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Jon Hunter

Sun Domers back up weapon

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The whole "person of Culture X won't use item Y because it is associated with element Z" is one of those parts of Gloranthan mentality which I don't like. It just feels like the kind of thing that would be so high-concept that really only zealots stuck by it. Is your average Yelmalian hoplite joe the kind of person who would stop bringing a waterskin if someone told him that it was associated with the Water Rune? Eh.

Let 'em have short sword and daggers, I say.

I mean, hell, Tolat has a sword, so this whole elemental puritanism seems more holey than swiss cheese, imho.

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5 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The whole "person of Culture X won't use item Y because it is associated with element Z" is one of those parts of Gloranthan mentality which I don't like. It just feels like the kind of thing that would be so high-concept that really only zealots stuck by it. Is your average Yelmalian hoplite joe the kind of person who would stop bringing a waterskin if someone told him that it was associated with the Water Rune? Eh.

It is a matter of magical bonus through purity. I am in the "a spear by name" camp for the side arm of the Templars, and my latest thought was that just the spear tip is enough of a short, leaf-shaped sword that it would be usable as a side weapon, as well as a replacement should the original spear break off.

The Greek-named Assegai was my first proposal.

5 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Let 'em have short sword and daggers, I say.

Daggers and lance points off the shaft for those with restrictive geasa. A bayonet in reverse, meant to be a spear point but usable without the shaft.

5 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I mean, hell, Tolat has a sword, so this whole elemental puritanism seems more holey than swiss cheese, imho.

Tolat has the Red Sword, but Shargash has clubs or maces (with skull motifs), not blades. Shargash is a lot closer to ZZ than Tolat. While Jar-eel's Liberation sermon shows Tolat with a red blade, I haven't seen any such item in Dara Happan depictions of the Red Planet god.

I do wonder whether the Red Sword might be original sword still steeped in the blood of its first (or second) victim.

 

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7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

If shortened, it becomes a short sword with a long hilt... I suspect that training with a longer spear won't easily give you familiarity with a cut-down spear with a foot-long blade - weight, balance etc. will be very different.

Yeah, it's pretty much a shortsword or longknife with a subpar hilt. 

7 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Most Orlanthi (at least Sartarite/Heortlander) swords are leaf-shaped (very similar I'm told to Urnfield/La Tène/Halstatt swords, to which the xiphos is probably related). Western swords tend to be more straight (similar to Warring States Chinese swords, I'm told).

Does that apply to their "broadswords" too? On Earth leaf shape blades were usually knives or shortswords. I'm kinda curious now about what we've been toting about all these years as a broadsword, or bastard sword. Seems like they probably are something different.

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11 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The whole "person of Culture X won't use item Y because it is associated with element Z" is one of those parts of Gloranthan mentality which I don't like. It just feels like the kind of thing that would be so high-concept that really only zealots stuck by it. Is your average Yelmalian hoplite joe the kind of person who would stop bringing a waterskin if someone told him that it was associated with the Water Rune? Eh.

Yes and no.

In the Real World, you can usually tell a person's religion in Ulster depending on whether they are called James or William, not always but usually. Some things are ingrained in a culture.

In Glorantha, Yelmalians probably wouldn't use maces or mauls, as they are weapons of darkness. Shargash uses them, because he wrested them from defeated enemies, presumably the same as Tolat and a Sword.

Some people won't mind using other culture's weapons, but the more devout would, in my opinion.

For me, Yelmalian Templars are on the more devout side, so would take cult sensibilities into account more than most folk.

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7 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Does that apply to their "broadswords" too? On Earth leaf shape blades were usually knives or shortswords.

"Broadswords"? If you mean a sword with a blade between 75cm and 90cm, then yes. There were long-leafed Bronze Age swords of that length, and certainly in the Iron Age, though most were less than 80cm. The Mindelheim sword, which was probably a high status cavalry weapon, had a blade (including tang) of about 83cm. It's an example of a long-leafed sword.

A while ago, with input from Jeff, I attempted to classify swords.... These are all derived from real-world swords.

swords illo.png

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

"Broadswords"? If you mean a sword with a blade between 75cm and 90cm, then yes. There were long-leafed Bronze Age swords of that length, and certainly in the Iron Age, though most were less than 80cm. The Mindelheim sword, which was probably a high status cavalry weapon, had a blade (including tang) of about 83cm. It's an example of a long-leafed sword.

A while ago, with input from Jeff, I attempted to classify swords.... These are all derived from real-world swords.

That's odd. The "broadsword" in RQ has always been "about 1 meter" in length. So the swords got shorter in Glorantha.

 

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Okay, I see that the matter is utterly complete now, and I agree that the shortsword is a very good secondary weapon for hoplites, and there is ample evidence for Yelmalios using them.  No argument.  I would like to raise one small point however.  I could see an argument for a regional variation for employing a war axe.  The notion being that a war axe is well suited to close quarters combat, and better than a shortsword in many ways.  Axes do a lot of damage to wooden shields, and the hook of the axe blade can be used to hook a shield so compatriots can "tag team" an open enemy. Thus I could see a good argument for transitioning from a phalanx to an axe-armed shield wall like vikings/varangians/saxons etc, although I would also concur with anyone who pointed out that these tactics are not bronze age, but "Dark" age.  Now Yelmalio has connections to the earth, amd the argument about shortswords=death is true.  I dare say that in places where the Yelmalios are near the Aldryami, they probably wouldn't flaunt axes for obvious reasons.  I would also point out that historically, axes use less metal and take less skill to make, and thus should cost less than shortswords that use more metal and take more skill to make.  Also axes do more damage than shortswords.  As I recall, Aggar and Tarsh have a cultural bias towards axes and aren't exactly teeming with Aldryami, and a bit of regional variation is good for the de-monoculturization of Glorantha. Religions should be very similar between regions, but never quite "the same" after all.

war axe.jpg

Edited by Darius West

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Nor are they as convenient and easy to carry safely and deploy to hand as a shortsword is. You (and your neighbouring files) do not want a sharp metal thing flapping around your hip in a belt loop; an axe needs to be in a holder that covers the head, then you have to grasp the head to draw it out, and change your grip to the correct end to use it. Not a trivial set of actions in the press. Even shortswords are best carried on the right hip for when you're going to want to switch to it while in close order formation; reaching across the body is less convenient. Axe-armed shield walls like Saxons and Varangians started out with the axe in hand.

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6 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

That's odd. The "broadsword" in RQ has always been "about 1 meter" in length. So the swords got shorter in Glorantha.

 

No, that would be the maximum size of such a sword. The measurements were of terrestrial broadswords.

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7 hours ago, Darius West said:

Okay, I see that the matter is utterly complete now, and I agree that the shortsword is a very good secondary weapon for hoplites, and there is ample evidence for Yelmalios using them.  No argument.  I would like to raise one small point however.  I could see an argument for a regional variation for employing a war axe.  The notion being that a war axe is well suited to close quarters combat, and better than a shortsword in many ways.  Axes do a lot of damage to wooden shields, and the hook of the axe blade can be used to hook a shield so compatriots can "tag team" an open enemy. Thus I could see a good argument for transitioning from a phalanx to an axe-armed shield wall like vikings/varangians/saxons etc, although I would also concur with anyone who pointed out that these tactics are not bronze age, but "Dark" age.  Now Yelmalio has connections to the earth, amd the argument about shortswords=death is true.  I dare say that in places where the Yelmalios are near the Aldryami, they probably wouldn't flaunt axes for obvious reasons.  I would also point out that historically, axes use less metal and take less skill to make, and thus should cost less than shortswords that use more metal and take more skill to make.  Also axes do more damage than shortswords.  As I recall, Aggar and Tarsh have a cultural bias towards axes and aren't exactly teeming with Aldryami, and a bit of regional variation is good for the de-monoculturization of Glorantha. Religions should be very similar between regions, but never quite "the same" after all.

war axe.jpg

Aldryamis use axes too.

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That's something that I've found interesting - Flamal apparently killed Stone with an axe. That scenario seems so backwards in terms of tool implementation that I can't help but think that there must be some deeper symbolism to it.

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17 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

That's something that I've found interesting - Flamal apparently killed Stone with an axe. That scenario seems so backwards in terms of tool implementation that I can't help but think that there must be some deeper symbolism to it.

Perhaps it was a pickaxe? (jk)  I mean srsly, of all the things to kill  "stone" with, I wouldn't pick such an inappropriate tool.  Admittedly, spears, swords and arrows seem worse, but surely a hammer or other blunt weapon would have been better suited?

Edited by Darius West
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17 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

That's something that I've found interesting - Flamal apparently killed Stone with an axe.

Flamal, not High King Elf?

 

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17 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

That's something that I've found interesting - Flamal apparently killed Stone with an axe. That scenario seems so backwards in terms of tool implementation that I can't help but think that there must be some deeper symbolism to it.

When Brother Stone was alive he was evidently something like Flamal's own body. Then the murder estranged them. Stone would never Grow again.

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1 hour ago, scott-martin said:

When Brother Stone was alive he was evidently something like Flamal's own body. Then the murder estranged them. Stone would never Grow again.

Severing/separating ... seems more a Sword thing, in Gloranthan mythology.

OTOH, I have never really been at ease with the Axe being excluded there -- it is so clearly the archetypal Severing Tool; swords are as apt for slashing, or thrust/pierce.

Dunno if MGWV on this issue.  But I am Noticing With Interest here...

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18 minutes ago, g33k said:

Severing/separating ... seems more a Sword thing, in Gloranthan mythology.

 

I like it. Whoever pursues these lines of inquiry might end up with something like the abortive Shadows Dance board game, which was apparently all about elf versus troll, grower versus taker. But the interesting thing was the rumored mechanics for chopping a heroic individual into "parts" or relics that could then be simply consumed or preserved to grant some measure of the sacrificial victim's power. Maybe that's what Axe does as opposed to Sword. The labrys people are definitely one of the most prominent human sacrifice cultures in the literature.

And of course the process could be reversed to put "parts" back together and resurrect a hero like Flamal resurging at the climax of the Dangan Rites or any elf when the sap rises. In theory, at least . . . of course the game was never made.

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On 2/3/2019 at 2:52 PM, Atgxtg said:

That's odd. The "broadsword" in RQ has always been "about 1 meter" in length. So the swords got shorter in Glorantha.

That's because RQ was always far more medieval/"Default Fantasy" than actually representing the bronze age world it was supposed to reflect. Its "broad sword" (please, let that term go except for the couple of sword types actually called broad swords, and not the Victorian nonsense) was always an arming sword more than anything bronze age.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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On 2/4/2019 at 12:30 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

That's something that I've found interesting - Flamal apparently killed Stone with an axe. That scenario seems so backwards in terms of tool implementation that I can't help but think that there must be some deeper symbolism to it.

High King Elf also used an Axe, I believe. They only stopped using Axes when Zorak Zoran used an Axe to kill Flamal.

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10 hours ago, soltakss said:

High King Elf also used an Axe, I believe. They only stopped using Axes when Zorak Zoran used an Axe to kill Flamal.

They never stopped using axes, IMO, axes being the tools of death wielded by earth. Earth defenders are part of the aldryami defense array. Plant tenders regularly use copper adzes, as per bestiary.

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

They never stopped using axes, IMO, axes being the tools of death wielded by earth. Earth defenders are part of the aldryami defense array. Plant tenders regularly use copper adzes, as per bestiary.

Yeah.

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12 hours ago, Joerg said:

They never stopped using axes, IMO, axes being the tools of death wielded by earth. Earth defenders are part of the aldryami defense array. Plant tenders regularly use copper adzes, as per bestiary.

To a sentient plant, the axe is probably more of a symbol of death than a sword. 

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

To a sentient plant, the axe is probably more of a symbol of death than a sword. 

Or, to turn it on its head, the sword is basically a flesh-axe.

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The idea that everyday knives would somehow be ritually impure among Yelmalians for elemental reasons seems... kinda silly, to be honest.

It also seems like reverse causality - since knives are so exceptionally useful, they are certain to be used, and if anyone wonders how this goes with Sun worship, a myth that allows them will quickly be presented (and invented, if necessary)!

(If swords in particular are a problem, that could easily be dodged by saying "no, this isn't a sword, it's a long-knife, sheesh!".)

Similarly, I feel confident that Orlanthi use spears where it makes sense and that they don't, for instance, go boar-hunting with swords.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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11 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Similarly, I feel confident that Orlanthi use spears where it makes sense and that they don't, for instance, go boar-hunting with swords.

Orlanth has a bunch of mythical excuses to use spears. Thunder, lightning, stuff wrestled from the Solars, even tridents. Getting mythical excuses for swords in pre-Carmanian Peloria is a lot harder, though. Sickles less so (there's a myth about that).

Even the God of the Red Sword (Tolat, mainly known as Shargash, Shadzor or Jagrekriand in Peloria) wields a club, or a club and a spear in Pelorian depictions.

Daxdarian traditions might have brought a stabbing sword along with the hoplite concept.Other than that and curved cavalry swords or sword sickles, the myths don't favor the sword.

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