1. Protar
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    Protar New Member

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    How and/or Would this weapon work?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Protar, Mar 3, 2012.

    Today I came up with a type of weapon for one of the cultures in my WIP, but not being an expert in combat I'm unsure as to whether it would really be practical, or how such a weapon would be used. Essentially it's a double ended knife, gripped by a hilt in the middle with a blade on either end. The fore-blade would be metal (usually steel.) and the aft blade would be made from obsidian. The time period is roughly medieval. I have a few ideas for how it would work be am not sure. Any ideas?

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  2. Felipe
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    Felipe New Member

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    Anyone who actually knows how to use a knife knows that the "ice pick" grip is the most effective way to utilize a blade. If you see a person holding a knife out in front of them, they don't know the best way to kill with a knife. If a person holds the knife in an ice pick grip, down low by their side, look out. It can be swung like a punch to slice, then stab in a side or downward motion. A double edged such as you describe would work coming or going.
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  3. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion New Member

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    Why obsidian?
  4. Frog
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    Frog New Member

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    As a battle weapon, I can't see it working. The obsidian blade would be too brittle, for starters; it would break too easily. In order to stab anyone with either blade, you'd have to have another blade pointing toward yourself, which could easily create problems.

    An experienced knife-fighter could possibly use the extra blade to his advantage as Felipe has pointed out, so as a dueling weapon it has some potential. It could also be used as a stealth weapon, a tool, or a ceremonial weapon. To be used effectively, however, the user would have to be very skilled; the human mind isn't very good at tracking an "active" dangerous end and a "latent" dangerous end, especially in combat. It would take practice.

    The Aztecs used an obsidian-edged weapon called a macuahuitl, on the off-chance you haven't already checked it out.

    [EDIT] as a note aside, an obsidian blade would be VERY sharp. For example, on this blog a few gentlemen try out some obsidian weapons they created. They're testing them on a dead pig. It's not overly graphic, but I wouldn't rate it PG.
  5. Protar
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    Protar New Member

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    The culture that uses them is roughly based on Mesoamerican societies if they had been allowed to progress to medieval technology. Obsidian was used quite a lot IRL by those cultures and it's also really awesome, so I thought it made sense to give these guys some obsidian weaponry. Obsidian is quite fragile though, so the idea was that the steel blade was more reliable in combat whereas the obsidian blade would be for butchering animals or assassinating people. But skilled warriors could potentially use the obsidian blades in combat possibly sometimes by snapping off and shattering the blades in their opponent's wounds.
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Mixing both technologies in one weapon makes no sense. The obsidian blade, as stated, is less practical because of its brittle nature. You could make it thicker for strength, but thqat would throw off the balance.

    Your double-bladed weapon would also be impractical to carry in a sheath, unless it folds or separates. As two separate weapons, it would be more practical. You could hold one in each hand, and would not risk slitting your wrists every time you stabbed with the other end into an enemy tougher than softened butter.
  7. Protar
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    Protar New Member

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    Thanks for the friendly advice everyone. I'm tempted to just throw it in regardless of the impracticalities because I like the idea and it's a fantasy, but then I do try to make things logical. The best course of action I suppose would be to make it fold-able so it could be sheathed properly and you could switch blades mid-fight. It'd still be difficult to wield but I see nothing wrong with having weapons that take skill to use.
  8. Daniel_Allan
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    Daniel_Allan New Member

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    Been training since I was 5 (I'm 29 now) and I'm from an EXTREMELY tough area (which I finally leave in a few months). Most people that hold a knife in a fight also use too much weight. A 'Jab' is the best use of a blade.

    Holding a knife 'icepick' sty;e is great, but when I do it it is with the sharp edge facing me. This is great for slicing the other persons wrist/fingers without being sliced or stabbed. If your character implements this style, along with an obsidian blade beneath (stabbing style), you could have a nice and practical weapon. It might even work better if you have an Obsidian arc to cover the knuckles. You could literally punch slices into people.

    (If you wish, email me and I'll draw some sketches for you. noochint@gmail.com)


    No need to make it fold. Give it a sheath you can punch in to.
    Also, if the under-blade is obsidian and used for the killing blow, it could be replaceable, held in by a removable pin.

    Don't think this is impractical for a second. Others may doubt it because it's too cool sounding, but the truth is there are already weapons like this, GO FOR IT!

    PS: I wrote book where the 6 main characters (good and bad) used different and unique weapons. One of them even used electrodes on his fingertips (powered by a charge pack on his back). He fought multiple people by tapping different muscles, contorting his enemy to move as he pleased. A very interesting bad guy.
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  9. Protar
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    Protar New Member

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    Thanks very much for your support and input. I may indeed email you for some sketches and that obsidian arc thing sounds really interesting.

    also + rep.
  10. Christopher Stile
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    Christopher Stile Member

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    Just a quick reply. If you choose to use a steel blade, obsidian under-blade, and an arc, steel would be a more practical choice for the arc. It would be really unfortunate if you were to punch someone, and the arc snapped, tearing up your own hand.

    The arc could also be used defensively, to protect your hand from being damaged in combat.

    Also, the whole concept reminds me of a trench spike. If you want some more ideas, looking into them might help.
  11. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Member

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    It only works if there is some religious significance to obsidian and the blade was very short, more in terms of flat wide sharp cap to the handle that could slice when returning from a thrust. If the blade was long at all it would be a hindrance in a real fight.
  12. Jowettc
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    Jowettc New Member

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    Ceremonially you can do what you want.

    Practically, I see no practical benefit from a knife such as you describe - nor it seems could any of our ancestors who spent centuries fighting with knives and other nasty pokey pokey weapons.

    A double bladed staff yes - there are some practical uses I can foresee but something as short as a knife, imo no. If it was a ceremonial coup de grace weapon for the field - okay I can probably buy that.

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