THE QUARTERSTAFF POLEARM

DESCRIPTION - USAGE - FIGHTING STYLE - ORIGIN/HISTORY

The Quarterstaff is one of the most common, less-than-lethal weapons found in Caelereth. Consisting of a single piece of hardwood, usually birch or oak that has been sanded down to remove imperfection and to make the surface smooth, the Quarterstaff is most frequently used by the common traveler and martial weapon wielders. It is can range in length anywhere in size from slightly over a ped to five peds, one fore and in diameter it is either one or two nailsbreadths. Because of its shape, it is more difficult to kill an opponent; however anyone trained in the use of the weapon is able to bring death, given a slightly longer amount of time. However, most users of this weapon prefer to incapitate their enemy by knocking him or her unconscious or through painful bruises to various body parts.

The weapon is used with two hands though their positioning varies based upon the unique style in which the wielder utilizes it. Most trained users prefer to keep both hands towards the middle of the staff, while less trained ones may put one or both hands at the base to provide more leverage.

Description. The weapon category of the Quarterstaff can be broken down further into three smaller sub-sections. Differences between these various groupings occur mainly in size and, in some cases, usage. Each type is beneficial for a certain purpose or group of people.

All Quarterstaffs, regardless of location or type, are made completely of hardwood, sanded until all imperfections have been removed; it is smooth to the touch and is equally weighted throughout. Almost any hardwood can be used, causing many variations of the Quarterstaff to be created based upon the location at which the weapon was manufactured. Common woods include, Arne'pheran, ashwude, baych, all types of oak, and maple. This large variety of woods leads to many colourings.

The creation of the Quarterstaff is very simple in comparison to the grueling forging process required to make
weapons consisting primarily of metal. While with metallic weapons extensive periods of time are spent creating even the most basic weapon, this staff requires minimal effort. While technically any straight stick picked up from the side of the road can be considered a Quarterstaff, the "standard form" of the weapon requires a slight amount of work to reach completion. After a straight, dry piece of wood is found, the process of creating the Quarterstaff commences. The stick must be tested to see if it is strong enough to act as a weapon and to see if it has the correct thickness so that it is not unwieldy or fragile. The bark surrounding the stick must be peeled off to expose the wood on the inside. This wood must then be sanded using a rough object, such as Arvin’s cedar leaves to remove knots in the wood, provide a smooth surface and make it equally weighted throughout for balance. Finishings, such as the fat of an inja goat, can be used to make the weapon waterproof and prevent rotting.

Because of the Quarterstaff’s less-than-lethal status, users looking for a more deadly
weapon have developed various attachments that can be added to the basic Quarterstaff to make it more dangerous. The most common of these attachments is known as a "cap". Caps are made completely of metal and fit over the ends of the staff, causing it to deal more damage when hitting an opponent. These extensions can be fashioned with either a spike or a blunt tip depending upon the manner in which the owner uses the staff. However, despite the extra damage caused by these caps, they create some disadvantages which prevent the weapon from reaching its fullest potential. The caps limit the way in which a person can fight using the weapon. While normally the wielder can switch between using the weapon like a pole arm or a club, with a cap, the user may only use one form of combat effectively. Also, the extra weight added by the caps fastened to the ends of the weapon throws off the balance that is treasured in the Quarterstaff, making it more difficult to execute complicated maneuvers successfully. The larger the caps, the higher the toll they take on the overall balance of the weapon. Return to the top

Usage. Because of its varying sizes, the Quarterstaff is an optimal weapon for all races throughout Caelereth regardless of size. However, unlike many other common weapons, such as the sword or the spear, it is not frequently used by soldiers, mercenaries and other professional fighters. This lack of use probably derives from the belief that it is much more difficult to use with any skill because of its unique fighting style as well as its inability to kill quickly, rendering it ineffective as an offensive weapon. Instead, this weapon is most commonly used by travelers for defense because it not only serves as a means of defense, but easily doubles as a walking staff. It is effective in fighting off the crude battle tactics of thieves and bandits found while journeying from place to place. This weapon is also used for sport by some nobles as even leather armour absorbs most blows received from the weapon.

The Quarterstaff’s use has spread all over the world, however, depending upon the area’s location, the popularity of the staff varies. Most staves are found on the continent of Sarvonia as well as in northern Nybelmar. This is because most of the location in which hardwood is present are located in these two continents. Primary locations from which hardwood is exported are the provinces of Manthria, Sanguia, Vardýnn, Xaramon, Nemeran as well as Northern Nybelmar, in Northern Sarvonia the Shaded Forest, the Shadowlands, Themd’lon, the Hovel Frond Forest, the Wounds of Sylvan, the Forests of Cahm, the Stonefields of Peat, the Yllon Wood, the Wilshire Heath and the Heath of Wideron.
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Fighting Style. A series of thrusts, sweeps, blocks and strikes to the knees, eyes, groin, shins, throat and temples is how the Quarterstaff is most commonly used in combat. Difficult maneuvers combining all of these aspects are often executed for the best success. Years of training and practice are the only two tools by which a person can master the elegant combat of the Quarterstaff.

However, not all have the patience or time to learn these difficult maneuvers. Instead, they use the Quarterstaff in other less difficult ways. The first of the alternative methods is to use the staff as a club to bludgeon your opponent. Despite its balanced wait, the Quarterstaff works effectively in this manner, especially with a cap. The weapon is grasped at one end with both hands and is swung as one would an axe. While it is not as effective as a club or other blunt weapons, it is a decent substitute.

The weapon can also be used as a polearm, such as a spear. This method is most effective with a spiked cap as well as against other staves, blunt weapons, axes and large swords. In this method, two hands are used to grasp the shaft, one at the base and on in the middle. The weapon is then thrust forward. It is optimal for darting around clumsier weapons and is very effective when using the longest version of the staff. Return to the top


Origin/History. As one may have guessed, the history of the quarterstaff dates back to when a traveler whom has picked up a stick from the side of the road to aid him in his journey, successfully managed to defend himself from an attack by bandits using his walking staff. As this tale spread, so did the popularity of the quarterstaff among hermits, wanderers and other travelers. Because of the way in which it was fashioned, it was soon realized that the weapon was optimal for sport. Little padding was required to cushion the blows and a person who could use the weapon skillfully had to be very talented.

However, despite its fame, the weapon went without a name for many year. One day a lone traveler, carrying the currently nameless quarterstaff overpowered a small group of bandits. The bandits, stripped of their weapons, begged for quarter or mercy and, much to the dismay of the traveler, he granted it because of his inability to kill his opponents using the weapon. Thus the weapon was named the staff of quarter or quarterstaff.
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 Date of last edit 2nd Burning Heavens 1666 a.S.

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