sword reference

TAROT REFERENCE

Major Arcana

0 The Fool – New beginnings, optimism, trust in life; Reversed: Delays

1 The Magician – Action, the power to manifest; Reversed: Misunderstandings.

2 The High Priestess – Inaction, going within, the subconscious; Reversed: Manipulations.

3 The Empress – Abundance, nurturing, fertility, life in bloom; Reversed: Neglect

4 The Emperor – Structure, stability, rules and power; Reversed: Chaos

5 The Hierophant – Institutions, tradition, society and its rules; Reversed: Hypocrisy

6 The Lovers – Sexuality, passion, choice, uniting; Reversed: Separation

7 The Chariot – Movement, progress, integration; Reversed: Defeat

8 Strength – Courage, subtle power, integration of animal self; Reversed: Fear

9 The Hermit – Meditation, solitude, consciousness; Reversed: Isolation

10 Wheel of Fortune – Cycles, change, ups and downs; Reversed: Stagnation

11 Justice – Fairness, equality, balance; Reversed: Lies

12 The Hanged Man – Surrender, new perspective, enlightenment; Reversed: Stubbornness.

13 Death – The end of something, change, the impermeability of all things; Reversed: Limbo

14 Temperance – Balance, moderation, being sensible; Reversed: Impatience

15 The Devil – Destructive patterns, addiction, giving away your power; Reversed: Freedom

16 The Tower – Collapse of stable structures, release, sudden insight; Reversed: Control

17 The Star – Hope, calm, a good omen; Reversed: Darkness

18 The Moon – Mystery, the subconscious, dreams; Reversed: Paranoia

19 The Sun – Success, happiness, all will be well; Reversed: Failure

20 Judgment – Rebirth, a new phase, inner calling; Reversed: Regrets

21 The World – Completion, wholeness, attainment, celebration of life; Reversed: Incomplete

Suit of Swords
• Other Names: Staves, arrows, spades
• Element: Air
Attributes: Active, male
Astrological Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
• Direction: West
Season: Pagan – Spring / Esoteric – Autumn
• Self: Mind, thoughts, intellect
Jungian Function: Thinking
Body Part: Head
Qabbalistic World: Yetzirah – the Formative World

Air is seen as the intellect, logic and reasoning. An active element, Air circulates and so cleanses; it carries your thoughts and dreams; is also expansive when hot and is said to be expressive. Your mind or thoughts can be seen as clear or clouded; speech requires breath, which requires air.

Swords represent logic, the mind and your thoughts. They deal with problems and troubles, planning, communication, ideas, your intellect and how you use it. They represent your daily and life struggles, problems in general. The very nature of a sword is aggressive and warlike. Combined with the swiftness of air, the combination can see situations arise quickly. The ability to see clearly means resolution is quick also. Swords people are great thinkers. You will find them in study, research, academia, the sciences, law courts and libraries. They love to learn and live to do it in any capacity.

Keywords: decisions, worries, problems, issues, tension, communication, intelligence, disagreements; arguments, logic, reason, cognition, ideas, inspirations, balance, equilibrium, the mind, mentalism, thinking, facts and figures, definition.
Reversed: vicious, ruthless, manipulative, cold, unemotional, spite and malice, accidents, inertia, indecision, confusion, mental blockages, biased, illogical, mental health issues, negative life changes.


• King – Serious, controlling, rational and mind/intellect-focused; Reversed: Foolish
• Queen – Intelligent, writer, communicative yet cold; Reversed: Ineffective
• Knight – Fierce, determined, aggressively pursues goals; Reversed: Boredom
• Page – mentally unstable or intellectually immature, acts without thinking; Reversed: Stupidity
• Ace of Swords – A fresh start, a sudden opportunity or idea, clarity; Reversed: Improbable
• 2 – Indecision; Reversed: Conflicts
• 3– Heartbreak, betrayal; Reversed: Torment
• 4 – Meditation, rest, retreat; Reversed: Disturbance
• 5 – Mind games, hostility; Reversed: Treachery
• 6 – Leaving, accepting help, going somewhere better; Reversed: Trouble
• 7 – Secret plans, abandoning ship; Reversed: Clumsiness
• 8 – feeling powerless and stuck; Reversed: Escaping
• 9 – Overactive mind, anxiety; Reversed: Martyrdom
• 10 – Feeling defeated, self-sabotage; Reversed: Sabotage

Suit of Cups
• Other Names: Chalices, Grails, Cauldrons, Hearts, Vessels
• Element: Water
Attributes: Passive, female; cold, wet
Astrological Signs: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio
• Direction: East
Season: Pagan – Autumn- / Esoteric – Summer
• Self: Emotions, love, receptivity
Jungian Function: Feeling
Body Part: Heart
Qabbalistic World: Briah – the Creative World

Water is seen as the emotions, your feelings, and your intuition. Considered passive, water can be deep or shallow; you like the ocean, are responsive to the moon; your tears can rise and fall; out of control, your emotions flood;

Cups represent your emotions, feelings, your subconscious, intuition and psychism. They deal with love affairs, all relationships, inner expression, your reactions or responses and the pursuit of happiness. Generally passive and not outwardly extrovert, creativity through expression are some of the traits of this suit. Careers are usually in the arts or creative pursuits, they are, poets, painters, florists and designers, nurses, social workers and care-givers. Cups people are happy in the background doing their own thing, though they are often actors distinguishing the limelight from private time like no others.

Keywords: creative, intuitive, clairsentient, psychic, passive, affectionate, receptive, imaginative, caring, relationships, love, dreams, sensitivity, romantic, artistic, spiritual, compassionate, tactile, nurturing, the unconscious mind, domesticity, culture, expression, flexibility, fluidity, calm motion, serenity, empathetic, aesthetics and beauty.
Reversed: needy, co-dependent, intense, neglectful, fantasists, uncaring, cold, unfeeling, moody, unresponsive, illogical, lost, negative, pessimistic, emotional, overly sentimental, tearful, selfish.


• King – Repression of deep feelings, possible alcoholism; Reversed: Selfishness
• Queen – Emotionally nurturing, intuitive, sensitive; Reversed: Ignorance
• Knight – Romantic, adventurous, following one’s heart; Reversed: Pessimism
• Page – Creative, inspired, learning artistic skill; Reversed: Gloomy
• Ace of Cups – emotional fulfillment, joy; Reversed: Indifferent
• 2 – Partnership, mutual attraction, compatibility; Reversed: Abandonment
• 3 – Celebration, fun with friends, laughter; Reversed: Jealousy
• 4 – Boredom, dissatisfaction with what is being offered; Reversed: Avoidance
• 5 – Dwelling on the negative, self-pity; Reversed: Alienation
• 6 – Sentimentality, kindness, help; Reversed: Discouraging
• 7 – So many choices, indecision, getting lost in fantasy, wishing and dreaming; Reversed: Lethargic
• 8 – Abandoning something in search of something better, vision; Reversed: Sacrifice
• 9 – Indulgence, self-satisfaction; Reversed: Disintegration
• 10 – Emotional bliss, happiness, attainment; Reversed: Disruption


Suit of Wands
• Other Names: Batons, Staves, Rods, Clubs, Staffs, Scepters
• Element: Fire
Attributes: Active, masculine; hot, dry
Astrological Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
• Direction: South
Season: Pagan – Summer / Esoteric – Spring
• Self: Will, actions, desire
Jungian Function: Intuition
Body Part: Genitals
Qabbalistic World: Atziluth – the Archetypal World

Fire is energy and action, passion, drive and ambition. An active element, it can cause permanent change; is expansive; can be aggressive; is pro-active and undeterred.

Wands represent creativity, energy, passion and action. They cover your spiritual pursuits, your career and creative projects. Leadership, self-growth and general optimism are some traits of this suit. Careers are usually in business, they are leaders, entrepreneurial & sales focused. Wands people like to get ahead and are generally pro-active in all their activities. With an unrivaled healthy vitality, they are often accomplished sports people.

Keywords: intuition; creativity; vitality; sexuality; spirituality; vision; energetic; outgoing; impulsive; motivational; pro-active; spirit and spirited; optimistic; enterprise; commerce; business; careers; opportunities; the thrill of the chase; competitive; growth; personal development; inspirational; enthusiastic; sexual; passionate; action; movement; initiation.
Reversed: rash; impetuous; ruthless; greedy; narrow-minded; hyperactive; brash; manipulative; conniving; mean-spirited; overly optimistic; risk takers; heartless; aggressive; selfish; misleading; sadistic; distrusting of others.

• King – Career focused, mature, passionate; Reversed: Impostor
• Queen – Confidant, focused, has zest for life; Reversed: Fatigue
• Knight – An adventurous risk taker who follows his passions; Reversed: Apathy
• Page – newly inspired, excited about life and work; Reversed: Passive
• Ace of Wands – New beginnings, creative spark, fertile ideas; Reversed: Unpromising
• 2 – Contemplation, assessing one’s life direction; Reversed: Dispute
• 3 – Reaping the rewards of your efforts; Reversed: Idleness
• 4 – Celebration, safety, the home; Reversed: Discord
• 5 – Competition, minor struggles or disagreements; Reversed: Timidness
• 6 – Success, accolades and achievement; Reversed: Disapproval
• 7 – Feeling defensive and on guard; Reversed: Yielding
• 8 – Speed, things manifesting quickly; Reversed: Stagnation
• 9 – Pessimism, gearing up for the worst; Reversed: Weakness
• 10 – Feeling oppressed, exhaustion, too many responsibilities; Reversed: Impractical

Suit of Pentacles
• Other Names: Disks, Coins, Deniers, Stones, Diamonds
• Element: Earth
Attributes: Passive, female
Astrological Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
• Direction: North
Season: Pagan – Winter / Esoteric – Winter
• Self: Body,
Jungian Function: Sensation
Body Part: Feet
Qabbalistic World: Assiah

Earth is seen as the material, the physical & the sensual. A Passive element, Earth allows growth & production; promotes prosperity; is the foundation on which anything is built.

Pentacles, represent all things material and physical, what you experience using your senses. They deal with your money, business deals, material possessions, your job, arts, crafts, your home & garden. Working hard & getting the job done are attributes of this suit. Pentacle people don’t mind getting their hands dirty whether that’s working with the land or in a factory. Strong & dependable, often found in the trades, removals, farming, landscaping & homemaking.

Keywords: sensual, sexual; strong; lithe; dependable; reliable; stoic; practical; skilled & skillful; artistic; common sense; traditional; regular; straightforward; grounded; sensible; lush; fertile; growth; luxury; wealth; prosperity; apprenticeships; scholarships; dull; dutiful; realistic; down-to-earth; materialistic; money motivated; domesticity; health & fitness; exercise.
Reversed: miserly; slave drivers; workaholics; pleasure seekers; neglectful; shoddy work; dullards; negative; pessimistic; superstitious; thoughtless; penny pinchers; lazy; unforgiving; selfish; greedy; covetous; moronic.

• King – Enjoys the good life (food, drink and leisure), financially secure; Reversed: Hoarder
• Queen – Healthy in body and finances, grounded and calm; Reversed: Unreasonable
• Knight – Cautious, sensible and slow to progress; Reversed: Inexperienced
• Page – Student, commitment to learning; Reversed: Rookie
• Ace of Pentacles – Financial reward, clarity of life purpose, goals; Reversed: Debt
• 2 – Balance, multitasking; Reversed: Impractical
• 3 – Meaningful work, enjoying one’s work, suitable career; Reversed: Mediocrity
• 4 – Hoarding, feeling poor, holding self-back out of fear; Reversed: Greed
• 5 – Minor money troubles, health problems, feeling like an outsider; Reversed: Helplessness
• 6 – Charity, accepting and giving help; Reversed: Cruelty
• 7 – Patience, waiting for your plans to bear fruit; Reversed: Unemployment
• 8 – Hard work, focused efforts, laying the groundwork; Reversed: Skill-shortage
• 9 – Luxury, rest, financial and material comforts; Reversed: Dependency
• 10 – Financial success, strong business relationships; Reversed: Restrictions

anonymous asked:

hey i'm creating a race of fairies and since they generally have small builds and metal such as iron cold steel are deadly to them what are some good materials to use for the fairies to craft their weapons, i considered gems but doing some research i realized substance like diamonds and crystal are utterly impractical even for the fairies.

Well, fairies are magic. If a fairy wanted to wield a diamond sword, they could and no audience would question it. Magic is the solution to a lot of problems. The weakness of a weapon forged with magic is, of course, a steel blade but that only matters if they’re encountering humans wielding steel on the regular. Fairies can do whatever they want and dance merrily on the graves of scientists the world over, so don’t let that stop you.

Blades of pure light.

Blades of diamond.

Blades from plants.

Fairies wielding magma blades or swords forged from stardust.

A sword of glass containing the beating heart and heat of the sun.

Futuristic fairies who behave like aliens in Iron Man style power armor formed from plastics/polymers wielding lightsabers and firing bolts of plasma.

They’re fairies. Sky’s the limit here. Except, it’s not because then we catapult ourselves out into space. Go however far your imagination takes you.

Look to myth for your solutions, especially the Celtic Sidhe. Unless you’re dealing with a modern setting (and even if you are) mythology has already developed solutions. It’s a great place to start your search.

However, here are some things I’ll point out:

Cold Iron/Cold Steel are a reference to a specific forging technique rather than a type of metal, though in folklore it can just mean steel swords. Still, this will open up your options some.

Cold Iron for fairies dates back to when iron forging was still mostly new, or less common. There’s certainly lore out there with mythological fairies fighting warriors wielding iron blades, but were unbeatable until new forging techniques were developed.

Ask yourself: is it the forging technique which makes these swords dangerous to your fairies or is it the metal itself? In which case, then you can cut out “cold” as it’s just steel.

Here’s the Wikipedia article about iron in folklore. It may help you some in your search.

If you want to write Urban Fantasy with fairies then I’d go with the forging process rather steel itself. The reason is that they couldn’t go anywhere. At least, not places like the US or Europe or anywhere there’s a high steel content in the buildings, cars, and sewer systems. Even with a shift to polymers too much of the major metropolitan centers in the developed world are built on steel bones. Science fiction fairies re-emerging in the future where all metals are polymers has more potential.

Honestly, any army from a period using steel or iron weapons could curb stomp fairies if they’re allergic to the metal. Using the forging process moves all to some and then down to almost none, making way for the future fairyocalypse of 2018.

-Michi

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.

Suits

Clubs / Wands: The spirit. Personality, identity, individuality, originality, essence. Force, initiation, strength, creativity, gain through effort. The soul’s vitality and uniqueness. Free will. Drive, determination. Inspiration, ambition.

Diamonds / Pentacles: Material realm, wealth & possessions, the physical body. Status. Security & stability of all types. Prosperity. Manifestation, effort, processes, rhythm, continuation. Creation & maintenance of a personal world.

Spades / Swords: The mind, intellect, cerebral realm. Thoughts, beliefs, logic, morality, justice, judgment, opinion. Power. Reality. Strife & suffering or influence & strength and the fragile balance between those two extremes.

Hearts / Cups: The heart. Emotions, interpersonal receptivity, love, relationships, intimacy, commitment, connection, shared resources, compassion, empathy, sensitivity, memory, feeling-based experiences.

  • Person: It’ll take a miracle.
  • Aomine, jumping out of nowhere: DID I HEAR SOMEONE ASK FOR A MIRACLE?!?!
  • Aomine: LEMME HEAR YOU SAY, “AAAAAH!!”
  • Person: *screaming in fear*
  • Aomine: THAT'S CLOSE ENOUGH!!

anonymous asked:

How practical is a hidden sword inside a walking stick/cane? How wide could a person go before the cane became suspiscious as to be concealing something? And would such a weapon be strong enough in serious skirmishes? Or should a user stick to simply using the cane, and perhaps having a hidden blade in the end?

Amusingly, I used to own a sword cane. I threw it out during the last move, otherwise I could post pictures.

The sword canes I’ve seen have been screw on arrangements. Externally, they look like a normal cane with a metal band just below the grip (which isn’t unusual for normal canes either).

They use very narrow blades to maintain the silhouette of a normal cane. This is a necessary component of the design, by the way. The entire point is to have a hidden blade, which falls apart when you’re carrying around something that looks more like a scabbard than a cane. You’re talking about a blade that’s going to be, at most, around 1/2″ across, and usually around 24″ to 25″ long.

The primary purpose of these things was as a self defense tool. It’s not a weapon intended for heavy combat, just to deal with one guy armed with a knife.

To some extent, overall practicality depends on the individual weapon, not sword canes as a whole. For example, the one I owned featured a very loose blade, which could be rattled by shaking the grip slightly. Rattling it may serve the intended purpose of scaring off a potential mugger, but I wouldn’t have wanted to take the thing into a fight.

-Starke

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.

anonymous asked:

You've talked before about how katana's weren't that great due to the low quality of the metal used way back when. But what if someone made one today? If you primarily used titanium instead of low-quality steel, plus modern forging techniques, could you develop a much better sword that a real person could use in a fight?

The poor quality iron that Japanese smiths had access to is part of the problem, but it’s not the only issue. The design was (in part) a result of that limitation. You can work around those, using high quality steel forged directly from a billet, with a grip you can actually use in a variety of situations, but you wouldn’t have a katana, you’d have a saber.

Those design flaws are intrinsically what defines the katana. Folding the blade is extremely fetishized in defining the quality of a katana. It’s not just a defining characteristic, you will see people using the number of folds as an indicator of how skilled the sword smith was. This is probably a large part of why they continued using the technique, while other cultures, like the Vikings, abandoned folded blades once they had access to better smelting technologies.

In fact, a lot of modern, “katanas,” you can buy, aren’t. They’re not produced with the proper metal, and they’re using machine forged blades. They’re just sabers. Ironically, even the junk ones are superior weapons to traditional katanas. (For one thing, you can actually parry with the blade.)

Using titanium as your base material for a sword isn’t a good option. It’s light weight, strong, and won’t hold an edge without becoming incredibly brittle. Heat treating it is either functionally impossible or prohibitively expensive (maybe a little of both). It’s a fantastic option for a lot of applications, but combat blades don’t make that list.

I don’t really have a lot to say on the subject of titanium, because I don’t do metalworking directly, but (nearly) everything I’ve read on the subject says, “don’t.” There are titanium alloys you use, but the metal, in general, just doesn’t have the characteristics you’d want in a sword (or machete). It is an excellent choice for items that need to survive excessive thermal shock and constant wear, which is probably why you will find aftermarket titanium parts for firearms, it just doesn’t work well for swords.

If you’re really dead set on getting a titanium blade, you can buy titanium kitchen knives. Though, holding an edge while slicing carrots and slabs of meat isn’t quite the same as doing so while slicing through screaming slabs of meat who are trying to return the favor.

You can make excellent blades from high quality steel. No folding required. Actually, please, don’t fold high quality steel. The entire folding process was originally an act of necessity, to get functional steel out of the iron the Japanese had access to.

You’d also probably want to add a functional hand guard to the thing, and contour the hilt. These aren’t mandatory, but they would help. The thing is, none of this is really necessary.

Real people did use actual katanas forged from tamahagane (pig iron), and killed each other in the real world. Humans are very inventive about making sure they have a way to kill each other, and the katana is an excellent example of this.

Limited by their available resources, Japanese swordsmiths found a way to turn the iron they had into something they could use in weapons. Japanese swordsmen developed and refined techniques that allowed them to take the resulting blades into combat while working around their inherent fragility, and they used the things for centuries. They turned the blade into a symbol of their identity.

To be honest, I don’t even hold this against the Japanese, the katana is a symbol of their ingenuity. It’s not a particularly good sword, but that’s kind of missing the point. It is, their sword. It is a symbol. Hell, it is literally a holy icon.

What you can’t do is take a katana out of its natural environment and expect it to flourish. Weapons are designed and adapted to deal with the environment they’re used in. On the global scale, the katana was about four centuries obsolete when it was first developed. Which, really doesn’t matter, because the Japanese weren’t using them against anyone who had a decisive technological advantage.

The problem is, a lot of people, look at how the katana functioned in its native environment, and how the people from that culture regarded it, and then assume that a civilization which had never engaged in long range exploration and had no frame of reference, were able to accurately assess that they had created, “the best swords,” in the world.

It’s a sword. You can make vastly superior ones by changing the design, at which point it’s still a sword, but it’s not the same sword. The katana was an excellent weapon for Feudal Japan, not because it was somehow the best blade design ever envisioned, or because it had some superlative quality, but because it was a symbol of who they were as a people.

Take it out of that environment, drop it into a world that has moved beyond swords entirely, and you’re left with an object that can still have cultural meaning, and personal importance, but trying to cling to it is to deny the changing world.

Icons like that are still important to point to and say, “this is where we came from; this is a part of who we are,” but, that’s not the same as saying, “progress is irrelevant, this will always be the best solution.” And, yes, that second part is an element when discussing the katana. Folded steel was not, strictly, a Japanese invention, other civilizations did use that method to produce early steel weapons. They faced the same issues with fragile blades, and continued searching for better smelting methods and higher quality materials. The Japanese didn’t, and instead fetishized the blades. Make of that what you will.

I’ll still say, actual katanas are beautiful pieces of art. It’s the entelechy of how a civilization viewed conflict. They’re an example of serious ingenuity and craftsmanship. If you take it out of context, it’s not a particularly good weapon, but that’s missing the point.

-Starke

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.

RQ Musical references Part 2
  • Mare: I love you.
  • Cal: I love you, too.
  • Mare: Choose me.
  • Cal: *turns away dramatically* *bursts out in song* I will never be satisfied...
  • Mare:
  • Mare: Bish please, I can do that too! *bursts out in song* When are these colonies gonna rise up?
  • Cal: SET MY HEART AFLAME EV'RY PART AFLAME!
  • Mare: RISE UP! RISE UP!
  • Cal: I REMEMBER THOSE SOLDIER BO--boys.
  • Mare: dID YOU JUST?!?!

So apparently this is actually a legit sword technique:

It’s actually called ‘Half-Swording’.

refers to the technique of gripping the central part of the sword blade with the left hand in order to execute more forceful thrusts against armoured and unarmoured opponents. The term is a translation of the original German Halbschwert. Equivalently, the techniques were referred to as mit dem kurzen Schwert “with the shortened sword.”

Half-sword is used for leverage advantage when wrestling with the sword, as well as for delivering a more accurate and powerful thrust. Both of these are critical when fighting in plate armour because a slice or a cleaving blow from a sword is virtually useless against iron or steel plate.[1] Most medieval treatises show armoured combat as consisting primarily of fighting at the half-sword; the best options against an armoured man being a strong thrust into less-protected areas such as the armpits or throat or, even better, the same against a man who has already been cast to the ground. 

There is even a video example of how half-swording could be done. This really explains the utility of Diana’s leather hand wrap. The video also shows that holding a sword by the blade is viable.

(although i guess less benign because it seems half-swording is also called murder stroke… so the person can better bash their enemy down.)

retr0spectre  asked:

Speaking of sexist fighting advice! There's this really great fiction writing advice blog I read years ago, written by a lady, shut down ages ago. But it claimed a few times that there was no way a woman could physically handle a zweihander or the like. I've always had a feeling that's nonsense, but confirmation from a good source such as yourself would be great.

Consider this: the zweihander weighs seven pounds. The display version is ten pounds. If you can lift a backpack crammed with textbooks, you can lift a zweihander. House cats weigh more than a sword.

The issue with the zweihander is length, not weight. It is not a heavy sword. No swords are actually all that heavy, because weight defeats the purpose of the weapon. The heavier it is, then the faster your arms wear out and grow tired. This is a terrible, terrible thing.

Combat is highly frenetic. An easy comparison is sprinting, and it’s not just a regular sprint but wind sprints. You gotta go, go, go. You need to be able to move. So, a heavy weapon is detrimental to the goal of being able to fight as long as possible. Especially when that weapon is designed to give you an edge in reach, and counter pole arms. You want to be able to swing the weapon around for long periods of time because if you wear out first, you’re dead.

Endurance, not strength, is the great necessity for any warrior. So, everything your PE teacher punished you with is what you’re looking for (except dialed to eleven). Once you understand fighting is about going for as long as possible between energetic bursts, combat starts to make more sense. This is also why most action movies feature the pressure cooker, the slow grind down of the protagonist by giving them little to no rest between fights as they accumulate more injuries.

So, when people say strength in regards to combat, they don’t usually mean physical strength in what you can lift. They mean how long you can go, what you can endure before finally keeling over. This gets misinterpreted, mixed in with the confusion by historians about parade swords (which were incredibly heavy and often the only surviving weapons) and we get the beefcake barbarian.

Like all swords, and even shields, the zweihander is awkward to use if you don’t know how to wield it or have never held one before. This has to do with its balance point. Swords feel heavier than they actually are when we hold them because the balance is midway up the blade and that strains the wrist, which strains the arm, and causes the whole thing to tilt forward. Sometimes, the sword even gets dropped. You’ve got to learn how to account for it.

When you’re looking at actual combat considerations on weight, that’s in the armor. Armor is comparatively heavy, the warrior has to get used to carrying around fifteen to twenty or so pounds, or more depending on what gear they’re lugging with them between battles. So, if you’ve got a character going into battle without plate then they’re not going to have those weight considerations. Even if they are, the point of training is to build your body up to be able to handle it.

At the end of the day, its important to remember that, historically, large scale combat has been about being able to get the most bodies on the field as possible. You ran the gamut between trained warriors and farmers yanked off their fields with a hastily cludged together pole arm thrust into their hands. There are plenty of people who went into battle with no freakin’ clue what they were doing. The concept of a military as we know it today is a mostly modern invention.

The mystique of the knight and others like them came with their training, which is… they had some. Whatever they’d have liked us to think, there was nothing different about them compared to the farmers except the money, the (sometime) power, the time, and the “luck” of their birth. In the end, it’s less about what humans can or can’t do but what society corrals them from learning. It’s easier to control your population when only the powerful have access to weapons, educations, and castles.

So, yeah, a woman can use a zweihander if she trains on the zweihander. It also won’t be her only weapon, mostly because one never knows when they’ll have to fight indoors. (That’s a joke, HEMA peeps. I know half-holds are a thing, and it’s not a katana so it can strike straight.)

-Michi

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.

4

Greek Bronze and Gold Short Sword and Dagger, C. 1450-1300 BC

The daggers and early swords of the Aegean Bronze Age represent some of the most striking artifacts of the period in terms of their opulence, craftsmanship and display of technical virtuosity. Whilst some were used solely for ceremonial use, many were functional instruments of war, attested by the clear developments in form, according to fighting preferences and practices. The short sword, which developed from the dagger, is one of the most interesting innovations of the Bronze Age, often signifying social status in societies in which hierarchy and one-on-one combat were primary concerns. The present dagger and short sword probably originate from Crete, in the locality of the great palaces at Knossos, or from Mycenae. The Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were renowned for their wealth, richness of culture, technical sophistication, and strong influence across the Greek world for centuries to come. These are the weapons of the fabled heroes of Troy, the great treasures of powerful kings like Agamemnon, who ruled over the kingdom of Mycenae.

Keep reading

ithinkihopr  asked:

So in movies I've seen sword clashes where they will just try and use brute force to take out the other person until one succeeds or backs out. Is there a reliable other way to get out of that clash or is that actually how it happens?

So, Matt Easton over on his Scholagladitoria channel talked about how this was stupid in one of his videos, and we linked it in one of our asks, but I can’t find it now. The answer is when you’re looking at sword duels, those movie sword clashes are dumb. They’re an excuse for these protracted monologues which should end before they begin with someone being socked in the jaw.

See, that’s the thing. You can use other parts of your body. You disengage, they come forward, and you hit them with your fist.

Swords aren’t brute force weapons, and it’s actually fairly difficult to lock them together. This situation wouldn’t be occurring if both actors weren’t choosing to participate in this specific way. It doesn’t work like this because one of the key factors in basic hand to hand combat also applies to swords. This is that if you have two people shoving at each other, both applying equal force in an attempt to push the other back, one can simply let go. With no force to push against, the other person becomes unbalanced and they fall.

Strength isn’t the only way to win. In fact, it’s a fairly bad one to bet all your chips on. With movies, these scenes are supposed to be a symbolic expression of strength and combat ability. The winner shows his dominance over the loser. It’s the sort of stupid Alpha dog shit that will get you killed in real life because strength, at least the way most people think of it, means a lot less than it seems to. Combat and defense aren’t built on physical resistance all the time, they’re mutable, and shifting. Sometimes, you just let go and end up in a better position than the one you started in.

Say someone has you by the arm and their pulling you, but you don’t want to go with them. You can resist by planting your feet and drawing back in the opposite direction which is what they expect or you can go with them. By go with them, I mean physically throw yourself at them. They give you a nice hard yank and you use that as a launch pad, use it against them, and hit them so you both topple to the ground.

The logic of combat is conservation of energy. You only have so much to work with and are constantly expending it, so you want to win as fast as possible. Endurance training will expand your pool, martial training gives you more resources to work with, but the pool itself is always finite.

Pushing against another human who is applying equal force to you takes more energy than letting go. You use up that finite pool faster, wear out your muscles with constant tensing. It’s a bad position, one you don’t want to be in. With a sword, when you lose out you get stabbed. Unless you’re specifically of the mindset where you’re chasing death, you want to win.

The Hollywood version of the sword clash is there to give the actors a breather and spout their dialogue, which is the kind of talking you usually can’t get off in a tense fight anyway. You need that air to breathe so the oxygen goes back into your blood, and your attention on keeping the other person from killing you. Witticism is for when things aren’t serious.

-Michi

This blog is supported through Patreon. If you enjoy our content, please consider becoming a Patron. Every contribution helps keep us online, and writing. If you already are a Patron, thank you.