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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Swimming, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 48 > Articles > Medieval World, Medieval Times?

Medieval World, Medieval Times?

by shidi

ERM... MEDIEVAL WORLD - Talk of the upcoming medieval world has been all the rage in Neopia. Many folks can't spell it and many more have only the vaguest clue of what the word medieval actually means, or what the medieval period of history in the real world was like. This article talks about various bits of trivial knowledge from the European Medieval period, and speculates vastly on what Neopets' Medieval world would be like if they included such features.

Origins of Medieval
The word medieval is taken from the Latin medium aevum, meaning "The Middle Age". This is the period in European history between antiquity and the Renaissance, often dated from A.D. 476 to 1453. Other words with a similar origin to Medieval in the English language include median, and media. This period of history included such wonders as knights and castles, and damsels in distress, but it also included some not-so-nice things such as a caste system called Feudalism and horrible diseases such as the bubonic plague. Religious intolerance was rife throughout the world, and great holy wars called crusades took place. Bathing and sanitation were nearly unheard of, even among the rich. We should hope that not all of these middle age 'niceties' are going to be mirrored in the Medieval World.

New Diseases
Perhaps your pet will be able to catch new diseases in the new world, much like Tyrannia brought us Ugga Ugga and other illnesses. Imagine seeing an event with "Your pet has come down with a bad case of the Bubonic Plague". Your pet would have red ring shaped rashes that would develop into nasty boils. Treatments would be available for thousands of NP, and include such fantastic remedies as "powdered Uni horn". Of course, none of these remedies would actually work, if realism were followed to a t. Bubonic plague wiped out 1/3 of the population of Europe. Take heart, though- Neopets can't really die.

A children's rhyme might then become popular amongst the Baby pets- 'Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posies -ashes, ashes, we all fall down'. This familiar child's song was developed during the Middle Ages and actually refers to the plague. Ring around a rosy is the ring shaped rash, a pocket full of posies was a charm thought to ward of the plague, and ashes, ashes we all fall down refers to the incineration of bodies as mass population deaths occurred. Cheerful, isn't it? Let's hope this doesn't become a feature.

Dining Habits
If your Neopet gets to enjoy the finest in medieval foods, he might dine on pheasant and large meaty legs of various beasts. Of course, forks weren't invented yet, so his dining experience might get a little messy. Food was often served on a semi-flat bread with bowl shaped edges called a trencher during the Middle Ages. Two people shared the same trencher, and it was considered quite bad manners to eat the soggy leftover bread yourself after you were done consuming what was on it. The breads were collected after the meal and donated to the poor.

If this becomes a feature, poor Neopians can look forward to seeing massive amounts of soggy bread trenchers at the Money Tree. Yummy, yummy.

Crusades and Battles
Medieval Neopians might want to conquer the barbarian hordes of Tyrannia, or seek to bring their 'civilised' ways to the people of the Lost Desert. Users age 13 and under might be able to participate in a special Children's Crusade. Of course, if history is followed correctly, they'll enter the Lost Desert and never, ever return. Scary stuff. Armour, swords, polearms and bows will be available for Neopet usage. Of course, if your Neopet is a Pteri, that full suit of platemail will assure that he'll never be able to fly again until he struggles out of it. Pets such as Unis and Skeiths may become popular mounts for smaller pets who wish to show off their fighting prowess in jousting tournaments. For those who wish to lay siege to their neighbour's NeoHome, there may be such features as catapults, trebuchets, boiling oil, battering rams, and siege towers.

Knights and Ladies
To be a knight, you will have to be able to trace your bloodlines back four generations of nobility. In the Neopian world, you're in luck if you're related to King Coltzan III, Princess Fernypoo, or Lord Lupran. Otherwise, you will be what was known as a commoner. Commoners in most cases were merchants, tradesmen, or worse- indentured servants called serfs. If your Neopet has to live in serfdom, however- he does have certain perks, such as a little plot of land to park his hovel on, and a plot of land to farm. Unfortunately, he must tithe a goodly portion of his crops to the lord of the land as a rent, and in exchange for his protection against invaders. And if you are royalty- beware, because treachery and plotting await you in your royal court at every turn. Many a reign can be cut short by a pesky peasant revolt.

Medieval PetPets
Don't expect any feline type pets to show up in a historically accurate Medieval world- cats were feared as an omen of bad luck, and killed on sight in most places. Ironically, this caused a surge in the rat population, whose infected fleas in fact caused the bubonic plague. Canine PetPets will be popular, however. They'll live in your castle and lay around under tables, awaiting the scraps from the many messy eaters at the grand banquet in your NeoHome hall. Little songbirds in cages would be a popular choice among the wealthy ladies. PetPet birds of prey would be used for hunting sports- falconry was the favoured leisure time pursuit of many medieval nobles.

Medieval Heroes
Some popular choices for medieval heroism might be:

Robin Lupe, who steals NP from the rich and donates it to poor Neopians

Joan of Bark, a courageous Gelert who sees visions from the faeries and leads a Crusade.

Richard the Draikheart, famous Draik warrior king.

Chilamange, conquering Chia.

Marco Ptero, Pteri explorer.

Of Course…
Chances are, the Medieval World will vary greatly from the historical middle ages. My personal speculation is that it will actually be more like a visit to the modern day Renaissance Fair than an actual Medieval time. Renaissance, historically, was the 14th through the 16th century period, which marked the transition from medieval to modern times and comes from the Old French renaistre, meaning to be born again. Undoubtedly, the lack of plagues and the general lighter feeling of this era make it a much better source to draw from. I hope you have enjoyed this article- and while all the historical facts mentioned are quite correct, everything else is mere speculation. Please feel free to Neomail me with your comments or questions.

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