Created By: peccantis on June 25, 2011 Last Edited By: StarSword on January 1, 2015
Troped

Draw Sword, Draw Blood

Sword cannot be sheathed until it\'s drawn blood.

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DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft

Alternate title: Draw Sword,Draw Blood


There was a Japanese bushido honor code to never draw their sword at others unless they intended to draw blood, but media has taken this story and eloped with it. In media it might be a honor code, or a genuine hungry Empathic Weapon. In media and rumour the code usually is interpreted the other way around: if you draw your blade, you must bloody it before you can sheathe it. In video games, there might be a mechanic where the player cannot switch weapons until the sword has been used to damage or kill an enemy.

Not Truth in Television. Samurai Myth No. 7: A samurai wasn't allowed to place his sword back into its scabbard without first drawing blood. Samurai Fact: Not true. In Real Life, warriors and soldiers, even ones from the "Mysterious East" or Proud Warrior Race types, know that weapons must be drawn all the time for cleaning, practice etc, and that cutting yourself (especially in times before modern medicine) is a silly way of risking infection.

Closely related to Gun Safety: Part of the rules of using guns are to never point a firearm at anything you don't intend to shoot, and to never put your finger on the trigger unless you are ready to fire. Both actions connote that you are ready to shoot, and shouldn't be done in any other circumstance. Strongly parallels the "Don't draw your sword unless you intend to use it" rule.

Compare and contrast Situational Sword. Compare Hungry Weapon if the weapon is literally hungry.

Examples

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     Comic Books 
  • In an issue of The Tick, Paul the Samurai has an overly dramatic monologue to himself, which he ends by pulling out his sword and striking a pose. He then remembers that his sword can only be sheathed when it has tasted blood. He then looks at his hand, which is covered in band-aids. Apparently, it was a bad habit of his.

    Literature 
  • Kin-Slayer in Chronicles of the Kencyrath is portrayed as a weapon which doesn't want to be put in the scabbard without having killed someone first.
  • Dune: The Fremen consider it a very grave offense to re-sheathe a crysknife without drawing blood.
  • In The Legends of Ethshar novel The Misenchanted Sword, the eponymous sword literally could not be resheathed until it had been used to kill somebody.
  • The Alchemist: While travelling with a caravan, Santiago gets a premonition that they're going to be attacked. He informs the chief, who tells him that they'll make defensive preparations, but if he was wrong they'll kill him, since apparently "blood must be shed once weapons are drawn". Fortunately (for him), he was right.
  • In Kushiel's Legacy, members of the Cassiline Brotherhood, an order of Warrior Monks who act as elite bodyguards, carry a two-handed sword and dual daggers. The daggers are fair game, but Cassilines are forbidden to draw their swords in the field except to kill in defense of their charge.
  • Kelemvor Lyonsbane's Sins of Our Fathers curse in the Avatar Series of Forgotten Realms novels is an unusual variant that doesn't actually involve a weapon. Any time the curse triggers, he turns into a giant were-panther and can't change back into a human until he kills someone.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: The Narn have a special warrior's sword, K'tok, which tradition mandates cannot be re-sheathed until it has tasted blood. In one episode this trope was lampshaded, and later the proud warrior from the agrarian culture drew the sword for effect. He discreetly cut his palm before putting the sword away.
  • In Battlestar Galactica (Classic), there was a race called the Borellian Nomen. They had a warrior's code that said that if they drew their long knife, they would prefer suicide to seeing the knife resheathed unbloodied.
  • Referenced in an episode of Magnum, P.I.. In the tag, Magnum's being a pain to Higgins, and mentions this trope in reference to Higgins unsheathing a katana. Then Higgins gets this crazy gleam in his eye and says "I know.".

    Mythology 
  • Norse Mythology
    • King Högni's dwarf-made sword Dáinsleif. It could not be sheathed until it had drawn blood or taken life.
    • Tyrfing. Another dwarf-forged sword, it was cursed so that it would kill a man every time it was drawn.
  • Some tales suggest that the swords made by the Real Life swordsmith Sengo Muramasa are Evil Weapons that can only be sheathed once they have drawn blood (and aren't picky about where it comes from), and that they can drive their wielders mad with bloodlust.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In 3.5e at least, there was a Dungeons & Dragons mechanic that was a quality of an intelligent weapon, that was almost word for word the laconic version of this trope.
  • In Nomine supplement Superiors I: War and Honor. One of the oaths that can be sworn by a Malakite angel of Laurence is "I will not draw my sword unless I intend to kill someone".
  • In Dark Heresy, a Feral Worlder character can have this as a superstition. As in, his/her weapon doesn't actually have this trait (hopefully) but s/he believes it does.
  • KABAL (Knights and Berserkers and Legerdemain) Referee Guide. One possible type of magic weapon special ability was actually a drawback. If the wielder attempted to sheathe it before it had drawn blood, it would attack all nearby creatures as if it was a Dancing Sword until it had hit each of them once.
  • It is rumored the Ba'al Verzi daggers in the Ravenloft setting cannot be sheathed before having killed someone.

    Video Games 
  • In Gaia Online, the Muramasa sword cannot be sheathed until it has drawn blood.
  • The cursed swords in Muramasa: The Demon Blade cannot be sheathed until they have tasted blood. It there's no one around to kill, the swords will turn on their wielders.
  • Team Fortress 2 has the Half-Zatoichi, a katana used by the Soldier and Demoman classes which can only be switched for another weapon if the user has gotten a kill or has gone to a resupply cabinet and heals the player to full health on a successful kill.
  • Halo: The Sangheili, a Proud Warrior Race, claim that no weapon should be drawn without intent of using it, or else it demands blood. In Halo Wars, though, the Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee draws his energy swords in the presence of one of the Prophets, a double blasphemy. It's a sign of his disrespectful attitude toward his own religion, and his high rank is the only reason the Prophets' Honor Guards don't kill him on the spot.
  • Muramasa appears in Muramasa: The Demon Blade, in which the 108 swords have various curses upon them in exchange for their power. They cannot be put away until they've killed something, and they corrupt the minds of unworthy or undisciplined individuals.

    Web Comics 
  • In Sluggy Freelance Torg's magic sword does not have any magical properties unless it first tastes the blood of an innocent.
  • In one of Greg's first outings as the Shirt Ninja in Real Life Comics, he draws his katana without a target and announces in Inner Monologue that he can't sheathe it until it tastes blood. He satisfies this by using the sword to slice cold cuts.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls": Once Steve fails to bring back Akiko from trick or treating before sundown like he promised, Toshi dons his Samurai costume and swears that his sword will taste blood. Steve manages to talk Toshi into not killing him and to stop being so overprotective. Instead, Toshi slaughters a bunch of Serial Killers set loose during the A plotline to satisfy the oath.
    Toshi: (Subtitles) Once this Sword is drawn, it must taste blood.

    Real Life 
  • Although a popular legend states that a Gurkha "never sheathes his blade without first drawing blood" this is in fact untrue, and the kukri is most commonly employed as a multi-use utility tool rather like a machete. There is no requirement to prick yourself or anyone else before sheathing the blade. However there have been instances of Gurkhas slicing their fingers with it as a practical joke to impress outsiders with their ferocity. It's also been theorized that the "must taste blood" was something that annoyed Gurkhas started telling tourists, to make them stop asking to see the kukris.
  • Many Sikhs carry a small steel knife known as a kirpan, as a reminder and a means to protect the innocent from harm. Periodically this has to be taken out and sharpened, but as the blade supposedly cannot be unsheathed unless it is to draw blood, the sharpener supposedly has to nick a thumb or finger with it before putting it away. This, too is a myth. In reality, while the kirpan is a holy symbol that should only be drawn either for maintenance, to defend oneself or another, or to cut the prasad (a religious offering of food), drawing blood is not necessary.

Community Feedback Replies: 98
  • June 25, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    Averted in Real Life.

    • Although a popular legend states that a Gurkha "never sheathes his blade without first drawing blood" this is in fact untrue, and the kukri is most commonly employed as a multi-use utility tool rather like a machete. There is no requirement to prick yourself or anyone else before sheathing the blade.
  • June 25, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    I suspect this is Too Rare To Trope, but I could be wrong.
  • June 25, 2011
    Reflextion
    Dune: The Fremen consider it a very grave offense to re-sheathe a crysknife without drawing blood.
  • June 25, 2011
    JonnyB
    In the original Battlestar Galactica, there was a race called the Borellian Nomen. They had a warrior's code that said that if they drew their long knife, they would prefer suicide to seeing the knife resheathed unbloodied.

    The samurai Bushido code held that one must never ever draw their sword without drawing blood.
  • June 25, 2011
    PaulA
    • In the Ethshar novel The Misenchanted Sword, the eponymous sword literally could not be resheathed until it had been used to kill somebody.

  • June 25, 2011
    Hadashi
    It isn't too rare to trope, but very impractical in real life!
  • June 25, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    ^Cause frankly, it is BS. In Real Life, warriors and soldiers, even ones from the "Mysterious East" or Proud Warrior Race types, know that weapons must be drawn all the time for cleaning, practice etc, and that cutting yourself (especially in times before modern medicine) is a silly way of risking infection.

    From here Samurai Myth No. 7: A samurai wasn't allowed to place his sword back into its scabbard without first drawing blood. Samurai Fact: Not true.
  • June 25, 2011
    TinyTedDanson
    Isn't this trope essentially Chekhovs Gun ? The entire concept of drawing a sword in a plot is like loading a gun; if it isn't fired/used, then it has no use for the plot.
  • June 25, 2011
    Bisected8
    No, that's when showing something implies a later payoff. This has nothing to do with it whatsoever.
  • June 25, 2011
    JonnyB
    Agreed, it's not Chekhovs Gun.
  • June 26, 2011
    TheFifthWall
    In Real Life, many Sikhs carry a small steel knife known as a kirpan, as a reminder and a means to protect the innocent from harm. Periodically this has to be taken out and sharpened, but as the blade cannot be unsheathed unless it is to draw blood, the sharpener has to nick a thumb or finger with it before putting it away. A lot of Sikhs have rows of small straight scars running down their digits because of this.
  • June 27, 2011
    Arivne
    The Babylon 5 Narn sword is called a K'tok.

    Mythology
    • Norse Mythology
      • King Högni's dwarf-made sword Dáinsleif. It could not be sheathed until it had drawn blood or taken life.
      • Tyrfing. Another dwarf-forged sword, it was cursed so that it would kill a man every time it was drawn.

    Video Games
    • In the Gaia Online MMORPG, the Muramasa sword cannot be sheathed until it has drawn blood.
  • June 27, 2011
    Kashi
    Doesn't seem like an indicative name to me.
  • June 27, 2011
    LarryD
    Ok, there's a novel with something like this trope as its Mc Guffin, The Misenchanted Sword I believe is the title. Anyone else read this, it's been quite a while, and the details have gone foggy. The sword was enchanted under difficult conditions, and there were several spells in the enchantment. If I remember correctly, one was that the sword could not be lost, "events" would conspire to see that it always "found" its owner.
  • June 27, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    I'd be willing to be the Sikhs story is also a myth, just like the Japanese and Gurhkas. Europeans seem really fond of attributing fictitious practices to Asians. Please, no real life examples unless you can confirm them form reliable sources.
  • June 27, 2011
    c0ry
    In 3.5e at least, there was a Dungeons And Dragons mechanic that was a quality of an intelligent weapon, that was almost word for word the laconic version of this trope.
  • June 28, 2011
    Techhead
    On the Kukri note, this paragraph is taken from the Kukris Are Kool page:

    As with Katanas, there is a persistent myth that the blade must 'taste blood' before it is sheathed. This is untrue, as a Kukri is useful for far more than just violence. However there have been instances of Gurkhas slicing their fingers with it as a practical joke to impress outsiders with their ferocity. It's also been theorized that the "must taste blood" was something that annoyed Gurkhas started telling tourists, to make them stop asking to see the kukris.
  • June 28, 2011
    Arivne
    ^^^^ @Larry D: I found some references to The Misenchanted Sword.

    Literature
    • Lawrence Watt-Evans' The Misenchanted Sword. When the title sword is drawn, it must be used to kill a man before it can be sheathed again.
  • June 28, 2011
    PaulA
    Larry D, Arivne: Before expending effort to track down an example, you can sometimes save yourself the trouble by checking to see if it's been mentioned already.
  • June 29, 2011
    Stratadrake
    For the Babylon 5 example, the correct spelling is "discreetly", not "discretely".

    This distinction sponsored by your local Grammar Nazi.
  • August 18, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • In Nomine supplement Superiors I: War and Honor. One of the oaths that can be sworn by a Malakite angel of Laurence is "I will not draw my sword unless I intend to kill someone".
  • August 18, 2011
    jaytee
    Definitely needs a better title.
  • August 18, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ suggestions?
  • August 19, 2011
    kjnoren
    Bloodthirsty Sword or Bloodthirsty Blade? Weapon With Blood Lust?

    Example (literature):

    • Kin-Slayer in Chronicles Of The Kencyrath is portrayed as a weapon which doesn't want to be put in the scabbard without having killed someone first.

  • August 19, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ Hungry Sword is a separate trope in the YKTTW for actually hungry/thirsty weapons; better to have a clearer name for this one
  • August 19, 2011
    kjnoren
    IMO, there is not enough to distinguish this from the Hungry Sword YKTTW, then.
  • August 19, 2011
    Madcapunlimited
    Paul the Samurai from The Tick:
  • May 28, 2012
    peccantis
    ^^ Not enough??? This is about a honour code, Hungry Sword is about literally hungry or thirsty weapons, i.e. sentient weapons õ_õ

    Anyways, let's kick this up and get it published after all this time. We have a bunch of nice examples, we have a description with a bit of analysis (suggestions to improve?), we have some murmur for a better name (but no suggestions for such), and we have a laconic (that no one's objected to this far :3)...
  • June 1, 2012
    Hertzyscowicz
    The following should go to Hungry Sword:

    • Kin-Slayer in Chronicles Of The Kencyrath is portrayed as a weapon which doesn't want to be put in the scabbard without having killed someone first.
    • In the Ethshar novel The Misenchanted Sword, the eponymous sword literally could not be resheathed until it had been used to kill somebody.
    • Lawrence Watt-Evans' The Misenchanted Sword. When the title sword is drawn, it must be used to kill a man before it can be sheathed again.

    • Norse Mythology
      • King Högni's dwarf-made sword Dáinsleif. It could not be sheathed until it had drawn blood or taken life.
      • Tyrfing. Another dwarf-forged sword, it was cursed so that it would kill a man every time it was drawn.

    • In 3.5e at least, there was a Dungeons And Dragons mechanic that was a quality of an intelligent weapon, that was almost word for word the laconic version of this trope.

    • In the Gaia Online MMORPG, the Muramasa sword cannot be sheathed until it has drawn blood.
    • The cursed swords in Muramasa: The Demon Blade cannot be sheathed until they have tasted blood. It there's no one around to kill, the swords will turn on their wielders.

    The Team Fortress 2 example is borderline.

    Also, I can't find any citation for the Sikh belief.
  • June 1, 2012
    MicoolTNT
    In the EU, the Elites of Halo have this belief about their energy swords.
  • June 4, 2012
    peccantis
    ^^ uh... why should they go to Hungry Sword? I don't see anything there referring to the concept of a sword being literally hungry. And why shouldn't they be listed under Honourbound Sword? They're merely enforced versions of the "cannot sheathe sword until drawn blood//mustn't draw sword unless with intent to draw bloos" legend/code.

    ^ So just a belief? Not a honour code? No historical reasons? Superstition?
  • July 28, 2013
    LordGro
    There may be a difference between this kind of weapons and literally thirsty blades, but Honorbound Sword is really not indicative. Under Honorbound Sword, I would rather expect a weapon which cannot be used for dishonorable deeds, or only activates its full powers when wielded by a honorable person. What "killing someone every time the sword is drawn" has to do with 'honor' is not at all apparent (in fact, I don't see the connection at all).

    I could very well see this an internal subtrope under Hungry Sword. So Hungry Sword (or Hungry Weapon) would have two variants, a more literal one and this one, when there is a curse or spell on the weapon that forces the wielder to kill under certain circumstances.
  • July 28, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    In Sluggy Freelance Torg's magic sword does not have any magical properties unless it tastes the blood of an innocent.
  • July 28, 2013
    LordGro
    ^ This is Situational Sword and possibly Evil Weapon. Not this.
  • July 28, 2013
    Damr1990
    what aboud Bloodthirsty Sword 0then?
  • July 28, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Why is The Misenchanted Sword listed twice in the examples?

    Also, if what Auxdarastrix said is true and this trope doesn't really apply to the samurai, you should remove the part refering to bushido from the description.
  • July 28, 2013
    KeyofEden
    Some more title suggestions:

    Blade Must Be Bloodied

    Kill to Sheath

  • July 29, 2013
    Chabal2
    The Alchemist: While travelling with a caravan, Santiago gets a premonition that they're going to be attacked. He informs the chief, who tells him that they'll make defensive preparations, but if he was wrong they'll kill him, since apparently "blood must be shed once weapons are drawn". Fortunately (for him), he was right.

  • July 29, 2013
    DAN004
    May be obvious already, but compare Situational Sword.
  • July 29, 2013
    DAN004
    So currently there are 2 tropes about blades in this one YKTTW: one that cannot be unsheathed unless the user intended to draw blood, and another that cannot be sheathed unless the blade tastes blood.

    Why not a title that encompass both?
  • January 12, 2014
    zarpaulus
    I haven't seen a single reference beyond this page to kirpans needing blood to be sheathed. In fact I'm pretty sure that Sikhs in countries where carrying knives is illegal will just wear a pin shaped like a kirpan.
  • January 12, 2014
    arbiter099
    I like the current title, but Bloodlust Blade?
  • January 12, 2014
    wanderlustwarrior
    ^^^I think a merger would be good.

    ^I think that is a much better name. The current name suggests, you know, honor.
  • January 13, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    I'm pretty sure Situational Sword covers this.
  • January 13, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Nah, that'd be a supertrope. Plus the "situation" here can be fabricated easily.
  • January 13, 2014
    zarpaulus
    ^ Don't think so, many of these weapons work perfectly well if they aren't blooded, it's just some stupid Honor Before Reason thing that has no basis in real life.
  • January 13, 2014
    robinjohnson
    I've heard this about the dirks kept in sporrans by Scotsmen, but I don't know if it's a myth. (I did know someone who abode by it and would nick his finger before putting the dirk away, but possibly he just believed the myth. Which may make it true if enough people do the same, I suppose.)
  • January 13, 2014
    Tuckerscreator
    • Halo: The Sangheili, a Proud Warrior Race, claim that no weapon should be drawn without intent of using it, or else it demands blood. In Halo Wars, though, the Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee draws his energy swords in the presence of one of the Prophets, a double blasphemy. It's a sign of his disrespectful attitude toward his own religion, and his high rank is the only reason the Prophets' Honor Guards don't kill him on the spot.
  • January 18, 2014
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Web Comics
    • In one of Greg's first outings as the Shirt Ninja in Real Life Comics, he draws his katana without a target and announces in Inner Monologue that he can't sheathe it until it tastes blood. He satisfies this by using the sword to slice cold cuts.
  • May 18, 2014
    DAN004
    Make this Bloodlust Blade and make a new Honorbound Sword ykttw.
  • May 18, 2014
    Bisected8
    The one about Sikhs is definitely untrue. Aside from the fact that I can't find any cite for it (on the contrary, I can only find refutations by googling "Kirpan must draw blood"), the religion itself says that is should only ever be drawn for the purpose of self defence - pretty much the opposite of "must draw blood".

    TBH, I have a feeling most of the "must draw blood" legends are just that.
  • May 18, 2014
    Alvin
    I remember mentioning this in another YKTTW. Also: Live-Acton TV: Referenced in an episode of Magnum PI. In the tag, Magnum's being a pain to Higgins, and mentions this trope in reference to Higgins unsheathing a katana. Then Higgins gets this crazy gleam in his eye and says "I know.".
  • May 19, 2014
    bitemytail
    • In Dark Heresy, a Feral Worlder character can have this as a superstition. As in, his/her weapon doesn't actually have this trait (hopefully) but s/he believes it does.
  • May 22, 2014
    NemuruMaeNi
    Does This Count
    • Hunter X Hunter: Kite's Functional Magic activation nets him a supernatural weapon picked out of a certain assortment of nine items. By design the pick is random, and until the resulting weapon is used, it will not disappear. Coquetry or not, each of the three times the ability is used on-screen, before Kite proceeds to fight he utters a comment that the weapon is a miss, a bad pick.
    It doesn't put emphasis on blood, I think.
  • May 22, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Ack, why has this got named Honorbound Sword? what's so honorable about needing to injure someone?

    How about Thirsty Sword Needs Quenching? it makes it sound the sword needs to drink or else... something. but hey, it's a start.
  • May 22, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    Maybe Draw Sword Draw Blood (with a comma in the middle)?
  • May 22, 2014
    DAN004
    Upping my Bloodthirsty Blade.
  • May 22, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ Doesn't quite get the need across.

    THE NEED. FOR BLEED.

    That said, it gave me an idea. Need For Bleed Sword Sheath. i.e. it makes it sound the sheath needs blood before it can get the sword innit. not quite the trope, but the NEED is there.
  • May 22, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ like I said, there are 2 types of this: one that cannot be unsheathed unless the user intended to draw blood, and another that cannot be sheathed unless the blade tastes blood.

    Maybe there's a hidden third type? I dunno.
  • May 22, 2014
    AP
    Comics
    • In an issue of The Tick, Paul the Samurai has an overly dramatic monologue to himself, which he ends by pulling out his sword and striking a pose. He then remembers that his sword can only be sheathed when it has tasted blood. He then looks at his hand, which is covered in band-aids. Apparently, it was a bad habit of his.
  • May 23, 2014
    StarSword
    Regarding the Sikh example, I did a couple Google searches. According to a Sikhism message board it's a myth. The kirpan is a holy symbol that should only be drawn to defend or to cut the prasad (a religious offering of food), but in neither case is drawing blood actually necessary.
  • May 23, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ I'd say it's still technically Invoked Trope. much like the Muramasa blades.
  • May 23, 2014
    DAN004
    ^^ so yeah, the intention is necessary. Thus it fits.
  • May 23, 2014
    DAN004
    Is this Up For Grabs yet?
  • August 10, 2014
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • KABAL (Knights and Berserkers and Legerdemain) Referee Guide. One possible type of magic weapon special ability was actually a drawback. If the wielder attempted to sheathe it before it had drawn blood, it would attack all nearby creatures as if it was a Dancing Sword until it had hit each of them once.
  • August 10, 2014
    DAN004
    Grabbing this later ;)
  • August 10, 2014
    DAN004
    Grabbing this later ;)
  • August 11, 2014
    jormis29
    • American Dad "Best Little Horror House in Langley Falls": Once Steve fails to bring back Akiko from trick or treating before sundown like he promised, Toshi dons his Samurai costume and swears that his sword will taste blood. Steve manages to talk Toshi into not killing him and to stop being so overprotective. Instead, Toshi slaughters a bunch of Serial Killers set loose during the A plotline to satisfy the oath.
      Toshi: (Subtitles) Once this Sword is drawn, it must taste blood.
  • August 15, 2014
    DAN004
    So do I really need move some examples to Hungry Weapon or not?
  • August 20, 2014
    DAN004
    Bumpity
  • August 24, 2014
    StarSword
    Added a note to the Sikh kirpan example that it's another urban legend. Also did some namespacing.
  • September 2, 2014
    DAN004
    Okay, Hungry Weapon has been launched. Something needs to be done.
  • September 2, 2014
    StarSword
    Oh, geez. Didn't realize I hadn't hatted this.

    Also did a little cleanup on the Sikhism example.
  • September 20, 2014
    DAN004
    Buuuuump
  • October 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Hats?
  • October 4, 2014
    SvartiKotturinn
    Add a pic and I'll hat ya. =3
  • October 9, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ What would you suggest?
  • October 16, 2014
    jormis29

    • Legend has it that the swords crafted by the famous swordsmith, Muramasa must draw blood once unsheathed or it will force the wielder to wound themselves or even commit suicide because of their insatiable blood lust.

  • October 27, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Wouldn't that be Hungry Weapon?
  • December 8, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump?
  • December 8, 2014
    StarSword
    I hatted this ages ago.
  • December 9, 2014
    AgProv
    Real Life:
    • Russian soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars onwards were rarely issued scabbards for their bayonets; official thinking was that the bayonet was an integral part of the rifle and its being worn on the rifle at all times was a symbol of the Russian soldier's determination to get in close and finish the job hand-to-hand. Later rifles such as the SKS seroies (immediate predecessor of the AK-47) featured an integrally fitted bayonet that could be folded back down against the stock when not in active use. Of course this took away the minor logistic drain of manufacturing bayonet scabbards as part of an equipment issue to recruits.

    Possible picture: a blade that can never be sheathed, because it's always attached to the rifle the Soviet SKS-series rifle with permanently attached bayonet.
  • December 9, 2014
    StarSword
    ^Where in that example does it say anything about the weapon having to cut somebody before you're allowed to put it away?
  • December 9, 2014
    AgProv
    That's implicit in the ethos: every other army with rifles, including the Japanese, provided separate scabbards for the bayonet for its stowage when the weapon wasn't actually required. The Russians were unique in fitting them to the end of a rifle on Day One and insisting they remained there until hostilities ended. The active expectation was that Russian Army soldiers would get close enough to the enemy to get blood on them. There are quotes from Russian generals that I'm trying to track down.

    • '''"The bullet's an idiot, the bayonet's a fine chap."
    • "Stab once and throw the Turk off the bayonet. Bayonet another, bayonet a third; a real warrior will bayonet half a dozen and more. Keep a bullet in the barrel. If three should run at you, bayonet the first, shoot the second and lay out the third with your bayonet.
    (Marshal Suvorov, who won the 1812 Overture)
  • December 10, 2014
    StarSword
    ^Still not seeing what that has to do with honor and/or religious obligations demanding that the weapon taste blood before you put it away.
  • December 11, 2014
    Snicka
    I keep misreading the trope name as Blade of Body Horror.
  • December 11, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Lol, then.
  • December 19, 2014
    SolipSchism
    Heyo, I was just asking about this idea in LNF.

    I poached the following examples from Evil Weapon after reading every single example to find which ones fit this idea:

    Mythology and Religion:
    • Some tales suggest that the swords made by the Real Life swordsmith Sengo Muramasa are Evil Weapons that can only be sheathed once they have drawn blood (and aren't picky about where it comes from), and that they can drive their wielders mad with bloodlust.
    • You already have Dainsleif and Tyrfing from Norse Mythology, but the Evil Weapon entry also includes "the sword of Bodvar Bjarki in Saga Of Hrolf Kraki."

    Tabletop Game:
    • It is rumored the Ba'al Verzi daggers in the Ravenloft setting cannot be sheathed before having killed someone.

    Video Game:
    • Muramasa appears in Muramasa The Demon Blade, in which the 108 swords have various curses upon them in exchange for their power. They cannot be put away until they've killed something, and they corrupt the minds of unworthy or undisciplined individuals.

    Web Original:
    • In The Gamers Alliance, the Sword of Darkness grants its wielder immense power but also actively corrupts him or her into becoming a dark knight. Once the sword is drawn, it can't be sheathed until it has tasted blood.

    Please note that I'm not familiar with any of the examples here; I poached them almost word-for-word off of Evil Weapon, with some tweaks to remove extraneous context.

    I'm almost positive there is also a Real Life myth that NCO sabers in the US Military are like this as a matter of honor, but it is indeed a myth, as there is no such expectation.
  • December 19, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ they all fit here, thanks
  • December 22, 2014
    SolipSchism
    In reference to the first sentence, might be worth noting a basic tenet of Gun Safety: Never point a firearm at anything you don't intend to shoot, and never put your finger on the trigger unless you are ready to fire. It's two separate rules that both have the same general idea. Both actions (pointing and/or putting your finger on the trigger) connote that you are ready to shoot, and shouldn't be done in any other circumstance. Strongly parallels the "Don't draw your sword unless you intend to use it" rule.

    EDIT: Also, added a hat. Thought I had done that last week, my bad.
  • December 22, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Kinda remembered one quote for that (but not for this trope):
    Shanks: Guns are used for killing, not for threatening.
  • December 23, 2014
    BlackTemplar
    How about Bloodthirsty Blade?
  • December 23, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ may be confused with Hungry Weapon
  • December 23, 2014
    StarSword
    Literature:
    • In Kushiels Legacy, members of the Cassiline Brotherhood, an order of Warrior Monks who act as elite bodyguards, are forbidden to draw their swords in the field except to kill in defense of their charge. Their twin daggers are fair game, however.
  • December 23, 2014
    SolipSchism
    ^^ Yeah, I'd be wary of naming this anything that implies the weapon itself wants carnage or blood, due to that problem. Even though some examples may actually fit that. I'm partial to Draw Sword, Draw Blood. It's not perfect, but I like it better than the current title.
  • December 23, 2014
    SolipSchism
    OH, I forgot I wanted to note this as a variant:

    Literature:

    • Kelemvor's Sins Of Our Fathers curse in the Avatar Series of Forgotten Realms novels is an unusual variant that doesn't actually involve a weapon; any time the curse triggers, he turns into a giant were-panther and can't change back into a human until he kills someone.

    For extra context if you want to expand it, his ancestor was asked for a minor charity by a witch, and demanded payment for it. In retribution for his greed, the witch cursed him so that he could never accept payment or barter for anything, else he would turn into the were-panther described above until he killed someone. As a reuslt, he died destitute and penniless. But since the curse was oriented on the sin of greed, and because Children Are Innocent, when the man's child was born, the curse had nothing to fixate on, so it inverted itself and now it triggers whenever the victim does anything charitable, which means they have to demand payment or barter for everything they want to give away or do for another person. The curse remained this way all the way down the man's lineage to Kelemvor at the time of the story.
  • December 31, 2014
    StarSword
    Dan? You want me to go ahead and launch this for you?
  • December 31, 2014
    DAN004
    Maybe change the title to Draw Sword Draw Blood and I'm good.

    I don't have time to launch + crosswick this currently, so go ahead.
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