The Swift Shield is a rather simple and small hexagonal kind of shield made out primarily of wood. It was invented by the Kanapans, particularly the Beireo tribe, and was meant as a protection for agile warriors in order to fend off attacks and be able to swiftly launch a counter blow. Its lightness also makes it also the ideal protection for untrained warriors in case of need, be it females, youth or even children. Even though not even the enhanced version of the shield has a durability worth mentioning compared to metal shields, the Swift Shield is very well spread in Kanapan lands and requires a perfect warrior to use it properly.
Description. The Swift Shield is one of the most unusual shields found in Sarvonia. It is hexagonal in shape probably for good luck according to the religious beliefs of the Beireo tribe, a branch of the Kanapans who created it. The shield is very small, only two fores long and two fores wide, quite minuscule for a shield, and only weighs four ods. This makes it ideal for a swift defense and explains that it is preferred by females. Most of these shields are made out of very strong and stiff wood which is carved by Beireo men.
In the middle of the shield a hexagonal wood bump is carved in the center of the shield to absorb shock, and some will add a sharp metal spike to stab with for an offensive addition. The smith that carves the shield will use the strongest wood available because of the massive shock inflicted when a sword hits it. Plus, to try to extend the shield's durability even more, metal plating is added on to the border of the shield and the small hexagonal bump in the middle. To top all this off hide is added on the shield to pad the blows that are inflicted, but even with all this it may take just fifty blows to break a properly made Swift Shield. Then to beautify it (mostly for ceremonial purposes, though), a picture is painted on it showing the immense Black Bull Lorfurno, the Kanapan god. It is held by a leather strap nailed to the back of it and is worn on the wrist.
Usage. The main usage of these shields is to block swords. Specifically short swords because if an axe or hammer hits the shield it would splinter and it is no use against arrows because it is too small. But if a short sword hits it the wielder should be able to easily block it while at the same time be agile enough to launch a counter attack. This is the reason why a Swift Shiled used against armies that commonly use short swords. Most people who use these shields are only lightly armoured and swift for this shield to properly work must be moved quickly because of the small size. This is definitely no helpful protection for a very heavily armoured wielder as swiftness is required to operate the shield properly - key is not primarily to fend off attacks, but also not to be encumbered too much with the protection. The shield is usually strapped on the wrist and worn so the wielder has an extra hand. Naturally the shield doesn't have a long life because of the style of blocking that is used. Most wielders block by holding it at their chest and when the opponent swings his sword the wielder quickly knocks back the sword blow and attacks while the enemy is still recovering. A Swift Shield might be used in training for the inexperienced, nevertheless in battle only true master warriors should wield it.
Origin/History. During the Era of Sundering around 10.000 b.S. the shadow elves were threatening Kanapan border land. The Kanapans were battling with the shadow elves but just didn't seem to be winning - they needed a secret weapon. A young boy about fourteen was forced to go into battle without a shield. He was very exposed without one so he made one. Crafted from a square piece of wood he chopped six sides, for luck, with his hatchet. He then nailed hides to the front, and made a handhold of a piece of cloth. When he was charged by a shadow elf he quickly swung the shield and knocked the sword out of his opponent's hand. The shadow elf being very surprised gave the boy some time. In that time he heaved his axe into the elf's gut. Other men seeing this started to make similar shields and after a hard earned victory they modified it and it was widely spread from then on in the tribe of Beireo. The Beireo wanted to keep the shield secret, to have advantages over potential enemies. So they did not sell it and wouldn't let Kanapan merchants sell it. Since then this shield has widely been used by Kanapans.