Great Mauls are weapons generally used by strong warriors. With devastating power when used correctly, the Maul can break bones and cause grievous bodily harm without even breaking the armour. One of the most effective weapons against plate armour, the Maul can be considered as a sort of militarised sledgehammer.
|Image description. A well known figure of myth in Northern Sarvonian lands wielding a Great Maul: the Taurian. Illustration drawn by Seeker.|
Great Mauls are made up of a heavy block of metal atop a long wooden shaft. The
look of the head of the maul varies depending on the race it was made by;
human mauls almost always have a steel or iron
block on a thick wooden shaft, while dwarven
ones often have the entire maul made out of the same metal; usually iron or
steel, but some have even been known to be made of the rare mithril and
decorated with fine gold runes and patterns! Some have one or more spikes on the
back. Shafts lengths can range anywhere from one ped to two
fores, and are mostly made
of woods. Some of the best woods are ironwood and cherry, though most hardwoods
According to the few people to have seen them and lived to tell the tale, there are also varieties that are used by the larger races such as trolls and ogres, as these giants can carry a massive maul with one hand. Loch-Oc orcs are also known to use Mauls, especially those that have spikes on them. Most varieties have a leather thong attached to the end of the shaft to ensure warriors donít drop their weapon.
Many races use a variation of the Great Maul.
Humans and dwarves most commonly use them
however. Elves rarely use this
weapon, as it is too bulky for the
nimble fighting style they are used to.
Shendar are rarely seen using the
Maul. As mentioned above orcs (especially
Trolls and ogres also use the Great Maul,
and though they are the weapon of choice for
dwarves - being Urtengor's own
weapon -, the
Kurakim are especially proficient
with them, as are many Erpheronian
warriors who are more thick set than their kinsmen.
Fighting Style. Great Mauls are more cumbersome than most weapons, if not the most, but they can still pack a powerful punch, especially against multiple enemies. When facing more than one foe, the wielder swings the maul as hard as they can from side to side, keeping them from getting close enough to attack. The long shaft is what allows this to happen, and so we come to one of the greatest assets of the Maul; the reach. Sometimes this tactic can be used against a single enemy, but more often the user of the maul will lift it to head height and bring it crashing down, before lifting it and quickly repeating the process, until their adversary makes a mistake. They are able to do this for long periods of time having had to train for long hours in order to be able to access the upper body strength essential to use this weapon.
Great Mauls are not the weapon of choice for most warriors. They are too heavy and unwieldy, leaving only those with immense strength able to use them efficiently.
Origin/History. The true origins of the Great Maul are lost in the mists of time, but an Erpheronian legend common in the area around Voldar tells of a time, during the Battle of Four Swords, when a farm blacksmith, by the name of Sydus Goth, roused to the defense of his farmstead, led the counter-attack against the orcs wielding his sledgehammer. His awesome muscles and familiarity with the balance and use of the tool allowed him to use it to devastating effect and the orcs were routed. After the battle, Sydus realised just how formidable a weapon he carried and set about enlarging the head and studding it with nails in case of another orc attack. The legend goes that a mere three hours after the completion of the transformation of the hammer from tool to weapon a larger orc force attacked the farmstead, but were once again defeated by the simple peasant folk, emboldened by the sight of Sydus' devastating hammer. Similar legends exist across the length and breadth of the disc of Caelereth.
One of the Compendium experts on dwarves, Bard Judith, provided the following explanation: The dwarves of Northern Sarvonia, who have been using hammers as their warweapons for literally thousands of years, claim that the Great Maul originated with their tribe back in the dawn of their history. In the colder wastes of the North where forge hammers and sledge hammers rang day and night under the icy rocks to carve out their living caverns, and where axes were rarely used due to the dearth of large trees, slowly the hammer became their symbol. The tool of choice, it would have come readily to hand if icewolves attacked or a wandering band of orcs encountered a work party of dwarves... and so, simply and easily, the dwarves hammer took on its fighting connotations. The handle was lengthened, the striking face made more convex, and the shaft given inset rings so that the weapon could be slung on a strap across the back. By the time humans encountered the northern Thergerim, the hammer was already an omnipresent part of their aboveground attire, as unremarkable as the eating knife or nailstudded rock boots... but a novelty to the human tribes, who seized on this simple but practical tool and adapted it for their own physique and fighting style.
How the use of the Great Maul spread is unknown, and there may have been many factors, but some things are for sure: this weapon, while primitive, can be devastating in battle and its use is still widespread.