Tag Archive | defense

Crannog in Scotland, Maybe?

closeup of crannog (640x427) (2)

Note the “walkway” to the land mass from the high island?

crannog maybe close up (640x427) (2)

Was this all completely natural, or had Scots of old built the narrow land walkways to the islands?

crannog maybe (2) (640x427)

Maybe they are nothing more than islands with tentacles of rock and peat bridges to the mainland. Maybe only children of an earlier time played on them, pretending to own the vast riches of their own island world, defending them from fantasy invaders.

crannog closeup (640x427)

Or maybe they were crannogs at one time eons ago and protected the locals as they were meant to do.

In times of old, the Highlanders would build crannogs–many of them wooden structures on a loch to protect themselves. But sometimes they would use natural islands like these and fortify them.

When I saw these, I immediately thought of a crannog that I had used in the story, The Highlanders, because essentially, this is what it looked like. A narrow path from the shore to the island, only they would have built a stone or wooden fortification to shelter them from the weather and they even could cook in them. In The Highlander, they had low stone walls and the island was bigger, though I took these shots from a long distance on another hill that we climbed to see the view of them clearer, so close up, they aren’t all that small. My “land bridge” was a bit wider than these, but these would make for a much more easily defended crannog.

The Highlander, Book 5

Anna, the shepherdess, finds a half-naked man in her bed, so what’s a woman living alone in a cottage in the Lowlands of Scotland supposed to do? Prod him with her pitchfork to chase him off! Only the man is not just a traveler seeking her bed for a rest—but a wounded Highlander, who fights back, swinging his sword!

Niall MacNeill is searching for a Frenchwoman of nobility to escort to his brother’s castle for safekeeping, when he and his friend, Gunnolf, are attacked by another Highland clan, seeking the same woman. The other Highlanders wish to sell her to the highest bidder—English or French—it does not matter.

Niall takes refuge in a sheepherder’s cottage to heal up from his wounds and discovers the shepherdess taking care of him may very well be the woman he seeks. He has no intention of doing anything but what his brother requests of him—ensure her safety on their way to Craigly Castle—but when the lass so bravely wields her pitchfork at him, he is thinking of other, more interesting possibilities.

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Okay, off to write! I made up a little on writing yesterday, but still 13,000 words behind. 🙁  Have you ever watched Limitless? There’s a drug that will make you see everything so clearly, the writer who hasn’t written a word for months suddenly sees the whole book clearly and in three days, he’s written his best seller. Now, wouldn’t that be great? But what’s so amusing about the story is that the author gets an advance for a book he hasn’t written, when he’s a total unknown, and he can’t even clearly pitch the story to anyone, so how he would have pitched to and acquisition editor and received a contract is beyond me. And he’s missing deadlines, as if someone who was nobody, never been published, and doesn’t have a big name otherwise, like some famous actor or wrestler or singer who can’t write, but can still get a fantastic advance for an unwritten book. He’s nobody. The thing is an author wrote the book. So you’d think he’d get it right! 🙂

I mean, when I write about my shapeshifters, one is a romance author and she’s famous, but she’s been writing for years and has a built-in shifter audience. Even so, I never talk about her advances, only about how she took her brawny Highland wolf warriors to a book signing, and she sold more books at a signing than she had ever done–because of them, not because of her book. See? I write realistically!

Okay, this was supposed to post last night, but I was having computer problems and it wouldn’t save, so I couldn’t schedule it. I’m off to write! Have a great day!!!

Terry

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear:

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Narrow, Curving Castle Stairs

Narrow curving castle stairs (596x800)

Sometimes they led to nowhere at all. But did they really? Of course they led to somewhere. But now that somewhere is gone.  Do you ever imagine what it would have been like day in, day out, climbing these very narrow stairs? Can you imagine trying to pass someone on them?  It’s hard to do. We would have to back up and let someone else come up the stairs. Why were they so narrow?

You can imagine it would be a lot more difficult for an attacker to get to the defender with so little room to move. And two couldn’t come up at once, shoulder to shoulder. One would have to follow the other and couldn’t fight until the guy ahead of him was out of his way.

Note also the curve to the stairs so that the defender coming down could swing his sword and the attacker, if he was right-handed, could not. I wonder if anyone thought about that in teaching their sons swordsmanship–to fight with both hands, to swing as well with the left as the right?

Off to work some more on Jaguar Pride, which has nothing to do with castles and Scotland, but…

Photo: Highland Santas and wolves, what could be better?

Have a super TGIF!

Terry

www.terryspear.com