It’s no big secret that a few (Ok, four out of six) of my main characters are based on actual historical figures. I went overboard with my protagonist, and based him on not one, but two real people, both of them coincidentally named Frederick.
I started by basing Kendryk Bernotas, Prince of Terragand on Frederick V, Elector Palatine. Kendryk is pretty much exactly like him, but better. And cuter. However, Kendryk is not a Mary Sue, I swear! He starts out pretty perfect, but he’s not. Very.
As my plotting progressed, I found myself drawing more and more on the life and actions of the other Frederick, the Wise, Elector of Saxony. This guy died nearly a hundred years before the beginning of the Thirty Years War, but was instrumental in helping Martin Luther survive and flourish. Since I decided to compress those hundred years, it all worked out.
It turns out that Kendryk is quite a bit cuter than this Frederick also- okay, he’s a LOT cuter- Oh, let’s face it, Kendryk is just flat-out cuter than just about everyone. He is however, not quite as wise as that long-dead Frederick. And frankly, just not wise enough to pull this whole thing off, although I have my doubts if anyone could be. It’s quite a mess I have created here.
When my story begins, Kendryk is only twenty-one, but he’s had a pretty interesting life so far. As the second son of the Prince of Terragand, he didn’t expect to become a ruler himself. At an early age, he expresses interest in religion, and is sent to another king’s court to study with a noted theologian.
Intelligent and contemplative, he shows a real aptitude for life in the clergy. Unfortunately, his older brother dies when Kendryk is just eleven, and he has to return home to take his place as heir.
His father, who’d never really recovers from his older brother’s death, dies about a year later, leaving Kendryk in the care of three regents. Each regent sees this as an opportunity for his or her own advancement, so they squabble amongst themselves and ignore Kendryk, who has no time for such stupidity.
At sixteen, Kendryk is able to establish his own power base, and fires his regents. It won’t be the last time his baby face and mild manner lead others to underestimate him. He assembles his own team of advisers and proceeds to rule Terragand in a fairly enlightened fashion.
His next move is to get married, in hopes of ensuring the line of succession- a few unsavory former regents still have some hopes in that direction. He hears that the daughter of King Andres Roussay of Norovaea is available and being courted by a number of royal suitors, so decides to throw his plumed hat in the ring.
Since Gwynneth Roussay is such a catch- she’s just like Kendryk, but super-sparkly- everyone expects that she’ll end up marrying a king. She’s just about decided to when Kendryk appears, and since naturally, he’s cuter and better than all the others, she is quickly convinced that he’s the one for her.
Her parents are not in favor of the match, but like many parents of teenage girls who are used to getting their way, they quickly cave in exchange for their sanity.
Kendryk and Gwynneth waste no time getting married, and return to Terragand, where Kendryk concentrates on being wise and just and Gwynneth has babies. By the time our story begins, they are still blissfully happy and everything is going smoothly. So naturally, it won’t last!