A land of adventure and history! In the middle of it lies the great castle of the king, ruling justly over his people and negotiating with his Neighbors who live...about a walking day away.
Basically, this trope comes into play if you have a large number of kingdoms very close together. This might be simply because the king only rules a city state or his realm IS simply that small or otherwise his realm may be implied to be big, but for storytelling purposes its only taking the Heroes a couple of days to reach a fully different kingdom.
Sometimes a subtrope of Traveling at the Speed of Plot
, where it is so often applied it does influence geographics.
Other times is simply a lot of nations in each others personal space.
Compare Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale
. May rely on Willing Suspension of Disbelief
- Merlin is a big offender, with multiple other kingdoms around Camelot, but the travel time is rarely more than a few days. Sometimes they are near enough for a simply hike in the middle of the night.
- While exploring the Unknown may be the mission of all ships named Enterprise, sometimes you could really get the impression the various states of the alpha and beta quadrant all lived in the same block of the Street instead of about a quarter of the Galaxy.
- Discworld has the Ramtop Mountains where any ledge with flat ground is its own kingdom, and very many kings have to milk their own cattle every morning. The Sto Plains have several independent City States all within a day or two's ride of each other (well ostensibly independent at least, in practice they are vassal states of Anhk-Morpork)
- Many Video Games where you can easily visit many kingdoms in the span of an hour.
- After a fashion: Germany during the late Holy Roman Empire is sometimes referred to as the "Flickenteppich" (rag rug), with dozens of small states close together. And long before the Duty Free Zone!