In this post, we want to add something to our former one about the Atuk, the mysterious villains who inhabit the center of Terra Australis.
The name Atuk amavi’o, in the language of their enemies, the Matan’a’e amavi’o, means “people of the cold” and, although their interior and warmer-weather dress may echo Ottoman/Persian clothes, their winter look reflects their icy outer world. Their warships also suit that world.
We had originally imagined them as looking like real galleys from the history of our world, the sort used by the Ottoman and their Venetian, Spanish, and other European enemies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
These are long, graceful vessels, powered by oars for battle and in-shore maneuvering, but by large, triangular sails—called “lateen sails”—for longer distances.
Originally, these were built like ancient classical warships, with bronze rams on their prows.
Increasingly, with the development of gunpowder, the Ottoman and their enemies turned to shipboard artillery. This was commonly mounted on the forecastle (the front) of their ships, to fight their battles.
In the world we’ve created, however, the Atuk have not made the shift to cannon. In contrast to classical warships, though, they don’t employ the old ramming attack.
In fact, although the basic structure and outline of their ships may be based upon Mediterranean galleys, we have made a significant change. Oars and sails are there, but these have been combined with something from the world of ice. Imagine ships—galleys—made from the frozen sea itself.
As for their armament, well, dear readers, that’s for you to discover in Across the Doubtful Sea, when it appears on Amazon/Kindle in early December.
Thanks for reading.