What's in a Name?

Medieval names for maidens.  

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Medieval French
Pronunciation: ǝ-MAY, 

Meaning & History
Meaning "beloved."  Old French form of Aimée (pronounced e-MAY), which is the modern French form of Amy, an English given name derived from the Latin name Amata

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Medieval French
Pronunciation:  CAT-ǝ-leen, CAT-ǝ-line, CAT-ǝ-lyn, CATE-lyn (English)

Meaning & History
Medieval French form of Katherine.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Medieval English
Pronunciation:  ee-DAH, AY-dah

Meaning & History
Medieval diminutive of Edith, derived from the Old English name Eadgyõ, meaning "rich, blessed" (ead) and "war" (gyõ).

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Medieval Slavic
Pronunciation:  ra-DAH (possibly)

Meaning & History
Derived from the Slavic element rad meaning "care."

Check back soon for Medieval names for men!

post signature
Name definitions and history via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

A Hurried Halloo!

Quick update!

I apologize for the lack of activity.  Hay Season has officially arrived!  Due to the hours spent in the fields (mowing, tedding, raking), and preparation for the upcoming week of VBS, I have had no time to prepare a post.  There is a possibility it will only get crazier in the days to come...  Hang in there for me!  

The final part of Peder's story is next!  I promise!  It was supposed to be posted last Friday, but like I said... crazy happenings.  And I feel TERRIBLE about not posting it on the day I had set for myself to do so.  A huge thank you to my readers for staying with me on this!

Another "Name" post is coming soon as well, featuring more Medieval Maiden names. 

Until then, I leave you with this...

Pinterest (via outlawink.deviantart.com)

Random.  I know.  =]  Love it!

Have a great week and Happy Memorial Day!

post signature


<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6684825/?claim=wdhhnuuabjb">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

(Ignore above HTML.  It is required in order for me to claim my blog on Bloglovin.)

~ ~ ~

Due to the fact Google Reader is retiring come summer, many of you, dear readers, are making the changes necessary to follow via Bloglovin.  This is a must if you wish to keep following the blogs listed in your blog list.  Otherwise -- it is my understanding -- they will simply disappear.  TT_TT

Creating a Bloglovin account is super simple, and the best part is you can sync your Google blog list to Bloglovin, without the trouble of finding your favorite blogs all over again.  =]

So, if you wish to keep following me (and I do hope you will), please click the link in the sidebar.

Many thanks to you, faithful friends!  A blog really isn't a blog without its readers. <3

post signature

A Word, Guv'na?

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
noun  [L. fides, fido, to trust; Gr. to persuade, to draw towards any thing, to conciliate; to believe, to obey.]  1. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth. I have strong faith or no faith in the testimony of a witness, or in what a historian narrates.  2. The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition advanced by another; belief, or probable evidence of any kind.  3. In theology, the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith; a faith little distinguished from the belief of the existence and achievements of Alexander or of Cesar.  4. Evangelical, justifying, or saving faith, is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God's testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God's character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God's testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation.  5. The object of belief; a doctrine or system of doctrines believed; a system of revealed truths received by Christians.  6. The promises of God, or his truth and faithfulness.


"Faith is resting in the fact that God has an objective in leaving me on the scene when I feel useless to Him and a burden to others."
[Pamela Reeve, Faith Is]

"What you gonna do when the river overflows?
Faith answers,
I'm gonna sit on the porch and watch her go.
What you gonna do when the hogs all drown?
I'm gonna wish I lived on higher ground.
What you gonna do when the cow floats away?
I'm gonna thrown in after her a bale of hay.
What you gonna do with the water in the room?
I'm gonna sweep her out with a sedge-straw broom.
What you gonna do when the cabin leaves?
I'm gonna climb on the roof and straddle the eaves.
What you gonna do when your hold gives way?
I'm gonna say, "Howdy, Lord! It's judgment day."
[Ben Patterson, Waiting]

Many say faith is believing without seeing.  As Christians, we put our trust in the Unseen God.  But that doesn't mean He isn't real.  Evidence of His existence is everywhere!  Whether you wish it or not.  "For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made.  As a result, people are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)

post signature

Book Review [The Beauty of Modesty]

The Beauty of Modesty
{Cultivating Virtue in the Face of a Vulgar Culture}
David Vaughan & Diane Vaughan

Rear cover:
"In light of the value God places on marriage and fidelity, immodesty is no small sin. It is not simply a silly and vain form of self-display. It is a snare to serious sin.”

      Modesty matters.  But since the sexual revolution of the sixties, Americans have found it increasingly difficult to talk about modesty.  We have instead become so desensitized to immodesty that the very notion of virtue seems almost to have been lost in the onrushing flood of sensualism.
      In the face of this relentless trend, David and Diane Vaughan propose a Christian approach to this serious cultural problem.  Defining modesty as "dressing, acting, or speaking with propriety, respect, and moderation," they present an approach to modesty that is solidly rooted in Scripture, rather than culture, that shows what modesty is and what it is not, why modesty is so important, and what must be done to nurture modesty in our families and churches.
      The authors are not content to blame society.  Rather, they insist that the problem has worsened because churches and families are doing very little, if anything, to instill an ethic of modesty in children, teens, and adults.  Written largely for a Christian audience, The Beauty of Modesty is a valuable resource for pastors, educators, youth workers, and parents who are fighting the immodest onslaught that threatens to overwhelm us.


This particular book has been on my to-read list for quite a while.  Obviously, since I am now posting a review, I managed to read it!  And I am glad I did.  Below are my notes, with a mixture of quotes and excerpts from this book.

~ ~ ~

I know what you are probably thinking: "Oh, great.  Another book on modesty.  I'm good, thanks!  No need for me to continue."  Please, don't take a pass.  If you do not wish to read for yourself, I encourage you to read for your children or future children.  Notice I do not only say "girls."  Modesty is just as much a male issue as it is female.  This stuff is need-to-know and this world NEEDS TO KNOW.

"...Our present time demands God's people to dress like God's people.  Yet God's people must not only clothe themselves externally but, more important, they must clothe themselves internally, seeing with the eyes of the heart the beautiful virtue that modesty truly is..." (Preface, pgs. xiii)

"If you are blind or from another planet, you may conceivably have missed the fact that modesty has disappeared.  It is dead and buried!  If you don't think so, go shopping with a teenager."
[Barbara Hughes]

Modesty is more than just clothes.  What we wear on the outside reflects what we believe on the inside.  If I wore skin-tight clothing to show off every curve and bright, look-at-me make-up, what would that say of my secret-heart?  It would say that I wish to be seen.  "Look at me!  Look at me!  I can look just as good, if not better, than her."  1 Samuel 16:7 says,"... The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  The condition of your inner heart matters.  God alone knows your secrets.

The above-mentioned illustration can be dangerous.  As women, we have a great power over men.  What we wear can help or hinder them, whether you wish it to or not. 

"...A woman who dresses in a sexually provocative manner may not be thinking of seduction or adultery at all.  She may only want a little attention.  In fact, she might be appalled at what some men 'imagine' when seeing her.  If solicited for sex, she would probably reply with a slap in the face.  Nevertheless, a woman must understand the language she is speaking to men.  She must realize that if she dresses in a sensual way, she is unwittingly assaulting the integrity and security of marriage, because she is causing a man to look away from his wife and toward her.  Many affairs have begun with a furtive glance." (pgs. 80)

Blunt?  You bet.

True?  Absolutely.

The majority of this generation of teens and, yes, even adults, simply do not know the truth of the virtue of modesty.  Sadly, it is my belief over half do not care to know.  They enjoy the pleasures of the world and are "happy" enough to forgo the commands of our Lord.

"He is not Lord just of the soul and not the body; or Lord of the family but not the church or state.  Christ's reign is universal." (pgs. 71)

"Ostentation is sinful because its goal (whether admitted or not) is to be different or exceptional in order to attract attention... It's really all about self.  A Christian woman who loves Christ, however, will not be seeking attention or glory for herself... She will strive to honor and exalt the Lord in all that she does.  Her motto will be: 'He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30).'" (pgs. 89)

"Godliness is devotion to God in Christ as our supreme love; a love more intense than our desire for earthly fads or fashions.  When a woman adorns the gospel, everything about her reflects on her Lord... When evaluating the contents of your closet, here is a good general rule: When in doubt, throw it out.  It is always better to be safe than sorry..." (pgs. 98)

When you are in that closet musing over what to wear, ask yourself "What does my wardrobe reveal about my worldview?  What is the message of my image.  Is Christ the Lord of my closet?"

Just something to think about.

In conclusion, be aware of what you wear.  Not self-conscious, mind you, always thinking of yourself, but mindful of what you are portraying to those around you.

"Simple garb and adornment is more fitting for a woman than a wagonload of pearls..."
[Martin Luther]


my rating:

post signature

All in a Day's Work [PART 6]

I promise, this series will end.  Eventually...  For those of you who have stuck with my story up to this point, I salute you!  You make me very happy.  =]  Beforehand, I thank you for your sweet comments of appreciation.  They have greatly encouraged me!  

And now, without further ado...

Part 6: Neris

      “ 'Scuse me, sirs, where might we find some grubb?”
      In a scramble of weapons and bodies, the two men were instantly surrounded.  Despite the instinct to grab for their own weapons, both raised open hands to shoulder level, a sign that they were not there to fight.  Peder did the talking, acting nervous.
      “Whoa, there. Easy, fellas,” he said, in the accent of a southern farmer. “We're just two honest travelers lookin' for a bite.”
      The armed men were silent.  Presently, they parted and an Aijan man stepped forward.  He stood at least four inches shorter than either Slannin or Peder, but was well-built and stocky, muscular in the arms and shoulders.  Crossing those arms, he confronted them in the Gondian language, thick with his native accent.
      “Who are you?” he demanded, his words blunt and fast. Small, dark eyes glared at the two beneath black eyebrows.  The face was round, stern – devoid of laughter, and sported a neatly trimmed mustache and goatee, which framed the thin mouth.
      To fit his character, Peder cleared his throat.
      “Name's Pedd and this here's ma buddy, er... Dirt,” he said, throwing his arm around Slannin's shoulders and giving him a bear squeeze. “He doesn't talk much.  We caught sight of your fire an' were almighty hungry after smelling your meat for th' last mile.” For effect, he leaned over, looked at what was left of a deer carcass still roasting over the fire, and sniffed longingly.  The leader ignored his yearning and repeated the phrase in the same manner.
      “Well, you see,” Peder began, acting disappointed. “We're headed to Wyntown Spring to see ma sister.  See, he's 'sposed t' marry her,” he added, leaning forward and jerking his thumb in Slannin's direction. “But he got cold feet and I had to run 'im down.  Took me all mornin' an' most o' the day,” he mumbled, glaring at his companion, who stood hunched with arms crossed. “But I caught him! An' now it's dark, thanks t' Dirt here, an' we're gonna have t' spend the night in this wood, an' I'm gonna miss Mammy's cake, an'–”
      “Enough!” shouted the Aijan man, furious. Peder flinched, thinking it an appropriate reaction to his act, but inwardly he was laughing. “I care not for your petty troubles, peasant!  You eat and go on your way.” Abruptly, he turned on his heel.
      “But, it's nearly midnight–” Peder began and the man whirled to face him again.
      “You eat!” he repeated. “And go on your way.”
      The leader held Peder's eyes in a lock until the younger man, though he hated to, looked away.  He then spoke abruptly in his native language to another dressed as a foot soldier, who promptly moved to the fire.  The soldier returned and led them to a spot on the ground for them to sit, offering them heaping plates of meat and bread, as well as two mugs of  fresh water.
      “Much obliged,” said Peder.  He didn't receive a reply nor was he expecting one.
      Both men sat down and set to the food with a will.  The soldier moved to watch them.  Obviously, they were still under suspicion but, at the moment, Peder didn't care.  The venison was delicious, cooked with some kind of spice, and the bread, though a bit stale, was a great accompaniment.  He hadn't realized how hungry he was.  This was the first meal he'd had since an early breakfast that morning, which now seemed ages ago.
      As they ate, he and Slannin looked around the camp.  Vaguely, he wondered where Jaron and their dragon friends were.  Only when their guard became so bored as to fiddle with his boot, did Slannin turn to him.
      “Dirt?  That's the best you could come up with?”
      “What?  It was a last minute decision.  They know your name, right?  So I came up with a new one.  'Dirt' was just the first thing that came to mind.” Peder matched Slannin's hushed tone.  Fortunately, guarding two “peasants” such as them was the last thing the soldier wanted to do and so, bored out of his mind, he began playing with a small dagger.
      A cool breeze blew through the trees, ruffling the hair of two, making Peder wish he had kept his cloak, which he had hidden before entering the camp.  The leathern clasp, bearing the likeness of a hawk, the emblem to which division of the Guard he belonged, was far too recognizable.  Slannin, too, had abandoned his cloak, hiding his twin daggers in sheaths beneath his vest.  To complete their makeshift disguises, they rubbed dirt and moss on their faces and clothing, and even rolled up the sleeves of their shirts, which better fit the look of a poor farmer.  Peder hoped it was enough.
      “Still,” muttered Slannin, shaking his head.  He finished a bite of bread and meat, then added sarcastically, “You sure are a creative one.”
      “Fine.  Next time–” The guard turned in their direction and Peder, on impulse, mimed a random scene, opening his mouth as if he was speaking.   Despite his grim personality, Slannin caught on and laughed aloud.   The soldier turned away and Peder continued, pointing a hunk of bread at Slannin.
      “Next time I'll call you Mumbly.  I think it fits.” They glared at each other and Peder caught the faintest glimmer of a smile on the other man's face.  He grinned.
      “Aw, come on!  You wouldn't believe what some people call their young 'uns, nowadays.  Why, I met one just two weeks ago who told me his name was Twig!  Poor kid, he–”
      “'Least that's better than Dirt...”
      “I heard that, Mumbly.”

      Half an hour passed.
      The Guard looked at Slannin, whose green eyes said something must be done.  His friend was right; it was time to move.  Peder ran a hand through his hair, half hoping Jaron would appear as if by magic beside him with a command or at least a nod of confirmation.  Quietly, Peder sat, elbows on his knees, racking his brain.  He nibbled what was left of the stale loaf and swished the lukewarm water of his mug.  Maybe they should move on, find a place to observe the camp and wait for the Elf captain.  It was madness to attempt to take on twelve men at once.
      Doubts began to slither into his mind.  Time would not wait for his decision, he knew, nor would those responsible for this plot against his country.  The Aijan nation was now a big part, at least a select few of her people were guilty of treason, as was the united islands of the Twelve Isles.  If they didn't do something soon, this situation would definitely fall out of their hands.
      So be it, they had stalled long enough.
      Peder stood, stretching his tired limbs.  Slannin gathered the spent dishes, stacking them neatly beside the fallen log.  His eyes roamed the camp grounds, grinding into his memory the positions of each visible man as well as those under cover of the tents.  It would be risky.  Thankfully, they still had their weapons.  No one had thought to search them after hearing Peder's ridiculous story.
      The Guard gestured to Slannin, then stooped to pick up the dishes, intending to thank their “gracious” host.
      “Change of plans.  I feel it would be best to leave the camp and pick off the soldiers one by one.  The odds far outnumber us no matter our skill.”  Peder's voice was low.  Somewhat bored and ready for any kind of action, Slannin scowled, apparently disappointed, though he said nothing.  He knew Peder was right. “If possible, we take them alive.” Slannin nodded, and they moved toward the camp center.
      Just as they passed the man appointed to guard them, the night was pierced by a shout.
      Neither Peder nor Slannin understood the language, but they didn't like the sound of it.  Peder whirled to see a man dressed simply in a burgundy tunic and tan trousers pointing at them.  He must have just stepped from the main tent.  Peder glanced at Slannin, whose daggers appeared in each hand.  His companion hissed.
      “It's the messenger!”
      The time following those words fell into chaos.
      Even their guard was surprised by the sudden shout.  Peder threw the empty plates at the unsuspecting man and drew his sword as the soldier stumbled.   He turned in time to block a hit from an eager long-sword. With a few precise strokes, he left the second man in the dirt. Whirling his sword, he shouted.
      “Come on!”
      Anger fueled his strength.
      These men had come for a purpose: to destroy an alliance and, in time, ruin a country.  His country.  
      Not today.
      “GONDWAAAAA!!!” he shouted, bellowing the war-cry of his people.  Slannin looked at Peder, whose expression was fierce and confident.  He determined not to get in the Guard's way.

Peder Grey
      Peder was knocked into a tree, the impact taking his breath away.  Gasping, yet grateful he hadn't lost his sword, he ducked a blow, just as a blade buried itself in the trunk where only seconds ago his head had been.  Kicking a foot out, he caught the man in the gut, winding him.  The man scrambled to his feet, an angry grimace on his face.  Peder moved swiftly, taking him by surprise.  The young man's training took over and with swift, well-placed strokes, Peder felled the soldier, knocking him out cold.
      Panting from exertion, he began to wonder why he had taken this job.
      For a brief moment, he was no longer a part of the battle.  Finding himself at the tree border of the camp, he took the chance to catch his breath.
      On the far side of the central blaze burning brightly in the night, Peder saw Slannin engaged with another soldier.  It wasn't long before the former thief hooked a hilt to the man's head.  Peder grimaced and unconsciously felt the back of his scalp.
      “Effective,” he mumbled to himself.
      A footstep behind him caused the young Guard to freeze.
      Peder spun on his heel, sword at the ready, and came face to face with a giant.  Though he wasn't much taller that Peder himself, but he stood about as wide as he was high, the majority of his size being muscle.  He was bald, except for a thin, braided ponytail on the top of his head, a trademark feature of an Aijan warrior.  That was exactly what this man was.  Bare-chested, clothed only from the waist down, with arms the size of small barrels, he displayed an intimidating sight.
      The Guard's long-sword clashed with the other man's one-edged blade.   Peder grunted at his strength.  They broke and circled, the man gave something of a laugh, reminding Peder of a bear.
      He, in turn, attempted a laugh, but it sounded like a pathetic, nervous squeak compared to the gruff voice of his adversary.  Clearing his throat, he caught a glimpse of Slannin, five yards from himself, exchanging blows with two other soldiers.
      “Hey, Slannin!”
      “Kinda. Busy,” the other man grunted, blocking a thrust from the longer swords of his opponents.
      “You wanna trade?” Slannin looked up, but quickly returned his attention to the two men before him.  Dropping to the ground, he kicked one of the men's legs out from under him and finished with the dagger hilt. Keeping his eyes on the remaining enemy, he spoke to Peder.
      “Where was he hiding?”
      Peder ducked a swipe from a beefy arm.
      “Aye. Where were you hiding?”
      The big man laughed.
      Dodging another blow, he feinted and spun in close, his long-sword whistling through the air.  His offense was neatly parried causing the Guard to roll, avoiding a hit.
      At that moment, an ear-splitting roar interrupted the course of the battle.  Men covered their ears and instantly looked to the leafy ceiling.  A shadow filled the open air, creating gusts of wind, and sending sparks flying dangerously close to the canvas of the tents.
       Majestically, Valtiramiir landed in the midst of confusion and turned the chaos level up a notch.  The soldiers were completely shocked at the sight of the rare creature, obviously an ally of their enemies.
      At the arrival of his scaly friend, Peder nearly forgot the presence of his sizable opponent.  He turned in time to defend against a blow that might have separated his head from his shoulders.
      “Watch it! You almost took my head,” he muttered sarcastically through gritted teeth.  He was getting tired of close calls.  This time, the big man did not laugh.  The arrival of the red dragon had triggered a fear, pushing back the confidence the soldiers had possessed only moments ago.  It was all Peder could do to defend himself from the onslaught of offensive strikes, fueled by the power of terror.  He felt himself tiring again, no doubt due to a long day of non-stop travel and battle.
      Willing weary muscles to obey, Peder brought his sword up to meet a powerful, overhead swing.  He cried out and fell to a knee as the resulting crash of metal jarred his arm enough to numb it temporarily.
      Then, as if from nowhere, a massive, armored tail rammed the soldier in the side and sent him flying into the formidable trunk of an oak as round as a house.  To Peder's relief, the man crumpled to the ground.
      “My thanks, Lady,” said Peder from his kneeling position.  The dragon dipped her head regally in acknowledgment.
      “We would rather not lose you yet, young Peder,” she replied, her voice as smooth as honey.
      “Well, that's a relief,” grinned the Guard. “Neither do I.”

      The fight was brief.
      Peder inhaled deeply the sweet night air.  Leaning on the hilt of his sword, with the point in the ground at his right foot and his left knee pressed into the soft, mossy dirt, he took the brief rest gratefully.  Thank You, Eliadan.
      At the sound of boots coming to a halt before him, he groaned.
      “Who dares disturb my peace?”
      When he received no answer, he opened his eyes and glared at Slannin, who offered a hand.
      With another groan of weariness, he accepted and was pulled to his feet.  He took his cloak and slipped it on.  Slannin did the same, but left the hood down.
      “Jaron returns.  He should arrive at any moment.” Peder nodded, not caring how Slannin knew this information.  He patted the other man's back.
      “Don't worry.  I will speak for you.” Slannin shook his head.
      “It does not matter anymore.  I will accept the consequences of my actions.” The words were quiet.
 Peder looked at him and the vision of his new friend on trial did not sit well with the young man.  Jaron had said he was wanted on many charges, but was now believed dead.  Maybe they could work that to his advantage.
      His eyes observed the camp, which now lay in ruins.  Two of the smaller tents were now smoldering embers and the others, though whole, lay broken from the fight.  Valtiramiir joined the men from her position guarding the captured soldiers.  Out of the fourteen, only three lay dead.  Five others remained unconscious whether from Slannin's blows or the red lady's foreclaw.  Those conscious were tied and gagged to await questioning.

      At last, Jaron and Keighvyn arrived, wearied and windblown from flight.  The Elf set foot on solid ground and scanned the area in approval.  Before joining the young men and red dragon, he drew a whistle from a cord around his neck and blew a sharp, piercing note that rang through the quiet of the forest.  With that, he returned the whistle to his shirt and met the men, now standing near the fire close to the larger tent.  Peder came to attention and saluted his captain with a fist to his chest.
      “Well done, Cadet,” Jaron remarked, placing a hand on Peder's shoulder. “You've proven yourself today, I believe.”
      “Thanks, Cap,” Peder replied, relaxing.  It wasn't often he received such an open compliment from his senior partner. “What of the ship?” he inquired, curious.
      “She now lies on the ocean floor. Those of the crew who did not surrender, lay with her.” Jaron gestured to the tent and the men entered, excusing the dragons.  The interior was spacious and neat.  A quarter of the room was curtained, evidently allowing the leader as much privacy as possible.  Each man took a seat around the circular table located in the right-hand corner from the entrance.
      “But come, what happened here?  I have called for a messenger hawk.  We will send word to the Commander and await direction.  Meanwhile, we have time to spare.”
      As Peder filled Jaron in on the events from when last they parted, Slannin grew solemn with each passing moment.  He dreaded when the subject would turn to him.  Jaron listened with interest and actually laughed, or rather, chuckled slightly, at Peder's recount of their act as farmers of the South.

      At the conclusion, the cry of a bird filled the night.  Jaron left the tent and returned with a beautiful hawk resting on the leather of his arm guard.   Dark-brown feathers mingled with those of a rusty-red color then faded into a mixture of white and brown plumes at the tail.  Slannin noticed what looked like a halter fastened to the back of the bird where lay a cylinder to carry the messages.  Two bands of painted red leather was attached to each of its legs.
Both men were silent as the Elf quickly penned a message with ink and paper from the supplies in the tent.  Placing the small piece of parchment in the cylinder and securing the lid, Jaron lifted the fabric of the tent door and, with a soft word of Elvish, sent the bird on its way.
      He turned to Peder and Slannin.
      The man raised his head, a wary, guarded look in his eyes.
      “Dawn is slow approaching.  We must await the patrol my company will send.  However, while the dragons guard the prisoners, we have time to hear from you. Jaron returned to his seat before the two and continued.  Your every intention was to take the documents, was it not?”
      “Yes.  At first.”
      “At first?” Slannin avoided the Elf's gaze.
      “It is a long story.”
      “We have time.  You are foreign to this land  neither of Gondoa, nor Ardos.  Though I know your nationality–” At this statement, Peder interrupted. 
      “Wait. You are not of Gondoa?  Where–?” Slannin's eyes flicked to Jaron's. The Elf's nod was slight, and he smiled a small smile.  Slannin looked at Peder.


Photos from Pinterest.  I do not know where the handsome gentleman above hails from, but he is what I imagine Peder to look like.  =]

Part 1          Part 2
Part 3          Part 4

post signature

What's in a Name?

Again, as per request, here is the promised second part of the Medieval names.  To see the post for the ladies, click here.

I greatly enjoyed researching these names and, because I found quite a few that I liked (but didn't want to overwhelm anyone with a long post), decided to feature at least two more Name posts centered on Medieval names.  So, don't forget to stop by and visit!

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Polish, Russian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Romanian, Medieval Slavic
Pronunciation:  BAWG-dahn (Polish), BOG-dahn (Serbian, Croatian)

Meaning & History
Means "given by God," from the Slavic elements bog "God" and dan "given."

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Medieval French, Medieval English
Pronunciation:  ROOL (French), ROWL (English)

Meaning & History
Norman French form of Rolf, from the Germanic Hrolf -- a contracted form of Hrodulf, where comes Rudolf, meaning "fame" (hrod) and "wolf" (wulf).

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Medieval French
Pronunciation:  zhǝ-AHN or jǝ-HAN (possibly)

Meaning & History
Old French form of the Latin name Iohannes, where the English given name John is derived.  The Greek form, Ioannes, is taken from the Hebrew Yochanan, meaning "YAHWEH is gracious."

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Medieval Slavic
Pronunciation: DRAY-gahn or DRAY-gan (possibly)

Meaning & History
Derived from the Slavic element dorgu, meaning "precious."

Any other requests??  =]

post signature
Name definitions and history via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

A Word, Guv'na?

Perhaps I should have saved today's word for a patriotic day... No matter, I felt this day is as good as any.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
noun  1. Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind.  2. Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government.  3. Civil liberty, is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.  4. Political liberty, is sometimes used as synonymous with civil liberty. But it more properly designates the liberty of a nation, the freedom of a nation or state from all unjust abridgment of its rights and independence by another nation. Hence we often speak of the political liberties of Europe, or the nations of Europe.  5. Religious liberty, is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control.  10. Freedom of action or speech beyond the ordinary bounds of civility or decorum.  

Why did our forefathers immigrate to America in the first place?  

Freedom of Religion.  The liberty to worship the King of heaven.

Freedom from Oppression.  The liberty to raise their children on the foundation of the Bible, not that of the government.   

"I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
[Patrick Henry]

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
[William Barclay]

However, through the unfailing Love of an Almighty King...

"...the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
[Romans 8:21, KJV]

What an amazing promise!

post signature

What's in a Name?

Per request, I have a set of Medieval names for you today.  The following are for feminine characters, mind you.  =]  Next Name post will feature all masculine names!

Thank you to Lady Lauriloth and Lady Aili for requesting!

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Italian, Spanish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Macedonian, Croatian, Slovene, Lithuanian, Russian, German, Medieval Slavic
Pronunciation:  ǝ-LAY-nah (English)

Meaning & History
Cognate (a word of another language, which is derived from the same root), of Helen, the English form of the Greek Helene, meaning "torch" or "corposant;" of possible relation to the Greek selene meaning "moon."  Elena is also a variant Russian transcription of Yelena.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Medieval English
Pronunciation:  jo-COH-sah, jo-CAH-sah

Meaning & History
Medieval variant of Joyce, which comes from the masculine Josse, generally derived from the Breton name Judoc meaning "lord."  The given name Jocosa is influenced by the Latin word iocosus or jocosus meaning "merry, playful."

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovene, Croatian, Polish, Medieval Slavic
Pronunciation:  mee-RAH, MIE-rah

Meaning & History
Short form of names containing the Slavic element mir meaning "peace" or "world."

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Medieval English
Pronunciation:  ro-HAY-zhah, ro-HAY-syah

Meaning & History
Latinized form of the medieval name Rohese, from the given name Rose, which was originally a Norman form of a Germanic name composed of the elements hrod "fame" and heid "kind, sort, type."  Introduced to England by the Normans as Roese and Rohese, Rose was (and still is), from an early date, associated with the fragrant flower rose (Latin rosa).

Random girls.  I just like having pictures with the names. =]

Coming next:  Medieval Men

post signature
Name definitions and history via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

All in a Day's Work [PART 5]

It is here, at last!


Part 5: "Trust me."

      With a groan, Peder reluctantly rose from his comfortable position and began stretching his tired muscles.
      “We need to find Jaron.  This news changes many things.” He offered a hand to the other man and pulled him to his feet, wondering if he should call for Valtiramiir.  But if Jaron had summoned her, he must have a good reason.
      “Who hired you?” he asked suddenly.
      I–” Slannin stopped abruptly and ran a hand through his damp hair.  Avoiding Peder's eyes, he looked to the darkening sky, honestly wondering what to say.
      A phrase entered his consciousness, and his eyes widened.
      A second chance.
      He looked at Peder, patiently waiting, and wondered at his desperate prayer, breathed just hours earlier.
      Trust him...
      "I know nothing of him.  He heard of my... skills and sent for me with promise of a large payment," Slannin looked away.  "I needed work... He set a time and place to meet, offered half of the pay, assuring the rest when the job was complete.”
      “So, did you meet him?” Slannin shook his head.
      “My dealings were with the messenger only – he alone would recognize me.” Peder nodded, thoughtful, and Slannin continued. “They are a band of rogues, masquerading as merchants, from the Twelve Isles.  No better than pirates.  The man tried in vain to conceal his nationality, but the parchment would have given him away on its own.  It was a special paper made from the pressed and dried leaves of the Kenta tree, a type of Palm native solely to the Isles and used by the wealthy because it is only the wealthy who can afford such a luxury.  Also, merchants are well-known to use it in their bartering.”
      “I see.” Peder rubbed his chin where a light stubble was growing.  Playfully, he slapped the other man's shoulder. “Ha! You would make a great Guard with those kind of deductions.” A thought made him pause. “Those papers contain the records of our treaty with the Aijan nation.  If they were to fall into rebel hands, our alliance with that nation could be sabotaged.  And they are a great people.  In the possession of these rogues, the words could be twisted and our alliance virtually broken.  Eliadan knows we have enemies even among allies.  It could definitely start a war.” Peder ran a hand through his hair, now nearly dry, and rubbed his neck. “For now, they are safe.  But we could stop this and guarantee it doesn't happen again.  At least not with these brutes.” He glanced at Slannin leaning against a tree with arms crossed.
      “And you share this with me?” Slannin asked, poking a finger into his own chest.
      “Yes.  I believe I can trust you.  You may not have it made it out of the castle grounds with the bundle, but that was your intention.  Still, as far as I am concerned, if you help me now, I will personally speak to my commander on your behalf.  Unfortunately, I cannot promise any more than that.” Peder crossed his arms, allowing his words to sink in. “I like you, man.  You're too good a warrior to waste on the bad guy's side.”
      Slannin turned away and Peder closed his eyes.
      Eliadan, he prayed, silently petitioning the Creator-King.  Give me words to speak Your truth.  And strength to carry it out. Show Yourself to this man.  Peder nodded to himself, content to leave the matter in his God's hands.  Opening his eyes, he found Slannin staring at him, something different in his eyes.
      “What?” he asked, suddenly uncomfortable.
      “I will help.”
      The young Guard's mouth broke into a broad smile and he clasped the other man's forearm.
      “Come on, then,” he said, pointing East, the direction he'd last seen Jaron heading. “If these guys turn out to be who you say they are, Jaron's gonna need some back-up.”

      It was pitch dark in the Wyndor Wood by the time Peder and Slannin smelled smoke.  For half an hour they jogged through trunks, over fallen logs and brush, and walked at intervals to rest, but always they were moving.  To keep their course, Peder had to catch glimpses of the stars shining brightly through the thick branches of the ancient trees.  This was going to be a long night.  
      With their eyes accustomed to the dense darkness, Peder and Slannin had little trouble navigating the forest.  Occasionally, their way was lit by the glow of fluorescent mushrooms and the brilliant blooms of the Anthera flower, or the Flower of the Moon, a plant whose large white blossoms radiated a soft light, similar to the Light in the night sky.  
      Peder loved nights such as these.
      Their progress slowed when they sensed the smell of woodsmoke.  Creeping along like the variety of forest creatures they had encountered – five deer, a grumpy badger, and a lonely wolf – both men made it to the border of a camp, which was completely out of place in the beautiful wood.  Peder counted four small tents, large enough for two men each, and one of ample measurements that could only be the headquarters for the leader of this company.  In the center of the clearing, a sizable fire was burning, around which sat four men.  The Guard's continued observation of the camp concluded at least one dozen men total, all of mixed origin and dressed in the garb of sailors from the Island countries. Their clothing was lightly colored in pale oranges, yellows, and browns.  Among the men visible, two stood out, wearing the unmistakable gear of soldiers from the harsh mountains of Aijan.  
      Four men stood guard at different points around the perimeter; three were finishing a meal, and Peder could hear snores coming from the nearest tent, where two other men were resting before their watch.  Slannin came to the same number of men and even pinpointed where their horses were held.  He leaned close to the Guard and whispered into Peder's ear.
      “Their horses are corralled fifteen yards from the eastern border.  Count on at least two more men on guard.” Peder nodded in acknowledgment and started to speak but suddenly hissed.
      Both men flattened themselves into the dense underbrush and lay stone still as a sentry patrolled by.  Only until the footsteps faded did they relax.  Peder found himself wishing for his longbow, which remained tied to Valtiramiir's saddle.  Fingering the hilt of his sword, he wondered what to do.

     "You have taken your time, I see." The words were whispered in Elvish right at Peder's ear.  The speaker might as well have shouted the statement, for the young Guard jerked upward in astonishment, hit his head on the fallen log above him, looked at the spot where the words came from and, upon seeing the expressionless face of Jaron, no matter how familiar it was, fell backward onto his back with a grunt of some sort.  Needless to say, the sudden movements caused the brush cover to move rather abnormally and two sentries came to investigate.
      Slannin hissed at him and Peder scurried back to his spot, breathing hard, where he resumed his position on his stomach and lay as a rock.
      Disinterested as they were, the guards stood above them for a full count of sixty, eyes half-alert searching for anything irregular, before moving on.  Peder almost snorted out loud at their sluggish obliviousness.  If he had missed so much as a broken twig during training, his hide would have been skinned and hung for such a foolish mistake.
      When the men moved out of range, Jaron turned to Peder.  His glare held warning, but behind it there was a smile.  Silently, Peder dipped his head in apology and the Elf acknowledged by placing two fingers to the center of the younger man's forehead  a sign to learn from mistakes.  Again, Peder nodded.  Jaron's gaze found Slannin, who lay behind Peder.  His eyes took in the man's sheathed daggers and dark clothing, now stained with dry sweat, then flicked back to Peder.
      “Come with me,” he said softly, reverting to Gondian.  Both men moved to follow the Elf as he zigged and zagged through the underbrush of the forest.  Peder brought up the rear, allowing him the chance to access the skill of Slannin in stealth.  The man moved like silk, seemingly floating from one spot to the next.  Here one moment, gone the next.
      Great, he thought, now I have to keep up with two ghosts.  He grinned to himself and glided from cover to cover, mimicking the movements of his companions.  When a mile's distance lay between themselves and the camp, Jaron called the threesome to a halt in a dense hollow of boulders and roots.  The Elf crossed his arms.
      “Explain.” Bent over, hands on knees, Peder looked up at the stern figure.  Still trying to get his breath, he straightened.
      “Long story short,” he began, saluting to his captain and gesturing to Slannin. “This man, friend.  Papers, safe.  Not with us, but safe.  Bad guys in camp yonder number approximately twelve to fourteen total.  Unknown number of Aijan soldiers included.  Waiting for their thief and his treasure.  Most likely, headed for coast.  Ship possibly there to take them and their evil-ness elsewhere to start war and spread... er, evil.” Peder stopped the flow of words and took a deep breath.
      Jaron was quiet.  He nodded once.
      “I had an idea they would head for the coast.  Valtiramiir has flown ahead to confirm and should return at any moment.”
      “And Keighvyn?”
      “Waiting?” Peder repeated. “Where?”
      It was then he heard a deep chuckle resonate in his mind.
      Don't look up, said the white dragon.  Peder grinned.  Slannin, too, had a slight smile.
      “Cap, I have an idea.” Jaron's steady gaze fell on Peder.
      “What if you and Lord Keighvyn made way for the beach, find the ship... dispose of her crew, and sink her.  Meanwhile, Slannin and I give these guys some lessons in weapons and personal hygiene.” 
      Jaron remained immobile.  Finally, he spoke. 
      “It's possible.  Slannin, would you give us a moment?” asked Jaron, bluntly.  With a slight nod, Slannin moved several yards out of ear-shot, yet well within their sight.  He knew the Elf was suspicious, and not one fiber in his own being blamed the captain.
      He wanted their trust.  Raising his eyes to the canopy of trees, the man sighed.
      Once Slannin was gone, Jaron's speech switched to Elvish.
      “Can we trust him?”
      Unflinching, Peder returned Jaron's steady gaze.
      “Aye,” he answered without hesitation.
      “You have no doubts?”
      “None, sir,” was the reply. “He is with us all the way. Trust me,” Peder added softly. “He's changed.”
      Jaron's green eyes held Peder's blue.  Finally, he clapped a hand to the young man's shoulder.
      “Very well.” 
      The Elf let go a sudden chuckle. 
      “What did you do to him?  'Sock 'im one?' ”


The drawing is mine!  It had been so long since last I actually sketched something.  I believe the last drawing in my sketchbook was dated last December...  So, I'm kinda proud of this one, though I made him a little too boyish.  =]
(Pencil and ink.  Picture taken with camera and edited.)

Part 1          Part 2
Part 3          Part 4

post signature