October 15th, 2014

Inara

[ANON POST] Sword Wound to the Side

My story takes place in a medieval fantasy country. The main character is wounded in his right side with a sword during a one on one fight with the bad guy. Neither of them is wearing armor. The MC is 19 and well fit, though at this point he is weary from various exertions in the past few days.

The MC has a shield and sword, the BG has a spear and sword. MC is warding off BG’s spear and stabbing him with his sword while BG stabs/cuts at MC with his sword. MC needs to remain conscious for several minutes…long enough to ward off a last effort throw of the spear and chase/stagger after another character (though he doesn’t get him). Then MC blacks out. He has friends in the area and receives treatment within minutes of falling unconscious.

I’ve googled ‘sword wounds to the side’, ‘stab wounds to the side’ and ‘recovery time for stab wounds’ and read several articles like The Dubious Quick Kill, A Summary of How People Die (and don’t die) in Sword Fights, and chapter 4 of The Sword (Wounds and Effects of Swords) but can’t find the specific details I need about times. I want MC to be able to travel within a few days and be on his feet and able to fight again within a week or two. There is magical water that could help speed up the process of healing but I am wondering what a realist healing time would be and what type of wound would meet these requirements (blacking out after a few minutes but not too serious). I don’t know if a stab or slice would be better.

Oh, and the BG’s sword isn’t a huge thick blade but it isn’t a thin rapier either. The exact width is flexible.
Inara

[ANON POST] Medieval Winter Travel

Part of the plot in my story revolves around the fact that my characters really need to travel to a specific place - but they live in a very snowy, northern climate, and when the story opens winter is already closing in. To make matters worse, there's a mountain range between them and their intended destination, which they can theoretically travel around but will make travel time that much longer.

All of this is based on my own personal experience of walking in the snow, on something I read once that claimed many medieval European villages more or less shut down and hibernated in the winter, and on the knowledge that military campaigns pretty much took the winter off back in the day. What I am really looking for, however, are specifics. How did people actually get around in the winter during the High Middle Ages (1000-1300)? Sledges? Nordic skiing? Was there any kind of system for keeping roads clear of snow? How deep does snow have to get before traveling on horseback, or by horse-drawn sleigh, is impractical?

I've done a lot of googling ("medieval winter travel," "winter travel middle ages," "winter horseback riding," "history of Nordic skiing," etc). Found some fun and interesting stuff, including an article about what it would take for Robin-Hood-esque outlaws to survive Sherwood Forest in the winter, but nothing about the large-scale effects of winter on medieval infrastructure in northern Europe.

Any help or personal anecdotes would be appreciated!