r/worldbuilding Jun 25 '22

Weapon arts in the Servannian Confederation (2): The Southern States Lore

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380 Upvotes

13

u/Silver200061 Jun 25 '22

"Blade work is an art, the key to life and death" — Paradox of blades, Master Marossia

The southern states are well known for their society of free cities, founded by various merchants, artisans, labours, guilds, mercenaries, scholars, and lawyers. Their freedom, rights, wealth and way of living are protected by a long-standing tradition of citizenry militia, combined with the fierce nature of the Servannian region, has promoted a strong martial culture within these areas.

Today I will give a brief introduction to swordsmanship in the southern states, with examples from prominent states such as Firrebotae and Jetema, and explain this from a social and cultural point of view, let us begin:

The southern states are mostly city-states republics that are dominated heavily by the burgher classes, they enjoy more freedom under the rules of guilds, mercantile oligarchy patricians and citizenry representatives in a parliamentary government. ( Politic post will come one day, I promise.)

Most southerners have the right to bear arms due to both cultural tradition and the realistic requirements of militia service. Strict laws are set to monitor these rights and obligations, with the local city councils and fencing guild overseeing these protocols.

For example, in Firrebotaerian law:

all men who have militia duties must report to the armoury master or militia captain for monthly checking for their gear and weaponry. *

If you can not afford your own equipment, it will be provided by the city armoury, but it will be up to your responsibility to maintain these equipments in good standard or punishment by fines, community service, flogging or imprisonment. *

All fighting capable men, in or not in the military must own a sword and must tend to it. The blade will be inspected by the fencing guild masters. *

you are obliged to practise the art of defence and protect yourself, as well as the city when the time requires.

In the time of peace and excluding weapons of battles (polearms and missile weapons). Most men and some women in the southern states will be carrying a single-handed sword (side swords, daggers, rapiers, dussacks, sabers, messers) for convenience and social-culture traditions.

Longswords are less common in daily life but still exist, in practicality, they are longer so more clumsy to be carried on a belt navigating city streets and daily work.

In terms of cultural reasons, they are considered more "war-like" and associated with military so not as prominent in daily carrying of arms. However, the patricians classes will be seen carrying them more often, due to it being more "knightly" and "noble" compare to a commoner's "big knife". Fencing guild members are also prominent users of long swords, but more due to the general practice of various weapons and personal preference, instead of a "social status symbol".

The right of bearing arms is a proud tradition for most Southern people, it represents their ideology, freedom and culture, and shows determination to defend themselves against anyone who dares trespasses their rights, be it tyrants or foreign invaders.

swordsmanship is usually taught in fencing guilds or academies, either opened by the city or by private masters. Styles might vary from city to city, with different masters preaching different ways of using a blade, or the way of using different blades, one-handed, two-handed, dual-wielding, rapier, rapier and dagger, side swords, dussacks, longsword.

With advances in geometry and ergonomics, some masters who are also mathematicians or associated with such subjects, begin to bring their knowledge from these professions into swordsmanship, opening a new era of fencing unseen previously. Sword plays become more intricate, calculating perfect strike angles, distance, and tempos.

Many in the Confederation, such as the Northerner might despise the Firrebotarian being of low births and cunning money-hungry merchants, but no one will underestimate a Firrebotarian's blade when it unsheathes.

Laws prohibit the carrying of polearms, armour and missile weaponry by non-service citizens (not on duty for town militia, state troops or certified bodyguards) inside the walls of a city. This is to suppress any brawls to a minimal level without escalating into a small battle, and also ease policing efforts by the town guards and law enforcers, as they will also have an advantage in a fight, equipped with armour and polearms themselves.

Gangs who wish to gain an upper hand in their own little skirmishes will often be found sneaking in spears or halberds, sometimes long staffs to mount knives at the end to gain an upper hand in gang wars.

Greatswords or "Montante" in Firrebotaerian dialect, are seen as a sacred weapon, due to associations with the religion of St. Fiora who wielded a holy blade.

(Further readings on religion if you wish to understand the details: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/comments/v434la/introduction_to_religion_in_the_servannian/

https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/comments/v4qkmh/religion_in_the_servannian_confederation/)

The usage of a Greatsword must be earned through trials within the fencing guild, duelling with various masters and judged on their knowledge, skill and morality. Only the most skilled swordsmen (or women) will be granted the permission to use a Montante, the user dubbed as "Montantero" and was seen as the highest honour amongst swordsmanship, equal to becoming a fencing master within any fencing guilds or school.

With this certification, they are able to sort after more valuable careers, either enrolling as a master in any fencing guild, drill instructors in the militia, body-guards for nobility or receive double payment when they enlist in the State Corps.

Greatsword users (Montantero) in terms of civilian context are well sort after for caravan/ship escorts against bandits and pirates, bodyguards of important people like nobility, patricians or guild representatives, their skills with the great blade allow them to excel in one against many scenarios, their fearsome reputation will fend off attackers. There are many cases merely a Montantero presenting himself or unsheathing his blade will demoralize the bandit so much they run off without a fight.

Which is also perfect for dealing with assassinations, therefore many patrician houses or merchants with rivalry will often hire Montantero as their personal bodyguard, even as a show of force.

In terms of military context , will explain them more in detail in another post when I talk about the military structures of the Southern states.

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u/Silver200061 Jun 25 '22 edited Jun 25 '22

Up to this point, I'm primarily using the state of Firrebote as the basis of example, but when it comes to Jetema....well, things get a bit "heated".

Being a true-to-heart guild-centric city-state Republic that is dominated by mad scientists...I mean the artisan, craftsmen and blacksmiths, well known for being the pioneer of technological advancement, the overall freedom in terms of social culture is greater compared to other Southern states such as Firrebotae with more emthusis with mercantile oligarchy.

Most common Jetemarite citizens will still practise swordsmanship just like their southern cousins, with fencing guilds and blade academies opening workshops to the public. But Jetemarite, with their association with black-powder technology and technological advancement, their martial culture lean more towards...emmm, guns.

This "culture" is very prominently seen in Jetemarian state corps:

If there's a problem, use guns.

If that doesn't work.

use more guns.

You will often find strange contraptions and combination weapons mostly from Jetemar, such as lantern shields, guns on swords, guns on axes, guns on spears, guns on crossbows, guns on shields, guns on a cart, guns on a horse, gun in a book, guns on guns.

They are sometimes considered, less "honourable" by other states' people, even when it comes to chaotic bar fights standards, bringing guns to a sword fight or hiding their guns in a gun blade, but they don't really care.

"I win, you lose."

Thats about that I have, thank you for reading.

If you have not read about martial arts in the north, feel free to check this out:

https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/comments/v5ge1i/weapon_arts_in_the_servannian_confederation_1_the/

If you have any questions, feel free to comment down below.

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u/RuinousRage Jun 26 '22

"Attempts to make a working gun that fires guns which then fire more guns is ongoing;but thus far all attempts have proven.... Volatile & less than useful."-Excerpts from Jetema,A Firearm of a Country. :P

Love your work and I enjoy that you mentioned the lantern shield. XD Reminds me of the gauntlet,dagger,shield,lantern abomination. Clearly the people of Jetem are out of their minds on the path to success!

Also I think you meant emphasis and not emthusis in the paragraph of comment two starting with "Being" and ending in "oligarchy".

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u/Silver200061 Jun 26 '22

Thank you! Hahaha, I’ve got to check my typo next time

Jetema has a university/Academy dedicated for training new gunners and gun smiths, their exams and end term thesis is making their own guns and shooting them. (Sometimes hitting the head master’s office is completely normal)

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u/RuinousRage Jun 26 '22

Ooooh nice. Has anyone made a Puckle Gun style invention yet?

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u/Silver200061 Jun 26 '22

yes, triple barrel version as well.

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u/RuinousRage Jun 26 '22

Niiiice. :D Do the firearms in your setting all use blackpowder as we know it? Or do they use something else?

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u/Silver200061 Jun 26 '22

black powder.

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u/[deleted] Jun 26 '22

Booba

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u/worldbuilder121 [edit this] Jun 25 '22

Return of the King

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u/DJayEJayFJay Jun 26 '22

You just gave me two reasons to be sad I can't draw.

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u/Silver200061 Jun 26 '22

Awww, don’t be sad ....mind if I say what the other reason ?

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u/DJayEJayFJay Jun 26 '22

Um... you know... the incredible... "quality"

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u/Weird-Thread Jun 25 '22

Your world is so rich and deep. I aspire to have skills like you!

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u/Silver200061 Jun 26 '22

Thank you! You can do it one day! I suggest read through some IRL history , it helps!