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An exploration of Fantasy and Science Fiction Worlds in literature and multimedia entertainment
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Monday, April 27, 2009

FireHeart's Fantasy & Mythology Quiz!

A fun quiz to test your knowledge on fantasy and mythology, and to test the balance between the real life and living in your imaginations. It doesn't prove anything, so, please don't take it in heart.

How knowledgeable are you in fantasy and mythology genre? Have you read, watch or play tons of Fantasy Fiction games, novels, comics or movies? Just take this quiz to find out. And if you're not, just have fun and enjoy the ride!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Brief Study of Medieval Ships

Medieval ships
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The medieval pintle and gudgeon rudder contributed significantly to the success of European ships in the later age of exploration

Ships were greatly used in the Middle Ages. The use of these gigantic ships were mainly for trading purposes. Traveling by ships was also much safer than traveling by land. A disadvantage for sailors was that the early maps weren't very accurate. Thus, if one got lost, there was very little chance that one would return home safely or alive.

People in the Middle Ages often traded with slaves, carriages, and working animals such as horses. This was why the ships were built oversized, in order to accommodate their products.



[edit] Early Middle Ages

[edit] Longship

Model of a Knaar

The longship was a type of ship that was developed over a period of centuries and perfected by its most famous user, the Vikings, in approximately the 9th century. The ships were clinker-built, utilizing overlapping wooden strakes.

[edit] Knarr

The knaar, a relative of the longship, was a type of cargo vessel. It differed from the longship in that it was larger and relied solely on its square rigged sail for propulsion.

[edit] High Middle Ages

[edit] Cog

A cog

The cog was a design which is believed to have evolved from (or at least been influenced by) the longship, and was in wide use by the 12th century. It too used the clinker method of construction. It was most famous for its use by the Hanseatic League

The first mention of a cog is from 948 AD in Muiden near Amsterdam. These early cogs probably used a steering oar (side rudder, quarter rudder). There is no evidence of a stern rudder in northern Europe until about 1240. It is hard to tell exactly what cogs looked like. The best preserved is the Bremen cog, where the hull is preserved but not the rig. Other than that, we have to rely on contemporary images.

These images show that the cog was a wide and spacious transport ship. Early cogs had open hulls and could be rowed short distances. During the 13th century they became larger and received a deck, as well as a raised platform in the bow and stern. These are some features which are common for all cogs: one yard-sail; clinker outer planking at the sides of the hull; straight stem and sternpost, opposed to the rounded Viking stem; strong cross-beams, usually protruded through the ship's sides, to hold the sides together. Source: Nordic Underwater Archeology;

[edit] Late Middle Ages

The Santa Maria at anchor by Andries van Eertvelt, painted c. 1628 shows the famous carrack of Christopher Columbus

[edit] Caravel

Caravela Redonda / Square-rigged Caravel
Caravela Latina / Latin Caravel

The caravel was a ship invented in Moorish Spain and used in the Mediterranean from the 13th century. Unlike the longship and cog, it used a carvel method of construction. It could be either square rigged (Caravela Redonda) or lateen rigged (Caravela Latina). The most famous examples of caravels were the Niña and the Pinta

[edit] Carrack

The carrack was another type of ship invented in the Mediterranean in the 15th century. It was a larger vessel than the caravel. Columbus’s ship, the Santa María was a famous example of a carrack.

[edit] See also

[edit] Further reading

Hutchinson, Gillian (1994). Medieval Ships and Shipping. London: Leicester University Press, ISBN 0-7185-1413-0

[edit] External links

A Brief Study of Exploration Age Ships - Vol.1

Exploration Age Ships Overview:

The carrack was the choice high seas beast of burden and has been described as the 'perfected transport ship'.[citation needed]

* It offered the space for crew, provisions and also cargo.
* They were virtually impregnable to attack from small craft, which was often a problem in the East Indies.
* Their ability to carry cargo and provisions made them independent of ports en route, and so they had a longer range using the most efficient route.
* The combination of four sails and advanced rigging allowed for a fair degree of flexibility—the large square sails provided propulsion, but were reduced in size during storms. The smaller sails at bow and stern allowed for maneuvering, and the lateen sails allowed for sailing across the wind.
* The stable deck allowed for placement of guns, thus making the vessel an effective gun platform, as was demonstrated at the Battle of Diu (1509). This fact would greatly assist the Portuguese in convincing non-compliant rulers like the Samoothiri Raja in Asia to trade with them; allowing the Portuguese to break into established trade monopolies. It also gave effective protection against pirates.

However, the large superstructures of these ships made them prone to capsizing in strong winds.

Example Carracks:
Madre de Deus :

A galleon was a large, multi-decked sailing ship used primarily by the nations of Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries. Whether used for war or commerce, they were generally armed with demi-culverin.

Galleons were an evolution in the caravel and carrack (also a nao or nau: Spanish and Portuguese respectively for "vessel"[1][2]), for the new great ocean going voyages. A lowering of the forecastle and elongation of the hull gave an unprecedented level of stability in the water, and reduced wind resistance at the front, leading to a faster, more maneuverable vessel. The galleon differed from the older types primarily by being longer, lower and narrower, with a square tuck stern instead of a round tuck, and by having a snout or head projecting forward from the bows below the level of the forecastle. In Portugal at least, carracks were usually very large ships for their time (often over 1000 tons), while galleons were mostly under 500 tons, although the Manila galleons were to reach up to 2000 tons. Carracks tended to be lightly armed and used for transporting cargo, while galleons were purpose-built warships, and were stronger, more heavily armed, and also cheaper to build (5 galleons could cost around the same as 3 carracks) and were therefore a much better investment for use as warships. There are nationalistic disputes about the origin of the galleon, which are complicated by its evolutionary development, but each Atlantic sea-power developed types suited to their needs, while constantly learning from their rivals.

The galleon was powered entirely by sail, carried three to five masts, with a lateen sail continuing to be used on the last (usually third) mast. They were used in both military and trade applications, most famously in the Spanish treasure fleet, and the Manila Galleons. In fact, galleons were so versatile that a single vessel may have been refitted for wartime and peacetime roles several times during its lifespan. The galleon was the prototype of all square rigged ships with three or more masts for over two and a half centuries, including the later full rigged ship.

The principal warships of the opposing English and Spanish fleets in the 1588 confrontation of the Spanish Armada were galleons, with the modified English "race built" galleons developed by John Hawkins proving decisive, while the capacious Spanish galleons, designed primarily as transports for long ocean voyages, proved incredibly durable in the battles and in the great storm on the voyage home; most survived.


Carronade (gun):
The carronade was a short smoothbore, cast iron cannon, developed for the Royal Navy by the Carron Company, an ironworks in Falkirk, Scotland, UK. It was used from the 1770s to the 1850s. Its main function was to serve as a powerful, short-range anti-ship and anti-crew weapon. While considered very successful early-on, carronades eventually disappeared as long-range naval artillery led to fewer and fewer close-range engagements.

A caravel is a small, highly maneuverable, two- or three-masted lateen-rigged ship, created by the Portuguese and used also by them and by the Spanish for long voyages of exploration from the 15th century. It's derived from the qarib used by Muslim Andalusian explorers in the 13th century.

Man O' War:
The man-of-war (also man of war, man-o'-war or simply man) was the most powerful type of armed ship from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The term often refers to a ship armed with cannon and propelled primarily by sails, as opposed to a galley which is propelled primarily by oars. The man-of-war was developed in the Mediterranean in the 15th century from earlier roundships with the addition of a second mast to form the carrack (a type of ship used by the English in the 1500s). The 16th century saw the carrack evolve into the galleon and then the ship of the line.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Vote for Christopher Paolini as the Teen Choice Favorite Author!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Master of Fantasy Online

The Opening Movie Scene

Visit the Master of Fantasy

Massively Multi-Player RPG Fantasy Online Game

Official Website:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

FireHeart - Game and Novel Overview

Game Story

Terra Eternia, a world like Earth in an altered dimension, is indeed a beautiful world of love, hope and peace. But when evil – the extreme form of negativity – disrupts the balance, there are always conflicts between good and the Trinity of Evil: hatred, destruction and terror. Evil once ruled supreme in this world, the Evil named Vordac, the Dark Overlord. His domination was ended by Sage the Fireheart, who assembled the Seven Heroes and waged the First Crusade. Vordac has once rebelled against Adair the Sodomos. The Dark God.Adair defeated Vordac, banished him from the underworld and cursed Vordac to roam in Eternia for eternity. As a result of that, Vordac’s spirit can possess mediums or hosts. After his defeat to Sage, he possessed a medium, the Great Sword Deathblade. Vordac re-emerged with the help of his host, Mildred Urganon, but he again met a fatal defeat from Fireheart’s son, Antoine the Avenger. And again, Vordac’s spirit found refuge in Deathblade. Then, sealed by the three Archmages of Light, Vordac awaited for his heir to come and free him from this prison to return in his reign of terror. As prophesied, when the heir came, the heroes known as "Paladins" would rise again to stop the heir, vanquishing Vordac once and for all.
Come forth, Paladins! Fulfill your destiny!

Main Characters (Main party members in order of appearance)

Cristophe Deveraux

Nickname: Chris
Race: Human
Gender: Man
Age: 18
Zodiac: Gemini (Jun 6), The Fool (Tarot)
Nation: Arcadia
Class: Knight / Defender
Job/Status: Monster Hunter / Bounty Hunter
Favourite Gears: Long Sword Wyrthal, Raven Shield, Full Mail Armor
Element: Holy Light

Judging from interactions during the story, Chris is known for being an opposite to his cousin, Carolyn. He’s reckless, impulsive, greedy and cowardly.
He dedicates his life for fun, adventure and excitement, so Chris always avoid responsibilities. He is easily swayed by prospects of luxury, and seduced by beautiful women, often endangering his life.
In spite of that, Robert and a few others see a hidden potential in Chris, like a diamond in its rough. Like Spider-man, Chris is going to get a great power – and a great responsibility that follows.

Carolyn Deveraux

Other Name: Carol
Nickname: Handygirl / Pink-haired sorceress
Race: Half-elf
Gender: Woman
Age: 16
Zodiac: Libra (Sept 28), The Magician (Tarot)
Nation: Thyrine / Arcadia
Class: Sorceress
Job/Status: Monster Hunter / Bounty Hunter
Best Gears: Magic Trident Esthagar (Eye of the Storm), Necklace of Luck
Element: Fire + Lightning

Cristophe's cousin, a half-elf druid mastering fire and lightning magicks.
She’s always precise and detail in anything – perhaps too much critical and logical – so that she’s like a fussy smart-aleck.
Truthfully, being resourceful and witty, Carol frequently gives out solutions for any problem, no matter how complicated it is.

Robert Chandler

Other Name: Rob
Nickname: Orcbane
Race: Human
Gender: Man
Age: 20
Zodiac: Scorpio (Nov 11), The Chariot (Tarot)
Nation: Lore
Class: Swordsman/Fighter
Job/Status: Monster Hunter / Bounty Hunter
Gears: Crossbow, Emmerich’s Kiliji, Leather Armor
Element: Fire

Rob is a middle-grade monster hunter who specializes in orcs and dangerous monsters. He is always calm, cautious, cool and rather apathetic. But it doesn’t mean that he’s cold and silent. He always tries to settle a conflict through diplomacy, negotiation or long explanation.
He’s basically anti-violence, but he frequently goes berserk whenever he fights an orc or anybody who threatens the lives of his loved / respected ones.
During his adventures, Rob will be forged into a more caring man, holding on to the truth, also a tough and respected leader.

(More updates soon)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Legionwood - RPG Fantasy Games!


Legionwood is a new RPG Maker VX project from the creator of the RPG Maker 2003 game Tales Of Worlds. Legionwood is the product of over two year's extensive planning, writing, testing and development. It is the first ever high tier project for the RPG Maker VX system and it is truly a journey you must experience to believe.
Legionwood has been released on seven different gaming sites across the internet to rave reviews and a wonderful reception, and now you too can experience the game that truly defines the definition of the word "epic". Legionwood features an emotional, personally involving storyline, a fantastic custom soundtrack, and some of the best graphics yet seen in an RPG Maker VX game, which all combine together to create a game world vibrant with life, trials, challenges, and adventures.

Come and experience Legionwood today, and set out on a journey that will remain with you long after it's conclusion.


Legionwood. A bustling, seemingly peaceful world, filled with trade routes, treaties, and royal feasts. But it was not always so. Unfortunately, like all worlds that harbor human life, Legionwood has it's own history of violence and war. Civilizations have grown, fought and died throughout Legionwood's history, and the many ruins and necropolises that dot the fields and forests serve as sad reminders of the blazing conflicts that once raged throughout the lands.
But for now, partly because of the fear of what weapons it's rival nations may wield, each empire tries to promote sanctity, and a makeshift peace reigns supreme. It has now been centuries since the last bitter war came to it's violent end.
Treaties have been signed, and trade routes have been established, in some effort to retain a state of world peace, but depsite this, each wary king and emperor readies his forces for an attack from his former enemies that may never come. Although some form of peace is existant now, hysteria grows, and each government becomes more fearful, and it is only a matter of time before a spark turns this stale cold war into something worse, and conflict comes to Legionwood again.
And just like ages past, greed is about to resurface, and cause the greatest war Legionwood has yet seen. An unimaginable hunger for power, left unslated for millenia, an ancient pact, a being of terrible evil... All are about to come together again to try and bring unmeasurable chaos to the world.
But, there are always those who will stand against the evil. Humanity's good will managed to avert anilhilation last time, but can they come together and do it once again?
Life is a very fickle thing. And sometimes, those who create and control it are the ones who cannot remain at peace. Therefore, how can those subjects these gods control be expected to be without their own conflict? A dark age looms...

It begins as a normal day, but very abominable things are being discussed, and fear is being plotted. An assassin meets with his master, and an ancient secret society discusses armageddon with their master, an entity sealed away for millenia from civilization. They plot their combined efforts coming together in a plan of pure evil, to reignite an ancient enmity that has existed since the very dawn of time and the creation of the universe.
Meanwhile, celebrations are raging in the nation of Charn. The queen has just given birth to a new daughter, and in an effort to use the occasion to extend ties of peace with the nation's former rivals, the king has invited nobles from the empire of Trevelle to attend. There is an air of hate, and some enmity between the Charnians and their king's guests, but they are assured that all will be fine, and the occasion will be one of joy and peace.
Lann, and his younger sister Liara, both orphans, decide to attend the king's festival in order to bring some happiness into their otherwise mediocre lives, but then...
The crowd roars, and nobody notices a dark shadow accend into the overlooking tower. It all happens quickly. A twang of a bowstring, the sound of an arrow pounding into flesh, and then Charn is without a king, and Lann and Liara become the unwilling heroes in a rising conflict between god and evil that may decide the fate of Legionwood itself.


The unwilling hero in this epic drama, Lann previously only sought to live his life in happiness, and to provide a future for he and his sister after fate dealt a terrible blow in their lives. He was never one to care about royal or international affairs, but now he and Liara are the only ones aware of the true killer of the king, and in an effort to stop escalating conflict and to make sure fate does not harm his beloved sister again, Lann must set out on a journey of attrition and revenge.

The sad, yet adventurous sister of Lann, Liara was never one for sitting around doing nothing. She is one who likes to fight against life's horrors, and wants nothing more than to strike back against fate for the sadness it brought to her life. Now her chance has come. Evil is rising, and there is a chance fate may touch the lives of millions, and now Liara is one of the only ones who can prevent sadness and depression coming to the people of Legionwood.

Once highly respected, and famed as one of the emperor's knights in Trevelle, the nobleman Ark is now marked as a traitor by the only nation that ever wanted to know him, and is hunted down for a crime he did not commit. Ark is good hearted, and it is in his nature to fight for what is right, but now revenge has taken hold of him, and he wants nothing more than to hunt down and destroy the evil ones who have placed him in this situation. His fantastic sword skills, strange mind powers, and his nickname of "The Man From Another World" may help him.

The stubborn and hot headed Alexis was assigned as the squire to a reluctant Ark in effort by her superiors to make her more disciplined and more suited to Trevellian military life. At first, she despised having her whole life placed under the control of another, but after Ark saved her life in one fateful battle, she began to realize the importance of having friends, and having others to watch out for oneself. Now she respects Ark, and although she knows going against her emperor is wrong, Ark is her only friend and she will follow him to Hell itself.

The naive and kind natured princess of Hawkshire, Thyrra has no concept or understanding of the horrors the war always brings when it begins to ravage people's lives. However, Thyrra is clever minded, and she knows that a great conflict is on it's way to her country, and cannot understand why her father sees no alternative but to surrender when the time comes. When Lann and his band come to seek help from her father, she realizes the true nature of Legionwood's crisis and secretly joins them so that she may save her homeland.

Zanthus is the wise old friend of the king of Hawkshire, the chief of it's standing army, and the veteran of many wars. When Tyrra secretly leaves the kingdom, the king assigns the level headed and loyalty oriented Zanthus to bring her back to safety, though when Zanthus learns of the true nature of the coming conflict, he realizes Lann and his group are the only ones who can stop it, so he sympathizes with Thyrra, and instead of bringing her back, vows to eternally serve her and to protect her on her journey for peace.

Elwyn is a travelling mage whom nobody knows and whom shares no allegiance to any king. Despite being born in Hawkshire, Elwyn and his twin sister Laraline are free spirits, who seek nothing more than to go where they wish and do what they wish. Elwyn likes to keep to himself and would prefer to keep out of other's matters, but when Laraline joins Lann's group to preserve the future of her peaceloving lifestyle, he too comes along, for without her, he truly has nobody.

Another travelling mage and the twin sister of Elwyn, Laraline too is a free spirit who enjoys keeping to herself and enjoying life the way she pleases. Initially, she looks down upon the group of heroes, for they are living their life bound to purpose, and she despises that, but soon she realizes that they are fighting to ensure the happiness of people such as her who just want to live their lives in peace, and she decides to become, for the first time, someone's ally for a good cause.

Game Features:

1. An epic, emotionally stirring story involving love, hate, war, peace, enmity, redemption and betrayal set in a massive, vibrant world featuring over 20 hours of traditional RPG gameplay, plus side quests, adventures and trials at every turn.

2. An involving repetoire of quests which are more than simply going to a dungeon and defeating a monster. Quests in Legionwood require forethought, planning and lots of effort, spanning entire nations, continents or the whole world.

3. 9 unique and complex characters, each with their own story and striking personality, each one able to utilize over 60 awesome abilities, wield over 80 fiersome weapons, and each with their own repetoire of unique and unimaginable powerful Frenzy attacks.

4. Riveting, tense, turn based combat utilizing the popular Turn Based Side View battle system in which emphasis is placed on tactics. Every enemy has it's own attack pattern, weaknesses and strong points, and you'll need to think at the beggining of each round rather than just clicking the attack command again.

5. An epic custom soundtrack composed entirely of non game music, and written by fantastic artists such as Ocean's Dream and Dragndude9, including some never before heard pieces by Dark Gaia exclusive to this game!

6. Fantastic mapping and graphical prowess utilizing both the VX RTP and some fantastic custom graphics by Mack and DM Dotto combined together to create a world that is visually striking and amazingly vibrant.

7. A huge array of 48 custom RGGS2 scripts, by renowned scripters such as KGC and Woratana, with innovative custom features such as custom menu system, item systems, equipment systems, party changers, anti lag systems, map enhancers and more!

8. Amazing potential for character development. Rather than assigning each of the characters a class, in Legionwood, the characters can wield whatever equipment and learn whatever skills they want to, so that you can mould each one to suit your own intended fighting style. Also, this is combined with the fantastic open ended AP Assignment stat moulding system by KGC.

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