Falchion (a broad, slightly-curved sword with a cutting edge on the convex side)
Night-sword (used in cities where open weapons banned)
“The sword he’d been given by the Guild rattled in its scabbard, rust flaking off the metalwork”
Haft (handle of axes usually)
-tipped (iron-tipped spears)
Thicket of spears
“Crossguard flamed gold”
“Shields bore some strange device”
“Points of red fire winked from ruby eyes on the pommel, a chunk of dragonglass carved in the shape of a grinning skull”
“Elric fingered the raised runes on the hilt of his black broadsword”
“Anguy had arrows tipped with bodkins as well as broadheads. A bodkin could pierce even heavy plate.”
“Its grip was white leather, its pommel a rose in alabaster”
“His arrows were fletched with grey goose feathers”
“It looked as if it had been forged for a giant – Malador was virtually that himself – with its wide crosspiece and heavy, stone-encrusted hilt.”
Singlestick (fighting or fencing with a wooden stick or sword held in one hand; also the weapon used)
Dagger with a chipped blade
“A wicked little wide-bladed, curved-bladed shoemaker’s knife”
Spears wreathed in cypress (ceremony/WB uniform)
“He wore an elaborately crafted belt decorated with gold and gems from which hung a curved dagger”
“Short swords and daggers belted at their sides”
“One of those flimsy Egyptian pieces of a real Phrygian bow of horn wood and leather?”
“Sentries making his rounds, his wooden club on his shoulder”
Swords wrapped in oilcloth (to keep them sharp)
“Light shivering down the sword in his hand”
Leaf-shaped short sword
“He bore a tower shield of black and white cowhide edged with bronze”
Arbalest (a crossbow with a special mechanism for drawing back and releasing the string)
Crossbow slung at his saddle
“The short bow of Wales, drawn to the breast, not to the arm”
Crosspiece (“watching how light moved on the crosspiece”)
“Quiver of arrows fletched with hawk feathers”
The business end
_ at his side (“I rode out with Cadal at my side”)
“It was a mining ax, with a pick point on one side, in order to go prospecting, and a real ax blade on the other, in case anyone tried to stop you.”
Sidearm (weapon such as sword, revolver, bayonet worn at side)
“greatsword brown with rust”
“long, straight edge, glinting in the many nicks and notches”
Poleaxe (another term for battle-ax; or a short-handled ax with a spike at the back
Much can change in a single night. In my case, what began as a dinner party lapsed into the bloodiest hours of my life.
It all unraveled a few weeks ago, not long after our Most Revered Khazal defeated the Reaver Chieftess of the upper coast. Whereas the capital celebrated the she-pirate’s death that night, I rejoiced in the corpse itself. An embalmer’s work is based on contracts, you see. And up til then most of mine had come from merchant clans and a magistrate every once in a while. So when it fell to me to preserve the Reaver’s head for display at the Ruby Gate, you can imagine my excitement. To celebrate the contract I played host to a banquet of princely proportions. The beat of drums, skirl of flutes, and tinkle of tambourines filled my halls for most of that night.
Toward the end of the eve, after the tightrope walkers and hydromancers had packed up and gone home, I led the remainder of my guests to my rooftop terrace. Nobody likes an overstaying houseguest, least of all myself. Which was why I hoped the last two stragglers would take a hint from the wind’s icy reception.
By no means the grandest in the district, my manor was situated halfway up one of the many stone spires that made up the city. From here we could see a few other spires, with towers and balconies clinging to them like sandstone barnacles. From there, shelves of stilt-house shantytowns plunged down to the desert coast.
“To the Reaver Queen’s demise!” slurred my kath-brother, Rhimar. Dark splotches of wine were bleeding through the pale green of his robes.“May she prowl our waters nevermore!” His fat frame nearly tumbled over the rails when he swung his chalice overhead. Even though the ocean lay below, we were up so high that the water would’ve broken his spine before it broke his fall.
“Careful, Kath Rhimar,” I told him. “We wouldn’t want to make my sister a widow, now would we?” I pulled him to the other end of the terrace, where I pried the chalice from his fingers and set it on a lotus-shaped table.
In a chair by the table sat my distant cousin, Darelli. “Drunk as he is, I’ll second that toast.” He, or rather she spoke in an affectedly feminine voice. Three decades had passed since she crossed the divide and yet I still thought of her as the boy from my childhood. Over the years she earned her place as a wigmaker for the khazal’s concubines. That night she wore her latest creation, a crown of night-black braids woven with the periwinkle tulips of the Ukarite Dynasty. The locks flew in the wind as she tilted her chalice aloft. “To the Reaver’s undoing!”
“To her undoing,” came a voice as deep as the seafloor. All heads turned to the horseshoe archway that opened onto the terrace. Out strode a square-built man decked in purple silks. Except for his clothes, there was nothing soft about him: sharp nose, pointed moustache, and a scar on his cheek besides.
“Captain Kelhan,” I said as casually as possible. “I thought you’d left.”
“So I did. But I’d just reached the Soarer’s Esplanade when I began to feel a little chilly. Must’ve forgotten my cloak up here during the fireworks. No slaves were at the door, so I let myself in.”
Neither Kan Darelli’s lavender perfume nor Kath Rhimar’s wine breath could match whatever product Captain Kelhan had applied tonight. Probably some pricey musk from the Crownless States. A trader from the Seafarer’s Guild such as himself could afford it.
Such a trader could also afford a bountiful bride-price for my daughter. Which was why I hurried to the chair opposite from Darelli, snatched the raptor feather cloak from the backrest, and offered it with a low bow.
“Pardon that no one was to receive you,” I said. “I let the slaves spend the rest of the holiday as they wished.”
“No matter.” He pinned the cloak around his neck with a broach shaped like the same beast whose feathers enfolded him. Its fangs glinted by one of the pole lanterns as the captain took Rhimar’s chalice from the table and clinked it against Darelli’s.
“I would’ve killed that tribal scum after our shipboard duel had I known she’d persist in raiding my dhows. May she rot.” In one gulp he drank half his wine.
After taking a sip, Darelli tapped her painted nails on the base of her chalice. “I don’t think she’ll be rotting anytime soon, thanks to our host.” Looking to me, she asked, “You have her here, don’t you? The corpse I mean.”
I didn’t like where this was going. Yet I couldn’t disappoint Captain Kelhan, who gazed at me over the rim of his cup.
“That I do.” Rubbing my bald scalp, I went on, “Father and Grandfather had their workshops in the Lower City, but I prefer to live close to my work. So I chose this property partly for its undervault.” With such little surface area available, manors on the spires of Faral-Khazal often had two to ten levels quarried into the rock.
Darelli clapped her hands together. “Oh, you must let us see her!”
“Absolutely not.” I chopped my hand in the air. “People talk. If the khazal’s minister learned that I let guests come poking around my workshop, I’d never receive a royal commission again.”
“You’re mistaken in one matter,” said Kelhan. “We’re not just any guests. We’re family.” The last word warmed my chest with hope. We’d discussed the possibility of marriage at dinner, but this was nothing short of a guarantee.
Between then and now I’ve come up with hundreds of excuses I should’ve used: that it would befoul the process, that I didn’t have the key, that to do so was illegal. Anything, anything at all.
But all I could think about was what I would do with Kelhan’s bride-price. I’d buy a manor closer to the Hundred Palaces, afford the newest fashions, mingle with the highest of society. I’d become the best-connected embalmer in the city if I just said:
“Yes.” I swung an arm toward the archway. “Right this way.”
Thus the four of us walked back inside and down the spiral staircase. Down we went, step upon polished step, heedless of the consequences in store.
My workshop was a cross between a morgue and an apothecarium. Neatly-labeled vials lined one wall, stacks of crates and coffins along another. In the center sat a bronze casket, featureless save for the clockwork mechanism with three numbered discs on its face.
Kath Rhimar and Captain Kelhan needed to duck beneath the balls of pomander that hung from the ceiling. The little brass orbs were supposed to cast off the sickly-sweet stench of death. And yet the odor still lingered like an unwanted guest, making four of them in all.
I sat on the stool beside the casket and shifted the table of saws in the way of the others.
“Some space, please.” My weary eyes locked with Rhimar’s bloodshot ones. “You especially. The khazal’s minister visits at daybreak and I’d be hard pressed to explain any vomit on the Reaver’s cheeks.”
He took a swaying step behind the other two.
One by one, I clicked the wheels into place. 1-2-8. It was that many years into the Ukarite Dynasty when my father died and the family trade passed into my hands. My capable hands – or so I thought back then. To this day I think his spirit haunts me for the choice I made that night.
“Plug your nostrils.” I lifted the lid and there she was. The Reaver Chieftain. Garbed in a breechcloth and breastband, she lay as still as the casket that contained her.
“Feh, that’s her?” Darelli crossed her arms, clinking her bracelets against each other. “She looks like some Lower City fishwife.”
That she did. With her pouched eyes and wrinkled skin, she’d aged well into elderhood by the time the khazal caught up to her.
“Even in her middle years, she never imposed fear through looks alone,” said Kelhan. Eyes downcast, he began pacing a semicircle behind my stool. “It was her charisma, the way she could unite the northern tribes under her sails, her sheer… But what’s this?”
The cloak swirled at his heels as he clenched the coffin’s rim with both hands.
Clearing my throat, I uttered, “All due respect, could you step aw-”
“By the stars!” Kelhan’s shout rang all along the mudbrick walls
I stiffened in my seat. Darelli reeled back a step. Kath Rhimar blinked blearily. None of us dared speak. None except the captain.
“It’s not her.”
Rhimar burst into deep raspy hoots. I almost laughed with him. Almost.
“Of course it’s her!” I said in a tone of strained humor. “It’s been years on years since you last saw the Reaver. People change.”
“People change,” Kelhan said through gritted teeth. “But tattoos are forever.”
A glimpse showed no trace of ink on the woman’s body. The whole room may as well have caved in by the weight on my chest. I cut a glance to Darelli. “Is he right?”
She bit her lips so forcefully that white showed through the teal paint. “Every so often a concubine might seek an alchemist or Star-Touched to help remove her slave’s brand, but never with any success.”
“Then this is an imposter!” Each of Kelhan’s words hammered at my heart.. “Either the khazal has been tricked, or the khazal is tricking us. (deceiver/deceived) Another one of the khazal’s deceptions! He wants us to think we’re safe thanks to him, but now we’re more vulnerable than ever!”That, or the khazal intends to deceive the masses.
“Keep your voice down!” I cried. “The walls have ears. Especially for talk of treason!” Though I was more worried about the two other guests than the four walls around us. Darelli often gossiped with the highest of circles whereas Kith Rhimar had a habit of talking too much in his cups. Neither could keep a secret. And then there was Kelhan.
“Treason?” He drew himself up to full height, hair scraping against the ceiling. “I speak of the truth. Truth I shall tell to Seafarer’s Union right away. If the khazal cannot protect us, then we must do it ourselves!”
Just as he turned his shoulder I seized him by the wrist. He scowled at my hand as if it belonged to a beggar. Slowly, he lifted his gaze. “You think you can stop me?”
“No.” I released him and smoothed out the fold in his sleeve. “I only ask that you think things through. What would this mean for me? For the rest of us? After word gets out, the khazal will follow the leak to its source. His eyes will turn here, and so will his fury. While you and the Union are off waging war with pirates, the three of us will suffer torture deep in the bowels of the Hundred Palaces.”
“I cannot worry about the few when the lives of so many are at stake,” said Kelhan. “Now if you’ll excuse me.”
“Wait.” I sidestepped him. “Wait!”
“Move, or I will run you through this very second.” Kelhan’s hand dropped to the tasseled handle of his ornamental cutlass. “Much as I dislike the idea, nothing will sway me. Nothing, and no one.”
“Then take me with you!” I said. “The Seafarer’s Guild will heed you more closely with my testimony.”
He pursed his lips sideways. “And the khazal?”
“To the gods with the khazal! We’ll leave the city before he can get his hands on us! Then you can wed my daughter, and we’ll set on our hunt as Starsworn kath.”
“You sound ridiculous!” For the first time in recent memory, Darelli spoke in a man’s voice. “Do you expect me to drop everything and leave with you? My life is here!”
“As is mine!” shouted Rhimar, who finally seemed to snap out of his stupor. “And what of your sister!”
“Details, details!” I dismissed them with a wave of the hand. “We’ll sort all that out later. But for now” – I turned to Kelhan – “let us seal our pact.” I threw my arms wide, inviting him to the ancient ritual between kath-father-and-son.
It took a moment’s hesitation before Kelhan stepped into my embrace. I wrapped my arms around his neck, so far round that I unclipped the brooch from his cloak. The raptor feathers fell to our feet the moment I drove the metal fangs deep into his throat.
Blood spurted from his neck. His eyes twitched wide as copper shiksils, staring back with accusation. Try as I might, I couldn’t look away. All I could do was stare into that gaze until it rolled white and fluttered its lids shut forever. The stiff corpse slumped into my hands, and it took all my strength to stay on my feet. With utmost care, I lowered it away from the casket so that not a drop of blood spilled on the Reaver.
To keep the blood from spreading, I took a roll of linen from the table of saws and knotted off a bandage round the captain’s neck. That done, I collapsed onto my stool and ran a hand over my scalp. After a few deep breaths, I lifted my gaze to the bewildered faces of kath and kan. Tilting my chin at the captain’s body, I asked, “So what’ll it be?”
Finalist for the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, 2018
Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future Winter Quarter 2018
The Deadliest Dish
Whatever became of the khazal’s former chef remained a mystery to Kaira. She hadn’t cared to ask when accepting the post and now she didn’t dare. One month in the Hundred Palaces had taught her more about the dangers of court intrigue than her forty-five years spent under minor princes. Here a brash question might be answered with a venomous snake bite or a shove off the cliffside gardens. And according to rumor, the woman sitting across from Kaira had a hand in it all.
Lounging on a wicker chair in the corner of her garden, the khazal’s favorite concubine puffed up grey plumes from her seashell pipe. By the sunbeams that slipped past the treetops, she resembled a red-lipped, black-lidded dryad in her own little jungle of palms and creeper.
A pair of bare-chested slaves fanned her from behind the backrest. Their peacock feathers sent ripples up her gown to make the satin seem more liquid than solid. The fabric flowed around her ankle as she nudged a coral-pink lotus across the fishpond.
A charming sight to be sure. But Kaira knew rotten things could fill piquant crusts – not so different from how man-sized eels lurked in the fishpond. Their bejeweled fins guzzled the sunlight and winked for Kaira’s attention as she crossed the courtyard.
Halting at the customary three pace distance, she balanced her violet-glazed tray in one hand and pinched her smock in a deep curtsy.
“Your Radiance Rhameli,” said Kaira, striving to smoothen her scratchy voice. “I’ve brought the samples for tonight.”
If Rhameli heard, she showed no sign. Silently, she kept her long-lashed eyes on the fishpond while the fountains burbled on her behalf.
Kaira’s patience began to dwindle. She didn’t want to breach etiquette, but the banquet wasn’t going to cook itself. Drawing a deep breath, she went so far as to clear her throat.
“You’d do well to kneel when addressing me.” Rhameli’s deep voice snapped off each syllable, chopping “kneel” into “knee-all.”
It took every ounce of Kaira’s willpower to stop her jaw from unhinging. Only the khazal could enforce proskynesis. Anyone else who demanded as much was subject to have his – or in this case her – feet cut off. Kaira took a little pleasure in picturing those pretty toes dangle from the Ruby Gate.
“Who do you think you are?” she wanted to say. But on seeing one of the flytraps snatch up a sucklebug, she decided to be sweet instead of sour. Her arthritic knees ached as she bent them to the grass. Even still, Kaira refused to let this stuck-up harpy peck at her own sense of self-worth. How could she, when she was the best damn chef in the Glorious Oases?
From the moment she lifted the lid from her tray, the air turned rich with the scents of spiced meats and aged cheeses. One of the slaves paused his fanning just to gawk at the fare. His eyes twitched even wider when his mistress’s voice boomed throughout the courtyard:
“Who told you to stop? Keep your eyes where they belong or I’ll give them to the eels!”
The slave fixed his gaze on a tulip-filled urn as he carried on with his task.
Rhameli looked back at Kaira’s tray, where eight porcelain bowls showcased samples of viands for that night. She inspected the crayfish basted in garlic, the fried gourd-chips and goat cheese, and all of the other dainties but betrayed no hint of her pleasure. In fact her face remained motionless until she lifted her green eyes to Kaira’s brown ones. “And what of the thunder trout?”
Every sculpture in the garden seemed to crush on Kaira’s chest. “The… the thunder-what, Your Radiance?”
Rhameli sat up straight to better look down her nose at Kaira. “The thunder trout.” A crease formed between her well-groomed brows. “A Flaurian delicacy.” She ashed her pipe in the bowl of goat cheese. “Since they’re tonight’s guests of honor, I requested it a month in advance.”
Impossible! This was their first audience! But then Kaira thought back three weeks ago, when the Keeper of Ceremonies listed so many of her responsibilities that she couldn’t possibly remember them all. She would’ve have tried her damned hardest if she’d known her life depended on it. Kaira digested all of these thoughts just in time to make a recovery.
“But of course,” she forced herself to say. “It’s only that the thunder trout needs awhile to marinate. It’ll be ready by tonight. Of that I guarantee.” Each word made her loathe herself that much more.
“Good.” Rhameli pinched a crayfish from the tray and observed it closely. “I’d hate to be disappointed by a chef so full of promise… yet again.”
Then she flicked the morsel into the fishpond where it sank to the bottom. Within seconds, the eels flashed their fangs to tear the shellfish apart. Once they slithered out of sight, Kaira noticed a white fragment lying at the pool’s base.
A bone-white fragment.
“Begone,” said Rhameli.
Kaira clinked the lid over the tray louder than she’d intended. Climbing to her feet, she jerked another curtsey before backtracking out of the garden. Not until passing the horseshoe archway did she remember to breathe. Without the thunder trout, the same passion that lifted her up would also tear her down.
(Due to publishing rights, only the first chapter is posted here. Message me directly if you’d like to read the full version.)
Besides this cheat sheet, I recommend picking up a sailor’s dictionary. Here’s one you can get on Kindle for free:
Pontoon (flat-bottomed boat used in building a temporary bridge)Barque – sailing vessel with three or more masts
Windjammer (collective name for ship built to carry cargo (first use 1880)
Dhow (a lateen-rigged ship with one or two masts, used in the Indian Ocean)
Skiff (a shallow, flat-bottomed open boat with a sharp bow and square stern)
Sloop (boat with one mast)
Flotilla (fleet of ships or boats)
Shipmates (good for sailors referencing amongst themselves)
Barge / bargemen
Shipwright (person who constructs ships)
Take ship for _
Crewed (“A barge, crewed by shouting Wrannaman, was being poled awkwardly into a canal.”)
All hands hit the decks
sat near the prow
“Person appeared on the port rail”
“Heraklios joined him at the prow.”
Buckle – a mast buckles when it suffers compression, so that the fiber takes a sinuous formSmack of the sail
“slap of sail in the wind”
Seaward /landward Broadside (longer side of the ship [versus back and front])
Overboard (“swept overboard”)
Aboard (“There was plenty of room aboard Leonov.” | “There was much confusion aboard the Spanish ship” | “Welcome aboard.”)
Shipboard (“shipboard duel”)
Topside (“Misfortune’s brewing topside!”)
Aftward(in the direction of the stern)/aftmost
Aft (stern “he flung himself aft”)
Amidships (in or toward the middle)
“The black hulls of ships pulled up on the sand”“Galley’s hull scraped the sand”
Berthed (docked; berth = ship’s allotted place at dock)
Moored (some boats moored by the harbor)
Cast off (set sail; cast off the hawsers)
Ship moved off
Put to sea (heading out)
Make full sail
Plowed (“we plowed through the tide”)
Cut through the water
|PARTS OF SHIP
Porthole rowing ports
Gunport (“bronze mouths protruding from our gunports offered a loud response (to cannonades)
Anchor-ball: a pyrotechnical combustible attached to a grapnel for adhering to and setting fire to ships
Cutwater: the forward-edge of a ship’s brow, which divides the water (extension of the keel)
Gunwale: the upper edge of the side of a boat or ship
Ballast (weight in ship that balances the vessel)
Hold (interior of a ship)
Front deck/forward deck
Hawser (a thick rope or cable for mooring or towing a ship)
Towline/towrope (a rope or chain used for towing vehicles)
Tiller (directional device in rowboat)
Forecastle: forward part of a ship belowdeck typically used for living quarters
“Cabin forward of the mast”
League = three milesFathom = six feet
SHIP OUT OF CONTROL
“ship lurched under him”
Pitched (“Also, with the ship pitching so strongly, there was a great chance she might wound herself on accident.”)
Careening (moving swiftly and uncontrollable way in a specified direction)
Changed courseHold the course (“Hold course, Master Caldris.”)
Stayed the course/stay the course
Steer a course
Get it under control (“getting the ship under control”)
“shipped her own paddle”
Ferried themselves across
Barnacled (barnacled hulls of warships hauled onto beach sand)Algae
Wood has wormholes
Salt-rotted (“salt-rotted wooden sign”)
Armed at all points (covered with armor)
Bald pate (bald spot)Baldheaded
“Bill had a bald dome with a fringe of black hair, a natural version of the monkish tonsure.”
Half-bald (“half-bald man with grey hair round his ears…”)
“loose hairs of his wig jiggled about”
“fine white hair”
Wisps of hair
“Hair receding sharply at the temples.”
“black wigs were cut sharply to the chin”
“he wore his hair longer than any Roman”
“hair arranged in long oiled ringlets”
Waves of hair
“The captain’s long hair fell to his shoulders in red-gold waves and was kept back from his brow by a circlet of blue jade.
“forest of hair”
“plucked brows” Groomed brow
Arched brows/pointed brows
“brows were as fine and dark as penstrokes with a curious flourish at the end”
“peaked black brow”
Brows darker/lighter than hair
“two little stubby eyebrows like very small fish swimming bravely in a great sea of face.”
Whiskery (whiskery red face)
“hair was shaved to stubble, dusted with grey at the ears and close to bald on top.”
“fine thistle of beard fringed his face”
“His short, defiant beard pointed at the sky.”
‘Thick black beard”
“beard like a grey waterfall”
Mussed/shaggy/grizzled hairUnkempt (beard/hair)
Plait/pleat (a braid of material such as hair or straw; specifically pigtail)
Mane (“of thick locks”)
Long black moustache“dark moustache that drooped around a grim, set mouth.”
“Von Ottenfeld put on a melancholy expression which was much enhanced by his long, drooping moustaches.
“That moustache, like a pair of yellow slugs on his fat top lip.”
Wavy dark hair
Slicked-back hair (“hair slicked straight back”)
Silky hair (“beard”)
“her hair secured into a wide band woven with fake flowers”Bouffant (hair arranged in puffed circular shape)
Chignon (a knot or bun in the back of a lady’s hair)
“She tapped her silver hair, which was drawn into a tight bun that could crack rocks.”
Barbered (“The long mane of black curls had been barbered neatly into a manly cap.”)
“His hair swept to one side of his face/head”Parted/unparted
Topknot (a knot of hair arranged at the top of the head)
Hair greased back
“what little hair he had slicked back in greasy knots over his ears”
“tangled black hair half-hiding his face”
“iron-gray hair”Grayshot (beard)
“grey streaks in his hair”
Towheaded (a head of two-colored or very blond hair)
“My husband the king”
“High Fist Dujek Onearm”
“Earl Palatine of Westria”
Personage (person of rank/note/distinction | impression of famous individual)
Maestro (Italian addressing a master)Magnates (wealthy, influential person)
Dignitary (person considered to be important because of high rank or office)e
Scion (heir to a wealthy/powerful family)
Parishioners (“priests and parishioners”)
Hyperboreans ([ancient Greek mythology] mythical race of giants who lived “beyond the North Wind.”)
Retainers (a person attached to or owing service to a wing of the household)
Majordomo (head steward of a large household)
Valet (man’s male servant who performs personal services such as taking care of clothing)
Chatelaine (wife of a castellan; mistress of a chateau; mistress of a household or large establishment)
Head of the household
Master of the house
Little one (child title)
Playmate (also as insult)
Foundling (an infant that has been abandoned and cared for by others)
Bookkeeper (person whose job is to keep records of finances)
Publican (Jewish tax collector for ancient Romans; collector of taxes or tribute)
|TIME OF DAY
Early-risers (“early-rising fishermen”)
Boatman (for ferries)
Muleteer (one who drives mules)
Ostler (man employed to look after the horses of people staying at an inn)
Apostate (person who renounces religious or political beliefs”)
“Knights of every stripe”
Knight errant (knight in search of chivalrous adventures)
“The Crimson Guard”
Battalion (“a battalion of household slaves”)
Plainsman (inhabitant of the plains)
Troupe (a group of dancers, actors, or other entertainers who tour to different venues)
A marketplace juggler
Tragedian (actor who specializes in tragic roles)
Cohort (group of people banded together or treated as a group)
Cadre (small group of people specially trained for certain skill or profession | “cadre of hired assassins”)
Cortege (train of attendants; especially in a funeral procession)
Collegium (a group in which each person has approximately equal authority)
Personnel (body of people employed by company or organization)
Deputation (group of people chosen to represent another)
“There was work for all hands able to do it.” (naval/identity)
Shipmates (his boys)
Landsman (landlubber ; someone inexperienced with sailing)
Hortator (slave who gave drumbeats to a Roman trireme)
The merchant fathers
In the dye trade
Spinster (woman whose occupation is to spin | woman who seems unlikely to marry | unmarried woman of gentle family)
Milliner (a person who makes or sells women’s hats)
Knackerman (trading animals that have died on farms and unfit for consumption; where term knackered came from)
Hucksters (a person who sells small items, either door-to-door or form a stall or small store)
Ragman (someone who collects or deals in rags, old clothes, or oher items )
Mountebank ( person who deceives others, especially in order to trick them)
Foreman (first or chief person)
Moneychanger (person whose business is to exchange one currency for another)
“The chief priest”
His betters/their betters
Archimandrite (head of a large monastery in Orthodox Church)
Anchorites (religious recluse)
Mystagogue (teacher or propounder of mystical doctrine)
Eremite (religious recluse; eremitical)
Exegets (espouser or textual interpreter, usually of scripture)
Deacon (subordinate officer in the Catholic Church such as cleric ranking below a priest; layman given privilege to serve in worship)
Chaplain (clergyman in charge of a chapel; clergyman appointed to assist a bishop as at a iturgical function; clergyman officially attached to a branch of the military, to an institution, or to a family or court)
Suffragan (bishop appointed to help a diocesan bishop)
Curate (member of clergy serving as assistant of or leading a parish)
Sexton (a person who looks after a church and churchyard; bell-ringer and formerly a gravedigger)
Drover (one who drives cattle or sheep)
Forester Iperson in charge of a forest or skilled in planting or caring for trees)
Sharecropper (tenant farmer provided with credit for seeds/tools/living quarters/food and gets an agreed amount of profit from the crop minus charges)
Evildoers | wrongdoers
Footpad (highwayman operating on foot rather than horse)
Reaver (person who carried out raids in order to plunder)
Renegade (person who deserts and betrays another organization)
Insurgents (person who revolts against civil authority; person who reacts in contrary opinion to one’s own political party)
Freebooter (a pirate or lawless adventurer)
Libertine (a person who acts without moral responsibility)
And here’s a little trick of European nobility: Don’t Milk Every Vicious Bull.
Cocked his gun
“let off a shot”
“squeezed off his shot”
Pistol went off
fusillades (series of shots fired in quick succession)
“Pocked by gunshots”
Riddled with bullet
Destructive blast; volley
Point-blank (fired from very close to the target)
Emptied his pistol on (“he turned and opened fire, emptying his pistols”)
Crossfire (caught in the crossfire)
Crack of gunshot
“several discharges of musquetry in the streets were heard”
“Muffled off-boom of cannonfire”
“a bullet spat gravel just in front of him”
|WEAPONS AND LOADING
Sidearm (weapon such as sword, revolver, bayonet worn at side)
Buckshot (lead bullets)
Cartridges (“fumbled cartridges into his pistol”)
Gunpowder (smells: Sulfurous; Saltpeter)
Set of pistols
“twin muzzles” of a shotgun
“Shalako fed shells into his gun”
Cranked (“four cold metal bolts were cranked and ready…” | cranking winches/capstan)
cocked/recocked (crossbow or firearm)
Quiver (“quiver of Lycian arrows.”)
Feathered bolts/arrows (feather stuck up from his forehead)
Spent arrows (on the ground after a battle)
Found his aim/finding his aim
Found his mark/Arrow found its mark
Took aim (for aimed)
Well-aimed (also of a glance)
“kept his arrow trained in Simon’s general direction…”
At close range
Line of fire
“pelted by archers”
“twang of bows as the sky filled with arrows”
Flight of arrows (like volley)
Nocked an arrow (loaded arrow
“let his bowstring go slack”
“let my arrow fly”
Ate the shot
Received a ball in his thigh
Shattering “both flesh and bone”
Fell short (“the shots fell short”)
“Maurevel instantly fired in return, but the bullet glanced off De Muoy’s cuirass”
INTERACTING WITH WEAPONS
Brought his rifle to bear
“rifles slung over their shoulders”
“men with rifles, hip high, ready to fire”
Unslung his harquebus
“sat down, his rifle across his knees”
Grounding his arquebus
Arquebus on his shoulder
Best shots (“best shots in town”)
“he was a good shot”