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Different materials were used as toilet paper, which depended on the country, weather conditions, personal preference, and status in society. For example, wealthy people often used wool, lace or hemp. The first recorded use of something resembling toilet paper comes from 6th century China where the more affluent members of society would use w of paper squares made from ricepaper which was cheap and plentiful to clean their nether regions.

The Chinese emperor commissioned large 2ft x 3ft paper sheets to use. In Ancient Rome, they were a bit more sophisticated than the Greeks when it came to cleansing. The wealthy used wool and rosewater to clean themselves. But the rest of the people cleaned themselves after using a public latrine with a sponge lashed to a long stick, which was stored in a bucket of salt water or vinegar. It was considered polite to give the sponge a cursory rinse and a squeeze before putting it back in the bucket to get it ready for the next person.

In Ancient Greece, they too had a sponge on a stick called a xylospongium, but the preferred method was pieces of ceramic called pessoi. These were used in a left to right scraping motion and historians have estimated that your average wipe would use three pieces. Sometimes these pottery fragments would be inscribed with the name of an enemy before being used. In earlier days seaweed was used for cleaning, but by the Edo period, these had been replaced by toilet paper made of washi traditional Japanese paper.

In the mountainous regions, wooden scrapers and large leaves were used too. For those living in the cold, northern regions of the world, tundra moss was readily available during the summer, and clumps of snow would do the trick for the rest of the year. People in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent use the water from the tap and a jug or maybe even the luxury option of a little hose pipe and their left hand to direct the stream of water to their nether regions. Of course, they make sure to thoroughly wash their hand afterwards.

Parts of Europe, too, use strategically aimed jets of water, or separate fixtures known as bidets. In those cases, toilet paper is simply used to dry off. The waste would fall threw the vertical chute and land outside in the courtyard or bailey. Some garderobes emptied into the moat or ocean, depending on where the castle was built.

Chamber pots existed too and they were often used to collect waste overnight. When they were finished, the contents would be thrown over the balcony or out the window some would be toss out into the river. Ordinary people often used a plant called common mullein or woolly mullein. In pre-colonial America the Native Americans dug latrines away from their homes and fresh water.

During the most brutal weather, these latrines would be placed close by. They used whatever that was available: twigs, dry grass, small stones, leaves, and even oyster or clam shells. Pioneers would used grass, leaves or just plain dirt.

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Bark was also a option. When they made camp, they would find a private spot away from a source of water and dig a deep hole. It would be for everyone to temporarily use until it was time to travel again. The dirt they dug out would be off the side with a shovel and when someone poop, the dirt would be sprinkle on top. The rural agrarian communities had outhouses and would used handfuls of straw as toilet paper.

But the most common material was the corn cobs, specifically when the corn kernels had been removed from the cob. This was a popular option because the cobs were readily available and surprisingly soft and flexible especially when boiled first.

Later on they realized they could use squares of old newspapers, and catalogues to clean themselves with. There was also a bag of lime with a scoop usually placed in the corner of the outhouse. After every use they would sprinkle a scoop of lime in the hole as a chaser to keep down the smell. They were sold in packages of flat sheets that were moistened and soaked with aloe.

Such as old newspapers, or something more natural like a piece of moss, piles of dirt, or a bit of fur, or even in some cases mussel and oyster shells. But in Philadelphia, the brothers Thomas, Edward, and Clarence Scott managed to successfully market their own toilet paper. This was the year when the perforated toilet paper in rolls, as we know it today, saw a wider use. Leaf-bladed swords are a very popular fantasy style and were real, though unlike modern hand-and-a-half longsword versions, the real things were mostly if not always shortswords.

Saw or downright jagged edges, either full-length or as small sections often where they serve no discernible purpose are a frequent part of fantasy blades, especially at the more, er, imaginatively unrestrained end of the market. Real swords also had saw edges, such as these two 19th century shortswords, but not to make them cool or interesting. This dussack cutlass in the Wallace Collection is also a fighting weapon, like the one beside it…. I photographed these in Basel, Switzerland, about 20 years ago. Look at the one on the bottom I prefer the basket-hilt schiavona in the middle.

Incidentally those Parierhaken parrying hooks - a secondary crossguard are among the only real-life examples of another common fantasy feature - hooks and spikes sticking out from the blade. Here are some rapiers and a couple of daggers showing the same difference between forged to shape and ground to shape. The top and bottom rapiers in the first picture started as straights, and only the middle rapier came from the forge with a flamberge blade.

There were also parrying daggers with another fantasy-blade feature, deep notches and serrations which in fantasy versions often resemble fangs or thorns. NB - the curvature on the top one in this next image is AFAIK because of the book- it was copied from, not the blade itself. I love this more than I love my left foot. Alvens: These are Water faeries who float around on bubbles and hate fish.

During a full moon, they come on land to dance and play. They are not particularly friendly. Amadan Dubh: This is a particularly dangerous type of faery that is greatly feared among the Gaels. They play faery enchantments on their reed pipes on hilly slopes and precipices after sunset. The wild banshee wanders through the woods and over the moors at dusk, and some- times lures travelers to their death.

Banshee can also travel at will to great distances. Appearing in tattered gray clothes, they are basically a sociable faeries who have become solitary through sadness and grief. They are the honor- able ancestral faery women of the old clans of Ireland, who are heard, but rarely seen.

They wail a blood-curdling lament just before mis- fortune, illness, or death occurs in their ancestral families.

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Their wail can kill or instantly age mortals who hear it. Banshee also avenge the death of their descendants. They generally appear either as beautiful maidens or gruesome crones. Salt water and silver can harm them.

Bendith Y Mamau: They have the ill disposition and ugly appearance of goblins, but the glamour of the faeries. Billy Blin: A household familiar who is popularized in English and Scottish songs. Boggart: They are known for breaking things and making trouble, but seldom do serious harm.

Most old homes have a boggart. The supernatural boggart is sly, annoying, mischievous, and a prankster. They pull the covers from sleeping mortals, rap or pound on the door at odd times, or rearrange the furniture at night when you are sleeping. Brownie: They are from 1 to 2 ft. As household faeries, they do unfinished jobs such as mowing, threshing, caring for the laying hens, and tending the sheep and cattle. They bring good luck to a family, providing that the family treats the brownie well.

Brownies also love animals and will take care of the household pets. They adore gifts of food and drink such as milk and honey cakes, but abhor gifts and wages. Urisks are the Scottish version of brownies. Buccas: Residing in Cornwall, they are magickal beings that inhabit mines. Also called tinmine demons, they are the wind goblins that foretell shipwrecks. Bwca: This is a sort of Welsh version of a brownie, but a more particular one.

They can be great help around the house, but if offended they can become harmful, throwing things around the house, spoiling the milk, and ruining the beer. Callicantzaroi: Naked, they ride about on chickens. They live in troops and are zealous in their celebrations of Yule. Clim: A mischievous goblin that resides in chimneys and peeks out at children, scolding them when they are bad. Clurichaun: Residing in southwest Ireland, they are renowned drunkards who both guard and raid wine cellars. The Clurichaun sing in Gaelic and have beautiful, magickal voices. As shapeshifters, the coomlaen can take the shape of their de- sires, but must return to the shape of a horse once during each day for at least six hours.

They are fiercely devoted to one rider at a time and the bond lasts for the lifetime of the rider. The two communicate telepathically. Because the Coomlaen defends its rider, in order to befriend a coomlaen you must first befriend its rider.

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Coomlaens adore gifts of apples and honeysuckle. Iron is harmful to the coomlaen. The cooshie stay with their elfin masters, and have heightened senses, including knowing when there is any magickal, spiritual, or physical presence in their territory. Like elves and coomlaens, they have an aversion to iron. Cooshies can heal sick or injured travelers and calm troubled minds and hearts.

Corrigans: From Brittany and Cornwall, they live in the woods, near streams. Corrigans are winged faeries who like to play pranks, such as taking human babies and replacing them with changelings. Daoine Sidhe: The immortal polytheistic group of goddesses and gods of Pagan Ireland who merged with the land, these are the cream of the crop of faeries that form a faery nation.

They appear in human form, dressed in green, and are called the peaceful faeries. They preside over the faery kingdom, play sweet music, dance, ride milk-white faery horses, and are generally accompanied by their faery hounds. Dryad: They are happy, friendly, and playful wood nymphs who live in and take care of the trees.

They are born of the same seed as the place they live. Dry are the color of tree bark or leaves and their dark green hair is extremely long and flows about them. They can disappear by stepping into a tree, as if stepping into a dimensional door. Sometimes their skin is dappled like a tree trunk. Dry are usually very charm- ing, sing beautifully, and particularly like willow and oak trees. Dwarfs: Both male and female, dwarfs are usually from 3 to 5 ft.

They are quick tempered, loyal, and immune to physical damage. Working with Earth, Fire, and stone, they are found underground under moun- tains and hills where they mine metals and gems, especially copper. Their craftsmanship is unmatched in the mortal world.

They adore gifts of both precious metals and gems. Eash Uisge: They are the Highland water horses known for being fierce and dangerous. They have the ability to shift into the shape of young, hand- some men. Elves: According to Norse mythology, elves and dwarves are created in the time before humans from the body of Ymir, the giant. Inhabiting one of the upper worlds, and often found in Natural settings such as woodlands and forests, elves are somewhere between mortal and divine.

Originally between 5 and 7 ft. Their hair was usually red, blond, or light brown, and they had cat-like ears. Their cat-like eyes are green, blue, silver, or gold with slitted pupils. Through time, the elves became Elemental spirits of the land, sea, and forest, who are sometimes por- trayed as small, good-natured creatures with brown skin and delicate features. Iron does not kill elves, but it can injure them. They adore gifts of quartz crystal, pearl, moonstone, and silver.

In the Western world, Santa Claus and his helpers are elves. Their only interest seems to revolve around playing practical jokes on humans. Ganconer Gean-canogh : Also known as a love faery, the ganconer is a leprechaun-type faery who appears as an incredibly handsome young male. Appearing in lonely valleys and fields, they are known for playing beautiful songs on their pipes, but their fate is ultimately to be alone.

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