Saturday, August 29, 2009

Swordsmen of Might

Those who Live by the Hand of the Sword

Fantasy equal: Paladin

From the wide range of mischievous images to be found on the Net, it is easy to identify which models are descendants of knights, warriors or heroes from fantasy worlds or ancient times. Take a look at the complete shoot of a particular model. If he is holding his blade on some of the photos, then he must be the son of a knight.

Variety is good and in this collection, there is a good variety of blades; long swords, short swords, daggers, broad swords and bastard swords; each one keener or curvier than the other. Furthermore each and every blade is decorated differently, whether it is the engravings on the blade or pommel gems at the hilt. Each and every one is unique.

A paladin is a holy warrior who fights with honour and integrity. He is the scourge of evil, upholder of justice, a seeker of righteousness and a firm believer of fighting for what is right. His weapon of choice is the long sword. This fact, along with paladins being naturally charming and charismatic, is the reason for making him the fantasy equal of this series.

“Paladins take their adventures seriously, and even a mundane mission is, in the heart of the paladin, a personal test - an opportunity to demonstrate bravery, to learn tactics, and to do good in the world. Divine power protects these warriors of virtue, warding off harm, protecting them from disease, healing them and their allies, and guarding against fear. Finally, a paladin can use this power to destroy evil. Even a novice paladin can detect evil, and more experienced paladins can smite evil foes and turn away undead.”

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Children of the Sun

Those Bestowed with Heaven’s Radiance
Fantasy equal: Apollo

Most like them tall, dark and handsome, though sometimes one with a fair mane might just tickle your fancy. Children of the Sun are touched by the radiance of the stars and heavens. Their crowns are blessed with strands of gold, which glints and shimmers with the passing of light and shadow. I would say they are somewhat rarer than their dark counterparts, which makes your attraction to one of them all that more special.

Many imagery of the god Apollo depicts him as a blond with an athletic build. In the PC game, Zeus, he graces your streets wielding a bow and wearing a mere white rag around his waist. He was always welcome in the cities I governed, not only for his looks, but the oracle and healing he provided as well for worshiping him. He must have had many purposes in the lives of the ancient Greeks, for he was associated with many a things, including light, the sun, archery, healing, music, poetry and the arts. Furthermore there is said Apollo drove a chariot pulled by fiery horses (solar steeds) across the sky to provide the world with much needed light, which was in fact the sun, of course. There is much discussion as to who this radiant body was, since some say it was Helios or Hyperion, who are two other celestial beings featured in ancient Greek mythology. It most likely depends where along the Mediterranean you were located and during which period of the ancient times.

This collection depicts various versions of how I perceive Apollo would look like; those I perceive to be Children of the Sun.

In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo (in Greek, Ἀπόλλων—Apóllōn or Ἀπέλλων—Apellōn), is one of the most important and many-sided of the Olympian deities. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; archery; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts; and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. Apollo was worshipped in both ancient Greek and Roman religion, as well as in the modern Hellenic neopaganism.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stallions at the Ready

Those Awaiting their Masters’ Ascent

Fantasy equal: Centaurs

Centaurs are one of my personal favourite mythical beings. They galloped across the dry grasslands of Ancient Greece and today make their appearance in many a fantasy tales, computer games and movies. You fight just about every Greek (amongst other civilizations) mythical being in the game called Titan Quest. This includes the majestic and powerful Centaurs. You face them rather early in the game and make formidable enemies, especially since you are a wee little hero early on in the game.

Oreius is the leading centaur in the movie Narnia; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He is the fearless general of the Narnian army and is an excellent swordsman. He carries three blades with him, not including his natural blade. In the Harry Potter movies, Ronan and his fellow centaurs make their appearance twice.

As mentioned in the extract below, centaurs rarely allowed human beings to ride them and under no circumstances were you allowed saddling them up. If you were bestowed the honour of riding off into the sunset with your beloved centaur, it had to be done bareback. As centaurs bestow a fortunate few with the honour of riding them, so too do the stallions in the following collection.

“The Centaurs were a race of highly intelligent creatures. They appeared human from the abdomen up but had the body (including the four legs) of a Horse. Centaurs were often prophets and/or stargazers, the Centaur Oreius was a general in Aslan's Army and the Centaur Cloudbirth was a famed healer.

Centaurs had long life-spans some living up to two hundred years. They were the only race that could interpret the dance of the Stars. Oaten cakes, apples, herbs, wine, and cheese formed the staple of a Centaurs diet. Centaurs had two stomachs, one of a horse and one of a man. They had to fill both of these stomachs, making inviting a centaur over for the week-end a serious thing. Centaurs were known for waking up before it becomes light. A centaurs breakfast migh include Porridge, pavendors, kidneys, bacon, omlette, cold ham, toast, marmalade, coffee, and beer then they graze for on hour then eat hot mash, some oats, and a bag of sugar.

Centaurs were considered excellent strategists. In battle the female Centaurs prefered to use a Bow, while the males prefered to use swords and hooves. No one would dare laugh at a Centaur, and no one who valued his life would dare try to put a saddle on one. It was a great honor to be able to ride a centaur; though one had to ride bareback, the only known people to receive this honor were Susan Pevensie in the movie, and Jill Pole and Eustace Scrubb in the books. Out of all the many creatures of Narnia they may be the most respected. Female Centaurs are sometimes called Centauress.”