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

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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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