I found yet another medieval recipe to try for my next fantasy book, sugar wafers. Wafers were the precursors of waffles and were smaller. Waffle cones for ice cream are closer to the medieval wafers. In medieval kitchens, there was a station called a wafery where an officer called a waferer spent all his time making wafers. Even though wafers took about two minutes to make, they were so precious to both royalty and nobility that they were kept under lock and key. They were a delicacy that was reserved only for the king and his favorite servants and courtiers. This is definitely a food that would be eaten by kings and emperors in Gradaia. In fact, I gave them an appearance during a coronation feast, but had to guess what they tasted like. Now with this recipe I will be able to get a more authentic idea of how they smelled and tasted.
Sir Wallace of House Brown is ready for war!
Here is a little costume I will be wearing at my book signing on the 12th. It is a chainmail coif, which is what medieval knights and men-at-arms wear under their helmets. It is a lot heavier than it looks and the links pinch my skin and snag my hair. I have started to write while wearing this thing and I am writing a lot more prolifically with it on. It is as though I am getting in character while writing.
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.
Like all civilizations, Gradaia has its own religion and holy orders who serve it. Gradaia’s religion is based on five nameless Elemental Gods: light, earth, fire, air, and water. There is also a sixth god, the god of darkness, who is shunned from the pantheon. As a result, he is referred to as the False God and worshipping him is considered taboo. The temples worshipping these gods resemble a collection of five pyramids (one for each god). In rare cases, some temples even have an underground inverted pyramid that is dedicated to the False God. These temples operate like tabernacles and the religion’s ideology is similar to Old Testament Christianity. The priests who serve this religion are known as Sages. They can be both men and women and they are considered equals. Sages can be distinguished from their snow-white robes and ceremonial silver helmets. In addition to serving the Elemental Gods, Sages are known to record and safeguard all the world’s knowledge, much like how monks did during the Dark Ages. Due to their extensive education, Sages often serve as healers, advisors, and scribes wherever they go. One of the characters in Numen the Slayer is one of these Sages.
While writing Numen the Slayer, I drew inspiration on the design of various castles. For instance, I modeled the Umbran castle of Blood Arrow after the design of the castle in the picture. However, the architecture would be grimmer and more ominous.