an epic tale of myth and magic

From the swirling mists of myth and history... a gothic tale of sorcery, swords and monsters

Book One

Set in the world of British and European myth and legendary history. The story of Ironheart is all new, yet written in the clear and direct style of medieval originals. Characters are part new and part traditional. A brutal world of knightly chivalry  coexists with  strange otherworlds that must be travelled. Supernatural beauty weaves its magic and monstrous demons must be faced.


The story of Ironheart has been developed by me over a number of years. Some of the characters in the story of Ironheart have been invented by me, but many are based on ancient myths and legends. The story is set in a mythical British Isles and Ireland, before the political concepts of England, Wales and Scotland came into being.

Historically, there are so many versions and variations of tales from the legendary history of Britain and Europe that there is not one single narrative to follow.

I have picked and chosen elements of the tales that fit in with the new stories that I have created. There are many different written versions of each character’s name and I have chosen those that sound right for my story.

Over the centuries there have been countless tales in many European languages on the subject of ‘The Matter of Britain’, the medieval title that encompassed the legends of the Arthurian world.

After the departure of the Roman legions. Britain became a post colonial country left to its own devices. It was prey to incursions and invasions on all sides; Saxons, Angles, Jutes, Frisians, Picts, Scots and Irish. Britain became a land of small warring kingdoms, each fighting for survival. Great battle leaders arose (of which Arthur was probably one), who drove back the invaders and created a brief golden age; a memorable beacon of light in the long dark age of Europe.

The stories based on this period, however, do not fit into a neat historical framework and attempts to locate them in a particular time and place are fraught with problems. Many of the characters and situations in the stories predate Roman Britain and feature the mythology of Celtic and pre-Celtic Indo-European culture. The stories became popular across Europe as well as Britain and there are extensive Arthurian literatures in France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Over the centuries the tales were made to fit in with what their contemporary audiences expected. Norman Knights wanted tales of chivalry, medieval listeners expected Christianity, Victorian versions became more polite. What they all have in common is romance, in every meaning of the word; in a world full of violence and magic, love, often ill fated, plays a major role.

The images

Over several years, I have represented the characters and settings of Ironheart in different styles. I have painted, drawn, and sculpted using varied techniques and approaches. As I progressed with the writing of this current volume, I began to assemble reference images of all sorts to establish the atmosphere of the world that I was seeking to evoke. I collaged together many of these elements and decided that these results were more atmospheric and inspiring to me than a straightforward painting.


Many of the images are based on elements traditionally painted or drawn by me, photographs taken by me and by others, cuttings of images found in books and online. These are scanned into a computer and combined together using new digital media, with drawn and painted elements incorporated, using hand held digital brushes and pens.

About the author

Rod Vass has a long career of artistic enterprise. Originally studying Fine Art, during the 80’s and 90’s he worked as an international Illustrator and Designer, represented in the UK and USA. His work has involved both 2D and 3D creations, with commissions ranging from illustration for advertising, publishing and packaging, designs and sculptures for holograms, archaeological reconstructions, exhibitions, installations, TV and Theatre. Since 1997 he has run Armordillo Ltd. - specialising in the making of sculpture, props, sets and costumes, primarily for the International Film and TV industries.  For Rod’s three dimensional work for film and TV please visit: www.armordillo.co.uk

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