Today on World Builders 2.0, we enter the world of Adam Greven & Matt Deller, authors of The Knight Proper.
Adam is 31 and a resident of sunny southern California. Although The Knight Proper is his first published work Adam already has an Urban Fantasy, Grey Bargains, under his belt as well as a Sci-Fi Crime Noir, Death of the Afterglow, in the works. Outside of writing Adam runs a Kids Department for Barnes and Noble, a strange job for a budding Dark Fantasy writer we know. He is also an amateur photographer and auto racing enthusiast.
Without further ado, let’s now enter the world of Riesenstadt!
Politics and origin: how the world is knit together
How do different nations or territories interact? Are there outstanding disputes? If there is unity, how is it maintained?
Within the story of the Knight Proper the reader will see only a small portion of this Medieval Germanic land gone mad. We watch the inner power struggles within two groups that are focused on the future of Castle Riesenstadt’s direct land. There are whispers about Knights and Gravewalkers elsewhere, but as the main focus is family and its inner battles we never really leave the respective “house.” In the future, the reader will see the battles and families abroad but for now we wanted to focus on the struggle at home.
What time period from our own history would you say is most like the time period in your story?
Easily this is most like the Medieval Times of Germania. But also not completely unlike the struggles between the Celts and the Romans in Western Europe, clashing religious ideals, dominant rights, etc.
How does your world relate to the real world as we know it?
I think the bulk of our story relates to family as a whole. We all wish to strike out on our own and even challenge the status quo, but we will also never let anyone speak out or strike down our blood. The Knight Proper has a complicated family tree whose branches may sometimes hide a person’s intentions but its roots will always bind them back together. In these modern times we see so many families suffer with divorce. Growing up a good deal of my friends had to deal with this situation. For me watching from the outside, for a while felt as if I couldn’t relate. I came from a very tight knit family, but as I came to see so did many of my friends. Separation doesn’t always break a person or persons, it can in fact make them stronger and more loving. I think we show in this book that although Edwin, Alain, Renton, and Mela are always fighting deep down their intentions are for what they think is best for their family. Family is confusing, tough, and filled with just as many good memories as bad ones and the Knight Proper shows us very visually just how complicated it can all get.
Outside of family there is of course the focus on war and what it does to a person. People of course will die but we also see that if the cause is true, they are willing to. It’s only when the cause seems to truly be failing whether from the outside or within, that people truly begin to break. Each person breaks in a different way, like divorce, it may be for the better. We will see cowards rise up, even in the face of utter doom, and we will see the brave die nobly for a lost cause. One’s inner strength determines one’s fate and we see within both camps, The Konig Protectorate and the Gravewalkers, that one’s family, chosen or blood, has a great influence on that.
People and groups: social organization in your world
Tell us about the major societies of your world and overall social organization:
Riesenstadt is a kingdom without a King. A corrupt king was overthrown generations ago by his own guard, The Konig Protectorate. Known by the locals as The Knights Proper, The Konig Protectorate watches over all of Riesenstadt, with groups of Knights placed throughout the land. But all answer to The Knight Lord and his democratic council, long since grown corrupt themselves as they weeded out the Knights from the outreaches of Riesenstadt. Now the land is decimated by war, a war that never seems to end under the leadership of the Knight Lord Renton. The war’s latest victims are the Gravewalkers, once peaceful caretakers of the dead, these women were forced to defend themselves and raise the dead in their defense.
Stuck in between these two main groups are the common people of Riesenstadt. There are nobles, tradesman, and farmers alike. All try to maintain as much of a normal life as is possible in the never ending struggle to stay alive amongst the bloodshed.
There are some groups who band together to defend themselves although they are never really well organized or survive very long except for Castle Riesnstadt’s City Guard. The City Guard run their own patrols around and inside the walls of the castle Riesenstadt and act as a feeder group for The Knight Proper. Some are treated as lackeys by the Knights and some are taken on as Prospect Knights. There are many within the City Guard though that see the Knights as enemies and wish to take their place as the people’s protectors.
Tell us about organizations or major hierarchies:
Konig Protectorate… The Pieces of the Whole
The Voting Council: is comprised of members who have served a minimum of ten years in the Konig Protectorate. It is up to each said member to be present at council meetings if they wish for their voice to be heard. There are no proxy votes. If it isn’t important enough for you to be there then your vote isn’t important enough to take into consideration. As such most voting members choose to live within a day’s ride of the city if they don’t already live within the city itself. The only time members outside of the council’s requirements may vote is for the election of a new Knight-Lord. The council room was once standing room only, if you arrived and could stand you could vote. If a subject was important enough then you could stand for as long as it was discussed. If you could no longer stand then either the subject was dropped, if you had been the member to bring up the discussion topic, or with any other individual he would lose his vote. Chairs were not introduced until Renton’s reign. Seen as an exclusivity, as it was intended by Renton, this practice was fought for a while. Unfortunately Knights who needed to tend the more distant lands stayed in those lands and stopped voting. This gave Renton much more control with much less members to influence.
The Knight-Lord: is the head of the voting council. His Sargent is in charge of enforcing the law, The Knight-Lord is in charge of enforcing the patter of any meeting. His voice reigns supreme and will be heard above all of the other members of the council, although his single vote is no stronger than any other member. The Knight-Lord can also be seen more as a figurehead than say a President or King would be. Members seek the wisdom of the Knight-Lord more often than not and most council discussions brought up in session tend to start with a private audience of sorts with the Knight-Lord. The Knight-Lord is also expected to lead his men into battle, the first onto the field and the last to leave it.
The Sargent: A pure flaw. The Sargent is a very unique position within the voting council. The Sargent. is not voted for but is hand selected by The Knight-Lord. His appointment cannot be contested. The Sargent is the enforcer on the council. Only The Sargent may reprimand another council member. But with this power comes a price, the Sargent is the only member not allowed to vote. Strictly speaking, The Sargent answers only to the law of The Konig Protectorate, but as he is selected by The Knight-Lord he is usually greatly influenced by him. And as The Knight-Lord, the figurehead of The Konig Protectorate. The Sargent is charged with his physical protection. As such The Sargent also tends to bear a unique symbol upon his armour, The Bleeding Heart. This symbol is earned when a Sargent receives an injury, thought at the time he received it, to be mortal. It is a heart with a single drop, an additional drop is added for every such injury after that.
The Knights: a Knight’s story is told in engraving of his armour. Gold is etched into a Knights armour with symbols of his accomplishments in battle, weapon of choice, training, personal grievances, and good deeds within the neighborhood. It will also show his rank although there aren’t many besides those within the council. All Knights serve a minimum of two years as a Zweige or stick. This serves as a prospect stage that can only end when your sponsor deems you ready for the trials which is simply pass or fail. Pass and you enter the brotherhood of The Konig Protectorate. Fail and you resume your life as a civilian and are never allowed to try again.
Gravewalkers: are a tribal group. Usually sorted into small tribes of six to ten but now most are gathered together under one matriarch, Mela. Mela answers to no one and gives the final word to any Gravewalker. She has two advisors, Acacia and Elaine, one blood thirsty the other a worried Grandmother. Although she hears a lot of advice from this devil and angel perched upon her shoulders it is all on Mela to decide what is best for the Gravewalker tribe.
Want to know more about Adam & Matt’s world? You can enter it by pre-ordering a copy of their book, The Knight Proper.
THE KNIGHT PROPER is the story of Edwin, a disgraced Knight on a mission to reconcile with his long-lost daughter Mela, before her monstrous army of undead warriors lays waste to an entire Kingdom.
Named for their ability to teleport from one graveyard to another, Mela’s a ‘Gravewalker’, witches able to make use of the emotional residues left behind in cemeteries and burial grounds to power their magicks – and she too is on a mission, seeking revenge against Edwin’s Knight-Lord father for orchestrating the death of her mother and Edwin’s former lover, Evelina.
Hatred in her heart, the once-serene lands of Riesenstadt descend into chaos as Mela and the other Gravewalkers abandon their peaceful ways as caretakers of the dead, to instead harness their dark heritage against the Knight-Lord and his men. Worse is Mela’s attempt to create a sentient undead creature, the first of its kind, threatening utter ruin for all.
Joined by an irascible bard with her own dubious intentions, Edwin is now the only one who can put a stop to his daughter’s quest for vengeance. To save everything he knows, he must become more than just a Knight… he must become the Knight Proper.
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Connect with Adam Greven & Matt Deller in the following places!
Facebook: Adam Greven
Email: adamwritespages “at” yahoo “dot” com