The earliest history of weaponry on The Land is difficult to reckon with any certainty. In fact, it begs the question, what actually constitutes a weapon? In a certain sense, anything one uses to do harm to another may be considered a weapon, though for the purposes of this article one might as well discount one's own body parts, such as fists and feet. However, even that is an essential point to consider in the eventual development of weapons. It's all part of the reason for the existence of weapons, which is, as stated, to do harm. Of course, people have gotten into fights throughout history, though usually this has been without the intention of doing any serious harm, let alone killing.
One may also say that weapons are simply one variety of tool, that is, objects created to help people accomplish various tasks. And of course, the earliest known weapons started as tools designed for more innocent tasks, such as farming, hunting, and woodcutting, or even simple eating utensils. It's not known precisely when such tools were first put to use as weapons, but once the idea of doing harm with tools was conceived, it could not have taken long for people to begin fashioning the first true weapons specifically for that purpose. (Though of course, many of the tools used for hunting would already have been considered weapons by animals, were they capable of understanding such concepts.)
To this date, the most common weapons on the Land involve blades, whether in the form of daggers, knives, swords, spears, arrows, or any other variation. There have been smiths who forged metal into tools since as far back as Connor and Brigid, who were taught by God to make simple tools. Smithery became more and more refined over the generations, eventually leading to minismithery; though this is still more rare than smithery, and as yet has had little if any impact on weapon making. The earliest use of the term "bladesmith" is thought to have been sometime between LY 225 and 230, shortly after the founding of Tonad, as well as the introduction of two new coin denominations, the half-piece and the 20-piece. Until this time, there had been relatively little specialization by smiths, who all tended to make just about any and all types of metal tools, including those used for hunting, farming, etc. However, crime such as theft had slowly been increasing in frequency since the introduction of the monetary system in 107. It is believed that the first use of a blade in the commission of a crime occurred in Tonad, though many Tonadians refute this claim, calling it unfair stereotyping of their village. They say it's just as likely for blades to have been used for such purposes prior to the village's founding. In any case, it is certain that no smiths specialized in the creation of blades prior to the first decade of Tonad's existence. (Some historians claim that if bladesmiths had not introduced the concept of specialization in metalworking, subsequent specialized fields of smithery might not have happened until much later. Therefore, they claim, this apparently negative aspect of Landian history was the key to many positive developments. Because of the perspective of bladesmithery being both good and bad, there is a common joke about the profession itself being a "double-edged sword.")
Naturally, when blades began being used for crime, it led to the creation of blades that were meant specifically to be used as weapons. However, it was not merely criminals who used blades, but rather it became common for law-abiding citizens to purchases blades for use in self-defense, and also for the apprehension of criminals. There was, at the time, no official organization for dealing with criminals, though as crime became more common, certain citizens did take it upon themselves to do what they could to prevent crimes, more often than others did. In modern times such people might be considered vigilantes, though the practice is undoubtedly an important aspect of what eventually led to the establishment of police departments. It's also thought to be one inspiration for the more recent creation of the unofficial organization known as The Syndicate.
In discussing the history of weapons on the Land, it is also important to take into account the influence spirit-talking has had on such things. While it is not generally believed that any spirits have directly instructed smiths in the creation of any specific types of weapons, it's true that Landians have always been fond of stories about other worlds, most notably Earth. Because of stories shared by spirits, and passed on or written down by spirit-talkers, people have become aware of different types of blades, which irrefutably inspired bladesmiths. It's not known how closely Landian blades resemble the Terran blades whose names they share, but it's certain that almost all Landian blades are to one degree or another based on Terran blades. It must also be noted that such stories also largely inspired certain individuals to take up adventuring as a career, and no adventurer would consider his or her gear complete without at least one blade. In fact it is for adventurers that bladesmiths first developed various swords, which would also eventually be used by police, and later still by the military.
There are, of course, other types of weapons besides blades. The second most common types of weaponry are those involving huo yao. During the 360s (the decade following the founding of Ship), piracy began to occur, as travel by ships became common. The most famous pirate at that time was Leonardo, a spirit-talker who is credited with the development of huo yao and the invention of the cannon, the Land's first projectile weapon (other than arrows and slingshots). In the centuries since then, other weapons have been developed that utilize huo yao, though in spite of the fact that it would most likely now be possible to create handheld guns, this has never been attempted. This is because of the law of Limitation of Handheld Weaponry, which was passed by most coastal villages in the 360s and 370s, and in 899 was officially passed by the court system to apply to the entire world, in response to the increasing activity of gangs. However, the law does not prohibit the use of huo yao in any weapons which are not handheld.
A far less common third variety of weaponry are magical weapons. There are any number of offensive and defensive spells which Sorreters may use in combat, though the best known of these is the fireball (see List of spells), which may be generated just above the palm and then thrown. Sometime during the Coming, Sorreters who worked for gangs developed spell devices which could generate even larger fireballs and propel them with greater force than one could do by hand. Since then, it is believed that other magical weapons may have been developed, and certainly magical control systems have been developed for deploying both magical and mechanical weaponry, usually from flying wagons. Naturally, the military have had their own Sorreters develop similar weapons, which came in handy during the war.
List of weaponsEdit
This is a partial list of different types of weapons which exist on the Land
- arrows (and bows)
- Full cannon (42-pound shot)
- Demi-cannon (32-pound shot)
- Culverin (18-pound shot)
- Demi-culverin (9-pound shot)
- Lyrit (6-pound shot)