Indian Sword, 16th Century

This sword resembles a European rapier, but the style can actually be attested in Indian art as early as the 500s, where it figures as a typical weapon for rulers and nobles. Such early Hindu styles survived longest in southern India, far from the Islamic invasions that reshaped north Indian culture.

Double edged pointed blade with raised medial rib on both faces. Reinforced on both faces with elongated diamond-shaped plate riveted to central rib. Iron hilt. Wide, flaring crossguard, now bent in sections, grip swollen at mid-height. Pommel in shape of flattened Morion-cabasset helmet. Reinforced point.

Date & origin from Stone’s, per RRW; see 594 #4. See Rawson pl. 14-16 for other temple swords; see also 32 ff. and pl. 18-20. The term “Temple sword” is apparently inappropriate per Oliver Pinchot. See examples in Elgood 2004: 87 ff.; discussed 74. Cf. a similar example in Delmar Auction Cat. Dec 08 #31.

Sword Fighting for Fic Writers: Chapter 7

You can follow the tag #Swords for Fics if you want to keep up without following me :)

Available Chapters:
1: Dumb Ways to Die  2.May Your Blade Be True! 3.On Your Guard!
4. Making the Cut 5.Stick ‘em With the Pointy End 6. It’s Like a Dance
7. The Measure of A Man

The Measure of a Man (or other person)
Distance and Reach

In sword fighting measure refers to your ability to reach your opponent, and their ability to reach you. If you can’t reach them you are out of measure. If you need to take a passing step to reach them, you’re in a long measure. And if you can hit them from where you’re standing, you’re in measure. I recommend you simplify this to descriptions of distance or reach for readers.

The more distance you have over your opponent, the more time the defender has to react. The less distance, the less time the defender has. But the roles of attacker and defender change quickly. If they have less time to react to your attack, you will have even less time to react to their counter.

All this stepping forwards and backwards is like a constant mind game where each fighter searches for control.

When retreating from an attack, the defender could retreat to a minimum safe distance, allowing them to make a smaller move to reach their opponent than their opponent had to make to reach them. Even a smaller person with a shorter sword can best someone with more reach than them, by better controlling their measure.

In the illustration bellow, X (on the right) and Y (on the left) have the same reach. X takes a full step forwards and makes a cutting attack to reach Y, and Y takes only a small step back to successfully dodge. Y now makes a cutting attack using a lunging step and X is too close to retreat in time. X’s full attack also left them unable to defend in time with their sword.

X could have tried retreating as their swing finished for more time to get their sword ready to defend, or done a partial cut, making their weapon a threat needing to be dealt with before Y could counter.

So why not always use this strategy? Why would you ever attack first when this can happen?

In the next scenario, X attacks with a lunging thrust that brings them just in range of Y, but Y takes a small step back. X doesn’t stop the attack and now takes a full step forward, keeping their sword pointing at Y’s throat. Y tries to take a full step back in response, but is out of room, and even if they weren’t their full step still would not have brought them out of reach. X’s larger first step allowed them to catch their target in the end.

Y could have defended with their sword if they knew how to win the crossing. That will be covered in “A Crossing of Blades” (chapter coming Sat. Dec.10th)

There are thousands of variations of stepping backwards and forwards or where Y or X could each win even these scenarios in different ways. But I hope these two examples will help you get into the mindset of why a character may advance or retreat. Often a retreat to a long distance will be simply to reset the battle from unfavourable conditions.

If you get in too close, and don’t have control over your opponents weapon, you’ll make yourself vulnerable. You might also enter grappling range. More on that in Your Body Everything is a Weapon” (chapter coming soon)

If you’re attacking and it requires more than one step, it’s often advisable to move your sword as if making an attack while you do so. If it takes two steps for you to reach your opponent, then in the time it takes for you to take one step they could take one step forward as well and be in range to strike you. Giving them an attack to deal with will make them think about defending as they enter your space instead of attacking.

And of course, most battles aren’t going to happen like a platformer video game. Circling will occur. 

You might be thinking about how much it must suck to be backed up against something or someone right now. And yea. It does. Fighting back to back is not advisable in a real battle if you can afford the space. But you know what? You can pull the back-to-back trope from my cold dead hands. If it’s that difficult to do, think of how much more impressive it actually is if your characters can pull it off. 

I’m not here to tell you how to make a battle practical or accurate. But to get you in the mindset of what’s dangerous or what’s smart. In the end, tell the story you want to.

In Someone Else’s Kitchen

The other night I had the weirdest dream. It was extremely vivid and intricate. I remembered every single detail. It was so horrifying that I actually remember thinking, “I want to wake up now, this is getting scary!” I managed to open my eyes, but I was too frightened to move, so I made up my own ending to the dream that involved sugar.

A friend challenged" me to write the dream as a short piece. Flash fiction, if you will. That’s between 500-1000 words. I didn’t want to use the plain narrative style because that flattens the effect of the dream, and the way it flowed in my head. So I wrote them as a series of haikus, connected with short paragraphs of prose. 

To give you some context, the dream essentially involved me, my friends, and my parents fighting off a monster. There are portals, magic stew, bleeding kitchen cabinets, and an African American Resistance Hero named Terrence.

The dream, furthermore, is absolutely 100% set in America, because of the landscape and the easy availability of guns. This is weird because I HAVEN’T EVER BEEN TO AMERICA, but whatever. Another really confusing aspect of the dream, that I HAVE to specify, is that while I was in the dream, I was also its narrator, and it wasn’t ME. It was like I was substituting for someone, and this was THEIR life, and THEIR friends, and THEIR parents. I didn’t know ANY of these people.

There’s a lot more to it, but hopefully this should be enough to make sense of what I just wrote.

“Some types of people
don’t deserve our forgiveness.”
Boiling water. Who?

// This is a dream, this is a dream. Grey wisps snake out from plastic pages. An orange children’s picture book, propped against a stool leg. The woman who does not forgive disappears. The kitchen isn’t mine. Nothing here is me.

This is a narration.
A dramatisation.
This is not a dream. //

Keep reading

The Magician -  I

I have been wanting to design a Tarot deck for a long time. I have set myself the target of approx. 1 year to get all 22 of the Major Arcana down with my current commission load. I am not going to do them in order, instead I’m going to let inspiration and vibe guide each choice of card, I think this will help me stay motivated and keep a natural flow of progression.

I’m also sure that in a year i’ll probably want to brush up the first few XD

Sorry for lack of art on my dash. Been really busy with personal stuff, plus I got art block for a sec. This is the edited version of THIS pic I did a little over three years ago this month! Might edit the other ones I did, but we’ll see :)