Big and Beastly Berserker Swords

I couldn’t think of any grand writing tips, fun stories or spiritual thoughts today, so I’m going to appeal to fantasy geekiness. Please accept this epic blog as my epic apology.

We’re talking about the biggest swords ever used in combat, starting from largest to smallest.

5. Claymore

A good claymore is typically somewhere around 4.5-5 feet long. These are the great two-handed swords of legend, one of them well know for being used by William Wallace. They were often used to settle disputes in single combat. These were so epic that they were passed down from generation to generation. That’s pretty epic.

4. Zweihänder / Great Sword

If your sword is so awesome that it’s working title is “great sword”, it’s probably a great sword. And if it’s known as one of the greatest great swords, then this sword is just incredible. The Zweihänder measured anywhere from 4.6 ft to 6 ft long. And they were used to cut off the heads off of pikes. So there’s that.

3. Odachi

The odachi is the only Eastern sword on this list. Big swords were mostly a European thing, to be honest. These katana-like swords were typically 5-6 ft long and were so deadly that they were banned from combat after a while. But whether they’re legal in combat or not, they’re still dang awesome swords.

2. William Wallace’s Sword

Having Scottish blood in me, I cannot help but place this on the list. It is only above odachi because there are odachi blades that are smaller than this sword. It measures 5’4″ (163 cm) in total, with a 4’4″ (132 cm) blade. You have to be one big man to cary around a sword that big. (Unless you’re Zenti from the saga I’m currently writing. Then you can be 4’10”, or 147 cm, and still carry around a massive blade about 7 cm bigger than his. But that’s a story for another time.) In the end, this is just a beast sword. Just pray its end never goes in you.

The Sword of Pier Gerlofs Diona

This is by far the greatest sword in history, so much so that it puts Sephiroth from the video game Final Fantasy VII to shame. This man who wielded it was about seven feet tall, and so it would make sense that he would have a large sword. But you still have to be one berserker of a man to carry a 213 cm long sword. For you Americans, that’s SIX FOOT NINE INCHES. And yes, he used it in war. Constantly. For a slightly gruesome fact, it was able to take out several men in one shot. So, kudos to you, Pier Gerlofs Diona. That’s some talent right there.

There’s the end of my rant on big swords. Hopefully, I can come up with some better content soon.

Send me a Scot

blackwingedgabriel:

I need help. Again.

I realize that I have a character in the book I’m writing who’s speech is based off a Scottish accent. The idea of this was to show he’s not from the same country as the main characters. I can’t just make up my own accent either. I’m just not creative. Also, I write his speech differently than I write the normal speaker’s in the book. I base it off of the Scottish accents I’ve heard in movies like Braveheart and such. If I was writing for an American audience only, that might be fine. Here’s the problem – I’m not. I’d like for people outside the U.S. to see the book. So if this book happens to hit a Scottish audience… it may come off as farcical. I don’t want that! The entire McKenzie Clan (part of my heritage) would join arms and start burning the books! Maybe they wouldn’t be so mean.

So I need a Scottish person. I need you to check out the lines and see if it’s at least pretty close. Them also being a writer would be preferred. Send me a request in ask if you’re interested, and I’ll send you my email so we can keep contact.

And for those who aren’t Scottish… is it a good idea to have people with different accents in your story? Better yet, is it right to write their dialogue differently, especially if they’re a main character? What do you think?

Scots, I could still use some help! Do not deny the patriotic call to correct an American’s perception of your accent!

I Need A Scotsman (or woman)

I need help. Again.

I realize that I have a character in the book I’m writing who’s speech is based off a Scottish accent. The idea of this was to show he’s not from the same country as the main characters. I can’t just make up my own accent either. I’m just not creative. Also, I write his speech differently than I write the normal speaker’s in the book. I base it off of the Scottish accents I’ve heard in movies like Braveheart and such. If I was writing for an American audience only, that might be fine. Here’s the problem – I’m not. I’d like for people outside the U.S. to see the book. So if this book happens to hit a Scottish audience… it may come off as farcical. I don’t want that! The entire McKenzie Clan (part of my heritage) would join arms and start burning the books! Maybe they wouldn’t be so mean.

So I need a Scottish person. I need you to check out the lines and see if it’s at least pretty close. Them also being a writer would be preferred. Here’s my email: officialgabrielpenn@gmail.com.

And for those who aren’t Scottish… is it a good idea to have people with different accents in your story? Better yet, is it right to write their dialogue differently, especially if they’re a main character? Let me know.

If you are a Scottish person and you are questioning whether you should help, let your patriotism guide you.

I’d say ‘MERICA, but this is for Scotland. So, “FREEDOOOM!”

Send me a Scot

I need help. Again.

I realize that I have a character in the book I’m writing who’s speech is based off a Scottish accent. The idea of this was to show he’s not from the same country as the main characters. I can’t just make up my own accent either. I’m just not creative. Also, I write his speech differently than I write the normal speaker’s in the book. I base it off of the Scottish accents I’ve heard in movies like Braveheart and such. If I was writing for an American audience only, that might be fine. Here’s the problem – I’m not. I’d like for people outside the U.S. to see the book. So if this book happens to hit a Scottish audience… it may come off as farcical. I don’t want that! The entire McKenzie Clan (part of my heritage) would join arms and start burning the books! Maybe they wouldn’t be so mean.

So I need a Scottish person. I need you to check out the lines and see if it’s at least pretty close. Them also being a writer would be preferred. Send me a request in ask if you’re interested, and I’ll send you my email so we can keep contact.

And for those who aren’t Scottish… is it a good idea to have people with different accents in your story? Better yet, is it right to write their dialogue differently, especially if they’re a main character? What do you think?

Making A Language: Part 4

Did you know that a constructed language will be in Dark Soldier? Now you do. Here’s how its evolving.

It’s been a while since I did this, but we’re making a return with this blog series! Sospéke is back, and it’s bigger than ever. I didn’t get the greatest photo of it, but here’s an idea to help:

Photo on 5-20-15 at 1.23 PM

I only have seven letters so far (fourteen if you consider the tails and bodies to be different). I am so pumped to have an actual alphabet to work with. It’s wonderful. I actually now know what the…

View On WordPress

Making A Language: Part 4

It’s been a while since I did this, but we’re making a return with this blog series! Sospéke is back, and it’s bigger than ever. I didn’t get the greatest photo of it, but here’s an idea to help:

Photo on 5-20-15 at 1.23 PM

I only have seven letters so far (fourteen if you consider the tails and bodies to be different). I am so pumped to have an actual alphabet to work with. It’s wonderful. I actually now know what the words for wind and fire look like, and it’s beautiful. I have a plan for how sentences will be set up. Hint: sentences will not end with periods.

So that you understand the above picture better, the English letters above the symbols are the sounds that the symbols make. You may notice that there are occasionally multiple English letters above symbols. This is simply my way of explaining non-English sounds. “RR” represents a rolling r, common to languages like Spanish. “KH” represents a more guttural sound as is common to German.

The sound of the language is based off a mixture of both German and Gaelic (yes, Irish and Scots). Yes, I know, it’s perhaps not the best mix of all time. However, if I’m making a language, I want to honor my heritage from both sides of the family with this creation.

To remind those who are new to the whole concept, the words are made up of at least two parts. The body is the main part of the word. The centers, which look like dots, are placeholders, to show what place the word has in the sentence. Without a center, a letter is just a letter. I haven’t fully fleshed out their use yet, but as of right now, they determine things like pronouns, nouns, verbs, etc. The tails are the additions to the bodies, which add to the words complexity. (Ex: a complex form of “wind” would be words like “windy”, “flying”, “breathing”, etc.)

As of right now, I don’t have much grammar down. But I have the basic sounds, and it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. I feel like a really proud dad. In a way, I am.

If you want to see the evolution of Sospéke, please see parts 1, 2, and 3.

For those who don’t know what Gaelic sounds like, here are some videos. Sospéke will sound something like it. Enjoy.

Auld Lang Syne, my Dear

2014. What a year.

So as it is the last day of it, I think perhaps it is time to look back a bit, and with our last glance back remember that we have always things to look forward to.

I remember the beginning of the year for me. I was going to another Bible college before the one I go to now, up in Upstate New York. I don’t know if I would do the beginning of the year again, as it was near a lake and therefore felt like the North Pole up until April. But I learned much through it, especially when the Teen Winter Camp started.

I, like a lot of people, volunteered myself for camp counsellor. It would mean that I would be taking on a small group of teens, keeping them safe and happy during the weekends. It was the first time that I would get the chance to be a father figure for a bit. It was certainly not easy, but it had its ups as well as downs. The first weeks I was unable to do much good at all. By the end, I realized something. I enjoyed parenting. I really did! Regardless of the mental handicaps, behavioral patterns and any issues that we faced, I really enjoyed teaching them, guiding them, consoling them when upset and praising them. I even grew to appreciate the time correcting, because I knew it would guide them into becoming a better person.

And then, during that time I found something. I was finding myself to be slowly becoming more and more interested in a lady friend of mine. Apparently she and I were the only ones who saw it coming, as we were so massively different. Me, a hipster geeky, metal lover, and her, a rap-loving, baggy-clothed dreadlocked gangster chick; we seemed incompatible even as friends. And yet, two weeks into the spring semester, we found ourselves going out regularly, and eventually, after a bit of talking, were officially dating. I had known her for some time up until that point, but to be actually dating the person you want to be? That’s a very surreal feeling.

And as quickly as it began, summer came and we had to make a decision now that our paths were separating. Would we continue as before, or would we have to go our separate ways? There was always long-distance, but still…
In the end, we decided splitting up for a while was the best option. And maybe that will return, who knows.

So came summer, and once again I decided to counsel at a youth camp. I hoped that I would get teens again. Apparently I was good with them, or so I thought. And yet as fate would have it, I found myself counseling children not much older than my own nieces and nephews, ages from five to twelve. I was terrified, and thought for a surety that I could not handle them.

And through that I learned something, too. I learned that parents don’t work just on occasion, they work all day, every hour, even in their sleep they are working. I would find myself comforting kids who were missing their parents, singing to kids who needed it, sitting down next to kids who just needed someone to talk to. It’s a beautiful thing, to take care of a child, I think. I can never underestimate the work parents do again, because it is incredibly hard. But it is also incredibly rewarding, and I would do it over and over again if I had the chance.

I learned a lot that summer. I gained friends that I will always remember, a man who I consider equal with my own brothers, and life lessons I will never forget. Most importantly, I gained wisdom that will stay with me for the rest of my life. You age a lot when you’re raising up the next generation for eight weeks straight.

Then came the end of summer. I would have to say goodbye to friends that I had for so long, and find new ones. I would be going into a place so much unlike what I had experienced before. I would be going from a very little known school to a massive one, Liberty University. I remember walking into the cafeteria and thinking, “Gosh, there’s more people here than live in my own hometown. How am I going to meet anyone?”

So I sat down next to a random person, and found out something. I’m not good at making starting conversations at all.

Weren’t expecting that one, were you? Some kind of sappy thing like I was putting before? Hah! Nice try, ain’t gonna happen!

But I kept trying anyway, and now I’m friends with like a quarter of the school. Basically if I’ve talked with you for about ten minutes you’ll find a Facebook request from me. I’m just that kind of person. With college came meeting new friends, cosplaying for the first time (Jack Skellington, since I’m incredibly and increasingly skinny), my everlasting hatred of finals week, and a very short dating period with someone who was already dating someone else.

And to end this brief tale of college, I must talk about the one thing that returned, which is the return of writing my novel Dark Soldier. While I was working on school things, I found out that I truly enjoy writing more than I enjoy my artwork. For me, it was probably the most unusual find of the year. Until that point artwork was my life and my joy and pride. But I came to find that as good as I was, I did it far more often because I was good at it than that I actually enjoyed it. And so now, I pursue things that I enjoy, not that I’m good at. I think life is better that way.

I think this is going to be the beginning of possibly the most epic journey of life I have ever had. And to think, in only a year and a half I’ll be out of college and heading out to find what my life work will be. It’s probably going to be finishing my novel the Soldier Chronicles, Dark Soldier being the first book of the series. Thanks to writing, I’ve gotten tons of friends and fans, in real life as well as online. I’ve gotten a blog, which I love writing for, a Twitter, which I never thought I would get, and over five hundred fans on Facebook! That’s mind-blowing to me. I never thought I would reach such a point. And so, with how much you blessed me, I want to bless you. So I present, my musical end to the year, Auld Lang Syne. Just follow the link, and you find me doing an instrumental cover of my favorite Scottish folk song. I have very fond memories associated with it.

I have so much to be thankful for this year, and with all the heartbreak and devastation and hard work I still wouldn’t trade this year for the world, not a single day.

God bless every single of you wonderful people.

Be Proud of Your Heritage!

I think that most white Americans tend to naturally think of an immigrant as someone who either speaks a different language than them or has a different color. But that, alas, is not the case! My mother, in fact, only recently got her American citizenship after living in Canada all of her life up until age 23, and her family, only recently before coming to Canada (my great-grandparents being the first to come over) were Highland Scottish! To this day, my auntie still remembers an old Scottish saying, which some might recognize:
“Here’s tae us; wha’s like us? D*** few, and they’re a’ deid!”

Describes our family excellently.

So of course, I am quite fond of my Scottish (and Canadian) family heritage! I would be just as proud of my German side (my father’s family) if I knew them better. I like to think that I am connected to William Wallace somewhere in there, but it’s probably not the case. I do know, however, someone who is, and we happen to get along quite nicely.

A fun little family story for you. It turns out that the English and Scottish side of the MacKenzie clan just do not get along. My aunt never quite got around to explaining it, but from what I’m reading on Wiki (which may not be the best source of info) it is implied that after being an english POW during a dark age war, one of my ancestors joined the English side and the family tree has not been the same since. Fun story, but those sorts of things don’t go over well for families.

Still, I personally have nothing against the English. English people made Doctor Who and Sherlock, so clearly they’re pretty awesome too. In fact, my first girlfriend was English and she was totally awesome.

In further fact, although being part Scottish, I do not follow the stereotypical tendencies of my people to hate every other country. I still love my German side, even though Hitler came from there. I still love Ireland, mainly because I don’t know anything terrible that happened in Ireland but even if they have it doesn’t matter. Why? Because regardless of what a country has done in the past, their future self as a country is not responsible. They are different people. This same concept works with relationships. Perhaps if we saw that more often, this world would be a lot less chaotic.

In closing, I always put something from my novel, so here’s something slightly related. This sword’s design is loosely based off of a Scottish claymore, and so I give you: the Leviathan Killer.

Leviathan Killer Stats
Total Length: 65 in
Blade Length: 50 in
Description: Golden-scaled hilt with red gem in pommel and dragon claws as cross-guards. Triangular blade.
Abilities: Legend has it that it is the only sword capable of killing a leviathan, a massive sea monster unable to be found by being searched for.
Crafter: World’s first dragonslayer