kingmobuk: (P&E. Point.)
( Oct. 30th, 2007 02:18 am)
"A last tug at the straps of the neckbrace, compressing veins and arteries and windpipe for a painfully gagging second until the pulse re-establishes against the pressure, angrily hammering as if it wanted to break through both flesh and brace. You rise. The weight of the mail shirt weighs on you like lead. The crunch of the steel goggles digs into your nasal bones, breaking the skin despite the soggy black rubber padding that exudes, as you imagine, the disturbing miasma of old blood...

In a sudden rush of commotion, you are pushed and positioned in the face of your opponent. Close. Too close. Closer than you'd be comfortable having someone standing in front of you with a Martini glass in his hand. Let alone a sharp piece of steel. You know why you're here. Why he is here. Your second clumsily rams his blade into your chest, pushes you backwards, off balance, to establish the proper distance...three feet of metal, sternum to sternum. The ambient noise ebbs and fades, leaving you marooned inside your own pulse..."

I've been reindulging a long-latent interest in the art of academic fencing (the mensur) for the Paris Fic I've been writing (don't ask!). Rather unfortunately but predictably this has ended up dragging me away from the fic and into following the twisting paths of the Internet and getting sidetracked beyond measure.

It's held a fascination for me since I read about it as a teenager in George MacDonald Fraser's ROYAL FLASH, which features a fictionalised Bismarck doing his thing with a korbschlager about the head of the unfortunate and accidental hero in order to leave him with an appropriate scar (although I think the location of said scar would be against the modern day rules).  It was damn hard to research back in those pre-Internerd days, since it's a relatively secret practice these days (and has been since it was rather savagely banned by Hitler). I'm at a loss to say why I find this subject such a fascinating one, especially given that it is an exclusively male practice that ordinarily I might be expected to consider a rather ridiculous way to spend one's free time.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a couple of fascinating articles on the subject that I dredged up in case anyone else in interested in this admittedly somewhat arcane subject.  Note that the one by Jonathan Green does include one rather bloodspattered photograph if you're at all squeamish. I also want to post this up and tag it so I can find it easily next time.

Amberger's Secret History of the German Broadsword
Jonathan Green's Blood Brothers
3/12 Edited to add this pic from Flickr and subsequent comments:

As to why it applies to this fic? I'm thinking the Von Karma family are EXACTLY the sort of family with deep ties to the Corps.  And man, it would explain so much about my hero :)


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