no but i'm still having trouble grasping the idea that this is real

anonymous asked:

(1/2) I'm writing a scene where two knights are fighting each other on horseback. So not a cavalry charge but rather a duel between the two. But it's so difficult to get it to feel real when I don't know anything about horses or how mounted combat differs from ground combat. I've researched the ground combat quite a lot (with a lot of help from you guys, thank you so much for your awesome work!) and feel comfortable with that writing being good enough, especially after trying out HEMA myself.

(2/2) But the research for the mounted combat is proving to be difficult. I can only find either cavalry tactics or information about modern dressage riding which isn’t really what I’m looking for. Do you guys (or any of your followers?) have any horse experience or know anything about how medieval-ish mounted dueling could work? Or know where to point me in my continued research?

I will admit that mounted combat is not our area of expertise. I’ve looked into it before and it is difficult to find information. I’d pick up any books they point you towards though.

As you’ve probably already figured out, this is a fairly specialized area of study so finding more about it will be difficult on your part. However, there is plenty out there on horses themselves, how they work, and how to ride them. I recommend starting there. Once you get a more solid grasp of how horses behave, how they move, how they think, and how they work then writing mounted combat is going to become much easier.

I’d even recommend going on a few trail rides if you have the resources, but horseback riding is expensive so I totally understand if that’s outside your means. I was a bit of a horse nut when I was a kid, so I had the benefit of reading a lot of books on the subject and indulgent parents who let me ride until it became too expensive. Learning about the importance of seat, holding the reins, controlling the horse with your knees, and just general riding skills aren’t necessary for writing but they’re going to help you sell it to your reader. If you aren’t up on the different gaits, their importance, the seats that move with them, or the speed at which a horse travels at them then you’re going to be in trouble. For example, close range mounted combat like in a duel will most likely happen at a trot rather than a walk, a canter, or a gallop. The reason for this being that the trot will allow you to gain speed, but still circle tightly, give better control in close quarters without locking you into position. Canter is too fast. Gallop is way, way too fast.

Changing pressure in your seat and with your reins can signal your horse to go faster or slower on command, along with a host of other signals. You can nudge with your heels too and most knights did use spurs, but there’s more to it than just kicking a horse to go forward.

Getting used to what your character’s horse might do beneath them requires studying riding before combat. Which means, you were actually on the right track when looking at dressage. You can also study what it looks like when horses fight.

A horse can strike with his/her forelegs, it can kick with it’s hindquarters. It can be taught to rear on command. It can bite. It can knock someone over with it’s shoulder or flanks. When you look at the pretty dressage riding and wonder what use it has, just imagine the horse swinging around into someone, striking with it’s forelegs, or stamping an enemy. The horse sidestepping closer to an enemy slightly too far away so your knight can strike with their blade and then urge them forward by launching forward into a quick trot or canter. Dressage is the surviving base art form for mounted combat. It’s all about exercising precise control over your mount, the kind of control that you need when in tight quarters and specialized gaits for short steps that carry the horse just far enough.

Combining that with what you’ve learned in HEMA is a great start to understanding mounted combat, especially since the base for swordplay on horseback is swordplay on the ground.


Two Worlds: Two Worlds is a bit of a frustrating mess as a game, it’s open world, it’s a translation, and it uses a very awkward variant of ye olde english that may drive you insane. However, the horse riding in this game is second to none. It is frustrating as shit, which you know what? Good. You’re not riding a motorcycle. It’s one of the few games that will actually simulate momentum on horseback which can get awkward when you’re trying to run someone down at a full gallop.

Mount and Blade: Confession, I have not played Mount and Blade but I do know that it has a stalwart reputation for medieval strategies and tactics involving horses. This is more on the cavalry line, but I figured I’d throw it out there anyway.

Protector of the Small: I will probably always recommend these books, but yes for mounted combat and read for Peachblossom and the riding specifically. There is mounted combat in these books, especially in Squire. I’d read all of them though. They’re supernaturally intelligent, but Pierce does an excellent job nailing the body language and cues for the horses.

A Knight’s Tale: Is it jousting? Yes. Is it based on sports? Yes. However, I’ve found it’s come in handy when trying to write mounted combat sequences in the past for me and it might come in handy as a source of inspiration for you.

The Black Stallion: Is it dated? Yes. Yes, it is. But it’s a fun romp about a boy befriending a horse and outracing them all. It may give you ideas for friendship building between your characters and their steeds should you decide to go in that direction.

Reading anything by Marguerite Henry will also help with capturing the images of and developing personalities for your horses. I read these like a fiend in third grade, my copy of King of the Wind and Black Gold were falling apart by the end, but they still come in handy for imagery and description.

Conveying the feel can be as important, if not more so than getting all the technicalities right. Figuring out how to sell a horse in motion on a static page is tough, so it’s best to work with some great examples.

Here are some links:

Mounted Fencing: The mounted fencing category on Wikitenaur. These may be helpful to pointing toward different surviving manuals talking about fencing on horseback, there are some translations available like Fiore’s, however it may be less helpful without corresponding understanding of horses. It is a good place to get started though.

Mounted HEMA: A blog devoted entirely to HEMA on horseback, discussion of historical manuals and training guides for the horses. It’s worth noting that a lot of mounted combat is going to be similar to ground combat, so all that study you did with swords in regular HEMA will come in handy.

The Jousting Life: The Jousting Life is another blog devoted to following the sport of modern jousting which is slowly gaining popularity. They have useful glossaries and discussion of reviving the sport. There’s also suggestions of what horsemanship arts like dressage or polo that you could look at to help with your understanding of horses.

Scholagladitoria talking about the importance of reins.

As much as dressage itself might seem to be roundabout, the sport itself is actually descended from the kind of horsemanship and control you’d need for mounted combat. Looking at it will ultimately be more helpful to you than you might realize upfront. Stuff like this and this, while more specialized now than would’ve been then can be helpful for inspiring the imagination once you get yourself grounded in the basics.

Hopefully this will be helpful in getting you started. If anyone else has any good information, references, or just wants to share your favorite book on horses, please chime in either as a comment or a reblog.


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go hard at each other like we're going to war (part I)

Part 1 of a multi-chapter fic. I would like to let you know that this was supposed to be, at first, a smut fic - but now there’s a plot and no smut at all. I have no idea what happened there. 

Anyway, mm, this fic is… odd ? I hope you enjoy the fic even if the Darling Pan interaction seems minimal, for now. in case you couldn’t tell I’m nervous about this fic for a reason that evades me so please give me some feedback or something ? it’s got Wendy adventures a little so that’s fun stuff okay

I would call this a dark fic ? I’m so deep into Darling Pan that I don’t know what qualifies as dark anymore, but it’s not fluffy or light in the slightest, so read with caution, mmmkay ? fair warning Peter is a major douchecanoe

go hard at each other like we’re going to war 

Wendy Darling’s first stay in Neverland was a pure nightmare.

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anonymous asked:

I'm curious (as someone very much pro-SwanQueen), do you have/are you aware of any serious actual problems with Robin and Regina? Or is it more just that it's canon and mutually exclusive with SwanQueen?

Hey there, Nonnie.

That’s a pretty loaded question, so please forgive the length this will probably end up being. Also, I’m in mobile, so bear with any typos 👀

As I’ve noted before, I was excited for Regina to get a love interest. The woman deserves to be happy more than anything, and I was thrilled that they’d be giving that to her, even if it wasn’t with Emma. And then we met Robin. My issues with the acting aside (which, yeah, they do impact how I see his character, but ultimately have no impact on my dislike of the ship, because I love Regina enough to just want her to be happy… But not with someone who treats her the way RH does), some things stood out to me as problematic fairly quickly:

1. Having met in FTL, they did not mix. And , yeah, I know, neither did swan queen when they first met. The difference being that Emma and Regina slowly worked through their issues and grew together, whereas Robin and Regina went from “ew he’s disgusting and annoying and a waste of space” to “twoo wuv” within the span of, what, one episode? Because of a tattoo. Soulmate or not, I, as an audience member, need to see that they have more in common than being told they should shack up by a fairy, because that leads me on to…

2. Without the foundation of an organic growth to their relationship, Outlaw Queen started feeling a hell of a lot like a prison for Regina, much like her relationship with Leopold. She has to be with him, or she won’t be happy. How is that a healthy message? She shouldn’t feel pressured into a relationship with someone, even if the pressure comes from a magical source.

3. Again, their relationship lacks any growth and development, because once the tattoo was revealed, Regina had insta-heart eyes. But Regina, who has a regrettably low self-esteem, is terrified of losing her only chance of happiness (and here, I refer back to 2… How is that a healthy notion?!), so she doesn’t allow herself to fully be herself around Robin. You can tell that when she snaps at him in Lily, it’s the first time he’s seen her angry. He has never seen or personally interacted with her as the Evil Queen (s3 she might have been in her evil wardrobe, but she was still Henry’s mother Regina, not full-blown Evil Queen), and that creates a rather worrying lack of understanding of who she is on his side. Take Shattered Sight, for example. He tells her he’s not scared of her worst self - a very stupid thing only someone who’d never met or understood the Evil Queen would ever say. If Snow White and Prince Charming are locking themselves away to stop them from doing bad stuff, then you can bet that it’s a good idea to be scared of the Evil Queen being unleashed.

4. He feeds her low self-esteem. And this is where my real issues with this ship as it stands now, come in. I know and understand that he was put in a shitty position in s4. I’m not invalidating how hard it must have been, to consolidate having your wife suddenly come back into your life. What I cannot - will not - accept is the way he dealt with it. Pushing Regina away for Marian at first made sense. Marian was the mother of his child, that made sense and was reasonable. Yes, it hurt Regina, but there was also a sense of finality there. He’d be with Marian now, and work to rebuild his family. Except the second Marian was in a frozen coma, he fucked Regina. Not only was he cheating on his wife, making Regina The Other Woman, he also told her (not through words, but through actions… Again, remember, Regina thinks she deserves very little - if any at all - good things in life) that she was second best, little more than a replacement body for when his wife wasn’t around to fulfil his manly needs. And Regina laps it up, because she’s so desperate for any kind of love, and this man is supposed to be her happy ending, so she’ll take what little he gives her and be happy for it, because he’s her only chance at happiness. See how utterly, wholly unhealthy that notion is?
And it gets worse, because he then chooses Marian again. I’ve said this before: I know Marian had to leave town because of the whole frozen thing. But they had the scroll; there was nothing stopping Robin from visiting Marian one town over. He’d have gotten a divorce, and they could have arranged for visitation with Roland. It’s not like divorce isn’t a thing, it’s not that hard a concept to grasp. But no, not honourable Robin Hood. Honourable Robin Hood tells Regina he loves her, leaves her for his wife, deletes her contact from his phone and has sex with his wife (all within a few months since leaving the woman he “loves”? Really didn’t take him very long to get over Regina, did it?). And even when he finds out he’s been duped, and it’s been Zelena all along, he still picks her over Regina, looking at Regina like she’s a crazy, jealous ex. And all this feeds and feeds and FEEDS Regina’s insecurities. Because if her SOULMATE treats her like that, is it really any wonder that she has so much trouble accepting an honest attempt at friendship, or trusting someone who only wants to help her, with no agenda, no addendum, just because she cares? Suddenly her confusion over Emma’s sacrifice hurts even more, because she’s never had someone be so selfless in their love for her (and Henry doesn’t even count here, because she had to fight for that - and rightly so, she was in a bad place - and even then, I think she’s constantly scared that he’ll turn around and not love her anymore), so she doesn’t know how to cope. But this is not about Swan Queen, so I’ll stop there before I go off on a very long, very mushy tangent.

To sum it up: I don’t like Outlaw Queen because of what the ship has done to Regina. I don’t like Outlaw Queen because Robin’s brand of love isn’t a good, healthy love, especially not for Regina; it hinges on who’s available at the time, and he’s proven that he’s not too bothered who that is at any given time. He won’t fight for her, but lets life - and the easy way, always the easy way - dictate who gets his “love” (read: dick. Which, according to Zelena, ain’t even that impressive anyway) at any given time. And that, I cannot abide by.
Also, the retconning they had to do to fit him into the story made him look shady af. I know he’s probably not, but it looks it, so I also don’t trust him as far as I can throw him. I especially don’t trust him with Regina Mills’ heart.

Hope that answers your question :)

12x02 Thoughts

I actually… really enjoyed? a buckleming episode? how did this happen

Obviously, Thomas J Wright is fantastic so that helps a lot, and buckleming eps tend to do better when they have a solid director at the helm (Soul Survivor comes to mind).  But I think overall, they did a great job at expanding on the themes the Dabb started in 12x01.  Toni was legitimately terrifying, in part because of the gratuitous sex scene that buckleming are so fond of including in their episodes- in terms of themes, it was most similar to April and Cas in 9x03, but because Toni was more fleshed out as a character, and we had the knowledge beforehand that this was both Not Real and Not Good.  That created a really disturbing undertone that worked really well, a real element of horror to the scene actually.  (And once again I have to wonder what 9x03 might have been under a more competent director).

And on that note, the British MOL are even more terrifying this week than they were last week.  In part because Toni is clearly a loose cannon, hasn’t been given complete information (either because the British MOL don’t know the complete information, or because they chose not to share it with her), and yet she has a certain status and rank within the organization (whats-his-face calling her lady at the end was a clear indicator of that).  Because her information is so patchy and biased, and she’s so convinced of the righteousness of her cause, it’s a frightening parallel to some real life people who have lost sight of reason in their ideology.  The rest of the MOL, while not necessarily sharing her zeal to torture some hunters she doesn’t know, clearly share her attitude, and that’s a frightening thing.

Mary’s storyline continues to be one wonderful and heartbreaking moment after another.  Sam Smith brings so much youth to the role despite being in her late forties, so that every time she talks about being a mother you really have to see her as a young mother, one with just a four year old and a six month old.  She still has some of the naiveté she had the two instances the boys met her in the past.  Part of that is her idyllic image of John as a caring father and wonderful husband- which incidentally parallels the sainthood bestowed on her memory by her husband and sons.  In both cases, that ideal is about to be shattered by the truth of complex human beings.  Mary reads John’s journal, and in it she’ll see what Dean really meant when he said that John changed after she died; and over the course of the season, we’ll see who Mary really is, apart from just the woman who burned on the ceiling.

And oh, Dean and Mary, Sam and Mary, their family.  Sam never even really met Mary except for that one excursion to the seventies back in season 5.  His awkward eagerness around her is reminiscent of his awkwardness around Chuck last season- here, he’s meeting another sacred being who until this point had been beyond his grasp, except this time it isn’t God, it’s his mother.  There’s obviously a lot of negotiating the relationship between them, where Sam treats her like he’s still a child trying to do something for his mom, then switches to talking like they’re just two adult strangers, then switching back.  Mary also has trouble defining how she should act around her son who now towers over her- at least with Dean, she knew him for four years before she died, which is at least long enough for him to have a personality for her to recognize.  But Sam, she has no idea who he is as a person, not even the foundation of what he was like as a child, because the most you can say about a six month old is whether or not they slept through the night.  This negotiation is going to take most of the season, I think, and it seems like it’s going to keep on being compelling as hell.

Then of course, there’s Cas, who didn’t have much of a narrative role in this episode, but his interactions with Dean were very sweet.  It’s amusing at the very least to see Dean trying to get advice from the awkwardest person on the planet on how to act around his mother (which, Cas doesn’t even have a mother, it’s not like he’s an expert here).  In fact, Dean doesn’t seem too surprised when Cas’ advice is essentially “don’t fuck up?? I guess???” but rather fondly irritated except when Cas hangs up on him.  Along with the attack dog comment directed at Cas, this seems to be an indication that Cas is still misunderstanding what he is to Dean (and Sam, but lbr here), that he’s still stuck in guilt and the mindset that he is just a weapon, and expendable.  Whereas Dean is still so glad to have Cas back that he’s prolonging the conversation in order to open up emotionally to Cas as soon as he gets the chance.

Finally, there’s Lucifer.  Who has… plans, apparently, although I’m wondering if those plans are as specific as he says.  I love love love that they showed Lucifer courting Vince the same way we saw him courting Nick and then Sam, with the terrifying mixture of hellish omens and the peaceful apparitions of long dead loved ones (in nightgowns, as a note).  Not to be a ridiculous destiel shipper or anything, but I can’t help but squeal that Lucifer is once again appearing to those he’s fooling in the guise of the love of their life, because then I think of 11x11 and how Lucifer got information about Dean’s bond with Amara by giving Dean a soulful stare through Cas’ baby blues and Dean just spilled everything.  But anyway.

All in all, I really loved everything that was happening in this ep.  Maybe it’s because I went in expecting to be disappointed by the dreaded buckleming? or maybe Dabb’s just a good influence on them who knows.

anonymous asked:

I love Knockdown and have noticed you seem to love it a lot as well. Not sure exactly how to prompt this but interested in Kate's internal monologue at various points in the ep: 1) before she goes to Castle bc she trusts him; 2) later that night after the kiss. Basically, I'm wondering what she's willing to admit to herself she feels about him throughout the episode and what she might acknowledge she's avoiding. Loved "For All That You Are" a crazy amount!

(Cross-posted here and here)

She tosses her phone next to where she sits on the couch, the cushion muting its landing, and Kate is distracted by the echo of a weary voice for several seconds after the call has ended.

We need to talk about your mother’s case. There’s something you don’t know.

Detective John Raglan, the man she’d wanted to trust all those years ago, even if she could never quite find the strength to believe he’d get the job done. His declaration that her mom had been the victim of random gang violence had left a sour taste in her mouth then, and it’s only grown bitter with time.

Well, with time and the confirmation that there was nothing random about Johanna Beckett’s death.

There’s only an hour before she has to be at the coffee shop, so she squeezes her eyes shut and forces crime scene images from her head, hurrying to the shower to rinse away the sweat from her impromptu workout and the anxiety from too many unanswered questions. The scalding water easily bleeds into the tears she ignores, her heart aching with the realization that she shouldn’t involve her father yet, but unsure that she can do this alone.

Until she realizes she doesn’t have to.

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