[Article by H.L. Candor, reprinted (with permission) from True Adventure magazine, month of Pluvial, 5887.]
The general public of the New World sometimes finds it amusing to see adventurers, delvers, and other sorts of modern soldiers of fortune, decked out with an array of improvised weapons. Even more puzzling, and usually viewed as colorful eccentricity, are the publicity and autograph photos of such characters brandishing ancient weapons in this age of the machine gun.
These practices are not mere affectations, but rather coldly practical and pragmatic choices made by professionals (mostly) who know their business.
Consider the assort pick-axes, wrecking-bars, truncheons, and over-sized knives the City’s adventurers are wont to carry when bound for the wilderness or some subterranean ruin. These implements are tools as well as weapons--handy for the spelunking, entry-breaking, cracking treasure chests, and other utilitarian tasks facing them. If they can also be used to break the skull of a man-eating troglodyte, or dissuade an inebriated hillbilly giant, so much the better. Bullets are, of course, effective in these sorts of situations, but the prudent--and therefore long-lived--adventurer is always prepared.
In the case of delvers equiped like Medieval men-at-arms, we must look to history. The union of the ars thamaturgica and the practical sciences is uneasy at best, and of recent vintage. Mankind has possessed gunpowder for centuries, but only rarely in all that time have the sorcerer’s talents been used to enhanced these sorts of weapons. Rarer still are they in the ruins and crypts of the New World, where the Ancients never deployed mundane weaponry that advanced. This sort of aid is essential; hard won experience has taught generations of adventurers that there are some creatures which prove resistant--or indeed impervious--to all but magical weapons, whatever the weapon’s deadliness otherwise.
For this reason, adventurers looking to improve their odds of survival and material reward have had occasion to take up the use of weapons found in some tomb or trove which would otherwise be considered archaic. Swords, battle-axes, and assorted pole-arms are found in the arsenals of modern professionals. For some, the use these weapons is merely as adjuncts to their use of firearms; for others, the magical archaic weapon becomes their signature.
So, next time you see a photo of one of the City’s famous adventurers sporting a weapon that looks more at home in a museum or even the tool-yard, remember: these may not be just weapons of choice--they maybe be weapons of necessity!
|Ruby Ring - Adventuress, pin-up girl, and sometime actress, posing with her magic scimitar|