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INFO: External Resources

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We'd like to write up some articles pointing users to resources people find useful for ASoIaF. Not really Ice and Fire stuff directly, but books on medieval history, arms and armor galleries, websites, movies, medieval/Renaissance music and folk ballads (to give a sense of how Westerosi music might sound, instead of stuff like the [i]Conan[/i] soundtrack ;).

So, if there's any suggestions, let us know. I've got a bookmarks folder full of this sort of stuff so I'll be adding to the list myself.

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Yay for this topic thread!
Love living in the internet age... so many fun informative websites. :read:

Here's a few I've stumbled upon:

Braided Hair
How-to for braiding hair. Lot's of pictures and instruction. Some names might not be appropriate for BoD (Dutch braid, French braid, etc,... but the style could still be used.)
RP use: Desc, Rping braiding hair.

Le Couturière Parisienne Costume and Fashion Site
European Medieval thru 20th Century
Men and women clothing reference with pictures. Some actual pattern sheets from tailor notebooks.
Site in both English and German.
RP use: Desc, Rping putting on or removing clothing.

Costume/Styling :thumbsup:
The Costumer's Manifesto: Medieval European Costume Links Page
many many weblinks to Medieval European Costume specific websites
The Costumer's Manifesto in general is a vast site for research links specific to costuming for any period, any culture. Many links to places to actually buy reconstructed items. Many links to online patterns/instruction for those who can sew.
RP use: Desc, Rping clothing use.

FabricLink | Fabric University
Quickview of the origin/source of the four natural fabrics (flax, cotton, wool, silk).
RP use: Desc, Rping fabric/clothing handling.

Twelfth and Thirteenth Century Clothing
Nice compact site of clothing for men and women. Some visual references, some period textual references (very unique), and even a how-to for those of you who want to wear a veil and dress while you MUSH. :P
Check out the 'links' page for an extensive list of weblinks (everything from Archery to Spinning to Early Music to Dance to Horses)
RP use: Desc, Rping everyday life.

Images of Medieval French Armor
Mostly suits of armor. Some period stuff, some not, but pretty pictures. No descriptions, no further references.
RP use: Desc

Setting/Castles :thumbsup:
CASTLEMAGIC Castle builders
For $649,000 USD, you too could have your own 1600 sq ft castle!
Modern builders of castles! Amazing if these folks are actual legit builders/architects...
Lot's of Castle pictures with floor plans, descriptions, in progress, interior. The pictures of that castle in Idaho, USA are amazing.
RP use: Setting scene, Room Desc.

If you want to buy a kit to build your own trebuchet...
RP use: Desc a trebuchet.

A Feast For The Eyes
Some period images of people feasting, hunting, cooking, drinking.
RP use: Rping feasting, drinking.

Technology/General :thumbsup:
Medieval Technology Pages
A neat little site with pictures, period references, and descriptions of technology in Medieval Europe. Includes things like spectacles, rat traps, and soap.
RP use: Maesters, Rping props.

Medieval food for vegetarians
includes ideas, references, and actual recipes for vegetarian fare.
RP use: Rping feasting, cooking.

Contents of www.kostym.cz
the table of contents are in Czech and English. Some nice pictures and patterns of period clothes.
RP use: Desc

Recreating 14th Century Braies
Check out the section on 'how to wear braies' Good source for men to understand how period underwear and hose was worn.
RP use: Desc, Rping dressing/undressing

Buckinghams Retinue - Reenactment Guidebook
Looks like a SCA website. The link is for their 'Guide Book' which has patterns, how-to's, and other interesting things about clothing.
RP use: Desc.

Feudalism and medieval life in England
England specific site. Some interesting fun info to be adapted to BoD. Quick easy one page read.
RP use: everyday life

Medieval Life
A simple easy site with general info about medieval life. A quick review/study.
RP use: everyday life

Learn how to care for horses and other horse information
Link to some interesting horse care information.
RP use: everyday life, Horsemanship

The Song of Roland at Project Gutenberg
Considered by many to be the ultimate epic poem on chivalric romance.
At this link, you can read it online or download the English translation.
RP use: Romantic Chivalry
Here's the Wikipedia link [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Song_of_Roland"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Song_of_Roland[/url]

Lifestyle/Warfare :thumbsup:
Britain's Bayeux Tapestry
Website for the famous Bayeux Tapestry. For those not familiar, think: Graphic Novel of a true life battle. Just.. embroidered. Lot's of descriptions, pictures.
RP use: Warfare, storytelling, art, needlework

The Care of Ravens
For any Maesters. :) Some quick raven information.
RP use: Maesters, desc ravens, rping ravens

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Until we get SOIAF the movie...

Kurosawa classics I like for Feudal/Medieval/Renaissance RP study. And just darn good films. :)

Ran (Chaos)
A Kurosawa masterpiece. Based on Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear.’
Great for how noble houses (especially men) interact with each other and with a King. Great for study of the feudal system and house interactions. Great for how servants interact with nobility. Great for how pious ladies, widows, and concubines would act in a feudal system. Great for how Intra-Family interactions lead to downfall.

Kumonosu Jo (Throne of Blood)
A Kurosawa masterpiece. Based on Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth.’
Great for noble female interaction with noble men. Watch the ‘Lady Macbeth’ character. That actress is amazing.

Shichinin no Samurai (Seven Samurai)
Another Kurosawa classic.
Great study for how hedge knights might interact. Good study for peasantry. Good study for how ‘houseless’ knights might find purpose. Female disguised as male. Love story fighting against class differences. Bandits, suicide, fire, death, hope.

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[i]Edit: Because tags are evil...[/i]

*points to the above*

I don't think I can do much better than that... :stunned: However, I can borrow a friend's post from a different, fantasy-based mud; I've found it one of the most comprehensive explanations of armor and weaponry out there. Unfortunately, this is highly picture intensive and I can't link directly to the post (you need to register there),

I'll put the armor portion of it below. If it's something you're interested in - Tim didn't cite his pictures ([i]loser[/i]) - I can either post the rest or e-mail it to you.

Please note, in the naming of medieval armour and weaponry, there are exceptions to be made everywhere! Please don't take any of this as absolute truth, rather, it's a general depiction of the things you're seeing while you play.





Iron helmet with a long noseguard:


Half-helm framed in chainmail:


Greathelm/Full Helm (These are both more or less the same - I would also point out that the greathelm was often worn overtop a smaller, thinner helmet. )




Barbute Helm: (Sexiest Helmet ever made, at least in my opinion)






Sallet Helm: This is just the basic sallet helm, without covering the entire front of the face, and without a bevor. Often favoured by foot soldiers - plenty of protection without compromising visibility.


Full sallet helm with visor, second picture includes Bevor: (Close second for sexiest helm ever made)


Chainmail/Mail Coif - it's not really a helmet, but I include it here anyway. Note that a coif does not have to be made of chainmail - leather, padded cloth, maybe even scales are all a possibility.



Quilted armour - known as a Padded Jack, or just a Jack - essentially a heavy tunic made of many (often up to thirty) layers of fabric. Ultimate poor man's armour, not much help against slashing and blunt attacks, but it actually performs surprisingly well against arrows:


Leather - What you see pictured is actually a buff coat, a form of armour favoured by light dragoons (cavalry) in the 18th century onward. (Don't quote me on that, my knowledge starts to fail pretty badly once I hit the 16th century.)



Leather scale armour - a form of Leather Lamellar armour - it is formed of leather scales laced one to another. Would have been bulkier than plain leather, but provided more protection. The second picture is leather scale armour made in the same manner as metal scale armour - scales sewn onto a cloth backing. In this case, obviously, the scales are made of leather not metal



Studded Leather - This never actually existed, but is a confusion about a type of armour known as "Coat of Plates", and also Brigandine. As you can see, from the front this sort of armour looks just like leather with studs rammed into its surface - from the back view, however, you can see that the studs hold in place a series of metal plates. This form of armour was very popular later in the middle ages, often seen as something "Cool", where you could disguise the fact that you were actually walking around with a protective coating of metal. Stealth armour, if you will.



I should mention here that studded leather, coat of plates, Brigandine, and yet another sort of armour - courbouilli - are perhaps some of the most confused and often mislabeled sorts of armour.

Courbouilli is the next of the top tier of leather armours - unlike plain leather, or the buff coat, courbouilli has been hardened and formed through a baking process, essentially producing Leather plate armour. It has all the components of a plate harness - breastplate, vambraces, pauldrons, etc. - yet is composed entirely of leather. I had a really awesome picture of courbouilli stored on my computer a year or so ago, but I seem to have lost it... this will have to do for now.


Finally we have Brigandine (an IG armor) - Please realize that I do not know if the picture I have here even ever historically existed, but it more or less sums up the description of Brigandine.

[url="http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f113/son_one/BRIGANDINE.jpg"]http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f113/son_one/BRIGANDINE.jpg ://http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f...BRIGANDINE.jpg [/url]

In summation - studded leathers in RL is leather with small plates fastened underneath, courbouilli is composed entirely of leather, but is fashioned in the same manner as a suit of plate, while brigandine as we have in SOI is a mixture of leather and expose metal plates for very vulnerable portions of the body.

*Sigh of Relief* I dislike leather armour... on to the good stuff


At the lowest of the low in metal armour we have Ringmail. Now, the name ringmail, and the armour itself, is a product of victorian confusions over certain medieval tapestries (if you've ever seen the ways things are depicted in medieval tapestries, you can hardly blame them for the mistake). However, there are a few, scattered examples of what is known as ringmail - rings (not overlapping) sewn onto a leather backing. Here is the most famous: (Pretty ugly stuff, eh?)



Next we have Scale, one of the earlier metal armours to evolve. It is composed of small metal plates (scales) sewn onto a leather or cloth backing so that each overlaps the one below it. (Picture a snake's skin, or, speaking of fantasy, a dragon's hide). Note that scale armour can also refer to something quite different than shown here - namely, metal scales attached to a mail/chainmail backing; essentially combining both scale and mail in one package. It is INSANELY heavy, but provides serious coverage.




Next up protective wise from Scale is Maille/mail/chainmail. The General Motors of armour, and something that saw use from the age of the anglo-saxons and the Vikings, through the Crusades, into the age of plate, and even beyond - the last known use of mail armour was when a group of Egyptian (I think, running off memory here) soldiers dressed in mail duked it out with an inferior number of British troops (late 19th century, I believe, though again - don't quote me on that!). Needless to say, bullet-proof mail is impossible to make, and they were slaughtered.

Mail consists of small metal rings, each connected to four others around it - the rings were made of a wire gauges (American, I don't do European wire gauges, sorry) anywhere from 12 to even 18 and 20. The diameter (measured from the inside) could range from as small as an eight of an inch, to as large as 7/16ths (that's 3.2 mm and 11.1 mm for those of you too lazy to divide by 2.54)

It provides close to complete cutting protection, good defense against arrows, and rather poor defense against poleaxes/thrusting swords/spears/hammers/really big axes. It should also be realized that just because the mail protects the wearer from being cut DOES NOT mean they are protected entirely - a blow that might draw no blood is still quite capable of pulverizing skin tissue and even fracturing bone. Painful.

There were Hauberks (knee-length), Haubergeons (mid-thigh), and Byrnies (waist-length). In some cases those lengths and names are switched around, but the above is what I usually stick with.



Haubergeon: (Yes, the mask freaks me out too...)




Yeah, none of those were really knee-length, the longest being about mid-thigh. I'd post pictures of my own hauberk, which is really and truly knee-length, but it's currently undergoing some serious resizing as I trim it to fit someone about six inches shorter and forty pounds lighter than I am.

Speaking of weight, a suit of mail would tip at the scale at anywhere from about 20 pounds, to as much as 40 pounds (That's 9.1 kg and 18.2 kg for those of you too lazy to divide by 2.2). Mail weighs heavily on the shoulders, but the weight is made manageable by lifting the suit up a few inches and securing a belt tightly about your waist, thus transferring some of the strain off your shoulders.

Plate Armour

The most sought after of armours, this stuff is the ultimate and final evolution of the armourer's art. It comes in so many forms and varieties that even attempting such a discussion is far beyond the scope of my post (at least not tonight...), and most people have a pretty good idea of what it looks like anyway. But, for those of you who have spent your entire life living under a rock as you play MUDs, I'll provide pictures.

However, I have noticed many people here make the old and false claim that plate armour is slow, cumbersome, and heavy. That it often weighed over a hundred pounds (fifty kilos), that knights had to be winched onto their steeds, and once you were down you stayed down. Nothing could be further from the truth! A full set of plate at the peak of the armourer's craft would weigh in at roughly 50 pounds (22.7 kilos). Formed as it was, this weight would be distributed over the entire body, making it quite manageable; well conditioned men were known to cartwheels, running, and jumping in their full plate harness. True, it was exceptionally hot, and got tiring after a while, but the plate-clad knight was NOT the plodding meatbag he is often made out to be. Rather, he was a well-trained, exceedingly dangerous man; his armour was impervious to anything but direct on crushing blows, or the sharp end of a warhammer. Swords and other weapons could only be used against the chinks and crevices.

The first image is a breastplate over a mail hauberk - an earlier form of what eventually evolved into the second image, a full set of plate armour in the popular style known as Gothic Armour.



Next up is a quick post on shields, then on to weaponry. First, however, I'll be needing something rather important known as sleep... Grammar might improve a little after another look over it as well.

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