Steps to a Story: More Research

I mentioned in an earlier post that starting a story required some research into some of my existing writing, particularly because Matthew’s story is a pseudo-prequel.  It turns out that I had to go back again into my documents folder to find a few more tidbits of info.  The first time I researched Matthew, and what I knew of him from his appearances in Butterflies.  This time, I needed an army refresher, along with a little bit of Diaean history.

My original thought was to have Matthew as a lieutenant in the army at the start of the story.  In my army, a Lieutenant has command of a troop of soldiers, including 3 sergeants.  His troop along with two others make up a company, led by a captain.  This would work for the story fine, except when I pulled out my army documents and did the math I realized that there are too many soldiers for the job they are assigned to handle.  Including officers, this would have Matthew traveling with 147 other fighters.  That seemed like an awful lot to send to deal with a handful of bandits on the border, especially when the soldiers are simply reinforcements.

So I rearranged a bit and have now cast Matthew as a sergeant.  His troop (led by a lieutenant) is marching north to join the other two troops of their company on the border.  This means he is in charge of 15 soldiers, and the traveling group is now 49 total.  I like these numbers better.  It also means that the skirmishers (which make up the whole group) can be a specialized group within a more diverse company.

The bit of Diaean history that I needed was the names of the kings.  I need to know the name of Stefan’s heir (he reorganized the army, so he gets mentioned) and I will need to do some history math to figure out which of Stefan’s line is king during the story.   Unfortunately those documents are on my spare hard drive but not on my laptop – I will have to dig a little more to get these final details.  For now the king’s names get to be *Old King* and *Current King* in the draft of the story, at least until I feel like scavenging their real names.  🙂

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