Sunday, April 10, 2011

Warriors of Fantasy: Weaponry of Choice


Those who have Mastered an Uncustomary Weapon

Fantasy Equal: Gimli
Favoured By the Race of: Any
Favoured By the Class of: Any
Damage Type: All

Other than the sword, dagger, spear and bow there are, of course, other kinds of weapons warriors wield to slay their foes. In certain cases these weapons were forged to serve as tools to aid mankind in their daily lives. Take the axe, for example. It is a common tool found in many medieval/fantasy homes and is used for chopping firewood and for carpentry purposes. If it can split a log in two, it would certainly do the same to a skull. The axe therefore was a handy weapon if you were in the need to defend yourself. Another such tool that serves as a weapon is the hammer. It is not as common as the axe, but rather a specialist tool used by blacksmiths. It is a heavy and clumsy weapon, which is wielded by only the strong and sturdy.

Culture and race are factors in what kind of weapons warriors choose to train in; Dwarves love their axes and hammers, the Elves are formidable bowmen and swordsmen, while Barbarians use whatever they can lay their hands on. Many warriors start their training making use of simple weapons, like the club or staff. Fighting a brother in arms with one of these weapons will improve your skill and agility with the lessened risk of severely wounding your sparring partner. There are a small amount of warriors who actually keep training with the staff, for it is not nearly as fatal a weapon as a blade, for example. I find great pleasure when watching a staff-wielding warrior take down a mean looking warrior with his mighty blade.

Below you would find a list of weapons I’m defining as less commonly used. Only a select few warriors choose these as their weapon of choice. This definition is simply based on the amount of material I have found on my adventures through the labyrinth that is the Internet. Some weapon types are so abundant that I can dedicate an entire post to that individual weapon. The weapons below, however, are somewhat scarce amongst the warriors that dwell in the realms of the Internet. I have decided to merge the limited material I have gathered into one glorious post!

The Shield:


The shield is not exactly a weapon either, but a piece of armour. It does have offensive potential, such as ramming and overpowering your opponent. By bashing or knocking an opponent back using your shield, you should be able to launch a decent attack since your opponent’s defences should be lowered.

In the game Dragon Age, Shield Mastery is a type of warrior specialization you can advance in. A warrior with this class can be seen as what we call a ‘tank’ in gaming terms. A tank would be a character that can absorb a decent amount of and hopefully have some taunting skill to divert attention from your more squishy characters, like your mage and rogue. Shield Mastery allows for mostly defensive abilities, but several offensive attacks have been included as well, mostly to debilitate a foe to follow up with a strike from the warrior’s weapon of choice.
Link
“A shield is a type of personal armour, meant to intercept attacks, either by stopping projectiles such as arrows or redirecting a blow from a sword, mace or battle axe to the side of the shield-bearer.

Shields vary greatly in size, ranging from large panels that protect the user's entire body to small models (such as the buckler) that were intended for hand-to-hand-combat use. Shields also vary a great deal in thickness; whereas some shields were made of relatively deep, absorbent, wooden planking to protect soldiers from the impact of spears and crossbow bolts, others were thinner and lighter and designed mainly for deflecting blade strikes.”

The Scythe:
The scythe is a weapon I’m less familiar with. It is an interesting and very uncommon weapon not used by many warriors. It consists of a long shaft with a curved blade mounted at its head, curving towards and more or less perpendicular to the shaft. The name of the scythe’s game is to sweep at a foe and hopefully hooking something in the corner where the shaft and blade meet. With enough force, you could sever whatever is caught in its snatch.

It is an agricultural tool, used to harvest wheat. I can’t recall any villain or hero that uses the scythe other than the Grim Reaper. The Reaper or Soul Reaper is often depicted with a scythe. He decapitates his victims using his scythe and then feeds on the victim’s soul.
“The concept of death as a sentient entity has existed in many societies since the beginning of history. In English, Death is often given the name Grim Reaper and, from the 15th century onwards, came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood. It is also given the name of the Angel of Death or Devil of Death or the angel of dark and light”


The Mace:
The mace is a bludgeoning weapon you seldom see. It is primarily a short and strong shaft of wood or metal with a symmetrical flanged or spiked head. So you can say it is an upgraded version of the club. The only movie I can recall featuring a mace would be in the prologue of The Fellowship of the Ring; the Battle of Dagorlad. The Dark Lord emerged from amidst his Orc army, wielding a mighty mace. With each swing he would swoop multiple soldiers of the Alliance of Men and Elves from their feet into the air. With immense power, such a weapon could be used to devastating effect.

The mace is often chosen as weapon of choice by priests and clerics in Dungeon and Dragons games, especially the earlier versions, for clerics were limited to weapons that dealt bludgeoning damage only.
Link“A mace is a simple weapon - or, alternatively, a ceremonial club or virge - that uses a heavy head on the end of a handle to deliver powerful blows. A development of the club, the military mace differs from a hammer in that the head of a mace is radially symmetric so that a blow can be delivered just as effectively with any side of the head. A mace consists of a strong, heavy, wooden or metal shaft, often reinforced with metal, featuring a head made of stone, copper, bronze, iron, or steel.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mace_%28club%29

The Hammer:
Like the mace, the hammer is a preferred weapon of the priests and clerics of the Forgotten Realms, especially the Dwarven kin, for it is a tool used in their forging and mining processes as well.

I have not come across many variants of the hammer. Some call it a warhammer instead and in certain cases I’ve come across characters wielding a couple of throwing hammers as well.
“A war hammer is a late medieval weapon of war intended for close combat action, the design of which resembles the hammer. The war hammer consists of a handle and a head. The handle may be of different lengths, the longest being roughly equivalent to the halberd, and the shortest about the same as a mace. Long war hammers were pole weapons (polearms) meant for use against riders, whereas short ones were used in closer quarters and from horseback. Later war hammers often had a spike on one side of the head, thus making it a more versatile weapon.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_hammer

The Gauntlet:
Gauntlets form part of a suit of armour, yet once in a while you come across a warrior who fights with his fists. Some of these warriors have forged special gauntlets to aid them in battle. Be it barbed or spiked, do not underestimate the swift and powerful blows dealt by a warrior and his iron fists, especially if that warrior is to be a monk, for he knows where to hit and when he hits, he hits hard.
“Historically, gauntlets were an important piece of armour, since the hands and arms were particularly vulnerable in hand-to-hand combat. With the rise of easily-reloadable firearms, hand-to-hand combat became less common and so gauntlets lost most of their strategic value.

Some medieval gauntlets had a built-in knuckle duster. When the hand was bunched into a fist the backhand protection becomes pronounced from the fist just above the knuckles, this allowed the user to utilize the gauntlet as a melee weapon while still protecting the hand from damage when punching. However, against an armed combatant the use of this feature would have been risky so it was very unlikely that a gauntlet would have been used in this way when a more suitable weapon was within reach. But if the user had no other means to defend themselves the tactics they would have employed would be to attempt to surprise the opponent with this inconspicuous attack, possibly by dodging and countering, aiming for exposed areas of flesh such as the face or weak areas of armour, such as under the arm or the groin.”


The Axe:

The axe has evolved from the ordinary lumberjack’s axe to formidable weapons, such as the battleaxe, two-handed axe and throwing axes. It is a favourite amongst the races of Dwarves and Orcs. Our fantasy equal for this collection is a fierce axe wielding Dwarf by the name of Gimli. Yes you’ve guessed it, another Lord of the Rings character!

Gimli is one of the nine members and the only Dwarf of the Fellowship of the Ring that set out to destroy the One Ring. With him he took five axes; a battle axe, a walking axe, a utility axe and two throwing axes. Gimli can be seen as a berserker. He deals devastating blows by utilizing his natural Dwarven strength and the rage and hatred he has towards Orcs.

He preferred felling his foes by means of melee attacks, but once in a while it is imperative to eliminate a foe from a range quickly, which is when his throwing axes come in handy. This is especially true in the cases where his comrade, Legolas the Elven Archer, is otherwise occupied.

“A battle axe (also battle-axe or battle-ax) is an axe specifically designed for combat. Battle axes were specialized versions of utility axes. Many were suitable for use in one hand, while others were larger and were deployed two-handed.

Axes designed for warfare ranged in weight from just over 0.5 kg to 3 kg (1 to 6 pounds), and in length from just over 30 cm to upwards of 1.5 m (1 to 5 feet), such as the Danish axe or the sparth axe. Cleaving weapons longer than 1.5 m would arguably fall into the category of polearms.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_axe

“Gimli used all the axes mentioned above throughout the War of the Ring. He used them depending on the battlefield conditions and the types of enemies that he would have to face. No matter what axe, however, Gimli used them all with devastating power in every battle he faced, working in perfect conjunction with Aragorn's swordplay and Legolas's bow skill.

In the Lord of the Rings video games, Gimli is the character that typically causes the most damage to his foes out of most of the Fellowship. Just like he does in the movies, Gimli uses his axe to drive his enemies into dust. His fierce attack, when fully upgraded is particularly deadly.”
http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Gimli


3 comments:

  1. Pretty interesting. Ten times better than the last topic.

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  2. Grandpa's got a masterful cock.

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