Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z Is For Zweihander...

Well, it's the last day. I made it! Maybe not with enough armor components, but certainly with weapons. I'm fascinated by medieval history. I love writing fantasy, because I stick to that era and mix in my own imaginative details. I hope you've enjoyed my Medieval Weapons and Armor from A to Z posts!

Zweihander - (German for "two hander") is a two-handed sword primarily of the Renaissance. It is a true two-handed sword because wielding it requires two hands, unlike other large swords that also can be used with one.
The Zweihänder swords develop from the longsword of the Late Middle Ages and became a hallmark weapon of the German Landsknechte from the time of Maximilian I (d. 1519) and during the Italian Wars of 1494–1559. The Goliath Fechtbuch (1510) shows an intermediate form between longsword and Zweihänder.
These swords represent the final stage in the trend of increasing size that started in the 14th century. In its developed form, the Zweihänder has acquired the characteristics of a polearm rather than a sword. Consequently, it is not carried in a sheath but across the shoulder like a halberd. By the second half of the 16th century, these swords had largely ceased to have a practical application, but they continued to see ceremonial or representative use well into the 17th century. Some ceremonial zweihänder, called "bearing-swords" or "parade-swords" (Paratschwert) were much larger and weighed about 10 pounds.

If I saw someone coming at me with that sword, I don't know if I would turn tail and run due to the size and the strength needed to wield it, or stay and fight because they'd be slow! Hope you all ended the challenge on a high note. And congratulations to you for completing the month!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y Is For Yumi...

Well, here we are in the last two days. I have been unable to find armor components that begin with X, Y or Z, but I have found weapons to finish out the challenge. So here we go with Y!

Yumi - is the term for Japanese bows, and includes the longer daikyū and the shorter hankyū used in the practice of kyūdō, or Japanese archery. The yumi was an important weapon of the samurai warrior during the feudal period of Japan.

Yari - is the term for one of the traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a spear, or more specifically, the straight-headed spear.

All right! That's it for today. I will see you all tomorrow for the final post and letter of the challenge.

Monday, April 28, 2014

X Is For Xiphos...

Well, I certainly did my best to find some sort of armor component to represent the letter 'X' for today. Don't think any such thing exists. At least not in my scope of research, but I do have a weapon for you! Happy blogging and see you all tomorrow!

Xiphos - is a double-edged, single-hand sword used by the ancient Greeks. It was a secondary battlefield weapon for the Greek armies after the spear or javelin. The classic blade was generally about 50–60 cm long, although the Spartans supposedly started to use blades as short as 30 cm around the era of the Greco-Persian Wars. The xiphos sometimes has a midrib, or is diamond or lenticular in cross-section. It was generally hung from a baldric under the left arm. The xiphos was generally used only when the spear was discarded for close combat. Very few xiphoi seem to have survived.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W Is For White Armor...

Wow! W... already. This month seems to go by faster when I do the A to Z challenge. Very zippy. Okay, here we go!

An example of Black and White armor
White armour - or alwyte armour, was a form of plate armour worn in the Late Middle Ages characterized by full-body steel plate without a surcoat. Around 1420 the surcoat, or "coat of arms" as it was known in England, began to disappear, in favour of uncovered plate. Areas not covered by plate were protected by mail sewn to the gambeson underneath. Black and white armour is a different term, for late 16th and 17th century armour that uses a contrast between highly burnished "white" and unpolished "black" areas for decorative effect in large bold patterns over the armour.

War Scythe
War Scythe - A war scythe is a kind of improvised pole weapon, similar to a fauchard, usually created from standard scythes.The blade of the scythe is transformed so as to extend upright from the pole, thus forming an infantry weapon practical both in offensive actions against infantry and as a defensive measure against enemy cavalry.

All right, that's it for today. I will see you all on Monday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

V Is For Vambrace...

Today's corresponding letter is 'V'! For Vendetta... no, just kidding. It's for Vambrace, today.

Vambrace - Forearm guard. May be solid metal or splints of metal attached to a leather backing. Developed in antiquity but named in the 14th century. Vambrace may also sometimes refer to parts of armour that together cover the lower and upper arms.

Voulge - A
voulge (occasionally called a pole cleaver) is a type of polearm that existed alongside the similar glaive in medieval Europe. Superficially, a voulge might strongly resemble a glaive, but there are some notable differences in construction. First, the attachment of the voulge blade to the shaft was usually done by binding the lower two thirds of the blade to the side of the pole; the glaive would often have a socket built into the blade itself and was mounted on top of the pole. In addition, while both had curved blades, that of the voulge was broad and meant for hacking, while that of the glaive was narrow and meant more for cutting. A voulge thus looks something like a squashed bardiche, or just a meat cleaver attached to a long pole.

That's it! We're getting down to the wire (and difficult letters) now! Happy blogging and see you tomorrow!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U Is For Umbo...

Well. Today's corresponding letter is a bit tough, I'll say that much. But I do have something for you!

Umbo - Shield boss that covers the hand as it holds the grip.

Unfortunately, that's about it, but it does cover both the armor and weapon aspects I have been aiming for. Shields protected the fighters, and if you lost your sword, you certainly had a nice rounded piece of metal with which to bash your opponent.

Happy blogging, all! I'll see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T Is For Tassets...

Well, we're getting down to the wire here, folks. I'm so glad you've all enjoyed my A to Z posts so far. Sadly, you don't get a lot of my wit and snark because I'm getting my info off of Wikipedia... I'll have to make up for it all at a later date. Lucky you!

So today we have T's! Here we go!

Tassets - Tassets are a piece of plate armour designed to protect the upper legs. They take the form of separate plates hanging from the breastplate or faulds. They may be made from a single piece or segmented. The segmented style of tassets connected by sliding rivets produced during the 16th century is also known as almain rivets.

There isn't much else in the way of armor and weapons that start with a 'T', but this is my favorite weapon:

Trebuchet - A type of catapult that was used as a siege engine in the Middle Ages. It is sometimes called a counterweight trebuchet or counterpoise trebuchet, to distinguish it from an earlier weapon called the traction trebuchet, which employed pulling men working the mechanism.
The counterweight trebuchet appeared in both Christian and Muslim lands around the Mediterranean in the 12th century. It could fling projectiles weighing up to 350 pounds (160 kg) at or into enemy fortifications. Its use continued into the 15th century, well after the introduction of gunpowder.

I think of siege weapons and I get all kinds of warm fuzzies inside. I think I was born in the wrong time period. I would have been a terror! All right, see you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S Is For Sabaton...

All right! S it is! And I'm trying to find other armor parts that have yet to be covered. There are only so many helms I can post about and trust me, there are a lot of variations of helms!

Sabaton - Covers the foot, often mail or plate. Fourteenth and fifteenth century sabatons typically end in a tapered point well past the actual toes of the wearer's foot, following fashionable shoe shapes of the fourteenth century. Sabatons of the first half of sixteenth century end at the tip of the toe and may be wider than the actual foot.

Schynbalds - These were an early experiment in plate armour for the lower leg. Schynbalds were metal plates strapped over chausses. Each schynbald was a single piece of steel that covered the front and outside of the shin. Schynbalds did not enclose the lower leg: hence, they were not true greaves. Schynbalds first appeared during the late thirteenth century and remained in use during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Spaulders  - Are pieces of armour in a harness of plate armour. Typically, they are a single plate of steel or iron covering the shoulder with bands (lames) joined by straps of leather or rivets.

Sai -  Is a traditional weapon used in the Okinawan martial arts. The basic form of the weapon is that of a pointed, prong shaped metal baton, with two curved prongs called yoku projecting from the handle. Sai are generally used in pairs.

Shuriken -  is a traditional Japanese concealed weapon that was generally used for throwing, and sometimes stabbing or slashing. Shuriken is the name given to any small-bladed object, while shaken is traditionally used to indicate the well-known "throwing star".

They are sharpened hand-held blades made from a variety of everyday items, such as needles, nails, and knives, as well as coins, washers, and other flat plates of metal.

And that's it for today! See you tomorrow!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Why I've Been Distracto Girl...

Yes, I've been seriously distracted these past few weeks. I am trying to make sure I get my daily posts out, so in truth, this has really been a challenge for me!

But I do want to share with you what has been keeping me from remembering posts, as well as working on revisions. Hubby got laid off from work again, and I'm trying to help bring in some supplemental income, so I am doing jewelry again. Now that my hands allow it, I'm finding it very therapeutic.

So here are some of the things I've been working on:

I have wire wrapped earrings. Lots of different colors in this style. Some are dark brown wire, others are silver.

Ear Cuffs
I've also been working on ear cuffs. These are pretty simple, done in copper. But I do have some I'm working on that will have dangly bits. (Ha!) I also have some plans to make earrings attached to the cuffs.

I've made a lot of pendants. Lots of wire wrapped ones, chain mail ones.

Some are pretty extravagant, some are simple. I've even put dice in spiral cages for necklaces and keychains. I spoke to a guy here, locally, that owns a game shop and he's willing to sell stuff on consignment. I can't wait to bring in some of my inventory!

Chain mail dice pendants/keychains
I've made rings, bracelets. I have my Fairy Potion bottles and my mana and health potion earrings and necklaces. So yeah, I've been a busy girl. If you want to drop by my Facebook page, you can see everything there. I'm working on opening an Etsy store soon. Wish me luck!

More pendants


Even more pendants
Wire wrapped necklaces

Mana and health potion earrings/necklaces

Fairy potion bottles

R Is For Rondel...

Oh my gosh... I've been so caught up in my jewelry making these past few weeks, I'm spacing everything else! Sorry for the tardiness of some of my posts.

At any rate, let's get on with the A to Z!

Rondel - Any circular plate. Rondels protecting various areas may have particular names, such as a besagew protecting the shoulder joint. I'm sure you've read about some of these in fantasy. More often than not, Rondels will have a house sigil and they'll be attached to the shoulder, holding up a cloak.

Rerebrace - Plate that covers the section of upper arm from elbow to area covered by shoulder armour.

Rondel Dagger - Then we have the rondel dagger or roundel dagger was a type of stiff-bladed dagger in Europe in the late Middle Ages (from the 14th century onwards), used by a variety of people from merchants to knights. It was worn at the waist and might be used as a utility tool, or worn into battle or a jousting tournament as a side-arm. Rondel daggers were ideal in battle for puncturing chain mail, and although they would not have been able to punch through plate armour, they could be forced between the joints in a suit of armour and helmets. This was often the only way in which a heavily armoured knight could be killed.
Rondel Dagger
 Happy blogging to you all! I'll see you tomorrow.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q Is For Quarrel...

Quarrel, no, not the fight. But it is used in fighting.

Quarrel ~ short square headed bolt or arrow used in a crossbow.

Quillon ~ cross guard on a sword. This term was not used until the sixteenth century so is inappropriate when describing swords prior to around 1530. The original cross guard, or simply cross, is usually used prior to that date.

Quintain ~ dummy with a shield mounted on a post. Used in combat training.

Quarterstaff ~ A quarterstaff (plural quarterstaves), also short staff or simply staff is a traditional European pole weapon and a technique of stick fighting, especially as in use in England during the Early Modern period. The term is generally accepted to refer to a shaft of hardwood from 6 to 9 feet (1.8 to 2.7 m) long, sometimes with a metal tip, ferrule, or spike at one or both ends. The term "short staff" compares this to the "long staff" based on the pike with a length in excess of 11 to 12 feet (3.4 to 3.7 m).

Wow, I'm amazed at what I came up with for Q, how about you?

Friday, April 18, 2014

P Is For Pixane...

Pixane ~ A mail collar. In common with a gorget, it is not like a modern shirt collar. Rather, it is a circle with a hole for the neck to fit through. It covers the shoulders, breast and upper back, perhaps like an extremely small poncho.

Plackart ~ Extra layer of armour to cover the belly.

Pauldron ~ Cover the shoulder (with a dome shaped piece called a shoulder cop), armpit and sometimes the back and chest.

Poleyn ~ Plate that covers the knee, appeared early in the transition from mail to plate, later articulated to connect with the cuisses and schynbald or greave. Often with fins or rondel to cover gaps.

Poniard ~ Poignard, or poniard, (Fr.), refers to a long, lightweight thrusting knife with a continuously tapering, acutely pointed blade and crossguard, historically worn by the upper class, noblemen, or the knighthood. Similar in design to a parrying dagger, the poignard emerged during the Middle Ages and was used during the Renaissance in Western Europe, particularly in France, Switzerland, and Italy.

Pernach ~
A pernach (Russian: перна́ч, Ukrainian: пірна́ч, Polish: piernacz) is a type of flanged mace originating in the 12th century in the region of Kievan Rus' and later widely used throughout Europe. The name comes from the Slavic word перо (pero) meaning feather, referring to a type of pernach resembling an arrow with feathering. Among a variety of similar weapons developed in 12th-century Persian- and Turkic-dominated areas, the pernach became pre-eminent, being capable of penetrating plate armour and plate mail.

All right, that's it for today, see you tomorrow!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O Is For Onager...

Well, I've searched high and low for armor components beginning with the letter 'O' and have come up with zero.

There is a medieval weapon, however, and that is the onager.

The onager was a Roman siege engine that is a type of ballista that uses a torsional force, generally from twisted rope, to store energy for the shot. The onager consisted of a large frame placed on the ground to whose front end a vertical frame of solid timber was rigidly fixed. A vertical spoke that passed through a rope bundle fastened to the frame had a sling attached which contained a projectile.
To fire it, the spoke or arm was forced down, against the tension of twisted ropes or other springs, by a windlass, and then suddenly released. As the sling swung outwards, one end would release, as with a staff-sling, and the projectile would be hurled forward. The arm would then be caught by a padded beam or bed, when it could be winched back again.

That will have to do for this letter. See you all tomorrow!

N Is For Nasal Helmet...

Sorry for my absence yesterday. Had a couple things come up. So today, you get two posts! Yesterday's and today's. So here we go!

Nasal Helm
The nasal helmet was a type of combat helmet characterised by the possession of a projecting bar covering the nose and thus protecting the centre of the face; it was of Western European origins and was used from the Early Middle Ages until the High Middle Ages.

Nzappa zap
The Nzappa zap (also referred to as zappozap, kasuyu) is a traditional weapon from the Democratic Republic of the Congo similar to an axe or hatchet. It has an ornate wrought-iron blade connected to a club-like wooden handle, often clad in copper, bronze or brass. In practice, it is used much like the American tomahawk, both thrown for short distances and as a melee weapon in hand-to-hand combat. It differs from the usual axe style, in that the blade mounts to looping prongs that affix to the shaft.

Happy blogging and see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M Is For Morion...

Morion ~ A morion is a type of open helmet used from the middle 16th and early 17th centuries, usually having a flat brim and a crest from front to back. It was introduced in the middle of the 16th century, contemporaneous with the exploration of north, central, and southern America. Explorers like Hernando de Soto and Coronado may have used them for their foot soldiers in the 1540s.

Mantle ~ short lengths of cloth, usually in the livery colours, hung from the torse on the helmet as an aid to identification. This is usually shown as torn and ripped in battle when displayed in heraldry.

 Misericorde ~ Mercygiver: A misericorde was a long, narrow knife, used in medieval times to deliver the death stroke (the mercy stroke, hence the name of the blade, derived from the Latin misericordia, "act of mercy") to a seriously wounded knight. The blade was thin enough so that it could strike through the gaps between armour plates. This weapon was used to dispatch knights who had received mortal wounds, which were not always quickly fatal in the age of bladed combat; it could also be used as a means of killing an active adversary, as during a grappling struggle. The blade could be pushed through the visor or eye holes in the helm with the aim of piercing the brain, or thrust through holes or weak points in plate armor, such as under the arm, with the aim of piercing the heart. The weapon was known from the 12th century and has appeared in the armaments of Germany, Persia, and England.

Mangonel ~ a type of catapult or siege engine used in the medieval period to throw projectiles at a castle's walls. The exact meaning of the term is debatable, and several possibilities have been suggested. Mangonel may also be indirectly referring to the mangon, a French hard stone found in the south of France. It may have been a name for counterweight artillery (trebuchets), possibly either a men-assisted fixed-counterweight type, or one with a particular type of frame.

Happy blogging! See you tomorrow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

L Is For Lame...

I do not think it is pronounced lame, as in a horse with a hurt leg. But we can figure that out later!

Sample of Lame
Lame ~ Band of steel plate, put together so that several bands can articulate on various areas like around the thighs, shoulders or waist. Such pieces are named for the number of bands, for instance, a fauld of four lame.

Lobster tail Pot
Lobster-tail pot ~ This is a type of post-Renaissance helm popular in Europe, especially for cavalry and officers, from c. 1600; it was derived from an Ottoman Turkish helmet type. The helmet gradually fell out of use in most of Europe in the late 17th century; however, the Austrian heavy cavalry retained it for some campaigns as late as the 1780s.

Loin guard. Hopefully made of sturdier stuff.
Loin guard ~ Typically covered, well, the loins. I don't think this one needs much explanation!

Lance ~ The lance is a pole weapon or spear designed to be used by a mounted warrior. During the periods of Classical and Medieval warfare it evolved into being the leading weapon in cavalry charges, and was unsuited for throwing or for repeated thrusting, unlike similar weapons of the spear/javelin/pike family typically used by infantry. Lances were often equipped with a vamplate – a small circular plate to prevent the hand sliding up the shaft upon impact. ("It's called a lance. Helloooo.")

Lochaber Axe
Lochaber axe ~ The Lochaber axe is a type of halberd. The weapon was employed by the Scottish highlanders. The axe itself is similar to tools used with crops, such as the scythe, which is designed for reaping. The hook on the back bears a passing resemblance to a shepherd's crook, although within agriculture a smaller hook such as this may have been used in order to lift and carry tied bundles of a harvested crop or pull down tree branches. Early Lochaber axes, like the billhook, served a dual purpose as both building instruments and farming tools.

So there we have our armor parts and weapons for the day! Have a great Monday and see you tomorrow!