When last we left, the war was only just beginning. We spoke of Helen, her circumstances, how the Trojan War began, and how the affairs of gods spilled over into the mortal world. The impending war over one woman would define cultures to come and have a lasting effect on the world. But the Greeks did not set sail blindly. They knew what awaited them. What do WE know of Troy? Let’s look closer.
Troy: An Overview
Troy was a large city and surrounding lands somewhere across the Aegean Sea. It was a distant memory because there are not all that many myths that draw attention to Troy – save for myths involved with the war itself, as well as a few heroes who went there on their own time. Still, Greek heroes were well-known in Troy, and the Greeks were aware of Troy’s success at times, but until the war, major details are not made apparent. Still, Troy is obviously Grecian in origin: they worship the same gods and are close enough in location to be reached by a massive fleet, yet still distant enough to have completely different allies. (more…)
You know how they always told you not to bring a knife to a gun-fight? Well, you get to decide whether there’s credence to that old saying. In one corner, you have a pirate’s flintlock (preferably an early model). Why early? It makes this fight fair. Accuracy isn’t necessarily going to be the best, but the power behind your shot is definitely there. Keep in mind there is reload time too. On the other hand, the dagger features great versatility in combat, and if you are close enough, you can even throw it, and that might be just enough to take out whoever brings a pistol to a knife-fight. But do you dare risk it? Fortune favors the bold, or so they say. So which weapon would you prefer to wield?
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War is one of the most important events. That is not just because it features an All-Star cast of gods, goddesses, and mortals, but is also due to its lasting impact. The war set the scene for countless other stories and tales, built numerous heroes, saw the fall of great warriors, and provided Greeks and Romans with material to write on for centuries to come! Of course, this war tells the story of great warriors like Achilles and Odysseus, but at its heart, it is a love story.
Fanning the Flames of War
What caused the Trojan War?
The averaged person would likely to tell you that it was caused by Helen of Troy (really, Helen of Sparta, then) running off to Troy with Paris. That, and anyone who watched the film Troy is likely to agree that one ruler used the war as a pretext to war to extend his dominion over greater areas of territory.
Trojan War really all comes back to Zeus. The king of the gods was always paranoid that someone – a son of his – would become stronger than him. The story goes that a prophecy was given: the son of Thetis, a River-Nymph, whom Zeus had become smitten with, was destined to birth a son who would surpass his father. Zeus, not liking the sound of that, married the poor sea-nymph off to an old human king named Peleus (this way her son would likely be feeble). All of the gods attended his wedding with the exception of Eris, the goddess of discord, whom Zeus had barred from the event. Stopped at the door by Hermes, Eris decided to slip her own gift past the doorman. It was a golden apple inscribed with the words “To the fairest.” Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all claimed the apple.(If the names Thetis and Peleus sound familiar, that’s good because their son is a well-known Greek hero.)
Meanwhile, across the Aegean, Paris, the young Prince of Troy, is being raised away from Troy ignorant of his heritage due to a prophecy that stated that he would be the downfall of his city. (more…)
Absolutely nothing, if you like the song. But in the medieval times, it was good for bloody, brutal combat, and if you took the fight to your enemy’s home turf, it might also be good for a siege or two. As you can imagine, knocking down a castle’s walls was no easy task. And as the old saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat, and thus, more than one way to effectively besiege a castle. So warlords and war-ladies, read on, so that you might learn how to better crush your enemies and siege their castles on your own time!
While it does lack a certain subtlety, there is no denying the effectiveness of a straight-forward assault. If you have the manpower, it is intimidating and even demoralizing to your enemy to have great forces amassed against them from their castle walls. Of course, men alone will never breach a castle’s fortifications, which could sometimes be several feet thick. So when laying siege to a castle, you need to bring out the big guns.
Among siege weaponry, nothing is quite as iconic as the catapult. Put into use during the Greek and Roman eras, the catapult utilized torsion to hurl heavy projectiles through the air. As you can imagine, the impact of a large rock or boulder against stone walls was to a medieval castle wall what a solid metal wrecking ball is to a wall today. (more…)
It’s the King in the North versus the Returned King of Gondor! Both of these kings are warriors through and through. Robb Stark, also known as the “Young Wolf” by his enemies and his allies, was raised by his father to be a prince and a warrior. He is good with a blade, and saw great military success as a commander. He wields no magic weapon, but his sword is a weapon worthy of a warrior, capable of one-handed swiftness and two-handed power, as need-be. Aragorn, though, is his elder by several years, and has a great deal more fighting experience, while also remaining in his prime as a warrior. Raised by elves, Aragorn possesses their fabled skill with a blade, using a two-handed sword to strike with deft swiftness and speed, as well as power, and his sword, Anduril, has power that compares to and It is a one-on-one fight between kings today…and if these two had met, what would the outcome have been? A defeat for the Robb, one of his few, or a loss for Aragorn?
GenCon 2013 was an absolute blast! The best four days in gaming did not disappoint, and drew record crowds this year. Medieval Collectibles was there in full force with our brand new 20 foot castle wall display and a huge selection of LARP swords, armour, accessories, jewelry, statues, clothing, and more! Once again, we had the best customers and fans in the industry. The array of costumes, stories, and good humor reminded us why we do this. Check out a few of the sites from GenCon 2013 here, and make plans to come and see us next year.
We owe a huge thanks to all of our customers, the GenCon team, and Indianapolis for hosting this great event. We are already in the planning stages for next year and hope to see you all there.
It’s history versus fiction today, and a bit of a battle of the bulge in this Unlikely Match-Up from William Gunderson. It is also one king against the other, and you get to tell us who wins! From Westeros comes King Robert Baratheon, who took power after fighting against a tyrant for the Iron Throne. From England comes Henry VIII, who was born of the new House Tudor after his father, Henry VII, ascended the throne after ending the War of Roses. Both were physically fit and intimidating men in their youth who liked hunting and jousting and all manner of other physical contests. As kings, both also developed a large physique that stood in stark contrast to their younger selves. So which one do you think would win? The historic king or the one from fantasy?
Lucrezia’s Poison Locket Pendant takes a few liberties with history and, shall we say, embellishes them, slightly? But is there a shred of truth there? Let’s look deeper. Lucrezia Borgia, for whom this locket is named, was born in 1480, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI. She is described as being quite beautiful, and often it seems as though she’s the picture of Italian beauty. She was married three times, often at the behest of her father and brothers in order to gain powerful political allies, and it seems as though she was divorced purely when those allies were no longer useful or convenient. History cannot tell how aware Lucrezia was of her family’s machinations, if she was a willing participant or just an unwilling servant to her name. Rumors do exist of Lucrezia and her family engaging in less-than-legal activities, including things like murder by poison, but there’s no actual evidence to say that it’s true…or false. Unfortunately, history is unclear about Lucrezia as a poisoner at this point, although she certainly was an interesting Italian noble of her age…
Click here to buy Lucrezia’s Poison Locket Pendant
Torture, not fun? Well, tell that to the horde of torturers who made their living in the medieval world, wringing confessions out of the guilty and the innocent alike. It was a hard world in that day and age, and there were a lot of issues that might put you at odds with crown and country. If that happened, you might be unlucky enough to find yourself subjected to one of the five torturous methods listed here.
Before we get into the gruesome specifics, please note that while we list these and while crowds in the ancient day might have even found them entertaining to watch (sad as that is to say), we at Medieval Collectibles do not condone the practice or use of torture. We merely list them here for historical awareness and the preservation of the past. (more…)
Last Hope is a live action role play (LARP) that is hosted at locations throughout Wisconsin with one goal in mind; to bring role players together in an immersive, high quality and rich event with rules that are simple enough for anyone to learn and involved enough for veteran players. Players can make characters and role play in a detailed and vibrant world of danger, mystery, and exploration. As a colonist starting over in a new land, will you work together and learn what this new world offers you? Or will you fight for power and forge your own path? Whether you are experienced at LARPs or brand new, a combat character or not, Last Hope will have something for you.
Last Hope started as a small idea; to run a small, low key, but high quality and realistic live action role play for a core group. As the ground work began to take shape and resources were gathered, the potential for something larger was realized.The event organizers made it a goal to make the immersion and storytelling of our live action role play be the most important aspect of what they wanted to create. The LARP stepped away from the typical US LARP norm and went with more of the nordic/european style. Instead of making a “game” where players can level up, kill monsters and become super powerful, the players play survivors and development their characters through interaction and constant role play in a dangerous world. Even the most veteran fighter in the game can be defeated quickly in combat. This tone makes the players think about consequences of their actions and to appreciate the intensity of fights… people die when hit with weapons!
The Last Hope live action role play is definitely a more serious LARP with minimums for garb, a dark and gritty tone and setting, a more streamline and realistic combat system, and a magic system that is lower fantasy than other games. Monsters will look like monsters with full costumes and dedicated players; there will be no question when a Mordok or Undead is coming after you! This is a core aspect of our live action role play; to make it a believable and immersive experience.