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Author Topic: The Tethinhrim Shortsword (Linén'scál)  (Read 6635 times)
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« on: 11 June 2010, 22:37:26 »

Well, I tried to make a generic entry on Shortswords but that didn't work out so well, so here is the specifically Tethinrhim version. Hope it's OK.
Ok, Round One of edits are in VIT C and "technology" has been changed to various other forms.
Right, Round Two has seen some typo correction, translation and removal of extraneous out of context comments. It's also GREEN
A saying has been added...In BLUE
Cosmetic changes for Seeker and Dek in MAROON

The Tethinrhim Shortsword, or as it is better known among the elves the Linén'scál[lit. "small blade"] has a length of about half a ped and is commonly used by the elven Tethinrhim tribe as a secondary weapon. It is of roughly rectangular shape, with a sharp taper to an almost blocky point at the end, but being of elven origin is also graceful and finely made. It's shape is similar to that of a full-length sword before the taper, and here opinion differs. Scholars believe it to have been the precursor to the modern blade, as the advancement of craftmanship and smithing techniques would mean that a sort of Shortsword would have been the interim stage between daggers and full swords, but legends and tales say that the Shortsword was created by accident when a full-length blade snapped in battle.

Description
The blade of the Tethinrhim Shortsword is about half a ped, though as all the weapons of the Kaierian warriors are made to the specifications of the user it can vary a fair amount, sometimes even a full palmspan, from this norm. One can categorically state that it is too big to be a dagger or knife, as some label it - though these tend to be people who have not seen a Kaierian warrior in action - but also too small to be a longsword or other normal blade. The hilt and the blade are usually made separately, with a full-length tang and the guard curving gently down towards the handle, allowing an enemy blade to flow off easily, and there is a custom among the tribe of having the blade's owner fit the two together to finish the making. It has been speculated that this is a corruption of an old custom in which the warrior actually made his own blade - gradually, the warrior himself became less and less important, until now the smith does the whole job except for this one remnant. The theory behind this is that it allows the wielder to become one with the blade. It is usually a double-edged blade, but some opt to have theirs with a single cutting side, depending on personal preference. The blade in most cases is fairly untapered, at a width of about four nailsbreadths, and comes to a point very quickly in the last five nailsbreadths or so - often a few grains under, however, for a perfectly square point. Despite its usual lack of ornamentation, as an elven weapon it is always exceedingly graceful, slender and almost dancing through the air in the hands of a skilled user. The handle is usually a fairly simple leather grip over a hilt with a slightly curved crossguard, to direct strikes down and away from the body of the user.The guard curves down, in keeping with a very elven fighting philosophy of avoidance and suppleness rather than strength and crushing blows The blades are always individual and often quite beautiful, despite being a secondary weapon, perhaps on the principle that beauty in a weapon is not in jewels or engravings but elegance and grace of movement. It has been articulated in one treatise that the beauty of this blade is not the false beauty of a weapon intricately carved and inlaid with fantastic jewels, but the beauty of something that has been made the best it possibly can be made and does the job it was made to do as well as is mortally possible.

Usage
The Linén'scál is usually used as a secondary blade, or for close quarters combat where a scourge, the iconic weapon of the Kaierian warriors, is useless. In most cases, it is too short for primary use, though it is very useful against armoured opponents, as its lack of length allows it to be more easily manipulated and so slipped into gaps in armour. This is also a product of its blade, slightly narrower than most, although for combat proper a full-length blade would be advisable. It has also been found by the elves that it is useful among trees and undergrowth, where its suitability for stabbing attacks comes into its own and the shorter length means it can be swung in tighter confines. In short, it is rather too short to be used as a main weapon of first resort, but is excellent at delivering the arneaém elythís [lit. strike of compassion]. Apart from this, it is often used as a parry blade to divert the force of an enemy's attack, rather than a full-on block.

Fighting Style
The Tethinrhim would usually keep their Shortsword on the right hand side of their body, with their primary sword on their left. Despite its size, the Linén'scál can be used for a mixture of fighting styles. Against a relatively un-armoured opponent, it can be used with a shield or without with a cut-and-thrust technique that allows the elf to take full advantage of gaps in his opponent's defence. Against a more heavily armoured enemy, the blade does not have the weight or strength to be used in this way, but can be used in a more thrust-based manner - with its superior elven make and suppleness it is not hindered in the stab as much as many human Shortswords. Its incredibly honed tip has the ability to pierce armour, either through gaps in plate - which is, as stated, also a product of its narrower than most blade - or actually through mail, although only the finest warriors can accomplish such a feat. In fact, mail is one of the best defences against this sword that there is, as it gives way under the blade, which does not carry enough force to cut into the body through the mail in most cases. Another way in which the Linén'scál can be used is with a dagger or similar small blade, in which case an "X" shape can be formed for a block, providing the Tethinrhim Shortsword with the leverage that it normally lacks to block a full-on attack.

Origin/History
Scholars and storytellers are in disagreement about the origin of the Tethinrhim Shortsword. The legend heard by the Compendium when researching from the elves stated that a Kaierian warrior, by the name of Scálís'quarón, was fighting a group of humans. These are claimed by some to be Glandorians, ancestors of today's Avennorians, but others claim that they came from the more direct north rather than east, perhaps the ancestors of the Serphelorians or the Eyelians. The warrior was fighting desperately with his sword, a long slender sword of his tribe, when horror of horrors he dropped it. Scrabbling to pick it up, he stumbled on a rock, and came crashing down onto the flat of his blade, which being of fine and slender design snapped like a twig. As the bloodthirsty man bore down upon him, he pulled out his broken blade, sure all hope was at last lost, and tried desperately to parry the blow. To his immense surprise, the newly reduced length of the blade afforded him increased manoeuvrability and to the shock of his would-be killer, who had underestimated the speed with which the supposedly useless blade could be used,  he deflected the plummeting death blow into the ground, where the sword was buried nearly to the hilt. His next stroke took the human in the throat, and he rejoined the fray, constantly discovering new things he could do with this sword that he could not with his full-size version. On his return, he asked if a smith could make a blade of similar dimensions to the one he had now - that is, the snapped one. Despite being sceptical, the smith agreed and this was how the first Linén'scál was made.
It must be said that this is considerably different to the opinion of most scholars, historians and weapons experts. Valan Nonesuch, a well-known collector of lore at the compendium, has been recorded as saying: "While the events of the legend are certainly heroic and suited to stories they are, at best, utter nonsense and fanciful tomfoolery at the worst. It is, as a rule, always easier to make a smaller blade than it is to make a larger, and it is thus that these things follow, from the small to the large to the utterly ridiculous. To do elsewise, excepting such situations as where the small is incredibly small and precise such as with time-pieces and similar devices, is simply counter-intuitive.". It has also been variously described as "ridiculous", "counter-intuitive" and "fanciful" by experts in the fields of history and weaponry that this order could possibly have come about.
The importance of this blade in the typical Kaierian arsenal cannot be overestimated. A Tethinrhim saying about the importance of a back-up plan and the ability to change to meet the circumstances is based on this blade's position, and goes as follows: "When you reach close quarters you must draw your Shortsword". From this the vital part this weapon plays can be seen.
« Last Edit: 26 June 2010, 16:38:32 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 11 June 2010, 23:15:59 »

Now this is something we can sink our teeth into.  Thank you Athviaro for being flexible and giving us an Elven sword here.  I haven't read all the way through yet but let me comment on what I haev read.

I really like the idea that the warrior puts the sword together at the end and the origin of that practice makes alot of sense. Well done.  I am glad you were smart enough to consider this a secondary weapon.  You have palced it in the Tethinhrim arsenal appropriately and have mentioned the other wweapons they use.  Very good integration.

Regarding the description a couple of points:
1)  I do not full understand what you mean it has a perfectly square point.  If you mean the point is a 90% angle then ok I guess I understand.
2) You mention the sword is graceful.  What si graceful about the look of the sword, does it have a slight curve to the blade.  Is there anything special about the look of the blade that would set it apart from a human or even Orc blade.  Is it particulalry shiny or smooth, or made from special metal that has a golden hue or wrapped in the white leather from a white deer or something.  I can see you are avoiding making it too ornamental, so I can see you want to focus this as a killing weapon.  That is fine but it still needs to feel elven in some way.

Nevertheless this is well done so far and well written.  I will read through the rest later.
« Last Edit: 11 June 2010, 23:38:27 by Seeker » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: 11 June 2010, 23:35:40 »

Keep in mind the design of weapons like Sting, or Glamdring. They're quite obviously designed for killing, but they aren't cruel like orcish weapons, and they're not so unadorned as human weapons.
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« Reply #3 on: 12 June 2010, 00:16:30 »

Yep, about the square point I had some difficulty there, I though "90 degree angle" was just a bit too modern mathematics, as was saying that it comes to a point in  twice the square root of two nailsbreadths! If you can think of a better way to say it, I'm only too willing to change it - I'm not really happy that it conveys the idea.

I see what you mean about "graceful" not conveying much. I didn't imagine a curve, but I meant for it just to look plain but efficient, if that's the right word. So, graceful in the sense of being balanced and usable, as opposed to being so dripping with jewels one cannot lift it. I think I have something along those lines, but it probably needs clarifying.

Valan, I'm not quite sure I understand your point. Are you saying that I should make it more adorned? Or the opposite, that unadornment does not matter on a blade, and a "beautiful" blade is just balanced and efficient?
Also, this is not a magical weapon in general, whereas those two are, but depending on what you are saying that may not matter.

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« Reply #4 on: 12 June 2010, 00:28:20 »

The square point description is fine.  I understand now, and there probably isn't necessarily a better way to explain it.

Regarding the rest, sure this doesn't have to be a bejeweled weapon, covered in runes and glowing with power.  However it does need something to set it apart from a normal human or Orcish weapon.  Give me something, so when I draw it, it LOOKS elvish in some way.
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« Reply #5 on: 12 June 2010, 00:42:04 »

Leaving aside the fact that yes, Galmdring and Sting were both magical, they looked... good. Sting had a sort of leaf shaped blade to it that distinguished it from other weapons. Glamdring just looked... like a sword really. It was a proper sword though. I hope that makes sense.
So the rule here is don't clutter it up, but it doesn't have to be ugly to be efficient. I imagine the Tethinrhim and the Kairains in particular can understand the concept of a weapon being aesthetically pleasing but still perfectly functional.

Also, you don't mention which direction the guard is curving. Away from the handle or towards it.

I'm just wondering why you are italicizing the styrash words and names. Not standard practice as far as I'm aware, particularly for a proper name like Scálís'quarón. You don't mention what Linén'scál, means either, which is, I think, important.

Last but not least: Hey look! My name. The use of the word technology bugs me there Ath. You could change it to craftsmanship or something, though I'd be happy to give you an actual usable quote for that.
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« Reply #6 on: 12 June 2010, 02:19:09 »

Ok, sorry, I kind of did that automatically, that will be changed. I'm sure the name should not have had it!

And, yep, what I'm trying to get at is that it's not ugly and cruel, it's slender and graceful and gives a sense of the beauty that comes when something has been done the best it can possibly be done, which is deeper than that of fancy jewels &c.

The guard I imagined as straight, but I think that curving down (ie away from the blade) fits my image nicely.

Technology was the first I could think of there, I wanted to get it posted, and I think that that last paragraph could use some work, although if you actually want to have said it you're welcome to give me a quote (or just read that one off your screen, and then I'm not lying)

The name means "small blade", which should be in there I know. Will be done.

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« Reply #7 on: 12 June 2010, 02:28:10 »

ummm .... but technology does not mean computers or cars or other such things ... or at least it doesn't JUST mean those things.

Technology is basically a tool that we can use to make something or do something. eg a pencil is a tool we use for writing.

Let's not get caught up with 21st century understandings with such things :)

Dek
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« Reply #8 on: 12 June 2010, 02:35:40 »

Put it this way Dek, it looks out of place, stylistically. There's other words as mean the same thing and seeing the word "technology" sitting in a paragraph that includes elves is simply dissonant.

Official quote:
"While the events of the legend are certainly heroic and suited to stories they are, at best, utter nonsense and fanciful tomfoolery at the worst. It is, as a rule, always easier to make a smaller blade than it is to make a larger, and it is thus that these things follow, from the small to the large to the utterly ridiculous. To do elsewise, excepting such situations as where the small is incredibly small and precise such as with time-pieces and similar devices, is simply counter-intuitive."
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« Reply #9 on: 12 June 2010, 02:52:26 »

Many, many thanks for that ridiculously pompous and hyperbolically verbose quote, Valan, rest assured it will be integrated!

And Dek, I agree with you that technlogy does not only mean PCs and cars, but to our 21st century ears it jars, because it has those connotations, so whether we like it or not, Valan is right when he says it is out of place.

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« Reply #10 on: 12 June 2010, 02:54:15 »

well if I choose to use it in my entries, I'll be using the word 'technology'.
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« Reply #11 on: 12 June 2010, 03:09:12 »

Warning: Unwanted intrusion ahead :)

Quote
technology
1615, "discourse or treatise on an art or the arts," from Gk. tekhnologia "systematic treatment of an art, craft, or technique," originally referring to grammar, from tekhno- (see techno-) + -logia. The meaning "science of the mechanical and industrial arts" is first recorded 1859. High technology attested from 1964; short form high-tech is from 1972. Tech as a short form of Technical College (Institute, etc.) is Amer.Eng., attested from 1906.

From the Entymological Dictionarty.. so the word has been around.  As for aesthetics... it's up to you. rolleyes
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #12 on: 12 June 2010, 03:32:07 »

No Intrusion Turned Away!

Thanks Alt that does confirm what Dek is saying, but I personally think I agree with Valan and that if it can be changed it should probably be.

Athviaro the Word-Wonderer
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« Reply #13 on: 12 June 2010, 04:58:34 »

Many, many thanks for that ridiculously pompous and hyperbolically verbose quote, Valan, rest assured it will be integrated!

Yup, that's our Valan-Bot. I wouldn't be the same otherwise.  rolleyes
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« Reply #14 on: 12 June 2010, 05:27:48 »

Indeed, that's our Valan... grin

Comments integrated, as far as I can see. Anything else is of course appreciated

Pleez guv'ner, trow a doga bahn.

Or some such thing.....

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"Well, I did nothing as a girl, so there goes my childhood." - Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee, 1934.
The Life and Works of Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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