WEAPONS OF GORSubmitted by Rollo the Axe
This page will cover:
The Ax of Torvaldsland is perhaps one
of the most fearful weapons on all of Gor. With its heavy iron head,
usually with one wide cutting edge, and long stout handle, it is a most
formidable weapon when wielded by an experienced Warrior of Torvaldsland.
Able to sever a spine, or remove a head with a single stroke, and cut a man in
half with two, it is a difficult weapon to face. When thrown, in practice,
it seldom takes more than 5 to 6 strikes before splitting its target post, thus
requiring a new target to be sought out. Against a human target it will split a
skull, or bury deep in a chest or back. An instrument of massive destruction...
The Ax of the Alars is similar to the axe of Torvaldsland. Being only slightly smaller, long handled, with a weighty iron head, it is also a dangerous weapon to be reckoned with.
The Ax of the Kurii, being a gigantic weapon befitting such a beast, has a handle almost 8 feet long, with a massive blade over 2 feet in length.
The Bola,a favorite weapon of the Wagon People, consisting of three long straps of leather approximately five feet in length, with a leather sack at the end of each, filled with a heavy, round metal weight, and then sewn closed. Swung high above the head, and then cast, it is used to hunt.... animals and human alike..... It is also used as a weapon of war. Once cast, it opens to the full ten foot length, spinning around until encountering its target, then swiftly wraps itself around it, to the feet to tangle and knock down, and immobilize, to the torso to wrap the arms to the body and render it defenseless, to the neck or head to either strangle, or crush the skull. It is also used by the Wagon People when wagering over the running of slaves. The slave runs from a circle, is given a head start of 15 beats of a kaiila's heart, and is then captured using the bola, bound, and returned to the circle, in the least amount of time.
The Warrior of Gor prefers to engage his enemy in hand
to hand combat. Use of the missile weapons is often considered the mark of a
coward. In Gorean sagas for instance, the villain is often an archer.
Crossbows; used throughout Gor, by both mounted and unmounted personnel, provide a powerful missile weapon that requires less skill than does the conventional bow and arrow; and yet fulfils the compact size needed to be used from the back of tarn, kaiila, high tharlarion, or through narrow slits in defensive positions on walls, roof top, etc... Firing a quarrel (crossbow arrow) with considerable force, it is then re-cocked by using either a belt claw, windlass, or goats foot, so it is slower than the regular bow. It enjoys more acceptance generally in the cities than among the kaiila-riding Tribesmen, or Nomadic peoples, for its ability to be carried cocked and loaded, ready to fire quickly, instead of needing to be knocked and drawn before firing.
Horn Bows; so named because of the strips of bosk horn laminated to the wooden limbs, and held with glue and sinew. Much shorter than a regular bow, this short but powerful bow of a recurved shape is favored by the Wagon People and Tribesmen of the Tahari. Short enough to be used from the back of kaiila or tarn, but still powerful, it uses a shorter than normal arrow, so it enjoys a quicker draw and release time; and it gives its user a higher rate of fire than a crossbow, but is not as unwieldy as a full sized bow. For the Wagon People, a narrow rectangular lacquered quiver holding approx. 40 arrows is the normal companion for the Horn Bow.
Standard Bow; much the same as regular Earthen bow, made from wood, used in a slightly shorter form by the Red Savages, and in a lighter draw height, by Panther girls. Both effective weapons, but not nearly as powerful as the Crossbow, Horn Bow, or the Great, or Peasant Bow.
Great Bow, or Peasant Bow; While not commonly favored, or even accepted by most of the Warrior Caste, due mostly to the association with the Peasant caste's use of this weapon, its power is still only ignored by fools. Made from supple ka-la-na wood, and tipped with bosk horn, notched to hold the string made from hemp cord, whipped with silk. Its length is roughly equal to the height of a tall man, with a flat back, and half rounded belly, it is approx. one and a half inches wide and one and a quarter inches thick at the center, and tapers gradually to the ends. This Bow can be best described in Earthen terms as a very powerful English Long Bow. The most powerful of the Gorean Bows, it requires great strength to use, ergo, the common referral of it as the Peasants Bow. Many men, even some Warriors, are unable to draw and fire this bow effectively. Powerful enough that a skilled archer can fire as many as nine shafts into the air, before the first falls to ground again, at up to four hundred yards it will kill the huge bosk; at two hundred yards it will pin a man to a wall; at point blank range it can fire a shaft through a four inch beam. A skilled bowman, but not an exceptionable one, should be able to fire nineteen arrows per Ehn (around eighty seconds), and hit a man sized target at a range of two hundred and fifty yards. Because of its size (length) it is difficult, and impractical to use from the saddle of any beast, or within the confines of close quarters, and room to room fighting. This bow may be used with either sheaf, or flight arrows. The flight arrow being around forty inches in length, the sheaf arrow around 36 inches long. Both arrows would normally be piled, or tipped with metal points, and commonly fletched with feathers from the wing of the Vosk gull.
The common knife is ubiquitous throughout Gor, and may
be used for tasks as simple as pruning fruit and cleaning fish. It comes in a
multitude of shapes and sizes
Kaiila Lances: The light lance used mostly from the back of the kaiila, but on occasion from tarn back, is made from tem trees, black in color, and flexible enough to bend almost double before breaking. It is most often fitted with a loose loop of bosk hide, then attached to the wrist, to prevent loose during combat. Being light and flexible this lance is used in swift, delicate, thrusts with much the same deft movements as a saber, and is seldom thrown as a spear would be. It is also carried in the hand loose, not placing the butt of it in a socket on the saddle, as is the High tharlarion lance. The lance of the Wagon People is steel tipped, while the lance of the Red Savages may be tipped with either a metal trade point around nine inches in length, or have a tip of blue flint, chipped, and sharpened.
Many different types of spears appear all over Gor. The traditional spear of the warriors is around seven feet long, with a heavy, stout shaft, tipped with a tapering head made of bronze, around eighteen inches long. When cast by a warrior at close range, it will penetrate up to a foot deep into solid wood, or pierce a shield. Other types of spears are the shorter, lighter spears used by Panther girls, and Talunas, the spears, and harpoons used by the Red Hunters of the North, the short, long bladed stabbing spears of the Askaris of Schendi, and the Black Kingdoms, to the very long pikes used as defences from tharlarion cavalry. So a spear may be many things to different persons on Gor.
Swords on Gor are many, and varied.
Here follows a few of the examples
The trident is an example of a weapon that began as more of a tool than a weapon, used by those of the coastal regions, and islands, it consists of an average length spear shaft, with a three pronged point, used for spearing fish. Normally combined with a casting net, also used for fishing, the two together are used to ensnare an opponent, than stab with the trident. As stated, this would be a regional weapon, and the use of it would indicate experience as a fisherman.
This weapon originated in Port Kar, and as one might think of a weapon created in the city known as the Scourge of Thassa, it is particularly vicious. Razor sharp blades and bits of steel are attached to the ends of leather straps to make a whip which can quickly flay an opponent open. The bands of the whip can be used to entangle arms or legs of an opponent, while the blades of the whip knife fulfil their obvious function. It does require practice to gain proficiency with this weapon though; and it is rarely found in a Warrior's arsenal.
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