Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Season 2, Episode 2: Sword Woman


"Aye, Dark Agnès!” said Étienne, lifting himself on elbow. “A star of darkness shone on her birth, of darkness and unrest. Where ever she goes shall be blood spilling and men dying. I knew it when I saw her standing against the sunrise that turned to blood the dagger in her hand.”

“I have paid my debt to you,” I said. “If I placed your life in jeopardy, I have bought it back with blood.” And casting his dripping sword at his feet, I turned toward the door.
Guiscard, who had been staring like one daft, shook himself as if from a trance, and strode after me

“Nails of the Devil!” quoth he. “What has just passed has altered my mind entirely! You are such another as Black Margot of Avignon. A true sword-woman is worth a score of men. Would you still march with me?”

“As a companion-in-arms,” I answered. “I’m mistress to none.”

“None save Death,” he answered, glancing at the corpses.

Art by Stephen Fabian
Art by Ken Kelly

Art by John Watkiss

Hail, Cromrades! We have returned from the pages of deep history to discuss another thrilling adventure with you! This time, we join the swashbuckling sword woman Agnes de Chastillon on her quest. Does she search for lost gold, or magical artifacts? Nay, brave traveler, she seeks that most elusive treasure - equality.

We weren't able to find an open source copy of this tale for you this time. However, you can snag a copy from eBay or, or better yet, peruse your local book store. Luckily, these Dark Agnes tales aren't hard to find!

Next time, we'll cover the second Dark Agnes tale, Blades for France! Join us!

This episode is freely available on and is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

Beginning theme: "Sudden Defeat" by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Ending theme: "Violence of the Red Sea" by Earthless. Used without permission. Purchase their album here!

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  1. In the midst of listening now!

    Regarding your thoughts/concerns at the start about the sensitivity of this season's subject matter I thought I'd recommend sci-fi/historical/detective author Nicola Griffith that I like who writes strong female characters from a female perspective and sometimes addresses gender issues on her blog She's also on Twitter as @nicolaz and seems quite approachable if you want to try asking her for insight/advice on the themes you're discussing on The Cromcast at the moment. I think she does guest writing on blogs too.

    She's got a new book out at the moment called Hild which follows the life of a young girl who becomes advisor to the king in Dark Ages Britain which is really worth checking out and might be right up your alley! I'm currently working my way through the audiobook.


    1. Thanks, Jim! We'll definitely check out some of Nicola's work!

  2. So glad to hear you mention Catherine Moore and her Jirel of Joiry. They are some truly great early pulp fantasy -- and the first such stories to feature a woman as the protagonist. They are all great reads, and long overdue for rediscovery. Please do track them down and spend an episode discussing them (I recommend "Black God's Kiss" and its sequel, "Black God's Shadow". You won't be disappointed.

    1. We can't wait to read the Jirel stories! We'd love to cover them on the show!