STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI NEW TRAILER AND TICKETS

I just purchased my midnight premiere tickets for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and watched the new trailer. The Force is strong with me tonight! Based on the trailer, it looks like patricide was not enough for Kylo Ren because it looks like he will commit matricide as well. Also, I saw Luke Skywalker (the mightiest Jedi who ever lived) exhibit true fear and the possibility of Rey turning to the dark side. It looks like it is going to be a much darker film than The Force Awakens and I am looking forward to it. Lightspeed to December!

THE BEAUTY OF ARCHERY

Archers

Did you know that the average archer could fire twelve arrows a minute? Therefore, at the Battle of Agincourt (which had 6,000 English archers against 30,000 French cavalry) those 6,000 archers fired around 72,000 arrows a minute. If 20,000 archers were deployed, they would launch 240,000 arrows a minute! That many arrows would eclipse the sun!

BATTLE OF PILLETH

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One of my favorite battles in medieval history would be the Battle of Pilleth during the Welsh Revolt of 1402. It pitted the Welsh rebel Owain Glyndwr and his 1,500 men against Sir Edmund Mortimer and his 2,000 men. Mortimer had Glyndwr outnumbered by 500 men and the Welsh only specialized in guerilla warfare instead of open warfare. Although a risky tactic, Glyndwr divided his army in half with 750 men on top of the hill and the other 750 men hidden in a valley on the other side of the hill. Meanwhile, Mortimer’s much larger army was marching towards the 750 men on the hill. The hill was very steep and Mortimer’s men were exhausted from carrying heavy armor and weapons up as they marched. Once the two hosts were in position, they fired on one another with arrow fire. Due to the steepness of the hill, the Welsh archers fired their arrows further downhill than the English could fire their arrows uphill. As a result, the English were taking all the casualties and the Welsh were untouched. With none of his arrows reaching the enemy and his men dying left and right, Mortimer changed tactics and attempted to take the fight to Glyndwr. However, because the battle was turning out so badly for the English, the archers on the left flank of Mortimer’s army mutinied and started firing arrows at their former allies at point blank range. Some say these archers were double agents Glyndwr infiltrated into Mortimer’s army while others believe that they switched sides when they thought Glyndwr would win. Either way, this unexpected treachery disrupted the integrity of Mortimer’s host. Glyndwr saw his chance and charged at the English from on top of the hill. As the battle progressed, the archers switched their longbows for daggers so they could finish wounded enemies off. When Mortimer was on the verge of defeat, the other half of Glyndwr’s army emerged from the valley on the other side of the hill and ambushed them from the right flank and rear. This resulted in the Welsh’s first victory in open warfare against the English. For the second volume of my fantasy series, I am thinking of combining elements from this battle with the Battle of Towton in a major battle.

A NAME FIT FOR AN EMPEROR

As I continue to write my fantasy series, I ponder on the names of the various members of the dynasty the series revolves around. I thought of names for the first and second books, but I am having trouble coming up with names for the third book. What would names fit for an Imperial Emperor or Empress? Do you guys have any suggestions? If so, please share. I can really use the help. Thank you.

DRAGON FIRE MECHANICS

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Some people say that it is physically impossible for dragons to breathe fire, but in Numen the Slayer I went scientifical on how dragons breathe fire. I drew inspiration from the real-life insect known as the bombardier beetle. The bombardier beetle has several glands in its body that combines combustible chemicals and spray them at attacking predators. I once saw a video on Animal Planet of a bombardier beetle being attacked by a tarantula and the tarantula was left with a burnt face full of toxic chemicals. I used a similar concept with the dragons in Numen the Slayer. In my book, dragons have a pair of glands in their mouths that are full of combustible chemicals like the bombardier beetle. When the fire is not in use, the glands are sealed shut, but when the fire is in use the chemicals are sprayed from the dragon’s mouth in two streams. Individually, the chemicals are harmless, but when the streams cross the explode in a blast of flaming liquid. This liquid operates like napalm in which it sticks to whatever it touches and keeps burning until there is nothing left. Trying to wipe off the liquid will only smear it more. Also, like greek fire, dragon fire would spread and grow faster when exposed to water. The only way to extinguish dragon fire is to bury it in sand in order to starve it of oxygen. In addition to its obvious destructive capabilities, dragon fire also has beneficial properties to human civilizations. The ashes created from dragon fire are among the best fertilizer around similar to ash made from volcanoes and forest fires. Therefore, after a battle involving a dragon takes place farmers and merchants would flock to the battlefield to harvest the ashes because they not only provide bountiful crops but are highly profitable in markets.

SIEGE OF FOXDEN

In Numen the Slayer, I depicted a major battle that unfolds throughout the story. It takes place at the castle of Foxden and pits 500 archers and crossbowmen and 700 men-at-arms against 14,000 infantry, 2,000 archers, and 2,000 cavalry. I drew inspiration for this battle by researching the various weapons and tactics used in medieval sieges. I did not base this battle on any one historical battle. I will not say if the defenders will receive a relief force or the invaders will conquer the castle. All I can say is that it is the best collection of battle scenes I have ever written. I am expecting to write more battle scenes like this as the Magnus Dynasty Saga progresses.