How to make Char Cloth:

In Hexult, Jacob and Elya make char cloth as it is excellent at catching the sparks from a wizards striker.

Here is a video of us making some at home, to show how easy it is. (Note the BBQ is lit with a piece of char cloth)

A Nocturnal

The nocturnal is an imstrument used by sailors to tell the time from the stars. In Hexult, Jaboc used some home-made ones, to light the signal fires at the right time for aligning the wizard towers

Here is a link to a Wikapedia article on them: Nocturnal

And here is a pdf you can print out to make your own Hexult's Nocturnal

The only thing you'll need to make the Nocturnal is an eyelet punch, or something that will hold the three pieces of card together, allow them to turn and have a viewing hole through the middle

A Log candle

Simply get a large log, this one was just under waist height:

  • saw (chainsaw) three cuts three-quarters of the way down the log.
  • Turn it over
  • Three more cuts from the other end. (Make sure they are mid-way between the original cuts).Cut them deep enough so all the six cuts meet in the middle.
  • Turn back up right way
  • Stuff some char-cloth into the center on the top, then light

It will take a while to get started, but as the fire burns down into the cuts, it acts like a chimney drawing the air up from the bottom and creates a single large flame from the center of the log. This one went for about an hour.

This was originally in the first book Hexult, but unfortuanately got cut!

A Stirling Engine

This one was made from spare parts. For Hexult, I hope to make a larger one that is buried in the ice and works off the heat of the sun. It is not featured in the first book, but may well be in the future

The ice lens

Here is a video (not mine) of someone lighting a fire from ice. There are other ones on youtube. I hope to replace it with my own one soon


In the second book (yes, there's a sequal coming along), I wanted an ice bridge, or at least a wooden bridge covered in ice, but I worried that a wooden bridge would flex and crack any ice covering.
Surfing the web, I came across pykrete, a name conjoured in WW2 for the reinforcing of ice with sawdust, this apparantly made it extremely strong.
I thought, with the help of my sons, I ought to check this out.

Melt Water

For the people to live I needed liquid water on the land. I suggested that liquid water would exist below the ice, melted by geothermal heat and put under great pressure by the ice sheet above. After writing, I came upon this article that mirrors this concept.

"For liquid water to exist in Antarctica, glaciologists suggest that the ice cap serves as a giant insulating blanket, able to capture the Earth's geothermal heat to melt the bottom of the ice sheet. "

BBC Article on Antartica

Rocket Stove

A simple efficient, insulated cooking stove, made out of old tins. Click on the picture if you would like to see how it is made.