Lady Fu Hao

A Chinese general, consort, shaman. She's a 15th level fighter/sorcerer with a +4 flaming axe!

A Chinese general, consort, shaman. She’s a 15th level fighter/sorcerer with a +4 flaming axe!

Zach – Welcome back to Minimum Wage Historian where we have another kick-butt woman for you. Today’s lethal lady is Fu Hao from ancient China. To help me discuss this woman is my co-host, Anna Komnene.

Anna – A pleasure, like always. we also have History’s “least likely to accomplish anything of any real value,” Gaspar correia. Also, we have also have someone to bring their enlightened and non-sexist view of history, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Napoleon – Of course, of course. Josaphine told me I had to come. Said it would be “good for me,” whatever that means.

Gaspar – Zach said he’d buy me a 7-11 hotdog, the “Free Bird” of food.

Zach – With chili, too!

Anna – I think I’ll pass. Lady Fu Hao was the princess of a small tribe bordering the Shang Dynasty. Let us give you a little background information on the Shang. The Shang ruled from roughly 1046 BC to about 1600 BC.  The Shang Dynasty was located around the Yellow River. What we know of them come from the ancient manuscripts called the Bamboo Annals and the Records of the Grand Historian,  and also what we’ve managed to find through archeology. Most of it comes through the few tombs we’ve found that included the oldest Chinese writing we’ve found. The writings were on ritualistic bone and shell fragments.

Gaspar – The Shang started off a during a rebellion against a tyrant, kinda like the Romans and Americans and then spread out by absorbing neighboring tribes or making alliances with them. That’s right, they used their good looks and charm to woo the tribes. That’s where our heroine comes in.

Mojo, the Shang had it in spades.

Mojo, the Shang had it in spades.

Zach – That’s where Fu Hao enters the story.  The King, Wu Ding decided to cement his alliances by taking a wife from every tribe. Not the worst way to go about it.  He had over 60 wives and Fu was one of them. But she quickly stood out. She was a capable military leader that lead armies of over 13,000 into battle and even owned her own little fiefdom. The king counciled with her and she was his right hand woman.

Napoleon – I guess I’ll add something. Might as well because you lot are too incompetent to handle History. Under her command were the generals Zhi and Hou Gao who went with her against the tribes of Jiang, Tu, Ba and Yi. In the battle against the Ba, she lead China’s first large ambush. Ha! Such silly things. I could have done much better and conquered the entire continent if I was in charge.

Anna – We know this because of the writings found in her tomb. They were religious prayers of a kind asking for fortune in battle and in governing.

She was a high speed, low drag individual dedicated to serving her king. She also probably looked pretty awesome in combat.

She was a high speed, low drag individual dedicated to serving her king. She also probably looked pretty awesome in combat.

Gaspar – Yeah, she was pretty awesome and was mean with her pimp slap. Can I get a Mountain Dew with that hot dog?

Zach – Sure, why not.

Gaspar – Outstanding. Now, she gave plenty of fools her back hand, but she was also an important shaman and in those days only men could be religious leaders. The king had her perform sacrifices for the good of the kingdom and many of those survive today. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Discovered in 1976 in the Henan Provence, China.

Discovered in 1976 in the Henan Provence, China.

Zach – It’s the only royal tomb from the Shang dynasty that wasn’t ransaked before archeologists could get there. There were thousands of objects including jade statues that were antiques in Fu’s day. Many of the objects were pre-Shang dynasty which means she was somewhat of a collector of antiques. A nice hobby to have when she’s not kicking butt.

I'm not sure what this thing is, but it's friggin' old.

I’m not sure what this thing is, but it’s friggin’ old.

Gaspar – There were also skeletons of human slaves, which means Fu was kind of into human sacrifice at times.

Anna – No one’s perfect. So, we have here a woman general and religious leader in a time that only men could do those things. Yes, she was all kinds of awesome. So awesome that we managed to get through this without Gaspar saying something stupid.

Gaspar - she single handily fought off an army of a thousand terracotta warriors while protecting her fellow generals. Anna - I spoke too soon.

Gaspar – she single handily fought off an army of a thousand terracotta warriors while protecting her fellow generals.
Anna – I spoke too soon.

We're rushing out to by Zach's book, "Sins of Prometheus" on Amazon! You should too!

We’re rushing out to by Zach’s book, “Sins of Prometheus” on Amazon! You should too!

Powerful Muslim Woman Pirate Queen

Anna – Welcome to Minimum Wage Historian where, I your host, Anna Komnene will guide you through some remarkable history with the aid of our extremely educated staff.  With us we have Pine Leaf Woman, Cleopatra and Matilda of Tuscany. We have an excellent topic for you today. We’re discussing two powerful Muslim women.

Here is Sayyida al Hurra, a Muslim woman pirate queen. You have to be a whole lot of awesome to be a Muslim woman pirate queen.

Here is Sayyida al Hurra, a Muslim woman pirate queen. You have to be a whole lot of awesome to be a Muslim woman pirate queen.

Pine Leaf Woman – I was invited here by Zach. Where is he?

Anna – I think he’s off finishing one of his silly novels. Don’t worry about him.

Cloepatra – My schedule says that there’s Gaspar and Olga are supposed to be here. I so long to see Gaspar. He took me to dinner last week, but alas, he has not written me since. Have you seen him?

Anna – Haven’t seen him. This is girl’s night.  Anyway, let’s get busy.  The first woman of today’s discussion is a Muslim woman who was a queen and a pirate. Her name was Sayyida al Hurra.  That’s not her name. We don’t actually know her real name. It’s a title that means “Noble Lady.” Hurra is a title that means “queen” and she was the last woman to bare this title. She was a queen that ruled in her own right and also a very successful pirate.

Pine – She was born in 1485 and lived in Granada with her parents.  When she was seven, the Spanish finally finished their “Reconquista” and conquered Granada, the last Islamic hold out in Spain. Her and her family fled to Morocco where they took over leadership.  I guess kicking out the Muslims from Spain cleared Spain’s schedule for coming to America and stealing our land. They’re busy guys.

Matilda – Hey, I had to deal with pushy Germans all my life. So, Sayyida al Hurra found herself in Morocco and her father betrothed her to one of his friends who was thirty years older than her. Her new husband was an important man and was allowed to take over an old city that had been destroyed years before. They got permission from the Sultan of Morocco to rebuild the city and use it to house the refugees from Spain. Sayyida remembered this defeat by the Christians and never forgot.

Tetouan was a port city that she would later use to great effect.

Tetouan was a port city that she would later use to great effect.

Anna – As her husband got busy ruling the city, he made her his chief wife and also adviser. She was included in the running of the government and she learned everything she could from this. Now at this time the Muslim girls were educated and queens were not unheard of.  So when her husband died, she took over. She became a very powerful ruler on her own. She made treaties with the Spanish and traded with them and made her city rich.  But one thing was peculiar. She seemed to hold a special hatred for the Spanish. Now…

(Gaspar Correia enters the room.)

Gaspar – Hey! What are you ladies up to. (Sees Cleopatra.) Oh, hey, Cleo. I was just about to write you so it’s lucky I ran into you!

Cleopatra – We were just discussing our hatred for the Portuguese.

Gaspar – Hey, don’t be like that. I just didn’t want to seem clingy.

Cleopatra – I like clingy.

Anna – (clears throat) So…anyway. Gaspar, now that you’re here, maybe you can tell us a little about the Reconquista.

Gaspar – It was a terrible war. We added the Spanish with our werewolf shock troops. We sent the wild berzerking wolfmen out first to soften up the enemy’s front line while the Spanish troops moved in with flintlocks and pikes.

Anna - Gaspar, that's not a werewolf, that's a shaved bear. Gaspar - What? No...it's a werewolf from mankind's nightmares.

Anna – Gaspar, that’s not a werewolf, that’s a shaved bear.
Gaspar – What? No…it’s a werewolf from mankind’s nightmares.

Cleopatra – We’ll talk later, Gaspar, over a lobster dinner. Back to Sayyida. Now that she was in charge of tetouan she began to plot her revenge. She started using the money she got from trading with Spain to buy ships and hire crews. She slowly built up her fleet and when she was ready, she launched her fleet of corsairs. Her ships became the scourge of the western Mediterranean.  She even paired up and fist bumped Barbarossa, the most fearsome Pirate in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Spanish couldn't go anywhere without facing these gangsters of the sea.

The Spanish couldn’t go anywhere without facing these gangsters of the sea.

Pine – This wasn’t just about getting money either. Sayyida considered it a war against her arch enemy, the Spanish Christians. They took her home and she was going to make them pay. It was a slow burn, undeclared Jihad. She became so famous that the king of Morocco married her, but he had to go to her city and marry her there. It was the first and only time a king of Morocco had to leave his city to get married. Yes, this lady was a tough woman that fought for what she wanted. I admire her.

Gaspar – I think you do more than admire, Pine Leaf Woman.

Cleopatra – She was my kind of woman. Me and her would have made a great team. We could have beaten those Romans and ruled North Africa without anyone else.

Matilda – I try to stay away from the ocean. I like to stay on land, thank you very much.  But still, I’d invite her over any time. We’ll watch Brides Maids, eat ice cream and I’d take her shooting.

Anna – Maybe we’ll have her on as a guest panelist some times.

Gaspar – Well, that’s it for today. I was going to go have hot pockets with Caesar, but lobster with Cleopatra sounds much more inviting. We’ll see you all next time.

Don't forget to check out Zach's post apocalyptic book, "Sins of Prometheus." Available on Amazon.com

Don’t forget to check out Zach’s post apocalyptic book, “Sins of Prometheus.” Available on Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

The Gothic War

Zach – Welcome back to Minimum Wage Historian. We have another exciting episode for you. Today’s topic is the Gothic War!

No, Gaspar, not those kind of Goths.

No, Gaspar, not those kind of Goths.

These are the Goths you're looking for.

These are the Goths you’re looking for.

Anna Komnene – Those infernal Goths! They’re barbarian scum. I’m glad we get to speak of a war that has us Romans defeating their infernal nation.

Zach – At least you’re not letting your personal biases affect your historical opinion.

Anna – Of course not.

Zach – Yes, today we’re talking about the Gothic War. It was an epic plan by the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian to reform the entire Roman Empire by recapturing the West. He viewed it as shameful that the Roman Empire didn’t actually have Rome in its borders. It saw terrible destruction all across Italy that did more damage than the barbarians ever did.

Anna – That’s a harsh judgement. Well, to set the record straight we have with us Matilda of Tuscany who is our resident expert in warfare in Italy. Then we have Gaspar Correia our expert in… nothing really. And finally we have Olga of Kiev, our expert in destruction.

Olga – Dah, I am good at this destroying things.

Zach – Let’s get started then. I’ll do a quick history lesson to catch us up. The Western Roman Empire fell in 476AD by the barbarian Odoacer. He crowned himself “King of Italy” and was theoretically under Byzantium’s authority. Both sides held the illusion that Odoacer was there by Byzantium’s consent. It gave odoacer prestige and legitimacy and gave the Byzantines the appearance of not looking quite so weak. But eventually Byzantium grew tired of these barbarians and decided to do something about it.

Anna – There was an Ostrogoth named Theodoric that settled his people in the Balkans and lived under the protection of the emperor. The Emperor Zeno didn’t like a bunch of filthy barbarians living within his territory and he didn’t like those pesky barbarians over in Rome, so he sent Theodoric over to take Italy. He’d let the two barbarians fight it out. So, he gave Theodoric a bunch of important Roman titles such as Patrician and Magister Militum and Theodoric went over and fought several battles against Odoacer and eventually captured Ravenna, then capital of Italy. Odoacer, knowing he was losing, sued for peace and invited Theodoric to a banquet to sign their peace treaty. Theodoric showed up in his best barbarian suit then promptly drew his giant two handed sword and cut Odoacer in half. Shoulder to groin.

Theodoric having a bloody good time!

Theodoric having a bloody good time!

Gaspar – Not the most peaceful of beginnings but Theodoric actually turned out to be a pretty cool dude. He set up shop in Ravenna and kept the local Romans in their positions to keep the government running smoothly. He adopted the Roman way of life, built churches, palaces and theaters.

Here's a church he built covered in gorgeous mosaics. He actually led somewhat of a Golden Age in Italy and everyone kind of liked him.

Here’s a church he built covered in gorgeous mosaics. He actually led somewhat of a Golden Age in Italy and everyone kind of liked him.

They thought he was such a cool dude they bought him this pimped out tomb. In his case the term "barbarian" must be used extremely loosely.

They thought he was such a cool dude they bought him this pimped out tomb. In his case the term “barbarian” must be used extremely loosely.

Matilda – Enough back story. Fast forward to Justinian’s time. Fast forward to 535 and Justinian has sent his genius general, Belisarius, probably the best general since Caesar, to take out the Vandals in northern Africa. With a small task force he rolled in and extinguished the Vandals as a nation. Justinian then sicked his attack dog on Italy and the Gothic Kingdom there. Let me explain Belisarius’s army here. This isn’t the famed Roman Legions of old. No, this was a rag tag force of mercenaries, private armies, Huns and whoever else they could scrape together. But they needed an excuse to invade. Remember, the Goths were supposedly under Byzantine authority so when they killed the legitimate heir and placed someone else on the throne, Justinian used this as his excuse and ordered the invasion.

Okay, Hadrianus, where is this "gelato" you speak of? What's the point of invading Italy if we don't get any good food?

Okay, Hadrianus, where is this “gelato” you speak of? What’s the point of invading Italy if we don’t get any good food?

Zach – For any students of the Second World War, this next part should sound familiar. In order to invade Italy, they invaded Sicily first and took it without much fuss. Palermo was the only place with an real resistance. With that out of the way, the Byzantines invaded southern Italy. Southern Italy had a lot of Greek speakers from centuries before and were pro-Byzantine. They welcomed Belisarius and they marched in with ease. Naples, an important port town then as it is even now, resisted with a long siege which lasted until November. From there they marched north to Rome which threw their gates open to them. the Goth forces were consolidating in the north where their base of power was. The Romans were moving so fast that the Goths were simply unprepared.

Olga – Dah, the Romans sacked Naples. Good times for everybodies, unless you lived in Naples.

Anna – Well, that was the tradition at that time, if a city resisted, they get sacked. But Rome let them in so they were spared the horrors of war. But the Goths finally got organized and launched a counter offensive. They marched to Rome and laid siege to it. Belisarius was greatly outnumbered and didn’t have the forces to fight the Goths, so they help up behind the walls of Rome. Here’s how a siege worked. The city would be surrounded while the attackers tried to dig mines to “Undermine” the walls, bribe gate guards, launch assaults or launch plague ridden animals and body parts over the walls. In turn, the defenders would sally out for rapid strikes against important targets. Us Eastern Romans had a greater knack for cavalry than our Western counterparts ever did and our cavalry was great for these lightning raids against the besiegers. This siege went on for a year with several large battles. Reinforcements from Constantinople arrived. The Roman cavalry sallied out and cut off the Goths from their logistic supply train. For a besieger this is very bad news. It meant that they might run out of food before the people in the city. At this time, Belisarius cut off the aquaducts to Rome to deprive the Goths of water. They were never restored. You can still see those ruined aquaducts today.

The Goths attacking the Castile D' San Angelo, which used to be Hadrian's tomb but was turned into a fort. You can go to Rome and see the walls themselves, still intact after 1,500 years.

The Goths attacking the Castile D’ San Angelo, which used to be Hadrian’s tomb but was turned into a fort. You can go to Rome and see the walls themselves, still intact after 1,500 years.

Gaspar – Then the Romans did something I like to do in computer strategy games, he sent a force to threaten a town near Ravenna, the Goth capitol. This forced the Goths to give up and go protect Ravenna. But then the Goths attacked a Roman controlled town of Ancona and would fall to the Goths if not relieved. So, Belisarius with his c0-commander, sent their secret weapon. The Byzantines had long traded with the Far East and with their group of Ninja, brought over from Japan, they snuck into the enemy camp and killed every one of them in one bloody night.

Anna - Gaspar, Ninja's weren't even around back then.

Anna – Gaspar, Ninja’s weren’t even around back then.

Olga – They should just burn city down. Makes things much easier.

Matilda – One lesson I was smart enough not to have to learn by experience was that it was never a good idea to share command in a war time situation. The last thing an army needs is a divided leadership. Well, Justinian sent the eunuch, Narses with another army to come over and help them out. The two leaders argued. Basically, Narses was a politician that cared more about the cost of blankets than the lives of his soldiers and Belisarius was the best thing since Hannibal.  But Belisarius, realizing that a full rift between them would be disastrous for the campaign, compromised the best he could with the eunuch.

Narses wishes he was as cool as the Spider.

Narses wishes he was as cool as the Spider.

Anna – I think you’re being too harsh on Narses. He was a capable general that won a great deal of victories. In fact, after they fought of the Goths in Rome, they went on the offensive and took many cities.

Matilda – But then Narses refused to help a city under siege. A Roman force was trapped in the city and was starving. Belisarius sent a commander to help the city, but the commander refused to move unless Narses ordered him to go. The city was lost and it was a disaster for the Roman war effort. Even Justinian, in his opaque fog of arrogance realized that having two different commanders probably wasn’t a good idea and recalled Narses back to Constantinople.

Zach – Now that Belisarius was in command again, he moved against the Goths. His goal was to take Ravenna and end the war. He faced off against the Goths across the Po River when suddenly an army of Franks poured into the valley. The Goths thought they were allies coming to help and weren’t prepared at all for the Frankish assault. They were quickly broken and ran off with heavy casualties. The Byzantines put up a fight but retreated. The Frankish army was massive and poised to take all of Italy, but then they all got dysentery and slumped back to France.

Matilda – Where’s Joan D’Arc to defend her French honor?

Zach – She’s watching Ironclad with Mulan. Mulan showed her “Painted Skin: The Resurection” so Joan thought a movie exchange was in order. Tomoe Gozen is cooking karage.

Olga – Is that the delicious chickens Tomoe cooks? I must go.

(Olga runs out of room.)

Gaspar – There goes our voice of reason.  But then it was time for Belisarius to get real. He sent the Imperial fleet into the Adriatic to cut Ravenna off from supply. Then messengers came from Constantinple with very fair terms for the Goths. They’d keep everything north of the Po River and the Byzantines would keep everything south of it. The terms were so lenient that Belisarius considered it a betrayal. He marched into Ravenna and treated the city with generosity. No looting, no destruction and everyone kept their homes and property.  Then Belisarius returned home but he refused a triumph. (Even though I think he earned one.)

He came to kick butt and chew bubblegum. And he was all out of bubblegum.

He came to kick butt and chew bubblegum. And he was all out of bubblegum.

Zach – So peace descended upon Italy, but it was not to last. The Byzantines raised the taxes, the army looted the civilians at will and the government was basically run like a cruel and corrupt government from a bad B movie. Needless to say that this didn’t endure them to the locals. There was a lot of bickering, infighting and assassinations among the Goths but eventually they ended with Totilla in charge. In 542 a plague swept through the Byzantine Empire and wiped out thousands of people. This weakened the Byzantine army and left Justinian sterile and some say, mentally weaker.  Also, Belisarius was off in Persian dealing with a new Persian war and the generals in Italy were…and let’s be polite here, morons. The Goths surged southward and took several cities and besieged Florence. The Byzantines, even though they were numerically superior, still managed to lose because they sucked.

Anna – The barbarian, Totilla led his forces south in lightning fast strikes against weak Roman positions and took town after town. They bypassed Rome and went down to Naples. Totilla also did something my ancestors forgot to do, he treated the people well so that many people surrendered willingly and viewed him as a liberator. When he took Naples, he fed the citizens and let the Romans live. Well, Belisarius made a five year peace with Persia and hurried back to Italy to do what his incompetent comrades couldn’t do. Rome fell before he could save it, but he quickly captured it back.

Matilda – And just in case you thought Justinian was still cool, here’s what he did with one of history’s greatest generals. Justinian was jealous of Belisarius’s popularity, so he refused to send supplies and reinforcements. Outnumbered and unsupplied, the Goths took back Rome. It was a great deal of warfare in the city of Rome and the city never recovered from this destruction.  Justinian then sends back Narses and actually gives him everything he wants. Narses takes back Rome and at the Battle of Taginae, Narses actually managed to kill Totilla.

Zach – Victory was in sight for the Byzantines. The Goths were put in their place and nothing stood in their way.

But then the Franks and Alemani invaded and pushed the Byzantines back to southern Italy where they stayed.

This war didn't exactly have the outcome the Byzantines intended.

This war didn’t exactly have the outcome the Byzantines intended.

Matilda – What did the Byzantines achieve? Rome and its best cities were desolated.  The peninsula was depopulated, Italy fell into a dark age, the Byzantines lost much of its army, most of its money and left them vulnerable to the Persians. Now that Italy was desolated, it provided very little wealth to the Empire.  There are many lessons to be learned of what to do and what not to do. This was a long and draw out war with far more to learn about. I encourage you to learn about it because there’s too much for Minimum Wage Historians to handle.

Gaspar – I also encourage you to look up Zach’s book, “Sins of Prometheus.” It’s a pretty cool post apocalyptic adventure. Tomoe says there aren’t enough sword fights, but I like the guns. Mulan likes the Chinese woman that kicks butt. Give it a try!

The History of Godzilla

Here to set the record straight on the big G man himself.

Here to set the record straight on the big G man himself.

Anna – I’m not entirely sure what we’re talking about today.

Zach – Didn’t you watch the movie I assigned.

Anna – I tried to. I didn’t understand it very well. Something about a giant monster. I didn’t watch all of it.

Gaspar – (sighs) Anna, if you’re going to be a real historian like me you have to be willing to stare that old monster in the face and say ‘you know, fella, give me your best, I can take it.’

Anna – The last thing I need is a lecture by this troglodyte.

Zach – Let’s get started here. Today we have me, Anna Komnene, Gaspar Correia, Buffalo Calf Woman and Scipio Africanus.

Scipio – I was surprised to say the least at the popularity of such a thing.  There have been 28 Godzilla movies from 1954 to 2004.  That’s more than James Bond.

Buffalo – I thought it was 29.

Zach – We don’t count the Mathew Broderick one.

Gaspar – Nor should we.

Buffalo – I’d like to start with the director. If we’re going to give a detailed history of such an iconic beast, we should start with its creators.  First, Ishiro Honda. he was the director of the original Godzilla 1954. In WWII he was drafted into the army and was taken prisoner. At the end of the war he was released and went back to Japan. Upon arrival he saw first hand the devastation at Hiroshima and was horrified. The scene of a death stayed with him for the rest of his life and as such his films often have a strong anti-war message. This was a man that saw the worst of war and used his talents to fight against it. Yes, he was making sometimes goofy giant monster movies, but he was doing his part to make the world a better place, something we should all try to do.

He basically created a distinctly Japanese genre of movie.

He basically created a distinctly Japanese genre of movie.

Anna – I did research Eiji Tsuburaya. He was the other c0-creator of Godzilla. While Honda engineered the idea of Godzilla, Eiji Tsuburaya brought the beast to life. He was a special effects artist at Toho studios and was also drafted into the war. Like Honda he hated the war and was a gentle man that loved children. He did not put blood in the monster fights because he didn’t think children should be watching such violence.   During the war he also made propaganda films for the Japanese Empire. One of them got him into trouble.  He made a film about the attack on Pearl Harbor. The American occupation thought he had used real footage and he was blacklisted for a few years. He went on to design Godzilla for the 1954 movie. He wanted something powerful like a gorilla but monstrous like an alligator. “Gojira” is a cross between “Gorilla” and “Whale” in Japanese. Also, the iconic Godzilla roar was created by running a gloved hand over the strings of an upright bass and the sound slowed down.  Very neat. He also used dinosaurs as inspiration, notably the iguanadon…

Gaspar – My personal favorite dinosaur!

Anna – …and the stegosaurus.  He later went on to start his own special effects company and created Ultraman, a Japanese super hero that grows big and shoots lasers.

Gaspar – and he flies. And fights monsters.

Possibly the greatest job in the universe, making giant monster movies.

Possibly the greatest job in the universe, making giant monster movies.

Zach – So they made the movie and it was a message about the horrors of atomic warfare. The destruction Godzilla causes is a vision of Hiroshima that Honda saw nearly a decade before.

Gaspar – Then came the sequel, Godzilla raids again. Next was Godzilla vs King Kong. This set Godzilla up as a superstar.

This was the golden age of Toho monster movies. This was monster suited mayhem at its finest.

This was the golden age of Toho monster movies. This was monster suited mayhem at its finest.

Scipio – This period is called the Showa era of Godzilla movies. This established many of the famous Godzilla monsters

King Ghidorah, Godzilla's arch nemesis.

King Ghidorah, Godzilla’s arch nemesis.

Mothra, a monster that's very popular among women in Japan.  One of Godzilla's sometimes allies.

Mothra, a monster that’s very popular among women in Japan. One of Godzilla’s sometimes allies.

Rodan, a flying monster that helps Godzilla against Ghidorah.

Rodan, a flying monster that helps Godzilla against Ghidorah.

And, Godzilla's other main advisary, Mechagodzilla.

And, Godzilla’s other main advisory, Mechagodzilla.

Zach – Showa series ended with my personal favorite, “Terror of Mechagodzilla.” It was the swan song of the original godzilla series. The series had turned mostly campy and comedic and had lost all of the original meaning and significance. Godzilla had turned from a personification of the atomic bomb to the white hat hero fighting alien monsters to save the Earth.

This was an epic showdown that brought Godzilla back to its golden era of spectacle and awesome destruction.

This was an epic showdown that brought Godzilla back to its golden era of spectacle and awesome destruction.

Gaspar – But then Godzilla returned in 1984 with “The Return of Godzilla” or “Godzilla 1985″ in America. This was the start of the Heisei era. This had many movies with “Vs” in the title. Godzilla vs Biollante, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla vs Ghidorah. Godzilla vs Space Godzilla and Godzilla vs Destroyah to name a few.

Zach – Honestly, most of the heisei era movies kinda sucked. G vs Ghidorah had some appalling plot twists and the lamest android ever. Also, there was like five seconds of action in it. Biollante was filmed in my beloved Fukui and Space Godzilla was an maelstrom of kaiju awesomeness.

Godzilla was kind of chunky in this series. Many of the monsters floated around on wires and not enough action. But at least it started off as an attempt to be serious.

Godzilla was kind of chunky in this series. Many of the monsters floated around on wires and not enough action. But at least it started off as an attempt to be serious.

Scipio – But then Godzilla died in Godzilla vs Destroyah. But do not worry, Godzilla came back in Godzilla 2000. This started the Millennial series. Godzilla 2000 was a great reboot and set the tone for the entire series. Godzilla’s breath attack was upgraded from a tickle spray to a megabeam that blows everything up in a rather impressive display.

He sports a sleeker, spikier look and isn't good nor bad, but a force of nature. (My favorite Godzilla suit.)

He sports a sleeker, spikier look and isn’t good nor bad, but a force of nature. (My favorite Godzilla suit.)

Buffalo – Many of these Millennial movies have a message. For example in Godzilla vs Megagirus, Godzilla is attracted to nuclear power so Japan is forced to go to alternative forms of energy. Sounds nice to me.  Wait, in many Indian religions there is talk of evil serpents with horns that live in the water. I wonder if one if one of these were the first kaiju. I want to see a Cheyenne kaiju kicking an American kaiju’s but! In Giant Monsters all out Attack Godzilla is there to punish Japan for its crimes in World War II. Most movies in this series are unrelated and approach Godzilla like it was a direct sequel to Godzilla 1954.  (Yes, some mention other movies, but in a loose manner. And Godzilla S.O.S. is a sequel to Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla.) There’s a lot of action, a lot of fun and a lot of cheesy special effects.

Mechagodzilla was the goodguy this time.

Mechagodzilla was the good guy this time. But a very cool looking good guy that goes bezerk sometimes and destroys the city.

Godzilla's the villain in Giant Monsters all out Attack. Look at those eyes and fangs! You know he's evil.

Godzilla’s the villain in Giant Monsters all out Attack. Look at those eyes and fangs! You know he’s evil.

Anna – Okay, hold on…I just read this. The Millennial series ended with Final Wars which was an homage to the Showa era movies with the many monsters battling aliens for the fate of the world. It was the 50th anniversary of the first Godzilla movie. (1954 – 2004.) In Byzantine terms, that’s a very short time. See, I still got it!

This is Olga's favorite monster, the space monster Gigan. Olga likes him because "he has saw on belly."

This is Olga’s favorite monster, the space monster Gigan. Olga likes him because “he has saw on belly.”

Zach – So, this catches us up to present with the release of Legendary’s Godzilla in 2014, the 60th anniversary in which it takes Godzilla back to its “punishment for mankind’s folly by nature” theme. Godzilla is no longer a campy cheese fest, but a terrifying nightmare of destruction.

The news of the new Godzilla movie has me feeling like Godzilla from "Invasion of Astro Monster" one of my childhood favorites.

The news of the new Godzilla movie has me feeling like Godzilla from “Invasion of Astro Monster” one of my childhood favorites.

Boudica here just to remind you to not just go watch Terror of Mechagodzilla, but also to check out Zach's post apocalyptic adventure "Sins of Prometheus." Find it on Amazon!

Boudica here just to remind you to not just go watch Terror of Mechagodzilla, but also to check out Zach’s post apocalyptic adventure “Sins of Prometheus.” Find it on Amazon!

Gaspar – Oh, and lastly, please leave a comment with your favorite kaiju or Godzilla suit.

 

Larry Correia (The True History)

That is not a middle name that runs in the family.

That is not a middle name that runs in the family.

Gaspar Correia here on a personal post. Yes, I stole Zach’s computer but he’s busy playing Warhammer. It’s called that but there are no hammers involved…so, whatever.  Anyway, Larry Correia, the International Lord of Hate has been in the media a lot these days.

Wait, let me see if I can figure out this “link” thing…

http://monsterhunternation.com/

Okay, so Larry, like me is Portuguese, a descendent of people who sailed the oceans in search of plunder.  He’s a writer and makes a living from making stuff up. Recently he said that the Hugo awards was corrupt because they put their own pet causes and politics above the actual quality of the works being judged. He was called a liar. So Larry used their system, nominated people that they’d never vote for and the Hugo people started throwing out bigoted hate filled rants against them, thus showing their tolerance.

I don’t understand a lot of this modern world, but I don’t think any time period would make sense of that.

So, let me set the record straight. I, Gaspar Correia will tell the true and factual account of the life of Larry Correia, International Lord of Hate.

Young Larry began his life like any other child. But when he was only one year old his parents took him on a vacation. They were flying to Peru when their plane went down. Young Larry was the sole survivor. At one year of age he crawled through the rain forest eating berries and bugs. As he grew older he learned to hunt and soon he began wrestling alligators for food. At the age of three he killed a boa-constrictor with his bare hands.

A rare photo taken of the young Larry.

A rare photo taken of the young Larry.

As he grew in strength and powers Larry also learned wisdom. At the age of twelve he discovered the hut of a ancient man. This wizened old man taught Larry to hone his hunting prowess into a living, lethal weapon. He taught him how to use deception with strength. He also taught him the power of the written word. From that day forward Larry had two simultaneous paths, that of the warrior and that of the writer. He would go on to combine these two paths into one steel sword of truth and justice.

When he was eighteen he hitch hiked to New York City where he lived on the streets, using his powers to patrol the streets and fight crime. He stalked through the tall buildings of the city, hunting for predators. After years of cleaning the streets of scum and vermin he caught the attention of a man that was the leader of a syndicate of super powered criminals. This League of Evil Villains sent their best assassins after Larry.

The LEV couldn't complete their evil schemes until Larry was stopped.

The LEV couldn’t complete their evil schemes until Larry was stopped.

One by one Larry fought the LEV assassins in epic battles that sprawled across the city. Frustrated by their failures, the League of Evil Villains developed an anti-matter ray that would destroy the city and Larry with it.  Larry’s Coalition of Good Guy Writers found out about this nefarious plot and assaulted the Evil Tower in downtown New York and fought floor by floor up to the top.

Anna Komnene – Wait, Gaspar, the death ray was on top of a skyscrapper in New York?

Gaspar – Yeah, so?

Anna – Well, if its built in the middle of the city and its going to blow up the city…?

Gaspar – Oh. Yeah. I just remembered. The Evil Tower was staffed only by robot soldiers. The villains themselves were at their lake house in the Hamptons.  So, the Coalition of Good Guy Writers forced their way to the top where a twenty foot tall cyborg with four arms ending in mono-molecular sharp blades waited for them.

This thing was a titanic monster of destruciton

This thing was a titanic monster of destruction

The Coalition of Good Guy Writers attacked. Three of them died at the blades of the robots but they bought Larry an opening. He rushed forward, leapt in the air and with one mighty punch he smashed the cyborg in the eye. The metal beast staggered back and fell off the skyscrapper. Then the Coalition destroyed the death ray and saved the city.

Years later, on the trail of a phantom serial killer, he landed in Utah where he met a black haired super heroine. Together they stopped the murderous phantom and three weeks later they were married.

Larry then tried to lead a normal life in Utah. He tried to blend in but his warrior ways and superhuman strength always made him stand out.

But then one day trouble found him. A giant, evil moose monster attacked his home high up in the mountains. The enromous creature charged at his fortress and beat against the walls but couldn’t break through. Larry had to act or his family would be killed. He shoved off the guise of normalcy and leapt off the roof and elbowed the giant monster on the head. The creature roared and swung at Larry. He caught the beast’s claws with one hand and punched the Moose in the face. He punched and punched but nothing was affecting the giant moose.

Now Larry knew why everyone called the mountain "Moose Mountain."

Now Larry knew why everyone called the mountain “Moose Mountain.”

The monster spewed poisonous bile out if its deformed mouth but Larry was immune to it.

Then Larry remembered something the wizened old man said. Long ago in his hut he told the young Larry that the written word had power beyond the physical.

So Larry took out his pen. He wrote down a quick story how the Moose had a secret weakness, a jewel on the tip of his nose. The jewel appeared, a bright red jewel right on the monster’s nose.

Larry punched the jewel, shattered it and the moose fell down dead. Larry then mounted the Moose over the gate of his fortress and forever called his fortress “Yard Moose Mountain.”

Olga – I like this story.

Gaspar – This is a true and accurate account of the life of Larry Correia. If anyone has any questions or doubts about Larry’s life, just let them read this and all doubts shall vanish.

 

Zach – Zachary Hill here to add my two cents about Larry. When he’s not battling monstrous moose he’s one of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege of calling a friend. Larry is one of the most generous and genuine people I’ve ever met. Countless times I’ve seen him stop in his busy schedule to answer questions to aspiring writers at conventions and give them advice. He treats everyone he meets with respect. If there’s one man who’s recent fame hasn’t gone to his head, It’s Larry Freaking Correia. He’s also one of the most honest. He’ll tell you straight up what he thinks. That’s a problem for some people. His writing is amazing but that’s not why I count him as a friend. He’s just a terrific human being. I’ve seen him defend liberals, communists, homosexuals, Muslims. To him it doesn’t matter.  For all those people saying that he’s a horrible person, you know nothing about him.  I’m proud to call him a friend.

The Battle of Salamis

This was a really big battle that was really important. I'm not going to say it was the most important battle ever, but.........

This was a really big battle that was really important. I’m not going to say it was the most important battle ever, but………

Zach – I’m back from Japan and back in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I will be doing a post about my adventures in Japan, but first we have a topic that was requested: the Battle of Salamis.

Anna Komnene – Very good. My Greek ancestors defending the newly born democratic system, what’s not to love?

Joan D’Arc – Democratic? I do not like ziss thing. We need a king, not ziss…rabble.

Buffalo Calf Road – Nothing wrong with the tribe giving their opinion. Unless you happen to like tyranny. I don’t know. Maybe you do.

Gaspar Correia – Hey, if there’s money involved, I’m okay with whatever.

Olga – What are we talking about?

Zachary – We are talking about a really big battle with lots of fire.

Olga – Oh, good. I will pay attentions then.

Zachary – So, the Battle of Salamis. It’s the largest naval battle in history in terms of men involved. Think about that. Lepanto, Jutland, Spanish Armada, Midway…no other battle had near as many people. This was bigger than the Rebel assault on the second Death Star.

Anna – Also, not as many battles had so much at stake. This was the fate of Greece. If they lost this battle, Persia would have destroyed Democracy. There would have been no Roman Republic, no Byzantium, no Western civilization and no America. Everything we know would have been different.

Joan D’Arc – No France? Goodness no.

Zach – Exactly. So, let’s take a look. Persia, the most powerful empire in the world turned its greedy eyes on the Greek city states. There was no Greek nation, only a collection of fiercely independent city states that usually weren’t on good speaking terms.  They were more incoherent than Congress. The Spartans moved to block the Persian invasion of the Greek mainland at Thermopylae. That’s a whole post in of itself, but let me explain…no, let me summarize. King Xerxes invades Greece with an army of a million men and the Spartans with allies from other city-states, go down to stop them at a small pass where the Persian numbers wouldn’t work against them. And yes, I said “a million.” They held them off for a few days but when they were about to lose, most Greeks retreated but three hundred Spartans stayed behind to hold the Persians off. They died to the man but not without holding the Persians up and buying the rest of Greece time to get its act together.

The Spartans were prepared to die and welcomed it. You know I had to use a picture from 300, I couldn't help it. It would have helped if the film makers actually bothered to learn how the Spartans fought.

The Spartans were prepared to die and welcomed it. You know I had to use a picture from 300, I couldn’t help it. It would have helped if the film makers actually bothered to learn how the Spartans fought.

Anna – An Athenian named Themistocles saw the danger of the expanding Persian Empire and started building a navy. They knew they couldn’t fight the entire Persian Empire so they started making allies with the other Greek states. Two centers of power formed, Athens and Sparta. Sparta focused on land power and Athens focused on sea power. Think of Russia and America during the cold war and suddenly aliens invade. Yeah, they might get together to fight the aliens, but it won’t be a smooth friendship.

Joan – Ze Spartans were killed to ze man at ze Hot Gates. So Persia was now free to invade Greece. Ze road was open to Athens. Zay evacuated Athens and prepared to fall back south. Ze Athenian fleet fell back to Salamis. Athenian allies fell back to ze Ithmus of Corinth, a narrow neck of land. Forts were built to keep Persia out. But ze problem was, the Persians had big fleet so they could go around. Themistocles knew Persia had to be stopped on ze water.

Buffalo – It’s simple. If Persia controls the water, they control the war. Just like how America has air and naval superiority now. Themistocles saw this and prepared his fleet for battle. He wanted the fight to be at Salamis because like Thermopylae it a tight space and gave their smaller navy an advantage.  Xerxes walked into an empty Athens and took it over, burning most of it to the ground. Then he turned his sights on the Greek fleet. Where is Napoleon? I bet he knows what that feels like.

Gaspar - Xerxes, after swearing vengeance against Greece and going on a pilgrimage into the desert, he found a hidden cave where he ascended into godhood and... Buffalo - Hold on! That's from the movie. It's not true, Gaspar. Gaspar - It is so. I swear on my reputation as a historian.

Gaspar – Xerxes, after swearing vengeance against Greece and going on a pilgrimage into the desert, he found a hidden cave where he ascended into godhood and…
Buffalo – Hold on! That’s from the movie. It’s not true, Gaspar.
Gaspar – It is so. I swear on my reputation as a historian.

Anna – Xerxes set up a throne on the hillside overlooking Salamis so he could witness his grand victory. He didn’t realize that he was facing my fellow Greeks!

Zach – Only one of his admirals advised to hold off on attacking the Greeks. Artemesia, Queen of Hilacarnassus. She was a Greek that sided with the Persian Empire.

Artemesia was one of the coolest women in history. She was a queen and professional butt kicker. She was Xerxes right hand woman for years and relied on her to get things done.

Artemesia was one of the coolest women in history. She was a queen and professional butt kicker. She was Xerxes right hand woman for years and relied on her to get things done. (I was going to draw Artemesia, but the movie made her look cooler than I would have.)

Buffalo – Artemesia was a woman after my own heart. She knew how to be “assertive.” She was a warrior that took charge and led men into combat.  So, she told Xerxes not to attack then and there but Themistocles had sent a message to Xerxes saying that he would submit to him and in battle he would turn against his fellow Greeks. This convinced Xerxes to go for it. Xerxes sent his fleet in and Artemesia was probably rolling her eyes as hard as she could.

Zach – The Greeks had 378 ships from various Greek city-states.  The Athenians had the largest number of ships with 180. Sparta supplied only 16. Corinth had the next largest at 40. It was a whole bunch of Greeks that were far more used to fighting each other than fighting other people yet there they were, facing a opponent that outnumbered them three to one. The Persians had about 1,200 ships.  The Persian ships were larger and slower which normally gave them an advantage in open water, but in the close, shallow waters of Salamis, the Greeks had the advantage. They could maneuver around and attack the larger Persian ships like hyenas taking down a lion.

The Greeks had a habit of luring the larger Persian forces into traps. "Are you ever not going to fall for that?" - Loki of Asgard

The Greeks had a habit of luring the larger Persian forces into traps. “Are you ever not going to fall for that?” – Loki of Asgard

It was a fierce battle bigger than anything before or since. All of free Greece gathered in one place to fight off a common enemy. It was desperate and ferocious.

It was a fierce battle bigger than anything before or since. All of free Greece gathered in one place to fight off a common enemy. It was desperate and ferocious.

Gaspar - And this was when the Greeks unleashed their secret weapon, the Colossi! These man-made behemoths were infused by the fire from Vulcan's forge and unleashed terrible weapons on the Persians.

Gaspar – And this was when the Greeks unleashed their secret weapon, the Colossi! These man-made behemoths were infused by the fire from Vulcan’s forge and unleashed terrible weapons on the Persians.

Anna – The Persian navy moved in and was too cramped to maneuver properly. Their numbers worked against them and the Greeks swarmed over them, ramming them in the sides and fighting on the decks. The Persians couldn’t swim and the few that managed to cling on to debris were killed by the local Greeks watching the battle from the shores. Artemesia saw that the Persians were losing horribly and decided to make a hasty retreat. Unfortunately her way was blocked by other Persian vessels. So, she did what any other sensible woman would do and rammed her way out. She smashed her way through Persian vessels and made her escape. Xerxes saw this from his hilltop throne and thought she was sinking Greek vessels. He said, “Our men have become women and our women have become men.”

Joan – How horrible! What kind of barbaric woman iz ziss? Sinking her own allies?

Gaspar – Sounds legit to me.

Buffalo – I guess tyranny doesn’t inspire loyalty. But Xerxes awarded Artemesia after the battle. (She was one of the only admirals that lived and actually did a good job. He didn’t know about her ramming Persian vessels.) He awarded her a set of Hoplite armor as a trophy. I imagine that she put it on and looked absolutely badass.

Zach – The Greeks smashed the Persian fleet in a massively one sided battle that saw the majority of the Persian fleet destroyed. This gave Greece naval dominance for the rest of the war. This did a few things. This kept the Persians from resupplying their armies by sea. (Remember my post about logistics?) It also kept the Persians from landing troops wherever they wanted.  Also, it let the Greeks move their troops freely. It basically lost the Persians the war right then and there. A war so far from Persia couldn’t be supported without the navy. Xerxes was advised by Artemesia to go back to Persia and let the war be continued by his subordinates. The allowed Xerxes to claim victory if they won the war or blame it on his generals if they lost. Either way he came out smelling like roses. The Greeks spent the next few years pushing the remains of Xerxes’ million man army out of Greece.

Anna – After the war the Greeks coalesced into two spheres of power: the Athenians and Spartans. Athens became the center of a massive coalition and those that opposed their power grab gravitated to the Spartans. Then began the Peloponnesian War, but that’s another story.

Thank you for learning about ze Battle of Salamis. Now, if you like ziss, then please look at Zach's book, "Sins of Prometheus." This iz a holy book, yes? Zach - What?  No, it's a post apocalyptic adventure.

Thank you for learning about ze Battle of Salamis. Now, if you like ziss, then please look at Zach’s book, “Sins of Prometheus.” This iz a holy book, yes?
Zach – What? No, it’s a post apocalyptic adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isabella of France

Proof that the French can kick butt.

Proof that the French can kick butt.

Anna Komemne – Isabella of France is another Fearless woman of history.  She should be more well known than she is, but I suppose your so-called modern school systems can’t be bothered.

Buffalo Calf Road – Isn’t Zach supposed to be here?

Anna – I don’t understand the question so I won’t answer it.

Gaspar Correia – Yeah, Zach’s back from Japan. He said he’d be here.

Anna – He’s running late.

Buffalo – Did you take over the blog again?

Hua Mulan – She launched a coup. I thought we were done with this.  What did you do with him?

Anna – I didn’t do anything! I just…maybe…kind of changed his flight schedule. He should be in Korea on a 58 hour layover.

Buffalo – You got to stop these mad power grabs. It’ll only lead to your unhappiness.

Anna – I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.

Gaspar – Well, folks, Anna’s busy with her coup, so I’ll start this off.  Isabella of France is often known as “The She-Wolf of France.”  She was born to King Phillip IV of France and Queen Joan I.  When she was twelve she was married to Edward II of England.

Mulan – So, she was born to the king of France and married to the future king of England. Born with a silver spoon doesn’t begin to cover what this girl had.  Her future was set and it was going to be amazing.

Anna – Her father was a cold, unemotional man and that was a strong king that controlled France with a strong iron fist. This was probably a huge influence on Isabella’s notions of leadership. Apparently there were two rules she learned, kick butt and take names. I’m not sure about the order. Her mother died when she was young so her childhood was spent learning from the tables of the most powerhungry people in Europe. Weakness was not allowed and only strength was worthy of respect.

Her father when he was young.

Her father when he was young.

Mulan – By all accounts she was a very beautiful girl. She was also universally described as charismatic and very intelligent.  Now that’s unusual for this time period. Women were just tools for diplomatic advantage, but Isabella was known for her own merits.

Buffalo – And this beautiful, convincing and highly intelligent woman was dropped into the Royal court of England as the twelve year old bride of Phillip II.  She faced some problems though. For one thing, her new husband was romantically involved with another man, so her chance at true love wasn’t exactly blossoming.  Also, Phillip II was having power struggles with the barons.  While Edward was fighting the Scots Isabella was using her contacts in the French court to find diplomatic solutions. But there was another problem. As queen of England, Isabella was due certain lands, power and authority which Edward was giving to his boyfriend, Gaveston.  This even became public when Phillip sat with Gaveston at the wedding feast and gave all of Isabella’s wedding jewelry to Gaveston. Her family had to intercede to end the public embarrassment.

Gaspar – That doesn’t sound like a very happy marriage situation. But slowly Isabella began building support within the court and even made Gaveston one of her allies. Not bad, I think it was Thomas Edison that said “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”

Anna – That was Lincoln, genius.  And even though her husband clearly liked Gaveston more than her, she put up with it for years while she built her powerbase. But while she was willing to put up with her husband’s rubbish, the barons were not and they began to fight against him.  When Edward launched a campaign against the rebellious Scots he failed miserably. He and Isabella barely escaped but Gaveston was trapped in a castle and captured. The unforgiving barons didn’t really appreciate his hold on the king and executed him.

Mulan – Now that Gaveston was out of the picture, Phillip actually paid a little attention to his wife and stopped giving her the cold shoulder.  This led to their first son and heir, the future Edward III.

Gaspar – They’re not very imaginative about their naming, are they?

Mulan – Well, with Gaveston gone and an heir secured, Isabella had more trust and power in court. She began sitting on councils and even advising the king. But then Hugh Despenser started getting the King’s ear and gaining power and influence. Meanwhile, the barons gained more power under the Lancaster family.  It didn’t help that the Dispensers and Lancasters were lifelong enemies. Phillip became…romantically involved with Hugh and started ignoring his wife again. The problem was, Isabella was giving him really good advice. She wanted him to get rid of the Lancasters but Phillip ignored her. Also, Hugh didn’t become her ally like Gaveston did. Both Isabella and the Barons didn’t appreciate Hugh’s influence with the king.

Gaspar – There was a general named Roger de Mortimer. He did a real good job fighting the troublesome Scots but then Phillip’s BFF Hugh confiscated some of Mortimer’s land and had him arrested. Roger then escaped from the Tower of London by a daring repel down the wall.  He had to fight eighty guards armed only with dagger. Only his expertise with the long forgotten martial arts of the Druids did he manage his escape. Once he got to the Thames, his friends had an alchemical power suit ready for him and he fought the army to make his way out of London and made his way to France.

Mortimer had a nerdy name, but he was a man that knew what needed to be done.

Mortimer had a nerdy name, but he was a man that knew what needed to be done.

Anna – That part about escaping out of the Tower was true. Hugh Despenser began a reign of terror where he punished all his enemies and also their families. He confiscated land and imprisoned old women and children. Some of these people were Isabella’s allies and friends. Hugh was eroding her power. He also began turning Phillip away from her and soon it was back to her being ignored again.

Mulan – Let me report on the military situation. The Scots in the north were humiliating Phillip’s armies and drove further south and Isabella was isolated in Tynemouth Priory. She was there because Edward left her there without thinking about the war. The Scottish army surrounded the priory on land and the allied Flemish navy. Well, raised by a power hungry sociopath Isabella wasn’t one to panic or surrender.  She sent out a group of young squires to delay the advanced Scottish party. It was a cold move that meant the squires deaths or capture. The few knights she had went to capture a ship. They had to fight their way to the docks. Several of the knights and two of Isabella’s ladies in waiting died to get her there. Once aboard they sailed their way through the Flemish blockade and made their way to safety.

No Medieval tale is complete without guys in armor beating each other up.

No Medieval tale is complete without guys in armor beating each other up.

Here's the priory where Isabella was in trouble. a very scenic place to be threatened.

Here’s the priory where Isabella was in trouble. a very scenic place to be threatened.

Buffalo – Well, when she got home she was furious with Edward for leaving her there in the path of the enemy army. Also, Edward had her servants arrested and her children taken away. This ticked her off.  She realized what a loser he was. The barons were revolting, the Scots were pushing south and she was being sidelined. Again, she didn’t panic. What she did was go down to France. There she met Roger Mortimer. The two had a lot in common. They both hated Edward and Hugh and they both wanted to see someone more competent on throne.  Together, they hired a mercenary army and prepared to invade England.  That’s right, she’s going after her jerk husband.

Mulan – Back to my favorite topic, the military. Isabella and her army landed at Orwell with only about 1,500 troops. Medieval armies were small, but this was still pretty small.  With her tiny army she moved inland. Edward hired local militia to rise up and stop her but those levies joined her side. Then barons began joining her side. She marched to London and Edward was soon captured as he tried to flee. He was thrown in prison and soon was conveniently found dead.

It was a quick campaign with little fighting. It was a rapid grab of power from a king that was too weak and stupid to hold it. When you play the game of thrones...

It was a quick campaign with little fighting. It was a rapid grab of power from a king that was too weak and stupid to hold it. When you play the game of thrones…

Anna – So, Isabella, tired of her husband’s ill treatment and stupidity, took the country from him and ruled in his stead.

Mulan – She was a tough chick that knew what it took to gain and hold power.

Gaspar – Isabella was a tough, beautiful, charismatic and intelligent woman.  And she spoke with what I assume was a sexy French accent.

Buffalo – Way to keep it classy, Gaspar.

Gaspar – I do what I can. Also, let me add that Zach’ s book “Sins of Prometheus” is available on Amazon. It’s a zombie-free post apocalyptic adventure about a girl that goes in search of her brother. It’s pretty cool if you ask me.

Get it here. Sins of Prometheus.