Swords: The Weapons of Kai-Nu'n (Combat with Edged (Hand) Weapons)

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David Freed

Elvish swords. (Left to right, Top to bottom.) 1. Shiraki (shee rah' kee) (top): This is actually only the blade: The entire weapon consists of the blade attached to a long wooden staff in the matter of a halberd or Japanese naginata. This weapon is not particularly popular among the arboreal K'ierlani and V'ulani, because it is not the type of 'close-quarters' weapon that these elves prefer. Further, it is difficult to use, and limited in the moves available for it. This weapon is most commonly used by the Imperial Guard and in formal executions. 2.Shirishaya: (shee' ree shah' yah) Characteristically graceful both in form as well as in the way it is weilded, the shirishaya is the prototipical K'ierlani sword. Shirishaya always have long, curving blades that are usually double-edged, though sometimes the concave side is not edged or is only edged along the part of its length farthest from the hilt. Shirishaya are not particularly well balanced for throwing, but they are extremely well balanced for slashing or hacking, the form of attack most favored by the K'ierlani. The sharply pointed tip does offer a stabbing capability, but this is used only as a last resort. It is not considered elegant or proper form to stab an enemy with a shirishaya. 3. Ku'nut-tika: (koo noot' tee kah) This medium-length sword is actually a Vu'lanni invention. (The Ku'nut-pali is the K'ierlani version.) This sword is very similar to typical medieval European weapons as well as to certain Chinese swords. The blade is flexible, double-edged and sharply pointed, affording use both as a stabbing weapon or a slashing weapon. 4. Kinkashaya (keen' kah shah' yah): These strange, but beautiful shirishaya are fashioned of a black metal of unknown origin. They are almost as flexible as a conventional shirishaya. They are double-edged, and, despite having so sharply curved and seemingly tip-heavy a blade, they are actually surprisingly well-balanced. They ARE typically quite difficult to learn to use well, but, in the hands of a skilled K'ierlani warrior, they are remarkably gracile -- and deadly. The kinkashaya is reserved exclusively for the use of extremely skilled warriors, particularly those attached to the royal family. An interesting point about this sword is to note that the 'crotch' between the two tips is used exclusively in beheading or de-limbing dishonored enemies. An honored enemy would never be killed in this way; instead, he or she would be slashed using either the concave or convex edge of the blade. 5. Shanashaya: (shah' nah shah' yah) These, paired short curved swords are only about 28 to 35 centimeters long. They are always used in pairs and are believed to have evolved from climbing-gear. The broad, slightly recurved leaf-shape blades are modeled somewhat after the shape of K'ierlani and Vu'lanni fangs. Both blades are double-edged, and quite sharp. They may be used for slashing or stabbing. In fact, for combat among the tree branches, the shanashaya are often the weapon of choice rather than the longer shirishaya.The careful observer will notice that one of the shanashaya in the illustration has its handle reversed relative to the other, that is, the curve of the handle continues the curve of the blade, rather than reversing direction as in the 'normal' sword. This reversed handle has a slot in it as well as pins that allow it to be attached to a K'ierlani's boot, either along the sole, with the blade pointing forward or backward and slightly upward, or depending from the heal, with the blade pointing downward and slightly toward the front of the foot. This makes the blade doubly useful, both as a hand weapon and as a foot-sword. The shanashaya is invariably the first sword that K'ierlani and most Vu'lanni children are taught to use. 6. Talipangili (tah' luh pang' ih lee, tah' lih pang' eeh lee) dagger (with sheath): This particularly vicious weapon is usually worn with its sheath tied about the upper arm or the thigh, though it may be worn tied about the fore-arm or the shin. The blade is comprised of inner and outer portions. The outer portion extends from the tip to about two thirds of the way back to the hilt. Thus, when an enemy is stabbed with this weapon, the K'ierlani weilding it has the option of either withdrawing the blade as would be done with a conventional dagger, or of releasing the hollow outer-blade inside the wound, and removing only the inner core, which, is also a raisor-sharp blade and may be used again, but only as a conventional dagger, until a new outer portion is fitted to it. If left in the wound, the hollow outer portion is embedded deeply enough to be difficult, if not impossible, to remove, and, being hollow, it holds the wound open, allowing for the escape of blood and other bodily fluids as well as for the entrance of infection. 7. Ku'nut-pali: (koo noot' pah' lee) This sword is the K'ierlani version of the Ku'nut-tika. It is very similar in form and function to its Vu'lanni original, except that it is generally slightly longer, and has a square, wedge-shaped tip. It is not as commonly used as the shirishaya. Though a perfectly serviceable weapon, the K'ierlani just don't seem to prefer it; it is far more common among the Vu'lanni and, to some extent, the Kapulanni.

Published More than a year ago

Category Horror

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