shallow on the draft

anonymous asked:

One question why is their a large lack of large scale big knight orders like the knights templar knights hospitaler and Teutonic Knights even warhammer has the down with the reiksguard knights of the white wolf and knights of Moore so for example I think their would be say a knights of the golden lion and you should make up orders for all the kingdoms

Ok, well you’ve pushed me into it…

  • The Vale: The Brotherhood of Winged Knights, natch. Seven knights to honor the Seven. Chosen by a tourney of no less than 77 applicants to guard the King of the Mountain and Vale for seven years. To honor the memory of Artys Arryn’s victory, the Brotherhood have a custom of insisting that any Arryn who takes the field of battle must don an eighth set of the armor and livery of the Brotherhood, to ensure that his enemies cannot spy him out. And hey, let’s go nuts and say that the Winged Knights are especially feared for their horse-frightening harnesses. 
  • The Riverlands: The Order of the Trident. One of the more recent chivalric orders in Westeros, the Order of the Trident was founded by House Teague in order to bolster their hold on their newly-won kingdom. By their original charter, the knights of the Trident were charged with maintaining the peace on the “roads and rivers of our kingdom,” which led to the construction of many chapter houses at fords and other intersections where travelers could sleep protected - in more recent centuries following the fall of House Teague, many of these chapter houses were abandoned and later converted into inns. This charter also requires each member to maintain a shallow-drafted warship of no less than 10 oars a side, which may explain their ceremonial weapons. Notably, rather than implicitly stating it, only members of the Faith of the Seven are allowed to join, which is why no Blackwood has ever participated and why every single generation of Brackens have held membership (with no less than a dozen grand-masters among them). According to rumor, the Order may have been instrumental behind-the-scenes in many of the rebellions against those rulers who succeeded the Teagues to the crown of the Riverlands - which is probably false…
  • The Westerlands: The Grand and Most Puissant Order of the Golden Mane. Unlike most orders of chivalry in Westeros, the Order of the Golden Mane was primarily not a martial order - rather, the Order was established during the reign of King Norwin Lannister as a means of raising revenue, with membership dues being originally listed at 100 grains of pure gold annually. In exchange for their dues, members were granted knighthoods if they did not already have them, but also a number of privileges including the right to be tried only by the Order, the right to arbitration by the Order in all disputes between fellow members, and even the right to advise the king on “weighty matters.” During the rule of Tytos Lannister, these privileges were badly abused by dozens of social climbers, leading to the diminishment of the order’s prestige and an increase in public disorder, as many used the order’s immunity from normal criminal procedure as a shield against Casterly Rock itself. Shortly before the Reynes of Castamere, Tywin Lannister raised the membership fee to five times the member’s body-weight in gold, and then took advantage of a number of sudden vacancies to have the order declared extinct due to lack of quorum. 
  • The Reach: since the Order of the Green Hand is taken, let’s talk about the Lady Companions of the Blessed Maris. Given the Reach’s love affair with tourneys, pageants, dances, and other social occasions, someone has to do the organizing of the social calendar, otherwise the whole thing goes haywire and vendettas set up. Guided by an inner circle of noblewomen who can trace their descent to Maris the Maid, Rowan Goldenhair, or Ellyn Ever-Sweet (all women of acceptable moral purity, although of course the Gardener Queen was always given a position out of respect for Highgarden), the Lady Companions make sure that each seat of note is appropriately honored with fetes, that there are always enough tourneys to keep the knights occupied while ensuring decent attendance at each, and that enough mixed-gender events are held to ensure that the right young ladies meet the right young men. While the Green Hand may have perished on the field of battle, the work of the Lady Companions continue to this day, although there was much grumbling when a certain Tyrell claimed the Gardener Seat for her house on the grounds that Aegon had deeded Highgarden to them.
  • The Stormlands: The Ancient and Most Honorable Guild of Castlewrights. While the origins of the Guild are lost to legend and myth (some tales claim that the founders of the guild were the assistants of the mysterious Brandon who built the final castle of Storm’s End), the Stormlands takes the construction of castles more seriously than any other realm. To that end, the Durrandon kings gave (in addition to the honor of knighthood) this order the “responsibility for inspecting and maintaining the castles of my kingdom,” along with some fairly wide-ranging powers to commandeer labor and materials to make repairs when necessary for the defense of the realm. Over the centuries, the Guild turned into an order of knights who were experts both in the construction of castles and siegecraft. Many a seemingly desperate siege was won or lost due to the presence of a single Guildman using their authority to take over direction of assault or defense of the castle, especially in the Marches. Famously, the Guildmen take an oath never to allow themselves to be captured alive, lest they be tortured into revealing their occult wisdom. 
  • Dorne: The Knights of the Wells. If there is anything that unites the often fractious peoples of Dorne, it is their common love of horse-riding. Thus, to keep their people happy and distracted, the Martells have organized both hippodrome races and cross-country races for the better part of a thousand years. Recruited from among the ranks of the winners, the Knights of the Wells were trained in the arts of cartography by maesters from Sunspear, given the best sand steeds that the Martells can buy and, formally, charged with little more than accurately mapping the oft-foreboding terrain of Dorne. Informally, the Knights of the Wells were the Martells’ best spies and scouts, who use their superior knowledge of the land to guide the armies of Dorne and track the armies of her enemies, and many wars have been won (or lost) because of the bravery and cunning of these swordless knights. Membership in the Wells is a dangerous proposition, however - both in Aegon’s War and Daeron’s, the order saw casualties of more than nine in ten of their members, with the Targaryens frequently posting lavish bounties for their deaths. Indeed, it was a significant provision of Daeron II’s treaty that the Martells were forbidden from re-establishing the Knights of the Wells, although some claim the order continues in secret…

me: oh thank god someone finally invaded me after 5 minutes of waiting

invader: *takes ¾ of my hp with one transforming attack*

me: *heals*

invader: *gets pissed off and sends salty messages*

teahouseghost  asked:

Thank you so much for this blog! I've been trying to research, but was just thinking how nice it would be to talk to a person who knew about this stuff. So I have a character who travels up and down a river in a small boat that is steam powered. How big can this boat be for her to man it by herself? Setting is late 1800s ish, steampunk style setting.

I’m so glad to be able to help!  Unfortunately, what I have to say might not be something you want to hear: a single person operating any kind of steam boat would be rather dangerous.  Although steam power is an excellent way to power a vessel, one of the reasons that the world at large has moved away from it is because it’s inherently dangerous.  Not only can the hot steam cause burns, but the engines themselves are more likely to explode due to high pressure.  You’re in a Steampunk type of world, of course, so you’re going to see lots of steam power, but I would think that in a world with so much steam, you’re also going to see people pretty conscious of the risks involved.

Granted, I’m not a big connoisseur of steampunk, so some of what I’m saying might just be accepted in that world.  It’s conceivable that a steampunk setting might have advanced steam technology a bit so that it’s safer; modern technology has mostly done the same, but - to be brutally honest - you still wouldn’t catch me on any small steam vessel like that by myself.  (But…well, if your character is the type to be okay with risks, and in a world that makes light of said risks, I’d say go for it!)

All that said, let me move onto answering your question.

Any steam boat traveling in a river is going to be a paddlewheeler or a sidewheeler.  This is both because their draft (distance from the waterline to the bottom of the keel) is shallower, which you need in a river, and because they can often “walk” off of sandbars instead of going hard aground.



I would recommend a sidewheeler, because they’re generally a little less complicated and probably easier for a single person to control.  Also, the only small-crewed steamboats I’ve found have all been sidewheelers.  It’s not inconceivable for a small-crew paddlewheeler to exist, but I’d say one person trying to run one would just be in for a world of hurt.

Here’s a model of Pryoscaphe, one of the first steamboats built.  Pryoscaphe was built in 1793, and you’ll note that she’s a sidewheeler, although her wheels are very small.  She had a crew of three.

Better yet, here’s a modern steamboat sidewheeler, built by someone around 2011.  You can see a youtube video of it here, and I think something like this might be what you’re looking for.  It does seem to be operable by one person, and is about 19 feet long.  That’s small enough to be managed by your lonely character, but big enough for a steam engine.  (Note: this boat was built with a modern steam engine, so depending upon your world’s technology level, this may or may not be possible.  For contrast, Pyroscaphe was over 42 feet long; she might look smaller in the picture, but she really was quite large.  

Facts aside, this is fantasty/steampunk, so you can probably get away with creating a sidewheeler like the one above.  The engine would probably be bigger (it wouldn’t be able to hide so well behind the wheels, anyway), and would take up more space, but it would still be very do-able.  The big things to remember are that the draft has to be shallow in order to operate in a river, and that steam is inherently dangerous - so your character wouldn’t just be able to leave the engine running and walk away.  Even worse, steam engines take quite a bit of time to start up (building pressure and temperature safely takes time), so quick getaways in a steamboat probably aren’t happening.  But if your character just wants to travel, and has the time to do things right, a steamboat is a really cool way to do it.

Good luck writing!


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ueberdemnebelmeer  asked:

Since you're an Historian, I quess you're the right person to ask :) ASOIAF is full of seafaring vocabulary; since I prefered to read all the series in the original language I could never figure out the different sizes and shapes of all the different ships cited in it (although, I reckon that even if I read them translated, I still couldn't picture them in my mind to tell the truth...) What's the difference between a galley/galleas/cog/carrack/etc.?

Good question!

A galley is a ship primarily powered by rowing, tends to be rather long and narrow with a relatively shallow draft. Galleys were the dominant seacraft in the Mediterranean from the classical era through to the 16th century, especially in the era before gunpowder weapons where naval combat focused on ramming and boarding. 

A galleas is a heavier galley - they were higher on the sides, they were longer than galleys, and they were slower. They also tended to have more masts and thus more sails than galleys, relying less on oarpower (although they had oars) in order to use the saved space for gun-decks, which meant that they could pack a lot more firepower than a galley. In a sense, the galleas is a transitionary ship between the pre-gunpowder era and the gunpowder era of naval combat.

A cog is a sailing ship without oars, that emerged in the 10th century in the Baltic. Cogs are made from oak, have a single mast, and a square sail. They’re small ships designed for ocean-going commerce, not warships. 

Carracks are larger sailing ships than cogs, with three or four masts, which were perfected by the Portugese in the 15th century. With more sails than the cog, you can sail a bigger ship faster, which made the carracks excellent for long sea-voyages and long-distance commerce, because their larger holds allowed you to carry more goods and supplies. When you think about the voyages of Columbus or Magellan, you’re thinking about carracks. 

A Defense of Tyrion’s ADWD Storyline, Part 3: You Do Not Know the River

(image by

Series so far here

So our erstwhile protagonist is reeling and leering through a haze of trauma, alienation, depression, self-loathing, misogyny, and only the best berry-based booze; even the sharpest, most engaged of his words and thoughts are merely the muscle-memory responses of the mind we loved, now on the brink of self-destruction. As Illyrio points out, Tyrion is killing himself, he’s just going about it rather patiently:

“If you would sooner drown in wine, say the word and it shall be done, and quickly. Drowning cup by cup wastes time and wine both.”

His narrative at this point isn’t an arc so much as an abyss, the Eternal Void of timeless pain and compensatory excess, visualized at the end of his second chapter:

The dwarf rolled over, pressing half a nose deep into the silken pillows. Sleep opened beneath him like a well, and he threw himself into it with a will and let the darkness eat him up.

In essence, he’s trying to write himself out of the story…and so naturally, GRRM responds by dropping a Ye Olde Pre-Deconstruction Fantasy Quest on him like a fucking meteor. The moment Tyrion realizes what kind of song he’s about to walk into is utterly priceless.

“I doubt if he could kill a duck.”

Tyrion shrugged. “Fetch the duck.”

“If you insist.” The rider glanced at his companion.

The brawny man unsheathed a bastard sword. “I’m Duck, you mouthy little pisspot.”

Oh, gods be good.

Keep reading

In 1912, the Titanic sank for reasons that are fairly well-known (icebergs, hubris). Subsequent inquiries into the disaster laid the majority of blame on the ship’s horrific safety procedures, most notably its lack of lifeboats. This precipitated a shakeup in passenger ship safety regulations, which sounds like a good thing. Definitely not the kind of thing which would backfire and lead to the deaths of another 800-odd people.

Ironically, those safety procedures would later backfire and lead to the deaths of another 800-odd people.

On July 24th, 1915, the Eastland, a passenger ship operating out of Chicago, set sail for Michigan City. The journey ended within seconds, when the ship rolled and pitched its 2,573 occupants into the Chicago River, killing 844 of them.

So what the fuck happened? Well, the lifeboats happened. After the Titanic, Congress enacted regulations which required passenger ships to carry enough lifeboats to accommodate every single passenger. Which was a big problem for river boats and their shallow drafts. The Eastland was already a bit top-heavy, and these new regulations forced it to go from six lifeboats to 11. Add in 37 life rafts and 2,000+ life jackets – all of which were stored on the top deck – and you had something which was less a ship and more a massive experiment in rudimentary physics.

6 Disasters With Details So Awful, History Left Them Out

Slowing Your Story Down

Anonymous asked: How do I know if my plot is moving too fast? And if I feel it is too much too early, how can I slow it down? I don’t want to bore readers but I’m worried I’ll run out of story.

I have run into this problem more than once and the easiest way I’ve ever gotten around it is by writing my first draft quickly so I can get the story written down. If your plot is moving way too fast and it’s your first draft, don’t worry. That’s the time you shouldn’t worry about the pace all that much. 

Worry about pace in your second draft. This is something I swear by because I have written fast, shallow drafts that are maybe 20,000 words, and by the time I’m finished with a revision, it’s about 60,000 words. (I know 60,000 is pretty short for a novel, but that was more of a pet project for a friend than an attempt at writing something to publish. I’m proud of it nonetheless). So where did that 40,000 or so words appear from between the two drafts? 

  • Reimagine the story with vivid scenes. In a quick first draft, the first thing that drops out for me is always description, a lot of the details about the setting, and action the characters can be doing in each scene. My first drafts are full of characters sitting around talking. It’s so much more interesting to make them do something. Working one scene at a time makes a big difference. I’m not anxious about it because I already know what’s going to happen next so this part of the revision is actually pretty fun. 
  • Time to flesh out minor characters. You know what the protagonist is doing, now take a look at what everyone else is doing. While a lot of times I’ve considered some of this and have an idea of what is going on in the lives of all the minor characters, in the revision, I have to draw that out further. 
  • Extra scenes needed? Sometimes the story is really moving too fast. In those cases, I first look to see where I can add some kind of lull in the story. If the protagonist has just escaped the clutches of evil, I try give them a moment to catch their breath. This is a great moment for the protagonist to process whatever just happened and it will help with the pacing of the story. 

Lesson 3 - The Origins of the Viking Age

Many people across Europe saw the coming of the Vikings as divine punishment, but what really caused the people of Scandinavia to take Europe by storm? What made them capable of pulling off these raids? There are many possible explanations, although much is speculation. Some key candidates to be discussed in detail are: 

  1. Technological advancements
  2. Centralization pressures
  3. Environmental change
  4.  Population growth
  5. Trade/ Economics

For now, I will be rather brief with much of the following discussion, since much of this material will be showing up again later on. Still, it is good to understand the things that allowed the people of Scandinavia to stand out during this time period. Just be aware that I will be revisiting these elements with more detail and vigor in the future. Feel free to send me an ask if you don’t want to wait or if you have questions about the following material.

Keep reading

This Dance Is Out Of Your Hands
The Steelwells
This Dance Is Out Of Your Hands

Don’t she look pretty in her paisley dress?

Standing over this city to get a view of this mess.

Don’t turn around, don’t look up just keep your eyes straight ahead.

If you should fall asleep, we’ll all hold up your head. 

And so, you turn out the light,

While the thieves close their eyes tonight.

I see the leaves are turning darker each day,

Falling off of their branches.

They’re leading all of the others astray,

Just to watch the beautiful dancers.

And oh, how they twist in the wind,

See all the colors within them.

So we dance and we dance as we hold up hands,

Leave all we got on the floor.

All the poor saps at just can’t find the remote,

and we’re just not ourselves anymore.”

In a World

Here children too soon grow old
learning that all they touch will die
quite often stories remain untold 
and even angels sometimes cry 

Remember now how we danced
merely actors watching the show
never knowing we had no chance
welcome to tomorrow Pinocchio 

Restlessly we all fall back to sleep
then awaken to a startled scream
our draft shallow, the ocean deep
in a world that we can only dream