THE R'UNORIAN COMMONER'S DAGGER ("R'UNORIAN")

DESCRIPTION - USAGE - FIGHTING STYLE - ORIGIN/HISTORY - COMPENDIUMIST'S NOTE

The R'unorian Commoner's Dagger, or simply the "R'unorian", is the most commonly found weapon amongst all of the various tribes of the R'unorian Men, used equally by men and women and rarely can a R'unorian be found without at least one of these blades.

The R'unorians Commoner's Dagger

View picture in full size Picture description. An example of a tyical dagger worn by R'unorian Commoners. Image by Seeker.

Description. The R'unorian Commoner's Dagger is a weapon of relatively simple and utilitarian construction. The blade of the dagger is almost uniformly of two palmspans in length, slightly curved and tapers to a point. The guard of the weapon is very narrow, and serves merely to keep the hand from slipping down the blade, rather than any defensive purpose. The pommel is of equal width to the guard, and longer than one might expect, most often forming a half-moon shape. The handle of the dagger is wrapped in dark leather. The manner in which the blade should be wielded is apparent after a short inspection. The edge closer to the wielder is longer than that of the outside edge. Indeed, half of the outside edge is blunt, meant to be used to guard rather than to attack, while the inside edge is kept long for cutting throats. It is also very uncommon that the blade is not "blacked", covered in a dark, slick oil to keep it from shining or making noise as it is drawn. Sheaths for the weapon are not ornamental, and usually of functional, blacked leather. Return to the top

Usage. The R'unorian Commoner's Dagger is ubiquitous among the various tribes of R'unor and scarcely anyone can be found without one or more of the weapons. It is a utilitarian weapon, designed to be carried frequently and to be easily used to attack or defend. The R'unorian Commoner's Dagger often finds use in less than savoury business, as well as in formal disputes between individuals. Unlike other knives, the R'unorian Dagger has no secondary purpose. If it is a tool, it is a tool of battle and nothing else. Return to the top

Fighting Style. The R'unorian Commoner's Dagger is designed to be held in one of two ways. Backhanded or underhanded with the point down, intended for stabbing downwards or cutting with the front, or forehand or abovehand, held with the point up intended to stab up or cut with the back of the blade. For this reason the dagger is often carried in pairs and is fought with one dagger set in either position. While both forms are equally capable of attacking, the forehanded method is better suited to attack an opponent who is aware of the dagger, while the backhanded is better suited to guard against attacks and stab someone who is not aware of the weapon. The weapons can be held with both in the same position but this is not common and considered ill-advised at best. Return to the top

Origin/History. Each of the R'unorian tribes has their own claim on the invention of the weapon, leading some scholars to believe that the current design of the weapon may be the result of a gradual melding and improvement upon several distinct designs that have created a unique whole. The basics of these tales are all the same, though various details change between tribes and individual telling of the tales.

The Blaark'r tell a story they call "The Old Sage's Teaching":

The Old Sage's Teaching. In the far off days of the past, a simple man, walking down the road, encountered an old man walking in the same direction. The simple man had been sent on an errand for his wife, which he was loathe to do. The old man suggested the two walk together, for the roads were not as safe as they had once been.

The simple man spoke with the old man at length of his trouble.

"My wife is the younger of two sisters. When their parents died, her older sister earned much wealth, and we remained poor."

Now, it so happened that the old man was a cunning sage, of some skill and learning. He paused, and indicated a great heron, wading in the shallows of the river as it speared fish with its beak.

"That bird is clever. You see how its beak is pointed, how it stalks the fish in the water, and strikes at them from where they cannot see? Better to be like the heron than like a man."

The simple man was puzzled by this declaration and he continued to walk with the old man since they were going in the same direction, and as they walked they passed by a heard of deer, and the old man pointed to a pair of stags, fighting.

"See how the deer is clever? They have two horns instead of simply one. See how their antlers branch to stop the other from reaching them? But they have no edge and they are not pointed. They cannot kill with them. Still, better to be like the deer than like a man."

The simple man was still more puzzled by the old man's observations, but continued walking.

As they walked on, the simple man spied a hawk, hunting for food in the grasses, high over head and so he asked the old man

"And the hawk? How is it clever?"

The old man responded

"Consider the talons of the hawk, consider its eyes and its beak. From upon high it can see the movement of the smallest mouse. The talons are short have points to pierce flesh and rend flesh. See how its fourth toe curves the other way, to hold like a thumb? See how the hard beak has an edge on the inside to cut its food? Truly, the hawk is clever. Better to be a hawk than a simpering man."

And the simple man and the old man parted ways. Now, the foolish man was not clever, but he knew of a blacksmith who was, and when he came to complete his errand, he spoke with the blacksmith at length of this strange old man and what he had said.

"I have no beak to stab with, nor antlers to guard, nor beak or talons to cut. Make me a weapon then, my friend, that is clever like the heron and the deer and the hawk."

The blacksmith was not a foolish man, nor was he wise. And so he asked his wife how he should make such a clever weapon. And the wife told her husband, the blacksmith, of how he should make a blade, sharp like the talons of a hawk, and curved like its beak. How it should be blunt, like the antlers of the dear in some places, and pointed like beak of the heron. And how he should make two of these knives, since the deer had two antlers, and the hawk two sets of talons. And the blacksmith forged a pair of daggers which he gave to the foolish man.

The simple man and his wife invited the sister and her husband to eat with them. And while they were not looking and their backs were turned, the simple man stabbed them with his daggers.

Compendiumist's Note. It is important to recognize that holding a hand on one's dagger when meeting someone that the wielder is unfamiliar with should not be taken as a hostile or threatening gesture. R'unorian culture is an inherently cautious one, and not doing so is either regarded as a sign that the other party is foolhardy or merely stupid. The length of this gesture is determined by how comfortable one is with the other person. Return to the top

 Date of last edit 24th Changing Winds 1670 a.S.

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