More East Isles culture

From: Nils Weinander (
Date: Tue 06 Jan 1998 - 22:36:13 EET

Here is another piece of cultural background, this
time of a more martial nature. This one is actually
fresh, written tonight. It will go up on my web site
as well.

East Isles weapons
- ------------------

As with other aspects of East Isles life, the weapons used
by Islanders show a bewildering variety. In some parts of
the area, like the North Arm Islands, the material culture
is very simple. Both tools and weapons are made of stone
and bone on such islands. With only stone tools, the North
Arm peoples cannot build larger sized sea vessels. Without
the protection of a strong navy, they were an easy prey to
the recent Vorumai invasion.

As much variety as there is, there is also some common
ground. The many seafaring cultures make for the spread of
ideas and items. In this way the most typical East Isles
weapon, the sailor's knife has spread among most islands
which participate in trade with others.

Sailor's knives vary in size from large knives to short
swords, the latter often carried by warriors. A sailor's
knife looks rather like a real world javanese kris. The
blade flares (in varying degree) towards the handle, to
provide some protection from the user's hand, preventing
a parried blade from slipping down, cutting the hand.

Otherwise the shape of the blade varies and can often tell
where the knife was made. For example, in the Korolan
Islands, the people of Mingai make knives with straight
blades, where the edges are parallell up to about 5 cm
from the point where the blade tapers. The Luvatans make
blades with wavy edges which taper evenly. Luvata has no
metal sources of its own, so the bronze is imported from
metal-rich Mingai. The people of Sereneto make evenly
tapered, slightly curved blade, supposedly to honour their
whirlwind goddess Aoea who hates straight lines. Finally
the Tamoroans have few sailors, but plenty of forest, so
the few people who need weapons nowadays usually choose
an axe rather than a sailor's knife.

The most often seen sailor's knives are those of the
ubiquitous Haragalan traders. They have straight, evenly
tapered blades, where the edge only extends halfway down
one side.

The most fabled weapons in the East Isles are those of the
Treasury Guard on Mokato. The old treasury of the Golden
Empire was found on Mokatan land. It was buried in an
earthquake in the second age, but the guard force remains
as the elite warriors of the Jewelled Isle. The armoury of
the empire is also found on Mokato and still extant. From
its well guarded vaults come shimmering weapons and armour,
humming with magic, forged in the Dreamtime, before the
coming of the Nightmare.

Nils Weinander | Everything is dust in the wind |


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