Medieval World, Medieval Times?
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Richard the Draikheart, famous Draik warrior king.
Chilamange, conquering Chia.
Marco Ptero, Pteri explorer.
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
me with your comments or questions.