The Spear (also called Javelin or Pike in its different varieties) is the simplest, yet most often used pole weapon, known to almost all tribes and races throughout the vast world of Caelereth. It developed from a long, sturdy sharpened stick into a more advanced weapon by adding simple metal tips at the end, sometimes even further improved with a special, even deadlier design or by applying poison. The Spear can either be thrown or used as a melee weapon and is a great tool for hunting larger beasts in groups, and has its purpose in war mainly to lift riders from their horses.
|Image description. Scene of the tale of Jhadwich the Demonslayer, who is said to have terminated an efér demon with an enchanted spear. Picture from the game Mystical Empire™, used with friendly permission. Illustration by Faugar.|
Description. A spear is a long polearm that is sharp at the end. In its most simplistic form it is a sharpened stick. It normally is a sturdy pole of wood with a sharp metal tip. Spears can either be used as a missile weapon or a melee weapon.
The standard spear is normally about three peds in length and around 3 ods in weight. The Spear is a very versatile weapon, being light enough to be thrown, but sturdy enough to be wielded as a melee weapon. When Spears cannot easily be classified as either a javelin or a pike, they are simply called a spear, whether they can be thrown or not.
The Javelin is a Spear specifically designed to be hurled at enemies. It ranges between two and three peds in length, and is often constructed of light wood, to achieve maximum distance. The spearhead is normally made of metal, but sometimes bone spearheads are used as well. Each tribe designs the spearheads differently, to fit specific needs. Some warriors decorate their Spears with feathers, which are believed to help the Spear fly true.
The Pike is a much longer version of the Spear, normally measuring somewhere between four and six peds. The Pike was designed to counteract the devastating Centoraurian lance charges, and they achieved this affect by greatly outreaching their enemies.
A Spear made from the wood of a
black birch tree, ranks among the
best of Spears. Black birch wood is
highly coveted, due to its durability and beauty. Yet it is quite difficult
finding a tree that is suitable. The tree cannot have knots and must be big
enough, which is a very hard task when dealing with these trees. Even if a
suitable tree is found, the wood must be treated, cut, and sanded correctly.
In place of the elite black birch wood, normally comes oak. Oak is commonly found and easy to treat, so it is often the preferred choice when making such a weapon. Although if one is unable to acquire oak, wood from the urban or maple tree will be a marginal substitute for the shaft.
Usage. Spears are widely used in all of Caelereth at very different cultures, races and tribes, not only as a weapon of war, but it is also a very effective hunting tool. Here are a few examples of how different tribes of various continents adapted and use Spears:
Sanhorrhim Elves (Sarvonia)
The primary use of the Sanhorrhim Spear is to hunt sea creatures. Living by the sea has caused them to depend on it for their food. People of the tribe refer to their hunting weapons as harpoons. A smooth sea-rock that is sharpened to a point, with barbs carved out serves as the spearhead. Notches are cut into the pole to allow for greater flexibility, but in turn weakens the over all strength of the weapon. To prevent losing the Spear, seaweed cord, that is 10 peds in length, is tied to the thrower and the harpoon.
The Brownies have created a miniature Spear for their specific size that is used in hunting, which they call the "Speik". Most Speiks are between one and two palmspans in length. Already the ancient Birni used the Speik, and nowadays the tribes ranging from the Vale Brownies until the Rat tribes are known to use Speiks commonly.
Made of stone and joined with poison, the Spears used by the Susilgerim Dwarves from the Imlith Mountains have proved very effective. The spear is much like any other Spear, however the spearhead of it is quite unique. They are fashioned so after the Spear is thrown and pierces the enemy; the tip breaks off transferring the poison, that was stored in the hallow center, into the body. The poison causes nearly instant paralyses and soon there after, death. These special spears work very well against the wargs of the Rhom-Oc.
Doimo Men (Nybelmar)
Their Spears are simple but effective. The pole is often made out of polished wood with ornate carvings, all the way up and down the shaft. A sharpened bone is used as the spearhead. Just before a battle or a hunt the spearhead is covered with a slow working, yellowish poison. A Spear prepared for a hunt will slowly drain your strength and claim your life in approximately 12 hours. But if prepared for battle, the poison will kill you within two hours. There is a remedy for the toxin, but the secret of the mix is known to only a select few of the Doimo tribe.
Cholian Men (Aeruillin)
The Sparth is the most important and deadly weapon fashioned by the Cholian tribe. This particular type of Spear is a harpoon, used to catch large jakécha fish that are too intelligent to be caught with simple nets.
At age 14, the age of adulthood, the members of the tribe are given a Sparth. When handed out, the Spear is made of a plain pole with a spearhead made of iron. With carefulness and precision, the owner engraves the shaft. Often showing scenes of a significant catch or prayers to a God. The spearheads are protected with thick cloth or a shaped rock, and sharpened by the owner every day. Losing one's Sparth causes great dishonour, because it shows carelessness, which is not tolerated.
This tribe has developed a spear called the Sarvonian Trenchard. Resembling a harpoon, it is barbed on one end and sharpened on the other. Although the throwing Spear works very well, there is one simple flaw. When the Spear is thrown, the barbed end sometimes entangles itself in the enemy’s flesh. Leaving the thrower unprotected and weaponless, resulting in the death of many Black Knights.
|Image description. A Cholian fishing woman having caught a jackécha fish with the Sparth, a special Aeruillin version of a Spear. Illustration drawn by Faugar.|
Learning to throw a Javelin is a hard task, requiring many long hours of
practice. To hold a Javelin correctly means to hold it above or level with the
head. In order to throw, the javelin is drawn back so it is held near the ear,
and the thrower twists his or her body with it. With careful aim, the Javelin is
thrown at the desired target.
One great disadvantage of this weapon is that it can only be thrown once. The thrower must go and retrieve the Spear every time, leaving them open to attack. For this reason the thrower normally carries a short sword or dagger with them as a secondary weapon, or is accompanied by others with the same weapon to outweigh this disadvantage e.g. during a hunt.
When meant for melee purposes, the Spear is used in a much different manner. The Spear is normally held at waist level with two hands, for better handling. The Spear is then used to stab and jab the enemy. It can be used as a slashing weapon when in dire straits, but the Spear is designed as a piercing weapon instead of a slashing one, and thus one runs the risk of breaking the Spear.
The Pike was designed for use against horses. With a long Pike, attacking a horse or a rider is done with ease. A Pike allows the wielder to attack from a safe distance away, thus giving great advantage of keeping the enemy away out of their swords' reach. If a Pike formation is broken the weapons however become useless. The sides of the wielders are left defenseless and vulnerable; to help when such a situation arises, warriors often carry a small secondary weapon.
For practice the warriors play games. Most popular of the games is Capture the Wind; a traditional elven game known mainly in Southern Sarvonia. The variant of the traditional game is played to hone Javeliners’ skills with their weapons. The game is played much like the regular version is played, except that Javelins are used instead of arrows. For a beginner, the main form of practice takes place on a range with targets and hay bails. After one has mastered stationary targets the throwers go out and hunt. For those bearing Pikes, practice takes on a much different form.
There are very few ways in which a Pike bearer can practice. In response to this, a game was created. The Uneven Spar, is a game played between a horse rider and a Pike bearer. The object of the game is to knock the opponent down or off his or her horse. The Pike bearer has a long wooden pole that is rounded at the tip, a pretended Pike, and the horse rider has a small wooden pole, a pretended sword. The game is played in a circular ring, about 15 peds in diameter. On his or her horse, the rider charges at the pike bearer, signaling the start of the game. When either the Pike bearer falls down or when the horse rider is dismounted, the round is over. Usually the game is played in five or seven rounds.
Origin/History. The origin of the Spear is difficult to pin down, as the weapon in its basic form was obviously created independently by various cultures, just like other primitive weapons or tools, e.g. the club. In Southern Sarvonia, however, most believe that Arvins, the God of the Hunt, had given the Spear as a gift to the Children of the world, along with the bow, when he taught them to hunt in order to sustain themselves.
Even though the true origin is unclear, the history that follows the Spear tells us of many famous battles and remarkable encounters between man and beast where this weapon played a crucuial role. One such story is the tale of Jhadwich the Demonslayer:
Jhadwich the Demonslayer. In the 19th century b.S., during the Age of Myths, the Caltharian squire Jhadwich is said to have slain the "Monster of the Goltherlon Forest" by using a self-fabricated spear. An evil demon, the efér demon, who had been summoned by a crazed magician, had not only killed its creator, but also several passer-bys. Eventually the demon even extinguished nearly a whole division of Caltharian warriors, who had tried to terminate the beast. It is said that the young squire's spear was made of the finest steel and wood, and that he sought the help of dwarven smiths to enchant the deadly tip. With it he pierced through the beasts unholy heart, and it is told that the enchanted iron melted when it got into contact with the demon's innards. The beast didn't die at once, but was unable to move and finally was extinguished through its own fire. The "glorious" Jhadwich unfortunately burnt to death as well after having dealt the deadly blow to his foe.
The great tale of the efér demon is still often told to children, to scare them from wandering off too far into the woods.
Information provided by Lucius Helvil and Ruil Mallister