The final battle of the Trojan War was the Sack of Troy. It was when the Greeks infiltrated Troy with a small force concealed inside a large wooden horse. By doing this, the Greeks were able to open Troy’s gates and allow the rest of the Greek army to sack the city. For the second volume of my fantasy series, I am thinking of drawing inspiration from the Sack of Troy in order to come up with a battle that will unfold in a similar fashion, but there will be no wooden horse.
As I cooked the Thanksgiving feast, I got to perform a task that I wanted to do: carving the turkey. The reason why I wanted to do this task was that it would provide more inspiration for my next fantasy books. In medieval times, the job of master carver was a great honor in a monarch’s court and there would be ways to carve different animals. While carving, you would follow the actual structure of the animal and the knife should be an extension of the arm. Thinness is important because if you carved the meat too thickly it would result in the lord or monarch’s teeth disintegrating and the carver would be a very unpopular individual. It was a good sensational experience as I worked my way through the skin, meat, and bones of the turkey. My family enjoyed my handiwork and I look forward to next year.
The Nzappa zap was a type of battle ax used in the Congo both in war and as symbols of prestige. In combat, the Nzappa zap could be used for hacking and slashing like a regular ax or be thrown from a distance and take a man’s leg off in twenty feet. I gave the Nzappa zap an appearance in Numen the Slayer during the Siege of Foxden. It is one of the tribal weapons I decided to give to a group of woodland clans called the Welts.
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!
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.
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.
To make my fantasy world as medieval as possible, there will be a special type of castle present called a motte-and-bailey castle. This type of castle was mostly made of wood and consisted of a man-made hill and moat. Stone castles were not introduced to England until the Normans invaded. While a motte-and-bailey castle will be featured in the kingdom of my first fantasy book, these castles will appear more frequently in heavily forested regions where timber is easily accessible.