THE SWORDS OF CAELERETH

DESCRIPTION - WEAPON TYPES - USAGE - FIGHTING STYLE - ORIGIN/HISTORY

The Sword, a long piece of metal with one or two sharp edges, is virtually synonymous with the word ‘weapon’. As the most commonly depicted of any weapon in the world, the sword has taken on an almost religious significance to many cultures. It is sometimes known as "Highborn Steel" (due to its prevalence among knights and nobles) and the "Hand of Armeros". Despite most weapons, like the mace or axe, being in significantly more use (and oftentimes more combat effective), the Sword remains the most popular weapon in all of Caelereth.

A Knight of the Flame

View picture in full size Picture description: A Knight of the Flame presenting his Long Sword. Pic drawn by Quellion.

Description. Swords are generally made up of two parts: the blade, and the hilt. The most common depictions of Swords show a cross shape, with a long blade topped with a horizontal cross-guard, followed by the grip. Despite this, however, swords can come in all shapes and sizes, and, in fact, some are even made solely for decorative purposes.

Weapon Types. The following Sword types represent the basic broad categories that Swords fall under, separated into one-handed Swords, hand’n’half Swords, and two-handed Swords.

The Erpheronian Broadsword ("Ephord")

ONE-HANDED SWORDS, THE
Probably the first thing to pop into the mind when thinking of a 'Sword', One-Handed Swords are the most common type of Sword in the world. A cutting and/or thrusting weapon, One-Handed Swords have a nearly infinite range of styles and variations. All Swords have a blade and a hilt; most hilts feature a guard, a grip, and a pommel. From the falchion to the Helcrani shortSword to even the Erpheronian broadSword and everything in between, this weapon sees variants in almost every culture worldwide. One-Handed Swords are also known colloquially by many names, a few of which are the shortSword, arming Sword, war Sword, or even the elvish term "cár'scál".
 

The Khrumm Scimitar

HAND'N'HALF SWORDS, THE
Hand-and-Half Swords are any Sword that can be wielded with either one or both hands. Born to combat dwarven plate in the Age of Blood, Hand-and-Half Swords are often cut-and-thrust type weapons. They are very popular anywhere plate is commonly used due to their versatility. The ability to thrust into the joints or other openings in plate through any underlying mail and being able to cut through mail and any lesser armours makes the Hand-and-Half Swords a dangerous and popular weapon. Colloquially, the Hand-and-Half Sword can also be known as the "LongSword", "Bastard Sword", "chó'scál" in Styrásh or many other names.
 

TWO-HANDED SWORDS, THE
Far and away the largest of the Swords, Two-Handers can be nearly as tall as a grown human male. This type of Sword often came into war-time usage to defeat lines of spearmen and for shock troopers, capable of cleaving entire limbs off, if unarmoured. From the Korweynite Claymore to the Whirlwind, Two-Handers are often spoken of with a hushed respect, as their sheer size makes using them require special training. Properly trained, however, a warrior wielding such a weapon can strike faster and harder than the blade's size would suggest. Two-Handed Swords in the world come in various styles, and with various names. The term "great Sword" or Styrash "estár'scál" can also be used to refer to Two-Handed Swords.

Two-Handed Swords are often seen as simply massive Swords that are too slow to be effectively wielded. On the contrary, they’re some of the most efficient Swords, their size and weight making them capable of cleaving plate and instilling fear in others. The Two-Handed Swords came into popular wartime usage when plate armour was developed and cavalry was being stopped by pikemen. The men wielding greatSwords would charge into a unit of pikemen and lop the heads off the pikes, then proceed to shatter the line so the cavalry could charge in. Off the battlefield, the Two-Handed Swords became popular due to their reach and the ability to half-hand the weapon, shifting it from a slashing to a thrusting weapon and back.
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Usages. Swords are primarily designed for combat against unarmoured or lightly armoured enemies. Perhaps more importantly, however, Swords are a symbol. Due to being explicitly designed for war (unlike axes and maces, which have their origin in tools), Swords are seen as the pre-eminent weapon of any military-minded individual, despite the fact that other weapons are often just as, if not more effective. Swords are frequently used to represent strength and pride, or culture and religion. The Sword is seen as the symbol of Armeros, God of War, and on many coats of arms, such as the Forsaken Blade of the Remusians, or even the cloth-wrapped Sword of the Caltharians, signifying their turn away from war.

In addition, Swords are seen as symbols of nobility, as a Sword is not only more expensive in and of itself, but it is frequently decorated with a variety of designs and flourishes. In fact, many nobles, who have never otherwise touched a weapon in their life, let alone know how to wield one, wear Swords as a symbol of wealth and status. With the invention of rapiers, they have even become a sport, where individuals train in fencing not for the prospect of going to war, but simply for fun and exercise.
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Fighting Style. There are many divergent fighting styles among Sword users, and just as many Sword variations built for these specific styles. Rapiers and scimitars are smooth, elegant weapons, with their wielders almost dancing around the field as they look for opportune moments to strike, while at the same time parrying in a manner that causes the opponent to lose their footing and give them the upper hand, rather than just to block the blow.

Other Sword styles, such as Erpheronian Fencing, concentrate on forming a stable defense through offense, maintaining strong footwork as they slowly but surely press their advantage against their opponent. The energy of a blocked blow is forced back against the attacker, then immediately followed up with a strong counterattack while the enemy’s defense is open.

Swords are generally swung from the hip, rather than the arms. The legs are often seen as the most important limb for close quarters combat, rather than the arms, and Kasumarii warriors often say that one draws energy up from the earth with each step. They always start each strike with a stomp against the ground to generate energy into their blows, and step backwards with each parry to force the enemy to slide down and away from their blade.

The blade is also not the only important weaponry of the Sword. The pommel is often used as a mace, following up a Sword strike with a quick turn of the wrists and a redirection of energy into a blunt thrust. The point can be turned into a spear, as the wielder grabs the sharp-grip and thrusts their weapon forwards as if they were wielding a polearm. Both of these techniques are often used to defeat plate-wearers, who are virtually impervious to the actual edge of the Sword. Return to the top


Origin/History. It is believed that Swords originated among the ancient Kyranians during the years of the Kingdom of Towers, based on early edged weapons used by the elves near the end of the empire of Fá’áv’cál'âr, and spread from there to all other cultures across Santharia. Other theories believe that the Kyranians did not invent Swords, but were pivotal in spreading their popularity to other kingdoms. Other lands, such as Nybelmar, also eventually developed their own versions of the Sword.

The early Swords were simple sidearms, used mainly to support polearms or axes and maces. With the advance of forging techniques, allowing for the creation of much more combat-worthy Swords, they become much more widespread. Being excellent against light armour, Swords were continually improved through the ages. Only recently has the popularity of the Sword began diminishing, due to the advent of platemail, which is all but impervious to edged Sword strikes. As platemail remains rare, however, Swords continue to remain popular weapons throughout Caelereth.
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 Date of last edit 13th Frozen Rivers 1669 a.S.

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