THE SPEARS OF CAELERETH (JAVELIN AND PIKE)

DESCRIPTION - USAGE - FIGHTING STYLE - ORIGIN/HISTORY

The Spear (also called Javelin or Pike in its different varieties) is the simplest, yet most often used pole weapon, known to almost all tribes and races throughout the vast world of Caelereth. It developed from a long, sturdy sharpened stick into a more advanced weapon by adding simple metal tips at the end, sometimes even further improved with a special, even deadlier design or by applying poison. The Spear can either be thrown or used as a melee weapon and is a great tool for hunting larger beasts in groups, and has its purpose in war mainly to lift riders from their horses.

Jhadwich the Demonslayer
View picture in full size Image description. Scene of the tale of Jhadwich the Demonslayer, who is said to have terminated an efér demon with an enchanted spear. Picture from the game Mystical Empire™, used with friendly permission. Illustration by Faugar.

Description. A spear is a long polearm that is sharp at the end. In its most simplistic form it is a sharpened stick. It normally is a sturdy pole of wood with a sharp metal tip. Spears can either be used as a missile weapon or a melee weapon.

A Spear made from the wood of a black birch tree, ranks among the best of Spears. Black birch wood is highly coveted, due to its durability and beauty. Yet it is quite difficult finding a tree that is suitable. The tree cannot have knots and must be big enough, which is a very hard task when dealing with these trees. Even if a suitable tree is found, the wood must be treated, cut, and sanded correctly.

In place of the elite black birch wood, normally comes oak. Oak is commonly found and easy to treat, so it is often the preferred choice when making such a weapon. Although if one is unable to acquire oak, wood from the urban or maple tree will be a marginal substitute for the shaft.
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Usage. Spears are widely used in all of Caelereth at very different cultures, races and tribes, not only as a weapon of war, but it is also a very effective hunting tool. Here are a few examples of how different tribes of various continents adapted and use Spears:

A Cholian Fishing Woman
View picture in full size Image description. A Cholian fishing woman having caught a jackécha fish with the Sparth, a special Aeruillin version of a Spear. Illustration drawn  by Faugar.

Fighting Style. Learning to throw a Javelin is a hard task, requiring many long hours of practice. To hold a Javelin correctly means to hold it above or level with the head. In order to throw, the javelin is drawn back so it is held near the ear, and the thrower twists his or her body with it. With careful aim, the Javelin is thrown at the desired target.

One great disadvantage of this weapon is that it can only be thrown once. The thrower must go and retrieve the Spear every time, leaving them open to attack. For this reason the thrower normally carries a short sword or dagger with them as a secondary weapon, or is accompanied by others with the same weapon to outweigh this disadvantage e.g. during a hunt.

When meant for melee purposes, the Spear is used in a much different manner. The Spear is normally held at waist level with two hands, for better handling. The Spear is then used to stab and jab the enemy. It can be used as a slashing weapon when in dire straits, but the Spear is designed as a piercing weapon instead of a slashing one, and thus one runs the risk of breaking the Spear.

The Pike was designed for use against horses. With a long Pike, attacking a horse or a rider is done with ease. A Pike allows the wielder to attack from a safe distance away, thus giving great advantage of keeping the enemy away out of their swords' reach. If a Pike formation is broken the weapons however become useless. The sides of the wielders are left defenseless and vulnerable; to help when such a situation arises, warriors often carry a small secondary weapon.

For practice the warriors play games. Most popular of the games is Capture the Wind; a traditional elven game known mainly in Southern Sarvonia. The variant of the traditional game is played to hone Javeliners’ skills with their weapons. The game is played much like the regular version is played, except that Javelins are used instead of arrows. For a beginner, the main form of practice takes place on a range with targets and hay bails. After one has mastered stationary targets the throwers go out and hunt. For those bearing Pikes, practice takes on a much different form.

There are very few ways in which a Pike bearer can practice. In response to this, a game was created. The Uneven Spar, is a game played between a horse rider and a Pike bearer. The object of the game is to knock the opponent down or off his or her horse. The Pike bearer has a long wooden pole that is rounded at the tip, a pretended Pike, and the horse rider has a small wooden pole, a pretended sword. The game is played in a circular ring, about 15 peds in diameter. On his or her horse, the rider charges at the pike bearer, signaling the start of the game. When either the Pike bearer falls down or when the horse rider is dismounted, the round is over. Usually the game is played in five or seven rounds. Return to the top


Origin/History. The origin of the Spear is difficult to pin down, as the
weapon in its basic form was obviously created independently by various cultures, just like other primitive weapons or tools, e.g. the club. In Southern Sarvonia, however, most believe that Arvins, the God of the Hunt, had given the Spear as a gift to the Children of the world, along with the bow, when he taught them to hunt in order to sustain themselves.

Even though the true origin is unclear, the history that follows the Spear tells us of many famous battles and remarkable encounters between man and beast where this
weapon played a crucuial role. One such story is the tale of Jhadwich the Demonslayer:

Jhadwich the Demonslayer. In the 19th century b.S., during the Age of Myths, the Caltharian squire Jhadwich is said to have slain the "Monster of the Goltherlon Forest" by using a self-fabricated spear. An evil demon, the efér demon, who had been summoned by a crazed magician, had not only killed its creator, but also several passer-bys. Eventually the demon even extinguished nearly a whole division of Caltharian warriors, who had tried to terminate the beast. It is said that the young squire's spear was made of the finest steel and wood, and that he sought the help of dwarven smiths to enchant the deadly tip. With it he pierced through the beasts unholy heart, and it is told that the enchanted iron melted when it got into contact with the demon's innards. The beast didn't die at once, but was unable to move and finally was extinguished through its own fire. The "glorious" Jhadwich unfortunately burnt to death as well after having dealt the deadly blow to his foe.

The great tale of the efér demon is still often told to children, to scare them from wandering off too far into the woods. Return to the top

Information provided by Lucius Helvil View Profile  and Ruil Mallister View Profile