Something Wicked This Way Comes – Zombies

Another week closer to Halloween means another creature to talk about, and zombies sure are being talked about a lot these past few years. I wonder if it is all the grunting and moaning that makes them so popular or maybe the classic zombie walk, but whatever it is it seems to have made its mark on pop culture. 

First, let’s take it back to where it all began. Before the world became futuristically invaded with zombies we had their first appearance in Haitian folklore. Bokor sorcerers would raise corpses from the dead and control them as personal slaves. 

From there zombies had their first Hollywood screen performance in 1932 in White Zombie. However, they didn’t take full center stage until the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video in 1983. Appearing again and again on screen in movies and video games,  these creatures continue to be apart of creepy culture. 

Some of their strengths include being impervious to pain, they never need to sleep, and can sustain massive injuries without feeling pain. However, they no longer have a high functioning brain and they move slow. 

You have most likely seen these creatures in an apocalyptic theme movie or book. Both with a classic theme and some unthinkable twists, as there is a lot to talk about with these ever appearing creatures. 

This Halloween season maybe you want to spruce up your spooky series with a zombie or two (as they also mostly travel in groups)? Create your own creature twist and dig a little deeper into all things zombie!

Halloween Zombie GIF by Scooby-Doo

Happy Spooktober!

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Something Wicked This Way Comes – The Ghoul

In the spirit of Halloween it is only right to dedicate this time to the creatures of the dark that we may not typically pay attention to. Join me each week until Halloween to find out what lies beneath the scales and fangs. 

First and foremost… the ghoul. 

Each creature comes from different mythology and pertains to different legends. That being said the ghoul originates under Arabic mythology. They have the ability to shape-shift and are known for inhabiting places like graveyards or deserts. Their true form are known to be hairy and canine like, but one of their most distinct features is their hoof like imprints, and most commonly known to be crawling on all fours. 

However, with so many stories and renditions we see the ghoul in many different forms, for example…

Ghoul on Netflix focuses on “the ghoul” from Arabic Mythology that can shape-shift, and is known for its hoof like print. 

In Supernatural a popular Sci-Fi TV show ghouls are not dead but a form of monster. They typically live in graveyards and feed on human flesh both dead and alive. They can also shape-shift and the only way of killing a ghoul is complete decapitation. 

Tokyo Ghoul is a popular anime show about a character who gets bit by a ghoul and becomes half ghoul – half human. In this version ghouls look exactly like humans but like to eat human flesh. 

So next time you are writing a story and want to incorporate a ghoul think about what features you want to show and the presence it plays among humans.

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Blushing Language

We all know the writing motto: show, don’t tell.

But don’t we all get overwhelmed when we think we need to show everything? Are there certain categories of showing emotion or a character’s feeling towards something versus telling? Well, you can answer those questions because we’re going to share a quoted post. The original author is MIA but we do want you all to know – it wasn’t our idea. We’re simply adding a bit of input!

How to write ‘they blushed’ without writing ‘they blushed’:

  • They took a step backwards.
  • They shifted their weight from one side to the other.
  • They hid their face in their hands.
  • They shifted their glance to something else in the room, all around the room for that matter.
  • Their eyes widened.
  • They crossed their arms.
  • They leaned into themselves.
  • They scratched the back of their head.
  • Utilize hand motions. When people are nervous or embarrassed, they tend to use their hands to declare their frustration.
  • Quirks! Each character should have their own quirks even before you begin writing. It’s their go-to and displays some of their negative traits sometimes.

 

Foot Traps

caltrops.jpgCaltrops

 

  • This was a weapon used to maim or kill infantry, and/or others not shielded with armor. Caltrops specifically had two or more sharp nails. In the past, caltrops were used against foot troops and cavalry. Today, caltrops are used against wheeled vehicles. We’ve all watched high speed chases!
  • The name of this device if from Latin. The original meaning is “foot-trap.”
  • Caltrops have been used in heraldry. Mainly as charges in the shields!

Top Tier Polearm

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Glaive

  • It is a European polearm. It’s decorated with a single-edged blade at one end of the pole. The blade is similar to that of an axe head – not a straight blade or as curved as cutlasses or swords.
  • Some of the blades were crafted with a small hook somewhere on the blade-end of the pole. Sometimes on the opposite end of the blade. This was used to catch riders. (This is a running theme in our weapons of choice!)
  • The glaive was a highly rated weapon in the polearm class/other hand-to-hand combat weapons of the time. This rating occurred in 1599.

All Aboard!

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Italian Boarding Sword

  • The Italian boarding sword was a tool used by sailors or pirates. When ships collided and one crew needed to get aboard another vessel, this sword was used to cut rope with ease or hack closed doors.
  • Although considered a tool, it was also used as a weapon. It could pierce a victim and the fighting style is very similar to fencing (except with a shorter blade.)
  • We are accustomed to seeing sailors and pirates with curved blades (cutlasses for example) but this particular sword has a straight blade.
  • It is also called a Genoese boarding sword because of a captain who hailed from the Republic of Genoa.

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

Zhua.jpg

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.