“The Blood of the Iutes” locations

In “The Blood of the Iutes” the action moves from Britannia to northern Gaul and Germania, introducing a slew of new locations in what is now Belgium, northern France and western Germany.

TORNAC – Tornacum, Tournai

One of the oldest towns in Belgium, the first capital of the Salian Franks.

Notre-Dame de Tournai, Belgium

TRAIECT – Trajectum ad Mosam, Maastricht

Ancient crossing town on the Meuse River.

File:Maastricht, maquette laat-Romeins Maastricht (F Schiffeleers, 1992)  05.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

AKE – Aquae Grani, Aachen

Hot springs resort town, popular with the Legionnaires stationed at the Rhine. Later, capital of the Frankish Empire.

Roman arches - Picture of Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia - Tripadvisor

COLN – Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, Cologne

Capital of the Germania Inferior province, the greatest city on the Roman Rhine.

TOLBIAC – Tolbiacum, Zulpich

A small crossroads town, with roads leading to every corner of Gaul. Place of many famous battles.

ICORIG – Icorgium, Junkerath

A small fortress, guarding an important pass into the Eifel Mountains.

TREVIR – Augusta Treverorum, Trier

The capital of all Gaul, seat of the Emperors.

The Story So Far…

Timeline of events up to the beginning of The Blood of the Iutes:

(all dates AD) (contains SPOILERS)

388 – Imperator Magnus Maximus defeated and executed.

389 – Birth of Pascent

392 – Birth of Wortigern, son of Vitalinus.

396 – Birth of Hengist. Martinus dies in Gaul. His cult soon spreads to Britannia.

406 – Birth of Pefen

407 – Imperator Constantine III takes the Legions out of Britannia

409Ambrosius born to Aurelius, Governor of Britannia.

410 – Rome sacked for the first time, by Goths. Londin votes to leave the Roman Empire. Civil War begins.

411 Constantine III defeated in Gaul. Some of his men, under Vitalinus, join General Constantius. Followers of Martinus establish a monastery on the Isle of Tanet.

413Wortigern marries Sevira, daughter of Imperator Magnus Maximus.

414 – General Constantius conquers Gaul. Vitalinus and his men are sent to quell rebellion of Bacauds in Armorica. Serfs of Britannia roused to rebellion by followers of Martinus.

415 – Battle of Wollop. Treaty of Sorbiodun ends the Civil War. Britannia split in two, with Aurelius as Dux of the Western half. Vitalinus invited to Britannia to deal with the serf rebels.

418 – Vitalinus suppresses the serf rebellion and is made Dux of the Eastern half of Britannia. Pascent granted Ariminum villa for his service.

423 Eadgith born in Ariminum.

423426 – Hengist fights in Frisia.

425 Ash born in the Old Country. Vitalinus dies. Wortigern takes over as Dux and orders Comites to recruit German mercenaries for the island’s defence.

425-435 – Saxons arrive in the land of Regins and Trinowaunts; Gewisse arrive in the land of Cadwallons; Angles arrive in the land of Ikens.

427 Aelle born to Pefen. Rhedwyn born in the Old Country.

428 – Iutes arrive in the land of Cants.

429 – Bishop Germanus travels to Britannia, bringing news of Pelagius’s trial and death.

436Aurelius dies. His son Ambrosius Aurelianus takes over as Dux. Pefen lands in the land of Regins and takes over an abandoned fortress of Anderitum.

437 Haegel leads a Iute expedition to Meon.

SPOILERS FOR THE SAXON SPEARS:

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439 – Pascent’s 50th birthday feast.

440 – Eadgith banished from Ariminum. Birth of Octa, son of Ash and Eadgith.

441 – Battle of Aelle’s Ford. Pascent and Catigern die. Iutes allowed to settle in selected villages.

443 – Battle of Saffron Valley, defeat of Aelle’s forest army. Iutes allowed to settle in further villages.

SPOILERS FOR THE SAXON KNIVES:

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445 – Drust I invades the South. First Coup by Wortimer. Battle of Crei Ford. Iutes allowed to settle in Cantiaca. Birth of Croha.

449 – Bishop Germanus travels to Britannia for the second time, summoned by Wortimer. Wortigern excommunicated.

450 – Council of Sorbiodun. Wortimer’s Second Coup. Wortigern exiled to the West. The Great War with Heathens begins.

SPOILERS FOR THE SAXON MIGHT:

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451 – In Battle of Maurica, Aetius defeats Attila’s Huns. Iutes pushed back to Tanet. Octa abducted from his village and taken to the West.

452 – Wortimer and Rhedwyn die. Birth of their daughter, Myrtle. Londin razed. Battle of Eobbasfleot ends the Great War with the Briton defeat. Octa returned to the East. Haesta rebels against Hengist. Iutes land on Wecta.

454 – Pefen dies in Anderitum. Aelle takes over as ruler of Saxons. Battle of Seal Isle. Eadgith dies. Haesta defeated and banished from Cantiaca. Aeric crowned the King of Iutes.

455 – Rome sacked for the second time, by Vandals.

457 – Hengist dies.

The Blood of the Iutes Preorder is Live!

It’s not easy being the son of a king.

Octa never wanted to be a mighty warrior, or a great ruler of men – he’d much rather be a clerk or a priest – but he’s resigned to his destiny as the son and heir of the first king of the Iutes. There is only one problem: under his father’s peaceful reign, there aren’t many opportunities for a youth to gain experience in combat and leadership.

So when a Roman legate arrives in Britannia, for the first time in a generation, bringing dire news from across the Narrow Sea and requesting help in the coming clash between rival Imperators, Octa jumps on the chance to prove himself before his friends and his father – no matter the consequences

THE BLOOD OF THE IUTES – BOOK ONE OF THE SONG OF OCTA – IS SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE ON DECEMBER 15TH!

PRE-ORDER NOW!

5 resources for history of the Dark Ages Britain

1. CPNRB – Celtic Personal Names of Roman Britain.


https://www.asnc.cam.ac.uk/personalnames/category.php 

The database of all Briton names confirmed in sources and found in inscriptions in the Roman period, from 1st to 5th century AD. Divided by period, location, tribe. Invaluable for coming up with real-sounding secondary characters.


2. DARMC – Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations.


https://darmc.harvard.edu/maps 

This one has everything. Roman roads, settlements – named and unnamed, bridges, passes, temples, fortresses, villas… the most comprehensive map of Ancient Rome on the internet.


3. ORBIS – Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World.


http://orbis.stanford.edu/

Calculator of distances and travel times for the Roman Empire. Google Maps for Ancient Rome, using main roads and sea routes.


4. PASE – Prosopograhy of Anglo-Saxon England.


http://pase.ac.uk/jsp/index.jsp

Similar to 1., a database of names but this time for the Anglo-Saxons. Covers all of Middle Ages, divided by locations, periods, occupations and more.


5. Rural Settlement of Roman Britain. Another detailed map of every archaeological find from Roman Britain.


https://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/romangl/map.html

An even more detailed map of Roman archaelogy than 2., but dedicated solely to Britain, rather than all of Empire. Down to single coin finds.


Quick update – busy, busy

  • italian94981232-176-k350955No time to write anything substantial on the blog lately. Busy writing the new book!
  • On that note – 80k words on the first draft of the “Proud Tyrant“. At this pace, the final count will be well over 120k. And I worried it wouldn’t be long enough!
  • Reminder: The Year of the Dragon, 5-8 is now available for sale at all online retailers… as are all the other books in the now-finished series.
  • The Italian translation of the “Shadow of Black Wings” – “L’Ombra del Drago Nero” is at long last available on Amazon and in other places, if you’ve been longing to read it in Italian 🙂
  • Over and out.

Writing Inspirations, 2 – Podcasts

Right, so here’s the second installment of my “writing inspirations” series. This time it’s the podcasts I listen to on my headphones. Continuing last week’s theme, these concern artists and artistry – in particular, once again, comedy and comedians.

The one I’ve discovered first, and probably because of that my favourite, is RHLSTP (RHLSTP!) – catchily-named Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theater Podcast, which originated out of Herring’s Edinburgh Fringe interview podcasts.

People of my generation, of course, remember Richard Herring from his 90’s double-act with Stewart Lee; his further career – and he’ll be the first to admit – had its ups and downs, but at some point he moved on to internet-kickstart-podcast presence, which was a great decision for everyone involved, as it gave us, by now, well over a hundred interviews, plus additional podcasts, sketch shows like AIOTM (*aiotm!*) and more.

If you know Herring, you’ll know the kind of humour to expect at first – but among the questions about a 6-foot dick and hands made of ham, it moves subtly towards discussions about creativity and comedians’ life in general.

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The other podcast, despite having “comedy” twice in its title, is much more serious. Stuart Goldsmith’s Comedian’s Comedian tends to be much further on the “sad clown” spectrum. Stuart doesn’t shirk from controversial subjects and guests; the interviews are more serious and heavy. My definite favourite is his conversation with Shappi Khorsandi (who’s one of my favourite people anyway) – touching deeply on such subjects as depression, self-harm, bullying and racism, all painted with a contagious optimism.

podcasts_sitcom_geeks

The last podcast I have to mention is Sitcom Geeks: a long, ongoing conversation between  James Cary and Dave Cohen about the art of writing and editing – sitcoms, in their case, but most of it is applicable to any sort of writing.

Writing Inspirations: Netflix

As you might otherwise know, I have recently went through an episode of typing faster than any I’ve ever experienced: 100,000 words in less than two months, to finish the first draft of THE LAST DRAGON KING – the final volume of the Year of the Dragon saga.

I don’t like silence when writing, odd as it may seem, even more so when I have to write plenty and fast. A typing marathon like that requires more than just a random radio station (always BBC R4 or R4 extra 🙂 or TV switched on in the background – it requires something that stirs the muse – something that reminds me of what it’s like to do art. I already wrote about the kind of mangas I like to read – this time it’s about shows I watched and listened to.

Comedians and musicians are, to me, the ultimate artists: the contact with the audience, the instant feedback, the improvisation talent. This is as far from writing as it gets, and perhaps this is why I’m so drawn to stories about them lately.

Netflix’s HIBANA is another one of those quirky Japanese stories about the travails of being an artist – not unlike Bakuman, except about comedians rather than mangakas. It tells the story of a manzai duo – the kind of centuries-old Laurel&Hardy double-act that might seem a bit old-fashioned in the West, having died out with the likes of Morecambe & Wise. But the (semi-autobiographical) story of the main hero’s struggle is as contemporary as it gets – and one that I’ve heard told many times by artists of all walks of life. To go the commercial route, or the esoteric? To aim high or low? How long to wait for the break through – and how not to give up when it doesn’t come? All this told in the cool, brilliantly cinematic manner, with the back streets of Tokyo playing a role equal to the three main characters.

Note of caution: as Japanese stories tend to, it gets really weird at the very end. If you skip the final episode, you will still have a decent, contained story of the SPARKS duo. If you continue, you’ll be taken for the kind of ride that only Kamiya-sensei can take you.

The other Netflix series, the GET DOWN, is very much on the opposite side of the spectrum from Hibana: it’s loud, it’s brash, it’s a made-up, hyperbolic fantasy of a story with at least as many downs as it has ups. It wasn’t well received by the critics and the audience – but I enjoyed it for what it was, a musical fairy-tale about finding your inner artist and sticking to it no matter what. I’m not normally a fan of having to turn off your brain while watching something, but the Get Down had enough going for it otherwise for me to watch it all the way to the end, where all the disparate plot threads meet for an uplifting finale.

And of course, I binged Stranger Things, but then you’ve all seen it by now.

Next week in writing inspirations: Podcasts.