Tag Archives: HISTORY

HALBERD

The halberd originated from Switzerland before becoming refined and further weaponized in Germany. It was the weapon of choice for the Pope’s Swiss Guard. There was one instance where the halberd was used by 189 Swiss Guards against 20,000 mercenaries that invaded the Vatican. The halberd was a multi-purpose weapon. It could be used as a quarterstaff, it has an ax blade, a spike that can be used as a spear, a hook in the back that can disarm enemies or pull cavalrymen off their horses, and the metal butt at the end of the halberd can be used to jab at enemies. The halberd will be commonly used weapon in my new fantasy book series.

DIRK DAGGER

The dirk dagger is an evolution of the 16th century rondel dagger. It was commonly used by the Scottish Highlanders during the 18th century before becoming a ceremonial weapon in the 19th century. I have seen the dirk forged and tested in the History Channel show known as Forged in Fire. I have decided to include the dirk in my new fantasy series because I am of Scottish descent and I want to reconnect with my roots.

FALCONRY

Falconry was a popular sport amongst medieval nobility. In fact, it became so popular that members of royalty would spend a fortune on their birds to the point of having perches for their favorite birds in their bed chambers. A number of words and phrases that we use today originated from falconry. While the nobles were engaging in falconry, spare birds would be carried on what was called a cadge and the guy who carried the cadge was called a cadger. It is from this word that we got the word “caddy” when it comes to golf and it serves the same purpose. When a bird has eaten and it not interested in flying or hunting, it is said to be “fed up”, which is where we got that expression. Falcons would have leashes on their feet. Normally, you would secure the leash by pressing your thumb against your hand and you would have the falcon “under your thumb.” For extra security, you could wrap the rest of the falcon’s leash around your pinky and you would have the bird “wrapped around your little finger.” It is interesting how the words and phrases we use today originate from the most unexpected places.

THE ROOF LIZARD

The thing I like about Stegosaurus is that it was tough enough to take on large theropods such as Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus. One swing from the spikes on its tail had the power to either kill or cripple its enemies. Fossil records indicated that Stegosaurus lived alongside other herbivores such as Camptosaurus. During such symbiotic relationships, Dryosaurus would keep watch and alert the herd to danger while Stegosaurus provided the muscle and security.

THE IGUANA TOOTH

I have developed an interest in Iguanodon from an early age. In elementary school, I wrote a report that talked in detail about this animal. Since then, I have seen Iguanodon in the Disney film Dinosaur, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, and most recently in the five minute prehistoric prologue of Jurassic World: Dominion. Iguanodon was one of the first dinosaurs to be identified by science and it still has a major influence amongst the prehistory community to this day.

COMPARING PIRATES

As I ponder on my potential fantasy pirate story, I think about the evolution of real life pirates. Sadly, pirates are broken shadows of their former selves in the modern world. Today, a pirate is either a petty thief who steals DVDs or undisciplined rabble with machine guns. Between the 1700s and 1800s, pirates possessed a sense of style and class that made them strangely charismatic despite the crimes they committed. There was always something to admire about their morally ambiguous nature, which made them heroes and villains at the same time. They were men who were bound by no laws, limits, or boundaries. This made pirates the ultimate personification of maritime freedom. This absolute sense of freedom, their insatiable lust for gold, and their brutal ferocity were so extreme that pirates wielded the power to challenge entire nations such as the British Empire and the Spanish Empire. All of this is what made pirates a force to be feared and respected. It is thanks to the pirates of the past that we have the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise and ride, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and One Piece (the longest running anime and manga in recent history). Now, modern pirates are more of a nuisance and hardly the stuff of legend.

A PIRATE’S BOOTY

My treasure? If you want it, I’ll grant it! Search on! All the world had to offer, I left in that place!

Gol D. Roger, One Piece

A pirate’s lust for gold has always been legendary. They would raid merchant ships and towns of all their wealth and goods. I once went to a museum exhibit that talked about what the pirate Blackbeard pillaged, which mostly consisted of trade goods like crops and silks. Blackbeard and his crew would sell these stolen items to the black market, which was when they would get to roll in gold. Sometimes, pirates would hide and hoard their treasure in a location only they knew. A rare few pirates possessed a sense of avarice that was so extreme that they would never want to part with their treasure even in death or let anyone else have it. An intriguing example of a pirate’s booty would be that of Olivier Levasseur AKA La Buse or “The Buzzard”. La Buse was known to have collected and hidden one of the largest treasure hoards in pirate history. The crown jewel of his booty was a seven-foot-tall crucifix made of solid gold and decorated with rubies. By today’s standards, La Buse’s treasure hoard would be worth well over 160,000,000 English pounds or $221,533,600. The main ambition of the pirate king in my spin-off fantasy story will be to collect a treasure hoard that shamed all others. This hoard will not just be created to enjoy every vice and necessity the world has to offer. It will also serve as the ultimate symbol and monument to his status as the greatest pirate the empire has ever known.

FANTASY PIRATE STORY

“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.”

Pirates of the Caribbean

I just had an intriguing idea for the future of my fantasy series. I am thinking of doing a spin-off series that talks about the origin story of my fantasy world’s most legendary and feared pirate king. I will be drawing inspiration from real life pirates such as Blackbeard, Charles Vane, and Olivier Levasseur. I will also be drawing inspiration from fictional pirates such as Captain Flint and Long John Silver from Treasure Island. My character will become so infamous that even the mystically and politically powerful Imperial Dynasty will fear him.

A BEDDING CEREMONY

Throughout medieval history, noble marriages were normally consummated by what was called a bedding ceremony. This ritual involves priests blessing the union while friends and family witnessed the consummation. Back in medieval times, a marriage was not legitimate unless it was consummated. I am planning to depict a similar ceremony in my third fantasy book. While there will be priests to bless the union, the only witnesses to the consummation would be the newlyweds themselves. However, something awkward happens when the newlyweds are left alone, which will add a sense of romantic comedy to the mix.