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M Helsdon

Swords of Central Genertela

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These designs are illustrative but not definitive examples. Differences in size, weight and detailed design vary according to the requirements of the customer and the skills and patterns of individual smiths. The style of hilt also varies enormously, and many of the styles shown might appear in conjunction with other blades.

A: Pelorian sickle-swords. The examples shown vary from those almost indistinguishable from agricultural implements (though of much finer quality) through to Moonswords, khopesh and the form often described as a scimitar.

B: Examples of Kopis swords.

C: Examples of Doblian two-handed Rhomphaia.

D: Orlanthi leaf-shaped broadswords

E: Orlanthi long-leaf swords, also common in Esrolia.

F: Western broadswords.

The shorter swords are often carried as secondary weapons by Humakti and hoplites.

 

 

 

 

Edited by M Helsdon
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Thanks for this post, I think it's great that we are able to see the cultural variations with weapons, it really helps portray the different ethnic backgrounds of Glorantha. If this post is received half as well as the post on Orlanthi architectural styles, then this one could kick along for quite some time.

The swords you have posted here all look very 'ancient' to me. Would I be correct in saying that the Orlanthi swords are influenced from Mycenaean and Hellenic swords?

I also read somewhere earlier on this forum that Western swords used by the Malkioni may be based on bronze age east-asian swords, such as swords from the Warring States period of China, like this one for instance: 

 

7c388a4195d5393d29e1712dc5aecb33.jpg

Is that still correct?  

(My troupe will be playing along the New Coast and I want the Malkioni to be portrayed vaguely consistent with future published sources on Malkioni. As much as possible, in any case)

Edited by Mankcam

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If I recall, I have something like the rhomphiae also being in Umathela.

Yes - Theyalan swords are based on European Bronze and early Iron Age models. The classic "leaf-shaped" is the most common. 

And also yes, Western swords in Seshnela and Loskalm may be based on Warring States period swords.

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Cool, I understand it's too early to lock in any official ruling on the Malkioni, but at least I'm on the right path with using swords from the Warring States period.

I love these cultural idiosyncrasies that Glorantha has, its part of what sets it apart from many bog-stock fantasy worlds. 

Edited by Mankcam

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5 hours ago, Mankcam said:

The swords you have posted here all look very 'ancient' to me. Would I be correct in saying that the Orlanthi swords are influenced from Mycenaean and Hellenic swords?

The designs I used, based on the illustrations, are derived from Mycenaean, Classical Greek, and La Tène swords.

5 hours ago, Mankcam said:

I also read somewhere earlier on this forum that Western swords used by the Malkioni may be based on bronze age east-asian swords, such as swords from the Warring States period of China, like this one for instance: 

I used the Western culture illustration in the Guide as the pattern.

4 hours ago, Jeff said:

And also yes, Western swords in Seshnela and Loskalm may be based on Warring States period swords.

In that case, the next version may include a few more Western swords...

Edited by M Helsdon
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One of those little things that may be of importance in Glorantha: of these swords only the one at the bottom of the "d" examples has a prominent crossguard. But without crossguards, wouldn't swords lose their association with the Death Rune? Perhaps crossguards are more common in Glorantha than they were in the real world Bronze Age.

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58 minutes ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

One of those little things that may be of importance in Glorantha: of these swords only the one at the bottom of the "d" examples has a prominent crossguard. But without crossguards, wouldn't swords lose their association with the Death Rune? Perhaps crossguards are more common in Glorantha than they were in the real world Bronze Age.

An interesting point, but I attempted to use the canonical illustrations as my guide, not just terrestrial examples. It may be that like so many things, the common appearance of the Death Rune is of God Learner origin, reflecting primarily Western swords. For that matter, axes also embody the Death Rune, and a double-headed axe resembles the Death Rune, if you squint.

Almost all of the swords have a guard to prevent the hand slipping up the blade when thrusting as part of the hilt, but not an actual cross guard; these were a late development in terrestrial swords, with prominent quillons appearing as a feature of European swords around the 10th century. The Death Rune is a highly stylized sword, and so probably doesn't reflect any Mundane World sword (for that matter, it's very... blunt, lacking any sort of point).

So, basically, you may or may not be correct: I don't know.

 

Edited by M Helsdon

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1 hour ago, Tindalos said:

Are you considering compiling all your works into an "Arms, Armour, and Architecture of Glorantha" book?

Most are being used as illustrations in a text about Gloranthan warfare I am compiling for my own amusement.

Edited by M Helsdon
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32 minutes ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

BTW, what is the historical source of each group (assuming they where grouped by source)?

They aren't all grouped by terrestrial source.

A: some Gloranthan (TCS-based) sickle-swords, Thracian falx, Near Eastern khopesh, and scimitars and sabers.

B: Hellenic kopis and Iberian falcata.

C: Thracian rhomphaia.

D & E: a mixture of  Mycenaean, Hellenic, and La Tène swords.

F: no historical source - I didn't know that Western swords resemble Warring States period swords.

Basically, I worked through the Guide (especially using the illustrations by Jan Pospisil, Jeff Laubenstein and Dan Barker), The Coming Storm, Sartar: KoH, Pavis: GtA looking for recent artwork in which there were swords. Then I sketched out what I thought I could discern, looked at real world examples, and then started to draw the illustration above. Of all the groups, B is most heavily reliant upon historical sources, because I couldn't see any of these in any illustration, though kopis are referenced: http://www.glorantha.com/lunar-army-list/

Edited by M Helsdon
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I would definately buy a book titled 'Arms & Armour of Glorantha', it would be like having an Osprey book patricularly tailored to Glorantha!

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I used a Mindelheim cavalry sword as the model for the sword my character caries (learned swordsmanship with the Bison tribe). Those of you not familiar with www.bronze-age-swords.com, do yourselves a favor and check out Neil Burridge's amazing work.

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Bone and horn are used in the manufacture of weapons and armor, especially in metal-poor regions such as Prax. The Praxians use the spell Forge Bone to make weapons. These weapons are more fragile and do less damage than metal weapons but a bone blade or arrow head will often leave slivers in a wound.

 

Edited by M Helsdon
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Speaking of Forge Bone, I add post one that could be like one (third one) : http://basicroleplaying.org/topic/5092-runequest-2-rapiers/?do=findComment&comment=76722

On 11/09/2016 at 5:52 PM, MJ Sadique said:

...
If you are looking for Bronze age sword similar in use to rapier we could class the next one as the best choice of Mycenaean swords (here in steel).

Mycenaean_swords_recostruction.jpg

These one are really cools !

And I remember it, thanks to Iskallor ( You must give to Caesar the things which are Caesar's )...

On 12/09/2016 at 4:47 AM, Iskallor said:

The third sword in the picture is kinda how i imagine Praxian bone swords to look like.

 

Edited by MJ Sadique
deleting un-needed quote
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2 hours ago, MJ Sadique said:

Speaking of Forge Bone, I add post one that could be like one (third one) : http://basicroleplaying.org/topic/5092-runequest-2-rapiers/?do=findComment&comment=76722

And I remember it, thanks to Iskallor ( You must give to Caesar the things which are Caesar's )...

 


Which is very similar to the second bone sword down - but mine has a leather grip. Despite being strengthened by magic, boring a hole through a bone inevitably weakens it, and bone is likely to be smooth and so a leather grip is advisable.

Perhaps I need to rework that image...

 

Edited by M Helsdon

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Praxian bone swords would be of the slashing variety as they fight from their mounts. Like you say no holes drilled through them, unless done at the knobbly joints. 

Perhaps they only last a few seasons, then must be remade. I imagine braves having several in their saddlebags at any given time.

High Llama leg bones would be much sought after. 

Loving your work M Helsdon!

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On 26/12/2016 at 9:53 PM, M Helsdon said:

Bone and horn are used in the manufacture of weapons and armor, especially in metal-poor regions such as Prax. The Praxians use the spell Forge Bone to make weapons. These weapons are more fragile and do less damage than metal weapons but a bone blade or arrow head will often leave slivers in a wound.

praxian weapons.PNG

I have the idea that some Praxian swords have obsidian edging on one edge. Some will also be made of more than one bone, fused by magic. Rather than forge bone, fuse bone is more common, being a type of healing spell. Many bone swords are enchanted to strengthen them (or have a spirit within). These weapons are the purview of initiates, with metal being a prerequisite of khans. Lots of them are heirlooms or of ritual use. Athame style daggers with obsidian edges and a bone core are common amongst Eiritha initiates. Some have four edges and are carved from a large vertebra. 

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14 minutes ago, David Scott said:

I have the idea that some Praxian swords have obsidian edging on one edge. Some will also be made of more than one bone, fused by magic. Rather than forge bone, fuse bone is more common, being a type of healing spell. Many bone swords are enchanted to strengthen them (or have a spirit within). These weapons are the purview of initiates, with metal being a prerequisite of khans. Lots of them are heirlooms or of ritual use. Athame style daggers with obsidian edges and a bone core are common amongst Eiritha initiates. Some have four edges and are carved from a large vertebra. 

Interesting, thank you. The only sources I could find referred to Forge Bone. I see that I have some more drawing to do.

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7 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Interesting, thank you. The only sources I could find referred to Forge Bone. I see that I have some more drawing to do.

Do you have the references. 

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Please consider publishing this stuff via Chaosium, Martin. As you know from Dragonmeet (where I had the pleasure of meeting you briefly), Jeff himself seems very interested in your work. I realise it's extra work for you to turn this into an actual publication, but the look of your manuscript on armies was already very professional. And I think you can see the interest already from potential buyers in this thread (add me to that list too, please).

You do great work, Martin, keep it up!

 

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3 hours ago, Steve said:

Please consider publishing this stuff via Chaosium, Martin. As you know from Dragonmeet (where I had the pleasure of meeting you briefly), Jeff himself seems very interested in your work. I realise it's extra work for you to turn this into an actual publication, but the look of your manuscript on armies was already very professional. And I think you can see the interest already from potential buyers in this thread (add me to that list too, please).

Hi Steve,

Thank you for your kind comments. At present I am roughing out a chapter on magic and warfare, which so far ranges from the impact of Divination (and Chronomancy) to the use of greater Elementals. The chapter is far from complete...

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