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Author Topic: Axes Overview  (Read 777 times)
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the Akorn
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« on: 26 September 2002, 10:21:00 »

The axe:

The axe is originally a tool used to cut down trees, and refining the tree to suitable pieces of firewood. Later on it was more and more used for self-defence, and it ended up as a weapon.
The axe is used as either as a one-handed, or a two-handed weapon. The axe is made up of two parts, the shaft and the head. The shaft is usually of wood, but some are made of steel or iron. It is used as a handle for the tool, the place where you hold the axe. On the top of is sits the head. The head is the most important part of the axe. It is used for cutting or bludgeoning, and sometimes possesses a/some spikes or an additional blade at the back of it. The head is made either of steel or iron. The weight of the axe is concentrated here. There are several types of axes: the basic lumberjack axe, the broadaxe, the light axe, the bilier, the two-handed axe, the spike axe, the throwing axe, the double edged axe, the battle axe, the formation axe, the spiked axe, the dareg axe and the star axe.

In the beginning, the axes where made out of wood, flint or bone. The flint ore bone where attached to the shaft by strips of leather or other strong and though material. The first axes where used as weapons and tools to gather wood or food. Later on, when the knowledge of metals emerged, new axes where made by bronze, then steel and iron. These where the first lumberjack axes. An axe is wielded by swinging the shaft at the target, and then hope the blade on the head hits the target.

About breadth and length:

Hold the axe with the shaft horizontally. One end to the left, and the other to the right. The head must be at your right side, blade pointing down.

Base height: The base height on an axe is the area in the axe, which the shaft penetrates. The base height is therefore the same height as the shaft.

Length: Take the base height, and take a vertical line from it to the edge of the blade. That’s the length of it.

Breadth: Take the end of the right side of the blade, and make a horizontal line from it to the left side. Then you got the breadth of it.    

The following terms are of relevance at most axes:

When an axe-blade is becoming dull, it needs a decent sharpening. When the axe is sharpened, a small grindstone is stroked on the sides of the blade.

When an axe is re-forged, the blade is usually broken, or needs an alteration of the shape. Usually, the smith adds small pieces of metal on any cracks, or adds/subtracts metal pieces from the blade.

When the shaft snaps, it needs a replacement. Then the old shaft piece that is left is pushed out, and the new one is pushed in.

The following axe types are the most commonly know ones:


Lumberjack axe
The lumberjack axe is the most ancient of all axe types. The head is rectangular shaped, with a light curve in the blade. The usage of this tool where simply to cut trees, and chop the wood into smaller pieces of firewood. The lumberjack axe weren’t designed to kill. Later on in the currents of time, this axe where used for defensive reasons, and small alterations where added to it. The blade became broader, and the shaft stronger. From the basics of this re-forged type of weapon emerged the broadaxe. One handed

Farm axe
The workhorse of the farmer, woodsman, and builder, this broad bladed axe is single sided. The blunt end is about the size of a human’s clenched fist, and can be used as a maul. The sharp side is wedge-shaped in cross-section, and from one to two handspans long. The handle is often curved slightly for comfort and better leverage when swinging.


Light axe
The light axe is the smallest type of axes. The shaft is short and light, the square head is small, and the total weight of this is less than it looks. The light axe is not suitable on foot, as the range is short, and the blade easily gets stuck in that type of fighting. Then again, it is quite effective from horse. The axe is used to swing down on the heads of the foot soldiers, and slash their heads and necks. As it is small, light, and quite manoeuvrable, it is dangerous in the hands of skilled fighters. There is another version of this axe, with a longer shaft, and are used as primary weapons, in stead of the usual secondary place as the ordinary light axe possess.

Spike axe
The spike axe is the most unique of all the axe types. The blade is shaped of one long piece of metal, bended down in a deep curve. The blade, which resembles a large, bent spike, is as sharp as a razor, and at the end of the spike is a pointed end. The weapon is wielded with great speed, as it is lighter than most swords. The cutting edge is designed to slash open armour and deal devastating wounds, and the pointed end is used for dealing the final kill.
There is another version of this axe, which resembles more of a sword. The difference between these two versions is that the other’s blade is bended up instead of down. The shape of the blade is also a bit different. It is shaped more like a scythe blade, but the edge is on the other side.  

A shorter and stronger shaft than on the lumberjack axe builds up the broadaxe, and a broader and more curved blade. The head is considerably larger, as the blade is thicker and sturdier. The broadaxe was the first weapon designed solely to kill. From the designs of the broadaxe, came several other variations, from where other types of axes emerged. Other versions of the broadaxe are the spiked axe, the double-bladed axe and the oks-axe. One handed

Double-edged axe
This is an additional version of the broadaxe. It possesses one additional blade at the back of it. One-handed

Spiked Axe
This axe is another version of the broad axe. It is larger than the broadaxe, and it possesses five spikes at the back of it. One-handed.

It is built like a broadaxe, but the blade is squarer, and the shaft is longer.
One handed.

Formation Axe
The formation axe is a one handed “heavy light” axe, created entirely out of steel. The head is square, with a lightly curved blade, and a half fore long faintly curved spike at the end. The formation axe is very manoeuvrable, and the equal to any sword in formation fighting. It is best wielded with a shield. The axe was created as a weapon to be wielded on foot, but it is a very handy secondary weapon at mounted warfare. The formation axe is preferred by several foot soldiers, as the design of this axe makes large bumps and cracks in shields and plate armour, and easily cracks bone in mail.

Star axe
With a zigzag shaped bladed axe, it is one of the strangest axes in Sorren. The blade is put together by five pieces of steel. One that is the  “backbone” of it, and four triangular pieces places on the backbone. The triangles slash down into enemy armour, and are blocked to not go very deep. Thus it is easy to receive.  
One handed/two handed with a larger version.


Dareg Axe
The dared axe is a heavy one-handed axe. It possesses one piece of heavy head, with a broad, curved blade. The unusual part of this weapon is that the blade curves inwards. The curve disables enemy troops to slip away during the blow, and thus cut deeper, and cut through limbs. The dareg axe is preferred by heavy foot soldiers.  

The bilier is known as the axes counterpart of flamberge. It is large, very heavy, and easy slices trough armour, shields and body parts. The head is larger than the shaft, more than one ped long. The giant blade is square, and is similar to a cleaver. When wielding this weapon, you only got one chance. The axe is heavy to swing, and it is almost impossible to get another strike on you enemy. There is a smaller version of the bilier, which possesses a much lighter blade, and is possible to use one-handed. The bilier is a two-handed weapon, but small-bilier is a one-handed one.  

Two-handed axe
The two-handed axe is a common heavy axe trough Sorren. The head’s shape is related to the lumberjack axe, which is a square head, and a faintly curved blade. The weapon is not as heavy as it looks, but it is necessary to wield it with both hands as the shaft is more than one and a half peds long. Two handed.

The battle-axe is a neat moderately heavy axe made up by two large curved blades. The head is not large, only a piece of medal a hand broad. The blades tough are about two fores and a half broad, and nearly half a fore long. The slash of a battle-axe makes nasty gashes in any armour. This axe is two-handed.

The Herlemin is also known as the Double-Ended Hatchet and jokingly referred to as a "Darn-vicious Quarterstaff". It is a melee weapon like the common quarterstaff, however, the Herlemin is usually only used be trained fighter as the weapon has heavy axe blades on each end and is quite difficult to handle. Two-handed?

Throwing axe
The throwing axe is quite similar to the lumberjack axe, with a rectangular head, and a faint curve at the blade. The only difference is the short shaft. This is a common throwing weapon.
One-handed throw.

The axe is used either as a weapon, or as a tool to chop down trees, and chop the tree down to suitable pieces about the size fitting a fireplace. To master an axe is not simple. It is not hard to learn the basics, but to become an expert, it requires more than that.

Fighting style:
Chop and cut. The fighters wielding an axe are usually in the middle of it all. Either mounted or on foot. The axe is swung up, and then swung down on the enemy.

There have always been axes in the memories of men. But as the knowledge of making them out of metal improved, and the smiths got more experience, the axes became more elegant and smooth.    

Edited by: the Akorn at: 10/12/02 4:42:07 pm
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