Chainmail myths and the foibles of “historical testing”,
Chainmail armor is perhaps the most misunderstood type of armor in history, often viewed by people who don’t know much about ancient or medieval weapons as a low quality lesser form of armor. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth, and the reputation of chainmail has suffered as a result. Typically when one thinks of chainmail one thinks of Europe and the Middle Ages. In fact, chainmail has been used all over the world by many cultures and dates to ancient times, including civilizations such as the Ancient Celts (who possibly invented mail), Ancient Rome,Medieval Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan. Chainmail was even used by warriors in remote areas well into the 19th and early 20th century. Today chainmail is still in use, used by butchers and meatpackers to protect from accidental cuts, used in stab resistant vests employed by law enforcement, and even used by divers to protect against shark bites.
There are many reasons why chainmail is looked down upon by modern peoples uneducated on the effectiveness of ancient or medieval armor. Contributors include movies and video games. One common source which I feel contributes the most to the chainmail myth is modern “historical testing” of chainmail armor, often on TV shows such as on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, or the many Youtube videos on the subject. Typically what occurs in this testing is that a so called historian or expert will test a piece of replica chainmail against replica weapons. To the amazement of the viewer, the mail is sliced to smithereens with a sword, skewered like a kabob with spears, and pierced to death with arrows. To the uneducated viewer, it would seem that chainmail was a completely useless type of armor, and even the most reputable of sources makes similar claims, that chainmail was deficient and was not effective for protection. I can think of no better example than this clip from a History Channel show, the testing of which begins around 2:50.
There is a problem with the idea that chainmail was ineffective, and even basic reasoning and logic should expose that problem. After all, if chainmail was so ineffective, why did anyone bother to wear it into combat? Why did knights, nobles, and soldiers spend fortunes on chainmail when it was almost useless? Why would cultures across the world spanning thousands of years bother using it if it didn’t do its job of offering bodily protection?
The truth of the matter is that in reality, chainmail was exceedingly effective for its purpose, and in the cultures that it was used, in the time periods it was used, it was often among the best if not the very best option available. A warrior who went into battle wearing mail had a much greater advantage over opponents with lesser armor or no armor at all. So why do these “historical tests” often show it as being ineffective? First, it must be known that there are two basic types of historical chainmail, butted and riveted. There is a third type, welded mail, but this is mostly a modern creation that wasn’t used in history. Butted chainmail is a constructed out of wire bent into rings with the ends touching. The wire ends are abutting hence the name “butted” mail. There’s nothing fastening the two ends together, thus butted mail tends to be very weak and easy to damage.
The other common type is riveted chainmail. Riveted mail consists of metal rings that are fastened together with a metal pin or rivet. As a result, riveted mail is much stronger than butted mail, in fact it’s typically 10 to 15 times stronger. Generally speaking riveted mail also tends to have a denser weave using better quality materials.
Butted chainmail really only has one purpose; as costume armor. It is not meant to be used as real protective armor, and there are only a few examples throughout history of butted mail being used in combat. Soldiers, knights, and warriors throughout history almost always used riveted mail due to its strength. I cannot stress this point enough, butted mail is not real armor. It is cheap costume armor produced for collecting, LARPing, cosplay, trick or treating, or perhaps ceremonial purposes. It is not made to protect someone in combat. I should also note that in combat a suit of mail was typically not worn alone, but often worn with a padded jacket such as a gambeson. This not only added extra protection, but prevented chaffing and discomfort.
So in historical tests performed on TV or Youtube, what type of armor is most typically used? Well, whether its ignorance or because the producer bought a cheap piece of armor in order to save a few bucks, more likely than not butted mail will be used. Thus why such experiments often have terrible results.
Unfortunately there are few tests using actual chainmail armor with riveted links. However those few that do exist have a totally different story to tell and show just how effective chainmail really is.
In this video a person actually wears a suit of riveted mail while his friend stabs him with a knife.
I would suggest checking out some youtube channels such as skallagrim, the metatron, scholagladiatora, ThegnThrand, knyghterrynt, and shadiversity. They do a good job dispelling the many myths about ancient and medieval weapons and armor, as well as giving loads of quality historical information.
From The Wind’s Twelve Quarters: Short Stories
by Ursula Le Guin
With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the
city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The rigging of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In
the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens
and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved. Some were
decorous: old people in long stiff robes of mauve and grey, grave master workmen, quiet, merry
women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked. In other streets the music beat faster, a
shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance.
Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows’ crossing flights, over the
music and the singing. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the
great water-meadow called the Green’ Fields boys and girls, naked in the bright air, with mudstained
feet and ankles and long, lithe arms, exercised their restive horses before the race. The
horses wore no gear at all but a halter without bit. Their manes were braided with streamers of
silver, gold, and green. They flared their nostrils and pranced and boasted to one another; they
were vastly excited, the horse being the only animal who has adopted our ceremonies as his own.
Far off to the north and west the mountains stood up half encircling Omelas on her bay. The air
of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold
fire across the miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky. There was just enough wind to
make the banners that marked the racecourse snap and flutter now and then. In the silence of the
broad green meadows one could hear the music winding through the city streets, farther and
nearer and ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air that from time to time trembled
and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells.
I want to pay tribute to Sir Lancelot. We owe him a great debt. It is not just his deed we will never forget, it’s his courage, his compassion, his unselfish heart. He is the most noble knight I’ll ever know. He gave his life for all of us.
[As further supplement for my commoner campaign, An Ordinary Quest, I created a selection of backgrounds more fitting for a commoner character.]
[Notes: All backgrounds under the Laborer category share the same Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws. Curates share the Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws of an Acolyte. Guild Apprentices share the Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws of a Guild Artisan. Novices share the Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws of a Sage. Squires share the Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws of a Noble (Knight Variant).]
I've been thinking about this for a while, but how effective is full plate armour? Was it actually a good way to defend yourself?
Short Answer: Yes.
Here’s a general rule: People in the past were ignorant about a lot of things, but they weren’t stupid. If they used something, chances are they had a good reason. There are exceptions, but plate armor is not one of them.
For a type of armor, no matter what it is, to be considered effective, it has to meet three criteria.
The three criteria are: Economic Efficiency, Protectiveness, and Mobility.
1. Is it Economically Efficient?
Because of the nature of society in the Middle Ages, what with equipment being largely bring-it-yourself when it came to anybody besides arrowfodder infantry who’d been given one week of training, economic efficiency was a problem for the first couple of decades after plate armor was introduced in France in the 1360s. It wasn’t easy to make, and there wasn’t really a ‘science’ to it yet, so only the wealthiest of French soldiers, meaning knights and above, had it; unless of course somebody stole it off a dead French noble. The Hundred Years War was in full swing at the time, and the French were losing badly to the English and their powerful longbows, so there were plenty of dead French nobles and knights to go around. That plate armor was not very economically efficient for you unless you were a rich man, though, it also was not exactly what we would call “full” plate armor.
Above: Early plate armor, like that used by knights and above during the later 1300s and early 1400s.
Above: Two examples of what most people mean when they say “full” plate armor, which would have been seen in the mid to late 1400s and early 1500s.
Disclaimer: These are just examples. No two suits of armor were the same because they weren’t mass-produced, and there was not really a year when everybody decided to all switch to the next evolution of plate armor. In fact it would not be improbably to see all three of these suits on the same battlefield, as expensive armor was often passed down from father to son and used for many decades.
Just like any new technology, however, as production methods improved, the product got cheaper.
Above: The Battle of Barnet, 1471, in which everybody had plate armor because it’s affordable by then.
So if we’re talking about the mid to late 1400s, which is when our modern image of the “knight in shining armor” sort of comes from, then yes, “full” plate armor is economically efficient. It still wasn’t cheap, but neither are modern day cars, and yet they’re everywhere. Also similar to cars, plate armor is durable enough to be passed down in families for generations, and after the Hundred Years War ended in 1453, there was a lot of used military equipment on sale for cheap.
2. Is it Protective?
This is a hard question to answer, particularly because no armor is perfect, and as soon as a new, seemingly ‘perfect’ type of armor appears, weapons and techniques adapt to kill the wearer anyway, and the other way around. Early plate armor was invented as a response to the extreme armor-piercing ability of the English longbow, the armor-piercing ability of a new kind of crossbow, and advancements in arrowhead technology.
Above: The old kind of arrowhead, ineffective against most armor.
Above: The new kind of arrowhead, very effective at piercing chainmaille and able to pierce plate armor if launched with enough power.
Above: An arrow shot from a “short” bow with the armor-piercing tip(I think it’s called a bodkin tip) piercing a shirt of chainmaille. However, the target likely would have survived since soldiers wore protective layers of padding underneath their armor, so if the arrow penetrated skin at all, it wasn’t deep. That’s Terry Jones in the background.
Above: A crossbow bolt with the armor piercing tip penetrating deep through the same shirt of chainmaille. The target would likely not survive.
Above: A crossbow bolt from the same crossbow glancing off a breastplate, demonstrating that it was in fact an improvement over wearing just chainmaille.
Unfortunately it didn’t help at all against the powerful English longbows at close range, but credit to the French for trying. It did at least help against weaker bows.
Now for melee weapons.
It didn’t take long for weapons to evolve to fight this new armor, but rarely was it by way of piercing through it. It was really more so that the same weapons were now being used in new ways to get around the armor.
Above: It’s a popular myth that Medieval swords were dull, but they still couldn’t cut through plate armor, nor could they thrust through it. Your weapon would break before the armor would. Most straight swords could, however, thrust through chainmaille and anything weaker.
There were three general answers to this problem:
1. Be more precise, and thrust through the weak points.
Above: The weak points of a suit of armor. Most of these points would have been covered by chainmaille, leather, thick cloth, or all three, but a sword can thrust through all three so it doesn’t matter.
To achieve the kind of thrusting accuracy needed to penetrate these small gaps, knights would often grip the blade of their sword with one hand and keep the other hand on the grip. This technique was called “half-swording”, and you could lose a finger if you don’t do it right, so don’t try it at home unless you have a thick leather glove to protect you, as most knights did, but it can also be done bare-handed.
Above: Examples of half-swording.
2.Just hit the armor so fucking hard that the force carries through and potentially breaks bones underneath.
Specialty weapons were made for this, but we’ll get to them in a minute. For now I’m still focusing on swords because I like how versatile the European longsword is.
Above: A longsword. They’re made for two-handed use, but they’re light enough to be used effectively in one hand if you’d like to have a shield or your other arm has been injured. Longswords are typically about 75% of the height of their wielders.
Assuming you’re holding the sword pointing towards the sky, the part just above the grip is called the crossguard, and the part just below the grip is called the pommel. If you hold the sword upside-down by the blade, using the same careful gripping techniques as with half-swording, you can strike with either the crossguard or the pommel, effectively turning the sword into a warhammer. This technique was called the Murder Stroke, and direct hits could easily dent plate armor, and leave the man inside bruised, concussed, or with a broken bone.
Above: The Murder Stroke as seen in a Medieval swordfighting manual.
Regular maces, hammers, and other blunt weapons were equally effective if you could get a hard enough hit in without leaving yourself open, but they all suffered from part of the plate armor’s intelligent design. Nearly every part of it was smooth and/or rounded, meaning that it’s very easy for blows to ‘slide’ off, which wastes a lot of their power. This makes it very hard to get a ‘direct’ hit.
Here come the specialized weapons to save the day.
Above: A lucerne, or claw hammer. It’s just one of the specialized weapons, but it encompasses all their shared traits so I’m going to only list it.
These could be one-handed, two-handed, or long polearms, but the general idea was the same. Either crack bones beneath armor with the left part, or penetrate plate armor with the right part. The left part has four ‘prongs’ so that it can ‘grip’ smooth plate armor and keep its force when it hits without glancing off. On the right side it as a super sturdy ‘pick’, which is about the only thing that can penetrate the plate armor itself. On top it has a sharp tip that’s useful for fighting more lightly armored opponents.
3. Force them to the ground and stab them through the visor with a dagger.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Many conflicts between two armored knights would turn into a wrestling match. Whoever could get the other on the ground had a huge advantage, and could finish his opponent, or force him to surrender, with a dagger.
By now you might be thinking “Dang, full plate armor has a lot of weaknesses, so how can it be called good armor?”
The answer is because, like all armor is supposed to do, it minimizes your target area. If armor is such that your enemy either needs to risk cutting their fingers to target extremely small weak points, bring a specialized weapons designed specifically for your armor, or wrestle you to the ground to defeat you, that’s some damn good armor. So yes, it will protect you pretty well.
Above: The red areas represent the weak points of a man not wearing armor.
Also, before I move on to Mobility, I’m going to talk briefly about a pet-peeve of mine: Boob-plates.
If you’re writing a fantasy book, movie, or video game, and you want it to be realistically themed, don’t give the women boob-shaped armor. It wasn’t done historically even in the few cases when women wore plate armor, and that’s because it isn’t as protective as a smooth, rounded breastplate like you see men wearing. A hit with any weapon between the two ‘boobs’ will hit with its full force rather than glancing off, and that’ll hurt. If you’re not going for a realistic feel, then do whatever you want. Just my advice.
Above: Joan of Arc, wearing properly protective armor.
An exception to this is in ancient times. Female gladiators sometimes wore boob-shaped armor because that was for entertainment and nobody cared if they lived or died. Same with male gladiators. There was also armor shaped like male chests in ancient times, but because men are more flat-chested than women, this caused less of a problem. Smooth, rounded breastplates are still superior, though.
3. Does it allow the wearer to keep his or her freedom of movement?
Okay, I’ve been writing this for like four hours, so thankfully this is the simplest question to answer. There’s a modern myth that plate armor weighed like 700 lbs, and that knights could barely move in it at all, but that isn’t true. On a suit of plate armor from the mid to late 1400s or early 1500s, all the joints are hinged in such a way that they don’t impede your movement very much at all.
The whole suit, including every individual plate, the chainmaille underneath the plates, the thick cloth or leather underneath the chainmaille, and your clothes and underwear all together usually weighed about 45-55 lbs, and because the weight was distributed evenly across your whole body, you’d hardly feel the weight at all. Much heavier suits of armor that did effectively ‘lock’ the wearer in place did exist, but they never saw battlefield use. Instead, they were for showing off at parades and for jousting. Jousting armor was always heavier, thicker, and more stiffly jointed than battlefield armor because the knight only needed to move certain parts of his body, plus being thrown off a horse by a lance–even a wooden one that’s not meant to kill–has a very, very high risk of injury.
Here’s a bunch of .gifs of a guy demonstrating that you can move pretty freely in plate armor.
Above: Can you move in it? Yes.
Here are links to the videos that I made these .gifs from:
Because noir isn’t really a new thing at all. It’s just a fairy tale with guns. Your hardscrabble detective is nothing more than a noble knight with a cigarette and a disease where his heart should be. He talks prettier, that’s all. He’s no less idealistic—there’re good women and bad women, good jobs and bad jobs. Justice and truth are always worth seeking. He pulls his fedora down like the visor on a suit of armour. He serves his lord faithfully whether he wants to or not. And he is in thrall to the idea of a woman. It’s just that in detective stories, women are usually dead before the curtain goes up. In fairy tales, they’re usually alive.
Do you think it was necessary for Jaime to kill Aerys? He already stopped the Wildfire plot from happening. Couldn't Jaime have held Aerys captive until his Father's army arrived at the Red Keep?
Given that Aerys was a frail old man and Jaime was in the prime of health, I think that barring Aerys slipping and falling on the Iron Throne, Jaime could have secured him.
Jaime, however, has a lot of personal stake in killing Aerys. Remember what Jaime says: “It was that white cloak that sullied me, not the other way around.” Jaime despises Aerys for all the terrible orders that he gave and that the Kingsguard obeyed. Jaime had viewed the Kingsguard as a high honor, the fulfillment of boyhood dreams, and instead, Aerys had sadistically murdered people and forced Jaime to watch, crushing his desire to be a great and noble knight. When Jaime saw Aerys, he saw the embodiment of the person that made him into the sullied knight that he was, the one who did nothing when Aerys brutalized his wife, when Brandon Stark strangled himself to death in a vain attempt to save his father, when he ordered the city and all the people in it to be burned to death.
Don’t discount the effect that the murders of Rickard and Brandon had on Jaime. Brandon had sought out Rhaegar for the abduction of Lyanna, and Jaime likely saw in Brandon the same man that he would have been had Rhaegar abducted Cersei. Jaime also knew that Aerys could have easily ordered Jaime himself to stand as his champion in Rickard’s trial by combat. Rickard by this point was at least in his thirties if not older and Jaime was young and one of the most supremely skilled swordsmen in Westeros; the trial would have been a moot point, but Aerys instead ordered Rickard burned, and again, Jaime is forced to watch as Aerys burns Rickard and Jaime gets stained again. When Tywin attacks King’s Landing, Jaime knows it’s the end, but here was Aerys, the man Jaime holds responsible for his fall, and believes that now, for once, he can act the way he believes a knight should, and kill a monster willing to butcher a city of half a million.
Of course, that creates problems, but for Jaime at least, it was viscerally satisfying.
Pairing: Zevran x Female Amell Rating: NSFW Summary: Solona believes she’s unattractive. Zevran vehemently disagrees. And what’s more, he knows exactly how to prove it. (Did I finally finish my ancient Kink Meme WIP? Why yes, yes I did.)
“Ah, there you are, my dear. I was beginning to think you were hiding from me.”
“Not at all,” Solona lied, unable to contain a disappointed sigh as she closed her book and lifted her gaze to the assassin sauntering toward her, already mourning the pleasant evening that could have been.
They’d been staying at Castle Redcliffe while the Arl made his preparations for the trip to Denerim, and though her companions were getting more restless by the day, Solona was rather enjoying it. It wasn’t that she hated camping—well, no, she did hate it, actually, which was why it was so nice to finally be indoors again, where it was warm and dry and blessedly free of insects, with real food, a proper bed, and plenty of light to read by.
And yes, more places to hide from Zevran.
It wasn’t that she hated him, either. Indeed, she rather liked him when he was slicing up darkspawn, engaged in meaningful conversation, or joking with the rest of the party. She imagined they could have been very good friends if he took slightly less amusement in playing at seducing her.
Or if she didn’t wish so desperately that he weren’t playing.
For a few precious hours she’d dared to believe he was serious. No one had ever flirted with her before, and he was so handsome, and yes, he’d tried to kill her, but she’d been more than willing to forgive that particular offense if it meant she would no longer have to resign herself to the overwhelming likelihood of dying a virgin (she knew how pathetic that sounded, but there was a bloody Blight going on, and beggars couldn’t afford to be choosers). But then he’d started flirting with everyone else, and Solona had understood.
He wasn’t interested in her. He just liked flirting.
She couldn’t believe she’d ever been foolish enough to believe otherwise. She knew what she looked like. She was chubby, no taller than an elf, could not so much as look at a sunny day without sprouting a dozen new freckles, and had an unruly mane of not-quite-brown, not-quite-blond hair that stuck out at odd angles even when she wound it tightly into a bun. She’d been a laughably easy target back at Kinloch Hold, and that was even before her twenty-first birthday had come and gone, granting her the dubious honor of being the oldest virgin in the Circle and earning her the horrid nickname ‘Saint Solona’ as though her continued chastity were born of some prudishness of her own rather than everyone else’s refusal to have sex with her.
No one had ever fancied her. It was absurd to think anyone ever could.
Well, no—that wasn’t entirely true. Cullen had fancied her. But he hadn’t bothered to tell her so until it was far too late for them to do anything about it, and after what had happened during Uldred’s rebellion…
No. It didn’t bear thinking on. It was done now, and there was no use in regretting the things she couldn’t change. Like the inevitability of dying alone and untouched, the crueler part of her mind supplied helpfully.
She scowled, suddenly in even less of a mood for Zevran’s nonsense.
In the grand scheme of things, his teasing was probably was a stupid thing to be bothered by. However much it felt like he was deliberately taunting her, she knew he was just having a laugh and that it was ultimately nothing personal. And yet, despite constantly reminding herself of precisely that, the playful mockery never failed get a rise out of her, which only encouraged him to do it more frequently.
Much more frequently. While originally he’d flirted indiscriminately with the entire party, he’d been focusing solely on her for months now, to the point where it seemed that half of their interactions ended with her stomping off in frustration. It wasn’t a tendency she was proud of, and lately she’d begun to resort to simply avoiding him.
Or not so simply. Avoiding someone was actually stunningly difficult when you shared a camp.
Apparently, Zevran was keen to make it just as difficult in Redcliffe.
Okay, so everyone’s done their take on this at least once, and you know what, it’s fun to do, so I’m gonna throw out my own version of this. Here is my take on the classic 3x3 DnD Alignment Grid!
First, let’s get some key terms defined.
Lawful - To me, lawful just means that the character follows a clear and codified set of objective standards. A list of things they ideally will or won’t do, and a standard for behavior. This code can be broken, but it will feel wrong to that character, and they will be upset when they are put into a situation where they must violate one of their standards. Lawful may give too strong a sense of “Law” being the driving force. I think “Principled” would be the better choice.
Chaotic - To me, Chaotic is not ‘lol so randumb’. It’s the antithesis of Lawful. Where a lawful character has an ideal standard they strive to conform to, a chaotic character has no such high standard for themselves. They only have their goals and philosophy. In fact, a chaotic character sees standards, rules, and other strictures as impediments. Chaotics won’t break rules for the sake of breaking them, necessarily. They just don’t care for such things and aren’t going to even consider them while making their choices. They act more on primal sensation than logic, making “Instinctive” a good alternate term.
Good - I find this and its counterparts, Neutral and Evil, to be misnomers. Good isn’t always ‘goody 2-shoes’ or ‘FOR THE GREATER GOOD’. Let’s be honest, a kingdom ruled by a caste of Lawful Good Paladins isn’t going to be a very happy place for long. Additionally, a Good Paladin may not think twice about cutting down a tree, but a Good Druid might very strongly object to that, and consider it Evil… or at least worthy of a good lecture. So I think Good would better be called Selfless. A Selfless character will always make decisions with the consequences to other people or things in mind. What those other things are will vary by the character, but they all want to avoid collateral consequences that would hurt others.
Evil - Now, you might be expecting me to ask what the opposite of Selfless is and then apply it to evil, but I don’t think that fits. When I look at classic examples of Evil characters, they share basically one thing in common: they aren’t necessarily the antagonists and villains of the story, but they all strive for domination and control. Of others, of their environment, of their kingdom, of other people: They want to be in control. So I feel Dominant is the better descriptor. Their driving motive is to gain power and control for its own sake.
Neutral - Ah yes. Nestled between Selfless (Good) and Dominant (Evil) is this little slice of ambiguity that often has a horrible reputation for being mind-numbingly bland or pure off-the-wall bonkers. Both of these misrepresent what I find to be one of the more compelling alignment sets. Neutral is, again, a poor choice of word, in my opinion; especially juxtaposed against Selfless and Dominant. What are Neutral characters after? If they’re not looking out for other people (Good/Selfless) or trying to take control (Evil/Dominant), what are they doing? Well.. they’re looking after themselves, and/or after a very select and small group of people. They are Selfish. Not necessarily in the negative sense, just that their frame of reference is their own well-being. They don’t necessarily care about collateral, and they really don’t want to impose on other people either. They will act for their own satisfaction, whether that be financial, emotional, spiritual, whatever.
So, with those terms out of the way, let’s ACTUALLY do the 9 alignments and give you a taste of how I see them.
PRINCIPLED SELFLESS - (Lawful Good) This is the home of the Noble Knight, the Holy Paladin, the benevolent King, the beleaguered Town Mayor, the Hunter watching over the sleepy village during the night, the Girl who puts herself between the victim and the bully’s fist, the young patriotic Soldier on the front lines. These men and women hold themselves to a standard of action and behavior, and are always thinking about the well-being of others, even to the point of putting themselves in harms way to secure it. Whatever their source of values, it puts a high priority on defending others and they are uncomfortable with, if not downright hostile to, the idea of acting outside of their principles, as they feel that doing so may actually hurt others around them, or make them no better than the ones they’re trying to stop.
PRAGMATIC SELFLESS - (Neutral Good) This is the Town Medic, doing all they can within the limits of their knowledge, but knowing that some injuries just aren’t worth treating when supplies are limited. It hurts, but it’s necessary, and they are comfortable with shouldering that burden. It’s the Upstanding Citizen, who knows they can’t face the threat themselves, but will scramble to make sure the authorities know what’s happening. This class of character will do everything they can reasonably be expected to do to protect those around them, even bend some rules or take a blow to their principles if it means getting results. But they’re not going to overextend themselves when all that’s going to do is hurt them.
INSTINCTIVE SELFLESS - (Chaotic Good) This is woodland Ranger who poaches to feed the orphanage; the grizzled Bounty Hunter who kills his targets in cold blood to stop them from repeating their crimes; the Royal Assassin who kills the enemy general before his invasion plans come to fruition. These characters just want to help. Screw the rules, screw anything that stands between them and helping, they’re going to make sure other people are secure by any means necessary, and they will fight to correct anything they see as threatening other people, even if that threat comes from seemingly noble sources.
PRINCIPLED SELFISH - (Lawful Neutral) This is the Merchant plying his trade in the capitol; the Blacksmith who refuses to do business with cutthroats because it would spoil his reputation; the Mercenary who keeps a blacklist of persons or organizations he won’t work for. Characters in this bracket are in it for themselves, but they have standards. There’s a list of things they most definitely will not do, and are very reliable and trustworthy because of it. While this might put them in a bind, where their well-being may suffer due to their principles, they will staunchly adhere to them, or grimace bitterly if forced to cross those lines.
Like all Selfish types, it’s not that they won’t protect others or try to gain control, but they won’t do it to their own detriment.
PRAGMATIC SELFISH - (True Neutral) This classification is often misrepresented as being boring. However, characters in this bracket are purely self-driven and that means this is a very unstable alignment. Keeping a character purely Pragmatic Selfish is hard. They have to frame everything in terms of how it will benefit or hurt them. They’ll do whatever they reasonably can to promote their own well-being, and willingly swallow some bitter pills to do it, but they’re not going to stick their neck out too far. This means they’re easily pulled along into other alignments based events around them, but this also gives characters starting in this classification the largest room for growth and the coolest potential stories. Like all Selfish types, it’s not that they won’t protect others or try to gain control, but they won’t do it to their own detriment.
INSTINCTIVE SELFISH - (Chaotic Neutral) These people will do anything in service to their own well being. They don’t want control, and they don’t care about collateral, all they want is their own security and happiness. The Sellsword who will fight for whoever is the highest bidder, the citizen who refuses to share his food with his starving neighbors out of fear of starving himself, the streetrat who steals to survive, the Deserter who flees the battlefield when he realizes the battle is lost. These people have a finely honed sense of self-preservation, making them great allies if you can convince them that working with you is in their best interest. But if you haven’t fully convinced them, they will just as easily abandon you.
Like all Selfish types, it’s not that they won’t protect others or try to gain control, but they won’t do it to their own detriment.
PRINCIPLED DOMINANT - (Lawful Evil) These are your Moguls, who play by the rules as they consolidate control of a market. The Paladin who’s stopped caring about others and is only in it for the authority it brings. The mediocre King who manages to keep his people content, but really is only in it for the privileges of the Monarchy. Characters in this category relish the sense of power they have and thirst for more. But they’ve got principles, and there are lines they won’t cross. Sure, they can be controlling assholes, but they stay in line and play by the book. At least, by whatever book they’ve elected to use as their rules.
PRAGMATIC DOMINANT - (Neutral Evil) You could also call these guys ‘Lazy Dominant’. They want power, and they want to keep accumulating it for themselves more and more, but they’re not going to get over-excited about it. It’s the corrupt Sheriff who just enjoys skimming the coffers every so often, the Commander who waits for a superior to make a mistake before trying to take his seat. They’ll slowly, patiently accumulate power and influence for its own sake, using some dubious methods, but nothing so radical as to be called ‘grasping’. They’re more… opportunists than anything else.
INSTINCTIVE DOMINANT - (Chaotic Evil) These guys just like flaunting the fact they’re in control. They will get up in your face with that, and they will definitely have the power to back them up. They like seeing other people bow or kowtow to their whims, and will take ample opportunities to demonstrate their power. In short, these guys are assholes, and they love being assholes. The problem is that if they’ve been doing it for any decent length of time, it usually means they have the power to justify their power plays. And they’re always on the lookout for ways to get more power, by any means they can devise.
So, there we go, my own personal take on the old RPG meme. Is this useful, probably not. Was it fun to write? Hell yeah! And being of Principled Selfish nature, that’s all that matters to me :P
As pointed out by @purgatoryandme the imagery here is of Amon’s face being uncovered like the lower half of a knight’s mask being taken off, while at the same time Takizawa’s face is being covered up by his Kakuja mask taking that same knight helmet like shape.
It’s a vivid image for sure, but what exactly does this mean, along with all the other knight imagery that has been quite common in Tokyo Ghoul, and what does it mean for the characters this imagery gets associated with?
As the sun dipped its sleepy head below the mountains, the final rays of sunlight slipped in through the western window of Link’s Hateno home and fell upon the opposing wall. The pinks and oranges of the sunset danced along the glass in such a way that reminded Zelda of a fire. Not a fire of destruction or burns, but one of cooking and glowing embers under starlight. After 100 years, she had learned to enjoy the warmth that fire brought again, though that was mainly Link’s doing. He had shown her what it was to be alive again; truly alive. After the fall of Calamity Ganon, they had decided that while adventuring the land to piece the kingdom back together was the ultimate goal, Link’s house in Hateno would serve as a home base of sorts during periods of downtime. It was a bit awkward at first, as the house was not that large and didn’t permit much privacy, but after a while the two realized that living together provided a certain kind of harmony. During the nights when Zelda’s dreams grew dark and smothered her with terrifying visions of her failures, she could always count on Link to beat away the nightmares with comforting arms and soft words. Similarly, the one person Link had ever confided his deepest secrets to was once again at his side, someone who was willing to end her royal life in order to preserve his. Link had never known such love, nor had the princess. They fit together like two pieces of a puzzle.
“Gracious, how late the sun stays out now, it’s nearly 8 o’clock,” said Zelda, watching the last of the light leave the horizon. She hopped down from her perch on the windowsill onto the top stair and subsequently descended into the living room area. There, Link was reading a book of recipes, his brow furrowed in concentration. Goddess divine, how sweet he looks, thought Zelda, taking a seat at the dining table. It wasn’t much of a secret that she cared for her noble knight, but now as they lived together, she didn’t dare make a move. The possibility that he didn’t care for her in such a way consumed her and prevented her from showing her true colors. She could be in love with him, but only in her mind
“Got any ideas for supper?” Zelda mused. Link looked up from his book, smiling slightly and eyes glinting. He nodded and flipped the book to show her. It did indeed look delicious.
“I want to try this,” he said, “but I need a couple of specific things.” Zelda frowned a bit.
“Can we not substitute?” she asked. Link shook his head.
“Not really. Goat meat is much more tender than beef. I’ll have to go hunt some and grab a few other ingredients too.” Zelda bit her lip.
“It’s… getting rather late… aren’t you worried about nocturnal beasts?” Link gave a small chuckle.
“I have fought through beasts of unimaginable power, climbed the tallest peaks in the land, and defeated the greatest evil ever known,” Link smiled, “I think I can handle myself.” Link stood and began to gather his gear, humming quietly to himself. Although Zelda knew he was right, she couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous. Then again, she was always nervous.
Putting on his coat, Link went to open the door but turned.
“I should be back within an hour,” he reassured, sensing her worry.
“Please be careful,” Zelda reminded. He smiled, nodded, and just above a whisper said “As you wish.” Then he was gone, and the house was quiet.
Zelda did the best she could to keep herself occupied, but in complete honesty, hated every second of being alone. She had been alone for 100 years, that was enough for 1000 lifetimes. But as long as she was with Link, perhaps they’d all be worth it. Glancing at the clock, Zelda noticed it had barely been 10 minutes. She groaned. Perhaps a quick nap could pass the time faster, she thought as spread herself out on her bed. It had been Link’s, but after he defeated Ganon, he gave it up and slept on mat. The boy was too kind to her. Snuggling into the blankets, she yawned. It had been a long day of adventuring and cataloging, and she began to feel sleep tug at her eyelids. As much as she wanted to wait for Link, she couldn’t fight the force that made her drowsier and drowsier and made he world darker and darker…
Zelda was shaken from her sleep by a loud THUMP on the door. Glancing wildly at the clock, she saw to her horror that 3 hours had gone by, and Link was nowhere in sight. There was another pound on the door and Zelda stifled a scream with her hand. But if Link was not there, she’d have to defend herself. She raced down the stairs silently and grabbed a thin sword off the wall where it was decoratively hung. Creeping slowly towards the door, a third BAM sounded on the wood, and Zelda shut her eyes and held out the sword.
“Don’t you dare come another step closer! I… I’m well armed! And I know how to defend myself!” She called out to the assailant. For a moment it was silent, and she believed whoever it was had scampered away. She sighed in relief. Suddenly, a final blow to the door sent the lock mechanism flying and the door swung madly open. Zelda shrieked, but it was a short lived fear. Her blood quickly turned to ice when she saw Link, bloody and bruised, at her feet.
“Link! Dear Hylia!” she dropped to her knees, cradling his soaked torso. She could see clearly now that his chest had been slashed and he looked as if he fallen from a great height. She let out another yelp and pressed her face to his shoulder.
“Hylia, please, not now….not again,” she whimpered through her tears. Link flinched and Zelda snapped back up, holding his head in her lap.
“It’s okay, Princess. Just a nasty fall,” Link said woozily. Zelda set him down gently and ran to the cupboard, grabbing as many healing elixirs as she could carry. Dropping once again by his side, Zelda tilted his head up and opened a bottle.
“Drink this. It’ll be okay. You’re going to be okay,” Zelda assured, half to him and half to herself. He swallowed as much as he could and dropped his head back to the wood floor.
“This might hurt a bit…” she said, gather healing ointment and rubbing it onto his chest. Link’s back arched and he cried out in pain. Zelda felt a few more tears roll down her cheeks. She retracted her hands from under his shirt, helped him drink the rest, and sat on her knees quietly. He was unconscious. The only think she could really do now was wait. She had done everything a doctor would have been able to. Closing her eyes, she clasped her hands together in prayer. Zelda would not lose her hero twice.
After a few minutes, she felt Link stir again and Zelda looked down. Although he was still battered and bloody, the wounds were slowly patching themselves up. It wasn’t a miracle cure, but it would save his life, at least. Zelda let out a shaky cry of relief. Link turned his head to look at her, smiling slightly.
“See, I told you I’d be okay,” he teased. Pulling himself up, he managed to lean with his back against the wall. Zelda guided him, ready for another fainting spell. She brushed the dirt off his face and ran her fingers through his hair, noticing how his blue eyes still shone like stars.
“You’re a complete bastard. You know that? A complete bastard,” she cried, leaning her face again into his shoulder. She felt his hand reach up and stroke her hair gently.
“Don’t worry, love, it’ll be alright. You saved me,” he whispered. Her heart stopped and Zelda pulled away slowly to look him in the eyes again, wordless. He smiled again, his eyes filled with such comfort and… love. Yes, love. Goddesses divine, please forgive me, she thought as her heart fluttered. It was all over. Zelda took his face tenderly in her hands and brought it to hers, kissing him gently. He returned the affection, running his fingers through her hair soothingly. Zelda felt as though she was the one with a gash in her chest, and after a moment, she parted, breathless. Pressing her forehead to his, she leaned into his hand upon her face.
“I almost lost you once. Please don’t make me go through that again,” she whispered hoarsely. Link smiled.
“I promise you, Zelda, you’ll never lose me.” And with that, he lifted his face to kiss her again, something he had wanted to do for a very long time
How do I order dice from Chessex? I'm trying to order the green and gold ones you posted recently, but I can't find a link to put them in my cart or anything. ;-;
The short version: you don’t unless there’s no other option. Ordering from Chessex is a pain, you have to email back and forth, definitely just skip it if possible. Instead, try your local game shop, or if you don’t have one of those, an online retailer! My favorites are TDSO, Noble Knight Games, Dark Elf Dice, and Ebay.
What time is it? Au time! So this idea sort of popped it’s way into my head while binge watching fantasy shows on Netflix.
So it’d take place in this magical, kingdom medievalish place with wizards and royalty and all that good shit. Here’s how I think the characters would be.
America: Alright, what if Alfred was the cocky, arrogant prince who thinks he’s top shit but is actually really afraid of letting people down and has all this responsibility thrown on him since he’s going to be king one day. He acts cocky to hide the fact that he’s actually really scared. He loves his kingdom and would do anything for his people and grows into a better leader as he grows up. He jokes around a lot and has a pretty good sense of humour, and he hates seeing people get hurt on his account.
Denmark: I really want to see Alfred, Matthias and Gilbert as some knight trio who all kick ass but are all huge dorks. Matthias is like the biggest dork out of all of them. He trained to be a knight after living in a northern kingdom for his whole life, he wasn’t born noble like most Knights, he earned it through skill and bravery. He’s a big oaf and tries to get everyone to laugh and just overall have a good time, always the one to lighten the mood but you don’t want to get on his bad side cause he will kick your ass, he’s not one of the top knights for no reason.
Prussia: The last of the knight trio, I want Gilbert to be like that cool, dark knight sort of guy who also thinks he’s top shit but is actually just really lonely and wants friends. He grew up in a noble family and was raised with strict rules of who he can be friends with and who he can’t, and that its Everyman for himself. After Alfred recruits him he realizes the value of working in a team and loves his friends andalsomaybemattiebutshhh.
Canada: I want Matthew to be Alfred’s servant who is pretty much his best friend and who Alfred always comes to for advice. At first, Matthew thinks he’s an arrogant prick and Alfred thinks he’s a wimpy loser but eventually the two grow to be really close. Matthew does all his shit for him and though Alfred pretends he doesn’t appreciate it, he really values Matt and is very protective over him. Also maybe Matthew is secretly his brother, his mother had an affair and if the king knew, he’d sentence both the queen and Matthew to death, so she doesn’t say anything.
England: Arthur is the Prince of the neighbouring kingdom to Alfred’s. Alfred grew up close to Arthur, being the only one he could trust before Matthew and the Knights. Arthur hates the thought of marriage and wasting his time with love. He’s secretly a sorcerer and is very talented in magic. He keeps it hidden because most people believe magic is a silly thing, and is unfitting for a prince.
France: A rich noblemen who is in an arranged marriage with Arthur. At first neither have any interest in each other. Francis is seen as a high honoured, King suck up and Arthur disapproves of him. Francis doesn’t want to be tied down by marriage so he ignores Arthur. He’s actually very sneaky and uses his charisma to help get information for the group. He’s super flirty and all the girls love him. He hits on basically everyone in the castle. He also very smart and knows how to read people well. Eventually him and Arthur warm up to each other.
Norway: I couldn’t not add him. Okay so what if Lukas was some closed off sorcerer who owned a magic shop in the kingdom. Matthias doesn’t know shit about magic, but he loves hearing Lukas talk about the things he passionate about. He’s very talented at taking care of magical creatures and eventually gets a place in the castle as a care taker for creatures. Him and Matthias are childhood friends from the northern kingdom who met each other again.
Hungary: Elizabeta is another servant at the castle, mostly taking care of the Queen. She has always wanted to be a knight but was restricted by gender. She’s very skilled in fighting and teaches Matthew how to fight when they’re both hanging around the castle. She once kicked Gil’s ass, even though he denies it. She’s the mom of the castle and even though she’s a servant, half the castle is scared of her.
Russia: I want Ivan to be a dark wizard from a different kingdom who at first everyone is afraid of, and thinks he’s trying to take over the kingdom, but he’s actually undercover hiding from his sister (Belarus) who is one of the most notorious dark wizards. He and Alfred hate each other and first and fight constantly due to their different views, Ivan grew up as a peasant so he hates how snobby Alfred is.
Belarus: Okay, I know this is over used to make Natalia the bad guy, but she’d make a badass villain. I want her to be like one of the darkest wizards who even though she’s young, every one is afraid of. Thing is she isn’t looking for power or things to take over, she’s looking for her brother because she wants her family to be reunited again, and she’s willing to do anything to do that.
Ukraine: What if Irina gave up on magic along time ago, after Ivan left the family and was now a baker in the village. She makes the money to support Natalia but doesn’t actually use her magic very often, unless she has to, and when she does, all hell breaks loose.
Japan: Mostly because I’m ameripan trash but what if Kiku was the emperor’s son. He’s in an arranged marriage with Alfred, and at first Alfred tries to get him to fall for him with gifts and flowers but kiku’s not interested. He’s more fascinated with the culture of the kingdom. Alfred really likes him because he’s different than the others his fathers tried to marry him to, and he falls in love with him for more than just looks. Kiku teaches him how to be a better leader and person and Alfred teaches him to be himself and smile. Also Kiku is a badass with a sword but everyone already knows that.
China: I want Yao to be a super cool legend known as ‘the dragon tamer’ who lives alone with dragons and knows them better then he knows people. Alfred seeks him out because the kingdom needs his knowledge, but instead of being the legend him predicted, he’s actually just a crabby dude who hates when people come in the house and don’t take their shoes off. He doesn’t really know how to talk to people, and is pretty awkward but warms up to the group eventually. He also really loves his dragons.
Germany: Alright, so imagine Ludwig was part of Gilbert’s family, and he was a rich and spoiled noble, until one day he was kidnapped by a group of bandits and presumed to be dead. He lost his memory after being cursed and grew up as a blacksmiths son in the village. Gilbert was never able to find him after searching the entire kingdom for him. Gilbert finds Ludwig one day and is certain he is his little brother, but Ludwig has no memory of him. His personality had changed from a cunning noble men to a hard working, determined black smith who wants to become a knight and do what he can to protect the kingdom, which is where he reunites with Gilbert.
Italy: Feliciano was the son of the family cook in the old Beilschimdt household. Ludwig fell in love with him as a child, despite being two different social classes. After his disappearance, the family moved around from village to village, opening many restaurants. Feliciano was convinced he was dead until he meets a knight in training named Ludwig, who rescues him in the street.
Romano: Feliciano’s brother who is still his sassy self and a very talented chef. He is known as the ‘tomato master’ and often performs tricks while cooking. He was always protective of his brother since he knew about his love for a noble men, and how dangerous that was. He doesn’t understand the wealthy and seems to have a hatred for them, thinking they’re all selfish snobs.
Spain: Antonio was a peasant for most of his life, then has an Aladdin like story where he finds a magic treasure which gives him fame and wealth. He becomes a well known nobleman from a southern kingdom and when he arrives at Alfred’s kingdom, who does he fall in love with? Royalty? No, he falls for the angry Italian chef who had a hatred for the wealthy. Since he lived most of his life on the streets, he’s very street smart and knows how to make a clean getaway. (Gotta keep one jump ahead of the bread line!)
Austria: Royal musician who’s rich and snobby, but he’s also deaf. No one knows he is since he’s very good and reading lips, the only way he feels like he can hear again is when he plays music, his one passion. He’s a prodigy in the kingdom and has been requested to play for the king himself, which is where he got his position.
I might make a head cannons post along with this because I’ve literally thought about this way too much.
Rosie’s favorite fairy tale is one John made up called “The Mischievous Pixie.” It’s about a noble knight who befriends a fairy-sprite-nymph-elf-pixie-type creature (he defies categorization, but he’s certainly very magical). The knight is brave and strong, the pixie clever and bold and although he doesn’t INTEND to be wicked, he has a tendency to misbehave. For example, he’ll occasionally do things like sprinkle pixie dust in the knight’s goblet or enchant a set of armor to dance on its own – fortunately, the knight is a true and loyal man willing to put up with his naughty partner. Together, the pair embark on dangerous journeys and impossible quests, slaying dragons and vanquishing evil along the way. When they’re not off on an adventure, the knight and the pixie reside in a cottage in the forest. Their neighbor is a kind old witch who bakes them biscuits.
Is it a coincidence that both Sansa and Tyrion are the black sheeps of their families (though in different ways and Sansa mostly from audience’s perspective)? And that they were both tormented by the king, accused for treason, suspected of kingslaying, hated by Cersei from the beginning? Is it a coincidence that they were married? Well, no.
The fact that Littlefinger and Varys are interested in them and that they actually saved them from certain death in King’s Landing…. It’s just making me curious…… Petyr and Varys saw something in Sansa and Tyrion.. And we all know WHO Petyr and Varys are, and how they’re also connected by, I don’t know destiny? No, it’s George’s amazing brain, actually.
Anyway , they saved them, and took them to different parts of the world (from different reasons, I know) and after that we have Daenerys sailing to Westeros and Jon becoming the King in the North..
So, it’s Daenerys and Jon, Littlefinger and Varys and Sansa and Tyrion.. The’re all connected somehow.. But how?
Is George trying to tell us something? D&D??
(GRRM smiles while Sophie talks about Sansa and Tyrion)
I don’t know, it’s weird.. I’m not offering you answers, I’m just noticing all those parallels.
But even in the Vale they were in similar life danger.. Remember that Robin wanted to make “the little man fly”, and Lysa was threatening to push Sansa out the Moon Door… Coincidence lol ?
Also, the reason why Cersei always hated/disliked them, is maybe because Sansa is Stark and Tyrion is a dwarf who “killed” Cersei’s mother, or maybe it’s because Cersei believed/believes that Tyrion is the “valonqar” from the prophecy and that Sansa is “the younger, more beautiful queen”. (though I believe that Jaime is the valonqar and Dany is the queen and I don’t fucking know what Cersei believes now, after season 6).
Sansa and Tyrion are like the saviors of their houses, and no one expected that from the “little bird” and “little lion”, from the “disgraced daughter” and the “demon monkey”, from woman and dwarf…
Sansa is not Robb, and Tyrion is not Jamie, they are woman and dwarf and they’re like the new hope for House Lannister and Stark. Nobody can deny their contribution (Tyrion is the hand of the queen and Sansa is the main reason why Stark banners are over Winterfell again). Both are very interested in politics, and being a Lannister and Stark who have a good opinion of each other and who are advising and supporting Targaryens.. that’s Westeros’ greatest chance for peace and unity, you know.
They are politicians who won, who really won some battles no one expected them to win (Tyrion-Blackwater, Sansa-Winterfell) and didn’t get enough credit for it (at least I think that) And now they’re like the second most powerful people (Sansa in the North and Tyrion in the east).
I feel like they are meant for each other. And tbh it would be such a BEAUTIFUL IRONY but also another aspect of Sansa’s character development if she remarries Tyrion Lannister, and because she wants that.
Remember that we all kinda hated Sansa Stark in the beginning, because of how naive and arrogant she was. All she wanted was a beautiful prince and blah blah. She judged people by their physical appearance and didn’t care much about her own Northern identity (she tried so hard to be the new Cersei). But Tyrion is a Lannister dwarf who thinks that Sansa is beautiful and smart, and who actually likes the Starks, and knows how important is to never forget what you are.
And it was Tyrion, the imp, who saved her from her beautiful prince/king Joffrey and “noble” knight Ser Meryn Trant. She wanted a handsome prince, but she was forced to marry Tyrion.. who was kind and gentle. The traits Eddard Stark wanted in Sansa’s potential husband..
Life taught Sansa valuable lessons and Tyrion is definitely one of them.
Remember that they both want to be loved and married for love (I’m too lazy to post quotes, but if you read books, you know).
AND CAN YOU JUST LOOK AT THIS:
OK THANK YOU.
Her true husband is a dwarf, and her true knight is a woman (Brienne). How ironic is that?
But I really think that something big is hiding is there.. just the way their scenes were filmed, LOOK AT THIS:
or the scene after Joffrey’s death, when Tyrion said that Sansa is not a killer (he said “yet” lol) and when Sansa said that she just knows that Tyrion didn’t kill Joffrey. Or that beautiful wedding night scene.. Or the way Tyrion looked at her, the way he understood her surviving games in King’s Landing.
Yeah, I know.. I ship them. But just think about it OK. It’s better to ship her with Tyrion Lannister, one of the best GoT characters, than with the man who betrayed her dad, or with her cousin, or with men she never shared a scene.