Wednesday, 25 April 2018

REENACMENT: Knight Hospitaller (about 1187-1206)

RECONSTRUCTION OF BROTHER HOSPITALLER IN ARMS OF THE ORDER OF ST. JOHN OF JERUSALEM OF THE XIIth CENTURY (about 1187-1206)

NOTES: This was a project about an hypothesis of an historically accurate Hospitaller that I used in reenacment events in Italy. I commissioned it to expert reenactors and artisans in 2009-2010. They used high quality materials (wool, iron, linen, felt wool) and all of them are historically documented. All the visible stitchting (eyelets, buttonholes included) are handmade. All the militay equipment (helm, sword, shield, sheath etc) are done by italian or european artisans, only the chainmail coif is done in India by a big company (Deepeka I suppose).

However now I'm looking to update the Hospitaller, thanks to new reconstructive hypotheses. There will be some minor but important changes, especially for the color of the painted helmet, a new painted shield and a different surcoat.

Sources: KNIGHT HOSPITALLER(1) 1100-1306 by David Nicolle, Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean De Jerusalem of the association “Les Guerrier du Moyen-Age” ( http://www.guerriersma.com/ ), Les frΓ¨res de l’HΓ΄pital del collettivo “1186-583” ( http://www.1186-583.org/ ).





BRIEF HISTORICAL NOTES:

The Knights Hospitallers (or Hospitallers), with reference to their mission, are also called Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and therefore also (in italian language) Giovanniti or Gerosolimitani. With the end of the presence in the Holy Land and the conquest of the island of Rhodes in 1310 the members of the Order became the Knights of Rhodes. In 1530 the Emperor Charles V gave the island of Malta to the Order. From here the members of the Order take the last name that is still the most used today: Knights of Malta.

The birth of the Order dates back to 1048. Some merchants of the ancient maritime republic of Amalfi would have been granted permission by the Caliph of Egypt to build a church, a convent and a hospital in Jerusalem in which to assist pilgrims of all faiths or race. The Order of St. John of Jerusalem - the monastic community dedicated to the management of the hospital for the assistance of pilgrims in the Holy Land - becomes independent under the guidance of its founder, Blessed Gerardo. Pope Pasquale II, with the bull of February 15, 1113, places the hospital of Saint John under the protection of the Holy See, with the right to freely elect its leaders, without interference from other secular or religious authorities. By virtue of this bubble the Hospital became an exempt Order from the Church. All the Knights were religious, bound by the three monastic vows, of poverty, chastity and obedience. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Jerusalem by the Crusaders forced the Order to assume the military defense of the sick, the pilgrims and the territories taken away by the Crusaders to the Muslims. The task of defending Christianity is added to the hospital mission. Together with the Knights Templars, formed shortly after in 1119, the Hospitallers became one of the most powerful military orders in the area. The Order began to stand out in battle against the Muslims and its soldiers wore a black monk-like cape with a white Greek cross. Many of the most important fortifications in the Holy Land were the Templars or Hospitallers: in the Kingdom of Jerusalem the Hospitallers held seven great forts and another 140 possessions in the area. The two majors, their bases in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and in the Principality of Antioch, were the Krak of the Knights and Margat, located the first in Syria and the second near Tripoli (today in Lebanon). The properties of the order were divided into priories, organized into baillies which, in turn, were subdivided into
captaincies.
 



THE HOSPITALLER HABIT

At the moment it is not still clear whether the hospitallers made use of a black or brown tunic (or even gray, when black discolored, probably), with or without a Greek cross ... what seems to have been ascertained is the presence of the black cloak with a Greek cross without a cap. For what concerns the adoption of the tunic in battle (some reconstructors claim that they limited themselves in wearing only the mantle over the armor), this probably depended on the area in which the Hospital was, availability of material or even simply personal choices; on the other hand there was no real uniformity so it is possible that there were various interpretations of the dress. Actually there is no iconographic source that clearly shows a hospitaller in arms of the twelfth century, this only happens from the fifteenth century, where such iconographic sources abound. All that remains is a statute dating back to 1206 which provides some information concerning the clothes supplied to the order.

In this Spanish manuscript of the 13th century, there is a the tunic with hood.
They are Templars, but the style is also attributable to the Hospitallers.

However, there is an iconographic source, traceable by the same manuscript, where two Hospitallers are shown, whose tunic does not have a hood.

The dilemma arises concerning the effective and practical use of the tunic over the hauberk. Some hypothesize that it was not used. However, according to the texts of the period the military orders were obliged to dress the cross, wearing monastic clothes, only from 1248 was allowed by Pope Innocent IV the use of a more comfortable surcoat, but only in combat and under certain conditions.

In a fresco of the Templar Church of Cressac, in Western France (late 12th century), it is possible to notice some crusaders or templars wearing a long tunic over the armor which also covers the arms, however without a hood and with the typical cross in the side left chest.

THREE-CODE FLAG:

Flag with three tails of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. A simple white Greek cross with red background. In the twelfth century, with some exceptions, the tail flags were the most used. The form was similar to that represented in the following iconographic source, a fresco also present in the Templar Church of Cressac.
 
THE PAINTED HELM WITH MASK: 

The helmet with, mask used for the reconstruction was inspired by a knight illustrated in a Spanish manuscript of 1185. It was painted based on the miniature in the Hunterian Psalter manuscript of the twelfth century. The white Greek Cross was placed at the center of the helmet, following the imitation of this source.



CONCLUSIONS:  

The reconstruction about the Hospitaller is an reconstructive hypothesis based on a the available sources. For example, the group "Les Guerrier du Moyen-Age" has created a version of a brother in arms that does not wear the hood on the tunic, but only the black cape without a hood and with a white Greek cross. shield is red, with a white Latin cross.

OTHER ICONOGRAPHIC SOURCES:




Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Heroes for DUNGEONQUEST: Ironhand the Mighty

Finally the last of the 12 heroes for Dungeonquest: Ironhand the Mighty



the group of 4 warriors

All the Heroes for Dungeonquest, the paint scheme ispired by the original box.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Heroes for DUNGEONQUEST: Thargrim the Dark Lord

another hero for dungeonquest: Thargrim the Dark Lord


a picture of the the second group of heroes for dungeonquest:

Sunday, 8 April 2018

[Sellswords] The Herbs of the Kharnos Forest

Today I played the third scenario of my Solo campaign of "Sellswords & Spellslingers". The basic scenario was from the rulebook: In search of rare herbs pg50.

Amron and his servants venture through the Kharnos forest to pick rare ingredients for potions. In addition to danger represented by wildlife and carnivorous plants, they are ambushed by Goblins.

Background:
Amron was intrigued by alchemy. He was studying this prodigious science, but he was not still ready to brew his potions. Then he decided to venture in the near Kharnos forest and pick some ingredients to trade for potions or cheaper prices from the alchemist of Lakoras.
He and his group were venturing in the forest from some time, when they heard they heard some noises and evil giggles. Amron immediately recognized the unpleasant voices: Goblins!
Amron: "I'm losing my patience with these goblinoids, they are everywhere..." πŸ˜’
then he made a silent signal to his companions and said:
Amron: "So be it, we don't need to waste our precious time... We must find enough herbs for buy or trade some potions..."

Overview of the board with foes and pcs deployed.

Border Princes map (red star indicate the place where the scenario is played, zoom the picture)

CABAL of GRACIALE 69xp (4 are unspenct)
 AMRON MALIOCCO GRACIALE "the Bringer of Hope"  20xp
Traits: Spellcaster (20xp), Fireball (5xp)
Negative Traits: Greedy (-5xp)
Silver pieces: 89 Equipment: Scroll of Heal
Amron is the bastard son of the rich merchant and explorer Dante Graciale of Tobaro. He is an half elf. His father never said much about Amron's elf mother. He simply told him that his mother chose his name before abandoning him and that she was a witch. Being an half elf and the result of an illicit relationship, Amron could not be officially recognized by the Graciale family, however his father grew him as his son and he could enjoy a comfortable life. When he was an adult, he finds out to have the spellcaster gift and his father paid a magician to teach him. Dissatisfied with the limiting lessons of his teacher, he decided to begin a journey in the Border Princes, where he could test is magic skills and learn magic faster.
 DAETHSKAR "the Dark Knight" 35xp
Traits: Armor lvl2 (12xp), Fighter: Axe lvl3 (15xp), Shield lvl2 (8xp)
Negative Trait: Burly
Silver Pieces: 137
Daethskar is an animated armor, created by Amron during one of his magic experiments.
He is the loyal body guard of Amron. He follows and protects his master wherever he goes.
 
The TWINS 10xp
Traits: Armor lvl1 (6xp), Danger Sense (4xp)
Silver Pieces: 117
The Twins is/are just a goblin mutant mercenary hired by Amron.

Daethskar move and he is really lucky, he find 2 bunches of rare herbs.
Amron: "Well done, Daethskar. We have yet enought herbs, however I want to pick more bunches."

Amron cast a Fireball spell and the Goblin Boss is dead.
Amron: "That goblin scum was too close my precious herbs... He paid for his recklessness." πŸ˜’

Amron and The Twins are near the herbs, but could not collect them. Later a carnivorous plant attack them, injuring them.
The Twins: "Something strange, no good" 😣
Amron: "Really? Is your goblinoid's intuition?" πŸ˜’

 Daethskar is charged by a goblin but he defeat him quickly.

The twins pick a bunch of herbs and move towards the edge of the table. Meanwhile Daethskar robs the goblin corpse and find some precious in a tree.
Amron: "Don't waste time, more goblins are coming and we have what we were looking for..."

A goblin ambush Amron, now he has only one hit point. Then the goblin is  killed and robbed.
Amron: "Cursed green scum! He dared to hurt me! This walk is beginning to become dangerous..." πŸ˜“ Daethskar move close to Amron, trying to protect him.

A lone goglin from the horde charge Amron, but he is killed. then Amron cast a Fireball and the last two goblins of the horde are dead too.
Amron: "These goblins were dangerously close... We must hurry!" 😣

Amron kill another goblin (with 2HP) with his Fireball, The Twins continue to move towards the edge of the table.
Amron: "Wait for us, you little ungrateful!" 😑

Daethskar is close to the edge of the table, but still he is waiting his master. The Twins is ambushed by a goblin, but he defeat him. Amron is charged by another goblin that is killed.
Amron: "These goblinois are persistent, however still a few steps and we will be safe!" πŸ˜“

Suddenly an horde of goblins appear in the same edge of the retreating group.
Amron: "This is really bad luck!" 😨
Fortunately, Daethskar and The Twins move without problems, avoinding the goblins and move off the table, bringing to safety the 3 bunches of rare herbs.
Amron: "Hey! I'm still here! Wait for me, you stupid henchmen!" πŸ˜₯

The PCs gain a reward of 4xp, 3 bunches of rare herbs, 3 cheap swords, and 23 silver pieces.
Amron trade two bunches for a potion of super healing, then he sell it for 250SP and buy a potion of healing for half the prices (using the last bunch of herbs).