Self Published Fantasy Blog-Off 2016

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The Heirs of Lydin is an entrant in author Mark Lawrence’s second annual Self Published Fantasy Blog-off (SPFBO 2016).

This is a great  event that gives needed exposure to self-published authors in the Fantasy genre. 10 top book bloggers review 30 novels each, picking their favourites to go into a final round where a winner is declared.

(There’s also a competition for the best cover of these entrants, which The Heirs of Lydin has reached the top 30).

Click here to find out more.

Lore: The Houses of Emparia

Since the unification of the petty kingdoms centuries ago, the Kingdom of Emparia has been dominated by a number of great noble houses. What follows is three of these houses.

House Ap’Lydin

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“Never False”

The Ap’Lydins form one of the newest noble houses of Emparia, having been raised to nobility only in the last generation. They claim descent from Lydin, a legendary Goriinchian folk hero and were once a prominent clan in Goriinchia. During the Wars of Pacification, they made the mistake of rising up against the Prophet-King Ygarak and the family was driven into exile in Emparia.

The entire Ap’Lydin family was destroyed when their small settlement was razed to the ground, leaving only William Ap’Lydin, son of Duncan, who was raised as a squire in the household of the Earl of Genio. William was later knighted and had two sons, the eldest of which attained the title of Earl of Genio during the Emparian Civil Wars. The brothers split during the civil wars, with Earl Caradoc Ap’Lydin staying loyal to the crown and Baron Alusine siding with House Morcor. With Caradoc’s death at the Battle of Goriinch Hill, Alusine, as regent to his young nephew, formally pledged the entire family to Henry’s cause.

After the wars Alusine and his wife Eleanor were murdered by cultists of the Horned God, and Alusine’s children were spirited out of the country for their own protection.

The current Earl of Genio is William Caradoc Ap’Lydin, grandson of Sir William.

House Bauer

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“To the End”

House Bauer has held Tyronsville for centuries, and their decision to side with the de Morcor family early in the Emparian Civil War proved fortuitous, allowing them to maintain their fief under the new regime.

Tyronsville saw some of the worst fighting of the war, as they were battered by Kalen Tyron, the so-called “Black Duke” of Georgeton. It was House Bauer’s tenacity and courage in holding off the Black Duke’s forces that was pivotal in the Battle of Tyronsville.

Harold Bauer was the Earl during the war, and he had two sons, the eldest of which, Alfred, has now succeeded him as Earl of Tyronsville. The younger, Augustin, acts as a special envoy for the Crown. Despite their fearsome reputation during the war, many of the other families treat House Bauer as little more than provincial bumpkins, and Alfred’s dissolute lifestyle has done little to remedy that situation.

House Morcor

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“Only the Righteous Prevail”

House Morcor sits securely on the throne of Emparia. For centuries, the de Morcor family held Alariat as a feudal fief under the Tyron Kings, but during the Emparian Civil War they seized the crown for themselves.

The war had its origins in a feud between the de Morcors and a cadet branch of the royal house which soon escalated and merged with other grievances. At Goriinch Hill Duke Henry defeated King Alusine in battle but many did not respect the outcome of that battle as definitive and the war continued.

After thirty years of conflict with Tyron pretenders, Henry de Morcor died with the throne securely in his grasp, leaving his only surviving child as unquestioned monarch.

Amaryllis de Morcor, Henry’s daughter from his second marriage is now Queen of Emparia, her older half-brothers having perished during the war. The titular head of House Morcor is her cousin, Haakon, the son of the elder of Henry’s two younger brothers. Haakon has no children of his own, however, and would be succeeded by Leon de Morcor, Baron Morcor, the son of the late King’s youngest brother.