THE HELCRANI SHORTSWORD

DESCRIPTION - USAGE - FIGHTING STYLE - ORIGIN/HISTORY

The Helcrani Shortsword is a one hand sword, approximately 60 nailsbreadths long (hilt not included). It is used by Helcrani warriors since the first half of the 7th century b.S. It is designed especially for making short, powerful thrusts. Several different designs were and are still made, but there are three primary kinds of the Helcrani Shortsword known as the “Erpheronian”, the “Paramer”, and the “Sting”. The Helcrani Shortword is frequently depicted in coats of arms of noble families and military units.

In times of war all units of the Fallen wear the same colors in wartime demonstrating a unity not often seen in a kingdom with that many tribes, domains and independant realms. It is said that there is a friendly rivalry between the Helcrani clans and the Fallen about

A Knight of the Fallen

View picture in full size Picture description. A Knight of the Fallen on the battlefield. Image drawn by Seeker.

Description. The Helcrani Shortsword is made of iron or steel and it is not uncommon to be made by other more durable materials also. The exact procedure to make a Helcrani Shortsword of iron and steel is kept secret among the Helcrani, who persistently do not share it with other tribes.

This weapon is straight and double-edged, with a V-shaped tip. The cross-section of the Helcrani Shortsword is typically a rhombus, providing the blade with good stability for stabbing. The blades are double-edged with a flat diamond cross-section, without grooves or fullers.

There are three main variants of the Helcrani Shortsword in use in the modern era.

The hilt of the Helcrani Shortsword is made of wood (maple usually), bone, or ivory, and the grooved grip is mostly hexagonal or octagonal in section. A thin brass plate is set into the bottom of the guard. Pommels are generally spherical or egg-shaped. It is favoured, mostly among assassins, to add a small blade, about 5 nailsbreadths long at the pommel. The guards are similarly round or oval in plan as seen from the bottom.

Scabbards are made of wood covered with thin leather. Those for Paramer and Erpheronian pattern swords are enclosed in a frame of fluted bronze or iron "gutters", with decorated plates on the front, or are completely sheathed in metal.

The sword hangs on the right side on a baldric approximately 2 nailsbreadths wide. Often, a single belt may hold both dagger and sword with or without a baldric.
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Usage. The Helcrani Shortsword was initially used during SW II by Helcrani serving as mercenaries with the Erpheronians. Its qualities were very soon recognised by the Helcrani, who used it with devastating effects against the elves in 769 b.S. at the Battle of Crow Hills, and it became their favourite sidearm. The Helcrani Swortsword is not very common among other armies, except as an expensive and prestigious sidearm carried by generals and nobles. It is so rare among the non-Helcrani, because it takes a special smithing technique to make it durable against modern armour. This technique has been held secret through the ages by the Helcrani smiths (mostly of dwarven origin), who make a great profit by selling such shortswords to foreigners.

It is accustomed among the Helcrani to give one such sword to the person that achieves full citizen status by bearing arms to protect the realm. The same ceremony is practised by the Centoraurians also, but they donate a Centoraurian Shortsword instead.

The Helcrani Shortswords are used both in battle as sidearms and in ceremonies as ornamental weapons. They are decorated often with precious stones and gold and are a token of prestige and wealth among the Santharians
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Fighting Style. This sword is designed especially for making short, powerful thrusts and use together with one of the two types of the Helcrani large shields, the round or the almond shaped. It is held with one hand and is well balanced.

Stabbing is also a very efficient technique, as stabbing wounds, especially in the abdominal area, are almost always deadly. However, the Helcrani Shortword is also an efficient cutting weapon, and this property is amply demonstrated by Onnes, son of Zaces of the Ahai in his chronicle of the Battle at Crow Hills in 769 b.S. whereby the Sanhorrhim soldiers were horrified to see the grievous wounds caused by the Helcrani blades.

An interesting fact is that the Helcrani hoplites mount the scabbard holding the shortsword on the right side, same as their sword hand, allowing a formation of soldiers to easily draw their swords without accidentally injuring soldiers to either side. Return to the top


Origin/History. The Helcrani Shortsword is based on a former Erpheronian design that was very soon abandoned, the Erpheronian "spatha". This sword was about 65 to almost 75 nailsbreadths long without the tang, and 3 to 5 nailsbreadths wide. Some blades were very subtly waisted, while others had parallel edges. The points varied from about 8 to 20 nailsbreadths, and the shoulders of the blade were sloped.

The person who invented the Helcrani Shortsword is Gladen, son of Remus of the Menegulans. The year of the invention is traditionally said to be 770 b.S., although some modern scholars estimate the invention between 773 to 769 b.S. Gladen was serving as a mercenary to the Erpheronians and very soon noticed the Erpheronian spatha. An evolved form of it was the Erpheronian type of the Helcrani Shortsword.

The Paramer design appeared sometime near 740 b.S. It is thicker and longer than the Erpheronian type and more durable also. It was immediately adored by the Helcrani and established as their favourite sidearm ever after. The Sting design was introduced in the first half of the 5th century b.S. It is a cheaper and a lighter substitute of the Paramer that specialises in thrusting.

The Helcrani Shortsword is one of the few examples of weapons that remained unspoiled by time. The Helcrani keep using it efficiently in battle for more than two millenia along with other types of sword. It is rightfully called the most lethal sword in Caelereth as it is legendary among the tribes for its devastating and deadly blows in battle
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 Date of last edit 2nd Changing Winds 1666 a.S.

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