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Medieval sword fighting: realistic vs fantastic

Discussion in 'Research' started by Lvl20wizard, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    And my second round:

    Ranieri vs. Baird

    The new blade was lighter than he’d have liked, but it was the only replacement Ranieri could find for his broken mortuary hilt. He was of course schooled in the tactics of many blades, but he preferred his wide cutting sword to the thrusting blades the southern masters preferred. With Guerrante off his back for the moment, Ranieri had spent what little money he had left on some new trinkets.

    Baird. Ranieri hadn’t seen his opponent’s fight, but he heard of it in the tavern as he celebrated his own victory with a pint of ale. Actually, Ranieri was anticipating a good show. Baird had the good fortune of fighting the only other gentleman the tournament boasted and if their last matches were any indication of what was to come, the odds should be even.

    As Baird strode confidently into the courtyard, Ranieri pulled the strings of his cape.

    “You are on time.” Baird smiled smugly, pocketing his timepiece. “Good, I like a man who turns up punctually to die.”

    Ranieri chuckled. He’d fought many men in his lifetime and one fact rang forever true, the pretty ones could only stand the sight of blood when it wasn’t their own. “I'm just ready to get this over with,” he called. “This tournament only has room for one sharp dresser.”

    “Indeed.” The gentleman tugged at the bottom of his pinstriped waistcoat and dusted the shoulder of his wool jacket, but not before Ranieri caught the glint of metal from within.

    So there would be more than blades pulled before it was done. Good thing Ranieri took time to purchase his new additions. He’d need a full arsenal to compete with the inventive weapons the mysterious foreigner favored.

    As the adjudicator left the field, Ranieri drew his new blade and stepped into an angled stance, making him lighter on his feet in case a pistol should appear first.

    Baird drew a slender blade, not unlike the one in Ranieri’s hand. Rapiers. So it would be a match of wits after all.

    Closing the distance quickly, Ranieri advanced, feinted and thrust, Baird easily sidestepping. It was expected and Ranieri spun his cape around, catching his opponent’s blade up. Baird withdrew, regaining his blade. Pain burst in Ranieri’s left arm and warmth spread with a red stain. What struck him? Not a dagger. Baird's free hand still appeared empty.

    Ranieri retreated and as soon as he was at a safe distance, he drew a small metal projectile from his arm. So the first blood was his. He flung the metal star back in Baird’s direction. "Parlor tricks form the Orient won't impress me."

    Baird lunged, narrowly missing and Ranieri again used his cape to catch Baird’s sword hand. He pulled the strings, immobilizing the arm across its owner's own body. With his blade ineffective and off balance, Ranieri struck his opponent in the side of the head with his hilt. Baird staggered back as Ranieri readied for another attack.

    Back and forth, the two men advanced and retreated. A few more sloppy thrusts but none landed. Baird was better with a sword than Ranieri had given him credit for.

    Awaiting San’s posting the second half…

    ​Okay, so that's the end of that fight.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  2. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

  3. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    Great fun. And I'm glad to see throwing stars rather than knife nonsense.

    But for the first fight: help me out, people, how close to impossible is it to dodge a melee attack? I've seen repeated dodges in so many fictional fights, and it bugs me.

    Yes, some attacks might be to one side, and might be evaded if you're lucky or can see it heading that way. Others might only barely reach you, so jerking yourself back would help. Off-center attacks like that are one thing.

    But in general, aren't bodies just too big to get themselves out of the away as fast as a weapon can come at them? Or is it just that blocking is much more reliable (until you're up against something that'll smash through that)?
  4. Bortasz

    Bortasz Troubadour

    Another suggeestion.

    Subsection of forum to create threads when you put you fight scene and people can what they think about it realism/credible.

    About dodging. I read that Dodge in fight is more a offensive maneuver than defensive one. And desperate.
    You attack, but instead of parrying weapon of opponent you dodge it to get close and finish them off.

    Maybe somebody have different opinion?
  5. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    It depends. Downward cuts are fairly easy to dodge. Horizontal and rising cuts, not so much. Thrusts, too, can be dodged. And the two can also be combined. For example, one man thrusts. His opponent smacks his blade to the left while sliding off to the right, which puts him in a good position for a countercut.
  6. Dipti13

    Dipti13 Dreamer

    Before not knowing anything and really jumping into sword fight may be with the use of medieval weapons is like killing yourself because you don't know the tricks of it. To do real sword fighting, techniques should be known but when you do fantasy based one you are not concerned about it may be because the stuff you are holding is a latex one.
  7. cupiscent

    cupiscent Sage

    I thought I would throw in this splendid video - in French, because it came from an exhibition at the Cluny museum in Paris, but I don't think you even need the audio/words, since it's basically "Allow me to demonstrate what you can do in full armour, by doing it." I find it a fascinating watch, and a useful example to bear in mind.


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