Matai Horus wears a harness, the typical garb of a Martian warrior.
Basically it is a broad leather belt, usually with the addition of shoulder straps and a yoke to bear the weight. It bears many buckles, emblems, ornaments and a few jewels.
Like many warriors he wears two swords, one longer than the other.
The blade of a long sword can be anything from 28-50" in length. It is mainly used from the saddle or against large animals, where its long reach and greater cutting power are most useful.
For man to man foot combat the short sword is preferred by many, since it can be drawn and wielded more rapidly. A short swordsman faced by a long sword can slip within the longswords guard and press home his advantage, doing considerable damage with edge and point.
Matais short sword is double edged, 22" of blade and carried on his left hip. His long sword is slung across his back, which was unusual since both are often carried on the hip. It is not uncommon for Martian swords to be unscabbarded and held by just a few inches of wooden frog. His longsword is carried so, with a small shoe over the point. Once drawn clear of the shoe the handle can be drawn downward pivoting the frog so that the blade slides out with the assistance of gravity allowing a fast draw for a blade so long. His longsword is single edged with a slight curve. The eighteen inch ricasso is checkered for a good grip when thrusting or when the weapon is wielded at close range.
Although the carry of two swords is common, it is no means universal. Some warriors leave the longsword on the saddle, others carry just one.
All warriors carry at least one dagger, and often a knife for more general duties such as shaving kindling and butchering game. Matais dagger is carried on his right side, just above the flap holster that holds a Remington Rolling Block pistol. All his weapons are decorated en suite.
The harness also supports pouches, sabretache and often a water bottle. In one small pouch is a two tined eating fork and a spoon. Across the chest straps is a thin gold chain that serves the pouched chronometer/ compass a handsome instrument rimmed with gold.
At the back of his harness are two loops used for carrying a rolled cloak Martian nights are cold.
His loins are covered by a hanging cloth, which may conceal a item of personal armour. This also conceals the thigh straps, used when the harness is attached to a climbing rope. Several attachment points are provided so that the warrior can secure himself to the rail, deck or rigging of a cloudship.
High leather sandals reach up the calves like the harness they are ornamented. Ornaments are also worn on the limbs and neck.
Martians seem to be well acclimatized to the climates of the areas they are native to, so often wear only enough clothing to satisfy modesty and practicality. It is only when the sun drops that they recourse to cloaks and coats to ward off the cold of the Martian night.
Most Canal Martian males that work on or around the canals dress in a very simple but practical fashion.
They wear a belt, a loincloth, kirtle or short kilt and simple sandals. Some trades may also wear a leather apron. The belt will carry a long knife, shortsword or hatchet. These arms are tools as well as weapons, and will often be seen used for various mundane tasks such as cutting up fish or opening packing cases. The belt also carries various pouches and lesser blades and tools.
If a Martian falls into the water he can easily kick off his sandals, and the rest of his clothing proves little hindrance to his swimming. Often the kilt is made from a material that holds little water or dries quickly, so the canal worker will readily enter the water, the only preparation being to tuck his sandals in his belt and ensure that he is anointed with Oontha paste to avoid the attentions of Canal sharks.
By the Author of the Scrapboard :
Attack, Avoid, Survive: Essential Principles of Self Defence
Available in Handy A5 and US Trade Formats.