One-Handed Axes

The axe, as a tool and as a weapon, has existed since long before the cataclysm and is said to be almost as old as the spear or the bow. The first examples of recorded history show axes in use in many domestic and agricultural roles, most notably in construction and woodcutting. Their place in warfare is equally ancient, and several surviving military textbooks from as early as the reign of Tulcas detail their proper use on the battlefield. Most primitive axes were almost always wood hafted weapons, the heads of which were made of carved bone, or stone chipped to an edge. Bronze heads and shafts came about much later and were common by the time of the founding of the Republic. More recently, increasing numbers of axes are making good use of the strength of iron and boisin since the typical small axe-head requires less metal to craft than most gladii and even some fighting dirks.

In combat, the preferred axe is usually a one-handed variant with a single blade. Two-handed axes are not unheard of, but because of the skill and sheer strength required to successfully wield such a weapon in combat they are not common outside of logging. There are exceptions, however. The Blackroots are well known for their two-handed battle-axes and have a distinct fighting style for their use. (Blackroot tribesmen are also generally much stronger than the denizens of surrounding lands and so are more capable of handling such large axes in combat).

The main advantages of the axe, as opposed to simply choosing a sword or club-type weapon, are that the axe is better at chopping and slashing than a blunt weapon and can typically cause more grievous wounds than a sword. On the other hand, the axe is a poor defensive weapon and is more unwieldy and slower in use than a well-balanced gladius. Usually, if the bearer of the axe is inexperienced or poorly trained, it's a trivial matter for a skilled swordsman to get inside of the axe's arc and stab away. However, given and experienced wielder who knows how to use it, an axe can be a very deadly weapon.

Skill Info Ranks Taught by Trainer
Skills/Actions Difficulty Hands Range Wound Hroth Kerta Protarian
One-Handed Axes Easy - - - 300 110 75
Axe Hand Toss Easy 1 - - 175 90 70
Axe Feint Average Either - - 175 90 70
Axe Throw Average Either Missile Cut 175 90 70
Axe Basic Chop Easy Either Short Cut 175 90 70
Axe Longarm Strike Average Either Short Pierce 175 90 70
Axe Overhead Strike Average Either Short Pierce 175 90 70
Axe Pivot Smash Average Either Short Bruise 175 90 70
Axe Pivoting Longarm Difficult Either Short Pierce 175 90 70
Axe Side Strike Average 2 Short Cut 175 90 70
Axe Slash Easy Either Short Cut 175 90 70
Axe Head Swat Easy Either Short Bruise 175 90 70
Axe Chopping Block Difficult Either - - 175 90 70
Axe Hook Difficult Either - - 175 90 70
Axe Loosening Toss Average Either Short - 175 90 70
Axe Shield-Breaker Easy Either Short - 175 90 70
Axe Crossblock Average Either - - 175 90 70
Axe Leg Strike Difficult Either Short Bruise - 90 70
Axe Stepping Chop Average Either Short Cut 175 90 70
Axe Stepping Leg Strike Difficult Either Short Bruise 175 90 70
Parcine Raider Stance Easy - - - - 90 70
Axe Accuracy Difficult - - - 175 90 75
Axe Grip Impossible - - - 175 90 75
Skill Prerequisites
Axe Throw 10 Ranks in Axe Hand Toss
Axe Pivoting Longarm 20 ranks in Axe Longarm Strike
20 Ranks in Axe Pivot Smash
Axe Loosening Toss 10 Ranks in Axe Hand Toss
Axe Stepping Chop 40 Ranks in Axe Basic Chop
Axe Stepping Leg Strike 40 Ranks in Axe Leg Strike

Directions to Protarian (Iridine): Walk to Bronze Lane, Ex2, NEx2, Nx1, Ex6, Sx1
Directions to Kerta (Town of Rock Valley): Walk to Hospice, wait for drover to appear, follow drover, Ex10, Nx2, Wx3, Nx9, Ex2, Nx2, E, Nx3
Directions to Hroth (Stromheim): Travel to Stromheim through the Rock Valley wilderness.

Axe Hand Toss handtoss

This maneuver is, essentially, leaving oneself open while tossing the axe overhead. Being weighted like a common hammer, only in a more extreme way, it pivots around its head. If successful, the wielder ends up with the axe in a combat grip in the other hand. If unsuccessful (and this is a hard one to mess up), the wielder drops the axe, misses the catch, grabs the blade and drops it, or even, very rarely, smacks himself in the head with a half dozen pounds of axe-head. The hand toss is practiced to familiarize wielders with the balance of the weapon, and not used in battle, unless one wants to show utter contempt for the opponent. It can look impressive in the arena- but will only be done -before- the fight starts.

According to Protarian, "Hand toss, eh? Now don't ya go and start usin' that durin' a battle. Afore mebbe, but not durin'. Itsa showy move… ya toss yer axe over yer head, sendin it spinning, and catch it in yer other hand. Course, one tends ta mess up at the worst of times."

When you see this in use you see:
Kerta tosses an axe up into the air, the weapon revolving swiftly around it's head as it spins, but fails to catch it as it comes down, clattering onto the ground instead.
Kerta tosses a tin axe up into the air, which spins quickly as it pivots around its head, catching it precisely as it comes back down and wields it in her other hand.

Axe Feint feint <target>

Similar to a feint with other weapons, the wielder attempts to distract the opponent and create an opening in his defenses. The difficulty for a feint to be used is dependant on the opponents overall fighting ability, a less skilled opponent will fall for a feint easier then a more skilled warrior.

According to Protarian, "Got an opponent that's good at blockin' yer hits? Try usin' a feint ta distract him."

When you see this in use you see:
Hroth leans forward, feigning a strike at a thug with his axe.

Axe Throw throw <axe>

A powerful throwing attack, used best at a shorter range. You should be practiced in Hand Toss before learning throw, if not, you suffer severe penalties on your throwing success. Swaying Dodge protects against this attack.

According to Protarian, "Ya wanna know how ta throw an axe? Learn hand toss first, otherwise ferget it. Ya gotta know the basics of handling an axe to throw it well. Once yer at least practiced in hand toss, though…Yer axe can be a vicious weapon when thrown. Don't expect it ta hit at the range of a spear or bow, tho."

When you see this in use you see:
Kerta throws an axe at a thug, but misses.

Axe Basic Chop chop <target>

The most basic attack with the axe, this is the common strike of the beginner. Because of the balance and leverage of the axe it does significantly more damage than a chop with a gladius. It automatically aims high, and cannot be aimed otherwise.

According to Protarian, "Chop eh? Can't get any more basic than that. What's there to say? You hack at yer opponent with the axe. That's what most beginners start off with. Don't try aimin' low with it, tho."

When you see this in use you see:
Hroth brings down his tin axe in a chopping motion aimed at a thug, but misses.

Axe Longarm Strike longarm <target>

One-handed, the wielder gives away some of his defensive balance for a moment, putting his weight and the laws of physics behind this strike. If totally successful, it puts the entire six-pound weight of the axe's head, moved at the end of a lever as long as the wielder's arm plus three feet, behind a razor-sharp tip. This inflicts a really grevious wound, and may go right through a bronze shield or breastplate, much to everyone's surprise.

According to Protarian, "Longarm strike eh? Good solid, move, that one. Learned it from tha plains raiders near Astraea. In short. ya use the leverage of yer arm plus the haft of the axe…and whomp 'em good. Like chop in a ways, ya can't aim it low. Now, 'nother reason it's good ta learn…Is cuz ya gotta know it to do overhead strike an' pivoting longarm."

When you see this in use you see:
Hroth steps forward, grasping his tin axe in one hand tightly and lifting it above his head, before striking downwards in a powerful blow aimed at a thug! He suffers a puncture to his right hand.

Axe Overhead Strike overhead <target>

Two-handed, the wielder does the same thing as with a Longarm Strike, but with even more force behind it. This maneuver, statistically, is more likely to have total success, inflict more damage, and penetrate armor. The one catch, of course, being the 'two-handed' part.

According to Protarian, "Overhead strike? Hard-hittin' move, that one. Jus' like a longarm strike but better at whompin'. Takes both yer hands, though. Course, ya gotta be at least 'practiced' in longarm ta try it…"

When you see this in use you see:
Kerta steps forward, grasping her tin axe in both hands tightly and lifting it above her head, before striking downwards in a powerful blow aimed at a thug! He suffers a puncture to his right hand.

Axe Pivot Smash smash <target>

The wielder pivots to face right or left while smashing indiscriminately at the opponent. The resultant attack is more likely to hit, but has no chance of being a cut or pierce, only a blunt strike. It is more powerful than a simple swat, but cannot be aimed with precision.

According to Protarian, "Ya want a painful bruisin' attack? Then ya go with pivot smash. Lots stronger than a head swat…But not very precise. Basic'ly, ya pivot on one foot and smash yer opponent with yer axe-head. While yer doin' that, its a bit hard ta aim…Oh ya can try to hit 'em 'high' or 'low' and all that. But don't bother aimin' for specific parts."

When you see this in use you see:
Pivoting on one foot, Kerta turns halfway while smashing indiscriminately at a thug using the axes head, but misses.

Axe Pivoting Longarm pivot <target>

This is no doubt the most powerful axe attack. The wielder takes the full strength of his body, focused in a swift pivoting motion, and puts it behind the leverage of a longarm strike. This combined force is then concentrated into the relatively small edge of the axe-head and often results in incapacitating wounds. A highly refined version of the common sidestrike, this powerful blow is the most damaging available to single-handed axes.

According to Protarian, "Pivotin' longarm strike eh? Fine trick, that one. Combines yer other techniques fer a whoppin' hit. Think of it as yer typical sidestrike with a heck of a lot mer power. But ta use it…Ya gotta be familiar at pivot smash and longarm strike first."

When you see this in use you see:
Pivoting on one foot, Hroth keeps his own arm straight as he turns half way and gives a thug a vicious blow with his bronze axe. He suffers a severe puncture to his waist.

Axe Side Strike sidestrike <target>

Similar to sidestrikes with other weapons, the wielder clutches the axe in both hands and attempts a powerful horizontal strike.

According to Protarian, "Gotta use both yer hands fer that one. Heck of a lot stronger than a slash, though. Otherwise, not much of a difference."

When you see this in use you see:
Using both arms, Protarian brings his axe around toward a thug in a powerful sidestrike, but misses.

Axe Slash slash <target>

A single-handed attack using the axe's blade which takes little effort to master.

According to Protarian, "Simple attack, same thing as slashin' with a sword. Don't put as much strength behind it as, say, chop. But at least ye can cut yer opponent's feet out from under him."

When you see this in use you see:
Protarian slashes horizontally at a thug with the blade of his tin axe. He suffers a cut to his right thigh.

Axe Head Swat swat <target>

The wielder attempts to swat at the opponent using the flat end of the axes blade. A relatively weak bruising attack Head Swat is used to avoid the spilling of blood.

According to Protarian, "If yer averse to blood, I don't suggest usin' the axe in the first place…But if ya really need to avoid spillin' it, head swat is an easy way ta go. Prefer pivot smash, meself."

When you see this in use you see:
Using the flat of a tin axe's head, Protarian swats at a thug, but misses.

Axe Chopping Block

In a tricky move requiring good timing and aim, the wielder chops downwards at an opponent's weapon, trying to a direct attack by knocking it off it's course or into the ground.

According to Protarian, "Now that's a tricky one…Gotta be quick to pull it off. Basic'ly, ye take a step back and chop downwards with yer axe…Goal bein' ta knock away an incomin' attack. Best choice fer yer jabs, stabs, and what have ya."

When you see this in use you see:
Chopping downward with his axe, Hroth deflects a thug's dirk.

Axe Hook hook

The wielder entangles the opponent's weapon with his own and tries to throw the opponent's weapon away using brute strength. The opponent has a chance to free his weapon as well (Type: free <weapon>).

According to Protarian, "That's a tricky move. Ya try hookin' yer axe-blade over yer opponent's weapon, catchin' it. If it succeeds… tha good news is that they canna block or attack. Bad news is, you can't too. If ya hooked yer opponent's weapon or got yer weapon hooked…Ya can try to free it. [free <weapon>] From that point on, itsa contest of strength. Advantage always goes to tha one who began the hook, tho. Course, if yer really skilled, ya can jes try a loosening toss."

When you see this in use you see:
Kerta makes a wide swing at a thug. He only manages to jostle a thug's grip on a tin dagger with her tin axe.
Kerta makes a wide swing at a thug. She manages to cast the blade of her axe over the nicked dagger of a thug, hooking it tightly!
In an impressive show of strength, Kerta wrenches away her axe from a thug, and sends his nicked dagger flying.

Axe Loosening Toss loose <weapon>

When entangled, you flip the axe away, and attempt to wield it once again. It will throw off the opponent when successful, but if you mess up, you could drop the axe.

According to Protarian, "Ya know hand toss? If so, this is yer way to use it in battle. When ya got an axe hooked with another weapon…Ya let go of it and give it 'nuff of a push that it spirals around yer opponent's weapon. All goes well and ya got yer axe unentangled with yer opponent off balance and vulnerable…Fer a good whompin!"

When you see this in use you see:
Kerta casts her axe forward, letting go of the haft, but miscalculates and sends it flying off harmlessly.
Giving it just enough of a push, Kerta lets go of his axe, sending it whirling about a tin dagger before returning to her hands, freed!

Axe Shield-Breaker break

The wielder aims wide, deliberately aiming for the shield of their opponent, putting significant force behind the blow. If it succeeds, the shield will take significant damage, possibly even breaking under the impact of the blow.

According to Dragaxus, "Shield-breaker, eh? A great technique for a nuissance shield that's stopping you from your target. Basically instead of trying to hit yer opponent, you attempt to go straight for their shield, full strength, giving it yer best shot. If ya get some good muscle into it, ya can destroy it and leave your enemy lacking a main layer of defense."

When you see this in use you see:
Protarian swings his iron axe in a wide arc, aiming for a thug's shield arm! The attack strikes a thug's long shield!
Protarian swings his iron axe in a wide arc at a thug but misses.

Axe Crossblock

One-handed or two, the wielder swings the weapon perpendicular to the line between him and the opponent, attempting to knock the attacker's weapon off its path.

According to Protarian, "Crossblock, eh? Simple, enough…Yer typical short axe don't got enough haft ta block with normally. So tha best way ta make sure yer opponent doesn't slice yer head off…Is ta deflect or catch their weapon usin yer axe blade. That's the gist of it."

When you see this in use you see:
Swing his axe horizontally, Hroth knocks away a thug's dirk.

Axe Leg Strike legstrike <target>

The wielder aims a vicious blow at the opponent's lower legs. If the maneuver succeeds, there is a chance of tripping the opponent (Defender's agility may counter this. The higher the strength of the character, the greater the effectiveness). This attack is much like Clubs Leg Strike in that it doesn't always knock the person down.

When you see this in use you see:
In a vicious lateral blow, Protarian twists his axe towards a brute in a powerful low strike but fails to hit.

Axe Stepping Chop

When you see this in use you see:
Stepping forward aggressively, Protarian brings his axe down in a chop aimed at thug!
Protarian aggressively chops his retalq axe down at thug while stepping forward, but fails to land a hit.

Axe Stepping Leg Strike

When you see this in use you see:
Stepping forward aggressively, Hroth directs his axe in a low, lateral strike aimed at thug!
Stepping forward aggressively, Hroth aims his axe towards thug in a low, lateral strike, but misses.

Parcine Raider Stance

When you see this in use you see:
Hroth is slightly crouched, ready to spring, with axe held vertical beside his head.

Axe Accuracy

With enough training in Accuracy, you are able to raise your perception in combat situations. A grandmaster in this skill will be equivalent to low-end great perception.

When you see this in use you see:
(This is a passive skill that improves your perception, making it easier to hit targets.)

Axe Grip

With enough training in Grip, you are able to raise your dexterity in combat situations. A grandmaster in this skill will be equivalent to low-end great dexterity.

When you see this in use you see:
(This is a passive skill that improves your dexterity, making it significantly easier to hit targets.)

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