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M Enwia





Joined: 15 May 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 16 May, 2004 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

here goes, this is my take on how things are at the moment.

(normal dress)
The Frankish dress would be of a linen shirt and breeches next to the skin, with a woolen tunic over the top with a hose fastened by bands covering the legs. In the winter a coat of Otter or Marten skin might be worn with leather shoes/sandles for the feet.

(well to do warrior)
The regular well to do warrior would be wearing a conical helm with maille aventail. iron scale hauberk extending to mid thighs with a padded undercoat I believe called a "Aketon". Foot solider would have a round convex wooden shield with a slighly pointed raies Boss with metal trimmings around the rim for strength - (and maybe 2-4 iron straps extending from the Boss for added strength - although this has been argued against) The mounted warrior would have a elongated shield. A support strap for the shield which is tied to the grip or rings on the insied of the shield which enables it to be carried slung across the shoulder. - i would guess the shield would be hung on the left side as most would be right handed so that they could have free movement of their right arm incase they needed to reach for a weapon or something and also the shield could be easily gripped with the left hand quiet quickly if needed.

(Pooer warriors)
would likely have a leather helm as well as having maybe leather studded Lamella armour. Of course not forgetting the chaps shield as well.

I'd be looking to give the nobility and other high ranking warrior maille armour - or warriors that belonged to a very powerful Count or noble.

You may release your crossbow bolts - I just hope my bone lamelle I patched together will hold . . . Worried
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2004 6:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Somewhat . Having any armour at all was a matter of finances . The poorer folks would have helmet ( leather , or metal )
and shield . For alot this was it . Some not even head gear . Body armour was for people with money ,nobles and thier retainers
for the most part although mercenaries ( at this period usually missle troops , archers (mounted or not ) slingers were still to be found in armies at this period though they were almost always totally unprotected by armour ) might have some of thier own armour . Scale, lamellar , and maille were all expensive and worn by the upper classes . Its not easy to paint a specific picture of any period like this because information is scarce . Have you seen examples of any of these types of armour ?
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M Enwia





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PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2004 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Somewhat . Having any armour at all was a matter of finances . The poorer folks would have helmet ( leather , or metal )
and shield . For alot this was it . Some not even head gear . Body armour was for people with money ,nobles and thier retainers
for the most part although mercenaries ( at this period usually missle troops , archers (mounted or not ) slingers were still to be found in armies at this period though they were almost always totally unprotected by armour ) might have some of thier own armour . Scale, lamellar , and maille were all expensive and worn by the upper classes . Its not easy to paint a specific picture of any period like this because information is scarce . Have you seen examples of any of these types of armour ?


If you have any pictures handy I would greatly appreaciate being able to have a look at them. Although i Have seen examples, it usually dates to armour at a later period, the more I can visulise these pieces - the better I would be ablie to describe them. Saying that - what would really be worthwhile is if i could actually try these things on -that way I konw exactly how it feels, how a person would go about putting them on - what effect it would have on ones movements - there's no substitute for the real thing - also I could even describe the smell of them - I imagine they would have their own unique odour, expecially armour which has been handed down from generation to generation - that leads me to another thought. How would one in the 9th - 10th century go about maintaining and caring for such items - I presume they would have been considered of great worth and a matter of pride for the owners.
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M Enwia





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PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2004 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know if anyone really wishes me to do this, but i've attached the first chapter of my book. Needless to say I'm a bit nervous but also a bit excited to get your feedback.

Its a work of fiction but i'll try to keep as close as possible to the reality of things as possible. Its set in a Frankish type empire which has been split into five Princedoms after the death of the King. Although the weaponary and armour is that of the 9th - 10th Century in this Princedom - we have the rotaional crop system in effect as well as having the stock horses with the new shoulder harness and plow which came a bit later. This is becuase each Princedom is slightly different in its advancation of arms and armour due to their particular wealth and milatry might - although the argriculture system will all roughly be the same - this Princedom is situated more to the southern end of the empire - while in contrast you have another Princedom to the northern end which will be more Norman in appearance and culture.

I'm eager to know your thoughts, and welcome any constructive critizcim as well as any constructive praise. Sorry if the writing is a complete fudle - let me know if you think its terrable . . . although it might sting me a bit, at least I'll know what people honestly think.


Thank you in advance.

P.S. I still need to know what kind of weapons - swords, daggers they would be using and what kind of battle/fighting techniques would be imployed in this Franksih setting.

I just tried to post it but was denied - it seems no documents with doc extenstions are allowed to be posted - I presume then that only pictures and the sort are allowed to be attached. Oh well - if any one wants me to e-mail them the chapter just let me know . . .
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2004 6:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Armour maintenance . The documented method ( the documentation is a bit later than your period ) is that the item was placed in a barrel with sand and or gravel the end capped off and the barrel then rolled around on the ground ( we came up with a barrel on a frame with a central crank handle design to make it a little fast but i'm not aware of any historical correllary for this ) . The aggitation of the sand/gravel on the maille polishes it . There was a past made from lime sand and some other stuff use for polishing plates and the initial surface clean was done on grinding stones ( either treadle
or water powered ) during the middle ages but I don't know if this was the same during your period . Natural oils were used as penetrants/protectants with olive oil being thought very good ( as its organic will go rancide so must be cleaned off and reapplied periodically ) again during the middle ages and Rennaissance but I dont' know about earlier .

As far as seeing original pieces , maille from before the 14th century is virtually nonexistant and lamellar or scale from before this survives as a few fragmentary plates ( although there are literally thousands of plates of different shapes and
sizes from all over Europe that have been excavated showing that both were popular ) so what your going to find in museums for the most part is going to be much later than your period .

There are not to many people doing lamellar or scale ( we've prototypes scale but haven't had time to make it and haven't had the time to even prototype lamellar ) today but maybe some one here can point you in the right direction .

Spears were very common during your period both thrown ( usually of slightly light er construct ) and thrusting , these and axes being what most commoners had as swords were also at this time a very expensive item . A large knife similar
to the sax was also very common . Axes were either of the large variety suitable for either single or two handed use
or smaller single hand axes that could be throw the famous Frankish francisca . Swords were broad bladed slashing weapons usually double edged . I don't know what your going to find regarding the style of martial arts in use . Most of the WMA group today work in medieval and rennaissance as thats when surviving fight mannuals are from .
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M Enwia





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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2004 7:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thank you for all that info - would some kind of volcanic rock be useful in cleaning up the armour. Alot of people use it in baths and such - I believe that people probalby used some kind of oil substance on their armour for preservation and to keep rust away - as was maille armour known even during the Roman period although not extensively used by them - so tot I think it would be plausable that people knew about some kind of olive oil base for maintaince of the armour.

For example the Pyramids and the Hanging Gardens were all wonders and technologies which now a days people are wondering how they managed to accomplish them - in our day and age with all out technology - we can't seem to put our finger on how they accopmlished it given their tools and knowledge - same with Stone Hendge.

I'd go with the griding stone and some oil substance for protection for the armour - it could even be treadle operated the grinding stones, though only craftsmen may have them - a warrior might well have some grinding stone at home he uses every so often by hand to clean the armour and then gets his oil based liquid out to give it a slight coat for protection.

I have some mysterious warrior appearing in the first chapter - notably from Africa - he is wearing full plate armour - you have to bear with the creative license here - I've been looking around for some examples of african armour and havn't found anything of substance. Any idea's would be welcome - if no real world example can be found of full plate African armour then one's own ingenious imagination on how it would look would be welcome.

I'm at that stage, I can't find any real world examples of it - and am thinking of creating my own invention - something exotic, with african chartericstics which differers from the Germanic and Italian armours of our day. Rome ruled part of Africa - but I don't want to much of a Roman infuence on it - if you know what I mean. I want it to be African - so just by describing it and not necessarly giving any names the reader would think of Africe - maybe even on subconsicous level which would be great. . .
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Geoff Wood




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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2004 7:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M Enwia wrote:
thank you for all that info - would some kind of volcanic rock be useful in cleaning up the armour. Alot of people use it in baths and such - I believe that people probalby used some kind of oil substance on their armour for preservation and to keep rust away - as was maille armour known even during the Roman period although not extensively used by them - so tot I think it would be plausable that people knew about some kind of olive oil base for maintaince of the armour.

For example the Pyramids and the Hanging Gardens were all wonders and technologies which now a days people are wondering how they managed to accomplish them - in our day and age with all out technology - we can't seem to put our finger on how they accopmlished it given their tools and knowledge - same with Stone Hendge.

I'd go with the griding stone and some oil substance for protection for the armour - it could even be treadle operated the grinding stones, though only craftsmen may have them - a warrior might well have some grinding stone at home he uses every so often by hand to clean the armour and then gets his oil based liquid out to give it a slight coat for protection.

I have some mysterious warrior appearing in the first chapter - notably from Africa - he is wearing full plate armour - you have to bear with the creative license here - I've been looking around for some examples of african armour and havn't found anything of substance. Any idea's would be welcome - if no real world example can be found of full plate African armour then one's own ingenious imagination on how it would look would be welcome.

I'm at that stage, I can't find any real world examples of it - and am thinking of creating my own invention - something exotic, with african chartericstics which differers from the Germanic and Italian armours of our day. Rome ruled part of Africa - but I don't want to much of a Roman infuence on it - if you know what I mean. I want it to be African - so just by describing it and not necessarly giving any names the reader would think of Africe - maybe even on subconsicous level which would be great. . .


Not sure about armour type, but why not go with the Moorish (African muslim up through Spain) invaders that were defeated in southern France by Charles Martel, a Frank. Muslim culture was pretty sophisticated back then by comparison wiuth much of the 'west' so they may have had plate or other armour types.
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Felix Wang




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PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2004 7:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A couple of notes here. The wood preferred for shields in the High Middle Ages was linden / lime, although others such as poplar might be used. Softwoods like pine, fir and spruce were rarely if ever used, presumably because they are softer.

The arming of the lowest classes of soldier was pretty meager. By the decrees of the time, the poorest soldier might only have a bow and arrows, and maybe a spear. No shield was mentioned, and certainly no armor.

There are some well defined African armor types - in the West in the area of Mali / Timbuktu among the Hausa, and in Sudan. Unfortunately these armors distinctly resemble European armor of mail and padded cloth - so that writers typically compare these warriors to knights. Africa produced no armor resembling plate, as far as I know. However, you could put your warrior in a suit of mail conspicuously better (i.e. tighter mesh) and armor him more completely than the Carolingians did (mail leggings / chausses and full length sleeves, mittens and coif). That is possible, if not substantiated in fact.
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M Enwia





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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2004 2:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions everyone - I'm still mulling things over in my mind, like all great htings - I guess it will come to me when it does. I'll keep in mind that Lindin Wood thing. You know that I was thinking about his during the night - I don't think I even got a proper night's sleep - lol.
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M Enwia





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PostPosted: Wed 19 May, 2004 2:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

just so you know - it was a typo "his" meaning "This."
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James Ogle





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PostPosted: Fri 21 May, 2004 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems to me that the reason that lime/linden and poplar/tulipwood would make good shields is because they have little to no grain. This makes them relatively difficult to split along their length. Oak and most other "hardwoods" would make poor shields because the ease with which they split as anyone that has ever split firewood can attest to. Also an oaken or similar hardwood shield would be slightly heavier. Also didn't the Romans have a simple type of plywood/laminated wood that they used to make shields and if they did was the technology lost after the fall of the Empire?

As to metal edging I seem to recall reading somewhere that an unrimed shield would be able to "capture" a blade if it got embedded in the edge where this would be impossible on a rimmed shield. Can't remember where I read that so it might be "Hollywood" bullocks.

You mentioned above that most warriors would fight right handed. Actually all warriors would fight right handed. During the time period there would have been great stigmatism placed on lefties for religious reasons. Just go back a hundred years in America and you will see it. Also as most masters and trainers are right handed it would be how they trained their young squires. Also I may be wrong but I have never seen mention in a fechtbuch of how to handle a left handed opponent. If it occurred then it would at least garner a mention much like how southpaws get special attention in boxing. Also fighting in any type of formation would be impossible if people were mixing both left had and right hand usage.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 21 May, 2004 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James;

A lefthanded swordsman would then have been a NASTY surprise! I would also assume that a left handed warrior would want to be at least competent as a right handed fighter and be able to fight when part of a Shield Wall or other formation.

The one negative I can see is that the Left Handed Warrior might risk being burned at the stake during the Dark Ages!

Being left handed I am mutch more ambidrextrous than the average right hander: On the computer I can use the mouse with my right hand while using a graphics tablet pen to draw at the same time. (Alternating from one to the other depending on what I need to do.)

A lefthander can also have an advantage in handling two weapons: Two knives, Rapier & Left hand dagger. etc....

Also if the shield is considered as an ACTIVE part of the sword & shield combination: It means that the more dextrous hand
which is usually the stronger hand is in charge of defense. Would this also be an advantage?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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James Ogle





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PostPosted: Fri 21 May, 2004 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,

Everything you said is very true just like trying to box a southpaw. The only issue is that as far as I know no one would have learned to fight with a sword in the left hand. It was just not done at that point in time as far as I know. You do not even have to go back far in modern history to find that lefties were forced to conform to the being right handed at an early age and that is without the heavy influence of Mother Church and threats of Heresy. Like I said I have never seen it mentioned in a fechtbuch although I could have missed it and with the issues it raises as an opponent it should have at least a parting mention. The other problem is that with the sheild on the wrong side in close formations and the sword being swung from the wrong side a leftie would be far more desruptive in a formation than anything.

You sound more ambidexterous than even most lefties. My sister is left handed and has as much trouble using her right hand as I do my left for precise functions.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 21 May, 2004 7:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James;

The ease in using the other hand (Right in my case) may be part inherent skill but I think practice plays a large role especially if learning a new skill: I started using the computer mouse with my right hand and almost never used my left for the mouse and found that It had a lot of advantages; like writing things down or using the keyboard with my left without having to let go of the mouse.

I agree completely with you about the historically accurate statement that the Taboo of using the left hand would have prevented the likelihood of left handed use.

At the same time I can see "Theoretical" use of a small group of left handed warrior: As you may know, the spiral stairways of most castles favored the defender making the use of the Right handed attacker's weapons more difficult.

A column or a few columns of left handed warriors on the right side of a Phalanx or Roman Tortoise formation would give improved protection to that flank.

The origin of the TABOO may well be that the advantage of a Lefthanded fighter was so menacing and surprising that it was seen as not sporting. I.E. Completely unfair, Sinister (Synonim of left handed) so It became the work of the Devil!

If a Warrior managed to develop a left handed system of fighthing he would have kept it a secret! (To be used as a SECRET WEAPON when & were there would be no living withnesses???

I can also see were a wounded, crippled or amputated warrior might have learned to fight as a southpaw even if not naturally a southpaw, or a natural southpaw might discover, finally being forced to use his better hand, that he was now an unbeatable foe instead of a mediocre fighter!
Again I know that all of the above is not supported by "real history" but it might make an interesting subject of "Conan the Barbarian" type novel!

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Alexi Goranov
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PostPosted: Fri 21 May, 2004 9:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Ogle wrote:
It seems to me that the reason that lime/linden and poplar/tulipwood would make good shields is because they have little to no grain. This makes them relatively difficult to split along their length. Oak and most other "hardwoods" would make poor shields because the ease with which they split as anyone that has ever split firewood can attest to. Also an oaken or similar hardwood shield would be slightly heavier. Also didn't the Romans have a simple type of plywood/laminated wood that they used to make shields and if they did was the technology lost after the fall of the Empire?

As to metal edging I seem to recall reading somewhere that an unrimed shield would be able to "capture" a blade if it got embedded in the edge where this would be impossible on a rimmed shield. Can't remember where I read that so it might be "Hollywood" bullocks.

You mentioned above that most warriors would fight right handed. Actually all warriors would fight right handed. During the time period there would have been great stigmatism placed on lefties for religious reasons. Just go back a hundred years in America and you will see it. Also as most masters and trainers are right handed it would be how they trained their young squires. Also I may be wrong but I have never seen mention in a fechtbuch of how to handle a left handed opponent. If it occurred then it would at least garner a mention much like how southpaws get special attention in boxing. Also fighting in any type of formation would be impossible if people were mixing both left had and right hand usage.


Hi James,

Liechtenauer and Ringeck clearly distinguish between lefthanded and right handed fighters. At least that is how the text reads. One of the first instructions laid down is to attack first from your strong side: the right handed should attack from the right, and the left handed from the left. This is explicitly stated. I am too tired to quote from the book, but the bottom line is that they did distinguish between the lefthanded and right handed fighters. And I too have not seen explicitly stated how to handle a left handed person but I think that this is too specific of a topic to be elaborated upon. An experienced fighter should be able to figure it out .

Now the definition of right handed and left handed is murky sometimes: I write with the right hand, but used to hold an axe with my left hand forward. So one might call themselves right handed but still fight holding the weapon with the left hand.

cheers,

Alexi
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M Enwia





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PostPosted: Sat 22 May, 2004 8:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

to my learned friends,

Wow - I just read all that stuff you guys wrote and it sent my creative juices flying - had to wipe down the monitor and hoover the place by the time I finished reading it. Happy

Very strong, very powerful points of view. It would make unbelievable prose in a novel - what a damn good idea.

My mind is spinning so much with all the different variables I can't even seem to type. Its a very powerful idea - I just got to make sure that I use it effectively and not squander its use needless - a very simple idea, but which I had not thought off - they say the simple things are always the best. Though this will put unlimited possibilites and outcomes to a plot - Brain Melt Down . . . brain melt down . . . too much good stuff . . . hold it - this isn't AM/PM . . . arrr . . . too much good stuff . . . Laughing Out Loud

Too many proverbs may result in too many words and not enough wisdom.

M Enwia's own proverb.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 22 May, 2004 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Enwia;

One thing that can change your approche to your novel is if you set it in the REAL WORLD past or an Alternate History past.

If set in a period of history like the dark ages you have a lot of room to invente yours own story as long as you don't include in your story well known events in an erroneous way: You can't have the Anglo-Saxons winning the battle of Hastings in 1066, although you could use well reseached historical events as the backround of your story.

The other major "genre" in Fantasy or Sci Fi is " ALTERNATE HISTORY" were you start the story at a point of history and then change it: Example, the Spanish conquers Britain in 1588 ( RULED BRITANIA by Harry Turtledove.) From that point the story diverges from real history.

Your story could be set in a far future where civilization has lost most of it's technology and is again in a period like the dark ages. Or it could be set on a space colony that has also reverted to a more primitive time.
(All of the above are established genres, so I am not inventing anything here.)

The point IS (Finally.....JOKE) is that you can use your research into the Frankish customs, weapons, culture, history as a base for a believable culture: This doesn't mean that you cannot invente or change things, only that knowing how certain things were done, it will make your invented culture all the more alive.

(My apologies if the above was all too obvious to you, but I am curious about your take on the above.)

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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M Enwia





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PostPosted: Sat 22 May, 2004 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
M. Enwia;

One thing that can change your approche to your novel is if you set it in the REAL WORLD past or an Alternate History past.

If set in a period of history like the dark ages you have a lot of room to invente yours own story as long as you don't include in your story well known events in an erroneous way: You can't have the Anglo-Saxons winning the battle of Hastings in 1066, although you could use well reseached historical events as the backround of your story.

The other major "genre" in Fantasy or Sci Fi is " ALTERNATE HISTORY" were you start the story at a point of history and then change it: Example, the Spanish conquers Britain in 1588 ( RULED BRITANIA by Harry Turtledove.) From that point the story diverges from real history.

Your story could be set in a far future where civilization has lost most of it's technology and is again in a period like the dark ages. Or it could be set on a space colony that has also reverted to a more primitive time.
(All of the above are established genres, so I am not inventing anything here.)

The point IS (Finally.....JOKE) is that you can use your research into the Frankish customs, weapons, culture, history as a base for a believable culture: This doesn't mean that you cannot invente or change things, only that knowing how certain things were done, it will make your invented culture all the more alive.

(My apologies if the above was all too obvious to you, but I am curious about your take on the above.)


Not at all dear fellow, to be honest - you've about got the jist of things. Its basically gonna be based on an alternative history thing, with different religion's and such - but this Princedom in the Empire - will have a very Frankish setting - yet - like you were saying - no matter what setting I put it in - no matter how, what or where it is - it it is a middle age kind of setting - and it being Frankish - then there are things which have to happen in certain ways - for example the agriculture, the work, the social struture needed to support a feudal system - the weaponary and armour behind it - the resulting technical fighting techniqics. No matter what setting there's certain ways of handling a sword and other items, certain way of moving, swinging - differnt weapons and their balance and weight - cutting or thrusting weapons resulting in different ways of fighting, how differing weapons and armour would have an effect on them. What happens when the Frankish - Roman - Celtic - English - Scottish - Spanish - Greek - Egyptian - Arab - African cultures and armies meet and collide - which will triumph over the other - will there be conflict or will some arrangement be reached?

All these detail's is what really makes the difference between one writing something which really sinks in and has the essence of some reality within it - to one which is completlely fictional and therefore - I think might lose some of its impact. All the great stories, even those back in the ages which told of great conquest and battles and great tragic love stories - had some basis in the real world. Ithink that a bit of a ramble on my part. I'm with on that - it will bring the story more alive, not just for the reader but for myself as well - in the writing of it.

Too many proverbs may result in too many words and not enough wisdom.

M Enwia's own proverb.
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M Enwia





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PostPosted: Sun 23 May, 2004 6:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is how I have described the strange warrior in chapter 1. I've copied and pasted an extrat from it.

He heard the pounding of hooves, around the wood’s edge, an armoured figure - riding a huge black stallion - charged towards him.

From head to toe – the figure was covered in black plate mail. The armour glistened with speckled gold, its lines sharp and jagged. Spikes jutted out from the elbows and shoulder blades. The helm was a curved-diamond shape – the top more pronounced – a spike with a black plume. There were tiny holes dotted along the front of the visor. The stallion was covered in black studded leather armour; rider and mount – fierce and fury – dark champions of midnight horror charging out from behind the woods.

For an instant Arl froze, unsure - he didn’t recognize the insignia – a golden heart pierced by a sword and claw blazed on the riders shield and chest. All thoughts went out of his head as he threw himself out of the way. Hitting cold earth and grass, the breath left Arl – his head spinning he forced himself up – hand going towards the dagger at his belt. Stumbling forward he raised his blade and stopped. The knight lay sprawled face down on the floor before him, shield and sword disguarded beside him, his fierce black horse prancing around protectively. Arl blinked - still trying to regain his senses.

your thoughts please, please feel free to praise and critize as you see fit. Let me know if I called anything by the wrong name or got the wrong facts, let me know if you think its Naff and that. I understand it could be a bit difficult, seeing as I've only given here a few paragraphs out of the first chapte - but I could not attach the whole thing as it does not allow Word doc's. If any one wants me too e-mail the first chapte just let me know.

Deep breath . . . here goes

Too many proverbs may result in too many words and not enough wisdom.

M Enwia's own proverb.
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Mathias B.




Location: Franconia, Germany
Joined: 26 May 2004

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat 29 May, 2004 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are two typical frankish weapons: the francisca and the angon.
The francisca is the light throwing-axe after which the Franks are named. The angon is a spear (resembling a bit the roman pilum) with a partly iron-covered shaft and two barbs on the head. The way it was used could make for a nice action moment in your novel: it was thrown on an opponents shield, where it stuck because oif the barbs, its weight would drag the shield down and enable the frankish warrior to step on its shaft, drag the shield further down and attack the defensless opponent behind it.(Just an idea for a fighting scene)
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