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Imaginary Coat of Arms

Under the moon and the mountain, I hold this land

Under moon and mountain, I hold this land


I’ve resumed writing a fantasy novel entitled City Of Witches. It’s set in Renaissance Italy and concerns a walled, ancient town, Pietradelmaga, high in the Abruzzi by a towering, forested mountain, Montestregae. In this remote, isolated region, black clad, virago women are armed with daggers and infamously reputed to be witches throughout the Italian peninsula.

Now comes Manual of Poictesme, captain of a mercenary company, sent with his men by corrupt Cardinal Dordateci to bring Montestregae’s heretical inhabitants to heel so lucrative veins of alum can be mined  for the Cardinal’s benefit.

But what if Manual has another opinion ? What if the ambitious young man sees unrivaled potential in this mountain fastness, a chance to become Signore, Lord of Montestregae and its vast, untapped mineral riches? The key to lordship lies in the janare, Montestregae’s purported witches, actually servants of the Moon Goddess Diana for countless millennia, zealous defenders of Her traditions and secrets.

There’s too much plot to go into further here, but I’ve given Dom Manual (for so this Signore shall be known) a coat of arms. The name and title are a direct cop from James Branch Cabell’s novel, Figures Of Earth. I’m really fond of obscure references like that, which no one ever gets. And not to be snooty, I’ve given a translation for the Latin motto.

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