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.

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.

Creature in the Waves

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TaniwhaNew Zealand

Beings that reside among dangerous currents, may be guardians or predators.

  • They live in deep pools, hiding out in rivers, dark caves or, the deepest of all pools…the sea! They like being in dangerous currents or giant waves!
  • Good? Bad? Both? They’re considered kaitiaki, or protective guardians, of people and places in some legends. However, if told through other legends, they’re depicted as monsters who steal/kidnap women to marry.
  • Taniwha loosely translates to shark species of the Proto-Oceanic word, “tanifa.”
  • So, shark species means it probably looks like a fish of some sort, right? Right! Depending on the body of water. It’s beensaid there are some taniwha that appear to be alligators. There are a few legends which describe the taniwha as a log.
  • If someone comes across a taniwha, they might turn into one after they pass.

Canada’s Loch Ness Monster

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Ogopogo British Columbia

Lake-dwelling serpentine monster.

  • Sightings started in the 19th century but have been discredited to being a legendary water spirit, living in Lake Okanagan.
  • Other than having the body of a snake, the head has been described to be that of a snake, horse, or even a goat. Sometimes it has long ears or horns with blue or brown scales.
  • It eats flesh. That means humans…turn into prey. Hunters become the hunted. Native Americans never traveled across the lake without sacrificial meals on board. Now, its believed the monster dwells in one of the corners of the lake.
  • It’s very similar to the Loch Ness monster of Scotland.
  • The ogopogo is sometimes thought to be an extinct whale or marine reptile.

The Cannibal Monster

This is one of the last two areas of the world we are traveling too. So, let’s venture into the deep woods of the Americas to start the beginning of the final countdown!


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WendigoAlgonquian Tribes

Cannibalistic beastly humanoid, possibly once human.

  • This creature is aligned with murder, insatiable, and cultural taboos against “normal” behavior. They’re also associated with the winter, the north, coldness, famine, and starvation.
  • The Wendigo is bigger than a human, and whenever it feeds on human flesh, it grows! It never gains weight and will always appear thin. They’re always hungry so watch out!!
  • There’s also an explanation as to why they may have been human once before turning into the Wendigo. When they were human, they may have been incredibly greedy. Or if the human was in contact with Wendigos for too long, they would become one.
  • Powers include: mimicking human voices, possession, controlling weather, manipulation of darkness (sunset), control of forest creatures, healing, and incredible strength and speed.
  • Believe it or not, there is a psychological disorder called the Wendigo Psychosis. People diagnosed crave human flesh even though they have access to normal food sources.

The One, The Only: Sphinx

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Androsphinx Egypt

Living statue with a lion body and human head, tells riddles.

  • Although labeled from Egypt, the sphinx as a whole can be found in many other countries, one being Greece. Since we’re so accustomed to the Great Sphinx of Giza, we tend to forget there are others out there.
  • This particular interpretation is symbolized as the incarnation of the Sun God, Ra.
  • More commonly seen with a lion’s body, it can be found to have a ram or even a hawk’s head. They each have different names and different origin tales!
  • The sphinx is seen as the protector of the land it watches. The body of the sphinx never changes but each head resembles that of what it protects. So, the androsphinx, compared to that of a Pharaoh…watched over the people.
  • Depending on where you are or which one you’re researching, the sphinx can be seen as a monster or keeper of knowledge. You choose which interpretation you decide to pursue

Age of Escapism

escape.gifWith the end of year in sight, we tend to highlight expected sales trends of the upcoming year. We’ve seen high sales in politically-driven pieces, success behind female leads, and diversity taking the reigns.

Say hello to our oldest and dearest friend, Escapism. Too dark? Fear not, we mean well with this. Listen here: escapism isn’t a new concept. It’s been around forever. Since entertainment conception came to fruition, to be exactly. It’s a drive for many to pick up books and escape to another world, where chaos can be mended.

To say the least, the consumption of books may rise when we think about what’s going on whenever we turn the news on. With this chaotic day and age, there may be an interest in any genre, really. As long as there is provided escape to a new world.

Help provide the escape for potential readers. Provide the bridge between their reality and your fictional world. Get to writing.

A Visual Tale

Originating in Japan, the visual novel has made quite the impact on interactive reading for tweens, teenagers, and new adults.

A platform designed for artists and storytellers, visual novels take reading to a new level. Some stories revolve around custom characters, while others don’t. The storylines vary but the biggest genre here is romance.

By teaming up with graphic designers or digital artists, authors can create a version of their story which would appeal to those who like visuals accompanying their story or travel down the similar route as Harry Potter. (We’re talking about the game released where you become the witch or wizard, in case you missed it!) Building the world for your readers first and building a fanbase, may make transitioning to visual novels much easier. They don’t all have to be romance stories; they’re just the easiest genre to get into!

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Nine Imps

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Dokkaebi Korea

“Impish spirits that transform from inanimate objects.”

Basic Facts:

  • Also called Korean goblins, they like to play tricks on humans (or help them – it can go either way.)
  • Physical descriptions of the dokkaebi can be found on ancient roof tiles but are usually frightening to look at.
  • Into wrestling? So are these spirits! in order to pass them, you should be able to wrestle your way out of their clutches of evil! Their weak spots include their right side and (some of them are one-legged) a simple push will get them down.
  • There are different types of dokkaebi. To be frank, there are nine common types.
  • Sometimes, rituals are hosted to get in the good graces of the dokkaebi but other times.