A Ceremonial Club

What is so incredibly special about the weapon we are talking about this week is…it’s still in use! Maybe not for battle, but for ceremonial purposes and the pictures found online are of these traditions! Carry on…


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Rungu

  • This weapon originated in East Africa. It was used in battle and in hunting originally.
  • It also serves as a ceremonial tool for male warriors of the Maasai culture. The ceremonial rungu are decorated in beads sewn in by the local women.
  • It’s similar in shape to a club, mixed a bit with a baton. The end of the club was typically a heavy knob or a heavy ball.

The Iron Claw

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Zhua

  • Zhua literally translates to claw. And this weapon represents that entirely. It is an iron claw attached to a 6 ft. pole. Sometimes it bears a weight at the bottom to be used as a bludgeon.
  • Some of the better reasons to use a zhua in battle is to disarm someone of their shield or grabbing riders off their horses.
  • This is an ancient Chinese weapon and was a known weapon of Sun Tzu, a warrior and general.

Whipping a Blade

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Urumi

  • It’s a sword. It’s a whip. It’s very easy to hurt yourself when wielding this weapon.
  • Before dabbling into the art of the urumi, one is supposed to have knowledge with a sword. It’s meant to be the last weapon learned in a certain type of martial arts.
  • This originated in South India/Sri Lanka in the Sangam Period, or the 3rd – 5th century BCE.
  • The Urumi is best used against multiple enemies, if swarmed in battle.

Hand-Wood

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Macuahuitl

  • If you couldn’t tell from the pictures above, the macuahuitl is a club with blades made from obsidian (okay, we didn’t expect you to know that.) Obsidian was used in creation since it was known to produce a sharper blade. It came in two different sizes: a larger club and a smaller.
  • The name is derived from the Nahuatl language (a native tongue of Mesoamericans.) It can be translated to “hand-wood.”
  • Clubs are usually a close-combat weapon, so this weapon falls in that category as well. It was distributed throughout Mesoamerica. Aztecs, Mayans, Mixtec, and Toltec were some of the civilizations who utilized this weapon.
  • This weapon could inflict a fatal laceration. Or used in ceremonial matters.

Daggers of Nobility

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Katar

  • The katar is considered a push dagger. It has a hand grip shaped like an ‘H’, forcing the wielder to clutch the blade above the knuckles. Sort of like Wolverine from X-Men. According to fighting styles, its compared to boxing a lot. Anyone using a katar aims for slashing the head or upper area and puts their whole weight into it.
  • Believe it or not, these daggers were used in worship from time to time. More importantly, they were used as symbols of Indian nobility. Katars utilized as decorations such as this were dressed in enamel, gems, or gold foil. They even could bear figures or scenes.
  • Mentioned briefly, this weapon was first crafted in India. Many speculate it was done so in Canada or England, but nope…India! Interesting enough, because of the weather of India, sheathes were not made of usual sheathe material, they were made from silk or any other soft material.

Troping Around with Romance

Here in the office, we live and breathe romance. It’s not our only focus but it’s one of the more popular ones we work with. And romance is woven into most, if not all, stories in some way, shape, or form.

Today, we want to highlight some tropes in romance. Some common, some not.

Do you have a favorite trope?


 

  • Redemption

    One character has wronged another. This can include wronging not just another character but something else (ex. a group of individuals, a law, etc.) This character must redeem themselves in the story…or try to. Will it succeed? That’s up to you, the writer!
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  • Forbidden Love

    Obstacles such as culture, family, social class or friendships keep the pairing apart. But nothing ever does keep two true lovers apart! The real question becomes: does it end on a good note? Do we smell an HEA or a tear-jerker?

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  • Amnesia

    A near-tragic event forces one character to forget their past and who they are. Don’t forget to research the type of head injury and amnesia you want your character to cope with to avoid generalizing your story. The story itself revolves around how they move forward and adapt to their “new” life. Will they remember who they were? Or…not?
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  • Secret/Lost Heir

    One of the two main characters is heir to a fortune. If they know about it or not is entirely up to you.
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  • Orphan

    Someone is an orphan. The situation matters, too. Did they grow up in the foster system? Or did the parents pass and distant family take them in? It all affects the story and how it unfolds!

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Not Your Average Bee Hive

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Nest Of Bees

  • This was a rocket battery used by the early Chinese Ming Warrior, warriors in existence during the Ming Dynasty (1368).
  • It’s a long range weapon. It cast 32 arrows in one shot, which were tipped with rockets. The arrow tips themselves were tipped in poison or something flammable – to increase enemy kills. They traveled up to 5 football fields away.
  • The nest itself was a hexagonal tube, equipped with a shoulder strap so warriors wore them like backpacks. It protected them from flying debris.
  • If this weapon sounds familiar, that’s because as time continued on…the nest of bees evolved into rockets/missiles of our modern era – which continue to evolve as we speak.

Breaking Down Sci-Fi

Note: Although we are focusing primarily on the genre of science fiction, most, if not all, points mentioned in this post can be applied to other genres in writing!


  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Octavia Butler
  • George Orwell

These are only a few names known in the realm of science fiction (sci-fi from here on out.) Our own worlds have broadened because someone took the time to travel to the futuristic unknown rather than entering a fantasy world. But what are some key components to writing sci-fi? Let’s get talking!

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Like any other creative writing project, planning and mapping out your story is crucial and necessarily before you dive into your tale. Not only for plot purposes but you always need to question: “how will this affect that?” You know, the usual. Depending on your sci-fi story, you’ll get the opportunity to create even further. For example, settings are new, language is different than what we know on our planet, races vary even more so than skin color…there are so many details to account for! We always recommend doing research into other novels within your genre range. Take it a step further and watch shows and movies. It’ll help further stimulate your creativity.

Something to help you indulge in your research is looking into scientific journals, new discoveries by labs or space teams, etc. This can influence your story in any way you want it to. Shaping your universe with new discoveries and current-world situations. Not only that but you’re expanding your own knowledge. what a way to kill two birds with one stone!

Our last point we’d like to highlight pertains to another question you can ask yourself. What if…? Utilizing the knowledge in the journals you find and articles you read, you can mix this with the creative details you’ve mapped out thus far. Apply your ‘what if’ question and add more depth to your story, add a new element, or a new plot line. Whatever the case may be, you’re adding something to the story by asking what if.

So what if…you start writing now?

Unique Weaponry

We’ve wrapped up our list of mythological creatures, but that doesn’t mean the Wednesday Wisdom is going to stop…

Instead, we’re taking on a new task: unique weaponry. It’s important to know the differences between your dirks and daggers, swords and scimitars. Even more so, about other styles of weapons used in battle…like this week. Let’s take you through history and inspire your fantasy, your historical plots…with what your characters should bring to the war table.


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Hellburners

The picture doesn’t show much, but if you look close enough, you can make out a dozen ships. Well, that’s exactly what a hellburner was: a ship. Not a regular ship with a cool name, though; a ship used to cause a massive explosion, similar to what we would consider a nuclear weapon of our time.

Essentially, they were disguised as fire ships – ships set aflame and were set to drift using wind and tide. These have existed since the Greeks implemented its use in battle…around 400 BC. Hellburners came afterward…much fartherHellburners were taken to the next level. They were set on fire, as mentioned to appear like fire ships, and were filled with gunpowder. Not just a few jugs. A massive amount of gunpowder. This is what would cause the destruction where there would be little to no survivors!

According to recorded history, hellburners were only used once. It was during the Siege of Antwerp in the 16th century. You read that right…16th century. In this situation, one of the hellburners had a mechanical timer which was set to run out and force the explosion once it was near the enemy. And it helped the users win the battle.

The main reason why this tactic was never used again was due to how much it cost to finance the hellburners. As it was mentioned earlier, a lot of gunpowder was used. Enough to protect an army or a full fleet. It was too much financially so this one explosion was the only one needed to make history.