A Brief Guide To A Fantasy Arsenal

This very informative article is shared from the blog of author Nicholas C. Rossis

I hosted the other day a guest post by my author friend, Charles E. Yallowitz, but today I’m sharing his excellent series of posts he has written on fantasy (Medieval) arsenal. Charles has recently shared posts on the types of swords, shields, and projectile weapons used in fantasy (and inspired by real-life Medieval and ancient weapons). I hope he continues this series, as it’s a great resource for all of us fantasy writers (by the way, if you haven’t checked out his blog yet, you should do so for his great tips on writing rounded characters, his fun fantasy short stories and a lot more).

So, let’s start with that staple of fantasy…


Here is what I’ve been able to find out about swords:

Two-handed swords

  • the European longsword, popular in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance.
  • the Scottish late medieval claymore (not to be confused with the basket-hilted claymore of the 18th century).
  • the Great sword, related to the Medieval long swords. These swords were too heavy to be wielded one-handed and possessed a large grip to accommodate both hands.
  • the Bidenhänder. The Bidenhänder or two-hander is the “true” two-handed sword. It was a specialist weapon wielded by certain Landsknechte Doppelsöldners. It is highly doubtful that these two-handed swords were used to chop off the point of pikes; however, the two-handed sword was an ideal weapon for protecting the standard bearer or a breach since a Doppelsöldner armed with one could fend off many attackers by using moulinets.citation needed]
  • the Swordstaff (Svärdstav). This is a Scandinavian sword-polearm hybrid, used in medieval times. It is made by placing a blade at the end of a staff, thus giving the same benefits of a sword with the reach of a spear or polearm. This helps the soldier fighting enemies both on foot and mounted. The length of the weapon makes it easier to fight mounted opponents, while the blade is still handy enough to use in close combat, as opposed to using a spear which is ineffective at close range because only the tip can be used to attack, or a sword which makes hurting mounted enemies significantly harder. The greater length of the weapon would also help when fighting more heavily armed opponents, since an attack can be executed with considerably more force due to the length of the weapon.

There’s lots more great information, so click to keep reading: A Brief Guide To A Fantasy Arsenal


A Fantasy Tip from History: Travelling Books

Today I’m sharing a fascinating post from Nicholas C. Rossis’ blog. It is especially interesting to me since traveling tomes play a significant role in my own book series. Enjoy!

book-boxMy Kindle has a couple of thousand books in it. Yes, thousand. Its size? Smaller than most of my books and small enough to fit my jacket’s inside pocket. Nowadays, we barely spare a thought for the amazing fact that we can carry with us more books than an entire library contained mere decades ago.

And yet, books needed to travel in the past, too. In fact, whether in their owner’s backpack, on wagons or in boats, medieval books were keen travelers. Longer works carried ideas across Europe, disseminating the sciences, spreading romances and passing on historical narratives. Short texts were committed to memory, by troubadours for example, but longer texts had to travel in the form of ink and parchment or paper. So, how did these treasures survive a long and arduous trip?…

Source: A Fantasy Tip from History: Travelling Books

Medieval Monday: Tweets and Post-its

For today’s Medieval Monday I am sharing a post that I found to be quite interesting and worth the read. The full article has additional links to follow for further research on the subject.

Medieval Tweets and Post-its
(Posted by in Random Musings)

May 31st, 1486 turned out to be an unseasonably hot day on the Rhine. Count Philip was holding court. A duke was droning on and on, and the Count was fast losing interest. He patted beads of sweat from his temple with his handkerchief and absent-mindedly studied the stuffy courtroom. His gaze caught on a vase filled with wilting roses and yellowing water. Immediately, he wrote a note asking for a fresh batch to be fetched from Heidelberg…

Source: Medieval Tweets and Post-its