"Striker" refers to two types of a simple R'unorian club. One is completely blunt with a hook for carrying it on the belt, while the other is quite lethal due to the spikes covering the head. A "true" Striker is studded with shards of razor sharp nor'sidian, so that a blow from the weapon both slices skin and bludgeons at the same time.
Picture description. A selection of R'unorian Swordclubs. Image by Seeker.
The average Striker is a simple
shaped club, which might vaguely resemble the leg of a table or chair. Roughly a
fore and two palmspans in
length, the base of this club is a wrapped in leather, and tapers outwards into
a rough ovoid, dotted evenly with
The club's handle is enlarged slightly at the bottom to allow the wielder to
better keep their grip. These are not typically issued for day to day use. When
Strikers are issued, for safety's sake they are kept in barrels to be
distributed, or else hung on racks in guardhouses.
Some lesser varieties of Strikers are distributed for the use of common guardsmen. R'unorian Imperial Law prevents any but those guards in the imperial employ to carry weapons larger than daggers capable of cutting or piercing the skin. These clubs may have a metal ring which makes it easier to break bones, or blunt metal studs instead of the sharp nor'sidian spikes found on "true" Strikers. Some very cunning individuals make triangular studs which, while pointed, are otherwise incapable of cutting or breaking skin, while still amplifying the pain of the blow. Because of their lack of spikes and the need for ease of use, these "Guards Strikers" often include a metal loop or hook with which one can secure them to the belt.
Regardless of accoutrements, a Striker is always a club of solid, hard wood, well varnished to protect it from the elements and blood, spittle or other bodily fluids.
True Strikers have not seen much use since the Imperial Conquest of
R'unor, but the less lethal variants are still
common among guards for banks and in the city watch. The
R'unorian military still trains recruits in
the proper use of a striker, but uses blunted weapons
for this purpose in sparring.
Fighting Style. A Striker is a simple weapon to use. With a one-handed grip, the wielder swings the club towards their target, taking care not to overextend the wrist while doing so. When using a true Striker, blows are directed at fleshy sections of the target, particularly those not covered with armour. Aiming for the hands, face and back are all quite common.
With a blunt Striker, blows should be directed towards the limbs, particularly in the forearms, wrist or shoulder with the intent to incapacitate. Attacks to may also be aimed towards the stomach and back with the intent to force the air out of the lungs. It should be noted that the design of a Guard's Striker is not meant to kill, in compliance with R'unorian law, but rather to make it very difficult to continue to run away.
Origin/History. The Striker's origin likely lies with the orcs of R'unor, older examples of orcish Strikers feature less regular spiking, and some exemplars are a narrower club with a spike filled groove intended to rip and tear flesh much like a sword would. It is unknown when the human tribes of R'unor adopted the Striker for their own, records of the R'unorian Conquest detail Striker drills and the weapon was among the most feared in the arsenal of the burgeoning kingdom. R'unor's mineral resources are rich, but they are short in proper iron ore. R'unorian iron is often too brittleto form a large blade, and nor'sidian has proven to be a boon in creating replacements to this.
When R'unor was unified one of the first Imperial Laws passed by the newly minted empress was to ban the possession of many lethal weapons, including the Striker, in part because the metal was required for other uses, and to keep certain unscrupulous individuals from arming their own private guards with such weapons.
Not content with mere clubs, guards replaced the sharp spikes on their Strikers with any number of things, including metal studs. One variation of the Striker is coated with dye before patrolling, so that any individual is marked upon being struck, though this did not catch on.