Tag: History

Traditional Chimerae

  It was a single being that had the force of three beasts, the front part of a lion, the tail of a drakon, and the third–middle–head was that of a goat, through which it breathed out fire. — Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. 31 – 32 (Greek mythographer c. 2nd A.D.)   Chimerae depicted in ancient …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/23/22: Chimerae

  Pretty much anyone with a passing knowledge of Greek mythology or fantasy gaming knows what a chimera is, right? Part lion, part goat, and part snake, embodied in this Etruscan bronze statuette. It’s a goofy-looking beast in its original form. It has a lion body (note, however, the body looks more canine than leonine), …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/9/22: Let’s Talk About -stan

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s a slew of new countries came into being that ended¬† with -stan: Uzbekistan, Kazahkstan, Tajikstan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. This Central Asian quintet joins two existing -stans, Pakistan and Afghanistan, bringing the total to seven. They are known collectively as “The Stans.” And what does -stan, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/5/22: Ladies of Arthurian

The women of King Arthur’s Court did not go on grand quests like the men did, but for their comparatively fewer numbers, they were big big drivers of the plots. In the most familiar version of the Camelot story, Guinevere cheats on Arthur with Sir Lancelot, creating a major conflict; likewise, Morgan le Fay, Arthur’s …

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Hurray for Mrs. Claus

Mrs. Claus is a second-string character in the annual Christmas story, behind Santa himself, his elves, and his reindeer. She is usually depicted as elderly, smiling dispenser of cookies. Except when she’s not. In the pic above she’s a vicious ax murderer (in advertising art for the Christmas horror flick Mrs. Claus) while below, she’s …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/15/21: Knights of the
xxxxRound Table

Like the origin and location of Camelot, the number and names of The Knights of the Round Table varied with who was telling the story. Some writers went with a dozen, others, a cast of hundreds. All of them came with their own extensive backstory, sometimes featuring each other as cousins, sons, lieges, or squires, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/8/21: Let’s Talk About

The British comedy troupe Monty Python famously skewered the legend of King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, destined to live forever in the minds of a certain generation who encountered it first during a fundraising drive on PBS. **¬† The Pythons did not have much of a budget, so there were no …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/17/21: States of Confusion
xxxx (Heart of Dixie)

Where did the word “Dixie” as a reference to the southern United States come from? Most likely from the Mason-Dixon line, a demarcation used to separate the states where slavery was legal from those where it wasn’t. But it could also refer to a ten dollar note used in pre-Civil War New Orleans with the …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/3/21: Russian Palaces

Russia retained a feudal type of government until well into the 20th century (before the Russian Revolution, of course) that depended on the backbreaking labor of its serfs to fund the lavish lifestyles of its ruling elite. Not only that, the Czars were considered chosen by God himself to rule, and considered sacred, which is …

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Choose Your Weapon

You’re stranded in Medieval Russia and can only pick one. Which is it?