Queen Nefertiti was more than the iconic pretty face. She and her husband shook shit up in ancient Egypt when they decided to change the religion, art and culture for the first time in the three thousand year old run of static Egyptian culture. (FOR THREE THOUSAND YEARS ANCIENT EGYPT STAYED THE SAME!!) Nefertiti, while being beautiful, was her husband’s equal and had elevated power. She was one of the only examples of being represented as a strong and loving Queen and Mother in Egyptian art work. Hell yeah.
Empress Wu Zetian was empress of early imperial China. She was, in fact, the FIRST woman to become emperor of China. She started out as the previous emperor’s favorite concubine, then his favorite wife and then a stand-in for her young son after he died…and then she said “fuck y'all i’m running this shit now” and made herself empress of China.
Catherine the Great started out as timid german princess marrying the next emperor of Russia who wouldn’t have sex with her and wanted to play with toy german soldiers all day. Luckily she knew from the start that she just wanted Russia’s crown. After battling for power in Russia’s royal court she managed to flip the table and claimed the Russian throne-even while her husband was still emperor. Of course she managed to murder him, crown herself empress and then proceed to lead Russia into its golden age.
I did all this research on royal women in history because I was tired of seeing Marie Antoinette and Cleopatra being celebrated again and again and again when there is obviously all these other great sassy and stylish Queen Bees that exist in our history. Then I created three illustrations to celebrate these bad ass ladies and the culture they thrived in.
A swashbuckling sea captain from the Greek island of
Samothrace who opposes the sinister, debauched, and cruel Julius Caesar and his
Roman Empire, Tros of Samothrace is, like Conan, a black haired ball of muscle
who’s primary occupation is naval freebooting, who’s defining character traits
are pride and a desire for freedom and personal independence above all else, and
his chief hobbies include refusing to bow to powerful people and laughing at
backstabbing enemies from treacherous civilized empires.
Like Conan, Tros takes
pride in being from a kingdom that was never conquered, even into Roman times.
Also like Conan, he has allies in a persecuted and secretive religious minority like the ones that save King Conan’s life in “The Hour of the Dragon,” as Tros works with an eccentric religious order from his
native island (the Mystery Cult of Samothrace). Because the Tros stories had
the Romans as the “bad guys,” they were immensely controversial to the Adventure
pulp readership, though this element must have delighted Robert E. Howard, an
anti-imperialist who wanted Irish independence, who went on to have debauched,
backstabbing Roman-style enemies in Conan, Kull, and Bran Mak Morn.
Khlit the Cossack By Harold Lamb (1917)
A Cossack hero from 16th Century Ukraine who
starred in 21 stories and novels from 1917-1926 in the most famous pulp mag of
all, Adventure, Khlit the Cossack, his Turkish curved scimitar in hand, found
the lost tomb of Genghis Khan, rescued the son
of the Emperor of China, battled the original Assassins in Syria, and
killed a tyrannical impostor of the Czar in Russia. He had all kinds of
adventures with Tartars, Afghans, and Indians.
A big part of Conan is the setting, which is steeped in
orientalism and the exotic east, and Harold Lamb’s body of work was to the
steppes of central Asia what Jimmy Buffett is to the tropics (his best known
work is a biography of Genghis Khan). In fact, in one fascinating little bigraphical tidbit, Lamb was even an agent for US
Intelligence during World War II in Iran.
Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan
To Howard fans, bringing up the many obvious similarities to
Tarzan and the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs is kind of like one of those secrets everyone knows but nobody has the
bad taste to discuss out loud, kind of like when you know someone at the office is
an alcoholic. The reaction is usually like a little kid blurting out a family secret at Christmas dinner.
The most ERB-like of all the Conan stories is “Red Nails,” a story
about that most ERB-esque of topics, a crumbling lost city of immense antiquity
found in a jungle inhabited by prehistoric creatures, who’s natives immediately
try to make Tarzan – uh, Conan, sorry – their first victim of ritual human sacrifice. Likewise, Howard considered ERB’s “Gods of Mars” his favorite book (and said so in many letters) and borrowed ERB’s cynical take on priests and gods in that book, where they were impenetrable, unremovable conspiracies ruling traditionalist ancient societies, and who were not true believers at all.
When a Prince from another country had his eyes on you
(This probably a little bit different from the other reactions I made before, but please enjoy it :) -Admin D)
Kim Namjoon :
He was talking in the pond with his guest, an emperor from China, Lu han. You were also walking with the court ladies and passing by the pond. You saw Namjoon and decided to say “hi” to him.
“Your Majesty, good morning,” you smiled. Namjoon turned his head and smiled to you, he stood up and pulled your arm slowly, “Emperor Lu, this is my wife. Kim y/n.” You bowed to him, “nice to meet you, Emperor Lu,” you said in mandarin. Lu han didn’t take his eyes from you and Namjoon noticed it.
“I said…she’s my wife. The Queen.”
Kim Seok Jin :
Two of you were invited to a party with Emperor Zitao for friendship dinner, Jin grabbed your hand and intertwined your fingers with him. You noticed he looked so pissed, “why does your expression look….different?” You asked.
“This guy, he knows I have pretty Queen with me. His intention for this party is you. I won’t let him have a single eyes on you.”
Min Yoongi :
When he noticed one of the Princes tried to flirt with you and you seemed uncomfortable with it, he would be straight forward and told him to back off.
“Don’t disrespect her, she clearly doesn’t like it.” Yoongi would called you to sit beside you. “That’s right, she’s my girl and no one can touch her. Understood?”
Jung Hoseok :
When you got your attention to the prince from another country, Hoseok would feel very jealous and he tried to grabbed your attention. Very childish but also cute because Hoseok would compliment you with your outfit or hairstyle and compliment you how good you are talking with people.
“That’s right, show them what the Jung’s like. We’re receiving spotlight.”
Park Jimin :
He didn’t do anything when the Prince from China, Yi fan, told you about how delicious fried chicken from his place. He would glared at Yi Fan silently and said, “she doesn’t like chicken. She loves fried fish and meat,” he said proudly. You would noticed when he jealous so you stood and sat beside him.
Kim Taehyung :
He’s confidence about you only love him. You are. You would only smile and give a short ‘thank you’ when someone complimented you. Taehyung told the court lady to bring you to your room, “I love you so much, right? You did great today, rest well, princess.”
“Taehyung, I’m a Queen.”
He smirked at you, “but you always be my little princess.”
A/N: Here is part III for wallflower guys!!! As promised this chapter is longer than the first ones. I poured my heart out writing this chapter and made necessary research, so please if you have free time please drop by on my inbox and message me for any feedbacks that you have. I don’t like inserting AN on the story so I’ll say it here. PLease imagine the photo to be Zach and (y/n). And the baby cutie as Zach’s sister.
P.S: I’ve already mentioned that this story is set for AU and it’s fiction, but I just want to apologize if I wasn’t able to get the proposal right for the original Chinese Tradition. On we go to the story!
Lucy Liu-Please imagine her as MS. Lee the Matchmaker. Matchmaker in traditional chinese wedding is someone who makes sure that the ritual will be perfect. They settle the dowry and consults the chinese zodiac if the couple’s birth year will bring prosperity to their wedding and family.
Coffee. It has been your life for the past year working for Monet’s. Today is a relaxing day. Most of the customer’s are reading or doing their own stuff on their own world. The stream of customers today are mostly teenagers. You love watching people from where you are. You can no longer do this at liberty high. Everyone’s attention is now on yours and Dempsey. That guy. Speaking of which.
*Fluffy giant calling* You answered smiling. The past month has been good on you because Zach made sure you are comfortable. He makes sure that you are taken cared of. The guy is a walking fluff.
“Dempsey.” You greeted. “Mrs. Dempsey.” He retaliated. You can hear him smiling on the other line. You can’t stop smiling as well. Before this all happened, you never imagined that this giant has a sweet side. Jocks on your school is known to be a dick. But Zach made you change your mind on your opinion with them. Being with him is a breathe of fresh air from your boring life.
“Right. What do you need?” You ask smiling. “Wow. You’re no longer opposed on being called my wife.” He laughed. “Anyways, I’m calling to remind you that Ms. Lee will be here tonight. Everything is set for the proposal this evening.” He said informing you.
“Who would think that matchmakers are still a thing on this day. Have you meet her before?” You asked Zach. Ms. Lee is your matchmaker. Matchmakers are known for chinese arranged marriages. They make sure that the union of the two family will bring wealth for both of the families. This evening will be the start the ritual. It’s a six part ritual starting with the proposal. Basically Ms. Lee together with Zach’s family will propose to your family. Once the proposal is accepted the second ritual will begin.
“Sounds crazy right? But it’s how it is. Where you able to fit your
?” Zach asked. It may seem that this arranged union is not taking a toll on Zach at all with how he’s handling everything. But you see changes with him. It might be little changes that his friends are not noticing but for an observant person like you, you notice it. There are bags under his eyes now. He’s starting to distance himself with his friends which for you is total BS. You may not like his friends sometimes but they’ve been his friends. This marriage should not take that away for Zach or for you.
“Zach, don’t you have practice right now?” You asked suddenly remembering that next week is game day for the school’s basketball team. You’ve been given the task of being the photographer of the event since Tyler was suspended after Hannah reported the stalking incident that happened. You never thought that Tyler can do that. You’ve worked with Tyler several times since both of you are the resident photographer of your schools paper.
“Uhh. Yea. But I asked coach for a break. I mean we need to settle a few things. It’s no big deal. I can still play on Monday.” He explained.
“Sorry. I know how important this game is for you. We can ask for the proposal to be move if you’d like so you can attend practice.” You offered.
“No. It’s really okay, Babe.” He assured you. This guy is really thoughtful. You mused.
“Okay if you say so. I have to go. There’s a new customer coming in. See you later, BABE♥?” you said emphasizing the last part. One thing you learned about Zach is he like sweet nothings. He likes to feel that he’s the only guy for you. Which he is right, he is. The guy is starting to win your heart. Just like how this arrangement start, traditional. Zach is nothing but traditional on how to win you. He takes a lot of effort and time to make you feel things that even HIM was not able to make you feel. With Zach, you feel how important you are. He’d drop whatever he’s doing whether he’s hanging out with his friends or basketball practice to be by your side. With the last boyfriend you had it’s different.
Zach chuckling pulled you out of your reverie. “ Okay Babe. See you. Go hung up.” He says.
“ No. You hung up. You’re the one who called.” You said. Smiling. This has been an ongoing game between you and Zach. Zach laughed. “ No babe. You hung up.” As much as you don’t want to lose. The customer is almost at the bar. “Fine. Just because the customer is already here. See you later.” You disconnected and hide your phone in your pocket. –♥–
“Wanshang Hao!” Your mom greeted your guests in Chinese while directing them to the living room. You’re standing beside the door bowing at your guests. It’s customary to avoid eye contact from your elders unless they are speaking with you directly.
Zach’s dad came in first followed by his mom. Zach’s sister came in next wearing a pink
with her hair in pigtails bun. She’s so cute! Over the month you’ve grown close with Zach’s sister. Agreeing babysitting everytime you get the chance. You smiled when she stopped in front of you and peered at you smiling. “Did you do something wrong?” She asked innocently.
You shake your head. Smiling at her. You’re not sure if you’re allowed to talk to her. She looked confused still looking at you. “Sky, come here.” Zach’s mom said. Sky run to her. Then someone in red Cheongsam stopped in front of you. You know it’s Zach. It’s customary to wear matching red
for the pair for prosperity. You’re still not looking up. You’re focusing your attention on the hem of Zach’s
. His scent is intoxicating you. Willing you to look at him. But you know you can’t until the proposal was accepted. Another pair of feet stopped. And your guessing she’s the match maker. “Zach, you need to go in the living room.” She said. Zach complied and walk to your living room. After the Dempsey’s came in and settled on the living room you walked in side by side with your mom.
You’re an only daughter. You descended directly from Emperor Puyi. The last emperor of China. While Zach is the great great grandson of Emperor Qin. This union ties the first and last family of Emperor’s. Yep. No pressure in there. Your peers from Liberty High thinks you’re just dating Zach. That this is just a normal high school relationship. Why do you feel that this suddenly feels too much and it’s suffocating.
Ms. Lee opened a small box and showed it to your father, “ Mr. Kim, this is the initial dowrey from Dempsey’s family. It’s a jade hair pin from the Ming royal family. Just as beautiful as your daughter.” Your dad took the box and inspect it. You’re still avoiding the eyes of your elders or anyone in the room actually. You felt like the jade hairpin. A commodity of exchange. Now you are actually lucky to have such an understanding and loving Zach to thank for. It’s a win win situation. But you can’t help but feel that you lost your freedom. Ironic since you’re living in the land of the free. You don’t what to feel anymore. In the midst of this thinking you unknowingly look up and look directly in Zach’s eyes. He’s already looking at you. It seems that everything stopped after you look at him. There’s no jade pin. No Ms. Lee. No families in the room. No pressure on your shoulders. There’s just you and him. Someone who understands this whole situation that you’re in. And suddenly you don’t feel bad anymore. He smiled like he knows what’s going on in your head. Like he knows that you just realized that you fell in love for him without him knowing it.
“Well it seems that the proposal has been accepted. Since the bride and the groom are looking at each other now.” Ms. Lee joked. Waking you and Zach on your own little bubble. Your family laughed. Ms. Lee stand and walk until she’s at the back of the sofa you are sitting in. You sat up straighter since you know what she’ll do next. She carefully remove the jade pin on the box and slowly put it on your hair.
“We are excited for this union.” Zach’s mom mused while looking at your mom. Both of your mom and Zach’s mom are descendants of the chinese family and not your dads. It just so happen that chinese follow the patriarchal ladder that’s why your dad’s do all the talking for this engagement.
“Can you imagine the news back in China once the other families hear this?” Your mom mused. And Zach’s mom just laugh. “We cooked dinner for everyone let’s go have dinner in the kitchen and talk about the next ritual.” Everyone made a beeline to go to the kitchen. You’re the last one to stand. Zach grabbed your hand and made you look at him. “Are you okay?” He asked. Genuinely concerned. You smiled “ I am now.” Entwining your hands.
The First Emperor of China and the Giant Sea Monster,
Qin Shi Huangdi is famous for being the first Emperor of a unified China. While Emperor he created a common writing system, system of currency, an imperial bureaucracy based on merit, a codified system of laws, and a unified Chinese Empire. He is also famous for expending much blood and treasure on the Great Wall of China as well as building a massive elaborate tomb complex complete with 8,000 terracotta warriors.
Another thing Qin Shi Huangdi is famous for was his quest for the elixir of life, a potion or concoction that could magically grant him immortality. Qin Shi Huagdi commissioned hundreds of alchemists and mystics to create the elixir. Many of the elixirs the Emperor favored contained mercury as a main ingredient. A poisonous substance, mercury is now known to cause degenerative effects on the nervous system and madness. After many years of drinking dubious elixirs, potions, and concoctions, the first Emperor of China was beginning to lose grip on reality.
His alchemists never were able to find the right concoction, and the Emperor, growing more desperate and mentally unstable, order the execution of those who failed to provide him with a working elixir of life. One day the Emperor commissioned an expedition of several ships crewed by 6,000 virgins to find the elixir of life. The expedition was led by Xu Fu, the court sorcerer of the Emperor. According to the Emperor Xu Fu was to find the mystical land of Penglai Island, where a 1,000 year old sorcerer named Anqi Sheng lived, a man who knew the secret of the elixir of life. According to the Emperor he had once met Anqi Sheng who had invited him to the island. Anqi Sheng promised the Emperor the elixir of life if he would bring him 6,000 virgins.
Xu Fu and his crew knew that the story told by the Emperor was nonsense, but they had to return with something or they would all surely be executed. What Xu Fu came up with was an excuse, an excuse that took advantage of the Emperor’s failing mental health. After a short sail, Xu Fu reported to the Emperor that the fleet was unable to sail to Penglai Island due to a large sea monster that patrolled the coast, preventing the fleet from sailing beyond coastal waters. The Emperor believed the story, but not willing to let monster get in his way, he assembled a team of archers and a warship.
With Xu Fu, his eunuchs, and courtiers, Qin Shi Huangdi sailed the coast, his archers firing randomly at every disturbance of the water. The Emperor declared that he had killed the monster, it was quite apparent that Xu Fu’s plan had backfired. He was once again ordered to set sail with his expedition and find Penglai Island. This time the expedition never returned, instead opting to settle in Japan rather than return home to certain death.
Qin Shi Huangdi’s search for the elixir of life would be fruitless. For the remainder of his life the Emperor continued to ingest harmful potions in hopes of gaining immortality. He died in 210 BC after ingesting a number of pills containing mercury.