Medieval Information

Everything About the Dark Ages

Medieval Spies

Spies were very common during the Middle Ages. They were used for many purposes and sometimes they had to climb trees or use stealth in order to acknowledge sensitive information.

It is a well documented fact that spies very often carried poison with them for two purposes. First, if they were caught, they were told by the person who hired them to commit suicide.

Secondly, if a spy was ordered to kill an enemy army or soldier, poison very often made things easier because spies were sometimes hired to infiltrate an enemy's camp and poison the enemy's supplies.

Unfortunately for spies, they were often caught and punishments varied, but they were almost invariantly related to death. Torture was often used - and more surprisingly, when caught by an attacking army, spies were often used as a projectile for a catapult (in order to spread diseases).

The tools used by spies included daggers, lock picks, poison, etc. Medieval armies were so afraid of spies that security had to be very tight in order to prevent them.

Fletching & Arrows - How it Was Done Before

Fletching was a very important skill. Fletchers were very frequently hired by a lord in order for them to make arrows for soldiers. A good fletcher could make as many as a hundred arrows per day if he had enough materials - reason for which supplying materials was a priority.

Of course, archers sometimes knew how to fletch in case of necessity. Arrows could be made out of feathers, wood, etc. Of course, arrows were mostly made of wood because it was very easy to acquire.

Fletching also involved giving arrows substances to make them as deadly as possible. As I mentioned in my Medieval Archers article, venom was frequently imbued into an arrow to make it deadly.

Arrows were also put something at the top in order to make them more flammable. This was mainly useful when storming a town so burning could be easier.

After bows, crossbows were also employed. These were much stronger and thus; better arrows had to be made. These receive the name of quarrels (for crossbows) and they were widely made because an skilled archer could easily kill dozens with a good crossbow as I mentioned in my Medieval Weaponry Article.

In general, fletching was a very useful skill for both fletchers and regular archers. It began to appear right when bows appeared which was thousands of years ago - but its use evolved greatly during the Dark Ages - not to mention the fact that fletching was considered an art and sometimes arrows would have adornments for different families.

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