An ornate dagger originating from the Zarathian tribe of Aeruillin, this weapon's popularity has spread around the continent, along the numerous trading routes of the Zarathians. While it shares the same cultural significance as the Cholian sparth, this weapon is adapted to fit the Zarathian lifestyle. The weapon, recognized for its perfection, is also bought for use by those outside the tribe, primarily for thieves and assassins as it is of the highest quality, slow to dull and contains elaborate inlays.

The Zarathian Dagger
View picture in full size Image description. An exemplar of beautiful ornate weapon known throughout the world simply as a "Zarathian", based on the tribe it originates from. Picture drawn by Seeker.

Description. This dagger is awarded to a child on its fourteenth birthday, marking its passing to a full member of the tribe with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of an adult. No matter the affluence of the wielder, it is always extravagant, though not to the point of being gaudy or unusable. The blade resembles that of the person's last dagger, however it is engraved, usually with pictures describing the person or a family crest.

The handle of the dagger is as extravagant as the blade. Though it is usually made of an expensive metal, common features such as the addition of precious stones are not used as they make the
weapon unwieldy. The handle is commonly engraved with a family crest at its center, surrounded by intricate designs.

Zarathian Dagger is almost always worn in an equally as extravagant sheath seated on the wielder's hip allowing for easy access because they are often kept very sharp and are used quite frequently.

The size of the dagger varies, however on average, they are kept pretty small. The weight of the dagger varies slightly in each gender, however men's daggers are considerably heavier than those of women.

Basically there are two kinds of daggers to distinguish:

Usage. Zarathian Daggers are used in a traditional way by the Zarathians themselves of course, but it is also a weapon other tribes of Aeruillin utilize:

Fighting Style. Fighting techniques with the Zarathian Dagger are usually taught to children starting at the age of eight. The method taught encompasses all the uses of the dagger, showing children how to use both the element of surprise along with agility and strength. Seeing the misleading weapon "magically" appear in the hand of a Zarathian often startles the opponent, providing ample time for the wielder to dart in with the blade before the enemy has time to protect himself.

If this should fail, the Zarathian is then forced to square off with the enemy and fight in a normal duel. Seeing as the weapon is so small, dealing as much damage as possible per blow is evident as it takes much more effort to reach the enemy. Children are taught the locations of vital organs and weak spots along the chest, back, shoulders and legs. However, despite the deadly effect of each blow, the children are taught to treat combat as a dance, twirling and leaping past blows while darting in and out with the dagger, a feat that requires lots of practice. Also, along with this dexterity, the Zarathian is forced to provide considerable force behind each blow to make it more powerful, adding to the complexity of the dagger's use. Despite the main focus on combat, these classes also encompass the practicality of the tribe. Between breaks in combat training the children are taught more basic uses of the dagger, such as how to effectively use it to cut rope or butcher meat. Return to the top

Origin/History. After the dagger made its way into the hands of the Zarathian men, it began to evolve to fit their lifestyle. Seeing as the Zarathians are a trading people, they needed a way to protect themselves and their wares without adopting an intimidating appearance which would lower their sales. This led to the daggers found among the Zarathian tribe to become more efficient as time progressed and its popularity grew until eventually, almost everyone had a version of the customized dagger.

After many generations of popularity, the weapon began to integrate itself into Zarathian culture. Schools were opened to teach children how to use the weapon effectively. It also came to represent adulthood in the tribe. Once a child had completed their training, they would be awarded a dagger by their parents, showing that they could efficiently protect themselves and no longer needed to depend upon their parents for survival. The daggers that marked a child’s right of passage were extravagant, usually taking weeks to complete. The daggers were engraved and personalized, based upon the child’s interests and its heritage. Zarathians could tell many personal things, such as hobbies and beliefs just by reading the symbols engraved along the blade’s surface. These adult daggers became so important that they became used as a compliment. For example, during business transactions, compliments of the opposing party’s dagger were used as flattery in order to achieve a more favourable bargain.

Seeing as the dagger played a significant role in the Zarathian culture, outsiders soon became curious as to what the beautiful daggers represented. After much debate, the general populace came to the conclusion that the daggers represented wealth. Seeking to show their own wealth, the popularity of the dagger drastically increased as nobles and peasants alike bought their own to flaunt their wealth to the general populace. This caused a boom in the expansion rate of the daggers, causing their popularity to fan out from primary trade routes by word of mouth until it encompassed most of the continent, sending many wealthy families journeying to Shan'Zarathan.
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 Date of last edit 10th Frozen Rivers 1666 a.S.

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