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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« on: 07 May 2010, 04:44:18 »

First edits (based on Valan's comment) in red
Second lot of edits (based on Azhira's comment, and Valan's) in green

The Hrkje Whip, also known as the Double Whip or simply the Hrkje after its alleged inventor, Hrkje Kjarskan, is an Avennorian weapon and more or less confined to that area - which is to say, the Province of Manthria. It comprises two pieces of rope, tied together at one end. It can cause concussion, unconsciousness and even broken bones in the hands of a skilled user. It is a more forgiving weapon than the Bane Whip, and is easier to use, though it is less deadly as a consequence. However, it can still neatly disable an enemy, disarm him, trip him or even throw him. It can also hold an enemy's weapon without taking it, and attack at the same time.

Description:

The Hrkje Whip, unlike most whips, has no handle, and this has led to dispute about whether it is even a whip at all. It is formed simply by attaching together two pieces of stout rope, approximately two peds each, with a strong knot. This knot is traditionally the same knot used by Avennorian sailors on board ship to secure items and sails, and is designed not to slip even under the overpowering force of a gale. The ropes are about two nailsbreadths in diameter, with an even girth all the way down, and the free end has a knot tied in it about five nailsbreadths down to prevent fraying, to add to momentum and to act as a pommel for the wielder, if he chooses to swing the main knot at maximum range. The unusual thickness means that it is very hard to crack a Hrkje, and it is used in quite a different way from most other whips. The fact that it has two knot-ended strands and a large knot, all of which can be moving quite fast, can be quite confusing and even un-nerving for an opponent

A less common weapon, but one which should be mentioned here, is the Triple Whip, or Triple Hrkje, a cousin of the common Hrkje designed to be even more confusing and difficult to keep track of. However, despite its added effectiveness, which includes the added weight in the knot, it is far harder to master than the Hrkje Whip, and so most regard the improvement in performance not worth the added difficulty. Hrkjes with more than three strands have been heard of, but are very rare and this compendiumist has never encountered one. An Avennorian saying explains that each extra strand makes the weapon "twice as difficult but only one strand more effective". As is obvious, this is a rapid increase in difficulty which soon pulls away from the performance, and shows why the two-strand version is the preferred.

Usage:

The Hrkje Whip is mainly used by the Avennorian lower classes - that is, those who have the need to defend themselves but not the money to buy a cutlass, such as sailors. It has even been used by pirates who desire to entangle enemies and hit them from outside cutlass range, although there have been only a few reports of this happening. However, this does not mean it is not more widespread than is thought, as many pirate crews rarely leave people alive to report what weapons they use. It is not much used outside the area that was once Avennoria.

Due to its relative non-lethality, the Hrkje is sometimes used in a form of almost gladiatorial combat among lower-class Avennorians. Two combatants, usually men, although sometimes teenage boys take part, enter a ring marked on the ground with Hrkjes and the first to step out of the area, either by accident or as a surrender, or to lose consciousness, is declared the loser.  These events are a wonderful diversion for ordinary Avennorians, and the winner is treated with great respect for the rest of the day, although some stirring fights are talked about for weeks.

Non Combat Use:
As a piece of rope is almost infinitely useful, ever-practical people such as sailors will never pigeonhole a certain piece as a weapon. Most sailors will, in day-to-day life, wear their whip as a sash, tied in such a way as to be instantly and easily accessible in a moment of need. On board ship, it can be used just as any piece of rope would be, such as lashing oneself to the wheel or the rigging. The one exception is that it would never be used for mundane permanent or semi-permanent tasks where the owner cannot get hold of it quickly, for obvious reasons. However, it can be used for almost anything else that rope could be, such as throwing to a man overboard or as a belt.

Fighting Style:

There are two main ways to use the Hrkje Whip, although there are of course many variations. One way involves using the knot that ties the two ropes together to strike things or to increase the force of a grab; the other uses the strands of rope themselves. However, it is possible to switch very quickly between these methods, and an enemy tripped with one of the strands can easily find the knot with the side of his head very quickly. The weight of the knot, and the force with which it can be swung, is sufficient to knock people out and even break bones or, in exceptional cases, cutlass blades.

The weapon can also be used in quite a different way, seizing it by the end of one of the strands and sweeping the full length f the rope around. While it is advisable to build up momentum in the moving end with a smaller swing at first, to prevent unbalancing that can occur when  trying to accelerate the end of a four ped rope, this is a very effective method for the extra range, and also for combating multiple enemies, as described below.

The main strength of the Hrkje Whip, however, over and above other whips, lies in its ability to neutralise an enemy weapon and attack at the same time. With a weapon such as the Bane Whip, one must either disarm one's enemy or risk being hit by his weapon before attacking. However, with the Hrkje an enemy weapon can be entangled and the enemy struck without needing to be disarmed.

It is also an excellent weapon for fighting two enemies, as a skilful user can fight one with each strand, or one with the strand and one with the knot, or just swing the knot around his head and bring it crashing down on each in turn. The method of swinging the entire rope by one end, as detailed in the paragraph before last, is also useful on these occasions, as it both allows the wielder to drive the enemy back to a distance of four peds, gaining some breathing space, but can also wrap around the legs or torsos of more than one enemy at once. While this is slightly lacking in finesse, it gets the job done.

An expert fighting with this weapon could be described as poetry in motion. The rope flows around him and every now and again flicks out to grasp an opponent's leg, arm or weapon, or simply to administer a stinging slap of the strand across the face or body. After each strike, no matter how devastating, the rope returns to its easy swing, as though the motion had never been broken.

Then, from the same easy rhythm the knot will flash out and the man who dared challenge the expert will find himself lying on the ground, either unconscious or nearly so, and maybe even thrown by his ankle a full ped from the circle. It is no chore for the expert to whip the man as he flies through the air, maybe even smashing him into the ground with a jolt. But these true masters are few indeed, and this researcher was privileged to watch one in action.

Origin/History:

The true origin of the Hrkje Whip is uncertain, but a legend recorded in the area around White Fish Cove, near Marduran on the eastern coast of Manthria claims that it was invented by a sailor on a merchant vessel c.1550a.S. when his ship was attacked by pirates. As was usual the rigging was slashed to prevent the vessel getting away, and as the sailor, who according to the storyteller was named Hrkje Kjarskan, was fleeing a pirate - not for want of courage but of a weapon - he tripped over and found not half a fore from his nose a piece of the rigging. He seized it and stood up, turning as he did so. Taken by surprise, the pirate found his poor quality cutlass snapped in half by a quick swing of the knot, and then the sailor's powerful fist grabbed his shirt and threw him into the sea. The rest of the pirates were equally surprised, and the old man who recounted this, pausing for a draught of ale, went on to describe how Hrkje's fellow sailors, when they had recovered from the shock of seeing him bear down on their captors "loike Arme'os 'isself", willingly snatched up cutlasses and joined the fray. Afterwards, Hrkje realised what a formidable weapon he had discovered by accident, and on his return to port he bought a coil of rope and set about making the very first genuine Double Whip. He discovered that a length of about two peds on each side was ideal, and no knot was better than the original sailors' one that was used on the rigging. However, he did discover that the grabbing power and ease of use of the two strands was vastly increased when a single knot was tied about four or five nailsbreadths from the end. The weapon became well-known among sailors, and was even named after Hrkje. The old man then slumped on the table and began snoring, so no further tales could be elicited from him. This legend would seem to be credible, both due to the undeniable fact that the weapon is called the Hrkje Whip and also because it is recent enough that the morsels of truth, which lurk inside any legend, have not had time to be overly embellished by enthusiastic relators of the tale.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2010, 17:28:10 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 07 May 2010, 05:20:02 »

Is this a work in progress or is it ready for comments? Please put the correct posticon up.
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #2 on: 07 May 2010, 05:44:03 »

Looks pretty ready to me... rolleyes

Sorry - fixed now.

Oooops.....

Anyway, comments welcomes as always.

Athviaro the Virtual Weaponsmith
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« Reply #3 on: 07 May 2010, 12:00:58 »

Just to be clear, the "weapon" here, is two lengths of rope tied together, and then wielded from the knot or from one end of the rope depending on the style.

I happened to make the acquaintance of a fellow who was quite the knot fiend and he showed me something called a "monkey fist" knot. What it essentially was, was a method to fasten the string/rope/cord around itself so as to make a rigid ball of rope that you could then swing around.

Calling this a whip doesn't seem right, since it doesn't taper but I won't deny that it's a flexible weapon, and no less intimidating for it's improvised nature. Quite a few weapons started off that way I imagine.

So, down to bones then. The name bothers me, mostly because the immediate implication is that this is two whips with a single handle. Calling it the poor-whip or something similar might work, or something with a more nautical association. A "Two-line whip" perhaps? Always consider the background and the nature of the weapon. Various names for weapons are not uncommon.

The next of course is the fighting style you have described. While I will admit that you could conceivably do something with this, you run into two problems.
The first is that the possibility of the two ends of the rope getting tangled amongst themselves is a rather likely one.
Without a weight or an alteration in size towards the end (the tapering you see with a traditional whip) it might be difficult for the disarming effect to work.

It's four meters long in total. Now, assuming you're working from the knot in the center, that doesn't actually give you much rope to work with. While I'm going to suggest we avoid popular culture as reference, Indy's bullwhip is about ten feet long. That's two and a half meters, about. To use this properly with both strands at once, you'd probably want to put your hands a little apart from the knot at the center. Further, you'd have to keep the whips moving in such a way that they don't come in contact with you or each other, further limit the actual viable space of the weapon you can use in either case, since the rest is effectively part of the "grip".

My suggestions then are this.

Increase the length of the weapon. Three peds to a strand perhaps. Four if you're a lubber. Keeping in mind there's less space on a ship to swing one of those.

Tie some knots on either end. This will increase the effectiveness of the weapon I think, because you can swing the whips at higher speeds and maintain them more easily, a little like a centrifuge's arm with the seat and counterweight. You can also bludgeon someone with the ends, which makes it a more viable weapon, rather than merely a means to grapple things.

Don't forget that if need be, you could swing the entire length of rope from one end (it would then be beneficial to have a pommel in the form of a knot to keep your hands from slipping down) Or grab both ends and swing the center knot (keeping in mind the idea of a pommel). That knot would also help keep the end of the rope from fraying as quickly.

How else could this be used? Avvenorian's are fond of sashes I think, so perhaps sailors wear their whips coiled around their chests like a sash? That would keep it easily at hand, while keeping it out of the way. A length of line for fishing perhaps? Or to toss to someone fallen overboard. The less violent applications for this are endless and sailors do not seem the sort of folk to waste a perfectly good piece of rope by dedicating it as a weapon.

What is it made of? Rope you say. There are a dozen and a half ways of making rope, so a little research might not be remiss.

Virutal though you may be, I thought smiths dealt with metal?  buck
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« Reply #4 on: 07 May 2010, 12:29:06 »

Valen has given you excellent suggestions. :)

One last piece of advice I would give is this.  Often, these types of soft swinging weapons (swinging weapons in general) are hard to master.  Just try and think back to how many comedy movies have some idiot trying to use nunchaku and cracking himself in the head.  The same holds true for poi and other types of flexible weapons such as chain whips and rope darts.  To be good at it and not hurt yourself took a lot of training and practice.  You may want to put that info into your entry someplace.

A simple weapon yes, easy to use effectively, no.
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #5 on: 07 May 2010, 18:50:16 »

Thanks Valan and Altario for the comments.

Yep, you've got the basic idea of it - two pieces of rope tied together. The "monkey's fist" knot sounds interesting - I might think about that, but you say it's for a single piece of rope? I would have thought that the strongest, least likely to slip knot - and also the one that most Avennorians would have been able to tie most effectively - would be a simple sail knot.

However, on the entanglement issue I disagree. They may tangle if it were a true whip, but here when wielded the user would have hands on each strand and could keep them apart. However I might try to think of another name. "Rope Club"? As it has a heavy knot for bludgeoning?

Also, the disarming I intended to be done mainly with the knot, although it is stout rope which can wrap around quite effectively, with a fair bit of weight to drive it home. However it is also usable just to hold a weapon, as described.

On the size, I think that two peds is about right. More and you can't get enough energy to the tips (especially with thick rope) and less makes it a bit pointless. Each strand can be used in turn, however.

I may tie a small knot in each end, just to give it extra momentuma and disrming capability. However, the basic design I would like to be pretty similar to that of the random piece of rigging found by Hrkje, unless it really needs changing, although I'm willing to change the legend if needs must.

I'll edit the fighting style to add that possibility as well.

I think I might add a section on how it is used outside combat, including the sashes, rope for tying and general use - it seems quite a multipurpose tool to me.

Athviaro
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« Reply #6 on: 08 May 2010, 01:12:56 »

I may tie a small knot in each end, just to give it extra momentuma and disrming capability. However, the basic design I would like to be pretty similar to that of the random piece of rigging found by Hrkje, unless it really needs changing, although I'm willing to change the legend if needs must.

You don't need to change the legend. You could say that 'after seeing the potential of how effective a weapon this could be, Hrkje refined it, adding X, Y, and changing Z to A', or something along those lines.
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« Reply #7 on: 08 May 2010, 01:37:20 »

Good point. I meant for any real major changes - I don't want much more than improving tweaks, he's not a weapon inventor, just a sailor.
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« Reply #8 on: 08 May 2010, 03:53:23 »

Edited and updated in red.

Hope it's better! grin

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That better, Val.?
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« Reply #9 on: 08 May 2010, 10:22:18 »

How about naming this weapon after the person who discovered/invented it? Double whip is a bit boring of a name, yes?
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« Reply #10 on: 08 May 2010, 15:30:43 »

Quote
Double whip is a bit of a boring name, yes?

I know - I just wanted to call it something. I wasn't really happy with Double Whip, but I wasn't sure, 'cause I wanted something that sort of gave the idea of the weapon, and the "Hrkje" is not too informative a name. I'm still thinking about the name, really.

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« Last Edit: 09 May 2010, 03:05:52 by Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: 09 May 2010, 03:00:35 »

Name changed to "Hrkje Whip, aka Hrkje, aka Double Whip"

Is that better, Azhira?

Also put in about how people are divided over whether it is a whip.
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« Reply #12 on: 11 May 2010, 20:49:21 »

*Glances over the thread guestbook, and notices that it has been three days since anyone made any remark about the weapon sitting in the glass case, with a small plaque reading "Hrkje Whip" on the podium*

Hello? *His voice echoes around the empty halls of the thread* Anybody here...here...ere...re...
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« Reply #13 on: 11 May 2010, 21:39:47 »

The name is fine. Although a few more vowels couldn't hurt...  ;)
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« Reply #14 on: 11 May 2010, 21:48:33 »

The sounds require an inordinate amount of letters buck It contains the sound "Hrk" and the sound "Je", which works, but requires a lot of letters. I'm sort of attatched to Hrkje (for no real reason, as I generated the name using the Avennorian name tables) but if I must change it, I can do so. It's probably because as soon as he has a name he -exists- and so changing the name is like killing him...sort of. Excepe there's no blood, and it's not wrong, and I won't feel guilty and I can't go to jail. But other than that it's like killing him. Also the name is kind of nice and unusual.

Anyhow, whatever the consensus is I will do.

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