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Arms and Armour: Polearms

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Using controlled, sweeping motions and powerful thrusts, polearms are among the more commonly used, and graceful, weapons in Fastheld. Favored by members of House Driscol with Seamel blood, polearms are, almost to a one, two-handed weapons. Those who use these weapons, however, come from all Houses and walks of life.

Polearms also have the distinction, for the most part, of being useful in jousting. There are some polearms, however, that are specifically designed for and generally more suited for jousting as it is.

Citizen PolearmsEdit

From self-defense to farming, these are the weapons permitted to Freelanders and Wildlanders within the kingdom of Fastheld.

SpearEdit

Spear
Spear
A citizen's spear.
Type Polearm
Hands One-Handed
ODF 40
Weight 4 lbs
Usable By Freelanders, Wildlanders, Syladris, Nobility

The spear is a rather simple weapon that can come in may different makes and designs - from a long, sharpened stick to shafts with bone or stone heads. Those with sharpened metal heads, however, tend to be the most effective when in the hands of one who knows how to use them. Wielded in one hand, the head is thrust at an opponent, or a slash may be made with its sides.

They are quite common in use by Freelanders in self-defense, and among guards defending a person of some rank.

  • In-Game Description:
    • A Spear, consisting of two central parts; a polished wooden shaft and a sharpened metal tip. Its construction is sturdy, designed to accomodate versatile fighting styles, the four-foot length smoothed for a more comfortable grip. Wire wrapping cushioned by leather holds the four-inch metal tip in place, sharpened neatly to a point most suitable for thrusting attacks.

Can be used for jousting.


ScytheEdit

Scythe
Scythe
A farmer's scythe.
Type Polearm
Hands Two-Handed
ODF 45
Weight 4.5 lbs
Usable By Freelanders, Wildlanders, Syladris, Nobility

More often a tool on a farm than a weapon, the scythe is a common sight throughout Fastheld. Certainly not the simplest of the polearms, it is nonetheless sometimes infeasible in battle do to the pulling style of slash it most obviously makes. An inexperienced fighter may lose some advantage this way, by negating the benefit derived from the weapon's length. Nonetheless, in an experienced soldier's hands, the scythe remains a deadly weapon, easily spilling a man's blood.

The design of the scythe also makes it an exception to the rule concerning jousting with polearms. Its blade entirely unfit for a charge, and the style of its grip awkward for such a task, those who ride on horseback tend to avoid the weapon, preferring, instead, a lance, spear, or other polearm.

It is mostly farmers who practice with this weapon - its ready availability on their job makes it a convenient weapon against robbers and wolves. Some scythes specialized for war do exist, however and some soldiers do prefer the weapon for its exotic look, if nothing else.

  • In-Game Description:
    • A Scythe, featuring a long, slightly curved blade attached to a sinuous five-foot shaft. Commonly referred to as a snaith, the shaft features two handles, one capping its end and the other halfway down its length. Both are polished to a fine smoothness, permitting the wielder an easy grip. The blade is three feet long, broad, flat and mostly straight, with a slow curve at the end; its cutting edge is angled in towards the wielder.

Cannot be used for jousting.


QuarterstaffEdit

Quarterstaff
Quarterstaff
A simple quarterstaff.
Type Polearm
Hands Two-Handed
ODF 50
Weight 5 lbs
Usable By Freelanders, Wildlanders, Syladris, Nobility

Very simple. Very common. Very deadly. All of these are terms that can be used to describe the quarterstaff, the 'big stick.' A quarterstaff fashioned from a long piece of timber may seem, to many, like a slightly less dangerous weapon than a sword, but those who think so in battle are often proved quite wrong when struck by the staffman. The heavy weights on either end of the staff lend power to its crushing thrusts and blows, and the weight of the wood alone can shatter bone.

Experienced quarterstaff users take advantage of the fact that neither end of the staff is actually the "up" end. Both ends are equally utilized, and when one strike, rather than stop the weapon, it is permitted to keep arcing around to bring the other end to use. Because of this, despite its length, the quarterstaff is known as one of the quicker, more efficient weapons in Fastheld.

Used by individuals of every class and background, it is especially common to see among infantry in militia, for while it can be quite deadly, it is also true that, if the user wishes, it can be used to take an opponent down without placing them too close to death. Criminals might be caught this way, and brought in for justice. Wayfarers also find great use of the quarterstaff, used much like its Blunt counterpart as a walking stick.

  • In-Game Description:
    • A Quarterstaff, consisting of a simple six-foot length of wood. Cut to be flexible and polished throughout its entire length, the staff features a central leather-wrapped section to cushion the wielder's grip. Both ends are capped with a small portion of dull metal, favoring the tips in an otherwise even distribution of weight, and allowing for more damaging strikes.

Can be used for jousting.


GlaiveEdit

Glaive
Glaive
Four varieties of glaive.
Type Polearm
Hands Two-Handed
ODF 55
Weight 5.5 lbs
Usable By Freelanders, Wildlanders, Syladris, Nobility

Similar to a spear in appearance, the glaive is the most dangerous of the polearms permitted for Freelanders to own. Its blade is single-edged, like a part of a shortsword, and kept sharp so it may tear through armor and skin of opponents, breaking bone at times, if necessary.

Commonly found on the battlefield, the glaive benefits from the same sweeping style of attack as all other polearms, even if it must be a little more directed so the edge of the blade will strike as desired. Experts in its use will most often avoid thrusts, as these tend to skim off of legs, and instead go for sweeping slashes with the side of the blade. Legs are often aimed for, as a less-guarded place, and glaive-users, as with any style of polearm, stay nimble, and keep their distance to prevent an opponent from getting close enough to attack.

Officers in guard forces often utilize this weapon, as well as many nobles who consider the greater polearms to be a bit too unwieldy. It is very uncommon to see this weapon in the possession of one who is not in a more martial profession, as the long, bladed weapon tends to be more of a hindrance than it is worth in daily life.

  • In-Game Description:
    • A Glaive, featuring a short straight blade affixed atop a strong six-foot pole of solid wood. Roughly eighteen inches from base to tip, the bladed portion resembles a shortsword, if broader for its length. A cast metal tip holds the blade snugly affixed to its shaft, the wood of a sturdy variety well-suited for the impact of sizable targets. A thin leather wrapping provides cushioning for the wielder's hands, both required to utilize the weapon successfully.

Can be used for jousting.

Noble Polearm WeaponsEdit

Less common than their counterparts, these weapons are indisputable weapons of war, for any purpose. They are also the most lethal of the polearms manufactured in Fastheld, and thus are prohibited to any who does not hold noble status.

BardicheEdit

Bardiche
Bardiche
A pair of bardiches.
Type Polearm
Hands Two-Handed
ODF 60
Weight 6.0 lbs
Usable By Syladris, Nobility

Similar in appearance to an axe, the crescent-shaped bardiche is distinguished from the other weapon by the sheer length of its shaft, allowing it to reach further. Sometimes called a cleaver on a pole, the weapon is capable of slicing (albeit messily) through bone.

When fighting with a bardiche, nobles often rely just as much on the weight of the massive blade as the strength of their arms. Because of this, it becomes somewhat easier to swing the blade at a target, and blows are enhanced by momentum gained by the extra mass. Downward strikes are, therefore, by far the most common and effective use of the polearm, though one could take an opponent by surprise with an upward strike, if possible. A bardiche user should never try to thrust with it, however, as the weapon is next to useless for such a task.

This weapon, like most other martial polearms, is most often seen in use by knights in Fastheld. Lords working with a guard force, however, might also often be seen with one.

  • In-Game Description:
    • A Bardiche, consisting of an immense convex blade secured to a five-foot pole in two separate locations. One socket is centered at the broadest part of the crescent-shape blade, topping the shaft, while the other connects the base of the blade to the shaft's middle. From one curved tip to another, the blade stretches an imposing three-foot arc, admirably suited to powerful cleaving blows.

Cannot be used for jousting.


VoulgeEdit

Voulge
Voulge
A voulge's blade.
Type Polearm
Hands Two-Handed
ODF 65
Weight 6.5 lbs
Usable By Syladris, Nobility

Often called 'the pole cleaver,' the voulge has earned its nickname quite thoroughly. A pointed blade shaped much like one might expect in a butcher's shop is bound to its staff, and it has been used to great effect in several battles throughout Fastheld's history. The extra strength given to the blade by the length of the staff makes it far more effective than any normal meat cleaver has ever been.

In battle, a nobleman using a voulge is never quite as interested in cutting into an opponent, as would one using a glaive, but instead in hacking through their opponent. Strikes can come from any direction, cleaving through flesh and bone.

  • In-Game Description:
    • A Voulge, featuring a wide blade firmly bound to a six-foot wooden pole. The head resembles an abbreviated meat cleaver in its breadth, although it sinuously curves from a sharp point at the very tip to a several-inch-wide expanse of metal at its base. The large blade is anchored to the shaft throughout its length, providing great stability for the hacking, slashing blows it has been designed to deliver.

Can not be used in jousting.


PoleaxeEdit

Poleaxe
Poleaxe
A poleaxe head.
Type Polearm
Hands Two-Handed
ODF 70
Weight 7 lbs
Usable By Syladris, Nobility

Hammer, spear and axe are all combined in one in this versatile weapon, considered by many to be the most effectively deadly class of polearm in existence. It is carried onto the battlefields by Dukes, by Royals and high-ranking nobility, and designed for the purpose of breaching heavy armor.

Combat with the poleaxe, for the most part, consists of swift, arcing motions, striking the enemy either with the blade, to chop through, or with the hammer, to crush. In both cases there is significant momentum behind the swing, enhancing its damage. Sometimes, however, one might also pull back on the poleaxe and thrust with the spike on its top, or strike at an individual to the rear with the identical spike on the butt end of the weapon.

  • In-Game Description:
    • A Poleaxe, consisting of a three-pronged blade topping a polished wooden shaft of sturdy construction. One side of the blade provides the eponymous axe head, wickedly curved and gleaming, while across from it on the shaft's other side rests a square, blunted hammer's head. Capping the top is a single long spike, suitable for piercing armor. A similar spike adorns the butt end of the weapon.

Can not be used in jousting.


Back to Arms and Armour of Chiaroscuro.

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