Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shrine of the Battlemasters

Oh,Vlad III, what has the modern world wrought of your once great, blood drenched dynasty?  You defended your beloved Wallachia against the Ottoman Empire by using the most brutal, deadly, and psychologically disturbing methods.  Over the years, the legacy of your brutality has been diluted by shitty pop culture into sparkly, undead emo pretty-boy douchebags who have nothing better to do than sulk all day and impregnate barely legal young women.  You know, it's a shame that Vlad III isn't a vampire, otherwise, we'd see Anne Rice, Laurel K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, and Stephenie Meyer up on stakes.

When I watched the episode of Deadliest Warrior that pitted Vlad vs. Sun Tzu, the thing that stood out for Vlad, besides the weapon experts looking like they were from the band Type O Negative, was that his methods of destruction were ungodly visceral and effective.  When I saw his Kilij in action (a kind of weighted scimitar of Turkish origin), my jaw hit the floor as it sheared through flesh and bone effortlessly.  When Vlad II surrendered his son to the Ottoman Turks as a sign of loyalty (which broke the oath of the Order of the Dragon, that Vlad II was a part of), he witnessed all the devious methods the Turks employed to torture and kill their enemies.  Vlad III took these methods and used them in such a way that even the Turks, who used these methods for centuries, shit their pants when they saw them used with such brutality.

At first, Vlad III was used as an Ottoman puppet to keep the Hungarians out of Wallachia by becoming prince of his homeland.  After being exiled when the Hungarians did invade, Vlad eventually went to Hungary, where he had made a good impression on the Hungarian regent Janos Hunyadi (who influenced Wallachia's feudal lords, known as boyars, to kill Vlad II and his eldest son, Micrea, in a bid to overthrow their rule).  When Hunyadi fought the Turks in Serbia, Vlad III laid siege to Wallachia and killed Vladislav II (who Hunyadi placed on the throne after overthrowing Vlad III) and reclaimed his rule over Wallachia.

Then Vlad III went apeshit on the boyars, who killed his father and brother and turned Wallachia into a poor, war-torn nation.  After impaling the fuck out of some boyars, he replaced them with obscure men who he trusted and began to Wallachia's agriculture, trade, and military, ensuring the well being of his people.

It wasn't until Vlad III waged war on the Ottoman Empire that the real brutality began.  Vlad III allied with Hungarian king and son of Janos Hunyadi, Matthias Corvinus (who would eventually betray him and frame him for misusing money that Matthias wasted on frivolous shit - bastard).  When the Sultan sent envoys to demand a tribute of 10,000 ducats and 500 young boys (I don't wanna know what he wanted them for), Vlad III decided to nail the envoys' turbans to their heads.  That's just beautiful, man.

Then, Vlad III found out about a plot to kidnap him, in the guise of a diplomatic meeting.  Vlad III decided to ambush them, killing the Turks with handguns, they then impaled...

Wait, they used guns?  ...Um, I think it should be noted that the use of guns is considered a cardinal sin by me, since they are the weapons of worthless cowards and no true warrior would use one.  Sure, you can easily kill a person with a gun, but while a true warrior tears off limbs, eats at godly banquet halls, and beds the finest Valkyries in Valhalla, you'll be poncing around with your pop-gun in Pussyman Land, that is, until the fires of my contempt eternally burn you.  Okay, while Vlad's forces did utilize a form of gun, it also doubled as a brutally damaging spiked club, so... I... guess I can let that slide just this once.  You got off light, Vlad, but don't let me catch you doing it again.

Of course, Vlad's most memorable implement of destruction was fiendishly simple and lent him the nickname, "Tepes" (The Impaler).  When the Sultan sent an army of 90,000 strong to invade Wallachia, they came across something that froze their blood.  Instead of being initially met by Vlad's army, they encountered another of the Sultan's armies, 20,000 of them, impaled on spikes, creating a forest of death.

Because of his bloody methods and a lot of bad press (not just from Bram Stoker), Vlad III has been pegged as ruthless, sinister, even demonic.  Some have even said that Dracula (which really means "son of the dragon," as his father was a part of the Order of the Dragon) has come to mean "son of the devil."  As for the whole vampirism thing, that was, most likely, Bram Stoker's fault.  Legends of vampires were very popular in the Slavic region of Europe.  So when Stoker decided to write a horror novel about a powerful vampire, the death dealing Vlad seemed like the perfect candidate.  Now, Vlad III is part of a mythology that considers him one of the most evil people in existence.

In his homeland of Romania, though, Vlad III is a national hero.  To this day, he is considered one of the greatest leaders in Romanian history.  It was his vehement opposition to the Ottoman Empire that led him to be admired and respected by the people of Slavic Europe.  When King Matthias of Hungary framed and wrongfully imprisoned Vlad, like a douchebag, it was considered a highly unpopular move by the Hungarian people, who saw him as a staunch defender against the Turks.

Regardless of your opinion of Vlad III, he was a savage, brutal prince who brought death and despair to his enemies.  For this, he is assured a place in the Shrine of the Battlemasters, just as long as he doesn't use those weak-ass guns anymore.

P.S. - Modern vampires don't suck blood.  They suck shit.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Honor Dio's Birth and Facebook Has Been "Ablogcalypsed!"

Ablogcalypsed... that's a terrible word.  Whatever...

First off, I want to mention that tomorrow, July 10th, if you're reading this at a later time, would have been Ronnie James Dio's 68th birthday.  For those of you who, somehow, managed to have your head up your ass all year, Dio passed away on May 16 from stomach cancer.  If you want the whole story, click on the Ronnie James Dio tag below this post.  Another note, for those of you who have not yet donated to the "Stand Up and Shout" Cancer Fund to get your RJD memorial package, complete with t-shirt, button, and program from his memorial service, they will no longer be offering them on July 31.  After that, you can still make donations to the fund, which helps people get early screenings to give those diagnosed with cancer a fighting chance, but if you want that t-shirt, like I do, you better donate soon.  Go to and make sure you click on the donation button where it says "Memorial Package" (it will be at the bottom of the home page).

Also, I've decided to expand my internet dominion today.  I now have my own Facebook page, called Kaiser Crowbar's Ablogcalypse Lite.  100% official, 100% Kaiser, half the calories.  If you do follow the Ablogcalypse religiously (does anyone, nowadays?), you can still find some things on my Facebook that I didn't think warranted a full blog post.  At the moment, it doesn't have much, but I plan on expanding that (I'm usually on Facebook, anyway, wasting time playing Age of Champions).  Make sure to check it out.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Enter the Shrine of the Battlemasters

Yeah, it's been a long time since I put anything of substance on this blog.  I cut out so much of the shit that didn't belong here that I wasn't left with enough stuff to write about on a regular basis.  So I went on hiatus... big deal!

During the break, one of my friends gave me inspiration.  He told me about this one guy who was such a hardcore warrior that I had no choice but to laud him and his exploits.  But why stop there?  Why not find some of the greatest warriors in history who made this wretched planet a bit more bloodier and bestow them a place of honor in my pantheon?  So, I erected, what I like to call, the Shrine of the Battlemasters; a repository of some of the greatest men who ever looked at a sword and said, "Wouldn't it be awesome if I picked this up and started kicking some ass?"

By the way, I would like to thank my friend for the idea, but the lazy bastard doesn't even read my blog, so screw him.

So this guy that my friend told me about has got to be one of the few soldiers in World War II who lived through combat like a real life action hero.  Hell, that's what he was.  He did some pretty daring shit during the war and lived to tell some awesome stories about it.  The man I'm referring to is "Mad" Jack Churchill and he made Rambo look like a pussy (at least, that's what they said at  Now, it takes a real hard ass motherfucker to impress me in an era where warfare is done with such cowardly weapons such as guns, but this guy definitely deserves the term "hard ass motherfucker."  He never went into battle without his three weapons of choice:  bow and arrows, a broadsword called a claybeg (a shorter version of a claymore), and his bagpipes.  You heard me right, this guy fought machine-gun toting Nazis with a bow, sword, and bagpipe.  Fuck yes!  Now, to be honest, he did use more modern weapons, as well, but to have the stones to shoot down Nazis with a bow is just fucking insanely awesome.
This is not a terribly accurate picture of Jack, 
as he's not seen with his bow, sword, or bagpipes.
Plus, his foot isn't firmly planted in someone's ass.

And that's just the tip of this bloodbath iceberg.  This guy has a war record that reads like a Chuck Norris film.  The man went into battle with his bagpipes blaring like some haunting battle cry.  He once, under cover of darkness, captured 42 German soldiers, using only his sword.  He escaped from two - count 'em, two concentration camps.  This guy was the poster boy for WWII commandos.

When he wasn't engaged in combat, he was seen working on movies, playing bit parts in movies such as The Thief of Bagdad and Ivanhoe, where he used his skills in archery.

For all the combat he faced, it wasn't until 1996 that he died, peacefully, of old age.  Some people may say that's not a warrior's death, but I disagree.  Sure, a lot of great warriors died in battle, fighting to the very last, but Jack Churchill was never killed in action.  Considering his wartime exploits, for which he got his nickname, dying of old age isn't a sign of weakness.  It's a sign that nobody, not a single person, could even kill him.  Jack Churchill died undefeated in battle.  If you don't think that's a hardcore warrior, you're a fucking idiot.

Now, I'm not the fucking History Channel, so if you want to know more about his combat shenanigans, check out this site, which gave me a good amount of info on the man and how batshit awesome he was.

Jack Churchill, you were one bad-ass son of a bitch.  I honor the quality of your steel with a warrior's salute.  If there is a Valhalla, I'm sure you ambushed Baldur just to get in.

P.S. - I bet if you got Jack Churchill and "Uncle Sabaton" together, they would tell some of the most epic war stories ever heard.  Sabaton seriously needs to write a song about this guy.  That would fucking kick ass.