A primer on arms

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by Martin

Martin was, for most of his life, the Weaponsmaster of Serpent’s Hold, until his death at 92, of an overgrown bunion.

These are the basic element to consider in assessing a weapon of which all warrior who regard themselves as more than mere mercenaries should be aware. First and most obvious is the amount of damage that the weapon may do against unprotected flesh. While ’tis this that first attracts the attention of the novice, ’tis a deadly mistake to regard it as the sole value of a weapon. While it may prove devastating indeed as a means of causing damage, a weapon must also serve as stout shield when engaged in combat.

Hence the second issue to which to pay attention is the amount of protection that a weapon may offer. Pay close attention to the guard on it, if it be a blade, or the stoutness of it’s wood if it is a polearm. Oft related to this is the wait of a weapon, for a heavy weapon is more difficult to maneuver to block with, though it may do more damage to they opponent. If a weapon is too heavy for the wielder to move it freely, they should choose another and not attempt to prove their prowess by the size of their sword.

The reach of the weapon both increase its defensive ability, and renders it more useful in open spaces as it allows attack against the opponent without the need to close. But be aware of the limitations of thy weapon! For a weapon with great reach may be useless in close quarter, for lack of space to maneuver it. Should that dagger-wielding enemy close on thee and they halberd, ’tis best to flee.

Lastly, a factor that must always be considered is the condition of the weapon. It might be a wondrous magical blade of surpassing sharpness and it may leap to block blows with a mind of its own. It also might be of such flimsy construction, or damaged to such an extent, that the first time it clangs against steel, ’twill shatter into useless shards. Seek ye a good blacksmith should they weapon become damaged, but be aware that their ministrations may simply make the matter worse.

While mages of some ability oft create magical weapons which enhance skill, are preternaturally sharp, or incinerate the enemy as they fall, to mind the greatest gift that they can grant a stout sword is to make it resistant to damage, for they own skill can make up the difference. Except for the fireball, but if the corpse is charred, then so will be the possessions, which maketh looting difficult!


Last modified: May 14, 2011

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