disregarding the implied blackmail).
The only reasonable explanation I can think of is that Lundgren himself has no tenable heir. I mean, clearly he's old enough to be a grandfather, and yet the game treats him as having no heirs? (In the sense that, if not Lundgren, the throne should have gone to Lundgren's son, or daughter if he had no son, and from there on to his OWN grandchildren. The whole inheritance dispute realistically would NOT have ended with Lundgren's death. As long as the male line holds out, they'd have priority over Lyn. And whether or not she actually had the strongest claim she really really would not have had an easy time of it if she'd actually wanted the throne, as she wouldn't have had any political backing whatsoever, and only the slightest military backing!) And if he didn't have heirs -- then why the fuck did he want the throne so badly? If he'd been a younger man at the time he made his power grab, then that'd be totally understandable, but if you believe the game he's just been sitting around for YEARS waiting for his brother to conk out so he can enjoy a few years of rulership before he himself conks out... huh?
So no, Lundgren almost certainly has heirs of his own, but for some reason or other their claim is just as shaky as Lyn's. But before Lyn shows up, there are no other complications, so hey, he can rest easy, assured that the throne's going to go to them through him regardless, simply because they're the only options.
Anyway, this will be explored more in Wherever I May Find Her. I'm just setting up some issues beforehand here.
And re: other stuff, yes, I was intentionally drawing parallels between Wallace/Madelyn and Kent/Lyn (though they really don't quite map very well XD), and yes, Hassar speaks quite a bit, if only because I don't believe in ".... ..... ....." romances. :P
And if you can't put two and two together regarding exactly what Madelyn was planning, it's probably my fault, but damn it, I just wanted to get this fic over with already. So uh yeah. Sorry. Her motives are complicated and not at all straightforward.
Anyway, if I don't get around to responding to comments I'm sorryyyyyyyy but really tired. T_T
(This fic totally needs to go through a round of editing when I am considerably more sane. i.e. I FAIL)
My log-in expired. Darn.
Anndddd...last but not least! (I lied about this, by the way.)
Lundgren. First, he's an asshole. Clearly.
Second. I still wish I knew you in person so that we could discuss his asshattery together.
Third, I didn't read your links on inheritance, but I do agree that Caelin's line of succession is pretty messed up. Or maybe Lundgren was a bastard child-- or better yet, maybe Hausen and Lundgren's father had two wives, the first being at exceptionally high status, the other being of lower (but still noble) rank. I'm speculating, of course.
Or maybe Lundgren, as a younger man, declared in a fit of anger or stupidity, that he didn't want Caelin.
I deal a little with him in my novelization, and I'm going to try really hard to paint a realistic picture with him. Uhm, but now that you've mentioned the line of succession, I'm going to go with initially, Madelyn herself being the threat to him-- not Lyndis. But with Hausen being so eager to see Lyn, it will worry Lundgren. (Naturally.)
Either way, like you said, Lundgren had a lot of followers, as Caelin's knights even turned against Kent and Sain. Hell, even Eagler!
To make it simple, what I'm doing with Lundgren is something like... Initially, he's happy not being in the limelight, even though he thinks he'd be better at ruling a canton than his softer-hearted brother. He and Hausen were close as kids, and close as young adults, too-- until both of them fell for Lyndis (the first one, of course). Lundgren never said anything about it, of course, and Hausen won her over before he could even try. Then, Hausen started ignoring him for his new wife, talking about her and being all happy-- while Lundgren's depressed about having lost the woman he loved (and never even got to court), oh, and he's lonely, too. Eventually it gets to the point where Lundgren's basically bitter about his brother not caring anymore-- the whole time, though, Hausen thought that Lundgren had his own life. If that makes any sense? Problem is, Lundgren didn't, and as time passes, he starts hating Madelyn and Hassar. Things get worse when the original Lyndis dies. (Also, I can't wait to write his reaction to actually seeing Lyn herself, named after the woman he loved, but looking...well, like a savage.)
(Much the same as Araphen felt when seeing Lyn, actually; a warped version of her mother, I think he says. "Tainted" with the blood of Sacae.)
Anyway, I hope that makes sense. Because I thought, him biding his time for like, 40 years doesn't make any sense at all, especially if he's married and has kids of his own.
Of course, your picture was good, too, that he just thought everyone was against him and didn't even like his wife. (He could also have married someone who was sterile, or he himself could be sterile (though it was always blamed on the woman)...of course, he'd be shunned for having no heirs, but it might have added to the jealousy factor that Hausen inherited and he himself didn't have Caelin, didn't even have any kids...ah.)
I'm excited for Wherever I May Find Her, by the way. I'll die of happiness when it's done and posted. (Is it too much to hope to see it at the end of July? /shameless, I know.)
But yes, I want to explore Lyn's claim to the throne and such... Of course, if we go with Hausen have ultimate authority, and "What he says, goes", then we have an answer. (Really, FE makes absolutely no sense.)
(And no worries, the links aren't that great -- mostly just basic overviews on wiki-type sites.) Lundgren being a bastard child or a half brother both make sense as options. The idea I'm playing around in my verse I think is that his *son* is a bastard... and not fathered by him.
And yes, I definitely think Madelyn would be the bigger threat -- She's still kind of within childbearing age at this point, so there's no guarantee that she won't give birth to a male heir, which would *really* cause problems for Lundgren.
And oh -- actually I think we are really on the same wavelength regarding Lundgren. XD Hausen clearly trusted Lundgren a lot, enough that he unsuspectingly let Lundgren poison him, so they must have been close at one point in time. His betrayal must have come as a huge shock.
In my verse, Lundgren, in his disappointment re: original!Lyndis, just starts to blame all his own problems on everyone else (wife included -- which is why she goes off and has an affair with someone else, which obviously doesn't help matters!). He's actually okay with Madelyn -- who is after all still the daughter of the woman he loved -- but finds it really awkward to interact with her, so usually just ends up criticizing her instead. He's torn between seeing his brother in her and seeing Lyndis in her. So Madelyn obviously finds it uncomfortable interacting with him (though she doesn't know why), but is still on speaking terms with him, sort of, and does wish that he could reconcile with Hausen. Ironically I think in some ways they had a lot in common (aside from personality, lol) -- Lundgren must have kept silent about his feelings for yeeaars. And notice that though he rants at her for running away the first time, Madelyn does note that he actually doesn't approve of her marriage with Araphen, which I did intend as a hint -- since her marriage to Araphen theoretically would have benefited him in a few ways (well, again, depending on how inheritance, I guess). But in fact, Lundgren did care about Madelyn's personal well-being, albeit in kind of a twisted, unconstructive way.
But with Lyn, it's as you said. She's "tainted."
Sterile Lundgren would be fun too, actually. (If his wife were sterile, I bet he'd go out and at least try to father a few bastards. :P) I do wonder if he'd be too proud to secretly adopt an heir and claim him as his own son -- probably, huh. Lots of possibilities.
(Alas, Wherever I May Find Her is like waaaay low on the list of priorities because one, it's multichapter, and two, I'm trying something a little different with the style... In particular I'm going to be trying to write nonlinearly, which is a huge headache and also means I have to have everything planned out very carefully, so. T_T)
And err yeah, I have way too much fun thinking about this stuff. XD
This is taking forever, haha. Okay...
actually I think we are really on the same wavelength regarding Lundgren
We totally are, which is really awesome! I'll bet Lundgren's betrayal hurt an awful lot, and it probably came out of nowhere. I'd bet Hausen had no idea he was being poisoned, and of course, after finding out, what could he even do about it? Lundgren had too many people on his side.
I do wonder if he'd be too proud to secretly adopt an heir and claim him as his own son -- probably, huh.
I was playing with that in another 'fic, actually. I think. If I remember correctly... it was the one where I was having history repeat itself-- where Lyn herself is done in like her grandfather after her ascension to the throne. I was thinking of making that 'fic the last arc of my novelization, but I'm still not sure, hahaha.
^_^; I have no idea what that even means. /fails
I was thinking of making that 'fic the last arc of my novelization, but I'm still not sure, hahaha.
Oh, but that would be evil. XP Man, I'd love to see what you did with that... but it would be evil.
By nonlinear I mostly mean the scenes don't take place in chronological order. Like... I want to make it jump back and forth in time, which will make things SUPER confusing though, if I'm not careful. T_T