During the Hussite Wars in the early 15th century, there was a vehicle that was essentially a medieval precursor of the tank. This vehicle was referred to as the “war wagon”. These wagons would be reinforced with metal plating and thick wood to shield against archers as well as melee strikes from infantry. A war wagon would be occupied by archers and crossbowmen who would fire arrows and bolts from the safety of their wagon’s defenses. If cavalry or infantry got too close to the wagon, the archers and crossbowmen would be defended by spearmen, who would use their polearms to beat back any attacker that got too close to the wagon. When placed in strategically defensible positions, these wagons prove to be quite effective against heavy cavalry. The concept of the war wagon was pioneered by the Bohemian knight Jan Zizka, who used these wagons to crippling effect against Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund’s forces. In fact, Jan Zizka’s usage of such tactics was so effective that he never lost a battle. I am thinking of including war wagons in future battles in my fantasy books.
For the main villain of the Dark Ice Winter series, I will be drawing inspiration from Arthas the Lich King from World of Warcraft. Like Arthas, my villain will be driven by revenge and seeks power through the use of cursed objects. Also, my villain’s backstory will be as tragic as that of Arthas.
One tactic that was used in sea battles throughout history was the usage of “fire ships”. The idea behind fire ships is that one fleet would coat some of their ships in oil and gunpowder, set them on fire, and steer them toward their enemy’s fleet. Not only would fire ships inflict massive casualties on an enemy fleet, but it would cause enough chaos and panic to make the enemy fleet break formation, which would make them easier targets to attack. This tactic was used during the destruction of the Spanish Armada during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. I will definitely include the use of fire ships in the epic sea battle in the Dark Ice Winter series.
I thought of a weapon that would make a good pirate weapon for my fantasy series: the khopesh. The khopesh was a type of sword that was used in ancient Egypt. Because of the aesthetic of the blade, I thought it would make an ideal weapon for a pirate.
The medium-sized ships in my fantasy world are longships, which resemble and function the same way as Viking longships. Unlike my fantasy world’s version of galleys, which are propelled by wind and sails, longships are propelled by both sails and the usage of oars. When not used for war, longships are used as cargo vessels for merchants and traders.
Along with the cog, the barge is one of the smallest and most common types of ships in my fantasy world. Both serve the same purposes as troop carriers, civilian transport, and trading vessels.
One of the smaller ships in my fantasy world are cogs, which serve three purposes. First, in times of war, they are used as troop carriers for small scale skirmishes. Second, they act as civilian transports from one river crossing to another. Third, they are used by traders and merchants to transport goods. Out of all the types of ships, the cogs alongside barges are the most common type in my fantasy world.
The largest type of ship in my fantasy world is a galley. In real life, galleys were used by the Greeks, Romans, and Persians. Unlike real life galleys, which were propelled by many oars, the galleys in my fantasy world are propelled by wind and sails much like the ships of the 17th and 18th centuries. In my fantasy world, galleys are either used as large cargo ships or the biggest warships on the market. As such, galleys frequently appear throughout my fantasy books.
For the pirate fleet that will side with the anti-imperial revolution, I am envisioning their ships to look like this model. This type of ship is a Chinese boat known as a junk and has been in use since the 2nd century A.D. I chose this design because its aesthetic sort of feels like that of an antagonistic pirate ship.
While I was vacationing in Las Vegas last month, I visited the aquarium in Mandalay Bay. There were these underwater tunnels where you would walk through a shark tank. As the sharks swim above and around you, you get a sense of terror that you cannot get anywhere else. On water’s surface, you can only imagine what is lurking in the depths. However, when you are in the depths and see what is in the water, that sense of terror is amplified. For the next volume of The Kaligen Experiment, I am envisioning a manmade lagoon that houses the artificial marine reptiles that has a network of underwater tunnels like this. Imagine being in these tunnels and see a beast that looks like a Mosasaurus swimming above you. Such a sight would put Jaws to shame! I look forward to putting all of this on paper.