March has finally arrived. Do you know what that means? The stirring has begun, and although the battle between winter and spring is long and arduous for the innocents caught in the crossfire, winter will be subdued. Wonder of wonders, the cold and snow will succumb to the damp and mud of spring, which miraculously buds and slowly turns the world green and colorful again.
Guys, I’ll be able to walk outside without shoes. The soft grass and sun-kissed earth beneath my bare feet . . . Best. Feeling. Ever. Can’t wait.
Alas, that season has not yet reached us. On the way, but not yet arrived. In the meantime I plan on sharing a bit more about this new story of mine, although it’s still in the first draft stage (still! Still!!). It’s coming along, though. There are so many details to include and develop. First drafts are so incredibly messy. Really. Sometimes, as a writer, one wonders if this chaos is ever going to make sense. It just takes guts, hard work, and a lot of faith (in the Author and in oneself) to take all the pieces and craft something truly marvelous.
So, today I’m going to talk a wee bit about the world of Falconsbane, and I suppose a bit of context is in order. The story takes place in a small(ish) country known as Phen, which is divided into seven tribal regions (lots of history there that we’re not digressing into. Not gonna. Nope.) The tribal regions and their armed forces is what we’ll be exploring, and today we’re going to Nyan. It’s pronounced NEE-ann, by the way, in case you were wondering.
Nyan is the smallest of the regions, located on the southeastern end of the country. Its east and southern borders are with the nation of Edon, which is hostile towards Phen. All of the eastern nations are, and because of this there is a strong military vein running through the country. Nyan’s branch of the larger Phennish Army is a force known as the Falcons of Nyan. Here’s an image of their crest and motto:
Pretty neat, huh? The falcon is a predatory bird of speed and precision; it’s not the largest aerial predator, but the people of Nyan have always revered its prowess. The bird is surrounded by a ring of seven swords, representing the number of blades each warrior carries and is trained to use. The specific blade pictured is what they call a ‘falcyon’, but the shape and size of their actual array is all across the board. Nor is the falcyon their primary weapon, oddly enough. That honor goes to their prized glaives, which are large-bladed polearms (depicted in the Coat of Arms):
Nyan Falcons are trained to be fierce combatants with every blade they wield and in every range: hand to hand/close range, sword/mid-range, glaive/long range, and horseback. It’s been said that a mounted Falcon is more dangerous than an armored Massan cavalryman (who are basically tanks, but more on them another time). If a Falcon’s blades are its talons, then his horse is his wings, and with that concept in mind the warriors learn to maneuver their horse and weapons as though all parts are a single and synchronized unit.
Intense, huh? Now just imagine, if just one warrior is that potent, what would ranks upon ranks of them be like against an army of foes? These Nyan Falcons are considered by all to be the elite, smallest in number (compared to the other, larger regions) but a force not to be underestimated, lest one find themselves the rabbit.
Their motto, Sanitas Edonta Avin’El, translates into English with the concept of ‘to the glory of Avin’El’ (Avin’El being their national deity). The ‘glory’ bears the idea of victory in battle, indomitable and absolute. It’s a lofty charge, but one they have pursued valiantly for generations, seeking ever to subdue the threat to their land, homes, and loved ones.
Plus, it’s just fun to say. Sanitas Edonta!