I smell interesting*. This gives me an absurd amount of glee.
I suspect stories are jealous, horrible Creatures. This thought currently brought to you by my full intention to work on Witches' Horses over the vacation (I was hoping for a rough draft of the Falcon's Feather adaption, and would have settled for a complete outline), and instead getting my head munched on--idly--by the Wild Roses universe.
So I spent most of my more lucid moments pondering the role of the Navy in general, and especially the role navigators and gunners play. This was sparked at least in part by my finding pirates of the Spanish Main books to supplement my Russian history reading. (If anyone wonders why I seem to be slightly Cracked in the best of times, you can probably attribute it to my reading habits.)
Considering the actual history, I'm somewhat surprised the Russian Fairy Tales don't include rather a lot more wars, and the various upheavals and shifting of the princes. It was rare
for a city to spend twenty consecutive years under the rule of one prince, or one prince's family line. If they didn't get their silly selves deposed by their brothers (and/or nephews in collusion with their brothers), they got themselves killed fighting wars with the nomads, each other, the Polish, the Hungrians and occasionally Byzantium. Mostly each other. I also suspect the name 'Mstislav' is Cursed. There were up to three in damn near every generation of the prince-families, and at least one of them usually ended up either aiming for the throne in Kiev himself, or helping someone else get there.
But the fairy tales, even the ones that mention tzars, don't give that impression. They're . . almost timeless--the Tzar exists, but he's often not named, or described as anything other than the Tzar. It's interesting. :)*: DEVIL’S NIGHT -- Devil’s Eve, Devil’s Night, Gate Night, Trick Night, Mischief Night; whatever your name for it might be, the chaos is still the same. Contrary to popular belief, this festival of pandemonium isn’t unique to Detroit. Falling on October 30th, it is an evening of mayhem and destruction. On the gentler side, it may be celebrated by practical jokes, an egging, Ding-Dong-Ditch, or enthusiastic TP’ing of your most hated neighbor’s trees, and on the more violent side, arson and vandalism. This is the scent of autumn night, fires in the distance, with a touch of boozy swoon, playful sugar and thuggish musk. ( a limited edition purchased here )