National Weapon YKTTW Discussion

National Weapon
Weapon of Choice of a Culture
(permanent link) added: 2011-09-30 16:09:59 sponsor: jastay3 edited by: jatay3 (last reply: 2011-10-03 19:31:31)

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Just as some cultures have an iconic Battle Cry attached to them, often they will have a weapon that has a similar status. Sometimes it will have a religious or magical significance; it might for instance be a copy of a blade that was Forged by the Gods. Perhaps they typically have a Badass Creed engraved on them. Or maybe it is simply hard to imagine them fighting without it and even if it is obsolete it is impossible to imagine this group parading without it because it has a symbolic status that goes above it's functionality. As tropes are flexible this does not have to be a whole culture's weapon; it can be the weapon of any group say, an order of Warrior Monk s , or a Caste or Secret Circle of Secrets, or a gender. The point is that the weapon is so much assosciated with a group that it serves as a logo as well as a weapon.

Likely to be wielded by a Proud Warrior Race


  • Dune crysknives made from the tooth of a sandworm are sacred to Fremen.

  • Dwarves use Axes in Lord of the Rings
    • Also based on Tolkien is the association of Elves with bows, which is less supported by the original mythos (Tolkien's Elves are good with bows, but for the most part they prefer swords).

  • Based (as always on Tolkien, the Dwarfs of the Discworld consider their battleaxes cultural artifacts, and will not part with them even when circumstances require them to bequeath all other weapons (at a diplomatic function, for instance). In Thud we are introduced to a more liberal sect of Dwarfs who do not carry these, believing that the axe is "a state of mind".

  • On Gor a few Fantasy Counterpart Cultures have trademark weapons.
    • The Wagon Peoples [sic] of Southern Gor have the quiva, a set of throwing knives. They also use the bola and lance from kaiilaback.
    • Torvaldslanders (Vikings) have the battleaxe
    • Tribes in Darkest Gor use the "stabbing spear."
    • The Alar (kinda-sorta Roma) have the francisca, an ax different than the Torvaldslanders.
    • Tribesmen in the Tahari desert (Arabs) have the scimitar.
    • Red Savages (Native Americans) hve the tomahawk, as well as the War lance they use from kaiilaback. (A different species of kaiila than the Wagon Peoples use.)
    • The caste of Peasants, the lowest caste on Gor, have the quarterstaff and longbow, which are looked down upon by the caste of Warriors but can be quite effective.

Live-Action TV

  • The Minbari Denn'bok in Babylon 5.

  • In Star Trek, the Bat'lithe functions for the Klingons. Interestingly Vulcans, though no longer a Proud Warrior Race still use Lirpas in ceremonies.
    • The Mek'leth dagger too for Klingons though it is not quite as iconic.

Tabletop Games

  • Aslan in Traveller actually use claws in duels, both real and sporting. A human who is Going Native with them, or just wants to be polite uses a pair of artificial claws called Ayloi.

  • In Dungeons And Dragons, many deities have a preferred weapon that their followers tend to use. For example, the holy symbol for Kurbag is a double - bladed axe.


  • Boomerangs for Australian Aborigenes.
  • Claymores for Bonnie Scotland
  • Katannas for Japan
    • Shuriken for Ninjas
  • Kukris for Nepal, famously with the Gurkha soldiers.
  • Longbows were once this for the English
  • Composite bows for Mongols
  • The Pennsylvania Long Rifle was this for Appalachian Frontiersmen.
  • The Pilum and Gladius for Rome
  • The Hoplite shield for Greece was not primarily offensive so was possibly "armor" rather then a weapon, however hoplites regarded their spears as expendable but treasured their shields.
  • Short spear and leaf-shaped shield for Zulus
  • The Sikh Kirpan dagger is one of the best examples of this for it a symbol of Sikhism representing their obligation to defend one another. Also the curious Chakram ring-knives, often worn in their turbans.

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