Created By: BibliophileJune 17, 2012 Last Edited By: BibliophileJune 27, 2012
Nuked

Absurdly Tough Sheath

To go with your Absurdly Sharp Blade

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Trope
You have an Absurdly Sharp Blade able to easily cut through any material (possibly even reality). Unfortunately, this also includes anything it bumps into accidentally, and anything you try to carry it in.

You need an Absurdly Tough Sheath.

This is an often forgotten Required Secondary Power for anything with Absurd Cutting Power. The sheath both protects the blade edge, and stops it from cutting things when the weilder doesn't want it to, making it safe to carry. It may work by being Made Of Indestructium, having magical protections or simply holding the blade firmly in position by the handle.

When the indestructible properties of the sheath cause it to be used as a weapon it becomes a Sheath Strike.


Examples

Anime
  • The Water-Monkey sword from The Twelve Kingdoms has an enchanted sheath with a bound trickster monkey spirit residing in it, which not only keeps it from cutting things, but also contains the illusions that the sword can project. Fridge Logic kicks in when Yoko loses the sheath and starts carrying around the sword wrapped in cloth.

Literature

Tabletop Games
  • In the alternative Cyberpunk tabletop game Fates Worse Than Death, "Tech Swords" (with monomolecular edges constructed by nanomachines from advanced materials) come with a special sheath that not only doesn't get cut, but is also full of micromechanisms that keep that blade from getting dull or breaking (as it tends to do very quickly due to the superfine edge).

Web Comics
  • Coyote's Tooth from Gunnerkrigg Court is sharp enough to slice cleanly through steel, and even lift a shadow off the floor. The sheath it's carried around in looks like ordinary leather.

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • June 18, 2012
    nitrokitty
    • Coyote's Tooth from Gunnerkrigg Court is sharp enough to slice cleanly through steel, and even lift a shadow off the floor. The sheath it's carried around in looks like ordinary leather.
    • The Water-Moon sword from The Twelve Kingdoms has an enchanted sheath with a bound trickster monkey spirit residing in it, which not only keeps it from cutting things, but also contains the illusions that the sword can project. Fridge Logic kicks in when Yoko loses the sheath and starts carrying around the sword wrapped in cloth.
  • June 18, 2012
    Koveras
    So is this only about sheathes-that-hold-absurdly-sharp-blades, or also about sheathes that can be used to parry or block incoming strikes in combat?
  • June 18, 2012
    nitrokitty
    ^ I think the former is the main point, but that means the latter is certainly possible.
  • June 18, 2012
    Bibliophile
    Correct. The blocking is just a possible bonus side effect.
  • June 19, 2012
    Chabal2
    Used in the first Kill Bill, to counter the Bride's katana.
  • June 20, 2012
    Bibliophile
    ^ is that used to store the katana (this trope) or deflect it (Sheath Strike)?
  • June 21, 2012
    InsomniacWeasel
    In the alternative Cyberpunk tabletop game Fates Worse Than Death, "Tech Swords" (with monomolecular edges constructed by nanomachines from advanced materials) come with a special sheath that not only doesn't get cut, but is also full of micromechanisms that keep that blade from getting dull or breaking (as it tends to do very quickly due to the superfine edge).
  • June 26, 2012
    nitrokitty
    One problem with this trope is that it basically accompanies every Absurdly Sharp Blade example. Instead of making it a separate trope, it might be a good idea to just add a note on the Required Secondary Powers page.
  • June 26, 2012
    Ryuuma
    Yes, the point is that sadly, while the sword grabs the attention, the scabbard is always ignored.
  • June 26, 2012
    genewitch
    In the Sten series of novels, Sten has a sheath built into his forearm. The knife that goes in to it has an edge that is a few microns across and (basically) never dulls. There's a much better explanation in the book, and i am sure other people have read it and can clarify.
  • June 26, 2012
    zarpaulus
    In the Gunnerkrigg Court example the sheath is also made from Coyote's tooth.
  • June 27, 2012
    GeminiSparkSP
    Yamato's sheath?
  • June 27, 2012
    Ryuuma
    The only valid example I can think of: in Inu Yasha, Tessaiga's sheath not only is super strong, but has also magical powers, mostlu concerning barriers and Anti Magic. It does crack however when hit several times in a row by Hiten's halbeard.

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