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Monday, 28 July 2014

Monday Morsel: Quake - An Excerpt from 'Stalking the Demon'



Stalking the Demon is now with beta readers! When I get it back, it will be final revisions and then off to my editor.

 * * *

On the dresser, the tiny jars and bottles of cosmetics rattled together as though someone with a heavy tread had walked past. 

Alloran paused, squinting. The row of glass jars tinkled again. ‘That’s strange.’

The entire room rattled this time, shaking side to side, and Alloran sprawled forward, sweeping Gisayne off her feet and knocking her onto the bed. He fell atop her, pinning her down. Dek staggered left, and then right, and caught himself against a wall. The tapestry hanging against it undulated as if the stones rippled. Another jolt threw Alloran headfirst into the mattress, the bedclothes smothering him as he gasped a breath. The scent of sulphur filled the air.


The shaking subsided as quickly as it started. A hand pulled at him, helping him right himself, and he pushed against the bed until he found his feet again. Gisayne clutched his hand as if she might never let go. Beside the bed, Dek leaned shaking against the wall, his eyes wide and rolling in a face gone pale.


‘Earthquake?’ Dek's voice was hoarse. ‘Ehsan don’t get earthquakes.’ 



Thanks for dropping by! Don't forget, this is the fourth draft, and as such won't be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. Stalking the Demon is expected to be released in August. If you'd like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment for Stalking the Demon.

More about Stalking the Demon:


Alloran did everything within his power; he banished the demon and sealed the portal. But the world is still careening into hell.


Six months after Ladanyon's defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret - the fabric of reality is collapsing, threatening to spill unrestrained demons into the world of Verusia. Is Ladanyon striking back at Alloran from the hell to which he was condemned, or is there a traitor among them?

The only people he can turn to for help deciphering the linked mysteries of Gisayne's affliction and the collapse of the world are the two research assistants set to spy on him for the council of wizards - but he knows he can't trust them.

Everything Alloran loves races toward destruction - and all the answers are locked away in hell.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven't already. If you're finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my July Newsletter if you missed it.

Don't forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!


Friday, 25 July 2014

The Flail - Distinguishing Your Bludgeoning Weapons: Medieval Weaponry and Accoutrements


Probably a two-handed flail, judging by the
length of haft and chain. The head is of the
spiked variety.
Flail. Mace. Morningstar. I’ve been asked what’s the difference?

Quite simply, they are all crushing weapons. The flail features one or more striking heads attached to a handle by a rope, strap or chain. Both the mace and the morningstar have the head affixed directly to the handle, and so are the two most similar of these three weapons. A mace may or may not have flanges or knobs but does not have spikes. A morningstar always has a spiked head, and most particularly, has a spike extending straight up from the top of the head. A flail may have spikes, but of course is differentiated from the morningstar by the head not being affixed to the shaft.

And now we've come full circle.

Each weapon is worth examining separately, so today we have the flail. In later posts we'll look at the mace and the morningstar.

The Flail

The bottom weapon appears to be a single-handed flail
with a knobbed head.
The flail comes in two main varieties – one- and two-handed, the latter of which originated from the agricultural tool used to thresh grain. It was mainly an offensive weapon, having virtually no defensive capabilities. The key benefit of the two-handed version was that it could overcome your opponent’s shield – cool! On the downside, it lacked precision, and in close combat or close formations you were just as likely to brain the bloke next to you – OK, not so good.

The one-handed flail is most often depicted as one or more metal heads, which may or may not be spiked, attached to a short handle by a long metal chain. Multiple striking heads! More power! I'm almost having a Tim the Tool Man moment, and I will totally include a multiple-headed flail in the next book I write - this is just too cool to ignore. In the majority of cases, the chain on the one-handed flail is long enough that you need to be careful not to hit your own hand. Yeah all right - that's not so good, especially if your flail does have multiple heads.
 
Top Right - Multiple-headed flail. Middle Right -  Mace. Bottom Right - Morningstar with knobbed head and typical central spike. Top Middle - Morningstar. with typical central spike and smaller spikes. Middle - Mace with knobbed/ridged head. 

It's a Flail! A Mace! No, it's a Morningstar! Simple Chart To Work Out the Difference



If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven't already. If you're finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my July Newsletter if you missed it.


Don't forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.


Thanks for stopping by and visiting!


Monday, 21 July 2014

Monday Morsel: No More Hell-Gates - An Excerpt from 'Stalking the Demon'


Gisayne settled back on the bed with a sigh. Her trust in her father was beyond reproach, but the council could veto him, and she had no more reason than Alloran to have any faith in them. ‘I’ll hold my silence. But you promise me, Alloran al Kahliln, you promise me that you won’t under any circumstance open another hell-gate!’

‘No hell-gates. I promise.’ He took her hand in his and forced a smile. ‘What possible reason could I have to want to open one?’


Her brows pinched, and a smile didn’t even tug at the corners of her downturned lips. ‘I don’t know. I just have a very bad feeling.'


* * *


Thanks for dropping by! Don't forget, this is the second draft, and as such won't be perfect. If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. Stalking the Demon is expected to be released in August. If you'd like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site.

If this is your first visit to Monday Morsels, find others in the series by clicking on the ‘Monday morsel’ tag, or go to the first installment for Stalking the Demon.

More about Stalking the Demon:


Alloran did everything within his power; he banished the demon and sealed the portal. But the world is still careening into hell.


Six months after Ladanyon's defeat, Gisayne is fading away from a baffling illness. Alloran is desperate for a cure, but he has a secret - the fabric of reality is collapsing, threatening to spill unrestrained demons into the world of Verusia. Is Ladanyon striking back at Alloran from the hell to which he was condemned, or is there a traitor among them?

The only people he can turn to for help deciphering the linked mysteries of Gisayne's affliction and the collapse of the world are the two research assistants set to spy on him for the council of wizards - but he knows he can't trust them.

Everything Alloran loves races toward destruction - and all the answers are locked away in hell.

If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven't already. If you're finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletter. Check out my May Newsletter if you missed it.

Don't forget to share the love and spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or StumbleUpon (or other social networking site of your choice) if you know other people who might also enjoy this.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting!


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