The Mevanian Palace
For all your magical, municipal, and manorial needs!
What do you call a build that’s part palace, part government building, and part vault of a mysterious and magical treasure? A pa-gover-vault? A government pala-vault? Personally, I’d call it an extremely fancy DMV, but Mining Mr. Fox, builder of this val-gover-pal in the fictional land of Mevania, has a much grander (and begrudgingly better) name for this Mevanian Palace.
”The actual name is ‘Archem Valkor’," explains Mining Mr. Fox.
"It's not actually a palace by definition, but it’s simultaneously a government building and a temple. It houses the king, the senate, and a sacred crypt containing two important religious artifacts. I don't believe there’s a word for such a place, so I thought ‘Hey, let's just invent something; ‘Archem’. The second part of the name, ‘Valkor’, is just the name of the location.”
So it’s a building where you pay can your traffic tickets, yell at your legislators, and get a bit of art history on the side? Impressive! As is the story behind Archem Valkor.
“Most of the story revolves around two magical items. The first is an obsidian orb, containing and spreading most of the people's anger and fear. The other, an emerald orb, symbolizes the people's love and loss. Due to people not understanding and incorrectly using the power of the orbs in the past, they are now kept safe in the depths of the palace by a guardian who has mastered the balance between both.”
Even without knowing the particulars of the story, you can see their elements reflected in Archem’s design. Rumours that I'm only interviewing him for Minecraft.net as part of a plot to steal those orbs for myself are completely baseless.
“The three colored banners symbolize the three factions/provinces of Mevania standing united for a better future,” explains Mining Mr. Fox. “And the design in front of the palace symbolizes an orb splitting in two and revealing the divine power held inside; a reference to the two Sacred Stones hidden below the palace.”
Building something this grand was no easy task, and certainly not a short one. “It took me a few years to build this and sometimes I took breaks for a few months. I honestly have no clue about the amount of hours I put into this.”
But it was definitely worth it.
“My favorite parts of the build are definitely the church-like entrance and the Sacred Crypt underneath it. I especially love the Crypt because it houses some things no one would expect in the basement of a palace (or in Minecraft, for that matter!) My goal was to make this part as surprising and unbelievable as possible and I hope I succeeded.”
What could be in that Crypt? Mining Mr. Fox isn't telling, so you'll just have to go and find out for yourself.
But what does it take to successfully build a gover-vault-palace?
“It all started when I first saw the awesome Minecraft creations of others online. I thought if I practised enough, I might give it a try as well. After deciding the general outline, I started wondering what the story of the place would be. What purpose does it serve? Why was it built here? And by whom? That eventually evolved into this huge story which inspired me to expand certain parts of the palace, which in turn fed the story. This cycle of build-story-build has managed to keep me going for all those years!”
And the story of the Archem Valkor doesn’t end there.
“I now have the lore of two thousand years in my head, including a lot of important characters and events, but it is all far too much to put in a Minecraft build. I'm currently trying to write a book about it.”
Awesome. And I think I’ve got the perfect title for it...