October 20th, 2009

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Shipwreck accounts (and a random train travel detail)

Setting : mid 1920s, Cornwall (specifically the south coast around Falmouth, but only because I know the geography of the coast and the rocks and where the lifeboat station is), ship going down in a storm and the lifeboat coming out to rescue the crew.

nano time is on us once again. and I've got the talent be stuck somewhere nowhere near a library - I can get to bookshops, though, but due to the postal strike amazon and internet ordering is right out.

I've searched on shipwrecks of the time and area, and know what lifeboats and resources were available to the lifeboat crews. My problem is that I can't find any accounts - first person or otherwise - of what a shipwreck/boat going down in a storm and getting rescued (or not) is *like*, and what happens. The only descriptions I can find are modern-day news reports or wartime (historical or modern), and all of those have either been short one paragraph affairs or more concerned with the guns going off.

I'd be happy with any type/size of boat, from fishing vessels to steamship to sailing ships, all of which there're records of foundering off the cornish coast in the 1920s.

Other question : valet accompanying a gentleman and his wife on a visit to Cornwall. they're getting the train down from the Home Counties (it takes about half a day). the question is, where would the valet be for most of this ride? Gentleman + wife are in first class, natch, but would the valet be in third or first to attend to his employers?
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Human Branding on the hip

Setting: Fantasy land, equivalent to 13th-14th century Europe

Available help: Herb women, Earth-mages (who Heal, magically)

What:

I have a woman. She's 5'5, about 150lbs (I'm telling you this, because I want you to have a good view of her). She's well fed, well cared for, doesn't work hard physically, and is a noblewoman.

What I need to do is scar her hip by branding. The scar needs to fade to slightly raised white lines, and not impede her mobility. I don't mind it giving her gip when the weather's cold/damp, but it can't be an ongoing problem.

When they brand her, she'll be held still by ropes stretching her arms over her head, and her legs held in stock-like hobbles bolted to the ground. Plus guards to make sure the brand takes.

I need to know:

- What type of metal (and thickness) could be used.

- How long should the metal be held on there?

- Is there a "right" type of fire to be used? Right now, I'm leaning toward a blacksmith's portable brazier, with bellows, but if there's something else to be used, then please, suggest it.

- Anything else you can think of to tell me that I'm forgetting?

Search terms:

Branding, human branding, scarification, bmezine.com, branding +hips, burning skin, and a few others, I can't recall.

Edit: Also, what difference would weight loss make? Eventually, she's going to become thinner, far more wiry (My notes describe her as muscle and tendons over bone). How would that effect the appearance of the scar?

Slash wounds to the side

Hi :) This community has helped me a lot just by browsing through it (I'm a newcomer to its pages and a new member period) so I'm hoping that you wonderfully intelligent people can help me with a question of my own.

The setting of my story is a scifi/fantasy; for the following question, magic as a factor is very possible, however, the magic-users in the story are also rather out of commission at the point of the event. I read the rules, and I'm not sure how descriptive violence has to be before it's put behind a cut, so just to be safe, I'll shove it back there.

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