Monday, August 25, 2014

Season 2 Episode 4: The Shadow of the Vulture (Or, Suleiman's Big Day Out)

It was a woman, dressed as von Kalmbach had not even seen the dandies of France dressed. She was tall, splendidly shaped, but lithe. From under a steel cap escaped rebellious tresses that rippled red-gold in the sun over her compact shoulders. High boots of Cordovan leather came to her mid-thighs, which were cased in baggy breeches. She wore a shirt of Turkish mesh-mail tucked into her breeches. Her supple waist was confined by a flowing sash of green silk, into which were thrust a brace of pistols and a dagger, and from which depended a long Hungarian sabre. Over all was carelessly thrown a scarlet cloak.

This surprising figure was bending over the cannon, sighting it, in a manner betokening more than a passing familiarity, at a group of Turks who were wheeling a carriage-gun just within range.

“Eh, Red Sonya!” shouted a man-at-arms, waving his pike. “Give ‘em hell, my lass!”

And thus are we introduced to a new character along the Road of Queens, Red Sonya! While she may not be the She-Devil with a Sword that is popular in contemporary culture, she is the most compelling character in our story for the week, “The Shadow of the Vulture.”

So, grab your favorite liquor and join us as we venture back to the days when the Ottoman Empire flourished under the steady hand of Suleiman the Magnificent and the days of Christian Europe appear to be numbered! Let Howard paint for you a picture of the bloody Stand of Vienna, albeit peppered with the fictional but dastardly Mikhal Oglu, the drunken Gottfried von Kalmbach, and the deadly Red Sonya of Rogatino.

You can read the story here: The Shadow of the Vulture

Or you could enjoy it as part of the Del Rey collection, Sword Woman and Other historical Adventures!

Next time, we journey into territory undreamed of! What happens when the Robert E. Howard podcast reads and discusses a story by another author? That is precisely what will happen next time, when The Cromcast covers the first Jirel of Joiry tale by C.L. Moore, "The Black God's Kiss!" 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: "Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by They Might Be Giants. Used without permission.

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