Dos and Don’ts of Being a Warlord (Mortal and Vampire)

Conan the Barbarian

It isn’t easy ruling a kingdom, especially if your people are hard to control like vampires or professional sports fans.  There might be times when you have to rule with violence, but going too far can bring its own problems.  Really makes you think about how thin the line is between brutal warlord and kind monarch.  So, what are some dos and don’ts?

  1. Do create a group of trusted friends that you can count on.  This takes some of the pressure off you.  They can give advice or handle some of the workload, which can prevent you from going full warlord.
  2. Do not use executions to solve every problem.  You may find yourself running out of citizens.  Not saying they shouldn’t be done at all because there are some heinous crimes that require the most brutal of punishments.  This is where those friends can help you figure out the proper decision.
  3. Do try to maintain a personal haven.  Ruling can be stressful and it pays to have a private area to retreat to.  You can share it with one or two people in case they need you for an emergency.  Just make sure it’s where you feel at peace.
  4. Do not rule by fear alone.  It might work at first, but you have to maintain that level for a while.  Eventually, your people may become numb and this is where a revolt can occur.  This requires that you get meaner and more sadistic, which reduces your own humanity to the lowest point possible.
  5. Do create some festivals for your people to enjoy.  This can forge unity throughout the kingdom.  More importantly, it’s an easy way to set up trade and friendly relationships with neighbors.  Have enough of these events and you can get a more power in the region than if you were hurting others.
  6. Do not attack your neighbors if you’re bored.  This goes for people in general, but it’s extra true when it comes to rulers.  There needs to be a reason for aggression or you end up being the bad guys.  Although, that might be what you want in the first place, but you don’t want to make everyone know you’re the bad guys.  That makes it harder to get new recruits.
  7. Do keep the kingdom looking nice and hospitable.  I don’t really understand why so many warlords let their places fall into ruin.  Old-world vampires are guilty of this more than mortals, but you still see a lot of darkness.  Never underestimate the power of gardens.
  8. Do not over tax your citizens and horde it all.  Aside from being mean, this is is what creates dissent.  That means enemies can turn citizens against you and weaken your kingdom’s foundation without you knowing it.  Not to mention, you won’t have a strong army because they’ll be hungry.  You could pay the soldiers more, but you will run out because those who aren’t in the military will be too weak to prove they can fight.

See which rules Clyde follows in
War of Nytefall: Lost

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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18 Responses to Dos and Don’ts of Being a Warlord (Mortal and Vampire)

  1. Everything is nicer with a garden or two.

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  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    All Despots, Tyrants, Dictators, Absolute Rulers, Totalitarians, Authoritarians, Autocrats, Oppressors, Autarchs, Monocrats, Politicians and Writers of such characters, please note…

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  3. L. Marie says:

    All very good tips. Numbers 3 and 4 strike me especially. Everyone needs a safe haven. And an iron fist only works for so long.

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  4. I remember these if I should become a Warlord.

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  5. In my experience, being a warlord of some renown, I’ve found that you can always find a reason to invade a neighbor, telling everyone that they were about to invade you works well, telling other neighbors that they were the ones about to be invade works even better, I’ve lost count of the vassals I’ve gained that way and it only costs a flimsy promise to defend them.
    Gardens are important, I agree, I personally enjoy gardens filled with man eating plants, they look nice and the cost of executions is vastly reduced, though I do go through more gardeners than most rulers do.

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  6. Pingback: Don’t Overdo the Kill Feast. | The Novel: UnHoly Pursuit: Devil on my Trail

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