History

Worldbuilding

Siege Warfare Before Gunpowder

The fantasy genre is stuffed with sieges, even in series other than Lord of the Rings! From the Battle of Winterfell to whatever Prince Caspian was doing at Aslan’s How, fantasy storytellers are always eager to show us battles of catapults and scaling ladders. But sieges are complicated, … read more »

Worldbuilding

How Do Cannons Affect Your Naval Combat?

Recently, I went over the naval tactics your characters might use in a world without gunpowder. This raises the natural question, what happens when gunpowder is introduced? As you might imagine, the answer is complicated. Gunpowder isn’t a single toggle switch. There are hundreds, possibly … read more »

Worldbuilding

Water Travel Before Engines

A photo of the Olympia, a replica Trireme from the Greek Navy.

Some time back, Chris wrote an excellent treatise on the difficulties of Land Travel Before Engines, and now it’s time to cover the other half of that equation. Water covers most of our planet’s surface, and voyages are a common staple of fantasy. Whether your … read more »

Podcast

229 – Research

The Mythcreant Podcast

Sometimes we want to put something in our stories, but we don’t know much about it. What’s the answer? Research! Whether it’s the specifics of knotwork on a Phoenician trade ship or the grand sweep of empires colliding, research is a vital skill for speculative … read more »

Q&A

How Can I Justify a World Without Colonialism?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Hi, it’s me again! History buffs: What do you think of this? Demons (more monster- than villain-like) have made sparse attacks on humanity since forever, and all cultures have had mages to defend themselves. However, in the thirteenth century, there was a massive surge of … read more »