A Time For Swords

History & Mystery

Every now and then I like to delve back through the years and look at our bloody past and just be grateful I was born in 1961 and not a thousand years earlier. History repeats itself because of mankind’s folly. Regrettably, we forget that past far too soon. In these snippets, I like to weave connections between History & Mystery as the gap is often narrower than we think.

Mystery hints at things we tap into –– the shadow or rumor, a turn in the road. Instinct and warnings. History is a signpost saying –– Do Not Enter Here Again! My main fascination is for British & Irish History where my roots stem from, and mainly the Dark and Middle Ages, which were pretty uncomfortable for most folks. Here’s a snippet about The Wars Of The Roses –– a particularly violent period in English History taken from my newsletter last year…

Tudor Rose

The Wars of the Roses marked the end of the Middle Ages and the dawn of a new era — Tudor England.

These complex conflicts spanned three decades, during which the houses of Lancaster and York almost obliterated each other. The result conveniently opened doors for Henry Tudor, who seized the throne of England after Richard III (York) lost everything at Bosworth field.

Perhaps the bloodiest period in England’s turbulent history The Wars of the Roses marked the end of the Plantagenet era. If you think Game of Thrones is complex and brutal check out those early kings of England: Henry II — Richard III (The Plantagenet years.) They were an exceedingly violent lot! To say life was rough then is to understate.

Incidentally, G.R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire was influenced by The Wars of the Roses, the Lannister and Starks are not dissimilar to some of the characters from Houses York and Lancaster.

Though not Tyrion — he’s one and only 🙂

The battle of Towton (March 29th, 1461) was the bloodiest battle fought on British soil. Near this village close to York, Margaret of Anjou’s Lancastrian force was crushed by Edward IV’s Yorkists in a fight that continued throughout the day and the following night during blizzards. The conditions and brutality were beyond horrendous. Conn Iggulden gives a graphic account of this battle in his gripping series, about the Wars of the Roses,(first book pictured above.)

The last Plantagenet king’s remains were recently found buried under a car park in Leicester. Shakespeare vilified Richard III, but the Bard lived in Tudor times, and one cannot help but think history was twisted in their favor by Henry VII’s Tudor spin doctors. Just a thought!

‘My Kingdom for a Horse!’ Indeed!

To find out more about this cataclysmic time in European History clink on this Wikipedia Link

Tudor Rose

 Folklore Corner

The term Widdershins means to go counterclockwise. Folklore states this unlucky and mentions several incidents when hapless folk have walked widdershins around a church and ended up in Faerie.

During Samhain, (All Hallows Eve,) witches are said to ride their broomsticks widdershins around the church — a wayward practice that sounds rather hazardous!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing blog posts from the wonderful Icy Sedgwick who knows a lot more about folklore than I do. You can follow Icy Here

Mercenary: Episode 3 — Flies and Muck

corin_ebook

        Flies and muck, searing heat, and people with steel wanting to slice open your bowels. Permio did little to ease the mind. Corin had been down here a month and was amazed he was still alive. Word had reached Silon via his Huntmaster informing him his daughter was at it again.

Nalissa had been sent back up to Atarios ––not for the first time apparently–– and Corin an Fol ––the merchant’s former blue-eyed boy––promptly despatched down to Permio, tasked with a new contact. Unlike the last, this one was currently proving tricky.

“I’ve got a wee job for you,” That morning three weeks ago, Silon had rubbed his diamond earring and surveyed Corin calmly enough, but the hounds had sensed the tension in the room. Now and then one would reveal tongue and molars in Corin’s direction.

“Who?” Corin gave the merchant look for look. You don’t have to love your boss.

“Krugan, a brigand who operates in the hills north of Agamandeur. He’s become a problem; I need him silenced.” Sounded easy enough but Silon had neglected to enlighten Corin on the fifty heavies this Krugan kept manning his hideout in the desert. Corin had left for Permio that following day, neither he nor the merchant saw cause to mention Nalissa.

This Krugan raided a village now and then, butchered a few folk, fondled the odd lass and stole stuff. Nothing untoward; this was business as usual in the deserts surrounding the Sultan’s cities. Corin had served down here during the Second Permio War. He knew the drill, sharp steel being the only currency bar gold.

But the kick in the balls wasn’t welcome. Neither was the rough hemp cutting into his wrists, as he hung and swung naked and filthy in the marketplace, a score of grubby traders watching on and placing bets. They’d erected the gibbet an hour ago, just for larks.

“Silon paid you to murder me, yes?” Krugan’s one eye was baleful and bloodshot. Corin wondered how long this would continue before the brigand cut his throat. “I’m right, aren’t I?”

Corin swung about a bit and yawned. It was hotter than a camel’s hump this afternoon, and he really needed a beer, but then ale was crap down here as was everything else.

“Just do for me and move on,” Corin croaked, and then swung wide as Krugan’s kick impacted his groin again. This was getting tedious. Krugan showed his lizard smile and slid the curved fat dagger from his belt.

“As you wish,” Krugan nodded his men hold their captive steady. “You are clearly too stupid to know anything useful.” Krugan handed his jeweled dagger over to the big lad behind Corin. “Ugami cut this bastard’s throat and leave him for the dogs. It’s time we got moving, else the Sultan’s guard find us.”

Ugami grinned and readied the knife. Corin winked at him. “On reflection,” he yawned again, “I probably should have hidden that stolen gold better.”

“What stolen gold?” Krugan barked as Ugami’s knife hand froze.           

 

You can get more from Corin an Fol when you join the JW Webb VIP Lounge. Click this Instafreebie Link and get his first adventure Free on the way in! You can view JW Webb’s Amazon Page and get a copy of any of the series including those pictured below by clicking here

series

I’ll see you next week!

Cheers!

JWW.

 

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